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Watch As HFT Debate Devolves Into Epic Screamfest In Milliseconds

Tyler Durden's picture


The clearly agitated BATS CEO came out swinging, blasting Katsuyama and Lewis "Shame On You," for apparently telling the truth of what occurs in the stock 'market and letting everyone in on it'. The tension grows when he presses Katsuyama on whether he really believes it is rigged... who then erupts "I believe the markets are rigged.. and that you are a part of the rigging." Then the gloves come off "you wanna do this, let's do this!" and then it got worse (or better)...

Just the first 3 minute round in this epic clip is worth the price of admission (and note the floor traders cheers in the background)... but to watch the status quo crushed under the awesome honesty of reality as this is all exposed, watch on...



And here's the highlights...


Who won? (based on CNBC's own ongoing poll - link)


Things escalated a little for O'Brien (as 3 hours later)...


As a gentle reminder of why the BATS CEO is upset to start with...

How a rogue algo crushed the BATS IPO

In Nanex' own words:

Start at line 192 -- these weren't stale quotes from Nasdaq by any means. These were highly accurate and precisely updated quotes from a sophisticated algorithm programmed to take BATS's price to 0. You can see the BATS trades just before the algo on Nasdaq starts up. In other words, after the BATS trades print, everything is fine (except of course for BATS' system). Nasdaq's system is just fine. So is CQS (the SIP). That algo did its job with the precision of a master watch maker.


The data and charts make this abundantly clear. The trade(s) that shut down Apple would be considered stale/bad quotes. But not those 500+ trades on Nasdaq.

Nanex' verdict:

It had to be someone who's machines are directly connected to Nasdaq because they used Intermarket Sweep Order orders.

And visually:

Look at the timing! There are many quotes lasting less than 1/10,000 of a second in there! (10 quotes/millisecond). And note the almost perfect 45 degree line in log-scaled blue line below.


Had to be from same algo. Way too perfect. Way. Too. Perfect.


If BATS' system hadn't failed, this algo would have likely been obscured.

Alas, BATS did fail, and the result was March 2012's epic embarrassment for BATS which already cost the CEO his chairmanship, and the firm hundreds of millions in fresh equity, but also which destroyed any hope that the retail investor may be coming back to what is now a permanently and terminally broken market.


And with this occurring now, it is unlikley O'Brien will ever get it back...


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Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:25 | 4614426 medium giraffe
medium giraffe's picture

Comedy gold.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:33 | 4614450 kliguy38
kliguy38's picture

I feel sorry for the HFT traders....they're accusing the market of being rigged...they're just picking on these poor guys tryin' to help us little people

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:37 | 4614480 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

O'Brien looked bad.  Sounded bad.  Desperation is the word that kept coming to my mind.

Probably not so much a fear of little IEX, but soemthing's wrong there at BATS that the scars of the botched IPO have apparently not healed even to this day (it's been a year- plenty of time to regroup, unless they're finding that regrouping isn't possible).

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:39 | 4614487 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

Trying to nip this in the bud before IEX eats their lunch.  He is desperate and it showed.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:44 | 4614512 Rick Blaine
Rick Blaine's picture

Yeah, this was pretty fucking solid.

I wish all episodes of The Walking Dead were as good - some are...some aren't.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:52 | 4614546 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

If that was "trying to nip it in the bud" it was the worst fail, ever.  I'd be telling my broker 5 minutes later "henceforth, route all orders through IEX, never BATS."

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 15:03 | 4614576 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

Al Capone couldnt have dreamed of a casino skim as grand as HTF!

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 15:08 | 4614607 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

I was thinking about this last night and it dawned on me; they are trotting out this new exchange to get the disillusioned investors back into the game. This dovetails with the fact this story is OLD. But the anti-HFT exchange is NEW.

There is no excuse for all this publicity NOW, so long after the fact. Why is the 100th book on the subject any different?



Tue, 04/01/2014 - 15:19 | 4614635 Keyser
Keyser's picture

O'Brien didn't do himself or BATS any favors with that performance. True or not, he slanted the argument away from the topic and towards his abrasive personality, which means more to the average CNBC viewer than the facts. 

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 15:58 | 4614812 Amish Hacker
Amish Hacker's picture

I also note that 10% of CNBC viewers can watch that video and come away "unsure" about who won. Is this the same 10% who are "undecided" before every election? I suspect that the cause is media-induced mass hypnosis.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 16:03 | 4614827 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

In other news, CNBC had their highest viewership in years, but ran no commercials for 23 minutes.


Tue, 04/01/2014 - 16:18 | 4614884 dow jones 20000
dow jones 20000's picture

I can definitely Katsuyama being suicided in the enxt few weeks.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 16:39 | 4614984 toys for tits
toys for tits's picture

I just want to thank the Tylers for monitoring all this BS with the associated commercials and bringing us the highlights.


Tue, 04/01/2014 - 17:00 | 4615077 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Yes, watching these desparate paper-pushers (who bring no real value to the economy) get their "come-upins" should be televised (alonge with their executions).

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 19:49 | 4615515 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Only thing missing was some HFT clearly pregnant momma bounding on-screen and declaring (Springer style):  "The China man be the baby daddy".

