John Lothian Newsletter: ICE Outgrew Futures Rivals in 2012; Curbs to Prevent Stock Volatility May Be Delayed, Bats Says; New rules to help exchanges break brokers' grip on swaps

Jan 4, 2013

IntercontinentalExchange outpaced competitors in 2012 in what proved to be a tough year for the industry. BATS Exchange says that new systems to curb excess volatility in stocks may arrive a couple of months later than the original estimate. Swaps brokers face heavy competition from exchanges in 2013 as the US swaps market is scheduled to open up for more players.

First Read

New Kids on the Block: Optionshop
by Sarah Rudolph

Our latest installment in the New Kids on the Block series appeared in this newsletter during the holidays. In case you missed it, we’re reprinting it today. It’s like Christmas all over again. – Jon Matte

In the wake of the MF Global and PFG scandals, many derivatives trading firms have been paring back their resources or “restructuring,” and volumes in equity options, among others, have come down. However, amid the bad news there are some underlying trends that bode well for the industry, according to Bob Fitzsimmons, CEO of the startup online futures broker Optionshop.

The firm is taking advantage of both the trend towards electronic trading of options on futures and the interest in commodities among retail investors. Optionshop is a Chicago-based firm founded by OptionsCity, a professional market making technology platform in the futures and equity options space, and Third Stone Partners, a futures option trading firm on the floor. It plans to launch January 7 and will specialize in the execution of options on futures.

“The founders realized that retail investors and traders have had access to equity markets for years, but that in spite of the huge growth and electronification of the futures markets, there weren’t any systems out there designed to give professional quality tools to the retail participants who wanted to trade those products,” Fitzsimmons said. “So Thirdstone and OptionsCity decided to devise their own system, and they approached me to spearhead the effort.”

For the rest of the article, visit the John Lothian Newsletter blog at


Allison Lurton Joins FIA As Deputy General Counsel
The Futures Industry Association is pleased to announce that Allison Lurton will join the association as senior vice president and deputy general counsel, starting Jan. 14. Lurton will help advise FIA on regulatory matters and help develop FIA policy as part of the association’s senior management. She will report to Barbara Wierzynski, FIA’s general counsel.

**** If I know my staff, I see a potential Page of the Day for MarketsWiki in the making.


LSE and NYSE claw back share from MTFs
Tim Cave – Financial News
The London Stock Exchange and NYSE Euronext were among a group of large European stock exchanges to increase their share of equity trading in 2012, allowing them to claw back some of the ground lost to alternative venues in recent years.

**** Sounds like a cat fight.


Spotlight on Swaps Lacks the Wattage
KATY BURNE – Dow Jones
A large corner of the opaque world of derivatives was supposed to be a lot brighter on Monday thanks to new rules passed as a result of the financial crisis. But some traders in the $650 trillion market for privately negotiated derivatives say they still are pretty much in the dark.

***** Who are you calling dim?


Investors Sour on Pro Stock Pickers
Investors are jumping out of mutual funds managed by professional stock pickers and shifting massive amounts of money into lower-cost funds that echo the broader market.

**** Sometimes the coin flip works better.


Japan ‘super-bourse’ makes rocky start
Ben McLannahan in Tokyo –
Japan’s super-bourse got off to a rocky start as investors sent shares of the new group down by almost a tenth in an otherwise rapidly rising market.

***** Rocky always wins in the end though.


HFT has brought economies of scale
Remco Lenterman –
It is encouraging that Larry Harris, in his article “Stop the high-frequency trader arms race” (December 27), acknowledges the solid body of fact-based evidence that high-frequency trading delivers substantial cost savings for traders and therefore end-users. Disappointing, however, is his surprising omission of a basic principle of his profession – the economies of scale.

***** I like economy of scale, but I also like competition. Lots of views of the market are what makes a market. I sometimes wonder about this aspect of the influence of HFT.


Brand, Design and Marketing Agency Team Joins Maven Wave Partners
Maven Wave Partners, a leading provider of strategy-led, results driven management, technology, and cloud solutions, is pleased to announce that the entire team from Biersma Creative, a Chicago-based provider of transformational branding, design, and marketing services, has joined Maven Wave.

