LulzSec Hacks Senate Server, Asks Rhetorically "Is This An Act Of War, Gentlemen?"

After a major hack of the IMF's website over the weekend promptly scrambled the FBI, just as Operation Empire State Rebellion announced it was taking its attack of the Fed Chairman to the next level (we have yet to see anything here more than just rhetoric), today, the competing hacker group, the one implicated in numerous Sony breakins as well as a recent defacing of an FBI-affiliate, LulzSec, has proven it broke into the Senate's SPARC server and exposed everything that admin apparently was unable to hid sufficiently well. On its website, LulzSecurity left the following preface to the several hundred thousand code-long data dump of everything located in the Senate server: "We don't like the US government very much. Their boats are weak, their lulz are low, and their sites aren't very secure. In an attempt to help them fix their issues, we've decided to donate additional lulz in the form of owning them some more! This is a small, just-for-kicks release of some internal data from - is this an act of war, gentlemen? Problem? - Lulz Security." And what is completely not surprising, following a Dow Jones inquiry, "a Senate representative said she was unaware of any breach of the body's web site." Well it has been breached- anyone curious what is contained in the server can do so here. A cursory investigation does not reveal the exposition of any sensitive data.... This time. Yet one thing LulzSec most certainly acquired was the user/pass combinations of all individuals affiliated with the Senate, and are likely currently actively downloading all their emails. We continue to wonder just how safe the Fed's email server is...

The Market Recovered From The Flash Crash Not Due To Buying But Lack Of Selling And A Short Covering Ramp

The folks at Nanex have done another very interesting forensic analysis looking at the volume on either side of the flash crash, i.e., between 14:43 and 14:45 when the most vicious part of the selling took place, and on the rebound, between 14:46 and 14:49, when the bounce to unchanged took the market right back up. Not at all surprisingly, there is a huge mismatch, at least on the SPY (which, however, being the most traded security in the market, is a pretty good representation of overall volume trends): selling volume is orders of magnitude, and far more concentrated than the bid side on the bounce. This leads Nanex to conclude that "Basically, when the shelling stopped, there was no one left standing with good
pricing information -- and when the shorts went to cover and buy back stock
they found prices rocketing skyward with almost no effort
." In other words, if anyone wanted to created a short covering squeeze by pulling all the borrow (wink wink State Street and BoNY) they could have immediately undone all the damage associated with the 1000 point drop in the Dow. Incidentally, this is precisely what set off the market on its steady bear market rally back in March of 2009 - a concerted effort, orchestrated by the State Streets of the world, to pull every single financial stock's borrow, creating the biggest short covering spree in the history of our broken stock market.

Joe Saluzzi: "We Are One Headline Away From S&P 900"

Joe Saluzzi has been let out of his cage and is disseminating yet more truthiness, this time on Bloomberg with Margaret Brennan, where he references the ICI number we disclosed yesterday about $28 billion in equity outflows and says he "doesn't really blame" investors for bailing. After ongoing daily stock beatings, those people will be the smart ones. Joe has long been a proponent of the double dip, yet without a good soundbite, he could only have been classified as a second-tier bear at best so far. We are happy we has realized this little omission, and with Catherine's assistance, we now have one for JS as well: "We are one headline away from S&P 900." Definitely catchy/snazzy. As for the reasons why he thinks the market is doomed to a 150 point swoon (at least), he notes "stimulus is starting to run out, and in addition to all the problems from last year, now we've got all the issues in Europe, we've got pension funds that need to be bailed out... the government knows this, the Fed knows this, and they are just one step away from another stimulus packages, which the stock market loves." As for trading, Saluzzi once again explains why nobody should still trade stocks, courtesy of market distorting forces like the HFT SPARC brigade, whereby a few astrophysics Ph.D. determine the price of market (and thus US economy) defining Apple. Joe's long-term thesis is spot on: "Right now we are the flight to safety but that won't last long." Indeed - there is only so many countries whose CDS can hit 1,150 (ahem Greece) before the specs reorient themselves to a better upside/downside investment thesis (ahem Bund, Bobl, Schatz, and, of course, UST).


