First Read

How Blockchain Is Changing Gold Markets
Peter Shadbolt – CME Group
The Royal Mint and CME Group team up to create a new digital gold product; The RMG blockchain and trading platform are in live testing with major financial institutions; An open source blockchain aims to give more transparency to gold settlement
One of the great promises of blockchain technology is that it could transform the way we conduct transactions. From banking to smart contracts to recording land titles, the promise of blockchain technology to make a whole range of functions more efficient is being tested in proofs of concept at a rapid pace. And, in the financial services space, the latest example of a blockchain technology offering efficiencies is RMG (Royal Mint Gold), a digital gold product created by The Royal Mint and CME Group.

***** CME closes a traditional exchange and clearinghouse and opens a blockchain gold market. Tomorrow is here!


London keeps hold of global fintech lead – but these are the global cities hot on its heels
Lynsey Barber – City AM
London has held on to its top spot as the fintech capital of the world, alongside Singapore, but new centres of expertise have emerged which could give the UK capital a run for its money.
Chicago was the highest new entry in the ranking, which has been refreshed after six months to include an additional 20 countries from around the world.

***** Chicago is on the rise for FinTech. Hats off to Barchart for their FinTech Exchange 2017 program, which helps put a spotlight on Chicago’s fintech community.


Book Pins Corporate Greed on a Lust Bred at Harvard
Andrew Ross Sorkin – NY Times
If you were to look for one ingredient that binds together the nation’s chief executives, top managers and boards of directors, you’d find a remarkably consistent commonality, now and in generations past: A disproportionate number of them are graduates of Harvard Business School.

***** There has to be a Harvard Business School case study on this somewhere.


Sorry America, Your Taxes Aren’t High
Ben Steverman – Bloomberg
Americans generally feel they’re being over-taxed, especially around this time of the year. Even their president agrees:
“With lower taxes on America’s middle class and businesses, we will see a new surge of economic growth and development,” Donald Trump said this month, expanding on an earlier promise to cut Uncle Sam’s bill “massively.” But the reality is that the average U.S. worker pays quite a bit less than he would elsewhere in the developed world. And what’s more, this has been the case for a long time.

***JB: I wonder how it works out after all taxes (e.g. sales, property, luxury, sin) are figured in. I just recently rented a car and was shocked when the 33% of various taxes were added.


Frenchman Who Feared Brexit Now Seeking to Make It a Success
John Detrixhe and Alex Morales – Bloomberg
CEO of the London Stock Exchange joins forces with Theresa May; Aramco listing in London a win for both Rolet and U.K. premier
Xavier Rolet is an unlikely Brexit champion: a Frenchman who was aligned with then-Prime Minister David Cameron to keep the U.K. in the European Union.

***** Xavier is on my most admired list.


Dash founder: There will soon be hardly any traders on the buy side
Dan Butcher – eFinancialCareers
A decade from now, maybe sooner, buy-side trading desks will be staffed almost exclusively by technologists, according to a top trading technology executive. “I think you’ll see, in 10 years, the paradigm completely shift, where the buy-side [trading] desk will be staffed almost exclusively by technologists and perhaps a small group of experts who know where to go for specific, hard-to-find liquidity,” said Peter Maragos, CEO of tech-focused brokerage Dash Financial Technologies.

***** They had me at “hardly any traders.”


Trump to Lift Federal Hiring Freeze; Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says agencies will be required to submit plans to make themselves leaner
By Louise Radnofsky and Rebecca Ballhaus – WSJ
The administration plans to lift the federal hiring freeze that has been in place for the past three months but will continue its push to restructure and downsize the federal government, seen as a central piece of President Donald Trump’s pledge to “drain the swamp.”

***** I know of some jobs that could now get filled.


United CEO Apologizes Again After First Mea Culpa Falls Flat
by Michael Sasso, Justin Bachman, and Linly Lin – Bloomberg
‘The most tone-deaf response I’ve seen,’ professor says; Airline becomes fodder for comedians on late-night TV
United Continental Holdings Inc. struggled to contain spiraling fallout over a passenger’s forcible removal from a flight as efforts at damage control fell flat. Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz even made another attempt at saying he was sorry.

