Bits & Pieces
By John J. Lothian
William “Bill” Hagerty, Jr., former Chairman of the Chicago Board of Trade and one of the industry’s great gentlemen, has passed away at the age of 87.
Bill was the head of what was once the longest tenured member firm of the CBOT, Hagerty Grain, and was a customer of mine when I was a broker.
From that relationship I had the opportunity to get to know Bill and came to respect him greatly. When I ran for the NFA Board of Directors back in the early 2000s as an Introducing Broker representative, he was one of the people I asked to sign a letter recommending my candidacy.
Bill was responsible for helping bring Robert K. Wilmouth to the CBOT as president. Wilmouth would later move on to become the first NFA president and help create the new self-regulatory organization.
He was good representative of the member-owned era of the CBOT, participating in its political structure and eventually serving as chairman of the exchange. He also served for many years on the board of the Chicago Board of Trade Clearing Corp.
He was instrumental in helping defeat an initiative to merge the BOTCC and CME Clearing by standing in the lobby of the CBOT soliciting signatures for a petition.
My condolences to the family and friends of Bill. He lived a long and productive life. He left a great legacy and I will always remember him as an thoughtful and gracious gentlemen.
Members of the JLN team are headed to Stockholm on Monday. Spencer Doar and Mike Forrester are accompanying me to Stockholm and will video the presentations there for our MarketsWikiEducation.com website.
We will be also shooting some interviews while we are there for a Special Report about Stockholm as a trading center. We welcome volunteers or suggestions for interviewee subjects.
JLN is again sending a team to Boca Raton for the FIA International Conference in March. Our new CEO Jim Kharouf, Spencer Doar, Patrick Lothian, myself and our intern, Katherine Lothian will be making the trip. We will be conducting our annual exchange leader video series, as well as interviewing other industry leaders.
William Hagerty Obituary – Highland Park, IL
William Daniel Hagerty Jr., 87, passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 19, 2017 at his home in Highland Park, IL. Bill was born November 2, 1929 in Chicago, IL to William and Mary, nee O’Connor, Hagerty.
Only a Market Crash Can Stop Warren Buffett From Winning This $1 Million Bet
Nicole Friedman – WSJ
It was a $1 million bet: Could hedge funds outperform index funds over a decade? Warren Buffett said no in 2007. Now it looks like the billionaire investor was right.
**JK: Is there one man that could possibly bring down the markets?
Opinion: Geopolitical black swans are the stock market’s biggest risk; Trump’s unpredictability and eagerness to upset the apple cart raise the chance of a crisis-induced swoon
Howard Gold – MarketWatch
I think this is a continuation of the stock market’s SPX, -0.11% bull run that began in March 2009, but this time, as I’ve written, the catalyst is political: the prospects that a Trump Administration will cut regulations and taxes and stimulate the economy with a big infrastructure program.
**JK: So, as I was saying. Then again, is there one man who can fuel these markets?
Sebi to allow futures trading in degummed soya oil soon; Currently, traders import degummed soya oil without hedging any price risk on futures exchanges
Dilip Kumar Jha – Business Standard
Markets regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is all set to allow futures trading in degummed soya oil soon.
**JK: My Trident is tasting a little chalky.
***** JJL: One mark guaranteed to not have a bubble.
***SD: Doubly pleasurable to trade.
Storm Doris ‘weather bomb’ hits as 100mph gusts and blizzard-like snow batter Britain
Leon Watson – Telegraph
The Met Office has declared Storm Doris is now a “weather bomb” after an intense drop in pressure saw winds reach a reported 100mph on Thursday.
**JK: Pretty sure it was a Brweather Bomb, not weather bomb.
America Needs a New Milton Friedman
Noah Smith – Bloomberg
Milton Friedman had many ideas that I disagree with, and others that I think haven’t stood the test of time. But there’s no denying his influence over the world of economics; he was one of the field’s greatest popularizers and explainers. Friedman’s 1980 television series, “Free to Choose,” introduced a combination of basic economics and libertarian political ideology to a generation of Americans. With books such as “Capitalism and Freedom” and “Free to Choose: A Personal Statement” (co-authored with his wife Rose), he became one of the country’s premier public intellectuals. For many Americans, the face of Milton Friedman is still the face of economics.
Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top three stories from Wednesday ranged from people moves to bitcoin trading. The most read piece came from FOW in CME to part ways with two senior US directors. Second was Finance Magnates’ article on the oldest South Florida bucket shop trick, changing the company name, in FXCM Inc to Be Renamed ‘Global Brokerage Inc’ Following US Upheaval. Third was Forbes’ bit on If You Want To Trade Bitcoins, First Learn CFTC Rules
94,312,030 pages viewed; 22,353 pages; 203,827 edits
Credit Suisse Probe Opens Old Wounds
John Letzing and Aruna Viswanatha – WSJ
Less than three years after Credit Suisse Group AG paid billions and pleaded guilty to aiding tax evasion through its desk serving American clients, the Swiss bank is a focus of a sprawling new investigation into whether another unit kept doing the same thing.
Trump Wants a Pro-Business SEC. That Has Some Investors Worried
Robert Schmidt and Benjamin Bain – Bloomberg
President is eager for agency to promote U.S. stock listings; Shareholder advocates say corporate malfeasance could rise
When Donald Trump interviewed Jay Clayton to be his chief securities regulator in December, the then-president elect was fixated on the steep decline in U.S. initial public offerings.
Goldman warns Federal Reserve over commodity trading rules fallout; Bank says call for steep charge against holdings of bulk materials could lead to exit
Gregory Meyer – FT
Goldman Sachs, the last bank on Wall Street to handle significant physical volumes of oil and gas, has pushed back against a planned crackdown on combining finance with commodities trading.
European regulators allow wiggle room on new derivatives rules
Philip Stafford – Financial Times
European prudential and markets authorities have pulled back from a hardline enforcement of new derivatives rules with less than a week to go before the standards come into effect, giving small financial institutions more time to prepare for the wide-ranging reforms.
Debating Market Data
Rob Daly – Rob Daly
The Investors Exchange launched the latest salvo in the fight between exchange operators and clients over market data access fees. In a comment letter filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, IEX took exception to Nasdaq’s planned rollout of a new data offering, which would include the Consolidated Tape Association’s Tape A and Tape B, the Unlisted Trading Privilege Plan’s Tape C, and the Options Pricing Authority consolidated feeds.
Volatile Bitcoin Nears Its All-Time High
Paul Vigna – WSJ
The price of the digital currency bitcoin is once again testing its all-time highs as a shake-up in China gives a boost to the Japanese cryptocurrency market and speculation mounts about a possible bitcoin exchange-traded fund. Bitcoin on Wednesday traded as high as $1,125, according to Coindesk’s Bitcoin Price Index, approaching its intraday high of $1,150, […]
It’s Like the Financial Crisis Never Happened…
James Mackintosh – WSJ
It is 10 years since the U.S. subprime crisis began, and everything is wonderful on Wall Street. A decade after the world began to notice the losses on derivatives linked to the toxic waste of structured subprime mortgages, American stocks have produced such big returns that the biggest crash in generations barely registers.
Global Pipes – Challenges For Systemic Financial Infrastructure
Bank of England Release
In a speech at the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum on Wednesday, Sir Jon Cunliffe examines three challenges facing international financial market infrastructure: operational risk, in particular cyber risk; prudential risk, and the regulation and supervision of cross-border infrastructure.
Bank of England to ‘up its game’ in overseeing euro clearing
Philip Stafford and Caroline Binham – Financial Times
The Bank of England has warned against pulling euro clearing away from London because of “currency nationalism” and said it plans to “up its game” to press the UK’s advantage in overseeing a complicated but lucrative market.
Is Yellen trolling Trump and stock-market investors?; The Dow Jones Industrial Average has climbed 13.3% since the Nov. 8 election, as of Wednesday’s close
Mark DeCambre – MarketWatch
Slow your record roll, Wall Street! That appears to be the message that Janet Yellen’s Federal Reserve conveyed to investors Wednesday.
