First Read

Trump Preparing to Nominate Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Giancarlo as Chair; The former brokerage executive is currently serving as acting chairman
Andrew Ackerman – WSJ
The Trump administration is preparing to nominate J. Christopher Giancarlo as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, according to people familiar with the matter, elevating the former brokerage executive to the full-time head of the top U.S. derivatives regulator.

***** This would be a terrific outcome. Acting Chairman Giancarlo is widely respected and very knowledgeable. All we need now is some other commissioners.


Nasdaq’s Black Belt CEO on IPOs, Unicorns, and Roundhouse Kicks
By Michael P. Regan and Joel Weber – Bloomberg Markets
The Roland Park Country School is just a few miles—but worlds away—from the hardscrabble streets of Baltimore that The Wire made famous. Yet this all-girls prep school was where Adena Friedman learned a lesson that’s helped her thrive in the historically all-boys club located on one of the meanest streets there is for smart, ambitious women like her: Wall Street. “You can be anything,” she recalls her teachers telling her. And it was something about financial markets that captivated young Friedman’s imagination when she visited her dad at T. Rowe Price, long before Take Our Daughters to Work Day was a thing.

**JK: Adena Friedman is a CEO who can literally kick butt.


FinTech Exchange Conference Hosted by Barchart Set for April 27
Today, Barchart, a leading provider of market data and financial technology, has announced the date for FinTech Exchange 2017 (, their annual event which focuses on technology within financial markets and trading. Back for its third year, FinTech Exchange 2017 will be held on April 27th at VenueSIX10 in downtown Chicago, and will feature presentations and roundtables from over 20 innovative firms during this all-day, expanded event.

**JK: If you are going to go to a FinTech conference this year, this one is worth your time.


The return of an unfettered Wall Street; Donald Trump says we need deregulation to help his friends get loans.
Matthew Yglesias – VOX
Donald Trump campaigned as a champion of the “forgotten man,” promising to make America great again with a focus on lunch-pail populism and steel mills. He accused both Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton of being “totally controlled” by Wall Street. And he cleverly leveraged Bernie Sanders’s primary campaign accusations that Clinton was too close to banks into weapons he himself could wield.

***** Unfettered must not mean what it used to mean.


John Lothian News Spotlight

The Future of FinTech

Against the backdrop of a volatile global political and economic climate, we see technological advancement and adoption of disruptive mediums moving at an aggressive pace. Which technologies are “winners” and where should you focus your energy? Here are several outlined in this new whitepaper by Nasdaq.

Click HERE and fill out the short form for a link to the whitepaper



ICE Clear Europe’s Paul Swann to retire this year; Exchange set to reshuffle senior roles as Hutcheson takes over clearing position
Philip Stafford – FT
Paul Swann, one of the most senior executives in the European clearing industry, is set to retire from his position at Intercontinental Exchange this year, triggering a reshuffle of top roles at the derivatives bourse’s London business.

**JK: There are some people who just impress from the minute you speak with them. Paul Swann is one of them and will be tough to replace.


Solidifying an American foothold: LSEG’s UnaVista and MTS platforms look to expand
Spencer Doar – JLN
The London Stock Exchange Group has plenty of reasons to be in the news due to its pending merger with Deutsche Boerse, but while all of those discussions take place, parts of the LSEG family are making moves of their own. The two arms in motion are MTS, a bond trading platform, and UnaVista, a back and middle office platform for reconciliation, reporting, matching and validation. Both are in a similar situation — they have a large presence in Europe but not so much in the United States. For example, MTS is dominant in EU sovereign bond trading and UnaVista handles some 70 percent of all the UK’s MiFID reporting.

****SD: In case you missed it yesterday.


Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top read stories yesterday were led by Bloomberg’s piece on Tower Research’s moves on microwave technology in The Race to the Speed of Light Is Accelerating. Second went to Bloomberg’s piece on financial regulation in Debating Whether Dodd-Frank Is Worth Saving. Third went to Reuters’ story on How to raise financially savvy kids


MarketsWiki Stats
93,463,810 pages viewed; 22,337 pages; 203,579 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

Deutsche Bank walks away from US swaps clearing; Decision comes as regulatory capital costs weigh on profitability of business
Joe Rennison and Laura Noonan – FT
Deutsche Bank has shut its US swaps clearing business as the sweeping overhaul of banks’ derivatives trading squeezes out industry laggards.

