Saturday, 8 May 2010

A House Of Cards Swaying In The Breeze

The Financial Times: "The day after $1,000bn was briefly wiped off the market value of US equities, traders were still trying to work out what caused share prices to plunge and then rebound so dramatically in a matter of minutes."

$1,000 billion was wiped off the markets in 6 minutes - that is a rate of $2.8 billion per second.
Per second!?

Contagion has been the word of the week in both the markets and in Greece and at the Peripheries of the Euro.

There are two public stories on this financial tsunami - the 'incorrectly typed sell order' pretence or the gobsmacked and bewildered "What The Fuck Was That?" brigade.

In the FT again, "We still don’t know what was the initiating signal for the trading activity we saw on Thursday," said Jeff Wecker, chief executive officer at Lime Brokerage. "The verdict is still out."

Well, we'll tell you what it was - the impact of Dark Pool overflow on the public markets ie private markets erupting and spewing their detritus into the financial atmosphere.

We have blogged previously and repeatedly about how Dark Pools, these entirely non-regulated private trading environments, will be utilised by insiders to escape the hit when the next phase of the W-shaped Depression kicks in properly (the increased volatility and the 8.2% fall in the value of the HyperImperium over the last four trading days of last week suggest we're back on the Big One).

Unless you are one of the privileged who are invited to trade on these underground platforms - identical in format to the underground Asian markets that dominate global football, since you ask - you are in the position of monitoring for the breakout.
Seismological Forensic Science.
As the huge blocks of institutional trading continue away from any prying or taxing eyes, the money and information flows occasionally send signals through to the main public exchanges - the lava of liquidity oozes to the surface, the magma of mammon murkily manipulates.
[Oh come on! The lava of liquidity and the magma of mammon :)]

There is a Psychology of Fear in the market.
All rational traders understood that the surge was a dead cat bouncing.
When signs flash, the slick close out their psychological trend profits.

Computer generated trading compounded this Psychology of Fear as the same individuals who were closing out their positions had orchestrated the programming of the software underpinning the algorithmic cybernetic stuff.
Sell orders cascaded as the noise reached a crescendo.

Just as the linkage of computers exacerbated the cataclysmic fall in the market, contagion reached through to the currency and bond markets with the yen gaining massively at the expense of the euro and the dollar and the demand for government debt soaring.

In a further analogous throwback to the Last Depression Era, NYSE Euronext decided to "slow down" trading to prevent market collapse - yet another form of Tickertape for the Teenie Years.

Secret Underground Markets And Manipulation Of Their Public Equivalents...
...Shouldn't Somebody Somewhere Be Doing Something About This?

As the Financial Times is the only newspaper worth reading, we'll leave the last word on the integrity of their free market system to them: "One government official said the activity reinforced worries that “the market has outpaced the ability of the infrastructure to handle it. We have detached finance from the real economy and created a monster.”"

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Saturday, 1 May 2010

Au Dear! All That Glistens Is Fool's Gold

The Telegraph Finance pages are a mine of market disinformation.

The newspaper, in the words of Danny Lyons (who kindly put us onto this story) recently produced a "a hagiography about how brilliant gold was doing (reads like a plant from the gold bullion association, or equivalent)."

Mainstream media misinformation.
So what?

Well, difficult as it is to admit that there is cognitive resonance to the east of the backbone of England, a response to this article in the Telegraph is thoroughly enlightening about a particular form of market abuse.

All praise to aleedsfella for regurgitating the below content which initially appeared at http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com.

Now, what was all that about gold being a safe haven in a Depressive Storm?

"If you buy gold or silver, make sure you take delivery of it. As companies have been applying the fractional reserve system to gold and silver, that they hold for investors.

BOMBSHELL – Whistle Blower Comes Forward With Solid Proof The Price Of Gold And Silver Is Being Manipulated By Major Financial Institutions

For a long time many of us have had very serious suspicions that the prices of gold and silver were being highly manipulated. But now, thanks to the mind blowing testimony of one very brave whistle blower, the blatant manipulation of the world gold and silver markets is being blown wide open. What you are about to read below is absolutely staggering. Once the American people learn how incredibly corrupt the world financial system is, it is going to change everything. The government that we are all trusting to guard the integrity of the financial system is failing to do that job. It turns out that the Commodities Futures Trading Commission has been sitting on solid evidence that the elite banking powers have been openly and blatantly manipulating the price of gold and silver. Even though they were basically handed a “smoking gun”, they have done absolutely nothing with it. But now the information has gone public and the CFTC is red-faced.

