7 October 05
Black markets moved significantly higher today due to a two week closure of the inmate store caused by the transition to Keefe Commissary NetworK (KCN). The combination of sudden scarcity and peckish prisoners in a buying mood, pushed the widely followed interinmate commerce index, the Dow Jones Prison Tradeables, up 351 points to 11,233. The continuation of the bull market reflected inmate sceptism flying in the face of persistant ADOC optimism about the near term availability of store items from KCN.
Market leaders continue to excel. The high-nicotine index, known as the FAGPAQ, soared 450 points higher to 5011. Rolling Tobacco (.65oz par value 80 cents) gapped up and closed 1.10 higher at 3.60 in triple average turnover, surpassing last years high of 3.50 set during the Lewis Prison hostage situation. Neil Currie, an analyst at UBS, raised his near term forecast for rolling tobacco to 5.00 and added that “demand factors, such as prisoners on Yard 3 bidding for ten first class stamps for a pouch, should generate higher prices near term.”
Looking at chart patterns, the chip sector, CRISPS, broke out of an ascending triangle formation. Snack King Cheese Puffs exploded from a bullish tight range, climbing .70 to 3.90. Granny Goose Jalapeno Chips moved higher, finishing the session up .35 to 2.10. Nacho Tortilla Chips advanced .40 to 2.55. El Sabroso Pork Rinds climbed .32 to 4.01. Joe Osha, the Merill Lynch chip analyst said that “the delay in bringing Snyder Jalapeno Pretzels and Moon Lodge Pretzels to the market by KCN, while demand is rising, caused me to raise Andersons Thin Pretzels from a buy to a strong buy.”
Increased candy prices accounted for half of the 7% Small Crap gain.
Sour Balls spiked up .75 to 2.50 after a rumour circulated that Michael Milken had been rearrested and was looking to corner the Sour Balls market. Chewey Starbursts rallied .23 to .90. Chocolate Zingers advanced .56 to 6.20. Skittles hit 1.39 intraday, closing up .70 to 1.20, after private junk buyers, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, launched a hostile takeover of Skittles, bidding 1.25 for the entire supply.
Iced Cinnamon Rolls rose .15 to .75, and broke out of a reverse head and shoulders formation on the chart, closing .09 above the neckline. Little Debbys Brownies advanced .37 to 2.55, forming a cup-without-handle pattern.
The session’s lone loser was Zen Cigarette Rolling Kits, which tumbled .15 to .78. Analysts cited the absence of tobacco behind the fall.
Commenting on the run up of the Dow Jones Prison Tradeables and the FAGPAQ bubble, Stephen Roach, a Morgan Stanley economist, said that “the high prices in the P2P (prisoner to prisoner) marketplace should not cause mass unemployment or slow economic growth because the Arizona Dept. of Corrections has managed to keep the wage rate steady at ten cents an hour.”
Meredith Adler, a Lehman analyst, and lone bear, cautioned “store items are trading at dizzying and unsustainable heights. Prices are anywhere from four to six times book values. Accelerating price inflation in the P2P marketplace should cause a recession. Speculators looking for bargains should shop elsewhere.”
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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood