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Markets take South African virus in stride

By Matein Khalid
I will never forget watching the 2006 soccer World Cup final in Berlin on TV with my two then nine year old twins, eating pizza and watching our common idol Shakira come out in her belly dancing costume and exchange karate moves on the world stage with her Spanish Harlem (El Barrio) with homeboy partner as she sang “hips don’t lie”. Trust me as a born again Pakirican, Colombia produces the most beautiful women in the world and Shakira meets our ultimate ideal of exquisite feminine beauty and grace.

So, tonight is a Shakira market for me as I recall her words that me and my brats can both recite from memory all these years later.
“I’m on tonight
You know my hips don’t lie (No fighting)
And I’m starting to feel it’s right
All the attraction, the tension
Don’t you see, baby? This is perfection​”

So the American stock market is giving me its own subliminal message: Airbnb, whose low was 167 on Friday, now trades at 180 as I write while Zoom, the high flyer on Friday is down 5%. This means that the financial markets now believe that the South African virus does not presage another Black Death for the human race and that the 50% spike in the Volatility Index is license to print money in the options market while COVID teaches us all the Greek alphabet.

Thus, like Shakira in Berlin, I’m on tonight on the CBOE selling vol spreads since George Soros taught us that the big money is made when things go from God awful to just plain awful.​ When crude was down 11% on Friday night, I had recommended drilling for black gold on the NYSE with mucho cheapo energy stocks. Now I can see value in the option market that makes my pulse race, the same as I feel when I see Shakira, my twins and my lovely Señora Matteo (my hindi name Mitunji).

So let us celebrate the most beautiful things in the world in our journey through life, our loved ones, our family, our friends, soccer, music, salsa and masala, laughter and options trading. Forgive the Spanglish, one of my best friends in life is an Argentinian aristocrat who always corrects me, as he should, whenever I butcher his beloved Spanish (Castiliano). Buena suerte en el mercado, amigos y amigas!

Matein Khalid is Strategic Advisor – Asas Capital

Also published on Medium.

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