How Barclays Got Caught Red-Handed With "Pernicious HFT Fraud"

First it was gold, now it is HFT - poor Barclays just can't get away with any market rigging crime these days: "In sum, Barclays’ courting of high frequency traders, and its willingness to falsify the extent of high frequency trading activity in its dark pool, was contrary to Barclays’ representations to clients that Barclays operated with “transparency” and provided a safe venue in which to trade. As described by one former senior Barclays Director:  “there was a lot going on in the dark pool that was not in the best interests of clients. The practice of almost ensuring that every counterparty would be a high frequency firm, it seems to me that that wouldn’t be in the best interest of their clients . . . It’s almost like they are building a car and saying it has an airbag and there is no airbag or brakes.”

Blind Faith

Obamacare, the Stimulus, TARP, Fast and Furious, support of the Egyptian regime change, Libyan Leading from Behind, four American killed in Benghazi, blaming a video for the Benghazi attacks, the IRA targeting, NSA email and phone file storage, Syrian Red Line, the Russian takeover of Crimea, the VA handling of veterans, release of Taliban terrorists from Guantanamo, the onslaught of children crossing the Mexican border, two years of lost emails of the key IRS individual and now Iraq. I can’t imagine any previous U.S. President having so many scandals attributed to his administration and virtually none of them adequately answered or resolved.

Goldman Issues "Kiss Of Death": USA 81% Likely To Reach World Cup Knockouts

Forget Maradonna's "Hand Of God", and Luis Suarez' "Jaws Of Doom"; Goldman Sachs just issued their latest set of updated predictions for the FIFA World Cup and unleashed a "kiss of death" on USA. The bank (whose win rate on predictions so far has been a lowly 30%) forecast the odds of USA making it to the 2nd Round (the knockout stage) is 81.6% (with Portugal a lowly 5.3% likely). Given the variance of results so far, we hope they are right; but their odds seem a little long (and they have Belgium beating USA in the next round).

Baghdad May Lose Its Drinking Water As ISIS Approaches Second Largest Dam

Against a background of having lost control of all western border crossings, Iraqi officials are concerned that ISIS fighters are advancing on the Haditha Dam, the second-largest in Iraq. With militants pouring in from the north, the northeast and the northwest, The NY Times reports, army officers told employees to stay inside and to be prepared to open the dam’s floodgates if ordered to do so. "This will lead to the flooding of the town and villages and will harm you also," warned one worried employee but this would not be the first time that the Iraqi government and ISIS have engaged in dam warfare, as the closure of the Falluja dam earlier in the year starved areas downstream in the provinces of Najaf and Diwaniya of water needed for crops. The situation is growing more grave as Maliki rejected calls for a caretaker government and has forced Iran's hand to help. Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia noted "the Iranians are playing in a big way in Iraq."

The "Never Say No" Economy

"No" is not a word one hears very often in the new normal centrally-planned, no consequence world in which the world increasingly finds itself. As ConvergEx's Nick Colas notes, there is good reason not to scare people off as the power of the word “No” in human interaction shows its psychological heft is inversely proportional to its length. From early childhood, Colas points out, we learn that “No” signifies a negative outcome, and that wiring stays with us the rest of our lives. Studies using brain-imaging scans show this in detail. Subjects who hear the words “Yes” and “no” exhibit dramatically different brain activity. “No” gets processed slightly more slowly, but with powerful negative emotion. The result is less trust and cooperation from the person who hears “No”. If that is your desired result, “No” is your word of choice. But if it isn’t, try something else.

"No Brainer" - Stocks Surge Most In A Week On Worst Economic Data In 5 Years

Just imagine how strong the rally would have been if US GDP had contracted by 5%? The early weakness in US equities was instantly dismissed the moment US stock markets opened for trading to the general algo public (and POMO began to be disseminated). The S&P retraced a perfect Fib 61.8% of its losses of yesterday's highs and absolutely decoupled from the reality of FX (USDJPY for example) and bond (Treasury) markets suggesting today's low-volume levitation (after big volume pre-open plunge) is nothing but a dead cat bounce. Of course, the ammo for the magical ramp was a short-squeeze and a "VIX-Smash" but even that could not keep pace with the idiocy in stocks. Gold, silver, copper, and oil all rose along with stocks. Late-day VIX-slam lifted the S&P to unch on the week (same as "most shorted" stocks) but was unable to extend. As we 'joked' before the open, "If the complete collapse of the US economy doesn't send the S&P to new all time highs, nothing will."

In The First Quarter $250 Billion In Federal Debt Bought Negative $74 Billion In GDP

Iin Q1, US total Federal debt rose by $250 billion, to a record (duh) $17.6 trillion. This debt "bought" a negative $74 billion in GDP, which declined to $17.0 trillion. Said otherwise, this was the first quarter since the end of the recession when debt rose (by a whopping amount), and when GDP declined sequentially in nominal terms.

