Credit derivatives market woes deepen after ICE exit; Central bankers face a crisis of confidence…

Oct 12, 2017

First Read

We All Love Data: Barchart’s Latest Move Continues The Trend Of Firms Pushing Further Into The Data Space
Jim Kharouf, JLN
It’s all in the data.
Yesterday’s announcement from Barchart about its new commodities data offering, called cmdty, is part of the drumbeat of new products and services that are designed to bring something new to the market participants they serve.


Hits & Takes
By JLN Staff

The Boy Scouts of America announced yesterday they are opening the doors to girls to join Cub Scouts starting next year and older girls to join Boy Scouts in 2019. My Exploring Club of Girls named their patrol the “Flying Pigs” because they wanted to show that girls would be let into Boy Scouts when pigs could fly. And now we truly have pigs flying.~JJL

Blair Hull, Xiao Qiao and Petra Bakosova of Hull Investments LLC have published a white paper titled “Return Predictability and Market-Timing: A One-Month Model.”~JJL
The Chicago Board of Trade Building will be will be participating in the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago on October 15th.~JJL

I will be moderating a fireside chat with Mike Beller, CEO of Thesys Technologies and Tradeworx, Inc., titled: “The evolution of trading technology & market structure” for STAC Research on Tuesday, October 17 at IIT.~JJL

Join FinTank on October 18th at their monthly Students in FinTank workshop for a special presentation from Catherine Clay, Vice President and Global Head of Information Solutions at the CBOE hosted at DePaul University’s Coleman Entrepreneur Center.~JJL

When will people learn that hearing someone claim there is “no down-side risk” to an investment is a red flag? In SEC Files Charges In Snack Company Investment Scam, that was the language used by the alleged scammers. Last week, there was similar fishy language cited in an SEC release. In Investment Adviser Charged in Multi-Million Dollar Options Trading Scheme from October 5, the adviser in question allegedly told an investor that “what’s cool about my fund is that i’m [sic] only in publicly traded options and cash so any redemptions are met within 2 business days so if you do need to withdraw for your business needs it will be quick and painless.” I guess it’s easy for people to ignore their Spidey-senses when pursuing monetary glory…~SD

CloudQuant today announced Tayloe Draughon has joined the management team as Senior Product Manager in the Product Development Group.~JJL

Asia Pacific Financial News from John Lothian News from yesterday is available HERE.~JJL


Fidessa Helps Students Get Hands-On

Our MarketsWiki Education Intern Recruiting Event is less than a week away! As our sponsor firms gear up to meet with students from all over the Midwest, we interviewed Fidessa’s regional head of development, Mike Begic, about what they are looking for and what students can expect interning at the firm.

Watch the video »


Boy Scouts Open Doors Wider to Girls; Move puts group in competition with Girl Scouts as both feel pressure on membership numbers
By Shayndi Raice – WSJ
The Boy Scouts of America said Wednesday that it would welcome girls into its ranks, a move that could help the organization boost its numbers in the face of dwindling memberships.

***** Here are links to the Bloomberg story and NY Times stories too. This announcement was made on International Day of the Girl. Good timing!~JJL


The rules for clear, effective business writing; Attention spans are short, so choose your language carefully
Sam Leith – FT
Does language have rules? Is it empty pedantry to tut-tut about the “10 items or less” lane in a supermarket, on the grounds that “fewer” is what you use for countable quantities? Does it matter if someone says “enormity” to mean great size, when it has traditionally meant “wickedness”?

**My attention span is…Did you see the Cubs game yester…~JK


Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story yesterday was Bloomberg’s CME, Linchpin of Chicago Finance, Says It’s Not Tied to the City. Second went to JLN’s Q&A with Rick Lane, in
How AI Is Reshaping ISVs: TT’s Rick Lane Looks at AI for Everything from Compliance to Finding Trading Opportunities. Third went to The New York Times’ Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?


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Lead Stories

Credit derivatives market woes deepen after ICE exit; NYSE owner took on oversight role almost a year ago to improve transparency of resolution process
Robert Smith – FT
When things go wrong in the $10tn market for derivatives that insure against the risk of a company defaulting, buyers and sellers turn to the industry’s global trade body for answers.