Soc Gen sees fixed income trading boom; Fixed income, currencies and commodities income surged 16% in 2016.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Societe Generale’s fixed income, currencies and commodities trading income surged 16% in 2016, despite the group’s global markets revenues remaining relatively flat.

Crunch time for increasingly brittle London Metal Exchange; Modernisers urge change to halt decline in volumes amid competition from China and US
Henry Sanderson and Neil Hume – FT
The London Metal Exchange faces a momentous decision in its 140-year-old history: whether it should transform itself into a modern futures exchange to attract more of the world’s hedge funds and investors.

Nasdaq names new boss for Copenhagen exchange
Stock exchange operator Nasdaq Inc said on Thursday that Nikolaj Kosakewitsch will take over as head of its Danish division Nasdaq Copenhagen on June 1, replacing Bjorn Sibbern.

Trump Fixes Flaw in Post-Crisis Regulatory Crackdown; Financial regulations will have to consider the costs of forgone lending and growth
When President Donald Trump ordered a comprehensive review of financial regulations last week, brows furrowed. “Very worrisome,” fretted Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank. Will banks “blow up our economy again?” asked Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren.

Goldman Sachs to close London operations of internal hedge fund; Bank says shutting down of GSIP not linked to Brexit concerns
Ben McLannahan in New York – FT
Goldman Sachs is shutting down the London operations of its internal hedge fund, closing a chapter in a unit that ranked as one of the biggest launches to date.

Goldman Plans to Move London Hedge-Fund Operations to New York
Dakin Campbell and Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is moving its London hedge-fund operations to New York following the retirement of its regional head, Nick Advani.

Derivatives industry calls for new trading rules to be delayed; Trade bodies warn that asset managers most affected lack required legal paperwork
Hannah Murphy – FT
The derivatives industry has called on global markets regulators to delay new trading rules coming into force in three weeks’ time and warn that only a handful of the hundreds of asset managers affected have the right legal paperwork.

Banks Can’t Wait to Wipe This Complaints Database; A seemingly benign catalogue of consumer complaints is one of banks’ biggest gripes. Trump can fix that for them.
by Shahien Nasiripour – Bloomberg
Johnson Tyler, a longtime legal aid attorney in Brooklyn, often spends his days battling financial companies on behalf of aggrieved low-income clients. Not much has changed in the wake of the Great Recession, despite new federal rules meant to better protect households from financial misconduct, except in one area: When Tyler complains about a large company, the company actually responds.

Dollar Policy Confusion Keeping Currency Traders Up at Night
by Liz McCormick – Bloomberg
Trump Administration sends mixed signals on greenback strength; Bechtel of Jefferies says pronouncements lead to paralysis
Currency traders appear to be just as perplexed as the Trump Administration when it comes to the dollar.

How the Euro Became Decoupled From the Price of Assets
Ben Emons – Bloomberg
In recent weeks, rhetoric seems to have politicized the valuation of currencies. This is especially true in Europe, which has experienced a notable divergence between the performance of the bond market and that of the euro. In a year of elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany that could usher in a large sweep of populist parties to parliaments, the decoupling between the euro and European asset valuations has several implications for investors.

U.S. grain, ethanol groups urge Trump to address China trade tariffs
Karl Plume – Reuters
Three industry groups representing U.S. grain and ethanol producers urged the White House and U.S. trade officials this week to prioritize industry complaints against China over import duties on U.S. ethanol and distiller’s dried grains (DDGS) animal feed.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

CME Group Increases Dividend By 10 Percent
CME Group Inc., the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today declared a first-quarter dividend of $0.66 per share, a 10 percent increase from the prior rate of $0.60 per share.

CME Requires Guarantees on Traders
Tayloe Draughon – LinkedIn
The CME Group just amended rule 574 stating: “All connections to the Globex system, including direct connections of non-clearing members or customers, must be guaranteed by a clearing member that assumes financial responsibility for all activity through the connection. With respect to transactions given up to other clearing members, such guarantee is effective only until such time that the other clearing member accepts the trade.”

London Stock Exchange Group launches guidance for ESG reporting
London Stock Exchange Group
London Stock Exchange Group has today issued guidance, through its Global Sustainable Investment Centre, setting out recommendations for good practice in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting. The global guide responds to demand from investors for a more consistent approach to ESG reporting, which is now a core part of the investment decision process.

