What was most striking in the latest Triennial BIS survey, was the shrinkage in FX trading by hedge funds and proprietary trading firms which fell by more than 30% over the past three years. The shrinkage in the share of FX trading by these investors is likely the result of regulatory pressures and FX rigging investigations which caused significant retrenchment by FX prop desks.
Michael Coscia, the first person convicted of spoofing after it was made a crime under the Dodd-Frank Act, was sentenced to three years in prison by a federal judge in Chicago. His real crime? Taking on the HFTs, and Citadel, and winning. Now he gets to spend 3 years in prison thinking about it. And let that be a lesson to anyone else out there who dares to do the same.
Hedge funds attracted a net $44 billion in assets globally last year, the smallest amount since 2012. As these increasingly desperate funds try to change that in 2016, one enormous target has been identified in Australia.
"Sell in May and go away" -- the old equity-market adage still holds water, but, as Bloomberg's Mark Cudmore explains, it's important to note how the seasonals have evolved since the great financial crisis.
Collin Crownover, head of currency management at State Street Global Advisors Inc., which oversees about $2.4 trillion, who during a panel presentation said that "we are concerned. During volatile periods, market participants are backing away until conditions settle down, making it harder to complete large orders."“A lot of the electronification of the market, which by and large is a good thing, has led to kill switches on a lot of that algorithmic-provided liquidity,” Crownover said. “The liquidity just dries up in a stressed market.”
In recent weeks Chinese stocks remained relatively resilient, levitating quietly day after day. That all changed overnight when the Shanghai Composite plunged by 6.4% with the drop accelerating into the close. This was the biggest drop in over a month and was big enough to almost wipe out the entire 10% rebound from the January lows in one session.
No society wants to admit economic failure or economic sabotage, and this is why the con-game is able to continue in the face of so much concrete truth. Ultimately, the market trends and economic trends will flow into the negative. In the meantime, expect massive market rallies, rallies which will then disintegrate in a matter of days. And, whatever happens, never take what mainstream economists say very seriously. They have failed the public for long enough.
"It is time to accept that what we have done has worked brilliantly for twenty years but does not work anymore and move on. We are confident our process will eventually work again – for the laws of economics will never be repealed – but for now they are suspended and may be for some time; an indefinite period involving indeterminate levels of risk during which we think it would be wrong for us to be the stewards of your money."
CFTC meets this morning to propose a registration standard applying to as many as 100 firms that have changed markets by trading their own money using complex algorithms and advanced technology. As Bloomberg notes, this proposal follows more than 5 yrs of debate about market disruptions, such as the May 2010 flash crash. Crucially, as is well known now, high-speed, automated trading in recent years has surged to account for almost three-quarters of certain derivatives markets which means any regulatory crackdowns will no doubt have impacts on markets; as former CFTC chief Chilton noted “Clearly some of the rules are antiquated.”
the case really boiled down to just one thing: not whether it is legal to spoof, which it is and yet massive, well-connected HFT firms get away with it every single day, but whether it is legal to take advantage of HFT algos programmed to do just one thing - frontrun orders, and activity which leads to massive losses for the algos and the Citadels behind them, when the spoofer realizes just how dumb his counterparty truly is. The verdict was clear: nobody is allowed to outspoof the spoofers.
We’re all Dr. Evil today, thinking that one million dollars is a lot of money, or that one second is a short period of time, or that we are individually smart or capable in a systemically interesting way. We use our small-number brains to make sense of an increasingly large-number investment world, and as a result both our market fears and our market dreams are increasingly out of touch with reality.