Posts Tagged ‘short-selling’

Hugh Hendry interview on the BBC

Hugh Hendry interview on the BBC

Courtesy of Edward Harrison of Credit Writedowns

BBC HARDtalk interviewed hedge fund manager Hugh Hendry, CIO & CEO of Eclectica Asset Management, this past Tuesday night. The videos are below.

 

 

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Hedge Funds On The Defensive As Hugh Hendry Sees 80% Reduction In Size Of Industry

Hedge Funds On The Defensive As Hugh Hendry Sees 80% Reduction In Size Of Industry

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

It is no longer fun being a hedge fund manager – first, up until the recent POMO-based rally in stocks, HFs were down for the year, and what is far worse, they were underperforming the broader market – a death sentence for pretty much every hedge fund, as this is proof a fund can not extract alpha and thus has no reason to collect 2 and 20. While the recent ramp in the market is welcome by all bulls, the question remains just how leveraged into the latest beta rally hedge funds have been. If after the nearly 10% rise in the past 2 weeks any individual HFs are still underperforming the market, it is a near certain "lights out."

To everyone else: congratulations – you just bought yourself another three months of breathing room. Better hope the Fed makes good on its QE promises one day soon. In the meantime, Bloomberg Matthew Lynn and Ecclectica’s Hugh Hendry both confirm that in these days of instantaneous liquidity demands, and cheap strategy replicators in the form of ETFs which provide the same beta capture as hedge funds, at a fraction of the price, it is only going to get worse and worse for the once high flying community. In fact, Hugh Hendry goes as far as suggesting that 10 years from now 80% of all hedge funds will be gone. Our personal view is that the target will be reached in a far shorter time frame.

On one hand, Matthew Lynn shows the uphill climb that defenders of the hedge fund industry have to pass in recent days. "An industry that doesn’t know how to defend itself, and has forgotten how to justify its existence, is in crisis. Hedge funds are now in that position." Hilariously, Lynn shows that hedge funds uses that good old staple used by HFTs to defend their own piracy ways and means: providing liquidity.

On both sides of the Atlantic, hedge funds have been busy trying to hold their own against the tide of fresh regulations sweeping through capital markets.

The Washington-based Managed Funds Association, the U.S. hedge-fund industry’s biggest trade group, has been campaigning against proposed curbs on high-frequency trading. That would, it says, reduce liquidity


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A Reporter’s Notepad: My Almost Book On The Blame-Shifters

A Reporter’s Notepad: My Almost Book On The Blame-Shifters

Courtesy of Roddy Boyd, THE FINANCIAL INVESTIGATOR

Shadow Of Woman Writing

Editor’s Note: There is perhaps nothing so silly and attention-seeking as the reporter who willingly inserts him- or herself into a story for some narrative purpose or other, but I am going to make a (big) and one-time exception to this rule by posting this.

The backstory: Prior to committing to a book on AIG and its collapse, I had begun to pitch a book called “Shifting The Blame.”

The idea was simplicity itself: I’d take about eight or nine companies–from Overstock to Lehman, from Arthrocare to MBIA–who had hit the skids and who had, at some point, blamed some combination of reporters and short-sellers for their woes. As opposed to, say, embellishing their financials, lying, losing money, hiding losses, incompetence…you take the point. My goal was to fuse investigative reporting and the naturally dramatic arc of their sleazy behavior and comeuppances to make for an eye-opening read. I’d raise a few eyebrows, get some laughs, maybe make a deeper point about free speech, investigative reporting and the real scandals in the market.

My agent, summoning me to a breakfast one Saturday, said she loved the idea but, well, there was another book coming out by a fellow named Rick Sauer and it was going to hit on a few of the same themes. I lamely tried to suggest that Sauer’s book was an “Inside-the-SEC guy-turned-shortseller” type thing, where as my work was a series of inter-connected investigative essays.

No matter. The market is the market and the market didn’t, apparently, want two of these books. So I scrapped it.

This was the preface to the book, telling a story about an earnest PR guy who had the unenviable job of spinning a discredited yarn into gold for his revenge-hungry clients. I found it in a musty corner of the hard-drive and showed it to a few pretty smart former colleagues of mine who said they liked it.

I sort of do too. It’s dated, but like a hiss on an old record album, it gives it some gravity. Maybe.

