First Read

Hong Kong Connect(ions)
Doug Ashburn in Hong Kong, JLN

Hong Kong is all about the connections to China, with Hong Kong playing the gatekeeper.

In his opening address at this year’s FOW Derivatives World Asia conference, HKEx CEO Charles Li punctuated this point. 2015, of course, was the year of the Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect, the access point for offshore trading in China shares. Though it was, shall we say, a rough year in China’s stock market, the region is still poised for long term growth, and HKEx is at the center.

“If 2015 was the year of the equity connection,” says Li, “2016 is the year of the products.” The products to which Li refers are FX, specifically dollar-margined RMB pairs, and physically settled commodities onshore. As the large-volume commodities markets in China are typically cash settled, this marks both a change, as well as a realization of the synergies between HKEx and its London Metal Exchange subsidiary.

“We want to replicate the LME inside China,” said Li.

For more on HKEx and LME, see our recent Boca CEO series interviews with Charles Li and Garry Jones


Direct Match’s Jim Greco and William O’Brien Talk Treasuries – Traded Electronically
Sarah Rudolph – JLN
Direct Match is a FINRA-registered broker dealer that recently announced plans to offer an all-to-all electronic trading platform for US Treasuries later this year – the first of its kind. JLN spoke with Jim Greco, the company’s CEO and co-founder, and William O’Brien, its new executive chairman, about the why and the how of the new platform.

*****Our Q&A with Bill O’Brien and Jim Greco and the next new thing in cash bonds.


ASX profit lifted by capital raisings
ASX Ltd has stepped up efforts to find a new chief as the share market operator delivers a rise in profit underpinned by robust trading activity. In the company’s nine-month results statement, the ASX said the search for a new CEO is “progressing at accelerated pace” following last month’s departure of Elmer Funke Kupper.

***** There is no connection between ASX’s accelerated CEO search and Doug Ashburn’s trip to Asia, although he would make a great exchange CEO.


Futures Products: The Ingredients of Everyday Life
For every product you buy, there are a number of outside factors – demand, weather, transportation and global politics – that impact its price as it moves along the supply chain to you. Futures take all those factors into account ahead of time, so that prices can remain relatively predictable and consistent when the product reaches the market.

***** CME says futures are a good thing and I agree.


National Futures Association Town Hall Webinar
During the 60-minute webinar, NFA Public Director, Ronald Filler; President & CEO, Daniel Roth; and NFA’s officers will respond to questions submitted by Members. If you would like to submit a question prior to the webinar, please email it to Members whose questions are not answered during the webinar will receive a timely response via email from NFA staff.

***** Use Google Cardboard while watching this webinar and have your mind blown.

++++ Mobile App Surpasses 200,000 Installs Across iPhone and Android Devices
Today, Barchart, a leading provider of market data and information, has announced that their free mobile app Barchart Stocks, Futures and Forex has surpassed 200,000 installs across iPhone and Android devices. The app provides in-depth market data and information to its users with more markets and coverage, including free real-time Bats stock prices, deeper historical data and exclusive content.

****** Barchart continues to punch above their weight.


Q&A: The Future of Insider Trading and High-Frequency Trading Prosecutions
Clifford C. Histed, a partner at K&L Gates in Chicago and a former supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney and supervisory enforcement lawyer with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, explores the fallout from Dodd-Frank and the future of insider trading prosecutions, given the Second Circuit’s recent decisions and cases pending before other federal circuits and the U.S. Supreme Court.

***** I am always nice to former U.S. Attorneys and regulators. It is just reflex action.


Wednesday’s Top Three
The most read story yesterday reminded me I should update my LinkedIn account in the story Ignoring LinkedIn Is Hurting Your Career. As a lifelong Led Zeppelin fan the story Did Led Zeppelin Steal ‘Stairway to Heaven’? A Jury Will Decide hit close to home although it has often been said the band…borrowed…liberally from many sources. In third place the CME gets a savings account in the story CME Group says preparing to open account at the Fed


Lead Stories

CME to close New York trading floor in computers’ victory
CME Group Inc will shut its New York trading floor at year’s end as computerized trading claims another victim from the world’s old-school financial system.

