John Lothian Newsletter: Chilton Seeks End-User Enforcement Delay for CFTC’s Swaps Rules; Bank of Japan Launches Easing Campaign; Flash crash explanation questioned

Apr 4, 2013

CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton wants to hold off on punishing swap end-user errors until all the rules are complete and understood. After much shuffling and considering, the Bank of Japan unveils an aggressive new course of action to hopefully improve the nation’s economy. After almost three years, one of the few generally accepted causes for the flash crash comes into question in a new independent study.

First Read

Learning from sports?
Veronica Augustsson, Cinnober
I am a big sports fan.

Like all fans and the athletes themselves, I believe the rules of the game must be clear, monitored and enforced. The same should be true of financial markets. New regulations have been put in place to protect investors and to open up for more competition. The competition may include new kind of markets such as dark pools and crossing networks.

That said, the rules will hopefully soon be in place, but who is monitoring them? Surveillance depends on the ability to trace the activity of an investor across the markets. The new fragmented markets are here to stay but there is an urgent need for sophisticated cross-market surveillance. The referees surely need something more nowadays than just a whistle and a red card. It’s time for a little more instant playback and expert commentary. Just like in sports.


Flash crash explanation questioned
Philip Stafford –
A study has called into question the official explanation for the flash crash that hit US markets nearly three years ago. The findings by Albert Menkveld, professor of financial economics at VU University and Duisenberg School of Finance in Amsterdam, dispute that the unprecedented selling was prompted by a single trade by Waddell and Reed, a Kansas-based mutual fund company.

***VA: The flash crash would never have happened if the marketplaces had put sophisticated circuit breakers and risk systems in place.


Electronic trading to muscle in on corporate debt
Michael Mackenzie, Dan McCrum and Tracy Alloway in New York –
Computers rule on trading desks – except in the corporate bond market, one of the last bastions of telephone based transactions between investors and Wall Street dealers. But that may be about to change.

***VA: It will be interesting to see who will come up with a good market model for corporate bond markets. Once that is done, the technical implementation will not on the critical line


SEC forces Ice into single-name CDS clearing U-turn
Matt Cameron, Tom Osborn –
Ice Clear Credit has been forced by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to reverse a decision not to offer client clearing for single-name credit default swaps (CDSs). The central counterparty (CCP) announced that decision last month, blaming it on a new margin policy unveiled by the SEC, but the agency is understood to have told Ice that the company’s own rules require it to accept the trades for clearing.

***VA: The referee says you have to follow the rules, just like in sports.


IntercontinentalExchange Trading Volume Rose 17% in March
Tess Stynes – Dow Jones
IntercontinentalExchange Inc.‘s ( ICE ) average daily trading volume rose 17% in March from a year earlier, but was lower for the first quarter.

***VA: Positive energy!


The Trade: Uncovering the Human Factor in Risk Management Models
New York Times
John Breit, the former top risk manager at Merrill Lynch, says that mathematical models fail because they don’t account for human frailty.

***VA: Isn’t the human factor always the weakest link?


Mary Schapiro and Lanny Breuer Give Us the Ultimate Dog-Bites-Man Story
National Journal via Yahoo! News
As head of the Securities and Exchange Commission for the past four years, Mary Schapiro failed to win a major civil action against any Wall Street executive connected to what may be the worst financial fraud in history, the subprime-mortgage scam that led to the 2008 crash. As head of the Justice Department’s criminal division for the past four years, Lanny Breuer failed to accomplish the same with criminal action.

**JK – In sports, we call these “underachievers” at best, “busts” at worst.


Writing on the Wall: Wall Street For Dummies
If you thought you knew Wall Street, well, think again. You don’t. Take the so-called revolving door. You might think it is flip-flopping from the public to private sector. It isn’t.

***VA: In general I think it is good that the government understands the private sector and that the private sector understands the government. But back to the rules… you have to adjust to them.

**JK – The fine line between capitalism and corruption-ism.


Barclays and the entitlement culture
The British public has never seen banking as a wholly respectable activity, and history abounds with slighting remarks about those who buy and sell financial products. In his dictionary, Samuel Johnson, the 18th-century scholar, defined the stock jobber simply as “a low wretch who gets money by buying and selling shares in the funds”.

***VA: Suggests that the short term thinking of Barclays was not good for the sustainability of the bank. Interestingly, part of the report is about the general cultures and suggests that bankers should spend 2 yrs working for the financial regulator and vice versa. Then they might understand each other better.


Future of Corporate Tax Reform
Clarke Camper – Inside the Beltway
With Congress returning from its Spring Recess next week, POLITICO reports on new developments between the public policy and business communities that may affect the future of corporate tax reform.


