Citadel

Chinese Hedge Fund Manager Denies She Was Arrested, Was Merely "Meditating"

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 "Punishes" Hundreds For "Maliciously" Manipulating The Market

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."

Hedge Fund Hotel California: Smart Money Darlings Crash Up To 42% In One Week

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.

Wall Street To Form New Tech Company To "Clean Up" Dirty Data

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.  

The "Best Way To Play The Chinese Credit-Commodity Crunch" Is About To Pay Off Big

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.

The Biggest Losers From Today's Rout

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 Ban

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.

Fed/Treasury Worried High-Frequency-Trading "Hurts Market Function"

Just days after China bans Citadel (and its high frequency trading) from trading Chinese markets, US Treasury and Federal Reserve officials have been forced to admit they "need to consider whether the race for speed, at this already advanced stage, helps or hurts market functioning." As WSJ reports, Fed governor Jerome Powell and Antonio Weiss, a senior counselor to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, said Monday that the government should re-evaluate the structure of U.S. markets in light of recent events. They are growing more concerned about signs that financial markets have grown more volatile with the growth of fast trading. As Weiss concludes, "the constant pursuit to save one more millisecond not only consumes resources potentially better invested elsewhere, but increases the pressure on the plumbing of the system to handle ever-increasing speeds and messaging traffic." The pre-emptive blame-mongery is beginning...

Frontrunning: August 4

  • Unhappy Voters Shake Up Presidential Race (WSJ)
  • China stock exchanges step up crackdown on short-selling (Reuters)
  • China Dethroned as World’s Most Liquid Stock Market After Curbs (BBG)
  • Xiaomi retakes the smartphone lead in China as Apple slips (Engadget)
  • Impact of EPA’s Emissions Rule on Industry to Vary (WSJ)
  • Citadel’s Ken Griffin Leaves 2008 Tumble Far Behind (WSJ)
  • Greece says expects bailout deal by Aug 18 (Reuters)

China Stocks Open Marginally Higher As Regulators Unleash More 'Measures'

Chinese stocks are opening flat to marginally higher - still lower from Friday's close - despite the government unleashing yet more 'measures' in the name of stability. Having banned 5 accounts - reportedly including Fed-favorite Citadel - China is blaming excess market volatility on short-term short-sellers and has put in place curbs on short-selling that force traders to hold for at least one day. On the bright side, margin traders reduced exposure for the seventh day in a row, reducing outstanding balances to 5-month lows.. which leaves the median China stock trading at a remarkable 61x reported earnings (compared with 12x in Hong Kong).

Frontrunning: August 3

  • Deadline Draws Near for Puerto Rico (WSJ)
  • U.S. to defend Syrian rebels with airpower, including from Assad (Reuters)
  • Alpha Natural Resources to Seek Chapter 11 (WSJ)
  • Iran’s Rouhani Says Nuclear Deal ‘More Than What Was Imagined’ (BBG)
  • Cables Show Hillary Clinton's State Department Deeply Involved in Trans-Pacific Partnership (IBTimes)
  • Win or Lose, U.S. Stocks Get Biggest Earnings Bang Since ’12 (BBG)
  • Weaker China factories argue for more policy support as stocks swoon (Reuters)

Citadel Barred From Trading In China After Regulator Accuses "Automated Trading" Unit Of Manipulation

Define irony: for the past 7 years, Wall Street's worst kept secret is that Citadel, the world's most levered hedge fund, has been the NY Fed's just slightly more than arms-length enforcer of market stability, by which we mean spoofer, buyer and otherwise "plunge protector" in the equity and E-mini futures markets. Which is why Citadel must have been shocked to learn late last week that China had suspended trading at a brokerage account used by Citadel in China.

The Swiss National Bank Is Long $94 Billion In Stocks, Reports Record Loss Equal To 7% Of Swiss GDP

Earlier today, the SNB which is perhaps the most transparent hedge fund of all central banks and actually lays out its financial statements in a respectable manner every quarter, released its results for the second quarter (and first half) of 2015. The result: another absolutely epic loss, amounting to €50.1 billion ($51.8 billion) of which €47.2 billion on currency positions - a whopping 7% of Swiss GDP - meaning that in Q2 the SNB lost another €20 billion. This happened despite the SNB having invested 17%, or $94 billion, in foreign - mostly US -stocks.

Violent Government Buying Spree Sends Chinese Stocks Soaring At Close Of Trading; Yellen On Deck

On a day when market participants will care about only one thing - how hawkish (or dovish) the FOMC sounds at 2:00 pm (no Yellen press conference today) - Chinese stocks provided the usual dramatic sideshow and traded unchanged or modestly negative for most of the day despite the latest $100 billion injection, the close of trading on Wednesday was a mirror image of what happened in the last hour on Monday, as various Chinese "plunge-protection" mechanism went into a furious buying frenzy and government-backed funds rushed to buy anything that trades in the last 60 minutes of trading in what may be the most glaring example of banging the close yet.