Goldman’s options retreat; ICE says not over-reliant on data sales; RenTech’s Mercer steps down

Nov 3, 2017

First Read

Hits & Takes
By JLN Staff

Earlier this week, Philip Bergstrom, the brother of Jeff Bergstrom (CIO of John J. Lothian & Company, Inc.) passed away. Phil lived in California for most of his adult life, but grew up in Glenview, IL. Phil was also the step-brother to John Lothian’s wife Cheryl. We offer our condolences to the Bergstrom, Lothian and Howard families.~JLN

Congratulations to Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman, who was named as #20 on Forbes 2017 Most Powerful Women list.~JJL

The annual energy consumption for Bitcoin transactions is now estimated at more that 24 TWh, which is more than Ecuador and almost as much as Nigeria. Keep in mind this is just for Bitcoin – it doesn’t include other major cryptocurrencies.~SD

Robert Mercer is stepping down from his co-CEO role at Renaissance Technologies and selling his stake in Breitbart. HERE is his memo to employees .~SD

In all the hubbub surrounding CME Group’s announcement that it plans to launch Bitcoin futures, we missed a great piece from CME’s top economic minds, Blu Putnam and Erik Norland, about The Evolving Economics of Bitcoin, Gold and Fiat Currencies.~SD

Sunday morning many in the U.S. will turn their clocks back one hour for the end of Daylight Savings Time.~JJL


Accomplishing The Impossible; (Or, How OCC Interns Added Value To The World’s Largest Equity Derivatives Clearing Organization)
David Hoag, OCC – Medium
“We don’t have the time, people, or technology to do this.”

***** I love the sub-headline.~JJL


The Industry Discusses the Big Data Boom, Part II

At the 33rd Annual FIA Futures and Options Expo in mid-October, John Lothian News spoke with a variety of industry participants about upcoming milestones and trends in financial markets.

This fourth video in the series is the second of our videos to cover the effects and future of the big data boom. In part two, Jared Broad, CEO of QuantConnect, Rob D’Arco, CEO of Rival Systems, Julie Armstrong, global head of market technology services for CME Group, Julie Winkler, chief commercial officer for CME Group, Alli Brennan, director of marketing and product management for CQG, Steve Tumen, CEO of Deep Systems and Kevin Darby, managing partner with Blue Trading Systems discuss the benefits and struggles surrounding big data.

Watch the video and read the rest here »


Eurex enhances its market structure
The international derivatives marketplace Eurex, part of Deutsche Bˆrse Group, enhances its market structure to address industry trends and further meet its member’s needs. In Q4, Europe’s largest derivatives exchange will launch an electronic price discovery platform that allows bank’s broker desks and inter dealer brokers to contact market makers with request for quotes in order to find a counterpart to a trading interest. Initially, the service will be available for fixed-income and money market derivatives, but other asset classes will be added soon.

***** There has to be a lot of pent up energy at Eurex to try new things after the recent issues with the CEO and the failed LSE deal that before had kept them otherwise occupied.~JJL


Cboe Global Markets Acquires Assets of Silexx Financial Systems
Silexx Develops, Operates Multi – Asset Order and Execution Management System; Company Serves Both Buy and Sell Sides, Offers Customers Access to More Than 40 Markets Worldwide
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. today announced it has acquired the assets of Silexx Financial Systems, LLC, a Sarasota, Florida-based company that develops and operates an innovative multi-asset order and execution management system (OEMS) that caters to institutional customers throughout the U.S.

***** Now if they just buy Proctor, they could have Proctor Silexx.~JJL


Thursday’s Top Three
Our top two stories yesterday both addressed the demeanor of U.S. citizens. First was Bloomberg’s Americans Are Officially Freaking Out and second was
Americans Are Renouncing Citizenship at a Record Pace. We actually got into finance with our third top story, Robinhood stock trading comes to web with finance news for its 3M users.


MarketsWiki Page of the Day: Jerome H. Powell
President Trump announced Thursday that he would nominate Federal Reserve governor Jerome Powell to be the next chairman of the central bank, succeeding Janet Yellen.


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Lead Stories

Goldman Retreats From Options as Stock Derivatives Trading Struggles
Gunjan Banerji – WSJ
Waning stock volatility is pressuring the equity derivatives business, suppressing revenue and driving traders out of what was once a key Wall Street moneymaker.

