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Offline RE

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Singularity of the Dollar
« on: March 20, 2015, 04:38:08 AM »

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on March 22, 2013


Dollar-Flash-Crash-Singularity


Discuss this article at the Economics Table inside the Diner


     On Wednesdayday, March 18, 2015 at precisely 4:04 PM ET in the FOREX trading Markets, there was a Flash Crash of the Dollar.  Just prior to that though, the Almighty Dollar was subjected to an event known in Mathematics and Physics as a “Singularity”


sin·gu·lar·i·ty



?siNG?y??ler?d?/


 





Physics Mathematics



A point at which a function takes an infinite value, especially in space-time when matter is infinitely dense, as at the center of a black hole.


     You see clear evidence of The Singularity in the compression of values that occurred directly before just about every FOREX trading pair went BERZERK, and the Dollar value relative to all of them Flash Crashed.


     You see a similar effect in a Black Hole, when matter is compressed to infinite density and infinitessimal space, collapsing on itself from too much Gravity pulling it inward and lack of Energy pushing it outward.


http://i1-news.softpedia-static.com/images/news2/Black-Holes-Shouldn-039-t-Exist-2.jpg


http://www.speed-light.info/speed_of_light/singularity2.JPG     The formation of  Black Hole comes at was is known as an “Event Horizon”.  That is the point in Space-Time at which the equation “flips over” and irreversible collapse occurs, leading to the Singularity.


     In the diagram at left, you see that everything is drawn inwards to create the singularity, but it doesn’t show what comes out the “Other Side” of said Singularity.  You see that better in the photo above, which has Radiation streaming outward from the Center of the Black Hole.


     The graph at the top of the page shows the very same features, the Event Horizon was crossed at approximately 13:53 ET based on the X-Axis, and then the Flash Crash occurred about 10 minutes later at 14:04 ET.  Why did this occur?


     Well, as just about everyone knows by now, most trading is no longer done by Humans, it is done by Computers which follow certain Algorithms, known as High Frequency Trading algorithms, or HFT for short.  By no small coincidence, the folks who program up these algorithms do not usually come from Economics, they are recruited from Ph.D. Theoretical Physicists graduating from schools like MIT, Columbia, Oxford, etc.  Economics tends to be pretty “soft” on the quantitative end, whereas Physics is more rigorous in this regard, basically Physics people are better at Math than Economics people.  LOL.




They are known as “quants” because they do quantitative finance. Seduced by a vision of mathematical elegance underlying some of the messiest of human activities, they apply skills they once hoped to use to untangle string theory or the nervous system to making money.


http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u96627/geek.jpgThis flood seems to be continuing, unabated by the ongoing economic collapse in this country and abroad. Last fall students filled a giant classroom at M.I.T. to overflowing for an evening workshop called “So You Want to Be a Quant.” Some quants analyze the stock market. Others churn out the computer models that analyze otherwise unmeasurable risks and profits of arcane deals, or run their own hedge funds and sift through vast universes of data for the slight disparities that can give them an edge.


Still others have opened an academic front, using complexity theory or artificial intelligence to better understand the behavior of humans in markets. In December the physics Web site arXiv.org, where physicists post their papers, added a section for papers on finance. Submissions on subjects like “the superstatistics of labor productivity” and “stochastic volatility models” have been streaming in.


Quants occupy a revealing niche in modern capitalism. They make a lot of money but not as much as the traders who tease them and treat them like geeks. Until recently they rarely made partner at places like Goldman Sachs. In some quarters they get blamed for the current breakdown — “All I can say is, beware of geeks bearing formulas,” Warren Buffett said on “The Charlie Rose Show” last fall. Even the quants tend to agree that what they do is not quite science.



[Note: I don’t think these grads are “seduced by a vision of mathematical elegance” as much as they are seduced by pulling home a big paycheck, but that is another question for another day.  LOL.]


     So, with the advent of computers, Physics grads have been recruited to design up the HFT trading programs, which tend to reflect the kinds of equations that they learned in physics, so if you get a similar “Event Horizon” on the mathematical level with all the variables that are being computed, you’ll get a similar type of rendering on a graph, which is of course what you got with the graph up top here.