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 21:29 | 4615796 Four chan
Four chan's picture

o'brien came off as a slimey unlikeable bitch trying to be a bully.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 22:45 | 4615982 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

Life can rarely beat a performance like this for dramatizing the issue in question. Does HFT distort a the market and damage confidence? So we had several people trying to hold an exchange of ideas (=market) but whenever someone wanted to make a point (=buy or sell) an agressive, obnoxious person (HFT played by himself) scalped the transaction. This left the participants frustrated and unhappy about the process. Meanwhile the hosts (= stock exchange and SEC) failed to control the predatory particpant (by saying STFU!) and what could have been a worthwhile exchange devolved into something nasty. Obrien proved himself to be a sociopath and cannot be allowed to do whatever he wants because he cares nothing about societal norms. He and the HFTs will only respond to force. The SEC needs to shut him down or rigidly control him.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 22:58 | 4616004 toys for tits
toys for tits's picture





Fuck the SEC. Let the marketplace take him out.

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 06:21 | 4616487 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture






O'Brien - thank you sir. May I have another?


Wed, 04/02/2014 - 07:02 | 4616517 StandardDeviant
StandardDeviant's picture

+1 for you, sir.  I was with DeadFred right until that last bit.  That's what markets are for.  Katsuyama has exactly the right idea, starting an exchange to try to win over disenchanted customers.

(But I wish I'd not heard that spoiler until I 'd had the chance to finish "Flash Guys", which I just started reading yesterday.)

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 11:06 | 4617339 eatthebanksters
eatthebanksters's picture

Well, I guess that settles that!  Imagine your billlion dollar idea just got flushed...well if it was crooked to begin with you're a follnot to expect this.

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 04:44 | 4616426 Dubaibanker
Dubaibanker's picture

Why did Knight Frank algo bring down its own price and the price of another stock dramatically if HFT is not a worry? The 'retail' investor would have suffered would they have not?

 What was the Dow Flash crash of 2010?

If these are not indicators of market being rigged by these silly HFT firms, I don't know what is?

The above examples are not just any errors, they are grave errors which the Govt is allowing and promoting instead of curbing them.

Poor retail investors, when they wake up in the morning, suffer heavy losses due to these HFT firms who have no logic of trading except making money for themselves and letting algos loose in the markets. Retail investors are the key source of providing capital when an IPO comes but front running and insider trading along with HFT and billion dollar investors make so much noise that retail investors just scurry away kiling the real market. If retail investors stop giving money to mutual funds and hedge funds and banks, how will these HFT trade?

I would also like to ask where do these HFT get their money and their capital from? Are money laundering checks applicable on them? Who are their owners?

If HFT did not exist 20 years ago, then how were the markets functioning at that time? They were pretty damn stable back then and when a company announced job cuts or poor production, the stock actually went down unlike today, when NO MATTER WHAT news comes out, the STOCK KEEPS RISING!

Also, I would not want to pay 2 pennies and get raped, I had rather pay 25 cents to trade and NOT get raped!

This provision of liquidity defence is such a load of crap. Can it be quantified? What worked nicely and in a very stable manner for decades, is being taken over by machines and liquidity is ultimately provided anyways by a retail investor. These big giant corporations who have billions in cash come to disrupt the markets and ideally speaking Top 500 corporations in Western countries should be banned from investing in stock markets purely because the function of a large company like Apple or GE or GM is to focus on their business and not be in the business of manipulating the markets with their billions which also is against the rights of a retail investor whom they are supposed to be helping which they are most definitely not. Greed is NOT good. Where is the Govt? Just imagine if there was just 1 company on the planet and millions of investors, how would they do an IPO? Would an HFT provide this goddamned liquidity or would investors wait in a line and submit their IPO application and get allocation and could trade between 9am and 5pm under a tree?

Let there be a HFT to trade stocks of Top 100 or 500 corporations in a separate pool in an alternate exchange meant only for them and let me see how HFT provides this goddamn liquidity? There is no damn liquidity if there is no retail investor. PERIOD.

Think about it, the licence of GS or Citi is to accept deposits and give loans, what the hell are they doing in HFT business? They should be stopped before it gets any more worse and follow the conditions of their licence. Let them create a separate firm and trade among themselves. Did anyone ask a Retail investor if he would like to trade through a HFT or not? When was the last time the Govt which is 'By the people, for the people' actually tried to think of the retail investor living in a home on an isolated street and doing trading whether he needs an HFT or not?


Wed, 04/02/2014 - 07:11 | 4616525 StandardDeviant
StandardDeviant's picture

Just for the record, that was Knight Capital, not Knight Frank (a UK estate agency, which probably knows very little about HFT).

Endlessly rising stock prices likely have more to do with trillions of dollars' worth of QE than they do with HFT.  Not to say that that makes HFT a good or bad thing; just that it's possible to have more than one form of shenanigans going on at the same time.

Oh, and -- unconscionable bailouts to certain market participants aside -- WTF does the government have to do with any of this?  If you don't like the scalpers who hang around on BATS, go trade on Brad's new exchange.  That's Capitalism 101, isn't it?  Sheesh...

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 07:49 | 4616556 Dubaibanker
Dubaibanker's picture

Oops... on Knight Frank, it just slipped out...though the article does mention Knight Capital which is what I meant to write.

QE has a point but I was focusing on just the trading element because even QE money has to enter the stock markets through a bank or some financial intermediary. 

Govt's role is to ensure that all business is legit and done with no nefarious purposes just like insider trading or front running. I am sure you have heard of Rajarathnam and Rajat Gupta scandal at GS or the SAC scandal. What was that? Same seconds or minutes ahead of everyone else which has to be monitored by someone, that someone is the Govt. Let us not get into the fairness of it all. It is totally unfair that millions of small investors get shafted by dozens of billion dollar players. This is not capitalism, this is pure ruthless greed. It has got nothng to do with BATS or IEX, a normal regular guy has no clue what BATS and IEX mean or stand for? He is interested in buying 100 shares of Apple or Citi and goes online or to his broker and asks them to buy. How does he know whether he even has the right to go through one exchange or another.

