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Dilbert Explains HFT



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The "Smart Money" Has Never Been More Bearish

The put/call ratio of open interest on S&P 100 (OEX) options has historically been a "smart money" indicator. The stock market peaked (anbd has drifted sideways for the last 6-7 weeks) since March 3rd saw an unprecedented string of bearish readings. The bearish OEX put/call readings have not relented, however. In fact, the bearishness has accelerated to an extreme level never seen before.



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Goldman's Advice On Economy Like Dracula's Advice On Blood Banks, British Economist Says

"Listening to Goldman for advice on how to run the economy is like listening to Dracula on how to run a blood bank,” a prominent British economist says, in response to the bank's assessment of the dangers inherent in a "leftward shift" in the UK government. "Their real aim is to avoid 50p tax rates for high earners, the Mansion Tax and other small impositions which shift some of the burden of austerity onto the shoulders of the rich, the likes of Goldman Sachs bankers and their clients," another economist notes.



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Exposed: The Real Market Manipulator Behind The Flash Crash

"To find the real source of the system's excessive fragility, the regulators will need to look much closer to home... The Federal Reserve remains the largest market manipulator ever, and the desperate yield-chasing, hair-trigger markets that it created were the primary cause of that crash and the inevitable ones yet to come."



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When Did We All Become Murderers?

Appalled doesn’t cover it. Disgusted won’t do either. Angry doesn’t come close. Maybe we have yet to learn of a word that would express our feelings on the following topic. There’s a disease, an epidemic, that spreads through out the western world. We are all turning into accomplices to murder. And we still believe we are better than that. Just perhaps not all of us.



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Mission Dis-Accomplished? Saudis Resume Bombing Yemen

Less than 24 hours after Yemen announced an end to Operation Decisive Storm and its airstrikes on Yemen - in hopes of initiating Operation New Hope aimed at resuming a political process - The NY Times reports, warplanes from a Saudi-led military coalition conducted airstrikes in the southwestern Yemeni city of Taiz on Wednesday. Mission Dis-accomplished or Operation 'Empire Strikes Back'?



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The Defaults Are Coming In HY Energy, UBS Warns

"Where are the defaults?" UBS asks, referring to the highly leveraged US shale complex. "They're coming," is the answer, as current bond prices assume oil prices in the 60s and 70s. 



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What Happens Next In Greece (In 1 Simple Flowchart)

Simple...



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Copper Crash Continues - Hits 1-Month Lows

Copper prices are now down almost 6% from the top 2 days ago on China's RRR cut. As 266.40, this is the lowest price for the perhaps-economically-sensitive commodity in over a month. Not exactly the picture of 'stimulus' the PBOC was hoping for...



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What Happens To US Shale When The Easy Money Runs Out?

One must understand that the easy money via QE from the Fed and zero interest rates allowed many shale players to burn free cash flow while showing operationally net of capital expenditures (which were funded by cheap flowing monies via FED) cash generation. To be clear, that model is now broken as the era of free Fed money appears to waning as both QE, and soon, zero rates become a thing of the past. The cost of capital is no longer falling but is now rising through higher bond yields and/or lower stock prices. The madness that is occurring in financial markets on discounting these events despite very weak, almost recessionary economics, boggles the mind.



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Behold The Patsy: First Photograph Emerges Of The "Criminal Mastermind" Reponsible For The Flash Crash

There have been precious few actual glimpses of the infamous flash crash mastermind who has seemingly kept a very low public profile, but moments ago the first sketch emerged of him during his court appearance.  As the NYT reports, "appearing in court in London dressed in a canary yellow sweatshirt and white track suit pants, the trader, Navinder Singh Sarao, a British national, sat behind a glass wall looking dazed by the proceedings around him." We, too would be dazed by the stupidity of the CFTC, if faced with the same ridiculous charge. And moments ago, the Telegraph ran the first actual photo of the "criminal mastermind."



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Nationalist Group Takes Responsibility For Murders In Ukraine

Politics in Ukraine continues to be characterized by the East/West divide that was so clearly visible in maps of Ukrainian elections and the distribution of the Ukrainian and Russian language (see “Mapping the Conflict in Ukraine” for details on this). While the new government wants to be seen as embodying Western values in contrast to the kleptocracies that previously governed the country, both its actions and omissions very often seem at odds with this aspiration, to say the least.



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Radioactive Drone Discovered On Roof Of Japanese PM's Office

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe awoke on Wednesday to find a half-meter-wide drone, contaminated with trace levels of radioactive cesium, on the roof of his office in Tokyo. Of course this is nothing new for Washington where a drone crash-landed on The White House lawn in January and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that Japan is looking to tighten laws governing drones (ahead of next year's G7-summit and the 2020 Olympics). Of course, the police have explained cesium isn't harmful to humans (though we suspect they aren't stupid enough to drink it).



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For Caterpillar, It's The Second Great Depression

To put the 28 months of declining retail sales in context, during the Great Financial Crisis, CAT suffered "only" 19 months of consecutive declines. As of March 2015, this number is now 28! Or as a more truthful Tim Geithner would say, "Welcome to the second Great Depression, Caterpillar!"



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Paging Bill Gross: Bund Yields Spike By Most In 6 Months

Coincidence? Maybe. But since Bill Gross called Bunds "the short of a lifetime," the last two days have seen German 10Y Bund yields rise (on a percentage basis) by the most on record. On an absolute basis, this is the biggest yield increase since Oct 2014... Who would dare to sell when Draghi has promised moar...



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