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.
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.
Despite his proclamation that he "saved the world from a Great Depression," the fact is that Obama will be the first President ever to not see a single year of 3% GDP growth - but only cynical fiction-peddlers would mention facts at a time like this. In yet more legacy-defending narrative, Obama told The NYTimes today that his biggest failure was being unable to sell his success in putting the American economy back on track to the American people (no matter the actual realities) careful to blame Republicans for slowing growth "by a percentage point or two." And then in a final affront to fact, Obama dismisses the conclusion of "The Big Short" proclaiming that he reined in Wall Street, overhauled the banking system, and made water from wine "the financial system substantially more stable."
In 1977, the total indebtedness of U.S. government, corporate and household borrowers was $323 billion. By 1985, that figure had grown to $7 trillion. Volcker left the Fed in August of 1987 after handing the reins over to Alan Greenspan. By year’s end 2015, U.S. indebtedness had swelled to $45.2 trillion. Tack on financials, which few do, and it’s $64.5 trillion and unabashedly growing. We are a nation transformed. What has today’s vast store of debt purchased? Certainly not freedom.
It's time for try number two. Moments ago BATS announced that it has just priced its second attempt at going public by pricing its (second) initial public offering at a price to the public of $19.00 per share (this time the high end of the range). The size of the offering has been increased from the initially announced 11,200,000 shares of common stock to 13,300,000 shares of common stock.
Given the financial establishment’s astonishingly short-term memory and capacity to make even bigger mistakes than ever before, we now find ourselves in a very similar position today. Once again, the financial system is in desperate condition. And the data is all there for anyone who cares to look.
Corporate earnings reports for the fourth quarter are pretty much in the books. The deception, falsification, accounting manipulation, and propaganda utilized by mega-corporations and their compliant corporate media mouthpieces has been outrageously blatant. It reeks of desperation as the Wall Street shysters attempt to extract the last dollar from their muppet clients before this house of cards collapses.
"Truth is like poetry. And most people f**king hate poetry." - From the Big Short movie (overheard at a Washington D.C. bar)
“I don’t think there’s a whole lot from my generation that are still in the industry"..."The business has to be downsized,” said Keith Underwood, a foreign-exchange consultant who ended a 25-year trading career, including at Lloyds Banking Group Plc, in 2014. But it’s not easy “for people who have been in a market for many, many years to see that they’ve been replaced by an algorithm.”
"Why after several decades of 0% rates has the Japanese economy failed to respond? Why has the U.S. only averaged 2% real growth since the end of the Great Recession? “How’s it workin’ for ya?” – would be a curt, logical summary of the impotency of low interest rates to generate acceptable economic growth worldwide. "
While energy E&P companies were dropping like flies in 2015, credit rating agencies and banks have remained awfully quiet....
The US has been in a cycle of bubbles, busts, and crashes since at least 1995, and more likely since Alan Greenspan became the Chairman of the Federal Reserve in August, 1987. It has become a machine for transferring income, wealth, ownership, and power to the very top. This is not 'the new normal.' This is financial corruption and the erosion of systemic integrity.
We used to have notions of ‘proprietary programmed code’ but the Investment Banks learned that they could make their life a lot easier by working together instead of cross purposes.
Derivatives like credit default swaps turned a mere bubble in the US housing market into a global financial catastrophe...
Ever since it started making complicated bets against some leveraged ETFs, Miller’s Catalyst Macro Strategies Funds has since grown from $500,000 in assets at the start of the year to about $170 million. It achieved a more than 50 percent return this year, placing it far ahead of its competitors.