Vanilla Option Definition - investopedia.com

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Swaps* (*But Were Afraid To Ask)

Hello, dummies
It's your old pal, Fuzzy.
As I'm sure you've all noticed, a lot of the stuff that gets posted here is - to put it delicately - fucking ridiculous. More backwards-ass shit gets posted to wallstreetbets than you'd see on a Westboro Baptist community message board. I mean, I had a look at the daily thread yesterday and..... yeesh. I know, I know. We all make like the divine Laura Dern circa 1992 on the daily and stick our hands deep into this steaming heap of shit to find the nuggets of valuable and/or hilarious information within (thanks for reading, BTW). I agree. I love it just the way it is too. That's what makes WSB great.
What I'm getting at is that a lot of the stuff that gets posted here - notwithstanding it being funny or interesting - is just... wrong. Like, fucking your cousin wrong. And to be clear, I mean the fucking your *first* cousin kinda wrong, before my Southerners in the back get all het up (simmer down, Billy Ray - I know Mabel's twice removed on your grand-sister's side). Truly, I try to let it slide. I do my bit to try and put you on the right path. Most of the time, I sleep easy no matter how badly I've seen someone explain what a bank liquidity crisis is. But out of all of those tens of thousands of misguided, autistic attempts at understanding the world of high finance, one thing gets so consistently - so *emphatically* - fucked up and misunderstood by you retards that last night I felt obligated at the end of a long work day to pull together this edition of Finance with Fuzzy just for you. It's so serious I'm not even going to make a u/pokimane gag. Have you guessed what it is yet? Here's a clue. It's in the title of the post.
That's right, friends. Today in the neighborhood we're going to talk all about hedging in financial markets - spots, swaps, collars, forwards, CDS, synthetic CDOs, all that fun shit. Don't worry; I'm going to explain what all the scary words mean and how they impact your OTM RH positions along the way.
We're going to break it down like this. (1) "What's a hedge, Fuzzy?" (2) Common Hedging Strategies and (3) All About ISDAs and Credit Default Swaps.
Before we begin. For the nerds and JV traders in the back (and anyone else who needs to hear this up front) - I am simplifying these descriptions for the purposes of this post. I am also obviously not going to try and cover every exotic form of hedge under the sun or give a detailed summation of what caused the financial crisis. If you are interested in something specific ask a question, but don't try and impress me with your Investopedia skills or technical points I didn't cover; I will just be forced to flex my years of IRL experience on you in the comments and you'll look like a big dummy.
TL;DR? Fuck you. There is no TL;DR. You've come this far already. What's a few more paragraphs? Put down the Cheetos and try to concentrate for the next 5-7 minutes. You'll learn something, and I promise I'll be gentle.
Ready? Let's get started.
1. The Tao of Risk: Hedging as a Way of Life
The simplest way to characterize what a hedge 'is' is to imagine every action having a binary outcome. One is bad, one is good. Red lines, green lines; uppie, downie. With me so far? Good. A 'hedge' is simply the employment of a strategy to mitigate the effect of your action having the wrong binary outcome. You wanted X, but you got Z! Frowny face. A hedge strategy introduces a third outcome. If you hedged against the possibility of Z happening, then you can wind up with Y instead. Not as good as X, but not as bad as Z. The technical definition I like to give my idiot juniors is as follows:
Utilization of a defensive strategy to mitigate risk, at a fraction of the cost to capital of the risk itself.
Congratulations. You just finished Hedging 101. "But Fuzzy, that's easy! I just sold a naked call against my 95% OTM put! I'm adequately hedged!". Spoiler alert: you're not (although good work on executing a collar, which I describe below). What I'm talking about here is what would be referred to as a 'perfect hedge'; a binary outcome where downside is totally mitigated by a risk management strategy. That's not how it works IRL. Pay attention; this is the tricky part.
You can't take a single position and conclude that you're adequately hedged because risks are fluid, not static. So you need to constantly adjust your position in order to maximize the value of the hedge and insure your position. You also need to consider exposure to more than one category of risk. There are micro (specific exposure) risks, and macro (trend exposure) risks, and both need to factor into the hedge calculus.
That's why, in the real world, the value of hedging depends entirely on the design of the hedging strategy itself. Here, when we say "value" of the hedge, we're not talking about cash money - we're talking about the intrinsic value of the hedge relative to the the risk profile of your underlying exposure. To achieve this, people hedge dynamically. In wallstreetbets terms, this means that as the value of your position changes, you need to change your hedges too. The idea is to efficiently and continuously distribute and rebalance risk across different states and periods, taking value from states in which the marginal cost of the hedge is low and putting it back into states where marginal cost of the hedge is high, until the shadow value of your underlying exposure is equalized across your positions. The punchline, I guess, is that one static position is a hedge in the same way that the finger paintings you make for your wife's boyfriend are art - it's technically correct, but you're only playing yourself by believing it.
Anyway. Obviously doing this as a small potatoes trader is hard but it's worth taking into account. Enough basic shit. So how does this work in markets?
2. A Hedging Taxonomy
The best place to start here is a practical question. What does a business need to hedge against? Think about the specific risk that an individual business faces. These are legion, so I'm just going to list a few of the key ones that apply to most corporates. (1) You have commodity risk for the shit you buy or the shit you use. (2) You have currency risk for the money you borrow. (3) You have rate risk on the debt you carry. (4) You have offtake risk for the shit you sell. Complicated, right? To help address the many and varied ways that shit can go wrong in a sophisticated market, smart operators like yours truly have devised a whole bundle of different instruments which can help you manage the risk. I might write about some of the more complicated ones in a later post if people are interested (CDO/CLOs, strip/stack hedges and bond swaps with option toggles come to mind) but let's stick to the basics for now.
(i) Swaps
A swap is one of the most common forms of hedge instrument, and they're used by pretty much everyone that can afford them. The language is complicated but the concept isn't, so pay attention and you'll be fine. This is the most important part of this section so it'll be the longest one.
Swaps are derivative contracts with two counterparties (before you ask, you can't trade 'em on an exchange - they're OTC instruments only). They're used to exchange one cash flow for another cash flow of equal expected value; doing this allows you to take speculative positions on certain financial prices or to alter the cash flows of existing assets or liabilities within a business. "Wait, Fuzz; slow down! What do you mean sets of cash flows?". Fear not, little autist. Ol' Fuzz has you covered.
The cash flows I'm talking about are referred to in swap-land as 'legs'. One leg is fixed - a set payment that's the same every time it gets paid - and the other is variable - it fluctuates (typically indexed off the price of the underlying risk that you are speculating on / protecting against). You set it up at the start so that they're notionally equal and the two legs net off; so at open, the swap is a zero NPV instrument. Here's where the fun starts. If the price that you based the variable leg of the swap on changes, the value of the swap will shift; the party on the wrong side of the move ponies up via the variable payment. It's a zero sum game.
I'll give you an example using the most vanilla swap around; an interest rate trade. Here's how it works. You borrow money from a bank, and they charge you a rate of interest. You lock the rate up front, because you're smart like that. But then - quelle surprise! - the rate gets better after you borrow. Now you're bagholding to the tune of, I don't know, 5 bps. Doesn't sound like much but on a billion dollar loan that's a lot of money (a classic example of the kind of 'small, deep hole' that's terrible for profits). Now, if you had a swap contract on the rate before you entered the trade, you're set; if the rate goes down, you get a payment under the swap. If it goes up, whatever payment you're making to the bank is netted off by the fact that you're borrowing at a sub-market rate. Win-win! Or, at least, Lose Less / Lose Less. That's the name of the game in hedging.
There are many different kinds of swaps, some of which are pretty exotic; but they're all different variations on the same theme. If your business has exposure to something which fluctuates in price, you trade swaps to hedge against the fluctuation. The valuation of swaps is also super interesting but I guarantee you that 99% of you won't understand it so I'm not going to try and explain it here although I encourage you to google it if you're interested.
