Another 2 Year Old Zero Hedge Story Goes Mainstream, And A Glimpse Inside The BLS' "Frontrunning" Data RoomSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/12/2013 08:16 -0400
Those who did not read Zero Hedge in March 2011 will be shocked, shocked to learn that yet another "news" service, one owned by Deutsche Börse, was merely disguising as an HFT-facilitating, instanews disseminating, speed roadblock removing provider, who just happened to charge $375,000 per year for its frontrunning services. The firm in question, as the WSJ reports today, was "founded by an investment firm and now owned by the Deutsche Börse stock exchange, Need To Know News has operated with an overriding mission: sending data directly from the government through high-speed lines to financial firms that are able to trade on it instantly. Some have paid $375,000 a year for the service." Of course, those who did read Zero Hedge in March 2011 will already know all about Deutsche Boerse's "news dissemination" strategy which was covered here first with "Alpha Flash: For All Your Nanosecond, Collocated, Algorithmic Frontrunning Needs" in which we tongue-in-cheekly asked "Ever feel like your nanosecond algorithmic frontrunning skills are becoming obsolete? Unable to scalp even a few extra pennies from illiterate orphans, widows and kittens armed with REDIPlus 9.0? Despair not, for Deutsche Boerse [and Need to Know News LLC] has Alpha Flash just for you."
Despite an overnight surge in the Chinese markets, with the Shanghai Composite closing up 2.4% following reports that China will not only continue with its "liquidity tightening" operation by, paradoxically, cutting RRR for smaller banks, but launch a stimulus for several Chinese provinces and city governments "on the quiet" in the form of jumbo-sized bank loans, and GDP news in Japan that were so bad they were almost good (although not bad enough to close the Nikkei in the green) US futures continue to take on water following the second worst week of 2013 as the market now appears resigned to a Taper announcement in just over 5 weeks (as we have claimed since May). News in Europe continues to be bipolar, with the big picture confirming that only dark skies lie ahead following yesterday's news that a new Greek bailout is just around the corner, or rather just after the Merkel reelection (even though Kotthaus perpetuated the lies and said a second cut in Greek debt is not on the agenda - although maybe he is not lying: maybe only Greek deposits will be cut this time), offset by on the margin improvements in the economic headlines, even as credit creation remains not only non-existent but as the FT reports (one year after Zero Hedge), some €3.2 trillion in financial deleveraging is still on deck meaning an unprecedented contraction in all credit-driven aggregates (one of which of course is GDP).
Should we broadcast a message to the rest of the world that anyone that can find a way to enter this country and somehow get to a “sanctuary city” can sign up for a plethora of welfare benefits and live a life of leisure at the expense of hard working American citizens? Yes, this question sounds absurd, but what we have just described will essentially be official U.S. government policy if the immigration bill going through Congress becomes law. Sadly, in politically correct America you can’t even talk about the problem of illegal immigration these days without being labeled as a “racist”. Our immigration system is completely broken, but these days we cannot even have a rational debate about these issues. In politically correct America, illegal immigrants have become a “favored class” of people that you are never supposed to say anything bad about. The following are 19 very disturbing facts about illegal immigration that every American should know...
With the NSA already combing through and recording every form of electronic communication (or 1.6% of all global internet traffic to be precise), it was only a matter of time before a scare involving plain vanilla physical mail took place. Such as what just happened at JFK airport at 9 am this morning, when as ABC reports (with a substantial delay) that "Two postal inspectors at JFK Airport were sickened Sunday after opening a package at a postal processing facility. Field tests showed an initial finding of nerve gas, though authorities believe it's a low likelihood that it's actually nerve gas. It is more likely a standard-use chemical that shouldn't have been in the mail like a solvent or degreaser. The FBI was called in and additional testing is underway. The condition of the customs agents is not yet known."
