Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Peering Out of the Bunker of Doom

I'm cautiously peering out of the Bunker of Doom, wishing the AR in my hands was a BAR.  Nobody rioting.  Nobody with ruck sack and a rifle slung over their shoulder.  No MRAPs.  Just a normal summer evening.

China's markets lost again today.  They're down over 32% from the peak of the bubble.  Bayou Renaissance Man points out that they're on the virtually the same slope as the US crash of 1929.   Estimates are that the total amount of wealth that has vanished in China totals $3.2 Trillion, which is approximately the GDP of the UK

It's spreading.  The commodities China has been buying - to fund its mal-invested State Run Enterprises that do things like build cities with no inhabitants - are now sitting.  Peter points out that iron ore is down 10%.  Copper is down 15% in the last 60 days.  Chinese steel is cheaper than cabbage.  Silver is at five year lows.

The market shutdown on the NYSE was unsettling.  Zerohedge has the post mortem,
What began as a glitch in pre-market trading turned into the NYSE's longest trading halt since Hurrican Sandy battered the East Coast. The ever-increasing complexity of US equity markets combined with an ever-decreasing pool of greater fools leaves windows open on down days (for it appears these 'glitches' only ever occur on down days) for markets to break. While NYSE traders defended the very market structure they have abhorred in the past as evidence that today was "not a failure," we can't help but find CNBC's Scott Wapner's amusing remark that "if retail investors want low cost liquid trading they are going to have learn to live with it" the perfect post-mortem for a rigged system brimming with confident insiders ever excited to take mom-and-pop's money.
ZH also speculated that we could be seeing what cyberwar looks like:
After a series of cyber failures involving first UAL, then this website, then the NYSE which is still halted, then the WSJ, some have suggested that this could be a concerted cyber attack (perhaps by retaliatory China unhappy its stocks are plunging) focusing on the US. So we decided to look at a real-time cyber attack map courtesy of Norsecorp which provides real time visibility into global cyber attacks.

What clearly stands out is that for some reason Chinese DDOS attacks/hackers seem to be focusing on St. Louis this morning.
Mrs. Graybeard finds links that St. Louis is actually a headquarters of the folks who research hacking attacks, and they put out honeypots to catch them.  Naturally, that will make it look like they're concentrating on St. Louis.  I mean, the NYSE really isn't even in New York anymore, not all of it.  But St. Louis?  Unless their going after Anheuser Busch...

So reassured the Zombies haven't started shuffling, and feeling simultaneously relieved yet somehow slightly depressed that it looks like I go to work tomorrow, I flip the happy switch to SAFE, drop the magazine and eject the round from the chamber. But I'll be watching the markets a bit more closely tomorrow.


  1. I'm wondering if there wasn't an alert of some sort indicating particular targets, and those targets decided to upgrade security without fully testing the changes which broke some code. Well, a lot of code....

  2. Three letters describe the target in St. Louis:

    More here:

    Courtesy of Ann Barnhardt.

  3. The USGov personnel files are stored in St. Louis AFAIK

  4. The "market shutdown" was no such thing. Oh, the NYSE shut down. On a good day, they handle between 10% and 12% of the trades involving NYSE-listed stocks. And pushing that 10% to the other venues... not an issue.

    Everyone - from the 24 hour news feeds, to the preppers - wanted this to be "the balloon going up" or something. But it was a NON-ISSUE. Really.

    The NYSE hasn't been all that since before the 9/11 attack. And the shutdown that caused (together with the Great Chicago Flood of the late 80s or early 90s that knocked out the Chicago Board of Trade, Midwest Stock Exchange and the Mercantile Exchange) convinced people (finally) to look at "modes of failure" and creating redundancies. And we have done that. A stupid configuration problem in NY is not going to stop the markets. It is not the end 'o the world. Not even close.

  5. I know St Louis holds all military records. They had a fire in 1973 that destroyed the records of those of us from M-Z, IIRC. I know mine - and my father's - were destroyed. He died in 1973, and when I attempted to get his records to correct an error on his headstone at what used to be Pinelawn National Cemetary (now Long Island National Cemetery) in New York, I was told his records were no longer available (mine too). Fortunately, in spite of many moves and boxes in storage, I discovered I had hard copies of the main documents for both of us.