Commodity Futures Trading Commission

The Flipside To Rigged FX Markets: "The Most Consistent Thing Is Losing"

As today's latest example of pervasive, apparently endless criminality at the world's largest banks, where once again the shocked public is exposed to a culture of sociopathic, unchecked greed and perpetual raping of clients, showed, one is either part of the all too literal "cartel", or one loses money. However, for those who are unfamiliar with the nuances of FX trading, one doesn't even have to be on the other side of the world's most criminal, above the law, cartel of bankers to have no P and only L: the fundamental premise of currency trading, whereby one can and will be stopped out thanks to leverage as high as 50x - by others but mostly by one's own brokers as we learned today courtesy of JPM, Citi, RBS, HSBC and UBS - is the very same reason why as retail FX trader Dan Gratton, a 71-year-old retiree who lives on Social Security in Kingman, Arizona has found out: "Probably the most consistent thing is losing."

Frontrunning: November 12

  • Banks to Pay $3.3 Billion in FX-Manipulation Probe (BBG)
  • Symbolic being the key word: U.S., China sign symbolic emissions plan, play down rivalry (Reuters)
  • Europe (so really Russian sanctions) is the new "snow in the winter" - Carney Sees Europe Stagnation Impact as Growth Outlook Cut (BBG)
  • Eurozone Industrial Output Points to Weak Third Quarter Growth (WSJ)
  • Not everyone around Abe is insane: Kuroda Ally Flags Warning on Delaying Sales-Tax Increase (BBG)
  • Hong Kong to scrap daily yuan conversion limit to boost stock investment (Reuters)
  • Barclays Falls After FX Settlement Delay Reduces Discount (BBG)
  • Some unhappy Yahoo investors asking AOL for rescue (Reuters)

Frontrunning: November 11

  • No Sign of Thaw in Obama’s Brief Encounters With Putin (BBG)
  • Japan Lawmakers Prepare for Snap Elections as Abe Mulls Tax (BBG)
  • Global stocks rise, Brent crude hits four-year low (Reuters)
  • U.S., China to Drop Tariffs on Range of Tech Products (WSJ)
  • ‘Too-Big-to-Fail’ Rule Would Raise Bar for Bank Capital (WSJ) ... and mean even bigger taxpayer bailouts
  • Pot in New York: $100 Ticket. No Charges. No Record. No Nothing (BBG)
  • Microsoft unveils first Lumia smartphone without Nokia name (Reuters)
  • Davos-Man Ackermann Lured to Cyprus Bank by Billionaires (BBG)
  • Alibaba, Apple Talks on Payments Tie-Up Focused on China (WSJ)

"Turn Those Machines Back On" - The Day The Bond Market Died (If Only For A Few Minutes)

while the algos would have been delighted to let October 15 slide into the collective memory made obsolete by a constantly rising market (because investors are only truly angry when the market plunges not when it surges) just as the regulators made a mockery of their fiduciary responsibilities in the aftermath of May 6, and now markets are more fragile than ever as HFTs comprise the vast majority of all trades, some appear to be complaining and even, gasp, asking questions how it is possible that the $12 trillion US Treasury market traded like an illiquid Pink Sheets pennystock, or worse, the Nikkei.Here is the WSJ with some of the complaints: “It starts moving faster and faster, and you can’t point to anything."Actually, yes you can.

