John Lothian News: Stockbrokers Who Fail Test Have Checkered Records; ICE set to name Schmeddes as Asian chief; ICE Clear Europe wins European CDS approval; 8 core investors back Euronext listing

Apr 15, 2014

First Read

Nasdaq CEO Says Michael Lewis Comments on HFT ‘Irresponsible’
By Nandini Sukumar
Michael Lewis’s argument that the $23 trillion U.S. stock market is rigged in favor of speed traders is careless, according to Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Robert Greifeld. “I think that was irresponsible on his part,” Greifeld said in an interview on PBS’s “Charlie Rose” show. “I feel poorly for the academics. Our markets are researched more than any other market that’s out there.”

***** Finally we hear from one of the exchanges other than BATS.


Capturing on Canvas the Downfall of Wall Street’s Criminals
Bernard L. Madoff was handcuffed and whisked into a cell. Michael R. Milken, head in palm, wept. Martha Stewart simply stared straight ahead. If not for one person, these moments might be lost to memory. But when the mighty stumble, the court illustrator captures it forever. For Elizabeth Williams, who has spent more than three decades depicting criminals in court through her drawings, the job is a study of character.

***** The art of Wall Street crime.


6fusion, CME Group Sign Definitive Agreement to Develop IaaS Commodity Exchange
Business Wire
Companies agree to develop a spot exchange for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS); expected to be available in beta by the second half of 2014
6fusion’s Workload Allocation Cube will be the standard unit of measure for contracts in the exchange
6fusion, the company standardizing economic measurement of IT infrastructure and enabling a global marketplace for buyers and sellers, and CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, have signed a definitive agreement to develop and market an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) spot exchange that will list financial products based upon 6fusion’s Workload Allocation Cube (WAC).

***** The world’s leading and most diverse derivatives just got more diverse.


Ex-CFTC regulator Chilton joins DLA Piper law firm
Bart Chilton, an outspoken former regulator who spent more than six years as a member of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, will join the law firm DLA Piper, the company said on Monday.

***** The Pied Piper of Position Limits.


Regulator who sparred with Wall Street joins DLA Piper
By Megan R. Wilson, The Hill
Bart Chilton, a former regulator known for his blunt criticism of Wall Street, is joining the law and lobby shop DLA Piper.

***** The unofficial title is Executive Vice Gadfly.


Social media bans darken Turkey’s economic growth prospects
By Daniel Dombey in Istanbul, FT
After more than a decade in the US, Baris Aksoy returned to Istanbul in 2012 to set up an office for Intel Capital, the chipmaker’s venture capital arm and the first Silicon Valley investment company to establish itself in Turkey.

**** Without free speech, free markets are harder to build.


Cantor Fitzgerald CEO sues over blocked Hamptons hoops court
By Selim Algar, NY Post
Cantor Fitzgerald CEO Howard Lutnick has launched a $56 million legal blitzkrieg against a slew of Southampton Town municipal boards because they won’t let him build a basketball court and a large barn on his 40-acre Bridgehampton property, court papers show.

****** I figured Howard Lutnick for more of a tennis guy.


TCI charity targets teen pregnancy
by Vivek Ahuja, Financial News
The £2.5 billion children’s charity, set up by activist hedge fund manager Chris Hohn, has earmarked protecting girls from exploitation and preventing unintended pregnancy among adolescent girls as priority areas for investment this year.

***** Chris Hohn is one of my heroes.


Gene Estess, Who Left Wall Street to Help Needy, Dies at 78
By Laurence Arnold, Bloomberg
Gene Estess, a broker who gave up the pay and perks of Wall Street for a second career helping New York City’s homeless, has died. He was 78.

***** Another hero.



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JSE Limited

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Nicky Newton-King; Anita Liskey

Companies, Organizations and Groups

Spot Trading; YJT Solutions, LLC; QuikStrike; JSE Limited; ICE Clear Europe


CBOE Short-term Volatility Index Futures


CME Group Foundation


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Lead Stories

Stockbrokers Who Fail Test Have Checkered Records
By Jean Eaglesham and Rob Barry, WSJ
The More Times a Qualifying Exam Was Retaken, the Higher the Average Total of Black Marks
More than 51,500 stockbrokers failed a basic exam needed to sell securities at least once, according to data that Wall Street regulators don’t disclose to investors, and those who repeatedly failed have on average worse disciplinary records.

ICE set to name Schmeddes as Asian chief
By Jeremy Grant in Singapore, FT
IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) is set to install Lucas Schmeddes, former chief operating officer of its Dutch gas and power derivatives business, as head of the group’s new exchange and clearing house in Singapore.