Counter-Terror Experts: Government's Mass Surveillance Program - And Justifications - Are So Dumb They're "Crazy Pants"Submitted by George Washington on 08/08/2013 15:31 -0400
Even though the United States has the highest incarceration rate and the largest total prison population in the world by a very wide margin, hundreds of communities all over America are being overwhelmed by crime and violence. For many years, violent crime had actually decreased in the United States, but now the trend is going the other way. The frightening thing is that crime statistics are going up even though police departments in some major cities have publicly announced that they will not even respond to certain crimes anymore. So what is causing the rise in crime and violence? Well, we live at a time when economic opportunities for young people are extremely limited. The younger you are, the more likely you are to be unemployed, and poverty in America has been steadily rising even in the midst of this so-called "economy recovery". When people are poor and feel like they are out of options, they tend to get desperate. And desperate people do desperate things.
Nearly a year after the Benghazi embassy attack that left four Americans dead including ambassador Chris Stevens, it seems that the deaths of US citizens have "made a difference" after all in the eyes of the amusingly named US Department of Justice, which moments ago filed criminal charges related to the Libyan attack. Alas, that's all we know because as the WSJ reports, the charges were filed under seal. It probably means that is all that shall be known until one day, several years from now long after Eric Holder has left the building, the DOJ will unseal the charges and disclose it never had a case to begin with.
Frequent readers are aware that one of our favorite topics is forensic market evidence confirming early release of market moving data to select "buyers" of said data, who then can trade ahead of the crowd and make illegal profits. The most recent example of just this took place last Friday when someone or something was leaked the non-farm payroll data as much as three second early. But while various third party profit-seeking intermediaries such as Deutsche Boerse's MNI, UMichigan consumer confidence and others have acknowledged to presell early dissemination of specialized data to subscribers such as well-paying high frequency traders, at least government data was said to be exempt from such a profit motive. At least until now: the WSJ reports that the FBI "has discovered vulnerabilities in the government's system for preventing market-moving economic reports from leaking to traders before public release. Law-enforcement officials found "a number of operational vulnerabilities" involving "black boxes" used by several departments to control the release of sensitive economic data such as the monthly unemployment rate, according to a report by the inspector general at the Commerce Department."
In short, pretty much everything.
When Bad Government Policy Leads to Bad Results, the Government Manipulates the Data … Instead of Changing PolicySubmitted by George Washington on 07/30/2013 15:09 -0400
Problem ... What Problem?
How does one destroy an idea? Further, how does one destroy the truth? Corrupt governments have been struggling with this dilemma since men wore loincloths and worshiped fire. Fortunately for those of us in the “lower strata” of social organization, honorable ideas and indelible truths have a life of their own. Even when a culture as a whole remains oblivious and unguarded, the facts tend to rise to the surface one way or another. The reality which elitists at least partly understand, is that the truth cannot be destroyed, but it can be forgotten, at least for a time. This is a never-ending process...
NSA has free access to your passwords when you back up your account on Google’s ‘back up my data’ featured on Android
Is Vladimir Putin, tired with Edward Snowden recasting himself as Tom Hanks in the Moscow transit terminal, about to send the NSA whistleblower packing, bound and gagged, and gift wrapped back to Obama? It increasingly appears so. Reuters reports that, in a sudden and abrupt shift to the previously defiant tone out of Putin, Russia's FSB federal security agency and its U.S. counterpart, the FBI, are in talks over the fate Edward Snowden, who is stuck at a Moscow airport, Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said on Friday. Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin was not involved in talks over the 30-year-old American, who is wanted by the United States on espionage charges.
It turns out that the National Security Agency of the US can actually locate your cell phone even when it has been turned off and is no longer emitting a signal.
"As Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I can tell you that I believe the oversight we have conducted is strong and effective and I am doing my level best to get more information declassified. Please know that it is equally frustrating to me, as it is to you, that I cannot provide more detail on the value these programs provide and the strict limitations placed on how this information is used. I take serious my responsibility to make sure intelligence programs are effective, but I work equally hard to ensure that intelligence activities strictly comply with the Constitution and our laws and protect Americans’ privacy rights."