The Mind-Numbing Euphemism: Providing Liquidity

A euphemism, as you all know, is a pleasant sounding expression substituted for an unpleasant or offensive expression on sensitive topics. I think they are best explained by offering a few examples, which I do for you in the hope that it will loosen you up so that you won’t shove hot pokers in your eyes when you read the linked-to Reuters story further on. I am very tired of the euphemism, Providing Liquidity. And by the way, so are most on the buy-side. Here is Will Psomadelis, of Schroeder Investment Management:


“I fail to understand how we will benefit from the maker-taker model that Chi-X is proposing when you really evaluate the true impact of artificial liquidity and artificially compressed spreads,” he adds.” Read more here: Artificial Liquidity Can Work Against Institutional Traders

Ok, to loosen you up:

Euphemism Examples:

–           Winning (Spending $500k in a few months on coke and whores, blowing your incredibly generous TV gig, endangering yourself and family, being a source of amusement and ridicule, destroying your family name)

            –           Charming (throw away)

–           Hook Up (have crazy college sex)

–           Establish Clear Boundaries (tell someone to eff off).

–           Chilean Sea Bass (Patagonian Tooth-Fish)

–           Sweetbread (Thymus Glands)

–           Downsizing (firing)

–           Pre-owned (used)

–           Enhanced Interrogation (torture)

–           Revenue Enhancement (tax)

–           Wardrobe Malfunction (look at my breast with a pasty on it)

–           Glow (sweat)

–           Ethically-challenged (A Congressman)

–           Lobbyist (One who offers bribes, but went to a good college)

–           Quantitative Easing (Money Printing)

–           Contingent Convertible (A Way to get Around Bank Capital Standards if the sh$t hits the fan).

And now, hoping you are loose, and have removed hot pokers from your general vicinity:

–           Providing Liquidity: The evolution of the SOES bandits in the 1990’s into DATEK, ISLD, NSDQ, and finally Big HFT firms who run ahead of your orders. You bid $21.04, six of them bid $21.05 and take stock up to $21.18. This automated sludge is now somehow Providing Liquidity, because it has been repeated often enough. They didn’t provide you liquidity; they screwed you and provided you heartburn. And as we all knew they would they are actually meeting with regulators and claiming that if anyone attempts to stop them, they won’t provide their liquidity anymore. Read the article here:


If You Regulate Us We Won’t Provide Liquidity Wahhhh

By the way, Jack Vensel, the gentleman towing that party line in the above article, is a friend of ours from back in our Instinet days. I fondly remember grabbing a cup of Timothy’s coffee with him many mornings outside on Broad Street as well. He is a good man, and a great salesman. Citigroup is lucky to have him. The Messenger does not equal the message.

Oh yeah. Almost forgot. Here is yet another in a slew of examples of how their “liquidity provision” is healthy for the market. I give you a visual example of our exportation of our market structure to the rest of the world:

Where we left off 4:00pm EST:

INDU                     12,066.80                                              +8.78

SPX                        1,308.44                                                +2.11

CCMP                    2,748.07                                                +10.66

Futures now at 7:00 am EST:

DJA                                        +93 

SPA                                        +12.10

NDA                                       +19.25

Key Data out today:


08:30:                    Initial Jobless Claims

08:30:                    Continuing Claims

09:45:                    Bloomberg Consumer Confidence

10:00:                    ISM non-manufacturing


Since the prior close, some key stories:


–       Stocks Rise as Emerging Markets gain for Fifth Day (Bloomberg)

–       Hugo Chavez, Ghadaffi, and Charlie Sheen walk into a bar..

–       Ghadaffi says there are no protests; there is no uprising.

–       Ghadaffi bombs rebels who are not uprising.

–       iPad II introduced, and we all pray for Steve Jobs. Seriously.

–       World Food Prices Climb to a Record; Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) stated that Feb Food Price Index was again at an all-time high at 236.0 vs. 230.7 prior (eight Consecutive MoM rise)

–       KEY has held talks with Toronto Dominion (+4%)

–       Brazil policy makers RAISE rates.

–       Saudi Arabian index has lost 20% in 13 consecutive down days.

–       Gartner cuts its 2011 PC market growth forecast to 10.5 percent from 15.9 percent, and 2012 growth forecast to 13.6 percent






After the Close: MRVL, NOVL, TNE, ALJ, COO, PETM 


Significant Movers This Morning:

SYKE +32%, SHZ +14%, WEBM +10%, NLST +5%, ZUMZ +5%, KEY +4%, FDO-3%, OPK -8%, SIGM -8%, MGN -6%