Securities and Exchange Commission

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Frontrunning: July 22





  • EU Works to Punish Russia as MH17 Bodies Leave Rebel Area (BBG)
  • Bodies From Malaysia Airlines Flight Begin Long Trip to Netherlands (WSJ)
  • Israel pounds Gaza as Kerry arrives (Reuters)
  • U.S. judge dismisses Republican lawsuit over Obamacare subsidy for Congress (Reuters)
  • Israel Soldier Missing Amid Assault on Hamas in Gaza (WSJ)
  • Detroit Retirees Vote in Favor of Pension Cuts (WSJ)
  • Russia Axes 1st Bond Sale in 3 Months as Ukraine Drives Up Yield  (BBG)
  • Wall Street Cut From Guest List for Jackson Hole Fed Meeting (BBG)
  • Credit Suisse to Exit Commodities, Posts Big Quarter Loss (BBG)
  • Draghi Cedes Euro Control to Yellen on Fed Rate Wagers (BBG)
 
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Stocks Desperate To Put Ukraine In Rearview Mirror But More Russian Sanctions Loom





Following the overnight ramp in various JPY crosses (dragging equity futures higher, and the Nikkei up 0.8%) it is as if the market is desperate to put all of last week's geopolitical events in the rearview mirror, and while yesterday there were no economic events of note, today's CPI and existing home prints should provide at least some distraction from the relentless barrage of one-line updates on Ukraine and Gaza. Still, that is precisely where the biggest risk remains, with an emphasis on the possibility of more Russian sanctions, this time by Europe.

 
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How RenTec Made More Than $34 Billion In Profits Since 1998: "Fictional Derivatives"





From 1998 to 2013, Barclays and Deutsche Bank sold 199 basket options to hedge funds which used them to conduct more than $100 billion in trades. The subcommittee focused on options involving two of the largest basket option users, Renaissance Technology Corp. LLC (“RenTec”) and George Weiss Associates. The hedge funds often exercised the options shortly after the one-year mark and claimed the trading profits were eligible for the lower income tax rate that applies to long-term capital gains on assets held for at least a year. RenTec claimed it could treat the trading profits as long term gains, even though it executed an average of 26 to 39 million trades per year and held many positions for mere seconds. Data provided by the participants indicates that basket options produced about $34 billion in trading profits for RenTec alone, and more than $1 billion in financing and trading fees for the two banks.

 
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These Are The 10 "Liquidity-Providing" HFT Firms The SEC Is Investigating





Despite a full court press of PR to confirm HFT firms are friends of retail investors and do no wrong; the SEC, it appears, sees it differently. While Mary White has confidently explained the market is not rigged, her agency is now actively seeking tips, complaints, or referrals that show, as The Chicago Tribune reports, evidence of abuse of order types, as well as traditional forms of abusive trading like "layering" or "spoofing" and other issues relating to high-frequency trading that might be violations of the law. Here are the 10 firms (including poster child holy-grail trader Virtu Financial) that the SEC is probing... can you spot the oddly missing one...

 
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Frontrunning: July 16





  • BRICS set up bank to counter Western hold on global finances (Reuters)
  • Fed's Yellen Hedges Her View on Rates (Hilsenrath)
  • China GDP Grows 7.5% in Second Quarter (WSJ)
  • Get More Acquainted With Your Knees as Boeing Reworks 737 (BBG)
  • Israel Warns Gazans of New Attack After Hamas Rejects Truce (WSJ)
  • Israel poised for Gaza incursions after truce collapses (Reuters)
  • China Housing Sales Fall in First Half of 2014 (WSJ)
  • IBM to offer iPads and iPhones for business users (Reuters)
  • Fed's George says strengthening economy warrants quick rate rise (Reuters)
 
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CYNK Short Squeeze Scam Costs Trader His Job





"My 10-year-old knew it was a scam. It was a complete joke," rages Tom Laresca - a market-maker at Buckman Buckman & Reid - who sold "pure madness" stock CYNK Technology short at $6 last week. Laresca assumed (reasonably so) that the SEC would suspend trading, sending the price towards zero. Despite Zero Hedge's initial exposure of this farce to the world (and the rest of the mainstream media's attention following), the SEC was slow and CYNK soared to $16, squeezing Laresca and forcing his firm to cut off his ability to hold positions - he plans to resign today. "I wish people would just not trade the stupid things."

 

 
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Frontrunning: July 15





  • Microsoft to announce biggest round of job cuts in 5 years (BBG)
  • Palestinian rocket fire persists, Israel warns truce at risk (Reuters)
  • China tells U.S. to stay out of South China Seas dispute (Reuters)
  • Merkel Resists Sundering U.S. Ties Over Spying Affair (BBG)
  • BES slide, tumbling German sentiment hit markets (Reuters)
  • Top 1 Percent Is Even Richer Than Surveys Say, ECB Paper Finds (BBG)
  • Puerto Rico Utility May Default on January Interest Payment (BBG)
  • Can't Get a Job From an Algorithm, or So It Seems as Hot Resumes Go Nowhere Fast (BBG)
  • Bank of China-CCTV drama may reveal power struggle in Beijing (SCMP)
 
