Category Archives: trading

No trades busting: If the code is bad then you pay the price. No Mulligan.


traders should bear the full cost of their mistakes. 
If the code is bad then you pay the price. No Mulligan.
CNBC.com Article: Guess who just called for ending trades busting?
Myron Scholes, one of the founders of modern option pricing, says the exchanges shouldn’t cancel clearly erroneous trades. The traders should bear the full cost of their mistakes.
Full Story:
http://www.cnbc.com/id/100982306
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>A Million HFT Algos Cry Out In Terror And Are Silenced in Citi 1 For 10 Stock Split


>

 A Million HFT Algos Suddenly Cry Out In Terror And Are Suddenly Silenced As Citi Announces 1 For 10 Reverse Stock Split
Tyler Durden

zero hedge

March 21, 2011 13:19: CET


While the wacky desperation antics of America’s nationalized bank (that would be Citigroup for the cheap seats) enter the surreal zone, after the bank just announced a 1 for 10 reserve stock split (finally returning the stock price to Al Waleed’s cost basis, if not entrance market cap) and a 1 cent dividend (which effectively means the Fed can now exit the prop each failing bank game… but won’t), the bigger question is what happens to the momentum algos that traditionally traded 500 million shares of Citi stock, providing a supporting base for the market courtesy of massive momentum surges that provided a buying feedback loop mechanism driven out of pure churn volume. Those days are now over, as the volume will plunge pro rata from half a billion to a measly 50 million shares. Furthermore, with algos receiving liquidity rebates on a volume basis, it is conceivable that the biggest piggy bank to the 3 man Ph.D. HFT operations is about to break, as exchanges cut their rebate payouts by 90%. And with the stock market these days being far more a function of volume churn than technicals or, heaven forbid, fundamentals, what happens with the natural HFT support to the market is anyone’s guess. One simple assumption: the next time the S&P does a May 6, or a USDJPY flash crash, the liquidity providers will pull out that much faster, leading to a massive freefall without any of the foreplay.

Full release:
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Citigroup Inc. today announced a 1-for-10 reverse stock split of Citigroup common stock. Citi also announced that it intends to reinstate a quarterly dividend of $0.01 per common share in the second quarter of 2011, following the effective date of the reverse stock split.
“Citi is a fundamentally different company than it was three years ago,” said Vikram Pandit, Chief Executive Officer of Citigroup. “The reverse stock split and intention to reinstate a dividend are important steps as we anticipate returning capital to shareholders starting next year.”
Citi anticipates the reverse stock split will be effective after the close of trading on May 6, 2011, and that Citi common stock will begin trading on a split adjusted basis on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at the opening of trading on May 9, 2011. When the reverse stock split becomes effective, every ten shares of issued and outstanding Citigroup common stock will be automatically combined into one issued and outstanding share of common stock without any change in the par value per share. This will reduce the number of outstanding shares of Citigroup common stock from approximately 29 billion to approximately 2.9 billion. Citigroup common stock will continue trading on the NYSE under the symbol “C” but will trade under a new CUSIP number.
No fractional shares will be issued in connection with the reverse stock split. Following the completion of the reverse stock split, Citi’s transfer agent will aggregate all fractional shares that otherwise would have been issued as a result of the reverse stock split and those shares will be sold into the market. Stockholders who would otherwise hold a fractional share of Citigroup common stock will receive a cash payment from the proceeds of that sale in lieu of such fractional share. Additional information on the treatment of fractional shares and other effects of the reverse split can be found in Citi’s definitive proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 12, 2010.
Citi is executing its strategy of focusing on its core businesses in Citicorp to support economic growth including banking, providing loans to small businesses, making markets and providing capital, while continuing to wind down Citi Holdings in an economically rational manner. At the end of 2010, the U.S Treasury sold its remaining shares of common stock, earning in total a $12 billion profit for taxpayers on its investment in Citi. 2010 was Citi’s first year of four profitable quarters since 2006, with $10.6 billion of net income. Citi’s capital strength is among the best in the industry and the bank is focused on putting its unmatched global network to use for its clients to foster sustainable and responsible growth.

