Mystery trader bets on huge downturn that could only be preceded by catastrophe
A mystery trader risks losing around $1 billion dollars after placing 245,000 put options on the Dow Jones Eurostoxx 50 index, leading many analysts to speculate that a stock market crash preceded by a new 9/11 style catastrophe could take place within the next month.
The anonymous trader only stands to make money if the market crashes by a third to a half before September 21st, which is when the put options expire. A put option is a financial contract between two parties, the buyer and the writer (seller) of the option, in which the buyer stands to benefit only if the price of the asset falls.
"The sales are being referred to by market traders as "bin Laden trades" because only an event on the scale of 9-11 could make these short-sell options valuable," reports financial blogger Marc Parent. Dow Jones Financial News first reported on the story. The trader stands to make around $2 billion from their investment should an event trigger a market crash before the third week in September.
Such a cataclysmic jolt could only happen as a result of two factors, China dumping its vast dollar reserves in reaction to the sub-prime mortgage collapse, which it has threatened to do, or a massive terror attack on the same scale or larger than 9/11.
9/11 itself was foreshadowed by unprecedented put options that were placed on United and American Airlines. Though the Securities and Exchange Commission refused to reveal who placed the options, private researchers traced the investments back to the Deutsche Bank owned Banker's Trust, which was formerly headed by then Executive Director of the CIA, Buzzy Krongard.
Put options on Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch, two of the World Trade Center's most prominent occupants, also spiked in the days before 9/11.
News of the suspicious trades is dovetailed by the comments of Former US Treasury secretary Larry Summers yesterday, who told ABC News that the risk of a recession in the U.S. was greater that at any time since 9/11.