We Want YOU, Interns!
Our New York events for our MarketsWiki World Of Opportunity event are coming soon and we need your interns. Three 90-minute sessions are set for July 11 and 12. Two sessions will be held on July 11 at Nasdaq’s Marketsite at Times Square at 1 p.m. and another at 3 p.m. On July 12, Thomson Reuters is hosting our final session at 3 pm.
So who do we have? Each session will feature six speakers including: Richard Rosenblatt, Jennifer Nayar, Larry Tabb, Henry Schwartz, Joe Gits, Gerald Hanweck, Thomas Ascher, Duncan Niederauer and Trabue Bland. You can see the whole line up HERE
The sessions are compact, filled with information for our next generation of professionals and an inspiration to the next generation for our markets. Please sign them up or contact us directly at email@example.com.
Do it for your interns and your country!
Cinnober Chairman’s Take on What Every CCP Needs in Today’s Clearing Landscape
In this video from FIA IDX, Cinnober’s Chairman of the Board, Nils-Robert Persson, takes us through recent developments in clearing and what the next steps ought to be.
Persson first highlights a key shift for clearinghouses: the moment they started to clear OTC derivatives. Before that shift, clearinghouses developed their own systems — CME had SPAN, the OCC had TIMS, etc. To Persson, that was all well and good. The systems were tailored for the institutions deploying them. But when it came to OTC derivatives, clearinghouses went shopping for systems from big banks.
“That’s a real problem in fact because banks are risk takers and clearinghouses and CCPs are managing risk,” Persson said.
Looking ahead, Persson said that collateral management efficiency is the next challenge since it currently is the “bottleneck” for market participants.
“All the time-consuming processes we have must be taken away. It’s not okay that payment takes two days. It’s not okay that collateral will be released next Friday,” Persson said. “Collateral should be released in the next minute if I have too much.”
Traders on Minneapolis Grain Exchange Just Beat the Rest of the World
By Millie Munshi – Bloomberg
Spring wheat’s 32% gain in June tops all major asset classes; Worsening drought in northern U.S. Plains withers crop
Traders in a little-known corner of the crop markets just lapped the world with a rally that beat gains for all other major asset classes in June.
***** MGEX has been setting records like crazy recently.
Financial advice is like whiskey: The most expensive isn’t always the best
By Mark Hulbert – MarketWatch
There’s no correlation between a financial adviser’s fee level — and performance
When it comes to investment advice, more expensive is not necessarily better. In fact, it’s often worse.
****** Cheap whiskey just sounds bad.
“Information Is a Public Good”
Guy Rolnik – ProMarket -University of Chicago
In the second part of our interview with Stanford economist James Hamilton, we discuss the costs of investigative journalism, the link between the degree of coverage and levels of corruption, and why information is a public good.
In October, James Hamilton published Democracy’s Detectives: The Economics of Investigative Journalism (Harvard University Press, 2016). The book can be described as an academic economist’s view of the inner workings of investigative journalism—the costliest form of journalism, and yet also the one that has the greatest societal value, two characteristics that make it extremely vulnerable to downturns in the journalism business, especially when the downturn is non-cyclical and protracted.
****** Business journalism was changed forever by the introduction of the iPhone.
Friday’s Top Three
Friday’s top read story was Crain’s piece on DV Trading in CFTC slaps Chicago trading firm with $5 million fine. Second went to the CFTC’s release on the matter in CFTC Orders Rosenthal Collins Capital Markets LLC, Now Known as DV Trading LLC, to Pay a Civil Penalty of $5 Million for Engaging in Illegal Wash Sales Designed to Generate Exchange Rebate Fees. Third went to Bloomberg’s Shkreli’s Hedge Fund Went From Success to Bust in 31 Minutes
103,721,398 pages viewed; 22,589 pages; 206,845 edits
Independent Press Is Under Siege as Freedom Rings
Jim Rutenberg – NY Times
Happy Birthday, America, I guess. You’re old enough to know that you can’t always have a feel-good birthday. And let’s face it: This Fourth of July just isn’t going to be one of them. How could it be when one of the pillars of our 241-year-old republic — the First Amendment — is under near-daily assault from the highest levels of the government?
