Nasdaq OMX Group gains a port of entry into the cash treasuries market with an agreement to buy the eSpeed trading platform from BGC Partners. The UK renames its “failed [regulatory] regime”, repaints the front door in in two colors, and unlocks it for business again. Charles Li and HKEx look to the future with their new consolidated exchanges. In today’s First Read, take a look at the new JLN video interview with the NFA’s Chris Hehmeyer, who talks about the need to reform the US bankruptcy process, with an eye to the collapse of ex-brokerage MF Global.
Permafrost on the financial markets finally thawing
Veronica Augustsson, Cinnober
New regulations in the US and Europe are finally coming into place. While whole continents such as South America and Asia have invested in new products and services, the US and Europe have been waiting for a clear regulatory direction.
Now we can see, more or less, what FinanceMarket 2.0 is going to require. The focus on OTC vs. exchange, pre-trade risk management, order/quote/trade reporting, collateral management and credit limits means that we have a huge need to overhaul operations.
Will the current players survive the makeover, or is there room for entirely new players? There is already plenty of evidence that there will be a surge of new services from unexpected directions. And this is exciting.
I wonder, though, how regulation would look today if the bank had been called Lehman Sisters instead.
NFA Chairman Chris Hehmeyer Talks Bankruptcy Reform
One of the issues that emerged from the MF Global collapse was the complex and often frustrating US bankruptcy process. In the case of MF Global, futures customers’ claims were lumped in with other creditors. As such, it took more than a year for customers with segregated accounts to get their money back through the bankruptcy trustee. Chris Hehmeyer, CEO of HTG Capital Partners and chairman of the National Futures Association (NFA), spoke with JLN editor-in-chief Jim Kharouf about the need for bankruptcy reform for the futures industry. It’s a tall order, he says, but Hehmeyer believes it is critical to the future of the industry.
Hong Kong as World-Beater Forged in London Metal by Mandarin Li
Chanyaporn Chanjaroen, Eleni Himaras & Kana Nishizawa – Bloomberg
Charles Li, the chief executive officer of Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd., put on a tuxedo for the first time and stood before a crowd of 2,000 metals professionals at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel in October, capping an impromptu speech with a couple minutes of Mandarin.
***VA: As a trading and clearing technology supplier to LME we share the excitement. And it seems like it is time to start studying Mandarin.
New Trader Arrivals Seen Juicing NYSE Floor
JACOB BUNGE And LESLIE JOSEPHS – Dow Jones
A group of commodity traders recently shifted to the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, providing another signal that the storied space will stay open under its planned new owners.
***VA: Old habits die hard.
OneChicago Announces Trading Volume for March 2013
OneChicago’s First Quarter 2013 Trading Volume Increases 67% Compared with 2012
OneChicago, LLC, an equity finance exchange, today announced March 2013 volume of 752,336, an increase of 9% compared with the same period in 2012.
***VA: More evidence that the permafrost seems to melt. Springtime – at least for some!
Trading Volume In VIX Futures Reaches New All-Time High for Third Consecutive Month
The CBOE Futures Exchange, LLC announced today that March 2013 was the third consecutive month in which total volume in futures on the CBOE Volatility Index and total exchange-wide trading reached new all-time highs.
MGEX Reports Sixth Month of Year Over Year Volume Growth
MGEX, a Designated Contract Market and Derivatives Clearing Organization, today announces a 14 percent increase in total volume from March 2012. This is the sixth consecutive month that the Exchange has seen year over year volume growth.
***VA: Running out of springtime metaphors…
The Options Industry Council Announces Average Daily Options Volume In March Declined 9 Percent
The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that average daily options volume came in at 15,578,265 contracts, 8.91 percent down from the 17,102,093 contracts level of last March. Year-to-date average daily trading volume is down 3.2 percent compared to the first quarter of 2012.
**JK – Not all green shoots. Still some frost.
Video: Introducing The Financial Conduct Authority
We are one of the UK’s two new financial regulators, working alongside the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). Together, we replace the Financial Services Authority
Limit Up-Limit Down: Where’s the Limit?
By Anthony Becker – Advanced Trading
It seems like the Limit Up-Limit Down rule is a blanket oversight that fails to tackle the real issue around extraordinary market volatility, the rise of high frequency trading and rogue algorithms.
***VA: The sky is the limit
Late nights and illegality – but start of clearing in US goes well
Joe Rennison – Risk magazine
The days either side of the first US clearing deadline saw last-minute decisions by clients and regulators, operational niggles and some illegality. The industry expects breaches of the rules to get a pass for now, so the first phase of the new regime is being seen as a success. The second phase is already causing some angst, though.