     So, your next question is just what was it that occurred at 13:53 that pushed the algos over the edge of the Event Horizon?  Some parameter must have had a significant change, but we don’t know what that change was, although to be sure somebody does.  What are some likely possibilities?


1-One of the Algos “misfired” with a glitch, which sent all the rest of them over the edge also.  That’s a plausible Random Explanation.


     However, with so much ongoing here in the world of Global Finance Manipulation, it seems more likely to me that somebody who can push VERY big money around did a significant dump of Dollars, against the current general trend of the market to run TOWARD the dollar right now, since it’s still the best looking Dogshit in the Pound.  Who could possibly make such a large Dump of Dollars?  Only two reasonable possibilities there.


1 Da Fed:  Da Fed can buy or sell as many Dollars as it wants to, doing Currency Swaps at will.  Perhaps TPTB in charge there wanted to stop or at least slow down the appreciating value of the dollar relative to other currencies or raise the price of Oil by devaluing the dollar.


2- The Chinese:  The Chinese have a vast hoard of Dollars, and their own currency of the Renminby has a “soft peg” to the dollar, so as the dollar has been increasing in value relative to other currencies, so has Renminby.  The problem with that of course is that it hurts the Chinese Export market and their “competitiveness” as everyone rushes to “Beggar Thy Neighbor” by devaluation, attempting to be able to undersell competitors in this manner.


     Such devaluation comes at a Price though, because it makes any you import relatively more expensive, most notably here Energy Imports which none of the mercantilist economies can do without if they want to keep producing and exporting industrially manufactured goods, and which is necessary for producing Food in Industrial Quantities to support their large populations.


     There are some other possible candidates, the Ruskies for instance are in a pitched battle with the Western Illuminati Banking system that uses the Dollar as World Reserve Currency, but it doesn’t seem likely that with all the sanctions currently in place they would have sufficient leverage in Dollars to pull a stunt like this.  Nor does it seem likely the Japanese would do it either, except perhaps as a proxy for Da Fed.


     The next important question is what are the consequences of this?  In the aftermath the following day, the Dollar “rebalanced” and climbed right back up to where it was before, and BAU resumed.


http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/03/20150319_oops2.jpg

     So, if there was intention to permanently crash the system, it obviously failed.  If the purpose was to get a few FOREX traders to stain their underwear, it was wildly successful.  LOL.


     The purpose may have simply been to demonstrate how unstable the House of Cards is and to make everyone more skittish than they already are.  If you were able to Front Run this you might have been able to make a lot of money, but besides the folks who set it off, it would have been impossible to front run.  I’m not sure even the folks who set it off could front run it, because they don’t have access to all the other algos which are trading, so they wouldn’t know what the behavior of all the currency pairs would be.  Probably though it could reasonably be assumed the dollar would plummet in value relative to everything else.


     Moving into the future, it reminds us first that all the markets are thoroughly manipulated and being run by a very few very big players, mainly the Central Banks and TBTF Investment Banks.  There are some large Hedge Funds running HFT that possibly could set off another Singularity event as well, and it doesn’t have to be just in the FOREX market, although that is where the biggest and quickest potential damage is possible.  In the worst case scenario, there is a rapid and massive shift of all currencies which actually HOLDS, like the recent rebalancing of the Swissie against the Euro.  This has a cascading effect on the balance sheet of banks with large number of loans denominated in Swissies which can quicly render them insolvent, as was the case with the Austrian Regional Bank Hypo Alpe Adria & Heta Asset Resolution AG and the province of Carinthia;




A Black Swan Lands In Southern Austria: The Ripple Effects Of “Mini-Greece Going Off In The Heartland Of Europe”




By far the most notable news of the past week, which has still gone largely unnoticed by the greater investing community whose focus instead was on whether algos would ramp the Nasdaq to 5000, and keep the S&P above 2100, even before Mario Draghi finally began buying bonds that nobody wants to sell, was the “Spectacular Development” In Austria, whereby the “bad bank” of failed Hypo Alpe Adria – the Heta Asset Resolution AG – itself went from good to bad, with its creditors forced into an involuntary “bail-in” following the “discovery” of a $8.5 billion capital hole in its balance sheet primarily related to ongoing deterioration in central and eastern European economies.