ICE Clear Europe wins European CDS approval
By Philip Stafford, FT
IntercontinentalExchange will begin clearing European sovereign credit default swaps (CDS) after US clearance brought to an end an 18-month wait for the US derivatives exchange to win regulatory approval.

CME wants to double its share of forex trades with new exchange
by Tim Wallace, CITY AM
EXCHANGES giant CME Group hopes to channel another $160bn (£95.6bn) per day of currency trades through its marketplaces when it sets up a new European unit this month.

8 core investors back Euronext listing
Business World
A consortium of eight anchor investors have committed to buy a 25-30pc stake of stock exchange operator Euronext ahead of a potential E1.5 billion listing expected in June, three sources familiar with the matter said today. The group of investors comprises BNP Paribas, Societe Generale, Caisse des Depots, ING , ABN Amro, Banco Espirito Santo, the Belgian government investment vehicle SFPI and Belfius bank .

CME urges China futures opening
By Jame DiBiasio, Finance Asia
China will not be able to further grow its financial futures markets if it does not open them to the influence of international supply and demand, and it should do so now, said Leo Melamed, chairman emeritus at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Regulators Weigh Curbs on Trading Fees
By Scott Patterson and Andrew Ackerman, WSJ
SEC Officials Consider Testing ‘Maker-Taker’ Plans
WASHINGTON—A fee system that is a major source of revenue for exchanges and some high-frequency trading firms is coming under the heightened scrutiny of regulators concerned that market prices are being distorted, according to top Securities and Exchange Commission officials.

‘RBC Nice’ Paying Off Amid Outcry Over High-Frequency Trading
By Eric Lam and Doug Alexander, Traders Magazine
The culture of “RBC nice” is paying dividends for Canada’s second-biggest bank. Royal Bank of Canada has become the standard-bearer for a revolt among investors against so-called predatory high- frequency trading practices on both Wall Street and Canada’s Bay Street.

AngelList sees $25m investor fund
By Richard Waters in San Francisco, FT
A $25m fund has been raised to back angel investors in the US through a novel form of online investment, marking the latest opening-up of a market that relied in the past on closed personal networks.

Modernizing our regulatory structure
By Richard H. Neiman and Mark Olson, The Hill
Streamlining America’s financial regulatory architecture was a major missed opportunity in the Dodd-Frank Act. Our existing structure is a patchwork of reactions to past financial crises that date back more than 150 years. Modernizing this patchwork system would improve regulation, enhance financial stability and increase economic growth. Today, we propose a road map for how to achieve these goals.

Bitcoin promoter Shrem indicted in NY for money laundering
By Joseph Ax, Reuters
Prominent bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has been indicted by a federal grand jury in New York on charges of funneling cash to the illicit online marketplace Silk Road.

Traders’ fury at frontloading fiasco
by Farah Khalique, Euromoney FX
Swap traders are furious at what they describe as a “royal regulatory cock up” as frontloading comes to the fore and they struggle to price swaps, while Europe’s financial regulator has yet to announce a solution despite crisis talks earlier this month.


Some Investors Warn: Mandatory U.S. Derivatives Backstop Not Safe Enough
Katy Byrne –
Some large investors are warning that the plumbing touted by regulators as a key safety net for the financial system still isn’t safe enough, a year after it became mandatory in the U.S. to use clearinghouses to backstop certain derivatives.

States say draft EU rules could undermine market benchmarks
Draft EU law to regulate financial instruments could undermine major market benchmarks such as Brent crude unless the same rules apply to non-EU countries, Britain and four other EU nations warned. The Commission, the EU executive, published a draft proposal last year on rules to prevent the rigging of financial benchmarks.

Council Of The European Union Adopts Strengthened Rules On Market Abuse

SIFMA Recommends Full Market Close on April 18 and Early Market Close on April 21 for Trading of US Dollar-Denominated Fixed-Income Securities in Japan in Observance of the Good Friday and UK Easter Monday Holidays, Respectively
SIFMA has confirmed its previous recommendation for a full market closes on Friday, April 18 and an early market close at 3:00pm JST on Monday, April 21 for the trading of US dollar-denominated fixed-income securities in Japan in observance of the Good Friday and Easter Monday Holidays, respectively.

After success on Iran, U.S. Treasury’s sanctions team faces new challenges
By Anna Yukhananov and Warren Strobel, Reuters
This is what the modern American war room looks like: the clocks on the wall show the times in Kabul, Tehran and Bogota. The faces around the conference table are mostly young. There is talk of targets, and of middle-of-the-night calls to Europe.