***** I want to talk to these guys.


Traders Turn Bakers in Pursuit of Life, Liberty and Bread
Traders, eyes fixed on their screens, might be forgiven for dreaming of another way to earn a crust. For two such professionals, that vision took the form of a loaf.

***** More who are making the most from the yeast.


CBOT Building Blood Drive
GlenStar Properties and the Red Cross are holding a blood drive in the CBOT Building on Friday, January 11, 2013 from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM in Suite 1550. To schedule an appointment, please log onto (use sponsor code: CBOT) or contact Dana Rosenblum at (312) 435-7180 or

**** I have donated over 5 gallons of blood during my lifetime. Will you give some too?


Webinar: Enhance opportunities with Eurex’s new trading architecture
January 22, 2013 at 10 am CT/4 pm CET

Are you ready? In conjunction with Eurex, Orc has organized a webinar to explore how business and trading opportunities are significantly enhanced within Eurex’s new trading architecture. The discussion will aim to:
* Help traders and IT support plan for the simulation and migration process
* Introduce a new instrument concept including the definitions and drivers for the change
* Assist members in handling complex instruments
* Provide an overview of enhancements to Orc’s Eurex offering
For more information or to register for the webinar, please visit


TabbFORUM: Fixed Income 2013: Liquidity, Products, Platforms
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EST), New York, NY

New products, new liquidit
y providers, new business models, new platforms – the fixed income universe is changing as banks de-leverage and the buy side exercises more control over how it sources liquidity. Learn more about changes in the fixed income cash and derivative markets as the industry adjusts and innovates in response to regulation and a long-term low interest rate environment under QE.


JLN Interest Rates

Treasury’s last pillar crumbles
Resource Investor
With the return of Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party to power in Japan, the market for U.S. Treasuries may be losing its last external pillar of support. Re-elected on Sept. 26, Abe has quickly set a course for limitless inflation, saying Japan must “free itself from deflation and the strong yen.”

Most FOMC Participants Saw QE3 Ending in 2013
Federal Reserve policy makers said they will probably end their $85 billion monthly bond purchases sometime in 2013, with members divided between a mid- or end-of- year finish.

Turkey’s Inflation Rate Drops, but Challenges Await Central Bank
The Wall Street Journal
ISTANBUL–Turkey’s annual inflation rate nearly halved in 2012 due to weak domestic demand, a stronger lira and benign domestic food inflation, but still remained above the central bank’s 5% target.


MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Japan Exchange Group

MarketsWiki Recent Updates

Companies, Organizations and Groups

Nodal Exchange; Japan Exchange Group; Osaka Securities Exchange Co.; Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc.


Shares; Coffee


33,244,413 pages viewed, 7,308 articles, 151,713 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

ICE Outgrew Futures Rivals in 2012
Jacob Bunge – Dow Jones
Business at IntercontinentalExchange Inc. (ICE) soared in 2012, even as larger futures markets grappled with a slump in trading. Brisk energy-market investing helped Atlanta-based ICE retain its reputation as the fastest-growing futures exchange–topping rivals including ICE’s takeover target, NYSE Euronext (NYX), according to figures released Thursday.

Curbs to Prevent Stock Volatility May Be Delayed, Bats Says
New curbs to limit rapid price moves in individual stocks and changes to rules designed to prevent market-wide routs may be delayed two months to April, according to exchange operator Bats Global Markets Inc.

New rules to help exchanges break brokers’ grip on swaps
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
The world’s top brokers face a fight to hold onto hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue this year when U.S. legislation throws open the vast swaps trading market to stock exchanges.

Traders Report Technical Issue Involving Nasdaq-Listed Securities
Matt Jarzemsky and Jacob Bunge – Dow Jones
The Nasdaq Composite Index and all securities listed on the exchange appeared to much of the investing world to be briefly frozen in time Thursday afternoon, due to an interruption of a widely used market-data system. Nasdaq-listed securities continued trading throughout the episode on some, though not all, U.S. exchanges, and many professional traders were able to see the action using specialized market-data services. But the issue caused moments of confusion on Wall Street.

