GPS rollover - the perfect stock market gamble for those who Get It??? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Can we make money from the Aug 22 gps rollover? Here's an article I found in The Age..


The satellite tracking company GPS, which lists on the Australian stock exchange next month, said its initial public offer was 10 times oversubscribed. The company said it had received more than $40 million in applications from investors since the offer opened on 10 May. The offer closed on Friday, a fortnight earlier than expected, because of the high demand for the shares. "The company sought $4 million, with a provision for oversubscriptions of $1 million," a GPS statement said. The offer consists of 10 million shares at 40 cents each with the right to accept oversubscriptions of a further 2.5 million shares or up to $1 million. GPS Online said it would have more than 2300 shareholders when it lists on the Australian Stock Exchange on 7 June. GPS Online has 10 years experience in providing Global Positioning Systems tracking solutions for defence forces, governments and companies. AAP. 27 May.

Question One: What is our current state of knowledge about the Aug 22 rollover, and from this vantage point can we tell if this oversubscribed little Australian GPS company will be helped or hindered by the rollover? And are there U.S., European etc companies that face the same scenario?

Question Two: Assuming that sentiment plus technical failures would have a really bad effect on this company, how does one do that whole selling-short-put-options-whatever trick whereby one gambles on one's presumption that a particular stock price is about to plummet? Can that be done with any listed company? Would you have to sweat it out 'till Jan 1 '00 in order to collect?

It would be sweet if GIs' knowledge about imminent GPS problems could be used to finance our y2k preps. ;~}

-- humpydumpty soaw, hdhabf, atkhaatkm, cphta. (, May 27, 1999


Interesting but gambling in the market is risky. This market, especially so.

Suppose GPS goes real bad on August 21-22, this company might get emergency contracts and grants to work on the problem. The military of various governments might start throwing cash at the company.

Maybe sensing this or hearing the publicity, Microsoft makes a bid for the company to force them to use WCE in GPS receivers.

There's no sure thing in Y2K. Read, learn, get ready, but there's no clear answer.

This is why the Pollys are so obviously clueless. They take the position that there is certainty and they know what will happen. You don't see the Pollys talking about covering their bets, hedging, having 2, 3 different plans. They know that the grid will stay up and that their bank will not close.

-- cory (, May 28, 1999.

You are right Corey. We do know that the grid will stay up because we work with it. I don't know about the banks. I don't work with them. But I tend to believe those who do. What do you work with? Where does you knowledge about the grid and the banks come from. Years of experience in the field? Do you just talk the talk or have you walked the walk?

I find it amusing that programmers believe because they understand some languages having to do with some computers they somehow understand everything technical. Not even close.

The amount of pseudo-knowledge presented in this and related forums is laughable.

You are entitled to your opinion Corey, but dont expect automatic respect for it just because you think youre a wonk. Algore thinks hes a wonk too.

-- R.Worker (, May 28, 1999.

Whoa, the issue is certainty. I'm glad that you're certain that a contraption with a few million subsystems will work correctly across and after the singularity. I am not certain about that.

As for power, I defer to Rick Cowles and Hawaiian Electric. Both have stated that there will be problems.

For banking, I have contacts who say that the banking situation is uneven. Some are in good shape, some are not. I'd defer to Mike Mayo on banking.

Again, it's not for me to prove that power or banking will fail; it's up to the Pollys to prove that systems made up of millions of subsystems, some with date sensitivities will not fail.

I infer, based on reports from people like Cowles, Mayo, and others that those two industries will have problems.

You are correct, I'm not a banking or power systems programmer. My background is S/370-390 mainframe systems, MVS internals, complex applications written in assembler, PL/I, Rexx. I've been on IBM PC's using C/C++ since the early 1980's. I have a fairly recent M.S. Computer Science. I have worked for two insurance companies so I understand some things about insurance applications. I have some proficiency with vintage electronics, vacuum tubes and SSI logic packages.

-- cory (, May 28, 1999.

We do know that the grid will stay up because we work with it.

Very good. I have yet to hear any company or industry admit that Y2K will cause them to fail. If "working with it" were a guarantee of performance, Y2K wouldn't even be an issue.

Tell me that you have worked with it through a similar Y2K scenario and I'll stop laughing!

-- Doug (, May 28, 1999.


Have you heard about Hawaiian Electric recently (I haven't, but I can't follow everything). Last I heard, they ran a simulation that showed there would have been problems at that time (2 years ago now?), and they fixed their problems. Are they *still* saying they'll have problems?

