My introduction to Warrant came the same way little brothers get their hands on music, by stealing it from their big brothers. The 80's had ended and this strange thing called The 90's was just beginning. Something radically different was just on the musical horizon, but for the time being, Glam Rock still ruled the day. MTV still played music videos.

That's when I discovered Warrant. Another glam-clone in a long line of similar music acts, Warrant consisted of men with teased hair singing about sex. Their breakthrough album, Cherry Pie, featured a clothed waitress on roller skates and a strategically placed slice of cherry pie, slang for you know what. However, Warrant was deeper than just singing about love, lust and hot women. On the track. Love in Stereo, for example, the lyrics are about bangin two chicks at the same time!

Getting their start in the same vein as almost every other glam act, Warrant spent time slaving away in the Los Angeles club scene. By September 1986, Warrant was beginning to reel in fans and, more importantly, groupies. By 1987, the bad had finalized its line up and had recorded a demo. However, their first break would not come until 1988, when two semi-stoner metal heads had one most excellent adventure, one so excellent it required a soundtrack. Warrant was there to supply one song, which appeared in the movie, but not on the soundtrack. Unfazed, Warrant pushed on.

Towards the middle of 88, they had penned a deal with Columbia records. They immediately set to work on Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich, even though they weren't even close yet. DRFSR did not fair well on he charts initially. It wasn't until MTV got its hands on their second single, a power ballad called Heaven, that interest in the band was sparked. Warrant hit the road, supporting D'Mols Band and Brittany Fox. By the time DRFSR went platinum in 1989, Warrant was opening for the Bad Boys of Glam, Motley Crue.

After this year and a half of touring, Warrant hit the studio to start writing and recording their follow-up to Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich. In six months, Warrant cranked out Cherry Pie, a sex laden disc that actually contained some good songs. The first single was the title track, which I've already talked about. However, the second single released was Uncle Tom's Cabin, which had nothing to do with slavery, racism, or the south, let alone the book of the same name. Instead, the track was an acoustic rocker about witnessing a murder, and seeing the sheriff dump the body in a lake, next to Uncle Tom's Cabin. On the b-side to this single was a cover of Queen's We Will Rock You, which rocked the hell out of me, until I realized it wasn't their song. The last song on the album is an Ode to Tipper Gore. I originally liked this song as it is nothing more than blatant vulgarity, which is cool as hell when you're a 9 year old boy ("hehe, he said fuck, giggle giggle"). Of course, at that age I knew nothing of Dee Snider, Frank Zappa, Tipper Gore and the PMRC.

Warrant would ride the success of Cherry Pie by touring with the best, and I mean absofantatasticly amazing, glam rock band ever, Poison. Unfortunately, like little girls, the two bands broke their friendship, and tour, after a fight ensued over a dressing room. A DRESSING ROOM! Do they wonder why we questioned their manhood? Warrant did not loose a step, by opening for David Lee Roth, sans Van Halen. Things we're going well until Jani Lane, Warrant's lead singer, fell through the stage and broke some of his ribs. Say it with me now, "D'ohhh."

After taking two months off to recover, Warrant hit the road again, this time headlining their first tour, Blood, Sweat and Beers. The tour saw Trixter and Fire House open for Warrant. By November of 1991, Cherry Pie had sold almost 3 million copies. A Month later they started writing their third album, Dog Eat Dog.

Unfortunately for the cock-rock quintet, this is also the time two bands, Metallica and Nirvana, hit the mainstream and completely changed the idea of what was rock and roll. Within a matter of hours, nothing was more uncool than Glam, save maybe Disco. Unfazed, they pressed forward and recorded Dog Eat Dog, an album they tried to give a heavier edge to. Even though the album shipped gold, and Warrant opened for British metal legends Iron Maiden (EXCELLENT!) Dog Eat Dog failed to perform as well as their previous albums. This was the signal fire that not all was well in the Warrant camp. In February of 1993 Jani Lane decided to split the group and head off to start a solo project. One month later, Columbia dropped Warrant as glam was officially dead. Four months later, Jani Lane would come back and propose another Warrant album.

1994 saw Warrant shuffle around a few members as Joey Allen and Steven Sweet both left the band to pursue other interests. A few months later, they signed with CMC Records as well as Japanese label Pony Canyon Records. By November, recording had started on Ultraphobic, their fourth studio offering. Warrant would tour across Europe and Japan while grunge reigned supreme across The States. In 1996, Warrant released Belly to Belly, which disappointed wrestling fans everywhere as it had nothing to do with the suplex of the same name. The following year saw a compilation of live songs collected over the years, and more line-up changes. 1999 saw the release of a greatest hits album, Greatest and Latest, and even more line-up changes.

In the new millennium, Warrant hit the road again, this time with Ratt and L.A. Guns, making their way across the states during a weird 80's revival. Several other 80's bands also made their own tours across the states, including Poison, Motley Crue, Winger, etc. In 2001, Warrant covered Hellion/Electric Eyes for a Judas Priest tribute disc, and later, they'd contribute to a Bon Jovi tribute cd. They also released their most recent studio album, Under The Influence, which is mostly a cd of cover songs, except for two new tracks shoved on at the end.


In this writeup, we'll be looking at financial instruments called warrants. Now, we could talk about this for a long time, but in fact, warrants are simply options that are not backed by the exchange. In the rest of this writeup, we'll focus on the differences between warrants and options. This assumes a certain familiarity with basic option theory, that can be found in the appropriate node. If you know this, congratulations - you understand 95% of what there is to know about warrants. The rest is mainly some technical details that are mostly harmless nonetheless can bite.

