MIND-READING THE TAPE
Trading volume in HAPN was exactly 500,000 shares yesterday, a round number that suggests it was a single trade. So chances are someone bought (and someone else sold) 500,000 shares at $5.88. Which leads those of us who own warrants to speculate . . . why? It’s unlikely it was just a random, unthinking purchase – even for big guys, $3 million generally takes a few moments’ thought. And it’s unlikely it was someone who bought hoping the October 10 merger vote would fail, thereby, eventually, turning $5.88 into what may eventually be $5.90 or $6 (if the trust is dissolved and returned to the shareholders). There are easier ways to turn $5.88 into $5.90 or $6.
My guess is that the seller was someone who had been planning to vote against the merger, but who, in return for virtually all the cash he’d have gotten anyway months from now, now doesn’t mind allowing it to go through. If so, we would be 500,000 shares closer to success October 10.
All this is speculation – but, well, the whole thing is a speculation, and has been from the start. So keep napping.
Jim: ‘You write: ‘Dividend Reinvestment Plans are wonderfully convenient, efficient, and prudent for the small investor.’ And something of a nightmare when you finally sell the stock and have to figure out the capital gains!’
☞ Good point (though not an issue if the stock is held in a retirement plan, where no gain need be reported). The big mistake many people make is forgetting to add the cost of the shares they bought via reinvestment to the basis of their holding – which they are entirely entitled to do since, after all, they had to declare those dividends as income and pay tax on them along the way.
David D’Antonio: ‘Unless you purchase ‘ProCare’ for $99 a year, you’re limited to making ‘day of’ appointments with the Apple Geniuses at the Genius Bar. One tip is that ‘day of’ starts at 12:01am, meaning that if you can stay up that late, you can usually have your pick of the day’s appointment times since most people wait until morning (or later) to make theirs.’
CHINESE GENIUSES – AGAIN
HATE CRIMES BILL: CLOSER TO LAW . . .
Thirty-nine Republican senators yesterday did their manliest (and in the case of Elizabeth Dole, their womanliest) to exclude gays and lesbians from federal hate crimes protections yesterday, but that wasn’t enough to sustain a filibuster, so it moved an important step closer to becoming law.
In years past, it has cleared the Senate as a standalone bill, but could not get through the Republican controlled House to be signed by President Clinton. Now, the challenge was getting it past and signed by a Republican President who (compassionately) opposes extending the hate crimes protections to gays and lesbians (but has not proposed eliminating them for victims of racial or religious hate crimes).
So this time, instead of a standalone bill, it was crafted as an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill, which – the betting is – the President will not veto. Still, you never know until you know; and something could happen to it ‘in conference,’ where House and Senate differences are reconciled . . . so, as with HAPN, I suppose napping may be in order, also.
. . . BUT WHERE MIGHT IT LEAD?
I watched on C-SPAN as Orrin Hatch rose to oppose the amendment – asking where, really, if we included gays, would all this end? Are we next going to include the elderly? Accountants? The police?
He didn’t actually say accountants, but he did say elderly and the police, and here’s what I think about that. I think that if bands of teenage thugs, or covens of Klansmen, start bashing or murdering or lynching the elderly – or burning down senior centers – we very likely should extend hate crimes protections to them.
But even then – and certainly with police – there’s a big difference:
You can imagine a rural police department – in Jena, Louisiana? – lacking the resources or the will vigorously to pursue a hate crime against blacks or gays or perhaps even Jews or Arabs or Mexicans or Asians. That you can imagine. Prejudice lives in the hearts of some law enforcement officials, even as it lives in the hearts of others.
But is it plausible to imagine a force-wide police prejudice against grandparents? And is it even remotely conceivable that hate crimes against police would meet with a tepid police response?
Ted Kennedy rose after his good friend Orrin Hatch to note that law enforcement groups overwhelmingly supported the amendment. I wish I could find a link to his remarks. I’m biased, but he was really great.
Quote of the Day
A veteran Massachusetts politician not so long ago was horrified at the conduct of a less savvy colleague who was indicted for bribery: 'Imagine taking money from a stranger.'~Wall Street Journal, 10/14/93
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