Central bankers face a crisis of confidence as models fail; The new masters of the universe are struggling to understand what makes a modern economy tick and their actions could prove harmful
Chris Giles in Washington – FT
Central bankers usurped the titans of Wall Street as the masters of the universe almost a decade ago. They rescued the global economy from the financial crisis, flooding the world with cheap money. They used their powers effectively to get banks lending again. Their actions raised asset prices, keeping business and consumer confidence up. Financial markets and populations hang on their words. But never have they been so vulnerable.

Barchart Launches cmdty an Institutional Brand focused on Proprietary Alternative Data Solutions
Today, Barchart, announces the launch of cmdty, an institutional brand focused on the delivery of proprietary alternative data and information services for commodity professionals. Upon launch, cmdty by Barchart will offer proprietary OTC commodity indexes and assessments, a streaming commodity newswire, and will feature the inaugural rankings of the Commodity Leaders 150 IndexTM.

Russia Has Turned Kaspersky Software Into Tool for Spying; Searches exploited popular Russian-made antivirus software to seek classified material, officials say
By Shane Harris and Gordon Lubold – WSJ
The Russian government used a popular antivirus software to secretly scan computers around the world for classified U.S. government documents and top-secret information, modifying the program to turn it into an espionage tool, according to current and former U.S. officials with knowledge of the matter.

CFTC to Delay Decision on Swap Dealer Registration Threshold; Threshold was set to be lowered to $3 billion in notional value from $8 billion starting in 2018
By Gabriel T. Rubin – WSJ
The U.S.’s derivatives regulator plans to delay rules that would require more firms to register as swaps dealers, a move that buys more time without stricter oversight for energy and agricultural companies that use the products to hedge risks.

Someone Just Lost $70,000 in a Failed ICO Purchase Attempt
Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
Investor was trying to buy $508,000 worth of AirSwap tokens; Trade details captured in ethereum blockchain history
From the outset, investors have been warned that it’s buyer beware in the world of initial coin offerings. On Wednesday, someone got a $70,000 lesson on the subject.

Should Individuals Invest in Bitcoin? In a Word, No.; Financial advisers say that despite the temptation, the market and regulatory risks are too great
By Daisy Maxey – WSJ
Is now the time for individual investors to put some money in bitcoin?

Oil Futures in China Would Be Transformational; It could be the first step in removing capital controls on remittance of foreign investors’ profits.
By David Millhouse – Bloomberg
People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan made comments this week that suggest some imminent reform announcements are on the agenda. There are two potential policies to look for in the near term: the loosening of foreign investment restrictions and the launch of domestic oil futures.

Can Twitter sentiment predict stock market behaviour?; There are some positive indications, but this relationship is neither linear nor simple, writes Francesco Corea
London School of Economics and Politics
The stock markets are an incredibly competitive environment and nowadays hedge funds and investment managers are rushing to find innovative ways to produce profits for their investors and their institutions. In addition to therefore understanding the impact of macroeconomic events or regulatory constraints on specific investments, they are looking at new datasets as main sources of competitive advantage.

Interactive Brokers Adds Eris Swap Futures; Eris Swap Futures now electronically available to 418,000 new accounts, with over $103 billion in client equity
Eris Exchange (Eris), a U.S.-based futures exchange group that offers swap futures as the leading alternative to traditional over-the-counter (OTC) swaps, has announced that top online electronic brokerage firm, Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. (NASDAQ GS: IBKR), is now offering its 418,000 client accounts execution and clearing support for Eris Swap Futures.

Fed Is Ignoring Actual Inflation Data
Tim Duy – Bloomberg
Federal Reserve policy makers tend to believe temporary shocks account for the persistent undershooting of the inflation target. But there’s a more disturbing possibility: Central bankers might just be using a broken model of inflation. Given that risk, they should pay attention to actual inflation and lean toward passing on a December rate hike. Nonetheless, they are prepared to move forward. The dismissal of actual data given these very real concerns about the forecasting accuracy of the Fed’s models could place us in a more dangerous stage of the business cycle.