And coming to my main point, that how does Citi or GS or Knight or anyone else even have the money? It belongs to retail or individual investors. They accumulate it, and use it against the same people who are on the other side of the trade through HFT. Without mutual funds or hedge funds or pension funds or banks running amok whose money come from individual investors, this whole HFT thing will fall apart because there will be no one to trade. I wish all retail investors would only take out ALL their money from the market from ALL the mutual funds or hedge funds or banks or deposits etc JUST FOR ONE WEEK, and let us see how long QE or HFT or anything else lasts.

So much for capitalism. Capitalism has broken down long ago. It it is crony capitalism, with a BIG CC which is supported by the Govt. No Govt cares about the small guy who is the 99%. Govt should be in the business of supporting the small people and the tax payers but not the large corporations who can most definitely fend for themselves.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 17:01 | 4615080 mliu_01
mliu_01's picture

Come on ppl. HFT is not rigging. That is the most honest part of their business. You dont' really want to know what is the real rigging. They are making a fool out of everyone.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 17:35 | 4615168 Keyser
Keyser's picture

True, HFT is the lesser of many evils. This is yet another case of "watch the shiny object" as the HFT traders are thrown under the bus while the real culprits much higher in the food chain. 


Tue, 04/01/2014 - 17:48 | 4615210 hobopants
hobopants's picture

We can only hope they throw the wrong person with the right information under the bus and then the real truth comes out in a fashion that exposes the "full" game in a congressional hearing or high profile news program.

Although I'm sure this is intended to be a distraction like you're saying, good things could come of it.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 18:16 | 4615277 fuu
fuu's picture

veyron = William O'Brien?


Any relation to Edith O'Brien?

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 18:29 | 4615302 rbg81
rbg81's picture

QE is the grand illusion.  HFT is the surtax on that illusion.

If you trade using limit orders, HFT doesn't matter a bit.  Anyone who places a Market order is just asking to get fucked.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 18:58 | 4615352 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

To click fast you need to go into mouse properties and slide the click rate bar to the extreeeme right and click OK.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 21:05 | 4615726 Remington IV
Remington IV's picture

until they penny you 50 times in a row

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 04:01 | 4616404 dannyboy
dannyboy's picture

That's what everyone thought, until you realise that it's the limit orders some of these HFT's are specifically targetting now.

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 09:53 | 4616660 rbg81
rbg81's picture

How are they doing that?  With limit orders, you buy or sell merely if the stock price passes your predefined threshold.  Of course, there are those times where a small fraction of your order is filled.  But I don't sense that this happening more frequently than usual.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 22:13 | 4615913 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Skimming a % off of every trade will eventually suck the liquidity out of the market unless those proceeds are put back into the market.  Either way, it is parasitical and unnecessary.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 18:16 | 4615262 Againstthelie
Againstthelie's picture

HFT IS rigging, because in low liquidity stock (i.e. TSX gold explorers), you could see fake bid/asks. And people base their orders on them and when the order is submittet, suddenly the fake bid/asks are no longer valid, because they are taken out, before the order is executed.


Lot's of strange things possible.

For example a stock can be dumped on the market, but the impression is created the bids were higher.

Say I have a relatively big position of an illiquid gold explorer to sell and I have a HFT connection and the necessary software.

I could place artificially high fake bids/asks, before I sell a protion of my stock. They are fake, because their only intention is to show up in the orderbook, but not being executed. They are withdrawn, before someone's sell order at my elevated bid hits.

So I want to sell a position in an illiquid stock, that would drive the stock down. So at a minimum amount of time before I sell a portion of my stock, my fake bids are cancelled, only the lower real bids remain, the stock is sold at a lower price to a real bidder. But who probably has bidden higher because of my higher fake bids! And immediately after the execution, before someone can react, I have the artificially high fake bid up again. People look again only at the elevated fake bid and probably their order prices will be influenced by my artificially high fake bid again.


Being faster than one, is not rigging. It can easily be avoided by using limit orders.

But that they can fill the orderbook with fake orders and people place their orders based on these fake prices, then this is rigging.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 18:29 | 4615306 toys for tits
toys for tits's picture



Just because HFT has grabbed the headline of the moment, it doesn't mean we're ignoring the FED's massive asset giveaway.

It's all in due time.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 19:39 | 4615476 weburke
weburke's picture

and it shall continue till them old black (bloody?) moons say.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 19:47 | 4615502 weburke
weburke's picture

enjoy the time. bail july 2015

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 21:06 | 4615733 Remington IV
Remington IV's picture

until they penny your limits all day long , then you feel their sting

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 20:58 | 4615710 Antifaschistische
Antifaschistische's picture if, the reason why retail investors are leaving the stock market is because when we place a trade for AAPL, some HFT may trick us into paying $.01 per/share more than we would have otherwise paid.  LOL

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 22:19 | 4615934 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

If they get you coming and going it doubles.  Across a whole market it becomes a big pile of misallocated pennies.  These people aren't producing anything but their own wealth at the expense of others.  They are parasites and their ways are parasitical.  It is perhpas emblomatic of the markets, finance, heck, the economy itself.  That will make people pull back - tip of the iceberg.

