Curious why Treasury yields have ground lower this morning, considerably more than would perhaps be expected given the consumer sentiment data, and in the process have prevented the intraday "rotation" out of bonds into stocks, pushing the DJIA higher for the 11th consecutive day? The answer comes from the Fed which tipped its hand earlier and scared a few big bond shorts by issuing a Large Positions Reports from those entities which own more than $2 billion of the 2% of February 2023 (CUSIP: 912828UN8 auctioned off in February and reopened on Wednesday). In an unexpected request, and on the back of a surge in fails to deliver earlier in the week and the huge apparent buyside demand in the latest 10Y auction (Primary Dealers getting only 22.3% of the takedown in the UN8 vs typical 40-60%) which settles today, MNI reports that the Fed is now inquiring who has large chunks of the bond: something it has not done since February 2012.
The stock market has now been up for ten straight days. Many on Wall Street are singing “Happy Days Are Here Again.” For them, that is probably the case. They finally have something to sell that will bring the rubes back into the markets. We are not in Kansas anymore. Fear is ebbing and greed is coming back. Those on the outside looking in are rounding up cash so that they don’t get left behind. The shills assist them with their pictures of economic recovery, new era crap and whatever other nonsense they can peddle successfully. So the cycle goes, as it has since the New York Stock Exchange came into existence. We are in another game of musical chairs where the music is playing joyfully. As in all such events, there are too few chairs to accommodate the participants when the music stops. And it always does!
Those expecting to see any indication of that mythical, if completely non-existent rotation out of bonds into stocks (which is really originating out of money markets and savings accounts, and has already tapered out), will not find it in today's US bond auction, which saw the Treasury sell $21 billion in Treasury paper at the low, low yield of just 2.029% (70.31% allotted at the high), below February's 2.046% auction yield, and stopping well inside the When Issued of 2.053% at 1 PM, indicating massive buyside demand and confirmed by all the internals. The Bid To Cover jumped to 3.19, the highest since October's 3.26, and far above the TTM average of 2.96. The Indirect take down was a massive 47.7%, the highest December 2011, when it printed at 61.9%, leaving 30% for Directs, and a tiny 22.3% for the Dealers, which was the second lowest Primary Dealer take down in history, higher only than July 2012's 14%. Overall a whopper of an auction, and confirmation that if anyone has lost interest in frontrunning the Fed, they sure were not in today's auction roster.
Over a decade ago, it was moms and pops downing tools and picking up mice to day-trade the latest and greatest dot-com wunder-stock from their home-office/kitchen table. Now, as equities perch atop a pile of rotten Federal Reserve effluent, it is tweens and below that are sought for their stock market prowess. Forget Rachel Fox - the 16 year old actress-cum-Jesse-Livermore, now we have 11-year-old Rachel Kelly from Naperville who is touted as an example of the greatness of our education system by CNBC because, "because people are going to need to trade stocks long after we're gone... it's inspiration for other 11-year-olds out there." Indeed we are.
SAC Unit CR Intrinsic To Pay Largest Ever Insider Trading Case Settlement: No Charges Are Admitted Or DeniedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/15/2013 13:43 -0400
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Stamford, Conn.-based hedge fund advisory firm CR Intrinsic Investors has agreed to pay more than $600 million to settle SEC charges that it participated in an insider trading scheme involving a clinical trial for an Alzheimer’s drug being jointly developed by two pharmaceutical companies. The settlement filed today in federal court in Manhattan is the largest ever in an insider trading case, requiring CR Intrinsic – an affiliate of S.A.C. Capital Advisors – to pay $274,972,541 in disgorgement, $51,802,381.22 in prejudgment interest, and a $274,972,541 penalty. “The historic monetary sanctions against CR Intrinsic and its affiliates are sharp warning that the SEC will hold hedge fund advisory firms and their funds accountable when employees break the law to benefit the firm,” said George S. Canellos, Acting Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. The settlement is subject to the approval of Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The settlement would resolve the SEC’s charges against CR Intrinsic and the relief defendants relating to the trades in the securities of Elan and Wyeth between July 21 and July 30, 2008. The settling parties neither admit nor deny the charges
Tempest In A Towering Inferno: JPM's Head CIO Trader: "Things Like This, It's Like The Twin Towers Falling Down"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/15/2013 13:14 -0400
On April 13, 2012 Jamie Dimon described the situation at the CIO as massively overblown and said it was just "a tempest in a teapot." A few days later, the head CIO trader, Javier Martin-Artajo, when speaking to the former JPM Chief Investment Officer, Ina Drew, had a less sanguine description: "and, and, you know, things like this, it's like the twin towers falling down." Let's agree to disagree and just compromise on "tempest in a towering inferno." But that's not the point of this post. The point is in the same transcript we learn that it was none other than Ina Drew who told Artejo that "it would be helpful, if appropriate, to get, to start getting a little bit of that mark back" and instructed the Spaniard to go ahead and "tweak" the daily P&L on the CIO portfolio by "an extra basis point." Nothing like your supervisor telling you to fudge marks just to demonstrate that the "curve is starting to trend."