Back in November 2009, Andrew Maguire, a former Goldman Sachs silver trader in Goldman’s London office, contacted the CFTC’s Enforcement Division and reported the illegal manipulation of the silver market by traders at JPMorgan Chase.

Maguire told the CFTC how silver traders at JPMorgan Chase openly bragged about their exploits – including how they sent a signal to the market in advance so that other traders could make a profit during price suppression episodes.

Traders would recognize these signals and would make money shorting precious metals alongside JPMorgan Chase. Maguire explained to the CFTC how there would routinely be market manipulations at the time of option expiries, during non-farm payroll data releases, during commodities exchange contract rollovers, as well as at other times if it was deemed necessary.

On February 3rd, Maguire gave the CFTC a two day warning of a market manipulation event by email to Eliud Ramirez, who is a senior investigator for the CFTC’s Enforcement Division.

Maguire warned Ramirez that the price of precious metals would be suppressed upon the release of non-farm payroll data on February 5th. As the manipulation of the precious metals markets was unfolding on February 5th, Maguire sent additional emails to Ramirez explaining exactly what was going on.

And it wasn’t just that Maguire predicted that the price would be forced down. It was the level of precision that he was able to communicate to the CFTC that was the most stunning. He warned the CFTC that the price of silver was to be taken down regardless of what happened to the employment numbers and that the price of silver would end up below $15 per ounce. Over the next couple of days, the price of silver was indeed taken down from $16.17 per ounce down to a low of $14.62 per ounce.

Because of Maguire’s warning, the CFTC was able to watch a crime unfold, right in front of their eyes, in real time.

So what did the CFTC do about it?

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

Which is extremely alarming, because the size of this fraud absolutely dwarfs the Madoff or Enron scandals. In fact, this fraud is so gigantic that it is not even worth comparing to any of the other major financial scandals of recent times.

But Maguire did not give up. He sent several more emails to the CFTC detailing the open manipulation of the gold and silver markets.

The CFTC did not reply.

Finally he sent them a final email: “I have honored my commitment to assist you and keep any information we discuss private, however if you are going to ignore my information I will deem that commitment to have expired.”

The reply by the CFTC?

“I have received and reviewed your email communications. Thank you so very much for your observations.”

No action.

No acknowledgement that anything was wrong.

No recognition that a massive crime had been committed.

Fortunately, that was not the end of it.

On March 25th, the CFTC held a hearing on alleged manipulation in the gold market by the major banking powers.

Maguire wanted to testify during that hearing but he was not invited.

But William Murphy, chairman of Gold Anti-Trust Action (GATA), was invited to testify. GATA has been compiling data on the manipulation of the gold and silver markets for quite a long time now.

Murphy was only given five minutes to deliver his testimony. He raced through his presentation so that he could get as much information on the record as possible.

Very curiously, the live television broadcast of the CFTC hearing suffered a technical failure the minute before Murphy began his testimony. The technical failure was corrected the minute after Murphy was finished.

Coincidence?

Well, it turns out that there were are lot of coincidences surrounding this hearing.

But we’ll get to that in a minute.

When Murphy finished his statement, the panel asked him for some hard proof of market manipulation. Murphy shocked the panel by revealing the name of Maguire and explaining how Maguire had informed the CFTC Enforcement Division of the market manipulation that was taking place by JPMorgan Chase. The CFTC panel seemed stunned by the revelation and seemed reluctant to learn any further and asked nothing else about it.

In another “coincidence”, Maguire and his wife were subsequently injured and hospitalized when their car was struck by a hit-and-run driver in the London suburbs.

When a bystander who saw the “accident” tried to block the other driver from getting away, the other driver accelerated directly towards the witness, forcing him to leap out of the way to avoid being hit. The hit-and-run driver’s car then hit two additional cars as he left the area.

But Maguire and his wife were fortunate.

In the past, other would-be whistle blowers that had evidence regarding the manipulation in the gold and silver markets died in “unusual accidents” before they were able to bring their evidence to light.

But there were even more “coincidences” surrounding this hearing.

A week before the hearing, the CFTC announced that they had had a fire in the room where its gold and silver records are held.

Isn’t that convenient?

In addition, after the hearing was over, Murphy was contacted by a number of major media outlets for interviews.

Within 24 hours, every single interview was cancelled.

Every single one.

Is that a coincidence too?