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 04:06 | 4616408 Archduke
Archduke's picture

agreed, speed is not the issue.
abuse of high speed naked
cancellations is the issue.

the order book should be binding.
cancelled orders way out of a sliding
spread should be penalized proportionally.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 16:59 | 4615071 EverythingEviL
EverythingEviL's picture

Cant believe it hasn't happened already

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 16:19 | 4614895 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

That's the 10% who watched with the volume turned down to zero.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 18:15 | 4615272 StupidEarthlings
StupidEarthlings's picture


I think that those 10% shouldn't be allowed to vote. .in poles..or in politics. 



Tue, 04/01/2014 - 22:11 | 4615907 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

To you, it was confirmation.  To the average person it was a couple of guys arguing, one of which had an abrasive personality.  No score was kept.  No final analysis was performed.  No consensus was reached.  To the average person (10% of CNBC viewership?) it was inconclusive and you didn't like the one guy.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 15:58 | 4614816 bsdetector
bsdetector's picture

And CNBC being the honest broker? Haha, their business must be way down.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 16:41 | 4614996 toys for tits
toys for tits's picture

Sue herself said that she's worried about what the general public believes based on these revelations.

That is total bullshit for a "journalist" to say.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 17:37 | 4615173 Keyser
Keyser's picture

CNBC's focus was on the term "rigged", which could trigger a knee-jerk reaction by retail investers. Of course, you have to consider who CNBC's masters are. 


Tue, 04/01/2014 - 18:34 | 4615311 toys for tits
toys for tits's picture

Your comment about the masters they are serving is noted and agreed.

It's just today in the heat of the moment she betrayed her bias for a market position (escalation).  

If someone comes on their show claiming that the market is rigged and have credible evidence, it is their job to report it.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 21:08 | 4615739 Remington IV
Remington IV's picture

Sue is an apologist for the industry , a morally corrupt troll just a level below Bob Pisani , the biggest apologist for NYSE bad behavior there ever was

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 16:02 | 4614825 SoilMyselfRotten
SoilMyselfRotten's picture

Douche is what came to my mind

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 20:44 | 4615661 Antifaschistische
Antifaschistische's picture

This Obrien fellow....he has obviously not mastered the arts of polemics.  

Forget the subject matter for a second...his defensive posturing so clearly gives away that his livelihood hinges on the exact position he so vehemently denies.    Yet, he uses a classic debate tactic of switching the issue to his clients trusting him.   Which is completely irrelevant.  Of course his clients trust do the exact thing he's claiming he doesn't do, which is create an artificial advantage for people with a lot of money.  That IS his whole business model.   Which really just makes the other dude's point.

Excellent video.  Thank you CNBC & ZH.   

I shall call this gentleman Vizinni Obrien (from the Princess Bride)


Tue, 04/01/2014 - 16:30 | 4614943 mc225
mc225's picture

yeah that makes sense.


hft shenanigans were known of, several years back. now, years after the fact, the mass media is putting it front and center. curiouser

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 17:22 | 4615132 PT
PT's picture

They ignore it, you complain.  They pay attention, you complain.  There's just no pleasing some folks.

(Actually, I agree with you.  Just had to stick that in there anyway.) 

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 17:33 | 4615161 Freddie
Freddie's picture

The whole story is a scam. I am surprised Michael Lewis is in on this BS. Everyone has known about HFT and Lewis and Katsuyama or whatever his name is saying hedge funds did not know is total BS. They are trying to get retail investors back to the casino.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 19:12 | 4615382 dracos_ghost
dracos_ghost's picture

And how does IEX exactly protect the "average investor" with a 350ms delay. It doesn't unless it fills every freaking order that goes through it. Goldman will route 50% of trades through Sigma X and then the other 50% through IEX. Builtin delay tap guarantees front running -- or time warping or whatever you want to call it. Let's not forget IEX is Goldman's new bitch so beware. Goldman has a builtin get out of jail card free wrt compliance with this one.

The problem is Dark Pools. HFT is a symptom like a herpes sore -- the infection is the cause. When 80+ % of transactions are via Dark Pools, I don't care if you have a quantum abacus, you're getting raped and you're guaranteed a price that is not the best.

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 00:13 | 4616159 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

" Let's not forget IEX is Goldman's new bitch so beware."

How so?  Goldman isn't an investor in IEX.  That's a pretty strong accusation so I hope you have something more than bluster to back it up.

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 05:46 | 4616447 Archduke
Archduke's picture

> "The problem is Dark Pools. HFT is a symptom..."

It's probably the other way around, methinks.


Dark Pools are rather a consequence of market scalping due to HFT,

and not their cause.  Nobody prefers trading in the dark, but when you

can't trust fleeting published prices, you may as well negotiate in bulk

in the back room.


Though in a way they do facilitate HFT, for when the liquidity providers do

front run and scalp client orders, they offset against tighter dark pool prices.

Now say what you will, if some markets choose to reward rebates for liquidity,

I think that's up to them, provided the spread is fair... problem is it's not,

as the NBBO and order book prices that clients work on are manipulated. 


So why are the client order spreads way off?  Some people see the

problem as a an aspect of speed, but speed is an agnostic enabler.

If there is a really fast legit opposite order, then I don't see why

we should be interfering.  To me the problem is the falsity of NBBO,

and the quote stuffing of phantom orders to skew prices up or down.


The ability of market makers, HFT shops, and insiders to cancel with

impunity is what is wrong with exchanges  Adding skin in the game

to all orders would bring back accurate pricing.  We don't allow false

bids in auction houses, and the same should be true in any market.

If you take it for granted that there are rebates for providing liquidity,

then there should be corresponding penalities for removing it.


