A High Frequency Trading proprietary algorithm crafted by highly compensated brains-on-sticks and nurtured in the bowels of an investment bank escaped into the wild. From its carefully co-located massively parallel high speed trading computer it emerged to wreak havoc on the financial markets. In this case, it was a happy ending. The algo turned on its master and sucked the very life blood out of the firm that deployed it.Once Knight Capital’s algo was identifed as the culprit, the public company’s stock was slashed by 1/3 – a $300 million market cap haircut decapitation. That was Wednesday before we knew how much the algo lost on the trades. On Thursday morning KCG’s stock was slashed in half again when the trading loss was being reported at $440 Million. The incident is yet another lights-flashing, klaxon-blaring warning signal that competing HFT algorithms operating with the speed, size and complexity that are commonplace today cannot be adequately regulated, tested, or managed. Their interactions with each other cannot even be fully understood or predicted.
Archive for the 'Banks' Category
Looking back at Jon Corzine’s statements to Congressional committees investigating MF Global’s failure, it is clear that he knew that e-mail was out there. He used the committee hearing to lay the groundwork for a “he said / she said” defense vis-a-vis MF Global treasurer Edith O’Brien. Perhaps O’Brien simply misunderstood JC’s intent. “You gotta fix it” could easily be misinterpreted to mean something like “Raid the client accounts if you have to, but get me the time to sell this piece of crap before the street figures out we’re insolvent.” That kind of misunderstanding happens all the time.
China to Europe: ‘Your worn out welfare society and outdated labor laws induce sloth, indolence and penalize hard work.’By mw | Related entries in Bad Decisions, Bailouts, Banks, China, europe
Jin Liqun explains with crystal clarity the prerequisite conditions for China’s potential role as a “white knight” riding to the financial rescue of the Eurozone. To whit – if it is not good for China, and it is not a good investment, China is not going to participate in the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). Then in explicit terms, with no BS, no mincing of words, and no diplomatic artifice, Jin Liqun lectures Europe on exactly the problem with the Eurozone labor laws and welfare state.
Dipping into MF Global client funds to backstop the firm’s heavily leveraged high risk bets on European debt is about as serious as it gets. We’re talking – Federal Felony / Criminal Fraud / Grand Theft / Go To Jail / Do Not Pass Go / Do Not Collect $200 / Throw Away The Key / – that kind of serious. If tapping segregated client funds at a broker dealer is not criminal fraud, then it is at least criminal negligence for CEO Jon Corzine.
“The donklephant is a genetic monstrosity whose every moment of existence is unbearable agony.” – Jon Stewart
Listen, you’ll get no arguments from me that, on the whole, capitalism has been a positive force. But the problem is it’s an amoral system when gone unchecked and it just continues to find new and inventive ways to make money until something like 2008 happens. And today…even though they didn’t need to be…Goldman Sachs [...]
Yesterday, in a background briefing, the administration announced a three year spending freeze on portions of the budget. Since departments with the fastest growing government expenditures like Defense, VA, the State Department, and entitlements are excluded from the “freeze”, it will have a negligible effect on the ballooning deficit. One cannot help but wonder if the administration is trying to be all things to all people, and risks representing nothing to no one.
The President is on the stump, giving speeches, sitting for interviews, and conducting town-halls in a media blitz supporting the financial system reform initiative. He campaigned on this reform and his administration has promoted several iterations of the bill since taking office. In the meantime, Democrats in the House and Senate are crafting reform bills that are inconsistent (if not incompatible) with each other and with the President’s promises.
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In Feb 2009, the company reported this… Bank of America Corp. expects to pay back U.S. Treasury relief funds within the next three years, and “categorically” does not need further government funding, Chief Executive Ken Lewis told CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo in a televised interview Friday. Bank of America has received up to $45 billion in [...]