Cyprus is a small island in the Mediterranean Sea, located East of Greece and South of Turkey. Cyprus has always been a popular tourist destination receiving two million visitors who come to the beautiful white sand beaches to soak in the Mediterranean sun. Until a few weeks ago, Cyprus was a developed country well sought after as an offshore tax haven. As a member of the European Union, Cyprus had strict laws in place to protect the offshore financial sector. Cyprus could have been considered a low-tax haven since the country had a low tax regime in place for offshore companies and resident companies, paying just 10 percent, the lowest in the euro zone, below Ireland’s 12.5 percent and well under the 29.5 percent rate in Germany and 33.3 percent in France.
Fast forward to this Monday morning, and it was announced that the Eurogroup just reached an agreement with the Cypriot authorities on the key elements necessary for a macroeconomic adjustment program. The agreement was supported by all euro area member states (it was swiftly endorsed by euro zone finance ministers) as well as by the troika, the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission.
The program would address the exceptional challenges that Cyprus was facing and attempt to restore the viability of its financial sector, with the view of restoring sustainable growth and sound public finances over the coming years. How could they do that?
- Laiki (the second largest bank, also known as Cyprus Popular Bank, with a history that spanned beyond 110 years) is resolved immediately, with full contribution of equity shareholders, bond holders and uninsured depositors, based on a decision by the Central Bank of Cyprus.
- Laiki would be split into a good bank and a bad bank. The bad bank would be run down over time.
- The good bank would be folded into Bank of Cyprus (BoC), as one of its branches in Limassol experienced an explosion produced by a home-made bomb. It would take 9bn Euros of the Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA), the support given by central banks in exceptional circumstances and on a case-by-case basis to temporarily illiquid institutions and markets. Only uninsured deposits in BoC would remain frozen until recapitalization has been effected.
- The Governing Council of the ECB would provide liquidity to the BoC in line with applicable rules.
- BoC would be recapitalized through a deposit/equity conversion of uninsured deposits with full contribution of equity shareholders and bond holders.
- The conversion would be such that a capital ratio of 9 percent is secured by the end of the program.
- All insured depositors in all banks would be fully protected in accordance with the relevant EU legislation.
- The program money (up to 10bn Euros) would not be used to recapitalize Laiki or Bank of Cyprus.
It was expected that these measures would form the basis for restoring the viability of the financial sector. In particular, they safeguard all deposits below 100.000 Euros in accordance with EU principles, which were initially at risk based on a prior proposal. The program stressed that there would be an appropriate downsizing of the financial sector (Cypriot banks had assets equal to 750 percent of the country’s gross domestic product), with the domestic banking sector reaching the EU average by 2018 (less than half of the current ratio), while encouraging Cypriot authorities to step up efforts in the areas of fiscal consolidation, structural reforms and privatization, in addition to increasing the withholding tax on capital income and of the statutory corporate income tax rate.
What is the message that the incidents of the last week tell depositors around the world? Move your deposits out of Greece, Italy and Spain; think about outside Europe. While in the case of Cyprus a significant component came from Russian companies and individuals (an estimated $31 billion, according to Moody’s Investors Service), it is clear that the attitude of the European authorities is now to consider public deposits as the new ATM for governments, at least the uninsured deposits of 100.000 Euros or more . No matter what the authorities say to coat the pill (black money might have been present, savers have enjoyed years of high interest rates, etc.), this is a clear message that will reverberate throughout the continent: deposits are not safe anymore. The strict enforcement of the rule of law is gone, and with that the tax haven status that Cyprus worked so hard to build; Cyprus bet its future on it and lost.
Where deposits will go? America. Why? Says FDIC spokesperson David Barr: “During the current economic crisis, consumers have seen firsthand how the FDIC protects their money by swiftly making deposits available when a bank is closed. In the FDIC’s 80-year history, not a single depositor has ever lost a penny of insured money as a result of a bank failure. Our proven track record has helped prevent bank runs during some very difficult economic times.” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that deposits will be coming to America shores to earn almost zero, courtesy of Fed Chairman Bernanke; depositors worldwide now know that earning zero is definitely better than experiencing a 40 percent haircut, too bad it is too late for Cypriot (and Russian) depositors.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Stocks in the US markets slipped on Friday, ending the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s (DJIA) longest winning streak since 1996, just after snapping a 10-day run. Data from Thomson Reuters’ Lipper service showed that investors in U.S.-based funds had poured $11.26 billion of new cash into stock funds this last week, the most since late January. The DJIA slipped 25.03 points, or 0.17 percent, to 14,514.11 at the close. Meanwhile, it was announced that the fewest workers on record were fired in January and job openings rebounded, showing employers were gaining confidence the U.S. expansion would be sustained.
