Apr 24

The Fate of The Tech Bubble Is In The Hands Of Just One Company (ZeroHedge, April 24, 2015):

With the Nasdaq sitting at new highs having finally eclipsed the previous record of 5,048 set in March of 2000 and with consumers not-so-eagerly awaiting their chance to get in on the supposed wave of the wearables future by purchasing their very own Apple Watch, we learn that the fate of the tech bubble now rests entirely on the shoulders of Tim Cook because as FactSet notes, “blended Q1 Y/Y EPS growth for the Information Technology sector is 0.7% [but] excluding Apple, the blended earnings growth rate for the sector would fall to -5.1%.”

That rather disconcerting statistic makes this the scariest chart in the world for tech investors:

ITEPSGrowth

And as it turns out, it’s not just the tech space. Y/Y EPS growth for the entire S&P 500 is expected to come in at -2.8% — excluding Apple knocks more than a full percentage point off the already negative results: “The blended earnings decline for the entire S&P 500 is -2.8%. Excluding Apple, the blended earnings decline for the S&P 500 would increase to -3.9%.”

In other words, the market better hope there are a lot of these people out there:   Continue reading »

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Apr 24

Navinder_Singh_Sar_3276736b_0

Why Nav Sarao Had To Be Destroyed: He Found A Way To Beat The HFTs At Their Own Game (ZeroHedge, April 24, 2015):

Now that the confusion and the initial smoke following the stunning CFTC/DOJ/FBI allegation that the entire Flash Crash was the result of just one high latency UK trader’s actions has cleared, several critical things have emerged.

First: Nav Sarao not a typical massively funded, connected and lobby-protected High Frequency Trader, such as Citadel or Virtu, using countless algos across numerous fragmented markets to frontrun size order blocks, but an old-school “point and click” prop trader. This is how he described his trading style in a response to the UK regulator:

I am an old school point and click prop trader. To this day I am still using the mouse to trade. That is how I trade, that is how I always have traded, admittedly very very fast because I have always been good with reflexes and doing things quick. My trading is for the most part very short term and for very small profits, a large proportion of my profits are 1 price movements, which in the eminiSP’s case would be a quarter of a tick. I have also take longer term positions In the past and my biggest day was actually made for the most part whilst I was sleeping!  Continue reading »

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Apr 24

Collapse

11 Signs That We Are Entering The Next Phase Of The Global Economic Crisis (Economic Collapse, April 23, 2015):

Well, the Nasdaq finally did it.  It has climbed all the way back to where it was at the peak of the dotcom bubble.  Back in March 2000, the Nasdaq set an all-time record high of 5,048.62.  On Thursday, after all these years, that all-time record was finally eclipsed.  The Nasdaq closed at 5056.06, and Wall Street greatly rejoiced.  So if you invested in the Nasdaq at the peak of the dotcom bubble, you are just finally breaking even 15 years later.  Unfortunately, the truth is that stocks have not been soaring because the U.S. economy is fundamentally strong.  Just like the last two times, what we are witnessing is an irrational financial bubble.  Sometimes these irrational bubbles can last for a surprisingly long time, but in the end they always burst.  And even now there are signs of economic trouble bubbling to the surface all around us.

The following are 11 signs that we are entering the next phase of the global economic crisis: Continue reading »

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Apr 24

traders brokers hands on face stock market collapse

“I’m Not Crazy, I’m Scared” – Why For One Trader, This Time It Is Different (ZeroHedge, April 24, 2015):

Bloomberg’s Richard Breslow, author of “Trader’s Notes” is painfully accurate with his latest take on the “markets.”

I’m Not Crazy, I’m Scared Continue reading »

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Apr 24

What could possibly go wrong?