Crowdfunding Goes Global From Silicon Valley
Crowdfunding is now hitting the global mainstream and the web is abuzz with the launch of the first Silicon Valley Crowdfunding conference. According to independent observers Open Intelligence, who have been monitoring web traffic related to Crowdfunding and the upcoming conference, interest in Crowdfunding is exploding at a rate to rival anything that has gone before.

***VA: I just love crowdfunding. The crowd could be much better in judging an idea than the banks traditionally have been. This will hopefully fill a serious gap in financing SMEs to realize dreams. If each SME in Europe hired one additional person it would solve current unemployment.

**JK – How about options on crowd funded companies? Let’s all vote on it.


In the Middle of It All
Trade Talk – Trading Technologies
I was never much on mingling when I went to a party, but then again, I didn’t want to miss out on any of the fun. That’s why I hung out in the kitchen. Sooner or later, everyone made their way into the kitchen to get something to eat or drink. It didn’t take me long to figure out if the party was good. If the foot traffic was slow
, it was time to cut my losses and go elsewhere. On the other hand, if the party was good, it usually came to me without much effort. This, of course, brings me to Denver, Colorado.

**JK – The skiing nearby ain’t bad either.


Chris Hehmeyer

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.

Watch the video »


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Lead Stories

Chilton Seeks End-User Enforcement Delay for CFTC’s Swaps Rules
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission should refrain from sanctioning so-called end-users of swaps for six months while the agency seeks to clarify its Dodd-Frank Act rules, Commissioner Bart Chilton said today.

*** VA: As I said, we’re closing in on the rules and that means that people start to make changes… but to continue the sports theme: It would of course be great to have all the rules clearly in place when the match begins. Here, the match is already underway and the players are still gearing up in the locker room.

Bank of Japan Launches Easing Campaign
The Bank of Japan on Thursday launched an aggressive new easing program in what traders called a surprisingly bold first step by new Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda as he begins his campaign to rid the economy of more than 15 years of deflation.

Moscow Tries to Remake Itself as Financial Center
Having tried and failed to become a major financial center, Moscow is trying yet again — only this time it finds itself competing for business with Warsaw, not London, Tokyo and New York.

***VA: Really interesting stuff happening in Moscow!

Judge’s Ruling Doesn’t Slow States’ Interest-Rate Probe
Thirty state attorneys general are investigating alleged interest-rate rigging by banks that set Libor, and the probe isn’t slowing despite a U.S. judge’s ruling last week in favor of the banks in private lawsuits.

Ten things you must know about the FTT
Richard Partington and Michelle Price – Financial News
On Valentine’s day, European Union commissioner Algirdas Semeta delivered an unwanted gift to the financial services industry when he presented the a financial transactions tax proposed by 11 of the 27 European Union member states. The proposal could result in banks, asset managers and pension funds around the world paying a new levy on their trades in certain securities.

***VA: The one thing that you can predict is that there will be unforeseen consequences from the FTT. My advice as a Swede, let’s learn from history.

Japan and UK must lead way to reflation
Peter Tasker –
Regime shifts in global monetary policy can throw up unexpected winners and losers. Think back to the 1970s when the UK was known as the sick man of Europe. The disease was inflation and the prognosis dire.

TD Bank Faces Loss of Luster
For two decades, Joanny Campbell of South Philadelphia was satisfied with her bank. Then her lender, New Jersey’s Commerce Bank, was acquired by TD Bank NA, a unit of Toronto-Dominion Bank of Canada. The parent company had no U.S. locations as recently as 2000 but now operates the ninth-largest U.S. bank by assets, a major player in large cities including New York and Boston. Unhappy with customer service, Ms. Campbell closed her TD account late last year.


Swaps vs futures: OTC market speaks out
Joe Rennison –
Swap futures have been pitched as economically equivalent to over-the-counter swaps, but with a much lighter regulatory burden. But some over-the-counter participants claim the rules create an unfair and unjustified arbitrage opportunity.

SEC’s Ruling on Social Media: What Exactly Is Material Information?
Wall Street Journal Blogs
There’s a more timeless debate at the heart of the SEC’s scrutiny of a Facebook post by Netflix Inc. Chief Executive Reed Hastings. That’s the question of what represents new “material” information.

Marc Fagel, Director Of San Francisco Office, To Leave SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Marc Fagel, the director of the San Francisco Regional Office, will be leaving the agency later this month for the private sector. He has worked at the SEC for more than 15 years.

