What Other Bloggers Are Saying

Optionsmith (Steve Smith) writing at Minyanville, shared some potentially exciting news for owners of employee stock options (hat tip, Adam).

There's a plan in the works – one which
would allow employee stock-option (ESOP) holders to use vested options as
collateral for selling exchange-list options.


That would allow ESOP holders to write covered calls, or adopt other option strategies.
  Brokers would be protected because the employee pledges the vested options as collateral.  Let's see if this comes to pass.

This should be a highly popular plan, but I'm concerned that those who don't bother to understand how options work might find themselves in a precarious situation if ever assigned an exercise notice.  Sure, it's easy to avoid the assignment or simply cover the short stock and write another call option, but that must be done before the broker does something stupid – such as exercising your ESOP that has years to go before it expires.  Just think of the lost time premium.

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Bill, from VIX and More informs us: "Today the VIX … ticked down to 30.00 just after the close and inched
back to 30.24.
The close was the lowest for the VIX since September 12th, [2008] which was the Friday, just before Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy.

All
told, the VIX has now closed above the 30 level for 170 consecutive
trading days. This far surpasses the previous record of 49 days from 1998."

Will the string be broken tomorrow?  Is it time to get long vega (calendar spreads or double diagonals), or to remain short vega (sell OTM credit spreads)?  I don't know, but I'm vega neutral at the moment.

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