3 Things That Can't Stay Hidden Long: The Sun, The Moon, & The Truth

"The consensus narrative on market developments is set to implode," warns Steen Jakobsen, Saxo Bank's chief economist and chief investment officer. In his latest note, he explains precisely how to position ahead of the storm, with everything from calls on gold to German government bonds and more importantly, and their underlying rationale. As Jakobsen concludes, "Yes, the truth is often ugly, but often liberating too. We need to move away from chasing paper profit to investing in people, ideas and prospects. We should not fear the coming sell-off, but embrace and use it for creating a true mandate for change. It’s about time."

 

Via Saxo Bank's Steen Jakobsen,

This week saw US GDP rebound an impressive 4.0% taking the run rate for GDP in 2014 to 2.3% still shy of the ambitious 3.0% the consensus firmly believe in. Wall Street is busy selling strategies on how to hedge the coming hike in policy rates from Fed and we are, again, told how rates will explode.

This narrative will implode and shortly if I look at Saxo Bank's JABA models

Main Macro and Market calls:

  • Fixed income will outperform all assets class’ in 2014 – View established in Q4-2013. Long 1.5% Danish Government bond, Long Bunds futures, Long 10 Y USA.
  • US Dollar will sell off in H2 of 2014 – NEW VIEW. Long EURUSD and adding short USDJPY. Targets: 1.40+ and 96.00 USDJPY. Yield in US will accelerate to downside in Aug-Nov.
  • Germany will reach negative growth by Q1-2015 & France will be in recession. Euro growth reach zero again. 2014 another lost year in economics and non-reforms
  • Inflation expectations will bottom in Q4 – major buy signal for gold, silver and more importantly mining.
  • Short Dax since 10.000 – and still believe in 25-30% correction in H2-2014 as projected all year.
  • Geopolitical risk will see keep energy prices elevated – leaving the consumer with less disposable income and companies with thinner profit margins.

*  *  *
The world will see lower growth & lower yields in 2014 – yet another lost year in nonreforms and easy money.

There is no denial Q2 GDP was good, neither that the US has created more jobs (mostly parttime though), but… that the Fed is ready to take a risk and go early on raising interest denies history and even logic.

(*) The Saxo Bank JABA model is a proprietary model that uses lead and lags from multiple nbusiness & economic vectors to predict future moves.

The pink dotted line is GDP – note how is rises in Q2 only to collapse into Q1/Q2 2015 US GDP has averaged 2.0% in the last five years I don’t see it rising from this low-trend level and on the GDP I have following comments:

1.) From the 1st GDP release to the final 3rd correction the net change is on average 1.46% since 1970s – I see Q2 being 2.5% if not 2.0% offered by its third correction

 

2.) Tax receipt data does not confirm the uptick:

 

3.) US GDP has been reduced to an exercise in measuring inventories. It’s extremely volatile but also important to note they are way above their average for the last eight quarters further more in the last five years US GDP has grown 2% per year – when you exclude inventories the so called Real Final Sales even Q2’s numbers was? Yes – 2%!

 

4.) Disposable income continues to lag and so does housing – the two key components in the US economy.

 

Clearly, to me, this short-term sell-off is directly correlated to a narrative dictated by Wall Street to create trading volumes. Yes, it is a hard claim, but rest assured that next time chairwoman Yellen has a chance to show her extremely dovish credentials she will. A bigger concern for the Fed must be the fact Wall Street in its narrative almost totally ignores the wording and the text from Fed officers. Fed communication policy is failing day by day and its projections have little impact on investors.

My key call both in macro and trading remains new lows in interest rates (10 Y and above in maturity) by Q1 or Q2 2015. The high growth expectations and denial of international geopolitical risks will accelerate the move to the downside inside the next two months.

I suggest adding to IEF or simply buying more 10 Year Treasury bonds.

A new call is a weaker US dollar over the next two months. To that end I have added long EUR Sep Futures to my Alpha portfolio yesterday (31st July) below 1.3500. US data will disappoint as shown in the Saxo Bank JABA model and our US dollar model is now supporting the same outlook.