CVA calculation proves a tricky business for banks
Galen Stops – FOW
The amount of capital that banks should be forced to hold in reserve is an issue that has increasingly been in the spotlight, with regulators imposing greater capital requirements at a time when capital is scarce. How banks respond to these requirements will have a big impact on their profit sheets and are highly likely to alter their trading patterns.

SEC Streamlines Rule Filing Requirements For Dually Registered Clearing Agencies

CFTC Issues Final Order To Exempt Certain Specified Transactions Of Regional Transmission Organizations And Independent System Operators

CFTC Issues Final Order To Exempt Certain Non-Financial Energy Derivative Transactions between Government And/Or Cooperatively-Owned Electric Utilities

ESMA Launches Tender For IT Infrastructure Hosting
New call for tender for IT Infrastructure Hosting. All submissions should be received by 10 May 2013. This tender is for the provision of a fully managed service providing infrastructure and software up to the middleware level for ESMA’s applications.

“The End-User Bill Of Rights” – Statement Of CFTC Commissioner Bart Chiltons

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

ICE Reports 17% Increase in March Daily Futures Volume
IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global markets and clearing houses, today reported futures volume for March and the first quarter of 2013. ICE’s average daily volume (ADV) for futures and options for March 2013 was 3,808,927 contracts, an increase of 17% from the prior March. Total contract volume in March 2013 was 76 million.

BATS Chi-X Europe Sets New Monthly Spanish Market Share Record
BATS Global Markets (BATS), a leading operator of securities markets in the U.S. and Europe, today reported March volume and activity including a new monthly market share record in Spain, where BATS Chi-X Europe earned 12.8% market share, exceeding its previous record of 8.9% set in February 2013.

TMX Group Consolidated Trading Statistics – March 2013
Trading volume on Toronto Stock Exchange in March 2013 increased 5% compared to February 2013, but was down 23% year-over-year. Volume on TSX Venture Exchange was down 2% from February 2013 and was down 28% compared to March 2012. TMX Select trading volume experienced an increase of 19% month-over-month, but was down 15% compared to the same month last year. Alpha trading volume for March 2013 decreased 7% compared to February 2013 and was down 28% compared to March 2012.

Boerse Stuttgart Records Turnover Of Around EUR 7.8 Billion In March
According to its order book statistics, Boerse Stuttgart generated turnover of around EUR 7.8 billion in March 2013, slightly up on the figure for February.

Indian Energy Exchange Enters Into International Tie-Up With The European Power Exchange (EPEX SPOT)
The Indian Energy Exchange (IEX), India’s No.1 Energy Exchange has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the European Power Exchange (EPEX SPOT) on 16 February, 2013. EPEX SPOT is the marketplace for short-term power trading in France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Tokyo Commodity Exchange March 2013 Volume Averaged 112,673 Contracts Per Day Down 29.9%
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) announced today that March 2013 trading volume averaged 112,673 contracts per day, down 29.9% from February 2013. Average daily volume for all the listed products, except Rubber, saw decreases: Gold was down 32.0% to 47,897 contracts, Platinum was down 35.6% to 18,076 contracts and the Crude Oil was down 42.2% to 5,567 contracts.

EEX sets New Records on Natural Gas Market
The European Energy Exchange (EEX) achieved new records on its Natural Gas Markets in March. With an overall trading volume of 11,898,727 MWh, EEX sets a new monthly record (up from the previous record of 11,705,130 MWh in November 2011). Compared to March 2012 (6,757,679 MWh), the traded volume increased by 76 percent.

NASDAQ OMX Commodities Derivatives And N2EX Physical Power Monthly Market Report

Warsaw Stock Exchange Derivatives Market In March 2013

Vienna Stock Exchange Monthly Statistics: Derivative Market – March 2013

Vienna Stock Exchange Monthly Statistics – March 2013

Irish Stock Exchange Statistics March 2013

Boerse Berlin: Positive Q1/2013 Results In XONTRO Trades

NYSE Proposal To Phase Out The Functionality Associated With Liquidity Replenishment Points To Coincide With The Implementation Of The Limit Up – Limit Down Plan

April 2013 InBOX
This is the April issue of InBOX, your news source from inside the BOX Options Exchange. This monthly publication will provide convenient summaries of recent developments at BOX.


Direct Edge Trading Notice #13-14: Limit Up-Limit Down And Market-Wide Circuit Breaker Update

TMX Group: Important Notice Regarding The Consolidated Short Position Report – March 31, 2013

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Legal Troubles Continue To Mount For SAC Hedge Fund Manager
The federal government has been slowly building an insider-trading case against the hedge fund SAC Capital. Last week it arrested its biggest fish yet, portfolio manager Michael Steinberg. One of the trades outlined in the indictment against Steinberg involved shares of the computer maker Dell. It’s a prime example of the kind of mutual back-scratching that prosecutors say took place a lot at SAC.

