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1
two wheel spiel / Re: Burger and Fries on MTB
« Last post by SamT on Today at 01:28:03 pm »
I've always thought the devils slide on Lundy was a prime candiate. Big vert drop in then smoothing out into a long long slab. However, theres a big wave cut platform at the base that you'd have to build a plywood ramp up, which would spectacularly launch you miles into the air to then plunge into the atlantic. Danny M stylee.  :lol:

Doubt you'd get permission mind. SSSI, marine nature reserve etc.
2
two wheel spiel / Re: Burger and Fries on MTB
« Last post by Liamhutch89 on Today at 01:24:34 pm »
UK edition https://www.instagram.com/p/CA-FF3xnXHY/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

I remember seeing the pics and wondering if it'd be alright, then climbed it and decided it was fucking mental.

Prime difference between sports like DH and climbing though isn't it. I feel like risk tolerance in bike sports is vastly higher than in climbing. I always found it bizarre that I could onsight solo grit E5 but couldn't get myself to do remotely techy drops. The biggest stuff I ever hit was the easy but somewhat long drops at Stile Cop. Funny how it's straightforward to tolerate low risk high consequence for some people but then others can hit big drops all day but never fathom the idea of soloing. I've always wondered who is more risk averse but I think it's the climbers who are judging the risk factor correctly.

I'm the other way round. Maybe because I'm a better bike rider and have much more experience than I do with climbing, but I feel that I have a better understanding of what I can get away with on bikes. More often than not, crashing isn't that bad when you know how to fall well (riding BMX competitively as a teenager is like earning a black belt in how to crash well, twice I've hit the roof upside down with my wheels and got away with it!). The times I've got hurt have usually been a freak accident on something very easy. I guess this is similar to Honnold's quote about no free soloists dying whilst trying something cutting edge. When I was at my very best around the age of 21, I knocked myself unconscious after my front wheel slid on the coping, just dropping into a quarter pipe to start a run. I could have done this blindfolded and moments before had been attempting flairwhips (backflip 180 with a tailwhip) on the same ramp!

When it comes to climbing, I'm fairly brave when it comes to bouldering and highballs, but I have absolutely no tolerance for solos where the most likely consequence of a mistake is death or being properly spannered, even where the probability is low. The consequence might look similar on 50 foot MTB gaps, but in my experience it's usually not.

Essentially, MTB/BMX/skateboarding = high probability, moderate consequence, and soloing/dodgy trad = low probability, high consequence. If you define risk as probability x consequence then the overall risk is probably higher in MTB, but that doesn't tell the whole story.
3
shootin' the shit / Re: Gas market pricing
« Last post by petejh on Today at 01:21:45 pm »
Yes. But it's much more than theatre. There are real consequences to the European energy market being stressed beyond a certain point.

Russia's intention seems to boil down to a well thought-through strategy to crash the European energy market (and thus the European economy) due to the mechanism by which the energy market (all commodities markets) operate. Energy producers hedge their own sales against downside risk to guarantee their sale price. The mechanism to crash the market is:
1. for those hedges to be margin-called due to increases in gas price.
2. the margin calls go so high they can't be met.
3. energy producers default, banks lose trillions.
4. credit evaporates, manufacturing base and European market collapses, takes down the European economy.
5. Central banks step in with massive stimulus.
6. (imo) Ukraine losses prominence and priority. Russia keeps gains. World continues on into the energy transition towards net zero etc. with a new economic backdrop in which the west have far less leverage over certain parts of the world (inc. Russia) that have the required raw materials required for the energy transition.

In essence another 2008-style collapse due to margin, requiring massive central bank intervention.

It appears that Russia's intention now through the further squeeze on gas and signalling suggestions of future sabotage is to create the conditions for this overall crash to occur. Necessitating the EU and UK central banks to step in and bail out the energy producers and prop up the failing economy to the tune of global financial crash proportions. In those economic circumstances support for Ukraine would be hard to sustain. That is Russia's hope.

Below is the theory (and how traders may seek to gain from it). This is info, I'm not saying I condone anything. It's also why so much of this boils down to markets and commodities whether people like it or not.

Quote
European Energy's "Lehman" Moment - Is There A "Tepper" Play?
Market risk is now arguably at its highest point since March 2020 when COVID crashed global markets. Central banks led by the Federal Reserve look set to continue hiking interest rates to combat inflation, meaning a very real risk of recession via a “hard landing.” And all this is happening as the war in Ukraine continues to escalate and the European energy crisis deepens. As such, now is clearly not the time to be aggressive, but rather to be cautious, thoughtful and patient in searching for opportunities in public equities.

