A historic event took place moments ago when Mark Johnson, the global head of cash FX at HSBC was arrested at JFK airport for his role in a "conspiracy to rig currency benchmarks", and specifically for frontrunning customer orders. He is the first person charged by the US in the ongoing FX rigging probe.
"...central bankers seem to view elevated security valuations as “wealth.” The longer this fallacy persists, the worse the subsequent fallout will be. I have little doubt that future generations will look at the reckless arrogance of today’s central bankers no differently than we view speculators in the South Sea Bubble and the Dutch Tulip-mania. Unfortunately, there is no mechanism by which historically-informed pleas of “no, stop, don’t!” will penetrate their dogmatic conceit. Nor can we change the psychology of investors."
Michael Coscia, the first person convicted of spoofing after it was made a crime under the Dodd-Frank Act, was sentenced to three years in prison by a federal judge in Chicago. His real crime? Taking on the HFTs, and Citadel, and winning. Now he gets to spend 3 years in prison thinking about it. And let that be a lesson to anyone else out there who dares to do the same.
Remember the story of “The Philosopher’s stone?” In a nut shell it was an alchemical substance capable of turning worthless metals into gold. Today, much like those of yore, central bankers across the globe are engaging in that never-ending quest for the ability to turn the worthless – into the precious. And to the ill-informed it seems they have indeed achieved it. That is, as long as you wrap it in the same cloth as found in “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” For if not – the naked truth becomes appalling clear. And it ain’t pretty.
Brexit is just a symptom of the disease eating away at the fabric of our global economy. Lehman’s collapse was not the cause of the 2008 worldwide financial crisis. It was just the excuse for something that was going to happen no matter what. Bad debt, bad bankers, bad regulators, bad politicians, media cheer leading, and a willfully ignorant populace were a toxic combination – and it’s worse today.
For those 17-year-old hedge fund managers used to BTFD on hopes corporate buybacks will "have their back" and provide the bid on which momentum-chasing HFT algos will piggyback, we have some bad news and some worse news.
Following a historic surge in volume after the Brexit referendum, which sent bid/ask spreads soaring and led to a disorderly market at the European open, Deutsche Bank AG temporarily shut off outside market makers in its dark pool, SuperX. The bank told outside market makers that they would be prohibited from trading in SuperX on Friday, until the bank notified them it was ready to resume. Morgan Stanley’s dark pool was likewise turn "off" this morning as ATS operators scrambled to make sense of the broken market.
Just last week the European Central Bank (ECB) unveiled a self-produced exposé on its now openly celebrated trading operation. Only an Ivory Tower’d academic or Ph.D economist who’s never spent a day in the real world of business and/or market place could envision this as helping to bolster an image of surety or confidence.
"The Staff acknowledges that market participants using the most sophisticated technology may today encounter access delays of substantially less than one millisecond when accessing the quotes of a single exchange whose data center is co-located with their own or located nearby. However, even the most technologically advanced market participants today encounter delays in accessing protected quotations of other “away” automated trading centers that can substantially exceed one millisecond, that either are transitory or permanent."
In what may be a long overdue victory for the "good guys", the WSJ reports that the SECs staff has recommended that the agency approve IEX Group Inc.’s "controversial" bid to launch a new stock exchange, signaling likely approval when the agency’s commissioners vote on the order Friday.