FINRA announces that it plans to expand its oversight of dark pools. The parade of technical trouble in the world’s financial markets proceeds apace, as NYSE logs a market interruption yesterday. In Switzerland, the central bank continues its high-risk efforts to protect exports and prices.
I am a believer that folks should use whatever free resources available to them, both professionally and personally. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are examples of services that are free for ordinary users/consumers, and I use all of them, for personal or professional purposes. (Sometimes I use one or more of them for both.) My usage for each of these services is based on their cost to me – nothing! If one or more of these services started to charge for the servies, then I’d make a value judgement on what the overall worth was, to me, and either pay or jettison the service, as my values dictated.
An example of this was the recent Chicago Tribune decision to switch from entirely-free content to limited free content, with a paywall behind which “premium content” was stored. This change came in November, 2012. For years before the switch I read the Trib online, paying nothing for all the content. When the premium content – mainly, opinion columnists, but also content from Trib partners publications like Forbes and The Economist, along with digital archives dating to the 1850s – was moved behind the paywall, I had to make a decision on whether to subscribe. (Ultimately I chose to subscribe. The Trib was and is, after all, my original hometown newspaper, and during the month I was considering whether to subscribe, I found I really missed a lot of the newly-minted “premium” content.)
The examples above – free applications/content, mandatory subscriptions – are two examples of how application providers and content providers deliver their apps and content to consumers. There is a third type, however, referred to sometimes as “voluntary subscriptions.”
One example of “voluntary subscriptions,” and one that I cite every once in a while when I’m talking about this topic, is science fiction author John Scalzi. Science fiction fans know Scalzi as the Hugo Award-nominated author of Old Man’s War, or maybe as the Campbell Award winner as best new Sci-Fi author in 2005. Scalzi also served as president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
Not everyone knows, though, that Scalzi’s first two novels, including the Hugo-nominated Old Man’s War, were published under a voluntary-pay model on his website.
The real purpose of this post is to highlight another voluntary subscription content provider: the John Lothian Newsletter, and to encourage consumers of this daily newsletter to subscribe to the service.
We’re all familiar with the stats that Lothian publishes a couple times per year: MarketsWiki.com with 15.5 million views in 2012, more than 33 million views since it launched; MarketsReformWiki.com with 3 million page views since launching.
It is possible that many are not aware, though, that these wikis are funded entirely from the newsletter subscriptions (plus whatever sponsorship revenues the newsletter generates).
But there is more to the Lothian Newsletter than just the newsletter itself, and the associated wikis. There is also the Futures Crowd site launched after the collapse of MF Global, which solicited input from all over the capital markets industry on addressing concerns rising out of that firm’s failure (and to which I contributed); there is the Restoring Customer Confidence video series; there is the MarketsWiki.TV video series that covers a wide variety of captial markets industry-related topics, from the listing of new types of futures contracts to social media strategies for market participants.
The daily Lothian newsletter provides valuable, essential information to market participants at every level of the food chain, from traders to technologists, from front-office staff to back-office operations professionals, and especially for consultants like me. Put another way, if you don’t read the newsletter every day, then I’m smarter than you are, because I do read it every day.
This post is not some Public Television pledge drive, though, and it is not a paid advertisement either. I am a fan of the work that Lothian and his team do. I believe that this team is providing a genuinely valuable and vital service to the industry in which I work, and I believe that they deserve recognition, and that they deserve payment, for the terrific work they do.
So if you’re a participant, like I am, in the global capital market or futures industry, and you already subscribe to the newsletter, it is time to renew that subscription. Do that now. If you participate in the capital markets/futures industry and you don’t subscribe to the newsletter, you are doing yourself and your career a great disservice and you should fix that now by subscribing.
Yes, it is voluntary. But it is important, too, to all of us, to support the work that the team behind the Lothian Newsletter, and MarketWiki, MarketsReformWiki, the Restoring Customer Confidence video series and MarketsWiki.TV, are doing.
John Needham is a contract consultant for exchange-traded derivatives market participants through Needham Consulting, Ltd.
