FXCM banned by CFTC after taking positions against clients; Deutsche Börse backs CEO Kengeter amid probe into his share dealings; World Federation Of Exchanges Publishes White Paper On CCP Recovery & Resolution

Feb 7, 2017

First Read

Michael Bloomberg on How to Succeed in Business
Sam Roberts – NY Times
He was the grandson of Russian and Lithuanian immigrants and the son of a dairy company accountant, and he was fired before he was 40. But Michael R. Bloomberg persevered to become, at last count by Forbes magazine, the world’s eighth richest person. He achieved this phenomenal success without a master plan. But in retrospect, his evolution — from Eagle Scout to graduate of Johns Hopkins and Harvard Business School, to bond trader and partner at Salomon Brothers, to founder of a business information network that bears his name and three-term mayor of New York City — was no accident.

**JK: One wonders what would have happened if he ran for president.


Questions with Adam Zeck
FinTEx Chicago
What does it mean to “trade the cloud”?
Simply put, it’s facilitating the buying and selling of cloud compute resources between a cloud service provider (CSP) and an enterprise. The challenge with the current market is that each CSP sell their compute resources differently, making it almost impossible to compare them. UCX uses standardized contracts and a standard unit of measure to makes it easy for enterprises to make a true apples-to-apples comparison between each provider, enabling a true competitive market.

JK: If you trade well on the cloud, does that make you a rainmaker?


Fiduciaries, Rules and Progressives
Matt Levine’s Money Stuff: Bloomberg
Ignoring some subtleties, the basic goal of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule is to prevent brokers who give retirement advice from giving bad, conflicted retirement advice. Everyone can agree that good retirement advice is better than bad retirement advice. The main objection to the rule is — again ignoring some subtleties — that bad retirement advice is better than no retirement advice, and that the rule might push people who would otherwise get bad retirement advice to instead get no retirement advice.

**JK: First, grab skewer. Second, insert into Gary Cohn.


CloudMargin Announces Further Senior Hire with New Chief Technology Officer
Press Release
CloudMargin, the multi-award winning creator of the world’s first web-based collateral and margin management solution, today announced it is continuing its rapid expansion in London with the appointment of Filipe Rodriquez as the firm’s new Chief Technology Officer.

**JK: Mr. Rodriguez has his head in the clouds.


When Building Your Network, Ask These Simple Questions
Jessica Darmoni – The Title Connections
Everyone likes to talk about themselves. That is what someone told me when I first started my career and was looking to build a network. These days every article you read about advancing your career advises you to establish a network and grow your relationships. However, I have realized that this does not come naturally to everyone. Below I have outlined three questions to ask when meeting new people, whether it’s over coffee or at a happy hour. These tips will help you get to know someone better as well as help you connect the dots to build a robust network.

**JK: From the person who knows networking.


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



Chicago Business Journal announces Women of Influence
Chicago Business Journal
The Chicago Business Journal is proud to announce its 2017 Women of Influence. The women we’re recognizing here are women who’ve made an impact both professionally and in their communities.

**JK: On the list is TT’s Katie Burgoon


‘Hamilton’ Ponzi Schemers’ Victims Said to Include Tudor Jones; Billionaires Ensnared by ‘Hamilton’ Scam
Matt Robinson, Katherine Burton, Zeke Faux, and Christian Berthelsen – Bloomberg
Victims told they were investing in tickets to hottest shows; Event promoter allegedly lied about Broadway show resale deal
When U.S. authorities busted a Ponzi scheme that centered on marked-up tickets to the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” last month, prosecutors described phone calls about a “big name” investor who’d demanded his money back.

**JK: Paul Tudor Jones. Risk management, risk management, risk…


Monday’s Top Three
Monday’s top read stories were led by Reuters’ piece, CME Group to broaden rules against wrongdoing after CFTC request. Second went to Bloomberg’s piece on Ken Griffin in Why Citadel’s Ken Griffin Can’t Keep His Star Hires. Third went to the FT’s quirky personal essay, The madness of mindfulness, proving that mindfulness is a practice, not a tryout.


