• Pivotfarm
    04/17/2014 - 17:08
    You know when you want to read that last page of the book just before you fall off into the Land of Nod and the Sandman comes and sandbags you to fall asleep?

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IEX Records Its Highest Volume Day Yet

In a curious departure from convention, the Goldman-backed, HFT-evading pseudo dark pool IEX, made famous in Michael Lewis' blockbuster "Flash Boys" has decided to post daily volume stats of its operations. And whether it is due to the advertising by the iconic bookwriter, or because increasingly more brokers are switching over to IEX, it appears that new trading venue is gaining traction: according to its own reporting, on April 15, IEX recorded its highest volume day yet, recording nearly 38 million single-counted trades.



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New York AG Sends Subpoenas To HFT Firms Including Tower, Jump and Chopper

Now the vacuum tubes are really in trouble. Bloomberg reports that the NY AG Schneiderman is making good on his threat to go after (it remains to be seen if this is more than a publicity stunt, and actual enforcement actions follow) several New York HFT firms. Bloomberg reports:

  • NY AG SAID SEEKING INFO ON SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS WITH DARK POOLS
  • NY AG SAID TO SEND SUBPOENAS TO FIRMS INCLUDING JUMP TRADING
  • NY AG SAID TO SEND SUBPOENAS TO FIRMS INCLUDING CHOPPER
  • NY AG SAID TO SEND SUBPOENAS TO FIRMS INCLUDING TOWER RESEARCH

Surely Goldman was in no way aware of this coming crack down wave on HFT traders when it washed its hands of the entire industry, and effectively gave up on the trading space in its current format.



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"Pro-Russian Separatists" Attack Ukraine Soldiers With Guns, Molotov Cocktails, Local TV Station Reports (4 Killed, 12 Injured)

UPDATE: ABOUT 500 SEPARATISTS ATTACKED UKRAINE MILITARY BASE: TV5; Unconfirmed reports put the number of casualties higher, with four people killed and as many as 12 injured.

Having been on the receiving end of Ukraine special forces for the past 48 hours, it appears the "pro-Russian separatists" have decided to fight back: PRO-RUSSIAN SEPARATISTS ATTACK UKRAINE SOLDIERS; PRO-RUSSIAN SEPARATISTS ATTACK UKRAINE MILITARY BASE; SEPARATISTS USE GUNS, MOLOTOV COCKTAILS IN MARIUPOL: HROMADSKE. Considering the source is a local Ukraine TV station, one should take the news reported by Bloomberg, with a big grain of ketamine, however also considering the 3:30pm ramp appears to be late today (or was front run repeatdly earlier on in the day), this may just be the "bullish" catalyst the "market" needs to close at the day, if not all time, highs.



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GM Seeks Immunity From Lawsuits Due To Bankruptcy

While the law has been something the US government and General Motors have been willing to 'bend' or break in the past (absolute priority 'shifts' in bankruptcy), we suspect this latest move by Mary Barra's new GM will do more PR damage. Simply put, as many suspected given Barra's testimony and comments in the past, Reuters reports that General Motors Co will ask a bankruptcy court to block any litigation of the alleged deaths associated with the ignition switch problem since they are related to the automaker's pre-2009 bankruptcy. Of course, as we noted here, the Feds are probing the company over whether they knowingly committed bankruptcy fraud.



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Moldova's Transnistria Region "Approves" Appeal To Russia For Independence

As the EU seeks a closer association with Moldova, the 97% pro-Russian state of Transnistria (that we first warned was next here) is accelerating its move towards independence. As Bloomberg reports, despite condemnation by Moldova's government of the "direct defiance", the Transnistria Assembly has approved an appeal to Russia to recognize the region's independencee. Neighboring Romania is "worried" and there are growing 'actions' by the so-called "Supreme Soviet" in the region's capital. But, according to local news wires, there is a much bigger thing for government to worry about - modeling politicians.



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With 103 Mentions Of "Weather", It Is Time To Rename The 'Beige Book' To The 'Weather Book'

While overall the beige book was an absolute snoozer, almost as boring as Yellen's earlier appearance at the economic club of New York, and its core message were quite bullish, namely that:

EIGHT OF 12 FED DISTRICTS SAY GROWTH `MODEST OR MODERATE'
FED SAYS ECONOMIC GROWTH `INCREASED IN MOST REGIONS' OF U.S.
FED SAYS LABOR MARKET CONDITIONS `MIXED BUT GENERALLY POSITIVE'

... confirming that the Beige Book contributors did not get the "ignore the dots" memo, the only "exciting" thing that everyone was looking for: what the Fed thought about the weather. Because with 103 instances of the word "weather" in the report (granted less than the 119 in February), it sure thought a lot.