Jakobsen explains the rest in his full presentation below…
 

Steen's Chronicle August 2014




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1luanoo Tyler Durden

3 Things That Can’t Stay Hidden Long: The Sun, The Moon, & The Truth

"The consensus narrative on market developments is set to implode," warns Steen Jakobsen, Saxo Bank's chief economist and chief investment officer. In his latest note, he explains precisely how to position ahead of the storm, with everything from calls on gold to German government bonds and more importantly, and their underlying rationale. As Jakobsen concludes, "Yes, the truth is often ugly, but often liberating too. We need to move away from chasing paper profit to investing in people, ideas and prospects. We should not fear the coming sell-off, but embrace and use it for creating a true mandate for change. It’s about time."

 

Via Saxo Bank's Steen Jakobsen,

This week saw US GDP rebound an impressive 4.0% taking the run rate for GDP in 2014 to 2.3% still shy of the ambitious 3.0% the consensus firmly believe in. Wall Street is busy selling strategies on how to hedge the coming hike in policy rates from Fed and we are, again, told how rates will explode.

This narrative will implode and shortly if I look at Saxo Bank's JABA models

Main Macro and Market calls:

  • Fixed income will outperform all assets class’ in 2014 – View established in Q4-2013. Long 1.5% Danish Government bond, Long Bunds futures, Long 10 Y USA.
  • US Dollar will sell off in H2 of 2014 – NEW VIEW. Long EURUSD and adding short USDJPY. Targets: 1.40+ and 96.00 USDJPY. Yield in US will accelerate to downside in Aug-Nov.
  • Germany will reach negative growth by Q1-2015 & France will be in recession. Euro growth reach zero again. 2014 another lost year in economics and non-reforms
  • Inflation expectations will bottom in Q4 – major buy signal for gold, silver and more importantly mining.
  • Short Dax since 10.000 – and still believe in 25-30% correction in H2-2014 as projected all year.
  • Geopolitical risk will see keep energy prices elevated – leaving the consumer with less disposable income and companies with thinner profit margins.

*  *  *
The world will see lower growth & lower yields in 2014 – yet another lost year in nonreforms and easy money.

There is no denial Q2 GDP was good, neither that the US has created more jobs (mostly parttime though), but… that the Fed is ready to take a risk and go early on raising interest denies history and even logic.

(*) The Saxo Bank JABA model is a proprietary model that uses lead and lags from multiple nbusiness & economic vectors to predict future moves.

The pink dotted line is GDP – note how is rises in Q2 only to collapse into Q1/Q2 2015 US GDP has averaged 2.0% in the last five years I don’t see it rising from this low-trend level and on the GDP I have following comments:

1.) From the 1st GDP release to the final 3rd correction the net change is on average 1.46% since 1970s – I see Q2 being 2.5% if not 2.0% offered by its third correction

 

2.) Tax receipt data does not confirm the uptick:

 

3.) US GDP has been reduced to an exercise in measuring inventories. It’s extremely volatile but also important to note they are way above their average for the last eight quarters further more in the last five years US GDP has grown 2% per year – when you exclude inventories the so called Real Final Sales even Q2’s numbers was? Yes – 2%!

 

4.) Disposable income continues to lag and so does housing – the two key components in the US economy.

 

Clearly, to me, this short-term sell-off is directly correlated to a narrative dictated by Wall Street to create trading volumes. Yes, it is a hard claim, but rest assured that next time chairwoman Yellen has a chance to show her extremely dovish credentials she will. A bigger concern for the Fed must be the fact Wall Street in its narrative almost totally ignores the wording and the text from Fed officers. Fed communication policy is failing day by day and its projections have little impact on investors.

My key call both in macro and trading remains new lows in interest rates (10 Y and above in maturity) by Q1 or Q2 2015. The high growth expectations and denial of international geopolitical risks will accelerate the move to the downside inside the next two months.

I suggest adding to IEF or simply buying more 10 Year Treasury bonds.

A new call is a weaker US dollar over the next two months. To that end I have added long EUR Sep Futures to my Alpha portfolio yesterday (31st July) below 1.3500. US data will disappoint as shown in the Saxo Bank JABA model and our US dollar model is now supporting the same outlook.

Jakobsen explains the rest in his full presentation below…
 

Steen's Chronicle August 2014




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1luanoo Tyler Durden

David Stockman: The Collapse Of The American Imperium

Submitted by Adam Taggart via Peak Prosperity,

im·pe·ri·um
noun
1. command; supreme power.
2. area of dominion; sphere of control or monopoly; empire.
3. a nation having or exerting supreme power; superpower.