Of course, nobody can guarantee NO problems. There are always problems. I don't think even Rick Cowles is still saying the problems still remaining at rollover will be sufficient to bring down any domestic grid. Have you heard differently?

-- Flint (, May 28, 1999.


There are rumors in Hawaii that the power will fail. These are not substantiated. My point is that Hawaiian Electric said that the power would fail if they didn't do the work. Considering the complexity of the Grid and the fact that PEPCO can't keep the power working when things are normal, I believe that there is some risk and that the Polly side has the burden of proof.

I will grant you that it is not reasonable to expect such a proof. Given that, I am borrowing a small generator from the Baron, am building LED flashlights, have enough wood to keep the chill off, and have a small solar panel.

As for Rick, I have his personal assessment and have published it in a recent WRP. If you haven't seen it, it's 1 bad month followed by a rough year. Yes, it's vague. He's not stipulating that I'll see 10 ms 280 V transients, or 18% lower than normal RMS values, or that the power will be out for 3.8 hours per week.

It's 1 bad month and problems for a year. This is similar to Ed Yourdon's 1 bad year followed by 10.

Neither Rick nor Ed offer proof but as I said, the burden of proof is on the Polly side.

I am not 100 % convinced that Rick or Ed are correct but I am arranging my life as if they are. Most of my activities are zero or negative cost.

I bought a pile of premium 'Bee brand tuna at a low price. Worse case, I'll eat it. I'm not running for the hills but I think most people have a pal or aunt on the family farm. Even if they don't, they can take simple, in most cases money saving measures, to get ready.

I'll be bowing out of this forum unless there's something very interesting. I've fallen behind on the WRPs and need to take care of other work items. (I've just uploaded a couple new ones.)

-- cory (, May 28, 1999.

While it was a nice cheap thrill to have my post answered by a y2k celebrity, it is unfortunate that this led everyone else to debate Cory on various subjects unrelated to the original qquestion. Does anyone have anything more to say about the original questions I asked? Thankyou's in advance.

-- humpty (, May 29, 1999.


wher's freddie the freeloader when you need him :)

i would like to do the same myself, I'm investing in the prudent Bear mutual fund,

may buy some LEAPS

-- Andy (, May 29, 1999.

Cory and Flint

Reference to your concerns about Hawaii's power...

We've been getting "Don't worry" but no verification from anyone. Our real concern here is oil. We get 90% from Indonesia and we all know they are toast.

Last night at a "town meeting" I hammered the local "Y2K Czar" about increasing the contingency plan of 30 day supply of oil, and he assured me that "Hawaii will not buy oil, Hawaii will not buy food, Hawaii will not store water." "We are used to disasters and we are ready". This is the same guy who, when Ed was here a few weeks ago to speak, walked out of Ed's presentation after about ten minutes because he didn't like Ed's lack of trust for established businesses such as the oil business or the banks.

We have two weeks of food reserves on the Big Island and if the ships don't get here for two months it's gonna get dicey, cause not many people are preparing and only a small percentage can really go back to "the old ways".

Besides, if the DGI's don't get the message soon, we're gonna have 30,000 tourists here with attitudes.

We've got a pretty good small group here that get it... so we're digging in and planting seed.

Wish I could help you , Humpty, on the GPS stock question. I've had similiar thoughts myself.

This market is so volitile all it will take is a few "Y2K reality checks" to start it tumbling. Then it gonna get ugly.

Do you guys ever stop wondering how everyone can be so blind?

I gave a seminar to a bunch of really intelligent people a few weeks ago and even when I presented tons of hard data they still refused to admit that there was going to be any problem... Y2K is a non-issue to them.

When I talk to simple, downhome people, they get it right away.

Maybe the meek shall inherit the earth.

But then I saw one with a sandwich board walking down the street advertising "The meek don't want it".

Keith Nealy Producer Hawaii 2000

-- Keith Nealy (, May 29, 1999.

Eggie, I think specific stock expectations are risky but if you don't mind betting on the market and understand that this is very hard to predict, it would be interesting.

As Andy said, LEAPS are interesting and there is info on the net. (I hope I got that right.)

I'm looking at moving my pension more to GICs and such and taking 1 or 2 percent of that amount to buy PUTs.

Re: Power, I've heard all those issues discussed in Honolulu as wella as rumors of problems with SCADA and the transmission lines over the mountains. My guess is that this part of the problem is over stated a little but there is an underlying problem. I believe that Hawaiian Electric is far more capable than PEPCO.

I'd like to hang around and discuss this further but I gotta bail... although I might have to drop in a clarifying note to a thread above, looks like some people have mis read the intent of WRP121.

-- cory (, May 29, 1999.

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