JPMorgan to BofA Get Delay on Rule Isolating Derivatives
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase %26 Co. (JPM), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Bank of America Corp. won a delay of Dodd-Frank Act requirements that they wall off some derivatives trades from bank units backed by federal deposit insurance.

Tim Geithner Is Stepping Down Before the Next Fiscal Fight
The Atlantic Wire via Yahoo! News
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will reportedly leave his post by the end of January, giving up his cabinet position just weeks before the next big debt ceiling fight heats up. Bloomberg is reporting that Geithner has let the White House know that he plans to stick to his scheduled departure date, even if the somewhat delayed financial crisis remains unresolved.

Spain Drains Fund Backing Pensions
Spain has been quietly tapping the country’s richest piggy bank, the Social Security Reserve Fund, as a buyer of last resort for Spanish government bonds, raising questions about the fund’s role as guarantor of future pension payouts.


Financial reform battle continues over Dodd-Frank law
Danielle Douglas – The Washington Post
The fate of financial reform may be decided in the coming year as congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle attempt to modify the Dodd-Frank Act.

OTC Participants Self-Report a Lack of Readiness
Conducted among 100 audience members – including buy- and sell-side firms, central counterparties (CCPs), regulators, and vendors – at the Fleming Europe Collateral Management conference held in Amsterdam on October 9, the survey revealed some disturbing trends.

When it comes to financial regulation, simplicity is a virtue; complexity is a reality
Quartz via Yahoo! Finance
When the massive financial sand castle built on poor mortgage loans crumbled, first slowly, then quickly in the United States, Congress enacted the sprawling Dodd-Frank Act to overhaul financial regulation. One of its creations is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and one of the first things this new agency did was create a new mortgage disclosure based on simple principles. Research had found that almost no one could understand what they were signing when they took out a home loan, contributing to many defaults.

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

CME Group Volume Averaged 9.6 Million Contracts per Day in December 2012, Up 1 Percent from December 2011, and 11.4 Million Contracts per Day in 2012
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced that December 2012 volume averaged 9.6 million contracts per day, up 1 percent from December 2011. Total volume for December 2012 was more than 192 million contracts, of which a record 88 percent was traded electronically. Full-year 2012 volume averaged 11.4 million contracts per day, down 15 percent from 2011.

MarketAxess Announces Monthly Volume Statistics for December 2012
MarketAxess Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: MKTX), the operator of a leading electronic trading platform for U.S. and European corporate bonds, emerging markets bonds and other types of fixed-income securities, today announced total monthly trading volume for December 2012 of $43.9 billion, consisting of $26.7 billion in U.S. high-grade volume, $2.1 billion in eurobond volume, and $15.0 billion in other volume.

Scoach retains highest turnover in structured products of all European exchanges
Scoach achieved a trading volume of E42.6 billion in Zurich and Frankfurt in 2012. Since it was founded, Scoach has held its number one position in Europe continually and ranks third in global terms behind the Hong Kong Exchange and the Korean Exchange. Its total offering of more than 950,000 tradable products is the largest in the world.

Boerse Stuttgart Reports 2012 Turnover Of Almost EUR 90 Billion
According to Boerse Stuttgart’s order book statistics, aggregate turnover for 2012 amounted to more than EUR 89.2 billion. This means that total trading volume was down almost 18 percent relative to the previous year’s figures. The main reason was a generally difficult market environment, one characterised by uncertainty and hesitancy on the part of investors in the wake of the protracted European debt crisis. The rate of decline varied widely by asset class, however.

Bermuda Stock Exchange Releases 2012 Year End Review Report

TFX Trading Volume in December2012
The trading volume of Three-month Euroyen futures in December was 338,218 (15.6% MoM / + 5.5% YoY) and its average daily volume was 17,801.

[CBOE] All-Or-None (AON) Orders

Speakers Announced for Second Annual West Coast Boardroom Summit

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Citadel outpaces rivals with 26% gain in 2012
Lynne Marek – Crain’s
The two biggest hedge funds led by Citadel LLC CEO Ken Griffin posted returns of about 26 percent as of the end of the year compared to 2011 yearend results, according to a person familiar with the performance.