****** There will be a Harvard Business School case study on this one. It is a doozy!


Tuesday’s Top Three
Starting off our top three is the Reuters article (more notice really as there is no detail) CME Group on April 6, James Oliff notified company that he would resign from the board effective immediately. Second comes from the Financial Times, The quickening evolution of trading — in charts. Third is Bloomberg’s This Is What Dimon and Kashkari Are Really Fighting About (spoiler: it is TLAC).


MarketsWiki Stats
97,652,157 pages viewed; 22,454 pages; 205,268 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

CME Group to shutter London exchange, clearing house
by: Philip Stafford – FT
CME Group, the world’s largest futures exchange operator, is to shut its loss-making London bourse and clearing house after its failed to gain traction among European customers.

CME Group Intends to Close CME Europe and CME Clearing Europe by Year-End
CME Group
CME Group today announced that it intends to close its London-based derivatives exchange and clearing house, CME Europe and CME Clearing Europe, by year-end 2017.

Chi-X Australia boss John Fildes steps down
by Sarah Thompson Anthony Macdonald Joyce Moullakis
Chi-X Australia chief John Fildes has resigned from the company with immediate effect, sources told Street Talk. Staff were told of the departure on Wednesday via a memo sent by Chi-X Australia chairman David Morgan.

Virtu Financial holds firm over bid for KCG Holdings
Joe Rennison, James Fontanella-Khan and Gregory Meyer – Financial Times
Virtu Financial has decided not to increase its offer to buy rival high-frequency trading group KCG Holdings after concluding its due diligence process on Monday, according to people briefed on the conversations. Virtu’s initial, unsolicited proposal of between $18.50 and $20 per share, which could value KCG at more than $1.3bn, became public on March 15. It initially received pushback from KCG board members and Virtu has since been conducting a due diligence process into the company, where it has been given access to non-public information to inform an offer price.

Why it matters that women are underrepresented among portfolio managers
Ryan Vlastelica – MarketWatch
There is a gender “chasm” when it comes to the male-female breakdown of the financial advisers and portfolio managers working around the world today, and that imbalance could be having a negative impact on investor returns. According to Morningstar, which looked at more than 26,000 fund managers registered in 56 countries, only a fifth of funds have at least one female manager, even though women are more likely to have earned a chartered financial analyst credential than their male counterparts.

A Nuanced View of the Markets; A conversation with Adena Friedman, the new CEO of Nasdaq
John Battelle – Newco
Just one month into her tenure as the new CEO of Nasdaq, Adena Friedman stopped by NewCo Shift Forum to talk about politics, regulation, fintech competition, and the prospects for technology-related IPOs.

Destroyed Libor note fuels questions over Labour role
Claire Newell, Edward Malnick, Luke Heighton – Telegraph
The former Labour government is facing further questions over Libor after it emerged that a handwritten note requested by the fraud investigators has been “destroyed”, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

BIS raises fears over $12tn global repo market; ‘Central bankers’ bank’ concerned about effect of monetary policy and post-crisis regulation
by: Philip Stafford
The Bank for International Settlements has recommended that central banks become more active participants in the plumbing system that underpins the trading of government bonds to offset increasing market volatility.

Barclays investors warn ‘entirely possible’ regulators will force out boss
Ben Martin – Telegraph
Barclays shareholders have criticised Jes Staley for tarnishing the bank’s reputation at the same time as warning it is “entirely possible” he could be pushed out by regulators for his role in the whistleblower scandal that has engulfed the British lender.

Customer control over financial data comes at a cost
Izabella Kaminska – Financial Times
Over the next two years an obscure piece of EU legislation, the Payment Services Directive II, is going to force banks to open up their personal data vaults to whomever customers desire. The ultimate aim of the PSDII is to break the banking monopoly on data in the hope of encouraging new entrants into the market with fresh product ideas and services. Many of these new entrants will not be banks or regulated entities.