Orders should have a mandatory retention time, maybe even make

it inversely proportional to the latency, so that fast orders are allowed

but must persist for longer (someone smarter should look into this).

perhaps the shoe box 350ms loop should only apply to cancel/modify?


And then allow cancellations if you will, but not without imposing a fair

liquidity penalty. Not sure what sort of fee structure would appropriate:

a flat fee or tax, a portion of the spread, or to its standard deviation?

(again, smart people: feel free to comment)


Tue, 04/01/2014 - 23:15 | 4616047 mumbo_jumbo
mumbo_jumbo's picture

"There is no excuse for all this publicity NOW"


sure there is, a crash is coming and a scapegoat is needed and what better than a computer program gone wild, then the poor innocent FED will save us mentioned here a few days ago.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 23:26 | 4616072 Seer
Seer's picture

Hey!  You're not supposed to take our minds away from the distraction!

I watched and all I could think of was: "what a bunch of pathetic babies."  If they really know what's going on then they're ALL scamming things.  If they don't know what's really going on then they have no business conning people into thinking that they provide some value to humanity.

HFT and all is nothing but the final run-up in desperation as we squeeze and squeeze for the last possible drop of growth.  Well, in the end, NOTHING is going to be able to spur growth; having more and more "representatives" of a variant of the thing that is failing is NOT any solution at all: I think that this is in line with what Coot's saying.

One cannot say anything bad about the "system" in the same way that one cannot say something bad about some god or other item of worship.  We must continue to build those stone statues...

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 13:07 | 4625372 Hopeless for Change
Hopeless for Change's picture

CrazyCooter "may be crazy but sure ain't dumb!"  I agree, follow the money.  


60 Minutes has a way of increasing awareness, and I wish there were many more NEWS programs like it, instead of the emotional, exaggerated drivel that dominates the "news" channels.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 18:09 | 4615258 phoolish
phoolish's picture

Al actualy provided a product people wanted.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 23:31 | 4616082 Seer
Seer's picture

Yeah, people were starting to get worried about all the blood in the water in the other pool... the sharks aren't hungry enough in the new pool so folks think that the water's safe...

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 03:51 | 4616400 drunkenlout
drunkenlout's picture

When you're Al Capone, every problem looks like a baseball.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:53 | 4614552 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Can blogs make a difference?  For a long time I had my doubts, but HOT DAMN!

Congrats Tylers, and many, many more.

Shit's getting real;)

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 15:23 | 4614654 xPat
xPat's picture

Every single ZH reader who understands this subject has a moral obligation to write CNBC, make the obvious point that it was their duty to either kick the BATS fucktard off the show or silence him some other way so that the GENTLEMEN who had been asked direct questions by the anchors could ANSWER them without being INTERRUPTED BY AN OBNOXIOUS DOLT. And then inform them you're switching to Bloomberg and will never watch their channel again if they can't show the basic professionalism to stop one guest from rudely interrupting and being argumentative with other guests who are behaving like polite professionals.

I've just done my civic duty (sent something similar to the above to CNBC). Will you?


Tue, 04/01/2014 - 15:28 | 4614676 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture


does that count? I bet you they will read this.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 17:35 | 4615167 Freddie
Freddie's picture

F TV. TV and Hollywood is for retards who like to support The Matrix and the lies being spewed daily. Don't complain about America, EU or anything if you watch.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 19:29 | 4615445 BurningFuld
BurningFuld's picture

Me, I think CNBC did a fantastic job of making the BATS guy look, well...batty.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 19:29 | 4615446 hobopants
hobopants's picture

In some ways the BATS idiot made a better argument against himself than the other side ever could have. You could almost see the slime and desperation sloughing off the guy.

People often don't get or understand the way this shit works and therefore can't follow the argument, but everyone watching could see the guy's behavior screamed guilty as hell.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 21:13 | 4615751 Remington IV
Remington IV's picture

BATS guy fucked himself

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 16:43 | 4615008 toys for tits
toys for tits's picture

It's better to watch "journalism" with a little WWE on the side.

Especially when there was a cheering section in the background. Of course it was on a 6 second delay to what Brad was saying.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 16:57 | 4615058 mccvilb
mccvilb's picture

Dumped CNBC long ago, along with NBC that Sunday on David Gregory's show when they tried to put Cramer in an off-the-rack suit and foist him on the public as a political analyst. The suit was so bad it looked like the coat hanger was still inside. His commentary was pathetic too. He was totally lost without his Obamoprompter.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 18:37 | 4615316 toys for tits
toys for tits's picture

But clowns are entertaining as well.

Watch his showdown with Jon Stewart. Priceless.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 19:06 | 4615369 Keyser
Keyser's picture

The truly scary thing about Crammer is that he has the ratings to keep his silly ass on the air. This says more about the prime-time retail investor that tunes into CNBC than it does about the clown in a cheap suit. 


Tue, 04/01/2014 - 20:04 | 4615548 toys for tits
toys for tits's picture

His ratings are horrible compared to all the cable news networks.  

Cramer gets less viewers than American Greed, The Profit, and The Detective Files.

It's safe to say everyone beats him, even that cunt Nancy Grace.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 21:15 | 4615758 Remington IV
Remington IV's picture

Cramer explains manipulating stocks :




Tue, 04/01/2014 - 19:15 | 4615392 dannyboy
dannyboy's picture

Agreed, take a bow Tylers this is a direct result of your hard work on this issue.