It appears that some very powerful people do not want this information to get out.

It also shows how corrupt the mainstream media has become.

This is a story that is so much bigger than the Madoff scandal or the Enron scandal that it is not even funny.

And yet the mainstream media is avoiding it like the plague.

But there were additional bombshells that came out during the hearing as well.

During the hearing it was revealed that the gold manipulators have accumulated a huge short position in gold and that these huge short positions are “naked”, which means that these positions are not hedged.

These massive short positions have put some of the largest financial institutions in the world in an extremely vulnerable position.

In addition, it has now come out that most “gold” that is traded is not backed by the actual metal itself. For years, most people have assumed that the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), the world’s largest gold market, had actual gold to back up the massive “gold deposits” at the major LBMA banks.

But that is not the case.

People are now realizing that there is very little actual gold in the LBMA system.

When people think they are buying “gold”, they are actually just buying pieces of paper that say they own gold.

In fact, during the CFTC hearings, Jeffrey Christian of CPM Group confirmed that the LBMA banks actually have approximately a hundred times more gold deposits than actual gold bullion.

Uh oh.

So what happens if everyone decides that they want actual physical delivery of their gold?

It would be such a mess that it is painful even to think about it.

The truth is that right now most of the trading activities on the London exchange are just paper for paper.

But people get into gold because they want to be in a real commodity.

In fact, there are thousands of clients around the globe who think they own huge deposits of gold bullion, and are being charged large storage fees on that imaginary bullion, but what they really own are a bunch of pieces of paper.

If there comes a time when everyone starts asking for their gold it is going to create a squeeze of unimaginable proportions.

Maguire explains this situation this way: “for 100 customers who show up there is only one guy who is going to get his gold or silver and there’s 99 who will be disappointed, so without any new money coming into the market, just asking for that gold and silver will create a default.”

The truth is that it is absolutely impossible for the LBMA to ever deliver all the gold and silver owed to the owners of contracts.

Yes, it is a gigantic mess.

But this type of thing is not entirely unprecedented. For example, Morgan Stanley paid out several million dollars back in 2007 to settle claims that it had charged 22,000 clients storage fees on silver bullion that did not exist.

But the scale of the fraud going on now is absolutely mind blowing.

So what is the bottom line?

The bottom line is that the precious metals markets are cesspools of fraud and manipulation.

The markets have been suppressed by the major financial institutions for years, and this has created the potential for a “squeeze” in the precious metals markets that could send the prices of gold and silver into the stratosphere.

You see, the reality is that there would be no gold left in the entire world if all the Gold ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) asked for physical delivery.

Are you starting to get the picture?

In fact, Maguire claims that the naked short selling scam by the major financial institutions is well into the trillions of dollars, making it by far the biggest financial fraud in history.

Maguire calls what has been going on “financial terrorism”, and he accuses the financial institutions involved in this fraud of “treason” for putting national security at risk.

And national security is at risk.

Because if the true extent of this fraud comes out, it could collapse the entire financial system."

Excellent!
An Inverse Gold Standard - A Cash Standard.
So, Gold That Does Not Exist Is Linked To Cash Of Illusionary Value.

How Alchemic Do You Wish For Your Wormhole To Be?

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Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Time To Raise The Scornful Finger And The Hooting Voice

Still Doing God's Work

When, well prior to the onset of the financial crisis, we first started moaning on about the trading strategies and market capture ventures orchestrated by Goldman Sachs, there were few takers.

Fair dinkum.

Robert Khuzame, the SEC Enforcement Director: "The product was new and complex but the deceptions and conflicts are old and simple. Goldman wrongly permitted a client that was betting against the mortgage market to heavily influence which mortgage securities to include in investment portfolios."

And then there was the short-selling of a sovereign state.
Twice.
Iceland and Greece.

John Gapper in the Financial Times: "Studying the claims made by Goldman Sachs is like Kremlinology in the days of the Soviet Union."

But this wasn't simply market abuse at the expense of other market participants, it was regulatory capture.
Christian Scientist Hank "The Hammer" Paulson took the strategic aims of the investment bank into the White House and, along with Ben Bernanke, directed the crisis with the puppetry of power.

This is an example of the State and Big Business carving up the booty to all of our detriments.

As John Authers stated, also in the FT, Goldman Sachs would help themselves in the future if their results "were not so conspicuously good."

That should solve it.
Pretend that you are not super-systemic market abusers for a couple of days per quarter and we'll allow you to go on regressively slaughtering the planet.