ICE confident it is not over-reliant on sale of trading data; Exchange operator confident even as US Treasury touts recommendations over market fees
Nicole Bullock in New York – FT
Executives at Intercontinental Exchange, which owns the New York Stock Exchange, on Thursday sought to play down its reliance on the sale of stock trading data amid mounting questions about potential changes in how exchanges handle this information.

RenTech’s Robert Mercer to Exit as Co-CEO, Sell Breitbart Stake
Janet Lorin and Katherine Burton – Bloomberg
Renaissance Technologies’ Robert Mercer plans to step down as co-chief executive officer effective Jan. 1, as he tries to distance himself from controversy over his political ties to associates of President Donald Trump.

Eurex to launch electronic price discovery platform; Price discovery platform will allow brokers to contact market markers with request for quotes.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Eurex will launch an electronic price discovery platform for fixed income and money market derivatives, in a bid to win business from traditional voice brokers.

DRW to Hire Houston-Based Energy Trading Group; Energy Trading Business Will Operate from New DRW Houston Office
DRW Holdings, LLC (“DRW”) today announced that it will hire a Houston-based energy trading group, establishing a DRW office in Houston that is expected to be operational by mid-November.

The Age of Easy Money Is Nearly Over; Central banks are finally ready to ease off the stimulus.
Chris Anstey – Bloomberg
After a decade of flooding economies with money, key central banks next year will finally start turning off the tap. Since the financial crisis, they’ve kept interest rates near zero and some have bought trillions of dollars in government and corporate bonds. The idea was that low rates would encourage spending by businesses and consumers.

Big Investors Are Taking Sides in Bitcoin’s Great Bubble Debate
Eric Lam – Bloomberg
Credit Suisse’s Thiam says currency fits bubble definition; The cryptocurrency has Goldman’s Blankfein on the fence
Is bitcoin a legitimate asset, or a super-bubble waiting to implode? As prices for the cryptocurrency skyrocket, investors and pundits are increasingly taking sides.

Managed Futures Posts Best Performance of 2017
RCM Alternatives Blog
Some of us in the Managed Futures space were pretty darn close to losing patience here in 2017…. With programs seemingly waiting for the other shoe to drop, be it a market sell off, volatility, drought, or oil war – to no avail. But sometimes, even we in the Managed Futures space need a reminder that crisis periods are only one way these types of strategies find returns.

The Tax Plan’s Pleasant Surprises for Investors
Spencer Jakab and Ken Brown – WSJ
Buy the rumor, but don’t sell the “cut, cut, cut.”
The Republican tax plan had few surprises for the market, which has been rising in anticipation of a big reduction in corporate taxes. The increases that legislators proposed to fill the revenue gap were a mixed bag for companies but none serious enough to rattle investors.

Carried Interest Loophole Preserved in House Republican Tax Bill
Anna Edgerton – Bloomberg
The House tax bill released Thursday preserves the carried interest tax break — paid to private-equity managers, venture capitalists, hedge fund managers and certain real estate investors — despite President Donald Trump and GOP leaders’ promise to do away with loopholes for the wealthy.

How Well Will a Central Counterparty Withstand Severe Credit Stress?
Stacey Schreft – Office of Financial Research
Many derivatives trades that would have been conducted directly between the buyer and seller before the financial crisis now go through central counterparties (CCPs). Reforms after the financial crisis promoted the use of CCPs. This arrangement improves transparency and reduces counterparty risk, as long as market participants manage that risk properly. If they don’t, a CCP’s links to member firms could increase systemic risk.

Dark Side at Fidelity: Women Describe Culture of Bias, Revenge
Sabrina Willmer – Bloomberg
Analyst got $500,000 settlement and is blackballed, she says; Aspiring money manager alleges a double standard for women
The trouble for Erika Wesson at Fidelity Investments began with an anonymous email.

Pimco calls for urgency on Libor transition; Bond giant wants SOFR rate published “sooner rather than later”; BlackRock raises questions over liquidity
Robert Mackenzie Smith –
The world’s largest fund managers have aired concerns about the current timeline for switching from the discredited interest rate benchmark Libor, to a new near risk-free rate.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Q3 Options Volume Dips
Options volume took a dip in the third quarter but still maintains healthy year-over-year gains. Listed options volume dipped in third quarter of this year, according to the latest Tabb Group research, reversing the modest increase seen in the second quarter. Trading in the period totaled 1.02 billion contracts, a 3.0% quarter-over-quarter decrease and a 3.1% increase from the same period a year ago.

