US Open Sparks Sudden Serious Stock Sell-Off

Another day, another pre-market pump and post-open dump… it seems a missed jobs number and a determined Fed is not a recipe to maintaining all-time record highs and hyper-growth expectations…

 

 

Seems like the USDJPY carry traders were on to something…

 

Charts: Bloomberg


    



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DoJ Confirms “Insider Trading” Probe Of HFT

And all it took for the FBI, the SEC and now the DOJ to figure out the casino was rigged all along, was for a Michael Lewis book to do their job for them.

  • DOJ PROBING HIGH SPEED TRADING FOR INSIDER TRADING: REUTERS

As WSJ reports,

The Justice Department is investigating high-speed trading practices to determine whether they violate insider-trading laws, Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to tell lawmakers Friday.

 

Mr. Holder, in prepared remarks, said the practice has “rightly received scrutiny from regulators.”

 

“The department is committed to ensuring the integrity of our financial markets,” Mr. Holder said in testimony about the Justice Department’s budget before the House Appropriations Committee. “We are determined to follow this investigation wherever the facts and the law may lead.”

 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said earlier this week that it is probing high-frequency trading. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission are also looking into the practice.


    



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Italian Bond Yields Tumble To Record Low As Spain Drops Below Treasuries

Presented with little comment aside to ask, WTF?

 

 

 

It seems there is a lesson here for all… push your unemployment rate to record highs, loan delinquencies to record highs, and depress your people to record high suicide rates… and voila… low cost of funding is guaranteed (surely there is a recipe here for Ukraine or Turkey or…)

Oh, and you absolutely must have a central banker with a ‘promise pony’.

As we anxiously await the outcome of AQR (Europe’s Stress Test) we can only imagine the bloated balance sheets of European banks stuffed with the domestic bonds that the crisis has now created and made the entire banking-system-sovereign-stress relationship inseparable.


    

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Vid: Bring the First Amendment Into the 21st Century, Freedom of the Press Foundation’s Trevor Timm Says

“This war on whistleblowers is not ancillary to journalism, but
actually it directly affects it,” says Trevor Timm, executive
director of the Freedom of the Press
Foundation
(FPF), a nonprofit that works to provide funding,
encryption tools, and other resources to journalists who expose
government secrets. “And it’s making it much more difficult for the
public to get the information they need.”

Watch Reason TV’s interview with Timm about topics ranging from
why encryption matters, what tools journalists, whistleblowers, and
others who value privacy should be using to protect their
communications, and what FPF plans to do if it’s ever targeted by
the government for funneling money to entities such as
Wikileaks.

Click the link below for downloadable versions and for the full
text and associated links.

Approximately 8 minutes long.

Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Paul Detrick, Alexis
Garcia, and Tracy Oppenheimer.

View this article.

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Reason-Rupe Poll: Half of Americans Think Cops Not Held Accountable

The April 2014 Reason-Rupe poll found that half of Americans
think law enforcement officers are not held accountable for
misconduct. That number rises to 64 percent for Hispanics and 66
percent for African Americans.

Do you think police officers are generally held
accountable for misconduct, or not?

• Yes: 46 percent

• No: 50 percent

• Don’t know: 4 percent

Police misconduct is reviewed through internal affairs
investigations, a process that has officers investigating other
officers. In February 2013, Los Angeles Police Department officer
Sunil Dutta
wrote
in the
Washington Post about his
time working as an internal affairs investigator. Dutta criticized
the process, saying that it didn’t help a community’s perception of
the police and didn’t help officers either:

[When] I interviewed community members who had filed complaints
against officers, I was disappointed to learn that, despite my
reassurances and best efforts to conduct impartial inquiries, many
complainants believed that a fair investigation was simply not
possible. Nor do misconduct investigations satisfy a skeptical
public. If an officer is exonerated, the community often believes
that malfeasance is being covered up.

Police serve the community—any concerns about their integrity
must be transparently, expeditiously and judiciously resolved.
Relying on cops to police cops is neither efficient nor
confidence-inspiring.

Dutta argued that video may be one way to change the perception
of police departments.

There’s just no excuse for not recording police contacts with
the public. Technology has made cameras effective and affordable.
Some officers already record their arrests to protect themselves
against false allegations of misconduct. This should be standard
operating procedure.

Reason TV recently spoke with former Seattle police officer
Steve Ward about his company Vievu, which makes body cameras for the
police:

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Number Of High-Wage Jobs Added In March: +2,000

Curious why March hourly wages fell, and why the weekly number continues to show sub-inflation growth? Here’s why: in March the best paying industry groups – information, financial activities and manufacturing (which actually saw a drop of 1,000 jobs in the past month) – added a cumulative total of… 2,000 jobs among them. Where was the bulk of the job gains? At the worst paying sectors of course.

  • Education and Health: +34K
  • Leisure and Hospitality: +29K
  • Temp Help: +29K
  • Retail Trade: +21K

And that’s why there is no inflation (at least according to whatever the Fed’s preferred inflationary indicator du jour is): because the jobs that are “added” to the economy, have virtually no wage and/or purchasing power growth. But at least the “recovery” continues.


    



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Georgia Cop Reportedly Pulls Gun on Children Building Tree Fort After Neighbor Calls 911

11-year-olds dudePolice in Henry County, Ga.,
reportedly
harassed a group of pre-teen boys who were building
a tree fort in the woods behind their house after a neighbor called
911 on them (!). According to Omari Grant, the 11-year-old who came
forward,

two officers, one with his gun drawn, rolled up on him
and a few of his friends as they built a fort in the trees behind
his home.
 
