John Lothian Newsletter: CBOE to Shut Stock-Trading Venue; Business Wire Halts Direct Feeds to High-Speed Traders; Trading Rebates Skew Markets, NYSE and Allies Tell SEC

Feb 21, 2014

First Read

Old School/New School: Mark de Souza says County Cork blends experience with technology
The managed futures space is always producing new managers with new takes on the market.

County Cork LLC, a managed futures firm, is looking to bring experience to its clients with traders in the agriculture and equity markets who’ve seen it all. John Lothian News sat down with Mark de Souza, president of County Cork to talk about what sets the firm apart from other funds at the Emerging Manager Forum in Miami in December. “The uniqueness of what County Cork has brought to the marketplace in terms of those discretionary programs is our managers don’t come from trading backgrounds,” de Souza said. “The come from production backgrounds, hedging backgrounds. They are true industry experts whether its in production, supply chain management, even procurement. They bring a real understanding of supply and demand.”

Watch the video »


CBOE to Shut Stock-Trading Venue
Exchange operator CBOE Holdings Inc. said late Thursday it will shutter its stock-trading venue because the small exchange no longer fits into its strategic business plan.

***** This was the subject of a question that I asked at the Chicago CBOE press lunch in January that nearly got me uninvited for next year’s lunch. Of course their response was humorous and everyone laughed, but I must have touched a nerve.


JPMorgan Dad Starts Biotech in Muscular Dystrophy Quest
Meg Tirrell – Bloomberg
Ilan Ganot, a hedge fund banker at JPMorgan Chase & Co., left his life in finance to create a new business model aimed at developing drugs more quickly. His son’s life may depend on his success.

***** Sometimes it takes time to find one’s purpose in life. But when you do, you can make a big difference. Best of luck to Mr. Ganot.


Finra Wants to Get Too Invasive for Some Members
Matthias Rieker – MoneyBeat – WSJ
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. is used to criticism. Too weak a regulator is the most common scolding, particularly from investor advocates who demand Wall Street’s self-regulator of all things brokerage to be tougher on brokers. But now Finra is being perceived in whole new light by some.

***** They are OK with a policeman on the beat, as long as he is blind.


Mark Cuban to SEC: Go after high-speed trading, not insider trading
Dallas Mavericks owner and prominent investor Mark Cuban is never shy about criticizing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and its failure to prevail in its high-profile insider-trading case against him last fall.

***** Please go after something other than me.


With Ban on Ads Removed, Hedge Funds Test Waters
It looks like the kind of motivational poster on a college student’s dorm room wall. Snowboarders stand at the peak of a steep mountain, reveling in victory, with the tag line, “Performing in all conditions.”

***** This is a good idea, but I am not sure I am ready for these first efforts.


OptionsCity Metro wins “Best Options Trading Platform” award
OptionsCity Software, Inc. today announced that its flagship trading and market making platform, Metro, has been named “Best Options Trading Platform – Client Service” by Wall Street Letter in the 2013 Institutional Trading Awards. This marks the second consecutive win for Metro in the options trading category.

***** And for a small price they can buy a table at the awards dinner.



MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Richard L. Sandor

MarketsWiki Recent Updates


Aric Forsythe; Peter Korotkiy; Hemant Vastani; Richard Sandor

Companies, Organizations and Groups

European Energy Exchange AG; OCC; Credit Suisse Group; Multi Commodity Exchange of India; JPMorgan Chase & Co.


CME Group stock index products; CBOE Short-term Volatility Index Futures


2007 mortgage meltdown


47,157,987 pages viewed, 7,819 articles, 179,565 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

Business Wire Halts Direct Feeds to High-Speed Traders
Noah Buhayar and Sam Mamudi – Bloomberg
Business Wire, the distributor of press releases owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), will stop letting high-speed trading firms purchase direct access to its service.

***** Don’t worry, there are competitors willing and able to replace them.

Trading Rebates Skew Markets, NYSE and Allies Tell SEC
Dave Michaels – Bloomberg
The New York Stock Exchange and a group of money managers are lobbying U.S. securities regulators to abolish the practice of paying rebates to large brokers to attract trades to stock exchanges and other trading platforms, according to three people familiar with the matter.

