An unprincipled, deceitful, unreliable scoundrel. A vicious and solitary animal. An organism that shows a variation from the standard. What are we talking about? Rogue Traders! Does the cap fit?
In a world in which one bank after another has scrambled to downgrade its outlook on gold, both before the recent bank CEO huddle with Obama last Thursday - the day the bottom fell out of the gold market - but especially after, when the real onslaught on gold truly started, it has been an outright blasphemy for the sellside to even hint at having a bullish outlook on gold. After all, how dare someone allocate capital to the barbaric metal at a time when the US is recovering nicely (it's not), and when the US currency is one again deemed safe (with the Fed diluting its monetary base by 3% per month every month until the end of 2014 and likely forever, it isn't), any deviation from this latest script which desperately attempts to push savers out of the safety of gold into the fiat paper, where the proceeds are invested into stocks or simply spent (a la what happened in Cyprus and the latent fear of deposit confiscation everywhere in Europe), is not permitted. Yet this is precisely what CLSA's Chris Wood, author of the famous Greed & Fear, which is never afraid to be contrarian or to break the lemming mold, has done. His brief take on the recent gold plunge? "This is a buying opportunity too good for investors to miss." Buyers of physical gold everywhere in the world agree.
The question many of us had going into today was whether the no follow-through allowed rule would be implemented yet again by The Gold Cartel for the zillionth time in a row.
Presenting Dave Collum's now ubiquitous and all-encompassing annual review of markets and much, much more. From Baptists, Bankers, and Bootleggers to Capitalism, Corporate Debt, Government Corruption, and the Constitution, Dave provides a one-stop-shop summary of everything relevant this year (and how it will affect next year and beyond).
And so yet another saga of a trader who bet on AAPL rising, just before it tumbled, ends in tears, this time with what appears to be near certain incarceration of another small, 2-bit trader. As we previously reported, back in November, as AAPL stock was in freefall, none other than the firm of everyone's favorite financial permabull, Rochdale, ended up being a proud if involuntary holder of nearly $1 billion in AAPL stock. The scapegoat for AAPL's price drop: one ex-trader David Miller. What Miller is accused of, is buying 1.6 million shares of AAPL on the day of the company's last earnings announcement in hopes, of course, the stock would surge. It didn't. Furthermore, Miller was in reality executing a trade for a client who had only wanted to buy 1,625 shares, but Miller was confident enough the stock would go up, he bet the firm's money to buy the difference. Sadly, neither the AAPL earnings announcement, nor its stock price, did quite as planned. End result: $5 million loss, Miller terminated and now arrested and charged, and Rochdale left scrambling for a bailout.
Remember Kweku Adoboli: the 32 year old rogue trader who was solely responsible for UBS' massive $2.3 billion trading loss, and cost the firm's then CEO his job?
- ADOBOLI SENTENCED TO 7 YEARS IN PRISON BY LONDON JUDGE
- JUDGE SAYS ADOBOLI MUST SERVE AT LEAST HALF OF HIS TERM
So the trade off: 3.5 years in exchange for several million in hush money. Where does one sign up?
The saga of Rochdale, or the firm that is now officially Too Little To Fail, following its hilarious screw up in Apple trading as reported previously, when it got the size if not direction of AAPL stock post earnings wrong, and as a result the guy who otherwise would have had a massive X-mas bonus has been outed as a "rogue trader", is nearing its logical conclusion.
- ROCHDALE SAID TO BE IN ADVANCED RESCUE TALKS AFTER APPLE TRADES
- ROCHDALE SAID TO POTENTIALLY ANNOUNCE DEAL AS EARLY AS TODAY
What happens next? DBRS buys them for their strong integrity and work ethic? The NYT gets a licensing deal and makes Dick Bove into a political forecaster taking advantage of his infallible predictive Black Box (see his Bank of America reco rating below)? Inquiring minds want to know.