Cerberus Said to Tap Goldman, JPMorgan, BofA for IPO
Cerberus Capital Management LP, the private-equity firm led by Stephen Feinberg, is moving ahead with an initial public offering of its German retail-property assets after hiring three banks to manage the sale, people with knowledge of the plan said.

Blackstone-backed Denjoy hires Ridley Park’s Ian Pickerstaff
Harriet Agnew – Financial News
Denjoy Capital Partners, a hedge fund founded by a former Brevan Howard Asset Management partner, has hired a chief operating officer as the firm looks to grow its asset base, Financial News has learned.

EDHEC-Risk Institute: UCITS Hedge Funds Outperform Their Non-UCITS Rivals, Shows New Study
This new research is drawn from the Newedge research chair on “Advanced Modelling for Alternative Investments” at EDHEC-Risk Institute.

Banks & Brokers

ICAP Electronic Broking: March 2013 Volumes

And Then There Were Two
New York Times
Gary Cohn, president of Goldman Sachs, says his firm and JPMorgan Chase are the only two big global banks that are not retrenching, Bloomberg News reports.

US banks winning transatlantic dogfight
Matthew Attwood – Financial News
Take a long, hard look at how the performance of investment banks last year compared with before the financial crisis kicked off five years ago and the minus sign will appear with monotonous regularity. But there is no doubt that the biggest declines have been felt by European rather than US firms.

RBS Shareholders Sue for $6 Billion Over 2008 Rights Offering
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and directors including former chief executive officer Fred Goodwin were sued by about 12,000 shareholders over the bank’s 2008 rights offering a few months before a government bailout.

RBS on Brink of Profit Seen by Van Saun as King Urges a Breakup
Rory Cullinan runs the world’s worst bank from a fifth-floor office overlooking Liverpool Street station in London. His 400-person outfit doesn’t lend money or trade securities. Instead, it sells blown-out mortgages, busted loans and entire companies amassed by Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc before it collapsed in the global financial crash of 2008.

Barclays Report Finds Bank Too Complex, Criticizes Pay
Barclays Plc , the U.K.’s second- largest lender by assets, became too complex to manage, with a culture that rewarded sales at the expense of clients, according to a report commissioned by the bank.

Barclays Should Have More Board Members With Banking Experience
Barclays Plc , the U.K.’s second- largest lender, should hire more board members with banking experience in order to “challenge effectively the performance of management,” according to an internal review.

German central bank probing Deutsche Bank valuation of credit derivatives
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
Germany’s central bank has launched a probe into claims Deutsche Bank misvalued credit derivatives that allowed the bank to hide up to $12 billion in losses, the Financial …

Bundesbank Declines Comment on Deutsche Bank; Says Examines All Accusations Against Banks
Dow Jones
Germany’s central bank Thursday said it always examines all accusations of wrongdoing involving Germany’s banks but doesn’t provide information about individual investigations, in response to a press report concerning Deutsche Bank AG.

DealBook: In Mortgage Case, Judge Dismisses Dexia Claims Against JPMorgan Chase
New York Times
In a major victory for JPMorgan Chase, Judge Jed Rakoff dismissed claims by Dexia, a Belgian-French financial institution that had sued the nation’s largest bank over losses on $1.6 billion in 65 residential mortgage investments.

Big banks still in Libor hot water
CNN Money
A judge tossed many claims in the biggest Libor-related class action suit, but New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman has not given up his pursuit.

Deutsche Bank Female Diversity Suffers as Jones Departs
Deutsche Bank AG deputy finance chief Charlotte Jones, one of the company’s most senior female executives, plans to leave Europe’s second-largest bank.

Citigroup picks Wikstrom as head of U.S. G10 rates trading
Citigroup appointed Roland Wikstrom as the head of U.S. G10 rates trading after the previous head Nicolas Brophy left the bank, a Citigroup spokesman said on Wednesday.

Jimmy Dunne Says He Wouldn’t Serve on a Bank Board
April 3 — Jimmy Dunne, co-founder of Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP, talks about the outlook for the banking industry, the role of bank boards and financial regulation.

Advantage Futures trades up to more space
Crain’s Chicago Business
The futures broker is making a move this month, shifting to a space where it will have about 50 percent more space as in its current location in the Chicago Board of Trade building complex.