***VA: It shows that a need for a central clearing hub or center is essential
Will Wall Street Ever Learn E-Mails Are Forever?
William D. Cohan – Bloomberg
Wall Street professionals (and others) still don’t grasp that e-mails and text messages are no place for laying out schemes of wrongdoing, for sharing one’s doubts about the wisdom of selling a flawed product or for freaking out when a large bet on an obscure derivative goes awry.
***VA: Lawyers overcharging? Can’t be true. Where is the evidence?
Would-be brokers must take ethics test
Brooke Masters, Chief Regulation Correspondent – FT.com
Aspiring brokers and capital markets traders will from Tuesday have to pass a compulsory ethics test before they are allowed to sit exams for professional qualifications.
***VA: It takes 2 years to become a taxi driver in London. But still, you can take the wrong way sometimes…
To Meet Norway’s Quotas, a Crash Course in Board Business
MARK SCOTT – NYTimes.com
A 16-day program, driven by a government mandate, teaches potential board candidates about corporate governance and lets them form networks.
Lessons on Being a Success on Wall St., and Being a Casualty
New York Times
Sallie Krawcheck, veteran of meteoric rises and falls, says women need sponsors to counteract the comfort zones in which men seek out other men because they have more in common.
***VA: Men and women need sponsors. What’s the difference?
Killing projects is the hardest innovation
Andrew Hill – FT.com
Decisions on what to give up are too often one-off dramas staged by a new boss. Instead, companies should turn their reassessment of priorities into a habit. Peter Drucker, the late management writer, called this “systematic abandonment”. It is as vital to corporate health as systematic innovation.
***VA: Winners find a way forward. Losers find excuses.
MarketsWiki Page of the Day
U.K. Financial Services Authority
MarketsWiki Recent Updates
Companies, Organizations and Groups
37,539,993 pages viewed, 7,440 articles, 156,328 edits
Nasdaq to buy eSpeed platform for $750 million
Reuters via Yahoo! News
By John McCrank – Nasdaq OMX Group Inc agreed to buy electronic Treasuries-trading platform eSpeed from BGC Partners Inc for $750 million in cash, providing the exchange operator an entry into one of the world’s largest and most liquid cash markets.
***VA: Going into markets that have not been on-exchange before is a sign of confidence in technology, and also a sign that the interest rate markets are part of the future for exchanges. But I have to wonder: Nasdaq’s fifth trading platform?
U.K. Replaces ’Failed’ FSA With Prudential Regulatory Authority
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will today hail the “resetting” of the U.K.’s financial services regulatory system with a new banking agency with greater powers to replace an “old failed regime” overseen by the Financial Services Authority.
***VA: So, the Bank of England is now responsible for bank regulation. Weren’t they at the regulatory controls when Barings Bank collapsed? Plus ca change!
CME Pushes for More European Business Before New Exchange
Nandini Sukumar – Bloomberg
CME Group Inc. (CME), the world’s largest futures exchange, is pushing to expand its European business as it starts a new London-based market and IntercontinentalExchange Inc. (ICE) advances its planned purchase of NYSE Euronext.
***VA: Competition in the interest rates market in Europe will be interesting to follow. This gives the customers the opportunity to choose between US and European regulation. Let the best regulations win…
7 reasons Cyprus is more important than you think
Satyajit Das – Outside the Box – MarketWatch
The world has convinced itself that Cyprus is simply not systemically important. It is reminiscent of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s decision to ignore “a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing”.
Cypriots Feel Betrayed by European Union
LIZ ALDERMAN – NYTimes.com
Like a lot of Cypriots, Charalambos Alexandrou helped build his country into a modern Mediterranean paradise. But in the last two weeks, he has watched his finances slide as the foundations of his country crumble during the collapse of the banking system.
More speed required to tackle HFT risks
Colin McLean – Financial News
High-frequency trading is in the sights of regulators around the world. HFT involves automatic trading strategies with high volume and extremely short holding periods. Dramatic growth over the past five years means new potential for systemic risk. Last year, HFT strategies represented 36% of European Union trading volumes, and possibly twice that in the US.
***VA: One way to mitigate systemic risk is to invest in technology… that is fast enough to keep up with the HFT
Regulator shields Laiki’s UK depositsc
Patrick Jenkins, Banking Editor – FT.com
The UK’s new financial regulator, the Prudential Regulation Authority, has wasted no time exercising its new powers, announcing on Tuesday – its first official day in existence – that it had overseen a deal to safeguard the deposits of customers with Cyprus’s failed bank Laiki.
