In the “Massive Tech Error Causes Great Pain” department, the three most recent trading faults during the past week provoke a wide range of responses and suggestions. The SEC, along those lines, is considering tightening up the rules for automated trading in the wake of Knight Capital’s nearly-successful attempt to destroy itself. And as the first day’s debate over whether Standard Chartered’s Iran-related actions were silly clerical errors or egregious illegal activity, a settlement for said innocuous-or-sinister deeds could rank in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Libor, Naked and Exposed
By GARY GENSLER – NY Times
AMERICANS who save for the future, use credit cards or borrow money for tuition, cars and homes deserve assurance that the interest rates on their savings and loans are set in a reliable and honest way. That’s why the revelation that the British bank Barclays attempted to manipulate the London interbank offered rate, or Libor — one of the benchmark rates used to determine the cost of borrowing around the world — is so disturbing.
**** Gary Gensler showing his leadership and communication skills in an op-ed piece in the New York Times. I would like to see more of this from Mr. Gensler. These are the times when we need the adults to step up and Mr. Gensler is that.
The trials of Gary Gensler
Philip McBride Johnson – FOW
Here is a guy, raising kids on his own, who went from a secure job at Treasury (though perhaps not as secure as his previous remit at Goldman Sachs) to chair the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under conditions that might make George Washington recant his cherry tree confession. He confronted the Dodd-Frank Act, a piece of legislation that is of biblical size (and cost). Then came along the MF Global collapse, run by his former Goldman colleague (if such exists on Wall Street), Jon Corzine. What to do?
**** A commentary I wish I would have written.
Monday MarketsWiki passed the 27 million page view mark on Monday, which means 2012 has seen 9.5 million page views after all of 2011 saw the site have 9.6 million page views. MarketsWiki’s growth continues on an exponential basis. Of course, this has been a dynamic year for news about our markets.
MarketsReformWiki hit the 1.9 million page view mark this week, putting it on a path to more than double the 1 million page views it has saw in its first 12 months. MarketsReformWiki was launched at the end of February of 2011 and passed the 1 million page view mark in mid-February of 2012.
Asia exotic commodity derivatives use to fall further on Ice initiative
IntercontinentalExchange‘s (Ice) decision to move cleared over-the-counter swaps on to its exchanges to be subsequently traded as futures at the start of 2013 will result in a further reduction in the amount of exotic commodity derivatives traded by international banks in Asia, according to industry sources.
Orc commits to full support of Eurex Exchange’s new trading architecture
Orc, a leading provider of technology and services for the global financial industry, today announced support for Eurex Exchange’s new trading architecture, the all-new trading platform scheduled for launch on December 3, 2012.
*** Being committed is fine as long as it does not involve straight jackets. I can tell you, one size does not fit all.
Exclusive: Regulators irate at NY action against StanChart
Reuters via Yahoo! News
The Treasury Department and Federal Reserve were blindsided and angered by New York’s banking regulator’s decision to launch an explosive attack on Standard Chartered Plc over $250 billion in alleged money laundering transactions tied to Iran, sources familiar with the situation said.
Probity best defence against hit squad
By Jonathan Guthrie – Financial Times
The thesis of many in the City – and some MPs – is that US regulators and politicians have set out to damage the reputation of London’s financial centre with the aim of clawing back business for New York. The pronouncements of Stateside watchdogs are certainly sometimes inflected with the xenophobia that flourishes in downturns. But elaborate conspiracy theories smack of shooting the messenger.
The Dread of the Unknown
By PETER EAVIS – NY Times
The devil we don’t know is lurking in the financial system. At the start of last week, Knight Capital Group was a battle-tested trading firm whose electronic trading systems had performed steadfastly through several crises since the late 1990s. Unlike Lehman Brothers, it was not the sort of firm that took on too much debt to buy assets that could later collapse in value.
Deal Professor: In $440 Million Trading Error, Upside of Wall St. Failures
New York Times
The Knight Capital debacle follows a long list of Wall Street failures, but in this capitalist system, weak players are discarded so stronger players can survive.