Inside the Push to Reclaim a Texas School’s Gold Stash; The state is building its own depository and it wants a university and other investors to bring their gold home
By Covey E. Son – WSJ
The University of Texas owns roughly $861 million in gold bullions locked in a bank vault in Manhattan. Now, Texas wants to bring that gold home.
‘Aristocrat of wheat’ soars in price as US drought worsens; Grain favoured for bagels and pizza crust has been hit by High Plains weather
Gregory Meyer in New York – FT
The price of a wheat prized for baking bread has soared on the back of a worsening drought in the US High Plains, attracting record trading volumes and hedge fund activity in an otherwise sleepy corner of the commodities markets.
Toxic parts of ‘shadow banking’ no longer pose systemic risk, regulators say
Philip Stafford – FT
The toxic parts of “shadow banking” that made a devastating contribution to the financial crisis a decade ago now no longer pose a systemic risk even as its activities continue to grow, global regulators have said.
SEC seeks to boost market listings through privacy move; US regulator will allow large companies to make confidential filings ahead of an IPO
Nicole Bullock in New York
US regulators moved to try to boost the flagging number of stock market listings on Thursday, telling large companies that they will be able to keep their financial information secret while they prepare for a public offering.
S&P 500 has best first half since 2013; Gains powered by technology sector despite recent turbulence
Adam Samson and Mamta Badkar in New York – FT
Wall Street’s main equities barometer on Friday posted its best first half of a year since 2013, with tech stocks leading the way despite recent ructions.
E*Trade, in Bid to Survive, Returns to Its Roots; Online brokerage pioneer targets active traders in ad campaign, sets ambitious growth goals in last-ditch turnaround effort
By Michael Wursthorn – WSJ
E*Trade Financial Corp.’s ETFC 0.93% board has delivered an ultimatum to its new chief executive: Clearly define the company’s future by the end of next year or face a possible sale, executives at the discount brokerage say.
New York Regulator Seeks Details From Life Insurers Using Algorithms to Issue Policies; Letter to about 160 insurers expressed concern about whether practices are based on sound actuarial principles, or will result in higher rates for certain consumers
By Leslie Scism – WSJ
New York’s top financial regulator is investigating life insurers’ use of big data, complicating the industry’s efforts to boost sales by forgoing medical examinations in favor of algorithms for sizing up risk.
Big Tech is cut off from the real world; The public worries about the economic and social effects of technology
Rana Foroohar – FT
Have we reached a market top in technology stocks, and in particular those of the Fangs: Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google? That is the question many investors are asking, not only because their valuations seem so rich, but also because it seems Big Tech has become the new Wall Street — the prime target for a populist backlash in a world increasingly bifurcated, economically and socially.
Time to Choose Sides in Global Markets; The assumption that inflation was too soft for central banks to tighten policy is being questioned
By Richard Barley – WSJ
The calm has been broken. The first half of 2017 has ended with big moves in global bond yields and exchange rates, sparked by a belated realization that central banks are increasingly edging toward reining in extraordinary policy measures. The stage is set for a scrappier second half.
SEC Inspecting How Hedge Funds Dole Out Hot IPO Shares Among Clients; Letters sent to numerous hedge funds seeking information
By Dave Michaels – WSJ
U.S. regulators are examining whether hedge-fund managers have allocated shares of attractive new companies to some accounts over others, a tactic that could violate the legal duties they owe to their investors, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
Trading Overview in June 2017 & First Half of 2017 (January to June)
In the first half of 2017, total derivatives trading volume was 156,398,627 contracts. – Japan Exchange Group
Total derivatives trading value was JPY 1,171 trillion, and trading value for equity index derivatives reached JPY 622 trillion, the third-highest trading value over the same period.