MarketsWiki Stats
93,303,513 pages viewed; 22,331 pages; 203,530 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

FXCM banned by CFTC after taking positions against clients
Steve Goldstein – MarketWatch
FXCM has been banned from operating in the U.S. after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission found the retail currency broker had an undisclosed interest in the market maker that consistently “won” the largest share of FXCM’s trading volume – and thus was taking positions opposite its retail customers. The CFTC also found that FXCM willfully made false statements to the National Futures Association in order to conceal FXCM’s role in the creation of its principal market maker as well as the fact that the market maker’s owner had been an FXCM employee and managing director. FXCM also agreed to pay a $7 million fine and never seek to register with the CFTC, and the two founding partners, Dror Niv and William Ahdout, will withdraw from CFTC registration. FXCM, Niv and Ahdout didn’t admit or deny the findings.

Deutsche Börse backs CEO Kengeter amid probe into his share dealings
Philip Stafford – FT
Deutsche Börse’s supervisory board has backed the exchange’s chief executive Carsten Kengeter as German criminal authorities probe his share dealings ahead of a merger announcement with the London Stock Exchange Group.

World Federation Of Exchanges Publishes White Paper On CCP Recovery & Resolution
The World Federation of Exchanges (“WFE”) today published a white paper entitled ‘The interplay between Central Counterparty (CCP) recovery and resolution: a global perspective’, setting out the views of the exchange and CCP community from a global practitioner perspective.

Sleepy S&P 500 Approaching a Record of Inaction That’s Stood for Four Decades; Benchmark’s streak of sluggishness is pacing for the longest since at least 1975
Chris Dieterich – WSJ
It’s not your imagination: The stock market really is going nowhere fast. The S&P 500 hasn’t experienced a daily trading range of 1% or greater for 34 consecutive trading sessions, the longest streak since 1995, according to the Journal’s Market Data Group.

SEC Faces Obstacles to Rolling Back Dodd-Frank Rules; Legal objections could slow the commission’s already lengthy amendment process
Tatyana Shumsky – WSJ
Litigation could stymie efforts by the Securities and Exchange Commission to comply with sweeping executive orders intended to roll back financial regulations.

Deutsche Börse and LSE offer French unit as sole antitrust remedy for merger; Groups propose disposal of clearing arm to gain Brussels approval for EUR29bn deal
Philip Stafford – FT
Deutsche Börse and the London Stock Exchange Group have submitted the sale of the LSE’s French clearing arm as their sole concession to European antitrust authorities to clinch approval from Brussels for their planned EUR29bn merger.

Breaking: FXCM to Sell US Accounts to GAIN Capital; FXCM will use the freed up capital and the proceeds of the sale to repay some of its outstanding balance
Victor Golovtchenko – Finance Magnates
FXCM Inc (NASDAQ:FXCM), the biggest US foreign exchange broker by market share, has committed to selling its US accounts after reaching a settlement with the US financial regulators that requires it to exit the US market. The company issued an official announcement on its investor relations website, containing information vital to US clients of the brokerage.

As Bitcoin ETF Nears, Analysts Warn of Trading Frenzy
Rob Curran – WSJ
If the Securities and Exchange Commission approves a bitcoin exchange-traded fund next month, it might set off a speculative rush into bitcoin. An easily accessed ETF that tracks the value of bitcoin could cause money to flood into the fledgling bitcoin market, analysts say. Indeed, what some see as a chance for average investors to participate in one of the great financial innovations of recent years could set off a trading frenzy in an already wild market.

How Steven Cohen survived an insider trading scandal; Wall Street does not emerge well from Sheelah Kolhatkar’s investigation into the pursuit of ‘edge’ at SAC Capital
John Gapper – FT
A lot of people do not trust Wall Street. They regard it as a moneymaking machine for those who work there, which has little interest in practice in its stated aim of channelling capital into businesses and helping them to grow for the broader benefit of society. For such sceptics, Steven Cohen is Exhibit A.

Ex-Barclays, Deutsche Bank Euribor Traders Plead Not Guilty
Suzi Ring – Bloomberg
Ex-Deutsche Bank trader Christian Bittar among group; Traders accused of conspiring to manipulate euribor rates
Six defendants, including ex-Deutsche Bank AG trader Christian Bittar, pleaded not guilty to accusations of conspiring to manipulate a key interest-rate benchmark while working at the German lender and Barclays Plc in a London court.

