Home / Woodshedder (page 3)


How High-Speed Traders Outraced the Profits

For the last few years, the stock market has been a race among high-speed traders. The game was simple: The fastest traders won the most profits. Since speed was all that mattered, trading got exponentially faster. In the last five years, the time it takes to trade a stock went from being measured in milliseconds to microseconds. The fastest firms can now execute a trade in under 10 microseconds. It takes 350,000 microseconds just to blink your eye.

Now it appears the advantages of speed are starting to dissipate, and being the fastest trader isn’t worth what it once was. High-frequency trading profits are expected to fall 35 percent this year, 74 percent below their peak in 2009. In an ironic twist, high-frequency traders have gotten so fast, they seem to have outrun their own profitability.

Read the rest here.

Comments »

ThinkEquity Closing Stock-Trading Unit as Volumes Decline

ThinkEquity LLC is closing its stock-trading business today amid a market slump and preparing to transfer its remaining investment-banking unit to another firm, Chief Executive Officer Greg Wright said.

ThinkEquity, which employs a total of about 100 people, is determining how many jobs will be cut, he said in a telephone interview. Wright said another firm, which he declined to identify, has offered to take over San Francisco-based ThinkEquity’s investment-banking business and hire some workers. Details may be announced as soon as tomorrow, he said.

Read the rest here.

Comments »

The Decline and Fall of the Yankees Empire

Nothing heralds the decline of an empire quite like the construction of an expensive new headquarters.

Louis XIV built Versailles after his power had peaked, and before much of Europe united against him. Park Avenue’s Pan Am Building went up not so many years before the iconic company went under. Enron was still completing its postmodern skyscraper in Houston when it filed for bankruptcy in 2001.

All of which brings us to the New York Yankees and their $1.5 billion-plus stadium, baseball’s monument to America’s pre- crash hubris. Entire sections of the ballpark, opened in 2009, sat empty during the opening two games of the American League Championship Series last weekend against the Detroit Tigers. Those fans who did show saved their boos for the home team. “This is a very easy place to play now,” Tigers outfielder Quintin Berry said after Game 2, issuing the ultimate indictment.

Read the rest here.

Comments »

Suspected Terrorist Arrested for Alleged Plot to Bomb Federal Reserve in NYC

According  to Obama, he was still protesting the Innocence of Muslims video.

A suspected terrorist parked a van packed with what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb next to the Federal Reserve building in Lower Manhattan and tried to detonate it Wednesday morning before he was arrested in a terror sting operation, authorities said.

The suspect, 21-year-old Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, is a Bangladeshi national who came to the U.S. on a student visa in January for the specific purpose of launching a terror attack here, authorities said. He allegedly told an undercover agent last month that he hoped the attack would disrupt the presidential election, saying “You know what, this election might even stop,” according to the criminal complaint against him.

Read the rest here.

Comments »

Luntz Focus Group Of Mostly Former Obama Voters Switch To Romney

A Frank Luntz focus group made up mostly of former Obama voters say they now support Mitt Romney.

“Forceful, compassionate, presidential,” one participant said.
“Confident and realistic,” said another.
“Presidential,” another told Luntz.
“Enthusiastic,” another reacted.
“Our next president,” one man said.
“Dynamo, winner,” said one more.


Comments »

REINHART & ROGOFF: The US Is Delivering One Of The Best Post-Crisis Recoveries In History

Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, who wrote the book on the most recent financial crisis – “This Time is Different” – released a white paper Sunday reviewing the economy since the financial crisis.

And overall, they had positive things to say about the U.S.

“According to our (2009) metrics, the aftermath of the US financial crisis has been quite typical of post-war systemic financial crises around the globe,” they wrote.  “If one really wants to focus just on United States systemic financial crises, then the recent recovery looks positively brisk.”

Read the rest and see the charts, here.

Comments »

Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released… and here is the chart to prove it

Meanwhile, the cost in terms of actual wasted capital and slowed growth in developed and in 3rd world countries, all in the name of reducing global warming, is so large as to be immeasurable.

  • The figures reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012 there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures
  • This means that the ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996
Read the rest here.

Comments »

Live Blogging the Ryan / Biden VP Debate

10:11 I’m done. Ryan is an awful debater.


10:04 Jesus. Ryan says he is going to clear things up for us.

9:58 I could not tell you what Ryan said about Afghanistan. He needs to learn bullet points, and how to slow the fuck down when speaking. Own your space, son!


9:54 I don’t know how much longer I can stand this. Biden is so fucking annoying and Ryan is fucking terrible. Pussy.