***** You can pay for you subscriptions online via Paypal directly on the www.johnlothiannewsletter.com site, or request an invoice. If you are at a firm with many readers, ask if you have an Enterprise subscription.
New Restoring Customer Confidence Video
After a brief holiday hiatus, we present the fifth video in our Restoring Customer Confidence series. This video deals with customer protection funds. Each week we will post a new idea answering the question – how do you restore customer confidence and bring traders back?
|Restoring Customer Confidence||More ideas»|
Protection Fund: Building a Better Piggy Bank
Is there any protection for my futures account? That is the key question for futures customers today and quite likely, the answer is “no” or “not much.” While dialog and debate ranges on the type of customer protection fund or insurance that might or might not work, John Roe, co-founder of the Commodity Customer Coalition and principal at BTR Trading, says it is essential to restore customer confidence.
In this video, a simple animation and interview with Roe explain how protection for futures customers can be established with a small fund that ultimately will grow over time using a small trading fee. And, in the case of a default, it would replace customer funds before they were tied up in bankruptcy court.
About the Restoring Customer Confidence video series
The Restoring Customer Confidence video series answers that question by exploring potential solutions using expert interviews and simple animations.
John Lothian News interviewed more than a dozen professionals in the industry to get their ideas and solutions. As these ideas become practice, or as new concepts are adopted by the industry, we will continue to add them to the site.
Visit the video series page on MarketsWiki.tv over the next several weeks for new ideas and solutions.
CBOE Unveils New Corporate Branding; Rolls Out New Messaging, Visual Design, Tagline and Campaign
The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) has unveiled a new branding initiative, which has been introduced company-wide, including across social media platforms, marketing and communications materials and its website. The brand makeover has also been incorporated into a major new advertising and integrated marketing campaign. New York-based agency of record Stein + Partners Brand Activation developed both the branding and the advertising with CBOE.
***** I hope this means they lost the hypnotic Ed Tilley video format.
The NYSE’s Long History of Mergers and Rivalries
Robert E. Wright – Bloomberg
The recent announcement that Wall Street’s most iconic institution, the New York Stock Exchange, would be acquired by Atlanta-based IntercontinentalExchange Inc. (ICE) seemed weighted with symbolism.
***** Lots of mergers, lots of competition. Good story.
Expect the efficiency drive to continue
Galen Stops – FOW
The new year has brought little respite for the ongoing challenges faced by many firms in the capital markets at the moment. Trading volumes remain subdued, banks are deleveraging and many investors are sitting on the sidelines until the regulatory and economic landscape clears.
***** Is it me, or should the FOW headline writer be taken out for more happy juice?
A Financial Service for People Fed Up With Banks
JENNA WORTHAM – NYTimes.com
Like many people, Josh Reich got fed up with his bank after it charged him overdraft fees and he endured painful customer service calls to fight them. But unlike most people, Mr. Reich, a software engineer from Australia, decided to come up with a better way to bank.
**** So he started a…….bank.
Boards Cozy Up to Investors
Vipal Monga – WSJ
Corporate boards are being pulled into a job they have long resisted: investor relations. More companies are relying on directors to defend corporate policies or explain their thinking on touchy issues such as executive pay. Partly as a result, major shareholders are coming to expect more face time with board members, with whom they previously had few communications.
***** What is next, husbands talking to their wives?
Five questions raised by BNY Mellon’s CSD
Sophie Baker – Financial News
BNY Mellon, the world’s largest custodian, announced this week that it had received regulatory approval to establish its own central securities depository, which will allow it to settle trades for clients and compete with other parts of Europe’s market infrastructure.
***** That’s using the old Mellon.
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.
**** There are still spots left to get drained of excess blood.
End of the road for China’s ‘B’ market
Josh Noble in Hong Kong – FT.com
After years at death’s door, China’s so-called “B” share market may finally be put out of its misery. The 20-year-old experiment is set to be wound down as companies give up on this “zombie” market.