There is no Dodd-Frank loan drought
James Saft – Reuters
Evidence that Dodd-Frank Act regulation is making lending conditions tighter is thin on the ground, at least for the vast majority of the U.S. economy.

Opinion: Wall Street’s Evil Empire strikes back
Howard Gold – MarketWatch
In the “Star Wars” movies, every time the Rebel Alliance appears to have won a smashing victory, the Evil Empire comes back even stronger, with a bigger, more lethal death star.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

CBOE Holdings Reports Fourth-Quarter 2016 Financial Results
CBOE Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBOE) announced today its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2016.

Intercontinental Exchange Reports Fourth Quarter 2016 GAAP Diluted EPS of $.59 on Revenues of $1.1 Billion
Record full year 2016 revenues less transaction-based expensesof $4.5 billion; Full year 2016 GAAP diluted EPS of $2.37, +4% y/y; Adj. diluted EPS of $2.78, +14% y/y; Raises dividend 18% y/y; expects share repurchases of $200 million in first quarter 2017
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), the leading global network of exchanges and clearing houses and provider of global data and listing services, today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2016. For the quarter ended December 31, 2016, consolidated net income attributable to ICE was $352 million on $1.1 billion of consolidated revenues less transaction-based expenses. Fourth quarter GAAP diluted earnings per share (EPS) were $0.59. On an adjusted basis, net income was $428 million in the fourth quarter, and diluted EPS were $0.71.

CCP resolution must be last resort, says WFE; The World Federation of Exchanges urges flexibility and cross-border cooperation for CCP resolutions plans.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
The World Federation of Exchange (WFE) has stated central counterparty (CCP) recovery should be given every opportunity to succeed and resolution should only be invoked as a last resort.

NYSE-owner ICE’s profits drop on higher expenses
Intercontinental Exchange Inc , the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, reported a drop in quarterly profit as higher expenses outweighed a doubling in data services revenues.

Deutsche Börse successfully transfers securities to the Eurosystem; Migration with error rate of 0% / First settlement day successfully completed on ECB platform
Deutsche Börse Group
The migration of the central depositary of the Deutsche Börse Group, Clearstream, to the TARGET2 securities platform (T2S), operated by the Eurosystem, was completed with an error rate of zero percent. The first settlement day on the new system was also successful. As a result, Clearstream has transferred the euro-based domestic settlement business as planned to the entire European platform. As an infrastructure solution for the internal market, T2S eliminates obstacles and differences in the handling between national and cross-border transactions.

Börse Hamburg and Börse Hannover go live with Scila Surveillance for Real Time Market Surveillance and Prevention of Market Abuse and Insider Dealing
Börse Hamburg and Börse Hannover, have gone live with Scila Surveillance provided by the Stockholm based leading independent surveillance technology provider Scila. Scila has implemented and delivered a powerful and highly flexible real time market surveillance solution which will cover trading in equities, bonds and funds at Börse Hamburg and Börse Hannover.

BM&FBOVESPA Announces Second Cycle Of The Market Maker Program For Hydrous Ethanol Futures Contracts
BM&FBOVESPA hereby announces the second cycle of the Market Maker Program for Hydrous Ethanol (ETH) futures contracts. Usina Alta Mogiana S/A has been chosen again as the institution to carry out this mandatory daily activity as of next Monday (February 06).

SGX reports market statistics for January 2017
Total Securities market turnover value was at S$20.9 billion, unchanged month-on-month and down 10% year-on-year, Total Derivatives volume was 11.7 million, down 12% month-on-month and down 34% year-on-year.

SGX offers companies subsidised sustainability reporting workshops from February 2017
Singapore Exchange (SGX) is launching from 20 February 2017 capability-building workshops to enable listed companies to produce their sustainability reports.

Intercontinental Exchange Announces Expanded Capital Return Program Including An Increase Of 18% To Its Quarterly Dividend
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, announced board authorization of its first quarter 2017 dividend of $0.20 per share, up 18% from its $0.17 per share quarterly dividend in 2016. This reflects the third consecutive double-digit increase in the dividend since it was first instituted in December 2013.