According to some pundits, recent market activity is essentially driven by positive corporate earnings. The S&P500 Price/Earnings (PE) ratio is currently slightly high at 16.5, if we compare with past indicators. The median S&P500 Trailing Twelve Months (TTM) PE ratio has been about 14.5 over the last 100 years; average is around 16. It was during much of 2009 when the disconnect between price and TTM earnings was so extreme that the P/E ratio was in triple digits, as high as the 120s. Going back to the 1870’s, the average P/E ratio has been about 15; therefore, the US equity markets are not excessively valued, leaving some room for further growth.
Other pundits point to the Federal Reserve’s determination to continue stimulating the economy with increased liquidity. Mohammed Apabhai, head of Asia trading at Citigroup Global Markets, favors this train of thought. He has noted that there is a 70 percent correlation between stock market performance and liquidity, “whether it’s through the promise of lower rates, QE (Quantitative Easing) or promise of more QE.” The Federal Reserve has launched three rounds of Quantitative Easing since the financial crisis hit in 2008.
More likely, both factors are in play, very good corporate earnings and monetary policy that pushes investors to take risks in equities. So is the earnings momentum sustainable? Unfortunately, savings from the smaller share of the pie from labor, government spending and earnings coming from emerging markets (EM) outside the US are all factors that will be curtailed at some moment. Is the Fed eager to continue being the huge player in this equation? Some of its members are increasingly worried about the effectiveness of the continued QE; if the labor market recovers, as the January numbers showed, the Fed most probably might be ending its bond purchases soon.
As pointed out by James Saft, wages in the US have taken a smaller and smaller piece of the pie; now below 44pc of GDP and dropping, down several percentage points since 1999. That is in part the consequence of globalization and the offshoring of jobs. However, the labor which can be offshored largely has already been and the likely trend is for new manufacturing technologies to start pushing jobs back into the US. As has been of national knowledge as well, there is a real danger of declining government spending. A dollar spent by the government is a dollar that supports household income, and consumption, and of course corporate profits; there will be less dollars starting this month thank to the sequester, a series of spending cuts and tax increases aimed at reducing the budget deficit.
Emerging markets are looking overstretched heading into the second quarter, Barclays Capital said in a report dated March 15, pointing out that the cyclical recoveries in EM have slowed down. Consensus growth forecasts (according to Bloomberg) have been revised down by 0.75 percentage points on average since mid-2012. EM equities have been slow to react to these developments due partly to the continued inflows into the asset class from retail clients. The correction has started recently and the performance by country year to date has been mixed, but the most pronounced selloffs have been associated with the largest revisions to GDP growth forecasts. Adding to this dire situation, the economies of emerging markets grew at a slower pace in February than the month before, according to HSBC’s monthly purchasing managers’ index. The PMI recorded a level of 52.3, down from 53.8 in January, its lowest since August. The index covers 16 leading emerging markets, including India, Brazil and China, which all saw their rate of growth fall. Investors had been questioning whether emerging markets, whose growth depends in part on exports to mature markets, could continue to expand at fast rates of almost 10% in some cases.
What the equity markets want indeed is stable and/or predictably increasing US profits and the Fed to stay in the bond markets. Saft ironically suggested that markets’ best hope might be a cut in government spending deep enough to kill job growth and indefinitely extend QE, something that nobody else would agree with. Instead, markets would be happy with a bit of positive news today followed by another bit of negative news tomorrow. Unfortunately for the markets, profits will start showing stagnation starting with first quarter results. Federal Reserve said in September 2012, when QE3 was announced, that it would start pumping $40 billion a month to purchase agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) until the labor market improves substantially. When will the Fed determine that the job market has made enough progress to reduce stimulus? The numbers for February will prove paramount in this regard. As these two important factors converge in a nightmarish scenario, equities markets should beware of the ensuing correction, coming as early as in the second quarter.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Beyond the memories of the recent financial crisis and doubts about the safety and fairness of the equity markets, events such as the Flash Crash of May 2010, the hugely distressing Facebook NASDAQ initial public offering and trading malfunctions at Knight Capital and Nasdaq OMX were wrongly associated with high-frequency trading (HFT) and characterized as shocks to the psyche of average investors. The around $130 billion outflows from domestic equity mutual funds in 2012 led to Joe Saluzzi, co-head of trading at Themis Trading, to say as recently as of December 2012 that “all of those events are confidence-shattering events.”
