How HFT Destroys Markets: 50 Pages Of Evidence

Back in 2009, when aside from a few insiders, nobody had heard of HFT, Zero Hedge launched its crusade to expose the algorithmic scourge that has since then caused an equity, treasury and now US Dollar flash crash, and has been the subject of a Michael Lewis bestseller and resulted in countless market halts and failures. More importantly, there is now roughly 50 pages of just bibliography citing the evidence-based, academic research that has shown just how pervsavibely, maliciously and premeditatedly HFTs manipulate, destabilize, impair and otherwise destroy every single market in which they participate.

Is Japan Zimbabwe?

"Because the Bank of Japan gobbles up dramatic amounts of debt, the cost of financing government spending stays low. It’s been said that a country that issues debt in its own currency cannot go broke. Theoretically that may be correct: the central bank can always monetize the debt, i.e. buy up any new debt being issued. But in practice, there has to be a valve."

"Record Corporate Cash And Profitability" Are Lies: Here Is The Truth

Since the number of people who still believe this lie has soared in recent months, it is our duty to conduct a public service announcement to show the truth. Here it is, from Credit Suisse:"Cash levels have slipped relative to assets, while free cash flow yields are nearly back to 2007 lows." and "Corporate cash levels in the US are still high relative to history, but have been worked down in recent years."

Global Trade Grinds To A Crawl

"Shipping freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe fell 12.4 percent," for the week Reuters notes. This is seventh consecutive week of declines and puts us squarely back at levels last seen in 2013.

Vladimir Putin Proposes "Eurasian" Currency Union

While the distraction that is the stock market continues to enthrall most Americans, the big shots in the global monetary which for now are taking place behind the scenes, are getting ever louder. One person who is paying attention to the failure of the US to grasp that the unipolar world of the 1980s is long gone, is Russia's Vladimir Putin, who earlier today proposed creating a "Eurasian" currency union which would have Belarus and Kazakhstan as its first members, which already are Russia's partners in a political and economic union made up of former Soviet republics.

5 Things To Ponder: What Hath The Fed Wrought

"I was having lunch with a very dear friend of mine yesterday, who is also a very successful financial planner and advisor, who stunned me with an obvious question: 'Has the dumb money become the smart money?'"

The Farce That Is The "Market" In One Chart

This is what happened to the world's most valuable company in the last minutes of trading, when a few million shares in the last 10 minutes, and a volume slam in the last few seconds, sent the stock from just shy of $128 where it had been trading most of the day, to just over $125. A nearly $10 billion move in market cap in seconds.... on nothing. 

Which European National Central Bank Is Most Likley To Become Insolvent, And What Happens Then?

In the aftermath of the ECB's QE announcement one topic has received far less attention than it should: the unexpected collapse of risk-sharing across the Eurosystem as a precursor to QE. This is what prompted "gold-expert" Willem Buiter of Citigroup to pen an analysis titled "The Euro Area: Monetary Union or System of Currency Boards", in which he answers two simple yet suddenly very critical for the Eurozone questions: which "currency boards", aka national central banks, are suddenly most at risk of going insolvent, and should the worst case scenario take place, and one or more NCBs go insolvent what happens then?

100,000 Layoffs And Counting: Is This The New Normal?

"This time a year ago, the oil industry's biggest problem was finding a way to deal with the “retirement tsunami” about to crash down on it as older oilfield workers hung up their cork boots to enjoy freedom. Now, with oil prices still in the doldrums, many of those same workers are lucky to be hanging onto their jobs, while others have been booted from the payroll as an ugly wave of layoffs takes hold."

US Taxpayers To Fund Ukraine Bailout With Bond Guarantee

CCC-rated Ukraine is preparing to issue more debt, debt with a Aa+/AAA rating because it will come with the explicit guarantee of the United States of America. In other words, after raiding Greek pensions with the IMF's blessing, the Kiev puppet government is now going after the "full faith and credit" of the US... backed by its taxpayers.  In yet other words, the latest Ukraine "bailout" is courtesy of you, dear US taxpaying reader.

When The World's Reserve Currency Flash Crashed: "I Haven’t Seen Anything Like It Since The Financial Crisis’

On Wednesday afternoon, just after the close of the market, the US Dollar, the world's reserve currency flash crashed. “I haven’t seen anything like it since the financial crisis,” said Paul Lambert, head of currency at Insight Investment, which manages $480 billion of assets. For a few minutes on Wednesday, the lack of dollar buyers caused a short-term freeze in electronic trading platforms, according to a New York-based trader at a major currency-dealing bank. “There was a lot of shouting on the desk, a lot of nervousness,” the trader said.

Income, Education and Inequality in the "Recovery": Prepare to be Surprised

In other words, wages are declining even in fields where advanced degrees are supposed to inoculate the highly educated from declines in earnings. This is not entirely surprising to anyone who has first-hand knowledge of the tremendous glut in workers with advanced degrees, but it does drive a stake in the heart of the argument that the solution to income inequality is more education.

Rig Count Plunge Continues: Total Rigs Lowest Since March 2011, Fastest Drop Since 1986

The rig collapse continues, with "only" 1,069 rigs currently operating, down 5.0% from last week's 1,125, and the lowest since March 2011. The hope (because lately that's all there is) is that since oil rigs are plunging at an annual pace last seen 1986, that sooner or later production will be mothballed. However, as the blue line in the chart below shows, quite the contrary is happening as plummeting oil rigs simply means even more record production.

The Planned Obsolescence of America

America is headed for planned obsolescence by a shortsighted, uneducated and careless society that values the enjoyment of cheap trinkets and quick fixes rather than the solid value of time tested products and customs.