ICE Data Services Launches Innovative Reference Data Solution for Exchange Traded Derivatives
Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, today announced the launch of ICE Data Services’ new reference data solution for ICE’s futures exchanges. ICE operates five futures exchanges across the U.S., U.K., Europe, Canada and Singapore providing regulated futures markets in energy, agriculture, interest rates, equity derivatives and FX. The new content is part of ICE Data Services’ existing reference data service, which provides high-quality information on more than 10 million financial instruments across all major asset classes, including futures, options, equities and fixed income.

Start-up targets Bloomberg Terminal users with free service
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
A start-up is targeting Bloomberg Terminal users with a rival product which is free to use. Level Trading Field – launched in April 2016 – was founded by a group of former traders who say costs for using Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters services are unreasonably high.

Coffee industry warned of volatile prices; Sharp fall in inventories on top of long supply shortage seen as adding to dangers
by: Emiko Terazono – FT
Coffee roasters and buyers will need to keep a close eye on prices over the next few months as a sharp fall in inventories on the back of a four-year supply shortage will make the market more volatile, according to a leading lender to agricultural businesses.

Grains piled on runways, parking lots, fields amid global glut
P.J. Huffstutter and Karl Plume – Reuters
Iowa farmer Karl Fox is drowning in corn. Reluctant to sell his harvest at today’s rock-bottom prices, he has stuffed storage bins at his property full and left more corn piled on the ground, covered with a tarp. He would rather risk potential crop damage from the elements than pay the exorbitant cost of storage elsewhere. “That’s how poor people do it,” said Fox, who has been farming for 28 years. “You do what you have to do.”

Monthly swap data review: Libor dominance challenged
Amir Khwaja –
The advent of new margining rules for non-cleared over-the-counter derivatives appears to have pushed volumes towards clearing houses for non-deliverable forwards (NDFs) and inflation swaps – with LCH being the main beneficiary. In contrast, swaptions continue to be traded bilaterally.

The Big Interview: Stu Taylor; The TRADE speaks with CEO at Algomi, Stu Taylor, about Euronext’s recent $10 million investment, virtual balance sheets and how technology can help bond liquidity.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Hayley McDowell: What does Euronext’s recent investment mean for Algomi?

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

CME Group is launching a gold-trading platform inspired by bitcoin
Pretty soon, pension funds and other institutional traders will be able to buy and sell gold using a trading platform inspired by the digital currency bitcoin.

CME to close European exchange and CCP by end of 2017; The Merc will close CME Europe and CME Clearing Europe by years end.
By Joe Parsons- The Trade
CME Group has decided to close its London-based exchange and clearing house by the year-end, marking the latest derivatives venture to shut down its operations.

Show Teaser ICE Data Services Launches Innovative Reference Data Solution for Exchange Traded Derivatives; Aggregates reference data across ICE’s exchanges to serve all phases of client workflow
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, today announced the launch of ICE Data Services’ new reference data solution for ICE’s futures exchanges. ICE operates five futures exchanges across the U.S., U.K., Europe, Canada and Singapore providing regulated futures markets in energy, agriculture, interest rates, equity derivatives and FX. The new content is part of ICE Data Services’ existing reference data service, which provides high-quality information on more than 10 million financial instruments across all major asset classes, including futures, options, equities and fixed income.

We are aware of reports that AOL is cutting off access to some third-party instant message apps and providing functionality that may not satisfy record retention requirements. For example, AIM permits users to take a conversation “off the record.” ICE’s IM service offers compliance protections and will continue to integrate with AIM instant messaging and enable you to access all of your contacts across multiple IM systems. Impacted by AOL’s change? We stand ready to service your instant messaging needs and can provide a demo for ICE IM.

SFC to ease Hong Kong listing conditions for firms linked to Belt and Road
Enoch Yiu – South China Morning Post
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission says it is willing to be more flexible in approving “One Belt, One Road” initiative-linked companies to list on the main board, even if they do not meet certain criteria. The city’s stock exchange is fighting hard to become a fund-raising centre for projects planned within the Beijing-led initiative, that are expected to require some US$8 trillion until 2020, the regulator said on on Tuesday.

