When I Was Your Age, We'd Have A 7% Flux In An Hour

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I had to go back and do the math to see that the daily range on the S&P 500 was nearly 7%. It simply didn't feel like that volatile of a day. After the last several though, I suppose the intensely dramatic elsewhere simply isn't impressive in this environment anymore. Like an eight year old watching HBO, sex and violence in the market just doesn't impress anymore.
The Beard and The Bald wisely kept to the sidelines more this week. Their waning powers need recharging and the market has been dangerously close to finding their underground sanctuary/lair where chanting, black robe clad followers will summon the forces from below to rejuvenate their demonic powers. It means something when the new guy with the funny name gets more press than the high priests. (Yes, Cashcarry. We are looking at you). Seriously, what happened to Beard? Bland lectures, read from the podium in a tight vocal frequency band, and which were vastly overshadowed by the following Q&A session in which audience members provided all the good material. The week surely highlighted the dilution of executive charisma.
Say what you like about him, Greenspan could move markets, even in a crisis, just by stuffing his briefcase a bit more than normal on his way to the Fed meeting. He was like Jobs to Apple. The Beard is just too... Freshman year macro-professor for that. Your first three weeks you are stunned into a catatonic-like shock and awe (and he is kind of cute to boot, for an older guy) but by the midterm you don't buy half of what he says and you barely listen to the other half, instead waiting for that damn Thursday afternoon class to end already so you can head to the Union early.
Anyhow, the celestial alignment of options expiration didn't throw the earth out of its usual orbit. The S&P 500 almost totally flat. (-5.88 to close at 940.55). Not a bad way to slide into the weekend so you can ignore all that stuff about "American Sway" being diminished, and our Federal Officials being powerless. Until next week. Well, Monday of next week. Or Sunday if you trade futures.

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Not Everyone Convinced Former Trader Meant "It Wasn't A Question Of If I Was Going To Kill You, Just Of When" In A Figurative Sense

A year or so a go, commodities trader Vincent McCrudden was arrested for some things he put on a company website and some emails he sent out. The former involved an "execution" list containing the names of a handful of financial regulators, which he asked readers to aid him in crossing off ("I need your help," he wrote. "There are just too many for me alone"). The latter included an email to a CFTC staffer that noted: “You fucking corrupt piece of shit! I have let so many of you fucking corrupt mother fuckers off the hook for doing this to my life. You my friend are not getting away with this. I am going to do this my way now and you, you corrupt mother fucking piece of shit are the first on my list! laugh mother fucker…I am going to make you a test case!” To that end, the chief operating officer of the NFA was told, “It wasn’t ever a question of ‘if’ I was going to kill you, it was just of when." Were these emails particularly colorful? Yes. Should anyone who received them (or had their name placed on The List) been actually worried about losing his/her life? McCrudden could see how maybe things might have been interpretted that way, but no. As he told a judge, “I wrote provocative language on my website that could have been perceived as threatening. I would never intentionally hurt or cause bodily harm to another human being." And yet, this is still happening: Vincent P. McCrudden, a former New York commodities trader, was sentenced to two years and four months in prison for threatening to kill federal financial regulators. McCrudden, 51, who pleaded guilty last year, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Denis R. Hurley in federal court in Central Islip, New York...McCrudden said he was being persecuted for fighting back against unfair regulatory actions that destroyed his career. In addition to trading commodities, he ran his own hedge funds...McCrudden’s legal and regulatory entanglements began in 2000, when he was criminally charged with masking shortfalls in statements to his hedge-fund investors. The government said he included in his results money he expected to get from a lawsuit after Sumitomo Corp. (8053) was accused of manipulating the copper market. Ex-Trader McCrudden Gets 28 Months in Prison for Threats [Bloomberg]