Moments ago AAPL broke the 200 DMA. Whether or not this was due to the earlier news from Rochdale getting caught with its pants down, and supposedly losing tons of money due to a rogue trader "buying" the stock as its proceeded to tumble from its all time highs less then 45 days ago (during which time it has lost more than 10 years worth of dividends in market cap), is unclear. What is quite clear, is the moment when the general market realized what had just happened. Sure enough, the jobs number came and want, and ES largely faded that move in under an hour. It remains to be seen if a technical indicator for the world's most widely held stock is more important to the general stock market than how many 60 year old workers the US economy added in October. Oh, and as for that whole iPad mini launch spectacle? Sorry. Time for the iPad Mini Magnum launch... or maybe even the maxiPad.
Bloomberg has an update on the most amusing story of the day, namely that Rochdale appears to have blown daytrading Apple. And guess what: taking a cue from SocGen, UBS, and JPM, it's all a "rogue trader's" fault. Of course, if the trade had gone the "other way", Rochdale would not be needing a bailout, and the rogue trader would be looking forward to a generous holiday bonus.
- Rochdale bought more Apple shares than the brokerage’s management intended around the time of the technology company’s Oct. 25 earnings report, two people familiar told Bloomberg’s Hugh Son, Saijel Kishan and Zeke Faux.
- Rochdale officials told employees a rogue trader amassed the position, one of the people said.
We wonder how many more such "rogue traders" who dabbled in AAPL, and blew up after leveing the house in hopes to make their year on AAPL soaring into year end, will emerge before the next week is over...
Or “lamentable injustice”
When fringe-blogs highlight the reality of the US banking system and its financial engineering as nothing but overly complex three-card-Monte, it can be shrugged off; but when the head of China's sovereign wealth fund (yes the same one that will bail the world out) notes that the JPMorgan loss highlights a system that has become too complex, perhaps some should listen. As Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports, Gao Xiqing of CIC stated that "I think we do need to slow down a little bit instead of rushing up to all these fancy derivatives." The fact that the 'whale' loss was not a rogue trader but a systemic decision gone wrong on weak risk management of an overly-complex position was "the single most revealing thing" to Gao as he expressed concern about a society in which "all the best engineers are engineering financial products." Summing up the entire ethos of US financial innovation he concluded: "You have all the smartest kids to design these products, the only purpose of which is to get money out of other people’s pockets, that is not very good."
- China To Maintain Prudent Monetary Policy (China Daily)
- Why Exit Is An Option For Germany (FT)
- China-Japan Ministers Hold 'Severe' Talks As Spat Damages Trade (Bloomberg)
- Eurozone Deal Over Bank Bailout In Doubt (FT)
- UBS Co-Workers Knew of Fake Trades, Adoboli Told Lawyer (Bloomberg)
- Banks Seek Changes To Research Settlement (FT)
- Secession Crisis Heaps Pain On Spain (FT)
- SEC: NY Firm Allowed HFT Manipulation (Bloomberg) - busted 'providing liquidity'?
- Germany To Tap Brakes ON High-Speed Trading (WSJ)
- Rajoy Outlines Fresh Overhauls (WSJ)
- BBC Apologizes To Queen Over Radical Cleric Leak (Reuters)
- British Banks Step Back From Libor Role (WSJ)
- Obama Seeks To Recast Ties With Arab World (FT)
- Weeks before U.S. election, Mideast gives Obama perfect storm (Reuters)
- Clashes intensify near US embassy in Cairo (Al Jazeera)
- Puppet governments in trouble: Mursi Risks Rift With U.S. or Voters as Islamists Rally (Bloomberg)
- Protests Put Egypt Relations on Edge (WSJ)
- Fed insists politics had no role in decision (FT)
- UBS "rogue trader" fraudulently gambled away $2.3 billion, court told (Reuters)
- Obama Holds Lead in Three Key States (WSJ)
- China's Xi recovering from bad back, could appear soon - sources (Reuters)
- Japan voices anger over Chinese incursion after vessels entered waters around disputed Senkaku islands (FT)
- Goldman Scales Back Junior-Analyst Program; No Contracts for College Hires (WSJ)
- China commentary slams Romney's "foolish" China-bashing (Reuters)
- Aging Baby Boomers Face Losing Care as Filipinos Go Home (Bloomberg)
Standing at the crossroads, believe I'm sinking down. (Some charts are saying not so fast.)
A land grab shrouded in a banking takeover, wrapped in a financial crisis "rescue." As always, insiders get first dibs. (And, yes, there is an MF Global connection.)