Posts Tagged ‘risk management’

RISK MANAGEMENT ISN’T GOING OUT OF STYLE

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

(Digital Composite) New York City, New York, USA

It’s interesting how risk appetite’s have changed so dramatically in the last two years.  Why is this interesting?  Because, when you look under the hood at the Global economy you’ll notice that the problems that caused the car to veer off the road are all still in place. Nothing has really changed. We still have the same global imbalances that caused the crisis.  The Chinese are still causing imbalances within their economy via a flawed currency peg.  The single currency system with the  Euro is still causing imbalances throughout much of Europe.  And the financialization of the US economy is continuing along its merry way.

But, from an investor’s perspective there has been a distinct “risk on” trade in place.  This is not surprising because asset prices are rising and the economy really is improving, however, you probably would have felt the same exact way in 2006 or in 1998 when everything appeared just fine.  The truth was, risk management was probably more important at these two points in history than ever.  John Hussman elaborated on this in his most recent letter:

“I recognize that investors are eager to move on to the thesis of sustained economic recovery, with no need for any risk management at all. However, it appears unwise for investors to rest their financial security on faith in a recovery that relies on the government running a deficit of 8.5% of GDP, simply to keep the existing 6.3% gap between actual and potential GDP from widening further. It appears equally unwise to rely on Fed purchases of Treasury bonds to sustain ever greater exposure of investors to risk, when the creation of financial bubbles does nothing to increase the underlying cash flows deliverable by the securities that are increasing in price.”

This sort of herd mentality might make the entire herd feel a bit more safe.  The only problem is, the issues that caused this crisis to begin with are still stalking the herd. They’ll catch up with it sooner or later.  It might happen in the next few weeks, months, years or even decade.  No one can be sure exactly when, but they will catch up with it.  And when they do the herd will disperse in panic and once again investors will have wished they’d been more aware of the potential…
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Cardano’s Gambit

Cardano’s Gambit

Courtesy of Tim at The Psy-Fi Blog  

Gamblers ‘Nonymous

Investing is, up to a point, gambling. Most of us don’t think of it in that way but if we conceive of the universe of stocks as a gas of randomly moving particles buffeted this way and that by forces largely beyond their – and certainly beyond our – control then there’s no other conclusion that can be drawn.

Close-up of feathers of a peacock Horizontal

However, we don’t really believe this. What we generally believe is that although randomness is pervasive in stocks there’s a pattern that lies beneath the surface which we, in spite all evidence to the contrary, can pick out. For the idea that there are repeatable patterns hidden within apparently random games of chance we can thank one of our more unlikely heroes. Meet Girolamo Cardano, medieval physician, professional gambler and mathematician extraordinaire.

God’s Will

For a very long time in human history there was no appreciation or investigation of probability, the mathematics that lies behind assessments of risk. For the most part people didn’t believe in chance: stuff happened and that was God’s will. The idea that there was some order in the chaos either seems not to have occurred or to have been literally unthinkable.

Fishing hook with die

Gamblers, however, did have some vague understanding that there were patterns in the randomness and quite a lot of self-interest in figuring these out. It’s no surprise that gambling figures quite large in early accounts of advances in probability theory. In Cardano, who seems to have been addicted to gambling, the will to understand and the ability to do so came together.

Elementary Probability

In many ways what Cardano figured out is today regarded as almost trivial, but at the time it was revolutionary and it allowed him an insight into why and when he should take a risk and when he shouldn’t. Perhaps the simplest example is to do with dice. At the time it was regarded as a bit of a mystery why, when three dice were rolled, the sum of face-up numbers came to ten more often than nine, despite the fact that there were six ways of summing possible numbers to both.

The answer to this conundrum is almost childishly simple to our eyes. There are twenty seven ways of combining the possible sums to ten while there are only…
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PAUL VOLCKER: THE MARKET IS “BROKEN”

PAUL VOLCKER: THE MARKET IS “BROKEN”

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

This is a superb summary of Paul Volcker’s must read comments at the Federal Reserve bank of Chicago from today. Highly recommended reading (via the WSJ):

1) Macroprudential regulation — “somehow those words grate on my ears.”

2) Banking — Investment banks became “trading machines instead of investment banks [leading to] encroachment on the territory of commercial banks, and commercial banks encroached on the territory of others in a way that couldn’t easily be managed by the old supervisory system.”

3) Financial system — “The financial system is broken. We can use that term in late 2008, and I think it’s fair to still use the term unfortunately. We know that parts of it are absolutely broken, like the mortgage market which only happens to be the most important part of our capital markets [and has] become a subsidiary of the U.S. government.”

