Guest Post: Call Of The Markets VIII

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Sal Arnuk of Themis Trading

Some Thoughts:

is the role of the stock market? I had always learned from my
educational and work experience that markets have an important role in
free market capitalism. That role is to provide liquidity and minimize friction as much as possible, so as to give confidence to the providers of capital,
so that there is an easy, efficient, and cost-effective way to move
their capital around as they desire. When this role is being fulfilled,
capital is raised and allocated for new wealth-creating industries,
which grow, create jobs, create economic growth, and raise standards of
living. Those with capital are courted by merchant and investment banks
that generate ideas with them, and put them in touch with entrepreneurs
with vision. They invest in those entrepreneurs via seed capital, and
eventually in initial public offerings, or IPO’s. You remember IPO’s?
There used to be this thing called the IPO Calendar, and it is
typically a great barometer for how the economy is doing. Today nobody
in our industry knows what an IPO is. I actually saw one High Freak on
TV three days ago tell MC Cabrera that he thought an IPO calendar was a
maintenance schedule for a trade-engine server. Ok, I actually did not,
but you get the point. David Weild of Grant Thornton sure does. Please read, perhaps over the weekend, his research piece: Why are IPO’s in the ICU:

(And for the High Freaks… that is ICU and not CPU). And if you work for the SEC, please read this piece twice.

The image I picked for today’s Thoughts is pretty bleak one. It is
from a war-themed video game, and those of you with teenage kids have
probably seen similar imagery as you walk through the family room while
they are playing. I am amazed at the graphics, and I am even more sadly
amazed at how desolate, bleak, and shell-like the cities are that serve
as the battlefields for our well-armed teens. You see where I am going
with this. Our secondary markets have become like that game.

Massive firepower and resources are devoted to the activity of
evolved trading (scalping). Huge financial institutions called
Exchanges cater to this activity so myopically, that they have lost all
perspective of the real role of financial markets. And sadly, our
regulators have allowed them to do so. In the name of evolution and
“adapt or die” mentality, our markets have been hijacked and stripped
of its most important role and function. We need to all adjust our
thinking, because our economy demands it. We need to adjust our
perspective, because our economy demands it. Markets need to be fair, and inspire confidence!
That confidence is needed so that those with capital can feel confident
in investing. This confidence is unfortunately on the wane. You hear it
at parties, and you hear it on the street. Amazingly you hear it from
brokerage firm executives (one who yesterday wrote an article
suggesting that the source of our markets problems is the market order!
Yes… he thinks the solution is to eliminate the market order and tell
the world that our “most efficient and liquid markets” can’t handle the
100yr old market order!)

The confidence must be restored or investors (the owners of the market) will continue to flee, and then our markets will be left to the high freaks (the renters of the market), and exactly like the war video game pictured above, complete with shelled out buildings populated by well-armed kids.

Joe is back in DC today, telling those who will listen how to restore that confidence. Wish him luck.

The Euro has been weakening since 4am, by the way. I have already
seen the futures go from flat to down 1.8%. They are now below that
all-important 200 day moving average. The Euro is still what the
markets are keying off of, but note that our markets caught a bounce
from noon onwards yesterday. From that point we saw the financials
catch a bid and outperform, which I think is a good sign. HF GO!

Oh… and supposedly there was another Fat Finger in the Eurostox
futures just a little while ago, that sent them limit down. Fat Finger
is the new goto blame thingy apparently. Kind of like the dog ate my

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Sudden Debt's picture

CITI is down 1.84%

BAC is down 2.04%

JPM is down 1.64%

AXP is down 1.67%

WFC is down 2.16%

GS is down 1.71%


what am I missing here?


JR's picture

This excerpt from today on the financials’ reponse to the lack of passage yesterday of the financial reform bill indicates, IMO,  just who is dependent on continued ” financial reform” largesse for its daily feed:

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Uncertainty around the U.S. Senate's version of a financial reform bill will likely continue to weigh on bank stocks Thursday after the Senate failed to put an end to debate on the bill late Wednesday…

Worries about the proposed regulation have been pressuring the stocks recently,

In recent premarket trading, Citigroup Inc. (C) fell 1.8% to $3.74, Bank of America Corp. (BAC) declined 2.1% to $15.97, Morgan Stanley (MS) dipped 2% to $26.50, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) was off 1.9% to $38.64 and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) slid 1.7% to $137.67.

And here is how the leadership in the Senate spins its bait and switch message for the public ear via the MSM: “Although two Democrats defected (on the cloture vote to block debate), Reid blasted Republicans for the defeat. 'They voted to protect the big banks on Wall Street -- these Wall Street firms who led to the loss of 8 million jobs in America and thousands and thousands of homes in foreclosure,' he said."  ~ The Washington Post

Uh huh.