Goldman Has a New Way for You to Bet on the Next Banking Crisis
Alastair Marsh and Tom Beardsworth – Bloomberg
Derivatives provide hedge or exposure to high-yield AT1 notes; Other market makers to start publishing tradeable prices soon
Less than a decade after the last major banking crisis, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are offering investors a new way to bet on the next one.

Chinese Trading Muddles a Popular Signal of Global Growth; Shanghai’s growth as a hub of the metals trading world threatens to erode the market’s reliability as a global economic indicator
By Amrith Ramkumar – WSJ
Shanghai is encroaching on London as the hub of the metals trading world—a shift that investors say threatens to erode the reliability of copper, zinc and aluminum prices as a read on the health of the global economy.

Era of Public-Company Deregulation Gets Off to a Modest Start; SEC approves proposal to streamline aspects of corporate annual reports
By Dave Michaels – WSJ
A government overhaul of regulations that are blamed for discouraging many hot startups from going public is getting off to a modest start.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

HKEX to Start its After-Hours Trading Enhancements on 6 November
From 6 November, trading of four most active equity index futures contracts to be extended by more than an hour to end at 1 am the following day; Second and third phases of enhancements scheduled for next year
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) will introduce the first phase of its after-hours trading (AHT) enhancements on Monday, 6 November 2017, when AHT of Hang Seng Index (HSI), Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HHI), Mini-HSI and Mini-HHI futures will be extended to 5:15 pm to 1 am the following day (the revised T+1 session) from the current T+1 Session of 5:15 pm to 11:45 pm.

Exchanges continue to see strong growth on back of data – report; Market data and indices help exchanges to higher growth this year.
By John Bakie- The Trade
Stock exchange groups have continued to see strong business in 2017 despite global political and economic uncertainty, with total revenues in H1 2017 up 4.1% in a year.

Fans of Digital Currency Ether Can Now Buy ETNs—In Sweden
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
Ether is becoming more accessible to everyday investors. The digital currency that competes with bitcoin is now available via two exchange-traded notes, which track its price and are available on Nasdaq’s Sweden exchange.

EEX Presents Sixth Annual Excellence Award In Brussels – Ando Leppiman From The Estonian EU Council Presidency, Attends As Guest Speaker
Yesterday evening, the European Energy Exchange (EEX) presented the Excellence Award with which it rewards excellent academic theses in the field of energy and commodity trading for the sixth time. The award was presented in the framework of the EEX autumn reception in Brussels.


SMEs can challenge big beasts by snapping up AI benefits first; Those that will benefit most are experimenting and adopting a ‘think big, start small’ approach
Frazer Bennett – FT
The debate over the effect of artificial intelligence and automation is not going to cool down any time soon. AI is a disruptive technology: because of it we face profound changes to our lives, our work and even, some say, our very existence. While some of the predictions are hype, there are huge implications for companies.

City of London calls for a fintech sector deal to ensure UK remains leading hub after Brexit
Lynsey Barber – City AM
Fintech must get its own sector deal in order for the UK to remain a world leading centre after Brexit, City leaders have signalled.


Japan’s Abe Headed for Big Election Win, Polls Say; Five polls forecast ruling Liberal Democratic Party would win more than half of the 465 seats in lower house
By Peter Landers and Megumi Fujikawa – WSJ
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is poised for a big victory in Oct. 22 parliamentary elections, according to five polls published Thursday by major Japanese news organizations that forecast trouble for a challenge by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike.

FX Traders’ $2.2 Trillion Dream Actually Closer to $456 Billion
Katherine Greifeld – Bloomberg
Dollar bulls may be disappointed if they’re pinning their hopes on Republican proposals that could clear the way for U.S. companies to repatriate profits stashed overseas, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

This Is How Trump’s Market Rally Stacks Up Against Other Presidents’
By Lu Wang – Bloomberg
President Donald Trump wishes the media spent more time focusing on the rally in stocks since he took office. OK, here’s the news: the “unprecedented” stock market rally since his election right now isn’t big enough to crack the top five in presidential history.

