First Impressions

Hunting Guide: Paul McCormick Helps Students Find Financial Jobs

London’s financial industry employs about 250,000 people and the hurdles are high for new graduates and young professionals.

Paul McCormick, of Thomson Reuters in London is trying to help the next generation into the markets with helpful advice about getting a job. His blog,, may assist in bringing the best and brightest to firms.

“There’s a couple hundred companies in this industry,” he said. “All of these companies have got demand for talent each year. But from a graduate point of view, where do you start, you know? How do you find those opportunities?”

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Quote of the Day

“This is ‘dead inventory’ in a capital-constrained environment, so what we’re planning to offer is a way to solve that problem by entrusting it to an exchange as a neutral platform.”

Unnamed source in the story, “SGX talks to banks over launching Asian corporate-bond platform”.

Lead Stories

SGX talks to banks over launching Asian corporate-bond platform
Jeremy Grant – Financial Times
SGX, the Singapore exchange, is in talks with about 30 banks and asset managers, including UBS, Schroders and AllianceBernstein, about launching what would be Asia’s first electronic trading platform for regional corporate bonds next year.

Frankfurt Open for Yuan Clearing as Liquidity Rises
Weixin Zha – Bloomberg
Frankfurt, which is seeking to corner a share of the burgeoning offshore yuan market, is setting the ball rolling with its first clearing of transactions in the Chinese currency.

James A. Lebenthal, Muni Bond Expert, Dies at 86
James A. Lebenthal, America’s best-known municipal bond salesman, who turned the tax-free financial instruments called munis into a household word with radio and television ads dramatizing how ordinary investors built subways, sewers, bridges and schools, died on Friday in Manhattan. He was 86.

Best Bond Fund Says BOJ Volatility Raising Spreads: Japan Credit
Takako Taniguchi and Finbarr Flynn – Bloomberg
Japan’s best-performing corporate bond fund has some surprising feedback for the nation’s central bank: expanded monetary easing may increase rather than reduce relative borrowing costs for companies as prices gyrate.

Bond Pain Seen Ending for Bears in Poll Saying They’re Right
Liz Capo McCormick, Daniel Kruger and Joseph Ciolli – Bloomberg
After the legions of market savants missed out on hundreds of billions of dollars in gains this year anticipating a tumble in bonds, you’d think they would have found another target. You’d be wrong.
Given the chance to speculate on declines in only one asset class, 45 percent of investors, traders and analysts in a quarterly Bloomberg Global Poll conducted last week picked debt securities of some type as their top choice, more than three times the percentage who selected gold. Among the options, most chose government debt and junk bonds over assets that also included stocks, commodities, currencies and real estate.

Is It Too Late to Join the Muni Rally?
Aaron Kuriloff – WSJ
Investing in sewage-treatment plants and highway overpasses hasn’t always been this consistently lucrative.

Nordea chief says bank regulation chokes small-business loans
Richard Milne in Stockholm – Financial Times
The head of the Nordic region’s biggest lender has said banking regulation is making it impossible for small companies to get loans and has accused regulators of diverting scarce risk capital from entrepreneurs.

Defying Expectations, Japan’s Economy Falls Into Recession
Japan’s economy unexpectedly fell into recession in the third quarter, a painful slump that called into question efforts by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to pull the country out of nearly two decades of deflation.

SunGard Adds Fixed Income Market MTS BondVision to Hosted Platform, Facilitating Cross-Asset Trading

Central Banks

Euro zone’s troubles, gold vote test Swiss central bank
Alice Baghdjian and Silke Koltrowitz – Reuters
The Swiss National Bank faces the biggest test of its cap on the franc in two years but may find it easier to defend now than when euro zone breakup fears were rampant and the strategy unproven.

BoE’s Carney urges banker bonus overhaul
Financial Times
New standards may be needed to put bankers’ fixed pay at risk, as part of efforts to reduce imprudent risk-taking and short-termism in finance, the Bank of England governor said.

Draghi Says ECB Measures May Entail Buying Government Bonds
Craig Stirling – Bloomberg
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi explicitly cited government-bond buying as a policy tool officials could use to stimulate the economy if the outlook worsens.
“Other unconventional measures might entail the purchase of a variety of assets, one of which is sovereign bonds,” Draghi said in Brussels today during quarterly testimony to lawmakers at the European Parliament.

