Climate change protesters ‘swarm’ City of London

Apr 25, 2019

First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

Yesterday I interviewed filmmaker and former CME member Jordan Melamed for the JLN Open Outcry Traders History Project. He is a writer and director, known for Manic (2001), Twelve (2010) and Futures Past (2012). Jordan is the son of CME Group Chairman Emeritus Leo Melamed. Jordan gave us a tremendous interview.~JJL


Crypto Evolved is on June 25, 2019 at Convene at 730 3rd Avenue in New York City. Register at

CAIA and the CFA Society are putting on the Alt Chicago event on June 11th at the Fairmont Hotel. The keynote speaker is Daniel D’Aniello, co-founder of the Carlyle Group. RSM is the lead sponsor of many sponsors of the event.~JJL

Picture this: Cboe Global Markets Plans Listing of Options on Pinterest (PINS), Zoom Video Communications (ZM) on April 25.~JJL

Robert Khoury is now the CEO at Agile Rainmakers, LLC, a consulting firm. He was also recently named as an adviser to World Tree. Rob and I have agreed to collaborate on teaching merit badges for the Trading Tech 300 program in August. He will teach entrepreneurship and I will teach communications.~JJL

The Investors Exchange (IEX), operated by IEX Group, Inc., announced the addition of two senior hires, Bill Guinan and Jonathan Yam, to lead business and technology development.~SR

My post on LinkedIn with the decision for the Jitesh Thakkar trial now has over 15,000 views and 24 comments.~JJL

Two girls from my Scouts BSA troop are signed up to go to National Youth Leadership Training Camp through the Fearless Girl NYLT Fund, raised as part of the LaSalle Street Trading Tech Awards event. Thank you to all the donors who helped make this possible. My girl troop of Scouts BSA is up from 10 members on February 1 to 17 members today.~JJL

According to a recent survey put out by bitFlyer, 63 percent of Europeans think that crypto will still be around in 10 years, but only 49 percent think bitcoin will exist at that time. The survey involved 10,000 respondents in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Spain.~MR


Making an Independent FCM a Global Ag Powerhouse – Gerry Corcoran, R.J. O’Brien

It’s not easy being a futures commission merchant (FCM) in today’s environment, but R.J. O’Brien, the oldest and largest independent FCM, is thriving, bringing in record revenues of $600 million in 2018. In this video, R.J. O’Brien Chairman and CEO Gerry Corcoran talks about the firm’s recent initiatives and approach to global expansion.

Watch the video »


Keeping an Eye on the Open: New Guidance from the CME Group
The definitions that govern disruptive trading practices are constantly evolving and one area that has garnered an increasing amount of surveillance interest in the last several years concerns activities that occur immediately before and during the market open. As an example of this focus, the CME Group has issued a new Market Regulation Advisory Notice (MRAN) that deals specifically with this period of time in the trading day. While this MRAN is primarily a clarification and consolidation of previously issued guidance, its publication is an indication of how important the opening period and Indicative Opening Prices (IOPs) are to futures markets. The contents of this new IOP MRAN are a helpful guide to understanding the ins-and-outs of surveilling the market and the compliance issues that are either best observed or avoided.

**** New acronyms, IOP and MRAN. Used in a sentence, I had to IOP so I MRAN.~JJL


Trump says stocks have hit records ‘close to or over a 100 times’ since he took office — but he may be understating it
Mark DeCambre – MarketWatch
President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the stock market has delivered all-time highs around 100 times since he took office — a reference to records hit by the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite Index a day earlier.

***** The words “Trump” and “understating” have never before been used in the same sentence.~JJL


Wednesday’s Top Three
Our most-read story on Wednesday was John Lothian News’ commentary on the Bcause bankruptcy, Getting To Market Fast Is The Difference Between Success Or Failure by Jim Kharouf. In second was the Chicago Tribune’s Spoofing charges dropped against Chicago software developer for program used in trading fraud scheme, about the outcome of the Jitesh Thakkar trial. And in third was the Financial Times’ Automation is the future of futures markets.


MarketsWiki Stats
149,484,491 pages viewed; 23,695 pages; 218,651 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


CryptoMarketsWiki Website»
CryptoMarketsWiki, our archive of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, is going strong and keeping pace as this area of finance grows and evolves.

