Dick Bove's Instamath Gets Him In Trouble, Will No Longer Grace TVs With "Instant Analysis" PresenceSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/22/2009 13:35 -0400
As Zero Hedge pointed out first, yesterday Dick Bove performed what should be a FINRA or SEC punishable act, by first pumping the stock of Wells Fargo live on pumpathon central CNBC, and subsequently downgrading it, causing a major market selloff. Today, Bove tries to backtrack and explains the foolishness of his actions, while telling all those stupid enough to follow his recommendations that he will no longer be providing "immediate earnings commentary" (whatever the hell that is) on air. If his "less than immediate commentary," such as his Buy call on Lehman weeks before the bank filed for bankruptcy, is any indication, perhaps Mr. Bove should consider dropping the "commentary" business period.
"As the Commission considers the treatment of ATSs, at this week’s open meeting and beyond, I respectfully ask that you consider the proposals outlined below to ensure that ATSs, while continuing to provide beneficial competition to registered exchanges that directly and indirectly benefits retail investors, do not undermine the fairness, transparency and integrity in our markets that the Commission has worked for so many decades to foster." - Sen. Chuck Schumer
Study Confirms Bank Prop Desks Sell Ahead Of Own Research Analyst Downgrades, Finds Recurring Rule 2110-4 ViolationsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/07/2009 10:07 -0400
A recent article by the WSJ about the "Goldman huddle" sparked anger resulting from selective and advance disclosure by the firm to its choice clients about so-called trading recommendations. Yet a much more provocative study published in the October edition of the Journal Of Finance by Jennifer Juergens and Laura Lindsey titled "Getting Out Early: An Analysis of Market Making Activity at the Recommending Analyst's Firm" stands to create much more trouble for Wall Street firms if proven true, and is yet another stab at what little is left of the reputation of already disgraced regulators such as FINRA, who are now seemingly unable able to even police existing rules and regulations. Furthermore, the study is additional proof that bank prop trading needs to be, if not completely separated, than to be contained exclusively from not just client flow trading, but from internal research dissemination, and has to be much more closely regulated.
We know you are busy, we also know you are hell bent on intercepting IOI manipulation as per Mr. Jon Kroeper's recent media appearances. Which is why we kindly request that you get back to us at your earliest convenience with information on how many of the IOIs disclosed below are, in fact, "natural." We will make this a recurring topic on Zero Hedge until such time as you respond to our information request. You can contact us at email@example.com
We appreciate your prompt attention to the matter
Zero Hedge staff.
One of Zero Hedge's recurring concerns with market abuse has been the concept of manipulated natural Indications of Interest, or IOIs, a topic which readers can catch up on here and here. And yes, absent feedback from regulators this could have added to the ever increasing list of conspiracy theories broached by Zero Hedge. Yet ironically shortly after Zero Hedge first posted on this, FINRA came out with the following regulatory notice 09-28 from May 2009, in which the regulator "reminded firms of their obligation to provide accurate information in disseminating indications of interest."
Say you are a hedge fund and you have been unlucky enough to have bought GGP bonds or other GUCs in the biggest clusterfuck of a CRE bankruptcy in history: how will you know what the hell is going on in the deal that has more moving parts it would make Level 99 of The Incredible Machine look tame in contrast? The easiest way is by getting access to disseminated inside information. But how will you "ascertain" that your traders will not take advantage of this material, insider information, a process that would immediately hold them liable for civil and criminal charges? By erecting internal "screening walls" of course, that are so completely impenetrable, that you traders will never be able to have drinks with you and where, just after your 8th Jager bomb, you will never disclose just which maturity it is that traders needs to nudge or which GUC they need to "start opportunistically unwinding if you know what i mean, wink, wink."