The origin of this book lies with a series of phone conversations between myself and Jeffrey Lloyd, a partner at the public relations firm of Sitrick and Company, in the early autumn of 2008.

Lloyd, a courteous…
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Do Hedge Funds Trade On Insider Information?

Do Hedge Funds Trade On Insider Information?

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

A very interesting research paper currently in publication by a team from York University headed by Nadia Massoud asks "Do Hedge Funds Trade on Private Information? Evidence from Syndicated Lending and Short-Selling" and analyzes whether or not hedge funds actively trade in the public securities of companies that had approached said hedge funds with private, capital structure specific (in this case loan syndication and amendment) information. The paper focuses on the period between 2005 and 2007, when the first wave of second- and third-lien debt that had been issued by crappy companies to hedge funds, was starting to become impaired and led to wave after wave of covenant and other bank loan amendments, designed to allow the borrower some breathing room.

Massoud also tracks whether or not in the days preceding the public announcement of a covenant amendment, traditionally seen as a sign of weakness by any borrower company, there was a spike in short-selling activity by hedge funds, courtesy of an interval between January 2nd 2005 to July 6th 2007, when RegSHO had made public extensive detail on equity short-selling data (why this is no longer the case one has to ask the corrupt SEC, but that is a question for after the next 10,000 point Dow flash crash when the SEC’s headquarters will finally be surrounded by rioting former investors who have had enough). The paper finds conclusive evidence that companies that come to lenders in hopes of amending syndicated credit facilities do indeed see aggressive shorting of their stock into the days preceding the formal announcement, implying that there is obviously material non-public information abuse and frontrunning. Here, the authors of the paper however, make a blatantly wrong assumption that this frontrunning originates almost exclusively from within the hedge funds that had been approached with the material non-public disclosure of weakness. We are happy to demonstrate that not only is that not necessarily the case, but to explain why certain sections of FT holding company Pearson can charge over $100,000 a year for premium subscription to their content by rich hedge fund subscribers, thereby once again creating a very tiered information market. We speak of course of Pearson niche media subsidiary www.debtwire.com

First, a brief observation of the York paper’s conclusions. As the charts below summarize, there is almost no doubt…
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THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING: 4 SHORT SELLING THEMES

THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING: 4 SHORT SELLING THEMES

Profile of man thinking

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Jim Chanos recently gave an interesting interview on the power of negative thinking and the benefits of short selling.  Most interesting were the 4 major themes Chanos looks for in his short positions.  Much like a long only macro thinker Chanos develops his specific short positions from much larger macro themes.  In the article he detailed the 4 themes he looks for:

Some recurring themes in shorting selling:

  • Booms that go bust – define boom as anything that is fueled by debt in which the cash flows produced by the asset do not cover the cost of the debt.  The internet is not a boom since they didn’t have debt.  The telecom bubble that went along with it was.
  • Consumer fads – Investors like to extrapolate strong growth well further into the future than they should.  It’s also a great source of decoration for your office, he’s got a Cabbage Patch Kid next to a George Forman Grill next to a Nordic Trak.
  • Technological Obsolescence – Everyone thinks the old product will last longer than it actually does.  Examples were Wang Word Processors (replaced by PCs), Record Stores (replaced by digital downloads).  He says the internet is the cheapest way to distribute anything.  However, people are still renting DVDs by mail, which surprises him (hint: likely short Netflix!).  These businesses always look cheap but the cash flow goes down just as fast as the share price (think Kodak film).
  • Structurally flawed accounting – Beware serial acquirers, they often write down the assets of the acquired firm in the stub period that no one sees.  Ask management what the nets assets of the firm were on their latest end of quarter and what they were when they were acquired. Most management won’t tell you this, some will, however.  But by writing down inventory and A/R they can “spring load” results once the company is acquired.  They’re supposed to adjust the purchase price, but more don’t.

