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Posts Tagged ‘American dream’

Spent: Looking for Change (Compelling Documentary)

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 12th, 2014 8:23 AM |

Are you aware that nearly 70 million Americans are underserved, that is effectively locked out, by traditional financial services companies? How about the fact that these underserved fellow Americans paid $89 billion — that’s right billion with a B — in interest and fees to manage their finances? What do you think of the reality that 25% of the children in America live in underbanked homes? Are you aware that almost half of all US households report that they could not come up with $2,000 in case of an emergency? Yes, almost half.

To witness some first hand accounts of people representative of so many in America struggling to make ends meet, I strongly encourage you to watch a recently released documentary that runs a little more than a half hour. I believe this film, Spent: Looking for Change, will leave a strong impression on you. It certainly did on me.

In light of the statistics shared above, there should be no real surprise why our economy continues to lag and the disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street grows ever wider. There are many reasons for these realities, but regrettably the American dream is becoming nothing more than a pipe dream for many in our nation.

What do you think?

Larry Doyle

Please order a hard copy or Kindle version of my book, In Bed with Wall Street: The Conspiracy Crippling Our Global Economy.

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Looking Back to Look Forward: “What Will Happen to the American Dream?”

Posted by Larry Doyle on October 13th, 2010 8:07 AM |

How many of you reading this post feel as if life is becoming a blur, given the ongoing and unending avalanche of troubling economic news? I sense this reality becoming more and more prevalent throughout our society. I also sense that people lose track of both time and developments. Keeping a sense of balance and perspective during these challenging times is critically important. To this end, I want to go back one year and review what I wrote then in the hope it will bring these badly needed virtues into focus today. On October 12, 2009, I wrote What Will Happen to the American Dream?

The pursuit of a better life and greater opportunities have driven successive generations since the founding of our nation. Will that dream live on? Will future generations have a chance to live a better life than the current generation or recent generations? (more…)

What Will Happen to the American Dream?

Posted by Larry Doyle on October 12th, 2009 2:41 PM |

The pursuit of a better life and greater opportunities have driven successive generations since the founding of our nation. Will that dream live on? Will future generations have a chance to live a better life than the current generation or recent generations?

Is the mere talk of this pursuit of the American dream mere poppycock? Do we think we can regain our economic stature and, once again, experience true economic prosperity merely because we want to have it happen?

Many feel that success is a function of a few basic principles combined with a little bit of luck. Is it truly luck, as some may maintain? No, I think not. I have always thought of luck as nothing more than where ‘preparation meets opportunity.’

In writing on this topic, I am not so hardened to think that families can easily or fluidly pursue opportunities which would entail picking up roots and moving. That said, demographic shifts will certainly be an ongoing theme as our economy and our country adapt to the new dynamics within the ‘Uncle Sam’ economy.

While we could debate at length the merits, or lack thereof, of bank bailouts and government support across a wide array of businesses and industries, I believe a great and unmentioned cost of a number of government programs is the masking of significant structural problems embedded in both the financial and moral balance sheets of individuals, families, corporations, and the government itself. (more…)

Why High Frequency Program Trading Smells

Posted by Larry Doyle on July 14th, 2009 2:24 PM |

Who does not want the American dream?

Get a decent job, save a few bucks, make some reasonable investments, and try to get ahead. As part of that process, there is a premise that our government officials and market regulators will keep the playing field level.

Why are an increasing number of investors in our country questioning the integrity of our markets? The perception that the playing field is not necessarily level.

Is the field level? Is that perception actually a reality?

I commend Joe Saluzzi of Themis Trading for exposing a few weeks back the questionable integrity of  ‘high frequency program trading.’  The nature of the trading involved in these high frequency programs is consistent with my feeling that the equity markets are following technical analysis to a much greater extent than fundamental valuations.

I commend Joe and his colleagues at Themis again today for highlighting an example of the effect of high frequency program trading on their ability to execute equity transactions on their customers’ behalf. From the Themis website today, Real Life HFT Hijinks Example:

I am trading a small cap stock for a customer today (I leave out the ticker for anonymity purposes). It has traded 4,300 shares so far today. I have 75,000 shares to buy.

The scenario: 100 shares offered at $11.16, and 400 shares offered at $11.17. I place an order to buy 1,000 shares at 11.17.  You would think that I should get at least 500 shares executed (100 at $11.16 and 400 at $11.17). Sigh. I get none. As soon as I hit enter, those offers vanish. No trades on tape even. The HFT players offering the stock have convinced the market centers (ECN’s, Exchanges,  and ATS’s) to cater to them and “show” them my order before they have to execute, thereby giving them the split-second option to back away from their offers without honoring them.

Market makers have to honor their quotes, and even have to do so a certain percentage of the time. The HFT’s have to honor NOTHING. In fact, they can back away and even run ahead of your orders!  So much for their liquidity. Again the real danger is that fund managers assume that the markets can handle their 250,000 share small cap position, and that they can exit with a predictable minimal trade cost.

God, I hope we don’t retest.

There is nothing level about that field. This high frequency program trading is done with the blessing of the exchanges and the SEC.

It smells.

I welcome any market participants involved in high frequency program trading to make the case for the defense. Since Joe Saluzzi truly brought this issue out into the open earlier this month, I have yet to see any case, let alone a reasonable one, made in defense of this activity.

Thus, with overall liquidity in the marketplace less than what it may appear, investors should factor that into their overall risk assessment when making investment decisions in the equity and commodity markets.

Challenge your brokers and financial planners on this topic. I’d love to hear their responses. Please share this post with them. Please share their thoughts on this topic, if they are even aware of it.

I think we will all learn who is truly looking out for investors’ interests as we navigate the economic landscape.

LD






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