- Former PPT member Kevin Warsh voices in: The Fed's job is only half over (WSJ)
- Still waiting for the inventory bounce: durable good orders drop 2.4% in August, worst since January (Bloomberg)
- Mattress-maker Simmons finally throws in the towel, to file Chapter 11 (AP)
- Investors don't feel like taking chances with stocks, spending (USA Today)
- Battle brews over unused TARP cash (WSJ)
- Pearlstein: A new bubble of the Fed's creation (WaPo)
- Wall St. Cheat Sheet award series continues with the financial analyst who the analyst who nailed the crisis (WSCS)
- Shocker: Ex-Moody's analyst says inflated ratings continue (WSJ)
- The Casino chronicles: Traders seek fortune in AIG, a stock once left for dead (WSJ, h/t Joel)
- Time to junk AIG (Reuters)
One of the pieces we highlights in today's frontrunning was commentary by Susan Antilla at Bloomberg, discussing the perfect world in which the SEC wasn't merely yet another tentacle of the Wall Street syndicate, slapping wrists and issuing statements now and then to remind of its worthless existence. One of Susan's points brilliantly Swiftian in its simplicity: "Considering the blinding evidence of dysfunction, it occurs to me that enough is enough. Why not just shut the place down?" Many would say this is such an obvious observation that it has escaped the thinking of the majority. Yet when this market bubble pops, which it eventually will, unless the Fed can somehow find a way to bring the value of the dollar to 0, a furious America will once again demand the heads of those who were supposed to oversee the irrational exuberance in progress. At that point Mary's tenure will be over, yet the travesty that is the SEC will likely continue in some form. However, there is a chance for an earlier resolution. Judge Rakoff, who so far has been the critical voice of sanity in a corrupt world, may cross paths with Mary even before her ultimate downfall. And he is not happy with the "regulators"
Goldman Issues Favorable Report Within 20 Minutes Of Palm's Earnings Release... And Goldman's Follow On OfferingSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/17/2009 17:47 -0400
And so the pump and dump continues. Within 20 minutes of Palm's earnings release (one wonders just how much of a promptly completed "fill in the blanks" report this was) and disclosure that it is issuing a 16 million share follow on offering, joint-managed by none other than Goldman Sachs, the 85 Broad firm send out an email praising the company's glowing results...and its glowing new liquidity picture compliments of a follow-on offering joint lead-managed by... Goldman Sachs.
An amusing reminder of just how different opinions can be among (conflicted) finance professionals, was today's disclosure by risk evaluator Audit Integrity, which has put together a list of the twenty companies with a market cap over $1 billion most likely to file for bankruptcy. Among them: none other than Goldman Conviction Buy candidate, Textron Inc.
JP Morgan Enjoying FINRA's Recently Amended Conflict-Enhancing Quiet Period In Upgrading MB FinancialSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/15/2009 12:24 -0400
There was a time when FINRA did some good things. It did mostly useless things, and was glaringly incompetent in even those, but on occasion it would do something proper, at least when moderating analyst conflicts of interest. Then the crash came, and all bets were off. Interestingly, in October 2008, a month after the bottom came off the market, and when the kitchen sink was being thrown at stocks in order to prevent further collapse, FINRA lost the last shred of interventionist integrity it had when it decided to abolish the so-called quiet period for research actions subsequent to a follow-on offering. Yesterday, JP Morgan was more than happy to take advantage of this last shred of regulatory decency collapsing by the wayside, as more and more synergies of the SEC-Wall Street merger become effectuated.
On Why The Wall Street Casino Has Already Saved A Special Place In The History Books For Its CreatorsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/08/2009 23:49 -0400
"Speculators may do no harm as bubbles on a steady stream of enterprise. But the position is serious when enterprise becomes the bubble on a whirlpool of speculation. When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. The measure of success attained by Wall Street, regarded as an institution of which the proper social purpose is to direct new investment into the most profitable channels in terms of future yield, cannot be claimed as one of the outstanding triumphs of laissez-faire capitalism – which is not surprising, if I am right in thinking that the best brains of Wall Street have been in fact directed towards a different object." - John Maynard Keynes
Project Mayhem reviews the most important financial and geopolitical news of the past week and takes a look at the week ahead.
Dear Senator Kaufman, we at Zero Hedge applaud your effort to bring transparency to, and evaluate the various new forces that, for better or worse, determine the modern market landscape. However, we would like to bring to your attention a fact which renders your entire approach of seeking fair and unbiased commentary from the SEC irrevocably moot. The reason is that the SEC, in alignment with many of the very industry players who may be abusing market structure for their own tiered benefit, stands to benefit significantly from an increased amount of daytrading volume across all markets, and, in fact, based on actions as recent as 4 months ago by the SEC, the regulator is well aware of the monetary benefits that ever-increasing churn creates for the commission and is fully intent on capitalizing on them. We thus suggest you bypass any protocol that has an SEC intermediation and go directly to penning a Bill which, we trust, will prove to be more fair and objective than anything the SEC would ever provide you with. The reason for the SEC's insurmountable conflict of interest is the so-called Section 31.