Paris attempts to lure business from London with new skyscrapers; City promises seven new towers to ‘accommodate the new talent’
Michael Stothard – FT
Paris will build seven new skyscrapers in its business district as part of an aggressive campaign to lure financial services companies from London after the UK leaves the EU.
Big banks have more female directors than other US industries; Financial groups’ lead in danger as proportion grows more slowly than in rest of corporate America
Shannon Bond – FT
Big US banks have more female directors than most other big industries but the proportion of women in their boardrooms is growing more slowly than the rest of corporate America, a study has found.
Silicon Valley Tried to Upend Banks. Now It Works With Them.
Nathaniel Popper – NY Times
In 2011, Brett King was promoting his book, “Breaking Banks,” and creating a start-up that he hoped would do to the banks what Amazon did to the retail industry and Facebook did to media.
TABB: Trump Regulatory Overhaul Could Wipe Out Reg NMS
Mark Melin – Value Walk
With the election of Donald Trump, the US regulatory structure is on the verge of monumental change. Noted market structure analyst Larry Tabb looks at the enormity of the coming changes and draws realizations the range of outcomes has fat tails. There is no one strategy note that can likely cover all the coming changes and Trump is in a position to do it. For the founder of the TABB Group, the topic of Trump regulatory overhaul ó which involves the Volcker Rule, Regulation National Market System (Reg NMS) and high frequency trading (HFT) ó are inter-related topics that point to market structure history being re-written.
Maintaining London’s euro-clearing crown is vital to EU as well as the UK, says City of London MP Mark Field
Mark Field – City AM
London’s deep, liquid markets and the breadth of its financial and professional services mean that it stands unrivalled as a European financial centre, which is one of the reasons why it has dominated the foreign exchange market in such a decisive way.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
Office Of Financial Research Update Measuring Systemwide Resilience Of Central Counterparties
The U.S. Office of Financial Research today posted a research brief, entitled, “Measuring Systemwide Resilience of Central Counterparties.” This brief proposes a novel way to conduct a U.S. systemwide stress test of central counterparties, or CCPs.
RSRCHXchange latest to join NEX Group’s investment portfolio; NEX Group makes strategic investment in research firm ahead of MiFID II unbundling.
Hayley McDowell- The Trade
NEX Group’s Euclid has made a strategic investment in institutional research marketplace, RSRCHXchange, ahead of global expansion plans.
Finmin questions Sebi on NSE co-location audit; Why self-audit by NSE, why weren’t charges probed under your supervision, Ministry asks regulator
Shrimi Choudhary – Business Standard
The Finance Ministry has questioned the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) about its move to direct the National Stock Exchange (NSE) to conduct a forensic audit on itself.
Eurex Trading-on-Behalf service: Enhancement of PIN service
With this circular, we would like to inform you that the Eurex Trading-on-Behalf PIN service described in ß 58 Section 7 of the Exchange Rules for Eurex Deutschland and Eurex Z¸rich (Eurex Exchanges) will be enhanced.
IEX Launches API; The API includes top order book quotes, trading volume information, and other metrics.
IEX API 1.0 will provide any individual or institution access to IEX market data with near real-time quotes so they can develop applications requiring stock market information. Brad Katsuyama, co-founder and CEO of IEX Group, said the API allows IEX to provide transparent information to its members at no charge compared to legacy exchanges that charge thousands of dollars for the same kind of data. “The role of an exchange is simple: Members send orders to exchanges and exchanges match orde
NSE said to be redrafting its algorithmic trading policy; NSE has also hired consulting firm EY to audit the systems that facilitate algorithmic trading for stockbrokers
Jayshree P. Upadhyay – Live Mint
National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) is redrafting its algorithmic trading policy following the findings of a forensic audit that the exchange’s systems were prone to manipulation, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Euclid Opportunities invests in RSRCHXchange
Euclid Opportunities, NEX Group’s financial technology investment business, announces today that it has made a strategic investment in RSRCHXchange, a cloud-based marketplace and MiFID II workflow solution for accessing institutional research. The investment will enable RSRCHXchange to continue to expand its global footprint and accelerate growth. Terms of the investment are not disclosed.
