Commodity Futures Trading Commission
With the "generals" finally meeting their reality-maker, investors appear to be questioning the DotCom bubble-like highs as momentum collapses. "Exuberance has turned to panic pretty quickly," notes one asset manager and after a very rapid plunge in recent days, options traders are piling into protection at a pace not seen since Q4 2008.
Amid denied rumors of production cuts (and Goldman's dismissal), crude oil prices have jumped "August 2015 Andy Hall squeeze style" to 3-week highs. This 'change' in trend has hedge funds calling the bottom once again adding to bullish oil bets at the fastest pace since 2010 in the last week. However, most ironically, it appears the weak longs are being squeezed today as WTI crashes 6%.
It may not be as sexy as gold and silver, but sometimes even doctor copper needs a little squeeze and corner love as well, and according to Bloomberg, that is precisely what someone is trying to do. One company whose identity is unknown, is "hoarding as much as half the copper available in warehouses tracked by the London Metal Exchange."
To the extent we believed there might be a shred of honesty and/or dignity buried somewhere in the bowels of the government body tasked with policing the derivatives market, our hopes were dashed on Tuesday when we learned that the Commission’s auditor has withdrawn “nearly a decade” of financial opinions after discovering that the books may be cooked.
"The market is manic depressive and it swings from seeing only the positives to seeing only the negatives," notes the world’s biggest distressed-debt investor, Howard Marks, but for now, as Bloomberg reports, the extremes (in risk pricing and sentiment) that usually signal opportunity (or capitulation) are not present. As Guggenheim's Scott Minerd warns, "wholesale panic" is what's needed before the market turns, and as RBS notes, "1,800 might come pretty quick."
Free Corzine!!! Hasn't he already served enough time?
See For Yourself ...
Derivatives like credit default swaps turned a mere bubble in the US housing market into a global financial catastrophe...
One year ago, the two most crowded trades going into 2015 were being long the USD and short US Treasurys. While the former trade had questionable success, the latter most certainly did not work and while hedge-fund managers and other large speculators spent December 2014 setting the biggest bets against Treasuries in four years, fast-forwarding 12 months later we find that the smartest money in the room has fully abandoned those massive short Treasury bets.
Goldman, Decembert 20, 2015: "We think the BoJ is closer to easing further to attempt to achieve a successful reflation than it is to giving up altogether, and so we continue to expect $/JPY higher. We recommend being long $/JPY as part of our 2016 top trade recommendation (along with short EUR/$) and forecast $/JPY at 130 in 12 months"... Three days later, the USDJPY is 100 pips lower.
Despite these economic dynamics that are automatic in any legitimate market, there has been no price discovery in the silver market for three decades.
In NYT Op-Ed, Hillary Lays Out How She'd "Rein In Wall Street" (And No, Not By Demanding Even More Donations)Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/07/2015 10:41 -0500
Overnight Hillary Clinton, in her latest populist push to present herself as "one of the people" wrote a NYT op-ed explaining "How I'd Rein In Wall Street", we were wondering if it would include draining Wall Street balance sheets with mandatory and far greater donations to her campaign by Wall Street firms - a strategy that may actually work as it hits banks where it hurts the most: their money. To our disappointment, this was not included.
After the worst monthly performance since 2013 and the weakest close since February 2010, it appears "managed money" has piled in to the momentum trade. According to CFTC, hedge funds have never been more short gold (slashing long bets and increasing short beta by around 11 million ounces net in the last week). But gold is not alone as 15 of the 24 commodities tracked by CFTC showed sentiment swinging more bearish last week (with Brent and WTI also at their most-bearish positioning on record). And this is happening as November US Mint gold coin sales rose 86% YoY.
"This is a disaster. Only the stupid Americans could have produced such a disaster. Does Putin need to do anything? We’re doing it all for him. So he doesn’t need to do anything. He’s not going to attack anybody. What does he need to attack anybody for? The idiot Americans are destroying themselves and their allies. This is an amazing fiasco.”
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.”