The Big Board’s ‘Icky’ Attack on Short-Sellers
By Stephen Gandel – Bloomberg
Tom Farley, head of the New York Stock Exchange, told Washington lawmakers this week that short-selling feels icky. But what he proposed as a solution should leave anyone who cares about free and fair markets grossed out.
BSE to revise transaction charges on equity segment from 1 August; BSE has introduced a new slab-based structure for levy of transaction fees for securities traded under group A, B and other non-exclusive scrips.
Top stock exchange BSE has decided to revise the transaction charges for trading in equities, with lower volumes attracting higher fees, from 1 August. The exchange has introduced a new slab-based structure for levy of transaction fees for securities traded under group A, B and other non-exclusive scrips.
HKEX urged not to let start-ups list too soon; Top regional officials at McKinsey’s and EY warn exchange to be ultra-careful and selective in choosing which firms can list on proposed New Board
Enoch Yiu – South China Morning Post
Two of the world’s top business consulting groups, McKinsey’s and EY, have urged Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) to be ultra-careful and selective in choosing which firms will be allowed to list on its proposed New Board, or what some are calling “The Third Board”, stock market which will target new-economy, start-up companies.
Bats Europe’s block trading platform sees record month; Large-in-scale trading platform saw a record of more than EUR2 billion in notional value traded in June this year.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Bats Europe’s LIS block trading platform has seen more than EUR2 billion in notional value traded in June, a record for the exchange operator.
NEX launches automated netting settlement service; Service launched for over-the-counter FX trades, with plans to expand into all asset classes.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
NEX Group’s Optimisation business has launched an automated settlement netting service for over-the-counter FX trades.
EURIBOR Options: Extension of Market-Making scheme
The Management Board of Eurex Deutschland and the Executive Board of Eurex Zürich AG decided to extend the existing Market-Making scheme for EURIBOR Options (OEU3) and EURIBOR Mid-Curve Options (OEM1, OEM2, OEM3, OEM4).
SGX first in Asia to list Daily Leverage Certificates
Singapore Exchange (SGX) will commence trading of Daily Leverage Certificates (DLCs) on Asian indices starting from 17 July 2017.
NMCE, ICEX to merge; combined entity to offer world’s 1st diamond futures; Proposed merger will create India’s third-largest commodity exchange
Rajesh Bhayani – Business Standard
The National Multi-Commodity Exchange (NMCE), India’s first demutualised online national multi-commodities exchange, has decided to merge with Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX). The merger, discussions for which had been going on for the past few months, was jointly announced on Monday by the two exchanges.
Trading Overview in June 2017 & First Half of 2017 (January to June)
In the first half of 2017, the daily average trading value for the TSE 1st Section (domestic common stocks) was JPY 2.6373 trillion.
In the first half of 2017, total derivatives trading volume was 156,398,627 contracts.
Hacks Raise Fear Over N.S.A.’s Hold on Cyberweapons
By NICOLE PERLROTH and DAVID E. SANGER – NY Times
Twice in the past month, National Security Agency cyberweapons stolen from its arsenal have been turned against two very different partners of the United States — Britain and Ukraine.
SEC accuses British executive of bitcoin fraud; Renwick Haddow had been disqualified from serving as a company director in the UK
David J Lynch in Washington – FT
The telephone sales brokers made Bitcoin Store sound like a great investment. The digital currency platform had generated gross sales of $5.6m in the first quarter, they told US investors. The company’s chief executive, Gordon Phillips, had once been global head of currency and options trading at HSBC and its chief operating officer, Joseph Bilkhorn, had been Credit Suisse’s chief financial officer.
The 45-Millisecond Ether Flash Crash Prompts Safeguard Effort
Nick Baker – Bloomberg
Last week’s flash crash in the ethereum digital currency prompted the venue where it happened to consider safeguards used in other markets such as stocks.