Because they're OTC, none of them are filed publicly. Someeeeeetimes you see an ISDA (dsicussed below) but the confirms themselves (the individual swaps) are not filed. You can usually read about the hedging strategy in a 10-K, though. For what it's worth, most modern credit agreements ban speculative hedging. Top tip: This is occasionally something worth checking in credit agreements when you invest in businesses that are debt issuers - being able to do this increases the risk profile significantly and is particularly important in times of economic volatility (ctrl+f "non-speculative" in the credit agreement to be sure).
(ii) Forwards
A forward is a contract made today for the future delivery of an asset at a pre-agreed price. That's it. "But Fuzzy! That sounds just like a futures contract!". I know. Confusing, right? Just like a futures trade, forwards are generally used in commodity or forex land to protect against price fluctuations. The differences between forwards and futures are small but significant. I'm not going to go into super boring detail because I don't think many of you are commodities traders but it is still an important thing to understand even if you're just an RH jockey, so stick with me.
Just like swaps, forwards are OTC contracts - they're not publicly traded. This is distinct from futures, which are traded on exchanges (see The Ballad Of Big Dick Vick for some more color on this). In a forward, no money changes hands until the maturity date of the contract when delivery and receipt are carried out; price and quantity are locked in from day 1. As you now know having read about BDV, futures are marked to market daily, and normally people close them out with synthetic settlement using an inverse position. They're also liquid, and that makes them easier to unwind or close out in case shit goes sideways.
People use forwards when they absolutely have to get rid of the thing they made (or take delivery of the thing they need). If you're a miner, or a farmer, you use this shit to make sure that at the end of the production cycle, you can get rid of the shit you made (and you won't get fucked by someone taking cash settlement over delivery). If you're a buyer, you use them to guarantee that you'll get whatever the shit is that you'll need at a price agreed in advance. Because they're OTC, you can also exactly tailor them to the requirements of your particular circumstances.
These contracts are incredibly byzantine (and there are even crazier synthetic forwards you can see in money markets for the true degenerate fund managers). In my experience, only Texan oilfield magnates, commodities traders, and the weirdo forex crowd fuck with them. I (i) do not own a 10 gallon hat or a novelty size belt buckle (ii) do not wake up in the middle of the night freaking out about the price of pork fat and (iii) love greenbacks too much to care about other countries' monopoly money, so I don't fuck with them.
(iii) Collars
No, not the kind your wife is encouraging you to wear try out to 'spice things up' in the bedroom during quarantine. Collars are actually the hedging strategy most applicable to WSB. Collars deal with options! Hooray!
To execute a basic collar (also called a wrapper by tea-drinking Brits and people from the Antipodes), you buy an out of the money put while simultaneously writing a covered call on the same equity. The put protects your position against price drops and writing the call produces income that offsets the put premium. Doing this limits your tendies (you can only profit up to the strike price of the call) but also writes down your risk. If you screen large volume trades with a VOL/OI of more than 3 or 4x (and they're not bullshit biotech stocks), you can sometimes see these being constructed in real time as hedge funds protect themselves on their shorts.
(3) All About ISDAs, CDS and Synthetic CDOs
You may have heard about the mythical ISDA. Much like an indenture (discussed in my post on $F), it's a magic legal machine that lets you build swaps via trade confirms with a willing counterparty. They are very complicated legal documents and you need to be a true expert to fuck with them. Fortunately, I am, so I do. They're made of two parts; a Master (which is a form agreement that's always the same) and a Schedule (which amends the Master to include your specific terms). They are also the engine behind just about every major credit crunch of the last 10+ years.
First - a brief explainer. An ISDA is a not in and of itself a hedge - it's an umbrella contract that governs the terms of your swaps, which you use to construct your hedge position. You can trade commodities, forex, rates, whatever, all under the same ISDA.
Let me explain. Remember when we talked about swaps? Right. So. You can trade swaps on just about anything. In the late 90s and early 2000s, people had the smart idea of using other people's debt and or credit ratings as the variable leg of swap documentation. These are called credit default swaps. I was actually starting out at a bank during this time and, I gotta tell you, the only thing I can compare people's enthusiasm for this shit to was that moment in your early teens when you discover jerking off. Except, unlike your bathroom bound shame sessions to Mom's Sears catalogue, every single person you know felt that way too; and they're all doing it at once. It was a fiscal circlejerk of epic proportions, and the financial crisis was the inevitable bukkake finish. WSB autism is absolutely no comparison for the enthusiasm people had during this time for lighting each other's money on fire.
Here's how it works. You pick a company. Any company. Maybe even your own! And then you write a swap. In the swap, you define "Credit Event" with respect to that company's debt as the variable leg . And you write in... whatever you want. A ratings downgrade, default under the docs, failure to meet a leverage ratio or FCCR for a certain testing period... whatever. Now, this started out as a hedge position, just like we discussed above. The purest of intentions, of course. But then people realized - if bad shit happens, you make money. And banks... don't like calling in loans or forcing bankruptcies. Can you smell what the moral hazard is cooking?
Enter synthetic CDOs. CDOs are basically pools of asset backed securities that invest in debt (loans or bonds). They've been around for a minute but they got famous in the 2000s because a shitload of them containing subprime mortgage debt went belly up in 2008. This got a lot of publicity because a lot of sad looking rednecks got foreclosed on and were interviewed on CNBC. "OH!", the people cried. "Look at those big bad bankers buying up subprime loans! They caused this!". Wrong answer, America. The debt wasn't the problem. What a lot of people don't realize is that the real meat of the problem was not in regular way CDOs investing in bundles of shit mortgage debts in synthetic CDOs investing in CDS predicated on that debt. They're synthetic because they don't have a stake in the actual underlying debt; just the instruments riding on the coattails. The reason these are so popular (and remain so) is that smart structured attorneys and bankers like your faithful correspondent realized that an even more profitable and efficient way of building high yield products with limited downside was investing in instruments that profit from failure of debt and in instruments that rely on that debt and then hedging that exposure with other CDS instruments in paired trades, and on and on up the chain. The problem with doing this was that everyone wound up exposed to everybody else's books as a result, and when one went tits up, everybody did. Hence, recession, Basel III, etc. Thanks, Obama.
Heavy investment in CDS can also have a warping effect on the price of debt (something else that happened during the pre-financial crisis years and is starting to happen again now). This happens in three different ways. (1) Investors who previously were long on the debt hedge their position by selling CDS protection on the underlying, putting downward pressure on the debt price. (2) Investors who previously shorted the debt switch to buying CDS protection because the relatively illiquid debt (partic. when its a bond) trades at a discount below par compared to the CDS. The resulting reduction in short selling puts upward pressure on the bond price. (3) The delta in price and actual value of the debt tempts some investors to become NBTs (neg basis traders) who long the debt and purchase CDS protection. If traders can't take leverage, nothing happens to the price of the debt. If basis traders can take leverage (which is nearly always the case because they're holding a hedged position), they can push up or depress the debt price, goosing swap premiums etc. Anyway. Enough technical details.
I could keep going. This is a fascinating topic that is very poorly understood and explained, mainly because the people that caused it all still work on the street and use the same tactics today (it's also terribly taught at business schools because none of the teachers were actually around to see how this played out live). But it relates to the topic of today's lesson, so I thought I'd include it here.
Work depending, I'll be back next week with a covenant breakdown. Most upvoted ticker gets the post.
*EDIT 1\* In a total blowout, $PLAY won. So it's D&B time next week. Post will drop Monday at market open.
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Immediate Aftermath : The more data we collect and analyze, the clearer the picture becomes.

