Never have markets carried so much risk. And never have markets been as vulnerable to an abrupt change in perceptions with regard to central banker competence, effectiveness and capabilities. At the minimum, global markets will function poorly, but risk is now high for a disorderly – Party Crashing - "run" on financial markets, as faith in central banking begins to wane.
Unlike previous gold probe cases, this one will have major consequences. How do we know? Because just like in LIBOR-gate, just like in FX-gate, it is the biggest rat of all, Swiss megabank UBS, that is about to turn on its former criminal peers. As Bloomberg reported earlier "UBS was granted conditional leniency in Swiss antitrust probe of possible manipulation of precious metal prices." Why would UBS do this? The same reason UBS did so on at least on two prior occasions: the regulators have definitive proof it is involved, and gave it the option to turn evidence and to rat out its cartel peers, or face even more massive financial penalties. UBS, as usual, choice the former.
Some people will never learn... ever. What is happening today is nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The iceberg has been struck, we’re taking on water, and this sucker is going to sink. Game Over.
The fallout from the emissions scandal that triggered a harrowing plunge in Volkswagen's shares and now threatens to derail the German economy continues as Detusche Bank delivers a sobering assessment, the Green party blames Berlin, BaFin lanches an investigation, and the town of Wolfsburg panics.
We’re all Dr. Evil today, thinking that one million dollars is a lot of money, or that one second is a short period of time, or that we are individually smart or capable in a systemically interesting way. We use our small-number brains to make sense of an increasingly large-number investment world, and as a result both our market fears and our market dreams are increasingly out of touch with reality.
Most just scoff at the notion that there has been a historic global Bubble, let alone that this Bubble has over recent months begun to burst. Talk of an EM and global crisis is viewed as wackoism. Except that the Federal Reserve clearly sees something pernicious in the world that requires shelving, after seven years, even the cutest little baby step move in the direction of policy normalization. The Fed and global central banks responded to the 2008 crisis with unprecedented measures. When the reflationary effects of these policies began to wane, the unfolding 2012 global crisis spurred desperate concerted do “whatever it takes” monetary stimulus. This phase has now largely run its course, and there is at this point little clarity as to what global central bankers might try next.
Ever since Simon Potter's 2012 arrival as head of The NYFed's trading desk, the manipulation of VIX (and thus its reflexive levered tail wagging the algo-driven dog of the indices) has been front-and-center day-after-day in the so-called US equity 'market'. While only fringe-blogs have noticed this in the past, now The FT admits that not only was recent volatility in markets exacerbated by VIX ETFs (thus confirming the tail-wagging-dog analogy), and further, the nature of the link between VIX ETFs and VIX Futures (rebalancing) enables frontrunning which serves to reinforce any trend into the close and thus manipulate the markets.
Our current monetary system is the root cause of many evils of today. Let’s take war, a topic we discussed in this article, as an example. Without a monetary system that creates currency out of thin air, most of the wars that we have had and still have would simply not be financeable. This system is controlled by a few, who change the rules to their own benefit. And as we have seen they use their privileges to finance wars and to bribe politicians. By holding your wealth in precious metals you are rejecting the current system and also protecting yourself from “financial tyranny”. This includes: capital controls, expropriation, bail-ins, bailouts, negative interest rates, market manipulation on a wide scale and massive paper currency fluctuations.
Ffor whatever reason starting in the last hour of trading and continuing until the close, the Shanghai Composite - after trading largely unchanged - went from red on the day to up 4.9% after hitting 5.9% minutes before the close - the biggest one day surge since March 2009 - and nearly erasing the 6.1% drop from the past two days in just about 60 minutes of trading, providing a solid hour of laughter to bystanders and observers in the process.
While it is already common knowledge that China has thrown virtually everything at the market in order to halt the ongoing market crash, including arresting "malicious sellers", journalists, and suspicious hedge fund managers, blaming HFTs for daring to sell in addition to buy, and even making trading index futures practically impossible, perhaps the most interesting revelation showcasing China's desperation came from CNBC today which reported that the government recently invited none other than Mr. ETF himself, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink to "discuss the market situation there", or said otherwise: how to manipulate the market better.
Criminal Charges Filed Against Nomura Traders For Skimming Off Bid/Ask Spreads, Making Millions In The ProcessSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/08/2015 11:46 -0400
Today, in the first official criminal action following the Litvak bust from 2013, the SEC confirmed that our assessment was indeed spot on after the regulator announced fraud charges against three traders "accused of repeatedly lying to customers relying on them for honest and accurate pricing information about residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS)." In the complaint, the SEC alleges that traders misrepresented the bids and offers being provided to Nomura for RMBS as well as the prices at which Nomura bought and sold RMBS and the spreads the firm earned intermediating RMBS trades. They also trained, coached, and directed junior traders at the firm to engage in the same misconduct.
The world is in the waning days of a historic multi-decade experiment in unfettered finance. International finance has for too long been effectively operating without constraints on either the quantity or the quality of Credit issued. From the perspective of unsound finance on a globalized basis, this period has been unique. History, however, is replete with isolated episodes of booms fueled by bouts of unsound money and Credit – monetary fiascos inevitably ending in disaster. We see discomforting confirmation that the current historic global monetary fiasco’s disaster phase is now unfolding.
With China closed today, the usual overnight market manipulation fireworks out of Beijing were absent but that does not meant asset levitation could not take place, and instead of the daily kick start out of China today it has been all about the ECB which as we previewed two days ago, is expected - at least by some such as ABN Amro - to outright boost its QE, while virtually everyone else expects Draghi to not only cut the ECB's inflation forecast, which reminds us of the chart which in March we dubbed the biggest hockeystick ever (we knew it wouldn't last) but to verbally jawbone the Euro as low as possible (i.e., the Dax as high as it will get) even if the former Goldmanite does not explicitly commit to more QE.
"One manager at a major fund - part of the 'national team' of investors and brokerages charged with buying stocks to revive prices – said a friend, also an executive at a large fund, was recently summoned for a meeting with regulators, along with all other mutual funds that had engaged in short-selling activity. 'If I don't come back, look after my wife,' his friend told him, handing the manager his home telephone number."
So now comes the era of gluts, shrinking profits and a drastic deflation of the giant financial bubble that the world’s central banks have so foolishly generated. And this time they will be powerless to stop the carnage. Yet the beleaguered central bankers will launch desperate verbal and market manipulation ploys to brake the current sell-off and thereby preserve the bloodied remnants of their handiwork. When in response the gamblers make their eighth run at buying a dip that is now rapidly turning into a crater, it will be an excellent time to sell anything in the casino that isn’t nailed down.