It used to be that when his trading screens showed 10,000 shares of Intel offered at $22 a share, it meant that he could buy 10,000 shares of Intel for $22 a share. He had only to push a button. By the spring of 2007, however, when he pushed the button to complete a trade, the offers would vanish. In his seven years as a trader, he had always been able to look at the screens on his desk and see the stock market. Now the market as it appeared on his screens was an illusion.
In an excerpt/adaption of his new book Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt
, Michael Lewis follows Brad Katsuyama from uncovering evidence of high-speed electronic front-running to the founding of the IEX exchange intended to discourage it. The Wolf Hunters of Wall Street
posted by figurant
on Mar 31, 2014 -
The Lonely Redemption Of Sandy Lewis
“The complicity on Wall Street is sickness!” Mr. Lewis says. He fixes you with his laser stare. “If you think the big firms are being honest” — his tone slides streetwise — “well, sweetheart, go think something else!”
The temptation is to dismiss Mr. Lewis, 73, as a crank, except he once ruled as an eccentric genius of arbitrage, with a preternatural feel for the tectonic movements of the markets. He has railed for decades about venalities now on daily display. Rude truth is his currency. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jul 9, 2013 -
The JOBS Act
or "Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act" is not really about creating jobs but about loosening regulations on companies planning to IPO. SOX compliance and other financial regulations have made going public an expensive and time consuming process for young companies, and many are now staying private or getting acquired rather than going public. Fewer regulations encourages more IPOs, but what are the unintended consequences
of "exempting [companies] from independent accounting requirements for up to five years after they first begin selling shares in the stock market"?
posted by lubujackson
on Apr 12, 2012 -
Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs.
New York Time Op-Ed. March 14th 2012:
TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it. [more inside]
posted by Skygazer
on Mar 14, 2012 -
In an investment manager's view on the top 1%
- referring to the richest Americans by wealth and income - we learn that one needs $1.2 million in net worth to barely slip in the door of the top 1%. But that's just a start: the real power and influence in the U.S., the author argues, resides in the top 0.1%. You can guess who you'll find there: bankers and large-cap CEOs. Relevant quotes include... [more inside]
posted by mark7570
on Aug 4, 2011 -
In his Oscar acceptance speech, documentary filmmaker Charles Ferguson reminded viewers worldwide that "not a single financial executive has gone to jail" for the fraud that created the 2008 financial meltdown. His film Inside Job (on Netflix DVD
) explains, among other things, that the crisis was avoidable. See also the Inside Job trailer
and a subsequent followup video
in which Ferguson says that many sources "mysteriously backed out" before being filmed. He also spoke at MIT
posted by mark7570
on Mar 2, 2011 -
Maybe Microsoft is trading in London at a penny less than it's trading at the same moment in New York. A high-frequency trader will buy shares in London and wait for them to rise. Since the discrepancy lasts a mere fraction of a second, speed is key. [Tradework CEO] M. Narang boasts it takes only 15 millionth of a second for his computers to place a buy or sell order after detecting an opportunity. Or, as he puts it, "If you try to pick up the penny, we'll probably beat you to it." [more inside]
posted by HP LaserJet P10006
on May 15, 2010 -
"Although the word “entitlement” fits, it’s been used so frequently as to have become inadequate to capture the preening self-regard, the obliviousness to the damage that high-flying finance has inflicted on the real economy, the learned blindness to vital considerations in the pay equation. Getting an education, or even hard work, does not guarantee outcomes. One of the basic precepts of finance is that of a risk-return tradeoff: high potential payoff investments come with greater downside.
But how did that evolve into the current belief system among the incumbents, that Wall Street was a sure ride, a guaranteed “heads I win, tails you lose” bet?"
Yves Smith writes an essay
on 'indefensible men.'
posted by ennui.bz
on Mar 19, 2010 -
Matt Taibbifilter: Among other things, the GAO report noted that the entire OTS had only one insurance specialist on staff — and this despite the fact that it was the primary regulator for the world's largest insurer! This week's MeFi stories
have generally failed to explain the reasoning that caused the recession, even though Jon Stewart
was basically on the mark. Now, Rolling Stone
's only reporter lays it all out The Big Takeover
, a typical combination of zealous snark and the overlooked, damning facts needed to clear up a ridiculously complicated story.
posted by shii
on Mar 20, 2009 -
They are known as “quants” because they do quantitative finance. Seduced by a vision of mathematical elegance underlying some of the messiest of human activities, they apply skills they once hoped to use to untangle string theory or the nervous system to making money.
