"...you have a choice to make. If you treat trading as a hobby... remember hobbies cost money... If you want to make money in the market then you need to make the commitment to trade with a professional mindset...the hobbiest has doesn't have much of a chance to make money."
Less than a week after Reuters broke the story that the Department of Justice is probing HFT powerhouse Citadel, which admits it executes 35% of all trades by retail investors in U.S.-listed stocks, whether it is also frontrunning those orders (an allegation that many are convinced is a rock-solid fact) we find that billionaire Ken Griffin is not at all concerned about the outcome of the investigation on his core business model and is instead expanding. Citadel is acquiring the equity-trading operations of Citigroup’s Automated Trading Desk division, one of the pioneers of high-frequency trading.
We were not surprised, though certainly delighted, to see that after years of railing against Citadel's dominant position at the intersection of HFT trading and retail orderflow - recently Citadel was found to be the largest private US trading venue - this morning Reuters reports that Federal authorities are investigating the market-making arms of Citadel LLC and KCG Holdings looking into the possibility that the two giants of electronic trading are giving small investors a poor deal when executing stock transactions on their behalf. In other words, the DOJ is looking into whether Citadel is frontrunning its clients, something we have claimed for years.
As many traders are terrified that the next round of layoffs will cost them their job, it's not all doom and gloom especially when one recalls that, on average, most traders are paid far better than 99% of all other jobs. And some are certainly more equal than others. Below we present a breakdown of the highest paying trading jobs, based on an analysis from Emolument, which has examined London traders' salary and bonus data at Director level to provide a glimpse into their remuneration profiles
We already suspected in mid 2013 (worrying about the market far too early as it has turned out in hindsight) that there were parallels to what happened in the late 1990s bull market, specifically near its end in the year 2000. However, in the meantime, even more such parallels have become noticeable.
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.”
“Do not involve Sales in anyway [sic] whatsoever. In fact avoid mentioning the existence of the whole BATS Last Look functionality. If you get enquiries just obfuscate and stonewall.... for the future, sales absolutely 100% do not know about the existence of last look and it shouldn’t be a concern for them... IF any client does call up about a rejected trade . . . it is important that you state in any communication ‘THE TRADE WAS REJECTED BECAUSE OF LATENCY.’ . . . DO NOT talk about P&L on trades."
It is important to keep in mind that the dollar’s attacks on gold always end the same way – in a painful knockout for the dollar. There have been no exceptions to this rule throughout monetary history, nor will there be this time. Hence the well-known market rule: “Any maximum of the gold price is not the last one.” It would be naive to believe that this golden rule is unknown to that grandmaster of patience, Vladimir Putin, and to Xi Jinping. By systematically increasing their gold reserves, Russia and China are relentlessly moving forward to strip the US dollar of its status as a global reserve currency. America’s standard military solution won’t work in this situation.
It appears Chinese authorities want to be the monopoly manipulator of their stock markets. Just a week after BlackRock suggested (and Hillary spewed) plans for transaction taxes in US markets to effectively kill high-frequency-trading (and all its ills), China's Securities Regulator Commission (CSRC) has proposed limiting the use of automated trading programs in the stock market. Of course, just as we saw last nght in China futures, we assume CSRC only wants to ban "selling" algos and not "spoofers" pushing stocks higher.