London Bank Scandals Risk Losing Business to U.S., Lawmaker Says
Firms in London’s financial district must root out lawbreakers and stop flouting international rules or else the city will lose business to New York, said Mark Field, who represents the area in the British parliament.
Greenberg Asks: Was That Sandy Weill, or Sacha Baron Cohen?
By MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED – NY Times
Sanford I. Weill’s call to break up big banks certainly took many on Wall Street by surprise. But it was such a major turnabout that at least one longtime banking grandee thinks it’s unbelievable.
CFTC Rule 1.73: Jim Downs of Connamara Systems Talks About New Options Rule
A little known CFTC rule (Rule 1.73), part of the Dodd-Frank Act, is gaining attention of futures brokers. Jim Downs, founder and CEO of Connamara Systems, explains the basics of Rule 1.73, which will force FCMs and swaps participants to create new market-based limits on options positions, as well as monitor liquidation costs, options stress tests and other compliance elements. Downs talks about the key components of the new rule, which goes into effect on October 1, and what impact it may have on the industry. Interview by John Lothian News editor-in-chief Jim Kharouf.
The Riches Of The Swiss Will Be Their Undoing
Two headlines today from Switzerland tell an important story. The first is about the rapid increase of foreign reserves due to the currency “Peg administered by the Swiss National Bank.
**DA: According to the commentary, Switzerland is the new China.
German minister warns of euro debate tone
Associated Press via Yahoo! Finance
Europe’s politicians are being told to watch their language when it comes to debating the future of the single currency.Germany’s foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, warned Monday that arguments about European policy are taking on a “very dangerous” tone.
**DA: Hmmm. Free speech must yield to the greater good, huh? Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Are Ron Paul’s Competing Currencies the Answer to Monetary Mischief?
Competing currencies ultimately presume a “better” dollar, but dollars shouldn’t be good or bad, they should simply be unchanging much like the foot and minute are always 12 inches and 60 seconds.
**DA: My daughter wants a unicorn for her birthday. Just sayin.’
MarketsWiki Page of the Day
MarketsWiki Recent Updates
Companies, Organizations and Groups
27,044,438 pages viewed, 7,027 articles, 145,976 edits
Quick View: Glitches stir disclosure debate
By Philip Stafford – Financial Times
Three software glitches affecting trading on prominent global exchanges in the last week provoked three different responses.
Knight Losses Spur Tighter Automated-Trading Rules From SEC
Jesse Hamilton – Bloomberg
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is writing new rules in the wake of Knight Capital Group Inc. (KCG) losses that could turn longstanding policies for how exchanges manage their automated systems into regulations.
Standard Chartered Probe Said to Require Up to $700 Mln
Greg Farrell and Meera Louis – Bloomberg
Standard Chartered Plc (STAN) might be asked to pay as much as $700 million to resolve money laundering allegations filed by New York’s banking superintendent after his department grew impatient with inaction by federal regulators, a person familiar with the case said.
StanChart hits back at Iran claims
By Patrick Jenkins in London – Financial Times
Standard Chartered hit back hard on Tuesday against US regulatory attempts to cast it as a “rogue institution” for allegedly breaching sanctions on Iran, describing any transgressions as “small clerical errors”. But the British bank’s “strong rejection [of] the portrayal of facts” on Monday by New York state’s Department of Financial Services failed to convince investors.
Regulators win as ICE converts swaps to futures: Kemp
John Kemp – Reuters
IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) last week surprised the derivatives world by announcing that all its over-the-counter cleared energy swaps will be converted to futures contracts from January 2013.
Peregrine Trustee Can Subpoena Firm’s Banks
Dow Jones Newswires
A federal judge on Tuesday cleared the way for a trustee to seek financial records from banks used by Peregrine Financial Group Inc., as investigators sift the collapsed brokerage’s finances.
Why It’s Time for Central Bankers to Say: ‘No More!’