This shocking announcement promptly sent the price of Heta bonds crashing as creditors, no longer enjoying the explicit guarantee of the state, scrambled to get out of “northern Europe’s” first Lehman moment.



But while the acute pain came and went for Heta bondholders who have seen a nearly 50% loss in just a few short months, the bigger and far more diffuse pain is only just starting, or as Bloomberg put it, “Austria’s decision to wind down Heta Asset Resolution AG sent ripples through the financial system, causing credit rating downgrades in Austria and bank losses in Germany.”


The first casualty: the beautifully picturesque southern Austrian province of Carinthia.



jenga_collapse      This by itself is bad enough, with cross contagion effects already being felt by other banks in Germany. However, imagine if numerous currency pairs rapidly changed in valuation, then you have similar problems going on everywhere in many countries, and many simultaneous bank failures as a result.  If the system has this much trouble handling the failure of one small Austrian Bank, imagine what happens if it is many of them, plus a few large systemic banks like Deutchbank too!  In this case the whole Jenga Tower comes down, and quite rapidly also.


To date, all the failures have been contained through a variety of accounting frauds and the endless expansion of CB balance sheets with gobs of Irredeemable Debt now on their books.  Each of those is an increasingly malformed block being placed ever higher on the Jenga Tower.  It is Magical Thinking to believe that this tower will not eventually collapse under its own weight and increasing instability, demonstrated by the nearly daily “Flash Crashes” in markets all over the Globe, all linked together at the speed of light by the telecommunications network and run not by human hands, but by HFT algorithms, which while they may be designed by Geniuses, are still subject to the laws of mathematics and physics.


The main law involved here is one everyone is familiar with, which is:


What Goes UP, must come DOWN


When this Tower does collapse, it will come down a whole lot faster than it went up.  That day approaches ever closer now, and it would be a good time to get started running in the other direction away from it, as fast as you can.  Run Away, Run Away FAST, Run Away NOW TM.


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Offline RE

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Carry Trade Blows Up
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2015, 06:34:00 AM »
More evidence of the Singularity...

RE

The Central Banks Will Not Be Able to Control This

Phoenix Capital Research's picture



 

The biggest issue facing the finacial system today is the US Dollar rally.

 

The Fed and other Central Banks are trying to maintain the illusion that they have everything in control by talking about interest rates, but the reality is that the US Dollar carry trade is ABOVE $9 trillion in size. That is almost as big as ALL of the money printing that occurred between 2009 and 2013.

 

And it's imploding as we write this.

 

Globally, the world is awash in borrowed money… most of it in US Dollars. The US Dollar carry trade is north of $9 trillion… literally than the economies of Germany and Japan COMBINED.

 

When you BORROW in US Dollars you are effectively SHORTING the US Dollar. So when the US Dollar rallies… you have to cover your SHORT or you blow up.

 

And the US Dollar has been rallying… HARD. Indeed, the move that began in July 2014 is already larger par in scope with that which occurred during the 2008 meltdown.

 

 

 

Moreover, this move has occurred with little to no rest. The US Dollar barely corrected 2% after rallying a stunning 16+% in a matter of months before beginning its next leg up.

 

 

You only get these sorts of moves when the stuff hits the fan. CNBC and the others are babbling about the Fed’s FOMC changes, but all of that is just a distraction from the fact that a $9+ trillion carry trade, arguably the largest carry trade in history, has begun to blow up.

 

Rate hikes, QE, all of this stuff is minor in comparison to the carnage the US Dollar is having on the financial system. Take a look at the impact it’s having on emerging market currencies.

 

Here are the monthly charts for the USD/ Aussie (black line), USD/ Brazilian Real (blue line), USD/South African Rand (red line), and USD/ Mexican Peso (green line) pairs. The carnage over the last six months has been extreme with double digit moves across the board.