The First Amendment Lets Companies Keep Quiet About Blood Diamonds
By Matt Levine, Bloomberg
Today a federal court ruled that corporations have a free-speech right, under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, not to tell anyone if they’re financing “war and humanitarian catastrophe” in Congo. So … when you put it like that, it kinda sounds wrong, doesn’t it?

EU clampdown on ‘flash boy’ traders turns technical
By Philip Stafford in London and Alex Barker in Brussels, FT
The battle to rein in high-frequency traders in Europe is about to shift to the arcane world of rule writing, as the EU seeks to give teeth to the world’s toughest clampdown on the sector.

Market macroscopes and microscopes
FOW – Analysis
Supervisory agencies are investing in new surveillance technologies to better manage markets, but a clear picture is years away, says Dan Barnes.

Information Regarding the “Heartbleed” Security Issue
Recent news reports have raised serious concerns about an Internet security vulnerability that is now being commonly called “Heartbleed.” Safeguarding Member data is a top priority at NFA, so we continuously monitor our systems to ensure effective security. NFA has examined its systems and has determined that the NFA website, including the ORS and EasyFile systems, is not vulnerable to the Heartbleed security flaw.

Illegal practice – AMF lays charges against Patrick Massé and Dave Tremblay
AMF Canada
The Autorité des marchés financiers (?AMF?) has launched penal proceedings against Patrick Massé1 and Dave Tremblay2 and has filed five counts of illegal practice as a securities dealer and distribution without a prospectus. If they are found guilty on all counts, the defendants will be liable to a minimum fine of $17,000.

Distribution without prospectus and illegal practice as dealer – Daniel Boivin found guilty
AMF Canad
On January 16, 2014, Judge Serge Cimon of the Court of Québec found Daniel Boivin guilty on seven counts of aiding with a distribution without a prospectus and seven counts of illegal activity as a dealer. On February 14, 2014, he ordered him to pay a fine in the amount of $100,000.

EC tries to close forex loophole in Emir
by Eva Szalay,
European authorities are trying to harmonise the scope of Emir’s reporting rules, which currently allow EU member states to exclude some foreign exchange transactions from the new regime

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

MGEX Reaches Three-Day Streak of Record Open Interest

Another IPO on SIX Swiss Exchange
The successful listing of Bravofly Rumbo Group makes it the second company this year to join the Swiss exchange.

Davy Becomes Largest Shareholder in Ireland’s Stock Exchange
By Joe Brennan, Bloomberg
Davy, Ireland’s largest securities firm, became the largest single shareholder in the country’s stock exchange under a plan that will allow the market’s six members to share a 27.5 million-euro ($38.1 million) windfall.

Irish Stock Exchange goes public
By Vincent Boland in Dublin, FT
It is a case of better late than never for the Irish Stock Exchange. Years after Europe’s exchanges entered a cycle of mergers that has transformed the equity trading landscape, the Dublin exchange has finally woken up.

London Stock Exchange welcomes Cambian Group plc to the Main Market
London Stock Exchange today welcomes Cambian Group plc to the premium listing segment of the Official List on the Main Market. Founded in 2004, Cambian is one of the UK’s leading providers of specialist behavioural health services.

Futures Traders Sue CME Over Real-Time Data
By John Kell, WSJ
Suit Alleges High-Frequency Traders Got Data Ahead of Other Customers
Three futures traders have filed a lawsuit against CME Group Inc. CME +0.45% alleging the exchange operator sold data to high-frequency traders ahead of other participants that also paid to see the data first.

First Year of Operation of UTP Trading System
Warsaw Stock Exchange
The first trading session in the new trading system, the Universal Trading Platform (UTP), took place a year ago on 15 April 2013.
Implementation of UTP was the most important infrastructure project on the Polish capital market in many years.
Since 15 April 2013, Warsaw Stock Exchange operates based on a system which complies with the highest global standards and addresses the growing requirements of market participants while ensuring organisation of trading in line with the global trends. UTP developed by NYSE Technologies is known to international investors and brokers on the world’s biggest market: the same trading platform is used by the exchanges of the NYSE Euronext group in New York, Paris, Lisbon, Amsterdam and Brussels, as well as many other exchange markets.

ASIC disputes ASX rigging claims
Business Spectator
The corporate watchdog has disputed claims the Australian Securities Exchange is rigged in the favour of fund managers, according to The Australian Financial Review.

