Trump: “We Have A Military Option For Venezuela”

Having made the week for Vix buyers quite profitable, President Trump – whose North Korea rhetoric sent market volatility soaring in the past week – appeared ready to spread the love among long-suffering oil bulls, when on Friday afternoon Trump refused to rule out a U. S. military intervention in Venezuela, and said that the US has a military option in the insolvent, quasi civil war Latin American nation.
“I’m not going to rule out a military option,” Trump told reporters at his New Jersey golf club discussing recent events in Venezuela. “We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option, if necessary,” Trump said after a meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.
The president did not answer whether American troops would lead that potential operation.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 11, 2017.

Mueller Impanels Grand Jury In Russia Probe, Donald Trump Jr. Subpoenaed

Update: Reuters adds that Grand Jury subpoenas have been issued in connection with the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Russian Lawyer and others.
* * *
Stocks slumped, and VIX spiked following news that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, the WSJ reports, adding that “this is a sign that his inquiry is growing in intensity and entering a new phase.” The grand jury is said to have begun work in recent weeks, suggesting Mueller’s inquiry is ramping up and “that it will likely continue for months.”
Some details: “grand juries are powerful investigative tools that allow prosecutors to subpoena documents, put witnesses under oath and seek indictments, if there is evidence of a crime. Legal experts said that the decision by Mr. Mueller to impanel a grand jury suggests he believes he will need to subpoena records and take testimony from witnesses. “This is yet a further sign that there is a long-term, large-scale series of prosecutions being contemplated and being pursued by the special counsel,’ said Stephen I. Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas. ‘If there was already a grand jury in Alexandria looking at Flynn, there would be no need to reinvent the wheel for the same guy. This suggests that the investigation is bigger and wider than Flynn, perhaps substantially so.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 3, 2017.

Tillerson Warns Russia “Coalition Steps Are Underway To Remove Assad”

VIX was being crushed and stocks were leaking higher just as planned, until Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hit the tape beating war drums and announcing a new US policy on Syria, just a week after he said the US had no interest in removing the Syrian president.
Specifically, Tillerson said that steps are underway to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and that the U. S. is considering an “appropriate response” to the Syrian government’s alleged use of chemical weapons.
“The process by which Assad would leave is something that requires an international community effort both to first defeat ISIS within Syria, to stabilize the Syrian country to avoid further civil war and then to work collectively with our partners around the world through a political process that would lead to Assad leaving,” Tillerson said at the news conference in Palm Beach, Fla.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 6, 2017.

Something Strange Emerges When Looking At A Congresswoman’s Daytrading Records

While we have often heard that members of Congress, who are not only exempt from insider trading oversight, are also ardent daytraders we had never seen it in action. Until now.
The following publicly filed monthly Periodic Transaction Report by Democrat Congresswoman, Judy Chu, shows us just how pervasive daytrading is not only for algos, but for those who supposedly are paid to serve their constituents. What is interesting is the size of the trades – between $1,000 and $15,000 each, this is not some novice, penny pincher; what is even more interesting are the underlying securities of choice: volatile, and levered, calls and puts on not only the S&P500, but also on some of the most volatile securities out there, such as the VIX.
Here are some examples of the trades in question (the latest full report can be found here):

This post was published at Zero Hedge on AUG 2, 2016.

Trouble Ahead? KKK & African American Group Plan Opposing Protests At South Carolina Capitol

Submitted by Christopher Cole via Artemis Capital Management,
The extraordinary market intervention by China in response to their declining market, coupled with further ‘kick the can down the road’ policies by the EU regarding Greece, resulted in the greatest collapse in the history of the VIX index (which is still ongoing as I write). Over the past five days and counting the VIX has fallen -40% from 19.97 to 12.11. To gain perspective on moves in volatility Artemis ranks consecutive drawups and drawdowns (peak-to-trough or trough-to-peak % moves by day) in the VIX index and models them as a power law distribution. While the concept may be obscure to grasp at first the ramifications of the analysis are enlightening.
What is a power-law distribution? The distributions of a wide variety of physical, biological, and human phenomena follow what is known as a power-law distribution. Examples include earthquakes, deaths in war and terrorism, populations of cities, solar flares, word frequencies in language, movie box office receipts… and financial asset price movements up and down over multiple days. Supernormal Power-Law Violations: When you rank events from the above natural and human phenomena the vast majority of observations follow the power-law distribution perfectly- however the violations of the function are the most interesting. Power-law violations are true black swans or supernormal observations because their results contain a degree of reflexivity that outside the boundary of what would be expected from an exponential growth function. Examples of supernormal violations in power laws across other phenomena include death counts in WWII ranked among all wars, box office receipts of the movie Titanic, the 9.2 Magnitude 1960 Chilean Earthquake, the population of Tokyo, the 1987 Black Monday Crash, and the 9/11 terror attack in NYC.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 07/18/2015 –.

