Wall Street has found a new, unwitting source of humor: the CFTC.
The reason, of course, is that according to the "regulator" the gullible investing public is expected to believe that one single person, operating out of a non-collocated, latency fortress in Hounslow (despite allegedly making $40 million over 5 years from spoofing)...
... is responsible for the May 2010 flash crash.
The implication being that the perpetrator has been caught and now confidence in broken markets can be restored, however what the CFTC has in effect done is further undermine faith in a market, which apparently is so defenseless it has absolutely no countermeasures to the simplest of predatory trading strategies, namely spoofing: spoofing which takes place millions of times every single day across all global markets (as we showed back in 2013 in Watch The Banned HFT Spoofing Algo In Action).
The CFTC's inadvertent humor, however, is no laughing matter to the person implicated in the latest despeate attempt to scapegoat a non-US institution for the flash crash (just ahead of the statue of limitations running out no less): not only is Navinder Singh Sarao, a British national, facing decades in prison in the worst case as reported earlier, but moments ago he had to pay a massive 5 million pound bail to stay out of jail for the duration of his case: an amount that is usually reserved for Class A felons, those who have caused grievous bodily injury and suffering, or worse, instead of merely a BTFD opportunity.
Curiously, there have been precious few actual glimpses of the infamous flash crash mastermind who has seemingly kept a very low public profile, but moments ago the first sketch emerged of him during his court appearance.
As the NYT reports, "appearing in court in London dressed in a canary yellow sweatshirt and white track suit pants, the trader, Navinder Singh Sarao, a British national, sat behind a glass wall looking dazed by the proceedings around him." We, too would be dazed by the stupidity of the CFTC, if faced with the same ridiculous charge.
His defense lawyer, Joel Smith, said that the arrest had come as a “bolt out of the blue” and that he had struggled to connect with any of his client’s family or friends. He eventually contacted Mr. Sarao’s father, but said he could not deduce much from the patchy conversation. Mr. Sarao lives with his parents and down the road from his brother. He was born and educated in Britain and attended Brunel University London.
The NYT also adds that "Mr. Sarao appeared to lack the bravado woven through the criminal complaint. At one point, Mr. Sarao told his broker that when the Chicago Mercantile Exchange contacted him to inquire into his suspicious orders, he told them to “kiss my ass.” He is alleged to have made $40 million in profits."
This is the sketch:
And moments ago, the Telegraph ran the first actual photo of the "criminal mastermind."
More from the Telegraph:
A former school friend, who asked not to be named told The Telegraph: "Navinder was really bright and was in the top set for all his subjects. He was a bit of a cheeky chap but was popular.
"He was a bit of a geek but was funny also. He studied Maths and Science at A'Level. He was a bit of a prankster but never got caught."
In his school year book his teacher wrote that he was still late almost every day.
Mr Sarao is the youngest of three sons. Raj, the oldest, lives with his wife and two children opposite his parents.
Anil Puri, 41, who works in web design, grew up round the corner from Navinder and went to primary school with him and his brothers. He said "We used to play football, badminton and athletics in the street when we were young. There were no computers in those days.
"He (Navinder) was very bright, a loud, chirpy chap, a friendly guy. He was the youngest of the three but he was the most confident. His nickname was Brooks but I can't remember where that came from. "He was definitely an ambitious guy, definitely clued up, street wise."
Mahmood Atif, 36, who lives down the road from Mr Sarao's parents said: "They are a nice family. The family will be upset. It's a shock." Brinder Bedi, 39, another schoolfriend, said: "They were very close, all the boys. They all used to wear their football gear. Nav was sporty, he seemed to be a normal kid."
A man believed to be Mr Sarao's 67-year-old father Nachhattar Singh Sarao, arrived in a cab at the family home wearing a Nike baseball cap and sunglasses. He would only say: "This is private property. Get out."
So with the Sarao "flash crash" mystery solved, we eagerly look forward to the CFTC exposing the daytrading teenager operating out of a hut in Thailand who was responsible for the October 15, 2014 Treasury flash crash, followed promptly by the Russian grandma in Vladivostok whose trigger happy FXat finger resulted to the US Dollar flash crash from March 18.
Because clearly without "confidence" that the market is fixed, no self-respecting retail investor will buy everything that hedge funds, prop desks, and ultimately central banks are so desperate to sell at these all time high prices.