Read more…

>Ex-Goldman programmer gets 8 years for code theft | Reuters


>

Ex-Goldman programmer gets 8 years for code theft

6:50pm EDT

By Grant McCool
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A former Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) computer programer was sentenced to eight years in prison on Friday for stealing secret code used in the Wall Street bank’s valuable high-frequency trading system.
Sergey Aleynikov, was arrested by the FBI and charged in July 2009 with copying and removing trading code from Goldman before taking a new job at Teza Technologies LLC, a high-frequency trading startup firm in Chicago.
A onetime collegiate-level competitive ballroom dancer, Aleynikov, 41, was convicted of trade secrets theft and transporting stolen property across state lines on December 10 after a two-week long jury trial in Manhattan federal court.
High-frequency, computer-driven trading has become an important and competitive business. The software codes that trade shares in milliseconds are closely guarded secrets.
“I very much regret the foolish thing of downloading information,” the Russian-born father of three said at his sentencing on Friday. “Part of this information was proprietary to Goldman. I never meant to cause Goldman any harm or harm anyone at the bank.”
Aleynikov’s words fell short of U.S. District Judge Denise Cote’s hopes for “an open and honest statement of responsibility” for his criminal conduct.
“You did not do that,” said Cote, imposing a sentence of 97 months that was within the eight to 10 years recommended by the government. Cote also fined him $12,500.
Aleynikov’s lawyer, Kevin Marino, had originally asked for a sentence of probation but in court on Friday he suggested two years was adequate for what he called Aleynikov’s “foolish, tragic, horrible, ridiculous mistake.”
Aleynikov has the right to appeal the sentence. His defense lawyers have argued that the matter belonged in civil, not criminal court.
U.S. prosecutor Joseph Facciponti said the stolen code was Aleynikov’s “golden ticket” to Teza and “he stood to make millions more” there than he did at the bank. Facciponti said Aleynikov spent several months planning his move, eventually transferring 500,000 lines of Goldman Sachs source code to an outside server.
Cote had revoked the bail of Aleynikov, a dual citizen of the United States and Russia, on the grounds that there was a risk of him fleeing before sentencing.
Throughout the trial and sentencing phase, many comparisons were made with a similar case in the same courthouse against a former Societe Generale (SOGN.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) trader, Samarth Agrawal.
The citizen of India was found guilty by a jury last November of stealing high-frequency trading code from the French bank before going to a new job. On February 28, a judge sentenced him to three years in prison and he will be deported when he completes his sentence.
The case is USA v Aleynikov, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 10-00096.
(Reporting by Grant McCool; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

Ex-Goldman programmer gets 8 years for code theft | Reuters: “Ex-Goldman programmer gets 8 years for code theft

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The MasterFeeds

Frontrunning: December 13


Frontrunning: December 13

Tyler Durden's picture

  • Must read: The eurozone is in bad need of an undertaker (Ambrose Evans-Pritchard)
  • If China Blows Up, So Will Every Other Market (Forbes)
  • China Risks `Rush’ to Tighten in 2011 After Inflation Surges (Bloomberg)
  • China Said to Plan for at Least $1.1 Trillion of New Lending (Bloomberg)
  • Spotlight On Banks’ Exposure in Europe (WSJ)
  • Backers and critics see passage of Obama tax deal (Reuters)
  • Irish Sovereign Debt Default Would Be Far From Armageddon (Bloomberg)
  • Paul Myners Op-Ed: Break up Britain’s uncompetitive big banks (FT)
  • No New Normal for 2011 in Forecasts for 11% S&P 500 Gain (Bloomberg)
  • Obama signals brighter vision of tax reform (FT)
  • Japan Said to Consider Extension of Tax Break on Dividends, Capital Gains (Bloomberg)
  • Push for shake-up of EU rescue facility (FT)
  • Banks Reduce Greek, Irish Holdings in Second Quarter, BIS Says (Bloomberg)
  • EU Should Pull Financial Support If Targets Missed, OECD Says (Bloomberg)
  • ECB’s Stark Says Greece Is on Track but Needs Structural Reform (WSJ)
  • U.S. to hold pivotal trade talks with China and then EU (Reuters)
  • The Ponzi Scheme That Changed My Life (NYT)
  • Krugman now opposes raising $850 billion in debt for short-term stimulus (NYT)