The Greatest Collapse In The History Of The VIX Index

Submitted by Christopher Cole via Artemis Capital Management,
The extraordinary market intervention by China in response to their declining market, coupled with further ‘kick the can down the road’ policies by the EU regarding Greece, resulted in the greatest collapse in the history of the VIX index (which is still ongoing as I write). Over the past five days and counting the VIX has fallen -40% from 19.97 to 12.11. To gain perspective on moves in volatility Artemis ranks consecutive drawups and drawdowns (peak-to-trough or trough-to-peak % moves by day) in the VIX index and models them as a power law distribution. While the concept may be obscure to grasp at first the ramifications of the analysis are enlightening.
What is a power-law distribution? The distributions of a wide variety of physical, biological, and human phenomena follow what is known as a power-law distribution. Examples include earthquakes, deaths in war and terrorism, populations of cities, solar flares, word frequencies in language, movie box office receipts… and financial asset price movements up and down over multiple days. Supernormal Power-Law Violations: When you rank events from the above natural and human phenomena the vast majority of observations follow the power-law distribution perfectly- however the violations of the function are the most interesting. Power-law violations are true black swans or supernormal observations because their results contain a degree of reflexivity that outside the boundary of what would be expected from an exponential growth function. Examples of supernormal violations in power laws across other phenomena include death counts in WWII ranked among all wars, box office receipts of the movie Titanic, the 9.2 Magnitude 1960 Chilean Earthquake, the population of Tokyo, the 1987 Black Monday Crash, and the 9/11 terror attack in NYC.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 07/18/2015 –.

The “Crazy Ivan” Playbook: How To Time A Near-Term Market Bottom

From Nick Colas of Convergex
Just when you think the selloff couldn’t get any scarier, it did. The last hour of trading took over 1% out of the S&P 500 in rapid fashion, reportedly on fears of an Ebola check at a major U. S. airport. Today we offer up a ‘Top 10′ list of specific markets and indicators to watch for signs of a near term market bottom. They include the CBOE VIX Index (key levels at 26 and 32), the action in small cap stocks and crude oil, and the dollar. Less quantifiable issues – but important nonetheless – are headlines related to Ebola (probably getting worse before better), 10-year Treasury bond yields (2.0% and 1.5% possible here), and European policymakers addressing a host of difficult monetary and fiscal policy issues. Bottom line: this is unlikely to be a dramatic ‘V-bottom’ low given the range of issues of concern to investors. Look for the majority of our ‘Top 10′ to stop going down before calling a bottom.
‘Too late to sell, too early to buy’. That old market aphorism captures the current state of play in U. S. equity markets and to a great extent stocks around the world. Today’s selloff, on a supposedly light volume half-holiday with U. S. bond markets closed, felt like a brick thrown through a window at about 3pm. Those with a technical inclination to their analysis don’t like the fact that the S&P closed below its 200 day moving average of 1905. Fundamentally oriented investors wonder how stocks could implode when they are so ‘Cheap’. Safe to say: no one is happy.
Another bit of market wisdom, told to me by the smartest (and richest) boss I have ever had: ‘Don’t make things harder than they have to be.’ That statement is the essence of good trading: listen to the market, respect what it has to say, and position capital accordingly. Investing, by contrast, is a bit of a hair shirt and ashy smudges on the face endeavor. Investors know they will feel some pain when things go against them. They stick with their positions and hope/expect them to prove correct. Traders know that that if they are feeling pain, something has gone wrong.
Right now, the discipline of the trader beats the faith based approach required of the investor, so let’s go with that. And hair shirts make me itch. ‘Sit tight, be right’ is for analysts. And bull markets.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 10/14/2014.