 

 

The US Dollar took down Oil, commodities, even emerging market currencies. Stocks will be next. The first REAL sign that the 2008 Crash was coming occurred when the US Dollar began to skyrocket in the summer of 2008.

 

The time to prepare is now, BEFORE the crash hits.

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Offline g

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Re: Singularity of the Dollar
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2015, 06:51:14 AM »
I don't predict markets because of my firm conviction that they are totally rigged.

Let me assure anyone however not familiar with financial matters, that starting with the Swiss Franc violence, the oil crash, the Dollar rally, collapse of major currencies, Ruble, Canadian and Aussie Dollar, Yen, Brazilian Real, that there is a major cataclysmic happening going on as I write. Currencies, especially the reserve currency of the world do not move like this in such condensed time frames.

Prepare for the unusual, and most likely trouble. "Tis An Ill Wind that Bodes No well"  :-\


Offline Palloy

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Re: Singularity of the Dollar
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2015, 03:57:09 PM »
The singularity is a good analogy, but is not really what happened.  There are lots of slightly different HFT algorithms being run on lots of different organisations' computers, the most important of which are the "market-making" major banks.  All algorithms have checks built into them to stop the algorithm from "investing" the bank's money when market conditions have gone outside expected conditions.

When these conditions/limits have been reached, the algorithms switch into safety mode and square off any deals that need closing, withdraw asks and bids and open positions, and generally tidy up, and then go into a watching mode to see if it's time to re-enter trading mode.  One factor in this is to see what everyone else is doing - if you are happily in trading mode, and you suddenly notice that your competitors have moved into safety mode, you go into safety mode too.

Since all the algos are slightly different (written by different geeks), for them all to go into safety mode at the same time (within a few nanoseconds) implies that at least one major one did first, causing all the others to follow without knowing why.  The sudden withdrawal of liquidity would then cause the remaining players to close deals at sub-optimal values.

So that's HOW it happened, and the question then is WHY did the first algo suddenly go into safety mode.  Well, it could have been a unusual massive order (fat finger) to buy/sell something when the market was already near it pre-programmed limits, or it could have been a programming error in the algo, or an internet connection to something vital dropped out for a nanosecond, or something took too long to reboot, or ...

You have to remember that humans are trying to follow what their algos are doing, and watching the news feeds and making trading strategy decisions by tweaking their algos on the fly, but humans are so slow to react that they can make things worse, not better.  So maybe that's what happened - a human fine-tuning decision was put into their algo a few milliseconds too late for the circumstances, and the algo responded with "I'm not doing THAT, that's crazy!" and went into safety mode, causing a cascade of safety modes at all the other algos - a flash crash.

I was once working on a real-time database server that would run correctly for hours and then suddenly crash. I wasn't that it couldn't answer a particular client's enquiry, but some odd combination of circumstances.  So we set up a controlled case, feeding the same enquiries against the same database until it crashed, and then did it again (not even a butterfly's wing of difference) and it crashed at a different point, and again at a different point. Eventually we were able to track down the conditions that produced the crash.  It was caused by the effect of the latency time on a spinning disc, that brought two enquiries of a particular kind being processed together, and a simple single programming error in 44 million lines of code.  I expect that today's systems are much bigger and more complex than in those primitive days.
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Offline RE

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Re: Singularity of the Dollar
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2015, 07:45:27 PM »
The singularity is a good analogy, but is not really what happened.  There are lots of slightly different HFT algorithms being run on lots of different organisations' computers, the most important of which are the "market-making" major banks.  All algorithms have checks built into them to stop the algorithm from "investing" the bank's money when market conditions have gone outside expected conditions.

When these conditions/limits have been reached, the algorithms switch into safety mode and square off any deals that need closing, withdraw asks and bids and open positions, and generally tidy up, and then go into a watching mode to see if it's time to re-enter trading mode.  One factor in this is to see what everyone else is doing - if you are happily in trading mode, and you suddenly notice that your competitors have moved into safety mode, you go into safety mode too.