Economic Highlights:

  • UK Rightmove House Prices for December -3.0% m/m 0.4% y/y. Previous -3.2% m/m 1.3% y/y.
  • Switzerland Producer & Import Prices for November -0.2% m/m 0.1% y/y – lower than expected. Consensus 0.1% m/m 0.3% y/y. Previous -0.4% m/m 0.3% y/y.
  • Sweden AMV Unemployment Rate for November 4.3% – lower than expected. Consensus 4.4%. Previous 4.5%.
  • UK PPI Input NSA for November 0.9% m/m 9.0% y/y – higher than expected. Consensus 0.5% m/m 8.3% y/y. Previous 2.1% m/m 8.0% y/y.

Gold showing its safe haven properties – INDEPENDENT VIEWPOINT | Mineweb


Gold showing its safe haven properties

The yellow metal is currently testing the resistance at $1425. A break above this level could establish a new trading zone for gold

Author: David Levenstein
Posted: Tuesday , 07 Dec 2010
Mineweb.com – The world’s premier mining and mining investment website

JOHANNESBURG
One major reason investors look to gold as an asset class is because it will always maintain an intrinsic value. Gold will not get lost in an accounting scandal or a market collapse. Economist Stephen Harmston of Bannock Consulting had this to say in a 1998 report for the World Gold Council, “…although the gold price may fluctuate, over the very long run gold has consistently reverted to its historic purchasing power parity against other commodities and intermediate products. Historically, gold has proved to be an effective preserver of wealth. It has also proved to be a safe haven in times of economic and social instability. In a period of a long bull run in equities, with low inflation and relative stability in foreign exchange markets, it is tempting for investors to expect continual high rates of return on investments. It sometimes takes a period of falling stock prices and market turmoil to focus the mind on the fact that it may be important to invest part of one’s portfolio in an asset that will, at least, hold its value.”
Today is the scenario that the World Gold Council report was referring to in 1998.
A bad economy can sink poorly run banks. Bad banks can sink an entire economy. And, perhaps most importantly to the rest of the world, the integration of the global economy has made it possible for banking and economic failures to destabilize the world economy. As banking crises occur, the public begins to distrust paper assets and turns to gold for a safe haven. When all else fails, governments rescue themselves with the printing press, making their currency worth less and gold worth more. Gold has always increased in value when confidence in government is at its lowest. Isn’t this the current scenario in the world?
And, although not evident as yet, but soon to become apparent, a number of factors are conspiring to create the perfect inflationary storm: extremely expansionary monetary policies of the major Western governments, a long term decline in the dollar and the euro, higher oil prices, a mammoth trade deficit in the US, and America’s status as the world’s biggest debtor nation.
The early 1980s presented an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy stocks. Today, economic and political conditions appear to offer a similar opportunity in tangible assets. The macroeconomic and political landscape has not looked like this since the hard asset bull markets of the 1970s. The global economic and financial market climate looks increasingly precarious. Financial imbalances have never been greater. Many countries have experienced housing bubbles and now have huge budget deficits as well as burgeoning national debt. Global trade imbalances are at unprecedented levels. The U.S. has no ability whatsoever to pay back its enormous debt, which has been stated at around $50 trillion plus dollars and not the $14 trillion the government state. If this is true, then the interest payments alone on the US debt are unsustainable. To make matters worse the biggest buyers of US debt no longer want this paper and instead are trying to cut their exposure.
The US national debt has grown so huge that the only way to pay for it is to borrow more, just like a huge Ponzi scheme. In the coming decade, we may witness one the greatest meltdowns in monetary history, as the dollar and euro decline in value. And, as this happens gold will become an important component in the global financial system.
The recent $600 billion quantitative easing plan is simply hiding the fact the US economy doesn’t have the economic base to grow its way out of this mess. And, as far as I am concerned it is not going to help reduce the high rate of unemployment either. If the latest non-farm payroll figures are anything to go by, then one can clearly see how ineffective the Fed’s program of quantitative easing has been regarding the reduction of the high level of unemployment in the US. The latest figures that were released on Friday, showed an expansion in employment of only 39,000 in November compared to markets expectations of 142,000. And, overall unemployment also jumped sharply from 9.6% to 9.8%. Even if the US economy was able to add say 50,000 new jobs per month, it would take around 15 years to get back to the levels that were last seen before this financial crisis that began in August 2007.
Furthermore as the U.S. maintains its low interest rate policy and billions of dollars flow to other countries around the world for higher returns, we will see a wave of reactive monetary policies from other countries in order to protect their currencies from increasing in value as the dollar continues to weaken. This chain reaction will send the dollar lower, but it will also make gold’s $1,400 an ounce price look like a bargain by the end of next year.
If you think this scenario is bad, think again. It gets worse when we consider the conditions prevailing in the Eurozone. Only last week the European Union warned that the turmoil over Eurozone debt is now a threat to growth, which will slow next year. The EU Commission said growth in the 16-nation Eurozone economy will slow to 1.5% next year from 1.7% this year but then pick up to 1.8% in 2012. It also adjusted radically downwards Ireland’s growth forecast, to 0.9% next year, from 3%.
Last week as borrowing costs for Ireland, Portugal and Spain soared, spreads on Italian and Belgian bonds jumped to a post-EMU high as the selloff extended beyond Ireland, Portugal, and Spain, raising concerns that the crisis could start to turn systemic.
While I do not want to appear as a doctor of gloom, the reality of the current situation is not good. We have massive government budget deficits, burgeoning national debt, expansionary monetary policies that will not rectify the high levels of unemployment but will debase the value of the US dollar and euro, and slow GDP growth in most western countries. We also have governments falsifying economic data, and price manipulation in gold and silver. We also have bank bailouts as well as country bailouts. And, we have politicians who are not trustworthy, corrupt bankers, traders and government officials, not to mention geopolitical tensions. In such a scenario, one would be well advised not to be hoodwinked by the usual political rhetoric and take precautionary measures to protect your wealth. The one sure way to do this is to own gold and silver.
TECHNICAL ANALYSIS

