Happy Halloween!

After China, my team trained our UK sales force in London. I have had an on-and-off love affair with London, there are times that I have never wanted to leave, and times when I never wanted to visit again. I am "on" again, hopefully for a very long time. The urge to go visit Botswana for some reason, seems to be gaining. Perhaps too much McCall Smith?

Some more market updates below (click here to jump there). Going back to my favourite topic of Low Latency, look at what we were able to do with our Blades and Reuters RMDS. Amjad "the machine" Khan did all the work and put these tables together.

1. The table below shows the most recent published RMDS numbers using Blades - SunBlades+Intel+Solaris vs. HPBlades+Intel+Linux. Both use 1GbE. Green cells are world record numbers. For some reason - and you can guess at this - Solaris is the only platform to date that is able to capture RMDS latency at 700,000 messages/sec.

2. This is an interesting comparison - its Solaris using GbE vs. Linux using IBvs. Linux using 10GbE. We did this just to see what we were up against, while we did our 10GbE benchmarks. Again, Linux seems to be missing at high message rates with IB, and good old 1GbE with Solaris beats 10GbE with Linux at high throughput rates.

Oct 13
- Morgan Stanley stock nearly doubles after Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (MUFG) completes its $9 billion investment in the bank on Monday.
- Markets globally up - Europe, Japan, HK, Korea, Thailand, India jump at prospect of Governments intervening.

Oct 14
- President Bush announces a $250 billion plan by the government to directly buy shares in the nation's leading banks, saying the drastic steps are "not intended to take over the free market but to preserve it."
- UK Government announces emergency plan to rescue RBS, HBOS and Lloys TSB by taking a stake in the banks in return for GBP37B in cash. The FTSE-100 climbs 8.26%, Dow Jones 6.89%. Barclays, HSBC and Standard Chartered say "thanks but no thanks", worried about being "hobbled" by the government.
- US government release plan to take equity stakes in 9 banks - Goldman, Morgan Stanley, JPMC, Bank of America, Merrill, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Bank of New York Mellon and State Street.
- Spain's Banco Santander SA buys US's Soverign Bancorp
- GBP is worth USD1.74, Euro is worth USD1.36

Oct 15
- Fears of a global recession clobber markets globally - UK down 7.2%, US 7.9%, Russia 9.3%, France 6.8%, Gernmany 6.5%, Hong Kong 5%, Shanghai Composite 1.1%.

Oct 16
- Hungary currency and market falls sharply, 5.3% and 11.9% respectively. Similar trends follow in Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Ukraine.
- Bank run on Globex, a mid-size retail bank in Russia spans fears of widespread panic. It loses 15% of its deposits, this following 13% in the previous month.
- KBC Group, the only major Belgian Bank not asking for a government rescue, takes E1.6B in write-downs on CDO investments, and warns of E900M loss. Its shares drop 19%, total of 61% for the year.

Oct 17
- Swiss central bank plans to take USD60B of toxic assets off UBS's balance sheet, and to invest USD5.3B for a 9% stake.
- Credit Suisse rejects a capital injection from the Swiss government, instead opts for private equity of USD9B from the Qatar Investment Authority.
- Citi posts a USD2.82B quarterly loss, making it about USD20B for the year so far. Merrill loses USD5.15B for the quarter, for a grand total of USD23.8B this year.
- South Korean currency suffers its worst one-day plunge in a decade, falling 9.7%. This is on the heel of the S&P putting seven Korean banks on its negative watch list, citing growing foreign currency funding pressure.
- Bank of England curbs disclosure of emergency borrowing and reduces the penalty charged on overnight loans in a bid to repair its money-market operations and eliminate the stigma on central bank assistance. The new standing facility, which allows banks to borrow from the central bank overnight, will carry a penalty rate of 25 basis points, down from the previous standard of 100 basis points. A record of each month's average borrowing from the facility will be published the following month, a change from the current policy of publishing the borrowing on a daily basis.
- Oil drops to USD69.85/barrel.
- GBP is worth USD1.72, Euro is worth USD1.34

Oct 20
- The Netherlands inject USD13.4B into ING.
- South Korea announces a USD100B guarantee on foreign currency loans, and a USD30B infusion into the Korean banking system.

Oct 22
- Wachovia announces a $23.9 billion third-quarter loss on Wednesday as it prepares to be taken over by Wells Fargo. Wachovia projected an additional $26.1 billion in mortgage-related losses in 2009. And it only wrote down a tiny portion of its $219 billion commercial real estate and corporate loan portfolio. Analysts expect that to significantly deteriorate as the economy plunges into a recession.

Oct 23
- Once the world's most powerful man, the champion of free markets, Alan Greenspan admits he had put too much faith in the self-correcting power of free markets, admitting to making mistakes during his tenure. Scary stuff.

Oct 24
- PNC Bank buys National City, US Treasury facilitates the deal by providing USD7.7B to PNC in capital. Why? A part of the US bailout package is now being used to eliminate smaller "weaker" players from the market. This is the government trying to reshape the market - while trying to preserve it. They have also created tax incentives to encourage these acquisitions - PNC will be able to write down all losses on the books of National City, amounting to several billion dollars.
- Markets get hammered globally - South Korea down 11%, Japan 9.6%, Hong Kong 8.3%, Singapore 8.3%, India 11%, UK and Germany 5% each, US 3.6%.
- Oil falls to USD64.15/barrel even after OPEC decides to cut production.
- Currencies fall globally, as investors move monies into USD and the Yen. GBP falls to USD1.63, Euro to USD1.26. Yen reaches a 13-year high against the USD, causing headaches for Japanese exporters as a stronger Yen will make their products more expensive overseas.

Oct 28
- Japanese government considers intervening to stop the continued rise of the Yen (a stronger Yen makes Japanese exports more expensive overseas). One reason for the rise is the reversing of the "carry trade", in which investors borrow money from a country with low interest rates (Japan in this case) to invest it in other countries with higher interest rates. Due to the current market volatility, these traders are now unwinding these carry trades, buying Yen to return them, thus making the Yen stronger. If the government does intervene, it will do so by selling Yen thus stabilizing the currency.
- Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan's largest bank, says that it needs to raise USD10.7B in capital. It will do so by issuing preferred and ordinary stock.

Oct 29
- Dow Jones jumps up 10% on hopes of a fed rate cut possibly to 1%.

Oct 30
- Sumitomo Mitsui, Japan's second largest bank, announces a 63% drop in revenues for the current fiscal year.
- The International Monetary Fund announces a USD100B loan pool for countries "that are in trouble but are basically sound". These loans would be for a three month period, and come without the stringent restrictions that the IMF usually imposes on its loans.
- UK government sits on a loss of GBP2.3B, as HBOS and RBS plan to issue new shares based on its underwriting. The market price falls below the issue price, making these shares unattractive in the primary markets.

Oct 31
- Last day of one of the worst month in the global stock market history closes with most markets up. Happy Halloween!


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