Bits & Pieces
By John J. Lothian
Jim Kharouf and I are off to Washington, DC today to pay our respects to the CFTC and attend a “going away” affair for former Chairman Tim Massad. When he will actually leave is still a question, I am told.
The Brodsky Family Northwestern JD-MBA Fund Lecture Series will feature CFTC Commissioner Sharon Bowen on Monday, February 13, 2017 at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.
We are shooting for March 1 for our MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity event in Stockholm. We will have more details shortly, including a signup form and a new website to display all our previous videos. Stay tuned and put that on your calendar if you are in Stockholm.
The Future of FinTech
Nasdaq – MARKETinSITE
Against the backdrop of a volatile global political and economic climate, we see technological advancement and adoption of disruptive mediums moving at an aggressive pace. Which technologies are “winners” and where should you focus your energy? Here are several outlined in this new whitepaper by Nasdaq.
***JB: Note – Link takes you to a form. Fill out the form and you are given a link to the whitepaper.
Lead interview: Chris Giancarlo, acting chairman, CFTC
So for now, Giancarlo is focused on making sure the gears are well greased and
the “trains run on time” at the agency. “Until I hear otherwise, my job is to keep the CFTC operational and fulfill its core mission … until I hear otherwise from the White House.”
**JK: To get to the interview – Click to download the 1/27/17 issue of The Risk desk (The guy with the anvil). The story is on page 8.
FlexTrade Appoints Matthew York Product Owner – Fixed Income
FlexTrade Systems (@FlexTrade), a global leader in multi-asset execution and order management systems, today announced the appointment of Matthew York as Product Owner – Fixed Income. Based in the company’s London office, York will lead product and business development for FlexTrade’s fixed income EMS.
Dan Loeb: Trump will make hedge funds great again
Lawrence Delevingne – Reuters
U.S. hedge fund manager Dan Loeb is betting President Donald Trump will be good for investments thanks to his planned mix of tax cuts, reduced regulation and infrastructure spending.
“This environment is undoubtedly better for active investing – just as active investing was considered to be on its deathbed,” Loeb wrote in a letter to clients of his $15 billion Third Point LLC Wednesday.
***JB: Will this be in time to save the “much-maligned 2-and-20 fee model”
Why the Feds are Losing War on Fake Super Bowl Merchandise
Spencer Soper and and Scott Soshnick – Bloomberg
On Thursday, law enforcement officials will unveil piles of counterfeit jerseys, baseball caps, jackets and other sports merchandise seized in the previous year from online vendors, flea markets and stadium parking lots. Operation Team Player, timed for Super Bowl 51 on Sunday, makes for good TV and is designed to publicize the growing prevalence of fakes. It’s a problem that’s getting worse and harder to control.
****SD: Another aspect not really touched upon in this article: legitimate NFL merchandise can be stupidly expensive (and then there’s the exorbitant cost of attending an actual game).
Wednesday’s Top Three
Wednesday’s top read stories were led by the Wall Street Journal piece on what it’s like these days at Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Bank Beset by Grim Morale, Uncertain Profit Outlook. Second was on Nasdaq’s changes to eSpeed and the end of NLX, in
Nasdaq to overhaul its fixed-income trading business. Third went to Bloomberg’s piece Lesson of the Century: Most U.S. Stocks Can’t Even Beat a T-Bill
93,067,775 pages viewed; 22,328 pages; 203,470 edits
Derivatives ‘Big Bang’ catches market off guard; Unprepared counterparties risk being shut out of swaps business after March shake-up
Philip Stafford – FT
Almost a decade on from the financial crisis, a global deadline for reform of the $544tn derivatives market has triggered a last-minute scramble by hundreds of small banks, insurers and pension funds.
CME profit jumps 28 pct as trading volumes spike
CME Group Inc, the world’s largest futures market operator, reported a 28 percent jump in quarterly earnings, helped by a surge in trading volumes following the surprise election of U.S. President Donald Trump.
Cinnober Financial Technology: New Asian marketplace signing for Cinnober’s real-time clearing technology
Today, Cinnober (http://www.cinnober.com) announces that it has been selected by a new Asian marketplace for a sophisticated real-time clearing solution
Euronext and Biotech Bourse launch first quarterly barometer for biotech sector
Euronext today published its first “Biotech Barometer”, a new quarterly tool that offers an insight into major trends in biotechnology companies listed on Euronext markets. Designed in partnership with Biotech Bourse, the barometer shows performance indicators, investor interest and market sentiment specifically for this sector.
