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.”
"If You Get Enquiries Just Obfuscate And Stonewall" - How Barclays Rigged The FX Market For Seven YearsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/18/2015 12:28 -0500
“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.
Over the past decade; our markets have ceased to behave like “markets”, at all.
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.
The Apple Launch is a closed circle of fawning sycophants, thrilled with gimmicks, adapted to computers, programmed, a throng of identical authentic individuals chained to their machines and congratulating themselves on being ‘connected,’ led by a human that resembles a robot. Two hours of watching the Apple Launch actually made the Manson Family seem homey.
One of the fallacies being propagated about yesterday's flash crash, is that somehow HFTs came riding in as noble white knights and rescued the market from a collapse instead of actually causing it. This particular lie is worth a few quick observations and explanations of what really happened.
A rate hike is coming. It is coming because the economy is not in crisis and zero rates are crisis rates, Bloomberg’s Richard Breslow writes. It is coming because the benefits of starting down the path to monetary policy normality are vitally important to the future health of the economy and restoring the Fed’s reaction function. The world can share the benefits and the costs. But one thing we do know, is that with all the hinting and polling and talk of trajectory, it is not priced in.
Despite the firm's rather checkered history when it comes to open source software, Goldman is reportedly set to make some of its technology available to clients. This new, enlightened stance comes six years after the bank accused a former employee of stealing code that, if it fell into the "wrong" hands, had the potential to "manipulate markets in unfair ways."
The $12 Trillion Fat Finger: How A "Glitch" Nearly Crashed The Global Financial System - A True StorySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/08/2015 22:43 -0500
... in under a minute, the hateful script had taken offline the entire system in much the same manner as chucking a spanner into a running engine might stop a car. The databases, as always, were flushing their precious data onto many different disks as this happened, so massive, irreversible data corruption occurred. That was it, the biggest computer system in the bank, maybe even the world, was down. And it wasn't coming back up again quickly. At the time this failure occurred there was more than $12 TRILLION of trades at various stages of the settlement process in the system. This represented around 20% of ALL trades on the global stock market.
Since the market is once again on the verge of a terminal liquidity seizure with its associated side-effects (see China for details), the authorities needed to remind the "market" just who the scapegoat will be when the next crash finally does come. Which is why earlier today in an unexpected "preliminary second quarter guidance" release, ITG, owner of the Posit dark pool, was just busted with a $22.6 million potential SEC settlement for what appears to have been blatant frontrunning of company clients in its own prop trading pod. But what is particularly amusing in this case is that while everyone knows that when it comes to HFT's, it is never called "rigging" - the proper nomenclature is "glitch", so now we learn a new term to use instead of "criminal frontrunning" - drumroll... trading experiment,
Having gazed ominously at the extreme monetary policy smoke-and-mirrors intervention in bond markets, and previously explained that "the stock market is to important to leave to the vagaries of an actual market." While the rest of the world's central banks' direct (BoJ) and indirect (Fed, ECB) manipulation of equity markets, nobody bats an eyelid; but when PBOC steps on market volatility's throat (like a bull in a China bear store), people start complaining... finally. There is no difference - none! And no lesser Asian expert than Stephen Roach warns that we should be afraid, very afraid as he states, the great irony of manipulation, he explains, is that "the more we depend on markets, the less we trust them."
"In some instances, malfunctioning algorithms have interfered with market functioning, inundating trading venues with message traffic or creating sharp, short-lived spikes in prices as a result of other algorithms responding to the initial erroneous order flow."... "If liquidity is as bad as it is now, what’s going to happen when things really get adverse?” said Richard Schlanger, who co-manages about $30 billion in bonds as vice president at Pioneer Investments in Boston.
As noted earlier, with equities now a barren wasteland of volume (and liquidity), the last remaining HFT master (of whale order frontrunning) has been forced to go to those asset classes where organic flow is still abundant such as FX, courtesy of central banks engaged in global currency wars. However, HFTs realize it is only a matter of time before FX order flow also dries up as central banks take their trade away from public venues (and dark pools) and as such are always looking for new, untapped markets. One place where they are about to land according to the WSJ, with hilarious consequences sure to follow, will be the one place that HFTs should have felt at home from the very beginning: bitcoin.
"When an HFT that is not a member of an association executes an off-exchange trade, the HFT’s identity is usually not reported to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, which is the only association currently in existence. This frustrates FINRA’s surveillance efforts as it cannot quickly link trades to the HFTs responsible for them. This is a serious problem because, according to FINRA’s current Chairman, certain market participants disperse their trading activity across multiple markets in an attempt to hide various forms of market abuse, including layering, spoofing, algorithm gaming, and wash sales."
- SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar.