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More Lies: Watchdog Finds Government "Greatly Exaggerated" Success In Funding Small Businesses Last Year

New investigations by the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General have found SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet's announcement that small businesses received 23.39% of all federal contracts was greatly exaggerated. As WaPo reports, Federal agencies overstated their success last year in contracting with small businesses that face socio-economic disadvantages finding $400 million worth of contracts that agencies gave to ineligible firms but still counted toward their targets. Rather stunningly, the report found of the top 100 recipients of the highest dollar amount of federal small business contracts, over 75% were actually current large businesses. Trust...



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Caught On Tape: HFT Algo Manipulating GOOGL 1000 Times Per Second

It is very common to find examples of stock quotes changing rapidly - hundreds and sometimes thousands of times per second in a single stock. At the extreme, we've seen in excess of 25,000 quote changes in a single stock in one second of time or less. Sometimes a simple pattern evolves from the quote price changes, such as in the case of a certain High Frequency Trading (HFT) algorithm that we've recently seen run every day in Google stock. The algo starts with an order to buy 100 shares, then replaces a millisecond (ms) later with an order to buy a penny higher.. and repeats hundreds of times. "So what? HFT needs to be able to cancel quotes fast so they can tighten spreads, add liquidity and lower costs." The problem is that when HFT cancels a quote after just 1 ms, then anyone located more than 93 miles (150 km) away will see a stale quote. Worse, they won't know it's stale unless and until they try to act on it and wait for a response.



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Investors Are Too Comfortable In The Fed's Win-Win Conditions For Taking Risk

For a long time, Fed printing via balance sheet expansion has been the key to understanding markets and the predominant driver that has trumped all other matters.  Investors have been able to ignore significant global events, tensions, and economic conditions in faraway places, because a lower real and perceived risk premium from implicit Fed promises was the single most important aspect driving asset prices higher.  This game is quickly coming to an end. As the Fed’s asset purchase program ends next month, global events and global economic fundamentals will have to be taken into account and priced accordingly.



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"Russia Could Ditch Dollar In 2-3 Years"; Deputy PM Warns Nuclear Subs "Could Reach Any Country On Any Continent"

"Two to three years is enough, not only to launch [settlements in rubles], but also to complete these mechanisms," says Andrey Kostin, head of Russia’s second-biggest bank VTB, noting that the possibility of the US and EU widening sanctions to exclude Russia from the SWIFT global money transfer system would become “a point of no return” making any further dialog impossible. However, as Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin explains in this interview, how Russia's military and industrial complex is responding to a growing threat from America. Russia is not responding with any talk about the nuclear button (at least not yet); but they are preparing for such an eventuality: "we are creating a nuclear submarine fleet... capable of reaching any country on any continent, if [USA] suddenly becomes the aggressor, and our top-most national interests come under threat," adding that Obama's coup has ushered in "the complete demise of the Ukrainian State."



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Tuesday Humor: S##t Happens, But Not In China



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Martin Armstrong Blasts "Ruthless, Undemocratic, Pretend Leader" Rajoy For Denying Catalonia's Right To Vote

"Power devolves to dictatorship whenever there are no checks and balances. This is a simple truth of history without exceptions."



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Small Caps Suffer Worst Quarter In 3 Years; Bonds Leading Year-To-Date

Despite the ubiquitous v-shaped recovery in stocks from the US open to EU close (decoupling entirely from bonds), stocks slumped into the end of the quarter leaving the S&P and Dow barely positive for Q3 and Russell 2000 down 7.9% - its worst quarter since Q2 2011 (and -5.2% year-to-date). Treasury yields flip-flopped around in a 4-5bps range with a late-day ramp (suggesting liquidations cough PIMCO cough) leaving 30Y -1bps on the week. The USDollar suged higher in the European session and traded lower in the US session. The bigger news on the day was the carnage in commodities that appeared to occur around the European close (desk chatter of commodity fund liquidations). Silver and WTI Crude were monkey-hammered, gold and copper dropped to down 1% on the week. VIX pumped and dumped again but closed above 16. Stocks closed very weak with Russell tumbling 1.5% on the day to not "off the lows."