New SME segment will be called Scale
Deutsche Börse
The new segment of Deutsche Börse for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will bear the name of Scale. This is the result of the name competition, to which the chairman of the board of the German stock exchange, Carsten Kengeter, had called the public in November 2016. A total of around 550 proposals were submitted. Scale will start on March 1 and replace the Entry Standard for equities and corporate bonds.

Lysogene launches its IPO on Euronext; 22.6 million euros raised and a market capitalization of approximately 82 million euros
Euronext welcomes today Lysogene company specializing in gene therapy targeting two rare diseases of the central nervous system, on the regulated market of Euronext Paris (compartment C). Lysogene is the first biotech company to enter the Parisian market in 2017.

TMX Group Equity Financing Statistics – January 2017
TMX Group today announced its financing activity on Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange for January 2017.

Stellar BSE debut to boost NSE’s IPO prospects
Business Standard
The stellar debut by Asia’s oldest bourse, BSE, may augur well for the upcoming IPO of the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) and boost its valuations as investors repose their faith in the exchange business.

US options drives record revenues for Bats; Bats reported a 50% in net income in 2016 compared to the year prior.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Bats Global Markets saw record revenues in the fourth quarter last year, with US options driving the growth with a 33% increase.


Multi-product platform diversity is becoming a key focus in retail FX
There could not be a more poignant and timely juncture at which to go down the true multi-product route than right now, this week’s astonishing unraveling of FXCM’s North American business as a result of trading against its customers via a very clever means having decimated the firm and cast a shadow over the OTC derivatives industry.

Thomson Reuters Reports Fourth-Quarter And Full-Year 2016 Results
In November 2016, the company announced that it planned to take between $200 million and $250 million of charges in the fourth quarter to accelerate the pace of its Transformation program by further simplifying and streamlining the business.

Blockchain Technology Market
PR Newswire
Blockchain technology offers a secure, fast, and cheaper medium of carrying out online transaction and online transfer of information without the need of third party verification. The adoption of blockchain technology in financial services sector has gained traction. Banking sector is willing to explore opportunities which would make the banking transactions more transparent and easy to process. Increased penetration of digital technology in the banking sector has resulted in the development of easy to use online platforms and applications.

BNP Paribas Subsidiary & Calypso Develop Post-Trade Suite
Lynn Strongin Dodds – FTF News
BNP Paribas Securities Services has partnered with Calypso Technology to provide global, sell-side institutions with a post-trade processing solution that encompasses clearing, custody, and middle- and back-office services.

Duco Cube Insight
Duco Cube Insight is a powerful optional add-on to Duco Cube that enables brokers, banks, hedge funds, asset managers, fund administrators and custodians to link the outputs of multiple reconciliation processes.

Firms wait for regulatory guidance on blockchain before taking action; Regulators worldwide have recently started weighing in on the use and implications of blockchain technology.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Almost 25% of senior-level financial services professionals have said their firms are waiting for regulatory guidance before taking action on blockchain technology.

UBS extends TradingScreen global deal
TradingScreen, the leader in electronic trading solutions, has signed a new commercial deal with UBS AG.


Donald Trump’s divisive delusions on trade
Financial Times
Last week was Germany’s turn to feel pressure from Donald Trump’s administration over its allegedly unfair practices on currency and trade. This week, it falls to Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, to try to deflect such accusations by presenting Mr Trump with a list of investments in the US by Japanese companies.

Draghi Meets Merkel as Populist Concerns Trump ECB Criticism
Alessandro Speciale and Birgit Jennen – Bloomberg
ECB president, German chancellor set to meet for regular talks; Discussion likely to center on state of economy and risks
Mario Draghi and Angela Merkel have never dissented publicly with one another. Now they have something to agree on.

Trump’s Unwanted Gift to Wall Street
Bloomberg Editorial Board
President Donald Trump says he wants to reduce the regulatory burden on the finance industry. But by taking aim at a new rule on retirement advice, he’ll most likely add to that burden — and harm many small investors at the same time.

Hedge fund manager Klarman to Trump: Stop tweeting…doesn’t make sense for a ‘serious’ president
John Melloy – CNBC
Seth Klarman, the value investing giant who draws comparisons to Warren Buffett, had some advice for the new president in his latest investor letter: Stop tweeting.