Moody's Muddier Outlook On Financials: Soon To Be Ex-NRSRO Sees "Significant Strain On U.S. Financial System"

Moody's has released a new report, titled "U.S. Rated Bank Asset Quality Over the Peak, Lookout for a Bumpy Downhill Ride." As one can imagine, in its Moody's notes that Financials' asset quality is now over the peak, and it is looking for a bumpy downhill ride. (Like anyone can take them seriously). In it the rating agency says: " We believe rated U.S. banks have recognized approximately 60% of the aggregate loan charge-offs that they will realize from 2008 to 2011. Although remaining losses are sizable, they are beginning to look manageable in relation to bank's loan loss allowances and tangible common equity. However, a worsening of the global economy in 2010, the probability of which Moody's places at 10% to 20%, would significantly strain U.S. bank fundamental credit quality -- and it is this issue that drives our continuing negative outlook for the U.S. banking sector." Since Moody's saw 0% chance of the crash of 2008 happening, the reality adjusted probability of a quintuple dip according to the last statement is about 2,000%. Plan your illiterate SPARC "cash cow" HFT workstations accordingly.

Did The Computers Blow A Fuse?

Something odd happened in the last half an hour of trading today: after the EURJPY had been keeping in intraday lockstep with stocks, which has been the case everyday for the past roughly 7 months now as ZH regulars know all too well, it appears this pair suffered massive decoupling failure once the market plunged on the BP news. This sudden plunge in stocks was not followed by the EURJPY pair, which in turn has opened a massive gap, with neither mutually dependent variable wishing to close. This is as close to a risk-free pick up of 70 bps as one exists: buy the ES and sell the EURJPY. Of course, this is all too glaringly obvious to the millions in SPARC stations operating thousands of gigaflops of correlation arbitrage market scans every millisecond. The fact that they have not closed the gap yet is very concerning, and points to some troubling undercurrents in the quant side of the market that we can not determine as of yet.

Todd Harrison Refuses To Drink The Kool-Aid With "Ten Reasons Why This Is Not A Bull Market"

Minyanville's Todd Harrison is the latest to jump on the bandwagon for whom a "sideways or slightly down market" is not a victory for the bulls. In fact, Todd is outright bearish, and harkens to his prophetic call from September 2008 (oddly, a time when CNBC programming was far more balanced yet when everyone still thought the worst was behind us and Dick Bove had just issued a buy rating on Lehman, not to mention that every phone call from David Einhorn was being tapped under the guidance of the powers that be). Harrison prefaces: "Kevin Cassidy, a senior credit analyst at Moody’s, recently referenced the $700 billion in risky high-yield corporate debt on the horizon and offered, “An avalanche is brewing in 2012 and beyond if companies don’t get out in front of this.” Minyanville offered a similar assessment entering September 2008 as $871 billion of corporate debt was set to mature into year-end. We opined there were two plausible scenarios; a credit cancer that would chew through the financial body, or a car crash that would crack the system under the weight of an indebted world." Todd was spot on back then. Will he be right again?

New Home Sales Plunge To New All Time Record Low, 308K SAAR Is 2.2% Frop From Revised 315K In January

New home sales drop to a record low adjusted annual rate of 308K. All of the government's housing stabilizing measures are now a disaster, as existing home sales inventory surges to nearly 9 months, not counting the shadow inventory, which is more than double.The plunge is in all regions except the West, where the pick up was from 77K to 93k. When is the last time anyone mentioned green shoots again? And the computers ignore it all as nobody remember how to sell anymore. In fact, we expect a green market within 10 minutes as king SPARC shows all who is master.

Reggie Middleton's picture

I have warned my readers about following myths and legends versus reality and facts several times in the past, particularly as it applies to Goldman Sachs and what I have coined "Name Brand Investing". Very recent developments from Senator Kaufman of Delaware will be putting the spit-shined patina of Wall Street's most powerful bank to the test, as it appears he ain't playin'. Here's the speech from the esteemed Senator from Delaware (yes, the most corporate friendly state in this country), complete with an analysis that you will NEVER see in the mainstream media!!!


