Science to carry

# # # By Juan Margalef Roig, Enrique Outerelo Domínguez and Salvador Miret Artés *

Can you sell what you do not have? In financial economics; yes. Selling short (or short) means selling securities that are not owned.

An investor can borrow, in exchange for the payment of a ‘rent’ (or premium), shares to another investor … and obtain significant benefits from this operation .

Suppose that our investor becomes ‘bearish’ with respect to the shares of a company; that is, it has the sensation or intuition that the action of a certain company will fall within a reasonable period of time. Through its broker, you can borrow 20,000 shares of that company from another investor to sell them immediately afterwards.

Author: Alberto Carrasco-Casado

Let us also suppose that at the time of this operation the stock is quoted at 13 euros and that, a few weeks later, according to the expectations of our investor, the price drops to 9 euros. At that time, you can undo the position; that is, buy 20,000 shares and return them to whoever had left them on loan.

If we consider that at that time the company has distributed a dividend of 1 euro per share, which the owner of the securities must receive, we can calculate the profit of the operation. Leaving aside the management expenses (agent commissions and the ‘rent’ of the shares) the profit is 20,000 x 13 – 20,000 x 9 – 20,000 x 1 = 60,000 euros.

This practice, common in the financial world, is regulated in Spain by the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV). The organization requires investors sufficient guarantees to cover all steps of the operation (especially, provided by other investors), which are returned with their interests at the end of the process.

If the stock, instead of falling, increases in price, the broker, following the regulations of the CNMV, will ask for more guarantees to the investor or will undo the position immediately. If the stock is unpaid at 15 euros, the investor’s losses will be: 20,000 x 13 – 20,000 x 15 – 20,000 x 1 = – 60,000 euros (the negative sign means losses).

The ‘bearish’ scenario could have been imagined or intuited, for example, by the actions of Spanish banks due to the Greek crisis of last July. So it was.


The same idea underlies the speculation known as ‘attack on a coin’ which is supposed to be a weak currency. Without wanting to give names of people or groups of people who have done it, we will briefly describe this scenario. The speculator, without departing from the regulations of country M or international regulations, asks for a loan from the currency of country M. Immediately after receiving the loan, he changes it to dollars or any other ‘strong’ currency that is chosen to operate . This last operation takes place within the financial system of country M, therefore the currency reserve of M decreases. This operation is repeated 4, 5 or 6 times in a short time, decreasing more and more the currency reserve of country M and, sometimes, in a generalized environment of rumors and signs of devaluation. When the devaluation expected by the speculator arrives, he returns the loans in the M currency, which, being devalued, leaves him an important benefit.

Let’s see this procedure with an example. The speculator will receive five successive loans of 200 million coins of M; and it will change each one of them with the following type of change: the first, 100 coins of M for 1 dollar; the second, 105 by 1; the third, 110 by 1; the fourth, 120 by 1; and the fifth, 125 for 1. Without counting the interest and the expenses of currency exchange, the speculator owes 1,000 million coins of M and will have in his possession 8,989,610.39 dollars. Suppose that after the official devaluation in M, the change is 150 M coins for 1 dollar. Then our individual will change $ 6,666,666.67 to obtain the 1,000 million M currency with which to repay their loans, and will retain a profit of $ 2,322,943.72.


* Juan Margalef Roig and Salvador Miret Artés are researchers from the CSIC at the Institute of Fundamental Physics. Enrique Outerelo Domínguez is a professor at the Complutense University of Madrid. The three are authors of the four volumes of the work Probability and Economics (Sanz and Torres).


About Mar Gulis:

#Bajo the collective name of Mar Gulis (in tribute to the great researcher and disseminator #


News Reduce heating costs: “A lot can be achieved with little effort”

News Reduce heating costs: “A lot can be achieved with little effort” News always well informed

Wednesday, 24.01.18 , written by Anja Schlicht Proper heating needs to be learned. But how should consumers know if their needs are too high? Heating mirrors help to get a feel for the heating level in Germany or a region. However, if homeowners want to make their four walls more climate-friendly with subsidies, they face a “funding jungle,” says Tanja Loitz, managing director of co2online. >

Heizkosten senken: Smarte Technologien haben viel Energiesparpotenzial

Tanja Loitz from co2online (Source: / Phil Dera)

By improper ventilation or radiators delivered owners and tenants pay each year too much money for a warm home. However, the greatest heat loss causes a bad energetic state of the house , explains Tanja Loitz. She is managing director of co2online. For example, the non-profit climate protection consultancy provides consumers with heating mirrors that enable them to assess their behavior and consumption.