Third Point Rose 21% in 2012 After Bet on Greek Bonds
Daniel Loeb’s $9.3 billion hedge fund Third Point LLC ended 2012 up 21 percent, boosted by its bet that European policy makers would keep Greece in the euro by continuing to support the indebted country.

Minutes Of The Federal Open Market Committee, December 11-12, 2012

Calamos Reopens Growth and Income Fund, Global Growth and Income Fund to New Investors

Banks & Brokers

GFI Group to supply market data to Mexico’s PiP Latam
GFI Market Data announced today that it has signed an agreement with Mexico’s Proveedor Integral de Precios “PiP” under which GFI Market Data will become an official price contributor to PiP’s eurobond pricing and curve calculations.

Great deleveraging spells quiet 2013 for FIG bankers
Richard Partington – Financial News
Investment bankers covering the financial services industry are expecting a subdued year of issuance from Europe’s largest banks, which they say will continue to delever to comply with new capital requirements, reducing their need for funding.

Citi and Barclays top table for US equities banking
Giles Turner – Financial News
Citigroup and Barclays ended 2012 as the top advisers to companies in the US equity capital markets, with both banks shrugging off the departure of a chief executive to maintain momentum in the second half of the year.

Bankers pin hopes on better year for IPOs
Michael Stothard in London and Arash Massoudi in New York –
Bankers and analysts reading the runes for company flotation prospects this year see signs of improvement.

Haxe to depart AllianceBernstein
Sarah Krouse – Financial News
The co-head of AllianceBernstein’s client group for Europe, the Middle East and Africa is to depart the firm a year after taking on the new role.

India Seizes $5 Billion Bills of Exchange From Trader
Indian tax authorities are investigating a possible financial scam after seizing $5 billion worth of bills of exchange issued by Barclays from the home of a trader.

Bank Lending in Euro Zone Slumped in November, Data Show
New York Times
The report could fuel expectations of an interest rate cut when the European Central Bank meets next week.

JPMorgan Faces Sanction for Refusing to Provide Madoff Documents
The Treasury Department’s inspector general has threatened to punish JPMorgan Chase %26 Co. for failing to turn over documents to regulators investigating the bank’s ties to Bernard Madoff ’s Ponzi scheme.

Swiss bank Wegelin to close after US tax evasion fine
Switzerland’s oldest bank is to close permanently after pleading guilty in a New York court to helping Americans evade their taxes. Wegelin, which was established in 1741, has also agreed to pay $57.8m (£36m; 44m euros) in fines to US authorities. It said that once this was completed, it “will cease to operate as a bank”.

RBS’s Ulster Bank to close branches after review
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
DUBLIN – Royal Bank of Scotland’s Irish unit Ulster Bank will shut nearly 10 percent of its branches, becoming the latest lender to scale back in the wake of Ireland’s banking crash.

No – Americans, Paradoxically, Do Trust The Big Banks
Zero Hedge
Overnight, Frank Partnoy and Jesse Eisinger released an epic magnum opus titled “What’s Inside America’s Banks”, in which they use over 9000 words, including spot on references to Wells Fargo, JPM, Andy Haldane, Kevin Warsh, Basel II, Basel III (whose regulatory framework is now 509 pages and includes a ridiculous 78 calculus equations to suggest that banks have to delever by some $3 trillion, which is why it will never pass) to give their answer: “Nobody knows.”

Clearing & Settlement

DTCC Swap Data Repository Real-Time Reporting Now LIVE
The Depository Trust %26 Clearing Corporation (DTCC) announced today all registered swap dealers active in credit and interest rate trading are now sending information to DTCC’s swap data repository (SDR), DTCC Data Repository (DDR). On December 31, DDR began accepting data from swap dealers for over-the-counter (OTC) trades as outlined by the Dodd Frank Act (DFA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) real-time and regulatory reporting rules.

Indexes & Products

ETF investors flock to US funds
Suzi Ring – Financial News
Assets invested in US-listed exchange-traded funds and exchange-traded products reached an all-time high of over $1.3 trillion at the end of 2012, as investors looked to safeguard against continuing economic uncertainty in the region.