"They Tried to Outsmart Wall Street
." [spoiler inside] [more inside]
posted by dersins
on Mar 10, 2009 -
The rapid growth of electronic trading since 1976
has benefited equity market participants by improving competition, reducing cost and increasing liquidity while insuring better pricing.
One unexpected side effect has been the recent emergence of "dark pools of liquidity"
, or the secret stock market. [more inside]
posted by Mutant
on May 20, 2008 -
While the US equities markets were closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Day, stock markets around the world took a nosedive, losing billions in equity
; the markets in Australia
, South Korea
, Indonesia, Hong Kong
, the UK
, and more countries
have dropped at least 5% each (Canada
only fell 4.75%), even though most of those markets had already been seriously down for several days prior. India has been hit particularly hard
, at one point down a whopping 11%, tripping their markets' automatic "circuit breakers"
for a mandatory time-out period, before scraping back up to close at 8% down.
US futures markets are currently predicting a 650+ point drop just at the open Tuesday morning
, before even a single trade goes through. [more inside]
posted by Asparagirl
on Jan 22, 2008 -
At a time when fed-up American citizens are petitioning Congress
to end the imprudent financial practices that caused the
housing bubble sub-prime mortgage crisis liquidity crisis
impending recession -- including the banning of SIV's
and refusing any bailouts
for Wall Street, banks, or mortgage companies -- the United States Treasury Department has just announced
the creation of a giant-mega-ultra SIV called "M-LEC" made up of assets from several of the largest American banks. Already unofficially nicknamed "Sivie Mae" (or worse, "the Frankenstein Fund"
), it would be an off-balance-sheet way for these banks to pool and price the ABCP
's that they've lately been having trouble pricing and thus selling -- i.e. the liquidity crisis. [more inside]
posted by Asparagirl
on Oct 16, 2007 -
"I had no idea how my open-handedness could be made to look,
after the fact. At the time I bought the subprime portfolio I thought: This is sort of like my way of giving something back. I didn't expect a profile in Philanthropy Today or anything like that. I mean, I bought at a discount. But I thought people would admire the Wall Street big shot who found a way to help the little guy. Sort of like a money doctor helping a sick person. Then the little guy wheels around and gives me this financial enema. And I'm the one who gets crap in the papers!" -- Michael Lewis
on the subprime meltdown
posted by GrammarMoses
on Sep 8, 2007 -
An unexpected side effect of iTunes.
Remember Bowie Bonds
? Introduced in 1997, bonds tied to future profits of music artists (besides Bowie, James Brown and the Isley Brothers offered them) tanked with the advent of online filesharing. Thanks to iTunes, some on Wall Street are betting that the Bowie Bond is a concept with a future.
posted by me3dia
on Aug 23, 2005 -
Big Business As Usual.
"In announcing their record settlement with 10 Wall Street firms
accused of misleading investors with bogus recommendations, [the Securities and Exchange Commission] also released new e-mail records showing stock experts chortling about how they were making out like bandits at the expense of the average investor", and revealed troubling insights into the way Wall Street really works:
"Merrill Lynch initiated coverage of LFMN on September 28, 2000 with a 2-1 [10-20% appreciation forecast short term, 20% appreciation forecast long term], when LFMN traded at $22.69. At that time, Merrill Lynch was pursuing an investment banking relationship with LFMN.
After Merrill Lynch initiated research coverage, LFMN's price declined to the....$3-5 range in December. On December 4, 2000, Blodget e-mailed a fellow analyst,'LFMN at $4. I can't believe what a POS [piece of shit] that thing is. Shame on me/us for giving them any benefit of doubt.' Merrill Lynch's research report on LFMN dated December 21, 2000, [reiterates] a 2-1 rating..."
And the "record settlement" with these common swindlers in three piece business suits from our brave SEC? For Wall Street, Fines Are A Day's Pay.
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on May 7, 2003 -
Someone we trust says something reassuring.
Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, arguably the most powerful man in the world, blames "infectious greed" for the recent panic-like tail-spins on Wall Street, but says that the economy is on the way to recovery. One comment held that Greenspan was finally able to let out how he feels about what's going on, without shrouding his opinion in economic jibber-jabber.
"For once he really spoke his mind. He usually tends to obfuscate things quite a bit."
But really, how many of you expected Greenspan to say anything other than "the fundamentals are in place for a return to sustained healthy growth"? Does Greenspan actually feel this way? Could it be that he is actually majorly pessimistic, but is using his soothing sweet-song voice and obvious clout and earned respect to somehow buck recent trends? Bush's speech didn't do much for our faltering economy, but will Greenspan's? Can one man's mere words possibly change the course of history? Well?
posted by Hammerikaner
on Jul 16, 2002 -