HKEX welcomes SFC statement on listing of infrastructure project companies
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) welcomes the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)’s statement today (Tuesday) on the listing of infrastructure project companies based in developing markets, including those falling within the Belt and Road Initiative.

SGX and SPDB sign MOU to enhance capital market ties between Singapore and China
Singapore Exchange (SGX) and the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPDB) have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the 3rd Singapore-Shanghai Financial Forum, to strengthen capital market ties between Singapore and Shanghai.

BRIEF-Shenzhen Stock Exchange’s unit, Euronext and Sina sign MOU
Shenzhen stock exchange’s information unit, Euronext and Sina sign MOU to jointly develop internet big data, cross-border index products – Shenzhen stock exchange

London Stock Exchange welcomes Islamic Development Bank Sukuk bond – largest issuance by a supranational in 2017
London Stock Exchange Group
Islamic Development Bank’s 5-year dated Sukuk raises $1.25 bn, with 2.393 per cent annual yield; Offer receives strong international investor demand; Confirms London Stock Exchange’s position as leading international listing venue for Islamic finance
London Stock Exchange today welcomes the largest Sukuk bond to be issued by a supranational globally in 2017, raising $1.25bn. Listed by Saudi Arabia based, triple-A rated, Islamic Development Bank, it is a five-year bond with a 2.393 per cent yield and reinforces London’s position as a key global venue for Islamic finance. To date nearly $50 billion has been raised through 66 Sukuk issues on London Stock Exchange. The Islamic Development Bank is a long-standing London Stock Exchange issuer.

Notice of Redemption
EUR200,000,000 Fixed Rate/Floating Rate Guaranteed Non-voting Non-cumulative
Perpetual Preferred Securities

Nasdaq signs deal to upgrade HKEX derivatives market; Nasdaq expects to complete its upgrade of HKEX’s derivatives market by mid 2018.
By Joe Parsons – The Trade
Nasdaq has signed an agreement to upgrade the Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing (HKEX) derivatives trading and clearing technology.

MarketAxess’ Trax closes in on MiFID II ARM approval; Trax will begin testing for transaction reporting under MiFID II with the FCA as of summer this year.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
MarketAxess’ Trax division has gained approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to test transaction reporting under MiFID II.

Central Asian Stock Exchange and Central Depository goes live with first bond listings
GMEX Group
The first issue of corporate bonds in the stock market of Tajikistan

NSE ex-staffer reveals how some brokers got ‘preferential access’ to servers
BY SUGATA GHOSH – Economic Times
Weeks before he put in his papers, an employee of the National Stock Exchange, which is battling allegations of unduly favouring some brokers, told the forensic audit team that “oral instructions for server allocations and other changes” were often received from ‘seniors’.

TOCOM To Discontinue Offering Implied Function Of The System On April 24
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange will discontinue offering the implied function of the trading system and stop bait order generation from the day session of Monday, April 24, 2017.

Blockchain smart contracts raise systemic risk concerns
James Rundle –
Regulators have raised concerns about the use of blockchain technology to automate the exchange of margin on derivatives transactions.


Big Internet Firms to Oppose GOP Plans to Roll Back Net-Neutrality Rules; The Internet Association trade group has told the Federal Communications Commission chairman that the Obama-era rules are ‘vital’ to a ‘free and open internet’
By John D. McKinnon – WSJ
Big internet firms on Tuesday told federal regulators that they would oppose Republicans’ plans to roll back net Obama-era neutrality rules, adding to signs of a looming political clash.

London keeps hold of global fintech lead – but these are the global cities hot on its heels
Lynsey Barber – City A.M.
London has held on to its top spot as the fintech capital of the world, alongside Singapore, but new centres of expertise have emerged which could give the UK capital a run for its money.