Meanwhile... How Is The Recovery Going?

The Economist: "Tim Lee of pi Economics points out that the profit surge has not been accompanied, as it usually is, by a rise in business investment."
Lee: "It is as if the government has simply borrowed a huge sum of money and handed it over to the companies."

The release yesterday of the IMF Global Financial Stability Report includes the following holistic, again courtesy of The Economist: "Concerns about sovereign risks could also undermine stability gains and take the credit crisis into a new phase, as nations reach the limit of public sector support for the financial system and the real economy [our italics]."

Firstly and obviously, the support was State rather than public - this is only to be expected in a state-based economic system [Soviet Union = China = HyperImperium].
Secondly, what is this "real" economy of which you speak?

As the FT tongue-in-cheeked: "Irrational equanimity - investor sentiment back in the comfort zone."

Nirad Chaudhuri: "The American industrialist is the old European conquistador in a new incarnation."

Senator Ted Kaufman of Delaware (as Danny Schechter says, the state where most US corporations are registered due to the secrecy laws) believes that the whole crisis rests on the foundations of a crime.

Graydon Carter: "[This] may well turn out to be the greatest non-violent [our's again] crime against humanity in history... Never before have so few done so much to so many."

As is usually the case with the Friedmanian template, violence doesn't include that which hits the most invisibly disenfranchised...

Bubbling Bubbling Bubbling...

A bull market in any loci is a once in a forty year event.
There have been 34 bubbles since records began.
Every single one has burst and returned to trend apart from two - the current Australian and British housing markets.

Quoting Jeremy Grantham of GMO, the chances of these bubbles not deflating would be "the first time in history and not something I'd want to bet on."

Me neither.

How comfortable do you feel about your Anglo-Property-Fake-Wealth now?

Ken Rogoff: "As the global economy reflates, many people are asking: “Is the next bubble in gold? Is it in Chinese real estate? Emerging market stocks? Or something else?” A short answer is “no, yes, no, government debt”."

And Rogoff it is who is able to put the jigsaw holistically together: "Science moves on. Eventually, economists realised that in a real-world setting replete with non-linearities and imperfect markets, the same set of fundamentals can, in principle, support entirely different classes of equilibria. It all depends on how market participants co-ordinate their expectations. In principle, prices can jump suddenly and randomly from one equilibrium to another as if driven by sunspots. (I believe this notion of self-fulfulling multiple equilibria is quite closely related to George Soros’s notion of “reflexivity”.)

'Tis too...

Equilibrium states will be the death of Friedmanism and, more pertinently, Earth.

So, why are bubbles allowed when they are so risky to everybody and everything?

Bubbles are, at foundation, a regressive structure to reward insiders.

Or, rather more poetically, bubbles reward the passing of thresholds in illusory spasms of opportunity by atomised performativity within a hyperreality.

Or, in Reality, corporate larceny...

But in the state of decay of late capitalism, it might well be that the only option is to buy into the housing bubbles as at least property will always retain some value.
As Grantham concludes, there is "a rising distrust in paper currency everywhere."

A Bloomy Noisome Smell

"Believe me! Unbelievable!!" stated a joyous hillbilly departing the stadium after Wigan had terminated Arsenal last weekend.

The hillbilly could have been reflecting on our acceptance of this financial alchemy.

Amy Goodman: "The role of the journalist is to go where the silences are."

Noticed the silence of Dark Pools recently?
They remain the platform where the insiders will be able to close out their positions before the shit hits the phantasmagoric edifice.

And?

Howard Zinn in his last interview before he died: "I would propose as a master narrative the continual struggle of people for justice, the continual struggle of people for equal rights, because I think this is a theme that runs all through history: the people struggling for a better world. I think all of the information that you can put together in history can fit into that master narrative. You can see the history of the United States as one long struggle for justice by the majority of the American people against a small elite of slave owners, of bondholders, of rich people who have so far dominated our political system and who so far have monopolized the wealth of this country. One long struggle of people for their rights."

He continued: "If you don't take risks, you're not doing the right thing. You have to take risks."

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Saturday, 13 March 2010

Money Illusion In The New World Order

Shaving the metal in an act of malicious malversation, Slack Jaw is a fiscal fraud.

But.

The whole of the capitalist speculative template is nothing more than a progression of restructured distortions of "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" to quote Charles Mackay.