David Stockman, former director of the OMB under President Reagan, former US Representative, best-selling author of The Great Deformation, and veteran financier is an insider's insider. Few people understand the ways in which Washington DC, The Fed, and Wall Street work and intersect better than he does.

He's extremely concerned by the "perfect storm" he sees of concurrent failures in US policy across foreign, monetary, economic, and fiscal fronts:

If you look at the entire radar screen of things developing both domestically and internationally, we are plunging deep into a perfect storm of policy failure. The American Imperium is collapsing. There is blowback everywhere. The wreckage of prior policy mistakes of our intervention with foreign policy is coming home to roost, and the Ukraine is one area at ground zero for that.

 

But second, monetary central planning is now coming to a dead-end. It is inflating the third financial bubble of the century and the Fed is now clueless as to how it will manage to unwind the massive balance sheet expansion it has been undertaken.

 

And third, the fiscal doomsday machine continues to crank on. Washington is ignoring the fact that we are six years into a business cycle expansion and we are still running massive deficits and there is no cushion for the next upset that comes to the economy.

 

Now, why is all of this important? Because I think the foreign policy failures — the collapse of the American Imperium as I call it — is at the center of this, and it will push all of these things in the wrong direction.

 

We are now becoming much more aggressive in our foreign policy than ever before. We can't afford it by any means. And the potential for this to create black swans to roil or dislocate these very fragile markets that have been created by this massive central bank balance sheet expansion — it all makes what is happening in the Ukraine, or in the Middle East in Gaza, or in the collapse of Iraq, even more dangerous in terms of what it could trigger. So we are in a real pickle here and I think it is compounding by the day. 

At risk here is America's capability to remain the world's dominant superpower.

For example, in the current rush to demonize Russia, Stockman sees the military industrial complex (as warned by President Eisenhower) steamrolling over any of the necessary debate, diplomacy or consideration that should proceed such warmongering:

Basically, the war machine in Washington (I call it the Warfare State), couldn't abide that. There are just too many people that operate in the devil's workshop; which is to say we have all of this capacity, we have all this machinery of war-making and of intervention and of global empire that is obsolete and unnecessary — and yet it is manned by people who want something to do. Who need to justify budgets. Who need to pursue and prosecute missions. That is what I think is happening at the present time.

 

It's just the warfare state machinery has gotten itself activated into motion and it is drastically simplifying the real facts that we face and creating a narrative that is really preposterous in terms of what our national security, the safety and security of the American people, really requires in this circumstance. 

And on the domestic front, he foresees very difficult times ahead as we try to wean ourselves off of the dependency on massive thin-air stimulus our economy has developed over the past six years:

On the way up as they inflated this bubble, the smart money got on board and basically was front running everything the Fed was doing. Once they became confident that the $85 billion of bond buying was going to stabilize, if not enhance, the price of the bond and they could buy it on 98% repo leverage at $0 carry cost, they jumped in hammer and tong. And so the Fed then had this magnetic force working with it, which was the fast money and the market attempting to front run the direction of Fed policy.

 

But just think: What happens if they actually began to allow interest rates to rise or begin to attempt, through one mechanism or another, to shrink their balance sheet?

 

The fast money will get on the other side of the trade just as fast as it rode the bubble expansion to the top. And they will sell what they think the Fed is selling. And that will cause a massive unwind of the greatest overvalued market bubble in the world, which is the government bond market. 

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with David Stockman (55m:23s):

 




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How French Models Protest Low Wages

France’s nude art models have had enough – protesting low wages and poor working conditions, nude models in Paris went on strike. This is not the first time La Coordination des Modeles has staged protest: back in 2008, they held a naked protest outside Paris’ city hall after regulations stripped them of their tip-jar. The models demand equal treatment afforded most French workers, like job security or vacation pay. As The Guardian reports, the Paris mayor of cultural affairs noted “this was a lovely protest in the French, gaulois spirit of resistance.”  

As The Daily Beast reports,

Proving that there is no French profession immune from collective work stoppages, the country is now facing a potential epidemic of empty sketchbooks and blank canvasses as its nude models threaten to cover up, complaining of low wages and poor working conditions, while also fighting for the state to recognize their work as a serious career rather than a paying hobby or part-time gig.

