Day Trading the VIX; The Exec Securing Money With Blockchain; LME considers starting lithium contract

Aug 29, 2017

First Read

Hits & Takes
By JLN Staff

ICE has committed more than $1 million to relief from Hurricane Harvey. You can donate through them too.~JJL

CME Group will hold a Tech Talk 6.0 event on September 14 in Chicago at the Museum of Broadcast History. Topics to be addressed include Trending FinTech, Alternative Data, Innovation in the Cloud and Analytics: From Sports to Finance.~JJL

Keith Fishe of TradeForecaster Global Markets offered some feedback from his daughter about this summer’s MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity series in Chicago. Thanks Keith!~JJL

Yesterday we added pages for Thomas Laux, Manfred Matusza, Gregor Pottmeyer and Keith Fishe to MarketsWiki.~JJL

DRW’s Jennifer Wilson is the speaker featured today from this summer’s MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity series in Chicago.~JJL

The World Federation of Exchanges is holding its general assembly and annual meeting September 6 to 8 in Bangkok. The Stock Exchange of Thailand is the host this year.~JK

Yesterday’s Asia Pacific Financial News from John Lothian New is available HERE.~JJL

YCharts rolls out a new offering today, YData. Check out our blog below for more.-SD


Cloudy with clearing: What the next clearing house looks like
Jim Kharouf – JLN

John Davidson joined OCC as president and chief operating officer in May with a firm focus on ushering in the next generation of clearing technology for the world’s largest clearing organization.

Davidson is one of several recent executive team hires tasked with executing the switch from one established technology platform to something new. This is no small task for Davidson, who reports to OCC Chairman and CEO Craig Donohue and works closely with Scot Warren, OCC’s executive vice president and chief administrative officer.

OCC’s ENCORE system now stands at about 20 years old, and while there have been many upgrades, it’s time to build a new platform. Davidson said the system has performed admirably over the past two decades as it has scaled up to handle increases in options volumes and new products, but “it isn’t flexible,” he said. So OCC has embarked on a mission to build the next clearing platform in an expanding options exchange space, now totalling 15 options markets.

Read the rest HERE.


Revamping data provision: YData rolls out
Spencer Doar – JLN
Professionals in the trading world are turning to all sorts of data tools, from technology that scrapes Twitter for actionable sentiment to satellite imagery of shipments, all in search of alpha. Now, Chicago-based YCharts is getting into the tradeable intelligence field.
Founded in 2009, YCharts offers financial data and analysis tools through a web platform which covers 50,000 stocks, ETFs and mutual funds. YData is a new offering from the firm which uses machine learning and natural language processing to scour the internet for intelligence.


Hurricane Harvey Relief | ICE commits to Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts
Our thoughts and hearts are with our colleagues, customers and all those impacted by Hurricane Harvey and the ongoing flooding in southeast Texas and Louisiana. To support the communities in which we and our customers live and work, Intercontinental Exchange is making a $1 million donation to the Red Cross for the relief effort. We are also matching our employee donations to the Red Cross to further leverage their giving.

***** ICE steps right up and delivers.


‘No President in the U.S.’ Leads $53 Billion Fund to Sell Stocks
Kati Pohjanpalo – Bloomberg
A leadership vacuum in the world’s biggest economy has driven the largest private-sector pension fund in Finland to cut the weight of U.S. stocks in its 45 billion-euro ($53 billion) portfolio.

***** Big day for Finland in the news yesterday. First President Trump could not distinguish between two blond female Finnish reporters at the White House and now the Finnish Varma pension fund makes a very pointed investment decision.


Monday’s Top Three
Yesterday’s top story covered the next step for Trayport in NYSE owner lines up sale of energy trader from the The Times. Second was The Guardian’s examination of
Should the rich be taxed more? A new paper shows unequivocally yes. Third was a repeat from our top three FCM Rankings & Concentration: Q2 2017


How to be a Successful Trader – Jennifer Wilson

“People who do well, they stick around. They invest more money and make the markets more efficient. People who don’t do well generally move on pretty quickly to other opportunities.”