****SD: Are you aware we have a free (yup, free) daily JLN Options newsletter? Select to sign up for that here.

CME Group Chairman Emeritus Leo Melamed Awarded The Order Of The Rising Sun, Gold And Silver Star, By The Government Of Japan
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced that Leo Melamed, CME Group Chairman Emeritus, was conferred the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, by the Government of Japan.

Looking for Continued Growth, SGX Goes West
Spencer Doar – JLN
Singapore Exchange has had a good stretch of late.
The exchange’s fiscal first quarter results were reported on October 25, showing approximately $149 million in revenues, a 7 percent year-over-year increase, and net profits of $66 million, a 9 percent year-over-year rise.

****SD: ICYMI yesterday.

Royalty Exchange’s Online Music Royalty Auctions Are Helping Songwriters Cash In on Their Catalogs
Andy Hermann – L.A. Weekly
Like a lot of independent artists, Mickey Shiloh was struggling to make ends meet. An L.A.-based professional songwriter now focused on launching her solo career, she had run up a lot of credit card debt on various expenses ó promotion, Facebook ads, forming her own LLC (called Michaela, after her full first name). At one point, she even wrote herself a personal check for $20,000, trying to manifest the money she needed into existence.

Euronext announces volumes for October 2017
Euronext, the leading pan-European exchange in the Eurozone, today announced trading volumes for October 2017.
Cash Trading – In October 2017, the average daily transaction value on the Euronext cash order book stood at EUR7,172 million, up +13.3% compared to October 2016 and down -1.7% from the previous month.
Derivatives trading – In October 2017, the overall average daily volume on derivatives reached 497,684 contracts, up +8.6% compared to October 2016 and stable (-0.8%) compared to the previous month. In details,

Options on Exchange Traded Funds (EXTF options): Introduction of options contracts on iShares USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF, iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Market Bond ETF and iShares USD Corporate Bond ETF
The Management Board of Eurex Deutschland and the Executive Board of Eurex Z¸rich AG decided to introduce options contracts on iShares USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF, iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Market Bond ETF and iShares USD Corporate Bond ETF, with effect from 20 November 2017.

Aquis Exchange Hires IP To Run Product Management
Head of Trading
Aquis Exchange, the exchange services group, has hired Adrian Ip to the newly-created role of head of project/product management. Aquis Exchange consists of two divisions, one operates a pan-European cash equities trading exchange (Aquis Exchange), which uniquely uses the subscription pricing model, and the other arm develops and licenses exchange software to third parties (Aquis Technologies).

Deutsche Bˆrse’s cash markets turnover of EUR 115.9 billion in October; Increase of 17 percent over the previous year
Deutsche Bˆrse
A total of EUR 115.9bn was transacted on the spot markets of Deutsche Bˆrse in October (October 2016: EUR 98.7bn). Of this amount, EUR 102.9 billion was attributable to Xetra (October 2016: EUR 90.4 billion) and EUR 4.1 billion to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (October 2016: EUR 3.1 billion). Turnover on the Tradegate Exchange was 8.9 billion euros (October 2016: 5.2 billion euros).

ASX Monthly Activity Report – October 2017

Exchange seeks views on a review of the Corporate Governance Code and related Rules, and proposed changes to documentary requirements and other minor Rule amendments
Exchange publishes two consultation papers with proposed Listing Rule changes; Exchange seeks views on enhancing its Corporate Governance requirements; Deadline for submissions is 8 December 2017

Admission of ZhongAn Online to List of Designated Securities for Short Selling
The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), announces that with effect from 10 November 2017 (Friday), ZhongAn Online P & C Insurance Co Ltd (Stock code: 6060) will be admitted to the list of designated securities eligible for short selling.

Boerse Stuttgart generates turnover in excess of EUR 6 billion in October; Equity and investment products trading volumes considerably higher than in September
Boerse Stuttgart
According to its order book statistics, Boerse Stuttgart generated turnover of more than EUR 6 billion in October 2017. In equity trading, the order book turnover was more than EUR 1.5 billion, representing an increase of just over 16 percent compared with the previous month. Turnover in German equities amounted to around EUR 1.1 billion. The volume of international equities traded in October came in at EUR 452 million. That was around 20 percent up on September.