Source: Market Folly 


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WILL HOLLYWOOD GO THE WAY OF ENRON? DERIVATIVES COME TO THE MOVIES

Arguably, the Hollywood human casino will give derivative traders the incentive and means to play with people’s lives very directly. So will they put their unproductive energies into destroying the hopes and dreams of others? If economic (recent) history tells us anything, they will. Max Keiser, who developed the virtual forerunner to the Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX) computer technology, predicts that if his technology is approved for use with real money, Hollywood will go the way of Enron and Lehman within two years. – Ilene

WILL HOLLYWOOD GO THE WAY OF ENRON? DERIVATIVES COME TO THE MOVIES

movies, hollywoodCourtesy of Ellen Brown, at Web of Debt 

As if attacks from paparazzi and star-crazed fans weren’t enough, Hollywood stars may soon have a literal price put on their heads by investors in the Cantor Exchange, a real-money trading platform where people can bet on the gross profits of upcoming movies. Sales of The Dark Knight skyrocketed after Heath Ledger died unexpectedly, and so did sales after the deaths of Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. Will greed-driven investors now be laying in wait for the stars of movies they have bet on?

The Cantor Exchange (CE) is based on a virtual trading platform called the Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX), a web-based, multiplayer simulation in which players buy and sell “shares” of actors, directors, upcoming films, and film-related options. The difference is that where the HSX uses virtual money, CE will turn the game into a real casino using real dollars.

On April 21, Cantor Exchange reported that it had just received regulatory approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which oversees futures exchanges. “This is a significant step forward in achieving our ultimate goal,” it said in a letter, “which is to launch a market in Domestic Box Office Receipt Contracts.”

Having “contracts” out on movies and movie stars, however, has an ominous ring; and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) apparently doesn’t like the sound of it. The Cantor letter said that its tentative launch date of April 22 was being delayed because the MPAA and others “raised concerns about the economic purpose of this market and its usefulness as a hedging vehicle.”

The legitimate hedgers, the moviemakers and equity holders with a real financial interest to protect, don’t want it. But Cantor is pushing forward, because gambling is big business and there are…
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Sell Now, Buy Later – the ABCs of Short Selling

Sell Now, Buy Later – the ABCs of Short Selling

Businessman with umbrella under stock market prices

By Jake Weber, Editor, The Casey Report

The catch phrases “Buy low, sell high” and “The market fluctuates” are probably the two most frequently used clichés of the investment world. The latter statement is hardly astute, and the former far easier said than done. What both of these simplistic ideas overlook is a third concept largely ignored by the investing public, “Sell now, buy later.”

The idea of selling something that you don’t yet own is a foreign concept to many. However, in a powerful bear market, it’s an important strategy to understand and utilize, though for reasons I’ll discuss below, only as a relatively small and closely watched speculative portion of your portfolio. The concept I’m referring to, of course, is short selling.

The basic mechanics of selling short a stock are not complicated, but, as with any investment, there are risks involved, and it requires discipline to execute these trades successfully.

What Is Short Selling?

If, after carefully scrutinizing a security, you conclude that there is nowhere for the stock to go but down and want to put your money where your brain is, there are a couple of different alternatives. One way to go is the options route, selling calls or buying puts on the stock. This is certainly a viable route with plenty of opportunity to profit; however, with options, not only do you have to be right about the direction, you also have to be correct about…
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Sell Now, Buy Later – the ABCs of Short Selling

Sell Now, Buy Later – the ABCs of Short Selling

Businessman with umbrella under stock market prices

By Jake Weber, Editor, The Casey Report

The catch phrases “Buy low, sell high” and “The market fluctuates” are probably the two most frequently used clichés of the investment world. The latter statement is hardly astute, and the former far easier said than done. What both of these simplistic ideas overlook is a third concept largely ignored by the investing public, “Sell now, buy later.”

The idea of selling something that you don’t yet own is a foreign concept to many. However, in a powerful bear market, it’s an important strategy to understand and utilize, though for reasons I’ll discuss below, only as a relatively small and closely watched speculative portion of your portfolio. The concept I’m referring to, of course, is short selling.

The basic mechanics of selling short a stock are not complicated, but, as with any investment, there are risks involved, and it requires discipline to execute these trades successfully.

What Is Short Selling?

If, after carefully scrutinizing a security, you conclude that there is nowhere for the stock to go but down and want to put your money where your brain is, there are a couple of different alternatives. One way to go is the options route, selling calls or buying puts on the stock. This is certainly a viable route with plenty of opportunity to profit; however, with options, not only do you have to be right about the direction, you also have to be correct about the timing and strike price.

