While Stocks Soar Towards New Highs, Sophisticated Investors Are Already Prepping for the Next, Bigger CollapseSubmitted by Phoenix Capital Research on 03/04/2013 11:10 -0400
While the mainstream financial media continues to trumpet the wonders of stocks closing in on all-time highs, larger, more sophisticated players are preparing for a financial meltdown in a much larger market: bonds.
It started overnight in Japan, where Q4 GDP posted a surprising and disappointing 3rd quarter of declines, then quickly spread to France, whose Q4 GDP declined -0.3% Q/Q missing expectations of a -0.2% drop, down from a +0.1% increase, then Germany, whose GDP also missed expectations of a -0.5% drop, declining from a +0.2% increase to a -0.6% drop, then on to Italy (-0.9% vs Exp. -0.6%, last -0.2%), Portugal (-1.8%, Exp. -1.0%, last -0.9%), Greece (down -6.0%, previously -6.7%), Hungary (-0.9%, Exp. -0.3%), Austria (-0.2%, down from 0.1%), Cyprus (-3.1%, last -2.0%), and so on. To summarize: Eurozone GDP dropped far more than expected, or posting a -0.6% decline in Q4, worse than the -0.4% expected, which was the largest drop since Q1 2009, and down from the -0.1% posted in Q3. And since this was a second consecutive negative quarter of GDP decline for the Eurozone, the technical recession (double dip? triple dip? is anyone even counting anymore?) in Europe too is now official.
And now it's on us to mobilize and make sure at least one of us in each district contact our representatives and do what we can to inform them. The longer this goes on, the more bad algo's will manipulate the system
Presenting Dave Collum's now ubiquitous and all-encompassing annual review of markets and much, much more. From Baptists, Bankers, and Bootleggers to Capitalism, Corporate Debt, Government Corruption, and the Constitution, Dave provides a one-stop-shop summary of everything relevant this year (and how it will affect next year and beyond).
And so yet another saga of a trader who bet on AAPL rising, just before it tumbled, ends in tears, this time with what appears to be near certain incarceration of another small, 2-bit trader. As we previously reported, back in November, as AAPL stock was in freefall, none other than the firm of everyone's favorite financial permabull, Rochdale, ended up being a proud if involuntary holder of nearly $1 billion in AAPL stock. The scapegoat for AAPL's price drop: one ex-trader David Miller. What Miller is accused of, is buying 1.6 million shares of AAPL on the day of the company's last earnings announcement in hopes, of course, the stock would surge. It didn't. Furthermore, Miller was in reality executing a trade for a client who had only wanted to buy 1,625 shares, but Miller was confident enough the stock would go up, he bet the firm's money to buy the difference. Sadly, neither the AAPL earnings announcement, nor its stock price, did quite as planned. End result: $5 million loss, Miller terminated and now arrested and charged, and Rochdale left scrambling for a bailout.
Moments after Goldman completed the trifecta of controlling every major developed world central bank, with its tentacles now in charge of the Fed, the ECB and now the BOE, Obama announced his designee for the new head of the SEC. The name of Mary Schapiro's replacement: Elisse B. Walter, and no, she did not most recently work for Goldman. Yes. Shocking (for Gary Gensler). Oh, and don't worry Mary Schapiro. Nobody will shed any tears over your departure: perhaps if someone had known you were there even one day over the past 4 years this would be different.
FINRA Arrives After The Fact To Put Out The Fire Caused By Burning Apples At Dick Boves Employer, More Jokes To Ensue!Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 11/06/2012 11:29 -0400
Rochdale Securities executes a trade levered at 294x its capital base, in direct contradiction to BoomBustBlog research & FINRA arrives with a fire hose to wet the smoldering ashes.
...the pushback from Wall Street was intense and multi-pronged. The Blob oozed through the halls of government, seeking, through its glutinous embrace, to immobilize the legislative and regulatory apparatus, thereby preserving the status quo. The executive jets of the Wall Street air force flew sortie after sortie, transporting high-ranking emissaries from new York to Washington to meet with the SEC, [Senator Chris] Dodd and [Senator Richard] Shelby staff, and the staff of other senators on the Banking Committee. Some of the executives, no doubt less enthusiastically, even met with Josh and me. The research companies and market experts Wall Street employs also raised their voices against us. At times it got ugly. Ted was called a crackpot and dangerously uninformed. He was accused of “politicizing” market regulation (a strange notion considering he wasn’t running for election). It seemed as if Wall Street, which wasn’t used to someone on Capitol Hill asking in-depth questions about arcane issues, wished to silence or marginalize its critics. Industry people would always ask me, “What got Kaufman so interested in this stuff?” Used to politicians whose top priorities were to please their home-state business interests and raise money, they had trouble fathoming that Ted was so interested because it was the right thing to do. He believed in fair markets. And because he was genuinely concerned about emerging issues that threatened the stock market, where half of all Americans keep a sizable portion of their retirement savings.