In this video from MarketsWiki Education’s World of Opportunity event in Chicago, Jennifer Wilson, partner at DRW, discusses what it takes to be a successful trader in today’s markets. When Wilson was starting out in the late ’90s, the floor was a microcosm of pure commerce. Traders were doing what was best for their book which created a steady balance of supply and demand. In today’s electronic markets, things operate differently and Wilson hits three key points. Trading comes down to what you make of it, it’s not easy and it’s always evolving. While the pits are mostly gone, there are two things that will remain the same. Own up if you make a mistake and always honor your trade.
Watch the video »


MarketsWiki Stats
106,754,037 pages viewed; 22,697 pages; 208,164 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

Day Trading in Wall Street’s Complex ‘Fear Gauge’ Proliferates
Landon Thomas Jr. – NY Times
Each morning, at the market’s open, Seth M. Golden, a former logistics manager at a Target store, fires up the computer in his home office in northern Florida and does what he has done for years: Put on bets that Wall Street’s index of volatility, the VIX, will keep falling.

The Digital Banking Executive Securing Your Money With Blockchain; Amber Baldet is convincing JPMorgan Chase and other institutions that change is good.
Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
In 2014, when it became clear that advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence were reshaping finance, executives at JPMorgan Chase & Co. pulled together their best engineers and told them, “Figure this out.” Among them was Amber Baldet, then a 31-year-old vice president for technology. “I started in machine learning, but I kept putting my hand up to say, ‘I know about ≠blockchain,’?” she says.

LME considers starting lithium contract to tap electric car boom; The 140-year-old metal exchange is attempting to reverse a decline in volumes
Henry Sanderson – FT
The London Metal Exchange is considering introducing a contract for lithium, a mineral that is in heavy demand because of its use in electric cars, as the 140-year old company tries to reverse a fall in volumes.

Iraq Braves Break With Tradition in Search of Oil’s True Worth
Serene Cheong – Bloomberg
State-run SOMO mulls shift in Asian pricing to Dubai exchange; OPEC’s second-largest producer seeks feedback by end of August
OPEC’s second-largest producer is stepping up the campaign to get more for its oil by looking to revamp the way it sells crude to its biggest customers.

Hedge funds see a gold rush in data mining; Professional investors are seeking an advantage from tradable intelligence. But questions persist over alternative data’s legality
Lindsay Fortado, Robin Wigglesworth and Kara Scannell – Financial Times
When Under Armour, the sportswear maker brought to prominence in Oliver Stone’s American football epic Any Given Sunday, reported its latest earnings in early August, it was an unpleasant surprise for many investors.
The company reported a second straight quarter of losses, cut its sales outlook for the rest of the year and announced a large restructuring programme that it warned would halve its operating profits in 2017. The shares tumbled almost 9 per cent on the day and have kept sagging since.

Eurex develops market-on-close service for futures; Eurex market-on-close futures allows opportunity to trade futures at index close level for hedging purposes.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Derivatives exchange operator Eurex has launched market-on-close futures to facilitate the migration from OTC instruments to on-exchange execution.

Insurers and energy companies count the cost of Harvey
Gregory Meyer and Alistair Gray – Financial Times
The insurance and energy industries are struggling to assess the damage from what analysts said could be one of the 10 costliest storms in US history as tropical storm Harvey carved a slow, destructive path across the Texas coastline.
The bill for insurers was expected to come to between $10bn and $20bn, according to a “best guess” estimate from JPMorgan Chase. The nature of the storm ó with analysts expecting flooding to cause more damage than winds ó means that an unusually high proportion of the losses are unlikely to be covered by insurers.