Since October, the price of gold has held above $1325 an ounce. Now, it is testing the resistance at $1425. A beak above this level could establish a new trading zone for the yellow metal.
About the author
David Levenstein began trading silver through the LME in 1980, over the years he has dealt with gold, silver, platinum and palladium. He has traded and invested in bullion, bullion coins, mining shares, exchange traded funds, as well as futures for his personal account as well as for clients. www.lakeshoretrading.co.za
Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to completeness or accuracy. Any opinions expressed herein are statements of our judgment as of this date and are subject to change without notice.

Mineweb.com – The world’s premier mining and mining investment website Gold showing its safe haven properties – INDEPENDENT VIEWPOINT | Mineweb

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FW: Frontrunning: December 7


Frontrunning: December 7

Tyler Durden's picture

  • Draconian Budget Set to Pass After Lowry Gives His Backing (Irish Times)
  • Euro Collapse ‘Possible’ Amid Deepening Divisions Over Bail-out (Telegraph)
  • China Outstrips Fed With Liquidity Risking 2011 Inflation Spike (Bloomberg)
  • Deal Struck on Tax Package (WSJ)
  • Dublin Woos MPs Ahead of Budget Vote (FT)
  • China Buys Most Korean Bonds in 6 Months as Won Falls (Bloomberg)
  • EU Rules Out Immediate Aid Boost, Banks on ECB to Fight Crisis (Bloomberg)
  • The theatrical farce continues: Obama Summons CEOs to White House for Talks Amid Change (Bloomberg)
  • U.S. Ends Citigroup Investment With $10.5 Billion Stake Sale (Bloomberg)
  • RBA Keeps Rate Unchanged, Sees Inflation Contained (Bloomberg)
  • China Hits Back at Criticism over North Korea (Reuters)
  • I Opt-out of California (New Geography)
  • Obamanomics: Only fat cats prosper (NYP)
  • Folding the Fed: Central bank isn’t equipped to save the economy (Washington Times)