The Curious Capitalist
In my (too many) years covering the global economy and assorted financial crises, the perpetual hypocrisy exhibited by the world’s private bankers continues to amaze me. Confronted by government attempts to better regulate or in any way curtail their often irresponsible tactics to line their own pockets, bankers claim amid horrified gasps that overbearing bureaucrats are assaulting the West’s cherished free-market principles. But the moment things go a bit wonky, these same bankers are perfectly happy to accept a taxpayer handout or yelp for another slathering of easy money from the Federal Reserve or European Central Bank. Government action seems just fine with the world of Wall Street when it produces easy money for easy profits.
Monti under pressure to renounce bailout
Guy Dinmore and Giulia Segreti in Rome – FT.com
“We can do it alone” is the latest rallying cry to be heard in Italy as economists and politicians shower Mario Monti with proposals to use the country’s own vast but often dormant resources to slash its debt mountain rather than become hostage to the perceived diktat of Germany and Brussels.
What’s the deal with the swap dealer rule? And why are utilities so worried?
Brian Scheid – The Barrel
A relatively minor provision in a swaps reform rule might cause major headaches for government-owned utilities, shut down long-standing relationships with natural gas and electricity companies and leave utilities “hostage” to Goldman Sachs and the other biggest banks in the world. So to help you understand what could be the next great fight in the seemingly endless battle over the derivatives reforms mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, here’s the answers to all the questions you probably have.
Fundamental Review of the Trading Book: what you need to know
Oliver Fleming and Matt Clay – FOW
Already besieged by an onslaught of impinging regulation, perhaps the last thing that any senior banking executive wanted to see rolling off the Basel presses was a consultation paper that included the word ‘Fundamental’ in its title. However, as has been demonstrated repeatedly over the past 36 months, the current era of banking regulation is very seldom reflective of banks wishes.
SEC-Money Fund Showdown: Aug. 29
ANDREW ACKERMAN And KIRSTEN GRIND – WSJ
After months of wrangling in Washington, U.S. regulators are planning to vote later this month on a proposal to tighten rules governing the $2.6 trillion money-market mutual-fund industry.
LIBOR Rigging Scandal: No New Laws Are Necessary
As the evidence mounts about the scope of efforts to rig the London Interbank Offered Rate, a significant financial index, the predictable calls for new laws and even a radical restructuring of major segments of the financial services industry are coming from both the U.S. and Europe.
NFA Webinars: Registration and Compliance Issues for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants
The CFTC and SEC have approved final rule definitions for “swap”, “security-based swaps” and “security-based swap agreements” contained in the Dodd-Frank Act. The joint rule also provides detailed rules and interpretive guidance on what types of contracts fit these definitions. Once the rule is published in the Federal Register, the clock will begin ticking for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants to register with the CFTC and become NFA Members. To help Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants understand the registration process, NFA will present a webinar on Thursday, August 23 at 2:00 p.m. EST.
Exchanges & Trading Facilities
BATS GLOBAL MARKETS RECORDS 2ND BEST U.S. EQUITIES MONTHLY MARKET SHARE IN JULY; U.S. OPTIONS, EUROPEAN EQUITIES CONTINUE STRONG GROWTH
BATS Reports 12.3% U.S. Equities Market Share, Up From 11.1% a Year Ago; BATS Chi-X Europe Sets Monthly Market Share Records in Nordic and Portuguese Markets; U.S. Options Market Share Rises Sequentially to 3.6%
NYSE Euronext Names Luís Palha da Silva to Its Board of Directors
NYSE Euronext (NYX) today named to its board of directors Luís Palha da Silva, former CEO and CFO of Jerónimo Martins, SGPS, SA and former Portuguese Secretary of State for Trade. Mr. Palha da Silva was appointed as an independent member of NYSE Euronext’s board effective Aug. 1, 2012, pending regulatory approval.
BOX Options Exchange August 2012 InBOX
This is the August issue of InBOX, your news source from inside the BOX Options Exchange. This monthly publication will provide convenient summaries of recent developments at BOX.
BATS US Disaster Recovery Migration
BATS Global Markets Inc, a leading operator of US Equity and Options Markets, has completed its disaster recovery facility migration from Nutley NJ, to Chicago, Il. Nutley ceased as a DR facility for BATS as of 3 Aug 2012, with the new facility in Chicago going live 6 Aug 2012.