This is the updated first part of the list that has recorded the notable events as the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. [2nd Part] ― The LINKS to events and sources are placed throughout the timeline.
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The More Data We Collect and Analyze, the Clearer the Picture Becomes.
Someone threw a stone in a pond a long way away. And we're only just feeling the ripples. — Fukuhara from Giri/Haji, Netflix series
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On Jan 30, Italian PM announced that Italy had blocked all flights to and from China. While Italy has banned people from air-travelling to China, however according to IATA data, there's no measurement implemented for air-travellers from China into Italy till the Mar 07. Especially for Chinese people who have EU passports.
On Jan 31, the US announced the category-I travel restrictions, barring all foreigners who have been in China for the past 14 days, with measures including the refusal of visas and mandatory quarantine.
• "Because the US focused on China and didn't expect the infected people's entry from Europe and the Middle East, the Maginot Line was breached from behind. And so little of credible data at the beginning made the US government to miscalculate its strategic response to the virus." — Dr. Zhang Lun, currently a visiting scholar at Harvard (economics & sociology), during the interview with ICPC on Mar 29.
Also on Jan 31, the WHO changed its tune and declared the coronavirus outbreak a Global Public Health Emergency of international concern (PHEIC).
Decisions on a PHEIC always involve politics .... West African countries discouraged a declaration in 2014 after they were hit by the largest Ebola virus outbreak on record, mainly because of concern about the economic impact.
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On Feb 02, regarding the US category-I travel restrictions, Kamala Harris, the former Democratic presidential candidate, declared on Twitter:
Since 2017, Trump’s travel bans have never been rooted in national security—they’re about discriminating against people of color. They are, without a doubt, rooted in anti-immigrant, white supremacist ideologies. This travel ban is no different.
On Feb 03, criticizing Trump for his travel restrictions continues. Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying (华春莹), a Peking University professors James Liang (梁建章), New York Times, the Nation, OBSERVER, the Boston Globe, Yahoo, and Daily Kos were saying,
it's a "panicky" decision and "racist" or it's "cruel and callous," he's stoking fear for political gains, and the president is "inappropriately overreacting." And professors Liang even said the US ban "will hurt goodwill and cooperation [with China] in the future." [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]
Also on Feb 03, Mr. Tedros of the WHO said there's no need for travel ban measure that "unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade" trying to halt the spread of the virus.
China's delegate took the floor ... and denounced measures by "some countries" that have denied entry to people holding passports issued in Hubei province - at the centre of the outbreak - and to deny visas and cancel flights.
Also on Feb 03, China is expected to gradually implement a larger stimulus packages (in total) than a USD $572 billion from 2008. — We'd never find out but my guess is that the fund will probably go to Shanghai clique.
On Feb 04, The FDA has given emergency authorization to a new test kit by the CDC that promises to help public health labs meet a potential surge in cases.
The speed ... pushing through a new diagnostic test shows just how seriously they’re taking the potentially pandemic threat of 2019-nCoV. It’s also a sign that the world is starting to learn how to deal with an onslaught of new pathogens.
Also on Feb 04, the Wuhan Institute of Virology and China's Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS, Chief Chen Wei belongs to) have jointly applied to patent the use of Remdesivir. Scientists from both institutes said in a paper published in Nature’s Cell Research that they found both Remdesivir and Chloroquine to be an effective way to inhibit the coronavirus.
On Feb 06, Jamestown Foundation, a Washington-based research & analysis unit, noted that with State Council of PRC praising his performance of containing the pandemic situation, the council expanded Li Keqiang's political control over Politburo Standing Committee of CCP. (Li Keqiang = Communist Youth League = Shanghai clique)
Also, on Feb 06, as the US evacuation planes leave China, the wave of the US evacuees have arrived who are met by the CDC personnel at the quarantine sites for screening, and those who were suspected of infection will be placed under quarantine for 14 days.
Also, on Feb 06, a CDC-developed lab test kit to detect the new coronavirus began shipping to qualified US laboratories and international ones. — However, on Feb 12, the CDC said some of the testing kits have flaws and do not work properly. The CDC finally ended up shipping the working test kits for mass testings on Feb 27. This was three weeks later than originally planned.
On Feb 07, China National Petroleum has recently declared Force Majeure on gas imports. They are trying to create a breathing room for their foreign exchange reserves shortage. China's foreign exchange reserves fell to mere USD $3.1 trillion in Oct. 2019.
On the same day, Bloomberg reported that PetroChina has directed employees in 20 countries to buy N95 face masks and send them home in China. The goal is to get 2 million masks shipped back. You can also find YouTube videos that show Overseas Chinese are scouring the masks at the Home Depot to ship them to China (the video in Korean). Also Chris Smith is pissed.
On Feb 09, Trump renews his national emergency on its southern border, and Elizabeth Goitein from the Brennan Center for Justice, published an opinion article on New York Times titled "Trump Has Abused This Power. And He Will Again if He’s Not Stopped."
On Feb 10, Dr. Tedros said that an advance three-person team of the WHO arrived in Beijing for a joint mission to discuss with Chinese officials the agenda and questions. Then, the joint mission of about 10 international experts will soon follow, he said. — Those WHO experts ended up visiting Chinese epicentre for the first time on Feb 24.
On Feb 12, the US targets Russian oil company for helping Venezuela skirt sanctions. The US admin seemingly tried to secure leverage against Russia after noticing something suspicious was up.
On the same day, Trump told Reuters "I hope this outbreak or this event (for the US) may be over in something like April." — Dr. Zhong Nanshan (钟南山), China's top tier SARS-hero doctor, also said "the peak of the virus (for China) should come in mid to late February, followed by a plateau or decrease," adding that his forecast was based on on mathematical modelling and data from recent events and government action.
On Feb 13, Tom Frieden who is a former US CDC chief and currently the head of public health nonprofit Resolve to Save Lives, said:
As countries are trying to develop their own control strategies, they are looking for evidence of whether the situation in China is getting worse or better. [But] We still don't have very basic information. [since the WHO just entered China] We hope that information will be coming out.
On the same day, the CDC reports that the 15th case in the US was confirmed. The patient was a part of group who were under a federal quarantine order at the JBSA-Lackland base because of a recent trip to Hubei Province, China.
By Feb 13, China hasn't accepted the US CDC's offer to send top experts, and they haven't released the "disaggregated" data (specific figures broken out from the overall numbers) even though repeatedly been asked.
On Feb 14, CCP's United Front posted an article on its official website, saying (Eng. text by Google Translation):
Fast! There is no time difference to raise urgently needed materials! Some Overseas Chinese have used their professions in the field of medicine in order to purchase relevant materials Hubei province in short of supply (to send them to China). .... Some Overseas Chinese took advantage of the connection resources, opened green transportation channels through our embassies and consulates abroad, and their related enterprises, and quickly sent large quantities of medical supplies (to China), making this love relay link and cooperation seamless.
On Feb 18, Reuters reports that 3M is on the list of firms eligible for China loans to ease coronavirus crisis.
There is no indication from the list that loans offered will necessarily be sought, or that such firms are in any financial need. The Bank of Shanghai told Reuters it will lend 5.5 billion yuan ($786 million) to 57 firms on its list.
On Feb 21, Xi Jinping writes a thank-you letter to Bill Gates for his foundation’s support to China regarding COVID-19 outbreak.
On Feb 24, China was rumoured on Twitter to delay the phase one trade deal implementation indefinitely which includes the increase of China's purchasing American products & services by at least $200 billion over the next two years.
Also on Feb 24, S&P 500 Index started to drop. Opened with 3225.9 and closed 3128.2. By the Mar 23, it dropped to 2208.9.
Also on Feb 24, China's National Health Commission says the WHO experts have visited Wuhan city for the first time, the locked-down central Chinese city at the epicentre, inspecting two hospitals and a makeshift one at a sports centre.
On Feb 26, IF the picture that has been circulated on Twitter were real, then chief Chen Wei and her team have developed the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine within time frame of a month.
On the same day, the CDC's latest figures displays 59 people in the US who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Also on Feb 26, the Washington Post published an article that says:
.... the WHO said it has repeatedly asked Chinese officials for "disaggregated" data — meaning specific figures broken out from the overall numbers — that could shed light on hospital transmission and help assess the level of risk front-line workers face. "We received disaggregated information at intervals, though not details about health care workers," said Tarik Jasarevic of the WHO. — The comment, in an email on Feb 22 to the Post, was one of the first instances that the WHO had directly addressed shortcomings in China's reporting or handling of the coronavirus crisis.
On Feb 27, after missteps, the CDC says its test kit is ready and the US started to expand testing.
On Feb 28, China transferred more than 80,000 Uighurs to factories used by global brands such as Apple, Nike, & Volkswagen & among others.
Also on Feb 28, the WHO published the official report of the WHO-China joint mission on coronavirus disease 2019. (PDF)
On Feb 29, quoting Caixin media's investigation published on the same day, Lianhe Zaobao, the largest Singapore-based Chinese-language newspaper, published an article reporting the following:
Dr. Li Wenliang said in the interview with Caixin media; [in Dec 2019] another doctor (later turned out to be Dr. Ai Fen) examined and tried to treat a patient who exhibited SARS-like symptoms which akin to influenza resistant to conventional treatment methods. And "the family members who took care of her (the patient) that night also had a fever, and her other daughter also had a fever. This is obviously from person to person" Dr. Li said in the interview."
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On Mar 01, China's State Council super tighten up their already draconian internet law.
On the same day, Princelings published an propaganda called "A Battle Against Epidemic: China Combating COVID-19 in 2020" which compiles numerous state media accounts on the heroic leadership of Xi Jinping, the vital role of the Communist Party, and the superiority of the Chinese system in fighting the virus.
Starting on Mar 03, the US Fed has taken two significant measures to provide monetary stimulus. It's going to be no use as if a group of people with serious means are manipulating the markets to make sure MM will have liquidity concerns when they need it most.
On Mar 04, Xinhua News, China's official state-run press agency posted an article "Be bold: the world should thank China" which states that
If China retaliates against the US at this time, it will also announce strategic control over medical products, and ban exports of said products to the US. ... If China declares today that its drugs are for domestic use only, the US will fall into the hell of new coronavirus epidemic.
On Mar 05, Shanghai Index has recovered the coronavirus loss almost completely.
On Mar 07, Saudi's Ahmed bin Abdulaziz and Muhammad bin Nayef were arrested on the claims of plotting to overthrow King Salman. — Ahmed bin Abdulaziz is known to have very tight investment-interest relationship with Bill Gates, Bill Browder, Blackstone, & BlackRock: One common factor that connects these people is China.
On Mar 08, the Russia–Saudi oil price war has begun. The ostensible reason was simple: China, the biggest importer of oil from Saudi and Russia, was turning back tankers while claiming that the outbreak forced its economy to a standstill.
On Mar 10, the Washington Post published the article saying that the trade group for manufacturers of personal protective equipment urged in 2009 "immediate action" to restock the national stockpile including N95 masks, but it hasn't been replenished since.
On Mar 11, the gentleman at the WHO declares the coronavirus outbreak a "Global Pandemic." He called on governments to change the course of the outbreak by taking "urgent and aggressive action." This was a full twelve days after the organization published the official report regarding the situation in China.
On Mar 13, the US admin declared a National Emergency and announced the plan to release $50 billion in federal resources amid COVID-19.
Also on Mar 13, China's Ministry of Commerce states that China is now the best region for global investment hedging.
On Mar 15, Business Insider reports that Trump tried to poach German scientists working on a coronavirus vaccine and offered cash so it would be exclusive to the US. The problem is the official CureVac (the German company) twitter account, on Mar 16, 2020, tweeted the following:
To make it clear again on coronavirus: CureVac has not received from the US government or related entities an offer before, during and since the Task Force meeting in the White House on March 2. CureVac rejects all allegations from press.
On Mar 16, the fan club of European globalists has published a piece titled, "China and Coronavirus: From Home-Made Disaster to Global Mega-Opportunity." The piece says:
The Chinese method is the only method that has proved successful [in fighting the virus], is a message spread online in China by influencers, including many essentially promoting propaganda. ... it is certainly a message that seems to be resonating with opinion leaders around the world.
On the same day, unlike China that had one epicentre, Wuhan city, the US now overtakes China with most cases reporting multiple epicentres simultaneously.
Also on Mar 16, the US stocks ended sharply lower with the Dow posting its worst point drop in history. But some showed a faint hint of uncertain hope.
On Mar 17, according to an article on Chinese version of Quora, Zhihu, chief Chen Wei and her team with CanSino Biologics officially initiated a Phase-1 clinical trial for COVID-19 vaccine at the Wuhan lab, Hubei China, which Bloomberg News confirmed. — Click HERE, then set its time period as 1 year, and see when the graph has started to move up.
Also on Mar 17, China's state media, China Global TV Network (CGTN), has produced YouTube videos for Middle Eastern audiences to spread the opinion that the US has engineered COVID-19 events.
Also on Mar 17, Al Jazeera reported that the US President has been criticized for repeatedly referring to the coronavirus as the "Chinese Virus" as critics saying Trump is "fueling bigotry."
• China's Xinhua News tweeted "Racism is not the right tool to cover your own incompetence."
• Tucker Carlson asked: "Why would America's media take China's side amid coronavirus pandemic?"
• Also, Mr. Bill Gates: "We should not call this the Chinese virus."
On Mar 19, for the first time, China reports zero local infections.
Also on Mar 19, Al Jazeera published an analysis report, titled "Coronavirus erodes Trump's re-election prospects."
On Mar 22, Bloomberg reports that China's mobile carriers lost 21 million users during this pandemic event. It's said to be the first net decline since starting to report monthly data in 2000.
On Mar 26, EURACTV reports that China cashes in off coronavirus, selling Spain $466 million in supplies. However, Spain returns 9,000 "quick result" test kits to China, because they were deemed substandard. — Especially the sensibility of the test was around 30 percent, when it should be higher than 80 percent.
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On Apr 03, Germany and other governments are bolstering corporate defenses to address worries that coronavirus-weakened companies could be easy prey for bargain hunting by China's state owned businesses.
On Apr 05, New York Times says "Trump Again Promotes Use of Unproven Anti-Malaria Drug (hydroxychloroquine)."
On Apr 06, a Democratic State Rep. Karen Whitsett from Detroit credits hydroxychloroquine and President Trump for "saving her in her battle with the coronavirus."
On Apr 07, the US CDC removed the following part from its website.
Although optimal dosing and duration of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 are unknown, some U.S. clinicians have reported anecdotally different hydroxychloroquine dosing such as: 400mg BID on day one, then daily for 5 days; 400 mg BID on day one, then 200mg BID for 4 days; 600 mg BID on day one, then 400mg daily on days 2-5.
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☞ If there were ever a time for people not to be partisan and tribal, the time has come: We need to be ever vigilant and attentive to all kinds of disinformation & misinformation to see it better as well as to be sharp in our lives. — We really do need to come together.
☞ At first, I was going to draw up a conspiracy theory-oriented list focused on Team-Z, especially Mr. Gates. However, although it's nothing new tbh, recently many chats and discussions seem overflowing with disinformation & misinformation which is, in my opinion, particularly painful at a time like this. Hence, this post became a vanilla list that's just recorded the notable events. — We all are subject to misinformation, miscalculation, and misjudgment. But the clearer the picture becomes the better we can identify Funkspiel.
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Immediate Aftermath pt.2.a
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Feasible Timeline of the Operation
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☞ Go Back to the Short Story.
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submitted by vanillabluesea to conspiracy [link] [comments]

