We still have not heard much more about Latour Trading since Zero Hedge’s article some months ago. The HFT space has as we know, attracted many new players, and the old investment banks are rapidly losing the dominance in this field. Latour Trading is the number one firm on the NYSE these days. What strategies they run, how much capital they actually need etc is almost impossible to gain knowledge of. One thing is sure though. The Trading space is rapidly changing, attracting many smart and creative people, but there remains many questions to ask with what these firms contribute with in terms of volume, liquidity, volatility and most importantly the “morality” of the strategies conducted. A must read article courtesy of,Douglas Faneuil, Dis magazine.
On Monday, October 10th something strange happened in the world of high finance: Goldman Sachs lost its crown. The news, despite trumpeting a major new player in the world of HFT, or high-frequency trading, got no coverage at all from popular media outlets, save for a mention on Matt Taibbi’s blog at RollingStone.com. Yet for anyone with an interest in our fragile economy, the development would have been noteworthy: a new, unheard of company listed as Latour Trading LLC had surpassed Goldman Sachs as the most active trader on the New York Stock Exchange. I googled “Latour Trading” as soon as I read the news. Besides Taibbi’s post and his original citation (hat tip to Zero Hedge), there wasn’t a single article about this new titan of Wall Street—just a few job postings for salaried positions starting at $175,000 (not including bonuses), a YouTube clip of its staff ringing NYSE’s opening bell a few weeks earlier, and up top a link to its homepage,latourtrading.com. When I clicked on the homepage, my browser window went white. I tried reloading it—still nothing. It’s a strange feeling, loading a blank web page; it doesn’t happen very often. So I checked the source code of the site. In its entirety it read:
Must watch weekend video with Mr Hudson.
As always, great insight, and a critical viewing of what’s going on. By Hudson, enjoy;
As first published in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
The easiest way to understand Europe’s financial crisis is to look at the solutions being proposed to resolve it. They are a banker’s dream, a grab bag of giveaways that few voters would be likely to approve in a democratic referendum. Bank strategists learned not to risk submitting their plans to democratic vote after Icelanders twice refused in 2010-11 to approve their government’s capitulation to pay Britain and the Netherlands for losses run up by badly regulated Icelandic banks operating abroad. Lacking such a referendum, mass demonstrations were the only way for Greek voters to register their opposition to the €50 billion in privatization sell-offs demanded by the European Central Bank (ECB) in autumn 2011.
The problem is that Greece lacks the ready money to redeem its debts and pay the interest charges. The ECB is demanding that it sell off public assets – land, water and sewer systems, ports and other assets in the public domain, and also cut back pensions and other payments to its population. The “bottom 99%” understandably are angry to be informed that the wealthiest layer of the population is largely responsible for the budget shortfall by stashing away a reported €45 billion of funds stashed away in Swiss banks alone. The idea of normal wage-earners being obliged to forfeit their pensions to pay for tax evaders – and for the general un-taxing of wealth since the regime of the colonels – makes most people understandably angry. For the ECB, EU and IMF “troika” to say that whatever the wealthy take, steal or evade paying must be made up by the population at large is not a politically neutral position. It comes down hard on the side of wealth that has been unfairly taken.
A democratic tax policy would reinstate progressive taxation on income and property, and would enforce its collection – with penalties for evasion. Ever since the 19th century, democratic reformers have sought to free economies from waste, corruption and “unearned income.” But the ECB “troika” is imposing a regressive tax – one that can be imposed only by turning government policy-making over to a set of unelected “technocrats.” (Full article here.)
And must watch video below.