 

A group called La Coordination des Modeles recently staged a protest complaining that most life-class nude models are treated as temp workers, with none of the perks afforded most French workers, like job security or vacation pay.

 

 

 

France’s dedicated nude models—many of whom pose full-time—say they have seen no improvements since their 2008 protest and are calling on the Ministry of Culture to again intervene on their behalf. “We’re asking for a reassessment of our wages and the problem of our status,” Patricia Clark, a member of the group, told French newspaper Liberation, “We have no status, we are technically temp workers, so we’re sitting in ejection seats, and that’s unacceptable…That’s not what a temp worker is supposed to be, he’s not supposed to be working every day, six hours per day, 33 weeks per year.”

 

 

Christophe Girard, deputy Paris mayor for cultural affairs, told The Guardian, “I think this was a lovely protest in the French, gaulois spirit of resistance.”

*  *  *

Perhaps there is a reason to cheer for socialism after all: the lower the wages, the more naked…

*  *  *

Cue gratuitous nude model images…

 




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De-Dollarization Continues: Russian Oligarchs Shift Cash To Hong Kong Dollars On Sanctions Concerns

Last week we noted the very significant activity by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority as it bought USDollars in size to support its peg. It appears we have found at least one smoking gun for why they were forced to do this. In what appears to be another sanctions-blowback, Russian oligarchs are de-dollarizing their cash holdings and shifting to Hong Kong Dollars. As Bloomberg reports, various Russian entities are shifting up to 40% of their cash to HKD. “Keeping money in Hong Kong dollars is essentially equivalent to keeping it in U.S. dollars because of the currency peg,” notes BofA’s Vladimir Osakovskiy, adding “for Russian companies it’s still much safer from the standpoint of sanctions.”

 

As Bloomberg reports,

OAO MegaFon (MFON), billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s wireless operator, said it has been shifting cash holdings into Hong Kong dollars, a move people say metals producer OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel (GMKN) is also undertaking, as the U.S. and Europe ratchet up sanctions against Russia.

 

MegaFon decided to keep about 40 percent of its cash in Hong Kong dollars given the global markets disturbances, Chief Financial Officer Gevork Vermishyan said in a phone interview. The Moscow-based carrier has traditionally kept its foreign cash in U.S. dollars and euros, according to the company.

 

Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium, is also keeping some of its cash in Hong Kong dollars now, two people with knowledge of situation said, asking not to be identified as information isn’t public.

 

The Hong Kong dollar has been linked to the U.S. dollar since 1983, and its fluctuation from the American currency hasn’t exceeded 1 percentage points since then…

Keeping money in Hong Kong dollars is essentially equivalent to keeping it in U.S. dollars because of the currency peg,” said Vladimir Osakovskiy, chief economist of Bank of America Corp.’s Russian unit. “Still, for Russian companies it’s much safer from the standpoint of sanctions.”

*  *  *
One more chip in the US Dollar’s global hegemony armor…




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1s6iKOa Tyler Durden

Ron Paul Implores “Why Won’t Obama Just Leave Ukraine Alone?”

Submitted by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute,

President Obama announced last week that he was imposing yet another round of sanctions on Russia, this time targeting financial, arms, and energy sectors. The European Union, as it has done each time, quickly followed suit.
 
These sanctions will not produce the results Washington demands, but they will hurt the economies of the US and EU, as well as Russia.
 
These sanctions are, according to the Obama administration, punishment for what it claims is Russia’s role in the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, and for what the president claims is Russia’s continued arming of separatists in eastern Ukraine. Neither of these reasons makes much sense because neither case has been proven.
 
The administration began blaming Russia for the downing of the plane just hours after the crash, before an investigation had even begun. The administration claimed it had evidence of Russia’s involvement but refused to show it. Later, the Obama administration arranged a briefing by “senior intelligence officials” who told the media that “we don’t know a name, we don’t know a rank and we’re not even 100 percent sure of a nationality,” of who brought down the aircraft.
 
So Obama then claimed Russian culpability because Russia’s “support” for the separatists in east Ukraine “created the conditions” for the shoot-down of the aircraft. That is a dangerous measure of culpability considering US support for separatist groups in Syria and elsewhere.
 