CME calls time on New York open outcry options floor
Lindsay Whipp in Chicago – FT
Another nail has been knocked into the coffin of commodities pit trading in America, as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange said it is to close its open outcry options floor in New York because of a lack of volume.

You Can’t Handle the Truth! Censoring Politically Inconvenient Research at the CFTC
Streetwise Professor
I had missed that the CFTC’s Office of the Inspector General had found that the Office of the Chief Economist had “prohibited relevant but potentially controversial research” on position limits. According to the OIG, during a routine interview with a CFTC staff economist, without being asked, the economist told the OIG that s/he had been prevented from doing research on position limits. According to the OIG, “several OCE economists identified position limits as an example of a topic on which economic research is no longer permitted.” One said: “you can’t write a report on something that destroys three years of (CFTC) work.”

Chicago futures trading firms merge
By LYNNE MAREK – Crain’s Chicago Business
Two Chicago trading firms, WH Trading and Cheiron Trading, have merged their operations, allowing them to cut costs and share resources in a challenging market.
Larry Schulman, who had been CEO of Cheiron and is now working for WH Trading, confirmed that he and a handful of employees shifted to the larger WH Trading after a deal between the two firms was reached late last year. Both trade futures contracts.

CBOE Introduces First in Series of Indexes Designed to Target Investment Outcomes
Indexes Leverage Options as Risk Management Tools; Indexes Have Been Licensed to Vest Financial
Chicago Board Options Exchange® (CBOE®) today announced it has created a series of 13 “Buffer Protect Indexes,” the first in a family of options-based strategy performance benchmarks that are designed to target the outcomes of specific investment strategies.

Regulators Warn 5 Top Banks They Are Still Too Big to Fail
The nation’s top bank regulators have added an unexpected voice to the growing chorus of critics worried that the biggest American banks, nearly eight years after the financial crisis, are still too big to fail.

Wall Street Scion’s Fraud Case Could Be Settled, Lawyer Says
Andrew Caspersen, the former Wall Street executive charged by federal prosecutors and securities regulators with defrauding friends, relatives and a charitable foundation closely tied to a large New York hedge fund, is unlikely to face a trial.

With plenty of punch, central bankers wait in vain for the world to drink
Central bankers usually worry about when to remove the punch bowl of cheap finance but when they gather in Washington, D.C. this week they will face a different problem: how to force the world to drink.

US rejects ‘living wills’ of five banks
Barney Jopson in Washington and Alistair Gray in New York – FT
Five big US banks including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America have been warned by regulators to reform or face harsh sanctions after their plans to show how they could be wound up in a crisis were deemed inadequate.

Former UBS trader accuses UK watchdog of scapegoating
Caroline Binham, Financial Regulation Correspondent – FT
A former junior trader at UBS has accused the UK’s financial watchdog of scapegoating and refusing to examine key evidence, and will fight its intention to ban him in relation to the Libor-manipulation scandal.

What Negative Interest Rates Mean for the World; As central banks worldwide take the plunge into negative rate territory, policymakers are keeping a close eye on the reaction across markets and economies
As central bankers around the world push deeper into the once-unthinkable world of negative interest rates — essentially charging customers to hold their cash.

Elizabeth Warren Has Basically Had It With Paul Krugman’s Big Bank Nonsense
Huffington Post
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) appeared to offer a thinly veiled rebuke of liberal economist Paul Krugman on Wednesday by highlighting a “scary” too-big-to-fail ruling from federal bank regulators.
The Federal Reserve and the FDIC said Wednesday that five of the biggest banks in the country cannot credibly be unwound safely without bailout money from taxpayers.


