New York Stock Exchange
Many investors still view gold as a safe-haven investment, but there remains much confusion regarding the extent to which the gold market is vulnerable to manipulation through short-term rigged market trades, and long-arm central bank interventions. First, much of the gold that is being sold as shares, in certificates, or for physical hoarding in dubious "vaults" just isn't there. Second, paper gold can be printed into infinity just like regular currency. Third, new electronic gold pricing — replacing, as of this past February, the traditional five-bank phone-call of the London Gold Fix in place since 1919 — has not necessarily proved a more trustworthy model. Fourth, there looms the specter of the central bank, particularly in the form of volume trading discounts that commodity exchanges offer them.Today, there is no “official” price for gold, nor any “gold-exchange standard” competing with a semi-underground free gold market. There is, however, a material legacy of “real versus pseudo” gold that remains a terrible menace. Buyer beware of the pivotal difference between the two.
With Small Business Optimism cratering to 15 month lows and CFO's skepticism at 2 year lows, it is no surprise that 'average joe' is also feeling a little less confident (despite the exuberance in equity markets). Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index registered at -11 this week, which marked an eight-month low for the index. While current conditions are weak, more worryingly, the economic outlook has tumbled to its lowest since October with 56% of Americans saying "the economy is getting worse."
- Tsipras Braves Parliament on Aid as Greek Outlook Worsens (BBG)
- European markets rise before Yellen speech, Greek vote (Reuters)
- China’s Growth Beats Economists’ Forecast as Stimulus Kicks In (BBG)
- China stocks drop again, positive data shrugged off (Reuters)
- Yellen intensifies Republican outreach amid Fed probe, Senate bill (Reuters)
- Iran deal holds both promise and peril for Hillary Clinton (Reuters)
- Iranians Party Into the Night as Khamenei Backs Accord (BBG)
For students of history, the China stock market crash looks eerily familiar. It’s playing out much like the Wall Street stock market crash of 1929. One of the factors fueling the soaring stock market of the 1920s was an influx of new, financially unsophisticated investors who saw the rising numbers and saw an opportunity for quick and easy profits. And that’s exactly what’s happened in China over the past year or so.
On Thursday this past week there were a few attempts at crisis management that should go into textbooks (as well as history books) everywhere in years to come as: Crisis Management 101.a – Lessons in Ineptitude. The responses as to settle the angst in an ever-more-skeptical, as well as frightened investing class was not only inane as demonstrated by the responses (or better yet; lack there of) given at the NYSE by way of “answering” as to why it halted its operation for nearly 4 hours. Was only outdone by what many view as the near insane when one views the steps taken in China to “calm” their markets. Is that how one instills confidence? It instills something – however the term isn’t anything resembling “confidence.”
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)