***** The Walking Dead Market?
Business leaders focus on their staff
Andrew Hill in London – FT.com
Business leaders will focus on corporate self-help this year as they try to offset external pressure from slow economic growth and political uncertainty. Chief executives, presidents and chairmen who responded to the CEO Challenge study by the Conference Board, the US-based business organisation, said their priorities this year were to make the most of staff, improve operational performance, foster more innovation and develop customer relationships.
**** Not sure why the staff included this story. Anyone know?
MarketsWiki Page of the Day
James E. Staley
MarketsWiki Recent Updates
Companies, Organizations and Groups
Options Industry Council; Illinois Institute of Technology Stuart School of Business; Commodity Customer Coalition; American International Group Inc.; Bank of America Corp.; Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board
33,424,409 pages viewed, 7,317 articles, 151,929 edits
Vow of New Light For ‘Dark’ Trades
SCOTT PATTERSON – WSJ
A top U.S. regulator plans to shine a light on dark pools, private trading venues that allow buyers and sellers to post orders that are hidden from the rest of the market.
NYSE Server Failure Interrupts Market Data on 165 Securities
Matthew Jarzemsky – WSJ
A New York Stock Exchange server outage interrupted the delivery of trade data on dozens of stocks for about an hour Tuesday, according to the exchange.
Button-Down Central Bank Bets It All
BRIAN BLACKSTONE and DAVID WESSEL – WSJ.com
ZURICH—Switzerland, for decades a paragon of safety in finance, is engaged in a high-risk strategy to protect its export-driven economy, literally betting the bank in a fight to contain the prices of Swiss products sold abroad.
Goldman Will Report Fund Values Daily
KIRSTEN GRIND – WSJ.com
In a reversal of industry practice, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS -0.90% will begin disclosing the values of its money-market mutual funds daily rather than monthly, according to people familiar with the company’s plans. Some of the changes will take effect as early as Wednesday.
MF Global judge nixes customer group’s bid to depose Corzine
A bankruptcy judge on Tuesday rejected a bid by former MF Global customers to depose the collapsed brokerage’s former chief, Jon Corzine. In a written ruling in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, Judge Martin Glenn said the Commodity Customer Coalition, which had sought permission to question Corzine and other former MF Global insiders, lacked standing because it is not a direct creditor in the case.
MF Global administrator reaches UK deal
Philip Stafford – FT.com
MF Global’s UK administrator may be able to double payouts to customers and make its first payments to creditors following a three-way settlement agreed by the trustees of the failed US futures broker’s estate.
Swap Traders Could Reduce Margin Under Proposed U.S. Rules
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
U.S. regulators plan to allow hedge funds and other credit-swap traders to reduce the amount of collateral needed to back transactions through the use of accounts that offset different types of trades.
Osborne urges tougher ring-fence rules for EU banks
Reuters via Yahoo! News
LONDON – British chancellor George Osborne urged European Union policymakers in Berlin on Tuesday to follow his example and toughen bank regulation across the 27-member bloc.
DTCC Urges CFTC To Reject Proposed Rule That Would Decrease Transparency, Increase Risk To Financial System And Undermine Intent Of Dodd-Frank
Tim Ryan To Depart SIFMA
FINRA Year In Review
SIFMA Issues 2012 Year In Review
UK’s Financial Services Authority Confirms Century Building Society Merger With The Scottish Building Society
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has confirmed the proposed transfer of the engagements of the Century Building Society to the Scottish Building Society.
Exchanges & Trading Facilities
CME’s lobby bill tops the pile
Tim Cave – Financial News
US futures giant CME Group spent the most of all US exchange operators on government lobbying last year, according to figures published by a Washington DC-based think tank, underlining the impact of new rules governing global derivatives markets.
LME creates “user committee” to advise board of directors
The Board of The London Metal Exchange has approved the creation of the LME User Committee. It will represent the interests and views of the stakeholders of the Exchange. The new LME User Committee will report directly to the LME Board.
BM&FBOVESPA Announces 2012 Market Performance
In 2012, the total financial volume in the BOVESPA segment set a historic record of BRL1.78 trillion, surpassing the previous record of BRL1.61 trillion set in 2011. The average daily financial volume also established a new record of BRL7.25 billion, exceeding the BRL6.49 billion reached in 2011.