Recently Updated Pages

Recently updated pages include
John McAfee

CryptoMarketsWiki Stats

1,056 pages; 9,405 edits
CryptoMarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

Climate change protesters ‘swarm’ City of London; Activists glue themselves to stock exchange and others stand on roof of DLR trains
Naomi Rovnick – FT
Climate change protesters who have brought key parts of London to a standstill this month hit the City on Thursday morning in an effort to “swarm” the Square Mile and cause roadblocks targeting the financial sector.

Shaving Milliseconds Off Currency Trades Could Make Singapore Billions
Ruth Carson, Chanyaporn Chanjaroen, and Chikako Mogi – Bloomberg
Government offers incentives to build super-fast platforms; Speed and latency are target areas for improvement, MAS says
Singapore is grabbing an opportunity measured in milliseconds to win a bigger slice of the world’s $5.1 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.

German bank merger crumbles as Deutsche Bank tie-up talks with Commerzbank end
Andreas Framke, Arno Schuetze, Tom Sims – Reuters
Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank abandoned their merger talks on Thursday, with the risks of doing a deal, restructuring costs and capital demands dashing efforts to forge a German mega-bank.

Deutsche Bank-Commerzbank merger talks collapse; Integration risks, implementation costs and capital requirements make deal too complex
Olaf Storbeck, Guy Chazan and Stephen Morris – FT
Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank have abandoned their merger talks, bowing to shareholder concerns and employee resistance in a move that could open the door for foreign rivals to acquire the smaller of the Frankfurt-based rivals.

Goldman and Bank of England to be targeted by climate-change activists
Environmental activists plan protests outside banks including Goldman Sachs, the Bank of England, Rothschild and Nomura on the final day of protests aimed at forcing Britain to take action to avert what they cast as a global climate cataclysm.

Goldman Sachs Targeted in Latest Extinction Rebellion Protest
Irene Garcia Perez – Bloomberg
Activists glue themselves to doors of London Stock Exchange; Marchers to visit offices of Rothschild, Nomura, Deutsche Bank
Extinction Rebellion activists took their climate-change campaign to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and the London Stock Exchange on Thursday, targeting the city’s trading hub to press their call for global action.

China’s bankers in uncharted waters as Shanghai launches U.S.-style tech board
Samuel Shen, Julie Zhu – Reuters
As Chinese investment banker Liu Guangfu prepares to file an application for his client to list on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style technology board, he is heading into uncharted waters: how to price the new shares and sell them to the right investors.

Industry slams regulatory ploy to shift trading volumes to lit venues; Market participants at TradeTech have agreed that trading volumes have failed to shift to lit venues under MiFID II, but the regulation has led to unintended positive developments in the form of periodic auctions.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Several industry veterans have criticised efforts by policy makers in Europe to force more trading volumes from dark to lit venues under MiFID II.

Ameribor: The $1.5bn Index That You Need to Know About
Chris Barnes – Clarus FT
Ameribor is an index of overnight unsecured lending taking place across the CBOE platform AFX.
It is mainly concerned with the interbank market between smaller, regional US banks.
We take a look at the rate versus Fed Funds and some possible uses.

Mom’s Lost Million Spurs Son to Find `Purest Form’ of Arbitrage
Anders Melin and Brandon Kochkodin – Bloomberg
Carver Edison seeks to leverage employee stock purchase plans; Startup offers loans to help workers maximize ESPP benefits
Aaron Shapiro’s quest to rethink employee stock purchase plans began with a startling insight: If only his mother had participated in one, she’d be a millionaire today.

Carbon capture crucial to hit green targets, say MPs; Report calls for widespread use of technology to cut emissions to net zero
Nathalie Thomas – FT
The UK cannot “credibly” reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero without the widespread use of carbon capture technology but government support for the fledgling industry has been “turbulent”, a report from MPs has concluded.

Credit Suisse Hides the Secrets of Its Success; The Swiss bank’s trading performance was impressive, but the crucial ITS venture is opaque and its “landmark transactions” may be lumpy.
Elisa Martinuzzi – Bloomberg
Tidjane Thiam, chief executive of Credit Suisse Group AG, says one of his most senior managers has told him not to be too bullish. He should heed the warning.