***** A 1 bid is not a 1 bid.

Stephen Luparello Named as Director of SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it has named Stephen Luparello as director of its Division of Trading and Markets. Mr. Luparello comes to the SEC from the law firm of WilmerHale, where he has been a partner in its Washington, D.C. office, specializing in broker-dealer compliance and regulation, securities litigation, and enforcement.

Deutsche Börse seeks to open Singapore clearing house
Philip Stafford in London –
Deutsche Börse, the German exchanges operator, is in talks about opening a clearing house in Singapore, deepening its strategic push into Asia to take on its US rivals.

Cleared US dollar swap volumes drop 80% on first day of Sef regime
Peter Madigan –
Interest rate swap trading volumes fell more than 80% on the first day of mandatory trading on swap execution facilities (Sefs) in the US, according to data collected by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association. Dealers believe many firms avoided trading while the untested regime beds down.

Estonia kicks off haggling over European transaction tax
Estonia has called for pension funds to be exempt from a planned tax on transactions in 11 European countries, piling pressure on France and Germany who want a deal on the levy within weeks.


Division of Trading And Markets Acting Director John Ramsay to Leave SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that John Ramsay, acting director of the Division of Trading and Markets, will leave the agency next month after three and a half years of leadership and service. Mr. Ramsay, who was appointed deputy director of the division in September 2010 and has served as acting director since December 2012, plans to return to the private sector.

SEC Names Sharon Binger as Director of Philadelphia Regional Office
The Securities and Exchange Commission today named Sharon B. Binger as director of the Philadelphia Regional Office, where she will oversee enforcement and examinations in the Mid-Atlantic region. Ms. Binger joined the SEC’s Enforcement Division in 2008 has been an assistant regional director in the New York office since 2011.

SEC Announces Initiative Directed at Never-Before Examined Registered Investment Advisers
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that its Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations is launching an initiative directed at investment advisers that have never been examined, focusing on those that have been registered with the SEC for three or more years. OCIE previously announced that examining these advisers is a priority in 2014.

CFTC Staff Issues No-Action Letter for Southwest Power Pool
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC or Commission) Divisions of Clearing and Risk, Market Oversight, and Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (Divisions) today issued a time-limited no-action letter to Southwest Power Pool.

Canadian Securities Regulators’ 2013 Enforcement Report highlights advanced technologies to combat illegal activities

UK’s Financial Conduct Authority Statement: Reminder To Investors With Investments Linked To Bernard Madoff That The Deadline For Submitting Compensation Claims Is 28 February 2014

New York Attorney General Schneiderman Applauds Decision By Business Wire To Prohibit High-Frequency Traders From Purchasing Direct News Feed
Decision Helps Curb Unfair Practices By High-Frequency Traders, Part Of Attorney General’s Effort To Combat “Insider Trading 2.0” – Schneiderman: Insider Trading 2.0 Erodes Confidence In The Markets And Unfairly Disadvantages Other Investors

Statement On Court Filing By SEC To Protect Whistleblowers From Retaliation

ESMA Sets Out CRA Supervision Focus For 2014

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

ISE and ISE Gemini Enhance Risk Management with Market-Wide Speed Bump
The International Securities Exchange Holdings, Inc. today announced that its exchanges ISE and ISE GeminiTM have enhanced their risk management capabilities for market makers by implementing a Market Wide Speed Bump. The Market Wide Speed Bump improves risk management by limiting a market maker’s total exposure across a market.

Eurex: Further MSCI Futures Available For U.S. Based Customers – CFTC Certified A Further 11 MSCI Futures Contracts For Trading In The U.S.
The international derivatives market Eurex Exchange has been informed by the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission that an additional 11 MSCI futures fall under the scope of the ‘no-action’ letter and can be marketed in the U.S. This brings the total number of MSCI futures contracts listed on Eurex which are now available to U.S. investors to 15.

