I gave a 45-minute presentation on Yield Purchasing Power at American Institute for Economic Research in Great Barrington, MA on October 14, 2016. I am grateful to the Institute for recording video of my presentation plus extended Q&A.
The economy has gone suicidal. It is working against the very people who need its energy to survive. It is collapsing on its own weight, and the weight of literally incalculable levels of toxic debt. And it is going to create the greatest disaster of our time, if the warnings from the world’s most powerful bankers are any indication.
"The advent of non-bank liquidity providers such as HFTs has reduced bid ask spread and increased market efficiency in FX markets, but at the cost of lower market depth and withdrawal of liquidity provision in periods of stress."
"The issue about what's going to happen with the election isn't so much an issue of Trump versus Clinton at the moment. It's a question of whether the House and the Senate and the executive branch can get together and make Americans feel safer and have a fiscal and monetary policy that isn't self-destructive, which currently it is.... In the history of the Western world, inflating your way out of this kind of a problem, people went grocery shopping with wheelbarrows full of currency."
Following a historic surge in volume after the Brexit referendum, which sent bid/ask spreads soaring and led to a disorderly market at the European open, Deutsche Bank AG temporarily shut off outside market makers in its dark pool, SuperX. The bank told outside market makers that they would be prohibited from trading in SuperX on Friday, until the bank notified them it was ready to resume. Morgan Stanley’s dark pool was likewise turn "off" this morning as ATS operators scrambled to make sense of the broken market.
Regulation NMS made its first major impact with the introduction of “Payment For Order Flow”, which when paired with sub-penny pricing, is now directly responsible for birthing a new gold rush within the capital markets. The dawn of the High Frequency Trading (HFT) community we witness today. The result of this policy is an insurmountable, unequal, and unjust advantage for self-dealing BD’s and HFT’s, at the expense of the market’s retail level investors.
Sometimes it’s nice to get a sanity check and hear other investors and market professionals views on how the stock market has changed over the past few years. We hear more and more from various market participants that the market seems to be one big correlated beast that doesn’t trade on supply and demand anymore...
"The other day I was watching the stock open up, and it went up on share volumes of a few thousand shares. I mean, every trade was a tick up. That's not the way it should operate in an honestly or intelligently run exchange. But that's the thing, all those guys sold their dark pools and their order flow and the positioning on the floors of the servers to the HFTs. And it's made a couple of guys that I'm friendly with very rich because they are high-frequency traders."
"Something disturbing happened this morning. I bought a nymex copper contract with an attached stop limit and take profit. My stop got rejected by the exchange. I think it was in pending mode. I ignored it and when the market moved up, i moved the stop up. Then the exchange accepted it. My take profit order got hit instead. Then, I shorted an ES. Again, the market rejected my stop limit."
The "unsinkable" global financial system is rushing headlong toward its encounter with the iceberg, while the passengers and crew remain supremely confident and unaware of the risks, risks that will only become "obvious" after the global financial system has broken in half and sunk to the bottom, destroying most of those who believed it unsinkable.
It didn't take much to fizzle Friday's Japan NIRP-driven euphoria, when first ugly Chinese manufacturing (and service) PMI data reminded the world just what the bull in the China shop is leading to a 1.8% Shanghai drop on the first day of February. Then it was about oil once more when Goldman itself said not to expect any crude production cuts in the near future. Finally throw in some very cautious words by the sellside what Japan's act of NIRP desperation means, and it becomes clear why stocks on both sides of the pond are down, why crude is not far behind, and why gold continues to rise.