Circuit breakers that would pause trading to prevent accidents from spiraling out of control and a system of incentives to lure market makers who’d help keep prices from dropping too far are among the options under consideration, according to Adam White, general manager of Coinbase Inc.’s GDAX market.
THE BLOCKCHAIN FUELS STARTUPS—UNLIKE ANY YOU’VE EVER SEEN
Cade Metz – Wired
BITCOIN WAS HAILED as the digital currency of a utopian future, but, at least in the US, few people use it. (At Overstock.com, the first major retailer to accept bitcoin, it accounts for less than 0.1 percent of sales.) What is taking off, however, is the tech underlying bitcoin. Called the blockchain, it’s an online ledger for a virtually endless chain of transactions, or “blocks,” stored across a worldwide network of computers. Using cryptography, a blockchain verifies, records, and protects the integrity of those transactions, without answering to a government, bank, or company. Separate from bitcoin, it’s being used to create businesses that look like nothing we’ve seen before.
Are cryptocurrencies about to go mainstream?; Experts call for caution about digital currencies, such as bitcoin and Ethereum, but financial firms are considering adopting them or even establishing their own
Edward Helmore – The Guardian
Last Sunday a message posted on message board 4Chan started the rumor that Vitalik Buterin, the founder of cryptocurrency Ethereum, had been killed in a car crash. News of the 23-year-old, Russian-born programmer’s demise was soon proved false – but not before 20%, or roughly $4bn, had been wiped from Ethereum’s soaring market value.
Disruptive tech like Blockchain is here to stay, law will have to simply catch up
Bhavana Alexander and Kayal Manivannan – Economic Times
With the recent spate of cyber attacks Wannacry and Petya, the topic of blockchains and bitcoins have once again gained interest as possible mechanism for information insulation.
Why You Won’t Be Buying a Coffee With Bitcoin Anytime Soon; The cost of buying or selling the digital currency recently hit an all-time high, making day-to-day transactions like buying a cup of coffee impractical
By Paul Vigna – WSJ
Bitcoin was designed to be cheap, reliable and fast. Lately, though, many users are complaining that the digital currency is anything but.
Russia Threatens Retaliation If Pentagon Bans Kaspersky Software
By Stepan Kravchenko – Bloomberg
U.S. share of Russian state software is ‘huge,’ minister says; Foreign programs not always about data risk, Nikiforov says
Russia may retaliate if the U.S. Congress bans the Department of Defense from using Kaspersky Lab’s cybersecurity software, Communications Minister Nikolay Nikiforov said.
How Trump’s foreign policy threatens to make America weak again
Richard Wolffe -The Guardian
Donald Trump does not travel well. At his first major summit, he was too tired to walk through the Sicilian streets with the other G7 leaders, and took to his golf cart. He literally pushed aside the prime minister of a small European country to stand at the head of the pack. He found himself in a minority of one over the Paris climate accord, rejecting arguments that he was ceding world leadership to China. And he was irritated by all the tough-guy talk from France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, who boasted to a French newspaper that his white-knuckle handshake with Trump was “a moment of truth”.
Washington is rougher than Wall Street: Scaramucci
By Mark Moore – NY Post
Anthony Scaramucci, the Donald Trump associate who was the subject of a retracted CNN report and now is has a post in the administration, says Washington is a lot rougher than Wall Street.
SEC Hires Congress Liaison, Sources Say
By Benjamin Bain and Robert Schmidt – Bloomberg
Former Hill staffer Bryan Wood said to have started recently; Wood to lead legislative affairs for Wall Street regulator
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton has hired a point person to manage the agency’s relationship with Congress, a key a position at a time when Republican lawmakers and the Trump administration are eager to overhaul financial rules.