Economic Highlights

  • Norway Consumer Confidence for Q4 26.5-higher than expected. Consensus 23.6. Previous 22.7.
  • Switzerland Unemployment Rate 3.6%-in line with expectation. Consensus 3.6%. Previous 3.5%.
  • Australia Wholesale Price Index 0.8% m/m 7.7% y/y. Previous -0.2% m/m 7.0% y/y.
  • Denmark Industrial Production -4.8%m/m. Previous 2.4% m/m.
  • Denmark Industrial Orders 3.3% m/m.Previous -27.3% m/m.
  • Sweden Budget Balance SEK 13.7B. Previous -16.6B.
  • Norway Industrial Production 8.6% m/m -2.4% y/y. Previous 1.8% m/m -10.9% y/y.
  • Norway Industrial Production Manufacturing -0.3% m/m 4.0% y/y-lower than expected. Consensus 0.4% m/m 4.7% y/y. Previous 1.6% m/m 3.3% y/y.
  • UK Industrial Production -0.2% m/m 3.3% y/y-lower than expected. Consensus 0.3% m/m 3.9% y/y. Previous 0.4% m/m 3.8% y/y.
  • UK Manufacturing Production 0.6% m/m 5.8% y/y-higher than expected. Consensus 0.3% m/m 5.4% y/y. Previous 0.1% m/m 4.8% y/y.
  • Germany Manufacturing Orders 1.6% m/m 17.9% y/y-lower than expected. Consensus 1.9% m/m 18.6% y/y. Previous -4.0% m/m 14.0% y/y.
  • Irish parliament votes on 2011 budget.

MasterFeeds: Weekly Recap, And Upcoming Calendar


Weekly Recap, And Upcoming Calendar
– All Eyes On December 7 And The Irish Budget/European Bank Run – zerohedge.com
From Goldman Sachs
Week in Review

The European / IMF bail-out package for Ireland – announced one week ago – was somewhat smaller than expected at €85 bn and failed to calm market jitters spreading to other Euro zone periphery countries early in the week, most alarmingly to Spain and Italy. It was only with the ECB’s announcement that full allotment liquidity operations would continue through Q1 2011 and with a jump in ECB purchases of Portuguese government bonds on Thursday that stress in the Euro zone periphery abated somewhat.

United States labor market data were weaker than expected, with the unemployment rate jumping to 9.8%, even as the participation rate failed to rise from its very low level of 64.5%. The broadest measure of underemployment (U-6) remains stuck close to its peak level at 17.0%. After much market criticism of QE2, the weak state of the labor market in Friday’s data was seen as validating the Fed’s resumption of large scale asset purchases.

We published our global forecasts last week, as well as an initial batch of our top trades for 2011. The key feature of our forecast revisions is an upgrade to US growth to 2.7% in 2011 from 2.0% previously. This puts us slightly above consensus. On the back of this forecast revision, and with a view that the Fed will likely stay on hold through end-2012, our top trades have a decidedly pro-cyclical flavor. In FX, our top trade is short $/CNY via 2yr NDF.

Week Ahead

Central bank meetings Central banks will be meeting this week in Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea and the UK. We expect all of these meetings to keep policy rates on hold. Perhaps the most interesting meeting will be Brazil, where the central bank last week announced several measures to tighten domestic liquidity, perhaps indicating a shift to a more hawkish stance. We will be watching carefully for the minutes of the meeting, which will be published next week. In addition, it is also worth noting that this will be Governor Henrique Meirelles’ last Copom meeting, before his successor Alexandre Tombini takes over in January.

Euro zone crisis Following last week’s turbulence on the periphery, this week’s key event will be the Irish parliament vote on the 2011 budget, which is scheduled for Dec 7. A failure to pass the budget could quickly exacerbate tensions across the Euro zone periphery, by highlighting the political costs of needed budget cuts.