2012 Volumes On European Power Exchange EPEX Spot Hit New Record – Swiss Day-Ahead Volumes Increase By 38 %
Volumes on the European Power Exchange EPEX SPOT have seen a solid growth in 2012: 339 TWh were traded on EPEX SPOT markets, which corresponds to an 8 % increase compared to previous record year (314 TWh).
NGX Establishes The Peter and Gail Krenkel Scholarship in Chemical Engineering at the University of Alberta
[CBOE] Fees for Customized Option Pricing Service
KCBT HRW Wheat Margin Advisory
NASDAQ OMX Holds Fourth Quarter 2012 Investor Conference Call
Hellenic Exchanges Monthly Statistics Bulletin – December 2012
TOM Insight December 2012
Hedge Funds & Managed Futures
Profits at Paulson Europe crumble
Giles Turner – Financial News
The European arm of Paulson & Co., the hedge fund run by manager John Paulson, renowned for his profitable prediction of the sub-prime crisis and subsequent under-performance, has seen its profits collapse.
Man Group Appoints Executives at Its GLG Division
New York Times
The world’s largest publicly traded hedge fund firm named several executives to its GLG division, a unit that has been troubled since the Man Group acquired it for $1.6 billion in 2010.
Morgan Stanley Investment Management Launches Global Premier Credit Fund
Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM) today announced the launch of the Morgan Stanley Investment Funds (MS INVF) Global Premier Credit Fund. The fund seeks to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns by investing in “Premier Credit,” the corporate debt issued by businesses characterized by dominant franchises or leading industry positions, low capital intensity and strong balance sheets. It is designed to help manage risk for investors against excessive business cycle shifts.
Pensions lobby begins 2013 with senior staff changes
Mark Cobley – Financial News
The UK’s National Association of Pension Funds, which represents investors worth £900bn, has begun 2013 with two high-profile personnel changes – its head of business development has departed and a former fund manager has joined as head of investment policy.
Ex-Barclays Trader Ek Hires Mancebo for Europe Power Hedge Fund
Ulf Ek, a former power trader at Barclays Plc and Amaranth Advisors LLC, has made his first hire at hedge fund Northlander Commodity Advisors LLC.
Goldman Sachs Said to Swap Fees for Stake in Cantab Hedge Fund
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has taken a stake in Cantab Capital Partners LLP after the two firms revised the terms of a licensing agreement the hedge fund had used to pay the New York-based bank for using its technology.
Feldstein who Speared Whale Ready to Unwind Derivatives
Andrew Feldstein, the Harvard- educated lawyer who leads BlueMountain Capital Management LLC, has had a good run.
Eurozone braces for new CAC era
Matthew Attwood – Financial News
The Netherlands became the first eurozone country to test collective action clauses this year with a E3.2bn bond that priced yesterday, but the real challenge comes tomorrow when Spain introduces a new two-year bond.
Notz Stucki Shuns ‘Zoo’ of Hedge Funds as Client Assets Decline
Notz Stucki & Cie SA, a Geneva-based money manager facing shrinking assets four years after reporting losses to Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, is bidding to shake off its reputation as a specialist hedge fund investor.
JPMorgan’s Staley Quits to Join BlueMountain Hedge Fund
James E. Staley, the JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive who was once seen as a possible candidate to become chief executive officer, quit to join BlueMountain Capital Management LLC, a $12 billion hedge fund with close ties to the New York bank.
The Hedge Fund That Helped JP Morgan Exit Their $6 Billion Trading Loss Only Trades The Grossest Stuff In Finance
Ever since word got out that hedge fund BlueMountain Capital Management was helping JP Morgan exit its ugly $6 billion trading loss last year everyone has been wondering exactly what the firm does.
A Hedge Fund Consultant Who Admitted To Passing Tips To SAC Portfolio Managers Is Naming Names Like Crazy
This just came in over the Bloomberg : Wesley Wang, a former analyst for SAC Capital Advisors’ Sigma Capital unit, has told federal agents the names of 20 more people who he claims traded on insider information. Some had not been charged in the ongoing investigation.