Spain Bourse Apologizes for Shutdown
Spain’s stock market operator Tuesday issued a formal apology for a major trading disruption Monday, and said the halt was due to the failure of the communication servers market members used to access the exchange.
The Thomson Reuters Global Equities Monthly Market Share Data Updated To Reflect July 2012 Activity
BM&FBOVESPA S.A. Announces Results For The Second Quarter 2012 – All-Time High Volumes For Equity And Derivatives Segments – Second Consecutive Quarter Of Record Revenues – Adjusted OpEx Budget Range For 2012 Revised Downwards
MGEX Releases Weekly Apple Juice Concentrate Stocks Report
MGEX, a Designated Contract Market (DCM) and Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO), today announced the posting of the AJC Stocks Report which lists the total stock of Apple Juice Concentrate (AJC) stored in MGEX approved “Regular” warehouses.
[CBOE] SPX Range Options (SRO) – Systems Settings
[CBOE] Restrictions on Transactions in K-V Pharmaceutical Company Class A (“KV.A”)
TMX Group Equity Financing Statistics — July 2012
Hedge Funds & Managed Futures
Richest Family Offices Seeing Fastest Growth as Firms Oust Banks
Anthony Effinger – Bloomberg
They call it “money camp.” Twice a week, 6- to 11-year-old scions of wealthy families take classes on being rich. They compete to corner commodities markets in Pit, the raucous Parker Brothers card game, and take part in a workshop called “business in a box,” examining products that aren’t obvious gold mines, such as the packaging on Apple Inc.’s iPhone rather than the phone itself.
Hedge Fund Fight Over Madoff Claims Shows Contract Woes
Hedge funds Perry Capital LLC and Solus Alternative Asset Management LP are fighting over whether they had a contract when they agreed to trade $195 million of claims on Bernard Madoff’s bankrupt firm, amid rising prices on the claims.
Report Urges Asset Managers To Embrace New Sense Of Morality To Regain Investor Confidence
A new report published online today urges asset managers to regain investor confidence by facing up to the moral challenges posed by recent global events. Based on a ‘swift survey’ of asset managers, “Success of the Fittest: A Swift Survey of Shifts in Asset Management”, assesses the fitness of the asset management sector in the present financial climate.
Tick Data Announces Availability of Mexico and Korea Historical Intraday Equity Datasets
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance
Tick Data , the market data division of Nexa Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Penson Worldwide, Inc. , today announced the addition of Mexican and Korean Tick Equity Data to its offering of historical intraday market data.
Morrison & Foerster Adds Two High-Profile Attorneys
The former general counsel of investment giant Janus Capital Group is one of two high-profile additions to Morrison & Foerster’s Denver office. The Denver office of the firm will add Kelley A. Howes, the former Janus attorney, and Brian Neil Hoffman, a former senior enforcement attorney in the Chicago office of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Cash out of gold and send kids to college
By Peter Tasker – Financial Times
Just like the non-barking dog in the Sherlock Holmes story, the gold price has become strangely insensitive to the usual stimuli.
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services: Greece Outlook Revised To Negative On Likely Financing Shortfalls For 2012 – ‘CCC/C’ Ratings Affirmed
Banks & Brokers
StanChart CEO Braces For US Regulatory Fall Out
Last week, Standard Chartered PLC Chief Executive Peter Sands told analysts that “our culture and values are our first and last line of defense.” On Tuesday, allegations by the New York financial regulator that Standard Chartered hid illegal Iranian transactions seemed to breach that line of defense, sending the lender’s shares down 23% and wiping GBP7.65 billion off its market value.
Knight Is Said to Have Spurned $500 Million Citadel Loan
Zachary R. Mider, Stephanie Ruhle and Saijel Kishan – Bloomberg
Knight Capital Group Inc. (KCG) rejected a last-minute, $500 million rescue-loan offer from Citadel LLC on Aug. 5 as it worked on a competing plan from a group of investors, said two people with knowledge of the matter.