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Rick Santelli Slams Central Bank Intervention For "Taking The Voters Out Of The Game"

"Central Bankers have moved from being 'nudgers' on monetary policy to basically managing fiscal policy," warns Rick Santelli, adding that "in the West, it's now basically the same." As Santelli points out so accurately, the central bankers have admitted as such, noting "they have to dabble in that direction because nothing can get done in 'politics'" in the US or Europe "for the people - the voters." What this has done, Santelli chides calmly is "take the voters out of the game." Simply put, he blasts, "if central banks hadn't had such a large foray into politics, politicians would have had to sink or swim on the merit - or lack therein - of their policies... that weren't creating the growth." He concludes ominously that the 'spread' between central-bank-inspired "stability" and real-world fiscal-policy-inspired "growth" has never been wider.



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Treasury Curve Roundtrips To Flattest Since S&P's "666" Intraday Lows

Everyone remembers March 6th, 2009, right? Some days are easier to remember than others and March 6th, 2009 will not easily be forgotten as that was the day when the S&P 500 made its now infamous "666" intraday low and it also marked the closing price low of 683 for the S&P 500 during the financial crisis. Seems like a very long-time ago as the S&P 500 is roughly 1300 points higher than the intraday financial crisis low. Interestingly, as of the close yesterday, the spread between the 10-year treasury and the 30-year treasury fell to its lowest level (69 bps) since that infamous day.



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Goodbye POMO: Normalcy Returns On October 28

Here it is.. the Fed's buying guide for October. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has released its $10 billion open market purchase plans... and the buy-into-the-weekend trade may get dented as there are no POMOs on a Friday in October.  After October 28th, equity bulls are on their own with their 'fundamentals' as its game over for QE.



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"Smarter People Get That Respectable People Have To Run The System"

From the new office of Eric "bagman for Wall Street" Cantor's new role as MD and Vice Chairman of Moelis & Co... What the Washington elite really think about how the world works...

"Smarter people get that... there have to be respectable men and women who run, quite frankly, the system."



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Russia Activates Air Defense Missile System "To Guard Its Southern Frontiers"

Just a month after announcing plans to deploy its newest S-500 air defense systems to protect Moscow and central regions, Xinhua reports that Russia has activated an air defense regiment armed with advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile systems in the Southern Military District to guard its southern frontiers. Furthermore, a spokesperson for Russia's Aerospace Defense Forces, said that 12 missile regiments will receive the S-400 systems, as it seems NATO's moves are prompting retaliatory advances by Russia.



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Another Conspiracy Theory Becomes Fact: The Fed's "Stealth Bailout" Of Foreign Banks Goes Mainstream

Back in June 2011, Zero Hedge first posted: "Exclusive: The Fed's $600 Billion Stealth Bailout Of Foreign Banks Continues At The Expense Of The Domestic Economy, Or Explaining Where All The QE2 Money Went" Of course, the conformist, counter-contrarian punditry promptly said this was a non-issue and was purely due to some completely irrelevant micro-arbing of a few basis points in FDIC penalty surcharges, which as we explained extensively over the past 3 years, has nothing at all to do with the actual motive of hoarding Fed reserves by offshore (or onshore) banks, and which has everything to do with accumulating billions in "dry powder" reserves to use for risk-purchasing purposes. Fast, or rather slow, forward to today when none other than the WSJ's Jon Hilsenrath debunks yet another "conspiracy theory" and reveals it as "unconspiracy fact" with "Fed Rate Policies Aid Foreign Banks: Lenders Pocket a Spread by Borrowing Cheaply, Parking Funds at Central Bank"



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Retail Investors Pile Into Stocks Amid "Malign, Unthinking Mental Slavery"

As Warren Buffett himself once said, "If you’ve been playing poker for half an hour and you still don’t know who the patsy is, you're the patsy." The central bank bond market poker game has been in train for a good deal longer than half an hour, and the stakes have never been higher. Sometimes, if you simply can't fathom the new rules of the game, it's surely better not to play. But such madness is not limited to the world of bonds. Malign, unthinking mental slavery has fixed itself upon the equity markets, too. And as stock markets have powered ahead, index trackers have enjoyed their highest ever retail inflows.



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Why Europe's Doomsayers Are Right, In One Chart

In retrospect perhaps it is time for Wolfi Schauble to take a stab at draft 2 of his famous FT scribe: "Ignore the doomsayers: Europe is being fixed," because quite clearly the doomsayers are right: Europe is finished.



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