Furthermore, U.S. congressman Ed Markey tried to persuade the SEC that high-frequency trading was driving investors off the electronic trading highway completely because it was eroding confidence in U.S. markets. Congressman Markey wrote that “sophisticated trading firms can make full use of light speed HFT algorithms, while the ordinary investor day-trading his 401k remains at more terrestrial speeds. There is a real risk that algorithmic trading is making investors hesitant to re-enter the equity markets because they fear that the entire game is rigged.” Ultimately, he proposed that HFT should be curtailed immediately.
Data from Trim Tabs Investment Research appeared to support Mr. Saluzzi and Congressman Markey’s concerns. Their data show outflows from U.S. equity mutual funds in 2008 hit a record $148 billion; in 2009, confidence appeared to be stabilizing as outflows from U.S. equity mutual funds totaled just $28 billion, only to grow again in 2010 to hit $81 billion, $132 billion in 2011 and last year totaled $130 billion. So what would they say now that the Washington-based Investment Company Institute has revealed that equity mutual funds have gathered $29.9 billion in January’s first three weeks, more than for any full month since 2006? Moreover, long-term funds, which exclude money-market vehicles, attracted $64.8 billion in the first three weeks of the month. The previous record was $52.6 billion for all of May 2009.
What was the catalyst of the change in trend? Was HFT suddenly disappearing from the equity markets? As we have suspected in the past, it was the health of the economy. The dysfunctional behavior of the leadership in Washington, leading to a crisis of significant proportions in December 2012, was holding market participants from making investment decisions; when Washington still managed to temporarily solve the fiscal cliff issue, allowing the government to remove its borrowing cap and removing the terrifying prospect of sovereign default, investors rushed into stocks (and bonds too), setting the stage for the biggest month on record for deposits into U.S. mutual funds.
We are looking at forces beyond the niche of algorithmic and high-frequency trading in action here. Signs of improvement in the U.S. economy and a rising stock market (that pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average above 14,000 on February 1 for the first time since 2007) are now prompting Americans to step up their investments. Hiring climbed in January as well, providing further evidence that the U.S. labor market is making progress. As the economy overall makes progress, inflows will increase as more and more households and companies start to invest in the financial markets, creating a net impact in the real economy, and further reinforcing the performance of the markets. Once again, the phrase “it is the economy, stupid!” remains as valid as ever.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
2010年5月的“闪电崩盘”及Facebook在骑士资本和纳斯达克的IPO交易故障等事件，都被错误地与高频交易联系到一起，被描绘为对普通投资者造成灵魂冲击。但真正原因是经济健康问题。It is the economy, stupid。这个短语仍旧有效。
除了与最近一次金融危机有关的记忆以及有关股票市场安全性和公平性的疑问以外，2010年5月份的“闪电崩盘”及Facebook在骑士资本和纳斯达克市场上令人感到非常沮丧的IPO(首次公开招股)交易故障等事件都被错误地与高频交易联系到一起，被描绘为对普通投资者造成了灵魂冲击。Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
How VaR Modeling Gone Wrong Cut Pay of Wall Street’s Most Powerful CEO, JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, by Half
President Barack Obama’s favorite Wall Street CEO, JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon is facing more than having his pay cut in half to $11.5 million for 2012, compared with $23 million a year earlier. He is facing the prospect of seeing his reputation, cemented until now by his smart handling of the bank during the financial crisis, becoming tarnished as he has been deemed ultimate responsible for the banks’ loss of more than $6.2 billion in the first nine months of 2012 on bets by U.K. trader Bruno Iksil, nicknamed the London Whale, who operated under Chief Investment Officer Ina Drew.
The Chief Investment Office (CIO) was supposed to manage excess cash while minimizing risk using credit derivatives as part of a hedging strategy; instead, their trades became so large that the bank couldn’t easily unwind them. At the bottom of this miscalculation were blunders in the development, testing and approval of a new VaR model to measure the risk of their Synthetic Credit Portfolio.
VaR (Value at Risk) is a metric that attempts to estimate the risk of loss on a portfolio of assets. A portfolio’s VaR represents an estimate of the maximum expected mark-to-market loss over a specified time period, generally one day, at a stated confidence level, assuming historical market conditions. Through January 2012, according to the 129-page report from a task force led by Michael Cavanagh, co-head of the firm’s corporate and investment bank, the VaR for the Synthetic Credit Portfolio was calculated using a “linear sensitivity model,” also known within the Firm as the “Basel I model,” because it was used for purposes of Basel I capital calculations and for external reporting purposes. The Basel I model captured the major risk facing the Synthetic Credit Portfolio at the time, which was the potential for loss attributable to movements in credit spreads.