Massad denies silencing position limits analysis
CFTC economists stopped from critiquing proposed rule due to “priorities”, not politics

U.S. Regulators Seek Probes Into Leak of Banks’ Living Wills
Elizabeth Dexheimer – Bloomberg
Fed, FDIC seek investigations after media report on details; Five big banks’ living wills were deemed not credible
U.S. regulators have asked their internal watchdogs to examine how assessments of banks’ plans for winding down during a potential bankruptcy ended up in a news article.

Regulators reject plans of 5 big U.S. banks for preventing another taxpayer bailout
The Washington Post via Chicago Tribune
Federal regulators said Wednesday that five of the country’s largest banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, still don’t have credible plans for winding down their operations without taxpayer help if they start to fail.

CFTC Chairman Announces Dan Rutherford as Director of the Office of Customer Education and Outreach
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Timothy Massad announced today that Dan Rutherford has joined the agency as its first Director of the Office of Customer Education and Outreach. Rutherford joins the CFTC with nearly two decades of personal finance writing and financial education experience.

Blockchain could help regulators spot signs of failing financial market, says US regulator
Speaking in a personal capacity in a speech at the Cato Institute, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commissioner Christopher Giancarlo said that distributed ledger technologies would have helped regulators intervene better in response to the global financial crisis of 2008 had the technologies been in use at the time within industry.

ESMA announces stress-tests for clearing houses; With activity dramatically increasing in clearing houses, concerns over the safety and resiliency of central counterparties (CCPs) have been raised.
By Joe Parsons j- The Trade
Europe’s securities watchdog will conduct the first EU-wide stress tests for clearing houses.

FCA publishes Decision Notice for former UBS LIBOR trader
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today published a Decision Notice in respect of Mr Arif Hussein, formerly a derivatives trader at UBS in London. This sets out the FCA’s finding that Mr Hussein is not a fit and proper person and its decision to prohibit him from any role in regulated financial services.

Former UBS Libor trader disputes FCA ban; Former UBS derivatives trader Arif Hussein and UK regulator FCA, will present cases to Upper Tribunal over decision to ban.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
A former UBS Libor trader has disputed the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) decision to ban him from any future role in financial services.

Germany should keep its hands off the ECB
When France feels the need to lecture Germany on the need to respect central bank independence, it should be clear something has gone substantially awry.

Big Bang financial deregulation and income inequality: Evidence from UK and Japan
Julia Tanndal, Daniel Waldenström – VOX
Financial deregulation in the US has been shown to be associated with rising income inequality over the past four decades. This column looks at the income effects of financial deregulation in the UK and Japan during the 1980s and 1990s. As in the US, deregulation substantially increased the shares of income going to the very top of the distribution. These findings highlight the importance of financial markets in the evolution of income inequality in society.

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

CME Group to Close New York Trading Floor at Year-End
Press Release
As declining open outcry options volume on CME Group’s New York trading floor now represents just 0.3 percent of the company’s overall energy and metals trading volumes, CME Group will close its New York trading floor at year-end, subject to CFTC review. All options products listed with and subject to the rules and regulations of NYMEX and COMEX will be available for trading on CME Globex, and for submission for clearing through CME ClearPort.

Will trading shift from NSE to Singapore exchange if SEBI regulates algo trading? Participants feel it will
The Financial Express
At a time when markets regulator Sebi is working on the final guidelines to regulate high frequency trading (HFT) and algorithm trading, market participants have expressed concerns that such regulations would lead to a migration of the trading volumes to Nifty derivatives listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX). These concerns come at a time when foreign funds investing in Indian markets are preferring the SGX platform instead of trading on the Indian bourses due to uncertainty over general anti-avoidance rules (GAAR).

London Stock Exchange Group
15 new companies join ELITE today from across Europe, Israel, Russia & Turkey
New countries, Turkey and Bosnia & Herzegovina represented; Partnership with Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation signed to help deliver ELITE in Turkey; ELITE is London Stock Exchange Group’s international programme for ambitious high growth businesses; 350 companies, 150 advisors, and 100 investors now part of growing ELITE community
London Stock Exchange Group today welcomes a further 15 companies to ELITE, its innovative support programme for inspiring growth businesses. For the first time, four companies from Turkey and one from Bosnia & Herzegovina have joined ELITE, bringing the total number of participating countries to 23.

