This is the story of a veteran NYSE specialist who noticed manipulation in the NYSE market open Imbalance, loudly complained to the NYSE, was ignored, then decided to profit from said manipulation himself... and got busted. And that's where the story begins...
As Bloomberg reports, "JPMorgan Chase & Co. is set to pay almost a third of a $1.86 billion settlement to resolve accusations that a dozen big banks conspired to limit competition in the credit-default swaps market, according to people briefed on terms of the deal."
Courtesy of JPM we find something curious: it is no longer the Fed, nor its capital markets proxy, Citadel, nor even the banks or hedge funds that are the primary sellers of volatility. It is retail investors themselves!
"Activist Investors", the relatively new classification for corporate agitators, want you to believe that their intellectual tactics/ strategies improve both corporate governance and shareholder returns. That may be true but they also seem to be involved in another, less savory, tactic, that is, inflating their company “ownership” claims with extremely large derivatives positions as outlined in SEC disclosure filings.
Our current monetary system is the root cause of many evils of today. Let’s take war, a topic we discussed in this article, as an example. Without a monetary system that creates currency out of thin air, most of the wars that we have had and still have would simply not be financeable. This system is controlled by a few, who change the rules to their own benefit. And as we have seen they use their privileges to finance wars and to bribe politicians. By holding your wealth in precious metals you are rejecting the current system and also protecting yourself from “financial tyranny”. This includes: capital controls, expropriation, bail-ins, bailouts, negative interest rates, market manipulation on a wide scale and massive paper currency fluctuations.
Just like 13F clones end up getting burned more often than not, so too unfortunately for the Chinese copycats, an endorsement from the equity market’s savior has done nothing to ensure outsized returns. In fact, as Bloomberg adds, it was just the opposite - the stock picks have trailed the broader market. The 46 companies that reported the agency as a top 10 shareholder in the past two months lost an average 29 percent since the announcement, versus a 21 percent drop for the Shanghai Composite Index.
In a day in which the total breakdown of the market and the sheer dominance of various HFT algos was painfully obvious for any remaining carbon-based trader forms to see, we started off with not one but two E-mini trading halts following ridiculous buying slams. As a result, first thing today we asked "what exactly happened at 6:12am?" We now know.
Last week, amid China's sweeping crackdown on "subversive", "malicious" sellers, Chinese authorities took Li Yifei, chairwoman of Man Group Plc’s China unit, into custody. Or maybe they didn't. After resurfacing, the hedge fund manager now claims that reports of her arrest were untrue and that she was merely on vacation - "meditating."
China's Ministry of Public Security says the accused are very, very sorry for their actions, in which they "misled society and the public, generated and spread fearful sentiment, and even used the opportunity to maliciously concoct rumors to attack [Communist] Party and national leaders."
While the "hedge fund" hotel strategy works on the way up, when everyone makes roughly the same profits, it is on the way down when these hedge fund hotels become "Hotel California" - hedge funds can check out, and sometimes they can even leave... with massive losses. According to a Bloomberg analysis, many of these hedge fund hotel stocks, or companies where hedge funds hold a combined stake of at least 25%, suffered declines of as much as 42 percent in the recent stock market rout.
Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan aren't satisfied with disparate, disorganized "reference data" which is why they're teaming up on an initiative called "SPReD". As WSJ reports, "using consistent data allows the banks to form accurate pricing for trades," and we all know what can happen when Wall Street gets together to "standardize" a reference point on which trades are based.
After trading at what we postulated was the rough floor for the CDS at 150 bps for over a year, in the past month Glencore CDS have exploded higher, and at last check was trading 315 bps wide, about 150 wider from the March 2014 levels with the likelihood of a major gap wider when the rating agencies downgrade the company from investment grade to junk, which in turn would trigger an unknown amount of cascading collateral calls and an accelerated liquidity depletion, which would then further hammer Glencore's bonds, and as a result, send its default risk, and CDS, surging.
In the event you were becoming concerned that the U.S. government might be backing away from its longstanding policy of endless violence, militarism and bloodshed, fear not. If we know one thing for sure, it’s that defense contractors and the military-intelligence-industrial complex must earn. And continue to earn it will.
It is unclear what catalyzed today's dump. Futures were briefly green at the open, then as if all hell broke loose and without an explicit catalyst (although the technical collapse of numerous "story stocks" which had been market leaders for months, both today and in recent weeks has not helped) the E-mini, and individual stocks, just took out level after level of bids and at last check the Dow has dropped to 6 month lows, the S&P is just barely green for the year, while the biggest pain is in the Nasdaq which has dropped as much as 2% intraday. Below we lay out the biggest losers from today's market drop.
Chinese Stocks Tumble Despite Margin Debt Rises As Virtu Is Unleashed To Provide "Liquidity" After Citadel BanSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/05/2015 21:18 -0400
No lesser liquidity-providing high-frequency-trading never-a-losing-trade shop than Virtu financial has been 'allowed' to trade Chinese capital markets. Coming just days after Citadel's ban, one can only assume that Chinese regulators made a deal with the devil CEO Doug Cifu to levitate markets at any and every cost in order to pick up pennies in front of de-leveraging, over-margined army of farmers and grandmas now seeking exits. Sure enough for the second day in a row margin debt is on the rise again. The retail-dominated Chinese stock market will be ripe picking for the HFTs, as long as not to many are allowed and a tail-chasing flash-crash ensues... but for now its appears yesterday afternoon's selling pressure continues with CSI-300 down almost 2% at the open.