Said Dr. Elaina George this week on Big Government: “With the proposed financial regulations, there seems to be a movement towards the consolidation of power in a few institutions, systematically removing free competition, setting up the too big to fail phenomenon, thereby giving people less choice that will ultimately cost everybody more in the long run…

“The demise of Lehman Brothers and the consolidation of other large financial companies have led to very few winners in the financial industry – the biggest of which is Goldman Sachs.  The banking industry has seen a few surviving large institutions such as Chase and Citibank. What the larger banks didn’t acquire in mergers, the FDIC removed by taking over and closing hundreds of smaller and community banks. Makes you wonder if the credit unions will be next on the list.” (emphasis mine)

The Alarmist's picture

They are already forcing mergers in the Credit Union space to fix problems with some of the weaker players.  It is wreaking havoc on systems and customer service in several cases. IOW, no institution is safe.


dying_bear's picture

VXX up 3.25%, LOL - the world is going to HELL.  The Bear soldiers are raping the

bullish hookers and bikini girls, drinking the stashes of fine aged wine, making

the bullish kids spit shine their shoes...  oh man, Sgt Yogi just shot one of the

massage girls for not having a smile on her face, can someone say "War Crime!?!"

primefool's picture

The purpose of MArkets?

1. Social Mood manipulation - Psy Ops.

2. Political Tool: wnat to drill baby drill ? Get oil prices higher. etc. need emergency funds handed to banks - crash the stock market. etc.

3. Keeps a lot of people off the streets - trying to game the markets on their home computers. This is good. Because , sadly, we dont need most people to operate the world economy. ( Look up info on the Lexus plant in japan - run by robots) . 3% of American workers in agriclture - produce more than enough food to fee the US twice over - and does!

Actually this is the big underlying reality - most average people with good hearts and a willingness to work 8 hrs a day, with average skills in english and arithmetic - Just Are Not Needed.

The Alarmist's picture

This is why ZH needs an OpEd tab ... if you simply report the inanities of the markets, with perhaps a little editorial flair, then you are still in the realm of news, but if you start tossing around phrases like "Markets need to be fair" then you are clearly in the realm of opinion, which is far less entertaining.  

Let's face it, aside from the Hokey Pokey, entertainment is what it is all about.  If markets were fair, there would be little reason for us to seek to find thousands of angles to extract the little rents that will help us pay our bigger rents, and there would be no reason for ZH.

Chippewa Partners's picture

When reading this morning about having "market orders" eliminated during chaotic trading I about choked on my oatmeal.

What will these goofballs come up with next?

If stock prices are set "at the margin" may my market order be the margin.  What a farce this is!  


Marvin_M's picture

"Markets need to be fair and instill confidence"

Sorry to inform you that your piece is about 20 years too late...

To wit:

The FED has become the godfather of the worldwide central bank mafia

The ratings agencies have been bought and now serve the ones they rate

The executive branch of government is now run by bank goons, the President is bought and paid for

Congress has been bribed and infiltrated by banking, corporate and realestate criminals

Regulatory agencies at every level of government have been corrupted and neutralized

The stock market is manipulated by computerized front running that is sanctioned by the FED, corrupt regulators and a bribed Congress

again sorry to inform you of these developments...


Kat's picture

The purpose of markets? WTF? Markets don't have a defined purpose. A market exists when one person voluntarily engages in an exchange of something with another person at a mutually agreed price.  Markets are not some engineered system like socialism.  And that goes for capital markets too.

Your beloved regulator's whole job is to screw with that simple dynamic and introduce distortion upon distortion. Obviously, insiders capture the regulator and harness its power for their own purposes. The typical response to the results of regulatory capture MORE power for the regulator - to be captured by a decreasing number of insiders to eventually form a powerful oligopoly and more distortion and abuse. Sal is bemoaning all this lack of confidence.

The "confidence" that most people want is that they won't lose money on a trade. That's what's behind the anti-shorting rules, the who can trade what, when and what price is all about. All those rules do is distort the market, but it doesn't deliver that elusive and impossible security sought by capital providers because most of them don't want to do the work to figure out how to hedge themselves. As people like Sal seek a "stronger regulator" to achieve this poorly defined market confidence, he'll get more distortion, a more rigged market.

The SEC was established around 75 years ago and it has done absolutely NOTHING to "restore confidence" or execute any part of its mission statement. And it never will. The incentives aren't there. It is an excellent job if you like porn, though.

The only people who will restore confidence are people working in the industry who are interested in establishing and building are real business - and there are plenty of those. We in this business are in a game that requires confidence in our name and the only way to build that is by always dealing fairly with our investors and our clients. Private rating companies who naturally lack incentive to back unethical businesses. Sure, there will continue to be thieves in every business. Obviously, the regulator can't change that. But, the regulator protects them rather than roots them out and destroys them while providing a false sense of confidence to the investing public.

optimator's picture

Markets simply need a level playing field.  Same rules for all.  The one thing the Smart Money won't tolerate.

Grand Supercycle's picture


For several days I have been warning of EURUSD buying support as detected by my indicators, and this has been confirmed by the recent break out.

The proprietary indicators I use can identify trend changes before they occur.