If it wasn't the seminal pieces in 2009 from Zerohedge on HFT until now, alongside Nanex I can assue you very few people would know what was going on in the markets to do with HFT's and algorithimic trading.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:44 | 4614513 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

"Is he always like this? He's insane." "You're insane!"

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:48 | 4614535 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

No, the real scam is Obama!

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 17:41 | 4615186 Freddie
Freddie's picture

LOL! Who down voted you? GM car owner?

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 04:33 | 4616419 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture



I do not like the Queen, Obama. But I downarrowed him. (I do not own GM.)


Read my response to Seer.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 23:37 | 4616096 Seer
Seer's picture

For fuck's sake, that only makes you sound like a fucking party pussy.  Childish: but it gets good reviews by all the "intelligent" people here.

No, the "real scam" is perpetual growth on a finite planet.  You see, we've all bought into this.  It's like that bunch of clowns in the video clip, they could toss mud at one another but in NO way can they all into question the System itself.

The System demands someone like Obama.  Those not getting this point will NEVER find any "solution," no matter how much mud they can toss.

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 04:31 | 4616418 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

They are locked into that Red Team/Blue Team Bullshit.


Exponential Growth leads to Exponential Collapse in any adiabatic system.


It would amaze most the the Federal Reserve Board of Governors is the equivalent to the Politburo and that Janet Yellen is the leader of the Corporation which runs the US Government.


Give me the control of the money supply and it matters not what laws are written. (An attributed to Rothschild paraphrase) If I do not want a Government program enacted then I simply do not provide the MONEY FOR ENFORCEMENT of the laws.


But they refuse to get it. Perhaps they are so entrenched in the paradigm that they are unable.


I feel sorry for those as it collapses they will have no clue as to what hit them. (As if they ever really had any choice...)


Obama is as much of a psychopath as Bush II was, as Clinton was, and as Bush I was. They are all human garbage. But they are puppets and not in control.


I also believe that there are NO SOLUTIONS in the current paradigm and it is destined in the short term to collapse.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:49 | 4614536 soopy
soopy's picture

I see what you did there.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 17:51 | 4615212 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

Why is this on CNBC ?

So they can rolll out the old 'SEC/congressional investigation' meme.

Of course, no one mentions that the regulators are completely captured & part of the scam, as are the 'journalist' doing damage control.


Tue, 04/01/2014 - 18:44 | 4615326 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

flight MH 370! flight MH-370!

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:39 | 4614490 max2205
max2205's picture

Hey! It ain't easy making a billion pennies a day....STFU!

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:46 | 4614519 robertocarlos
robertocarlos's picture

Get rid of the penny. It's worthless.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 15:06 | 4614588 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

Actually, I think its worth about 2.5 cents?

Seigniorage Bitches!

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 15:39 | 4614728 superflex
superflex's picture

The 95% copper, pre '82 pennies are worth almost $0.02.

Today's 97.5% zinc pennies are worth less than $0.005

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 16:00 | 4614819 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture another year they'll be worth $.02 based on their zinc content and inflation....

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 20:54 | 4615696 StupidEarthlings
StupidEarthlings's picture


Dont tell people. Jeez.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 15:41 | 4614732 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

Just the old ones ...

I just noticed that Kyle Bass' nickle strategy is underwater at the moment, LOL!



Tue, 04/01/2014 - 16:43 | 4615010 silverserfer
silverserfer's picture

its a hedge, its not underwater, theyre still worth a nickel each. 

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 23:40 | 4616103 Seer
Seer's picture

So, folks are willing to house those nickels for free?

Just making sure that we endeavor to understand full costs...

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 04:39 | 4616422 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Well there is a US Government counterparty risk. But the Federal Reserve Bank is out of that as Coinage is still directly a US Treasury issue. The Fed has nothing to do with it.


At least it has a Base Metal backing.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 16:54 | 4615041 vincent
vincent's picture

I'll say this slowly...

Bass's    one     million     dollar     purchase    of     nickles     is      still    worth    one     million     dollars...............

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 17:43 | 4615192 Tinky
Tinky's picture

You forgot the storage costs, hence, he is underwater! Assuming that the nickels aren't worth more than five cents each, of course.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 19:47 | 4615503 vincent
vincent's picture

Probably stashed at the Compound, along with his metal, and protected by Hummer tanks and a few wolves.

I will, however, consider dollar devaluation as a valid argument for being underwater.

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 00:18 | 4616166 Seer
Seer's picture

And, there's the handling costs.

Sigh, but there's capital gains and all...

I think that on this one Bass was investing in marketing (himself): not to say that he's wrong, just that I think that this one was more for "fun" (and, perhaps, as noted, more so about marketing than investing).

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:42 | 4614497 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

The one thing O'Brien has going for him is the knowledge that nothing will come of this.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:46 | 4614517 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

I don't think he's worried about "the big picture" here.  I think he's worried about his own ass.  Period.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:52 | 4614542 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

well even though it won't change anything I hope his balls get cut off and stuffed down his throat.

I wonder if stupid fucking CNBC has figured out that if they engage in real debate more than 7 people will watch.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:55 | 4614558 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Define "real".  Then maybe we can get to what constitutes "debate" and go from there.  Both guys were talking their book, which they have every right to do, but I'm not so sure how much "reality" we saw there.  It was entertaining as hell, though.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 15:06 | 4614599 kliguy38
kliguy38's picture

at least Sue Herrera stood up for the HFT boyz........gotta save these poor basstids from the torch and pitchfork crowd or WHO knows.....Sue might be next on the crowd's list......hehehehe........and she can't outrun um

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 18:40 | 4615320 toys for tits
toys for tits's picture


I've heard she's been doing some remodel work around her house (with a nail gun).