Clearing & Settlement

CME Group Clearing Advisory: KCBT Integration and the CME and KCBT SPAN Files

Indexes & Products

NASDAQ OMX Announces Pilot Plan for ETF Market Quality Program
The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (NDAQ) today announced that the Market Quality Program (MQP) will launch in the second quarter of 2013. MQP is an optional listing program that allows exchange traded fund (ETF) issuers to contribute funds to the Exchange that may be used to pay market makers that improve the liquidity and quality of the markets in MQP products.

Investors pull out of gold ETFs in Q1
Suzi Ring – Financial News
Global commodity exchange-traded funds recorded multi-billion dollar outflows for the first quarter of 2013, but the near-default of Cyprus last month is expected to increase appetite for gold funds in the second quarter, according to fund provider ETF Securities.

Alternative indices – just monkey business?
Financial News
The need by investors to generate higher returns has led some to look to non-traditional indices.

The First Nigeria and Central Asia ETFs

Moscow Exchange Indices Monthly Review: March 2013

S&P Dow Jones Indices Announces Changes To The S&P/TSX Canadian Indices

NASDAQ OMX Announces Pilot Plan For ETF Market Quality Program


Livevol Launches Options Market Surveillance Tool
Livevol, a derivatives financial technology firm recognized for their expertise in the equity options marketplace, released today LV-Argus, its hosted market surveillance and market-monitoring solution.


Ex-Goldman Trader Pleads Guilty to Fraud
Chad Bray –
In late 2007, with a seven-figure bonus and his reputation at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on the line, Matthew Taylor placed an $8.3 billion futures bet and hid it from his bosses. Now, he faces a possible long prison sentence.

ASIC review prompts Halifax to enter into enforceable undertaking

BoQ to refund customers after system error

Analyst Teeple Released on $200,000 Bond in Insider Case
Hedge fund analyst Matthew Teeple was released on $200,000 bond in New York in connection with what prosecutors call a $27 million insider-trading scheme.

Environmental & Energy

Shenzhen Is First in China With June Start for Emissions Trading
Shenzhen, a Special Economic Zone designed to promote market policies in China, will begin emissions trading on June 17, the first announced start date among the country’s regional carbon exchanges.

EU Carbon Fix That Boosts Power Prices ‘Stupid,’ UBS Says
A European Commission proposal to boost carbon prices as a way to spur investment in clean energy technology is misguided because it would push power costs to “unacceptable” levels, according to aUBS AG (UBSN) analyst.

**RKB — Two sides represented here despite one-sided headline.

Seamless exchange trading of top tier carbon credits now available through revolutionary partnership
Climate Action Reserve Press Release
The Climate Action Reserve, North America’s premier carbon offset registry, and Carbon Trade Exchange today announced a partnership that allows carbon market participants to seamlessly trade Climate Reserve Tonnes (CRTs) through a commodities exchange for the first time. The development signals strong growth in North America’s voluntary carbon market and potentially in California’s compliance carbon market, with over 12 million CRTs qualified to become Early Action Offset Credits in California’s market and more compliance-eligible credits being registered with the Reserve.

BP to Sell U.S. Wind Business in Retreat to Fossil Fuels
BP Plc (BP/), attempting to recover from an oil spill that may cost it $42 billion, said it will sell shares in wind assets Expiring Gas Contracts Offer Europe Chance to Renegotiate Pricesworth as much as $3.1 billion in the U.S. in another step to focus on its main oil and gas business.


The Road To ASEAN Financial Integration
Summary Report of the Combined Study on Assessing the Financial Landscape and Formulating Milestones for Monetary and Financial Integration in ASEAN

Australian premier to visit new Chinese leaders
Australia’s prime minister says the country can’t take its trading relationship with China for granted in an increasingly competitive world as she prepared to lead a senior government delegation to Australia’s biggest export market.

Thai Bourse Adds “XB” As A Supervisory Sign

Shanghai Stock Exchange: Notice Of Releasing

SGX: Flourishing Growth Of China A-Share Access Products
The marketplace for China A-Share products is flourishing, with demand from the Asian region experiencing strong growth. In the three months since December 2012, six new China A-Share funds were launched in key Asian markets including Korea, Japan and Hong Kong.

Shenzhen Stock Exchange Held 9th Training Course For Controlling Shareholders And De Facto Controllers Of Companies Listed On Main Board

Frontier Markets

Banco do Brasil eyes $6bn spinoff. Can it be done?
Pan Kwan Yuk –
On Wednesday, Banco Do Brasil, Latin America’s largest bank by assets, said it was seeking to raise as much as R$12.15bn ($6bn) from the spinoff of its insurance and pension unit, BB Seguridade.

ADX Tops MENA Stock Markets In First Quarter Of 2013

Palestine Exchange (PEX) Monthly Newsletter

Malawi Stock Exchange First Quarter Market Performance Report 2013

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