Intercontinental Exchange Reports October Statistics
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, today reported October 2017 trading volume and related revenue statistics, which can be viewed on the company’s investor relations website at in the Monthly Statistics Tracking spreadsheet.

Aquis Exchange Hires IP To Run Product Management
Aquis Exchange, the exchange services group, has hired Adrian Ip to the newly-created role of head of project/product management.

Nasdaq October 2017 Volumes
By GlobeNewswire
Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ) today reported monthly volumes for October 2017, on its investor relations website.

Russia’s En+ Group lists on London Stock Exchange
London Stock Exchange Group
En+ Group raises $1.5 billion from international investors, valuing the company at $8 billion; Largest Russian IPO globally since 2012, reinforcing London Stock Exchange’s position as global partner of choice for international Russian fundraising; Underlines London’s status as most international financial centre
London Stock Exchange today welcomes En+ Group, a leading international vertically integrated aluminium and power producer with core assets located in Russia, to its Main Market. The company raised $1.5 billion from the sale of new and existing shares to international investors, valuing the company at $8 billion.

FCA warns robo-advice poses ‘systemic mis-selling’ risk
By Damian Fantato – FT Adviser
Poorly designed robo-advice could lead to “systemic mis-selling” the head of strategy and competition at the Financial Conduct Authority has warned.


Smells Like Machine Learning
The terms “machine learning” and “artificial intelligence” are currently being bandied about by the press, in marketing materials, and by industry influencers as if the Jetsons era is finally upon us. Although my self-driving car and robotic butler have yet to arrive (sorry, Alexa!), the future is now in the sense that machine learning is a powerful tool for solving today’s most difficult big data and quantitative modeling challenges, and will become more so in tomorrow’s world as the field matures.

****SD: I bet machine learning smells a lot better than teen spirit – something I always equated with BO and a hint of Axe body spray.

Panopticon 16.5 Delivers New Nanosecond-level Analytics Optimized for Electronic Trading Firms
Fintech Finance
Datawatch Corporation announced the general availability of Panopticon 16.5. The latest version of the Panopticon real-time visual analytics platform represents a major advance in capabilities designed to help capital markets firms operate more efficiently and profitably.

Bitcoin Is the ‘Very Definition’ of a Bubble, Credit Suisse CEO Says
Jan-Henrik Foerster – Bloomberg
History teaches such speculation rarely leads to ‘happy end’; Says people buy bitcoin only to make money, no inherent value
The speculation around bitcoin is the “very definition of a bubble,” Credit Suisse Group AG Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam said as the currency exceeded $7,000 for the first time.

One Bitcoin Transaction Now Uses as Much Energy as Your House in a Week; Bitcoin’s surge in price has sent its electricity consumption soaring.
Christopher Malmo – Vice
Bitcoin’s incredible price run to break over $7,000 this year has sent its overall electricity consumption soaring, as people worldwide bring more energy-hungry computers online to mine the digital currency.


‘Ebitda’ Is Center Stage in Tax Plan’s Move to Curb Corporate- Interest Deduction
Michael Rapoport – WSJ
That House Republicans proposed to limit the deductibility of interest payments on corporate debt wasn’t a complete surprise. But the way they did it raised some eyebrows.
The proposal, part of the GOP tax plan issued Thursday, would place a cap on how much in interest a company could deduct on its tax return: 30% of its Ebitda, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

I started Occupy Wall Street. Russia tried to co-opt me
Micah White – The Guardian
I have sometimes been approached by persons that I suspected were either agents or assets of intelligence agencies during the 20 years that I have been a social activist. The tempo of these disconcerting encounters increased when I abruptly relocated to a remote town on the Oregon coast after the defeat of Occupy Wall Street, a movement I helped lead. My physical inaccessibility seemed to provoke a kind of desperation among these shadowy forces.