However, the model was limited in the manner in which it estimated correlation risk: that is, the risk that defaults of the components within the index would correlate. As the value of the tranche positions in the Synthetic Credit Portfolio increased, this limitation became more significant, as the value of these positions was driven in large part by the extent to which the positions in the index were correlated to each other. The main risk with the tranche positions was that regardless of credit risk in general, defaults might be more or less correlated.
This limitation meant that the Basel I model likely would not comply with the requirements of Basel II.5, which originally had been expected to be formally adopted in the United States at the end of 2011. One of the traders responsible for the Synthetic Credit Portfolio therefore instructed an expert in quantitative finance within the Quantitative Research team for CIO to develop a new VaR model for the Synthetic Credit Portfolio that would comply with the requirements of Basel II.5. They believed that the Basel I model was too conservative, that it was producing a higher VaR than was appropriate.
Early in the development process, CIO considered and rejected a proposal to adopt the VaR model used by the Investment Bank’s credit hybrids business for the Synthetic Credit Portfolio. Because the Investment Bank traded many customized and illiquid CDSs, its VaR model mapped individual instruments to a combination of indices and single name proxies, which CIO Market Risk viewed as less accurate for CIO’s purposes than mapping to the index as a whole. He believed that, because the Synthetic Credit Portfolio, unlike the Investment Bank, traded indices and index tranches, the Investment Bank’s approach was not appropriate for CIO. The Model Review Group agreed and, in an early draft of its approval of the model, described CIO’s model as “superior” to that used by the Investment Bank.
The Model Review Group, charged with the formal approval of the model, performed only limited back-testing, comparing the VaR under the new model computed using historical data to the daily profit-and-loss over a subset of trading days during a two-month period, not even close to a typically required period of 264 previous trading days, a year. In addition, they were pressured by the CIO to accelerate its review, overlooking operational flaws apparent during the approval process; for instance, it was found later that the model operated through a series of Excel spreadsheets, which had to be completed manually, by a process of copying and pasting data from one spreadsheet to another. The Model Review Group discovered that, for purposes of a pricing step used in the VaR calculation, CIO was using something called the “West End” analytic suite rather than Numerix, an approved vendor model. CIO assured the Model Review Group that both valuations were in “good agreement.”
On January 30, the Model Review Group finally authorized CIO Market Risk to use the new VaR model which would utilize the Gaussian Copula model, a commonly accepted model used to map the approximate correlation between two variables, to calculate hazard rates and correlations. A hazard rate is the probability of failure per unit of time of items in operation, sometimes estimated as a ratio of the number of failures to the accumulated operating time for the items. For purposes of the model, the hazard rate estimated the probability of default for a unit of time for each of the underlying names in the portfolio.
Once in operation, a spreadsheet error caused the VaR for April 10 to fail to reflect the day’s $400 million loss in the Synthetic Credit Portfolio. This error was noticed, first by personnel in the Investment Bank, and by the modeler and CIO Market Risk, and was corrected promptly. Because it was viewed as a one-off error, it did not trigger further inquiry. Later in May, in response to further losses in the Synthetic Credit Portfolio, a review of the West End calculated discovered that it was using the Uniform Rate model rather than Gaussian Copula model, contrary to the Model Review Group approval.
Although this error did not have a significant effect on the VaR, an operational error was found in the calculation of the relative changes in hazard rates and correlation estimates. Specifically, after subtracting the old rate from the new rate, the spreadsheet divided the result by their sum instead of their average, as the modeler had intended. This error likely had the effect of muting volatility by a factor of two and of lowering the VaR, minimizing the estimate of the potential loss in the Synthetic Credit Portfolio, which ultimately grew to more than $6.2 billion. Despite this humongous loss, JPMorgan Chase disclosed full-year 2012 record net income of $21.3 billion on revenue of $99.9 billion, guaranteeing Dimon’s survival at the helm for the moment.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Asia Investing Panel Moderated by Edgar Perez Drawing Biggest Audience at Venture Capital & Private Equity Conference at Harvard Business School
Mr. Edgar Perez, author of The Speed Traders, An Insider’s Look at the New High-Frequency Trading Phenomenon That is Transforming the Investing World (http://www.thespeedtraders.com), moderated the popular Investing in Asia panel at the 18th Annual Venture Capital and Private Equity Conference at Harvard Business School, held in Boston, February 17-18, 2012.
