Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for March 7th, 2010

Dark pools and dreck pools

Posted by Charles II on March 7, 2010

Kevin Brown of FT has an important article here (FT asks that one not quote their articles, and the link requires login. I can guarantee that free access to FT is worth every penny and then some.)

The gist of the article is that Asians are increasingly taking trading off the floors of the exchanges and executing them privately. This practice, which is worldwide, is incredibly dangerous, adding the the already impulsive gambling style of stock market transactions which are for no obvious reason called “investment.”

These private transactions are called “dark pools.” They could allow, for example, an insider to dump his shares outside of normal trading hours and ahead of an announcement. They facilitate tax evasion, trading of phantom shares, over-leveraging (using an asset to back more borrowing than is warranted), and so on. Unfortunately, the author only cites vague regulatory concerns.

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Completely unrelated, Joseph Menn has an interesting piece about busting the Mariposa botnet and other computer criminals. Prior to Mariposa, Wired’s blogger Kevin Poulsen was less impressed by the threat of botnets, as was Ryan Singel, but it’s not clear whether this has changed their minds.

Posted in computers and software, financial crisis, stock market | 14 Comments »

For the record

Posted by Charles II on March 7, 2010

I know you know this, but you should read it just to keep your adrenal glands in good working order.

Barry Sussman, Nieman Watchdog:

Comes now (Feb. 26-28) a McClatchy/Ipsos poll of 1,076 people that on first glance offers rocks to sling at Obama. The lead question asks, “As of right now, do you favor or oppose the health care reform proposals presently being discussed?” Forty-one percent said they favored them, 47 percent said they were opposed, and the rest said they were unsure. Those are numbers the Republican leaders could work with.

But the pollsters went a step further, asking those opposed – 509 people in all – if they were against the proposals because they “don’t go far enough to reform health care” or because they go too far. Thirty-seven percent said it was because the proposals don’t go far enough. Thus – are you ready for this? – the addition of an obvious, simple follow-up question completely turns the tables. The overall numbers switch to 59 percent in favor of health care reform, 30 percent against. Putting aside those with no opinion, it becomes 66 percent in favor of health care reform, 34 percent against.

What happens to nations where most of the people are dissatisfied with their government most of the time, and are powerless to elect leaders who will actually change things? Some have revolutions, but most just decompose. They lose strength and direction and purpose and wealth until, at the end, criminals and dictators hold power and rule by the force of the gun.

Posted in Media machine, mediawhores, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer | 2 Comments »

 
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