Jason Gerlach Elected President of California Hedge Fund Association
PRWeb via Yahoo! News
Sunrise Capital Partners announced today that Managing Director Jason Gerlach has been elected President of the California Hedge Fund Association.
Banks & Brokers
FCStone must return $15.6 mln to Sentinel bankruptcy trustee
INTL FCStone must return $15.6 million to the trustee overseeing the bankruptcy of Sentinel Management Group because other former clients were not equitably repaid money they had invested in the failed futures brokerage, a federal judge in Chicago has ruled.
Dimon Leaves New York Fed Board as His Term Ends
WILLIAM ALDEN – NYTimes.com
Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, has left the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a position that had stirred some controversy after the bank’s big trading loss last year.
Dimon Says Some JPMorgan Leaders ’Acted Like Children’ on Loss
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said some company executives “acted like children” in handling a derivatives bet that cost the largest U.S. bank more than $6.2 billion last year.
Bank of America’s EMEA prime broking head leaving bank: sources
Reuters via Yahoo! News
LONDON – Charlotte Burkeman, the EMEA head of prime brokerage at Bank of America Merrill Lynch , is leaving the firm, two sources told Reuters on Tuesday. London-based Burkeman, 34, was a former prime brokerage executive at UBS and a former associate at Goldman Sachs and is considered one of the industry’s young rising stars.
Goldman’s Kavvathas Retires as Asia Distribution Co-Head
Dimitrios Kavvathas, a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner, co-head of Asia Pacific excluding Japan securities distribution, and head of structuring in the region, will retire, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg.
HSBC: Head of Commodity Sales Departs
HSBC’s head of listed commodity sales, Fabian Somerville-Cotton, has left the company, a spokesperson at the bank confirmed Tuesday.
Film Finance Veterans Blum, Hoffman Join Investment Bank
Movie finance veterans, including Peter Hoffman, who helped Colony Capital raise funds to buy Miramax, and former Merrill Lynch executive Michael Blum, formed a new investment bank with Solar Entertainment Group.
Why Raising Capital Makes Sense for Deutsche Bank
New York Times
A reversal on a shareholder rights issue would be a bitter pill to swallow for Deutsche Bank’s co-chief executives, Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen. But there are good reason for one, and the timing looks propitious, the author writes.
Clearing & Settlement
CME Group Clearing Advisory: IMPORTANT: Price Plus Accrued (Dirty Price)
CME Group Clearing Advisory: REVISED “BLACK OUT” DAYS FOR LIVE CATTLE DELIVERY POINTS
Indexes & Products
BlackRock’s ETP Landscape Industry Highlights December 31, 2012 – Record-Breaking Flows Into ETPs In 2012
Dow Jones Islamic Market Titans 100 Index Closed Up 10.74% In 2012
S&P Dow Jones Indices Announces Changes To The S&P/TSX Canadian Indices – A Deletion From The S&P/TSX Preferred Share Index
Efficient Chosen As Research Partner For New STOXX Managed Futures Index
Efficient Capital Management, LLC (“Efficient”), a leading provider of multi-manager Managed Futures portfolios, today announced its selection as the research partner for the newly launched iSTOXX Efficient Capital Managed Futures 20 Index.
Integral Completes New 40,000 Square Foot Palo Alto Research Center
Integral Development Corp. (www.integral.com), a leading provider of FX trading solutions and services, announced today the completion of its new product development facility in Stanford, California, housing over 250 software designers, developers and quantitative analysts. The new facility is located on Stanford University land, immediately adjacent to the campus, facilitating a closer working relationship with the computer science department and business school. Through this California-based development team working closely with Integral’s product specialists in New York, London, Singapore, and Tokyo, the company now has the capability to rapidly turn market-leading ideas into product and services like no other time in FX history.