Similarly, the US government claimed that Russia is providing weapons, including heavy weapons, to the rebels in Ukraine and shooting across the border into Ukrainian territory. It may be true, but again the US refuses to provide any evidence and the Russian government denies the charge. It’s like Iraq’s WMDs all over again.
 
Obama has argued that the Ukrainians should solve this problem themselves and therefore Russia should butt out.
 
I agree with the president on this. Outside countries should leave Ukraine to resolve the conflict itself. However, even as the US demands that the Russians de-escalate, the United States is busy escalating!
 
In June, Washington sent a team of military advisors to help Ukraine fight the separatists in the eastern part of the country. Such teams of “advisors” often include special forces and are usually a slippery slope to direct US military involvement.
 
On Friday, President Obama requested Congressional approval to send US troops into Ukraine to train and equip its national guard. This even though in March, the president promised no US boots on the ground in Ukraine. The deployment will be funded with $19 million from a fund designated to fight global terrorism, signaling that the US considers the secessionists in Ukraine to be “terrorists.”
 
Are US drone strikes against these “terrorists” and the “associated forces” who support them that far off?
 
The US has already provided the Ukrainian military with $23 million for defense security, $5 million in body armor, $8 million to help secure Ukraine’s borders, several hundred thousand ready-to-eat meals as well as an array of communications equipment. Congress is urging the president to send lethal military aid and the administration is reportedly considering sending real-time intelligence to help target rebel positions.
 
But let’s not forget that this whole crisis started with the US-sponsored coup against Ukraine’s elected president back in February. The US escalates while it demands that Russia de-escalate. How about all sides de-escalate?
 
Even when the goals are clear, sanctions have a lousy track record. Sanctions are acts of war. These sanctions will most definitely have a negative effect on the US economy as well as the Russian economy.

Why is “winning” Ukraine so important to Washington? Why are they risking a major war with Russia to deny people in Ukraine the right to self-determination? Let’s just leave Ukraine alone!




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1v3QDRQ Tyler Durden

Ron Paul Implores "Why Won't Obama Just Leave Ukraine Alone?"

Submitted by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute,

President Obama announced last week that he was imposing yet another round of sanctions on Russia, this time targeting financial, arms, and energy sectors. The European Union, as it has done each time, quickly followed suit.
 
These sanctions will not produce the results Washington demands, but they will hurt the economies of the US and EU, as well as Russia.
 
These sanctions are, according to the Obama administration, punishment for what it claims is Russia’s role in the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, and for what the president claims is Russia’s continued arming of separatists in eastern Ukraine. Neither of these reasons makes much sense because neither case has been proven.
 
The administration began blaming Russia for the downing of the plane just hours after the crash, before an investigation had even begun. The administration claimed it had evidence of Russia’s involvement but refused to show it. Later, the Obama administration arranged a briefing by “senior intelligence officials” who told the media that “we don’t know a name, we don’t know a rank and we’re not even 100 percent sure of a nationality,” of who brought down the aircraft.
 
So Obama then claimed Russian culpability because Russia’s “support” for the separatists in east Ukraine “created the conditions” for the shoot-down of the aircraft. That is a dangerous measure of culpability considering US support for separatist groups in Syria and elsewhere.
 
Similarly, the US government claimed that Russia is providing weapons, including heavy weapons, to the rebels in Ukraine and shooting across the border into Ukrainian territory. It may be true, but again the US refuses to provide any evidence and the Russian government denies the charge. It’s like Iraq’s WMDs all over again.
 
Obama has argued that the Ukrainians should solve this problem themselves and therefore Russia should butt out.
 
I agree with the president on this. Outside countries should leave Ukraine to resolve the conflict itself. However, even as the US demands that the Russians de-escalate, the United States is busy escalating!
 
In June, Washington sent a team of military advisors to help Ukraine fight the separatists in the eastern part of the country. Such teams of “advisors” often include special forces and are usually a slippery slope to direct US military involvement.
 
On Friday, President Obama requested Congressional approval to send US troops into Ukraine to train and equip its national guard. This even though in March, the president promised no US boots on the ground in Ukraine. The deployment will be funded with $19 million from a fund designated to fight global terrorism, signaling that the US considers the secessionists in Ukraine to be “terrorists.”
 