WTF Chart Of The Day – Chinese New Share Accounts Edition!!!! (ZeroHedge, April 23, 2015):

We’ve all seen Chinese stocks explode in the last year; we’ve all seen margin lending soar to fund this exuberance; we’ve all read the dominant buyer in this trading frenzy is high-school-educated housewives; and we’ve all seen the analogs to the 2000 dotcom bubble. But, we guarentee you have never – ever – seen anything like this…

The number of new A-Share accounts opened just last week was a mind-boggling 3.25 million!!! That is double the number opened in the peak euphoria stage of the 2007 bubble…

20150423_WTF1

This wil not end well… Continue reading »

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Apr 23

new-world-order

Largest Bank In America Joins War On Cash (ZeroHedge, April 23, 2015):

The war on cash is escalating. Just a week ago, the infamous Willem Buiter, along with Ken Rogoff, voiced their support for a restriction (or ban altogether) on the use of cash (something that was already been implemented in Louisiana in 2011 for used goods). Today, as Mises’ Jo Salerno reports, the war has acquired a powerful new ally in Chase, the largest bank in the U.S., which has enacted a policy restricting the use of cash in selected markets; bans cash payments for credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans; and disallows the storage of “any cash or coins” in safe deposit boxes. Continue reading »

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Apr 23

20150423_EOD

Worst Macro Data in 6 Years Sends Stocks Soaring To Record Highs (ZeroHedge, April 23, 2015)

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Apr 23

More Clinton Foundation Cronyism – The Deal to Sell Uranium Interests to Russia While Hillary was Secretary of State (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 23, 2015):

clinton-uranium

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

Whether the donations played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown. But the episode underscores the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president who relied heavily on foreign cash to accumulate $250 million in assets even as his wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state, presiding over decisions with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors.

From the New York Times article: Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation as Russians Pressed for Control of Uranium Company

If you looked at the U.S. economy under a microscope, what you’d see is a gigantic cancerous blob of cronyism surrounded by tech startups and huge prisons. If you zeroed in on the cancerous tumor, at the nucleus you’d see a network of crony institutions like the Federal Reserve, intelligence agencies, TBTF Wall Street banks and defense contractors. Pretty close to that, you’d probably find the Clinton Foundation. A veritable clearinghouse for cronyism masquerading as a charity. Continue reading »

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Apr 23

From the article:

“And right now that propaganda matrix is assuring the American people that everything is going to be just fine.

Well, they better be right. Because if not, they are going to have millions of people extremely angry with them when things really start falling to pieces.”


koolaid

Hopium: How Far Can Irrational Optimism Take The U.S. Economy? (Economic Collapse, April 22, 2015):

If enough people truly believe that things will get better, will that actually cause them to get better?  There is certainly something to be said for being positive and thinking that anything is possible.  And as Americans, optimism seems to come naturally for us.

However, no amount of positive thinking is ever going to turn the sun into a block of wood or turn the moon into a block of cheese.  Any good counselor will tell you that one of the first steps toward recovery is to stop being delusional and to come to grips with how bad things really are. 

When we deny reality and engage in irrational wishful thinking, we are engaging in something called “hopium”.  This is a difficult term to define, but the favorite definition of hopium that I have come across so far goes like this:The irrational belief that, despite all evidence to the contrary, things will turn out for the best.”  Continue reading »

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Apr 23

sarao photo_0

Why Sarao Is The Flash Crash Patsy: He Threatened To Expose The “Mass Manipulation Of High Frequency Nerds” (ZeroHedge, April 23, 2015):

There are several notable items in Bloomberg’s comprehensive overnight summary of the epic humiliation America’s market regulators are about to undergo, complete with yet another round of theatrical Congressional kangaroo courts, which will lead to a lot of red faces, a wrist slap or two and maybe even the termination of one or two lowly employees and… nothing else.

Because what difference does it make?

At this point only a bottom-up overhaul can “fix” the fragmented, broken market which by definition can only come after the next market crash, one which will promptly be blamed on HFTs (which leaving the central bankers unscathed).