EURUSD - which was active around the US day session all week and dead otherwise - popped up to take out stops at 1.31 today before fading to end the wek marginally higher. Broadly speaking the European 'Dow' was higher on the week but the individual nation stock indices faded quite notably today with Spain and Italy the worst. European credit markets did not play along at all - with financials especially weak. It does seem like European financial stocks are playin catch down to European credit but the pump remains. In other news, the market's 'old' fulcrum security (and perhaps renewed again) - Spanish bond spreads - had their worst week in the last 4 and surged 23bps (when the rest of the market was practically unchanged). Their is a lot simmering under the surface in Europe, but for now, stocks remain cognitively dissonant thanks to the 'promise' even as Italian and Spanish debt levels push top new all-time highs (ahh the austerity of it all).
On October 2, 2012, news hit that Barry Zubrow, JPM's Chief Risk Officer from November 2007 to January 2012 (in other words, key supervisor of the risk onboarded by the CIO, aka JPM's prop trading desk, for the biggest part of its existence), and then briefly head of corporate and regulatory affairs, would retire from JPMorgan. As Bloomberg reported then, "Now is the right time in my life" to retire, Zubrow, 59, wrote to colleagues in a note today. "We have learned from the mistakes of our recent trading losses." We wonder, if the time was "right" for Zubrow's retirement because the firm realized that the Senate was in possession of the following email sent from Zubrow on April 12, a day before the first fateful Q1 earnings preview conference call in which Jamie Dimon, responding to media reports of Iksil's blow up, said the whole situation was a "tempest in a teapot", in which the Chief Risk Officer essentially told the firm's executives: Braunstein and Dimon, to lie to the public and shareholders?
For those curious about the timeline of the world's biggest prop-desk blow up, here it is day by day and, pardon the pun, blow by blow.
"Since my departure I have learned of the deceptive conduct by members of the London team, and I was, and remain, deeply disappointed and saddened to learn of such conduct and the extent to which the London team let me, and the Company, down."
In the marked absence of JPM CEO Jamie Dimon who will sadly not be present to explain to Senate why he is richer than (most) of the people present while wearing his signature presidential cufflinks, Carl "Shitty Deal" Levin will be the main highlight in today's Senate hearing "JPMorgan Chase Whale Trades: A Case History of Derivatives Risks and Abuses" which as reported previously found that JPM "lied" and "deceived" regulators. As the Seante's report concludes, "The bank’s initial claims that its risk managers and regulators were fully informed and engaged, and that the SCP was invested in long-term, risk-reducing hedges allowed by the Volcker Rule, were fictions irreconcilable with the bank’s obligation to provide material information to its investors in an accurate manner." Today, those fictions will attempt to be reconciled, primarily with the help of the "voluntarily retired" former CIO Ina Drew, as well as JPM's vice Chairman Doug Braunstein and IB Co-CEO Michael Cavanagh. Will anything change as a result of today's hearing? Will JPM be broken down? Will the DOJ begin an inquiry into JPM? Of course not. But it makes for a good 3 hours of theater.
Presented with no comment...