Vue d'ensemble de la finance aujourd'hui

Dans la logique de mon post sur la vulgarisation du marché monétaire, voici une vulgarisation de la finance dans sa globalité. Avant de me lancer dans le vif du sujet, je tiens à clarifier des notions importantes qui pourraient porter à confusion et que je sais que je verrai dans les commentaires. Je vais aussi vous donner un peu mon opinion personnelle pour éviter tout malentendu dans la discussion, sautez cette partie si ça ne vous intéresse pas. Si la modération trouve que c'est trop hors-sujet, libre à elle de supprimer le post.
J’ai entendu vos critiques dans les commentaires, j’avoue que j’ai vraiment trop simplifié certains passages, j’avais peur que le post soit trop long et trop technique, parfois au prix de la précision et de la rigueur, mea culpa. Cette fois-ci j’ai fait le choix de faire une synthèse des différents marchés financiers, qui régissent l’allocation des ressources financières dans notre société. Nombre d’entre vous ont dû entendre parler de certains d’entre eux, peut-être que vous participez à certains. Toutefois, comme dans mon autre post, je tiens à faire une précision importante. Les informations que je vous donne ici sont grandement insuffisantes pour que vous vous lanciez sur ces marchés, sans que cela s’apparente à une soirée au Monte Carlo pour votre portefeuille. Je ne vous incite aucunement à le faire, mon but étant uniquement d’éclairer ce qui se passe sur les marchés financiers, je n’ai aucune participation à quoi que ce soit, je ne suis pas rémunéré et je ne cherche pas à vendre ou à promouvoir quoi que ce soit. Je ne serai pas 100% exhaustif mais je ferai de mon mieux pour éclairer des sujets que vous pouvez parfois rencontrer dans la presse. Encore une fois, les questions et les remarques sont la bienvenue.
Un marché financier est une notion très abstraite somme toute, il s’agît de l’ensemble des acteurs, des informations et des outils qui font que l’offre (d’actifs) et la demande (le capital) se rencontrent. Ce n’est pas à confondre avec une bourse, qui est un lieu physique (et maintenant virtuel) où se rencontrent l’offre et la demande, ou une place financière, qui est une ville qui regroupe un grand nombre de marchés financiers et d’acteurs majeurs. Quand votre tonton vous prête 10k EUR pour que vous lanciez votre site d’e-commerce, ou que vous déposez de l’argent à la banque, vous participez à un marché financier. Au fil de l’histoire, différents outils financiers ont fait leur apparition, parfois graduellement, parfois brusquement sous l’impulsion de génies/fous (souvent des mathématiciens) et ont conféré des propriétés particulières aux marchés financiers. Il s’agît entre autres de la capacité à :
- Investitransférer le capital et les liquidités inutilisés
- Transférer le risque entre participants
- Echanger à l’international
- Eviter qu’il y ait trop de disparités entre les prix dans le marché, et qu’ils suivent (plus ou moins bien) la valeur intrinsèque.
Un marché efficace est par définition un marché qui reflète bien la valeur intrinsèque d'un investissement compte-tenu des informations disponibles. Des inefficacités peuvent surgir de coûts de transaction et/ou de frais d'agence élevés, de la faible liquidité des actifs ou encore à cause de barrières de toutes sortes. A mon humble avis, dans une économie de marché, il est dans l’intérêt public à ce que certains marchés soient efficaces pour que les inégalités économiques ne soient pas amplifiées et que toutes les classes sociales puissent y avoir accès, tant que cela ne se nuit pas indirectement à la société.
Parlons maintenant de prix et de valeur intrinsèque. La valeur intrinsèque d’un actif ou d’un instrument financier est la valeur financière (et parfois non-financière) future qu’il procurera, compte tenu de l’incertitude qu’il y a autour de la capacité de l’actif à réaliser cette valeur à l’avenir. La valeur intrinsèque est subjective car elle dépend de l’acheteur, principalement de son aversion et de sa capacité à encaisser le risque, mais pas que, comme nous allons le voir. Le prix reflète entre autres l’offre et la demande de l’actif, plus précisément les informations qu’ont les acheteurs, leurs biais et les barrières à la transaction, c’est pour cela qu’il peut dévier, parfois fortement, de la valeur intrinsèque. La valeur intrinsèque est fondamentalement impossible à connaître, mais cela ne veut pas dire qu’il n’y a pas de modèles mathématiques ou qualitatifs pour tenter de l’estimer. Ce qu’on appelle un acteur rationnel c’est un participant qui va, compte tenu de son capital, de ses besoins de liquidité, de son horizon d’investissement et de son aversion au risque (qui est une caractéristique rationnelle) acheter les actifs dont le prix est en-dessous de la valeur intrinsèque qu’il leur assigne et vendre ceux dont le prix est au-dessus de cette valeur.
Je ne crois pas qu’il y ait une façon non biaisée de présenter la finance alors je vais vous donner mon biais. Je crois personnellement en la finance comportementale et ce que je vais dire dans ce paragraphe est très controversé et mériterait toute une vie de recherche pour justifier (on peut en reparler dans les commentaires). Il faut savoir qu’il y a des paramètres anthropologiques (psychologiques, sociologiques, culturels, religieux et géographiques) qui viennent affecter les marchés, notamment leur efficacité, et les financiers et les régulateurs peuvent aborder le problème de plusieurs façons. Parfois on va trouver des intermédiaires qui vont faire fi de ces barrières, parfois on va tenter d’anonymiser les participants, parfois on va trouver un moyen de diffuser l’information à tous les participants, parfois on va réguler pour empêcher certains comportements nuisibles ou illégaux, ou bien on va créer des outils ou des stratagèmes pour contourner les barrières sans les effacer. La désintermédiation, la dérèglementation et le décloisonnement, ainsi que la volonté d’atteindre la concurrence pure et parfaite, ne sont pas toujours les meilleurs moyens d’avoir des marchés efficaces. Il faudrait que toutes les barrières socioculturelles, tous les biais psychologiques des participants des marchés disparaissent pour que cela puisse se faire, ce qui n’est évidemment ni souhaitable ni possible.
Le début est un peu technique mais est crucial pour que vous compreniez la suite. Premièrement, je vais vous parler de la notion de marché primaire et de marché secondaire, qui détermine où est transféré le capital et le risque. Deuxièmement, je vais vous parler de l’organisation et de la régulation des marchés. Troisièmement, je vais vous parler de la classification des marchés en fonction des instruments financiers qui s’y échangent et dernièrement je vais vous parler de la classification des marchés en fonction des actifs qui s’y échangent.
A – Les marchés primaires, secondaires, tertiaires et quaternaires.
Le marché primaire est le marché qui fait rencontrer ceux qui vont fournir des actions ou des obligations de leur propre entreprise, des matières premières ou autres actifs, en échange de capital. Quand une entreprise ou un Etat lèvent des fonds ils participent sur ce marché, quand une société d’exploitation de pétrole brut vend ses barils elle y participe aussi. Quand vous prêtez de l’argent à votre pote, ou que vous achetez une maison neuve à un promoteur immobilier vous participez au marché primaire. En général, il s’agît d’un marché désorganisé où des particuliers et des entreprises se rencontrent par leurs propres moyens (bouche à oreille, publicité) et qui est très peu régulé, qu’on appelle gré-à-gré, que j’expliciterai bientôt. Ce marché est relativement risqué et peu transparent, en général votre seul recours juridique est le civil et si votre contrepartie fait faillite vous n’avez aucune garantie de pouvoir récupérer votre dû. Il demande de faire confiance à votre contrepartie, d’être compétent et parfois spécialisé dans ce domaine ainsi que d’être particulièrement critique des informations que l’on vous donne. Quand il est organisé, il s’agît le plus souvent d’une vente aux enchères entre participants agréés.
Le marché secondaire est le marché où les actifs sont revendus entre investisseurs, ici le capital et le risque sont transférés d’un investisseur à un autre. Ce marché a plusieurs fonctions, il permet entre autres aux investisseurs de sortir du marché quand ils en ont envie, de standardiser et regrouper les actifs, d’actualiser le prix des actifs en fonction des événements et de permettre à un plus grand nombre d’investisseurs de détenir certains actifs qui leur serait parfois impossible d’obtenir faute de contacts ou de moyens. Si une action ou une obligation est échangée sur le marché secondaire, cela veut dire que l’entreprise sous-jacente a donné son accord à ce qu’elle renonce à choisir qui détient ses parts ou sa dette (à quelques exceptions près), elle n’est pas affectée directement par la transaction. Le marché secondaire est le plus souvent organisé et régulé, moyennant commission. Il est le plus souvent organisé dans un type d’enchère très particulier qu’on appelle bourse, ou bien d’un marché organisé par un courtier.
Je parle brièvement du marché tertiaire et du marché quaternaire car vous pourrez peut-être en entendre parler, le marché tertiaire est le marché où les courtiers interagissent avec les grosses institutions (souvent des banques) et le marché quaternaire est le marché entre grosses institutions uniquement. Ce sont des marchés gré-à-gré.
B – L’organisation et la régulation des marchés
Le marché le plus basique est le marché gré-à-gré ou over the counter (OTC) en anglais. Comme je l’ai dit plus haut, ce marché n’est pas organisé, il est sans intermédiaires. Pour y participer il faut trouver des contreparties par ses propres moyens, chercher les informations par soi-même et surtout faire confiance à la personne en face, chose qui n’est pas toujours facile. C’est surtout sur ce marché que se manifestent les barrières anthropologiques et les biais psychologiques car il y a peu de moyens de réguler ce qui s’y passe ou d’être sûr des informations que l’on a. Bien évidemment il existe des lois et des garde-fous juridiques ou médiatiques, mais vous êtes libres de rédiger n’importe quel contrat légal sur ce marché. C’est d’ailleurs ici que vous verrez les instruments financiers les plus complexes comme les options exotiques ou les swaps. Sur le marché gré-à-gré on dit que la liquidité est faible, comme vous avez souvent affaire à des actifs uniques (startups, œuvres d’art, options exotiques) que très peu de personnes convoitent, ce qui fait qu’il est coûteux et long de trouver des acheteurs, et ce qui pousse les prix à la hausse.
