Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday Tidbits - World Cup and Some Links

As I gear up for a big rant that's coming...just wait

I watched many World Cup games this weekend - almost all of every game, except for the 7:30am games.   Sadly, they were largely boring, which isn't atypical for the first games in the first round. Things should get better. I think the officials have been spectacular.  I mean - really amazing.  I haven't seen one call, even in high definition slow motion, that I think was obviously wrong - although Autralia's Tim Cahill's straight red card may have been a little harsh.  Even that, though was kinda the product of several hard challenges Cahill had earlier - although the proper thing to do would have been to caution him for those.

Kudos to announcer Efan Ekoku for using the tremendous phrase "shot by a sniper" to describe one player who took a dive.  That needs to be used much much more.  And wasn't it surprising to see the tough Germans, who are not known for their dramatically enhanced dives,  get two yellow cards for "simulation" - that's "taking a dive" in English.  Of course the two players on the German team who got the yellow cards were from Turkey and Brazil originally. 

Some quick links:

1) Vegas Rex: When Newspapers Attack - a lot of interesting thoughts about what passes for "blogging" these days, and what it means to be a blogger and create actual content.

side note: I'm predicting right now that in the next few weeks, you will see a blog that tends to favor hype over substance ranting about the NYSE's weekly Program Trading stats.  The numbers will be off the charts as a result of June expiration, and the annual Russell Reconstitution, which is the biggest program trading event of the year.  Goldman will probably dominate the statistics, and a lot of the shares will show up as principal trading, since this is a trade where customers ask for capital commitment.  I'm just saying - it's totally predictable, and not even unusual, now we'll see how it gets spun...



nerkul said...

hey well done on sounding like you get football

EconomicDisconnect said...

I think that Vegas Rex piece should be required reading, very thoughtful essay

While you are right about Zero, I mean some blog, what I think you miss is that 98% of the United States "investors" has ZERO idea about HFT, Algos, etc and so it strikes a chord. I have always wondered what would happen if grannie and garndpa saw what was doen witrh their "nest egg" and at least some light is being allowed on the games being played.

We all have to watch our own bias and blind spots; I think mine are pretty clear but the same one that I come across many places is that anyone other than hard core insiders or heavy duty market watchers know what the F^%K is going on with their cash. Nobody cares as long as it goes up and that allows plenty of wiggle room. Most folks I know (biotech/pharma; not dumb but not versed in things money) think all kinds of innocent thoughts about Wall Street but are now handing them the walking papers.

Kid Dynamite said...

gyc - here's my main point about HFT. remember the scene in Hunt for Red October - where the russian captain turns to the other guy and says " you arrogant ass - you've killed US!"

well, that's what we'll all be saying if ZH's crusade to turn the market clock back 20 years succeeds. all i can say is what i've been saying the entire time - it has NEVER BEEN BETTER for poor ignorant retail investors to execute orders.

the myth that HFT traders are stealing all your money is perhaps, literally, the greatest spread of mis-information currently happening in the markets. Literally.

Yes - there are computers trying to make TENTH OF A FUCKING PENNY on each and every one of your trades. IT DOESN"T FUCKING MATTER. in the old days, there were market participants trying to make 25c or more on the same trades. it is IMPOSSIBLE to eliminate - you pay a spread when you trade - it's a simple fact of markets - unless, again, as i've said many many times, we went to one big, consolidated, DARK pool market. of course, ZH is anti-dark pool too, because that generates more page views.

EconomicDisconnect said...

Wow, no need to yell. I never debated the ACTUAL effect of that stuff, its small, what I was trying to point out is ask a regular guy on the street (not Wall Street) how they feel about that and they get really pissed. The details dont matter, but the response does. I think flows into funds have been negative for a while from John Q public and all that crap has plenty to do with it.
Not everyone is an experienced trader, you know?

Kid Dynamite said...

no no - i'm not yelling at you - but this is PRECISELY the point. the average Joe is mad because they've been MISINFORMED in the name of - what? page views? media? politics i'm not just talking about ZH here -i'm talking about politicians, mass media - that's how it works. you have to write a fancy story (HELLO MATT TAIBBI!). you have to prey on ignorance.

why is it that i'm the only person in the world who writes the story that says that things have never been better for retail investors? this isn't my opinion - this is factual. I firmly believe it 100%. I am not pushing any agenda - i have nothing to gain - i'm a fucking lazy- world- cup watching garden-weeding riding -mower -driving live-free-or-dying retired dude.

but it doesn't tell as good a STORY. i don't get as many page views. i don't sell as many newspapers.

FEAR gets press.

that's why i wrote the piece "don't lose faith in markets, lose faith in market orders."

guess what - markets crash. they will crash again - because they are overvalued. NOT because human specialists have been replaced by computerized market makers. i am well aware that the current market structure is what enabled stocks to temporarily (KEY POINT!) trade down to insane levels - that's because people are not educated as to what market orders mean - we should educate them, instead of trying to scare them into believing that it's because of evil computers.. or.. DARK POOLS! omg!

you know why ACN traded to a penny? you fucktard? because you entered a MARKET FUCKING ORDER and there were no buy orders! DON"T ENTER A MARKET ORDER!

and no - again - i'm not yelling at YOU, gsc...

i like these last two rants of mine so much that i might make them into their own posts ;-)

Anonymous said...

I've been watching just about all of the World Cup and I know very little about soccer. A couple of observations: It's too difficult to score. I don't know how to change the game to make it easier without it then being a case of scoring too much. Two, the penalties for infractions are disproportionate to the offense. The handball by the Serbian player, near the goal, caused his team to give up a goal on a penalty shot, which cost his team the game, which might cost his team advancing to the second round. I understand its a big deal in soccer to touch the ball with your hand and this instance was certainly not an accident, but the penalty is absurd. Makes no sense to me. Last, once a goal is scored the game changes to one of just holding on because the team knows that just one goal, because it is so difficult to score, may very well be all that is needed.