Nearly three centuries ago, the charlatan who put forward for approval a business venture involved in "carrying on an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is" was prescient.
Aside from the insider traders and market manipulators, this perspective perfectly describes the Friedmanist late capitalist template.

"Delicate indeed! Truly delicate! There is no space where espionage is not used" - Sun Tzu.

Slack Jaw is so proud to be a part of the New World Order, global government without global regulation, global speculation with no regulation, playing the Ponzi poker of currencies, deciding against saving the planet as it isn't an investment bank.

"... although we always recognized the urgency of the problems, when we were fighting AIDS, hunger, water shortages, global warming, and so on, there always seemed to be time to reflect, to postpone decisions (recall how the main conclusion of the last meeting of world leaders in Bali, hailed as a success, was that they would meet again in two years to continue their talks...). But with the financial meltdown, the urgency to act was unconditional; sums of an unimaginable magnitude had to be found immediately. Saving endangered species, saving the planet from global warming, saving AIDS patients and those dying for lack of funds for expensive treatments, saving the starving children... all this can wait a little bit. The call to "save the banks!" by contrast, is an unconditional imperative which must be met with immediate action. The panic was so absolute that a transnational and non-partisan unit was immediately established, all grudges between world leaders being momentarily forgotten in order to avert the catastrophe. But what the much-praised "bi-partisan" approach effectively meant was that even democratic procedures were de facto suspended: there was no time to engage in proper debate, and those who opposed the plan in the US Congress were quickly made to fall in with the majority. Bush, McCain and Obama all quickly got together, explaining to confused congressmen and women that there was simply no time for discussion - we were in a state of emergency, and things simply had to be done fast... And let us also not forget that the sublimely enormous sums of money were spent not on some clear "real" or concrete problem, but essentially in order to restore confidence in the markets, that is, simply to change people's beliefs!" - Slavoj Žižek.

And all based on Illusory Money in an Hyperillusory Matrix...

But even the money itself is a fake judged through lenses with chromatic aberration.
We cannot ever see it for what it actually is.
This is Money Illusion.

As John Authers helpfully pointed out in the Financial Times, two of the most common forms of Money Illusion relate to inflation and currency - when voters make their assessment of the economic (in)competence of Slack Jaw in the great marketing campaign known as the British Election Twenty Ten, the majority will solely judge money via their incomings and cashflow: no account for the effects of inflation nor any assessment of the Real value of their paper and metal in comparison with any basket of similar currencies will be made.

Yet in his adherence to an allegedly watered down neo-con agenda, Slack Jaw has introduced minimal annual wage increases/wage freezes and job insecurity, helped to provoke the slashing of interest rates and the compression of future wages while, concurrently, boosting inflation in bursts and devaluing what is left of your savings against any global currency you might care to choose.
All in aid of a hyperregressive redistribution of 'wealth' up the psychopathic pyramid.

"Some in clandestine companies combine;
Erect new stocks to trade beyond the line;
With air and empty names beguile the town,
And raise new credits first, then cry 'em down;
Divide the empty nothing into shares,
And set the crowd together by the ears" - Defoe.

But inflation and currency variations/manipulations are only the first layer of Money Illusion.
Money Illusion exists at a range of depths.

How far should we go down the wormhole of Realisation?

Take Quantitative Easing.
Not something that you take into account when assessing the Real value of your bank balance.
Or future taxation to pay for the bankers' holidays, not too many building Realistic financial projections with regard to the increasingly voracious State Tax Monster.
Or Americans taxed in the US for all and any earnings earned elsewhere in the American governed HyperImperium - double taxation for the crime of being American and at large in the world.

Credit - "we own your future wage slavery earnings, thank you very much", the Ratings Agencies, the fake wealth created by the housing market (actually rather a regressive redistribution of wealth up the class system), the illusory hedging in the derivatives markets and their bastardized offspring, and multifarious other autistic scams of mammon.

And all this with a lubricant that is based entirely on trust.
No Gold Standards for the likes of you, me laddio!

But all this is Micro Money Illusion.
It is in the Macro where it becomes more interesting.

Take the lifting of the ban on short selling which will impact on the global financial markets in April. Having mock traded their systems for three years, the Chinese are now ready to short.
And shorters always get the flack - it is not the decent thing to do to oppose an asset, to correctly value an overpriced entity and profit from the future fall in the asset's price.
It is un-American and anti-capitalist as both depend on an illusory feelgood belief in the fake lubricant and the vehicles that depend on such fuel, hence the rampant targeting of hedge funds in the few pieces of regulation that have surfaced since the Credit Crash began.
Keep the Illusion going - the psychology of strategic success.