Deutsche Börse CEO probed over share purchase ahead of LSE talks
Philip Stafford – Financial Times
German criminal authorities are investigating Deutsche Börse’s chief executive over his purchase of shares in the exchange just weeks before it began talks with the London Stock Exchange Group about a EUR24bn merger.
The Short Seller Who Crushed Valeant Has Picked His Next Target
Andrew Left sure knows how to pick a fight. A little more than a year after his improbable takedown of Wall Street darling Valeant Pharmaceuticals, the blustery short seller is at it again. And the head of Citron Research is using the same blueprint as he sets his sights on TransDigm and its founder and Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Howley.
U.S. appeals court revives JPMorgan silver futures rigging lawsuits
Jonathan Stempel – Reuters
A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday revived three private antitrust lawsuits accusing JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) of rigging a market for silver futures contracts traded on COMEX.
DTCC Appoints Ann Shuman As General Counsel
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the premier post-trade market infrastructure for the global financial services industry, today announced that Ann Shuman, DTCC Managing Director and Deputy General Counsel, has been appointed General Counsel, effective February 1, 2017. Ms. Shuman assumes the General Counsel position from Larry Thompson, who is stepping down to serve full-time as Vice Chairman of DTCC.
Madoff: No one believed me when I tried to come clean
David K. Li – NY Post
Madoff stooges won’t have their convictions overturned
Bernie Madoff claims he tried to tell people as early as 2005 — three years before he was arrested — that his empire was nothing more than an elaborate pyramid scheme, according to a new documentary.
Wolverine Execution Services Enhances Options Algorithm Suite With The Addition Of Best-x Options For Spreads And New Vol And Twap Algorithms
Wolverine Execution Services (WEX), a leading provider of value added technology and execution services, today announced the ability to send complex orders to its Best-X options algorithm and the addition of two FIX based options algorithms, Vol and TWAP.
Energy-trading software startup gets $19 million from Citi, Goldman
John Pletz – Crain’s Chicago Business
Aquilon Energy Services, a small Lisle-based software company, has caught the attention of some very big players. The company raised $19 million from Citi, Goldman Sachs, Macquarie Group and Chicago-based Invenergy. Aquilon’s software helps buyers and sellers of contracts for electricity and natural gas reconcile those transactions after delivery. It’s a process that’s mostly done manually with spreadsheets, says Jeff Wagner, who founded the company about five years ago.
Japan Stock Exchange Invests in Risk Analytics Vendor OpenGamma
John Brazier – WatersTechnology
The Japan Exchange Group (JPX) has made its first investment in a fintech firm by taking a minority stake in derivatives risk analytics vendor OpenGamma.
Bloomberg Tradebook to Discontinue Foreign Exchange Business
Bloomberg to concentrate foreign exchange efforts through FXGO platform, Tradebook FX platform to be discontinued from March 1.
How Immigration Uncertainty Threatens America’s Tech Dominance; Trump’s public statements and executive order on immigration are already affecting how tech companies hire—and where they do business
By CHRISTOPHER MIMS – WSJ
Even before last Friday’s executive order on immigration, lawyers told Tim Wilson not to bother hiring a Vietnamese national—an expert in “nanoscale structured material”—for a Silicon Valley startup.
Itiviti introduces fully managed FIX infrastructure service
Itiviti, a world-leading technology provider for the capital markets industry, today announced the launch of Itiviti Managed FIX, a fully managed service that delivers an end-to-end connectivity platform.
Fintech Startups Want to Save One Key Page of Dodd-Frank
Companies argue Section 1033 preserves their right to pull data from customers’ bank accounts
By Telis Demos, WSJ.com
President Donald Trump said this week that his administration is going to do a “big number” on the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul and dismantle it. A brewing fight between financial startups and banks over one small section of the law shows how rancorous, and complex, this process could prove.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
CME Group Inc. Reports Strong Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2016 Financial Results
CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CME) today reported revenue of $913 million and operating income of $540 million for the fourth quarter of 2016. Net income was $373 million and diluted earnings per share were $1.10. On an adjusted basis, net income was $387 million and diluted earnings per share were $1.14. Financial results presented on an adjusted basis for the fourth quarters of 2016 and 2015 exclude certain items, which are detailed in the reconciliation of non-GAAP results.
