White House Purchases Google Key Words to Slam Putin
From 1235ET to 1255ET today, the SIP (the data feed that the general public relies on for its trade reporting) went dark for a number of symbols (including SPY - the massively liquid S&P 500 ETF). Luckily - for the High Frequency Traders - the Direct Feed kept on getting data and as the detailed charts from Nanex below show, the machines and their keepers continued to trade with asymmetric information... un-rigged?
As Senator Ron Johnson so appropriately blasted, "I'm not sure sanctions had any effect whatsoever other than, you know, the Russians have mocked them," and so it is that the Treasury's (little heard of) "Terrorism and Financial Intelligence" division is preparing to unleash its most deadly weapons yet - an arsenal of financial weaponry aimed at hitting foreign adversaries with limited cost to allies. It appears clear that while the US dropped speech-bombs and sanction-mines, proclaiming the disastrous economic significance of these efforts, Russian stocks soared (vastly outperforming the US) and the Ruble strengthened... and so - as undersecretary David Cohen tells the WSJ, "What we've done over the past 10 years is to create a new method of projecting U.S. power..." e.g. sell non-US stocks (thus buy US stocks).
There was much said in last week's primetime interview between Edward Snowden and NBC's Brian Williams. But perhaps more interesting than what was said in the one hour time-slot, was what was contained in the three extra hours of conversations that were not broadcast, such as Snowden's questioning of the American intelligence community’s inability to stop the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. One such segment, as transcribed by RT, involves the former NSA contractor's response to a question from Williams on how to prevent further attacks from Al Qaeda and other "non-traditional enemies" in which Snowden suggested that United States had the proper intelligence ahead of 9/11 but failed to act.
One of the many civil liberties related themes we have focused on over the past several years has to do with how emerging technologies can pose a threat, first to our basic 4th Amendment rights, and then ultimately to freedom itself. Two of the most high profile technologies in this regard, and which have extremely high potential for abuse, are license plate readers and drones.
Another day, another fumble by the Obama administration (intentional or not). 11 years after former CIA operative Valerie Plame was deliberately exposed by the Bush administration as the US officials tried to apply pressure on her husband, an American diplomat criticizing the US invasion to Iraq; the Obama Administration's press service unwittingly put the real name of the CIA's top spy in Afghanistan on the 'pool report' distributed to over 6,000 journalists. The Washington Post were the first to discover the FUBAR and while the CIA and White House had 'no comment', they warned that the officer and his family could be at risk if the name were published.
Using espionage for gain in negotiations is an age-old tactic; but are the norms of 'appropriate' espionage changing?
"The CIA organised a fake vaccination program in the town where it believed Osama bin Laden was hiding in an elaborate attempt to obtain DNA from the fugitive al-Qaida leader’s family," The Guradian reports. Now, amid a deadly backlash again vaccinations and a resurgence of polio in Pakistan, the White House has promised that the CIA will never again use an immunization campaign as a tool of spycraft. While this is horrible in its own right, there is a much bigger story here. The fact that the United States holds no claim to any sort of moral high ground whatsoever.
- "May?" New Cold War May Emerge in Ukraine Crisis, Medvedev Says (BBG)
- Wristslaps will be fast and furious: EU Commission charges HSBC, JPMorgan, Credit Agricole with rigging (Reuters)
- Credit Suisse Rises as U.S. Guilty Plea Ends 3-Year Probe (BBG)
- After Martial Law Declaration, Thailand Waits for General's Next Move (WSJ)
- China property slowdown spells trouble for Asia bonds (FT)
- Russia Close to $400 Billion Gas Pipeline Deal in Pivot to China (BBG)
- Dimon-by-the-Sea Shows London Banking’s Engine of Growth (BBG)
- Modi Faces Greece-Sized Snag to Economic Revival (FT)
- U.K. Inflation Accelerates on Airfare Surge (BBG)
Two Former Government Officials Tell Us What It's All About ...
In the first case of its kind, US Attorney General Eric Holder has broght charges against five Chinese military officals on charges of economic espionage and other offenses related to computer hacking of US nuclear power, metals, and power industries:
- *FIVE CHINESE MILITARY OFFICERS CHARGED BY U.S. WITH ESPIONAGE
- *JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SAYS CHINA HACKERS PENETRATE U.S. COMPANIES
- *DOJ SAYS ESPIONAGE TARGETED WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC, U.S. STEEL, ALCOA, SOLARWORLD
Holder added that the "range of trade secrets and other senstivive business information stolen in this case is significant and demands an aggressive response."
American foreign policy is mindlessly driven by the machinery of our Warfare State - a vast accretion of economic, diplomatic, spying and military capabilities which are ceaselessly in search of missions and justifications for their colossal call on the nation’s resources. Absent a dismantlement of the Warfare State machinery, giant policy errors like the Bill Clinton’s double-cross on NATO and Obama’s foolish present confrontation with Putin are nearly guaranteed to recur.
With two of Tepper's top six positions being new, and quite massive, calls in either the SPY or QQQ, we would be nervous too...
When obnoxiously wealthy pricks with the ability to bribe stock exchanges to place their trading computers on the floor of the exchange and financially induce the Wall Street banks to funnel trades through their dark pools in order to know what is happening a nanosecond before everyone else, and use this information to front run unknowing investors to generate risk free profits, it’s wrong. It really is black and white. I don’t care that it is supposedly “legal”. By complying with Regulation NMS the smart order routers of institutional investor firms like Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab simply funneled naïve investors into various snares laid for them by the unscrupulous high frequency traders. The bad guys always win and the good guys always lose on Wall Street. And no one does anything because they are all on the take. Lewis puts it in terms the average person can understand.