One of the deepest mysteries related to the ongoing rally in U.S. equities is the persistent lack of retail investor involvement. QAs we have vociferously noted, U.S. equity mutual fund flows remain solidly negative and interest in single stock trading among individual investors is similarly moribund - while corporate bond volumes remain flat and Treasury volumes higher. As Nick Colas, of ConvergEx group, notes, one missing link to explain this dichotomy must be the fundamental lack of financial literacy among U.S. retail investors, yet this relationship is seldom mentioned as a reason for this group’s ongoing apathy in the face of 4-year highs for domestic stocks. You might argue that “It was always thus…” and that is a fair point. American investors haven’t grown dumber on financial matters in the last decade; they never had the requisite knowledge to begin with. But it does appear that the events of the last few years have caused some kind of “Tipping point” with regard to investors’ ability to process the world around them.
Instead of having to fire 1900 people, Deutsche Bank will now have to only let go 1899. The reason: the second most prominent casualty of the Lieborgate scandal is now none other than Bob Diamond's daughter Nell, who made quite a splash in the aftermath of the Barclays Libor manipulation revelations when the social circuit butterfly tweeted that "George Osborne and Ed Miliband can go ahead and #hmd.” As it turns out after graduation from Princeton University in June 2011, and following a stint in UNICEF, the philanthropist, whose twitter profile is riddled with photos of shoes and runway poses, joined Deutsche Bank in November 2011, whether due to her natural curiosity into the minutae of Investment Banking, or for other reasons. Of course, considering her Princeton thesis was on "The Cultural Myth of Female Hair in the Victorian Imagination" (strinkingly comparable to "The Power Of Women's Hair In The Victorian Imagination" but we digress), it likely was the latter. As it turns out, 9 months after joining the firm full time (she had a part-time stint in the summer of 2010, following comparable stints at the Abernathy Macgregor Group, Nantucket Ice Cream Company, Abercrombie and Fitch), the young woman who sold "Rates" products (Libor and other IR derivatives? Surely that would be ironic at a bank which is now front and center into the Lieborgate investigation) at Deutsche Bank has decided to call it quits, in the process saving the job of at least one low level banker who now will not have to be let go because of the lack of an English thesis focusing on Female hair during Victorian times
"This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around..."
Update 2: Russ Wasendorf Sr., the founder and CEO of PFGBest, reportedly attempted to commit suicide this morning outside the corporate headquarters in rural Cedar Falls, company officials confirmed Monday afternoon.
Update: PFGBest had $400MM in customer segregated funds at the end of April. Is JPMorgan about to "discover" another $400 million in Q2 "profits"?
Just out from futures broker PFG Best to clients, where the owner's suicide attempt apparently has led to a whole new MF Global spin off.
Due to a recent emergency involving Russell R. Wasendorf, Sr., a suicide attempt, some accounting irregularities are being investigated regarding company accounts. PFGBEST is wholly owned by Mr. Wasendorf. Therefore, the NFA and other officials have put all funds on hold, and PFGBEST is in liquidation-only status with our clearing FCM. What this means is no customers are able to trade except to liquidate positions. Until further notice, PFGBEST is not authorized to release any funds. We will update you as any new procedures are stipulated and with any further information as it becomes available.
... And just as the public trust was storming back into the capital markets.
Back in October 19, 1988, in response to Black Monday from a year earlier (the SEC is not known for fast turnaround times) a little known SEC rule came into effect, known as Rule 80B, and somewhat better known as "Trading Halts Due to Extraordinary Market Volatility" which set trigger thresholds for market wide circuit breakers - think a wholesale temporary market shutdown. According to Rule 80B (as revised in 1998), the trigger levels for a market-wide trading halt were set at 10%, 20% and 30% of the DJIA. Needless to say, a 30% drop in the market in our day and age when the bulk of US wealth is concentrated in the stock market, would be a shot straight to the heart of the entire capitalist system. Which is why the smallest gating threshold is and has always been the key.However, despite the revision, as anyone who traded stocks on that fateful day in May knows, the market-wide circuit breakers were completely ineffective and unused during the HFT-induced and ETF-facilitated flash crash of May 6, 2010. In turn, the SEC's flash crash response was to implement individual stock-level circuit breakers which however, instead of restoring confidence in the market, have become the butt of daily jokes involving freaked out algos. This was merely the most recent indication of how horribly the SEC's attempts to "regulate" a market it no longer has any grasp or understanding of, backfire on it. However, even that may pale in comparison to just how badly the SEC may have blundered yesterday afternoon, when it proposed yet another revision to its market-wide halt rule. And once again, instead of making traders and investors more comfortable that the SEC is capable and in control, the questions have already come pouring in: is the SEC preparing for another massive market crash?
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