Analysis: BoJ’s Kuroda tested by divided board
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is struggling to build a consensus ahead of his first central bank board meeting this week, risking disappointing markets that expect hefty bond purchases and a radical shift in its policymaking framework.
Ex-SEC chief Schapiro to join a private consultancy firm: WSJ
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Mary Schapiro will join a private consulting firm as a managing director, the Wall Street Journal said, following a tumultuous four years rehabilitating the agency’s battered reputation.
***VA: Good luck!
CFTC Approves Final Regulations Governing Exemption from Required Clearing for Inter-Affiliate Swaps
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today issued a final rule to exempt swaps between certain affiliated entities within a corporate group from the clearing requirement under section 2(h)(1)(A) of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and Commission regulations, subject to a number of conditions.
CFTC’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight Issues Time-Limited No-Action Relief to Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants Regarding Certain Recordkeeping Obligations
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) issued time-limited no-action relief for swap dealers (SDs) and major swap participants (MSPs) concerning certain recordkeeping obligations under Part 23 of the Commission’s Regulations.
Co-ops Win CFTC Regs Exemption
Steven Johnson | Electric Co-op Today
Electric cooperatives have scored an important victory, as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission voted unanimously March 28 to exempt them from unnecessary regulation under financial reform laws.
New International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) Protocol for Swap Documentation
The National Law Review
On March 22, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) published a new protocol (March 2013 Protocol) as part of its ongoing Dodd-Frank Documentation Initiative, which has the goal of assisting market participants in complying with rules for swaps promulgated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under the authority of Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Statement Of Support By CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler: Clearing Exemption For Swaps Between Certain Affiliated Entities
Remarks To Students At The George Washington University By SEC Chairman Elisse Walter
IOSCO To Progress Reform Agenda Under New Leadership – Greg Medcraft, Chair Of ASIC, Takes Over As Chair Of IOSCO
Exchanges & Trading Facilities
CBOE Holdings Reports March 2013 Trading Volume
CBOE Holdings, Inc. (CBOE) reported today that March trading volume for options contracts on Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated and C2 Options Exchange and futures contracts on CBOE Futures Exchange, LLC totaled 89.81 million contracts. Average daily volume (ADV) in March was 4.49 million contracts, up three percent from 4.38 million contracts in February 2013 and down nine percent from 4.93 million contracts in March 2012.
BOX Price Improvement Activity for March
Boston, April 1, 2013: In the month of March, price improved contracts on BOX Options Exchange (“BOX”) averaged 185,523 per day.
[Osaka] Trading Overview of Fiscal Year 2012 (April 2012 – March 2013) & March 2013
OSE announced a trading overview of Fiscal Year 2012 (April 2012 – March 2013) & March 2013. Trading volume of derivatives for FY 2012 was 236,045,632 units, which hit a record high exceeding the record achieved in FY 2010. Both the trading volume of Night Session for FY2012 and the trading volume ratio to Day Session marked a record high.
[TFX] Trading Volume in March 2013 and from April 2012 through March 2013
The trading volume of Three-month Euroyen futures in March was 447,491 ( +2.0% MoM / +19.5% YoY) and its average daily volume was 22,375. The total trading volume of Exchange FX Margin contracts (Click 365) in March was 5,007,181 (+27.6% MoM / +33.1% YoY) and its average daily trading volume was 238,471. Combined trading volume for all TFX products was 5,929,602 ( +23.5% MoM / +26.5% YoY) and its average daily trading volume was 283,476.
Burgundy: Aggregated Market Shares – Finnish Equities, March 2013
Burgundy: Aggregated Market Shares – Swedish Equities, March 2013
Moscow Exchange Announces Results For The Full-Year 2012
Moscow Exchange: VTB Capital To Become MICEX Index Option Market Maker
[CBOE] Restrictions on Transactions in GMX Resources, Inc. (GMXR)
NYSE to Suspend Trading Immediately in GMX Resources, Inc. and Commence Delisting Proceedings
NYSE MKT TO DELIST SECURITIES OF INNOVARO, INC.
Hedge Funds & Managed Futures
Feds turn up heat on hedge-fund mogul Steven Cohen
Hedge-fund titan Steven Cohen is back in the headlines after the arrest of one of his long-time portfolio managers on Friday, the latest in a series of insider-trading cases that have focused scrutiny on his firm.
At Takeover Dance, CEOs Don’t Want to Tango
FRANCESCO GUERRERA – WSJ.com
The takeover battle for Dell Inc. has it all: a household name led by a famous founder-CEO, two aggressive private-equity groups facing off and an offer by Carl Icahn with as much chutzpah as cash. The only thing missing is someone really wanting to buy the computer group.