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About That "Strong" March Retail Sales "Bounce": Good Thing Summer's Coming!

We are now entering the fifth season of head-fakes about “escape velocity” acceleration in as many years. Yet the Wall Street stock peddlers and their financial media echo boxes are so fixated on the latest “delta”—that is, ultra short-term “high frequency” data releases—that time and again they serve up noise, not meaningful economic signal. The larger point here is that the Kool-Aid drinkers keep torturing the high frequency data because they are desperate for any sign that the Fed’s $3.5 trillion of QE has favorably impacted the Main Street economy. And that’s important not because it might mean some sorely needed income and job gains for middle America, but because its utterly necessary to validate the Fed’s financial bubble.



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Ex-Chairman Of Insolvent UK Bank Busted For Possession Of Cocaine, Ketamine And Crystal Meth

About a month ago, English bank Co-Operative Bank plc, which in October was handed over to bondholders in order to plug a 1.5 billion pound capital shortfall and which added last month it will need to raise an additional 400 million pounds to plug another funding shortfall related to legal and restructuring costs, surprised its brand new owners with news that its full year loss would be a massive $2.2 billion. However the bank's insolvency was just the beginning, and the biggest surprise was not to be unveiled until today when UK prosecution charged Paul Flowers, the banks' former chairman from March 2010 until June 2013, and a Methodist minister, with possession of cocaine and ketamine. Oh and crystal meth.



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What's The Difference Between Fascism, Communism And Crony-Capitalism? Nothing

When it comes to the real world, the difference between fascism, communism and crony-capitalism is semantic.



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Janet Yellen's First Monetary Policy Speech - Live Feed

*YELLEN SAYS FED COMMITTED TO ACCOMMODATION TO SUPPORT RECOVERY

Markets will be hanging on every word of what is likely Janet Yellen's first monetary policy speech and even more so the Q&A afterwards as she suggests that a considerable time is more than 6 months, and the delicate balance she has to play between admitting the economy is ugly while admitting that QE is over no matter what... all the while maintaining some semblance of credibility. One has to wonder if the ripfest rally of the last 24 hours is a buy the rumor ramp ahead of a sell the Yellen news event as once again she is tested...



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Is The Fed Fabricating Loan Creation Data?

It wouldn't be the first time the Fed has "stretched" the truth...



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European Investors Rush To Safe-Havens - Italy/Spain Bond Yields At New Record Low

"While the music is playing, you keep dancing," seems the only possible explanation for the fanatical demand for peripheral European bonds as everyone and their pet rabbit front-runs the ECB (or merely rushes to the 'yieldiest' thing given Draghi's implicit guarantee). At 3.1%, it beggars belief how 'risk' is mispriced in these sovereigns should any capital regulations ever mark sovereign debt as anything but riskless. Remember what happened the last time Draghi did any bond-buying (the SMP) - we saw bonds sell off into the actual actions of the central bank... so it seems the market continues to trade on the promise (and yet hope it never comes true)...



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Nigel Farage Blasts "There Is No Consent For A United States Of Europe"

In one of his more vitriolic speeches, UKIP MEP Nigel Farage lashes out at the terrible deja vu being 'imposed' on supposedly democratic nations across Europe. "The whole European project is based on a falsehood... and it's a dangerous one.. because if you try to impose a new flag, a new anthem, a new president, a new army, a new police force; without first seeking the consent of the people you are creating the very nationalisms and resentment that the project was supposed to snuff out." Farage concludes, he is not against Europe but is "against this Europe," and this year's European elections will mark the turning point.



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Massive "Fat Finger" Seller Appears In Swiss Francs

One glance at the 'ticks' surrounding this morning's so-called "fat finger" in EURCHF and it is clear that this was anything but a human trader falling asleep on his keyboard or accidently selling 100 yards and not 100 million CHF... Welcome to the 'unrigged' markets... (in FX also)... where stop-hunting algos rip to a 50-day moving-average in milliseconds to remove all stops before fading back ingloriously to unchanged. As Nanex suggests, this started in the CHF futures market...



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Crude Alert: Gartman Is Now Long Oil

Having been stopped out of his "long punt" in copper futures (which are, we remind readers, levered via margin and not a simple cash percentage loss of capital), world-renowned (for something) Dennis Gartman has issued his latest missive - ultimate contrarian call - advice... "we are sellers this morning of copper and buyers of crude oil, one relative to the other, with the problems in China weighing upon the former while crude has held impressively as other commodity prices have fallen." Crude oil longs beware... prepare to be Gartman'd.



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