9:52 “VP  Biden, what do you suggest we do besides raising taxes on the wealthy?” Biden has no answer. Ryan is just fucking terrible.

9:51 Raddatz: Is Biden wrong about that? When Ryan tries to respond, Biden continues to interrupt.

9:49 Biden: “Let me have a chance to translate.”

9:49 Biden is so annoying.

9:48 Raddatz: Let’s talk about this 20% tax cut. Do you actually have the specifics? Do you know exactly what you are doing?”

9:47  Ryan: “There aren’t enough small business people to tax to pay for all their spending.”

Dammit Ryan, you better kill it here.

“Our entire premise is to grow the economy and create jobs.”


Will Raddatz stop the interrupting Biden?

When Biden starts interrupting it is a clear sign that he is losing.

Biden’s only recourse during the Medicare section is to interrupt.

Biden continues to interrupt Ryan. “Biden I know you’re under duress and needing to make up lost ground, but I think we’d be better off if we didn’t interrupt each other.”

“They got caught with their hands in the cookie jar turning medicare into a piggy bank for Obamacare.”

Biden looks exactly like the actor that plays him on Saturday Night Live.

9:35 “I heard that death care argument from Sarah Palin.”

9:34  Ryan might see some traction on Medicare. He blew it on the economy.


9:32 Ryan made a mistake asking Biden if green stimulus was a “good idea.”

Ryan hitting Biden on his overseeing the Green Stimulus snafus.

9:30 Ryan: “Let’s not forget they had 1 party control. They could have had whatever they want.”


9:28 Biden goes for the sympathy play. I bet that is his ace in the hole.

9:27 This is a man who gave 30% of his money to charity. Ryan kills on the joke about Biden’s gaffes. “”I think the vice president very well knows that sometimes words don’t come out the right way.”

9:26 Ryan outlining the 5 point plan. “Let me tell you about the Mitt Romney I know.”

9:25 Ryan kills on the Scranton line.

9:25 2 minutes in and Biden still hasn’t answered the question. Ryan’s turn.

9:24 Hahaha Biden doing his best angry man. Damn, he’s so angry! Lol Nail him Ryan, right now.

9:23 HAH, Biden fits in the 47% line.

Can you get unemployment below 6%? Biden not answering the question! Nail him on it Ryan.


9:20 Ryan showing signs of life. Finally Raddatz causes Biden to pipe down.

9:20 Biden: “Facts matter, Martha.” Biden starting to show is ass. Good ‘ole Joe! Let Joe be Joe!

9:18 Biden: “This is a bunch of stuff.” More lying liars routine.

9:17 Has the moderator, a la, the one who looks like a mistake made in a coal mine, challenged Biden yet? (Good line, Fly)

9:16 Ryan: “Instead of meeting with Bibi, Obama went on a talk show.”

9:14  Biden chuckles,  “Incredible..” He will hammer the lying liars theme all night. I’m almost 100% certain Biden will dominate Ryan tonight.

9:14  WTF is Ryan talking about?

9:11  Ryan sounds like a frightened little pussy. Man up.

9:10 Biden: “We weren’t told they wanted more security [in Benghazi].”

9:08  Biden: “That is all a bunch of malarkey.” Biden is already on the Romney Lies theme.

9:06  And Raddatz is already on the attack, asking if Romney’s statements were appropriate.

“It took the President 2 weeks to acknowledge this was a terrorist attack.” I think Ryan is going to do poorly. Just saying. His opening salvo has me worried.

9:04 Biden is 69 years old. The hairs on his head look like they may have been transplanted from an aging horse.

Raddatz starts immediately with Benghazi. I guess she’ll get the hard stuff out of the way so that no one remembers at the end of the debate the huge cover up made by Obama.

9:02 Biden has some shiny, shiny chompers.

9:00 Raddatz has a Leno chin.

Comments »

The Chart That Should Scare Every Bond Investor

Bonds look very, very, expensive compared to stocks when focusing on their ability to generate income. Large Cap Stocks (the S&P 500) are  now paying a higher dividend yield than the 10-year treasury. This is very unusual. Since 1990, the treasury note / S&P 500 Dividend yield ratio has averaged 2.4. As stocks have a track record of dividend growth and a treasury bond has a fixed coupon payment, it makes sense that stocks should generate less income than bonds. However, something right now is not right!

Read the rest here.

Comments »

The Dollar’s Days as Reserve Currency are Numbered

As the International Monetary Fund and World Bank redouble their warnings on the prospects for global growth, central banks continue to flood the markets with liquidity. The US Federal Reserve began its third round of quantitative easing last month; the European Central Bank is offering unlimited purchases of bonds of troubled eurozone countries. The People’s Bank of China, responding to slowing growth, has cut interest rates repeatedly and trimmed reserve requirements.