CFTC’s DMO and DCR Issue Conditional No-Action Relief from Reporting Fully Margined/Collateralized Binary Option and Spread Contract Data to Swap Data Repositories
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Market Oversight and Division of Clearing and Risk (Divisions) announced today that they have provided no-action relief to Cantor Futures Exchange, L.P. (CX), a designated contract market (DCM), and Cantor Clearinghouse, L.P. (CC), a derivatives clearing organization (DCO), from reporting to swap data repositories data associated with binary option transactions executed on or subject to the rules of CX and cleared by CC. The no-action relief also exempts CC and CX from retaining most related records.
UK dealer charged in US over multimillion-dollar fake Bitcoin site scam; Renwick Haddow created ‘trendy’ companies and duped investors into thinking they were big successes, authorities in New York allege
Agence France-Presse via The Guardian
US authorities on Friday charged a British businessman with securities fraud, accusing him of deceiving investors over what turned out to be a fake trading platform for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
ESMA sees continued decline in number of prospectus approvals
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), in its annual report on prospectus activity, has found that the number of prospectus approvals across the European Economic Area (EEA) fell by around 8.5% from 2015 to 2016, continuing the overall decreasing trend seen since the start of the financial crisis.
SEC Files Fraud Charges in Bitcoin and Office Space Investment Schemes
The Securities and Exchange Commission today filed fraud charges against the clandestine founder of a purported Bitcoin platform and a chain of co-working spaces located in former bars and restaurants, alleging that he bilked investors in both companies while hiding his connection given his checkered past with regulators in the U.K.
SEC Charges Information Technology Company and Former Executives With Accounting Fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Chicago-area information technology company Quadrant 4 System Corp. (QFOR) and two former top executives in an accounting fraud scheme that misled investors and allowed the former executives to siphon millions from the firm for their personal benefit.
ESMA provides market size calculations for MiFID II ancillary test
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued an opinion helping market participants to assess whether their activities in commodity derivatives can be considered as ancillary to their main business.
FCA being shut out of Brexit talks with EU counterparts; Andrew Bailey says regulator is excluded from discussions on future UK-EU relationship
Caroline Binham, Financial Regulation Correspondent – FT
The UK’s financial watchdog has already been shut out from certain Brexit-related discussions with its European counterparts.
Investing and Trading
Controversial ‘Hunger Bonds’ Make Their Way Onto the Market
By Katia Porzecanski – Bloomberg
Notes offered on the secondary market after Goldman purchase; Brokers said to quote bid prices on bonds of about 33.5 cents
Venezuela’s “hunger bonds” are now on the market.
Renaissance draws billions in new cash as love for quants blooms
By Svea Herbst-Bayliss – Reuters
As hedge fund investors have been choosing computers over star stock-pickers, putting ever more money into “quant” funds, one firm has become the undisputed leader in attracting assets.
BlackRock moves 50 ETFs to NYSE’s rival exchanges
BlackRock Inc on Friday said it would move fifty of its exchange-traded funds from NYSE Arca to homes on rival trading exchanges in a move that points to more competition in the fast-growing industry.
E-Commerce Shows Influence on Oil Demand
Jeanine Prezioso – via LinkedIn
The oil supply story has seen the bulk of headlines in the last few weeks but the recent decline in prices, off 20 percent from a year ago, is not so much indicative of a supply girth as a demand dearth.
For Whom the Bell Tolls, Sell; Is this a bull market or a mania? You never know for sure, except in retrospect.
By Andy Kessler – WSJ
You think this market’s crazy? One day in early 1987, with Wall Street humming, a meeting after trading closed involved several cases of champagne. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had breached 2000 that day, a cause for celebration. A week and a half later, more champagne was ordered when the average passed 2100. Then again a few weeks later for 2200. Eventually my boss stopped buying bubbly when breaking records became the norm. Japanese insurance companies would show up at the brokerage firm where I was a securities analyst and ask for a list of our five favorite stocks, then hand it to their salesman and say “buy 50,000 of each.”