Trump’s Coal Threat to Renewable Energy; Keeping nuclear and coal plants from closing could kill demand for wind and solar.
Joe Ryan and Brian Eckhouse – Bloomberg
The Trump administration is plotting a series of moves in 2018 that could end up harming the wind and solar industries. That includes asking regulators to rewrite power market rules, revamping the tax code, and imposing tariffs on foreign-made solar panels. One of the most closely watched moves will likely involve Suniva Inc., a bankrupt solar panel manufacturer based in Georgia that filed a trade complaint in April. The company, which says it was hurt by cheap Asian imports, has asked Trump for tariffs on foreign panels. The administration has until mid-January to decide.

In Defense of (Some) Whataboutism; U.S. commentators often appear to misunderstand an old Soviet propaganda technique.
Leonid Bershidsky – Bloomberg
Whataboutism, a supposedly Soviet propaganda tactic, comes up increasingly often in the U.S. political conversation. It’s a magic word: Mentioning it tends to kill off an unfolding discussion as effectively as a Nazi analogy used to do.

Gary Cohn Says He’s Still a Democrat
Margaret Talev – Bloomberg
President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, said on Thursday that he’s still a Democrat despite joining his Republican boss’s administration.

These Are the Biggest Overseas Cash Hoards Congress Wants to Tax
Matthew Townsend and Laurie Meisler – Bloomberg
Several of the biggest U.S. companiesóincluding Apple and Procter & Gambleówould no longer be able to escape taxes on the trillions in overseas profits they’ve accumulated, under a tax bill released by House Republicans.

US tax reform targets ‘tax-avoiding’ multinationals; Excise tax proposal crack downs on ‘inversion’ deals and foreign groups with US affiliates
Barney Jopson in Washington – FT
Big multinationals would be hit by a crackdown on tax avoiders that shift corporate profits out of the US under an obscure provision of the radical tax reforms unveiled by Republicans this week.


New York regulator to quiz senior Barclays staff over whistleblowing scandal: source
Reuters Staff
New York state’s banking regulator will be interviewing senior Barclays executives from New York and London over a whistleblowing scandal in the coming weeks, a source familiar with the situation said.

Powell Knows as Yellen Did How Fed Moves Can Rock Asian Markets
Bloomberg News
Speeches examined impact of Fed policy on emerging markets; Powell has urged Asia’s governments to stoke domestic demand
Former Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart discusses the nomination of Jerome Powell to lead the Fed.
As Asian investors prepare for a new leader at the Federal Reserve, a look at Jerome Powell’s past speeches should prove reassuring.

Bank of Italy Knew for Years Paschi Masked Losses, Report Shows
Vernon Silver, Sonia Sirletti and Sergio Di Pasquale – Bloomberg
Central bank didn’t alert prosecutors, Milan court told; Deutsche Bank and ex-executives on trial for complex trades
Italy’s central bank knew Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA papered over a loss of almost half a billion dollars two years before prosecutors were alerted to the complex transactions, documents revealed in a Milan court show.

Keynote Address of Commissioner Brian Quintenz before the Smart Financial Regulation Roundtable; A Better List
Thank you for that very kind introduction and a big thanks to the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and the Institute for Financial Markets for hosting such an amazing conference. It’s an honor to be here with you all tonight. Before I begin, let me quickly say that the views contained in this speech are my own and do not represent the views of the Commission.

FINRA Foundation and Filene Research Institute Provide Free Resources to Help Credit Unions and Employers Launch Small-Dollar Loan Program to Support Employee Financial Wellness
The FINRA Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation) and the Filene Research Institute (Filene) today announced the availability of free resources to help credit unions and employers with turn-key start-up of a small-dollar loan program designed to help workers avoid the high cost of alternative borrowing, establish or repair credit, and begin to save.

Get Smart About Smart Beta: Part 1
Pete Chandler – FINRA
“Smart beta” has become an increasingly common Wall Street catch phrase, with a growing list of smart-beta products available to investors. But for many, it isn’t always clear just what smart beta means.

Changes to Engagement Through Member Relations, Education and Compliance Resources
In response to the March 2017 Special Notice on Engagement issued as part of FINRA360, FINRA received a number of comments and suggestions regarding the effectiveness of communications with and education of firms, including ways in which FINRA could enhance its engagement with member firms. After careful review of the comments and suggestions received, FINRA is taking a number of actions.

SEC Charges Biotech Company, Executives With Accounting Fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a Maryland-based biotech company and four former top executives with prioritizing revenue growth over lawful accounting and misleading investors in the process.