OCC Announces Total Cleared Contract Volume Down Nine Percent In January
OCC, the world’s largest equity derivatives clearing organization, announced today that total cleared contract volume in January was down nine percent from January 2016 with 338,381,588 contracts. Average daily volume at OCC was down 14 percent from January 2016 with 16,919,079 contracts. OCC’s stock loan program reported strong volume numbers in January with year-to-date activity up 32 percent.
Dubai Mercantile Exchange starts 2017 with new open interest record
Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) said on Wednesday it reported a new open interest record of 40,505 lots for its flagship Oman Crude Oil Futures Contract following January trading 2017 activity.
FM: Integrate spot, derivative markets
Rajesh Bhayani – Business Standard News
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has proposed integrating the commodity spot and derivatives markets, stating in his Budget speech that the commodities markets require further reforms for the benefit of farmers. An expert committee will be constituted to study and promote creation of an operational and legal framework to integrate the spot and derivatives markets for commodities trading. E-NAM, the electronic integration of all Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) on a single national electronic platform, will be an integral part of such a framework. E-NAM, however, is yet to replicate Karnataka’s success in other states.
You Can Now Buy and Sell ‘WEED’ on the Toronto Stock Exchange
Jen Skerritt – Bloomberg
On Bay Street, Toronto’s equivalent of Wall Street, you can now buy weed. Rather, make that “WEED.” Amid what it says is a growing acceptance of Canada’s burgeoning medical-marijuana industry, Canopy Growth Corp., switched to the new four-letter stock ticker on the Toronto Stock Exchange Wednesday.
MGEX Has 5th-Best Month Of All-Time
MGEX, a Designated Contract Market (DCM) and Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO), has concluded the month of January with a total volume of 250,929, making it the 5th-best month in the history of the Exchange. This is also the highest January volume total, up 26 percent from the previous January record set in 2008.
Key figures SIX Swiss Exchange and SIX Structured Products
SIX Group Ltd
Trading turnover on SIX Swiss Exchange and SIX Structured Products Exchange totalled CHF 120.1bn in
EEX Trading Results For January 2017
In January 2017, European Energy Exchange (EEX) reached a volume of 291.1 TWh on its power derivatives markets (January 2016: 332.4 TWh).
Instinet adds unbundling tools to commission management platform; Instinet establishes a vendor search and credit tracker in response to buy-side feedback, ahead of unbundling requirements.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Instinet has established two new tools within its commission management platform designed in response to feedback from buy-side clients, ahead of MiFID II’s unbundling rules.
SGX partners NUS in Stock Pitch Competition for students to showcase equity research skills
Singapore Exchange (SGX) and the National University of Singapore Investment Society (“NUS Invest”) will jointly hold the next NUS-SGX Stock Pitch Competition on 13 February 2017.
Trump devaluation claims raise fears of global currency war
Shawn Donnan, Robin Harding and Katie Martin – Financial Times
The Trump administration’s willingness to break with tradition and comment about currency valuations has raised fears that the US might lead the world into a new round of currency wars, angering and unnerving allies.
BRIEF-President Trump to meet JPMorgan CEO Dimon and other CEOs on Friday
President Trump to meet with JPMorgan Chase CEO Dimon and other CEOs on Friday to discuss regulation, trade, other issues – CNBC, citing DJ
Stability Is Good for Business. Trump’s Whims Threaten It; One weekend came close to undoing the firm legal foundation on which U.S. business has thrived.
by Matt Levine – Bloomberg
In October 2016, Anthony Scaramucci compared the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule to Dred Scott v. Sandford, the 1857 U.S. Supreme Court decision protecting slavery and ruling that blacks couldn’t be citizens. “The left-leaning Department of Labor has made a decision to discriminate against a class of people who they deem to be adding no value,” said Scaramucci, a fund-of-funds marketer who was also an adviser and public supporter of Donald Trump’s campaign. And he said that, if elected, Trump would repeal the fiduciary rule.