The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI
Will Knight – MIT Technology Review
Last year, a strange self-driving car was released onto the quiet roads of Monmouth County, New Jersey. The experimental vehicle, developed by researchers at the chip maker Nvidia, didn’t look different from other autonomous cars, but it was unlike anything demonstrated by Google, Tesla, or General Motors, and it showed the rising power of artificial intelligence. The car didn’t follow a single instruction provided by an engineer or programmer. Instead, it relied entirely on an algorithm that had taught itself to drive by watching a human do it.

Thomson Reuters develops quant tool for buy-side; New tool powered by Elsen offers buy-side access to quantitative analysis for making investment decisions.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Thomson Reuters has launched a new tool to help asset managers use quantitative methods when making investing decisions.

Start-up targets Bloomberg Terminal users with free service; Communications platform launched by group of former traders is currently free to use and firm claims it is as good as Bloomberg’s Terminal.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
A start-up is targeting Bloomberg Terminal users with a rival product which is free to use.

Customer control over financial data comes at a cost; Consumers may not understand where banks’ duty of care begins and ends
by: Izabella Kaminska – FT
Over the next two years an obscure piece of EU legislation, the Payment Services Directive II, is going to force banks to open up their personal data vaults to whomever customers desire.

FinTech promises to ‘unbundle’ banking, says Carney; Mark Carney outlines Bank of England’s commitment to encouraging FinTech.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
FinTech’s promise arises from its potential to ‘unbundle’ banking into its core functions, according to the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney.

FCA Calls For International Regulatory Framework For Fintechs
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is calling for the creation of an international regulatory framework for FinTech startups to prevent a so-called “Wild West” approach to governance of the FinTech market.

People Love Talking About Bitcoin More Than Using It; More than eight years after it started, bitcoin isn’t living up to early hype as the payment system of the future
By Paul Vigna – WSJ
A few years ago, a Spice Girl and an NFL star were accepting bitcoin to sell their wares. Comedian Drew Carey tweeted about trying to buy breakfast with it, and Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen testified about bitcoin in front of Congress.


What’s New in Republicans’ Plan to Replace Dodd-Frank; Rep. Jeb Hensarling unveils fresh details in summary of his Financial Choice Act
By Rachel Witkowski – WSJ
A key House lawmaker on Tuesday unveiled changes to his proposal to roll back Obama-era financial rules, promising regulatory relief for banks if they hold enough capital and provisions aimed at spurring more companies to go public.

U.S. Unlikely to Tag China Currency Manipulator, Schwarzman Says
Andrew Mayeda and Jennifer Jacobs – Bloomberg
A top outside adviser to President Donald Trump said the U.S. probably won’t name China a currency manipulator in a report due this month, a move that would break a key campaign promise and another sign of capitulation on the administration’s tough trade talk.

Trump Isn’t Wrong on China Currency Manipulation, Just Late
Eduardo Porter – NY Times
Has the United States mismanaged the ascent of China?

U.S. House lawmaker to release revamped Dodd-Frank overhaul bill
The head of the U.S. House of Representatives committee that polices Wall Street plans to unveil a new draft of sweeping legislation by month’s end that would give the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law a major facelift.

Trump says he’s still thinking about scrapping Dodd-Frank law
By GREG ROBB – MarketWatch
Getty Images
President Donald Trump at a meeting with truckers at the White House last month.
President Donald Trump said Tuesday he’s still considering either a major rewrite or a complete elimination of the Dodd-Frank banking law.


Trump promises again to revamp Wall Street reform rules
President Donald Trump told a group of chief executives on Tuesday that his administration was reducing regulations and revamping the Wall Street reform law known as Dodd-Frank, which might be eliminated and replaced with “something else.”

Ex-Bond Trader Wants Home Stay as U.S. Said to Urge Prison
Chris Dolmetsch – Bloomberg
Litvak was convicted of 1 of 10 counts after second trial; Lawyers say government may seek longer sentence than last time
Former Jefferies & Co. managing director Jesse Litvak says he should be spared prison when he is sentenced later this month following his conviction of a single count of fraud — a crime the government says is worth jail time.