Industry stakeholders share common views on swap reporting
Brad Rosen, J.D. – Jim Hamilton’s World of Securities Regulation
The comment period for the comprehensive review of the swap data reporting regulations contained in Parts 43, 45, and 49 of the CFTC’s regulations came to a close on August 21, 2017. The review, initiated by the CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight (DMO) in July of this year, resulted in the submission of 22 separate public comments. Eight comments came from trade organizations representing end-users, as well as another eight from the exchange/swap data repository (SDR) community. Two comment letters were submitted by financial trade organizations and two by financial firms. One comment was submitted by an organization promoting the public interest, and one by an individual member of the public.

The London Stock Exchange is shrinking: Why the capital needs to float more IPO boats
Nick Bennett
Something strange is happening to London’s equity market. In a word, it is shrinking. Steadily, but surely, and over a long period of time. This threatens to have long-term financial and economic consequences for all of us.

This Woman May Have the Toughest Job in Australia
Emily Cadman – Bloomberg
Anna Bligh may just have the toughest job in Australia: convincing the public that bankers aren’t all bad in the wake of a series of explosive scandals. Appointed head of the Australian Bankers’ Association, the public face of the industry, less than six months ago, Bligh is out to rebuild the banking’s reputation following allegations of money laundering and terrorism financing at the country’s biggest lender, which come on top of charges that banks gave customers misleading financial advice and also rigged rates.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

ICE Benchmark Administration to operate LBMA Silver Price Auction from 25 September
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, today announced that ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA) expects to begin administering the benchmark and operating the Auction underlying the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) Silver Price from 25 September 2017, subject to regulatory approval.

Eurex supports electronification with Market-on-Close Futures
Eurex launches another innovative product to support market participants in electronifying their trading business. As of 30 October, Eurex Market-on-Close (MOC) futures provide a concept to trade index futures at a price level directly linked to the underlying cash market index close, prior to its actual publication.

EURO STOXX 50 Index Dividend Futures: Introduction of two additional Designated Market-Making schemes
The Management Board of Eurex Deutschland and the Executive Board of Eurex Z¸rich AG (collectively: the Eurex Exchanges) decided to introduce two additional Designated Market-Making schemes for EURO STOXX 50Æ (FEXD) Index Dividend Futures. The new Scheme II and Scheme III will be offered for the period from 1 September 2017 to 31 December 2017.

Single Stock Dividend Futures: Designated Market-Making scheme: Extension
The Management Board of Eurex Deutschland and the Executive Board of Eurex Z¸rich AG took the following decision effective 1 September 2017:

Nasdaq Helsinki 5th Annual Open House
Maarit Bystedt – via Linkedin
Nasdaq Helsinki hosted its 5th Annual Open House for retail investors in the old Stock Exchange Building in Helsinki last night. The event attracted some 450 guests. After the panel discussion at the beginning, the guests were able to choose from three presentations held simultaneously in three event spaces. The presentations were given by the CEOs of newly listed companies, issuer banks regarding ETNs, and buy-side investor Elo and OP Bank regarding Sustainable investing. Furthermore, at the beginning of the event Titanium gave a short presentation – the company announced their intention to seek listing on Nasdaq First North Helsinki the same morning.

MCX applies for diamond futures trading, awaits Sebi approval
Business Standard News
Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX), largest commodity derivatives exchange for metals and energy including precious metals, has also applied for the launch of futures trading in diamonds with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
On Monday, Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX) became the world’s first exchange to start trading of diamond futures contracts in the world.

BSE can handle 1,000 times more investors: Ashish Chauhan
The BSE, the country’s second biggest stock exchange and Asia’s oldest bourse, is well equipped to handle 1,000 times more investors and volumes, its Managing Director and Chief Executive Ashish Chauhan has said.


YCharts Launches YData: Proprietary Data Feeds for Quantitative Traders & Investment Managers; Initial Corporate Events data feed provides traders and fund managers with previously difficult-to-access data to make better investment decisions
YCharts, Inc, a SaaS financial data and investment research platform, today announced the launch and availability of YData, a proprietary data offering that leverages machine learning and natural language processing to build a comprehensive, highly-structured database tailored for data-driven investment professionals. The first data feed available in YData is “Corporate Events,” a database of traditionally difficult-to-find forward-looking events from publicly traded companies.