4) Business schools — “We had all our best business schools in the United States pouring out financial engineers, every smart young mathematician and physicist said ‘I don’t want to be a civil engineer, a mechanical engineer. I’m a smart guy, I want to go to Wall Street.’ And then you know all the risks were going to be sliced and diced and [people thought] the market would be resilient and not face any crises. We took care of all that stuff, and I think that was the general philosophy that markets are efficient and self correcting and we don’t have to worry about them too much.

5) Central banks and the Fed — “Central banks became…maybe a little too infatuated with their own skills and authority because they found secrets to price stability…I think its fair to say there was a certain neglect of supervisory responsibilities, certainly not confined to the Federal Reserve, but including the Federal Reserve, I only say that because the Federal Reserve is the most important in my view.”

6) The recession — “It’s so difficult to get out of this recession because of the basic disequilibrium in the real economy.”

7) Council of regulators — “Potentially cumbersome.”

8 ) On judgment — “Let me suggest to you that relying on judgment all the time makes for a very heavy burden whether you are regulating an individual institution or whether you are regulating the whole market or whether you are deciding what might be disturbing or what might not be disturbing.


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TIM GEITHNER DOESN’T GET IT

TIM GEITHNER DOESN’T GET IT

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

At least Ben Bernanke isn’t the only person in government who doesn’t really understand our monetary system.  Over the weekend Tim Geithner paraded himself all over the weekend talk shows while he proved that he barely deserved to pass econ 101.  That’s right, the Secretary of the US Treasury doesn’t get it.

The interviews mostly began with Mr. Geithner distancing himself from the entire cause of this crisis.  Although he was effectively the fox in the hen house (he was President of the NY Fed while we experienced the grossest bank expansion/leveraging experiment in the history of the world) Mr. Geithner continues to make it sound as if he was saddled with this problem and played no role in its cause:

“I, I think I disagree slightly in the sense that, you know, remember, this was a recession caused by a set of policies that left us with a $1.3 trillion deficit when the president came into office, an economy that was falling off the cliff. Millions of Americans had already lost their jobs. The recession was a year old at that point.”

Mr. Geithner goes on to explain that there is no chance of a double dip (famous last words?).  He displays absolutely zero sense of risk management and prescience.  This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone.  It is the tendency of government officials to adhere to the scientific method – “let’s wait for the dust to settle before we make our next moves”.   Unfortunately, that’s not how markets work and it’s certainly not how economies work.  Mr. Geithner is blindingly optimistic:

“MR. GREGORY: So just to be precise, you do not believe in a double-dip recession, that it will get worse before it gets better?

SEC’Y GEITHNER: No, I don’t. I think the most likely thing is, you see an economy that gradually strengthens over the next year or two, you see job growth start to come back again.”

Mr. Geithner then goes on to explain how he totally misunderstands how a fiat currency system in a floating exchange system works.  It’s 100% crystal clear that Geithner is living in his textbook gold standard world where the USA borrows money to finance spending - nothing could be farther from the truth.  The Treasurer of the USA says we “borrow” to “finance” our…
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Fannie And Freddie: We’ve Fixed Nothing

Fannie And Freddie: We’ve Fixed Nothing

foreclosuresCourtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker

No, really?

June 14 (Bloomberg) — The cost of fixing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage companies that last year bought or guaranteed three-quarters of all U.S. home loans, will be at least $160 billion and could grow to as much as $1 trillion after the biggest bailout in American history.

Uh, how?

Remember, the government has funded $145 billion thus far.  Where is the rest of the money going to come from?

This year, thus far, $730 billion has been borrowed by Treasury beyond tax receipts – and spent.  $1.5 trillion, roughly, on an annualized basis.

Where will we find the other trillion dollars?

Neither political party wants to risk damaging the mortgage market wants to admit it has run a 20-year long Ponzi scheme, said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office and White House economic adviser under President George W. Bush.

“Republicans and Democrats love putting Americans in houses are both looking for ways to maintain that Ponzi for just one more day, and there’s no getting around that,” Holtz-Eakin said.

Now there’s a bit of truth.  Oh wait – that was mine, not Holtz-Eakins :)

“People all over the world think, ‘Where is the safest place I could possibly put my money?’ and that’s the U.S.,” Shiller said in an interview. “We can’t let Fannie and Freddie go. We have to stand up for them.”