The other alternative is to open up a margin account and sell the stock short. That requires posting a margin – cash or securities – in your account. With that condition met, your broker will undertake to borrow the stock from someone that owns it. Once your broker has acquired it, either from another client or another brokerage firm, he or she will sell the stock and deposit the proceeds into your account. What you own now is a liability to purchase back, or “cover,” those same shares at some point in the future, hopefully at a lower price. Because there’s a loan involved with this transaction, you’ll be charged an interest rate on the amount borrowed, likely in the area of about 4.5% annualized these days.

With a short sale, your maximum gain is capped at 100%,…
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Manipulating Gold and Silver: A Criminal Naked Short Position that Could Wreck the Economy

Manipulating Gold and Silver: A Criminal Naked Short Position that Could Wreck the Economy

Courtesy of Mark Mitchell at Deep Capture 

Close-up of traditional puppets, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Everyone from U.S. Senators to prominent hedge fund managers say that criminal naked short sellers had a hand in the financial collapse of 2008, but the regulators aren’t listening. Not a single criminal has been prosecuted. Indeed, the regulators continue to allow the miscreants to manipulate the markets — not just the stock markets, but also the markets for corporate bonds, derivatives, U.S. Treasuries, and all manner of commodities – even when the regulators are provided with indisputable evidence of a massive crime in progress. They could easily fix the flaws in the settlement system that allow much of the manipulation to occur, but they refrain from doing so either because they are too captured by the miscreants or too cowed by the possible consequences of throwing the lights on what may be an enormous confidence game.

So I am inclined to say that it is hopeless. Everyone loves an optimist – but, yes, it is hopeless. We are like the audience in one of those cheesy horror flicks – yell and scream all you like, but the dumb blonde is still going to walk into that room and get hacked to pieces. Except that it is not a movie. It is real. And it’s not just the dumb blonde who is going to get slaughtered. It is all of us. It is our economy. It is our standard of living. It is our financial system – the lifeblood of the nation.

The latest case of regulatory indolence was recently exposed by Andrew Maguire, a successful metals trader and whistleblower who went to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission with data that strongly suggested that a small number of criminal short sellers had rigged the markets for silver and gold. Maguire not only provided the regulators with a Dummies’ guide to how the manipulation generally worked, but also warned them of a specific crime – a dramatic take-down of the gold and silver markets – that he said would occur at an exact time on a specific date in the near future. That is, Maguire told the regulators that a massive crime was about to happen, and the crime happened precisely as he predicted it would.

With Maguire’s warning, the regulators…
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Save Our Short-Sellers

Tim presents a good argument in favor of not restricting short-selling in an effort to prop up overvalued markets.  - Ilene 

Save Our Short-Sellers

elaine supkisCourtesy of Tim at The Psy-Fi Blog 

Short Selling Scapegoats

Whenever there’s some kind of major market crash and people start looking for handy scapegoats the usual line-up of suspects will include a preponderance of short-sellers, accused of unpatriotically selling stocks they don’t own in order to make windfall profits. It’s as though making a profit when everyone else is losing money suddenly becomes wrong. When times are tough it seems everyone’s a bleeding heart socialist.

Instead of banning short-selling regulators ought to be focusing on what measures they could take to make it more popular. If you want markets to be roughly efficient and not to fly off on some behaviourally induced flight of fancy then you need intelligent investors to be able to short-sell over-valued stocks. Waiting until everything goes wrong and then artificially distorting the markets in order to apply a tiny band-aid to a market holed below the waterline by a bloody great iceberg of behavioural bias is to invert cause and effect. Short-selling doesn’t cause market crashes, people do.

Shorting’s Scary

Shorting a stock is roughly the opposite to buying it. Technically you’re selling a security you don’t own and then waiting for it to fall so you can buy it back at a lower price, pocketing the difference. Although there are different ways of shorting there are ultimately only a couple of basic variations – covered shorting where you either own or, more likely, borrow the stock for a fee or naked shorting where you actually don’t have any of the stock you’re selling.

Shorting shares is not, generally, a widespread activity amongst investors. There are multiple reasons for this. Many institutional investors aren’t allowed to short stocks due to their remit, most individual investors don’t short due to behavioural issues and fears of unlimited losses. These individual concerns are linked – as we saw in discussing behavioural portfolios investors don’t like their losses from their upside potential layer eating into their downside protection layer, but as losses from shorting are potentially unlimited, this is a real risk for short-side investors.