Are US drone strikes against these “terrorists” and the “associated forces” who support them that far off?
 
The US has already provided the Ukrainian military with $23 million for defense security, $5 million in body armor, $8 million to help secure Ukraine’s borders, several hundred thousand ready-to-eat meals as well as an array of communications equipment. Congress is urging the president to send lethal military aid and the administration is reportedly considering sending real-time intelligence to help target rebel positions.
 
But let’s not forget that this whole crisis started with the US-sponsored coup against Ukraine’s elected president back in February. The US escalates while it demands that Russia de-escalate. How about all sides de-escalate?
 
Even when the goals are clear, sanctions have a lousy track record. Sanctions are acts of war. These sanctions will most definitely have a negative effect on the US economy as well as the Russian economy.

Why is “winning” Ukraine so important to Washington? Why are they risking a major war with Russia to deny people in Ukraine the right to self-determination? Let’s just leave Ukraine alone!




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1v3QDRQ Tyler Durden

Flash Boys’ Katsuyama Blasts Back At Ex-CFTC Chilton’s “Incorrect Claims”

On July 7, Bart Chilton, a former commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, wrote an article about high-frequency trading for the New York Times's DealBook. He argued, in effect, that because high-frequency trading has become so central to the stock market, it must be serving some necessary purpose. This is false…

Authored by Brad Katsuyama via Bloomberg View,

In the last few months, I have had a strange and interesting experience. In early April, I found myself the main character in Michael Lewis's book "Flash Boys." It told the story of a quest I've been on, with my colleagues, to expose and to prevent a lot of outrageous behavior in the U.S. stock market.

Many of us had worked at big Wall Street firms or inside stock exchanges, and many of us believed something was amiss in the market. But it took the better part of five years to discover exactly how the market had been organized to benefit financial intermediaries, rather than the investors, the companies or the economy it was meant to serve. Only after looking at a flurry of market innovations — 40-gigabit cross-connects, esoteric order types, microwave towers — did we understand that the market’s focus was less about capital formation and more about giving certain market participants an advantage over others. In the end, we felt that the best way to solve these problems was to build a stock market of our own, which we did.

After the book, our stock market, IEX Group Inc., became a topic of discussion — some positive, some negative, some true and some false. Fair enough. If you're in the spotlight and doing something different, you should take the heat along with the light.

It's for this reason that we have done our best to resist responding publicly to misinformation about our company — even when we read memos circulated inside banks that "Michael Lewis has an undisclosed stake in IEX" (he does not); that “brokers own stakes in IEX” (they don't); or articles in the Wall Street Journal that said we let "broker-dealers jump to the front of the trading queue,” putting retail investors and mutual funds at a disadvantage (in reality, all orders arrive at IEX via brokers, including those from traditional investors). Our hope in staying quiet was that the truth would win out in the end. But in recent weeks, the misinformation campaign has hit a new high (or low), and on one particularly critical matter, we feel compelled to set the record straight.

On July 7, Bart Chilton, a former commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, wrote an article about high-frequency trading for the New York Times's DealBook. He argued, in effect, that because high-frequency trading has become so central to the stock market, it must be serving some necessary purpose. “At any one time, it is likely that 50 percent of all trades are made by high-frequency traders in United States equity markets," he wrote. "Even trading volume on the IEX exchange, which is trumpeted as creating 'institutional fairness' in the Michael Lewis book 'Flash Boys' about the topic, is now made up of roughly 50 percent high-frequency traders.”

This is false: While high-frequency trading firms are estimated to generate 50 percent or more of the volume on other stock markets, on IEX, high-frequency trading firms currently make up less than 20 percent of our volume. (Note: It’s difficult to predict the optimal proportion of HFT activity in any market, but it should definitely not be half the volume.)

There is a reason for this vast difference on IEX: We have sought to eliminate the unfair advantages HFT has over genuine investors (such as the combination of high-speed data and the ability to place their computers feet away from exchange-matching engines). By using technology to eliminate what we see as systematic unfairness — and the opportunity for certain traders (who purchase premium access at other markets) to prey on ordinary investors — we have discouraged a great deal of predatory high-frequency trading on IEX. Those high-frequency traders who do trade on our market (we like to call them electronic market makers) are the ones who do not require some unfair advantage to succeed. By creating a market without distinct advantages, IEX has allowed the HFT crowd to define itself.