According to the organizers, the Investing in Asia panel drew more than 200 participants for what became an insightful and enlightening discussion led by Mr. Perez. The panel reviewed investing opportunities in the biggest continent of the world, focusing on private equity activity in the major financial centers, including China, Hong Kong, Japan and Indonesia. Distinguished members of the panel included Melissa Ma (Asia Alternatives Capital), Christoph Mueller (Shaw Kwei & Partners), Guang Yang (Finergy Capital) and Ming Zhang (Institute of World Economics and Politics).
The 18th Annual Venture Capital and Private Equity Conference is the largest and most anticipated student-run conference at Harvard Business School. Over 900 students, alumni, faculty and industry professionals joined Mr. Perez and dozens of speakers for a day to gather knowledge and share experiences. Keynote speakers included Daniel A. D’Aniello, Founder, The Carlyle Group; Guy Hands, Founder & Chairman, Terra Firma; C. Richard Kramlich, Chairman & Co-Founder, New Enterprise Associates; and Alexander Navab, Co-Head of North American Private Equity, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Mr. Perez is widely regarded as the preeminent speaker in the specialized areas of high-frequency trading and Asia investing. He is author of The Speed Traders, An Insider’s Look at the New High-Frequency Trading Phenomenon That is Transforming the Investing World, and is currently writing a book on investment opportunities in Indonesia, the world’s 4th most populous country.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Why Emerging Markets Represent the Future for HFTs at The Speed Traders Workshop 2012 Sao Paulo, February 8th
Emerging markets are an inviting target for high-frequency traders going forward, proclaims Advanced Trading’s Justin Grant. He contrasted it to a suggestion by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch to institute a tax on high-frequency trading. One of these key markets is Brazil, where Mr. Edgar Perez, Adjunct Professor at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, will lead The Speed Traders Workshop 2012 Sao Paulo: How High Frequency Traders Leverage Profitable Strategies to Find Alpha in Equities, Options, Futures and FX, February 8th, BM&FBovespa.
Earlier this year, the note continues, India’s Bombay Stock Exchange predicted computer based-trading in its $1.5 trillion stock market will double over the next three years. Meanwhile the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is planning to debut the ASEAN Trading Link next year, which would electronically link exchanges in Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia are also slated to link their exchanges to ASEAN Trading Link in 2012. Liquidity in those markets will undoubtedly surge as they mature, making them an enticing target for high-frequency trading firms.
Brazil probably represents the best opportunity for high-frequency traders over the near term. Earlier this month it lifted a financial transaction tax of its own for foreign investors and the BM&FBovespa has been aggressive in its efforts to boost trading volumes and attract liquidity.
So even as lawmakers in the U.S. and Europe weigh the merits of a Tobin Tax, a world of opportunity awaits high-frequency traders overseas. Perhaps the CBO is wrong in its assessment. The U.S. doesn’t need a tax to diminish its role as the premier market. Seems that’s happening anyway.
The Speed Traders Workshop 2012 Sao Paulo will reveal how high-frequency trading players are succeeding in the global markets and driving the development of algorithmic trading at breakneck speeds from the U.S. and Europe to India, Singapore and Brazil. The Speed Traders Workshop 2012 Sao Paulo kicks off a series of presentations in the world’s most important financial centers: Dubai, January 25; Seoul, South Korea, March 28; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 11; Warsaw, Poland, May 11; Kiev, Ukraine, May 18; Singapore, May 26; Shanghai, China, June 6; Jakarta, Indonesia, June 13; Mexico City, Mexico, July 27; Hong Kong, August 4, and Moscow, Russia, August 10.
Mr. Edgar Perez, author of The Speed Traders, An Insider’s Look at the New High-Frequency Trading Phenomenon That is Transforming the Investing World (http://www.thespeedtraders.com), will present today at FIXGlobal Face2Face, Seoul, South Korea, on “The Present and Future of High-Frequency Trading“.
FIXGlobal Face2Face forums feature lively debate between experts, sharing ideas and insight on implementing an effective electronic tradingstrategy, global exchanges competition, the use of algorithmic trading strategies etc. in Korea and regionally and what it means to the markets going forward.
The Speed Traders, published by McGraw-Hill Inc., is the most comprehensive, revealing work available on the most important development in trading in generations. High-frequency trading will no doubt play an ever larger role as computer technology advances and the global exchanges embrace fast electronic access. The Speed Traders explains everything there is to know about how today’s high-frequency traders make millions—one cent at a time. In this new title, The Speed Traders, Mr. Perez opens the door to the secretive world of high-frequency trading. Inside, prominent figures drop their guard and speak with unprecedented candidness about their trade.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Mr. Edgar Perez, author of The Speed Traders, An Insider’s Look at the New High-Frequency Trading Phenomenon That is Transforming the Investing World (http://www.thespeedtraders.com), will be presenting at upcoming Middle East Hedge Funds Investors Summit 2012, January 22-24, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Dubai, UAE, on “The Present and Future of High-Frequency Trading”.
