Friday, 6 June 2014

Lightening fast stock trading in dark pools

The global stock markets have been reeling from the explosion in high frequency and lightening fast stock trading which are being conducted the the rather opaque dark pools of trading which are not under the purview of the stock exchanger of their regulator. These exotic out of sight and bound trading are are mainly played by few like Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, etc. the SEC and Finra are keen of expanding the volume, breadth and width of disclosures. As much as 36% of stock trading is being carried in these murky black holes.

Not much is known on the modalities of trading being carried out. We only wish these mysterious instruments and deals should not become weapons of massive financial destruction, which should further weaken the already fragile financial and banking systems in Europe and US.

Many large European banks are already under the lens of SEC. BNP And Credit Suisse have already been fined hefty penalties up to $ 10 bn for the former. BoFA is already slapped with a total penalty plus customer payments of about $ 18 bn.

All the above comes in the wake of a prolonged period of uneasy calm on the financial markets. The VIX, which is a measure of market volatility, has been stagnating at unusually low levels. This is compounded by extremely low bond rates since 2008 in US as evinced by the Feds Funds Rate Targets between 0 and 0.25%.  Europe is buffeted by below 0% real interest rates and strong deflationary conditions in about half of the nations. Japan is desperately trying to recover from low investment by reducing corporate tax rates.

The global financial markets are indeed precariously placed.  China and some of the other emerging markets like India and Indonesia seem to be the only economies which might try to offset the gloom and doom of the global financial markets

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Digital age and Singularity....

Today electronic surveillance cameras are obsequiously placed everywhere. Recording all our activities. On top of that millions of smart phones are capturing our images almost round the clock being artified by Instagram. All this too is being stored in the cavernous bowels of the Cloud which like Big Brother is watching every move of us a la Truman Show style.

All our calls are being recorded, every email, message and social network post is being saved for posterity so that it can be analysed anytime. Our daily movements are being tracked from the mobiles and car gps systems. Google knows more about us, our preferences, searches, chats, friends, predilections, hobbies, etc than even ourselves. With their mega algorhytmic  analytic tools, Google mows us more intimately than even our Mothers or partners.

Increasingly houses are becoming intelligent. All the consumer durables, the electric and electronic systems, computers, cars, food providers, etc will be in synch and human will not have to do menial tasks like buying vegetables, toiletry, groceries, etc. drones will deliver the automated orders. Seamless payments will be made from the bank accounts.

All this presages the Age of Singularity. As Kurzweil as predicted that by 2029 counters will surpass human beings in intelligence. And by 2045 the age of Singularity will be ushered in where all human decisions will be taken in the Cloud. Truly the dehumanisation of the human race will have been completed.

This will be the lifestyle of the mid and upper classes. The lower classes will be largely outside the pale of this rarified digital existence. This 80% of the population will still be the tiling classes doing all the dirty physical work so that the neo digitariti can lead their vacuous lives of pleasure while the cyber network takes all their decisions.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Future Shockean Trends 1-6-14 (work in progress)

  1. More single families in western world. In US and UK about 50% of households single and mothers single parent.
  2. Greater dependence of humans both single and others on digital devices. Movement towards living in the cloud. And towards Kurzweil's Age of Singularity when computers and robots take over.
  3. Intensifying global warming and extreme weather. In US, over the past three decades since 1983, the no of insurance claims over $ 1bn has increased from 26 to 38 and 63. Corresponding total claims have risen from $ 131 bn to $ 183bn and $ 485 bn. 
  4. Most economies are living on high octane debt and deficit financing. Both cities / states and nations are facing various degrees of bankruptcies. Living on borrowed time and in the future. 
  5. Healthcare will become major problem. Costs spiralling. State and insurance cannot take care. Inspite of medical advances, new diseases and obesity are making things difficult. Cancer, alziemhers, prostrate, obesity, and hearth are on rampage. 

Post Covid World

Covid has suddenly thrust the planet to the inflexion point. It is a final wake up call for humanity. Civilisation has been on a suicidal ...