2017년 11월 23일 목요일

[메모] 탈레스와 최초의 (올리브 압착기) 옵션 거래


※ 발췌 (excerpts):


출처 1 & 2: http://hsalbert.blogspot.kr/2017/10/1-11.html


출처 3: Aristotle. Politics. 2nd edition. Translated by Carnes Lord. University of Chicago Press, 2013. 구글도서: Book I, Chapter 11:

( ... ... ) There is, for example, the scheme of Thales of Miletus. This is a money-making scheme that is attributed to him on account of his wisdom, yet it happens to be general in application. For they say that when some on account of his poverty reproached him with the uselessness of philosophy, Thales, observing through his knowledge of astronomy that there would be a good harvest of olives, was able during the winter to raise a small sum of money to place in deposit on all the olive presses in both Miletus and Chios, which he could hire at a low rate because there was no one was competing with him; then, when the season came, and many of them were suddenly in demand at the same time, he hired them out on what terms he pleased and collected a great deal of money, thus showing how easy it is for philosophers to become wealthy if they so wish, but it is not this they are serious about. Thales, then, is said to have made a display of his wisdom in this manner, though, as we said, this piece of art of money-making is universal, if someone is able to establish a monopoly for himself. Thus even some cities raise revenue in this way when they are short of money; they establish a monopoly on things being sold. ( ... ... )

출처 4: http://www.iep.utm.edu/thales/

( ... ) He raised the money to put a deposit on the olive presses of Miletus and Chios, so that when the harvest was ready, he was able to let them out at a rate which brought him considerable profit. ( ... )


출처 5: What is the Fair Rent Thales Should Have Paid? (Vasiliki Makropoulou, Raphael N. Markellos 지음. ...)

Unlike common belief, derivative instruments are not recent inventions. ( ... ... ) People had been telling Thales that his philosophy was useless, since it had left him a poor man. "But he, deducing from his knowledge of stars that there would be a good crop of olives, while it was still winter raised a little capital and used it to pay deposits on all the oil-presses in Miletus and Chios, thus securing an option on their hire. This cost him only a small sum as there were no other bidders. Then the time of the harvest came and as there was a sudden and simultaneous demand or oil-presses, he hired them out at any price he liked to ask. He made a lot of money and so demonstrated that it is easy for philosophers to be rish, if they want to; but that is not their object in life. Such is the story of Thales, how he gave proof of his cleverness but, we have said, the princile can be generally applied; the way to make money in business is to get, if you can, a monopoly for yourself. Hence we find governments also on certain occasions employing this menthod when they are short of money. They secure a sales monopoly for themselves."

The story of Thales in Aristotle's writings is often cited as the first published discussion of a derivative instument (see Allende and Elias, 2004; Brach 2003; Copeland and Antikarov, 2001; Cummins, Phillips, and Smith, 1998; Dimson and Mussavian, 1999; Ineichen, 2001; LeVeaue, 1994).

Thales actually purchased a call option. By giving depoisits for the use of the olive presses, he purchased the right, but not the obligation, to hire the presses at a very low price since there were no bidders. Had the harvest been poor, Thales would have chosen not to exercise his right to rent the presses and lost only the initial deposit, i.e., the option premium. Given that the olive harvest was bountiful Thales exercised the option and made a lot of money. In option pricing terminology the predetermined rental price, at which Thales contracted, is called the exercise price. If the market price is higher than the exercise price at maturity, the option is said to be "in-the-money" whereas otherwise "out-of-money". Note that Thales' option was issued "at-the-money", meaning that the exercise price of the contract was equal to the rental price at the time the contract was entered into. Thales' option expired deep in-the-money, which induced him to exercise it and, as a result he became rich. Whether the option would be of value or not at maturity depended on the market rental price of presses at that time. The latter was affected by the size of the olive harvest. Therefore, in the terminology of options, the underlying asset was the size of the olive harvest. The greatest the size of the harvest of olives to be pressed, the more valuable the option would be. Generally, the payoff from an option increases linearly with the price of the underlying variable at maturity. As Aristotle says, Thales managed to secure a high rental price by creating monopoly for himself. ( ... ... )