Is Donald Trump Breaking His Oath of Office as He Renews His Attacks on the Press?
Graham Lanktree – Newsweek
President Donald Trump doubled down on his attacks against the press Wednesday night in an interview with Fox News. After threatening to take NBC News off the air, Republican Senator Ben Sasse questioned whether the president is breaking his oath of office.


Ex-HSBC Trader Says Client Got ‘Fair’ Price in Currency Deal
Patricia Hurtado and Lananh Nguyen – Bloomberg
Former currency trader Mark Johnson took the witness stand on Wednesday to declare that HSBC Holdings Plc cheated no one in a $3.5 billion foreign-exchange transaction.
“For the risk HSBC took, the outcome was fair,” Johnson, the bank’s former global head of foreign exchange, told jurors at his fraud trial in New York.

HSBC trader defends Cairn currency deal in ‘front-running’ trial; Mark Johnson tells New York court profit from $3.5bn transaction was ‘fair all round’
Alistair Gray in New York – FT
The top HSBC trader accused of turning an illicit profit from a $3.5bn currency deal has acknowledged he was “surprised” by how well the bank did from the transaction — but argued it was “fair all round”.

CFTC Charges California Resident Scott Allensworth, His Company E-Slate, Inc., Nevada Resident Robert J. Fusco, and Kentucky Resident David Weddle with Fraud, Misappropriation, and Registration Violations
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced the filing of a Complaint on October 2, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The CFTC Complaint, filed under seal, charges Defendants Scott Allensworth (d/b/a Capital Growth Group Associates and Cobra Development Group LLP), of Newhall, California; his California company E-Slate, Inc. (d/b/a Cobra Development Group LLP); Robert J. Fusco, of Henderson, Nevada; and David Weddle, of Somerset, Kentucky, with fraudulent solicitation, providing fabricated statements to pool participants, and misappropriation in connection with investments in two separate commodity pools. The Complaint also charges Defendants with registration violations.

Lawyers Charged With Assisting a Microcap Fraud Scheme
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged two lawyers it alleges helped facilitate a microcap fraud scheme involving undisclosed “blank check” companies secretly bound for reverse mergers.

SEC Files Charges In Snack Company Investment Scam
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged three individuals who defrauded investors in a company that falsely claimed to be developing a caffeinated chocolate snack and nearing an acquisition by Monster Energy or Coca-Cola Co.

Former executive chairman of Healthzone found guilty of fraud
Mr Peter David Roach, of Prestons, NSW, has been found guilty of fraud and other related offences in the Sydney District Court today. Mr Roach was the former executive chairman and director of health food chain Healthzone Limited (currently under external administration).

ISDA Publishes Venezuela Additional Provisions Protocol

Commissioner Quintenz Statement on De Minimis Threshold
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Commissioner Brian Quintenz released the following statement in response to CFTC Chairman Giancarlo’s announcement on the de minimis threshold:

Commissioner Behnam Statement on De Minimis Threshold
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Commissioner Rostin Behnam released the following statement in response to CFTC Chairman Giancarlo’s announcement on the de minimis threshold:

Testimony of J. Christopher Giancarlo Chairman U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission before the House Committee on Agriculture
Thank you Chairman Conaway, Ranking Member Peterson, and members of the Committee.

FCA fines and bans wife and bans husband financial advisor for lack of integrity
The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that it has banned Mrs Colette Chiesa and Mr John Chiesa from working in financial services for integrity failings. Additionally, Mrs Chiesa has been fined £50,000 for attempting to mislead the FCA during an FCA interview.

FCA fines and bans wife and bans husband financial advisor for lack of integrity
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has banned Mrs Colette Chiesa and Mr John Chiesa from working in financial services for integrity failings. Additionally, Mrs Chiesa has been fined £50,000 for attempting to mislead the FCA during an FCA interview.