Knight Almost Goes Dark
Knight Trading’s brush with death illustrates the degree to which computers and software—not people—dictate the ebb and flow of the stock markets, report Alex Klein and Matthew Zeitlin.
Knight Capital to Fully Resume NYSE and NYSE MKT Designated Market Maker Responsibilities on Monday, Aug. 13, 2012
Effective Monday, Aug. 13, 2012, all New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NYSE MKT securities as well as staff, operations and systems responsibility will return to the Designated Market Maker (DMM) unit of Knight Capital Americas LLC from GETCO LLC in light of the completion of Knight Capital’s recapitalization plan.
Standard Chartered sparks scrutiny of India offshoring
Reuters via Yahoo! News
MUMBAI/NEW YORK – Offshoring of back-office work to India, a trend among banks and accounting firms, came under new scrutiny with allegations that Standard Chartered Plc moved compliance oversight work dealing with Iranian banking transactions to India to avoid U.S. regulators.
Morgan Stanley considers shutting offices, cutting staff: sources
Reuters via Yahoo! News
NEW YORK – Morgan Stanley , under fire to boost profit margins in its retail brokerage arm, is considering closing brokerage offices, laying off support staff and requiring some branch managers also to generate revenue as advisers under a cost-cutting drive, three people briefed on internal discussions said.
Goldman Sachs Australia exec Curtis Smith to leave
Goldman Sachs Managing Director Curtis Smith has left the Wall Street bank after four years, two people familiar with the matter said Wednesday. Mr. Smith was based in Sydney and was in charge of mergers and acquisitions involving listed Australian companies with a market value below 2 billion Australian dollars.
Goldman Joins JPMorgan in Promising Better Japan Controls
Takahiko Hyuga – Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) were among banks that pledged to improve how they guard client information in Japan amid an insider trading scandal that toppled Nomura Holdings Inc. (8604)’s top two executives.
Morgan Stanley Derivative Accord Wins Approval in First Case
Morgan Stanley won approval of a $4.8 million accord with the U.S. over claims it helped manipulate electricity prices, in what the Justice Department called its first effort to get disgorgement from a financial firm that used derivatives to aid anticompetitive behavior.
Deutsche Bank Is Stuck on RREEF
BY CRAIG KARMIN AND LAURA STEVENS – WSJ
Deutsche Bank AG’s on-and-off effort to sell its giant real-estate fund group is taking its toll on one of the world’s largest property-investment businesses.
Barclays expects Citi to book $6B charge in 3Q
Associated Press via Yahoo! News
A Barclays analyst projects that Citigroup Inc. may book a charge of up to $6 billion in the third quarter related to its stake in the retail brokerage Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, which it owns with investment bank Morgan Stanley.
Australia sees no need to ring-fence banks
Australian regulators see no need to follow their U.S. and European counterparts in debating whether to ring-fence the retail and investment banking operations of the country’s major lenders.
Instinet Named “Preferred Broker” By FactSet
Instinet Incorporated, a global leader in electronic trading and agency-only brokerage services, today announced that its Instinet, LLC subsidiary has been named a “Preferred Broker” by FactSet, a leading provider of integrated financial information and analytical applications to the global investment community.
Bill Borden And Dennis Sweeney To Join Bank Of America Merrill Lynch Global Transaction Services Business
Clearing & Settlement
Omgeo names DTCC’s Andrew Gray as new Chairman of the Board
Omgeo has announced that Andrew Gray, Managing Director of Core Business Management for DTCC, has been named its new Chairman of the Board.
Clearstream’s July 2012 figures
In July 2012, the value of assets under custody held on behalf of customers remained stable at E11.2 trillion (compared to E11.2 trillion in July 2011). Securities held under custody in Clearstream’s international business increased by 3 percent from E 5.9 trillion in July 2011 to E 6.1 trillion in July 2012 while domestic German securities held under custody decreased by 4 percent from E 5.3 trillion in July 2011 to E 5.1 trillion in July 2012.
