Jail Time ‘n Joke Time

brianhuntermaybe.jpgSteven J. Karavellas, a former director of the New York Mercantile Exchange, pleaded guilty this afternoon to commodities fraud and tampering with evidence. For his role in illegal trading in natural-gas markets between September 2002 and May 2003, in a scheme that defrauded at least one individual investor, Karavellas will pay a $850,000 fine and go to jail for five months. RE the “Brian Hunter” picture: I don’t think there’s even a tenuous link here, ‘cept that they were both natural gas traders. I just love that fish. And Blarney’s gone and I can do whatever I want. While we’re on the subject, I need to hit a quota of Ron jokes for the day/week/month he’s away, and at the time will be officially taking submissions from the field.
7 Charged in NY Mercantile Probe [AP]

  • 14 Feb 2008 at 10:21 AM
  • Fox

Can We Get Another Shot Of That Semen Detector, Jimmy?

I spent the better half of yesterday cheating on my spouse which was unfortunate because it caused me to miss this wonderful FBN segment on the “business of infidelity.” According to Todd Morris, Brickhouse Security CEO, “cheating season” begins just after Christmas, picks up steam in January, and comes to a head on February 13. That’s where he comes in—Morris sells a product called the Semen Detector, for “spouses who just don’t know.” Fifty percent of the time you’re just being paranoid; what Brickhouse is really offering, for the bargain basement price of $49.95, is “a good night’s sleep.” Cavuto’s questions are excellent: “What must it feel like for the person being spied on?” “What does this say about the relationship if the suspicion is such that you need to look for foreign DNA?” “Where were you last night, Todd?” His response at the end to Morris’s reflection that it’s sort of bittersweet that things have been so lucrative also cannot be topped: “That’s sad, that’s sad. But, your business is booming as a result, so…” Every cloud, Todd. Every cloud.
Infidelity happens – don’t let it happen to you! [Brickhouse Security]

  • 03 Jan 2008 at 11:38 AM

The Hunt Is On: Who Paid $100 A Barrel For Oil?

How exactly do you get bragging rights for being the guy who paid the most ever for a barrel of oil? When we first heard that a single, small trade had finally broken the $100 mark we were convinced it was a stunt, and possibly a prank. There were indications that the order might be a fugazi.
And, apparently, there was an early trade at $100 that turned out to be phony. But after an investigation by the NYMEX, it quickly became apparent that the trade was real. A guy trading on his own money bought 1,000 barrels of crude—the smallest trade allowed—from a colleague on the floor. (There are still whispers that these two arranged the trade and agreed to kick back the excess profit but we’ve found no evidence of this.)
The Financial Times tags Richard Arens as the trader. He runs some sort of brokerage called ABS. We’ll give him this: off the floor of the NYMEX (and maybe on the floor) no-one had ever heard of him before. Or, you know, we certainly hadn’t. This is no slight to Arens—the oil traders who are household names are few and far between. We found Arens name on a list of donors to a NYMEX related charity—he gave less than a thousand bucks.
Arens still isn’t talking so its possible he’s only famous by mistake. For very personal reasons, we were hoping the $100 man was former Amaranth trader Brian Hunter. But let’s not go there just now.
Independent trader claims $100 oil record [Financial Times]

  • 10 May 2006 at 10:19 AM

Those People in Funny Jackets

tradingfloor.jpgWe sort of love CNBC, but for all the wrong reasons. The questionable production values (random staffers walking into frames, cheesy unscripted jokes, Chyron screw-ups, Maria Bartiromo glaring at people off-camera, etc.), Jim Cramer, and the need to have 30 different people asked where they think the price of oil is going on a daily basis keep us coming back. But we also like the way CNBC explains Wall Street to the little guy.** This morning, CNBC explains the open outcry system to… we’re not sure who.

We’ll be discussing [oil exploration] and we’ll be talking about how this whole place [Ed. Note: “this whole place” = The NYMEX] works. You see people in different jackets and colors, pins–this guy’s name is Goal–Hi, Goal! They give themselves funny names. They use hand signals…

All we can say is, when they invariably issue the NYMEX coloring book, we want one.
** whose IQ is apparently 20-30 points lower than the national average.