Since all the algos are slightly different (written by different geeks), for them all to go into safety mode at the same time (within a few nanoseconds) implies that at least one major one did first, causing all the others to follow without knowing why.  The sudden withdrawal of liquidity would then cause the remaining players to close deals at sub-optimal values.

So that's HOW it happened, and the question then is WHY did the first algo suddenly go into safety mode.  Well, it could have been a unusual massive order (fat finger) to buy/sell something when the market was already near it pre-programmed limits, or it could have been a programming error in the algo, or an internet connection to something vital dropped out for a nanosecond, or something took too long to reboot, or ...

You have to remember that humans are trying to follow what their algos are doing, and watching the news feeds and making trading strategy decisions by tweaking their algos on the fly, but humans are so slow to react that they can make things worse, not better.  So maybe that's what happened - a human fine-tuning decision was put into their algo a few milliseconds too late for the circumstances, and the algo responded with "I'm not doing THAT, that's crazy!" and went into safety mode, causing a cascade of safety modes at all the other algos - a flash crash.

I was once working on a real-time database server that would run correctly for hours and then suddenly crash. I wasn't that it couldn't answer a particular client's enquiry, but some odd combination of circumstances.  So we set up a controlled case, feeding the same enquiries against the same database until it crashed, and then did it again (not even a butterfly's wing of difference) and it crashed at a different point, and again at a different point. Eventually we were able to track down the conditions that produced the crash.  It was caused by the effect of the latency time on a spinning disc, that brought two enquiries of a particular kind being processed together, and a simple single programming error in 44 million lines of code.  I expect that today's systems are much bigger and more complex than in those primitive days.

I am glad to see that most of the hypotheses I made about possible "Glitches"  or "Fat Fingers" were possible causes for this.  It is basically an analogy, although either a Glitch or a Fat Finger corresponds to tripping over the Event Horizon in a large system.   In any event, that compression of all currency pairs at once is quite a remarkable graph overall, along with the BIG BANG style explosion that comes after it.  That is Math at work for sure there, no humans were involved in that mess, other than they were the Less Than Intelligent Designers of said system. LOL.

RE
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Offline g

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Re: Singularity of the Dollar
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2015, 08:26:20 PM »
Quote
I am glad to see that most of the hypotheses I made about possible "Glitches"  or "Fat Fingers" were possible causes for this.  It is basically an analogy, although either a Glitch or a Fat Finger corresponds to tripping over the Event Horizon in a large system.   In any event, that compression of all currency pairs at once is quite a remarkable graph overall, along with the BIG BANG style explosion that comes after it.  That is Math at work for sure there, no humans were involved in that mess, other than they were the Less Than Intelligent Designers of said system. LOL.

RE

No, Please don't demean the importance of what happened by explaining it away as little boys with their toys.

These violent destabilizing swings you saw were the result of a bunch of so called market sophisticates being caught on the wrong side of the market because they got CONNED by the Fed. The drama was from the HFT techniques they have developed to fuck the public and front both them and each other.

The only Fat Fingers there are their penises, fully erect on a fuck all gang bang frenzy to grab their ill placed bankster dough.

The system is corrupt, the currency moves are a portent of extreme stress in the worldwide financial system. The silly little geeks and their illegal front running toys not withstanding. They are mere children that the bankster filth hire to devise systems to beat the dim out the back door and there are NO Glitches, that's a word dreamed up to con the dim when their fuck fests get so destabilizing they draw scrutiny.





Offline RE

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Re: Singularity of the Dollar
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2015, 02:10:57 AM »
John Lounsbury cross posted Singularity of the Dollar on GEI.  :icon_sunny:  It currently holds the Top Spot on the GEI Homepage. YES!

http://econintersect.com/

URL for the article on GEI is

http://econintersect.com/a/blogs/blog1.php/singularity-of-the-dollar

RE
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Offline Palloy

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Re: Singularity of the Dollar
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2015, 02:49:41 PM »
Analysis of a flash crash from 2013 ("software malfunction" = human programing error) :

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-03-24/hft-malfunction-roiled-market-and-cost-citadel-70000
This Is The HFT "Malfunction" That "Roiled" The Market And Cost Citadel $70,000
Tyler Durden
3/24/2015

Back on June 3, 2013, following what was merely the latest observation of how broken the market is thanks to central banks manipulation and HFT rigging, we wrote the following:

    Why did the E-Mini just dump by 6 points on no news following the 6pm resumption of trading? Why not.

