Senator Kaufman Reminds Most HFT Issues Still On Table; Notes Rising Market Structure Concern By Regulators And Market ParticipantsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/03/2010 18:28 -0400
Yet another much needed reminder that the topic of High Frequency Trading is far from resolved. On Tuesday, Senator Ted Kaufman reminded that increasingly more regulators and market participants remain divided over HFT, even as concern about possible improprieties associated with market structure grows. Kaufman's most recent topic of focus - order cancellations. He said the SEC should address the "burgeoning" number of order cancellations involved in high frequency trading, which, he added, are "clearly excessive" and virtually a "prima facia" case that battles between competing algorithms have become "all too commonplace, overloading the system and regulators alike."
Enacting a credible bankruptcy process to solve the too-big-to-fail problem, clarifying the Fed's umbrella supervision and financial stability roles, and enhancing market discipline are steps we must take to lower the probability of a future crisis. We could simplify the entire financial regulatory legislative initiative by focusing on these three key elements. We do not need huge new bureaucracies, or a complete restructuring of our regulatory agencies. - Charles Plosser
I asked Chairman Bernanke about Federal Reserve agreements with foreign central banks and if he had had any conversations about bailing out Greece, which he flatly denied. However, he recently announced that the Federal Reserve will be looking into Goldman Sachs’ derivative agreements with Greece. Goldman Sachs, as we know, has “too big to fail” status with the Fed, so it is conceivable that any Greece-related catastrophic losses at Goldman Sachs will once again be passed on to taxpayers. - Ron Paul
"The Federal Reserve and the country owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Don Kohn for his invaluable contributions over 40 years of public service. Most recently, he brought his deep knowledge, experience, and wisdom to bear in helping to coordinate the Federal Reserve's response to the economic and financial crisis. In addition, Don helped lead the stress tests of major financial institutions; he directed the Board's ongoing efforts to increase the transparency of the Federal Reserve; and he has been leading an international effort within the Bank for International Settlements to help central banks focus on key issues and responses to the crisis. On a personal note, I would like to express my deep appreciation for Don's friendship and counsel during some very difficult times. He will be greatly missed." - Ben Bernanke
Chairman Frank, Ranking Member Bachus, and other members of the Committee, I am pleased to present the Federal Reserve's semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress.
Although the recession officially began more than two years ago, U.S. economic activity contracted particularly sharply following the intensification of the global financial crisis in the fall of 2008. Concerted efforts by the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department, and other U.S. authorities to stabilize the financial system, together with highly stimulative monetary and fiscal policies, helped arrest the decline and are supporting a nascent economic recovery. Indeed, the U.S. economy expanded at about a 4 percent annual rate during the second half of last year... Etc
Tomorrow's Bernanke testimony will be eagerly watched by all, not so much for anything that may be revealed in the prepared remarks (those will not disclose anything not already known), nor for the Q&A (because unfortunately the people in Congress who understanding the first thing about monetary policy can be counted on two fingers), but because it is not every day that the undisputed and underrepresented ruler of the not so free world gets to sit down in a kabuki theater in which he pretends to be accountable to some 300+ million peasants and a couple million compulsive gamblers and kleptomaniacs. All in all good, wholesome, TiVoable, and, luckily, just biannual fun. Yet for those who hope to get something out of this meeting than merely a popcorn overdose, we recommend the following Testimony Preview from Goldman's Hatzius & McKelvey, which goes through not only the background of the spectacle but focuses on some oddly relevant questions which our Congressmen may be wise enough to ask. We point out the latter, because we know full well that nobody will ever ask the really relevant questions (until it is too late), unless of course Alan "Taz" Grayson is wearing his dollar tie, In which case all bets are off.