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In Other News, Larry King is Selling Divorce Insurance

In Other News, Larry King is Selling Divorce Insurance

Courtesy of Ken Houghton at Angry Bear  

Bomb with Lit Fuse

Many months ago, I quoted the brilliant Janet Tavakoli‘s book Credit Derivatives and Synthetic Structures:   

The trader then went on to tell me that Commercial Bank of Korea would sell credit default protection on bonds issued by the Commercial Bank of Korea.
"That’s very interesting," I countered, "but the credit default option is worthless."
"But people are doing it," persisted the trader.
"That’s because they don’t know what they’re doing," I affirmed. "The correlation between Commercial Bank of Korea and itself is 100 percent. I would pay nothing for that credit protection. It is worthless for this purpose."
The trader mustered his best grammar, chilliest tone, and most authoritative voice: "There are those who would disagree with you." (p. 85)

Apparently, that anonymous trader—or another money-losing risk-mispricing hedge fund manager—is now running The Big C:   

Credit specialists at Citi are considering launching the first derivatives intended to pay out in the event of a financial crisis. The firm has drawn up plans for a tradable liquidity index, known as the CLX, on which products could be structured that allow buyers to hedge a spike in funding costs….

"The great thing about the index is that it hedges your funding costs while being very simple to trade. I believe it will reduce the systemic risk in the industry, akin to how the advent of swaps means people don’t worry about interest-rate exposures any more – they just pay a fee to hedge it," he says.

Because if funding dries up, The Big C will be there to support you!

I thought this was an attempt to make money on a premium, but it isn’t:   

Like a swap, the contracts envisaged by Citi would be entered into without an up-front premium, with money changing hands according to the index’s movements around a fair strike value.

So the model is actually that you pay a higher cost of funds during good times, and during bad times, depend on the ability of your counterparty to make you whole.

When banks do it, it’s called "deposit insurance," and it is valuable because in the worst-case scenario, the U.S. Treasury can print money. Since—the last time I checked—Citigroup …
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GURU OUTLOOK: DAVID EINHORN IS VERY WORRIED ABOUT THE DEBTS

GURU OUTLOOK: DAVID EINHORN IS VERY WORRIED ABOUT THE DEBTS

WSOP No-Limit Texas Hold 'em World Championship

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

David Einhorn became a household name last year when he attacked Lehman Brothers (among other companies) for their poor financial condition.  He very publicly shorted the stock ahead of the firm’s implosion.  This didn’t help Einhorn from losing money for the first time in his career, however.  His firm’s flagship fund finished the year down 22.7% in 2008.  It looks bad at first glance, but this was just half of the losses the S&P 500 experienced last year.  He has since recouped all of the losses this year.  Einhorn is famous for his 2006 18th place finish in the World Series of Poker and has proven over the last 13 years to be one of the best risk managers on Wall Street.  So what does Einhorn like now?  Let’s take a look.

Einhorn is increasingly concerned about the debts in the financial system.  Einhorn had some very interesting comments earlier this year regarding gold, which has become one of Greenlight’s favorite positions.  He isn’t a goldbug, but Einhorn is growing increasingly concerned about the future of fiat currencies due to irresponsible monetary and fiscal policies.  Einhorn has very little faith in the Fed to print us back to prosperity.  The following is an excerpt from his 2008 year-end letter:

We never thought we would ever buy gold or gold stocks.   David’s grandfather Benjamin was a goldbug.   From the time David was ten, Grandpa Ben took every opportunity to tell David  about  the  problems  with  fiat  currencies  and  the  coming  inflation  and  advised  that the only sensible thing to do was to buy gold and gold stocks.  And, for the last thirty years of his life, that is what Grandpa Ben did.   And it was a lousy investment.   Being a patient investor is one thing.  Being “wrong” for three decades is quite another. To everyone’s dismay, we believe that some of Grandpa Ben’s predictions are playing out. Our  current  chairman  of  the  Federal  Reserve,  Ben  Bernanke,  is  an  “inflationist.”   When times  were  good,  he  supported  an  easy  money  policy.   Even  when  the  Fed  raised  rates, Bernanke  took  great  pains  to  give  the  markets  many  warnings  to  insure  that  the  higher rates  wouldn’t  break  up 


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THE UNCORRELATED RETURN MYTH?

THE UNCORRELATED RETURN MYTH?

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Dragon painting

I came across this interesting paper (which can be found in its entirety below) the other day, while perusing Paul Kedrosky’s website, regarding uncorrelated returns.  The basic premise of the paper was that there is no such thing as uncorrelated assets. The author conveniently cherry picks the last 36 months to prove his point. Of course the last 36 months can easily be described as unique if not an outlier. Many have been quick to come to the conclusion that the last 36 months not only disprove the efficient market hypothesis, but also disprove the theory of uncorrelated assets.  This is highly flawed in my opinion.

Let me begin to dissect this issue from the beginning (without getting bogged down in too much mundane theory).  Anyone who is a regular reader has likely taken the time to read the “about us” section on the site.  If so, you know that my investment theories aren’t just some cookie cutter “fill the  Morningstar box” approach.  I believe the efficient market hypothesis is one of the greatest tricks ever played on the investment community.  Any market is nothing more than the summation of the decisions of its participants.   Markets, by definition are highly complex dynamic systems that are susceptible to chaos.  To assume that the summation of these decisions is somehow efficient would mean that the decision makers as a whole are efficient.   While this might be true to some extent, human beings (and even the algorithms written by humans) are guaranteed to be inefficient decision makers in a chaotic system.

The investment world is the civilized version of natural selection.  It cuts to the core of every emotion imaginable.  When Joe Schmo goes to work for 25 years straight in an attempt to create a better life for his family and suddenly sees his life’s savings going down the tube because Lehman Bros went bankrupt you can’t possibly expect him to react rationally in such an environment.  This is no different than the man whose family is attacked in the middle of the night.  Do you expect that man to react rationally when everything he lives for is suddenly in harms way? Do human beings make rational and efficient decisions in chaotic scenarios? Even more important, will 1 million humans working…
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WHY DID SO MANY INVESTORS FAIL TO PREDICT THE CREDIT CRISIS?

WHY DID SO MANY INVESTORS FAIL TO PREDICT THE CREDIT CRISIS?

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

I think about it every day: “Why did so many investors have to be hurt by the financial crisis of 2008″?   In hindsight, it seems like the crisis was so obvious.  The now infamous credit market debt to GDP chart, the parabolic Case/Shiller housing chart, the 40:1 leverage ratios, the subprime problems, etc..  Weren’t they telltale signs that something was profoundly wrong with the economy?   It would seem so, but for some reason we can count the “experts” who actually predicted the crisis on two hands.  And many are even skeptical of this small sampling of prescient economists and analysts.  Statistically speaking you could easily make the argument that most of these “experts” who got it right were anomalies or lucky.   So why were so few investors prepared for the declines in the markets?   I chalk it up to multiple flaws in the way investors have been taught to approach the investment landscape.

BusinessWeek recently described how wrong economists have been about the crisis:

Business Week: In early September 2008, the median growth forecast for the fourth quarter was 0.2%, according to a survey by Blue Chip Economic Indicators. The actual outcome was a 6.3% annualized decline. The Fed didn’t do any better. In July 2008, Fed officials projected unemployment in the fourth quarter of 2008 would end up between 5.5% and 5.8%. The actual number was 6.9%. Their projection for the fourth quarter of 2009, done at the same time, was for a range of 5.2% to 6.1%. Today, with unemployment at 8.5%, most forecasters expect the rate to be nearing double digits by the end of 2009.

But no one got the crisis as wrong as Wall Street’s expert analysts.  At the beginning of 2008 the average analyst was calling for $90 in total S&P 500 earnings.  The final figure came in at $49.51.  They missed by nearly 50%!   As I’ve mentioned repeatedly here at TPC, the entire analyst community on Wall Street is flawed.  Most analysts are selling a service or pushing a specific firm’s long-term investment beliefs.  This was well displayed in the 90’s and despite regulatory changes, continues today.  This is not to imply that all analysts try to rig the game (not that that doesn’t happen), but for the most part


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Using Options to Control the Risks in Leveraged ETFs

Click here to sign up for a free subscription to the PSW Report.  It’s easy!  – Ilene

Using Options to Control the Risks in Leveraged ETFs

Courtesy of Bill Luby at Vix And More

Several readers noted that options on leveraged ETFs seemed like a recipe for disaster, as if no good could possibly come from piling leverage on top of leverage. While I certainly understand the sentiment, this type of thinking is typical of investors who have little or no experience in options. To the investor who is not versed in options, the options world often seems to be limited to an occasional covered call or an out-of-the-money call that is barely distinguishable from a lottery ticket – and seems to pay out just about as often.

In fact a large percentage of options traders are attracted to options because they are an excellent way to define, limit and manage risk. Yes, one can buy a put to provide protection for a long stock protection, but in the absence of owning the underlying (be it as stock, ETF, index or whatever), options traders are particularly fond of creating multi-leg options positions where the downside risk is known at the beginning of the trade and does not waver as long as the position is maintained.