MiFID II – CSAs, RPAs and Specialization
Timothy O’Halloran – Tabb Forum
The anticipation of the EU’s Markets in Financial Instrument Directive, and a continuing move toward unbundling in the U.S., have had a significant impact on institutional research, trading and investment management. Today, the buzzwords ‘transparency’ and ‘specialization’ go hand in hand. It is now commonplace to see investment managers reduce brokerage lists and engage a core group of strategic partners that can provide expertise in a single discipline or two – notably, research and execution, but also in services such as compliance and regulatory consulting, TCA, and research valuation. The days of institutional investors seeking a one-stop shopping solution are long gone.

Investing and Trading

The ingenious multi-factor effect
Rolf Agather – FTSE Russell Blog
Hardly a week seems to go by these days without reports of a new record high for some well-known stock market index. These are almost always capitalization weighted indexes which, because of their method of construction, can become heavily weighted towards their largest constituent companies. For market participants who wish to mitigate the tendency towards index concentration, as we discussed in an earlier blog post `Understanding the “why” of smart beta’, multi-factor based indexes are an increasingly popular alternative.

World’s Largest Pension Fund to Add Alternative Investments
Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund today begins its mission to allocate to alternative investments, a first step along a path to possible riches for international money managers. It has called for applications from asset managers willing to create separately managed accounts containing funds of funds for the GPIF to invest in private equity, infrastructure and real estate, mainly outside Japan.

Activist investor John Paulson to leave AIG board; Hedge fund manager to depart after scaling back stake
by: Stephen Foley and Alistair Gray in New York – FT
The US hedge fund manager John Paulson is set to leave the board of insurer AIG, marking the end of his activist campaign to split the company into pieces.

Why the Fed Might Have to ‘Live’ With a Large Balance Sheet
by Luke Kawa – Bloomberg
Shrinking cross-currency bases attributable to debt ceiling; Balance sheet shrinkage would tighten policy globally: Pozsar
What can the U.S. Treasury’s attempts to keep paying the nation’s bills tell us about the Federal Reserve’s quest to reduce its balance sheet after years of stimulus?

Coffee industry warned of volatile prices
Emiko Terazono – Financial Times
Coffee roasters and buyers will need to keep a close eye on prices over the next few months as a sharp fall in inventories on the back of a four-year supply shortage will make the market more volatile, according to a leading lender to agricultural businesses.

Flash-Crash Trader Jumps Into Currency Market When Others Flee
Lananh Nguyen – Bloomberg
Isaac Lieberman loves a good flash crash. There’s nothing nefarious afoot here, to be clear. It’s just that at a time when many currency-trading firms don’t know what to do when extreme price fluctuations hit, Lieberman’s brought together a bunch of military and tech gurus to form a firm — Aston Capital Management — that’s designed to thrive at those moments. When others shut down, it gears up.

Non-compete Agreements May Get Tougher to Enforce
Institutional Investor

Flash-Crash Trader Jumps Into Currency Market When Others Flee
by Lananh Nguyen – Bloomberg
Isaac Lieberman’s Aston Capital trades during high volatility; Gathering information about extreme market events pays off
Isaac Lieberman loves a good flash crash.


LPL Financial No Longer Claiming to Be ‘Conflict Free’ – MoneyBeat
Jason Zweig – WSJ
LPL Financial Holdings, the Boston-based independent brokerage, is moving to prevent its affiliated financial advisers from claiming they are “conflict free.” On Monday LPL removed those words from its web site following a story in The Wall Street Journal showing that some advisory firms claim to be “conflict free” on their public websites even though they also list numerous potential conflicts in their disclosures to government regulators.

Barclays’ clean-up is set back by new controversy
Financial Times
Barclays’ struggle to restore its reputation has taken a fresh hit. After years of scandal at the UK bank, its chief executive has been censured for having breached the rules on the treatment of whistleblowers. In the latest setback, Jes Staley, brought in two years ago to clean up the bank and restore its integrity, faces a significant pay cut and sanctions from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England.

