New York Stock Exchange
With tomorrow's CDS roll (when indices change composition and on-the-run maturities are extended) and Friday's major equity option expiration and S&P index reweightings, it would appear, as UBS' Art Cashin notes, that the action of the last few days (and even last week) will be largely driven by the creation of complex strategies to "milk out every ounce of profit that might be available in such huge [technical] shifts." Combine this technical factor with the Autumnal Equinox, of W.D.Gann infamy, and the stage is set for fireworks as we approach Friday.
I just finished reading Octopus by Guy Lawson, and it's one of those that fit the "I Couldn't Put It Down" category, much like Den of Thieves, published in 1992. It is the tale of Sam Israel, whom you may remember in 2006 was on the lam from his failed hedge fund/Ponzi scheme. He faked his suicide, was captured, and is now hanging out for the next couple of decades (with none other than Bernie Madoff) in a state prison named, of all things, Valhalla.
- 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)
For all the drama surrounding Wall Street bonuses in a year in which Wall Street profitability was cut in half to just $13.5 billion, the worst since the collapse and bailout of 2008 and 2009 (and compared to $27.6 billion in 2010 and $61.4 billion in 2009), one would think that the average banker would see zero bonus in 2011, or in some cases, especially if they worked at a Greek bank, be told to pay for the privilege of working. The truth is that according to official data from the NY City Comptroller, the average bonus dipped by just 13% in 2011, declining modestly from $138,940 to $121.150. In fact, while a number of large firms announced reductions in cash bonuses for 2011 (with several firms reporting reductions in the range of 20 to 30 percent), personal income tax collections indicate a smaller decline in the overall cash bonus pool. A big reason for this is deferred bonuses from prior years hitting this year's payroll and thus smoothing the impact. Still, bankers being forward looking people, are looking forward and probably not liking what they see. Yet while 2011 data for comprehensive pay is still not available, in 2010 the average salary rose by 16% to $361,180 as more firms shifted to a base-heavy comp structure. Indicatively, the average Wall Street salary is 5.5 times higher than the rest of the private sector at $66,100. And no matter how one feels about them, one thing is true: the New York economy would founder without taxes paid by bankers: "the securities industry in New York City accounted for 23.5 percent of all wages paid in the private sector despite accounting for only 5.3 percent of all private sector jobs" and more importantly, "each job created (or lost) in the securities industry leads to the creation (or loss) of almost two additional jobs in other industries in the City. OSC also estimates that each new Wall Street job creates one additional job elsewhere in New York State, mostly in the City’s suburbs." Hence - Wall Street's bonuses have become "Too Big Too Fall", as the entire economy of NY City and the state is now held captive by Wall Street's exorbitant bonuses.
Just as market regulators were finally getting wise to the fact that they have no clue how how modern market works, what modern market topology is, or how High Frequency Trading impacts the stock market (think Flash Crash), here comes Certichron, the supplier of a time service center at a Savvis market center in Weehakwen, which says it has now mastered sub-nanosecond readouts which are now "compliant with the FINRA Order Audit Trail System and is likely to be compliant with any Consolidated Audit Trail that might be specified by the Securities and Exchange Commission." In other words, here come sub-nanosecond markets.
The Chairman of the Fermentation Committee takes the fizz out of the market once again.
- Europe’s $39T Pension Threat Grows as Economy Sputters (Bloomberg)
- Monti Warns of Italy Protests as He Meets Merkel (Bloomberg)
- Bernanke Doubling Down on Housing Bet Asks Government to Help: Mortgages (Bloomberg)
- Europe Banks Resist Draghi Bid to Avoid Crunch by Hoarding Cash (Bloomberg)
- Europe Fears Rising Greek Cost (WSJ)
- ECB’s Nowotny Sees Risk of Mild Recession in Euro Region (Bloomberg)
- Republican Senators Criticize Fed Recommendations on Housing (Bloomberg)
- Spanish Banks Try to Build Their Way Out of Home Glut (WSJ)
- Europe Stocks Fluctuate After German Auction (Bloomberg)
While nearly three months after the MF Global bankruptcy nobody still has any idea where the billion + in commingled client money has gone, nor why Corzine is still out and about walking freely, the former CEO of both Goldman, MF Global and New Jersey is rumored to be looking for office space at 40 Wall. Reports the WSJ: " Jon S. Corzine, who resigned as chief executive of MF Global Holdings Ltd. shortly after the securities firm collapsed in October, recently has been looking for office space in Manhattan, according to people familiar with the situation. One of the locations he seems interested in: brokerage firm John Carris Investments, at 40 Wall St., around the corner from the New York Stock Exchange, these people said. Employees at the small firm have been told that the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. chairman and New Jersey governor might drop by, one person familiar with the situation said." Ostensibly, the space would be in the form of a sublet from John Carris. Which is great: finally all those thousands of people who still have no recourse to their cash will know precisely where to find Jon and express their gratitude and his pillaging of their investments in a failed attempt to cover up his stupidity.
The story of Goldman's missing PT data has now entered the twilight zone.
Goldstein at Reuters reports that Goldman spokesman Michael Duvally notified
him that Goldman did in fact not only perform its usual NYSE SLP domination, but also reported of this, as it does every week:
“According to the data Goldman Sachs submitted, we are certain we
were among the
top firms in terms of program trading volume for the week ending June 26.”