The Middle East Hedge Funds Investors Summit 2012 is the region’s premier meeting place for Middle East Institutional Investors, SWFs, Pension and Insurance Funds, HNWIs, Investment Houses and Family Offices. In an exclusive association with CNBC Arabiya, Middle East Hedge Funds Investors Summit 2012 offers unique access to the region’s alternatives and hedge funds investors and an expert speaker faculty featuring Regional Investors, Economists, and Investment gurus, Wealth Managers, Strategists and Star Managers.
The Middle East Hedge Funds Investors Summit 2012 brings insights from top Middle East investors on how and why Middle East investors are responding as New Portfolio Managers with New Mandates post Madoff. With Middle East investors contributing on a host of influential topics and panels, attendees get real insights into what needs to be done and required by these Middle East investors to overcome the hurdles for successful hedge fund investing. Attendees hear the latest investment strategies discussed to get an in depth analysis of the Investors take on the key issues of Liquidity, Risk, Transparency, Portfolio Management, Due Manager Selection, Benchmarking and the performance of Managers, Funds and Alpha.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
High-frequency trading should continue to be regulated and not stopped, indicated Edgar Perez, The Speed Traders Workshop 2011: The Present and Future of High-Frequency Trading (http://www.thespeedtradersworkshop.com), on an interview with Hong Kong’s Oriental Daily News, for its column Market Expert Speak (http://orientaldaily.on.cc/cnt/finance/20110830/00275_001.html). Perez, author of The Speed Traders, An Insider’s Look at the New High-Frequency Trading Phenomenon That is Transforming the Investing World (http://www.thespeedtraders.com), noted that high-frequency trading in particular is a development that was born out of the evolution of the regulatory environment, certainly facilitated by technology; therefore, it would be against its roots to oppose regulation per se.
As Ben van Vliet, Adjunct Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, says in The Speed Traders, “We all want to race fast but safe. It doesn’t do any good if someone crashes into the innocent crowd and kills people. There are external people that may be affected when things crash. What we want the government to do is to create a safe track for us to race fast.” Perez noted that regulators in the U.S. have adopted circuit breakers in May 2010 for 404 NYSE listed S&P 500 stocks and widened in September for Russell 1000 stocks to halt or slow down trades of a particular stock if the price moves 10% or more in a five-minute period; lately, they have proposed limit up, limit down rules, which would require that trades in all listed stocks be executed within a range tied to the recent prices for that security and impose a five-minute pause if trading is unable to occur within the price band for more than 15 seconds; those are measures that fall into the category of improvements to the race tracks for high-frequency trading. Additionally, they are implementing a consolidated audit trail that would help the SEC track information about trading orders so it can better understand the fast-paced markets. Ultimately, a flexible regulatory environment that can incorporate input from participants will be the optimal setting for the development of the industry.
The Speed Traders Workshop 2011, led by Edgar Perez, will reveal how high-frequency trading players are succeeding in the global markets and driving the development of algorithmic trading at breakneck speeds from the U.S. and Europe to India, Singapore and Brazil. Highlights of The Speed Traders Workshop 2011 include:
- The first and most comprehensive initiation to the world of high-frequency trading
- Study materials provided by Edgar Perez, the author of the latest book on the subject of speed trading, and a well-known presenter in America, Europe and Asia
- Latest update on high-frequency trading in the world and current regulatory initiatives
- Techniques to detect high-frequency trading in the markets
- Key enablers of high-frequency trading in the U.S., Europe and Asia
- Proposed regulatory initiatives after the “flash crash”
- Up-to-date review of the future of high-frequency trading
The Speed Traders, published by McGraw-Hill Inc., is the most comprehensive, revealing work available on the most important development in trading in generations. High-frequency trading will no doubt play an ever larger role as computer technology advances and the global exchanges embrace fast electronic access. The Speed Traders explains everything there is to know about how today’s high-frequency traders make millions—one cent at a time. In this new title, The Speed Traders, Mr. Perez opens the door to the secretive world of high-frequency trading. Inside, prominent figures drop their guard and speak with unprecedented candidness about their trade. For more about The Speed Traders, readers can visit its Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as the most popular online retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Borders, among others.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
For Edgar Perez, author of The Speed Traders, An Insider’s Look at the New High-Frequency Trading Phenomenon That is Transforming the Investing World (http://www.thespeedtraders.com), increased volatility experienced by financial markets is being driven by long-term investors’ fears. Mr. Perez, who was recently featured on BNN’s Business Day and interviewed by Kim Parlee, reflected that similar concerns drove volatility to record heights during the Great Depression and Black Monday.