NY AG Sues Barclays For HFT Fraud - Live Feed

In what appears to be the first real action post-Flash Boys, NY AG Eric Schneiderman will announce at 4pm ET that Barclays will be sued over fraud allegations related to its Dark Pool's preferential treatment of high-frequency traders. As Bloomberg notes, Barclays runs one of the market's largest dark pools. This comes 2 months after the NY AG sent requests for information to various major HFT shops. It seems, just as we noted here, that a potential scapegoat is being primed 'just in case' this 'market' can't withstand the Fed's pullback.

Spot The Odd "Market" Out

One of these things is not like the other; one of these things just doesn't belong; can you tell which thing is not like the others, by the time you finish this song?

"We Are In Uncharted Waters" Singapore Central Bank Warns Of "Uneasy Calm"

Well, at least someone gets it. While just about every other central bank on the planet is giving everyone two thumbs up on the economy, the deputy chair of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (Lim Hng Kiang) said last night at a dinner that “an uneasy calm seems to have settled in markets” and that “we remain in uncharted waters.” It was quite surprising to see such pointed language from a central banking official. Mr. Lim jabbed at the “obvious” risks and said there would be “bumps on the road” ahead.

Boehner To Sue Obama

Now that Eric Cantor is history, crushed by an unexpected Tea Party "David" (literally and metaphorically) as the US population finally begins to say no to an artifical "two-party" system which is quite united in only serving its Wall Street masters, it is time for that other republican, none other than the consummate folding lawn chair John Boehner, to scramble fearing for his own political career. And since the only way the GOP knows to challenge the implosion of the US republic is by making loud noises and providing hours of hollow theatrical entertainment, here comes Boehner with the biggest soap opera he could muster: moments ago the speaker announced he plans to sue Obama "on behalf of the House over his frequent use of executive actions that Republicans believe are beyond his authority."

Ghana Sends Plane Full Of Dollars To Brazil As 'Black Stars' Demand "Physical Cash"

Ahead of tomorrow's make-or-break FIFA World Cup game against Portugal, the Ghana "Black Stars" are not happy. Amid controversy over match-fixing, the players have demanded that the World Cup appearance fees they are owed be paid; and as Bloomberg reports, "The players insisted that they will want physical cash." The Ghanaian government has chartered a plane and the dollars are on their way to Brazil. Perhaps the players want to invest it in the latest grand idea - Ghana's first hedge fund has just been launched (prepare for more emails).

Chairman Of China's Largest Copper Producer Commits Suicide By Jumping From Hotel

While news of high-ranking financial executive suicides in the west have become week to week news, the troubling trend has spread to Asia. A string of Chinese officials have killed themselves in recent months, with speculation linking many to a crackdown on graft. However, as SCMP reports, this weekend saw the head of China's largest copper producer 'fell to this death' from a hotel owned by his company with a state-run newspaper claiming the 52-year-old committed suicide (due to work pressures) following corruption allegations. The timing of Wei Jianghong, chairman of state-owned Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group, suicide appears catalyzed by the growing anxiety over the widespread implications of China's rehypothecation commodity-finance scandal. That leaves one question - what did he know that markets remain ignorant of for now?

Why The US Will Never Become A Net Oil Exporter

"According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's reference scenario, domestic oil production is going to peak at 14.6 million barrels a day in 2019 and then drop to 12.7 million barrels a day in 2040. Given the 2013 consumption level of 18.9 million barrels of crude a day, the U.S. will never be a net oil exporter under this scenario,... The U.S. crude producers need the flexibility of exporting oil or selling it domestically. As for the political dreams of making the U.S. a major oil exporting power, or even of energy independence backed by the shale boom, they are just that -- dreams."

Bill Clinton Speaks Live On The Economy, Immigration And Hillary's Bank Account: Live Webcast

Now that both Hillary and Chelsea have managed to insert their feet deep inside their mouth when discussing their relative wealth (or lack thereof) and/or their perception of money, it is up to ole' slick himself to pull their feet out of the fire so to speak. Watch him opine live on the US economy, immigration and certainly Hillary's bank account in the following live Bloomberg webcast from the Clinton Global Initiative.

Quote Of The Day: US Treasury Secretary Opines On "Broken Hard Drives"

Presented with little comment (since putting into words an open-mouthed gasp is difficult) but Treasury Secretary Jack lew has chimed in on the IRS "Lost Emails" scandal:

LEW: SOMETIMES A BROKEN HARD DRIVE IS JUST A BROKEN HARD DRIVE

Perhaps the NYPost put it best: "The thing about dogs eating homework is, it could actually happen. This can’t. This is "The dog ate my hard drive, broke into another building, ate the backup of the hard drive, then broke into six other top officials’ offices and ate their hard drives also."