Update via CNBC:
- CITADEL, KRR SAID NO LONGER TO BE LOOKING AT KNIGHT
- KNIGHT CAPITAL CLOSE TO FUNDING DEAL, CNBC'S KATE KELLY SAYS
- KNIGHT MAY GENERATE ABOUT $400 MLN FROM INVESTORS, KELLY SAYS
- GETCO, TD AMERITRADE LIKELY PART OF INVESTMENT GROUP: KELLY
Knight Capital is scrambling: it has a few hours to convince any potential suitors that it is worth some $300 million more alive than having its carcass picked off at a cost of $0.01 over its debt (which itself will likely be materially impaired) in a Chapter 11 Stalking Horse sale. If the Sunday before the Lehman, and MF Global, bankruptcy filings is any indication, the third time will not be the charm for the company whose 1400 employees may have no place to call work at 9am tomorrow. Sadly, in a world in which entire countries and continents have taken on the patina of Schrödingerian felinism, constantly shifting between alive and dead states depending on who is looking, we would take the under on the probability that the firm's lawyers will not be visiting 1 Bowling Green at some point in the next 16 hours.
When we started reading the LA Times article reporting that "the federal government has quietly been completing an audit of U.S. gold stored at the New York Fed" we couldn't help but wonder when the gotcha moment would appear. It was about 15 paragraphs in that we stumbled upon what we were waiting for: "The process involved about half a dozen employees of the Mint, the Treasury inspector general's office and the New York Fed. It was monitored by employees of the Government Accountability Office, Congress' investigative arm." In other words the Fed's gold is being audited... by the Treasury. Now our history may be a little rusty, but as far as we can remember, the last time the Fed was actually independent of the Treasury then-president Harry Truman fired not one but two Fed Chairmen including both Thomas McCabe as well as the man after whom the Fed's current residence is named: Marriner Eccles, culminating with the Fed-Treasury "Accord" of March 3, 1951 which effectively fused the two entities into one - a quasi independent branch of the US government, which would do the bidding of its "political", who in turn has always been merely a proxy for wherever the money came from (historically, and primarily, from Wall Street), which can pretend it is a "private bank" yet which is entirely subjugated to the crony interests funding US politicians (more on that below). But in a nutshell, the irony of the Treasury auditing the fed is like asking Libor Trade A to confirm that Libor Trader B was not only "fixing" the Libor rate correctly and accurately, but that there is no champagne involved for anyone who could misrepresent it the best within the cabal of manipulation in which the Nash Equilibrium was for everyone to commit fraud.
Update 2: and spreads some more: Sterne Agee Not Routing Trades to Knight Capital
Update: it spreads: Fidelity Investments Not Routing Orders Through Knight: Reuters
Earlier, when interviewed by Bloomberg TV, Knight Capital CEO refused to say, prudently under advice of counsel, if any counterparties have cut off their lines to the fallen Knight. Well now we can confirm with 100% certainty that at least one Prime Broker has terminated all funding to and fro the firm which may not have much time left. We are certain it is not the only one. And now the scramble for a deal is on. If Lehman and MF Global are any indication, the odds are good to quite good. Inversely of course, just like Knight's berserk algo yesterday.
- What's wrong with this headline: Obama authorizes secret support for Syrian rebels (Reuters)
- Hilsenrath promptly dusts off ashes of sheer propaganda failure, tries again: Fed Gives Stronger Signals of Action (WSJ)
- Fed Hints at Fresh Action on Economy (FT)
- Fed Poised to Step Up Stimulus Unless Economy Strengthens (Bloomberg)
- IMF Chief Lagarde Praises Greece, Spain for Efforts (Bloomberg) - efforts to beg as loud as possible?
- US sanctions against bank 'target' China (China Daily)
- Trimming China's Financial Hedges (WSJ)
- ganda central bank cuts key lending rate to 17 pct (Reuters)
- Greece Agrees €11.5bn Spending Cuts (FT) - Agrees? Or does what a good debt slave is told to do
- Germany Retains Stable AAA Outlook at S&P After Moody’s Cut (Bloomberg)
- Spain’s Bond Auction Beats Target as Borrowing Costs Rise (Bloomberg)
- Bundesbank’s Weidmann Says ECB Shouldn’t Overstep Mandate (Bloomberg)
- Hollande and Monti Vow to Protect Euro (FT) - be begging Germany to death
- Monti Calls French, Finns to Action as Italy Yields Rises (Bloomberg)
- not working though: Banking license for bailout fund is wrong: German Economy Minister (Reuters)
- Switzerland is ‘New China’ in Currencies (FT)
- Regulator Says no to Obama Mortgage Write-Down Plan (Reuters) - tough: there will be socialism
- Gauging the Triggers to Fed Action (WSJ)
- When domestic monetization is not enough: Azumi Spurns Calls for Bank of Japan to Buy Foreign Bonds to Curb Yen (NYT)
- Indonesia’s July Inflation Accelerates on Higher Food Prices (Bloomberg) - remember: the Deep Fried black swan
- China Manufacturing Teeters Close to Contraction (Bloomberg)
- Spain Introduces Regional Debt Ceilings to Achieve Budget Goals (Bloomberg) - yes, they said "budget goals"
The blunt trauma that JPMorgan was implicated in the missing millions from segregated accounts in Jon Corzine's bankrupt MF Global may have passed but the memory lingers, especially for all those whose cash is still locked up somewhere in vapor space. Yet one event that may tear the scab that patiently was healing, courtesy of a Copperfield market full of distractions such as JPM's CIO fiasco, Lieborgate, oh and, Europe, right off is the recent bankruptcy of Peregrine Financial, aka PFG, whose story we first broke, and which just as we suspected, has promptly become the second coming of MF Global, as at least $200 million has "evaporated." It is thus with little surprise that we find that the first party of interest is none other than JPMorgan, which together with various other banks, will be the target of a subpoena by the PFG trustee. How shocking will it be to find that Dimon's company is once again implicated in this particular episode of monetary vaporization.
