New York Stock Exchange

"2016 Will Be No Fun" - Doug Kass Unveils 15 Surprises For The Year Ahead

My overriding theme and the central drama for the coming year is that unexpected events can take on greater importance as the Federal Reserve ends its near-decade-long Zero Interest Rate Policy. Consensus premises and forecasts will likely fall flat, in a rather spectacular manner. The low-conviction and directionless market that we saw in 2015 could become a no-conviction and very-much-directed market (i.e. one that's directed lower) in 2016. There will be no peace on earth in 2016, and our markets could lose a cushion of protection as valuations contract. (Just as "malinvestment" represented a key theme this year, we expect a compression of price-to-earnings ratios to serve as a big market driver in 2016.) In other words, we don't think 2016 will be fun.

"America's Equity Markets Are Broken" Yale CIO Admits "Rigged Markets" Hurt Individuals

America's equity markets are broken. Individuals and institutions make transactions in rigged markets favoring short-term players. The root cause of the problem is that stocks trade on numerous venues, including 11 traditional exchanges and dozens of so-called dark pools that allow buyers and sellers to work out of the public eye. This market fragmentation allows high-frequency traders and exchanges to profit at the expense of long-term investors. Mr. Lewis was right.

Why 'The Regime' Hates Gold

There’s only one investment we can think of that many people either love or hate reflexively, almost without regard to market performance: gold. And, to a lesser degree, silver. It’s strange that these two metals provoke such powerful psychological reactions - especially among people who dislike them. Nobody has an instinctive hatred of iron, copper, aluminum, or cobalt. The reason, of course, is that the main use of gold has always been as money. And people have strong feelings about money. From an economic viewpoint, however, money is just a medium of exchange and a store of value. Efforts to turn it into a political football invariably are signs of a hidden agenda, or perhaps a psychological aberration. So, let’s take some recent statements, assertions, and opinions that have been promulgated in the media and analyze them.

These Are The Junk Bond Trades That "Obliterated" Traders In 2015

When the word 'bloodbath' just doesn't quite sum it up, distressed debt investors's bonuses have been obliterated in 2015. Despite seeking safety away from oil and coal companies, one trader exclaimed, the pain is "like cancer, it's spreading throughout the body," as every industry from materials to retail and industrials has collapsed... though, as Bloomberg reports, some investments stood out in their awfulness.

It's Official: Allergan, Pfizer To Combine In Biggest Ever Tax-Inversion, Defy Jack Lew

As was extensively reported over the weekend, the Pfizer-Allergan tax-inverting, reverse-merger (in which the far smaller Allergan would end up "buying" Pfizer, courtesy of fungible debt which doesn't care where it ends up as long as there are cash flows) would be announced this morning, and sure enough, moments ago the long-awaited press release finally hit.

Frontrunning: November 18

  • Security jitters drive European investors back to safe havens (Reuters)
  • Global Anti-ISIS Alliance Begins to Emerge (WSJ)
  • Merkel says cancelling soccer match was 'responsible' decision (Reuters)
  • Paris attacker may have had accomplice on journey through Balkans (Reuters)
  • Drop Assad demands if you want to unite against Islamic State: Russia to West (Reuters)
  • Putin sets up commission to combat terrorism financing (Reuters)

CME Direct Trading Platform Down Since Pre-Open After Upgrade Glitch; Now Fixed

Update: CME DIRECT ISSUES NOW RESOLVED, EXCHANGE SAYS

CME Group's online trading platform CME Direct will be unavailable until further notice due to a technical issue, the exchange said in a member notice this morning sent at 0857ET. While volumes look largely unaffected, Reuters reports that the outage came on the first day that CME migrated many users of its EOS Trader platform over to CME Direct, and also coincided with an upgrade to CME Direct's technology, sources familiar with the matter said.

Short Squeeze, Liquidity, Margin Debt & Deflation

Some things you CAN see coming, in life and certainly in finance. Quite a few things, actually. Once you understand we’re on a long term downward path, also both in life and in finance, and you’re not exclusively looking at short term gains, it all sort of falls into place. Of course, the entire global economy has been hanging together with strands of duct tape for decades now, but hey, it looks good as long as you don’t take a peek behind the facade, right?