A former Morgan Stanley financial adviser grabbed a bunch of confidential client data. Way to go, Morgan Stanley. The firm has long been rumored to have some of the weakest internal controls of the major brokerages. Regressing a couple of tech generations back to punch card data records might be an improvement. The only thing dumber than trying to openly sell an employer's proprietary data would be to sell it for Bitcoin.
JPMorgan Chase threw in the towel early when investors sued them for currency manipulation. I expect the other banks to follow JPM. It gives regulators a signal that settling their other probes into banks' bad behavior is the cool thing to do. Institutional investors can live with a given amount of wrongdoing as long as they get a payoff. Bank traders learn that anti-trust manipulation has no real consequence other than a slightly higher cost of doing business. The whole charade is pretty sick.
Many high-cost oilfields are about to turn off their pumps. The US rig count is turning into a downward spiral. The oil shale boom was fun while it lasted. The rookie wildcatters will take it on the chin because they aren't moving quickly enough to lay off workers and shut down wells. The drillers who have survived prior bear markets will hunker down as their dumber competitors disintegrate under the weight of high yield bonds they can't pay back. The biggest winners will be the oil supermajors who can shift production to their lower cost wells. I expect the majors to buy failed shale projects cheaply in 2015 just to book increases in their proven reserves.
I promised on New Year's Day that Alfidi Capital would continue its sarcastic tone. I shall not disappoint my readers.