Anthony Scaramucci Won’t Get Announced White House Role, Official Says
By MAGGIE HABERMAN – NY Times
Anthony Scaramucci, an investment firm founder and a Republican donor, will not be taking a senior job at the White House as previously announced, a senior administration official said Wednesday.
Investing and Trading
Europe’s Volatility Curve Is Getting Kinky Ahead of French Vote; Fillon’s woes force investors to wake up to French political risk
Garfield Clinton Reynolds – Bloomberg
France’s election is making Europe’s markets nervous.
Tidal Power Can Make the U.K. a Green Energy Leader
Mark Gilbert – Bloomberg
The U.K. government is mulling whether to support a 1.3 billion ($1.6 billion) proposal to build a tidal lagoon in South Wales. It should stop dithering and subsidize the project to help meet the country’s green energy goals, produce cheaper power, and establish Britain as the world leader in technology that harnesses the power of the tides to generate electricity.
Number of high earners in EU financial institutions rises sharply; Vast majority of those earning more than EUR1m were based in UK
Caroline Binham, Financial Regulation Correspondent – FT
The disparity of contentious bonus-cap rules across the European Union has been underscored by fresh official statistics that show a UK-based asset manager earned a EUR34m bonus compared with a base salary of EUR199,000.
Deutsche Bank shares drop after second full-year net loss; German bank hit by litigation charges and restructuring costs
James Shotter in Frankfurt – FT
Deutsche Bank shares dropped almost 6 per cent after it posted a second consecutive annual net loss, with its earnings for 2016 marred by a mixture of litigation charges and restructuring costs.
Quantitative Investment Management Wins Coquest Advisor’s 2016 CTA Challenge
CTA Program Tops Managed Futures Industry Competition for Second Year
Dallas-based Coquest Inc., a full service brokerage and alternative investment consulting firm, announced today that Quantitative Investment Management is the winner of the 2016 Coquest Advisors’ CTA Challenge, claiming the top rank for the second consecutive year. QIM’s Global Program finished the year with a 16.69% gain, beating out the other 21 Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA) programs competing, as well as outperforming the S&P 500 and other key performance indexes in a very tough year for the alternative asset management industry. The 2016 CTA Challenge, which officially ended at close of business on Dec. 31, 2016, recognizes and showcases top performing managed futures trading programs.
Liquidnet hires Dan Squires to focus on hedge funds
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Liquidnet has hired industry veteran, Dan Squires, as a sales director focusing on European hedge funds.
Aberdeen Sees $13.3 Billion in Outflows After Trump Victory
by Sarah Jones – Bloomberg
Aberdeen Asset Management Plc reported 10.5 billion pounds ($13.3 billion) of net outflows in its fiscal first quarter after Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential election victory dented sentiment toward emerging markets.
HSBC hires Deutsche Bank’s Laing to cover emerging markets ECM: sources
HSBC (HSBA.L) has hired former Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) executive Christopher Laing to cover emerging markets equity capital financing, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.
Bank Regulations Change Every 12 Minutes
Chris Skinner, TheFinanser – TABB Forum
Regulations are the big-ticket barrier to change in banking – they protect the banks from disruption and change. In fact, the only change factor in banking is regulation, says Chris Skinner. But the number of regulatory changes a bank has to deal with every day has increased from 10 in 2004 to 185 today.
CFTC’s Division Of Swap Dealer And Intermediary Oversight Issues Time-Limited No-Action Relief For Swap Dealers Doing Business in EU
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) today issued a time-limited no-action letter stating that, from February 4, 2017 to May 8, 2017, it will not recommend an enforcement action against a swap dealer (SD) that is subject to, and in compliance with, the margin requirements for non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives in the European Union (EMIR RTS) for failure to comply with the CFTC’s final margin rule (Final Margin Rule).
Federal Court In Florida Orders Joseph Charles DiCrisci To Pay More Than $2.9 Million In Disgorgement And A Civil Monetary Penalty For Engaging In Illegal, Off-Exchange Precious Metals Transactions
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that Judge William P. Dimitrouleas of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered an Order of Final Judgment by Default (Order) against Defendant Joseph Charles DiCrisci of Henderson, Nevada, an owner and principal of Oakmont Financial Inc. (Oakmont), for engaging in in illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions (see CFTC Complaint and Press Release 7317-16, February 3, 2016). The Court previously, on November 8, 2016, entered a Default Judgment Order against Oakmont (Oakmont Order).