Four Providers’ Houston Data Centers Online, but Access Roads Flooded
Yevgeniy Sverdlik – Data Center Knowledge
Houston data centers operated by four providers have remained online since Hurricane Harvey made landfall Friday evening, but streets surrounding at least most of the facilities are flooded, cutting off customer access.
The hurricane (which experts have referred to as unprecedented) and subsequent flooding have left more than 100,000 residents and businesses without electricity as of Monday morning, but Equinix, CyrusOne, Data Foundry, and Digital Realty Trust data centers in Houston have not lost utility power. Staff at the facilities are safe, according to sources.

Burger King has launched its own cryptocurrency in Russia called ‘WhopperCoin’
Ryan Browne – CNBC
Burger King has waded into the cryptocurrency market with the launch of its own virtual coin called “WhopperCoin” in Russia


How Not To Communicate: Lessons From Trolls; Trying to intimidate your opponents is a sign of weakness. But that doesn’t stop the online bullies.
Kara Alaimo – Bloomberg
In recent weeks, many Americans have been astounded by the hatred some of their compatriots seem to harbor toward people of color, immigrants, and anyone else who seems different. But as a woman who is regularly trolled for sharing her opinions, I have long understood that our country has a harrowing problem with hate.


How the Fed Is Flexing Its Muscles as a Banking Regulator
David Zaring – NY Times
The $246 million fine imposed last month by the Federal Reserve on BNP Paribas of France over safety and soundness abuses may have been painful for the bank.
It would also have been familiar.

Small Hedge Funds Seen Quickest to Drop Research Under MiFID
Nishant Kumar and Suzy Waite – Bloomberg
Some firms say they’ll give up external research altogether; Smaller funds have borne the brunt of industry’s closures
When hedge-fund manager Dario Sacchetti gets into work each morning, he’s met with an inbox filled with sell-side research reports.

The SEC warns investors about potential ICO scams and ‘pump and dump’ schemes
Eugene Kim – CNBC
The SEC issued a warning against potential ICO scams and “pump and dump” schemes by public companies; The warning follows recent trading suspensions by the SEC over the accuracy of four OTC-traded company ICOs; This is the latest sign that the SEC may be stepping up its level of scrutiny on the cryptocurrency space.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued a warning on Monday about potential internet coin offering (ICO) scams and “pump and dump” schemes by public companies.

Accountability rules hit hiring of senior staff, says recruiter
Jennifer Thompson – Financial Times
Rules aimed at making managers of financial companies more accountable for their conduct are hurting recruitment efforts, with some senior staff being reluctant to accept responsibilities that could make them liable for punishment.

Investing and Trading

Pensions May Yank Up to $1 Trillion From Stocks to Trim Risk
Sonali Basak and Katherine Chiglinsky – Bloomberg
As much as $1 trillion could shift as plans de-risk, bank says; Soaring S&P 500 hasn’t offset pressure from low interest rates
Pension funds are poised to shift as much as $1 trillion from stocks to bonds in coming years to lock in gains and limit the potential for big losses, according to Wells Fargo & Co.

BlackRock Finds $5 Trillion Industry is Now Riskier Than in ’08
Sonali Basak – Bloomberg
Insurers bought up complex assets to lift returns after crisis; Industry’s push into alternative assets also provides benefits
Insurers got burned badly in the 2008 financial crisis. So almost a decade later, BlackRock Inc. scoured the industry’s $5 trillion in U.S. investments to figure out how they would fare if markets crash so hard again.

A former manager at Target became a millionaire using one of Wall Street’s favorite trades
Joe Ciolli – Business Insider
You don’t have to be a professional investor to make a killing in the volatility market. Just ask Seth M. Golden, who previously worked as a logistics manager at a Target store.

