Pulling Back the Veil on an Often Misunderstood Situation

In the annals of financial history, the OptionSellers debacle stands as a cautionary tale, leaving many to ponder: What really happened? Delving into the intricate details unveils a narrative that goes beyond the surface, exploring the circumstances and decisions that led to a seismic event in the world of trading.

The Enigma of OptionSellers Unveiled

The OptionSellers saga wasn’t just a market event; it was a confluence of factors that resulted in unprecedented consequences. To understand what really happened, one must navigate through the complexities of the trading strategy, market dynamics, and the unexpected twists that shaped this chapter in financial history.

OptionSellers Strategy: Selling Options and the Diversified Portfolio

As the name implies, the core of OptionSellers’ strategy was selling options on various commodities. The portfolio was diversified, encompassing commodities such as gold, silver, coffee, wheat, soybeans, cotton, crude oil, and natural gas, among others. The strategy involved selling options with strike prices higher than the prevailing market prices, essentially betting that the prices wouldn’t rise to those levels.

The Infamous Flash Rally: Unraveling the Mystery

The catastrophic turn of events occurred during the week of November 12th, 2018, with a sudden and unexplained rally in the price of natural gas. While the market price was typically between $2.50 and $3.00, it experienced a flash rally to above $4.00, with a brief spike to $5.00. The cause of the rally remained a mystery, contributing to a lack of liquidity in the option markets.

Liquidity Crisis: Forced to Buy Back at Catastrophic Prices

Amidst the uncertainty, OptionSellers found themselves in a liquidity crisis. Forced to buy back their short options at a time when nobody in the market was willing to sell, they faced the challenge of closing positions at catastrophically high prices—5x to 10x what would have been expected during a normal rally.

The Unraveling: Financial Fallout and Legal Ramifications

The consequences were swift and severe. The account balances were wiped out, leading to financial fallout and legal ramifications. The aftermath was not just financial losses but the enduring impact of legal battles, operational expenses, and ongoing financial obligations that lingered even after the firm became dormant.

Dispelling Misconceptions: A Bad Trade Outcome, Not Fraud

It’s crucial to dispel misconceptions that equated the OptionSellers event to fraud or unethical behavior. James Cordier, while facing a very bad trade outcome, acted in good faith. All clients were qualified, understanding the strategy and associated risks. The comparison to fraudsters was a misunderstanding of a trade gone awry, not a malicious scheme.

Lessons Learned and Moving Forward

Unraveling what really happened with OptionSellers reveals a combination of market dynamics, unforeseen events, and the inherent risks of trading strategies. It’s a cautionary tale that underscores the importance of risk management, transparency, and the unpredictable nature of financial markets.


As we reflect on the OptionSellers episode, the lessons learned become integral to shaping a resilient and informed approach to trading. What really happened is a mosaic of factors, a narrative that emphasizes the need for continuous adaptation and an unwavering commitment to transparency in the ever-evolving landscape of finance.