Euronext Announces Volumes for January 2017
Euronext, the leading pan-European exchange in the Eurozone, today announced trading volumes for January 2017.

New multi-asset ETF launched by Ossiam on Xetra; ETF offers access to portfolio from different investment classes
Deutsche Börse Group
Since Tuesday, a new equity index fund of the issuer Ossiam has been tradable via Xetra and Börse Frankfurt.


Fidessa expands Partnership Program with ChartIQ
Press Release
Fidessa group plc (LSE: FDSA) today announced that it has added ChartIQ to its Partnership Program, which was launched in September 2015. The aim of the Program is to allow Fidessa’s trading community to access the latest third-party tools and technologies, and for partner firms to leverage Fidessa’s workflow and distribution.

ISEG Confirms the Launch of 50 Global Stock Exchange Sites Which Have Gone Live Today and Also the Launch of its Capital Superhighway (TM)
ALLIEDSX has acquired all rights in a massive tech transfer deal worth GBP 250m (USD 300m) in order to give the ISEG/ALLIEDSX “Digital Stock Exchange Platform” a global footprint in 50 countries.

Eurobank Group Selects Catalys by Itiviti for DMA Access to Athex
Itiviti, a world-leading technology provider for the capital markets industry, today announced that Eurobank Equities Investment Firm SA, the brokerage arm of Eurobank, one of the largest Greek banks, has selected the next generation FIX Engine Catalys by Itiviti to support transactional needs and VeriFIX by Itiviti for automated testing, including implementation by Itiviti Professional Services.

Keyboard Trader now connected to Interactive Brokers API
Keyboard Trader
We are pleased to announce connectivity to Interactive Brokers API. Keyboard Trader can now help you trade stocks, futures, forex, and options over the Interactive Brokers platform, all from the same account.

Triad Securities Corp. selects Softek’s Credit Management solution
Press Release
Softek, a leading provider of Capital and Credit Management solutions today announced that Triad Securities Corp., an introducing broker offering comprehensive Prime Brokerage services, has selected Softek to provide intraday credit and risk monitoring and alerting.

Blockchain and derivatives: reimagining the industry
Carlo R.W. De Meijer – Finextra
Since the first meetings organised by the Technology Advisory Committee of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on January 26 and February 23, 2016, on “Blockchain and the Potential Application of Distributed Ledger Technology to the Derivatives Market”, we have seen a lot of activity in this area.

IBM blockchain helps FinTechs and banks address KYC challenge
Automated Trader
IBM has announced a blockchain project with Singapore fintech startup KYCK! to help financial services providers to on-board their customers in a secure environment.

Updata, Trayport Tighten Charting Linkage
Joanne Faulkner – WatersTechnology
UK-based technical analysis software provider Updata has strengthened an existing collaboration agreement with Intercontinental Exchange-owned energy and commodities trading software vendor Trayport, by integrating an API for Trayport’s latest Joule software-as-a-service (SaaS) trading desktop with Updata’s charting and analytics capabilities.


Europe Must Defend Itself Against A Dangerous President; The United States president is becoming a danger to the world. It is time for Germany and Europe to prepare their political and economic defenses.
Klaus Brinkbäumer – DER SPIEGEL
There are times in life that really do count. Times when a person’s character is revealed, when the important is separated from the unimportant. Soon decisions are taken that will determine the further path a person takes. With some, this can be tragic, and the moment comes too soon in their youth at a time when they aren’t mature enough yet to foresee all the potential consequences. They make the decisions cheerfully and they lead to either luck or bad luck. But countries and governments are seldom as innocent when it comes to their decisions.

Wall Street is back in good graces of Trump’s Washington
Matt Egan – CNN
Wall Street probably wasn’t expecting to find a friend in President Trump, the populist candidate who vowed the industry would no longer “get away with murder.”

Trump’s Ethics Plan Is Even Worse Than You Thought
Timothy L. O’Brien – Bloomberg View
Just about a month ago, Donald Trump gave his first press conference since last summer to try to reassure voters, ethics watchdogs and political analysts concerned about financial conflicts of interest that might entangle and compromise his White House.