Getting back to leveraged ETFs, I have reproduced a portion of the options chain for FAS, perhaps the most notorious of the Direxion triple ETFs, in the table below. With a current mean implied volatility of 126, FAS is a highly volatile ETF. FAS is so volatile that even with only 17 trading days remaining in the June calls, it is possible to sell the June 15 calls, which are 70% out of the money, for 0.05. The June 11 calls, which are 24.4% out of the money, can be sold for 0.40.

In terms of risk management, let’s say that an investor does not believe that FAS is going to rise more than 24% in the next 3 ½ weeks, so he or she decides to sell the June 11 calls, but hedge that position by buying an equal amount of the June 13 calls at 0.15. This is a bear call spread and will net $25 for each option contract, with a maximum loss of $175 per


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Phil's Favorites

Students who plan to seek more education than needed for their career earn more money

 

Students who plan to seek more education than needed for their career earn more money

Extra education has been shown to pay off in the long run. John O'Boyle/Flickr

Courtesy of Soobin Kim, Michigan State University

...



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Zero Hedge

Famed IPO Analyst Call WeWork Prospectus "Masterpiece Of Obfuscation"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Last week, when WeWork filed its highly anticipated prospectus for the upcoming IPO that seeks to value the company as much as $50 billion, we shared the one chart that summarized - we thought - all that was wrong with the company: the fact that even as revenue has risen, and it has to rise much, much more for the company to ever grow into its massive valuation - it has burned ever more cash.

...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Steel About To Breakdown And Send Bearish Economic Message?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Is the Steel Industry suggesting that a recession is nearing? In my humble opinion, the jury is still out on this one.

This chart from Marketsmith.com takes a look at the patterns of Steel ETF (SLX).

SLX has spent the majority of the past 3-years inside of trading range (1). The persistent decline over the past year has it testing the bottom of this trading range at (2).

The weakness over the past year has it below long-term moving averages as its relative strength r...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Tuesday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index for the latest week is schedule for release at 8:55 a.m. ET.
  • San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President Mary Daly is set to speak at 4:30 p.m. ET.
  • Federal Reserve Board of Governors Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles will speak in Salt Lake City, Utah at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Posted-In: Economic DataNews Economics ...



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The Technical Traders

The Next Breakdown And The Setup

Courtesy of Technical Traders

If you’ve been following our research long enough, you’ll remember that we often discuss Fibonacci Price Theory and how we use it to try to identify opportunities and trends in the markets.  The basic premise of Fibonacci Price Theory is that price is always seeking to establish newer highs or newer lows with every rotation on the charts.  The theory is rather simple to understand and learn and it helps easily identify where support, resistance, and the trend is established.  Let’s take a minute to go over the basics of Fibonacci Price Theory before we continue.

This first example of Fibonacci Price Theory trend is a simple example that highlights the basic premise of the the...



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Lee's Free Thinking

The Treasury Supply Drumbeat Has Begun

Courtesy of Lee Adler

The beat goes on. The US Treasury announced a 30 year TIPS issue today, bringing net new Treasury supply for the month so far to $119 billion. 

Here are the details:

Term and Type: 29-Year 6-Month TIPS

Reopening: Yes

Offering Amount: 7 Billion

Announcement Date: 08/15/2019

Auction Date: 08/22/2019

Issue Date: 08/30/2019

Maturity Date: 02/15/2049

PDF | XML

Supply will pound the financial markets to a pulp as far as the eye can see. Those who are currently panicking to buy Treasuries at these ...



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Chart School

Bitcoin 2019 fractal with Gold 2013

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Funny how price action patterns repeat, double tops, head and shoulders. These are simply market fractals of supply and demand.

More from RTT Tv

Ref: US Crypto Holders Only Have a Few Days to Reply to the IRS 6173 Letter

Today's news from the US IRS has been blamed for the recent price slump, yet the bitcoin fractal like the gold fractal suggest the market players have set bitcoin up for a slump to $9000 USD long before the IRS news hit the wire.

Get the impression some market players missed out on the b...

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Digital Currencies

New Zealand Becomes 1st Country To Legalize Payment Of Salaries In Crypto

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been on a persistent upswing this year, but they're still pretty volatile. But during a time when even some of the most developed economies in the word are watching their currencies bounce around like the Argentine peso (just take a look at a six-month chart for GBPUSD), New Zealand has decided to take the plunge and become the first country to legalize payment in bitcoin, the FT reports.

The ruling by New Zealand’s tax authority allows salaries and wages to b...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Biotech

DNA testing companies offer telomere testing - but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

Reminder: We're is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

DNA testing companies offer telomere testing – but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

A telomere age test kit from Telomere Diagnostics Inc. and saliva. collection kit from 23andMe. Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Patricia Opresko, University of Pittsburgh and Elise Fouquerel, ...



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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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