Computer hedge fund firm Henri Capital shuts down
Laurence Fletcher | Reuters
A hedge fund spinout from Winton Capital, one of the world’s biggest hedge fund managers, is shutting down after less than two years of trading, as even the brightest start-ups find it tough attracting clients.
All Hedge Funds May Not Be Bad — Here’s How to Suss Yours Out
There’s a public debate raging about the pros and cons of hedge funds – not any individual hedge fund, mind you, but rather hedge funds in general.
BofA hires ex-Morgan Stanley exec as head of cap intro in Asia Pacific
Reuters via Yahoo! News
HONG KONG – The prime brokerage unit of Bank of America Merrill Lynch has hired former Morgan Stanley executive Deepak Abraham as head of capital strategy in Asia Pacific, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.
Sasco Said to Hire Ex-Dublin Hill’s Joe Howley
Sasco Energy Partners LLC, the $650 million commodity trading adviser, has hired Joe Howley, who shelved plans last year to start his own hedge fund after the death of his business partner Richard Ruzika, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Fortress Hires Goldman Sachs’ Shell to Start Growth Equity Unit
Fortress Investment Group LLC said it hired David Shell to start a new growth equity business for institutional investors at its Logan Circle Partners unit.
FOCUS: Speculators Cut Bullish Gold, Silver Positions — CFTC
Large speculators cut bullish positions in U.S. gold futures and options, according to the most recent data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, reversing some of buys they registered in the previous report.
Farmers Lose Their Taste for Rice
OWEN FLETCHER – WSJ.com
Jason Waller has been a rice farmer all his adult life, like his father and grandfather before him. But this spring for the first time, he intends to plant only corn and soybeans on his farm in Mer Rouge, La.
Money-market funds are a most dangerous investment
Rex Nutting, MarketWatch
Money-market funds, thought to be one of the safest investments, are actually some of the most dangerous. They are still vulnerable to the same kind of bank run that nearly pushed the global economy over the brink in 2008, and there’s no plan by the industry or by its regulators to fix that vulnerability.
Banks & Brokers
Interactive Brokers Group Reports Brokerage Metrics for March 2013
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance
Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. an automated global electronic broker and market maker, today reported its Electronic Brokerage monthly performance metrics for March.
Icap Equities: three years on
Tim Cave – Financial News
Three years ago last month, Icap, the world’s largest interdealer-broker, called time on its attempt to create a global, full-service cash equities agency brokerage. The venture was a rare misguided investment pursued by Michael Spencer, Icap’s founder and chief executive, but it continues to provide valuable lessons as banks re-engineer their share-trading franchises.
Goldman Sachs is back and this time it’s serious
William Wright – Financial News
One of the unwritten rules of investment banking, according to a chief executive, is that “you can never – ever – write off Goldman Sachs”. A year ago, Goldman Sachs looked like it was broken. The firm was stumbling from one legal settlement to the next, and seemed to be crumbling from the top down as dozens of partners streamed out of the door.
Goldman’s senior metals trader Evans leaves bank: sources
Reuters via Yahoo! News
By Josephine Mason NEW YORK – Goldman Sachs’ senior physical metals trader Scott Evans has left the U.S. investment bank in New York, becoming the second high-profile member of the physical base metals team to depart since mid-March, sources told Reuters.
Goldman registers risky credit fund as publicly traded company
Reuters via Yahoo! News
NEW YORK – Goldman Sachs Group Inc has registered a fund that invests in risky credit products as a publicly traded business development company, a way for the bank to avoid some regulations that would otherwise limit its activity.
UBS wins bid to seal cases of dismissed Singapore FX traders: sources
Reuters via Yahoo! News
SINGAPORE – The Singapore High Court has agreed to a request by UBS AG to seal documents in two cases brought by traders fired by the bank during its investigation into reference rate manipulation, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Clearing & Settlement
OCC Announces Average Daily Cleared Contract Volume Declined 8% in March
OCC announced that average daily cleared contract volume for the month was 15,831,521 contracts, an 8 percent decline from March 2012. Total cleared contract volume in March reached 316,630,411, a 17 percent decrease from the 379,763,970 contracts in March 2012, which had two more trading days. OCC’s year-to-date total contract volume is down 6 percent from 2012 with 1,006,895,640 contracts, while average daily volume is down 3 percent at 16,781,594 contracts.