ESMA Updates its Emir Q&A
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued today an update of its Q&A on practical questions regarding the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).
ESMA announces details of 2017 CCP stress test
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published today the framework for its 2017 pan-EU stress test exercise on central counterparties (CCPs). The exercise covers 17 EU CCPs including all products currently cleared by these CCPs and will assess the resilience and safety of the EU’s CCPs from a systemic risk viewpoint.
Swiss Fine RBS Unit Coutts Over 1MDB Money-Laundering Breaches
by Alan Katz – Bloomberg
Bank ordered to pay back 6.5 million francs in unlawful profit; Finma considering enforcement proceedings against employees
Switzerland’s financial regulator fined Coutts & Co. Ltd. for violating money-laundering rules and illegally profiting from transactions associated with Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
China’s traders at sharp end of bonus season
Quentin Webb – Reuters
As bonus season starts, China’s traders are at the sharp end. A retrenchment after 2015’s market crash means many brokerage staff are braced for smaller payouts. Off the trading floor, life looks better, but not sustainably so.
Trump, Xi to impact resource-dependent countries in 2017
Nikkei Asian Review
“Dr. Copper” — global economists often use this nickname as they keep a close watch on the metal’s price swings. Copper is used in a wide range of products, from home electronics to cars to power cables, and its price is an accurate bellwether for the global economy.
Cocoa group’s bankruptcy fuels bank lending concerns; Weak prices limit market impact of Transmar’s insolvency but credit worries linger
by: Emiko Terazono – FT
Chocolate industry executives have begun the year with a collective sigh of relief.
Will Russia Currency Move Bring Volatility?
By Dimitra DeFotis- Barron’s
The Russian government is expected to announce $1.6 billion in foreign currency purchases Friday, which could stave off a rate cut but result in ruble weakness.
Investment guru Mobius shares his emerging market tips
Nikkei Asian Review
Widely recognized as a guru of emerging market investment for 30 years, Mark Mobius, of U.S. asset management company Franklin Templeton Investments, is an optimist.
Emerging Nations Facing A Looming US Dollar Crisis
Gary Halbert – ValueWalk
Over the last eight years, with US interest rates at rock bottom thanks to the Fed, the rest of the world has borrowed a huge amount of dollars – about $4 trillion according to the Bank for International Settlements. During that same time, the US dollar has soared against a basket of foreign currencies.
RBS to Move ‘Tens’ of Staff After Brexit, Chairman Davies Says
by Stephen Morris and Richard Partington – Bloomberg
Ulster Bank in Dublin likely to be lender’s European hub; Transition period key for London’s banks to avoid disruption
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc Chairman Howard Davies indicated the U.K. taxpayer-owned bank would probably pick Dublin as its European Union base following Brexit and may have to move “tens” of employees from Britain to other offices.
Apple No Longer the World’s Most Valuable Brand, Global Brand Ranking Reveals
Google’s brand value rose by 24% during 2016 (from US$88.2bn to US$109.4bn) whilst Apple’s declined from $145.9bn to $107.1bn, according to the latest Brand Finance Global 500 report. Google last occupied the position of the world’s most valuable brand in 2011.
Bacon Shortage? Calm Down. It’s Fake News.
The alarming headlines came quickly Wednesday morning: “Now It’s Getting Serious: 2017 Could See a Bacon Shortage.” “Nation’s bacon reserves hit 50-year low as prices rise.” “Everyone Freak Out! American Is Running Low on Bacon.”
As oil recovers, U.S. firms descend on the Permian Basin in West Texas
Ernest Scheyder – Reuters
In most U.S. shale oil regions, energy firms are making strategic but cautious bets as the price of oil holds above $50 a barrel. Here in the Permian Basin of West Texas, the largest U.S. oil patch, the industry poured more than $28 billion into land acquisitions last year – more than triple what they spent in 2015.
The Medieval Ritual Behind Britain’s New £1 Coin
Eddie Van Der Walt – Bloomberg
The 12-sided £1 coin ($1.27) includes security features including a hologram and a dual-metal composition to make it harder to fake. But in a ritual dating to at least the year 1282, the coins were presented for the Trial of the Pyx in London on Tuesday.