Following the money - taxpayers give money to BofA to keep it alive, BofA pays SEC/shareholders in revised wrist slap. Sure seems like one way to keep keep the velocity of money above 1. One hopes that Cuomo won't follow next and throw in the towel in his civil suit against Ken Lewis. A seemingly unhappy with this outcome Rakoff had this to say: "So should the court approve the proposed settlement as being fair, reasonable, adequate and in the public interest? If the court were deciding that question sole on the merits - de novo, as the lawyers say - the court would reject the settlement as inadequate and misguided. But as both parties never hesitate to remind the court, the law requires the court to give substantial deference to the SEC as a regulatory body having primary responsibility for policing the securities markets, especially with respect to matter of transparency." We have gotten to the point where the SEC's cronyism is even impairing the judicial system.
A must read paper by Redburn Partners, "Gold War - Gold is money and nothing else", written in November 2007, which due to its extreme prescience on not only the shift of the economy following the bursting of the credit bubble, but being virtually spot on in its prediction on the price of gold, can serve as an sufficiently comprehensive introduction to anyone wishing to get up to speed with the primary forces determining the price of gold and its implications in a fiat-money world (and especially the prevailing current variant in which competitive devaluations galore).
According to Pew, there's a $1 trillion gap between the $3.35 trillion in pension, health care and other retirement benefits states promised their current and retired workers as of fiscal year 2008 and the $2.35 trillion they have on hand to pay them. How dire is the pension problem in the US and what will ultimately shape the future of the pension crisis?
The recently announced IMF sale of 191.3 tonnes of their gold reserves, though it caused an immediate sharp knee-jerk reaction in gold futures markets, will have a negligible effect on the long-term price of gold. There will come a time when the prices for real physical gold and real physical silver completely sever the already tenuous umbilical cord they maintain to the suppressed prices of gold and silver established by the agent bullion banks of the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England in futures markets.
Exclusive: The Bank Of England Engaged In Flagrant Gold Manipulation In The Interwar Period Via The New York Fed; Does History Repeat Itself?Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/14/2010 00:39 -0400
An article written by University of Tennessee professor John R Garrett, "Monetary Policy and Expectations: Market-Control Techniques and the Bank of England, 1925-1931" which describes in exquisite detail the gold falsification measures undertaken by the Bank of England in the interwar period in order to impact interest rates in a favorable direction, performed with the full criminal complicity of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, may mean paranoid "gold bugs" could soon be forever absolved of their "tin hat" wearing status as outright gold, and other data, manipulation by a major central bank is now proven beyond doubt. The implications regarding the possibility of comparable deceitful and treasonous acts by modern central bankers are staggering.
And you thought the $23 trillion in backstops for the financial system was bad, you ain't seen nothing yet. Earlier today, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, best known for its Cede & Co. partnership nominee which is the holder of virtually every single physical stock certificate in the known universe, and accounts for over $2 quadrillion in stock transactions per year, announced that "the Federal Reserve Board had approved its application to establish a DTCC subsidiary that is a member of the Federal Reserve System to operate the Trade Information Warehouse (Warehouse) for over the-counter (OTC) credit derivatives." With this approval the DTCC is now the de facto legally accepted global repository for over-the-counter credit derivative transactions. Simply said, the Federal Reserve is now the guarantor behind all CDS transactions that clear via DTCC, which would be pretty much all of them (sorry CME, you lose). The total bottom line in terms of gross notional? 2.3 million contracts with a gross notional value of $25.5 trillion. When the next AIG implodes, and the CDS market is once again facing annihilation in the face, who will be on the hook? You dear taxpayer, that's who.
At our firm we frequently receive calls from clients and readers asking about the likelihood of the passage by the Congress in Washington of reform legislation regarding over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, financial regulation and/or mortgage securitization. Our answer is small to none given the political trends and the state of the lobbies in Washington, most specifically the large bank lobby that protects the Sell Side monopoly in OTC derivatives and securities. The fact that Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) is still apparently not comfortable with the entirely watered down House proposal to reform OTC derivatives, for example, tells you all you need to know. Stick a fork in it.
Today, casinos have much more integrity in their business dealings than do banks. In general, casinos have more cash and more transparent business dealings with their clients than do banks. That's why it's so ironic that most large commercial banks, as part of their "moral code", do not allow private bankers to do business with casinos. It appears today, that the bankers got that one entirely wrong.