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 15:12 | 4614619 Remington IV
Remington IV's picture

The minute O'Brien started yelling ...... HE LOST


He thinks it's OK to sell my order flow to some scumbag who then buys it in front of me

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 19:20 | 4615409 eclectic syncretist
eclectic syncretist's picture

He should be the first criminal MF frog-marched to the rack, to be quickly followed by those who sent him to tell these lies.

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 00:22 | 4616171 Seer
Seer's picture

Problem is that it's likely going to cost a lot of taxpayer dollars to see this happen.

Better would be just as it's happening: expose him to the general public who will know what to "do" about it when the time is right.

What in the hell was this guy thinking?  Maybe it's all the money behind him that's pushing him out there in front of the lions? (if he refuses then it's the nailgun)

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 16:21 | 4614902 Carbon Beach
Carbon Beach's picture


Surprisingly or unsurprisingly O’Brien looked the part of an over matched amateur. He could not articulate a defense and swung wildly without knowing if he was in or outside the ring.

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 00:24 | 4616176 Seer
Seer's picture

Had a chuckle on this.  But then I the question came to mind: Is there really a ring? (that would assume containment, and, well, they all seem to be able to do pretty much what they want with little/no repercussions [yet])

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 19:25 | 4615433 TheRideNeverEnds
TheRideNeverEnds's picture

He is just in the business of front-running information, TV appearances are no different.  

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 19:43 | 4615488 Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

Desperation is the exact word for it.  He knows that without HFT, liquidity would drop also his money.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 22:21 | 4615936 Zigs
Zigs's picture

O'brien:  Methinks, thou dost protest too much.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:44 | 4614510 ohhhhhbaaaaahhh...
ohhhhhbaaaaahhhhhhhhhmaaaaaahhhhh's picture

HFT should be illegal... it is like the FED, cheaters. 


If it will not be stopped then sooner or later it will start to cause bigger problems in the market.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 16:23 | 4614913 GFKjunior
GFKjunior's picture

How exactly?

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 19:35 | 4615465 Slave
Slave's picture

With 2000 pages of legislation. Duh.

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 00:26 | 4616178 Seer
Seer's picture

And on page 1,762 there will be a footnote that read: "Just kidding."

I never tire of this quote:

Do people demand a really just system? Well, we'll arrange it so that they'll be satisfied with one that's a little less unjust ... They want a revolution, and we'll give them reforms -- lots of reforms; we'll drown them in reforms. Or rather, we'll drown them in promises of reforms, because we'll never give them real ones either!!

- DARIO FO, Accidental Death of an Anarchist

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 17:43 | 4615193 kicksroute66
kicksroute66's picture


Tue, 04/01/2014 - 21:53 | 4615774 Remington IV
Remington IV's picture

The minute O'Brien started yelling ...... HE LOST

O"Brien  thinks it's OK to sell my order flow to some scumbag who then buys it in front of me

These HFT assholes equate volume to liquidity . Paying for order flow , and then front-running my orders is  not liquidity ....... it's THEFT

Front-running orders to the tune of  8,000,000,000 shares a day in all trading venues is not "liquidity" ... it's "stealing liquidity"

These math and quant PhD's are thieves




Wed, 04/02/2014 - 00:30 | 4616182 Seer
Seer's picture

They're stealing time...

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:47 | 4614527 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

The great thing about the stock market is it makes the futures market look honest and transparent by comparison. And that's a pretty good trick.

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 00:31 | 4616184 Seer
Seer's picture

I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read this post! :-)

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 16:06 | 4614833 Remington IV
Remington IV's picture

Bob Pisani and Sue Herrera don't know who to support , as they KNOW that both sides are SCUMBAGS

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 16:05 | 4614834 Remington IV
Remington IV's picture

Bob Pisani and Sue Herrera don't know who to support , as they KNOW that both sides are SCUMBAGS

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 16:32 | 4614951 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Well, it seems that even Vampire BATS leave a trail of "Vampire BATS hits".

Say the quote 7x real fast, and whaddya get?

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 17:47 | 4615209 detached.amusement
detached.amusement's picture

Nicky Santoro: Oh I don't know whether you know this or not, but you only have your fuckin casino because I made that possible. I'm what counts out here, not your fuckin country clubs or your fuckin TV shows! And what the fuck are you doing on TV anyhow? You know I get calls from back home every fuckin day, they think you went bat shit!

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 16:44 | 4615012 irishlink
irishlink's picture

I am so looking forward to Michaels next book  PM manipulation ????? PLEASE

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 20:55 | 4615700 Ness.
Ness.'s picture

He'll get nailgunned before that one hits the presses. 

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 23:29 | 4616075 HungryPorkChop
HungryPorkChop's picture

Markets are being skimmed by mob tactics.  They send out their best PR hitman for interviews which is 100% attack mode.

Now imagine what these same mobsters have done in the silver and gold markets.  Something tells me this will not end well with runaway hacked cars, nails guns and backdoor software trojans. 

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:26 | 4614427 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Various ZH-ers have mentioned that while sleazy and probably illegal, the HFT is but a cover to hide what theeven more criminal Fed has been up to.

HFT Show Trials coming to a broker near you soon!

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:32 | 4614457 BTCTalks
BTCTalks's picture

A sacrificial lamb before the fall.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:44 | 4614499 Badabing
Badabing's picture

It's a double standard. When the front running algos go haywire and flash crash or spike the little slow guy gets trade halted and reset! Fucking banks!