Gary Gensler Explains How CFTC Allowed PFG To Steal $200 MM In Client Funds 8 Months After MF GlobalSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/25/2012 10:13 -0400
Former Goldman appartchik Gary Gensler is about to take the stage (again) and explain why the CFTC should exist at all after allowing not only MF Global but a few weeks ago, Peregrine Financial, to steal hundreds of millions in client money without any regulatory supervision at all. All we can say here is: Free Corzine!
According to the IMF’s “official” analysis, EU banks as a whole are leveraged at 26 to 1. I would argue that in reality many of them are well north of 30 to 1 and possibly even up to 50 or 100 to 1. The reason I can claim this with relative certainty is because the EU housing bubbles dwarfed that of the US. In the chart below the US housing bubble is the lowest line. After it comes Britain (blue) and Italy (orange) then Ireland (green) and finally Spain (dark blue).
We’ve recently published a report showing investors how to prepare for this. It’s called How to Play the Collapse of the European Banking System and it explains exactly how the coming Crisis will unfold as well as which investment (both direct and backdoor) you can make to profit from it.
The CME, which is seeing an unprecedented exodus in trading and clients due to the recent fiascoes at MF Global and Peregrine Financial, and which is completely helpless to do anything about what is fundamentally a core feature of modern US 'capital markets', has resorted to the last ditch effort of every failing enterprise: writing and mailing letters to clients full of hollow promises. "We want you to know that CME Group is committed to making whatever changes are necessary to strengthen customer protections, restore confidence in the futures industry and ensure the effectiveness of these critical markets." Or until the next MFG or PFG at least. Sorry: too little, too late.
Market-top economics could be an entire university course, if people cared enough about such phenomena. Most only consider the signs of a market top months or years after a crash when some unyielding economics researcher puts the pieces together. As human-beings we have developed an uncanny ability to rationalize what we know to be bad news and convince ourselves, "This time is different," despite the fact that it usually never is. In a previous article we provided analysis on economic/equity decoupling (cognitive dissonance) and showed that the economy as we know it cannot persist--we are either due for a literal gap-up in leading economic conditions, or we are due for a serious correction in US equities. With today's 5.4% slip in existing home-sales, let's go with the latter.
Remember when various students of the Econ. PhD persuasion (not to mention various paywall holdco-funded blogs, both desperate for namedropping-based page views), alleged that reading Zero Hedge makes one's money "vanish" (instead of focusing their brilliantly insightful googling efforts on such worthier topics as MF Global or its successor, PFG, or even Libor)? We were going to present a picture of your typical "testosterone" addicted reader below as a reminder, but instead we opted for a picture of MBIA's intraday price, which is up 8.5% from where we broke news that the company may soon be worth much, much more. And to facilitate these same academics in their abacus-based pursuits of truth, justice and the Keynesian way, we will even calculate the annualized return: 847,801,191% (we will withhold calculating what the return on various short-term call options may have been - we are confident even career Economists can figure that one out after several hours of consultations). But since when have facts ever been part of the status quo's arsenal...
There remains some confusion about the timing of actions around the PFG Best disaster. From withdrawn salary cuts to liquidation-only orders to forced liquidations from Friday to Monday, CNBC's Rick Santelli provides a succinct and shocking insight into what real money accounts and brokers have dealt with and continue to try to comprehend. The sad truth about where the money went is summed up by his guest that "we're just hearing rumors; it could be, on a percentage basis worse, than MF Global."
US Attorneys General Jump On The Lieborgate Bandwagon; 900,000+ Lawsuits To Follow, And What Happens Next?Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/11/2012 21:00 -0400
The second Barclays announced its $450 million Libor settlement, it was all over - the lawyers smelled not only blood, but what may be the biggest plaintiff feeding frenzy of all time. Which is why it was only a matter of time: "State attorneys general are jumping into the widening scandal over whether banks tried to manipulate benchmark international lending rates, a move that could open a new front against the top global banks. A handful of state attorneys general said they are looking into whether they have jurisdiction over the banks, and are starting preliminary discussions to determine what kind of impact the conduct involving the Libor rate may have had in their states."
We throw 7 billion cars into the air every year. What's that about?