Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Blythe Masters Withdraws From CFTC : Furious Twitter Backlash Blamed

Following our post yesterday which included the occasional F-bomb, the reaction was sharp and severe. So severe in fact that less than 24 hours later, Blythe Master has withdrawn from the CFTC. The culprit for Masters' resignation in just 24 hours? A very angry Twitter.

The Farce Is Complete: Blythe Masters Joining CFTC

We thought today's newsflow and "market action" ranked pretty high on the absurd surrealism scale. And then we saw this.

BLYTHE MASTERS TO JOIN CFTC GLOBAL MARKETS COMMITTEE
JPMORGAN’S BLYTHE MASTERS TO JOIN CFTC ADVISORY COMMITTEE

It's almost as if they are explicitly telling the handful of people who still care about this entire charade a resounding "fuck you."

Live Hearing On Financial Stability And Data Security

Moments ago, the Senate Banking Committee started a hearing on the topic of "Financial Stability And Data Security." We assume the topic discussed will be financial stability, the highly diluted final version of the Volcker Rule, Dodd Drank, the London Whale, and other things legislators have no understanding of. As such it will be a complete waste of time, and the only thing that can possibly force anyone to fix the broken system is the next systemic crash, one which the central banks, already all in with their bailout efforts, will be unable to resolve.

Bank Of America Caught Frontrunning Clients

So far in 2013, Bank of America lost money on 9 trading days out of a total 188. Statistically, this result is absolutely ridiculous when one considers that the bulk of bank trading revenues are still in the form of prop positions disguised as "flow" trading to evade Volcker which means the only way a bank could make money with near uniform perfection is if it either i) consistently has inside information that it trades on or ii) it consistently front-runs its clients (the latter incidentally was a topic we covered back in 2009 relating to Goldman Sachs, and which the bank sternly rejected). We now know that when it comes to Bank of America at least one of the two happened.

Volcker Is LOLkered As TruPS CDO Provision Eliminated From Rule To Avoid "Unnecessary Losses"

So much for the strict, evil Volcker Rule which was a "victory for regulators" and its requirement that banks dispose of TruPS CDOs. Recall a month, when it was revealed that various regional banks would need to dispose of their TruPS CDO portfolios, we posted "As First Volcker Rule Victim Emerges, Implications Could "Roil The Market"." Well, the market shall remain unroiled because last night by FDIC decree, the TruPS CDO provision was effectively stripped from the rule. This is what came out of the FDIC last night: "Five federal agencies on Tuesday approved an interim final rule to permit banking entities to retain interests in certain collateralized debt obligations backed primarily by trust preferred securities (TruPS CDOs) from the investment prohibitions of section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, known as the Volcker rule." In other words, the first unintended consequences of the Volcker Rule was just neutralized after the ABA and assorted banks screamed against it.

Frontrunning: December 30

  • Americans on Wrong Side of Income Gap Run Out of Means to Cope (BBG)
  • Michael Schumacher battles for life after ski fall (Reuters)
  • Professors for hire: Academics Who Defend Wall St. Reap Reward (NYT)
  • Chinese police kill eight in Xinjiang 'terrorist attack' (Reuters)
  • How to Prevent a War Between China and Japan (BBG)
  • Unemployment Benefits Lapse Severs Lifeline for Longtime Jobless (BBG)
  • Japan's homeless recruited for murky Fukushima clean-up (Reuters)
  • China Local-Government Debt Surges to $3 Trillion (WSJ)
  • How unexpected: Britons less inclined to pay down mortgage debt (Reuters)

CFTC Announces It Is Undercounting Size Of Swaps Market By As Much As $55 Trillion

What is $55 trillion between friends? Very little according to the CFTC. In perhaps the biggest under the radar news of the day - to be expected with every watercooler occupied by taper experts - the WSJ reports that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said Wednesday that technical errors at two so-called swaps data repositories, which collect and supply regulators with transaction data, have led the CFTC to misreport the overall size of the swaps market by undercounting its size. Isn't it curious how all these "glitches" always work out in the favor of preserving market calm and confidence and away from spooking investors and speculators? Either way, a better question is how big was the so called undercounting? The answer: as large as $55 trillion!

Frontrunning: December 17

  • Fed’s $4 Trillion Assets Draw Lawmaker Ire Amid Bubble Concern (BBG)
  • Ex-Goldmanite Fab Tourre fined more than $1 million (WSJ)
  • EU Banks Shrink Assets by $1.1 Trillion as Capital Ratios Rise (BBG)
  • Japan to bolster military, boost Asia ties to counter China (Reuters)
  • China condemns Abe for criticizing air defense zone (Reuters)
  • Insider-Trading Case May Hinge on Phone Call (WSJ)
  • Republicans Gird for Debt-Ceiling Fight (WSJ)
  • Mario Draghi pushes bank union deal (FT)
  • German Coalition Plans More Pension Money (WSJ)
  • Oil Supply Surge Brings Calls to Ease U.S. Export Ban (BBG)

Futures Resume Overnight Levitation Mode

The grind higher in equities, and tighter in credit, continues as markets brush aside concerns about a December taper for the time being. Overnight futures levitation has pushed the Fed balance sheet driven record high S&P even higher, despite as Deutsche Bank points out, the fact that we had three Fed speakers advocate or talk up the possibility of a December taper, including the St Louis Fed’s James Bullard who is viewed as a bit of a bellwether for the FOMC. Bullard said the probability of a taper had risen in light of the strengthening of job growth in recent months. Indeed, he noted that the best move for the Fed could be a small December taper given the improving jobs data but below-target inflation readings. The Fed could then pause further tapering should inflation not return toward target during the first half of 2014.  Looking at today’s calendar, the focus will be on US JOLTs job openings - a report which Yellen has previously highlighted as an important supplement to more traditional labour market indicators. US small business optimism and wholesale inventories are the other major data releases today. As mentioned above, US financial regulators are due to announce Volcker rules at some point today although as we just reported, the CFTC's meeting on Volcker was just cancelled due to inclement weather.

GoldCore's picture

The FSB's first chairman was Mario Draghi, current President of the European Central Bank, while its current chairman is Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England. The inclusion of Financial Market Infrastructures means that large parts of the global financial system is susceptible to bail-in and could potentially be bailed-in including exchange traded funds.

Frontrunning: November 20

  • JPMorgan $13 Billion Mortgage Deal Seen as Lawsuit Shield (BBG)
  • J.P. Morgan Is Haunted by a 2006 Decision on Mortgages (WSJ)
  • World powers, Iran in new attempt to reach nuclear deal (Reuters)
  • Keystone Foes Seek to Thwart Oil Sands Exports by Rail (BBG) - mostly Warren Buffet?
  • How Would Fed Deal With Debt Ceiling Crisis? Look to Minutes for Clues  (Hilsenrath)
  • Anything to prevent the loss of prop trading: 'Volcker Rule' Faces New Hurdles (WSJ)
  • BOE Sees Case for Keeping Record-Low Rate Beyond 7% Jobless (BBG)
  • Obama Backs Piecemeal Immigration Overhaul (WSJ)
  • Abenomics Seen Cutting Japan Bad-Loan Costs to 2006 Low (BBG)
GoldCore's picture

Bitcoin has increased more than tenfold since the beginning of 2013. One of the reasons for the incredible surge is that bitcoin is a freely traded market and not subject to rigging or price manipulation by banks or government. Physical Gold, either in your possession or in allocated accounts, remains a far safer alternative both to bitcoin, to digital gold platforms and to paper and electronic currencies in what is still a vulnerable banking system.