Bitcoin Short: ETF Firm Rex Eyes Downside Potential With Fund Filing
Stan Higgins – CoinDesk
A new bitcoin investment fund launched last week in the US is part of a wider strategy that includes a planned effort to offer institutional investors a way to short the market.
Last week, CoinDesk reported that REX ETF, an investment firm based in Connecticut, had launched a fund that plans to invest primarily in bitcoin futures and other derivatives without actually buying direct exposure to the cryptocurrency. In announcing the move, REX indicated that it would seek to launch multiple investment products built around the tech.

Bitcoin, Valued Like a Cool Blue Chip, Trading Like a Hot Small Cap
Paul Vigna – WSJ
The stock market is having a good year. Bitcoin is having a better one.
The crypto sector is in the middle of a wild bull run sparked by the emergence of the so-called initial coin offering and a surge of trading in Japan and South Korea. As of Friday, the digital currency was up 352% year to date. Only four U.S.-listed stocks have had a better performance: PolarityTE, up 735%, AVEO Pharmaceuticals, up 604%, Straight Path Communications, up 431%, and Calithera Biosciences, up 362%.

Harvey’s Widespread Destruction Tests U.S. Shale; The tropical storm is the biggest to hit the sector since shale drilling took off a decade ago; production may be slow to bounce back
Lynn Cook, Bradley Olson and Alison Sider – WSJ
Tropical Storm Harvey, the most powerful storm to hit Texas in half a century, has shut a significant portion of the state’s shale production, cutting off as much as 15% of U.S. oil supplies.

Bears Take Over Bond Default Index for First Time Since 2014
Cecile Gutscher – Bloomberg
Investors accumulate $7.1 billion of insurance on iTraxx Main; Hedging for ECB taper, credit cycle positioning behind move
Bearish sentiment has toppled credit-market bulls. For the first time in three years, investors are short risk on the iTraxx Main index of credit default swaps, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. They have amassed $7.1 billion of insurance on investment-grade corporate bonds, the latest data from the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp showed.

Bull and Bear Market Volatility Look Very Different; A storm in the financial markets may be fast approaching, yet history tells us that the calm typically lasts much longer.
Ben Carlson – Bloomberg
Last week the S&P 500 Index fell almost 2 percent over the course of a couple of days. Losses are a normal part of the equity markets, but you could forgive investors for assuming this was a substantial pullback given that market volatility has been nonexistent for more than a year. You have to go all the way back to late June of 2016 for the last drop of 5 percent or more. The last double-digit drawdown for the S&P 500 occurred in early 2016.


Wall Street recruiter jumps to her death from luxury NYC home
Shawn Cohen, Daniel Prendergast, Priscilla DeGregory and Amanda Woods – NY Post
A Wall Street recruiter leaped to her death Monday morning from her luxury Upper East Side home, sources told The Post. Lindsay Jacoby, 40, a mother of two, jumped at around 10:30 a.m. from the fourth-floor roof of 12 Henderson Place, a historic brick home located on an enclave between East 86th and 87th streets, the sources said.

Credit Suisse Sued by Billionaire in Singapore and New Zealand
Hugo Miller – Bloomberg
Ivanishvili also targets bank’s Bermuda insurance unit; Claims bank is blocking access to evidence in separate case
Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili sued Credit Suisse Group AG in Singapore, New Zealand and Bermuda, alleging the bank must have known about the actions of a former employee who forged trades to cover losses from other customers’ accounts.


As France’s Heatwave Melts Away, Another Weather Crisis Brews
Anna Shiryaevskaya and Kelly Gilblom – Bloomberg
French gas storage levels at lowest level in five years; Nuclear checks boost power prices as traders monitor output
As southern France emerges from months of searing heat, the country is scrambling to avert getting caught out by a winter cold snap again.

