New York Stock Exchange
Have you noticed that events have begun to accelerate?
While yesterday's suspension of trading on the New York Stock Exchange drew attention to the plunge in equity prices, the reality is that stocks have been in a correction since the all-time highs posted back in May. Of course, until yesterday's headlines, you may not have realized that the correction was in process as it has been "as slow as a turtle running in peanut butter."
- Only update software on down days: NYSE, SEC Suspect Software Update Triggered Trading Halt (BBG)
- Trade halts add to China’s Potemkin market problem (Reuters)
- Why Beijing’s Efforts Have Failed to Tame China’s Stock Market (WSJ)
- Irrational Exuberance Triggers Chaos as China Watchdog Sidelined (BBG)
- China bounce ends five-day losing streak for stocks (Reuters)
- Fear Grows in Greece as Decisive Hour Nears (WSJ)
- Once Swarming with Greek Visitors, a Bulgarian Town Reels as Business Languishes (WSJ)
- Greece Shuts Markets Through July 13 as Officials Debate Bailout (BBG)
- Germany calls for European defence sector consolidation (Reuters)
What began as a glitch in pre-market trading turned into the NYSE's longest trading halt since Hurrican Sandy battered the East Coast. The ever-increasing complexity of US equity markets combined with an ever-decreasing pool of greater fools leaves windows open on down days (for it appears these 'glitches' only ever occur on down days) for markets to break. While NYSE traders defended the very market structure they have abhorred in the past as evidence that today was "not a failure," we can't help but find CNBC's Scott Wapner's ignorant remarks that "if retail investors want low cost liquid trading they are going to have learn to live with it," the perfect post-mortem for a rigged system brimming with confident insiders ever excited to take mom-and-pop's money.
Ignore the constant commotion at the TV studio in downtown Manhattan which once was the New York Stock Exchange (currently owned by the ICE) and is now mostly packed with actors, cheerleaders, set designers and producers, and focus on the real exchange located some 40 miles away in Mahwah, NJ (which for a few months over the winter even had a laser attached to its main microwave tower), where moments ago the scene was the following...
Surely the “world-beating” Chinese equity rally and the paper profits it’s generated have had a decisively positive effect on the spending habits of the millions of housewives and banana vendors who have pyramided borrowed money into small fortunes. Or maybe not...
"It's starting to get ugly..."
The “inconsequential” war certainly and drastically changed America, of that there is no doubt. Whether for the good, or bad, you’ll have to decide for yourself. On the positive side, the war did cement American independence. It proved that to defeat America on its home ground, a very, very large army, and a great commitment to prolonged and bloody war, was going to be needed. On the negative side; the war left the country with constitutional revisionism, centralized power, protectionism, mercantilism, expansionism, blind patriotism, and militarism. That decentralist small-government thingy conceived by the Founding Fathers didn’t last very long, did it? One must wonder “War, what is it good for? Was it all worth it?”
- Former House Speaker Hastert indicted on federal charges (Reuters)
- Blatter expected to win re-election despite soccer corruption scandal (Reuters)
- NYSE Looks to Ease Late-Day Pileup (WSJ)
- What Will Happen to a Generation of Wall Street Traders Who Have Never Seen a Rate Hike? (BBG)
- Japan spending slump casts doubt on central bank optimism (Reuters)
- Unclear rules, market volatility take toll on bank capital (Reuters)
- Greece Told Budget a Red Line for Creditors Venting at G-7 (BBG)
- The Economist Who Realized How Crazy We Are (Michael Lewis)
- Pimco Said to Have Considered Goldman’s Cohn for Top Job (BBG)
The last time AOL was involved in a mega merger was January 2000, when AOL acquired Time Warner for $182 billion in what was the mega deal of the last tech bubble, creating a $350 billion behemoth. Fast forward 15 years and here is AOL again in yet another period-defining if far, far smaller transaction once again, when moments ago Verizon announced that it would acquire AOL for $50/share, a deal value of $4 .4billion. And with that the golden age of digital (and in many cases robotic) content, has now been top-ticked.
Morgan Stanley breaks down the buyback-equity rally relationship while WSJ flags "big borrowing" by both corporations and investors. In short: corporate debt issuance is at record levels and so are buybacks, stock prices, and margin accounts. When the cycle finally turns, look out below.
First it was Blythe Masters (and the Fed). Now, the most important FDIC-insured hedge fund in the world, Goldman Sachs, adds its name to a growing list of Wall Street institutions exploring digital-currency technology’s potential to provide faster and cheaper financial transactions and payments.
Honest price discovery is essential to capitalist prosperity since it is the miraculous mechanism by which capital is raised from savers and investors and efficiently allocated among producers, entrepreneurs and genuine market-rate borrowers. What the central banks have generated, instead, is a casino that is blindly impelled to churn the secondary capital markets and inflate the price of existing assets to higher and higher levels - until they ultimately roll-over under their own weight. The Easy Button addiction of our central bankers is thus not just another large public policy problem. It is the very economic and social scourge of our times.
As Nanex's Eric Hunsader pointed out, while the well-paid HFT-lobbyists proclaim their rigging clients "knit together liquidity from all markets," it appears BATS' new CEO (since the lying old one left) disagrees. The exchange that caters significantly to the front-running HFTs believes it knows how to improve the market for thinly traded stocks... it will stop handling them.