John Lothian Newsletter: Euronext Plans Small Companies Exchange; Industry Raises Fresh Fears Over ‘Moral Hazard’ Of Clearing Houses; Four-Year Silver Probe Set To Be Dropped

Aug 6, 2012

NYSE Euronext plans to open a new pan-European exchange focused on entrepreneurs. Risk experts express concern that clearing houses must have their own assets at risk to help avoid a moral hazard as a counterparty. The CFTC prepares to discontinue its investigation into manipulation of the silver market. In First Read, the financial industry mourns the loss of friends and colleagues; and you’ll find more analysis of the Knight Capital fracture.

First Read

Mark W. Fischer
from our friends at CQG
Our friend and colleague at CQG, Mark W. Fischer, passed away after several years of battling cancer. Many of his colleagues in the industry were unaware of his condition as he approached his illness with grace, dignity, and enormous strength. Mark worked up until just a few weeks ago when he decided to take a medical leave.

Mark started working at CQG just four years ago but his impact on the company was tremendous. In 2008, he started out with as director of marketing. In this position, he spearheaded a number of projects and built relationships that brought CQG into the spotlight in a way that it has never been in the past 30 years. After two years in that role, Mark was excited to take a transfer to Singapore and apply his talents there as director for the Asia-Pacific region. For health reasons, Mark transferred back to The States shortly after, and worked in the special projects division on product usage and pricing. In September 2011, Mark became vice president of product management, a role that he loved, and he excelled in providing leadership to many of us from product development to operations to marketing and sales. In under a year, Mark implemented a product management focus with a strong team of people to move our product strategy and priorities forward.

Mark leaves his wife Kim, daughters Erin and Sarah, and son Luke as well as siblings and a large extended family. Our deepest sympathy is with his entire family and with all the friends and colleagues touched by his life, his kindness, his intelligence, and his good humor. We will miss him deeply.

Mark’s memorial service was held Sunday, August 5th at 10 am at Rembrandt Yard in Boulder, CO.

For those who want to make a donation in Mark’s memory, his family suggests one of these organizations:

Hospice of Boulder & Broomfield Counties
Donate online or make check payable to:
HospiceCare of Boulder & Broomfield Counties
2594 Trailridge Drive East
Lafayette, CO 80026

The Dairy Center for the Arts
2590 Walnut Street
Boulder, CO 80302

JJL*** I am very sad by Mark’s passing. He was a pleasure to work with at CQG. Our prayers to his family.


John Phelan, NYSE Chief Who Kept Calm in 1987 Crash, Dies at 81
John Phelan, who led the New York Stock Exchange into the modern era of competition and huge trading volumes and provided calm at the center of the storm when stock prices crashed in October 1987, has died. He was 81.

**** From a different era.


Maury Kravitz: 1932-2012
Graydon Megan – Chicago Tribune
Maury Kravitz was a lawyer, a gold trader and a student of history, but he was best known for his fascination with 13th century Mongolian leader Genghis Khan, a fascination that led to four expeditions in search of the emperor’s grave site in Mongolia.

*** Former law partner of Leo Melamed passes away.


Trading computer glitches, bad bots and machine politics
Phil Rosenthal – Chicago Tribune
Whenever there’s a computer-driven snafu in the markets, like the recent $440 million doozy with Knight Capital Group, the late Rod Serling’s “Twilight Zone” comes to mind. Serling’s show was never more chilling than when it cast a jaundiced eye on the potential of technological advances to backfire. Sometimes it was because of imperfections passed along by very human creators and users. Sometimes it was because of the need to blunt those same human flaws.

“This is the algorithmic equivalent of a fat-finger error,” said Chicago’s John Lothian, the founder of MarketsWiki and MarketsReformWiki and a member of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Technology Advisory Committee.


ICE Futures Europe Announces Daily Volume Record in Heating Oil Futures
IntercontinentalExchange, a leading operator of global regulated futures exchanges, clearing houses and over-the-counter (OTC) markets, reported a daily volume record in ICE Heating Oil futures of 25,567 on August 2, 2012. The previous volume record was 20,813 contracts on June 19, 2012.