Charles Cain Named Chief of Foreign Corrupt Practices Unit
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Charles E. Cain has been named chief of the Enforcement Division’s national specialized Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Unit that focuses on violations of the anti-bribery provisions of the federal securities laws.

Next Steps for EMIR
For all the appropriate safeguards built into the derivatives regulatory framework after the financial
crisis, certain aspects of the reforms impose unnecessary compliance costs and burdens on end users,
for little benefit. Regulators in both the US and Europe are now reviewing their rules with an eye to
making them more efficient and less complex. By recognizing what works well and what could work
better, the objective is to make the regulatory framework stronger and reduce the excessive burdens
that discourage trading, investment and hedging

FCA, BoE gear up for TechSprint to explore advantages of RegTech
Finance Feeds
The UK regulators are exploring how to use technology to link regulation, compliance procedures, firms’ policies and standards together with firms’ transactional applications and databases.

FCA warns networks over advisers using introducers
The Financial Conduct Authority has issued a warning to networks about the use of introducers by their appointed representatives.

Investing and Trading

The Active-Pricing Conundrum in European Funds
Chris Chancellor – CFA Institute Enterprising Investor
Europe’s passive funds are stealing the spotlight from their active rivals. They have grabbed a huge share of the net flows resulting from a ballooning choice of products coupled with a favorable regulatory environment.

Can SDGs Shape the Future of Corporate Disclosure?
Libby Bernick – S&P Dow Jones Indices Indexology Blog
Businesses are showing increasing interest in using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to inform and enhance their social and environmental programs and ultimately their business strategies. The SDGs were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 and include 17 ambitious goals and 169 targets aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring prosperity for all.

MOVES-MSCI appoints Baer Pettit as president
U.S. index provider MSCI Inc on Thursday named Baer Pettit as president.

Butter prices churned as market goes from shortage to meltdown; Underlying supply-demand dynamic will support the commodity despite recent fall
Emiko Terazono in London – FT
There has been a shortage of it on French supermarket shelves, while its price in countries from the US to Australia has been climbing for much of the year. But is now the time for butter lovers to breathe a sigh of relief?

The Penny Stock and the Arcane Metal Behind a Mega Mining Deal
Natalie Obiko Pearson – Bloomberg
Regulators pry obscure explorer’s $750 million asset sale; Mystery buyer underpins one of mining’s biggest deals in 2017
A neon pink plastic marker wrapped around the trunk of a fir tree and some felled logs in the mountains of western Canada are the only visible signs of one of this year’s biggest mining deals.

The Biggest Planned IPO in the U.K. This Year Has Been Scrapped
Phil Serafino – Bloomberg
Arqiva’s sale would have been biggest in U.K. this year; Foodmaker Bakkavor sought 100 million pounds in London IPO
Arqiva Group Ltd., which owns U.K. wireless towers, and fresh-food producer Bakkavor Group Plc scrapped their planned initial public offerings in London, deterred by falling prices for some recent IPOs.

Here’s What Wall Street Is Saying About Apple’s Earnings Report
Julie Verhage – Bloomberg
Apple outlook still largely bullish after earnings beat; Analysts left wishing CEO Cook gave more details on iPhone X
The last 24 hours have been big for Apple Inc. Not only did the world’s largest technology firm report earnings, but its most important product in years finally hit store shelves.


Lloyd Blankfein takes Twitter lessons from Donald Trump
Gillian Tett – Financial Times
Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs chief executive, tweeted a picture of a construction site earlier this week. “In London. GS still investing in our big new Euro headquarters here. Expecting/hoping to fill it up, but so much outside our control.#Brexit.”

TP ICAP’s CFO to depart as brokers battle subdued market
Philip Stafford – FT
TP ICAP, the world’s largest interdealer broker, said on Friday its chief finance officer would leave in December as it reported that subdued market conditions was affecting its trading performance.

Asset managers battle to fix endemic gender pay gap; Fund houses say 27% salary difference reflects fewer women in senior and better-paid jobs
Owen Walker – FT
It was not until Jessica Brown’s* now husband told her that she realised just how much less she had been paid than her male colleagues over a 13-year career as a portfolio manager at a global fund company.

