OTC

China's Gold Army

Meet 'The Gold Armed Police' - China's special army unit dedicated to acquiring and protecting the nation's precious metals.

Enough Already! Raise The Rate To 3 Percent

Everything is so wonderful that a rate hike would equate to saying the Fed has won. Seven years of ZIRP and a few selling periods when the Fed stopped POMO’s and QE injections, we can easily say with extreme confidence that the Fed won. And by won we mean didn’t ruin the system entirely. Except they did.

Rigor Mortis Of The Robo-Machines

Call it the rigor mortis of the robo-machines. About 430 days ago the S&P 500 crossed the 1973 mark for the first time - the same point where it settled today. In between there has been endless reflexive thrashing in the trading range highlighted below. As is evident, the stock averages have not “climbed” the proverbial wall of worry; they have jerked and twitched to a series of short-lived new highs, which have now been abandoned. Surely most thinking investors have left the casino by now. So what remains is chart driven trading programs, racing madly up, then down, then back up again - rinsing and repeating with ever more furious intensity.

Guest Post: Stanley Fischer Speaks - More Drivel From A Dangerous Academic Fool

With every passing week that money markets rates remain pinned to the zero bound by the Fed, the magnitude of the financial catastrophe hurtling toward main street America intensifies. When the next financial bubble crashes it can only be hoped that this time the people will grab their torches and pitchforks. Stanley Fischer ought to be among the first tarred and feathered for the calamity that he has so arrogantly helped enable.

Which Are The Most Illiquid Assets In The Market Right Now

As the chart below shows, from oil to bunds, to US HG and Convertible debt, to USTs and even to Developed Market stocks, turnovers are virtually non-existant, while the only place where there has been a transitory surge in turnover has something to do with Chinese stocks, where volume however has been quite muted in recent months ever since the bubble died.

The Irony Of Market Manipulation

Having gazed ominously at the extreme monetary policy smoke-and-mirrors intervention in bond markets, and previously explained that "the stock market is to important to leave to the vagaries of an actual market." While the rest of the world's central banks' direct (BoJ) and indirect (Fed, ECB) manipulation of equity markets, nobody bats an eyelid; but when PBOC steps on market volatility's throat (like a bull in a China bear store), people start complaining... finally. There is no difference - none! And no lesser Asian expert than Stephen Roach warns that we should be afraid, very afraid as he states, the great irony of manipulation, he explains, is that "the more we depend on markets, the less we trust them."

Central Banks And Our Dysfunctional Gold Markets

Many investors still view gold as a safe-haven investment, but there remains much confusion regarding the extent to which the gold market is vulnerable to manipulation through short-term rigged market trades, and long-arm central bank interventions. First, much of the gold that is being sold as shares, in certificates, or for physical hoarding in dubious "vaults" just isn't there. Second, paper gold can be printed into infinity just like regular currency. Third, new electronic gold pricing — replacing, as of this past February, the traditional five-bank phone-call of the London Gold Fix in place since 1919 — has not necessarily proved a more trustworthy model. Fourth, there looms the specter of the central bank, particularly in the form of volume trading discounts that commodity exchanges offer them.Today, there is no “official” price for gold, nor any “gold-exchange standard” competing with a semi-underground free gold market. There is, however, a material legacy of “real versus pseudo” gold that remains a terrible menace. Buyer beware of the pivotal difference between the two.

The Ridiculous Reason Why UK Cops Just Dropped A Broker Fraud Probe

The UK has dropped an investigation into a Swiss OTC products broker which allegedly won business from the Ghadafi regime by hosting "no sperm left zone" parties in Morocco. The reason the case was dropped: the firm determined that "the benefits of a successful prosecution will be outweighed by the damage which will be done to it in the course of a prosecution."