Alternative Thinking on CNBC's Wikipedia Problem, Hedge-Fund Herding, Spoofing Criminals, the Technology GROUNDFLOOR, and Hillary's Inevitability

October 26, 2015 03:11 PM

"A lot of things need to line up between now and December. It's not just the economic data;. It's a lot of market data, too."

The custodian is placing the celebratory balloons in the rafters of CNBC's studio just in case we see a hike in interest rates on Wednesday afternoon.

This week, the Fed Open Market Committee will hold its seventh meeting of 2015 to discuss monetary policy. Although economists don't anticipate a rate hike until December, the markets don't see more than a 50% chance of an increase until March 2016.

America's leading financial news channel is back in full "interest rate" coverage... as producers appear to believe that non-stop speculation (about something we already know won't happen) is good for ratings.

On Squawk Box this morning, CNBC senior economics reporter Steve Liesman discussed his love of FOMC meetings and monetary policy chatter, while feature interviewees piled in one-by-one to answer a variation of the same question.

"Will the Fed raise rates Wednesday? Will Janey Yellen raise in December?"

Anastasia Amoroso, global market strategist for JPMorgan Funds whose quote is cited above, see a hike "as a possibility," Matthew J. Belvedere writes

There's always anywhere between a 0% and 100% chance of a rate hike, so Amoroso is doing what everyone does these days on CNBC: Linguistical hedging.

CNBC has been focusing on this editorial question since the Fed announced an end to QE3 in late October 2014? That's a full calendar year of monetary policy meetings and no hint of normalization.

That is what makes Matt O'Brien's recent Wonkblog entry on about "rebellion at the Fed" one of those must-read pieces about the timing for a possible hike.

CNBC's Steve Liesman says that the best we're going to get out of this week's meeting is a clawback on some of the language from the last statement...

That said, be sure to listen to the comments about government jobs data around 1:29 mark in the video. Becky Quick and Liesman discuss the problem that "we're probably not measuring" jobs and economy the right way... 

Bingo! How can you have an unemployment rate of 5.1% when you still have workforce participation rate between 25-54 year olds that is anywhere from 2% to 5% lower than it was back in 2009?

Because the U-3 rate is a bizarre, cooked figure designed by-and-for politicians...

But the financial media continues to publish it in the headlines each day and cheers whenever it declines marginally -- even though it makes one want to bang your head on the desk when you dig deeper into the numbers.

And... speaking of Steve Liesman... who the hell over at CNBC is in charge of double-checking the Wikipedia pages of their on-air talent?

Below is a real snapshot of the introduction to Steve Liesman's Wikipedia profile that we snapped on Oct. 26 at 8:40 a.m.  

In fact, it's probably still live right now... are the odds that Rick Santelli is behind this Wikipedia trolling?

Probably higher than the 93.1% chance that CME FedWatch foresees of the Fed to not raise rates in 2015.

“There is some … herd mentality in hedge fund land.”

Over at Fortune, the cat is out of the bag.

The hedge fund bulls herded and ran to big gains.

But the stampede couldn't stop before the cliff...

A lot of big-name hedge funds have lost big due to the collapse of Valeant Pharmaceuticals' stock. In August, the stock sat 12th on Goldman Sachs' list of stocks favored most by hedge fund managers. Bill Ackman alone is down $2 billion on VRX stocks.

We've seen the stock go from a record high of $263, all the way down to $88.50 in a short period. It's now sitting around $116 per share.

The big hedge-fund herd losses aren't in VRX alone. Many of the top hedge fund stocks of 2015 were off more than 20% in the third quarter alone.

As Fortune's Stephen Gandel explains, this is a significant problem for pension funds that invest in hedge funds...

They end up way less diversified than they are led to believe.

"It doesn’t hurt that Joe Biden has ruled out joining the race."

According to the financial media on Monday and over the weekend, we should start calling Hillary Clinton... President Elect Hillary Clinton.

Whether it's MarketWatch...

Or Bloomberg... 

Or anti-Goldman Sachs crusader Matt Tiabbi at Rolling Stone...

Everyone is taking their cue from where most opinion originates these days...

From the foreign press...

And everyone was worried about hedge funds having a "herd mentality..."

Knowing how the American media works, it's just a matter of time before these same individuals begin referring to her as "Former President Elect" Clinton...

"The case will have so much technical detail that it is going to be very hard for the jury to understand the subject matter of the case."

Just a few blocks from our office, the U.S. government will be aim to prosecute the very first person alleged of criminal spoofing.

According to Reuters, prosecutors allege that Michael Coscia scam used spoof orders on commodity futures contracts to affect prices on the CME.

Coscia earned $1.6 million in three months of work.

Reuters breaks down the case, including the complications that center on the jury's ability to understand the technical nature of the alleged crime. 

"That’s why I want to introduce you to GROUNDFLOOR."

Finally, the Alpha Pages is proud to announce a new contributor to our content and focus on alternative investment. Dara Albright, a renowned speaker, writer, and influencer in the crowd-finance community, has introduced her recurring column on alternative investment platforms.

The company she profiles today is called GROUNDFLOOR, the first micro-lending community for real estate.

For a full breakdown of this platform and potential opportunities in the crowd-finance space, read this piece, and check back regularly for more of Dara's Albright.

That's all for today...

Check back tomorrow for more insight...

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