After all, in yesterday’s oil trading there were over 600,000 contracts trading hands on the Globex exchange Tuesday with over 1 million in estimated total volume at settlement.
“We have come regretfully to the conclusion that the current algorithmically driven market environment is one which is increasingly incompatible with our fundamental, research orientated, investment process. The bear market in emerging market equities, which began in 2011, may eventually engulf developed markets too."
The last two years rents have been rising primarily due to supply and demand issues.
Imagine if Casinos told you in advance what the next card from the deck in a game of Blackjack was going to be?
BlueCrest Capital Management Limited "BlueCrest" announces it will, over the next several months, transition to a Private Investment Partnership, and will return to its clients the $8 billion it currently manages on their behalf. Following the transition, BlueCrest will manage assets solely on behalf of its partners and employees.
While the storm clouds continue to build above Trafigura, we now know the fate of Galena and why its CEO Letchford departed the company in a hurry last week: according to a follow up from Bloomberg, Trafigura has decided to close the flagship Galena Metals Fund, the latest hedge fund victim of the rout in raw materials markets from oil to copper.
CFTC meets this morning to propose a registration standard applying to as many as 100 firms that have changed markets by trading their own money using complex algorithms and advanced technology. As Bloomberg notes, this proposal follows more than 5 yrs of debate about market disruptions, such as the May 2010 flash crash. Crucially, as is well known now, high-speed, automated trading in recent years has surged to account for almost three-quarters of certain derivatives markets which means any regulatory crackdowns will no doubt have impacts on markets; as former CFTC chief Chilton noted “Clearly some of the rules are antiquated.”
The arrests or investigations targeting the finance industry in the aftermath of China’s summer market crash have intensified in recent weeks according to Bloomberg, creating a climate of fear among China’s finance firms and chilling their investment strategies. As one professor of Chinese economy noted, "some in the political leadership sought to find scapegoats to blame" for the market crash which along with massive intervention "created uncertainty and anxiety that can only undermine the effort to make these markets work better."
The key overnight event was the much anticipated, goalseeked and completely fabricated Chinese economic data dump, which was both good and bad depending on who was asked: bad, in that at 6.9% it was below the government's 7.0% target and the lowest since Q1 2009, and thus hinting at "more stimulus" especially since industrial production (5.7%, Exp. 6.0%) and fixed spending also both missed; it was good because it beat expectations of 6.8% by the smallest possible increment, and set the tone for much of Europe's trading session, even if Asia shares ultimately closed largely in the red over skepticism over the authenticity of the GDP results. Worse, and confirming the global economy is now one massive circular reference, China accused the Fed's rate hike plans for slowing down its economy, which is ironic because the Fed accused China's economy for forcing it to delay its rate hike.
A quick summary of the latest HFT market-rigging scam: mysteriously, and "erroneously", a change in Latour Trading's code was made, which the firm lacked "direct and exclusive control" over, and which was non-compliant with Reg NMS requirements, yet which mysteriously ended up generating "gross trading profits and rebates by stock exchanges" amounting to $2.8 million. Where have we seen this? Oh yes...
Today's most popular hedge fund strategy among institutional investors globally is "Alternative Global Macro Funds". Also known as a “go anywhere” investment style, active managers employ opportunistic trading tactics across asset classes, financial instruments, and geographic regions. Like many liquid alts, global macro funds grew rapidly following the financial crisis as investors looked for strategies that could diversify their portfolios in the midst of volatility in the global marketplace and historically high sector correlations against the S&P 500, thereby improving their risk-return profiles. Ultimately, success in this classification resides in selecting the right active manager given the strategy’s wide dispersion of returns.
We’re all Dr. Evil today, thinking that one million dollars is a lot of money, or that one second is a short period of time, or that we are individually smart or capable in a systemically interesting way. We use our small-number brains to make sense of an increasingly large-number investment world, and as a result both our market fears and our market dreams are increasingly out of touch with reality.
Ever since Simon Potter's 2012 arrival as head of The NYFed's trading desk, the manipulation of VIX (and thus its reflexive levered tail wagging the algo-driven dog of the indices) has been front-and-center day-after-day in the so-called US equity 'market'. While only fringe-blogs have noticed this in the past, now The FT admits that not only was recent volatility in markets exacerbated by VIX ETFs (thus confirming the tail-wagging-dog analogy), and further, the nature of the link between VIX ETFs and VIX Futures (rebalancing) enables frontrunning which serves to reinforce any trend into the close and thus manipulate the markets.
Tomorrow's FOMC decision is the dominant topic for investors and traders across all asset classes, with FX, perhaps, the most sensitive to perceived changes (and instigator of trades via carry). As Credit Suisse details, FX volatility remains notably elevated and along with the uncertain flows surrounding so-called "risk parity" trading strategies, and the fact that 2y Treasury yields at around 0.80% are at their highest levels since 2011 - despite the less than 30% chance of a Fed hike priced in for tomorrow - only adds to the sense of uncertainty about the Fed's reaction function. In this light, how do we see the various possibilities that could emerge from tomorrow's FOMC? Here are Credit Suisse's 5 scenarios...
"August Sucks," concludes MIT Quant guru Andrew Lo, reflecting on the systematic-trading strategy effects on markets, and it's not going to get better any time soon. As he explains to Bloomberg, "algorithmic trading is speeding up the reaction times of these participants, so that’s the choppiness of the market. Everybody can move to the left side of the boat and the right side of the boat now within minutes as opposed to hours or days." As we have noted many time, Lo explains how "crowded trades have got to the point of alpha becoming beta," warning that volatility-targeting strategies (such as Risk-Parity) are not only "exaggerating the moves," but he cautions omniously reminiscent of the August 2007 quant crash, "I think they are creating volatility of volatility."