While the corrupt and criminal US regulators are unable to do anything to stifle the market domination of algos which have totally destroyed the US equity market, and sucked up enough liquidity where neither buy nor sellsiders can generate a profit, India is already well on its way to crushing the parasitic - and perfectly legal - frontrunners of virtually ever trade. It will do so by increasing penalties on high-speed trading firms that flood exchanges with orders that don’t result into actual transactions, as part of steps aimed at strengthening its oversight of computerized trading.
CME Group Inc., the world’s largest exchange operator, just completed an upgrade traders said would eliminate a shortcoming that gave some participants an advantage. Under the old system, data connections that linked customers to CME -- where key products like Treasury futures and contracts tied to the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index trade -- had noticeably different speeds, opening up the potential for gaming, according to traders and other experts. Those who knew how to gain faster access could increase their odds of being first in line to trade.
"We are net short of equities here in our account, although we are not materially so. We’ve only a few positions on: we are long of gold in EUR and Yen terms via GEUR and GYEN; we are long of a small bullish derivative of gold in US dollar terms and we are “short” of the market via derivatives positions. There are only two things that bother us..."
Less than a week after Reuters broke the story that the Department of Justice is probing HFT powerhouse Citadel, which admits it executes 35% of all trades by retail investors in U.S.-listed stocks, whether it is also frontrunning those orders (an allegation that many are convinced is a rock-solid fact) we find that billionaire Ken Griffin is not at all concerned about the outcome of the investigation on his core business model and is instead expanding. Citadel is acquiring the equity-trading operations of Citigroup’s Automated Trading Desk division, one of the pioneers of high-frequency trading.
Just around 2:14am local time (2am EDT), Asian traders were surprised to observe in the Chinese market something which until recently had been a purely development market phenomenon: a flash crash. A sudden plunge by Chinese stocks in Hong Kong had traders scrambling to find a trigger for the slump that coincided with a surge in futures volumes.
We were not surprised, though certainly delighted, to see that after years of railing against Citadel's dominant position at the intersection of HFT trading and retail orderflow - recently Citadel was found to be the largest private US trading venue - this morning Reuters reports that Federal authorities are investigating the market-making arms of Citadel LLC and KCG Holdings looking into the possibility that the two giants of electronic trading are giving small investors a poor deal when executing stock transactions on their behalf. In other words, the DOJ is looking into whether Citadel is frontrunning its clients, something we have claimed for years.
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."
Having railed for years against the accounting gimmickry known as non-GAAP, with both the WSJ, AP and even Warren Buffett joining the vocal outcry in recent years, things may finally be changing. According to Dow Jones, the SEC is finally stepping up its scrutiny of companies' "homegrown earnings measures, signaling it plans to target firms that inflate their sales results and employ customized metrics that stray too far from accounting rules."
It was not until Friday, April 22, over a week after the Deutsche Bank gold rigging settlement news broke, that the CFTC's press office admitted what many had speculated, when he said he was unaware of the Deutsche Bank story and could find no reference to it in the commission's compendium of news reports of interest to the commission's work. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the "US commodity" regulator hard at work.
It has become a daily farce. Having soared above yesterday's highs on the Iraqi' deputy oil minister's comments on renewed production freeze meetings, not even 10 minutes later Russia immediately poured cold water all over it: RUSSIA SAYS NO AGREEMENT ON OIL MEETING IN MAY IN RUSSIA... But no downward reaction in crude as the HFT algos' upward momentum has already been ignited, which was the only purpose behind the leak in the first place. .
"I've been apoplectic for so long I am just spent. Nothing would surprise me anymore. I really honestly don’t know how this is going to get corrected. I know it can’t continue."
In January we pointed out "the last bubble standing," as China's crashing equity market had spurred massive inflows - directed by a "well-meaning" central-planning committee's propaganda - sparking a massive bubble in Chinese corporate bond markets (in an effort to enable desperately weak balance-sheet firms to roll/refi their debt and keep the zombies alive). That has now ended as China's junk bond risk has soared to 5-month highs with its worst selloff since 2014. As HFT warns, "we should avoid junk bonds."
Well, that didn't take long.
In a stunning victory for "conspiracy theorists" within the precious metals space, overnight Deutsche Bank not only agreed to settle a lawsuit accusing it of manipulating the silver fix, but also agreed to help the plaintiffs pursue similar claims against other banks as part of the settlement by providing instant messages and other communications. And so the former cartel members are turning on each other.