Je ne vais pas m’attarder dessus car il y a énormément à dire dessus, mais la vente aux enchères est une forme d’organisation des marchés. Vous y trouverez par exemple les obligations souveraines, les œuvres d’art ou bien, lors d’une introduction en bourse d’une entreprise, des actions sont attribuées aux premiers actionnaires via une enchère, ce qui permet de déterminer le prix initial de l’action en bourse. Si cela vous intéresse, regardez les différents types de vente aux enchères comme l’enchère anglaise ou l’enchère néerlandaise. Ici vous avez quelques intermédiaires qui rentrent en jeux comme le commissaire-priseur ou la banque d’investissement pour l’introduction en bourse, qui vont prendre leur commission en échange de la publicité qu’ils fournissent à votre actif et de la facilitation de la transaction – autrement dit de la liquidité. Il est à noter qu’un commissaire-priseur qui tient à sa réputation va exiger certaines contraintes et garanties sur l’actif, ce qui donne un début de régulation au marché financier. Dans le cas d’une introduction en bourse (Initial Public Offering ou IPO), les exigences sont draconiennes, les comptes financiers, les cadres dirigeants de l’entreprise et les actionnaires actuels sont scrutés à la fois par l’Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) en France, et les analystes financiers.
La bourse est une forme d’enchère très spécifique. Elle rassemble des traders qui travaillent pour des courtiers ou des sociétés de gestion d’actifs et fonctionne avec une enchère dite continue/dirigée par ordres et est chapeautée par l’AMF en France. Les traders donnent des ordres de vente et d’achat – soit ils donnent un prix et achètent ou vendent tout ce qui est à un prix meilleur ou égal, soit ils spécifient une quantité et achètent ou vendent peu importe le prix, il existe aussi des ordres plus complexes où l’on spécifie un prix, une quantité et une date limite, entre autres. La bourse génère des profits en prenant une commission sur chaque ordre et à chaque fois qu’une nouvelle entreprise rentre sur le marché s’il s’agît d’une bouse d’actions. Ici il n’y a pas un prix unique pour un actif, il y a le prix de la demande (ask) et le prix de l’offre (bid) – il faut proposer un prix égal ou supérieur à l’ask pour pouvoir acheter l’actif et un prix inférieur ou égal au bid pour pouvoir le vendre. Un des effets de cette structure de marché (qui peut paraître contre-intuitif pour ceux habitués au marché gré-à-gré) est que plus on veut acheter une grande quantité de l’actif, plus il va falloir proposer un prix élevé, et inversement plus l’on veut en vendre, plus il va falloir baisser son prix. La bourse crée un peu plus de symétrie entre les acheteurs et les vendeurs, ce qui n’existe pas dans le marché gré-à-gré où l’avantage est déterminé largement par le contrôle qu’ont les acheteurs et les vendeurs sur le marché et l’information en circulation. Le rapport de force ne disparaît pas entièrement mais est artificiellement atténué. Cela fait aussi que si beaucoup d’acheteurs et vendeurs sont intéressés par un actif et que beaucoup d’ordres circulent, statistiquement la différence entre le bid et l’ask sera plus faible, c’est pour cela qu’on mesure traditionnellement la liquidité d’un actif en bourse par la différence entre le bid et l’ask, qu’on appelle le « bid-ask spread », par la moyenne du bid et de l’ask. En exigeant une forte transparence, en attirant des analystes financiers, les autorités des marchés et les médias, la bourse est un peu moins risquée que le marché gré-à-gré, permet d’avoir une meilleure idée de la valeur intrinsèque et surtout une bien meilleure liquidité, bien sûr à un prix. Bien sûr, le risque propre aux rendements futurs de l’investissement n’est pas vraiment affecté et jouer en bourse reste relativement risqué, voir même à espérance négative dans le cas du marché des changes. Sans rentrer sans les détails, la bourse permet parfois d’effectuer la vente à découvert (short-selling), c’est quand vous empruntez un actif à quelqu’un qui le détient, moyennant commission, pour le vendre immédiatement, le racheter plus tard (en espérant que les prix ont fortement baissé) et le rendre à son propriétaire après – cette pratique permet dans de nombreux cas d’ajuster des prix trop élevés lorsque pour x ou y raison les détenteurs ne les vendent pas alors que le prix est surélevé. Traditionnellement une bourse se tient dans un lieu physique mais maintenant c’est largement effectué virtuellement.
La dernière structure de marché majeure est le marché organisé par un courtier – souvent une banque d’investissement. Ici le courtier achète une grosse quantité d’actifs sur la bourse en tant que broker et la revend au détail à ses clients en tant que dealer, ses traders sont là pour répondre à la demande des clients au meilleur prix possible et à liquider le surplus. Le courtier peut prendre une commission sur les ordres, fixer son propre bid-ask en fonction de ses stocks disponibles et empocher la différence. Dans certains cas il peut prêter de l’argent à ses clients pour qu’ils achètent ses produits et encaisser les intérêts du prêt ou encore proposer les services d’analystes financiers qui vont faire des recommandations aux clients (a.k.a full service). Ces marchés restent contrôlés par l’AMF en France vu le contrôle qu’a le courtier sur son marché, le but étant que ses prix suivent ceux de la bourse. Le courtier gère son propre risque et met des limites (comme le margin call) pour éviter que ses clients ne fassent faillite – il est perdant si cela se produit, surtout s’il a prêté de l’argent à son client, il a surtout intérêt à ce que son client continue d’effectuer des ordres car c’est comme cela qu’il se rémunère, parfois au détriment du client.
C – marché au comptant, marché à terme et marché dérivé
Le marché au comptant, en anglais « spot » est le marché où les échanges ont lieu en temps direct – si accord il y a, l’actif et le capital sont échangés au moment de la transaction. Sans aucun autre instrument il n’offre pas beaucoup de flexibilité, il ne permet pas de manipuler facilement le risque auquel on s’expose, car en achetant un actif on prend à 100% le risque du sous-jacent et on est totalement soumis aux aléas des prix.
Le marché à terme est un peu différent. Ici on s’engage dans des contrats spécifiques où l’on se met d’accord sur un prix et où l’échange de capital et d’actif s’effectue à une date postérieure, peu importe le prix du marché à ce moment. Le terme utilisé pour dire qu’on rentre dans un contrat à terme est prendre une position. Ici on a un transfert d’une partie du risque de l’acheteur de l’actif (on dit qu’il est en position longue) au vendeur (on dit qu’il est en position courte). En effet, celui en position longue préfère fixer le prix futur et ne pas prendre le risque que les prix baissent et celui en position courte prend le risque d’acheter quelque chose qui en vaudra moins à la date de l’échange. Cela permet à certains investisseurs de couvrir, par exemple, leur risque de change s’ils savent qu’à une certaine date ils voudront échanger une certaine somme de monnaie contre une autre et à d’autres qui ont une plus grande capacité à encaisser le risque de spéculer. Ces contrats ont d’autant plus de valeur que le sous-jacent est volatile. Vu qu’on a vu le marché gré-à-gré et la bourse, je vais parler des différences entre les deux sur le marché à terme. Sur le marché à terme gré-à-gré, les contrats à terme sont appelés « forwards », vous pouvez les personnaliser comme vous voulez, avec vos prix, vos quantités, vous négociez ça. Cependant, si votre contrepartie fait faillite avant l’exécution du contrat, vous n’avez aucun moyen d’effectuer la transaction et vous n’avez aucun moyen de sortir de ce contrat si vous-mêmes vous avez des difficultés à remplir vos obligations. Si vous êtes un agriculteur qui vend sa récolte de l’année prochaine avec ce type de contrat, vous avez intérêt à faire en sorte que vous produisez assez pour l’exécuter ou que vous pouvez acheter ce qui vous manque si vous n’y parvenez pas le jour de la livraison. Sur le marché à terme en bourse c’est un peu différent, ici les prix, les quantités, les obligations contractuelles et modalités de livraison sont fixés à l’avance par l’offre et la demande et ne sont pas négociables, avec ce qu’on appelle les contrats « futures ». L’avantage des futures est que si vous pensez qu’il y a un risque que vous ne puissiez apporter votre partie du contrat (le capital ou l’actif), vous pouvez vous dégager de votre obligation contractuelle en cédant votre position à quelqu’un en capacité de le faire – si vous avez de la chance, plus de participants pourront exécuter votre position maintenant, ce qui normalement devrait rendre votre position attirante et on vous achètera votre contrat. Si au contraire, nombre comme vous ne peuvent exécuter ce contrat (mauvaises récoltes à cause de la météo par exemple), vous aurez du mal à le céder et vous serez peut-être obligé de payer quelqu’un pour qu’il l’exécute à votre place. Par ailleurs, les participants sont obligés d’avoir un apport en capital pour rentrer dans un future et si par hasard votre contrepartie fait faillite, la chambre de compensation (ou clearing house) vous remboursera, ce qui élimine le risque de contrepartie. Autre particularité du contrat à terme, vous pouvez conserver la rente de votre actif tant que la date d’exécution n’est pas venue, mais vous devez toujours payer les frais de stockage, livraison ou autres, ce qui est bien sûr pris en compte dans le prix.
Le marché des dérivés est vraiment là où le risque est transféré et manipulé. Ici on échange ce qu’on appelle des options/warrants, des contrats d’échange (swaps), des pensions livrées (repurchase agreements ou « repo »), les couvertures de défaillance (credit default swaps, CDS) entre autres. N’ayez crainte on va attaquer chacun de ces termes. D’abord, sur le marché des dérivés en bourse on a les options dite « vanilla ». Une option, contrairement à un contrat à terme, donne le droit et non l’obligation, d’acheter ou de vendre un actif à un moment donné à un prix donné et on effectue une transaction financière pour rentrer dans ce contrat, proportionnelle au risque que transféré d’une partie à l’autre. Le droit d’acheter l’actif est appelé « call » et le droit de le vendre est appelé « put », le prix convenu est appelé « strike price ». Si le jour venu votre strike price est plus intéressante que le prix de l’actif à ce moment-là, on dit que votre option est « in the money » (ITM), si votre option est moins intéressante on dit qu’elle est « out of the money » (OTM) et si elle est aussi intéressante que le prix actuel, on dit qu’elle est « at the money » (ATM). Si votre option vous donne seulement la possibilité d’exercer votre droit à une date donnée, on dit qu’elle est de style européen, si vous pouvez l’exercer à n’importe quel moment jusqu’à la date convenue on dit qu’elle est de style américain. Plus le prix de l’actif sous-jacent est volatile, et plus il est facile d’exercer l’option (par exemple si elle est de style américain), plus il y a de fortes chances que l’option soit in-the-money, plus la valeur de l’option augmente, car le détenteur transmet beaucoup de risque à sa contrepartie. Vous trouverez aussi en bourse de commerce des options sur la météo, pour vous protéger en cas de mauvaises