ECB’s Mersch Talks Down Imminent Purchases of Sovereign Bonds – WSJ
Todd Buell – WSJ
European Central Bank Executive Board member Yves Mersch on Monday played down the possibility of imminent sovereign bond purchases by the ECB, saying that policy makers need to wait and see the effects of private-sector bond buys already agreed.

PBOC Sets Rules for Investment in Yuan Assets Abroad, Paper Says
China’s central bank has issued rules allowing local financial institutions to invest in yuan products overseas and refrained from setting any limit on the amount, the Securities Times reported today.
Fund-management companies, brokerages, banks and insurers can use their own cash for such investments or raise money onshore, according to the report, which cited a circular from the People’s Bank of China. The move supplements the Qualified Domestic Institutional Investors program, under which quotas are granted that enable onshore funds to be invested in offshore financial products. Two calls to the central bank’s press office regarding the Securities Times report went unanswered.


Sydney Yuan Hub Seen Saving Importers 7% in Trading: Currencies
Garfield Reynolds and Netty Ismail – Bloomberg
Australian importers are in line for a windfall after Chinese President Xi Jinping used his visit to the country to anoint Sydney as a yuan trading center with the two nations completing a free-trade agreement.

Offshore Yuan Demand Up as New Hong Kong Rule, Stock-Trading Link Rolled Out
Anjani Trivedi – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Demand for the Chinese yuan traded offshore was strong Monday as a landmark stock-trading program between Shanghai and Hong Kong kicked off, and a new regulation allowing Hong Kong residents to buy unlimited amounts of yuan went into effect.

Ruble Less Respected Than Rand as Volatility Hits Record
Ye Xie – Bloomberg
Russia’s ruble is the most volatile relative to other currencies in at least nine years, hurting the country’s already battered economy as the unprecedented price swings drive investors away.
One-month implied volatility on the ruble, which reflects traders’ expectations for future swings in the exchange rate, reached 33 percent on Nov. 10, almost double that of Brazil’s real, the second-most volatile among 41 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg. That’s the widest gap between the two based on Bloomberg data dating back to 2005. The ruble’s volatility gauge is close to three times higher than South Africa’s rand, which historically has had the biggest fluctuations among the world’s major currencies.

Self-regulation could remain the status quo for FX
Joel Clark – Financial News
As six banks get out their chequebooks to pay $4.3 billion in fines for rigging foreign exchange markets, one key question is: what’s the best way of regulating this huge market?

Stanley Fink FX venture seeks global institutional clientele
Tim Cave – Financial News
Isam, the alternative asset manager founded in 2008 by Stanley Fink, the former Man Group CEO, has launched a new foreign exchange brokerage service in an attempt to take advantage of bank retrenchment in the sector.


Paulson hangs on to gold in 3rd quarter; Soros cuts back
Frank Tang – Reuters
Hedge fund Paulson & Co maintained its stake in the world’s biggest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, in the third quarter, bolstering the confidence of bullion investors at a time when an improving U.S. economic outlook pummeled gold prices.

‘Yes’ vote in Swiss referendum not certain to lift gold prices-Deutsche Bank
Jan Harvey and Anirban Nag – Reuters
A vote in favour of boosting Switzerland’s gold holdings at a Nov. 30 referendum won’t necessarily lift bullion prices, Deutsche Bank said in a note, adding there was a “considerable” chance the motion would pass.
The Swiss National Bank could spread out its gold buying, take transactions off market, or use derivatives to cushion gold prices from the impact of a ‘yes’ vote, Deutsche said.

Banks cut lending on gold as prices fall
Business Standard News
Banks have swung into action as gold prices continue to slide. Reduced loan-to-value ratio (LTV), cautious lending, and a close monitoring of the gold loan portfolio have prompted them to hedge their loan books against the reduction in prices.

Hedge Funds Cut Gold Bets in Fastest Exit This Year: Commodities
Marvin G. Perez and Joe Deaux – Bloomberg
Hedge funds extended their fastest exit from gold this year, cutting bullish gold wagers for a third week.

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