Against this backdrop, in recent weeks I’ve been trying to think ahead of current events in anticipation of future market “sale windows.” In last week’s Bulletin #28, I discussed how there may be a window (or even a wave) of opportunity in Q4 and coming into 2023 as underperforming hedge funds hit by this year’s “tech wreck” will likely see significant investor redemption requests. I expect this to result in forced selling by these hedge funds to meet redemption calls, thereby creating a potential opportunity for value-focused investors to pick up equities at depressed valuations.

I also think another area of possible opportunity is the recently posited “Lehman moment” for the European energy market. This has been a market narrative that has gained traction in recent weeks, following Equinor’s warning that the European energy trading market faces possible collapse with margin calls of at least $1.5 trillion. The warning essentially indicates that the current energy crisis risks turning into a financial crisis that could collapse the wider European economy.

At the core of the issue is how electricity is traded and supplied. European electricity producers (i.e. utilities) typically hedge their sales by going short electricity futures contracts until they actually produce and sell power into the market. This allows these producers to lock in their selling price for the power to be sold. However, as power prices have again surged (due to Russia cutting of the gas supply into Europe), these hedges have resulted in very large paper losses for utilities, requiring them to post additional collateral with their hedge counterparties (brokers, banks or power exchanges).

The feared implication of these margin calls being unmet is economic disaster for Europe, moving quickly from major disruption in power markets, to financial crisis among utilities, banks and power exchanges, to the shutdown and likely collapse of the European manufacturing base and ultimately the European economy. This is the Lehman scenario for European energy, and is another possible instance of financial markets rhyming with history - essentially ongoing losses from electricity contracts and a collapse in energy supply could trigger a European economic crisis, similar to how subprime contagion triggered the GFC in 2008/2009.

Hence the various support measures and bailouts across Europe recently, most notably Germany’s €29bn nationalisation of Uniper, Sweden’s provision of €23bn in credit guarantees as emergency liquidity support to various utilities, Finland’s €10bn loan and guarantee scheme and the UK’s £40bn energy bill bail out for businesses via a price cap plan. To date, the cumulative cost of various emergency support measures has been estimated at ~€500bn - but note this is before winter has even arrived, and before yesterday’s news regarding the possible sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines and the threat of a total cut-off of Russian gas into Europe via Ukraine. It therefore remains to be seen whether the measures to date will be sufficient to avoid a Lehman scenario in Europe.

In considering this frightening scenario, it also strikes me that opportunity is often the partner of crisis, and in this context I’m prompted to recall the opportunity amid the original Lehman collapse. Specifically, I’m reminded of David Tepper’s play on US banking stocks in February/March 2009, right near the bottom of the GFC market crash. CNBC recounted Tepper’s rationale for betting on bank stocks at the time:

Tepper was sitting on a pile of cash, having sold out of most of his positions in the spring of 2008, and didn’t have any debt. So when the U.S. Treasury put out a white paper in February 2009 announcing its Financial Stability Plan, which included the Capital Assistance Program designed to shore up the capital of banks, he took his time and read the fine print.

The white paper and term sheet said the preferred stock the government was buying in the banks would be convertible to common shares at prices far above current trading levels at the time — which meant it was indeed a time to buy, buy, buy.

So he did. The fund began amassing sizable positions in bank-related securities: common and preferred shares, and junior-subordinated debt, to be exact. His targets, Bank of America and Citigroup in particular, as rumors circulating that the banking behemoths would be nationalized in early 2009 edged the stocks to near collapse.

Tepper was able to buy Bank of America preferred shares at just twelve cents on the dollar and Citigroup bonds at just nineteen cents. As those stocks rallied by the end of 2009, Appaloosa raked in the billions.

Looking at a chart of five bank common stock positions disclosed as being held by Tepper’s Appaloosa Management around that time (Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Fifth Third Bancorp, Capital One and Hartford Financial), their performance in the subsequent ~15 month period from when the U.S. Treasury published its Financial Stability Plan in February 2009 was an average return of ~344% across this basket of five names:


I believe the Tepper play on banking stocks during the original Lehman crisis is instructive for how investors might approach any Lehman-like moment today in the European energy market.