How former Goldman President Gary Cohn may emerge versus the White House hard-liners
Ben White – CNBC
For corporate executives and Wall Street investors worried about President Donald Trump’s positions on import tariffs and immigration and his penchant for sparking confrontations with global leaders, there is a key power struggle to watch inside the White House. The key player, and the great hope for free traders and those who believe well-regulated but significant immigration is a key driver of economic growth, is National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, former president of Goldman Sachs.

A Quiet Giant of Investing Weighs In on Trump
Andrew Ross Sorkin – NY Times
He is the most successful and influential investor you have probably never heard of. His writings are so coveted and followed by Wall Street that a used copy of a book he wrote several decades ago about investing starts at $795 on Amazon, and a new copy sells for as much as $3,500.

Investing and Trading

Oil becoming a crowded trade as hedge funds pile in
John Kemp – Reuters
Hedge funds have accumulated a record bullish position in crude futures and options, betting on further price rises, but the lopsided nature of the positioning has become a key source of risk in the oil markets.

OPEC Output Cuts End Big Oil’s Trading Bonanza
Javier Blas and Andy Hoffman – Bloomberg
Oil traders benefited in 2015 and 2016 from storage deals; BP said it suffered a “small” loss in oil trading in late 2016
The oil-trading boom that cushioned the profits of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc through the price slump of 2015 and early 2016 is over.

Are other analysts as bullish on the pound as Bank of America?
Ben Martin – The Telegraph
Currency experts at Bank of America believe the pound’s post-referendum plunge will be short-lived and no doubt some company bosses, including Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary, will be hoping they are right.

Surprising defense of active management at Inside ETFs
Ron Bundy – FTSE Russell
It’s been a rough year for active management. Long the dominant force in investment management, active management suddenly finds itself an unlikely underdog as investors and policy makers demonstrate an increasingly strong preference for passive investment solutions. So one wouldn’t expect to find too many active management proponents from a group of ETF and index CEOs speaking at the industry’s biggest conference for exchange traded funds that are, of course, designed as passive investment solutions. And yet, that’s exactly what a packed crowd heard at the “Future of ETFs” session during last week’s Inside ETFs conference in Hollywood, FL.

Everyone Is Suddenly Worried About This U.S. Mortgage-Bond Whale
Liz McCormick and Matt Scully- Bloomberg
Fed holds $1.75 trillion of MBS from quantative-easing program; Comments spur talk Fed may start drawdown as soon as this year
Almost a decade after it all began, the Federal Reserve is finally talking about unwinding its grand experiment in monetary policy. And when it happens, the knock-on effects in the bond market could pose a threat to the U.S. housing recovery.

Wall Street’s Hottest Investment Idea May Be Getting Too Hot
Dani Burger – Bloomberg
Factor-based ETFs see assets balloon past $500 billion; Popularity increases chance of short term crashes, says Asness
Internet stocks, the Nifty Fifty, Crocs — Wall Street’s littered with examples of what can go wrong when market fads run amok. Is the same fate awaiting the increasingly popular investment style known as smart beta?

Offshore Wind Moves Into Energy’s Mainstream
Stanley Reed – NY Times
When engineers faced resistance from residents in Denmark over plans to build wind turbines on the Nordic country’s flat farmland, they found a better locale: the sea. The offshore wind farm, the world’s first, had just 11 turbines and could power about 3,000 homes.

Five Charts That Say All Is Not Well in Markets
Tracy Alloway and Isobel Finkel – Bloomberg
Price of plunge protection rising even as VIX remains low; Measures of policy uncertainty now at all-time highs
A former TV star as U.S. president doesn’t seem to have injected markets with much of a ”fear factor.” But digging beneath the surface of an eight-year bull run exposes subtle signs that hint at an uneasy optimism.


Despite risks, public pensions put faith in long-term returns
Robin Respaut – Reuters
U.S. public pension funds are cutting their expectations for investment returns over the next 30 years or more, but some do not expect to meet even the new targets over the coming decade.