출처 6: How an Ancient Greek Philosopher Bet on the Future – and Won! (
Professor Leighton Vaughan Williams, Nottingham Business School. Apr 2013)

( ... ) Aristotle (in part XI of Book 1 of his ‘Politics’) relates the tale According to Aristotle’s account, Thales put a deposit during the winter on all the olive-presses in Chios and Miletus, which would allow him exclusive use of the presses after the harvest. Because the harvest was in the future, and nobody could be sure whether the harvest would be plentiful or not, he was able to secure the contracts for a very low price. In fact, we are informed that there was not one bid against him. From the olive press owners’ point of view, they were protecting themselves against a poor harvest by earning at least some money up front regardless of how things turned out.

Thales’ bet came off, big time. The harvest was excellent and there was heavy demand for the presses. Thales held the monopoly and was able to rent them out at a huge profit. Either he was an expert forecaster or he had calculated that a bad harvest would not lose him much in terms of lost deposits, whereas the upside of a good harvest was enormous. “Thus he showed the world that philosophers can easily be rich if they like, but that their ambition is of another sort”, wrote Aristotle.

In effect, Thales had exercised the first known options contract, more than 2,500 years ago. Today we would term it as buying a ‘call option’, i.e. an option to buy something at some designated price at some future date for a fixed fee (or ‘premium’). Put another way, it is an agreement that gives the purchaser the right (but not the obligation) to buy a commodity, stock, bond or other instrument at a specified price (the ‘strike price’) at the end of or within a specified time period. When the price exceeds the strike price, the option is said to be ‘in the money’.  ( ... )


출처 7: Aristotle and Business : Friend or Foe (Fred D. Miller, Jr., ... )

( ... ... ) Aristotle gives a report of commodity speculation in his day involving Thales of Miletus, the first philosopher:
People were reproaching Thales for being poor, claiming that it showed his philosophy was useless. The story goes that he realized through his knowledge of the stars that a good olive harvest was coming. So, while it was still winter, he raised a little money and put a deposit on all the olive presses in Miletus and Chios for future lease. He hired these at a low rate, because no one was bidding against him. When the olive season came and many people suddenly sought olive presses at the same time, he hired them out at whatever rate he chose. He collected a lot of money, showing that philosopher could easily become wealth[y] if they wished, but that this is not their concern. Thales is said to have demonstrated his own wisdom in this way. But ... his scheme involves a generally applicable principle of wealth acquisition: to secure a monopoly if one can. Hence some city-states also adopt this scheme when they are in need of money: they secure a monopoly in goods for sale.   (Politics. I. 11. 1259a9-23)


출처 7: 파생금융 사용 설명서 (권오상 지음. 부키 2013년)

※ 발췌:     ( ... ... ) 기원전 6세기경 밀레투스 철학자 탈레스의 얘기 ( ... ) 그는 곧 있을 올리브의 수확이 풍작일 것이라 전망하고는 주변을 수소문해 올리브 압착기드을 매우 싼 가격에 사용할 수 있는 권리를 확보했다. 그의 전망대로 올리브는 대풍작을 거뒀고, 탈레스는 미리 확보한 사용권을 통해 엄청난 이익을 보았다. 탈레스가 한 거래는 미리 돈을 지불하고 후에 올리브 작황이 좋지 않아 올리브유 압착기가 필요 없는 상황이 되면 아무 의무를 질 필요가 없다는 점에서 선도가 아니라 옵션을 매입한 상황이었다. 이처럼 최초의 파생금융이 옵션일 수도 있다는 사실은 ( ... ) 흥미롭기 그지없다. ( ... ... ) 따라서 옵션이 현대에 출현했다거나 거래소가 옵션을 장내화하면서 중요한 의미를 가졌다고 말하는 것은 잘못된 진술이다. 옵션은 거래소가 생기기 전에도 거래된 기록이 있고, 옵션의 한 형태인 워런트는 1970년대보다 한참 이전부터 거래되고 있었기 때문이다.

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