July 21st, 2014
Police are still investigating the tragic death of 39-year-old Goldman Sachs Managing Director Nicholas Valtz this weekend. As Bloomberg reports, Valtz, a "novice kiteboarder," was found dead yesterday by family members who went searching for him after he didn’t return from a kiteboarding outing. While there is no accusation of suicide in this case, it sadly brings the number of young financial services executives deaths to 16 this year.
Quelling some conspiracies - though we are sure more will come on 'tampering' - the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak issued a statement confirming it has reached an agreement on the MH17 investigation...
MALAYSIA SAYS BLACK BOXES TO BE HANDED OVER TO MALAYSIAN TEAM
Of course, this means the "credibility" of the latest YouTube clip from Ukraine, which "supposedly" revealed that the "rebels" were instructed by Moscow to hide the black boxes will be severly questioned, or would be if there was anyone out there still questioning anything in the relentless propaganda barrage. Actually scratch that: said clip will now promptly disappear from social networks, period.
The actual state of employment in the U.S. is likely far weaker than the economic statistics currently suggest. If this is indeed the case, it creates a potential for policy mistakes that could have negative consequences to both the economy and the financial markets.
It appears Texas Governor Rick Perry has grown weary waiting on the President to dictate the next steps in the immigration debacle and taken things into his own hands. As The Monitor reports, an internal memo from another state official’s office said the governor planned to call about 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the Rio Grande Valley - at a cost of about $12 million per month. State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa exclaimed, "all these politicians coming down to border, they don't care about solving the problem, they just want to make a political point." However, state officials were careful to point out that "this is not a militarization of the border." Nope, not all...
China has had enough with diplomacy. Shortly after China's president Xi Jinping warned that "a conflict between China and United States will definitely be a disaster for the two countries and the world" a seemingly tone-deaf US responded by unleashing even more military forces in China's back yard, and announcing it was developing new military tactics to deter China’s slow but steady territorial advances in the South China Sea, including more aggressive use of surveillance aircraft and naval operations near contested areas. The message was clear: pleasantries are great, but immediately halt any territorial ambitions which impact American allies in the region. Well, China responded, but not in the way that the US may have wanted. According to Bloomberg, China sent a surveillance vessel to waters off Hawaii even as the country participated for the first time in the world’s largest international naval exercise led by the U.S.
The "proof" is flying back and forth from The US and Russia, with the disastrous MH17 crash polarizing the world's nations in a troubling (but BFTWWIII) manner. Following a weekend of European leaders getting behind The US, China has come out strongly supporting Russia who itself asked some awkward 'proof-laden' questions this morning. We leave it to President Obama to dictate exactly what we should all believe and just how bad things will get unless Russia gives up...
"Retirement Off" It appears the 'proof' that markets were Teflon and could shrug off the worst spate of geopolitical concerns in years... is wrong. US equity markets have given up all the gains from Friday's knee-jerk massive short-squeeze fest... as Treasury yields have tumbled lower all day long...
Since we first exposed to the world that yet another market (foreign exchange) was manipulated by nefarious traders over a year ago, the grand total of prosecutions for market rigging is... zero. As Bloomberg notes, however, more than 25 FX traders have been fired, suspended, or put on leave in that same period. While regulators appear incapable of discovering the truth, the market manipulation probes just got serious..."The [UK] Serious Fraud Office has today opened a criminal investigation into allegations of fraudulent conduct in the foreign exchange market."
In its latest Hedge Fund Monitor, BofA's Ankur Singh finds that while hedge funds are willing to be the boats that rise with the central banks' liquidity tide, nobody is willing to fight the Fed in its latest admission that a subset of stocks, mostly those that make up the Russell 2000 index, "appear to be overpriced." As a result, BofA reports that "Specs increased Russell short position to a three year high. MAA and technicals suggest we may have further increase in Russell short positions." So how are various hedge fund strategies doing? Here is the full breakdown.
They call them ‘junk bonds’ for a reason. They now constitute an offence against linguistic decency: ‘high yield’ no longer even is. “By sacrificing quality an investor can obtain a higher income return from his bonds. Long experience has demonstrated that the ordinary investor is wiser to keep away from such high- yield bonds. While, taken as a whole, they may work out somewhat better in terms of overall return than the first-quality issues, they expose the owner to too many individual risks of untoward developments, ranging from disquieting price declines to actual default.” - Ben Graham, ‘The Intelligent Investor’.
"The West has successfully put itself in a position to dictate 'political correctness' in international discourse," China exclaims via a Global Times editorial on MH17 on Monday, "those unwilling to work with Western interests will often find themselves in a tough position." China's first public statement that "The Western rush to judge Russia is not based on evidence or logic," comes on the heels of Vladimir Putin's address last night jabbing the West "no one should not have the right to use this tragedy to achieve selfish political objectives." China appears to have crossed the line, siding very clearly with Russia as they conclude, "It is yet another example of the power of Western opinion as a political tool."
The simple fact is that trading involves risk. Bad risk management happens every day to individual traders who blow up their accounts with one overly aggressive or poorly managed position, and it occasionally happens to those paid to risk other people’s money as well. When it happens to the pros, though, the enormous access they have to leverage exaggerates the effects. n the energy markets, that leverage is ever present as most trading is done via futures contracts and other derivatives. As a result, some of the most spectacular blowups in trading history have involved energy.
Who could have seen this coming? Following the US imposition of further sanctions on Russia last week, specifically the import of Kalashnikov firearms, CNN reports gun stores across the US are experiencing a run on AK-47s. Yet another unintended consequence of US foreign policy...
Putin Makes First Official Statement; Russia To Cut IBM, Microsoft Dependence: Complete Ukraine Situation SummarySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/21/2014 08:13 -0400
Your one stop to catch up on all the latest development surrounding the crash of flight MH17 and the recovery effort.
A week ago, when we commented on the latest publicly available data for Barclays' fraud-embroiled LX dark pool, whose volume as we reported had tumbled 37% in the week of the lawsuit announcement, we said that the downward volume trend "is about to get a whole lot worse for Barclays as the trickle becomes an avalanche." Sure enough, following today's reported by Finra's ATS database for the week of June 30, we find just that, and one can largely say lights out to Barclays LX operation, whose total shares traded plummeted from 197 million (and 312 million the week before) to a paltry 66.4 million, a two-week drop of 79% from its recent highs, putting it, in 12th total dark pool volume place, below ITG and above BIDS trading. So much for any ambitions of becoming America's top dark pool. Last on the other hand...