Back to the Bloomberg piece in which we first discover that it wasn’t even the CFTC that, 5 years later, “figured out” the flash crash was one person’s fault: Continue reading »

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Apr 23

Half Of US Frackers Will Be Dead By Year End, Weatherford Warns (ZeroHedge, April 23, 2015):

Following the CEO’s comments that over 100,000 energy jobs will be lost this year, an executive with Weatherford International – the fifth largest US fracker – has warned half of the 41 fracking companies operating in the U.S. will be dead or sold by year-end because of slashed spending by oil companies. “We go by and we see yards are locked up and the doors are closed,” said Rob Fulks, seemingly confirming what Weatherford CEO Duroc-Danner said earlier in the year, “we’re now confronted with an unusually severe market contraction.” Continue reading »

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Apr 23

“Fed has created abnormal market conditions by printing money and keeping interest rates low. Investors are looking for growth anywhere they can find it and tech companies are good targets – at these values, however, all tech stocks are expensive – even looking at 5+ years of revenue growth down the road. This means that most value-driven investors have left the market and the remaining 5-10%+ increase in market value will be driven by momentum investors. At some point there won’t be any momentum investors left buying at higher prices, and the market begins to tumble. May be 10-20% correction or something more significant, especially in tech stocks.”


federal-reserve-quantitative-easing-printing-money

How The Second Tech Bubble Will Burst, In The Words Of Silicon Valley’s “Poster Child” And World’s Youngest Billionaire (ZeroHedge, April 23, 2015):

Back in December, following the Sony email leak, the world was granted a second (again uninvited) glimpse into the private life and thoughts of the person who had previously suffered another email leak, this time exposing his fraternity days explots: Snapchat founder and CEO Evan Spiegel.

And while many have been quick to mock Spiegel for some of his boyish ways, the reality is that the not only is the 24-year-old the world’s youngest billionaire, but he has quickly won the admiration of Silicon Valley’s brand names like Twitter CEO Dick Costolo who has said “I really think he is one of the best product thinkers out there right now.” Continue reading »

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Apr 23

parthenon

Forget “Grexit”, “Grimbo” Has Arrived (ZeroHedge, April 23, 2015):

If you didn’t know any better you might think “Grimbo” was a new Sesame Street character. Far from being the name of something that brings smiles to the faces of young children however, it’s actually the latest one-word take on the likely outcome of Greece’s protracted, painful negotiations with creditors, which will continue tomorrow in Riga where progress is, according to pretty much everyone that will be involved, unlikely. The new term follows in the footsteps of the classic (but now tired) “Grexit” and its underrated predecessor “Graccident,” and refers to two of the four outcomes Citi imagines are possible in the unfolding Greek drama. Here, via Citi, are the scenarios that would constitute Grimbo: Continue reading »

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Apr 22

China

China Has A Massive Debt Problem … And Why It Is About Get Much Massiver (ZeroHedge, April 22, 2015):

We’ve spent quite a bit of time recently discussing the fact that China faces tough choices as Beijing attempts to counter decelerating economic growth while maintaining a peg to what has lately been one of the world’s strongest currencies. With pressure coming from four consecutive quarters of capital outflows totaling some $300 billion, devaluation is a somewhat risky (if inevitable) proposition and so the PBoC has opted for interest rate and RRR cuts to keep liquidity flowing into the economy.

But even as the reserve requirement cut freed up more than a trillion yuan, policymakers must also grapple with competing agendas such as deleveraging a system that, as we exposed more than two years ago, and as Bloomberg now reports, is weighed down by a veritable mountain of debt.

China has a $28 trillion problem. That’s the country’s total government, corporate and household debt load as of mid-2014, according to McKinsey & Co. It’s equal to 282 percent of the country’s total annual economic output. Continue reading »

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Apr 22

Related info:

ECB Prepares To Sacrifice Greek Banks With 50% Collateral Haircut:

The bottom line – it’s over! Absent Russian ‘loans’ or Chinese infrastructure deals, the “Cyprus”-ing will begin shortly which perhaps Greek depositors will front-run better than the Cypriots.”