Unlimited Liability

When we buy stocks the maximum we risk is the capital we put down up front, but when…
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Phil's Favorites

Why the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is now a global game changer

 

Why the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is now a global game changer

Courtesy of Michael Head, University of Southampton

In the long dark tunnel that has been 2020, November stands out as the month that light appeared. Some might see it as a bright light, others as a faint light – but it is unmistakably a light.

On November 9, Pfizer announced the interim results of its candidate vaccine, showing it to be “more than 90% effective” in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in late-stage human trials. The news was greeted with joy.

A ...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Why the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is now a global game changer

 

Why the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is now a global game changer

Courtesy of Michael Head, University of Southampton

In the long dark tunnel that has been 2020, November stands out as the month that light appeared. Some might see it as a bright light, others as a faint light – but it is unmistakably a light.

On November 9, Pfizer announced the interim results of its candidate vaccine, showing it to be “more than 90% effective” in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in late-stage human trials. The news was greeted with joy.

A ...



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Chart School

Bitcoin Chart Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Bitcoin is testing its old all time high. Bitcoin is not alone as it is at the same party of all risk on trends. Abundant end of year liquidity, add the relief of finishing US elections will see the end of the buyers strike and gains should continue (just like 2016).

Bitcoin is on fourth types of charts held within readtheticker.com, each chart answers different questions.

Charts ...

Cycle charts shows off price and time cycles, with forecasts.


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Long term channels, with time and price targets.


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Zero Hedge

Bitcoin's Gut Check: The Time Of Crisis As The Moment Of Truth

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Marc Bernegger via CoinTelegraph.com,

If Bitcoin weathers the current financial storm, our monetary system will be on the brink of dramatic changes or even a revolution.

...



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Politics

Profiles in Cowardice

 

Profiles in Cowardice

Most elected Republicans in Washington are failing the test by refusing to stand up to Trump. Their cowardice is one of the worst betrayals of public trust in the history of our republic.

By Robert Reich writing at Common Dreams

American democracy will continue to be endangered by House and Senate Republicans who lack the moral courage to do what’s right. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Financial r...



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ValueWalk

Joel Greenblatt Talks Immigration With ValueWalk

By Michelle Jones. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Legendary value investor Joel Greenblatt of Gotham Asset Management has a new book coming out. His book is entitled Common Sense, and it focuses on several big policies, including immigration, education and banking regulations. He sat down with ValueWalk to talk about some of the issues in his new book and about value investing.

Q3 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

This interview has been broken down into multiple parts. Click her...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Transports Sending Strong Bullish Message To Other Dow Indices?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Are Transportation stocks about to send a quality bullish message to other Dow indices this month? Sure could be!

This 3-pack looks at the Dow Jones Industrials, Transports, and Utilities indices on a monthly basis.

One week from the end of a month, the DJ Transports are attempting an important bullish breakout at (1). Unless a sharp reversal takes place in the next week, Transports could close out the month at new monthly closing highs!

The Dow is attempting to close at all-time highs this month, while the Dow Utilities Index remains a few percent below 2020 highs....



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Digital Currencies

Dalio Admits "I Might Be Missing Something" As Bitcoin Surges Above $18,000

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Since the US election, Bitcoin prices (in USD) have surged a stunning 40%, also lurching higher after each vaccine headline hit.

Source: Bloomberg

Getting ever closer to its all-time record high...

Source: Bloomberg

As crypto prices soared overnight, Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio stepped back into the fray, saying in a Twitter thread that “I might be missing something about Bitco...



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Mapping The Market

COVID-19 Forces More Than Half of Asset Management Firms to Accelerate Adoption of Digital Marketing Technology

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

There is no doubt that the use of technology to support client engagement initiatives brings both opportunities and threats but this has been brought into sharp focus this year with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crisis has brought to the fore the need for firms to enable flexibility in client engagement – the expectation that providers will communicate to clients on their terms, at their speed and frequency and on their preferred channels, is now a given. This is even more critical when clients are experiencing unparalleled anxiety from both market conditions and their own personal circumstances.

...

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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Promotions

Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

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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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