Indexes & Products
Record ETF inflows fuel US equity rally
Chris Flood in London – FT.com
Record inflows to exchange traded funds supported the surge last week by the S&P 500 index to an all-time high, with growing numbers of professional and retail investors using ETFs to tap into the US stock market rally.
S&P Dow Jones Indices Announces Changes ToThe S&P/TSX Canadian Indices
Moscow Exchange Indices Weekly Review: March 25-29, 2013
Moscow Exchange: Revised MICEX10 Index Constituent List Comes Into Force
Nordic Banks to Modernize Risk Management with SunGard’s Ambit Risk and Performance Solutions
A group of Nordic banks have selected SunGard’s Ambit Risk and Performance solutions to help drive new risk strategies and support growth objectives in the face of tighter regulation and compliance. The solutions, which are already used by five banks in the region, will now help three additional banks to achieve greater visibility of risk across the organization. This increasing focus on upgrading risk management infrastructures highlights a continued trend among European banks to enhance business models to address more diverse and widespread regulation.
Fiserv to Release First Quarter Earnings Results on April 30, 2013
SAC’s Steinberg seeks new judge for insider trading case
Reuters via Yahoo! News
By Nate Raymond NEW YORK – Michael Steinberg, the SAC Capital Advisors fund manager who was indicted last week on insider trading charges, has begun his criminal defense with an unusual goal: to find a new judge.
Judge Approves $14 Million Settlement by SAC in SEC Insider-Trading Case
CHAD BRAY – WSJ.com
A federal judge has signed off on the smaller of two insider-trading settlements by hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors LP, even as one of its most senior employees faces criminal charges in the matter, according to court documents.
Former director pleads guilty to fraud charges
Environmental & Energy
Japan Plans LNG Futures Contract
The Wall Street Journal
Japan is planning to start the world’s first futures contract for liquefied natural gas, marking the latest step toward creating a global market for the fuel.The market for LNG—the chilled and exportable form of natural gas—is poised to expand rapidly in the coming years, analysts say, as the U.S. increases its exports of the fuel and global demand rises.
Israel Taps an Offshore Natural Gas Field
The New York Times
Israel moved closer to itsgoal of energy independence on Sunday asnatural gas from a large offshore field began flowing into the country, a harbinger of important change that will benefit the country strategically and economically, officials said.
Canada’s Latest Climate Change
International Herald Tribune
Just days afterWorld Water Day, the Canadian government quietly acknowledged last week that it had dropped out of the United Nations anti-drought convention. The move reportedly makes Canada the only nation in the world not party toUnited Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, or Unccd.
[TSE] Trading Overview of Fiscal Year 2012
ASEAN Regulators Implement Cross Border Securities Offering Standards
The ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF) announced today that the securities regulators in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand have implemented the ASEAN Disclosure Standards Scheme (Scheme) for multi-jurisdiction offerings of equity and plain debt securities in ASEAN.
ASEAN Exchanges CEOs Announce Next Rollout Phase Of Invest ASEAN 2013 Following Its Debut Success – Vietnam To Host Invest ASEAN 2013 For Capital Market Drivers And Regulators As The Country Prepares Its Market For Cross Border Trade
Japan’s Securities And Exchange Surveillance Commission Annual Report 2011/2012.
Taiwan Futures Exchange Newsletter – April Issue
Speech At The Second Lingnan Forum By Song Liping, President & CEO Of Shenzhen Stock Exchange, Guangzhou 31st March 2013
National Library Board and Singapore Exchange team up to promote financial literacy to library users
[SGX] Regulatory Updates – Introduction of Practice Note 12B
[SGX] Regulatory Updates – Introduction of Practice Note 12.2
HKEx Announces Liquidity Providers for After-Hours Futures Trading
JSE To Welcome REITs Regime
From yesterday the 1st April 2013 South Africa will implement a local Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) regime that will usher in a new era for the listed property sector.
ADX Achieves 100% In Disclosure Compliance
Dubai Financial Market – Corporate Governance Report
DFSA Consumer Alerts Having an Impact
The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) was recently informed of a fraudulent alert that attempts to undermine the credibility of the DFSA’s Consumer Alert system.
After ‘Dishonorable Discharge,’ Blodget Muses About a Wall Street Comeback
New York Times
Henry Blodget, the Business Insider co-founder and a former Merrill Lynch analyst, has told Ken Auletta that some day he may explore trying to overturn a lifetime ban from the securities industry.
Cargill names former Sara Lee chief exec as its CFO
U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill Inc on Monday said it named Marcel Smits, the former chief executive of packaged food maker Sara Lee Corp, as its chief financial officer effective April 15.