Trump’s Deregulation Plan Called ‘Arbitrary’ in Latest Suit
by Andrew M Harris – Bloomberg
Advocacy groups attack president’s 2-for-1 executive order; Move to prioritize costs over benefits said to harm Americans
President Donald Trump’s directive that federal agencies discard two regulations for every one they adopt is “arbitrary,” unconstitutional and will harm Americans, two advocacy groups and a union claim.

Investing and Trading

BlackRock CEO Fink sees ‘dark shadows’ in financial markets
Trevor Hunnicutt – Reuters
BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink on Wednesday said the U.S. economy is in the midst of a slowdown and financial markets could see a significant setback, because of uncertainty over global trade and the Trump administration’s plan to cut taxes.

Investors pile into risky bonds in bet on Trump economy
Eric Platt – Financial Times
Investors are piling into some of the riskiest bonds sold by US companies as they bet on President Donald Trump delivering on his promises of a stronger economy, lower taxes and less regulation. Demand for junk-rated bonds has driven yields on debt with the lowest quality credit rating down towards 10 per cent as more than $10bn has flowed into funds that invest in the asset class since the start of December.

Five Major Risks Investors Think You Should Worry About
Blaise Robinson – Bloomberg
Traders are already protecting for the French and Dutch votes; Other perils include rising yields, dollar, Trump, China, Fed
Investors have been hedging against the perils emanating from Europe’s elections and may be ignoring other risks that have the potential to roil the current equity-market calm, according to firms including OFI Asset Management, Union Bancaire Privee and NN Investment Partners.


‘Ken of Arabia’ secures lead adviser role on Saudi Aramco IPO
James Fontanella-Khan, Robin Wigglesworth and Anjli Raval in London – Financial Times
Ken Moelis has built his three-decade long dealmaking career on winning big business outside of the New York bubble, notably by helping casino tycoon Steve Wynn revive the Las Vegas Strip. But with Moelis & Co having secured the role of lead independent adviser on the planned initial public offering of Saudi Aramco, the veteran banker’s status on Wall Street is set to be elevated to a whole new level.

As Goldman Embraces Automation, Even the Masters of the Universe Are Threatened; Software that works on Wall Street is changing how business is done and who profits from it.
Nanette Byrnes – Technology Review
At its height back in 2000, the U.S. cash equities trading desk at Goldman Sachs’s New York headquarters employed 600 traders, buying and selling stock on the orders of the investment bank’s large clients. Today there are just two equity traders left.

Former Fed Staffer Says Central Bank Is Under the Thumb of Academics
Michael S. Derby – WSJ
The Federal Reserve is dominated by academics who don’t know how finance and the economy really work, according to a former Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas staffer in her new book.

Banks Can’t Wait to Wipe This Complaints Database
Shahien Nasiripour – Bloomberg
Johnson Tyler, a longtime legal aid attorney in Brooklyn, often spends his days battling financial companies on behalf of aggrieved low-income clients. Not much has changed in the wake of the Great Recession, despite new federal rules meant to better protect households from financial misconduct, except in one area: When Tyler complains about a large company, the company actually responds.

SocGen beats expectations after online banking push; French lender helped by improving performance of consumer business
Michael Stothard in Paris – FT
Shares in Société Générale rose on Thursday after the French bank reported better than expected net income in the fourth quarter and said it would float a stake in its vehicle leasing unit ALD.

Chelsea Clinton’s Husband Closes His Hedge Fund
Saijel Kishan – Bloomberg
Eaglevale Partners, the hedge fund co-founded by Marc Mezvinsky, the son-in-law of Hillary and Bill Clinton, closed in December, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Jefferies and Nomura join Neptune’s network; Neptune has 17 bond dealers live on its platform, with four more expected to go live in the first quarter this year.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Jefferies and Nomura have become the latest to join Neptune’s open-standard network for bond AXE indications.

Former head of JPMorgan Cazenove joins boutique advisory group; Tim Wise has teamed up with former colleague Sir Simon Robertson
by: Arash Massoudi and Patrick Jenkins – FT
The former head of JPMorgan Cazenove, Tim Wise, is reinventing himself as a boutique banker, joining former colleague Sir Simon Robertson’s tiny advisory firm.


Trump Fixes Flaw in Post-crisis Regulatory Crackdown
Greg Ip – WSJ
When President Donald Trump ordered a comprehensive review of financial regulations last week, brows furrowed. “Very worrisome,” fretted Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank. Will banks “blow up our economy again?” asked Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren.