What You Need to Know About Niche Commodity ETFs
Exchange-traded funds give investors an easy way to place bets covering a broad array of assets at once. But in the commodities sector, as with other asset classes, there are now funds dedicated to increasingly narrow market slices.

IndexIQ Announces December 2012 Performance of Its IQ Hedge Family of Investable Benchmark Hedge Fund Replication Indexes


Celoxica Launches Next Generation CME/ICE And LIFFE/EUREX Trading Platforms For Firms Executing Futures Trading Strategies
Celoxica, a leading provider of ultra low latency market data and order entry solutions for high frequency traders, today announced the launch of its next generation hardware-accelerated, Futures trading platform for firms executing low latency trading strategies on futures exchanges.


Ex-hedge fund manager pleads not guilty in NYC
Associated Press via Yahoo! News
A former hedge fund portfolio manager charged with carrying out a record-setting insider trading scheme pleaded not guilty to insider trading charges Thursday as the prosecution hinted that he would not be the last person arrested in the case.

CFTC Orders Mizuho Securities USA Inc. to Pay $175,000 to Settle CFTC Charges of Secured Fund Deficiencies and Supervision Failures
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today issued an order filing and settling charges against Mizuho Securities USA Inc. (Mizuho) of New York, N.Y., for failing to provide timely notice to the CFTC of secured fund deficiencies in violation of CFTC regulation 1.12(h) and for failing to diligently supervise its employees in violation of regulation 166.3.

Beckman gets 30 years for his role in Trevor Cook fraud scheme
Pioneer Press
As a courtroom packed with victims of his scheme looked on, convicted Minnesota businessman Jason “Bo” Beckman was sentenced Thursday, Jan. 3, to 30 years in prison for his role in the $194 million Ponzi scheme led by purported foreign currency trader Trevor Cook.

GM could face $918 mln hit from bankruptcy-related lawsuit
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
A U.S. bankruptcy judge could soon rule on whether the 2009 government-led restructuring of General Motors Co improperly favored hedge funds, and an adverse ruling could cost the automaker nearly $1 billion.

SEC drops case against ex-Berkshire exec Sokol
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
The U.S. securities regulator has decided not to take action against David Sokol, once considered a possible candidate for the top job at Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, Sokol’s lawyer told Reuters.

Environmental & Energy

Carbon Market Value Dropped 36% in 2012 as Permits Declined
The value of global carbon market transactions plunged 36 percent last year as European Union permit prices fell and United Nations emission credits dropped to records, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Calif. to Auction Fewer Carbon Allowances
Environmental Leader
California’s next carbon auction, on February 19, will offer 12,924,822 current vintage allowances – a little over half as many as were offered in the last auction in November – with a reserve price set 71 cents higher, at $10.71 per metric ton.

U.S. utilities to burn more natural gas as prices decline
The recent decline in U.S. natural gas prices is set to dent demand for coal as utilities use more gas to generate electricity, according to electricity traders.


China’s anti-corruption drive is a sideshow
Henny Sender –
The exchange of gifts in China has been subdued this year-end, an acknowledgment that, at least for the time being, it is better to be discreet. Fewer officials are on the list of recipients and the amounts spent have become more modest. If China is finally tackling corruption, that is good news.

New Year’s Message From Japan Exchange Group CEO, Atsushi Saito

Hong Kong’s Securities And Futures Commission: Insurance Company And Director Acquitted Of Aiding And Abetting Unlicensed Sales Of Investment Fund

Frontier Markets

Dubai Islamic to Acquire Mortgage Lender Tamweel Via Share Swap
Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC offered to take over mortgage provider Tamweel PJSC through a share swap, four days after the United Arab Emirates’ central bank issued guidelines restricting home loans.

Bursa Malaysia Implements A New Market Surveillance System From MilleniumIT

Malawi Stock Exchange Weekly Report – 04th January, 2013

MCX-COMDEX Weekly Market Report December 28, 2012 – January 03, 2013

John Lothian Newsletter

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Past JLN Newsletters

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