PDQ ATS Turns to Eventus for Surveillance; PDQ Enterprise’s CEO discusses why the ATS provider went with Eventus, while Eventus’ CEO talks about how the vendor plans to grow after signing on PDQ, in addition to landing UBS in March.
Anthony Malakian – Waters Technology
PDQ ATS has deployed Eventus Systems’ Validus platform to bolster its surveillance and risk capabilities.

ASX earnings update for the nine months to 31 March 2016

Delisting of 18 Single Stock Futures and two equity options
The Management Board of Eurex Deutschland and the Executive Board of Eurex Zürich decided with effect from 18 April 2016 to delist 18 Single Stock Futures and two equity options in accordance with the attachment due to previous corporate actions.


Investors backed fintech startups with $5.3 billion in Q1 2016: Accenture report
Business Insider
Fintech startups received $5.3 billion (£3.7 billion) in funding in the first quarter of 2016, according to a new report from Accenture.
The report — published Wednesday and based on Accenture’s analysis of fintech investment data from analyst firm CB Insights — shows that investment into fintech companies has increased by 67% on the same period last year.

The Blockchain Wars: How Startups And Enterprises Are Competing To Create The Web 2.0
Jonathan Chester – Forbes
There is a war of innovation going on behind the scenes. While everyday users are shopping on Amazon or watching auctions on Ebay, software developers from one man startups to industry giants are rushing to stake their claim in what many believe to be the most revolutionary technology since the internet. The first cause of this burst of activity was started when Satoshi Nakamoto developed a new kind of money and called it Bitcoin.

Yahoo, WhatsApp, WeChat and AOL Retention Now Available
Press Release
GreenKey, creator of an award-winning voice-driven collaboration platform for global financial market participants, announced that in early May, the firm will launch its newest tool designed to help financial institutions comply with heightened market regulations and improve productivity. GreenKey’s new instant messenger aggregator will provide the ability to retain messages sent over third party platforms to meet mandatory record-keeping requirements. The tool will make popular platforms such as Yahoo, WhatsApp, WeChat and AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) acceptable for use by financial market firms.

Capgemini Accelerates Global Blockchain Practice
By Richard Kastelein –
Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing, has accelerated its specialized Blockchain practice within its financial services business unit to help clients improve operational efficiency, security, customer service and capture new market opportunities. Capgemini has recruited a core team of leading Blockchain technology specialists with plans to expand its global team to more than 100 professionals by year-end.

How Blockchain is Disrupting the Finance Industry
By Jane Winterbottom – International Banker
Of all the start-up initiatives over the last decade that can technically be classed under the FinTech (financial technology) umbrella, the one that has received the most attention—and the one that has been surrounded by the most controversy—is bitcoin. The growth in the use of the cryptocurrency has been phenomenal, with 2015 seeing the number of bitcoin transactions per day growing by 150 percent, and the total number of bitcoins in circulation increasing by a solid 10 percent across the 12 months. As of the end of 2015, around 15 million bitcoins were in circulation with a total market value of more than $6 billion.

Why capital markets are pulling for blockchain
Information Age
Businesses in the capital markets will stop thinking blockchain is something to be suspicious of and start to realise its enormous possibilities this year.
Increasingly, they believe blockchain will evolve into the disruptive technology that will transform the banking system, eliminating the need for securities depositories and central clearing, and reducing settlements delays.

Bitcoin Trade Organizations Partnered to Launch Global Blockchain Forum
The Chamber of Digital Commerce, together with other three bitcoin technology organizations, has launched a new project to help develop consistent blockchain regulation.

Securities Blockchain Will Have Limited Cost Savings – Ripple MD
Coin telegraph
Financial institutions have invested significantly in the development of Blockchain technology. However, the Asia Pacific MD of Ripple feels that cost savings are not expected to be significant in the securities market.

