OBL is Dead

May 2, 2011

USA executed on the long standing order to “capture of kill Bin Laden”. Details remain scant but it appears he was hiding out at a compound outside of Islamabad. Very big coup for US intelligence and a significant win in the War on Terror. Big challenges remain but given the ongoing Arab spring, the timing of this couldn’t be better.

Appears the US is pushing for a security counsel resolution authorizing a no-fly zone and air strikes on Libyan targets. This would be the precursor to the US and others taking direct military action against the Colonel. It will also likely lead to (at least temporarily) a divided Libya. In a worst case scenario it commits the US to helping (i.e. with supplies and military support). Could be the Arab Berlin Airlift. Pretty safe to assume that if the US unleashes the drones and airforce that the Colonels ground assets could be chewed up fast. He may still have the ability to sow terror in Benghazi via mercenaries and combatants in civillian garb.

The West Dithers…

March 8, 2011

…while Libya burns. The Colonel has been an American enemy since Reagan tried to kill him 40 years ago. Notwithstanding the partial thaw in 2006, the West has always disliked the Libyan regime. Now the Libyan people have declared war against him. They are in desperate need of support (diplomatic, military, medical) and the best the West has come up with is statements of support. With a balance of power that appears to be favouring the regime, inaction is de facto support for the Colonel. The US should implement the no fly zone, arm the rebels in Benghazi and insert a small special forces team to tip the balance of power.

Tunisia and Egypt were American allies so the US’s dithering had a certain logic to it. The odds of a post-Colonel Libya being worse is as close to 0 as any regime in the world. As such, not standing with the ‘rebels’ who are actively calling for the help we have implicitly promised them for the 40 years. Oppressed people the world over are watching what America does here and their future propensity to act against their governments will be influenced by the support, or lack thereof, which they see on the ground in Libya.

Scary Signs

February 25, 2011

Seems that all the big financial institutions are waking up to all money being made in what formally startup tech. Now that the big money is pouring in and fighting for allocation we can’t be too far away from some dashed dreams.

Amazingly dumb business model to invest money in a great idea that has gone from 0 value to 50 billion in less than ten years. Smart model is to find great ideas when they are worth close zero. At 50 the beat case is a 4 or 5 x return. At 0 the upside is nearly unlimited.

Roots for the USVs and root against the GSs.

Mubarak leaves

February 11, 2011

“today we are all Egyptians”

Short term trade

February 9, 2011

Nokia call options heading into friday’s announcement.
Expire Feb 19. Strike $14.00 (current price $`11.75). Premium $0.03

Even if they just announce Android the stock might come to life, seems like an underpriced opportunity to me.

Here’s a black swan for ya:

Imagine if at Friday’s super secret Nokia announcement they announce they are becoming the first ever iOS 3rd party distributor. Under this scenario, Apple would let Nokia scrap it out with Android in the mid to low end of the market leaving the highest margin segment for itself.

Odds are about as close to zero as possible but you its one of those things that is just so farfetched you never know.

Most likely outcome though is that Nokia embraces Windows Phone 7 giving it the volume it needs to have a shot at building ecosystem. Also possible they will hitch their wagon to Android we at ANT doubt this given how crowded and difficult it is to differentiate given all the Android manufacturers.