The stock market crash on October 29, 1929 set in motion a series of events that led to the Great Depression, but in fact, the American economy and global economy had been in turmoil six months prior to Black Tuesday, and a variety of factors before and after that fateful date in October caused and exacerbated the Great Depression. While America prospered during the 1920s, most of Europe, still reeling from the devastation of World War I, fell into economic decline. America soon became the world’s banker, and as Europe started defaulting on loans and buying less American products, the Great Depression spread. With only loose stock market regulations in place before the Great Depression, investors were able speculate wildly, buying stocks on margin, needing only 10% of the price of a stock to be able to complete the purchase. Rampant speculation led to falsely high stock prices, and when the stock market began to tumble in the months leading up to the October 1929 crash, speculative investors couldn’t make their margin calls, and a massive sell-off began. While the great rise in the stock market (from 181 points in early 1928 to 381 points in September 1929) was fueled by optimism and false hope, the plunge was flamed by stark fear.
Similar situation happened on Black Monday, the name given to Monday, October 19, 1987, when stock markets around the world ‘crashed’, shedding a huge value in a very short period. The crash began in Hong Kong, spread west through international time zones to Europe, hitting the United States after other markets had already declined by a significant margin. At the time, economists feared that if the U.S. economy faltered, the entire world economy would stumble and fall into recession again, as it had in 1981–82. Many observers now believe the panic of Black Monday simply reflected a spreading fear that the world situation was rapidly becoming unmanageable.
Fast forward to 2011, CNN’s Richard Quest concludes too that the causes of this latest crisis are fear, worry and concern, three uncomfortable bedfellows that have wreaked havoc on the world’s financial markets. “What pushed everyone over the edge was the debt ceiling debacle and the downgrading of U.S. debt by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s, that was followed by a 630 point fall in the Dow Jones index.”
Fear that the world situation is becoming unmanageable is driving long-term investors to dump equities and look for protection in less risky instruments, ironically, recently S&P downgraded U.S. treasuries. Economists at JPMorgan, in their weekly reprise of economic developments, blamed the recent global stock selloff on “a sense of policy paralysis in the U.S. and Europe, which has driven home the point that there is no cavalry to ride to the rescue.” While the sentiment is the same as in the 20s, 1987 and now, certain market participants will always look for a culprit, role played by high-frequency trading this time. No doubt if another crisis comes our way in the future, another group will receive the blame, only to be absolved by financial historians.
BNN’s Business Day puts a spotlight on the stocks and stories expected to move the markets, and then switches to minute-by-minute coverage throughout the trading day in Canada and the U.S. Kim Parlee, Marty Cej, Frances Horodelski, and Martin Baccardax along with BNN‘s team of reporters and expert guests provide comprehensive reporting along with the best background and analysis in the business. Business News Network (BNN) is the Canadian English language cable television business channel; BNNbroadcasts programming related to business and financial news and analysis.
The Speed Traders, published by McGraw-Hill Inc., is the most comprehensive, revealing work available on the most important development in trading in generations. High-frequency trading will no doubt play an ever larger role as computer technology advances and the global exchanges embrace fast electronic access. The Speed Traders explains everything there is to know about how today’s high-frequency traders make millions—one cent at a time. In this new title, The Speed Traders, Mr. Perez opens the door to the secretive world of high-frequency trading. Inside, prominent figures drop their guard and speak with unprecedented candidness about their trade. For more about The Speed Traders, readers can visit its Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as the most popular online retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Borders, among others.