Nothing to see here. That was merely the command for the algos to close the market over 1,150 in binary (32 bit - this particular SPARC still has not upgraded to Windows 7 Media Edition, 64 bit). Move along.

The Primary Source Of January's Surprising Boost To Consumer Credit? Why, The US Government Of Course

Today, the market spiked in the last hour of trading after it was announced that total consumer credit increased for the first time in a year (not all credit, mind you, just car loans; consumers are still eagerly paying down their credit cards). And who was the source for this generosity you may ask? Why, the US Government of course. Not only that, but Non-Seasonally Adjusted Consumer credit was actually down by $4 billion. But let the government have its smoothing fun. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, consumer credit has declined by $108 billion in the past 12 months. What may be surprising, is that were one to strip away the contribution from the Federal Government of $78 billion, the decline would have been almost double, or $187 billion. Furthermore, in January, NSA consumer credit would have declined by $14 billion had it not been for the... wait for it... Federal Government, which sourced $10.4 billion in new consumer credit. So here is what happens in case you haven't figured it out already: the government takes taxpayer money, and lends it out to all sorts of destitutes at zero % interest, who have to keep up with the Joneses at all costs, and even though can not afford to put down any equity, must buy a new car every 6 months (even though they have likely not made a mortgage payment in about a year... not to worry, Uncle Sam is footing that too via the Federal Reserve and Fannie and Freddie), and when the news of the government's generosity hits the market, and the spin is that Americans are again confidentenough to borrow, the few SPARC machines left trading do whatever Liberty 33 tells them to, and bump up the total capitalization of the market by about $20 billion, putting money straight into the pockets of Goldman Sachs and other recent bailoutees, who without doubt deserved a $70 billion bonus season in 2009. And now you know where your money goes to.

EB's picture

Fed Splurges on Freddie Gold

Here we deconstruct the largest of the AAA rated Agency MBS offerings that the Fed just bought (at the bargain price of just under $9B). No mortgage insurance and no verifiable assets or income are all highlighted features for a non-trivial portion of these CA-dominated loans, 18% of which are cash out refis. Who says the taxpayer isn't getting his money's worth?

Dear Middle Class: Thanks To You, Hamptons Sales Surge 32% To Five Year High On Upcoming Record Bonuses

CNBC has been trying hard to make everyone forget last year ever happened, and that the global financial system is one big ponzi scheme. And by the look of luxury home sales in the Hamptons they have finally succeeded. Bloomberg reports that "home sales in the Hamptons, the Long Island beach retreats favored by Hollywood celebrities and Wall Street financiers, surged 32 percent in the third quarter as deal seekers landed discounted properties."

Frontrunning: October 20

  • 20 reasons why capitalism is now dead (MarketWatch)
  • Galleon's traders seek legal advice, share stock tips, update resumes as firms like Dick Bove's Rochdale pulls their money from Galleon (Bloomberg)
  • Sarkozy calls dollar move against euro a "disaster," says an exchange rate
    of $1.50 per euro “is a disaster for the European economy and
    manufacturing sector” (Bloomberg)
  • PPI down -0.6 on flat expectations: looks like deflationary bonds will be right as always, or at least until the SPARC cores are turned on (Bloomberg and AP)
  • New home construction at 590,000 below 610,000 expectation, new apps for building permits down 1.2% (AP)
EB's picture

Waltzin' Matilda up the S&P Ladder

True to form for 2009, anyone trading with a close eye on the fundamentals is getting a major hurt put on, while buying any dip to minor support, such as the 50 day MA, remains as viable a strategy as the most sophisticated SPARC assembly language-optimized HFT algorithm. The order has come down from above, once again today (as it did yesterday), that sellers ain't welcome.

The CRFB Sees Locusts, Plagues And Lots And Lots Of Budget "Impossibilities" In America's Future

"This situation is economically impossible; at some point, U.S. debt would reach a level so high that creditors would stop lending us money. The question, though, is how the situation will be resolved. Will politicians confront the policy choices or delay them to the point where they will be forced upon us due to a fiscal crisis? The longer we wait to take on these issues, the worse they will get and the more painful it will be to change course." - CRFB