Son Creates Stock-Buying Startup After Mom Misses Million Dollar Opportunity
Anders Melin and Brandon Kochkodin – Bloomberg
Carver Edison seeks to leverage employee stock purchase plans; Startup offers loans to help workers maximize ESPP benefits
Aaron Shapiro’s quest to rethink employee stock purchase plans began with a startling insight: If only his mother had participated in one, she’d be a millionaire today. A few years ago, she asked her son for financial advice and mentioned her employer’s ESPP, which she didn’t understand. So Shapiro, 26, who got his finance degree from Babson College, dug into the prospectus.

Suit says meat packers conspired against ranchers, Merc traders
David Roeder – Chicago Sun Times
Tyson Foods, Cargill and two other large meat packers illegally conspired to lower livestock prices, squeezing ranchers and hurting traders who deal in cattle futures at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, a federal lawsuit alleged Tuesday.

Regulator Says Foreign-Exchange Firms Operated $75 Million Fraud Scheme; Executives at three trading firms used investor funds to purchase exotic vacations and sports tickets, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Kristin Broughton – WSJ
A U.S. financial regulator charged three foreign exchange trading businesses and five executives with operating a $75 million scheme that used investor funds for fraudulent payments and the purchase of private-plane charters, exotic vacations and other big-ticket items.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

CME Group Announces 2019 Annual Meeting Location Change
CME Group
CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CME), the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced that, due to ongoing construction, its 2019 Annual Meeting of Shareholders will now be held on the 14th floor at CME Group, located at 20 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois. The meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. Central Time Wednesday, May 8, 2019, and visitors should enter the building through the Monroe Street entrance.

Modernizing the technology of clearing; OCC’s John Davidson describes the vision behind the Renaissance Initiative
Will Acworth – MarketVoice
Big changes are under way at Options Clearing Corporation, the Chicago-based clearinghouse that ranks as one of the largest in the world in terms of processing volume. Earlier this year OCC launched a multi-year effort to modernize the institution’s risk management, clearing and data systems. Dubbed the Renaissance Initiative, the project aims to comprehensively redevelop and modernize the company’s technology. But according to John Davidson, the clearinghouse’s chief executive officer, the changes go far deeper than that.

SGX reports 3Q FY2019 net profit of S$100 million
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today reported 3Q FY2019 net profit of S$99.7 million (S$100.5 million), against revenues of S$228.8 million (S$222.2 million). Operating profit was S$118.2 million (S$117.9 million), with earnings per share at 9.3 cents (9.4 cents). The Board of Directors has declared an interim dividend of 7.5 cents (5.0 cents) per share, payable on 13 May 2019.

Poll Results of 2019 Annual General Meeting and New Appointments
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) today (Wednesday) hosted its 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM). All proposed resolutions as set out in the notice of AGM dated 20 March 2019 were passed. Please refer to the regulatory announcement for the results by resolution.

Deutsche Börse Data Services launches Eurex Flow Insights
Deutsche Börse
New Analytics product provides information on the Eurex order volume by account type;Insight into market positioning and dynamics
Deutsche Börse Data Services now provides the new data product “Eurex Flow Insights”. The product provides a daily analysis of the order volume by account type, such as agent, market maker or trader. The calculated net fund volume is aggregated daily per product and is available for the most active Eurex futures and options

Repo Partnership Program gets strong tailwind
The first few months of 2019 have turned out to be very successful for Eurex Repo. Not only were we able to welcome ten new clients to our Repo markets since January; there are another ten buy-side clients in the process of onboarding, mainly pension funds and insurance companies.

Climate Activists Protest at LSE, Canary Wharf in London
Nour Al Ali – Bloomberg
At least seven people block London Stock Exchange entrance; British Transport Police responding to Canary Wharf protest
Climate activists are targeting the U.K.’s financial industry in a series of protests on Thursday. A group of at least 7 people, who belong to a group called Extinction Rebellion, are blocking the entrance to the London Stock Exchange. At the Canary Wharf’s DLR station, a set of activists climbed atop of a train with protest signs.