Chilton’s claim has the effect of making us look no different than any other market. More generally, all these false rumors about IEX attack the foundation of what our team is trying to build — a fair marketplace, free of the conflicts of interest that have long plagued our financial markets. I am not sure what Chilton’s motives were in using that statistic, but his sources were suspect at best: He claims they were “industry folks."

One thing we have witnessed in the Internet age is that a fiction can spread, eventually appearing to become fact. A few days after the article, the brokerage firm Raymond James & Associates Inc. published a report about exchanges and dark pools. We read in disbelief as a licensed securities analyst claimed that “IEX isn’t quite the sparkling pillar of righteousness that it is often portrayed in media reports. For example, much-vilified high frequency trading firms are a major source of liquidity on IEX.” His validation for writing this was Chilton’s incorrect claims.

With so many billions of dollars at stake, it is not surprising that some people will spin rich fictions about IEX — to deter others from believing in a fairer stock market. This is a battle being fought with words and numbers. So before you accept them as fact, make sure you consider the sources and their motivations.




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Flash Boys' Katsuyama Blasts Back At Ex-CFTC Chilton's "Incorrect Claims"

On July 7, Bart Chilton, a former commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, wrote an article about high-frequency trading for the New York Times's DealBook. He argued, in effect, that because high-frequency trading has become so central to the stock market, it must be serving some necessary purpose. This is false…

Authored by Brad Katsuyama via Bloomberg View,

In the last few months, I have had a strange and interesting experience. In early April, I found myself the main character in Michael Lewis's book "Flash Boys." It told the story of a quest I've been on, with my colleagues, to expose and to prevent a lot of outrageous behavior in the U.S. stock market.

Many of us had worked at big Wall Street firms or inside stock exchanges, and many of us believed something was amiss in the market. But it took the better part of five years to discover exactly how the market had been organized to benefit financial intermediaries, rather than the investors, the companies or the economy it was meant to serve. Only after looking at a flurry of market innovations — 40-gigabit cross-connects, esoteric order types, microwave towers — did we understand that the market’s focus was less about capital formation and more about giving certain market participants an advantage over others. In the end, we felt that the best way to solve these problems was to build a stock market of our own, which we did.

After the book, our stock market, IEX Group Inc., became a topic of discussion — some positive, some negative, some true and some false. Fair enough. If you're in the spotlight and doing something different, you should take the heat along with the light.

It's for this reason that we have done our best to resist responding publicly to misinformation about our company — even when we read memos circulated inside banks that "Michael Lewis has an undisclosed stake in IEX" (he does not); that “brokers own stakes in IEX” (they don't); or articles in the Wall Street Journal that said we let "broker-dealers jump to the front of the trading queue,” putting retail investors and mutual funds at a disadvantage (in reality, all orders arrive at IEX via brokers, including those from traditional investors). Our hope in staying quiet was that the truth would win out in the end. But in recent weeks, the misinformation campaign has hit a new high (or low), and on one particularly critical matter, we feel compelled to set the record straight.

On July 7, Bart Chilton, a former commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, wrote an article about high-frequency trading for the New York Times's DealBook. He argued, in effect, that because high-frequency trading has become so central to the stock market, it must be serving some necessary purpose. “At any one time, it is likely that 50 percent of all trades are made by high-frequency traders in United States equity markets," he wrote. "Even trading volume on the IEX exchange, which is trumpeted as creating 'institutional fairness' in the Michael Lewis book 'Flash Boys' about the topic, is now made up of roughly 50 percent high-frequency traders.”

This is false: While high-frequency trading firms are estimated to generate 50 percent or more of the volume on other stock markets, on IEX, high-frequency trading firms currently make up less than 20 percent of our volume. (Note: It’s difficult to predict the optimal proportion of HFT activity in any market, but it should definitely not be half the volume.)

There is a reason for this vast difference on IEX: We have sought to eliminate the unfair advantages HFT has over genuine investors (such as the combination of high-speed data and the ability to place their computers feet away from exchange-matching engines). By using technology to eliminate what we see as systematic unfairness — and the opportunity for certain traders (who purchase premium access at other markets) to prey on ordinary investors — we have discouraged a great deal of predatory high-frequency trading on IEX. Those high-frequency traders who do trade on our market (we like to call them electronic market makers) are the ones who do not require some unfair advantage to succeed. By creating a market without distinct advantages, IEX has allowed the HFT crowd to define itself.