When trading algos go bad…
Michelle Price – Financial News
Algorithms suffuse our daily lives. They allow us to search Google with relative success, fly us across the globe, and helpfully recommend books we may like to read. But just like the humans that program them, algorithms are fallible. The potential implications of this fallibility were starkly underlined on Wednesday when a glitch in one of the trading algorithms deployed by US brokerage Knight Capital led to a malfunction that has ultimately cost the company $440m and left it scrambling for a deal to bolster its capital base.


Knight Capital Is Just Another Example Of Poor Risk Management
Even though the major banks and trading firms are under intense scrutiny, they still rely quite heavily on trading activities to make money. And as JPMorgan’s “London whale” and a string of other banks have demonstrated, these institutions have a tough time keeping tabs on the amount of risk they are taking amid increasingly complex and fast market.


Time for regulators to rage against machines
New York Post
Where did individual investors go? They are taking their portfolios and going home. And who can blame them?


[Video] Man vs. Machine
Discussing whether computers or humans are to blame for Knight Capital’s trading glitch, Tyler Moeller, Broadway Technologies co-founder/CEO, and CNBC’s Bob Pisani.


POLITICO’s Breakfast with CFTC’s Gary Gensler
Clarke Camper – Inside the Beltway
Recently POLITICO and the Financial Services Forum jointly hosted a discussion with CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler on the impact of Dodd-Frank legislation, the effects of the Libor scandal and the future of financial regulation. Below are some excerpts from Gensler’s comments at the event:


Neutrino-Powered Financial Trading In Our Future?
An anonymous reader writes “In a new feature on the future of high-frequency trading, Wired suggests that neutrino-powered financial trading systems may be coming soon, which would enable extremely low-latency information to be transmitted directly through the center of the Earth between major financial exchanges.


Don’t Fall For Sandy Weill’s Crocodile Tears
William D. Cohan – Bloomberg
The remarkably ironic pronouncement from Sandy Weill that the U.S. should resurrect some form of the Glass-Steagall Act — which he worked assiduously to tear asunder in the 1990s as he created Citigroup Inc. — has touched off another a debate about how to control the worst instincts on Wall Street.


Keeping an eye out for the next financial disaster
Jeff Harrington – St. Petersburg Times
It’s Mike Bodson’s job to spot the next Lehman Brothers, the next Wall Street meltdown lurking in the markets. And he has strong incentive to do a good job. After all, he’s the one who will have to clean up the mess afterward.


Small Banks Are Blunt in Dislike of New Rules
It was supposed to be a routine conference call where bankers could ask U.S. regulators about a proposed rule on capital levels. But then a man who identified himself as fourth-generation banker from central Minnesota started to complain about the possibility of having to set aside much more money when making nontraditional mortgage loans. As about 1,500 other bankers listened, the banker pressed officials at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to justify the proposed changes, saying he had made such loans for 40 years with almost no defaults.

Robert Fitzsimmons Discusses His New Startup Optionshop
Robert Fitzsimmons is the CEO of Optionshop, an online futures broker specializing in the execution of options on futures, which is expected to launch in September of 2012. Fitzsimmons spoke with John Lothian News senior editor Sarah Rudolph about the interest in commodities as an asset class, the dislocation in the markets and the need for retail traders to use options to minimize their commodities risk.

Alan Snyder of Shinnecock Partners Discusses the Potential for Managed Futures
Alan Snyder is managing partner of Shinnecock Partners, a Los Angeles-based alternative investment firm that specializes in third-party futures managers. Snyder spoke about his firm, the managed futures space and his opinion of managed futures mutual funds at the 2012 Emerging Managers Forum in London.  Interview by JLN Managed Futures editor Jim Kharouf.


MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Mark W. Fischer


MarketsWiki Recent Updates


Bruno Iksil; John Cross; William J. Bott; Mark W. Fischer

Companies, Organizations and Groups

FIA Principal Traders Group; FIA European Principal Traders Association; Knight Capital Group; Securities And Exchange Commission; Nexa Technologies, Inc.


Eurex VSTOXX Mini Futures; Build America Bonds; MGEX Apple Juice Concentrate Contract


Commodity Trading Advisor; Interest


26,986,494 pages viewed, 7,021 articles, 145,716 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

Euronext plans small companies exchange
Kate Burgess –
A new pan-European stock exchange for entrepreneurs is being planned by NYSE Euronext to plug the gap in funding for small companies and help them raise money from investors more easily. The exchange – dubbed the “Entrepreneurs’ Exchange” by NYSE Euronext – will facilitate fundraising via issues of bonds as well as equity.

Industry raises fresh fears over ‘moral hazard’ of clearing houses
Michelle Price – Financial News
Risk experts have warned that clearing houses must put their own financial resources at risk to prevent moral hazard. The call for clearers, or CCPs, to have “skin in the game” follows the publication last week of the International Organization of Securities Commissions’ long-awaited consultation on living wills for financial market infrastructures, which explores how losses should be allocated if a clearer goes bust.

Four-year silver probe set to be dropped
Jack Farchy in London and Gregory Meyer in New York –
A four-year investigation into the possible manipulation of the the silver market looks increasingly likely to be dropped after US regulators failed to find enough evidence to support a legal case, according to three people familiar with the situation.

Madrid bourse suffers technical glitch
By Philip Stafford – Financial Times
Bolsas y Mercados Españoles, the Spanish bourse, suffered an outage for more than two hours on Monday, fuelling the debate about the use of technology in trading on stock exchanges.

Wall Street sees Knight as software risk wake-up call
Lauren Tara LaCapra and Dan Wilchins – Reuters
Wall Street banks and brokers are poring over their trading systems and rethinking the way they test software to make sure they don’t become the next Knight Capital Group, the trading firm whose survival was imperiled by a software glitch on Wednesday.

Four firms to inject $400m into Knight
Michael Mackenzie, Dan McCrum and Tracy Alloway in New York –
A consortium of four firms was preparing on Sunday to pump $400m into Knight Capital through a convertible share placement that will give them control of the broker, according to sources familiar with the deal.

With Knight Wounded, Traders Ask if Speed Kills
As Knight Capital Group reels from damage inflicted by a computer-trading malfunction, the episode highlights a risk that had previously garnered little attention: Ever-faster stock trading and complicated markets are putting greater strains on the ability of brokerage firms to manage their financial risks.

Exclusive: Fired Barclays trader draws scrutiny in Libor probe
Reuters via Yahoo! News
A 30-year-old former Barclays Plc swaps trader in New York, who was fired from the bank in 2010, is among those drawing scrutiny from prosecutors in the deepening scandal over the manipulation of global benchmark interest rates.

As Libor Fault-Finding Grows, It Is Now Every Bank for Itself
New York Times
Sources said the investigation into suspected manipulation of the Libor benchmark has led banks to cooperate by sharing information that they say implicates their rivals.

U.S. Bank Named as Defendant in Peregrine Clients’ Suit
Andrew Harris – Bloomberg
U.S. Bank NA, which held customer money for Peregrine Financial Group Inc., knew or should have known the collapsed commodities brokerage had insufficient funds on deposit, a firm client claimed in a new lawsuit.

Son of Peregrine CEO Had Planned to Leave Firm
Russell Wasendorf Jr., president of Peregrine Financial Group Inc. and son of its chief executive and founder, had planned to leave the now-collapsed brokerage firm over differences with his father, according to Mr. Wasendorf Jr.’s lawyer.

Draghi and friends just want your money
By Bill Gross – Financial Times
Psst! Investors – do you wanna know a secret? Do you wanna know what Angela Merkel, François Hollande, Christine Lagarde and Mario Draghi all share in common? They want your money!