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Students Compete In Online Macro Trading Competition And Win An Internship At Fortress
Imagine competing in an online trading competition as a student, and winning a summer internship based on the results. That’s exactly what happened to two students, one from Queens University and another from the University of Pennsylvania, who won the Fortress Global Macro University Challenge.

Evanston Capital Management Issues Report on Hedge Fund Replication
Business Wire
White Paper Examines Complexities of Innovative Investment Approach
Evanston Capital Management, LLC, an alternative investment firm, today published a report examining the intricacies of hedge fund replication strategies. The white paper, Hedge Fund Replication: Is It Appropriate For You?, is available at

IMF highlights illiquidity risk in the bond markets
by Peter Lee, Euromoney
The IMF sees a big potential risk to financial market stability in the increasingly dominant role of credit mutual funds and ETFs in the bond markets. These promise daily liquidity. If tapering leads to spiking interest rates and bonds sell-off, these investors could be hit by runs just as damaging as those on a bank and with unknown spill-over effects.

China’s gold market: progress and prospects
World Gold Council
New research examining the factors which have led to China becoming the world’s leading gold nation and what the future holds for Chinese gold demand.

Banks & Brokers

Lloyds FX chief leaves bank: market sources
Lloyds Bank’s (LLOY.L) head of foreign exchange spot trading has left the bank, citing personal reasons unrelated to the investigation into manipulation of the global currency market, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.

Barclays names new head for pay committee after backlash
Barclays (BARC.L) said it will appoint Crawford Gillies as the new head of its remuneration committee, in a move that could take the sting out of criticism from shareholders next week about pay levels at the British bank.

The Next Chapter In The Cloud Brokerage Story – CME Tech Used To Launch An Exchange
By Ben Kepes, Forbes
Whenever an item becomes commonplace (some might use the word “commoditized”) we see marketplaces and brokerages rise up to make money from this commoditization. Cloud computing is an area in which brokerages have been long talked about (ever since vendor Enomaly launched its ultimately ill-fated, but arguably prescient marketplace SpotCloud many years ago). The theory behind these cloud brokers is that they allow the relationship between vendor and customer to be optimized such that better outcomes are delivered for both parties.

Clearing & Settlement

Clearstream strengthens commitment to Asia with settlement link developments in Taiwan
Clearstream works with Taiwanese central securities depository to develop direct settlement link to Taiwanese market as part of Asia strategy / Investor appetite for “Formosa bonds” set to increase / Clearstream’s Berthold Kracke: “Link to Taiwanese market a key milestone”
Clearstream, the financial market infrastructure already active in Asia since 1990, this week reaches a key milestone for developing a direct settlement link to the Taiwanese market. As part of its Asia strategy, Clearstream is working with the Taiwanese central securities depository, the Taiwanese Central Securities Depository (TDCC), to develop a direct settlement link for global investors and issuers to access the Taiwanese international bond market such as the Renminbi-denominated “Formosa bond”.

Eurozone’s first RMB clearing hub in Frankfurt faces London competition
by Garima Chitkara, Euromoney FX
Though Germany lacks sizeable RMB deposits and liquidity, Frankfurt is well-positioned to intermediate trading flows between China and the eurozone, but it lacks London’s financial depth.

Indexes & Products

VIX Signal on Stock Selloff Is Yesterday’s News
By Justin Lahart, WSJ
Investors Looking to the VIX for Clues on Tomorrow’s Market Moves Are Looking the Wrong Way.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, or VIX, is popularly dubbed the “fear gauge.” A better name might be “rear gauge.”


Where Paul Krugman Goes Wrong Over The Value Of High Frequency Trading And Spread Networks
by Tim Worstall, Forbes
Over the weekend Paul Krugman gave us the rather tired story that all of this growth in modern finance hasn’t actually done very much for us average guys in the street. In more detail, that the Spread Networks fibreoptic line from Chicago to New York doesn’t make much economic sense

Bloomberg Integrates SIX Market Data
By Giulia Lasagni,
Bloomberg is integrating SIX Financial Information’s MDFselect real-time data feed to its Bloomberg Platform managed market data distribution service.

SuperDerivatives Adds Icap G7 Data to DGX Store
By Faye Kilburn,
Over-the-counter pricing and risk management software vendor SuperDerivatives is adding real-time market data from interdealer broker Icap to the third-party app store on its DGX market data terminal, to provide customers with an overview of rates the major markets brokered by Icap.

ITG’s Mobile App Measures Trading Costs on the Fly
Ivy Schmerken, Editor at Large, Wall Street & Technology
ITG’s Liquidity Metrics together with the first cost index helps portfolio managers and traders to understand trading costs on a daily basis.