Pimco Total Return Fund posts January cash withdrawals of $1.6 billion
Jennifer Ablan – Reuters
Investors pulled $1.6 billion from the Pimco Total Return Fund in January, leaving assets under management of $75 billion, Morningstar data showed on Monday.

Harvard’s Record $1.2 Billion Haul Erased by Investment Losses
Janet Lorin – Bloomberg
U.S. colleges raise record $41 billion in fiscal 2016; Less than 1% of colleges raised 27% of all donations
Harvard University raised $1.2 billion from donations, a record for the world’s richest college. The haul was erased by $2 billion in investment losses and spending.

European Central Bank to Trump: ‘We Are Not Currency Manipulators’
Reuters via Fortune
The European Central Bank rejected U.S. accusations of currency manipulation on Monday and warned that deregulating the banking industry, now being openly discussed in Washington, could sow the seeds of the next financial crisis.


Donald Trump’s Wall Street deregulation slammed as ‘the last thing we need’ by ECB head Mario Draghi
Ben Chu – The Independent
Donald Trump’s roll-back of Wall Street regulation is “very worrisome” and “the last thing we need” the President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, has warned.

Donald Trump’s executive order to roll back Dodd-Frank is basically futile, says Barney Frank
Feliks Garcia, The Independent via Yahoo
Former Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank lambasted President Donald Trump’s executive order aimed at reversing the financial reform law he authored, saying that the action does nothing.

Global Financial Regulation Faces Uncertain Future After Trump’s Order
Julia-Ambra Verlaine – WSJ
The involvement of U.S. authorities in future negotiations to coordinate international financial regulation is uncertain after President Donald Trump last week moved to scale back the country’s postcrisis financial rule book, European Union officials said.

Acting SEC Chair takes aim at Dodd-Frank CEO pay ratio rule
Sarah N. Lynch – Reuters
The head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission took steps on Monday to delay a controversial rule that will require companies to disclose a ratio comparing their chief executive’s pay with the median workforce.

Dodd-Frank’s Tentacles Go Deep. They Won’t Be Cut Fast or Easily
Robert Schmidt, Jesse Hamilton, and Elizabeth Dexheimer – Bloomberg
It has taken seven years to put in place the regulatory strictures imposed on Wall Street after the financial crisis. They won’t be removed fast or easily.

SEC Faces Obstacles to Rolling Back Dodd-Frank Rules
Tatyana Shumsky – WSJ
Litigation could stymie efforts by the Securities and Exchange Commission to comply with sweeping executive orders intended to roll back financial regulations. President Donald Trump on Friday took the first step in expunging the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul act, which he said hinders business and economic growth. Mr. Trump signed an executive action requiring the U.S. Treasury Department to develop an outline for scaling back financial regulations.

Dismantling Dodd-Frank: Donald Trump’s Valentine’s gift to Wall Street
Jill Abramson – The Guardian
Donald Trump has succeeded in grafting his own attention deficit onto policy-making. And with executive orders flying off his desk at such a frenzied pace, it is almost impossible to choose which of them deserves the loudest howls of outrage.

CFTC Orders Forex Capital Markets, LLC (FXCM), Its Parent Company, FXCM Holdings, LLC And FXCM’s Founding Partners, Dror Niv And William Ahdout, To Pay A $7 Million Penalty For FXCM’s Defrauding Of Retail Forex Customers
Press Release
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today issued an Order filing and settling charges against Forex Capital Markets, LLC (FXCM) , its parent company, FXCM Holdings, LLC (FXCM Holdings), and two founding partners, Dror (“Drew”) Niv, and William Ahdout, who were, respectively, Chief Executive Officer of FXCM and Managing Director of FXCM, (collectively, Respondents). FXCM’s principal place of business is New York, New York; Niv resides in Connecticut; and Ahdout resides in New York.

CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight Provides Time-Limited No-Action Relief for Aggregation Notice Filings for Position Limits
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Market Oversight (DMO) today issued a time-limited no-action letter stating that, from February 14, 2017 to August 14, 2017, it will not recommend an enforcement action for failure to file a notice when relying on certain aggregation exemptions from federal position limit levels.