Don’t believe the blockchain hype: Examining the weaknesses and risks
By Chris Kanaracus
Blockchain, the platform underlying Bitcoin, is often described as ‘inherently secure’. A new report reveals that it’s far from ironclad.
Few if any technologies have been covered as breathlessly by the media in recent years as blockchain, the underlying platform for the Bitcoin digital currency.


Bernie Sanders Has A Very Lonely But Very Committed Following On Wall Street; It’s more of a support group than a revolutionary force.
Sam Stein, Paul Blumenthal – The Huffington Post
For months now, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has ridden a message of concern and anger over the indulgences of the U.S. banking industry to greats heights in the Democratic primary. Now, as that primary hits its closing stretch, and as Sanders is in need of an upset win, he’s competing in the one state where his cause célèbre comes with real complications.

JPMorgan passes up chance to counter Sanders’ criticism
JPMorgan Chase & Co has been lambasted by Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, but Chief Executive Jamie Dimon opted not to fire back on Wednesday while reviewing quarterly results and taking questions about his latest failure with regulators.

Wall Street’s dilemma reflects Cruz’s challenge
By Jennifer Rubin – Washington Post
Politico reports on the difficult time Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is having wooing Wall Street donors:

Hillary Clinton-Bernie Sanders Schism Grows on ‘Too Big to Fail’ Banks
Banks, very big ones, undergird the New York City economy.
Whether they are so big that they pose a threat to the financial system and the nation’s economy as a whole has been a point of contention in the Democratic race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and it is heating up ahead of the New York primary on Tuesday.

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Pimco assets under management $1.5 trillion at end of March
Bond giant Pacific Investment Management said on its website Wednesday that its assets under management stood at $1.5 trillion at the end of March, up from $1.43 trillion at year-end.

COQUEST Names Quantitative Investment Management CTA Challenge 2015 Winner
Press release
Dallas-based Coquest Inc., a full service brokerage and alternative investment consulting firm, announced today that Quantitative Investment Management is the winner of the 2015 Coquest Advisors’ CTA Challenge. QIM’s Global Program finished the year with a 20.82% gain, beating out the other 26 CTA programs competing, as well as outperforming the S&P 500 and other key performance indexes in a very tough year for the overall asset management industry. The 2015 CTA Challenge, which officially ended at close of business on Dec. 31, 2015, recognizes and showcases top performing managed futures trading programs.

The top-performing hedge fund manager that’s too hot for big money to handle
By Lawrence Delevingne – Reuters
Investing in Glacial Energy Holdings Inc should have been a disaster.

NYC Pension Weighs Liquidating $1.5 Billion Hedge Fund Portfolio
Martin Z Braun – Bloomberg
D.E. Shaw and Brevan Howard among managers that may be fired; NYC civil employees’ pension has $154.4 billion of assets
New York City’s pension fund for civil employees is weighing exiting its $1.5 billion portfolio of hedge fund investments because of lagging performance, high fees and the riskiness of the asset class.

How corporate tax avoidance is hurting America and the rest of the world
By CIARA LINNANE – MarketWatch
Tax-haven abuse by multinationals is exacerbating the global wealth gap and putting an excessive burden on developing countries, according to a damning new report from the nonprofit Oxfam.

Banks & Brokers

Pressure on UK high street banks at ‘all-time high’
Emma Dunkley – FT
Pressure on Britain’s largest high-street banks is at an “all-time high” after profits slumped 40 per cent last year, according to a study.

Macquarie lays off 15 percent of U.S. investment banking group: sources
Australia’s Macquarie Group Ltd (MQG.AX) shed close to 15 percent of its U.S. investment banking workforce this month to replenish its ranks with star performers in North America, according to people familiar with the matter.

Independent broker-dealers snatch biggest adviser teams in the first-quarter
Investment News
Financial advisers shopping around for new employers have shown they like their independence. The biggest moves by advisers in the first quarter were to independent broker-dealers, as teams managing at least $1 billion joined firms including Raymond James Financial Inc., Prospera Financial Services and U.S. Capital Advisors, according to data gathered by InvestmentNews. Brokers are coping with the new fiduciary regulation from the Department of Labor. Many also are involved in merger activity, and in the case of Cetera Financial Group’s advisers, a bankruptcy. For many, independent broker-dealers offer the right mix of resources.