A current example of such an approach is the Uniper bailout itself which triggered a relief (or escape?) rally for Uniper’s previous majority shareholder Fortum Oyj (FORTUM:FH), which is up ~31% MTD:


To be clear, I do not believe we are at an equivalent moment of apparent collapse for Europe yet as the US financial system was post-Lehman in early 2009, but it is a scenario worth preparing for. Energy is essential for economic activity as the current crisis has proven, and it is perhaps now the ultimate “too big to fail” sector, meaning a Lehman-like scenario could put the European energy sector into play at very depressed valuations with the benefit of government backstops.

My current thinking means I am actively monitoring some selected European energy-related names, specifically in the utilities and energy services sub-sectors where there is some government ownership and diversified business models (i.e. activities spread across traditional energy, transition fuels and renewables, and other adjacent markets).


4
two wheel spiel / Re: Burger and Fries on MTB
« Last post by cheque on Today at 12:46:31 pm »
I feel like risk tolerance in bike sports is vastly higher than in climbing. I always found it bizarre that I could onsight solo grit E5 but couldn't get myself to do remotely techy drops.

Boldness and confidence involving momentum is almost a completely different type to that used in most climbing I think. I climb/ have climbed with a few people who are ridiculously confident and gung-ho when blasting around on a mountain bike course or driving around country lanes too fast but hate to move away from gear, while I’ve always been (much more so before my accident but it comes back more all the time) the other way round.

I guess one is having the confidence in reacting to external dangers very quickly and the other is the confidence in staying calm in a slow-paced situation where you’re responsible for initiating the movement and have time to think?

Having the combination of the two is really the ideal I guess with the extreme example being someone like Dan Osman who can climb really quickly and dyno while soloing.
5
two wheel spiel / Re: Burger and Fries on MTB
« Last post by MischaHY on Today at 12:29:42 pm »
UK edition https://www.instagram.com/p/CA-FF3xnXHY/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

I remember seeing the pics and wondering if it'd be alright, then climbed it and decided it was fucking mental.

Prime difference between sports like DH and climbing though isn't it. I feel like risk tolerance in bike sports is vastly higher than in climbing. I always found it bizarre that I could onsight solo grit E5 but couldn't get myself to do remotely techy drops. The biggest stuff I ever hit was the easy but somewhat long drops at Stile Cop. Funny how it's straightforward to tolerate low risk high consequence for some people but then others can hit big drops all day but never fathom the idea of soloing. I've always wondered who is more risk averse but I think it's the climbers who are judging the risk factor correctly.
6
shootin' the shit / Re: Gas market pricing
« Last post by duncan on Today at 12:17:48 pm »
Gazprom has just announced that they are going to stop pumping gas through Ukraine (it's a bit more complicated than just turning the tap but that'll be the effect).

Russian sabotage and making a point, is an entirely plausible scenario and the Baltic very vulnerable to such actions.

One explosion could be an accident, three in quick succession in the same place looks like carelessness. Neither pipeline are going to be used in the short or medium term and both could be repaired within that timescale. Damaging them is not going to change gas supply this winter. This is theatre, like poisoning people with Novichuk or Polonium.

"You've got a nice gas field here ... we wouldn't want anything to happen to it"

(1'45")

This feels like a concerted attempt to put more stress on European gas costs in the hope support for Ukraine will start to unravel.

7
two wheel spiel / Re: Burger and Fries on MTB
« Last post by remus on Today at 12:02:54 pm »
UK edition https://www.instagram.com/p/CA-FF3xnXHY/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

I remember seeing the pics and wondering if it'd be alright, then climbed it and decided it was fucking mental.
8
two wheel spiel / Re: Burger and Fries on MTB
« Last post by SA Chris on Today at 11:47:38 am »
Equivalent of a bouldering pad when soloing a big route, legit. Anywhere else, they would have piled up a big pile of dirt.

LH, I've done the route, and it's plenty steep enough.
9
two wheel spiel / Re: Burger and Fries on MTB
« Last post by Fultonius on Today at 11:35:48 am »
This seems to be the MTB equivalent of someone free-soloing a jug ladder up the side of a high-rise building.

Looks cool but doesn't look very hard.

With a step ladder 1/5 of the way up it  ::)

Pretty mad though, cynicism aside.
10
two wheel spiel / Re: Burger and Fries on MTB
« Last post by Liamhutch89 on Today at 11:32:57 am »
This seems to be the MTB equivalent of someone free-soloing a jug ladder up the side of a high-rise building.

Looks cool but doesn't look very hard.
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