CME bitcoin futures volumes surpassed other bitcoin spot exchanges, says Bitwise
Celia Wan – The Block
CME Group, a Chicago-based derivatives exchange and a major player in bitcoin futures trading, has outpaced other bitcoin spot exchanges with a staggering $320.2M in bitcoin futures volumes in the last 24 hours, per Bitwise’s data.


HPR Launches ‘CRM-X’ for Global Enterprise Trading Risk Management
HPR (Hyannis Port Research), provider of advanced capital markets infrastructure (CMI) technologies, today announced the launch of CRM-X, the newest version of its Central Risk Manager (CRM). CRM-X provides a real-time, pan-regional view of risk that encompasses all equities markets globally, solving one of the most significant operational challenges faced by global banks and trading firms, who typically manage operations via regional silos.

McKay Brothers to connect DGCX with its ultra-low latency network
McKay Brothers International (MBI), a leading provider of microwave-based private bandwidth and market data services, announced today that it has connected the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) to its European and US ultra-low latency network.

Patience is a virtue when it comes to machine learning say experts; Industry experts talk down immediate results from machine learning and that there are no shortcuts to success.
John Brazier – The Trade
Capital markets firms that are looking to implement machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) systems within their trading processes must be prepared to undertake a multi-year project that requires significant patience before seeing results.

Venmo Has 40 Million Users, Outnumbering Most Big Banks; PayPal-owned app reports payments grew 73% in quarter
Peter Rudegeair – WSJ
More than 40 million individuals used Venmo in the past 12 months, making the digital-money transfer service among the most popular financial apps in the country.


Crypto’s Long Road to Acceptance May Have Started Here; In the wake of the 2018 crash, two dozen traders gathered to plan its emergence as a new asset class. Step one: a clearinghouse.
Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
He sent the invitations when the party was over. Only after the cryptocurrency craze’s collapse hit bottom in December did Standard Chartered Plc veteran Hoe Lon Leng issue his call to the market’s biggest traders: join him to brainstorm making digital tokens part of the world’s financial architecture.

World’s Biggest Money-Printer Maker in Search of a New Currency
David Verbeek – Bloomberg
Koenig & Bauer targets Coke cans, Tetra Pak printing markets; CFO sees business with new cash printing machines as stable
Germany’s Koenig & Bauer AG, the market leader for machines that print our banknotes, is challenged by e-commerce, mobile payments and digital currencies. The 201 year-old company’s answer is to push into markets such as printing on Coke cans.

Payments Firm Wirex Launching 26 Stablecoins on the Stellar Blockchain
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
Payments platform Wirex is launching 26 stablecoins on the Stellar blockchain network.

Top 3 Japanese Bank to Roll Out Services on Marco Polo Blockchain
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Japan’s third-largest bank by total assets, will launch blockchain-based trade finance services in the second half of this year.

Binance DEX officially launches, listing Mithril as the first pair
The Block Crypto
Binance DEX has listed the first trading pair (MITH/BNB) meaning that traders can now start trading for the first time. Binance DEX is built on top of Binance Chain with a native Binance Coin (BNB) token and uses Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) as its consensus mechanism. All 11 pre-selected validators are now online to produce blocks.

Ripple Says Sales of XRP Cryptocurrency Grew 31% in Q1
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
Blockchain payments startup Ripple has reported a 31 percent increase in sales of XRP over the first three months of the year.

Banks Can’t Snub Crypto Startups Thanks to France’s New Blockchain Law
Ian Allison – Coindesk
Among developed countries, France’s new approach to regulated cryptocurrency and blockchain companies can fairly be described as avant garde.

New York Makes First Money Laundering Conviction Involving Cryptocurrency
Jimmy Aki – Bitcoin Magazine
In what the Manhattan District Attorney calls the first crypto money laundering conviction in New York, two defendants have pleaded guilty to running a drug trafficking business that laundered millions of dollars in Western Union and crypto payments. According to an official announcement shared by the District Attorney’s office on April 24, 2019, Mark Sanchez and Callaway Crain have pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering through the sale of controlled substances on their website and on the dark web.