RBS planning to ax 600 UK jobs in cost-cutting plan: sources
State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) is axing almost 600 jobs in its UK retail bank, according to sources familiar with the situation, in the latest round of job cuts and branch closures at the lender. All the employees impacted work in the bank’s retail network in England and most are being told of the decision on Thursday, according to the sources, who asked not to named, because they are not authorized to discuss the plans.The cuts are occurring in branches in northern, southeast or eastern England, the Midlands or London, the sources said. The bank is closing about 34 branches and reducing opening hours in hundreds more in an aggressive cost-cutting plan.

Living Wills to the Rescue
By Narayana Kocherlakota – Bloomberg View
A number of U.S. financial institutions remain so economically essential and so structurally complex that the government would have little choice but to rescue them in an emergency. A decision announced by regulators today represents an important step toward solving this “too-big-to-fail” problem.

Bank of America profit slides on weak trading
Bank of America Corp, the No. 2 U.S. bank by assets, reported an 18 percent slide in quarterly profit as concerns about a global economic slowdown and uncertainty about the pace of U.S. interest rate increases dampened bond and stock trading.

Clearing & Settlement

LCH drops Clearnet from new branding; The rebrand comes 13 years after the London Clearing House and Clearnet merged.
By Jonathan Watkins – The Trade
Clearnet will no longer be a part of the LCH branding after the clearing house decided to drop the name in a brand refresh.

DerivSource: The future of Collateral Management
A new CloudMargin white paper looks on the future of collateral management by exploring how new rules have impacted the risk of providing collateral, what a comprehensive and regulatory compliant collateral management program looks like and how technological innovation can bridge the gap between past and present.

ISDA Elects 10 Board Members
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA) today announced the election of 10 directors at its 31st Annual General Meeting in Tokyo.

Indexes & Products

CBOE to Start Overnight Dissemination of CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) April 15; VIX Index to be Available During Extended Trading Hours, from 2:15 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. CT
Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) today announced that it plans to start overnight dissemination of the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX Index) on April 15. Values for the VIX Index are expected to be published every 15 seconds, beginning at 2:15 a.m. CT, during CBOE’s extended trading hours session for VIX and S&P 500 Index (SPX) options, which run from 2:00 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. CT, Monday through Friday.

Opinion: This is why mutual fund managers can’t beat a stock index more often
Numbers can be tortured until they say almost anything, but some recent mutual fund statistics could get investors to defy conventional wisdom and think they’re being smart. The numbers here are saying that it’s possible for active management — a money manager trading in and out of securities — to outperform passive management, where a fund company merely replicates an index.

Fraser Howie: Chinese shares still not ready for MSCI indexes
Nikkei Asian Review
Next month, the financial press will be full of “will they or won’t they” stories ahead of the expected announcement by MSCI on whether it will begin adding Chinese domestic shares to its key emerging market index series. Just days before the Chinese stock bubble burst last June, MSCI, one of the world’s largest index providers, announced that it would postpone including Chinese “A shares.” That was a knock to the market but certainly wasn’t the killer blow as expected investment flows would have been small and months away at best.

New multi-factor Lyxor ETF launched on Xetra; ETF tracks Asia, Europe and North America taking five risk factors into account
Deutsche Börse Cash Market
A new exchange-listed index fund issued by Lyxor International Asset Management has been tradable on Xetra and Börse Frankfurt since Thursday.

Oslo Bourse launches index for booming seafood shares
The Oslo Bourse launched a seafood index on Thursday that will allow investors to buy and sell exchange traded notes (ETNs) from Friday onwards, the stock market operator said in a statement.