Investing and Trading

A Colder Winter May Finally Be Coming for Natural Gas Bulls
Alison Sider – WSJ
Natural gas bulls have been disappointed by winter for two years in a row. Now they’re giving it one more shot.
About half of U.S. homes use natural gas for heat, but the last two winters have been unusually warm, sapping natural gas demand. Last winter was one of the warmest on record, and natural gas prices tumbled after hitting a two-year high in December.

Managed Futures is not High Frequency Trading
RCM Alternatives Blog
One of the most common questions we get asked when someone is first learning about Managed Futures is whether Managed Futures and High Frequency trading are one in the same. To that, we say: not in the slightest.

Why smart beta isn’t as complex as it sounds
Yvette Murphy – FTSE Russell Blog
Smart beta indexes have acquired a somewhat daunting reputation for complexity. After all, they deliberately do not follow the familiar “traditional” indexing approach of capitalization weighting. The proliferation of Greek letters, huge formulas and complicated concepts can make them seem unapproachable. But the truth is often quite different. In this first of two posts I want to show how, far from always being mind-bendingly complex, many smart beta indexes are based on simple intuitive ideas, focusing on a specific objective.

Hive Switches From Mining Gold to Bitcoin, Surges Six Six-Fold
By Natalie Obiko Pearson and Brandon Kochkodin – Bloomberg
Vancouver firm gives investors exposure to data crunchers; Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra is among early backers
Frank Giustra, the Canadian mining maverick who amassed a fortune building what would become one of the world’s largest gold companies, is digging for another kind of gold: cryptocurrencies.

Wall Street Is the New Fantasy Island; Stocks are banking on gangbuster earnings for two years.
By Stephen Gandel – Bloomberg
There is even more magical thinking about future profits than usual.

Bitcoin Breaches New Milestone by Smashing Past $5,000 Mark
By Tugce Ozsoy – Bloomberg
Largest cryptocurrency resumes rise after a one-day decline; Sentiment helped by Chinese reports, Goldman Sachs plans
Bitcoin surged to a fresh record Thursday as the enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies showed little signs of abating.


Morgan Stanley Plans $2,500-an-Hour Analyst Fees
William Canny, Nishant Kumar and Trista Kelley – Bloomberg
Morgan Stanley plans to charge about $2,500 an hour for private meetings with its stock analysts, almost twice the rate of many top corporate lawyers, once new European Union financial rules kick in next year. according to people with knowledge of the plan.

J.P. Morgan, Citi Report Third-Quarter Earnings
Bank earnings season kicks off Thursday with J.P. Morgan and Citigroup reporting results. Here’s The Wall Street Journal’s live analysis of the results as the numbers roll in.

Citigroup picks Luxembourg for EU private banking hub; US bank prepares to serve wealthy clients in case of hard Brexit trade barriers
Laura Noonan, Investment Banking Correspondent – FT
Citigroup’s private bank is setting up a new booking centre in Luxembourg that will allow it to administer the accounts of its EU clients in the event of a hard Brexit that involves tariffs or trade barriers.

HSBC picks insider John Flint as chief executive; Retail bank head was preferred candidate of outgoing Stuart Gulliver
Martin Arnold in London – FT
HSBC has announced the appointment of John Flint as chief executive, sticking with the bank’s tradition of promoting from within for the top job in a signal that its new chairman Mark Tucker will opt for more continuity than upheaval.

HSBC Names Insider John Flint CEO as Tucker Bows to Tradition
By Stephen Morris – Bloomberg
HSBC Holdings Plc named John Flint as its next chief executive officer after new Chairman Mark Tucker opted not to break with tradition and tapped a long-serving insider to run Europe’s largest bank.

China Evergrande beats HSBC to top most charitable Hong Kong companies list
Alun John – South China Morning Post
The Chinese property firm gave HK$1.8 billion to good causes last year, while overall philanthropic activity by listed companies increased from the previous year

RPT-UBS to hire fewer trainees, spend more on them, to satisfy clients
Reuters Staff
UBS Group AG will hire fewer trainees in 2018 but spend two to three times more on teaching them to be financial advisers, a senior executive said, in the latest sign of industry efforts to satisfy wealthier clients and grapple with an aging workforce.

