Reuters just reported that none other than the HFT's bestest buddy exchange, BATS, which earlier this week was slapped with the biggest monetary penalty ever for continuing the practice of Hide Not Slide (at least until UBS' dark pool was slapped with an even bigger fine for conducting subpennying without informing most of its clients), is about to buy the FX trading platform of KCG, formerly Knight Capital which too blew up after one of its algos went haywire and blew up the firm in milliseconds.
- BATS GLOBAL MARKETS IN TALKS TO BUY FX TRADING PLATFORM HOTSPOT FROM KCG HOLDINGS KCG.N FOR NEARLY $400 MLN - SOURCES KCG.N - RTRS
Which, of course, is great news for all those who have stepped back from the rigged circus and merely enjoy "markets" for the comedic farce they have become
"The first lesson is never trust a central banker when he or she makes a commitment or gives guidance..."
What we see now is the recovery of price discovery, and therefore the functioning economy, and it shouldn’t be a big surprise that it doesn’t come in a smooth transition. Six years is a long time. Moreover, it was never just QE that distorted the markets, there was – and is – the ultra-low interest rate policy developed nations’ central banks adhere to like it was the gospel, and there’s always been the narrative of economic recovery just around the corner that the politico/media system incessantly drowned the world in. That the QE madness ended with the decapitation of the price of oil seems only fitting.
Success, we’re constantly told, breeds success. And success breeds stability. The way to avoid failure is to copy successful people and strategies. The way to continue succeeding is to do more of what has been successful. This line of thinking is so intuitively compelling that we wonder what other basis for success can there be other than 'success'? As counter-intuitive as it may sound, success rather reliably leads to failure and destabilization. Instead, it’s the close study of failure and the role of luck that leads to success. In the macro-economic arena, we think it highly likely that the monetary and fiscal policies of the past six years that are conventionally viewed as successful will lead to spectacular political and financial failures in 2015 and 2016. How can success breed failure? It turns out there are a number of dynamics at work.
"we venture that the SNB will sooner or later be forced to permit the franc to appreciate and thus to enrich the holders of low-priced, three-year call options on the Swiss/euro exchange rate. It's a long shot, to be sure--the options are cheap for a reason--but we judge that the prospective reward is worth the obvious risk." - Jim Grant, Sept 14th, 2014
At this point, the writing is on the wall: nothing can be taken for granted. No assurances or promises or proclamations will hold.
This morning's decision by the Swiss National Bank has polarized the investing community. From the 'smartest men in the room' to the 'most renowned newsletter writers in the world', the reactions could not be more different...
Anyone who continues to believes in the all powerful CB after today is a fool.
So much for that short-lived hope-fest that Abenomics was not a total and utter disaster. Japan Machinery Orders (excluding -rather ironically- volatile orders) plunged 14.6% Year-over-Year in November (missing expectations of a 6.3% drop) for the biggest fall since Nov 2009. In this new farcical normal of course, this is just what the surging JPY of the last week needed and it is now dumping back towards 117.50 dragging Nikkei futures 150 points higher with it!!
At the very least, the ‘great recession’ seems likely to continue. A serious recession or depression will likely collapse the already fragile banking system, especially in Europe, and the savings of ordinary people and companies will become exposed to bail-ins.
'After two days of sharp intraday and vicious reversals, the BTFD algos are suspiciously missing overnight, when as reported earlier, a bout of margin calls and stop loss selling meant not crude but copper would crash in today's episode of "guess the crashing commodity", on what Goldman dubbed a Chinese demand collapse which for those confused is different than an OPEC supply glut, and is also the reason why the entire commodity complex is trading at a decade plus low. As a result copper plunged to a five and a half year low, in the process halting the market due to the severity of the plunge. But the big event overnight was the farcical announcement by the European top court, which as everyone expected, rejected the German rejection of the OMT as illegal, stating it was not only legal (with certain conditions) but greenlighting the way for the ECB's QE in one week, a move which sent the EURUSD crashing to a fresh 9 year low!
We see far too much complacency out there when it comes to interest rates, in the same manner that we’ve seen it concerning oil prices. We live in a new world, not a continuation of the old one. That old world died with Fed QE. Just check the price of oil. There have been tectonic shifts since over, let’s say, the holidays, and we wouldn’t wait for the ‘experts’ to catch up with live events. Being 7 weeks or two months late is a lot of time. And they will be late, again. It’s inherent in what they do. And what they represent.
In a globalized and financialized world, financial disruption, which is what a “rising” dollar signifies, is not an independent paradigm. The more prices trend exactly opposite of how “stimulus” is supposed to work, the less these convolutions will hold up whereby, eventually, reality sets in. The significance of the action in December is that there are no more lines in the sand left to defend the “honor” of monetarism; copper isn’t anywhere near $3 anymore and the long-predicted crude oil bounce to $70 is instead $45 and falling. Only equities remain, and at these valuations they signify nothing but the folly of the artificial economy. The more this goes on, the more it looks like 1937 lives again.
The Fed may raise rates a token amount this year, but the move will be largely symbolic. You can bet there will NEVER be a shock and awe interest rate raise.
Gold has surged 7.2% already in January, outperforming gold in dollars which is up 4.8%, and building on the 12% gains seen in 2014. Market participants are increasing allocations to gold in order to hedge a ‘Grexit’ and risks posed by euro money printing.