ESMA assesses DLT’s potential and interactions with EU rules
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued today a report on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). The report sets out ESMA’s view on DLT, its possible applications, benefits, risks and how it maps to existing EU regulation. ESMA’s position is that regulatory action is premature at this stage, considering that the technology is still at an early stage.

ESMA publishes 2017 risk assessment work programme
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today published its Risk Assessment Work Programme, setting out its work priorities for 2017. This Risk Assessment Work Programme provides an overview of the analytical, research, data and statistical activities by ESMA.

SIFMA and the SIFMA Foundation Kick-Off the 14th Annual Stock Market Game-Capitol Hill Challenge; Students in Schools across the U.S. Participate in SIFMA Foundation Competition that Fosters Financial Capability and Exposes Students to Fiscal Policymaking
SIFMA and the SIFMA Foundation today kicked-off the 14th annual Stock Market Game-Capitol Hill Challenge (CHC). This national 14-week financial education competition organizes teams of middle and high school students by congressional and senatorial district and teaches them about saving, investing, and government.

Sebi board to discuss NSE ‘unfair access’ issue; Market regulator to also update board on P-note tightening
Shrimi Choudhary – Business Standard
The market regulator will take up the issue of alleged unfair access at National Stock Exchange (NSE) at its board meeting on Saturday, sources said. Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is also likely to tell its board about current participatory note (P-note) framework and may recommend against further tightening it. The board meeting after Union Budget is customary; it could be attended by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley.


Yen seen strengthening on slim odds of Fed hiking rates in March
Makoto Nakanish – Nikkei Asian Review
The chances of the Federal Reserve raising its key interest rate next month are decreasing, spelling continuing upward pressure for the Japanese currency. The yen traded mostly at the mid-112 level against the dollar here Monday, after having appreciated to around 112.30 at one point in the U.S. market Friday. The current rate is nearly 6 yen stronger than mid-December’s.

Why Pakistan’s Stock Market Skyrocketed Over 50% And Is Now Breaking Through Historical Highs
Frontera News
Beginning in May this year, MSCI, the world’s (ACWI) leading provider of research-based indexes, will include Pakistan (PAK) among its emerging markets’ basket. According to an announcement made by the MSCI last year, Pakistan will be reclassified from Frontier Markets (FRN) to Emerging Markets (VWO) status, coinciding with its May 2017 Semi-Annual Index Review.

China forex reserves fall below $3tn to hit 5-year low; Pace of decline slowest in 7 months as renminbi strengthens and capital controls bite
Gabriel Wildau in Shanghai – FT
China’s foreign exchange reserves dipped below $3tn in January for the first time in five years but the decline was the lowest in seven months as tighter capital controls and a stronger renminbi discouraged outflows.

Turkey & Mexico Superbowl Ads: Hey Mr. Trump!
Dimitra DeFotis – Barron’s
Several Superbowl ad campaigns from emerging markets targeted the policy threats posed for travel and trade by President Donald J. Trump’s new administration.


Don’t ‘Obstruct’ Brexit, Theresa May Warns Rebel Lawmakers
Tim Ross and Svenja O’Donnell – Bloomberg
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May told rebels in her own Conservative Party not to “obstruct” the British people’s desire to leave the European Union as she sought parliamentary backing to trigger Brexit negotiations.

Paris Pitches to Bankers’ Hearts by Promising Brexit Romance
Gavin Finch – Bloomberg
Parisian officials pitching to refugees from Brexit-hit London are appealing to bankers’ hearts as well as their wallets.

London or Paris? Choice proves a taxing question for bankers
Anjuli Davies – Reuters
Forget fine wine, haute cuisine and art … the big question from London’s bankers for a French delegation trying to lure them to Paris was, how much tax will I pay?


Wall Street Journal Said to Close or Scale Back European Bureaus
Rebecca and Gerry Smith – Bloomberg
The Wall Street Journal is significantly reducing its presence in Europe as the latest round of cutbacks from publisher Dow Jones sweeps through the continent, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

‘Disgraced’ Playwright Turns to a New Subject: Wall Street
Michael Paulson – NY Times
Ayad Akhtar’s parents were worried about his aspirations to be a writer, so they made him a deal when he first moved to New York: If he would read The Wall Street Journal every day, they would pay his rent for a while.

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