U.S. Department Of The Treasury: Matthew Rutherford Confirmed As Assistant Secretary For Financial Markets

The German Press Responds To Draghi: “Vengeance Will Be Bitter”
Zero Hedge
And, as expected, it’s not happy. The punchline: “The central bank is to become subordinate to finance ministers in crisis-stricken countries . In Draghi’s homeland Italy, such a situation was the norm for decades — and the result was chronic inflation. Now, he is accepting a repeat of history. On the short term, it will create relief in the debt crisis. On the long term, vengeance will be bitter.”


SEC head calls software glitch “unacceptable”
CBS News
SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro says technical problems like the one caused by Knight Capital Group illustrate how investor confidence can be shaken

SEC Nixed Knight’s Plea for a Do-Over
Knight Capital Group officials raced over the weekend to negotiate a deal to save the crippled brokerage firm as new details emerged showing regulators rebuffed the company’s pleas to be released from errant trades it had booked.

Chairman Schapiro Statement on Knight Capital Group Trading Issue
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro today made the following statement: The apparent trading error by Knight Capital Group on Wednesday reflects the type of event that can raise concerns for investors about our nation’s equity markets — markets that I believe are the most resilient, efficient, and robust in the world.

S.E.C. Gets Encouragement From Jury That Ruled Against It
As Beau Brendler sat in the jury box listening to the government’s case against a former Citigroup midlevel executive, the same question kept entering his mind. “I wanted to know why the bank’s C.E.O. wasn’t on trial,” said Mr. Brendler, who served as the jury’s foreman. “Citigroup’s behavior was appalling.”

Study Questions Risk of S.E.C. Revolving Door
The revolving door has long been the focus of government watchdogs here, a symbolic portal that business executives and lawyers pass through on their way to government posts and back again to the private sector. There, the thinking goes, they use their influence with former colleagues to reap benefits for themselves and their companies.

Basel III and Cleared Derivatives: The Bark was Worse than the Bite
By Mayra Rodriguez Valladares
While banks may grouse over stricter derivatives rules recently recommended by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, bank risk managers should focus on the potential upside of new regulation, industry consultant Mayra Rodríguez Valladares said.

FIA PTG and FIA EPTA Issue Statement in Response to August 1 Market Disruptions
FIA Principal Traders Group and FIA European Principal Traders Association today issued the following joint statement in response to the disruptions that occurred in the U.S. equity markets on August 1.

Not So Fast, Let’s Stop and Think
Today’s New York Times contains an interesting story — “Strong and Fast Markets, But No Time to Think” — that reflects on the trading glitches that roiled equities markets on Wednesday.

ASIC to launch consumer and financial literacy package for primary teachers

ASIC Service availability

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

CME to hike natural gas margins Tuesday
The CME Group, parent of the Chicago Board of Trade, said on Friday it would raise margins for trading natural gas futures, effective after the close of business Aug. 7.

EPEX SPOT & EEX Power Derivatives: Power Trading Results in July 2012
In July 2012, a total volume of 27.8 TWh was traded on EPEX SPOT’s Day-Ahead and Intraday markets (July 2011: 25.8 TWh). During the same period, the volume in power derivatives trading on EEX Power Derivatives amounted to 59.7 TWh (July 2011: 72.9 TWh).

ASX Group Monthly Activity Report – July 2012

ASX Compliance Monthly Activity Report – July 2012

BM&FBOVESPA Monthly Bulletin – July

Vienna Stock Exchange Cash And Derivatives Market Statistics July 2012

Vienna Stock Exchange Derivatives Market – Detailed Statistics July 2012

NASDAQ OMX Commodities Derivatives And N2EX Physical Power Monthly Market Report

Direct Edge Trading Notice #12-30: Attributed Quoting Update and Testing Information

[CBOE] Trader E-News

TSX Block List Leaders – July 2012

TMX Top 20 Largest Consolidated Short Position Report

TOM MTF Statistics Week 31 2012

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Berkshire Profit Falls 9 Percent on Buffett’s Derivatives
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said profit slipped 9 percent in the second quarter as derivative bets declined in value.