What Drives Bank Bailouts? Study Shows That Political Interests Play a Major Role
Asher Schechter – ProMarket -University of Chicago
In his memoir Stress Test (Crown, 2014), former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner offers an impassioned defense of the Wall Street bailout he helped engineer during the height of the 2008 financial crisis, arguing that the bailout was the only way to save the economy from collapse. Geithner, however, acknowledges just how unpopular the decision to bail out the banks that were widely viewed as responsible for the crisis really was, famously observing that “We did save the economy, but we lost the country doing it.”
Goldman to Review Commodities After Worst Start in a Decade
By Jack Farchy and Dakin Campbell – Bloomberg
Bank’s poor results said to continue after weak first quarter; As rivals cut back, Blankfein has stayed committed to sector
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the dominant commodities trader on Wall Street, is reviewing the direction of the business after a slump in the first half of the year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Singed by Lehman purchase, Nomura tries expansion again;; Has the investment bank learnt lessons from its star-crossed acquisition?
Laura Noonan in London and Leo Lewis in Tokyo
When the axe fell on Nomura’s European cash equities business one April morning last year, it was as swift as it was brutal. More than 500 men and women from the division turned up at the bank’s offices expecting a normal day. Instead they were sacked and told to clear their desks, their BlackBerrys immediately disabled.
Switzerland’s Nice Views Don’t Come Cheap for Tourists; Switzerland’s tourism industry was pummeled last year by strong currency
By Brian Blackstone – WSJ
One of the biggest surprises in the global economy has been Switzerland’s ability to keep activity humming with low unemployment and a high trade surplus in the face of the super-strong Swiss franc.
China broadens investor access with bond connect; Hong Kong link provides foreign access to $9tn debt market without onshore account
Jennifer Hughes in Hong Kong – FT
China and Hong Kong have launched a bond trading link that brings the world’s third-largest debt market one step closer to widespread acceptance in international investors’ portfolios.
Hong Kong-Mainland China Bond Link Gets Off to Quiet Start; After fanfare of opening ceremony, Chinese bond prices were mostly steady in the morning session
By Shen Hong – WSJ
China’s bond market showed little reaction as Beijing and Hong Kong opened a trading link giving global investors additional access to the world’s third-largest debt market.
U.K. Drops Brexit Bravado as Hammond Tells CEOs May Will Listen
By Flavia Krause-Jackson – Bloomberg
Chancellor of exchequer speaks Monday to U.K. business leaders; FT reports City of London delegation is headed to Brussels
Theresa May’s government has changed its tune on Brexit, striking a more sober and realistic tone weeks after her disastrous election. Gone is the bluster that had prompted European Union allies to chide the U.K. for wanting to have its cake and eat it, too.
Hard Brexit has been confounded by some harder realities
William Keegan – The Guardian
As the true extent of the Brexit farce becomes more apparent, it is now open warfare between the Brexiters, while the rest of the world – with the possible exceptions of Presidents Putin and Trump – look on in sympathetic bewilderment.
Today’s Brexit Barometer
By the Bloomberg Brexit Team
The Bloomberg Brexit Barometer sank to its lowest level since the aftermath of the June 2016 referendum as policy uncertainty remained elevated in the wake of last month’s election. Manufacturing also slowed more than forecast in June as uncertainty hit demand. The barometer dropped to 8 from 13.3, remaining in “windy” territory.
City of London delegation to press Brussels for free-trade deal; Hoban heads business group with blueprint for post-Brexit pact on financial services
Patrick Jenkins, Financial Editor – FT
A City of London delegation will head to Brussels this week with a secret blueprint for a post-Brexit free trade deal on financial services, as concern mounts about the damage facing employers if they are forced to move operations to the continent.
Wall Street Journal Said to Reduce Print Operations Outside U.S.
By EMILY STEEL and PRASHANT S. RAO – NY Times
The Wall Street Journal is scaling back its print operations in Europe and Asia, two people familiar with the plans said on Friday, part of efforts by the news organization to cut costs and focus on its digital offerings.