    Maybe someone hacked the vacuum tubes' calendar file and instead of Tuesday has pegged tomorrow as a Wednesday which takes away any "fundamental" reason to ramp futures and stocks (or perhaps someone leaked that after Tuesday we get a Wednesday when nothing levitationally magical happens, which however makes no sense: after all someone could just as easily refute that rumor with another rumor that yet another Tuesday will follow a week from  tomorrow, offsetting the Wednesday rumor).

    That, or your run of the mill fat finger.

    Or, worst case, someone actually, gulp, selling with premeditated intent (which in the new normal is at least a 2nd degree felony, somewhere up there alongside markets laughter).
     


And as happens with nearly 100% regularity nowadays, our snarky commentary on what takes place behind the scenes was once again almost 100% accurate. Because earlier today we learned precisely what happened.

Not surprisingly, it was an HFT, and it was premeditated selling, if only by a rogue algo, which as Bloomberg earlier described "roiled S&P futures."  The guilty party was none other than the NY Fed's favorite hedge fund, the one which the Plunge Protection Team "uses" to buy E-minis at key downward inflection points. From Bloomberg:

    Citadel Fined for Software Bug That Roiled S&P Futures

    Citadel LLC was fined $70,000 by CME Group Inc. for roiling Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures trading in June 2013, an event triggered by a software bug at the firm. The hedge fund firm’s Citadel Securities division unintentionally placed trades that had already been executed, causing “an atypical short-term increase in trading volume” that swayed prices for E-mini futures on the S&P 500, CME Group said in a disciplinary action released Monday. Citadel didn’t admit or deny breaking the exchange’s rules. Katie Spring, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based Citadel, declined to comment. The malfunction lasted only about a minute, underscoring how quickly computerized trading systems can run amok

Yes, just one "hedge fund", the one with the highest leverage in the world, moved the S&P by 6 points, or about 0.3%, just because of an HFT "server software malfunction." Yes, the 9x regulatory, and highest in the world, leverage helps when just one hedge fund is mandated to move the entire market.



And the biggest sarcasm of all: Citadel's rogue selling wasn't a "2nd degree felony" but it was close, and was what CME dubbed a market "offense." From the CME:

    Pursuant to an offer of settlement in which Citadel Securities LLC (“Citadel”) neither admitted nor denied the rule violations upon which the penalty is based, on March 19, 2015, a Panel of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Business Conduct Committee (“Panel”) found that it had jurisdiction over Citadel pursuant to Rules 400 and 402 as the conduct occurred while Citadel was a CME member, and during an approximately one-minute period on June 3, 2013, Citadel entered a series of unintentional orders on the Globex electronic trading platform.

What exactly caused the "roiling"?

    This unintentional order entry activity was caused by a software malfunction in a server that Citadel used to route orders to the Exchange. As a result of this malfunction, Citadel resent to the Exchange for execution orders that had previously been filled, which in turn caused an atypical short-term increase in trading volume and impacted the price in the E-mini S&P Futures market.

And the penalty?

    The Panel concluded that Citadel thereby violated CME Rule 432.Q. In accordance with the settlement offer, the Panel ordered Citadel to pay a fine of $70,000.

Or what Citadel earns in about 100 milliseconds of market rigging.

And to think, all of these market rigging unpleasantness could have been avoided, if only Citadel's "software malfunction" had led to buying instead of selling.

Oh well, lesson learned.
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Offline RE

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Re: Singularity of the Dollar
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2015, 06:11:43 AM »
Singularity of the Dollar is now at #5 on r/Collapse on Reddit!

Also, my link posting of Oil Price Recovery: Too Much Too Soon from OilPrice.com is #1.  :icon_sunny:

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