In an interview with, Tanja Loitz explains how residents can reduce their heating costs , what potential smart technologies have for saving energy and why homeowners give away subsidies if they want to improve the energy-related state of their home.

Where do you get the data for the respective heating mirrors?

Tanja Loitz: The heating mirrors are calculated on the basis of real consumption data of residential buildings. In other words, the data comes from consumers who use our interactive energy-saving checks and enter their heating billing there, for example. All registered values ​​are collected anonymously in our building database and then evaluated. For the heating mirror for Germany in 2017 , there were around 60,000 building data of centrally heated residential buildings from all over Germany.

How can people find out the reasonable cost of heating if there is no current heating mirror for their city or municipality?

Tanja Loitz: If there is no regional heating mirror, consumers can also evaluate the heating energy consumption and the heating costs of their dwelling with the heating mirror for Germany. That’s a first good orientation.

Anyone familiar with the year of construction of their home will get a more accurate result with the heating mirrors according to building construction years – because these heating mirror versions take into account that older buildings require on average more heating energy than newer buildings because the stricter requirements for energy consumption apply.

Incidentally, the regional differences in heating energy consumption have many causes. One of these is the weather – of course, this is quite different on the coast than in the mountains. Therefore, regional evaluations of energy consumption are more accurate than transregional ones.

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What, in your experience, causes the greatest amount of heat loss in an apartment or house?

Tanja Loitz: The biggest heat losses are caused by a bad energetic condition of the building, for example by missing insulation or leaking windows and doors . Overheating or improper ventilation can also increase consumption and heating costs considerably.

Here can be a lot of effort with little effort. A sealing tape for ten windows, for example, only costs around 25 euros. Consumers sealing their windows can then save more than 1,000 kilowatt-hours and 80 euros each year in an average 125-square-foot house. Anyone who bumps several times a day, instead of permanently tilting the windows, can even save up to 170 euros a year.

Assess own heating consumption

Consumers can see the current heating level for Germany under #. Accordingly, the cost range for a 70 square meter apartment is between 550 and 1,200 euros per year.

What tips do you have for homeowners?

Tanja Loitz: Homeowners should in any case check whether the heating pipes are insulated , whether a pump exchange is worthwhile and whether their heating system is optimally adjusted. Because many heating systems do not run efficiently, because a hydraulic balancing is missing. In the next step, owners should also seek advice from an energy consultant and discuss the costs and benefits of energy-efficient modernization of the entire building together with them – in many cases, the greatest savings potential can be found here.

Thanks to smart technologies, radiators can now be conveniently controlled via an app on a mobile phone or tablet. But the acquisition costs for the technology are not exactly low. What potential do you see in smart heating?

Tanja Loitz: There is a lot of energy-saving potential in smart technologies – how much that exactly depends, of course, on the individual case. On average, ten percent are realistic in our view . The biggest advantage is that the heating can be adjusted exactly according to the needs of the occupants. It is always heated only when it should be warm. And only as much as necessary. Of course, this is much more efficient than heating, whether it’s home or not. In addition, the comfort can be increased , even with relatively simple and affordable programmable thermostats.

In addition, users with smart helpers can better observe how much heating energy they consume . Only those who know how much energy they use and what their costs are is motivated to save money. In addition, waste and heating defects are detected faster – and not only after the next billing.

The government supports consumers who want to optimize their heating system through different programs. What is your experience: Do owners know what grants you are entitled to?

Tanja Loitz: Unfortunately, in many cases, potential is given away . For a homeowner, it is almost impossible to find all the support programs without help. That’s why we often talk about a funding jungle .

There are not only federal programs but also countries. Added to this are municipal subsidies and even subsidies from energy providers and manufacturers. Who should keep track? We therefore recommend not only our free FördermittelCheck, but also always a conversation with an energy consultant on site in case of extensive renovation projects.

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