Monday 6th

Chile monthly indicator of economic activity (Oct) We expect this indicator to register growth of 6.0% yoy, above consensus of 5.8% yoy but down from 6.5% yoy in September.

Also interesting Taiwan CPI inflation for Nov, given our focus on food price inflation in EM

Tuesday 7th

Australia central bank meeting We expect the RBA to stay on hold at 4.75%, in line with consensus. Bank bill futures are pricing essentially a zero probability of a rate hike as well. We think the RBA will be confident about tightening monetary policy again from March next year, as the data flow should improve from what we see as a mid-cycle slowdown going into 2011.

UK industrial production (Oct) We expect IP to expand 0.3% mom, in line with consensus, after an expansion of 0.4% mom in September.

Irish parliament votes on 2011 budget

Chile CPI (Nov) We expect CPI inflation of 2.5% yoy, in line with consensus and up from 2.0% yoy in October. Consensus expects CPI excluding perishables and fuel to be flat mom, after a -0.1% mom drop in October.

Chile trade balance (Nov) We expect a trade surplus of $980 mn, below consensus which is looking for a surplus of $1,311 mn. Either way, there will be a big jump from October’s surplus of $215 mn.

Canada central bank meeting In line with consensus we think the Bank of Canada will remain on hold. Indeed, even though we upgraded our Canada growth forecast this week, we continue to believe that the Bank of Canada will remain on hold throughout 2011, as it looks over its shoulder at the Fed’s QE2.

Also interesting Philippines CPI for Nov, given our focus on food price inflation in EM

Wednesday 8th

Germany industrial production (Oct) We expect a strong print of 1.2% mom, slightly above consensus of 1.0% mom after a relatively weak reading of -0.8% mom in September.

Turkey industrial production (Oct) We expect a reading of 7.0% yoy, above consensus of 6.4% yoy, but down from 10.4% yoy in September.

Brazil IPCA inflation (Nov) Following the elevated reading for the IPCA-15, we expect IPCA inflation in November to be 0.92% mom, which is above consensus of 0.86% mom.

Brazil central bank meeting We expect the Copom to remain on hold at this meeting, in line with consensus. Last week’s reserve requirement hike and other measures could be seen as a shift to a more hawkish stance by the central bank, but whether or not this raises the probability of a hike this week depends on whether one sees this as a substitute or complement to a hike. Our economists think the latter and believe the probability of a rate hike has gone from something like 25% before last week’s measures to 45% now.

Thursday 9th

Australia employment report (Nov) We expect the unemployment rate to drop to 5.2% from 5.4% in October, in line with consensus, as we think the participation rate drops back from its higher level after last month’s jump. We think the strong trend of employment growth will continue. We are looking for +25k employment change, above consensus of +20k.

New Zealand central bank meeting In line with consensus, we expect the RBNZ to remain on hold this week.

South Korea central bank meeting We maintain our view of no rate hikes in the December and January Monetary Policy Committee meetings. We expect the next rate hike, 25 bps, to be in February 2011.

UK central bank meeting We expect the Bank of England to keep rates unchanged.

Brazil GDP (Q3) We are looking for growth of 0.5% qoq, above consensus of 0.4% qoq but below the strong pace of 1.2% qoq in Q2.

United States initial claims (Dec 4) Consensus expects initial claims of 425k, following 436k last week.

Friday 10th

China trade balance (Nov) We expect November export growth to accelerate to 27.0% on a yoy basis, from 22.9% yoy in October. Meanwhile, we believe import growth will rise to 26.0% yoy, from 25.3% yoy in October. This implies net exports will likely stay at a high level of around US$25.0 bn, slightly lower than US$27.1 bn in October. Our estimate for the trade balance is thus above consensus ($21 bn).

Turkey GDP (Q3) Consensus expects growth of 6.5% yoy, down from 10.3% yoy in Q2.

United States trade balance (Oct) We expect the trade deficit to narrow to -$40.5 bn, against consensus which expects the trade deficit to remain unchanged from the September reading at -$44.0 bn.

United States U. of Michigan consumer confidence (Dec) Consensus expects this preliminary reading to be 72.5, up from 71.6 for the November reading.


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