"Using a change in regulatory fees in Canada in April 2012 that affected algorithmic quoting activities, we analyze the impact of high frequency quoting and trading on market quality, trader behavior, and trading costs and profits. Following the change, algorithmic message traffic, i.e. the number of orders, trades, and order cancellations, dropped by 30% and the bid-ask spread rose by 9%. Using trader-level data, we attribute this change to message-intensive algorithmic traders reducing their activity, and we show that their reduced activity had a negative impact on retail traders’ intraday returns, in particular on their returns from limit orders. We further find that institutional traders’ intraday returns from market orders increased."
"Since the onset of the Great Recession, much of the world has been in a state of economic winter: nearly 50 countries were in recession in 2009 and 15 countries slipped into recession in 2012. After weak global growth in 2013, economic forecasters are predicting a rosier outlook this year and next. Can these forecasts be trusted?"
"As shown above, none of the 62 recessions in 2008–09 was predicted as the previous year was drawing to a close. However, once the full realisation of the magnitude and breadth of the Great Recession became known, forecasters did predict by September 2009 that eight countries would be in recession in 2010, which turned out to be the right call in three of these cases. But the recessions in 2011–12 again came largely as a surprise to forecasters."
"So the bottom line: HFT is legal frontrunning... but also so much more. In fact, like the TBTF banks, HFT itself has become so embedded in the topological fabric of modern market structure, that any practical suggestions to eradicate HFT at this point are laughable simply because extricating HFT from a market - which indeed is rigged but not only by HFTs at the micro level, but more importantly by the Federal Reserve and global central banks at the macro - is virtually impossible without a grand systemic reset first. Which is why regulators, legislators and enforcers will huff and puff, and... end up doing nothing. Because if there is one thing the TBTF systemic participants have, is unlimited leverage to collect as much capital due to being in a position of systematic importance in a market, rigged or otherwise.
Finally, if push comes to shove, and the fate of HFT is threatened, watch out below, because if HFT's presence, glitchy as it may have been, led to the May 2010 flash crash and the subsequently unstable market which has exhibited at least one memorable crash every single month, then the threat of pulling the marginal trader which now accounts for 70% of all stock churn and volume (if certainly not liquidity) would have consequences comparable to the Lehman collapse."
"The biggest news in the sovereign debt world this week has come from Greece, which managed to sell some €3 billion in new 5-year bonds at a yield of just 4.95%. This is not what you might expect, given the macroeconomic situation:
Greece’s debt currently stands at about 320 billion euros, or 175 percent of GDP. It is rated nine notches below investment grade at Caa3 by Moody’s. Standard and Poor’s and Fitch rank Greece six notches below investment grade at B-.
So, how does one explain investors’ appetite to buy this debt at such low yields?"
"Today the market shows many of the elements that are present near market tops. In particular, sentiment is extremely bullish, investors are long and leveraged, and valuations are extended on a wide variety of measures. However, leading economic indicators are still not negative, and so far breadth and technicals have not deteriorated. The medium-term stock market returns are likely to be negative due to excessive valuation, but there is no imminent sign of a medium-term market top.
Tops are a process, not a single event. They tend to last a long period of time, and markets whipsaw traders and disappoint bears and short sellers. For example, many signs of a market top were clearly visible in late 1998, but it was not until the end of 2000 that most major market indices started to collapse. Likewise, many elements of a market top were evident in late 2006, but markets didn’t begin to collapse until very early 2008. "
"This analysis has four parts. The first discusses the basics of national income accounting and explains how trade deficits amount to a loss of demand that must be offset from other sources if the economy is to sustain a full-employment level of output. The second part outlines the origins of our large recent trade deficits. The United States has run trade deficits for most of the last four decades, but they became qualitatively larger in the late 1990s, in line with a rising value of the dollar. The third section discusses how lowering the value of the dollar relative to other currencies could make U.S. goods and services more competitive internationally. The fourth section addresses some of the implications of a lower-valued dollar and balanced trade. It has often been claimed that the United States must run a trade deficit because of the dollar’s status as a reserve currency. As will be shown, this claim misunderstands both the nature of reserve currencies and the workings of the international finance system."