Mr. Perez is widely regarded as the pre-eminent networker in the specialized area of high-frequency trading. He has been featured on CNBC Cash Flow with Oriel Morrison (http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=2023403523), BNN Business Day with Kim Parlee (http://watch.bnn.ca/business-day/august-2011/business-day-august-19-2011/#clip519647), TheStreet.com with Gregg Greenberg (http://www.thestreet.com/video/11144274/high-frequency-traders-not-the-enemy.html), and Channel NewsAsia Cent & Sensibilities with Lin Xue Ling, and engaged as speaker at Harvard Business School’s 17th Annual Venture Capital & Private Equity Conference, High-Frequency Trading Leaders Forum 2011 (New York, Chicago, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo, Singapore), CFA Singapore, Hong Kong Securities Institute, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University (New York), Global Growth Markets Forum (London), Technical Analysis Society (Singapore), Middle East Hedge Funds Investors Summit 2012 (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), among other global forums.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Edgar Perez, Author, The Speed Traders, to Present at Middle East Hedge Funds Investors Summit 2012, Dubai, UAE
Mr. Edgar Perez, author of The Speed Traders, An Insider’s Look at the New High-Frequency Trading Phenomenon That is Transforming the Investing World (http://www.thespeedtraders.com), will present at upcoming Middle East Hedge Funds Investors Summit 2012, January 22-24, Dubai, UAE, on “The Present and Future of High-Frequency Trading”. The Middle East Hedge Funds Investors Summit 2012 is the region’s premier meeting place for Middle East Institutional Investors, SWFs, Pension and Insurance Funds, HNWIs, Investment Houses and Family Offices. In an exclusive association with CNBC Arabiya, Middle East Hedge Funds Investors Summit 2012 offers unique access to the region’s alternatives and hedge funds investors and an expert speaker faculty featuring Regional Investors, Economists, and Investment gurus, Wealth Managers, Strategists and Star Managers.
The Middle East Hedge Funds Investors Summit 2012 will bring insights from top Middle East investors on how and why Middle East investors are responding as New Portfolio Managers with New Mandates post Madoff. With Middle East investors contributing on a host of influential topics and panels, attendees will get real insight into what needs to be done and required by these Middle East investors to overcome the hurdles for successful hedge fund investing. Attendees will hear the latest investment strategies discussed to get an in depth analysis of the Investors take on the key issues of Liquidity, Risk, Transparency, Portfolio Management, Due Manager Selection, Benchmarking and the performance of Managers, Funds and Alpha.
The Speed Traders, published by McGraw-Hill Inc., is the most comprehensive, revealing work available on the most important development in trading in generations. High-frequency trading will no doubt play an ever larger role as computer technology advances and the global exchanges embrace fast electronic access. The Speed Traders explains everything there is to know about how today’s high-frequency traders make millions—one cent at a time. In this new title, The Speed Traders, Mr. Perez opens the door to the secretive world of high-frequency trading. Inside, prominent figures drop their guard and speak with unprecedented candidness about their trade.
Mr. Perez is one of the great business networkers and motivators on the lecture circuit; he is available worldwide for the following speaking engagements: Present and Future of High-Frequency Trading, The Real Story behind the “Flash Crash”, Networking for Financial Executives, and Business Networking for SuccessRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
For Tradeworx’s Manoj Narang, High-Frequency Traders are Among the Most Responsible and Risk-Averse Players in the Market
For Manoj Narang, Chief Executive Officer of Tradeworx, one glaring misconception is that high-frequency trading generates massive profits for Wall Street. First of all, he says, Wall Street has very little to do with high-frequency trading, and second, the profits are actually very modest. He adds: “People have the misconception that high-frequency trading practitioners have a kind of ‘cowboy mentality’ and that the markets are like the Wild West as a result. Nothing could be further from the truth. high-frequency trading are among the most responsible and risk-averse players in the market. They have never been implicated in any sort of wild risk-taking behavior, which is quite a contrast from the Wall Street traders who nearly brought the global economy to total collapse in 2008.”
Mr. Narang, one of the leading high-frequency traders featured in Edgar Perez’s The Speed Traders: An Insider’s Look at the New High-Frequency Trading Phenomenon That is Transforming the Investing World, founded Tradeworx in 1999 with the goal to democratize the role of advanced technology in the financial markets. Tradeworx also operates a quantitative hedge fund business that currently manages hundreds of millions of dollars in assets, as well as an in-house proprietary trading business focused on high-frequency trading strategies. Tradeworx trades U.S. equities and will eventually expand to all other electronic markets. As most high-frequency trading firms, Tradeworx doesn’t accept external capital, because the capital requirements are very low. The main use of outside capital in the world of high-frequency trading is to fund R&D and operations, not to actually trade the capital.
Mr. Narang finally adds: “high-frequency trading provides a valuable service to the market, and earns a relatively tiny profit in return. Let’s consider this, when an individual investor executes a 200-share order in their online brokerage account, the investor pays a broker five cents per share to execute the trade. The broker does not risk any of its own capital to do this; all he does is route the order to the exchange or to a market-maker. The player on the other end who actually provides a fill for the trade is a high-frequency trader. The high-frequency trader not only risks his own capital to provide the required liquidity, but in exchange, only receives about 1/50th of the compensation that the broker, who takes no risk whatsoever, makes on the very same trade. If people have a grievance with the financial establishment, they should ask their broker why they need to earn fifty times the amount that the liquidity provider earns, despite the fact that they are not even risking any capital on the trade!”Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )