Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

An Interesting Thing About Virgins...

Note - from June 24th 2009, this blog has migrated from Blogger to a self-hosted version. Click here to go straight there.

The airline, you naughty thing. Specifically, the domestic aviation stock that has the same code as a now-outdated programming tool for Microsoft Office.
Yes, VBA.
If you were watching market depth today, you would have seen a big undisclosed order - a "U" order of the type I have railed against since 1999.
They ought to be illegal, and most of the time they are bullshit and are used to push a stock in the desired direction to enable orders on the other side of the market to get filled.
That's as may be, but today there were over 2 million VBA acquired through a "U" order.
Before anybody gets all sweaty in the groinal area about the possibility that the "U" was acquiring on behalf of PRK (Patrick Corp, not the People's Republic of Korea)... think about who had the order in.
The broker was ETrade.
Don't get me wrong - maybe ETR has become the broker of choice for the clandestine, initial-stage acquisition of blocks of stock for takeovers. I doubt it though. Usually firms trying to acquire blocks of stock use "name" brokers... because name brokers have a pool of gullible saps who will sell on the broker's recommendation, enabling the broker to then "cross" the stock after market and pick up ticket clippings on both sides of the trade.
The other side is also true - when an insto is trying to get out of, say, millions of HAH shares (back when that was Hardie's code), they simply got the broker in question to prepare a "Strong Buy" research report. retail investors lined up to buy, and the resultant crossings made everyone happy.
But I digress... who needs confirmation that brokers are vermin?
Anyhow... I mentioned in this Rant that VBA was on the table, that PRK has the bucks in place, but they were waiting for the price to soften back under $2 and even perhaps below $1.90. There's still no sign of the trigger yet, but don't be overly surprised. Contributors will know before it's posted here.