A New Cryptocurrency For Coordinating Artificial Intelligence on Numerai
Numerai – Medium
One hour ago, 12,000 data scientists were issued 1 million crypto-tokens to incentivize the construction of an artificial intelligence hedge fund. Here’s why.
Thomson Reuters Launches European Elections News Tool on Eikon
New app will help clients keep up with upcoming elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany.
Thomson Reuters upgrades analytics platform to handle MiFID II demands; Technology upgrades will enable system to stream large volumes of data and process in real-time.
Thomson Reuters has added new functions to its data analytics platform, which it claims make it MiFID II-ready.
‘You Have to Stop,’ Renaissance Executive Tells Boss About Trump Support; At some companies, a divisive presidential campaign has led to disharmony in the workplace
Gregory Zuckerman – The Wall Street Journal
David Magerman says he was in his home office in suburban Philadelphia earlier this month when the phone rang. His boss, hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer, was on the line. “I hear you’re going around saying I’m a white supremacist,” Mr. Mercer said. “That’s ridiculous.”
Think a Negative Tweet From Trump Crushes a Stock? Think Again
Akane Otani and Shane Shifflett – WSJ
The prospect of a negative tweet from President Donald Trump has corporate executives quaking in their boots. They probably? shouldn’t be.
OneWest and Mnuchin: The new ‘Government Sachs’ isn’t Goldman Sachs
Ylan Mui – CNBC
Veterans of Goldman Sachs may enjoy top billing in President Donald Trump’s administration, but executives from one little-known bank could soon wield enormous influence over Wall Street.
Here Are All The Favors Donald Trump Has Performed For Wall Street; It’s only been a month.
Zach Carter – Huffington Post
Donald Trump built his presidential campaign around two ideas: 1) a corrupt financial establishment had swindled the middle class, and 2) immigrants and foreigners are dangerous.
ESAS PUBLISH STATEMENT ON VARIATION MARGIN EXCHANGE
The European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs – European Banking Authority, European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and the European Securities and Markets Authority) have published a statement in response to industry requests relating to operational challenges in meeting the deadline of 1 March 2017 for exchanging variation margin.
FINRA Orders Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments to Pay $3.4 Million in Restitution to Native American Tribe; Firm Also Fined $750,000 for Failures to Supervise
FINRAThe Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that Albany, New York-based Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments (PKS) will pay nearly $3.4 million in restitution to a Native American tribe, after the tribe paid excessive sales charges on purchases of non-traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Business Development Companies (BDCs). In addition to ordering restitution, FINRA fined PKS $750,000 for its failures to supervise the sales of these securities. This settlement resolves charges brought in a February 2016 FINRA complaint against PKS. The charges alleged in the same complaint against the tribe’s PKS registered representative, Gopi Vungarala, are ongoing.
Regulators fail to find ‘smoking gun’ in bond liquidity reports; AFME conference panel says regulators have failed to look to the future when exploring bond liquidity.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Regulators and authorities globally who have sought to explain declines in bond liquidity have failed to find the ‘smoking gun’ because they are not looking to the future.
Ex-IMF boss Rato sentenced to jail in Spain over credit card scandal
Former International Monetary Fund chief Rodrigo Rato was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for misusing company credit cards for personal expenses while he worked at lender Bankia, a Spanish court ruled on Thursday.
Sebi issues consultation paper to review stock exchanges norms; Capital market regulator has sought comments till March 31 in this regard
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Wednesday has issued a consultation paper to review regulations for stock exchanges, clearing corporations and depositories.
Somasekhar Sundaresan: Immediate challenges for new Sebi chairman; Within Sebi, the chairman should hold an umbrella for both young and old employees
Somasekhar Sundaresan Very soon, Ajay Tyagi will take charge at the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) as the new chairman. The task requires calm reflection on the problems on hand, and a mind open to fresh ideas and innovative thinking. The capital markets regulator is at a crossroads. Never in the regulator’s history has this role been more complex than it is now. Here is a brief heads-up with pointers to what needs immediate attention. First, Sebi is in crying need of a peacetime general. The very assumption of this office can make some incumbents believe that they are now at …
FCA publishes new data on trends in the retirement income market
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have today published their eighth data bulletin. This edition focuses on insights from the consumer contact centre, as well as the latest trends in the retirement income market.