Why Cutting 6,000 Bank Jobs May Be Good for Business
Kati Pohjanpalo – Bloomberg
One week after Nordea Bank AB said it will cut 6,000 jobs in a digital bet, a key investor says the rest of the industry would do well to watch and learn.

SocGen Tumbles as Trading Drops, Putting Oudea on Back Foot
Fabio Benedetti Valentini – Bloomberg
Revenue slumps in equities, fixed-income, French retail; Bank sets aside 300 million euros in litigation provisions
Societe Generale Deputy CEO Severin Cabannes discusses the banks result, and talks about Brexit and legal provisions.
Societe Generale SA fell the most in three months after plunging demand for the derivatives products the French bank pioneered turned its traditional strength into a weakness.

Bob Diamond had gumption trying to buy RBS; Former UK prime minister Gordon Brown reveals audacious move in new memoir
Patrick Jenkins – FT
In his new memoir, former PM Gordon Brown has an enlightening chapter on the financial crisis, including the revelation that Barclays tried to buy the collapsing Royal Bank of Scotland in October 2008.


The sexism scandal hasn’t hit the City yet: That doesn’t mean it’s immune
Emma Haslett – City AM
It has been hailed as a revolution and bemoaned as a witch hunt. But what the scandal currently snaking through the corridors of Westminster is rapidly teaching us is that very few women exist who do not have a grizzly tale of workplace discrimination, whether it is from colleagues they should have been able to trust, or those they have come into contact with along the way.

How to Dissect a Chinese Bond-Market Selloff; An anomaly in the recent bond rout can reveal a lot about how Chinese markets now work
Anjani Trivedi – WSJ
Catching sight of a chain reaction in China’s markets is rare. Carrying out a postmortem of a recent selloff in China’s $9 trillion bond market shows how it is becoming harder for Beijing to untangle its increasingly intertwined financial system.

China to tighten control over complex outbound deal structures; ‘Substance over form’ rule requires approval even when deals are purely offshore
Gabriel Wildau in Shanghai – FT
China has further tightened its control over outbound investment, launching regulations that require regulatory approval for some foreign acquisitions conducted through an offshore entity.

City of London Office Leasing Is Lowest in a Decade: Brookfield
Neil Callanan – Bloomberg
Firms are continuing to delay decisions about leasing space in London’s main financial district after the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union, according to Brookfield Property Partners LP Chief Executive Officer Brian Kingston.


Brexit effect remains definitive for UK stocks; Stronger pound knocks KPMG indices of London-listed FX earners
Michael Hunter – FT
The quarter-point cut made in the immediate aftermath of the UK’s Brexit vote has been wiped out by the Bank of England’s first rate rise in a decade.

U.K. Probes Russian Social Media Influence in Brexit Vote
Jeremy Kahn – Bloomberg
Will examine whether financing, transparency rules broken; May look to update rules to encompass digital advertising
The U.K. elections regulator is looking at whether Russia tried to use social media to illegally influence the Brexit referendum campaign.


Joe Ricketts shuts down hyperlocal DNAinfo newsrooms
Mitchell Armentrout – Chicago Sun-Times
The hyperlocal news website DNAinfo shut down its newsrooms in Chicago and New York on Thursday, along with the outlet Gothamist.
DNAinfo CEO Joe Ricketts announced the decision in a message on the company’s websites, with all links to previous DNAinfo stories redirecting to Ricketts’ note.

****SD: Noooooo!! Where am I going to find my hyperlocal Chicago news?!

Why ‘Statistical Significance’ Is Often Insignificant
Noah Smith – Bloomberg
The knives are out for the p-value. This statistical quantity is the Holy Grail for empirical researchers across the world — if your study finds the right p-value, you can get published in a credible journal, and possibly get a good university tenure-track job and research funding. Now a growing chorus of voices wants to de-emphasize or even ban this magic number. But the crusade against p-values is likely to be a distraction from the real problems afflicting scientific inquiry.

CNN Plans to Offer Subscriptions for Digital News Next Year; The as-yet-unpriced plans are part of effort to reach $1 billion in digital revenue by 2022
By Benjamin Mullin – WSJ
Two years ago, an employee in CNN’s digital news group in New York decided to attach rearview mirrors to her desk near the team’s “war room,” where a real-time display shows web traffic to stories. She wanted to be ready just in case network president Jeff Zucker decided to drop by.

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