Frontrunning: November 10

  • Obama urges China to be partner in ensuring world order (Reuters)
  • China Sees Itself at Center of New Asian Order (WSJ)
  • Xi Dangles $1.25 Trillion as China Counters U.S. Refocus (BBG)
  • China's Xi, Japan's Abe hold landmark meeting after awkward handshake (Reuters)
  • Revenue Softness Worries Stock Investors (WSJ)
  • How BOJ’s Kuroda Won the Vote for Stimulus Expansion (WSJ)
  • Bonus Season Brings More Pain for Traders (WSJ)
  • Russia’s Military Encounters Risk Clash in Europe (BBG)

Frontrunning: November 4

  • Republicans expect gains, but many races close on election day (Reuters)
  • Ahead of tough election, White House blames dismay with Washington (Reuters)
  • On Election Day, a Tale of the Young and the Old (WSJ)
  • Because the recovery: Sprint to Cut 2,000 Jobs as Mobile Customers Keep Leaving (BBG)
  • Ukraine's rebel leader is sworn in, crisis deepens (Reuters)
  • Brilliant: Burkina Faso Army Promises Religious Leaders It Will Step Down (BBG)
  • More Unknowns Leave Central Banks Facing Greater Internal Strife (BBG)
  • Scapegoat found: IBM to Change Leadership at Global Services Unit (WSJ)
  • Explains why Europe just slashed its GDP forecast: Don’t Be Fooled by Warm Spell as Cold Air About to Return (BBG)

Algos Please Ignore: Citi Slashes Previously Reported Net Income Due To "Legal Investigations" Over FX Rigging Probe

Nothing to see here move along:

*CITIGROUP ADJUSTS 3Q DOWN ON $600M INCREASE IN LEGAL ACCRUAL, LOWERS CITI’S 3Q '14 NET  TO $2.8B FROM $3.45B
*CITIGROUP SAYS DOJ, CFTC, OTHERS PROBING CITI'S FOREX BUSINESS

When did company earnings become like GDP: first release is highest, second is lower, third lowest? Aren't you glad you bailed this trustful people out?

Gross PIMCO Exit Sparks Record Liquidations In Short-End Of Yield Curve

It appears wherever one looks in the markets there are the skidmarks of PIMCO adjusting to life after Bill Gross. First it was MBS (and related derivatives), then CDS indices adjusted as redemption expectations raised risk premia, and now it is the short-end of the Treasury curve. As The FT notes, 3-month Eurodollar futures (instruments enabling traders to bet on the front-end of the yield curve and thus more accurately pinpoint their bets on Fed actions) saw asset managers (cough PIMCO cough) liquidate a record 868,853 contracts in the week to September 30 – the largest one-week change on record (each contract has a notional value of $1m). This dramatic shift suggests both a disagreement with Gross' "new normal" view of rates lower for longer (since liquidation is concentrated around the 2-year maturities) and a need to meet liquidity requirements from redemption requests.

Frontrunning: September 10

  • British PM begs Scots: Don't rip apart our UK 'family of nations' (Reuters)
  • Obama has become Bush: Obama’s Task: Rally U.S. Public, Allies in Terror Fight (BBG)
  • Alibaba's record IPO covered after first few roadshow meetings (Reuters)
  • Ferrari chairman Luca Di Montezemolo to quit after 23 years (BBC)
  • Combat Reversals Pressure Assad (WSJ)
  • Top LBO Fund Investors Pile on Leverage to Boost Returns (BBG)
  • BOJ's Iwata upbeat on economy, unfazed by post-tax hike slump (Reuters)
  • Carney Can’t Escape Housing as Debt Colors BOE Policy (BBG)
  • Detroit Clears Crucial Hurdle on Bankruptcy (NYT)

Another Settlement – JP Morgan Receives Slap On The Wrist Despite Years Of Fraudulent CFTC Data

The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has been long viewed as one of the most corrupt of American institutions – and that’s saying a lot... when a retiring judge accuses the other remaining judge of being a total bought and paid for Wall Street crony, you know something is wrong. And sure enough, today we learn the CFTC will impose a meager $650,000 fine on JP Morgan, despite years of warnings about fraudulent data reports. You gotta love American justice. In the same week that an NYPD officer’s illegal and fatal chokehold was ruled a homicide (incredibly the man who shot the video has now been arrested), JP Morgan gets off with another slap on the wrist. As Glenn Greenwald noted, it’s Liberty and Justice for Some.