Regulation round-up special issue – February 2017
This is a special issue of our regulation round-up, focused on our recent consultation on the future funding of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Investing and Trading
This ETF’s $100 Billion Milestone Approaching
Nearly a decade after the first ETF did it, another exchange-traded fund is about to hit a key milestone. The iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV) is fast approaching the $100 billion in assets under management (AUM) mark, a level first reached by the world’s largest ETF, the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY), in December 2007. Since the $232 billion SPY did it more than nine years ago, no exchange-traded fund has become successful enough to challenge $100 billion. But the nearly 17-year-old IVV, with a current AUM of $96.4 billion, looks poised to repeat that impressive feat.
U.S. fund investors less skittish on international stocks
Trevor Hunnicutt – Reuters
Investors galloped into stocks for the third straight week, delivering U.S.-based funds invested in companies abroad the most cash since August 2015, Investment Company Institute data released on Wednesday show.
Dollar-watchers put real yields under close scrutiny
Roger Blitz – Financial Times
“What’s up with the dollar?” has been the recurring question for investors lately as the reserve currency has slipped from a 14-year high set at the start of January. The answer may lie in the link between the dollar and real yields, a proxy for how investors in the bond market view prospects for stronger economic growth and the normalisation of interest rates.
Fund managers look to Mexican ‘staples and savings’ amid Trump fears
David Randall – Reuters
Mutual fund managers are shifting their portfolios from Mexican exporters and manufacturers into companies that focus on penny-pinching consumers as fears over President Donald Trump’s trade and immigration policies threaten to disrupt relations between the two countries.
Companies with long-term view do prevail: James Saft
James Saft – Reuters
In a world in which most investment managers are paid to be short- or medium-term in their thinking, companies taking the long view prove the best bet. This is one of the central ironies, not just of a delegated investment system, but of the economy itself: patience pays but is not usually rewarded.
The ‘long run’ for investing is longer than you think
Patrick Lach – MarketWatch
There are certain truths that are etched into the brains of investors. They know that in the long-run, their portfolio returns will be close to the historic average of the stock market. In the short-run, they know that returns will fluctuate wildly. However, many investors have an unrealistic idea of when the short-run ends and the long-run begins. My clients are often stunned when I tell them that in the stock market, five years is a short-term time horizon.
Big Investors Are Too Scared to Run, Too Scared to Fight Trump Rally; Some hedge funds are worried, but riding the market seems safer than selling out or shorting it
Justin Lahart – WSJ
Some big investors are worried about what President Donald Trump’s actions might do to the stock market. That doesn’t mean they will bet against the rally. At least not yet.
Commodities rebound pans out nicely for stainless steel; Rising share prices, bigger profits and larger payouts restore lustre
Michael Pooler, Industry Reporter – FT
Stainless steel is regaining its shine. After falling victim like many other basic industries to the global commodities downturn, companies that specialise in the rustproof metal are enjoying a change in their fortunes.
Warren Buffett needs a new recipe for investing; Kraft Heinz’s failed Unilever bid shows the food industry has run out of growth
John Gapper – FT
Warren Buffett once observed that, “When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.” So what happens when an investor with a holy reputation tackles an unholy task?
Wall Street Theory Is You Didn’t Need Trump to Revive Earnings
Joseph Ciolli – Bloomberg
Some strategists see forced in place that predate the election; S&P 500 earnings are forecast to hit $130 a share in 2017
The 2017 stock market: a celebration of Donald Trump’s presidential promises, or the byproduct of influences that predate his election? A cohort of Wall Street strategists is leaning toward the latter.
Federal Reserve minutes point to rate hike ‘fairly soon’
Lindsay Dunsmuir and Jason Lange – Reuters
Many Federal Reserve policymakers said it may be appropriate to raise interest rates again “fairly soon” should jobs and inflation data come in line with expectations, according to the minutes of the Fed’s last policy meeting released on Wednesday.
Distressed Near the Top, Managed Futures Lagging
The $3 trillion hedge fund industry entered 2017 with similar performance trends it displayed in 2016. January’s gains were the eleventh month of positive performance produced by hedge funds in the last twelve. During this streak, the overall industry has returned an average near 10%, despite negative returns from managed futures funds and lagging aggregate returns from macro strategies.
Glencore Returns to Profit on Commodities Boom; Swiss miner’s earnings are latest positive sign from the sector
Scott Patterson – WSJ
Glencore PLC swung into the black last year on surging commodity prices, an eye-popping recovery for the Swiss mining giant, which a year earlier reported billions of dollars in losses.
Barclays celebrates bumper fixed income revenue ; Barclays is the latest to report a surge in fixed income activity, driving revenues across its markets business
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
The markets business at Barclays saw income surge 9% to £5.2 billion in 2016, driven by an increase across fixed income products compared to the year prior.
Bundesbank Increases Risk Provisions to Buffer Future Losses
Carolynn Look – Bloomberg
Risk reserves raised to EU15.4b from EU13.6b last year; Central bank braces for cost of future policy normalization
Germany’s Bundesbank increased its risk provisions to manage losses it anticipates to make once the European Central Bank starts to raise interest rates.
Political Risk Hampers the ECB
Mohamed A. El-Erian – Bloomberg
The European Central Bank just can’t get a break. After many years of unconventional monetary measures that have drawn lots of political criticism and attacks and forced it to intervene uncomfortably in the functioning and pricing of financial markets, it was hoping that a pickup in euro-zone economic activity would allow it to declare victory and gradually normalize policy.
Barclays’s Staley Gets $1.6 Million Bonus in First Year as CEO
Stephen Morris and Richard Partington – Bloomberg
Jes Staley awarded 60 percent of his maximum annual incentive; Number of bankers paid at least 1 million pounds falls to 364
Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley received a bonus of 1.3 million pounds ($1.6 million) for his first year in charge after hitting almost two-thirds of his targets, as he reshaped the bank and disposed of unwanted assets.
Beijing banned North Korean coal, and traders are scrambling
Huileng Tan – CNBC
A surprise announcement from Beijing last weekend that it had banned coal imports from North Korea is causing a fracas in China’s coal market, as traders scramble for supplies of the commodity that is used in steel-making and heating.
China’s Weapons of Trade War
Keyu Jin – Project Syndicate
China exports more to the United States than the US exports to China. That makes US President Donald Trump furious – so furious, in fact, that he may be willing to start a trade war over it.
How France scrapping the euro could go beyond a ‘Lehman moment’
Karen Gilchrist – CNBC
Past performance is no guide to future returns, as investors are so often told, but the French electorate runs the risk of creating a crisis worse than the fall of Lehman Brothers if it follows the U.K. in instigating a referendum on EU membership, according to analysts at Deutsche Bank.
Morgan Stanley weighs initial 300 Brexit job moves: Bloomberg
U.S. bank Morgan Stanley (MS.N) may initially move 300 staff from Britain following its exit from the European Union, and is scouting for office space in Frankfurt and Dublin, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.
Brexit vote prompts huge rise in EU residence applications; Administrative demand puts pared-back Home Office under strain
Helen Warrell, Public Policy Correspondent – FT
The UK Home Office processed four times as many residence documents from Europeans living in Britain after the Brexit vote as it did in the same period a year ago, according to figures that highlight the growing pressure on the immigration system.
Brexit could lead to ‘complete breakdown’ between UK and EU, says former European Commission official; David Wright spent more than 30 years at the heart EU’s executive arm in Brussels, working with commissioners such as Leon Brittan and Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator
Zlata Rodionova – Independent
One of Britain’s most senior former European Commission officials has warned that Brexit negotiations could lead to a “complete breakdown” of relations between the UK and the European Union.
Hedge fund billionaire David Einhorn heading for divorce
Emily Smith – NY Post
Hedge fund billionaire David Einhorn is separating from his wife of 24 years, Cheryl Strauss Einhorn, and the pair is heading for divorce, sources have confirmed to Page Six.