The first rule of “Project Bookend” is that you don’t talk about “Project Bookend.” In retrospect, maybe the first rule should have been “you don’t accidentally e-mail ‘Project Bookend’ to a news agency.”
"... it was suggested that the tendency for bond prices to exhibit volatility may be greater than it had been in the past, in view of the increased role of high-frequency traders, decreased inventories of bonds held by broker-dealers, and elevated assets of bond funds."
Less than a week ago, fresh from the aftermath of the recent dramatic six-sigma move in German Bunds, one of Europe's largest banks openly lamented that so far the ECB's QE had done absolutely nothing: "two months of QE for nothing." And lo and behold, as if on demand, overnight the ECB confirmed it had heard SocGen's lament when just before the European market open, ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure delivered a speech at the Brevan Howard Centre for Financial Analysis (appropriately named after a hedge fund) at Imperial College Business School (not to be confused with the July 26, 2012 Mario Draghi "whatever it takes" speech which also took place in London) in which he said that the ECB intends to "frontload" i.e., increase, its purchases of euro-area assets in May and June ahead of an expected low-liquidity period in the summer.
Several weeks ago, when the CFTC and DOJ's laughable attempt to scapegoat the May 2010 flash crash on the actions of a live-in-his-parents-basement UK trader, we explained "Why Sarao Is The Flash Crash Patsy: He Threatened To Expose The "Mass Manipulation Of High Frequency Nerds." It now turns out that he not only threatened to expose the real market manipulators, but he acctually did it. More than 100 times.
When people think about crashes, they tend to think about an event – as if some massive, grotesque, red, scaly, fire-breathing, razor-toothed catalyst should be obvious beforehand. But we know from history that that’s not the way it works...
"I'm not sure if it’s the biggest trade ever, but it's certainly one of them," noted Jamie Tyrrell, a VIX specialist on the CBOE floor, as Bloomberg reports almost $100 million worth of options pegged to the volatility of US equities were traded in a split second at 1216ET today. "Someone is interested in owning a lot of protection," Tyrrell added as just over 1 million contracts were traded, all told, about 54% of the total amount of index options that traded at the CBOE all day Friday. While for every buyer of VIX Calls there is a buyer, the notable push higher in volatility after this trade suggests the trades had characteristics of someone hedging stocks.
Having painted themselves into an impossible corner of junk Keynesian economics, they are now clueless about how to get out. So its time to recognize that there has been a monetary regime change. The Fed might well have been your friend since March 2009 or even for the last several decades. But stranded on the zero bound and smothered by a $22 trillion collective balance sheet, the central banks of the world are now fast becoming your fiend.
It's not easy being a millionaire in the New Normal.
The final Q1 GDP revision was just released and we saw that GDP has again missed expectations by such a large margin that 2015 is another write off for a 3% growth year. Almost comically we heard the same excuses we got last year. “Weather was wintery and next year is going to be the turnaround year”. So in order to explain to these supposed economic and market ‘experts’ who seem wholly incapable of understanding economic and market forces with any sense of accuracy, let’s run through a few fundamentals.
At 560 words, this was not only the lowest wordcount of any FOMC statement since October 2012, just before QE3 was launched in December of 2012, but actually had fewer words than Hilsenrath's 608 words "explainer" of what the Fed just said.
The 20th century could be categorized as THE century when communications took off and we started living in each other’s pockets. Lives had been ruined by war, trouble and strife. Wealth had been redistributed beyond belief.
If the DOJ and CFTC is going to be consistent, then they have to indict the entire financial community from the CME, Exchanges, Brokers, Institutions, Investment Banks, Hedge Funds, Management Funds and High Frequency Trading Firms.
It’s official: all the markers of manias both past and present have now been surpassed.
October 15th, 2014 wasn`t a market crash!
"What is different this time? Central banks are driving all investment decisions, and what this implies is that they are in this trade so deeply that there is no obvious or practical exit.... This is a dangerous situation. The focus must return to the REAL economy; we cannot trade our way out of past mistakes."