Indexes & Products
Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Indexes July 2012 Commodities Commentary – Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Indexes Up As Drought Continues To Overshadow Other Factors
By Christine Marie Nielsen
FTSE Announces Changes For The FTSE Italia Index Series
ISDA Publishes Recommendation for FpML version 5.3
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA) today announced the publication of the Recommendation for FpML version 5.3. This version puts in place a robust technical framework for global regulatory reporting requirements.
Wall Street watchdog suspends Wedbush Securities president
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Wall Street’s watchdog suspended the founder and president of Wedbush Securities for not adequately supervising the financial company’s regulatory filings, which, in many cases, were late or inaccurate, according to an order.
Oct. sentencing set for Conn. hedge fund adviser
An Oct. 30 sentencing date has been set for a former Connecticut hedge fund adviser who pleaded guilty in connection with an alleged pyramid scheme involving hundreds of millions of dollars from a pension fund for Venezuela’s state oil workers.
SEC Charges Pfizer With FCPA Violations
ASIC cancels Australian credit licence of Brisbane aggregator, finance and mortgage broker
Former ABC Learning Centres auditor prevented from auditing companies for five years
Environmental & Energy
How to Parse Climate Change and Extreme Weather?
The New York Times
James E. Hansen, the irrepressible NASA scientist who was among the first to sound the alarm about human-caused global warming, has roiled the scientific community again with a new scientific paper explicitly linking high concentrations of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to recent severe heat waves and drought.
**RKB – More follow-up on Dr. Hansen. Broder, here, has the election consequences.
Opinion: Fred Krupp: A New Climate-Change Consensus
The Wall Street Journal
One scorching summer doesn’t confirm that climate change is real any more than a white Christmas proves it’s a hoax. What matters is the trend—a decades-long march toward hotter and wilder weather. But with more than 26,000 heat records broken in the last 12 months and pervasive drought turning nearly half of all U.S. counties into federal disaster areas, many data-driven climate skeptics are reassessing the issue.
Reid ‘very confident’ wind credit will clear Senate
The Hill’s E2 Wire
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas that he is “very confident” the Senate will extend a crucial wind energy tax credit this year.
Citigroup plans to double outlets in China in three years: executive
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Citigroup plans to double the number of outlets in China to 100 in the next three years, underlining its push into retail banking in the world’s second-biggest economy.
TSE : All derivatives contracts start trading as usual today
We deeply apologize to our market users and related parties for any inconvenience which may have been caused by yesterday’s trading halt. All derivatives contracts will soon start trading as per usual today.
Monsoon rains swamp Philippine capital, markets shut
Deadly torrential rains submerged much of the Philippine capital and surrounding areas on Tuesday, forcing nearly 270,000 people to flee their homes with more flooding expected in the north of the country as a tropical storm passes through the region, officials said.
Thai Bourse Market Report For July
Daily Average Stock Trading Volume Up 6.1 Pct M-O-M, Down 19.4 Pct Y-O-Y – Derivatives Trading At 43,380 Contracts Per Day, Down 17.5 Pct From June – Market Cap At THB 9.94 Trillion, Up 18.25 Pct From End-2011
HKEx 2012 Interim Results
Tokyo Stock Exchange: Base Price And Daily Price Limits For Newly Listing ETF(1574)
SGX Securities Market Benefits From Recent Initiatives
Tokyo Stock Exchange ETF/ETN Monthly Report For Jul 2012
HKEx Forfeiture Of Unclaimed Interim Dividend For 2006
Shanghai Stock Exchange Sorts Out And Releases Regulatory Documents On Information Disclosure Of Listed Companies For Improving Openness And Transparency
Shanghai Stock Exchange: Notice Of Sorting Out And Releasing Regulatory Documents On Information Disclosure Of Listed Companies
Tehran Stock Exchange Bulletin July 2012
Sometimes Hedge Fund Associates Would Rather Bake Muffins
The New York Observer
Ben Gifford, at left, with Sean Pears Ben Gifford graduated from Dartmouth in 2010. He sought work teaching in Asia, but those kinds of jobs don’t exactly grow on trees, so he went to work for Bridgewater Associates. But life at the $125 billion hedge fund didn’t exactly agree with him, and after a year-and-a-half at the firm, he decided to pursue other dreams.