We have remarked numerous times, thanks in many cases to the detailed analysis of Nanex LLC, that oil markets (among others) are manipulated or rigged. But, just as Michael Lewis was what equity market participants needed to comprehend what was occurring stocks, so WSJ reports today on 'spoofing' in the oil markets. Spoofing is rapid-fire feinting, which as Tabb group's Matt Simon notes, "raises a question now about whether someone is engaging in legitimate market activity or clear market manipulation." Here's how they do it...
Oh, you didn’t notice that World War Three is underway, actually has been for more than year? Well, that’s because most of it has been taking place in the banking sector, which for most people is just an alternative universe of math. The catch, which many people either miss or don’t care about, is that the math doesn’t add up.
This bubble, literally dwarfs all other bubbles. To put this into perspective, the Credit Default Swap (CDS) market that nearly took down the financial system in 2008 was only a tenth of this ($50-$60 trillion).
US stock markets reached record highs last week. Question: does that make them riskier, or less risky? We think the former.
Last week it was 19 central banks (including the ECB which accounts for 19 nations) which had cut rates in 2015, mostly in "surprise", unexpected easing decisions. Moments ago the number became 20 when the Israel central bank just cut its interest rate by 0.15% to 0.1%, the lowest on record, a move which once again caught the market by surprise as only 3 of 23 analysts had predicted it.
If you thought the Greek tragicomedy is over, you ain't seen nothing yet, because despite the so-called Friday agreement, the immediate next step is for Greece to submit its list of reform measures to the Troika, which will almost certainly result in an immediate revulsion in Germany's finance ministry, and lead to another protracted back and forth between the Troika and Greece, which may once again well end with a Grexit, especially if the Greek liquidity situation, where bash is bleeding from both the banks and the state at a record pace, remains unhalted. It is therefore not surprising that the ongoing decline in the EURUSD since the inking of the agreement, and the fact that the pair briefly dipped below 1.13 this morning - over 100 pips below the euphoric rip on Friday - is a clear indication that the market is starting to realize that absolutely nothing is either fixed, or set in stone.
Everyone’s heard of trickle down economics, but how about “trickle down QE”? Here’s Citi to explain how a hypothetical credit strategist will visit your fictional office and use the concept of trickle down QE to convince an imaginary you to go long euro HY credit via synthetic exposure to Crossover mezz tranches (you can’t make this stuff up)...
The Ultimate "Easy Money Paradox": How The ECB's Previous Actions Are Assuring The Failure Of Its Current ActionsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/22/2015 17:35 -0500
The problem, as several sources told Reuters last week, is that there simply aren’t a lot of willing sellers. Ironically, the ECB’s own policy maneuvers are ultimately responsible for creating this situation. That is, the fallout from previous forays into ultra accommodative monetary policy is now hampering the implementation of quantitative easing - call it the ultimate easy money paradox.
Maybe one day investors, or at least the 1%-ers, will finally grasp that in a centrally-planned world in which the central banks themselves assure that there is "no risk", there is also no point in paying billionaire hedge fund managers 2 and 20 to "hedge" away risk, since there simply is none left. However, since most people are too lazy to do any work (this includes hedge funds themselves), and would rather piggy back on other people's work (such as the rating agencies back in 2005-2007) that day is still far away. So for the time being, to satisfy everyone's natural curiosity why hedge funds continue to suck so bad, here are their biggest long, and far more importantly short, positions.
Over the last five years the signal given by investor positioning in options and futures contracts on the 30-year treasury bond has proven prescient. Each time commercial traders have moved to a long position in the long bond rates have been near a peak. Over the last few weeks the commercials have shifted their positioning dramatically, moving from one of the largest short positions to a net long position for the first time in almost a year.
Greece moves off front burner. Markets can turn attention to 1) strength of deflationary forces, 2) state of cyclical recoveries, and 3) outlook for Fed policy.
Fraud is endemic in the financial system today. We know that the currency, stock, bond, and even commodity markets have ALL been manipulated by Investment Banks or Central Banks.
"The median stock sports a P/E and EV/EBITDA of 18.0x and 11.0x, respectively. These valuations rank in the 99th percentile of both P/E and EV/EBITDA multiples since 1976. The proverbial “smart money” is selling, not buying. Completed private equity sales through M&A and via follow-on offerings have both surged to record levels measured by both number of deals and by transaction value. A total of 350 follow-on sales by private equity firms were completed in 2013 and 2014, a 70% jump from the 210 transactions completed in 2011 and 2012."
Just weeks before Mario Draghi's "whatever it takes" trillion-euro Q€ bond-buying-fest is set to come true, The ECB faces a problem they likely never expected - unwilling sellers. On the heels of our analysis showing central banks will monetize over 100% of government bond issuance this year, Reuters reports that mere weeks before the ECB begins their program, banks, pension funds and insurers across the continent are hoarding them for regulatory or accounting reasons. "We prefer to hold on to them," said Antoine Lissowski, deputy CEO at French insurer CNP Assurances. "The ECB's policy ... is reaching its limits now."
Right now there is a world war taking place right in front of us but all we see on cable news are the nightly military skirmishes on the periphery of the conflict. The real war is economic, financial and currency related and the empire is already over-extended in debt, military operations and financial manipulation. Surely the near-term dollar strength is evidence that while defeat is not imminent and that all markets can be manipulated for a season, ultimately real global market forces will prevail. Just remember that all empires eventually become over-extended financially, economically or militarily and the consequences of retribution and blowback are real and deadly to innocent populations.