Binance Singapore Launches But Offers Just One Trading Pair, Report
Thomas Simms – Cointelegraph
Binance has launched a new cryptocurrency exchange in Singapore after months of anticipation, albeit with limited features, Binance CEO Wei Zhou told Cointelegraph on April 24. Users of the platform are only able to purchase bitcoin (BTC) using Singapore dollars (SGD,) meaning far fewer trading pairs are available for consumers compared with the company’s main exchange. Zhou noted that additional currencies will be added as regulations allow for it.

ErisX is testing its new crypto exchange, and TDAmeritrade is one firm looking to link up with the market
Frank Chaparro – The Block Crypto
ErisX has been testing its new market with its partners, including TDAmeritrade
The move means the brokerage giant could offer crypto trading to its retail clients
Meanwhile, TDAmeritrade has launched a new team dedicated to crypto
ErisX, the Chicago-based crypto exchange, is gearing up to launch its market for spot crypto trading, and it’s recently been in testmode with some prospective firms hoping to link up to its marketplace.

Samsung Invests $2.9 Million in Crypto Hardware Startup Ledger
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
South Korean technology giant Samsung has invested 2.6 million euros ($2.9 million) into crypto hardware startup Ledger. The investment gives the startup a valuation of roughly $290 million, French business magazine Capital reported Wednesday. A spokesperson for Ledger confirmed that Samsung backed the startup, but could not confirm further details. A Samsung representative did not respond to a request for comment by press time.


Moore Hopeful for Fed Post, but Says He Would Bow Out If He Becomes Liability; In interview, conservative commentator says he doesn’t want to hurt the White House or Senate Republicans
Paul Kiernan – WSJ
Conservative commentator Stephen Moore said he was hopeful about his chances of being nominated and confirmed to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors but would bow out of the process if he became a political liability for the Trump administration or Senate Republicans.

Why we should open the Cambridge Analytica data vault; Understanding precisely how tech businesses use our data is crucial if we are to have a sensible debate on reforming them
Gillian Tett – FT
Three years ago, David Carroll, an American professor who teaches media design at New York’s Parsons School of Design, became worried that technology companies were using – and abusing – his personal data.

Why America is learning to love budget deficits; The trend towards looser fiscal policy could mark the biggest shift in economic thinking in a generation
Sam Fleming and Chris Giles – FT
For a newly elected Democrat, it was an unusual way to make your mark. Ben McAdams, the Democratic representative from Utah, this month tabled an amendment that would make it unconstitutional in normal circumstances for the American government to fail to balance its books.

Germany Needs a Plan B After Deutsche Bank Merger Deal Collapses
Birgit Jennen and Patrick Donahue – Bloomberg
Finance Minister fails in push for national banking champion; Scholz renews call for ‘competitive’ banks for German industry
The collapse of merger talks between Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG is a crushing defeat for German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.

Deutsche Bank now providing Trump financial documents
Deutsche Bank has started providing financial records to New York state’s attorney general in response to a subpoena for documents related to loans made to President Donald Trump and his business, according to a person familiar with the production.


DoJ staff push for Goldman guilty plea in 1MDB case
Kadhim Shubber – Financial Times
US justice department staff have recommended that a settlement with Goldman Sachs over its role in the multibillion-dollar 1MDB corruption scandal should include a guilty plea at the parent company level, according to people familiar with the matter.

SEC Staff Announces Agenda for May 31 FinTech Forum
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the agenda for the forum that its staff is hosting on May 31 to discuss distributed ledger technology and digital assets.

FINRA Forms Office of Financial Innovation, Announces Haimera Workie as Head
FINRA today announced the formation of an Office of Financial Innovation that will serve as a central point of coordination for issues related to significant financial innovations by FINRA member firms, particularly new uses of financial technology (fintech). The move will further enhance FINRA’s ability to identify, understand and foster financial innovation in the markets in a manner that strengthens investor protection and market integrity.

Proposed Rule Change to Update the FINRA Manual to Reflect FINRA’s New Subsidiary, FINRA CAT, LLC
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) is filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) a proposed rule change to update the FINRA Manual to reflect FINRA’s new subsidiary, FINRA CAT, LLC. Specifically, the proposed rule change would codify the delegation of specific responsibilities and functions to FINRA CAT, LLC under the Plan of Allocation and Delegation of Functions by FINRA (“Delegation Plan”); make conforming amendments to the Delegation Plan to reflect FINRA CAT, LLC; amend the By-Laws of FINRA Regulation, Inc. (“FINRA Regulation By-Laws”) to make relevant conforming amendments; and make conforming amendments to FINRA rules.