Meanwhile, on a higher macro level, we have the issue of the Renmimbi being tied to the dollar to the benefit of both China and the US (minimizing the effects of the Depression in the US) and the disadvantage of everybody else. When the Chinese publicised their alleged hidden agenda of reconsidering this foundation of global finance last month, the markets wobbled.

When it is all stripped down, every single capitalist market structure is a Ponzi Scheme. The only variables are the number of layers in the pyramid and, consequently, the timescale that the scam may continue to be perpetrated.

Robert Walpole, speaking in parliament against the South-Sea Company, said it countenanced: "the dangerous practice of stock-jobbing, and would divert the genius of the nation from trade and industry. It would hold out a dangerous lure to decoy the unwary to their ruin, by making them part with the earnings of their labour for a prospect of imaginary wealth. The great principle of the project was an evil of the first-rate magnitude; it was to raise artificially the value of a stock, by exciting and keeping up a general infatuation, and by promising dividends out of funds which could never be adequate to the purpose."

The whole payment system remains in danger of breaking down in this Depression.
We are currently experiencing the classic relief rally that one might expect in a W-shaped Depression, when the gullible are once again convinced of the robustness of their system following another brush with a plausible and very alarming scenario.

As Mackay said in reference to the Mississippi Scheme, another early Ponzi Scheme: "No sooner did the breath of popular mistrust blow steadily upon it, than it fell to ruins, and none could raise it up again."

But Mackay was a Cynical Realist...
"... but the people confined themselves to complaints; a sombre and timid despair, a stupid consternation, had seized upon all, and men's minds were too vile even to be capable of a courageous crime."

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Monday, 1 March 2010

Robber Bankers

It is understood that Goldman Sachs are merely undertaking God's work.

The release yesterday of the Goldman Sachs (GS) financial figures for 2009 suggest either that a whole host of deities run the trading rooms at GS...
...or that GS manipulate markets.

How about a probabilistic yet holistic overview of why the latter is the Real hyperreality?

All market analysts and trading teams set benchmarks on performance.
For GS, the positive daily performance benchmark is a profit of $100 million.

In 2009, GS achieved this threshold on 50% of trading days and yet never once had a losing day of the equivalent magnitude - that is 131 trading days with greater than $100 million profits and 0 days with greater than $100 million losses.

The 131 days of exceptional performance shattered the previous GS record of 90 days in a year above this level.
Additionally, out of 263 trading days, the investment bank only lost any money at all on 19 days.

The $13.4 billion annual profit certainly befits a state-based investment bank whose major opponents were torpedoed from the water or drastically down-muscled following Hank Paulson jumping from the financial levers of power at GS to the financial levers of power above the Bush administration.

Now, now, now.....

Financial markets are supposed to be well-regulated competitive platforms where skilled analysts attempt to detect mis-priced assets in the hope of benefiting from the value when the price moves to the true or equilibrium value.
Due to the vast array of economic, psychological and algorithmic inputs to any market price, we are supposed to be dealing with probabilities.
Generally, an increase in how 'wrong' a price is leads to a greater percentage of occasions where we might expect to earn handsomely.

But markets are noisy. Knickpoints and breakpoints disrupt future dynamics. Black Swans and other uproarious events destabilise the markets. Super-systemic inputs distort the template.

The top people at GS are obviously in a much stronger position than most analysts.
GS are able to benefit from excessive levels of inside information, regulatory forewarning (particularly from governmental sources), cornering of markets or, as was the case with Greece (using the words of Phil Angelides, the chairman of the US Financial Inquiry Commission), utilising the practice of creating securities and "fully betting against them".

But even so...
131 days at $100m+
0 days at $100m-

This is the equivalent of playing repeated games of chess against your four year old granddaughter with the added advantage of being white in every game.
And with the option of removing threatening pieces from the board as the mood takes you.

The fact that these results coincided with the PR release of news about the devastating cuts that we must expect in public services in Britain (and across the allegedly developed world) over the next decade is surely just another example of the market timing of GS.

There is no competition in the market.
This is monopolistic bullying to all intents and purposes.
With no rules.

Meanwhile The Economist ask us: "Is democracy compatible with sound finances, in the long run?"

Are these two things which don't exist compatible with one another?
These are the questions of Our Time.

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