“I was thinking that I don’t want to be shot today, so I just
listened to what they said,” Omari said. 
 
Omari said the officer holding his gun also used foul language and
made him and his friends lay down on the ground.
 
“I learned that they’re supposed to help you not make you feel
scared to even come outside,” Omari said. 

Omari’s mother filed an internal affairs complaint with the
police department, and police say they’re now investigating the
incident to see if it was “justified” or not. 

The husband of the neighbor who called 911 said police pulling a
gun on a child was “shocking,” but that his wife called because of
“falling hazards, tripping hazards, all types of hazards.” His
wife’s primary concern, he said, “was concern for the children and
concern for the environment.” So instead of calling her neighbors,
or going to warn the children about “hazards,” she called police on
a group of children.

After the incident, which the child called terrifying, Omari
says now he knows it was a bad idea to cut down branches for a tree
fort. It’s never too early for police to compel compliance in
you.

The police department refuses to identify the cops involved, but
says they remain on the job.

h/t sloopyinca

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Friday A/V Club: Who Better Than a Frail Old Junkie to Sell Athletic Footwear?

This week I finished reading Call
Me Burroughs
, Barry Miles’ new biography of my favorite of
the first-generation Beat writers, the dry old satirist William
Burroughs. I’ll have more to say about Miles’ book, and about
Burroughs in general, in an upcoming Reason article.
(Quick preview: Burroughs’ worldview is more good than bad;
it’s harder to say that about his life.) For now, I’ll just post
the most unexpected entry in Burroughs’ c.v. since his ’60s
flirtation with Scientology:

Yes, that’s a Nike commercial. I remember it catching me by
surprise as I watched TV one night in 1994. Twenty years later, I
have no idea what program it interrupted, but I’m sure the
show wasn’t as memorable as the sight of William S. Burroughs
hawking shoes.

You can't fool me. That's not a Nike swoosh.Not long afterward, Thomas
Frank mocked
the spot
 in The Baffler. Frank’s big theme in
those days was that rebellion had become commodified; if Nike had
deliberately set out to bait him, it couldn’t have done better than
to produce a sneaker ad starring a counterculture icon. We
shouldn’t be surprised to see Burroughs in an advertisement, Frank
wrote, because “His ravings are no longer appreciably different
from the official folklore of American capitalism. What’s changed
is not Burroughs, but business itself. As expertly as Burroughs
once bayoneted American proprieties, as stridently as he once
proclaimed himself beyond the laws of man and God, he is today a
respected ideologue of the Information Age, occupying roughly the
position in the pantheon of corporate-cultural thought once
reserved strictly for Notre Dame football coaches and
positive-thinking Methodist ministers. His inspirational writings
are boardroom favorites, his dark nihilistic burpings the happy
homilies of the new corporate faith.” Now that you’ve read that
once, go back and imagine you’re hearing it in Burroughs’
voice.

In case you’re curious about what led Nike to think an
80-year-old junkie was the right man to pitch athletic footwear,
here’s the relevant passage from the Miles book:

Nike PR manager Judy Smith explained, “He was chosen
because we knew he could pull off this role as a quirky,
scientific, prophetic technology wiz. Burroughs isn’t identified in
the commercial because the role he’s playing has nothing to do with
his history as a writer or his reputation in the counterculture.”
Nike didn’t expect their fourteen-year-old audience to know who he
was, but there were extra kudos for those who did.

Burroughs’ fee helped pay his medical bills, which is as good a
reason as any to appear in a commercial. When Thomas Frank is 80,
he might find himself in a similar situation. I picture him as a
pitchman for heartland tourism: “Looking for a place to spend
spring break? Well, what’s the matter with Kansas?”

(Bonus link: From 1949, here’s Burroughs warning Allen Ginsberg that “the
U.S. is heading in the direction of a Socialistic police state
similar to England, and not too different from Russia.”)

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A.M. Links: NSA Overhaul Could Mean Carriers Store More Data, Obamacare Allies Say Employer Mandate May Not Be Implemented, US Reevaluating Role in Middle East Peace Talks

  • President Obama’s plan to overhaul the
    NSA’s phone surveillance program
    could force phone carriers to
    store more data.

  • Hillary Clinton
    said that the media treats women with a double
    standard at the start of the Women in the World Summit.
  • Obama administration allies are questioning whether the

    Obamacare employer mandate
    will ever be implemented.
  • Republican Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed the
    Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act
    yesterday.
    Opponents of the legislation say it could lead to state-approved
    discrimination against gay people, while supporters say it will
    protect religious freedom.
  • Secretary of State
    John Kerry
    has said that the U.S. will be reevaluating its role
    in Middle East peace. The news comes after Israel announced that it
    would not be releasing some Palestinian prisoners as scheduled in
    response to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas seeking accessions
    to conventions through the United Nations.
  • The underwater search for
    MH370
    has begun.

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Kurt Loder Reviews Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Having weathered a
70-year ice nap and then the big Chitauri war in The
Avengers
 two years ago, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), the
shield-wielding Captain America, is back in Washington, D.C.,
on-call for whatever’s going to happen next. As you can imagine, it
happens pretty fast. If Captain America:
The Winter Soldier
 pales a bit in comparison to the
first Captain America film, that may be due to the colorless
quality of its designated villains, writes Kurt Loder. Still, it’s
fun to once again watch Captain America taking on America’s
enemies, however earthbound they may be this time.

View this article.

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