Help Wanted: Regulators Seek Executives to Staff Failed Banks; FDIC interviews bankers to be ready with qualified board members or executives for any lenders that fail
Rachel Louise Ensign – WSJ
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is assembling a stable of executives who could be installed in top jobs at failed banks, taking advantage of a calm spell in the business to better prepare for the next downturn.

Ukraine Probes Ferrexpo Charity on Possible Money-Laundering
Volodymyr Verbyany, Kateryna Choursina, and Thomas Biesheuvel – Bloomberg
Blooming Land officials abused powers: court documents; Ferrexpo is also investigating ‘discrepancies’ in payments
Ukraine is investigating whether a charitable foundation set up primarily to coordinate London-listed Ferrexpo Plc’s philanthropic activities was used to launder money and evade taxes.

Longboat Key firm charged with operating a $75 million foreign currency trading scheme
John Hielscher – Herald Tribune
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission claims the Oasis International Group Ltd. of Longboat Key, CEO Michael J. DaCorta and others fraudulently misappropriated the majority of the funds they raised from 700 investors, and lost the rest in forex trading.

CFTC Commissioner Quintenz to Participate in a Panel Discussion at the Milken Institute Global Conference 2019

Investing and Trading

‘We can’t do what we did 20 years ago’: AXA’s trading head sees need for AI and predictive analytics due to information overload; AXA’s global head of trading and securities financing says the asset manager will have to rely on AI and predictive analytics to give traders condensed information.
Jonathan Watkins – The Trade
The sheer magnitude of trades and markets that buy-side desks are participating in is forcing the need for artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics, according to AXA Investment Managers’ global head of trading.

Are you a great investor — or is it just the market?; Investors need to study their successes and failures to avoid the risk of hubris
Simon Edelsten – FT
Most people have heard of the Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov, whose dogs salivated at the sound of a ringing bell when trained to associate it with meal times. Less well-known is his colleague Nikolai Studentsov — but his downfall holds a warning for all DIY investors (and a few fund managers).

Bonds Can’t Seem to Shake That Sinking Feeling; Persistent pessimism leads financial commentary.
Robert Burgess – Bloomberg
It’s been a rough few weeks for the global government bond market. Yields as measured by the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Treasuries Index have risen from this year’s low of 1.15 percent in late March to 1.27 percent on Tuesday. The rise came as investors embraced a new narrative, which is that perhaps the global economic outlook isn’t as bad as thought earlier in the year. As a result, investors doubled down on riskier assets, pushing the S&P 500 Index to a record on Tuesday and equities globally to within 1 percent of an all-time high. But on Wednesday, the bond market made clear that it’s too soon to sound the all-clear.

What If the Bull Market Just Never Ends?; It’s not obvious what will stop the longest run in history.
Mark Gongloff – Bloomberg
Strong Like Bull
Did the everlasting bull market just get yet another lease on life? We may soon find out.

Consumers look favorably on subscription model for financial services: study
Paying a subscription fee for financial services like checking accounts and investment advice may become more common, Ernst and Young says in a new study that found interest among U.S. consumers ages 25 to 34.

Worst Margins in a Decade Set to Keep Fueling U.S. Ethanol Deals
Isis Almeida – Bloomberg
Andersons expects industry consolidation to continue: Pirolli; Output margins are the lowest for this time of year since 2009
A wave of consolidation washing through the U.S. ethanol industry has yet to run its course amid some of the worst returns in a decade, according to grain handler and ethanol-plant operator The Andersons Inc.

How to write a trading algorithm that will get you a job in a hedge fund
Robert Carver –
If you want a job as a journalist, you’re expected to show up with some of your best published or unpublished articles. An aspiring advertising creative will bring their portfolio of dazzling copy with them to a job interview. So, if you fancy yourself as an algorithimic trader, you might assume you’ll need to bring your algos with you to your next job interview with a top quant fund.