récoltes par exemple. L’intérêt de ces options est qu’elles peuvent facilement créer de gros effets de levier étant donné qu’une option vaut typiquement 2-10% de l’actif sous-jacent, puis comme c’est échangé en bourse on peut s’en débarrasser rapidement si on ne peut pas les exercer faute de moyens ou d’actif. Pour les matheux intrigués je conseille en introduction le modèle de Black-Scholes. Sur le marché gré-à-gré on va retrouver tous les contrats divers et variés susmentionnés. Une warrant est une option non-échangeable émise par une banque en série limitée. Ensuite on a les options exotiques, qui sont tout un tas d’options avec des règles particulières. Pour vous donner des exemples on a des options pour échanger des actifs (pourquoi pas du blé contre une action Google ?), les options style asiatique qui vous donnent le droit d’acheter un actif à son prix moyen sur une période donnée (pour vous protéger de la volatilité) ou les options style parisiennes qu’on ne peut exercer que si le prix du sous-jacent est dans certains clous pendant une certaine période (pour vous protéger de la manipulation des cours). Le swap ou contrat d’échange est quand deux parties se mettent d’accord pour faire plusieurs contrats à terme à répétition, nous allons en voir des exemples plus tard. Je m'attarde un peu sur le repo car c'est très discuté dans les actualités récemment. J'y ai fait référence dans mon post sur la monnaie. Un repo est une transaction spot (actif contre capital) plus un contrat forward pour que l'actif soit racheté à une période future. C'est une façon pour une institution financière d'emprunter de l'argent à une autre (souvent pour une très courte période, parfois 24h), comme la banque centrale, sans que l'autre partie ne prenne quelconque risque, tant est que l'actif échangé soit fiable, comme un bon du trésor. La banque centrale injecte des liquidités temporairement, elles reviennent dans ses coffres le jour suivant. Ce n'est pas comme le Quantitative Easing où l'actif est définitivement acheté par la banque centrale et l'argent est injecté durablement dans le système. La banque centrale fait des repo pour imposer pratiquement par la force les taux qu'elle veut transmettre au reste de l'économie, surtout lorsque les banques commerciales ne se font plus confiance et font grimper leurs taux au-delà des limites définies par la banque centrale. Les couvertures de défaillance servent à rembourser les détenteurs d'obligations lorsque l'entreprise sous-jacente fait défaut (c'est un contrat d'assurance).
Synthèse de l'organisation et de la classification des marchés
D – Les marchés selon les types d’actifs
Le marché monétaire (que j’ai couvert en détail dans mon post précédent) est le marché où les liquidités excédentaires sont prêtées pour une période courte aux entreprises, particuliers ou Etats qui en ont besoin, moyennant une rente nommée intérêt. je vous renvoie à mon post sur le sujet
Le marché de la dette long-terme est là où se financent les participants qui veulent des fonds pour une période supérieure à deux ans, moyennant intérêts. On appelle le marché où s’échange entre investisseurs la dette long-terme le marché obligataire. On a des obligations de différents types en fonction des intérêts versés ou des options attachées à l'obligation. Une obligation a un principal et un coupon (l'intérêt versé périodiquement). Une obligation sans coupon est un zéro-coupon et au lieu de verser un intérêt, on prête initialement une somme au débiteur qui est inférieure au principal qu'il doit rendre à la fin du contrat. Le principal peut être remboursé progressivement comme pour une dette immobilière (amortissement) ou en totalité d'un coup à la fin du contrat (bullet bond). Le coupon peut être à taux fixe ou variable. Si c'est variable ce sera en général le LIBOR + une petite prime de risque/liquidité ou bien une grosse prime - le LIBOR. Comme on peut revendre des obligations sur le marché secondaire, leur prix va varier en fonction du risque que le débiteur fasse défaut et des taux. Si les taux en vigueur aujourd'hui sont meilleurs que celui de votre obligation, sa valeur relative décroît. C'est pour cela que les obligations d'Etat ont un risque de prix sur le marché secondaire et ne sont pas sans risque, le risque de défaut n'est pas le seul risque d'une obligation. Une des propriétés vertueuses des obligations est la convexité, en termes simples, une obligation peut plus facilement prendre de la valeur si les taux baissent, qu'elle ne peut en perdre si les taux augmentent. On trouvera sur le marché des dérivés des couvertures de défaillance (CDS), des repo et des swaps pour échanger des taux fixes contre des taux variables, ainsi que des mortgage-backed-securities (MBS) qui regroupent de nombreux crédits immobiliers d'une banque régionale ou des collateralized-debt-obligations (CDO) qui regroupent des crédits et d'autres instruments financiers pour produire un actif complexe avec un risque personnalisé (souvent très élevé). Ce sont les CDO, les MBS et les CDS qui ont causé la crise de 2008 comme les agences de notation n'ont pas fait leur rôle et ont sous-estimé le risque de ces produits.
Le marché action est le marché où s’échangent les parts des entreprises. Une action représente la valeur résiduelle des profits (ou de la liquidation) d’une entreprise une fois que tous les créanciers (l’Etat compris) sont payés. Certaines actions ont des droits de votes, d’autres non. Elles versent une rente appelée dividendes, qui sont variables en fonction des résultats de l’entreprise ainsi que de ses besoins en capital. Une définition alternative d’une action est une dette à durée indéterminée/illimitée. En bourse on va calculer la valeur intrinsèque de l'action en faisant la somme des dividendes futurs qu'on espère plus le prix de cession espéré divisisés par un taux qui représente le risque de l'investissement et le retour minimum qu'on attend en échange. Alternativement on calcule la valeur liquidative des actifs de l'entreprise moins sa dette si on pense qu'elle va faire faillite. Plus un dividende est éloigné dans le temps, moins il comptera dans la valeur intrinsèque, puis si l'on estime que le risque est élevé, les dividendes lointains ne comptent quasiment pas. Si on pense que le marché est efficace, deux autres méthodes populaires existent, la première est appelée les multiples. En gros on regarde les entreprises comparables et on calcule ler prix divisés par leurs revenus par exemple, puis on multiplie les revenus de l'entreprise qu'on analyse par ces multiples pour avoir une idée de sa valorisation relative. Sinon, on regarde à quel point l'action varie en même temps que le restedu marché. Si l'action varie moins fortement que le marché, on lui donne une valeur plus grande, inversement si elle varie plus fortement on baisse sa valeur car on considère que c'est une action risquée. Hors bourse, il y a plusieurs méthodes. Si l'entreprise est toute nouvelle on va surtout valoriser la compétence des entrepreneurs pour estimer le risque, si l'entreprise gagne déjà de l'argent mais ne verse pas de dividendes on va regarder ses flux de trésorerie et son EBITDA. On classifie les actions en fonction des secteurs industriels, du prix par rapport aux revenus nets, flux de trésorerie et aux dividendes (Value et Growth) ainsi qu'en fonction de leur capitalisation boursière. On trouvera ici nos options, mais aussi des indices boursiers qui font la moyenne des rendements (en terme de prix et de dividendes) d'un groupe d'actions, soit à part égale pour chaque entreprise, soit pondérée par leur capitalisation boursière ou leurs prix par action individuelle. Ces indices sont suivis par des fonds indiciels, qui peuvent être soit des fonds mutuels (achetés en gré-à-gré) ou des ETF (achetés en bourse/courtiers). On trouvera ici nos options, nos warrants, des equity swaps (échange de dividendes par exemple) ou des total return swaps (pour les ETF synthétiques, voir mon post sur le sujet).
On notera que le marché action et le marché obligataire forment le marché dit des capitaux.
Le marché des changes (Foreign Exchange ou tout simplement ForEx en anglais) est le marché qui fait jonction entre les différentes économies et permet de convertir une monnaie en une autre – la monnaie ne verse pas de rente mais est sujette à l’inflation/déflation de l’économie qu’elle représente. L’offre et la demande d’une monnaie est déterminée par l’attractivité de l’économie – si beaucoup d’investisseurs étrangers veulent y investir, la demande pour la monnaie va croître et sa valeur relative va s’apprécier, ou bien si des ressortissants d'un pays veulent renvoyer des liquidités chez eux. Alternativement certaines monnaies sont fixées à d’autres monnaies ou, rarement aujourd’hui, fluctuent en fonction du prix de certaines matières premières et de la quantité d'icelles possédée par la banque centrale par rapport à la demande de la monnaie. Dans le cas des cryptomonnaies, en plus de la demande et l'offre de monnaie, on valorise aussi la qualité des services, la capacité de calcul allouée et coût pour effectuer les transactions. Ici on peut faire des swaps de monnaie, en gros simuler le coût d'un échange de monnaie sans s'échanger réellement la monnaie. Ca permet de couvrir le risque de change sans passer par le marché classique.
Le marché alternatif est composé de plusieurs marchés comme le marché des matières premières (représenté par les bourses de commerce) où s’échangent métaux précieux, l'énergie, le pétrole et blé entre autres, le marché des fonds d’investissement à stratégies alternatives type private equity/venture capital/hedge fund avec des stratégies impossibles à réaliser pour des particuliers seuls, le marché de l’immobilier – où la rente est appelée loyer, le marché des œuvres d’art, du vin et j’en passe et des meilleurs. Sur les matières premières on va aussi trouver des indices de prix (commodity indexes), des futures sur l'or, des options sur la météo et des forwards sur des matières exotiques. L'immobilier est classé en plusieurs catégories comme le résidentiel, le commercial et les bureaux, les actifs peuvent être détenus en direct ou à travers des fonds privés ou cotés.
En résumé
Voilà une synthèse de la finance aujourd'hui. J'ai omis des sujets comme la FinTech car cela sort du propos, mais, tant est que la modération l'accepte, je vais publier une brève histoire de la finance qui comprendra cela. J'ai fait exprès d'aborder certains sujets sans trop les creuser, notamment les bulles financières, car je préfère répondre à des questions précises plutôt que de me lancer dans une explication qui va perdre tout le monde. Je n'ai pas eu le temps de faire tous les graphiques et schémas que je voulais mais si vous en voulez en particulier ce sera avec plaisir. Si vous voulez des sources pour des éléments particuliers hésitez pas, j'ai toute une bibliographie d'articles et de livres. Merci à ceux qui m'ont encouragé à écrire ce post.
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Suggestions for a healthy longlived server

