How Wall Street’s ‘fear gauge’ is being rigged, according to one whistleblower

Cboe’s VIX products is the target of a whistleblower (Getty Images)

 

One of the most popular measures of volatility is being manipulated, charges one individual who submitted a letter anonymously to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The letter makes the claim to regulators that fake quotes for the S&P 500 index are skewing levels of the Cboe Volatility Index which reflects bearish and bullish options bets 30-days in the future on the S&P 500 to gauge implied stock-market volatility (see excerpt from the letter below).

The flaw allows trading firms with sophisticated algorithms to move the VIX up or down by simply posting quotes on S&P options and without needing to physically engage in any trading or deploying any capital. This market manipulation has led to multiple billions in profits effectively taken away from institutional and retail investors and cashed in by unethical electronic option market makers. Continue reading

“What The Hell Is It?” – 74 Cryptocurrency Questions Answered

A great article for those who are still in the dark about cryptocurrencies.

 

The price of bitcoin has rocketed more than 1,700% year-to-date.

 

With the price of the cryptocurrency soaring – and mainstream interest surging – Yahoo Finance recently invited readers to send us their top questions regarding bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. We condensed questions from nearly 3,500 respondents into the list below, and enlisted a team of Yahoo Finance reporters to answer them, including Daniel Roberts, who’s been covering bitcoin since 2012, and Jared Blikre, our authority on trading. Ethan Wolff-Mann and Julia LaRoche contributed as well. Here’s everything you want to know about bitcoin:

1. What the hell is it? In the most general sense, bitcoin is software that forms a decentralized, peer-to-peer payment system with no central authority like the Federal Reserve or U.S. Treasury. It’s fair to call it a digital currency or cryptocurrency, but at the moment, most investors aren’t really using it as currency to pay for things. Instead, they’re using it as a speculative investment to buy in the hope of turning a profit. Maybe a big profit. (And maybe a big loss). Continue reading

Rival investors seek to stop Chinese takeover of Chicago Stock Exchange

In December 2016, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States approved the CHX deal. But in August, the SEC delayed action on the purchase and has offered no timeline for when it will make a decision. | Getty

 

A group of U.S. investors hoping to buy the Chicago Stock Exchange is lobbying Congress to torpedo a rival, Chinese-backed acquisition proposal that is stalled at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lobbyists representing “Exchange Capital LLC,” a special-purpose entity for a private-equity investor group, said they helped generate a Sept. 26 letter led by Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.) to the SEC raising “serious concerns” over the CHX acquisition. Continue reading

Is Trump Draining the Swamp or Filling It?

trump-cohen

 

Trump has broken his word and is by no means draining the swamp — he is filling it. He has really betrayed a lot of people by his nomination of Gary D. Cohn as Director of the National Economic Council, which is a policy-making position for domestic and international economic issues. Continue reading

Unconscionable Manipulation in the Stock Market

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/Wynn_2_%282%29.jpg

 

Last week casino owner and billionaire Steve Wynn admitted something that few people on the inside are every willing to acknowledge. He clearly stated that stock market can be manipulated using the very loopholes that we identified at work in the 2008 collapse, including naked short selling, dark pools, and high-frequency trading. Here are some quotes from his recent conference call:

“…the exchanges don’t enforce the rules of naked shorts. So, I mean, it’s unconscionable manipulation of the stock that occurs. They open up every morning, and the high-frequency traders in the shorts have a ball selling shares, and then value buyers step in the afternoon and they cover the shorts. I mean, it’s regular casino activity.” The company currently has about 14 million shares short, or almost one-quarter of total float. Continue reading

Russian hackers breached Dow Jones for trading tips

After a year-long investigation, Bloomberg has reported details on the extent of a data breach, and the motive behind it.

Russian hackers had infiltrated Dow Jones & Co to steal information to trade on before it was made public, and the breach was “far more serious than a lower-grade intrusion” disclosed by the company, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service and the Securities and Exchange Commission are leading an investigation, which began at least a year ago, Bloomberg reported. (http://bloom.bg/1LSxcUI) Continue reading

Deutsche Bank Exodus Continues As Real Estate Chief Leaves For Blackstone

Have you ever wondered which big bank after Lehman Brothers would be next to fall? This is why you see so much shuffling from within and people resigning suddenly and going to work for another institution.

Moreover, with over $72 TRILLIONyes trillion, in derivatives exposure — we have likely found it. To put this tiny bit of risk in perspective, the GDP of Germany itself is a mere humble $2.7 trillion.

This is why Germany is also worried in this high stakes game of chicken. If Greece goes, Deutsche Bank who’s heavily invested will go, and creates the possibility of bringing the country with it. From there you can only see how such a scenario would spread to the rest of the world.

 

Earlier this month, Deutsche Bank’s co-CEOs Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen were shown the door (well, technically they resigned, but with shareholder support plummeting amid skepticism about both financial targets and ongoing legal problems, it’s easy to read between the lines). The bank, which has paid out more than $9 billion over the past three years alone to settle legacy litigation, has become something of a poster child for corrupt corporate culture. Consider the following rundown of the legal problems the bank faced as of the beginning of its 2015 fiscal year:

We are currently the subject of regulatory and criminal industry-wide investigations relating to interbank offered rates, as well as civil actions. Due to a number of uncertainties, including those related to the high profile of the matters and other banks’ settlement negotiations, the eventual outcome of these matters is unpredictable, and may materially and adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and reputation.  Continue reading

Ponzi: Treasury Issues $1T in New Debt in 8 Weeks—To Pay Old Debt

Record Revenue through Nov. 25, 2014

 

The Daily Treasury Statement that was released Wednesday afternoon as Americans were preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving revealed that the U.S. Treasury has been forced to issue $1,040,965,000,000 in new debt since fiscal 2015 started just eight weeks ago in order to raise the money to pay off Treasury securities that were maturing and to cover new deficit spending by the government.

During those eight weeks, Treasury took in $341,591,000,000 in revenues. That was a record for the period between Oct. 1 and Nov. 25. But that record $341,591,000,000 in revenues was not enough to finance ongoing government spending let alone pay off old debt that matured.

The Treasury also drew down its cash balance by $45.057 billion during the period, starting with $126,568,000,000 in cash and ending with $81,511,000,000.

The only way the Treasury could handle the $942,103,000,000 in old debt that matured during the period plus finance the new deficit spending the government engaged in was to roll over the old debt into new debt and issue enough additional new debt to cover the new deficit spending.

This mode of financing the federal government resembles what the Securities and Exchange Commission calls a Ponzi scheme. “A Ponzi scheme,” says the Securities and Exchange Commission, “is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors,” says the Securities and Exchange Commission. Continue reading

Report: 4 in 10 Government Security Breaches Go Undetected

DHS, DOJ, DOD, EPA, NASA, Energy, State routinely hacked

A new report by Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) details widespread cybersecurity breaches in the federal government, despite billions in spending to secure the nation’s most sensitive information.

The report, released on Tuesday, found that approximately 40 percent of breaches go undetected, and highlighted “serious vulnerabilities in the government’s efforts to protect its own civilian computers and networks.” Continue reading