Chilton’s claim has the effect of making us look no different than any other market. More generally, all these false rumors about IEX attack the foundation of what our team is trying to build — a fair marketplace, free of the conflicts of interest that have long plagued our financial markets. I am not sure what Chilton’s motives were in using that statistic, but his sources were suspect at best: He claims they were “industry folks."

One thing we have witnessed in the Internet age is that a fiction can spread, eventually appearing to become fact. A few days after the article, the brokerage firm Raymond James & Associates Inc. published a report about exchanges and dark pools. We read in disbelief as a licensed securities analyst claimed that “IEX isn’t quite the sparkling pillar of righteousness that it is often portrayed in media reports. For example, much-vilified high frequency trading firms are a major source of liquidity on IEX.” His validation for writing this was Chilton’s incorrect claims.

With so many billions of dollars at stake, it is not surprising that some people will spin rich fictions about IEX — to deter others from believing in a fairer stock market. This is a battle being fought with words and numbers. So before you accept them as fact, make sure you consider the sources and their motivations.




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1ltPI3E Tyler Durden

Obama To Corporate CEOs: “If You Have A Complaint, You Can Keep your Complaint”

President Barack Obama has a direct message for the leaders of America’s biggest companies: if you have a complaint, you can keep your complaint. “If you look at what’s happened over the last four or five years, the folks who don’t have a right to complain are the folks at the top,” Obama said in an interview with The Economist published over the weekend. As The WSJ adds, Obama maintained that complaints from corporate CEOs in the current environment should be taken with “a grain of salt” as most policies he has implemented have “generally been friendly towards business.”

 

Original interview with The Economist:

 

Excerpts from the interview via The Wall Street Journal,

They always complain about regulation. That’s their job. Let’s look at the track record. Let’s look at the facts. Since I have come into office, there’s almost no economic metric by which you couldn’t say that the US economy is better and that corporate bottom lines are better. None.”

 

“So if, in fact, our policies have produced a record stock market, record corporate profits, 52 months of consecutive job growth, 10 million new jobs, the deficit being cut by more than half, an energy sector that’s booming, a clean-energy sector that’s booming, a reduction of carbon pollution greater than the Europeans or any other country, a housing market that has bounced back, and an unemployment rate that is now lower than it was pre-Lehman – I think you’d have to say that we’ve managed the economy pretty well and business has done okay.”

 

“There are always going to be areas where business does not want to be regulated because regulations are inconvenient.”

 

In the interview, Mr. Obama said corporations should try to improve the livelihood of the middle class through higher-paying jobs. He noted that wages and incomes have been stagnant for roughly two decades.

 

“The reason I’m concerned about this is not in any way a punitive notion,” Mr. Obama said. “Oftentimes, you’ll hear some hedge-fund manager say, ‘Oh, he’s just trying to stir class resentment’. No. Feel free to keep your house in the Hamptons and your corporate jet, etc. I’m not concerned about how you’re living.

 

I am concerned about making sure that we have a system in which the ordinary person who is working hard and is being responsible can get ahead and are seeing modest improvements in their life prospects, if not for themselves, then certainly for the next generation,” he added.

*  *  *

… President Obama was later seen heading to a major fundraiser led by one of America’s most successful business leaders…

*  *  *

So – thank me for the recovery, but don’t blame me for the inequalityan ironic truth we have explained a number of times:

Inequality in the U.S. today is near its historical highs, largely because the Federal Reserve’s policies have succeeded in achieving their aim: namely, higher asset prices (especially the prices of stocks, bonds and high-end real estate), which are generally owned by taxpayers in the upper-income brackets. The Fed is doing all the work, because the President’s policies are growth-suppressive. In the absence of the Fed’s money-printing and ZIRP, the economy would either be softer or actually in a new recession.

 

The greatest irony is that the President is railing against inequality as one of the most important problems of the day, despite the fact that his policies are squeezing the middle class and causing the Fed – with the President’s encouragement – to engage in the radical monetary policy, which is exacerbating inequality.

 

This simple truth cannot be repeated often enough.




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1snFerA Tyler Durden