Lately, the parasitic, price manipulative "Office Space"-inspired HFT practice known as "spoofing" has been consistently in the news: a week ago, it was the third largest futures broker, Newedge, who made headlines following a "record" FINRA handslap. Then yesterday, a Red Bank, NJ-based HFT shop called Panther Energy Trading, and its sole owner Michael Coscia were fined $4.5 million and got a 1 year ban from the industry for engaging in the same activity. "Panther, based in Red Bank, New Jersey, and Coscia used a computer algorithm that placed and quickly canceled bids and offers in futures contracts for commodities including oil, metals, interest rates and foreign currencies. Panther and Coscia engaged in spoofing from August 8, 2011, to October 18, 2011, related to 18 futures contracts. The firm accumulated $1.4 million in profits by using the algorithm." While none of this is fundamentally new to any of our readers, we are happy to report that in conjunction with Nanex, we can now present documentary evidence of the Panther algo in action.
It has been almost 2 years since FINRA started to get 'serious' about thinking about looking into an investigation of (get our point) high-frequency trading and dark pools but it seems, as the WSJ reports, this time they are more specific. In Sept 2011 FINRA noted "there's something that's troubling us in the marketplace," and it seems now that FINRA has spent the time since understanding the jargon they have some questions, "who is responsible for the automatic shut off or kill switch," asking firms how they avoid "quote bursts and stuffing" that create confusion for other investors and potentially distort the market, and approving a plan to force dark pools (15% of all stock trading) to disclose and detail trading activity on their platforms. Of course, we've seen this kind of bluster before and they did nothing then but hope springs eternal.
When we tapered our coverage of HFT manipulation and stock market abuse some time ago, we thought that the message had been heard loud and clear: high frequency trading is a sophisticated market manipulating parasite, whose only real function is to abuse market structure and integrity, by making conventional market manipulation practices more difficult to spot and identify. It turns out some, i.e., Newedge, thought they could still get away with traditional manipulative practices such as spoofing, layering, momentum ignition, wash trading, bypassing, and others, if only they were wrapped in an HFT blanket. It did so for four years from 2008 until 2011. As it turns out it was wrong, and in a stunning example of actually doing its job, FINRA fined Newedge, which is one of the largest futures brokers in the world and ranks third in terms of U.S. customer assets on deposit, a record $9.5 million.
Here are the worst IPO fails of all time in the world. The ones that we thought would be unfailingly good. The ones that we thought we could bet our bottom dollar on and still strike it rich.
Fed Releases Names Of Early FOMC Minutes Recipients: Include Employees Of ECB, Goldman, Barclays, JPM, Law And PE FirmsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/10/2013 16:31 -0400
We will release the full list of named recipients once we get it, but here is what we now for now, via BBG and CNN:
- EMPLOYEES AT GOLDMAN SACHS, BARCLAYS, JP MORGAN, CITI, NOMURA, UBS, HSBC RECEIVED FED MINUTES EARLY YESTERDAY
- MOST OF THE BANK EMPLOYEES APPEAR TO WORK IN GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (Lobbies)
- ABA, SIFMA, SENATE STAFFERS RECEIVED FED MINUTES EARLY
- FED NAMES 154 RECIPIENTS OF EARLY RELEASE OF FOMC MINUTES
- FED MINUTES SENT EARLY TO BANKS, LAW FIRMS, PRIVATE EQUITY
- FED EARLIER SAID RELEASE WENT MAINLY TO CONGRESS, TRADE GROUPS
- NONE OF THE PEOPLE ON THE LIST ALERTED THE FED THAT THEY RECEIVED NONPUBLIC INFO A DAY EARLY
In other words: absolutely everyone who trades risk assets for a living.
As previously reported, former Goldman prop trader and MIT-grad Matt Taylor, 34, handed himself over to authorities earlier today and subsequently pled guilty in Federal Court to one charge of wire fraud "saying he exceeded internal risk limits and lied to supervisors to cover up his activities." He subsequently posted bail in the amount of a $750,000 bond with two co-signers. His sentencing hearing is set for July 26, when he faces a prison sentence between 33 months and 41 months and a fine of $7,500 to $75,000. He will likely get the lower end of both wristslaps, and come out from minimum security prison, that is assuming he even spends one day inside, to some cash stashed away in an offshore bank account (not Cyptus) courtesy of his many years manipulating massing the market first at Goldman and then at Morgan Stanley. And manipulating massing he did, because courtesy of Reuters we now know the full details of his transgressions.
The driftless overnight sessions are back. After the Nikkei soared by 3% following several days of declines, and the Shanghai Composite continued its downward ways despite Non-Manufacturing PMI prints for March which rose both per official and HSBC MarkIt data, Europe was unsure which way to go, especially with the EURUSD once more probing the 1.28 support level. The USDJPY was no help, and even with the BOJ meeting at which new governor Kuroda is finally expected to do something instead of only talking about it, imminent, has hardly seen the Yen budge and provide the expected carry-funding boost to global risk. In terms of newsflow there was little of it: European CPI in March printed at 1.7%, above expectations of 1.6%, but below February's 1.8% rise in inflation. UK continued telegraphing the inevitability of Mark Carney's imminent QE, with construction PMI the latest indicator missing, at 47.2, below expectations of 48.0 (above 46.8 last). Elsewhere, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Wednesday called for Europe to implement growth policies to balance its austerity drive and for countries with room for fiscal manoeuvre to increase public spending. "Europe is the only region in the world in recession. To overcome this situation we need three things: every country needs to do its homework, we need more (European) integration and we need growth policies," Rajoy said in a televised speech to leaders of his People's Party. "That's why countries which can afford it should spend more." Surely Europe will get right on it: after all, it's only "fair."
SAC Unit CR Intrinsic To Pay Largest Ever Insider Trading Case Settlement: No Charges Are Admitted Or DeniedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/15/2013 13:43 -0400
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Stamford, Conn.-based hedge fund advisory firm CR Intrinsic Investors has agreed to pay more than $600 million to settle SEC charges that it participated in an insider trading scheme involving a clinical trial for an Alzheimer’s drug being jointly developed by two pharmaceutical companies. The settlement filed today in federal court in Manhattan is the largest ever in an insider trading case, requiring CR Intrinsic – an affiliate of S.A.C. Capital Advisors – to pay $274,972,541 in disgorgement, $51,802,381.22 in prejudgment interest, and a $274,972,541 penalty. “The historic monetary sanctions against CR Intrinsic and its affiliates are sharp warning that the SEC will hold hedge fund advisory firms and their funds accountable when employees break the law to benefit the firm,” said George S. Canellos, Acting Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. The settlement is subject to the approval of Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The settlement would resolve the SEC’s charges against CR Intrinsic and the relief defendants relating to the trades in the securities of Elan and Wyeth between July 21 and July 30, 2008. The settling parties neither admit nor deny the charges
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.