‘Get away from the index’ Mark Mobius tells active managers in emerging markets; Emerging markets expert sees opportunity in active management and says now is the time to move away from the index.
Jonathan Watkins – The Trade
Mark Mobius has urged the buy-side to ‘get away from the index’ and take advantage of active management opportunities which await in emerging markets.

Short circuit: rising markets challenge bearish hedge funds; ‘Dash for trash’ hurts funds trying to attack what they see as overvalued companies
Laurence Fletcher – FT
Picking losers in the stock markets was once among the favourite, and most feared, tools employed by hedge funds. Today, many fund managers are struggling to make the strategy work and are desperate for market conditions to change.

Barclays chief brandishes cost-cutting to counter activist Bramson; Operating expenses at underperforming investment unit fall to their lowest level since 2015
David Crow – FT
Barclays has slashed costs at its investment bank to the lowest level in almost four years as it attempts to improve profitability at the underperforming unit and stave off an attack from activist investor Edward Bramson.

UBS investment bank suffers 64% fall in profits; Weak results add to pressure on chief executive Sergio Ermotti
Stephen Morris – FT
UBS reported a 64 per cent plunge in first-quarter profit at its investment bank, adding pressure on long-serving chief executive Sergio Ermotti, who has seen the sheen wiped off his turnround of the Swiss lender.

Ross McEwan to step down as RBS chief executive; UK lender to launch search for successor as New Zealander steps down after more than five years
Nicholas Megaw – FT
Ross McEwan has resigned as chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland after more than five years during which he returned the taxpayer-owned bank to profitability.

Nomura Top Executives Forgo Bonuses as Profit Almost Erased
Takashi Nakamichi and Takako Taniguchi – Bloomberg
Most of Nomura’s business lines slumped in the quarter; Posts first full-year loss since global financial crisis
Nomura Holdings Inc.’s deteriorating earnings have spurred the company to embark on $1 billion of expense cuts, costing traders and bankers from Singapore to New York their jobs. Now its top executives are sharing the pain.

Barclays Chief Says Bonuses Are on the Line in Battle With Activist Investor
Stefania Spezzati – Bloomberg
Staley vows to cut bankers’ pay if weak conditions persist; FICC income rises 4%, surpassing firm’s Wall Street rivals
Barclays Plc’s traders outperformed their rivals in the first quarter, but that wasn’t enough to ease concern over Jes Staley’s plan to make his investment bank more profitable and fend off an activist investor.

Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank End Talks on Historic Combination
Steven Arons and Aaron Kirchfeld – Bloomberg
Two lenders see the execution risks of a deal as too large; Banks also cite restructuring costs and capital requirements
Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG ended talks on a historic tie-up, throwing the future of the lenders into question after a series of failed turnaround plans.

Deutsche Bank says to post first-quarter profit above expectations
Deutsche Bank expects to post a first-quarter net profit of about 200 million euros ($223 million), beating analysts’ expectations of 29 million.

Mary Meeker Starts $1.25 Billion VC Fund After Leaving Kleiner Perkins
Sarah McBride – Bloomberg
Mary Meeker, a longtime fixture of Silicon Valley with her annual presentations on internet trends, is starting a new $1.25 billion venture fund. The former Morgan Stanley analyst co-founded her own venture capital firm, Bond Capital, after parting ways with Kleiner Perkins in September.


China’s unchecked expansion of data-powered AI raises civic concerns; Local industry is growing fast but there are signs of a pushback
Emily Feng – FT
Like many working women in China, Ashley Wu shops almost exclusively online. Then, last November, she booked a non-existent domestic flight online, after a person posing as a customer service representative called and told her that her existing ticket had been cancelled.

Bank of Japan says super-low rates to last another year, giving first timeframe
Leika Kihara, Stanley White – Reuters
The Bank of Japan put a time frame on its forward guidance for the first time by telling investors that it would keep interest rates at super-low levels for at least one more year, in a move to dispel any doubt over its commitment to ultra-loose policies.

How China’s $13 Trillion Bond Market May Be Trade-War Winner
Enda Curran and Tian Chen – Bloomberg
Expected deal with U.S. may boost flows into onshore debt; Market structure challenges, transparency remain hurdles
One of the less obvious beneficiaries of a resolution from the U.S.-China trade war is shaping up to be the $13 trillion Chinese bond market.