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 21:16 | 4614624 Remington IV
Remington IV's picture

VIRTU Trading lost money 1 day , out of 5 years .... WTF  happened that 1 day , not enough orders to front-run !?!?!?  wankers

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:32 | 4614458 ArkansasAngie
ArkansasAngie's picture

Perhaps we can gets some of these pigs to squeal ... on others.

Frog marches.  


Wed, 04/02/2014 - 00:36 | 4616189 Seer
Seer's picture

The worst thing that could happen is if we folded up the board and went home.  They can't contribute to anything in any productive way, in which case they'll starve, or, their conscience (or lack of?) or their inability to function in a REAL world would get the best of them.

Can one lone person on an island be a sociopath?  I'm thinking that self-realized mental torture is about a bad a fate as one can experience.  And, well, I just hope that these fuckers get plenty of time to think about it...

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:50 | 4614520 Pseudonymous
Pseudonymous's picture

Basically high frequency trading is just a technology, a tool. But the ones who are its current primary users are highly interdependent with the regulators, the exchanges, the FED, commercial banks, politicians, etc. No wonder it has become a mere taxation and fraud instrument - the system was rigged long before HFT entered the scene. All the parties mentioned above are just sharing the plunder amongst each other. Any honest algorithmic or high frequency traders there are are surely not going to participate, on the contrary they would probably be chased away. If new taxation is introduced this would simply 1. redistribute the plunder between the plunderers; 2. introduce more waste and inefficiencies; 3. chase even more people away. That's bad, but not all that bad, and it will eventually turn out OK, because alternatives are emerging, such as Bitcoin markets, where all kinds of instruments can be created and traded, completely outside the traditional systems.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 20:01 | 4615538 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

except that  bitcoin is less stable & less likely to pay out to any useful fiat and/or goods than SLV which is a very low bar indeed.

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 00:50 | 4616212 Pseudonymous
Pseudonymous's picture

You already posted this same picture in a reply to me a month ago and I explained it to you, bot you really do seem to insist on making a fool of yourself.

As for the second part: Not only are you wrong, I actually don't agree that there is any chance at all that in the long run bitcoins could go to zero. They could lose a lot of value, but not go to zero, much like a commodity with finite supply cannot go to zero. Bitcoins are not promises that can be betrayed. They are undeniable property. Their very short term property title (bitcoins from transactions received only minutes ago) can be in question but their value is still there.

On the other hand, since paper promises are well known for their ability to go to zero, the chance of it happening is always non-zero, therefore you are wrong.

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 02:21 | 4616303 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

I have already explained to you why this is the most valid analysis of all: bitcoin is more paper & promise than all other paper promises as it has no intrinsic promise of a commodity. Bitcoin is pure anticommodity. It is easily replaced with infinitely many alternatives & at best all of them hope to promise other nothings. At worst they all go to zero, such as a grid-down situation which is looking 99% likely in 5 years.

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 13:26 | 4617797 Pseudonymous
Pseudonymous's picture

You forget that bitcoins are provably unique and original, like rare paintings are... actually better than rare paintings, because you don't need an expert to verify it, you can do it automatically with any computer. Rare paintings and other works of art and objects of sentimental value hold value like commodities of limited supply. They derive most of their their value neither as promises nor as the commodities they are made of. Still, the older they get the more valuable they become, if they manage to survive the times (not get physically destroyed)! With bitcoins that is trivial.

Sun, 04/06/2014 - 07:14 | 4629543 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

No, it is you that is forgetting that many alt-currencies exist now & most of them don't have the faulty encumbrance known as a "block chain" (which is a Fail).

Nothing rare about it & worse: there's no tangible goods behind them. Tangible goods are the core of money-value. No tangible = no value. Rare paintings also have little value. I would value the most expensive rare painting on Earth at $0 for any trade for anything like food, medicine, shelter. Zero.

They have no value, they have only speculation by people who have faith & nonsense. I'll have none of that.

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 00:40 | 4616195 Seer
Seer's picture

Bitcoin, and all fucking else, rides on top of a false premise, that being that we can have pertpetual growth on a finite planet.  Bitcoin isn't a resource, and at the very core of all that is really essential is resources: and one problem with Bitcoin is that it contains no physical substance to keep it from being completely worthless when it all comes down to the intrinsicness of life.

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 01:11 | 4616225 Pseudonymous
Pseudonymous's picture


pertpetual growth on a finite planet

The planet might be finite, but not the universe. We aren't actually bound by the planet.

There is a time and place to own physical resources and there is a time and place to simply participate in a global economic signalling system called money. You could combine the two, but you don't necessarily have to.

when it all comes down to the intrinsicness of life.

Could you explain this part in more detail? I know this is leading into philosophy, but it is an interesting topic.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 16:04 | 4614829 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

.....a red herring.....


Get everyone to debate how many angels can dance on the head of a railroad spike so no one notices where the spike is jammed...



Wed, 04/02/2014 - 00:41 | 4616199 Seer
Seer's picture

OK, fine enough for the philosophy, but what's the answer? (42?) </sarc>

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 07:15 | 4616527 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

no, the answer is that capitalism as such does not have to be this way

in fact, capitalism as such does not even have to be financial, stock exchange based

and stock exchanges don't have to be this way, neither. they could be based on an auction principle, for example

those guys have hijacked (again) a certain traditional way of organizing financial markets, and claim to be the sole proprietors and champions of capitalism in general

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:26 | 4614428 Badabing
Badabing's picture

cat fight!

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!