GuavaTech, Inc. Announces NASDAQ OMX NLX Hosting and Connectivity
Herald Online
GuavaTech Inc.’s Industry-Proven Global HFT Network Offers Low Latency Connectivity to More than 100 ECNs, Banks, Liquidity Pools, and International Exchanges

High-Frequency Trading Marks High Water of Financial Corruption
By David Paul, Huffington Post
When a person or firm makes too much money for too long, it turns heads. And so it was with Steven A. Cohen. Year after year, Cohen’s firm, SAC Capital, beat the Street. Big bets, the theory went. Others were not so sure. Big bets generally cut both ways, as many hedge fund managers learned over the years, and even the best in the world, such as John Paulson and Paul Tutor Jones, had their hard times. But such was not the case with Cohen. SAC Capital was the envy of the industry, posting 30 percent annual returns over an 18-year period.


Arcadia in settlement talks in CFTC manipulation case
By Douwe Miedema, Reuters
Arcadia Petroleum and Parnon Energy have entered talks to settle accusations by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that they fixed the physical crude oil market, possibly ending one of its most highly-publicized oil manipulation cases.

DECISION: On April 10, 2014, pursuant to a settlement offer submitted by Southern Trust and Escobio, Southern Trust was ordered not to list Escobio as a principal of Southern Trust for three years from the date of the Decision. In addition, Southern Trust was also ordered not to operate as an IB unless it is guaranteed by an FCM for two years beginning 60 days from the date of the Decision. Finally, Southern Trust and Escobio were ordered to pay a $50,000 fine for which they are jointly and severally liable.

SEC Charges Brokerage Firm Executives in Kickback Scheme to Secure Business of Venezuelan Bank
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced another round of charges in its ongoing case against several individuals involved in a massive kickback scheme to secure the bond trading business of a state-owned Venezuelan bank.

CFTC upping enforcement effort, warns former chief
By Alexander Osipovich,
David Meister, former enforcement chief at the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, speaks exclusively to Alexander Osipovich about market manipulation, high-frequency trading and the value of Dodd-Frank reporting rules for financial watchdogs

Mt. Gox CEO unwilling to travel to US to answer bankruptcy case questions
By Devika Krishna Kumar, Reuters
Mark Karpeles, the founder of Mt. Gox, said he would not come to the United States to answer questions about the Japanese bitcoin exchange’s U.S. bankruptcy case, Mt. Gox lawyers told a federal judge on Monday.

Environmental & Energy

Political Rifts Slow U.S. Effort on Climate Laws
NY Times
Efforts to tackle climate change have repeatedly collided with politics in Washington, where Republicans question the science of global warming, and ties to the fossil fuel industry have made them resistant to change.


China’s foreign exchange reserves near record $4tn
By Josh Noble in Hong Kong, FT
China’s foreign exchange reserves rose to just shy of $4tn in the first quarter of 2014, roughly the same as its entire equity market and confirming the hand of the central bank in the recent weakening of the renminbi.

Chinese companies hoarding gold for collateral
By Neil Hume, Commodities Editor, FT
Chinese companies may have accumulated up to 1,000 tonnes of gold for use as collateral in financing deals rather than to meet consumer demand in recent years, a new study says.

Frontier Markets

Trading volumes surge in government bonds
Business Standard
Attracted by rise in yields since beginning of FY15
Trading volumes in the government securities market has jumped by 200 per cent since the start (from April 1) of the new financial year.

Egyptian Prime Minister Discusses Capital Market Issues with EGX Chairman
The Egyptian Exchange

‘Fit & proper’ criterion doesn’t clash with RBI’s inclusion drive: Jalan
Business Standard
Declines to share his views on whether RBI should allow industrial houses to set up banks in India
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should not compromise on its ‘fit and proper’ criterion while offering new banking licences to promote financial inclusion, said former RBI governor Bimal Jalan.


Guardian, Washington Post win Pulitzers for U.S. spying coverage
By Ellen Wulfhorst, Reuters
The Guardian US and Washington Post were awarded the most prestigious Pulitzer prize on Monday for coverage of secret surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency that sparked wide debate over government spying.

Google to Buy Titan Aerospace as Web Giants Battle for Air Superiority
Internet Giant to Acquire Startup That Was Courted by Facebook
By Alistair Barr and Reed Albergotti, WSJ
Google Inc. on Monday acquired a maker of solar-powered drones—a startup that Facebook Inc. had also considered acquiring—as the technology giants battle to extend their influence and find new users in the far corners of the earth.

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