Deutsche Bank AG pays $20,000 infringement notice penalty
Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft (“Deutsche Bank AG”) has paid a penalty of $20,000 to comply with an infringement notice given to it by the Markets Disciplinary Panel (“MDP”).

Deutsche Bank to settle U.S. silver price-fixing litigation
Deutsche Bank AG has agreed to settle U.S. litigation over allegations it illegally conspired with Bank of Nova Scotia and HSBC Holdings Plc to fix silver prices at the expense of investors, a court filing on Wednesday showed.

Former New York analyst charged with insider trading on ADT deal
A former analyst at a New York investment fund was arrested on Wednesday on charges that he made approximately $1.5 million trading on inside information about Apollo Global Management’s nearly $7 billion deal for security company ADT Corp.

SEC: Research Analyst Is Insider Trading in Mother’s Brokerage Account
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced insider trading charges against a research analyst who allegedly reaped more than $1.5 million in February through trades he made in his mother’s brokerage account based on nonpublic information he learned at work.

Proposed implementation of the Enforcement Review and the Green Report
This Consultation Paper includes proposed changes to the FCA’s Decision Procedure and Penalties Manual and Enforcement Guide.

FCA and PRA jointly publish proposals to enhance enforcement decision-making processes
The proposals address recommendations made by HM Treasury in its ‘Review of enforcement decision-making at the financial services regulators’ and Andrew Green QC’s ‘Report into the FSA’s enforcement actions following the failure of HBOS’.

Environmental & Energy

Exxon Fires Back at Climate-Change Probe
Exxon Mobil Corp. went to court Wednesday to challenge a government investigation of whether the company conspired to cover up its understanding of climate change, a sign the energy company is gearing up for a drawn-out legal battle with environmentalists and officials on the politically charged issue.

Is Cheap Oil Contractionary?
Paul Krugman, NY Times
Low oil prices were supposed to be a big boost for the world economy; but it didn’t happen. Maury Obstfeld, my long-time textbook co-author and now chief economist at the IMF, offers an interesting argument about why: he suggests that it’s because of the zero lower bound. Falling oil leads to falling inflation expectations, and since interest rates can’t fall, real rates go up, hurting recovery.

IEA: A Doha freeze deal won’t change oil market
By BENOIT FAUCON – MarketWatch
A prospective deal to freeze oil output at a meeting of producers in Doha on Sunday won’t change oil markets which have already started to rebalance anyway, a top energy watchdog said Thursday.


HKEX Supports Mainland Roadshow for Stock Connect Stocks
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) has been encouraging Hong Kong-listed companies to enhance their transparency and their communication with investors. Today (Thursday) HKEX supported the Hong Kong Investor Relations Association’s (HKIRA) first-ever roadshow in the Mainland as the HKIRA took a delegation of Hong Kong-listed companies to Shanghai to meet with leading Mainland brokers’ research houses.

Frontier Markets

Court Opens Way for Argentina to End Battle With Hedge Funds
The United States Court of Appeals paved the way on Wednesday for Argentina to raise billions of dollars to pay a group of New York hedge funds, bringing it one step closer to re-entering international markets for the first time in 15 years.

National Agricultural Market can cover only 10% of commodities: Experts; State market linkage projects favoured to be linked with NAM to bring maximum number of commodities under its ambit
Rajesh Bhayani – Busines Standard
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will later on Thursday launch the National Agricultural Market (NAM), the government’s e-platform that hopes to link all agriculture markets known as Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) electronically, and to help link producers to buyers directly.

Sebi seeks to ramp up hedging in commodities
Business Standard
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has asked the commodity market advisory committee headed by Ramesh Chand, agriculture expert and full-time member of Niti Aayog, to recommend measures to increase hedgers’ participation in commodity derivatives.

SC dismisses 4-year suit against Sebi chief’s appointment; Dismisses petition filed four years ago by former Mumbai police chief Julio F Ribeiro and others alleging irregularities in selection process
N Sundaresha Subramanian – Business Standard
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a four-year public interest suit that had challenged the appointment of U K Sinha as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and alleged irregularities in the selection process.

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