Advise Wraps Record Year With Rapid Growth And Global Expansion Plans – Leading Private Funds Rely On Advise’s Consensus RMS And Vault DMS Solutions To Comply With Changing Global Regulatory Landscape
Novitas Partners Advises Thomson Reuters On Its Sale Of Eximius To Objectway Financial Software
Morgan Stanley must pay manager $1 million in employment flap
Morgan Stanley must pay $1 million to a former manager who alleged he was wrongfully terminated by the firm, according to a securities arbitration ruling.
Fibria to Pay $37.5 Million to Settle Derivatives Lawsuit
Fibria Celulose SA , the world’s largest pulp producer, agreed to pay shareholders $37.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a Florida municipal pension fund over $2.13 billion of currency-derivative losses in 2008, according to a court filing.
Environmental & Energy
Japan, Mongolia Sign Emissions-Reduction Pact
The Wall Street Journal
Japan is making progress in its plan to bypass protracted United Nations-sponsored efforts to limit carbon emissions, signing its first bilateral carbon offset mechanism Tuesday.
Oil-and-gas lobby envisions improved relationship with the White House
The Hill’s E2 Wire
The oil-and-gas industry expects to have a more fruitful relationship with President Obama this year as the White House attempts to turn the nation into an energy-exporting force.
Agriculture and Forestry Key to Mitigating Climate Change
Voice of America
Forestry experts say it is time for a new approach in mitigating the causes of climate change. And while the 2012 climate change conference in Doha, Qatar, brought no decisions regarding the important role agriculture and forestry play in reducing carbon emissions, some awareness was brought to the table regarding forests, and how forest conservation should be integrated into future climate talks.
Thai Bourse Kicks Off 2013 Roadshow In Singapore
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), together with DBS Vickers Securities (Thailand) and government units, starts this year’s first roadshow with “The Pulse of Asia Conference,” in Singapore on January 10, by taking 11 listed companies to attract foreign investors in Asia.
Summary Of December 2012 Activities At Tokyo Commodity Exchange – TOCOM December 2012 Volume Averaged 110,110 Contracts Per Day, Down 3.8% – 2012 Annual Volume 25,479,111 Contracts, Down 19.5%
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) announced today that December 2012 trading volume averaged 110,110 contracts per day, down 3.8% from November 2012.
Osaka Securities Exchange: Temporary Suspension Of Setting New Contract Months For Security Options (Options Dual-Listed On OSE & TSE)
Osaka Securities Exchange Co., Ltd. (OSE) will temporarily suspend the setting of new contract months for the Security Options that are dually listed on both of the OSE and Tokyo Stock Exchange Inc. (TSE) markets (hereinafter referred to “options dual-listed on both markets”) from January 11, 2013. From that day, as for the Security Options whose underlying is the securities described in the following file, trading of new contract months will not be commenced until the integration of derivative markets between OSE and TSE, which is scheduled to be implemented by the end of fiscal year 2013.
Webinar: Trading Opportunities in Asia: Focus on Japan
Join us for an interactive webinar on Thursday, January 17 for a discussion on Asian Arbitrage Opportunities with industry experts from TOCOM, Nissan Century and RTS Realtime Systems. Our speakers will explore current trading opportunities in Asian markets specifically on arbitrage between TOCOM and other venues.
Thai Bourse Changes Stock Futures’ Position Limit For Better Portfolio Management
Temporary Suspension of Setting New Contract Months for Security Options (Options Dual-Listed on OSE & TSE)
Important Notice From The Tokyo Grain Exchange – Suspend Of TGE Markets Prior To Market Consolidation
SIFMA Recommends Full Market Close On January 14 in Japan In Observance Of The Adults Day Holiday
DealBook: After I.P.O. Drought, Brazil Is More Hospitable to Investors
New York Times
Tough economic conditions hung over the Brazilian markets last year, but the government and the private sector are taking steps to encourage companies to raise financing through the public markets.
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Dato Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak Launches New Exchange Traded Bonds And Sukuk On Bursa Malaysia
Pakistan Mercantile Exchange Commodity Market Review 2012
Tehran Stock Exchange Bulletin – December 2012
Palestine Exchange (PEX) Monthly Investor Newsletter – December 2012