The first implication of the difference between warrants and options is that warrants and options are not fungible (fungibility apparently has nothing to do with fungus, unless you store the contracts in a wet place). In other words, if we are long a warrant, and short an option, we can't close the position, even if strike and expiry are the same. The warrant represents a contract with the issuer, and the option a contract with the exchange, and we can's simply assume they are the same contract partner.

Secondly, it is not possible to short a warrant. Quite simply, the issuer has sold the obligation to honor the contract - usually to sell you the shares, as most warrants are calls. Only the issuer can create these warrants, and by shorting, you would assume the obligation to deliver shares on the issuer's behalf. That's just plain weird, not to mention messy at settlement. So, remember: don't short warrants. It's illegal. A consequence of this is that it is possible for warrants to be more expensive than the equivalent option. It is not possible to arbitrage the difference by selling the warrant and buying the option, netting cash: selling the warrant is not possible if one has no position.

The third difference between warrants and options is that a warrant can have any form the issuer wants. Any expiry, any price, any contract size, and it is even possible to have a different underlying, such as a basket of shares. In particular, warrants are often used to create long-dated options.

The last, and probably main difference between warrants and options stems from the fact the obligation to deliver the shares comes from the issuer. Now, if the issuer is the company itself, that does not really matter - if the company goes bankrupt, the option is worthless anyway. However, if the issuer is someone else, this does create a problem. Imagine Lehman Brothers sold you a warrant in 2008 on a stock that happened to weather the crisis. Too bad, you lost your money anyway, because Lehman defaulted. This credit risk means that a warrant issued by a third party should be worth less than the equivalent option, as there is a chance the contract won't be honored. However, we have just seen that because it's not possible to short a warrant, a warrant might in fact be more expensive than the equivalent option. This may help one to choose between buying the warrant or the option.

In the discussion above, we have briefly explored the main differences between options and warrants. In a nutshell, warrants are options that are not backed by the exchange, but by a third party. This means the contracts are inherently different, in particular because a warrant contract could be defaulted upon.

Oh, and those employee stock options? If they are issued by the company, they are technically warrants. And by the way, this is not investment advice - so don't come complaining if you thought it was and it cost you money.

War"rant (?), n. [OE. warant, OF. warant a warrant, a defender, protector, F. garant, originally a p. pr. pf German origin, fr. OHG. wer&emac;n to grant, warrant, G. gewahren; akin to OFries. wera. Cf. Guarantee.]


That which warrants or authorizes; a commission giving authority, or justifying the doing of anything; an act, instrument, or obligation, by which one person authorizes another to do something which he has not otherwise a right to do; an act or instrument investing one with a right or authority, and thus securing him from loss or damage; commission; authority.

Specifically: --


A writing which authorizes a person to receive money or other thing.

(b) Law

A precept issued by a magistrate authorizing an officer to make an arrest, a seizure, or a search, or do other acts incident to the administration of justice.

(c) Mil. & Nav.

An official certificate of appointment issued to an officer of lower rank than a commissioned officer. See Warrant officer, below.


That which vouches or insures for anything; guaranty; security.

I give thee warrant of thy place. Shak.

His worth is warrant for his welcome hither. Shak.


That which attests or proves; a voucher.


Right; legality; allowance.



Bench warrant. Law See in the Vocabulary. -- Dock warrant Com., a customhouse license or authority. -- General warrant. Law See under General. -- Land warrant. See under Land. -- Search warrant. Law See under Search, n. -- Warrant of attorney Law, written authority given by one person to another empowering him to transact business for him; specifically, written authority given by a client to his attorney to appear for him in court, and to suffer judgment to pass against him by confession in favor of some specified person. Bouvier. -- Warrant officer, a noncommissioned officer, as a sergeant, corporal, bandmaster, etc., in the army, or a quartermaster, gunner, boatswain, etc., in the navy. -- Warrant to sue and defend. (a) O. Eng.Law A special warrant from the crown, authorizing a party to appoint an attorney to sue or defend for him. (b) A special authority given by a party to his attorney to commence a suit, or to appear and defend a suit in his behalf. This warrant is now disused. Burrill.


© Webster 1913.

War"rant (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Warranted; p. pr. & vb. n. Warranting.] [OE. waranten, OF. warantir, garantir, guarantir, garentir, garandir, F. garantir to warrant, fr. OF. warant, garant, guarant, a warrant, a protector, a defender, F. garant. &root;142. See Warrant, n.]


To make secure; to give assurance against harm; to guarantee safety to; to give authority or power to do, or forbear to do, anything by which the person authorized is secured, or saved harmless, from any loss or damage by his action.

That show I first my body to warrant. Chaucer.

I'll warrant him from drowning. Shak.

In a place Less warranted than this, or less secure, I can not be. Milton.


To support by authority or proof; to justify; to maintain; to sanction; as, reason warrants it.

True fortitude is seen in great exploits, That justice warrants, and that wisdom guides. Addison.

How little while it is since he went forth out of his study, -- chewing a Hebrew text of Scripture in his mouth, I warrant. Hawthorne.


To give a warrant or warranty to; to assure as if by giving a warrant to.

[My neck is] as smooth as silk, I warrant ye. L' Estrange.

4. Law (a)

To secure to, as a grantee, an estate granted; to assure.


To secure to, as a purchaser of goods, the title to the same; to indemnify against loss.


To secure to, as a purchaser, the quality or quantity of the goods sold, as represented. See Warranty, n., 2.


To assure, as a thing sold, to the purchaser; that is, to engage that the thing is what it appears, or is represented, to be, which implies a covenant to make good any defect or loss incurred by it.


© Webster 1913.

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