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Archive for June, 2014

Letter to Editorial Board of The New York Times: “Real Cause Is Regulatory Capture/Corruption”

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 30th, 2014 9:56 AM |

I sent a copy of this letter to the members of the Editorial Board of The New York Times this morning. 

To the Editorial Board of The New York Times

Re: Sunday Editorial, The Dark Pool Iceberg: Lawsuit Against Barclays Shows Need for More Scrutiny

Dear Mr. Rosenthal, et al,

I was pleased to read your editorial in this past Sunday’s New York Times regarding the recent lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman against Barclays for engaging in a ‘pernicious fraud’ within its equity division and specifically in the operation of its dark pool.

The allegations made by AG Schneiderman are supported by information provided by whistleblowers who had previously worked at Barclays. The outrage by investors and the public should be justifiably long and loud. The erosion of trust and confidence in Wall Street broadly speaking will continue to undermine our economy. We all suffer in the process. (more…)

From the Archives: Shedding Light on Dark Pools

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 27th, 2014 12:42 PM |

In light of the recent legal action brought by NY AG Eric Schneiderman against Barclays, I thought it might be beneficial to rerun a commentary that I posted here on October 20, 2009.

Ponder that date for a minute. The issues exposed in the suit brought against Barclays are not new developments. 

Think of the theft and corruption that has transpired within these dark pools and elsewhere in the last 5 years, if not much longer than that, given that our financial regulators are ‘in bed with Wall Street.’  Some of my assertions expressed in this post have been shown to be more wishful thinking than reality.  

Kudos to Joe Saluzzi once again. While a number of people in the markets have been pushing for increased oversight of high frequency trading, in my opinion, nobody deserves more credit than Joe Saluzzi of Themis Trading. (more…)

Barclays Dark Pool Lawsuit and the ‘In Bed with Wall Street Conspiracy’

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 27th, 2014 9:49 AM |

The lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman against Barclays for ‘pernicious fraud’ in the operation of its dark pool sent shock waves through Wall Street yesterday.

The equity valuations for a number of large Wall Street banks declined significantly under the premise that this lawsuit will impact their own business operations in a negative fashion.

Beyond that, though, many might think serious allegations of lying, blatant misrepresentations, fraud, self-dealing, predatory practices aka high frequency trading, investor abuse, and the like mean one thing: just another day on Wall Street.

Let’s play hardball today and navigate a little deeper. (more…)

What Was The ‘Real’ Level of 1st Qtr GDP?

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 26th, 2014 8:37 AM |

Anyone with a modicum of ‘sense on cents’ is well aware of the maxim ‘garbage in, garbage out.’

If we are to believe that the inflation data reported by Uncle Sam does not properly capture the true level of price increases in our economy — did somebody say intentionally misleading — then the immediate question begs, what is the real level of economic activity in the nation?

Recall that real GDP is defined as:

A measure of economic growth from one period to another expressed as a percentage and adjusted for inflation (i.e. expressed in real as opposed to nominal terms). The real economic growth rate is a measure of the rate of change that a nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) experiences from one year to another. 

If inflation is under reported, and the rate of change in our economic growth is a known figure, then by definition the output (that is, real GDP) will be overstated. So I repeat my question: What is the real level, that is a more honest and accurate assessment, of our 1st quarter GDP? (more…)

1st Qtr GDP (-2.9%) Turns Corner, Goes Off Cliff

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 25th, 2014 9:38 AM |

Are you sick of being lied to?

Virtually every economist and political pundit came into 2014 touting this year as being the one in which our economy turns the corner. Well, in the first quarter of the year I guess we did turn the corner . . . and in doing so ran right off the proverbial cliff.

How could so many be so wrong by such a wide margin in assessing the health and projection of our economy? I will tell you: when the virtues of truth, transparency, and integrity are subjugated to such an extent at the behest of the financial, political, and regulatory ruling triumvirate, we fail to get a fair and honest reading as to what is really going on in our economy, let alone our nation.  (more…)

Pope Francis: A True Leader and Inspiration

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 24th, 2014 7:20 AM |

Given the many challenges facing us these days, our nation and world badly need real leaders.