Exclusive: Gold worth billions smuggled out of Africa
David Lewis, Ryan McNeill, Zandi Shabalala – Reuters
Billions of dollars’ worth of gold is being smuggled out of Africa every year through the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East – a gateway to markets in Europe, the United States and beyond – a Reuters analysis has found.

Why Asia’s Central Banks Can’t Pull the Trigger; Unlike their Western counterparts, they’ve got ammunition to fight the next downturn. But they’re leery of using it.
Daniel Moss – Bloomberg
Asia’s central bankers should consider themselves lucky: Unlike their counterparts in the West – with a few exceptions – they have the scope to combat an economic downturn and low inflation through traditional tools. What they may lack, though, is the will to use those assets en masse rather than the ad hoc efforts to date.


Brexit Stirs Scottish Call for New Independence Vote; Scotland leader Nicola Sturgeon seeks new referendum on seceding from U.K. if Brexit proceeds
Jason Douglas – WSJ
The head of the Scottish government called for another referendum on secession from the U.K. within two years if Brexit goes ahead, saying independence would allow Scotland to keep its place in the European Union.

The dangerous allure of a fudged Brexit; An assumption that anything is better than the present shambles ignores the nature of the problem
Philip Stephens – FT
Enough. Britain has had its fill of Brexit. The nation needs desperately to put Europe behind it. The deal signed by Theresa May, the prime minister, with the customs union sought by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tacked on? Why not. Anything really to change the subject.

U.K.’s Brexit Woe Is an Extreme Microcosm of Global Trade War
David Goodman – Bloomberg
Britain and Europe are an experiment in undoing globalization; BOE’s Carney sees it as ‘acid test’ for the new world order
Brexit is an early experiment of how well the world can cope with new trade barriers and increased uncertainty.

U.K.’s May Urged by Her Party to Give Clear Roadmap for Quitting
Alex Morales – Bloomberg
Tory lawmakers reject changing rules to oust prime minister; Government continues talks with Labour on Brexit compromise
Lawmakers in Theresa May’s Conservative Party urged the U.K. prime minister to provide a clear timetable for her departure, even as they shied away from changing rules to make it easier for them to oust her.

US-UK trade deal ‘more difficult’ with a customs union
BBC News
The US Ambassador to the UK says negotiating a trade deal post-Brexit would be “much more difficult” if the UK is in a customs union with the EU. Woody Johnson also said it would be “more challenging” for the UK “to get control of [its] own trade policy”. But he said President Donald Trump is still hopeful doing a “robust, big, very generous trade deal” with the UK after Brexit. President Trump will come to the UK for a state visit in June.


Walmart creates Angus beef supply chain, cutting out meat processors
Tom Polansek – Reuters
Walmart Inc is taking control of the supply chain for Angus beef sold in some of its stores, cutting out meat processors as the company looks to offer higher quality products in an intensely competitive grocery industry.

Iowa’s Private Wells Overrun With Agricultural Contaminants; Unsafe Levels of Nitrate, Bacteria Found in Wells Across the State
Sarah Graddy – EWG
DES MOINES, Iowa – Private wells across Iowa are contaminated with unsafe levels of two agricultural contaminants, according to an investigation by the Environmental Working Group and the Iowa Environmental Council.

Ralph Segall Selected to the Bretton Woods Committee
Segall Bryant & Hamill
Ralph Segall, Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer at Segall Bryant & Hamill, has been invited to join the prestigious Bretton Woods Committee. The invitation-only Bretton Woods Committee was founded in 1983 as a nonpartisan network of prominent global citizens working to demonstrate the value of international economic cooperation and to foster strong, effective Bretton Woods institutions as forces for global well-being.

John Lothian Newsletter

So you want to know what’s happening in the financial markets?We visit more than 100 websites daily for financial news (Would YOU do that?)

“John Lothian and Company… our industry intelligence.”

Rick Lane

CEO, Trading Technologies

Past Newsletters

Food groups’ fight over wheat manipulation re-erupts

Get a FREE 90 day trial of John Lothian Newsletter First ReadHits & TakesJLN StaffThe CFTC Kraft/Mondelez Global announcement is not worth two bits. Claiming to win the case, without clarity of the specific actions that were manipulative,...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This