Is there a mathematician out there that can set me right?

1 mins. to read
Is there a mathematician out there that can set me right?

Borrowing stock is nowadays much more expensive than ever it used to be. This is because the banks have given up on trusting one another. There is the further problem that the spread firms decide to nick a further c. 3% p.a. I do not blame them – after all, they are declaredly acting for themselves. But it raises the question whether it is better to buy puts than sell stock. I am not sure: is there a mathematician out there that can set me right?


Youthful enterprise: a Miss McCann, a 19 years old student, of Northern Ireland laid out £25,000 in multiple bets about a year ago and won £1m. Bet365 refuse to pay out since her stake was obviously (or so Bet365 claim) not that of Miss McCann but of some other party. Bet365 says its rules are clear on this point. Miss McCann’s solicitors say that this rule is obscure and deep in the terms and conditions which Miss McCann accepted before placing her bet.

I imagine that exchange of documents will include Miss McCann’s bank statements but, even so, it is not obvious that one can certainly conclude from a study of such bank statements that it was not her money that went to Bet365 when the bet was placed. Further, the balance of the probabilities test is not particularly satisfactory either.


Carillion (CLLN) took just four years longer than I expected to collapse. I expect that there is more down to come. Now 120p.


Finally, has any reader ever encountered a young adage? If so, you really are unique.

Comments (1)

  • W Butler says:

    There’s a slightly different risk profile in buying puts and shorting stock, but overlooking that the options should be priced using market interest rates and disregard the spread firms 3% charge. They should therefore be mathematically cheaper, but your liquidity may be very poor. Try a synthetic short by buying a put and selling a call and if the calculated forward price is better than the short stock plus financing charge, then that is the way to go.

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