‘Macro’ Funds Show Micro Returns
Global financial markets continue to be whipsawed by policy makers and economic news, leaving even fund managers who focus on profiting from sweeping macroeconomic trends in a difficult spot.

Police Protection, Please, for Municipal Bonds
YOU’VE got the power. Why not use it? That’s a question for the Securities and Exchange Commission when it comes to the murky market for municipal bonds.

Spike in Crop Prices May Signal ‘Chronic Food Crisis’
John Melloy | CNBC
The spike in crop prices this year may be an early glimpse into a chronic food crisis that could unfold over the next forty years, says well-known money manager Jeremy Grantham.

Hedge Funds Sitting Out Big Corn Trade: Street Whispers via Yahoo! Finance
Despite the corn market rally, hedge funds aren’t clamoring for a trade.

Securities and Trading Expert Nicholas J. Weir to Become Vice President to the Financial Markets Practice at Charles River
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance
Charles River Associates, a worldwide leader in providing economic, financial, and management consulting services, today announced that Nicholas J. Weir has entered into an agreement to become a vice president to CRA’s Financial Markets Practice.

Hedge Funds As Landlords? In Search Of Returns, Wall Street Buys Up Foreclosed Homes
Here’s some good news. Some hedge funds are expecting the housing market to recover. And guess what? They’re planning to profit off of it.

Blackstone removed from Top Picks Live list at Citigroup via Yahoo! Finance
Citigroup removed Blackstone from its Top Picks Live list in favor of Och-Ziff Capital as it views Och-Ziff as the more near-term actionable idea.

U.S. Department Of The Treasury Announces Public Offering Of AIG Common Stock

Banks & Brokers

UBS Dismisses Traders and Managers Over Libor, Der Sonntag Says
UBS AG has dismissed about two dozen traders and managers in connection with an investigation of manipulation of the London interbank offered rates, Der Sonntag reported.

Wall St banks prepare for euro break-up
Tom Braithwaite and Dan McCrum in New York and Patrick Jenkins in London – Financial Times
Wall Street banks are increasingly telling counterparties and borrowers to restructure contracts or find another bank as they prepare for the potential exit of a country from the eurozone.

Total ICAP electronic broking average daily volumes of US$644.1bn for July
ICAP, the world’s leading interdealer broker, announces today that average daily volumes on the BrokerTec and EBS platforms for July were US$644.1bn, down 9% from June. For the month of July, there was a year-on-year decrease of 27%.

Knight Rout Shows Why Banks Shouldn’t Split, Hintz Says
Knight Capital Group Inc. ’s search for investors in the wake of a $440 million loss demonstrates why the biggest Wall Street banks shouldn’t be broken up, according to Brad Hintz, a Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst.

Barclays Plans Block on Bankers’ Bonuses
Dow Jones
Barclays PLC is working on a radical new pay scheme that could see bonuses for top executives cut and not paid out until they retire, the Sunday Times reports without citing sources.

Citigroup Says Rate Probe Spurs Legal Inquiries to Bank’s Units
Citigroup Inc. , ranked third by assets among U.S. banks, received inquiries from state attorneys general as part of an international probe into rigging of a key benchmark used to set loan rates.

DealBook: Jury Found Brian Stoker Not Guilty, but Not Necessarily Citigroup
New York Times
The jury that acquitted a former Citigroup executive in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s case against him included with the verdict a statement supporting financial investigations.

Insight: Morgan Stanley brokers chafe at new system’s glitches
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s new brokerage technology platform has been beset by glitches that have frustrated the firm’s financial advisers and made a long and costly merger more expensive, brokers and other people familiar with the situation said.

Bob Diamond’s Daughter Has Left Deutsche Bank
Business Insider
Former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond’s daughter Nell Diamond resigned from her position at Deutsche Bank, Business Insider has learned after calling her desk this morning.