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Frontrunning: July 10





  • Espirito Santo Financial Suspends Shares, Bonds on ESI Exposure (BBG)
  • Europe Stocks Drop for Fifth Day as Espirito Santo Sinks (BBG)
  • Espirito Santo Creditors Doubt Containment on Missed Payment (BBG)
  • French Stocks Seen Extending Losses on Economy Concern (BBG)
  • Stocks Slide With Portugal Bonds as Yen Gains; Oil Drops (BBG)
  • U.S. Probes Hacking of Government Computers at Personnel Agency (WSJ)... finds terabytes of porn 
  • It's Congress' fault: Obama rejects criticism over border crisis (Reuters)
  • Israel Mobilizes 20,000 Troops for Possible Gaza Invasion (BBG)
  • Chinese hackers pursue key data on U.S. workers (NYT)
  • Donetsk Primed for Siege as Ukraine Army Hems In Rebels (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: July 9





  • Xi Says China Conflict With U.S. Would Be Disaster (BBG)
  • Short selling drops to lowest level since Lehman (FT)
  • Scoping the new subprime as watchdogs cry 'bubble' (Reuters)
  • Carlos Slim to break up América Móvil empire (FT)
  • Jury Acquits Rengan Rajaratnam in Insider-Trading Case (WSJ)
  • Hamas rockets land deep in Israel as it bombards Gaza Strip (Reuters)
  • Hong Kong Buyers Queue for New Homes After Prices Plunge (BBG)
  • Rebel Stronghold in Ukraine Braces for Its Showdown (WSJ)
  • Tiny Houses Big With U.S. Owners Seeking Economic Freedom (BBG)
  • Chinese Cash-Bearing Buyers Drive U.S. Foreign Sales Jump (BBG)
 
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Congressional Panel Accused Of Leaking Insider Information, Refuses To Comply With Probe





The biggest congressional leakage scandal in the past year is the most recent one to cross the rabit hole of all-out absurdity: According to Reuters, the Ways and Means panel said on Friday it should not have to comply with a federal regulator's demand for documents sought for an insider-trading probe involving the staff director of a subcommittee and a lobbyist. The House Ways and Means Committee argued in a court filing that U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in New York should deny the Securities and Exchange Commission's attempt to subpoena documents from the committee and its healthcare subcommittee staff director Brian Sutter.

 
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Too Big To BNProsecute: How Yet Another Criminal Bank Got Away With Just A Slap On The Wrist





nowhere is it clearer that nothing at all has changed when it comes to crony capitalist behind the scenes muppetry, than in the latest Reuters exclusive of the white glove treatment "evil" BNP got in order to make sure the full wrath of US justice doesn't damage the criminal money launderer too severely. "The New York state banking regulator on Monday separately decided not to pull BNP's banking license in the state, despite a criminal guilty plea, because of the risk it could put BNP out of business."

 
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NY AG Sues Barclays For HFT Fraud - Live Feed





In what appears to be the first real action post-Flash Boys, NY AG Eric Schneiderman will announce at 4pm ET that Barclays will be sued over fraud allegations related to its Dark Pool's preferential treatment of high-frequency traders. As Bloomberg notes, Barclays runs one of the market's largest dark pools. This comes 2 months after the NY AG sent requests for information to various major HFT shops. It seems, just as we noted here, that a potential scapegoat is being primed 'just in case' this 'market' can't withstand the Fed's pullback.

 
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Ghana Sends Plane Full Of Dollars To Brazil As 'Black Stars' Demand "Physical Cash"





Ahead of tomorrow's make-or-break FIFA World Cup game against Portugal, the Ghana "Black Stars" are not happy. Amid controversy over match-fixing, the players have demanded that the World Cup appearance fees they are owed be paid; and as Bloomberg reports, "The players insisted that they will want physical cash." The Ghanaian government has chartered a plane and the dollars are on their way to Brazil. Perhaps the players want to invest it in the latest grand idea - Ghana's first hedge fund has just been launched (prepare for more emails).

 
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Dean Foods -7.5% After Icahn-Mickelson Probe Subpoena





The 'dumb' algos trading off the headlines have dragged Dean Foods stock down 7.5% as the WSJ reports that the company has in recent weeks received a subpoena from criminal authorities ordering the company to produce information, said a person familiar with the matter. Dean Foods stated it will offer "full support" and is also doing its own investigation of the matter. We suspect the stock move is a little much.

 
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Frontrunning: June 18





  • Levin Hearing Ups Volume in High-Frequency Call to Action (BBG)
  • Ukrainian President Fires Central Bank Chief (BBG)
  • Argentina Plans Debt Swap (WSJ)
  • Fed Decision Day Guide From Dot Plots To Exit Strategy (BBG)
  • World Bank Economist: China May Face US-Style Financial Crisis (WSJ)
  • Premier Li says no hard landing for China, expects medium to high growth (Reuters)
  • Putin Talks Peace With Ukraine Leader After Gas Pipe Fire (BBG)
  • Poll Shows Erosion in President's Support (WSJ)
  • U.S. mortgage applications plunge in latest week (Reuters)
  • Ex-Goldman director goes to prison, still owes $13.9 million fine (Reuters)
 
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