I'm coming at this with years of RO experience, and the advice of friends who play at the top of WoE, PvM, and PvP. I have also been a GM on 3 servers and an admin on one, and asked for advice from two friends who have been admins on their own successful low rate servers. Additionally, I have some experience with editing the source files and redesigning the game a bit, not that I will get much into that, but I do know what is and isn't possible. I also have experience from other games such as WoW (as a world and arena PvPer at the highest levels), and from political and economic games such as EVE and bloc. Finally, I have some real life knowledge of economics (though I wouldn't call myself an economist) due to being a FOREX trader.
All of that and more has lead to my understanding of game design, some of which I can apply here.
I realize that this is a long post, but that's because I got the input from several people and put (a little bit of) effort into explaining the reasoning. If any of these things are being discussed in other threads, pardon me and just let me dump all of my opinions into one place, as they are largely interconnected.
Most of my suggestions are based on sustainable gameplay, sustainable economy, rewarding players for their decisions, and giving players more freedom. I tried to keep the changes, for the most part, quite vanilla. I have some much better ideas that require customization, but most players recoil at the thought of customization in RO.
I'll start with the unquestionable and move to the debatable.

No donor or normally unavailable items with unique stats.

This means there should be no items with dex on mid or lower. No upper headgears with more than 3 dex, etc. Basically, no overpowered donor items or ones that disrupt normal player balance. Adding a single dex to a build can be incredibly imbalanced, which is why I used dex as an example, but this applies to lots of stats.
Not only can it be imbalanced, but it causes item inflation as well. When players no longer need to hunt for gear (because they replace it with donor or custom quest items), lots of gear becomes either worthless and thus overupgraded to abnormal degrees or obsoleted.
On the same token, this means not allowing BG items to be used outside of BGs, including in WoE or anywhere else. It's devastating to the economy. WoE is a competition between guilds, not just to conquer castles, but to acquire enough resources to do it.
IMO the only items players should be able to donate for are cosmetic, and perhaps things like battle manuals and maybe bubble gum, which have no direct impact on gameplay other than to reduce the grind. But really, cosmetic items should be enough if you're clever. There's one suggestion on this down in the zeny sink section.

Set strict rules for GMs to follow, and don't give them more power than they need.

If all of that sounds paranoid to you, then you're going to end up with GM problems. Even if you trust your GMs with your life, you need to set guidelines. You can't read their minds, even if they are your best friends. They are going to use their own discretion, and that might vary widely from your own decisions, unless you give them strict guidelines.
Not only will this make the GMs better, but it'll give you more confidence in their decisions when players complain, and allow you to handle the inevitable drama better, thus preserving the playerbase.
I have seen a GM go on /vg/ and talk shit to the players there, unbeknownst to the admin.

A PvP room where consumables (with the possible exception of conc/awakening/berserk pots) are disabled, and where all buffs are removed upon entering.

The main interest of many other players, is PvP (not GvG/WoE). Unfortunately, PvP is often woefully underrepresented in server design decisions. PvP is incredibly disinteresting when using dex food and potion spamming, and when getting SL/Assump/etc from outside. Leave the consumable spam and buff stacks to WoE and PvM. Also, please don't use a shitty map for the PvP room.
You can, of course, have two PvP rooms, so this shouldn't be a controversy.
On RaptureRO, there was also a 3v3 PvP arena tournament, which was incredibly fun. Takes some scripting though and isn't top priority.

A draw range of 18+, preferably around 20 to 24.

I'm referring to /conf/battle/client.conf area_size. The default is 14, which is an antiquated value meant to reduce stress on PCs made back in 2000. There are actually mobs that can aggro from outside of your view range, which is quite dumb. There is no reason to use a lower draw range, except for artificial difficulty.
Successful servers like Rapture, ProjectRage, Destina, etc, had an increased the draw range without issue. Newer players won't even notice a difference.
If you are afraid of client lag in WoE (there shouldn't be any, but just in case) you can simply script an NPC to automatically change the area_size value before and after WoE. It doesn't require a reset of anything, not even an @reloadscript.

Turn up the party exp bonus.

Simple enough, makes it worth leveling as a party instead of leeching yourself with a hunter (the normal method for leveling most things as fast as possible).

Take proactive steps to limit zeny inflation and promote a player-driven economy.

Zeny inflation is one of the biggest problems for the longevity of any RO server. The game was not designed in a way to have a stable economy. You must tweak a few things to get something workable. I'll talk about item inflation a bit later:

Roll out content in waves

It's a suggestion I heard elsewhere and it's a good one. Start with trans disabled and less dungeons available. Gradually release more as the server grows and people hit higher levels. This is a good idea for a few reasons:

Consider splitting the server into a pure-WoE server and a non-WoE server

This might at first sound unappealing by splitting up the playerbase, but it allows you to more easily design both servers to fit their respective playerbases. Also keep in mind that many of the players from each server will play on both servers. Only a minority will be exclusive to one.
Potion spamming completely trivializes a large portion of the game's content and reduces the skill ceiling dramatically. It reduces the importance of healing abilities, eliminates the need for mana efficiency, imbalances PvP (asura spam is a lot harder when you can't just mash blue pots, for example. The same goes for SinXs and White Smiths with white pots, and so on). In PvP, abilities that are not 1HKOs become nearly worthless, due to white pot spam. This reduces ordinarily incredibly complex jobs like champ, to nothing more than asura-machines. Additionally, no pot spam means that if a champ wants to spam asura in PvM, he needs a Professor. This concept applies to other classes as well.
In WoE, potion spamming is necessary to survive. In the rest of the game, though, potion spam ruins much. No WoE means no need for pot spamming.
The rest of my suggestions assume that you aren't going with this suggestion, so bear that in mind.

Misc

PS: Yeah you can't upgrade Orlean's gloves, but it could at least become a decision between +1 dex vs. +2 dex and -1 vit or -1 def, or something, instead of just "yeah these are better than or equal to regular gloves in every way". There's literally no reason to farm gloves because you don't need gloves to farm Orlean's gloves. That's how it works for a lot of older gear, and it's not a good thing.
Ideally, newer gear should scale better than older gear, but not be better inherently. You won't be able to do it with everything, but every bit helps to stave off inflation and inevitable server death.

PvP enabled on MVP maps.

This is controversial, but hear me out. I think this can, by itself, increase the longevity of a server dramatically, while solving a plethora of problems as well.
MVPs are a scarce resource, and players often compete for them. Normally this leads to a meta of trying to out-grief other players. Instead, with PvP enabled, you could fight for the MVP. It changes the competition into a meaningful part of the game, rather than a rat race. This will be especially important on a high population server.
And remember the costume hat idea? Now people can fight for the boxes that low level MVPs drop, creating competition over the usually worthless MVPs, and reason to go out and play the game.
Particularly challenging content, like bio3, will be extremely difficult to clear if players are trying to kill you. This will encourage diplomacy and cooperation between players (as seen in sandbox games like EVE, DayZ, etc). Either you work with the other group, or you become rivals. This is good for the health of a server. The increased difficulty will also increase the longevity of the server by reducing the rate at which players clear the content and collect the gear.
There's the other added benefit of making it more of a challenge to reach max level in places like Abbey3. You might want to turn on PvP in Thor1 for the same reason. Again, players can choose to work together or make enemies while leveling in these high level zones. And, again, the increased difficulty increases server longevity by reducing the average rate at which players progress.
Finally, you can have mobs on PvP maps drop white and blue herb boxes, and spawn on timers. This way, players can compete for the resources they need in WoE, rather than grind for days. You can use regular white/blue herb boxes, or use WoE-only potion drops and have them drop in somewhat higher quantities. The more generalized the drop is, the fewer should drop, to have a smaller impact on the overall economy. Players who don't WoE can simply sell the WoE pots to WoE players, so they have just as much reason to compete for the mobs.
Since the WoE players need these resources to win WoE, they'll fight each other for the resources between WoEs, reducing the boredom. It also gives every high level player a thing to look forward to doing: world PvP. Something that pretty much never gets old. Just make sure that the mobs are scarce enough that you don't make it too easy to collect herbs/pots. It's supposed to be a supplementation to normal farming, to make it easier in a fun/competitive way.
This change will have no impact on low level players. I have seen this done and it works beautifully. If you're imagining constant fighting between players on every MVP map, you're forgetting that there are dozens of MVP maps. Most maps are usually empty, especially at certain times of day.
You will probably need to turn off teleporting and memo on non-dungeon maps to prevent things like champs from running in with asura in relative impunity.
As far as players who are disinterested in PvP go, remember that there are instanced dungeons now. There are also dungeons in which it's highly unlikely that you'll run into other players due to quest requirements: Thanatos, Vesper, Ktullanux, probably a few others I'm forgetting. You could just turn PvP off on those maps for that matter.
You also have the option of disabling PvP on some other MVP maps if you feel that's necessary.

BGs

If you go with my last suggestion, I'd LOVE it if you simply don't include BGs on the server. In my opinion, BGs are a terrible and trivialized bastardization of RO PvP. They're tedious and unfun, and unnecessary when you have world PvP, a PvP room, and WoE.
However, if you're going to include BGs, then:
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