It may seem a strange time to worry about a shortage of global liquidity. But precisely this risk looms and, if nothing is done, it will threaten 21st-century globalisation.

Read the rest here.

Comments »

White House Scientists Struggle to Contain Outbreak of Scrutonium

WASHINGTON DC – Engaged a relentless battle against time and fatigue, a select group of message scientists assembled by the White House’s Center for Narrative Control say they will take “all steps necessary” to contain a recent outbreak of scrutonium, a deadly poll-eating supervirus that attacks the immuno-hope system, leaving victims vulnerable to material facts.

“Failure is simply not an option,” said an exhausted Mission Chief David Axelrod. “If left unchecked, this virus may actually force us to move back to Chicago.”

Read the rest here.

Comments »

Mysterious Algorithm Was 4% of Trading Activity Last Week

A single mysterious computer program that placed orders — and then subsequently canceled them — made up 4 percent of all quote traffic in the U.S. stock market last week, according to the top tracker of high-frequency trading activity. The motive of the algorithm is still unclear.

The program placed orders in 25-millisecond bursts involving about 500 stocks, according to Nanex, a market data firm. The algorithm never executed a single trade, and it abruptly ended at about 10:30 a.m. Friday.

“Just goes to show you how just one person can have such an outsized impact on the market,” said Eric Hunsader, head of Nanex and the No. 1 detector of trading anomalies watching Wall Street today. “Exchanges are just not monitoring it.”

Read the rest here.

Comments »

Michael Wolff: Facebook is . . . MySpace?

2:17PM EST October 8. 2012 – The media business eats itself. General-interest magazines, national television networks and all-purpose portals are always succeeded by an ever-narrower special-interest approach.This has tended to happen over a reasonably long span of time, a generation or two, but in an ever-quickening world, the term du jour is the “disassembling” of Facebook, which, arguably to its detriment, has just added its billionth monthly user.

Not only is Facebook challenged by its inability to grow advertising revenue fast enough — the primary culprit in its 50% share-price plunge — but now it’s facing a carve-up of the social experience.

Read the rest here.

Comments »

Bombshell: Obama.com Owned by Bundler in Shanghai with Business Ties to Chinese Government

In an explosive report set to send shockwaves through official Washington, the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) released a 108-page GAI investigation into the threat of foreign and fraudulent Internet campaign donations in U.S. federal elections (visit campaignfundingrisks.com to download the full report).

Breitbart News obtained an advance copy of the bombshell report which reveals that the Obama.com website is not owned by the president’s campaign but rather by Obama bundler Robert Roche, a U.S. citizen living in Shanghai, China. Roche is the chairman of a Chinese infomercial company, Acorn International, with ties to state-controlled banks that allow it to “gain revenue through credit card transactions with Chinese banks.”

There’s more.

Read the rest here.

Comments »

Global Economic Recovery Hits the Ropes

The global economic recovery is on the ropes, battered by political conflicts within and across countries, lack of decisive policy actions, and governments’ inability to tackle deep-seated problems such as unsustainable public finances that are stifling growth. Growth in global trade has weakened and the spectre of currency wars, with countries looking to maintain export competitiveness by keeping their currencies weak, has returned to the fore.

The Brookings-FT Tiger index shows growth momentum has dissipated in nearly all major advanced and emerging market economies. Central banks of the major advanced economies have responded with a range of conventional and unconventional policy monetary policy actions. These measures have put a floor on short-term financial market risks but have been unable to reverse declining growth momentum. As a result, financial markets continue to go through short-term cycles of angst and euphoria even as indicators of real economic activity remain mired in weakness.

Read the rest here.

Comments »

Options Traders get Set for Fiscal Cliff, Close Vote

(Reuters) – Options traders in the U.S. stock market are getting their bets in place in case the U.S. economy tumbles down the “fiscal cliff,” or worse, if the U.S. presidential election is so close that the result is disputed.

The stock market has been relatively calm in recent weeks in the face of uncertainty over the November 6 election and concerns that the economy could be pitched into a new recession because of substantial tax rises and government spending cuts – the so-called fiscal cliff – due to hit early next year unless Congress agrees to cancel or delay them.

Some option traders already are starting to build up protective positions on these big risks. In an environment of subdued volatility, the cost of doing so is relatively low, making it advantageous to take out insurance in case Washington remains gridlocked for an extended period after the election and the markets are roiled.

Read the rest here.

Comments »