GREXIT

Grexit: Remaining In The Eurozone Is No Longer ‘The Base Case’ For Greece (Economic Collapse, April 21, 2015):

According to the Wall Street Journal, Greece staying in the eurozone is no longer “the base case” for European officials, and one even told the Journal that “literally nothing has been achieved” in negotiations with the new Greek government since the Greek election almost three months ago.  In other words, you can take all of that stuff you heard about how the Greek crisis was fixed and throw it out the window.  Over the next few months, a big chunk of Greek government bonds held by the IMF and the European Central Bank will mature.  Unless negotiations produce a load of new cash for Greece, there will be a default, and right now there is very little optimism that we will see an agreement any time soon.  In fact, as I wrote about the other day, behind the scenes banks all over Europe are quietly preparing for a Grexit.  European news sources are reporting that the Greek banking system is on the verge of collapse, and over the past couple of weeks Greek bond yields have shot through the roof.  Most of the things that we would expect to see in the lead up to a Greek exit from the eurozone are happening, and now we will wait and see if the Greeks actually have the guts to pull the trigger when push comes to shove. Continue reading »

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Apr 22

First Photograph Emerges Of The “Criminal Trading Mastermind” Reponsible For The Flash Crash (ZeroHedge, April 22, 2015):

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…

The sun sets on the address where Nav Sarao Futures Limited is registered, in Hounslow

… 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. Continue reading »

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Apr 22

gazprom

EU charges Gazprom with ‘abusing’ market position in Central & Eastern Europe (RT, April 22, 2015):

Russia’s biggest gas utility, Gazprom, was hit with an antitrust case by European Union regulators for “abusing” its dominant position and overcharging customers for gas supplies. The investigation against the Gazprom has been ongoing for 2 years.

“We find that it (Gazprom) may have built artificial barriers preventing gas from flowing from certain Central Eastern European countries to others, hindering cross-border competition,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. Vestager said there is no political element to the case. Continue reading »

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Apr 22

Mario Draghi (Wikipedia):

“Draghi was then vice chairman and managing director of Goldman Sachs International and a member of the firm-wide management committee (2002–2005). A controversy existed on his duties while employed at Goldman Sachs. Pascal Canfin (MEP) asserted Draghi was involved in swaps for European governments, namely Greece, trying to disguise their countries’ economic status.”

From the article:

The bottom line – it’s over! Absent Russian ‘loans’ or Chinese infrastructure deals, the “Cyprus”-ing will begin shortly which perhaps Greek depositors will front-run better than the Cypriots.”


Draghi Satan

ECB Prepares To Sacrifice Greek Banks With 50% Collateral Haircut (ZeroHedge, April 21, 2015):

In what seems like a coincidental retaliation for Greece’s pivot to Russia (and following Greece’s initiation of capital controls), the supposedly independent European Central Bank has decided suddenly that – after dishing out €74 billion of emergency liquidity to the Greek National Bank to fund its banks – as The NY Times reports,the value of the collateral that Greek banks post at their own central bank to secure these loans be reduced by as much as 50%, and the haircut scould increase if negotiations with Europe remain at an impasse. As we detailed earlier, this is about as worst-case-scenario for Greece as is ‘diplomatically’ possible currently, and highlights an increasingly hard line by The ECB toward The Greeks as the move will leave banks hard-pressed to survive.

As we laid out earlier, according to Bloomberg, the ECB staff proposal lays out three options to reduce central-bank risk: “the scenarios envisage returning haircuts to the level before late last year, when the ECB eased its collateral requirements for Greece; to set them at 75 percent; or to set them at 90 percent. The latter two options could be applied if Greece is in an “orderly default” under a formal ECB program or a “disorderly default,” CNBC said, without further elaborating on those terms.Continue reading »

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Apr 22

Why Are Oil & Gas Workers Mysteriously Dying Across America? (ZeroHedge, April 22, 2015):

Over the past several years, oil & gas workers in North Dakota, Colorado, Texas, Montana, and Oklahoma have mysteriously died while conducting routine checks of oil levels at tank batteries. In many cases, the fatalities were ruled to have been the result of natural causes. Now, it appears the real culprit has been found. The question is: how much did the industry know and why was the problem not addressed?

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Apr 21

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– The Mystery Of China’s Gold Holdings Is Coming To An End (ZeroHedge, April 21, 2015):

Back in 2011, Zero Hedge first asked the key question that matters to the gold market: what are China’s true holdings of physical gold.

As is well known, the last time China did provide an update of its official gold inventory was in early 2009 when it disclosed to the IMF some 1,054.1 tons of gold held at the PBOC headquarters (or elsewhere).  The problem is that this number is now very outdated, and substantially undercuts China’s true gold holdings. Continue reading »

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