FCA Won’t Ban Illiquid Open-Ended Funds, But Seeks Feedback
The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority said Wednesday it does not intend to ban open-ended funds that invest in illiquid assets such as property, infrastructure and unlisted securities, but has asked for feedback on how financial firms can better manage risk.

FINRA Dispute Resolution Issues Status Report on Arbitration Task Force Recommendations
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) today released a status report on the recommendations made in the FINRA Dispute Resolution Task Force’s Final Report issued in December 2015.

ESMA publishes 2017 Supervisory Convergence Work Programme
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its 2017 Supervisory Convergence Work Programme (SCWP), which details the activities and tasks it will carry out to promote sound, efficient and consistent supervision across the European Union.

Co-plaintiff Statement on Court Ruling to Uphold Labor Department’s Fiduciary Rule
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Financial Services Institute, Financial Services Roundtable, Insured Retirement Institute, and Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Co-plaintiffs) issued the following statement in response to today’s ruling on their lawsuit against the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule:

Bank of England cautions against relaxing financial regulations; Top policymaker says stricter regulation is necessary to prevent another financial crisis from happening.
By Karthick Arvinth – IBTimes
A top policymaker at the Bank of England has cautioned against relaxing financial regulations, saying that such a move could lead to a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.


Chinese Companies Rush In With Nearly $2 Trillion Where Bankers Fear to Lend; Company-to-company loans, up 20% last year, add to China’s $18 trillion corporate-debt pile—already 168% of GDP
Rachel Rosenthal and Anjie Zheng – WSJ
Chinese companies are increasingly stepping in as lenders, as banks reduce their funding to struggling industries and the country’s mammoth bond market comes under strain.

Japan power trading set to surge again from April -official; Big utilities free up power from bilateral contracts for JEPX; JEPX trading to account for 15 pct of power demand by 2018; Japan power trading likely to grow several times in 2 years
By Osamu Tsukimori and Aaron Sheldrick – Reuters
Trading on Japan’s power exchange is set to triple in the financial year starting on April 1 as the nation’s giant utilities aim to put around 10 percent of their sales up for competitive bidding, the next big step in reform of the sector.

Here are the biggest emerging market winners and losers under President Trump
Kim Catechis, Legg Mason – Business Insider
After the first weeks of the new Trump administration, identifying the long-term winners and losers requires looking past much of the market’s current noise. Being international equity managers based in the UK, we have a global perspective and are able to distance ourselves from much of that noise.

Lagarde says IMF ‘ruthless truth tellers’ on Greece’s economy
David Lawder – Reuters
The International Monetary Fund tried to be “ruthless truth tellers” in its assessment that Greece needs to pursue further reforms to its pension and tax systems, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Wednesday.

Foreign Direct Investment into Emerging Markets Likely to Fall This Year
Ian Talley – WSJ
Foreign direct investment into emerging markets—the lifeblood of economic growth for industrializing nations—is set to slide to postcrisis lows this year, curbed in part by U.S. President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade agenda.


May Denies Having ‘Weak Hand’ as She Prepares for Brexit Talks
Robert Hutton – Bloomberg
Theresa May denied that she’s approaching Brexit negotiations from a poor position, because European Union countries will wish to maintain both trade and other strategic ties with the U.K. after it has left their bloc.

To Bond Investors, Brexit Looks Worse Than Trump; Investors bet U.S.’s economy after Trump’s election will be in better shape than the U.K.’s post-Brexit
Jon Sindreu – WSJ
Economic growth has been robust in the U.S. and the U.K., and inflation is picking up strongly on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet British government bonds yield far less than their American counterparts. What gives?

British Parliament Gives Brexit Go-Ahead; Commons votes 494 to 122 in favor of U.K.-EU divorce talks
Members of the British Parliament’s lower house overwhelmingly gave Prime Minister Theresa May a green light to begin the country’s formal withdrawal from the European Union, leaving the government on course to begin Brexit as planned by the end of March.


Wall Street Journal editor to face critics
Joe Pompeo – Politico
Amid growing newsroom discontent over his perceived resistance to critical coverage of Donald Trump, Wall Street Journal editor in chief Gerry Baker will host a town hall meeting next week where he is expected to address the paper’s reporting on the new administration and answer questions from his staff.

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