How do I define a leader? An individual who puts the interests of others ahead of his own, does what is right with no regard for how it will impact him/her personally, and speaks up in forceful fashion when it is far more convenient and conducive to sit down or speak purely in political terms.

If we were to hold the bar at an appropriately elevated level, who in America and the world truly define what it is to be a leader? We can come up with some selected individuals perhaps, but by my standards we have a serious lack of true leaders both nationally and globally at this point in time. Fortunately, we can look to Pope Francis if we care to envision a real leader. (more…)

Charles Lewis: 935 Lies/The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 23rd, 2014 8:42 AM |

One of the best lines I ever read in The Wall Street Journal was attributed to then CEO of First Boston, Allen Wheat. When asked about a senior executive who had recently departed the firm, Wheat rhetorically inquired and responded, “How do you know when he is lying? His lips move.”

Regrettably, couldn’t we say the same about so many of our so called political and business leaders? I think there is little doubt.

Life in and around Washington, Wall Street, and elsewhere in America now seems much more to revolve around rationalization than integrity. With the media often complicit in allowing the lying to go fully unchecked, our society suffers. Against this backdrop, I am very excited to pick up a copy of a book scheduled to be released tomorrow entitled 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity written by a new Sense on Cents favorite, but longstanding journalistic giant, Charles Lewis.

What are some of the Lies for The Ages, as designated by Lewis?: (more…)

Wikileaks: How Banks Will Continue to Rule the World

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 20th, 2014 10:57 AM |

I had a little wind in my sails this morning when I saw a lead article in today’s Wall Street Journal regarding the pathetic investor protection provided by the meter maids at FINRA. While adding a little spice to the mix by commenting on that article, I got blown away by a tsunami coming from another direction.

Let’s navigate.

Not that there was ever any doubt that the major global banks rule the world (and will likely continue to do so), a riveting press release put out just yesterday by Wikileaks confirms this reality. Major props to Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism for bringing attention to the Wikileak press release, Secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). The serious students in the crowd will have plenty to chew on and digest in the Agreement.

For those more inclined to study from the Cliff Notes, let’s give thanks to Professor Jane Kelsey of the University of Auckland, New Zealand who brings real transparency to the proposed Agreement in her Analysis Article also released by Wikileaks(more…)

Charles Lewis: If Truth Be Told

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 19th, 2014 9:50 AM |

The truth.

The health of our democracy demands that we pursue and embrace the truth wherever it may take us and whatever we may learn. Regrettably as a nation the truth often largely escapes us due to forces wielded by those who might suffer in the process. We see evidence of this reality almost on a daily basis.

Investigative journalism is critically important to unearthing the truth yet this most noble undertaking remains under serious pressure. Fortunately we have individuals like Charles Lewis, one of the most highly distinguished investigative journalists in our nation’s history, to fight back against the tide.

Lewis provides fabulous context on this topic in a recently penned 3-part series entitled If Truth Be Told. In light of all that is going on in our nation, this series qualifies as an absolute must read and an instant Sense on Cents classic. As a teaser, I welcome providing a few snippets of Lewis’ work. Let’s navigate.  (more…)

Federal Reserve Quandary: Stagflation

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 18th, 2014 9:44 AM |

The Federal Reserve will wrap up its regularly scheduled meeting and release its highly anticipated statement this afternoon at 2pm. The markets always eagerly await this statement so as to read the tea leaves and see what they say about our economy and the impact on interest rates.

Do we really need to wait for 2pm, though, to determine what is really going on in our economy? I think not. What do we know? Plenty, although the financial media, government officials, and the bankers themselves are not always fully forthcoming in promoting the truth. Let’s navigate. (more…)

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