Harvey Hits Texas Cotton Farms
Julie Wernau – WSJ
Cotton farmers in South Texas are facing a second straight year of devastating rains that have destroyed crops at one of the worst times in the growing season.
Heavy rainfall and winds from tropical storm Harvey pounded the country’s largest cotton growing state. The hardest hit regions are those near the Gulf of Mexico that are only partially through their harvests, said Jeff Nunley executive director of the South Texas Cotton and Grain Association?, which represents farmers in a 36-county area in South Texas.

Harvey Leaves Cows Stranded in Floodwater
Jen Skerritt – Bloomberg
A deluge of rain from Hurricane Harvey is soaking Texas pastures, leaving some cattle stranded in floodwater in the state that leads the U.S. in beef production.

Harvey Disrupts More Than One Third of U.S. Chemical Production
Jack Kaskey – Bloomberg
A third of U.S. chemical production has been disrupted by Tropical Storm Harvey, boosting prices and threatening shortages for basic industrial building blocks such as chlorine and ethylene.

Here’s Why the Mexican Peso’s Rally May Be Over
Isabella Cota – Bloomberg
The Mexican peso’s reaction to tweets by U.S. President Donald Trump on Nafta and the border wall could signal that the currency has little room left to gain, according to BlackRock Inc. and Citigroup Inc.

A happier Japan is a concern for investors; Fear is country will lose its appetite for serious reform and salary increases
Leo Lewis – FT
A record 74 per cent of Japanese are satisfied with their lives, and, for the first time in two decades, a majority are content with their income, says a Cabinet Office survey.


EU demands that Britain ‘start negotiating seriously’ over Brexit
Alex Barker in Brussels, Anne-Sylvaine Chassany and Stefan Wagstyl – Financial Times
Brussels called on the UK on Monday to “start negotiating seriously” on Brexit and unambiguously set out its positions on leaving the EU, as France and Germany held firm in supporting a divorce-first sequence for talks.
Opening the third round of Brexit talks in Brussels on Monday, Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, bluntly voiced concern that London was wasting time by refusing to engage on separation issues such as a financial settlement.

Brexit is a chance for the City to forge bold relationships with regulators
Abigail Gammie – City AM
Brexit will remove the power of key authorities and regulators from the European Banking Authority to the European Court of Justice – or so the Prime Minster has pledged.

Finance graduates stick with Britain despite Brexit; FT data show UK’s financial services sector is still top destination for new entrants
Laurent Ortmans and Jonathan Moules – FT
Fourteen months after the UK voted to leave the EU, finance graduates from the world’s top business schools have shrugged off Brexit, an analysis of FT data shows.

Brexit ‘Nightmare Scenario’ Spelled Out by Giant Fund in Finland
Kati Pohjanpalo – Bloomberg
Varma CEO says loss of financial know-how is main worry; Anglo-Saxon corporate governance model also seen under threat
In the northernmost tip of the euro zone, the chief executive officer of a 45 billion-euro ($53 billion) pension fund says the biggest fear with Brexit is its potential to rip Europe’s financial markets apart.


Newseum’s president steps down as financial review begins
Margaret Sullivan – Washington Post
Jeffrey Herbst, president and chief executive of the Newseum, stepped down suddenly on Monday as the museum’s board announced a full-blown review of its long-troubled finances.

Rethinking the dangers women journalists face
Alice Driver – NYTimes
I know, as all women journalists know, that if anything ever happens to me while reporting, the first questions people ask will focus on analyzing my judgement. Women in journalism ó in print, on TV, in editorial positions, and in photojournalism ó are underrepresented, which often results in our presence and our professionalism being questioned. We are mistaken for assistants and students, told to fetch coffee in professional settings, and at times surrounded by men who assume that they can comment on or touch our bodies. We are forced to measure danger in mundane situations and to weigh whether we can continue an assignment due to subtle threats or insinuations from men. A common question asked among my colleagues is: “How much work have I had to turn down because I was worried about sexual harassment or violence?” I wonder how many male journalists ask themselves that question.

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