AllianceBernstein Considers Moving Some Staff Away From New York; Another example of a money manager trying to cut expenses
By Sarah Krouse – WSJ
AllianceBernstein Holding AB 1.61% LP is in talks to shift some staff out of New York in the latest example of money managers trying to cut expenses as investors plow money into index-tracking funds with lower fees.


Tradeweb: Record Spanish Bond Volumes Amid Catalan Independence Vote
A record volume of the Spanish bonds traded hands on the Tradeweb’s European Government Bond platform last week following the Catalan independence referendum vote. Executed volumes of the Iberian kingdom’s debt were more than double its average weekly volumes for 2017, while trade count was up almost 50%, and were over EUR3 billion greater than any other week on the platform.

Russian bailouts: Too many questions, too few answers
Euromoney Magazine
On September 20, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) confirmed that shareholders of B&N Bank, the country’s 12th largest lender, had asked for help after deposit outflows threatened to cause a liquidity crunch. A day later, the state took the bank into temporary administration.

Kobe Steel chief says trust in company has ‘fallen to zero’; Group warns of increase in affected products in latest scandal over falsified data
Emiko Terazono in Tokyo – FT
The head of Kobe Steel, the Japanese metals conglomerate embroiled in the country’s latest data falsification case, on Thursday warned that the number of affected products could increase as the company continues its audit.

Russian authorities agree to regulate crypto-currency market
Reuters Staff
Russian authorities have agreed to regulate the crypto-currency market and hope to set out how this regulation will work by the end of the year, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday.

Africa’s Economic Future Depends on Its Farms
When the economies of Nigeria and South Africa recently rebounded, it wasn’t oil or minerals that did the trick. It was agriculture. Faster and more sustainable agricultural growth is crucial not only to the continent’s economy, but also to its ability to feed and employ its surging population.

Say Goodbye to the China Bid; The flow of Chinese money into assets around the world is coming to an end
The Capital Flow Roller Coaster
By Aaron Back – WSJ
China’s seemingly insatiable demand for foreign assets has driven up prices for everything from U.S. Treasury bonds to global companies to luxury real estate. Now, a combination of market forces and capital controls are choking off the flow of Chinese cash. Asset markets around the world will have to adjust.

Slowdown Reflects an Investment in India’s Future; Tax reform is not painless, but it was needed. And it will pay off.
By Daniel Moss
India is an emerging market standout. The country was one of only a handful of large economies marked down in forecasts from the International Monetary Fund this week. India’s gross domestic product is expected to rise 6.7 percent this year, compared with a previous projection of 7.2 percent. Next year’s estimate was also lowered.


No-Deal Brexit Would Cost $15,000 Per Person, Rabobank Says
By Jill Ward – Bloomberg
Ministers outlined contingency plans for no deal this week; Barriers to trade, lower investment could hit U.K. growth
Leaving the European Union without a trade deal won’t be cheap.

Deadlocked Brexit Talks Take U.K. Closer to Cliff-Edge
By Ian Wishart and Tim Ross – Bloomberg
No breakthrough reached after three days of negotiations; EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Barnier briefs press in Brussels
The European Union said talks hit a wall over what the U.K. owes when it leaves, increasing the chances of a messy departure as time is running out to clinch a deal.

BofA Signs Lease for Paris Trading Hub Ahead of Brexit
Laura Keller and Fabio Benedetti Valentini – Bloomberg
Bank of America Corp. signed a lease for office space in Paris, formalizing plans to move its European trading hub to the French capital after Brexit, people familiar with the decision said.


Masayoshi Son Says Robots Won’t Be the Death to Humanity
SoftBank Group Corp. Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son says robots will help people achieve more harmony. He speaks with David Rubenstein for “The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations” in a conversation recorded Sept. 19. (Source: Bloomberg)

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First Read Hits & Takes By JLN Staff Congratulations to Maureen Downs on being elected as chair of the board of directors of the National Futures Association. Don Thompson of JPMorgan Chase & Co. was elected to serve as vice-chair. With...

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