TD Ameritrade to Resume Routing Client Trades to Knight Capital Americas LLC

Clearing & Settlement

Dubai Mercantile Exchange Announces Planned Change To Clearer Of Record From NYMEX To CME Clearing
Following US regulatory changes based on new Dodd-Frank rules, the clearing house of record for the DME will officially change from NYMEX to CME Clearing.

CME Group Clearing Advisory
Green Exchange Product Migration to NYMEX August 27, 2012

CME Clearing – Performance Bonds / Margins
Performance Bond Requirements: Agriculture Intra and Inter-Commodity Spreads; Agriculture and Commodity Index Ratios- Effective Thursday, August 2, 2012

CME Clearing – Performance Bonds / Margins
Performance Bond Requirements – Natural Gas Outrights and Crude Oil Intra-Commodity Spread Charges Effective Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Indexes & Products

ETFGI Global ETF And ETP Industry Insights, July 2012

Environmental & Energy

Green Exchange Product Migration to Nymex: August 27, 2012
Press Release
As previously announced, all existing Green Exchange products will be delisted from Green Exchange and will be listed under the NYMEX starting Sunday, August 26, 2012 (trade date Monday, August 27).

CME to Hike Natural Gas Margins Tuesday
The CME Group, parent of the Chicago Board of Trade, said on Friday it would raise margins for trading natural gas futures, effective after the close of business Aug. 7.

Lawmaker offers new approach to price carbon in U.S.
Reuters Point Carbon
A Democratic congressman made the latest attempt to set a national price on carbon on Thursday, floating a bill that would force companies to pay for their emissions, while using proceeds to help reduce the budget deficit and offset any price increases for consumers.


Citigroup Launches Investment Banking Joint Venture With Orient Securities
Dow Jones
Citigroup Inc. has finally gained access to China’s fast-growing capital market with the launch Monday of an investment banking joint venture in the country.

Shanghai Stock Exchange: Notice Of Further Reduction In A-share Trading Handling Fee

SGX Proposes Review of Listing Manual
Singapore Exchange (“SGX”) has commenced meetings with market practitioners and stakeholders including the Association of Banks in Singapore (“ABS”) Corporate Finance Committee in early July 2012 to establish a working committee to review the SGX Listing Manual.

Press Conference By Tadahiro Matsushita, Japan’s Minister For Financial Services – Insider Trading And Resignation Of Two Top Nomura Executives

[FSA] Administrative Action against Nomura Securities Co., Ltd.

FSA publishes Weekly Review No.6

Monetary Authority Of Singapore Issues Second Response To Feedback On Proposed Regulation Of Derivatives Markets In Singapore And Consultation Paper On Amendments To The Securities And Futures Act

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission Bans Leung Kam Yu For Three Years

Dalian Commodity Exchange: Notice On Adjustment To Transaction Fee Standards For Some Futures Varieties

Dalian Commodity Exchange: Notice On Adjustment To Minimum Margin And Limit Range Of Soybean Meal Futures

Japan’s Securities And Exchange Surveillance Commission: Recommendation For Administrative Action Based On Findings Of The Inspection Of Nomura Securities Co., Ltd.

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission: FAQs On Hontex’s Proposed Share Repurchase

Frontier Markets

MCX-SX wins approval to launch currency options
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
The MCX Stock Exchange has received approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India and the Reserve Bank of India to launch currency options on its platform, the exchange said on Sunday.

Dubai Financial Market Successfully Concludes Its Summer Training Program 2012
The Program Attracted 18 UAE Students And Included Specialized Courses On Brokerage, Market Research And Information Technology

Dubai Financial Market Announces The Results Of Its Board Of Directors Meeting Held On 4 August 2012

Dubai Financial Market Company Company Net Profit Surges 140% To AED 40.6 Million During The First Half Of 2012

MCX Weekly Market Report – July 27, 2012 To August 02, 2012

Malawi Stock Exchange Weekly Report

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