JP Morgan formalises Plato membership; Plato Partnership also confirms addition of Baillie Gifford as a member.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
JP Morgan has formalised its commitment to Plato Partnership by taking on a full membership, having been involved in the initiative since it was established.

JPMorgan Delays Shifting Some Wealth Clients as U.S. Mulls Rules
by Hugh Son – Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is delaying a plan to move some wealth management clients to a self-directed platform as the bank awaits word on whether the Trump administration will rewrite or scrap higher standards for brokers.

Goldman Gets a Big Endorsement for Its Executive-Pay Plan
Dakin Campbell and Anders Melin – Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. received an endorsement from Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. for the firm’s executive-pay plan after the proxy-advisory firm urged shareholders to vote against last year’s proposal.

How billions in dark money moved through a tiny one-branch bank
Blair Smith-Elliot – Marketwatch
The hotel-casino operator and a group of small-town bankers met at the White House in March. All of them agreed on the need to get government off the backs of business and to allow a guy make an honest buck by peeling away layers of paperwork and oversight.

KPMG fires 6 employees over advance warning on audits; Big Four firm says staff received confidential information on regulatory inspections
by: Jennifer Thompson and Cat Rutter Pooley in London – FT
KPMG has fired six employees including the head of its US audit practice after the professional services firm found they improperly received advance warning of audits the accounting watchdog planned to inspect.

ONEaccess, a Visible Alpha company and leading corporate access and research valuation platform and ITG (NYSE: ITG), a leading independent broker and financial technology provider, today announced an agreement to offer investor clients an integrated solution that simplifies compliance with MiFID II requirements around valuing and paying for research content.


The changing shape of Asia’s private banking sector
Alun John – South China Morning Post
After a turbulent few years, Asia’s private banking landscape is starting to develop a new look, as Singaporean and Swiss private banks expand into the space left by departing European institutions.

ASIC consults on establishing a Financial Services Panel
ASIC has today released a consultation paper on its proposal to develop and implement a Financial Services Panel (the Panel).


EU watchdog to stop Brexit ‘race to bottom’ by financial centres
By Huw Jones – Reuters
The European Union’s markets watchdog will issue guidance and possible curbs for national regulators in coming weeks to stop a “race to the bottom” to attract UK-based financial firms after Brexit, it said on Tuesday.

Russia Was Possibly Behind Brexit Vote Website Crash, Panel Says
by Robert Hutton – Bloomberg
Voter registration site failed hours before deadline; Lawmakers ‘deeply concerned’ about interference claims
Foreign governments such as Russia and China may have been responsible for a crash in the U.K.’s voter registration website in the weeks before the Brexit referendum, according to a report by Parliament’s Public Administration Committee.

Mexico stockbrokers ask bourse to probe Elektra stock surge
Members of Mexico’s association of brokerages last week asked officials from the country’s stock exchange to look into a recent surge in the stock price of banking and retail company Elektra (ELEKTRA.MX), according to three members of the group.


Too Late to Compensate Free Trade’s Losers
Dani Rodrik – Project Syndicate
It appears that a new consensus has taken hold these days among the world’s business and policy elites about how to address the anti-globalization backlash that populists such as Donald Trump have so ably exploited. Gone are the confident assertions that globalization benefits everyone: we must, the elites now concede, accept that globalization produces both winners and losers. But the correct response is not to halt or reverse globalization; it is to ensure that the losers are compensated.

The millionaire divorce case that’s just changed everything for stay-at-home mothers
Alexandra Hirst, lawyer – Telegraph
It goes without saying that divorce is an unpleasant process. But it becomes even more awful when the separating couple cannot reach an agreement and find themselves engaged in litigation.

The United Airlines debacle isn’t about customer service. It’s about the morality of capitalism.
James Martin, S.J. – American Magazine
Here is why United Airlines kicking off and countenancing the assault of a paying customer is a big deal: It helps to reveal how corporate America often puts rules before people and how capitalism often places profits before human dignity. (I am speaking not only as a Jesuit priest but as a graduate of the Wharton School of Business, someone who considers himself a capitalist and a veteran of several years in corporate America.)

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