TMX Group Readies Launch Of TMX Quantum XA On Toronto Stock Exchange
TMX Group today announced that it has reached a major milestone in the phased launch of its new high performance trading engine, TMX Quantum XA

BME’s Net Profit In 4Q2013 Reached EUR38 Mm, Up 25% From 4Q2012 – The Net Profit In 2013 Reached EUR143 Million, Up 5.7% Year On Year

Consolidated results of the WSE Group in 2013

Crossject celebrates successful listing on Alternext

NZX Full Year 2013 Results Announcement

TSX Markets: Top 20 Largest Consolidated Short Position Report – February 15, 2014

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Fidelity Names New Asset Management Chief
Everdeen Mason – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Fund-manager Fidelity Investments on Thursday named Charles Morrison as president of asset management, replacing Ron O’Hanley, who is planning to leave the firm at the end of this month.

Launching Pad Full for Big New Funds
Rob Copeland and Juliet Chung – MoneyBeat – WSJ
A deep bench in hedge funds is heading into the starting lineup. Besides the big names mentioned in Thursday’s story on hedge fund mega-launches, former Ziff Brothers Investments managing director Ryan Pedlow is expected to match or even exceed his former colleague Yen Liow’s $1 billion fundraising, bankers and investors said.

Emerging fund outflows ease, equities suffer 17th week of losses
Outflows from emerging bond and equity funds eased slightly in the past week to just under $3 billion, though equity investors pulled out cash for a record 17th straight week, banks said on Friday, citing data from EPFR Global.

Cargill loses $100 mln in U.S. winter energy trade -SparkSpread
Global commodities trader Cargill Inc lost at least $100 million after a weeks-long bout of frigid weather in the United States sharply lifted power and natural gas prices, an industry publication reported on Thursday.

Bill Ackman’s Biggest Winners and Losers
Stephen Grocer – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Bill Ackman has had more winners than losers in his career, but for now, Herbalife is squarely in the loser category.

Morningstar Plots Brilliant Australasia CEO Path
Chicago-based data and investment research provider Morningstar has appointed Heather Brilliant and Mark Roomans-currently global director of equity and corporate credit research, and chief operating officer of Morningstar Europe, respectively-as co-chief executives of Morningstar Australasia in Sydney

KKR Looks to Fill India’s Credit Needs
With India’s economy downshifting and credit hard to come by as the country’s big banks struggle with bad loans, companies are scrambling for funding. For KKR & Co. co-founder Henry Kravis, that means opportunity.

Franklin Templeton’s Ukraine bond bet in the red
David Oakley, James Mackintosh and Delphine Strauss –
Franklin Templeton, the global fund management group, has suffered losses on multibillion dollar positions in Ukrainian debt. Ukrainian bond yields, which have an inverse relationship with prices, have risen sharply in response to instability in the country as concerns have mounted that it is heading for civil war.

CalPERS Names Dan Bienvenue Senior Investment Officer For Global Equity
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has named Dan Bienvenue the Senior Investment Officer (SIO) for Global Equity, effective immediately. Bienvenue had been serving as the Acting SIO for Global Equity since June 2013 after Eric Baggesen took another leadership position within the CalPERS Investment Office.

Banks & Brokers

Swedish banks light the low-growth way with high returns
Swedish banks are pulling ahead of the pack in Europe, showing their peers it is possible to stay on top of regulatory demands to hold more capital while rewarding shareholders with a focus on profitability rather than growth.

Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Poised for Another Windfall on Energy Future Holdings
MoneyBeat – WSJ
In Las Vegas, the house always wins. In Energy Future Holdings, it seems the banks always win.

Deal with activists lets JPMorgan avoid battle over chairman
A deal with shareholder activists outlined by JPMorgan Chase & Co on Thursday will allow the bank to avoid another battle at its spring shareholder meeting over whether the firm should have an independent chairman.

RBS to retrench in investment banking, cut 30,000 jobs: FT
Royal Bank of Scotland is expected to announce its withdrawal from many investment banking activities as well as much of its international business in a move that is expected to reduce staff numbers by at least 30,000 over the next three to five years, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

BofA CEO’s $14M Pay Day Can’t Keep Up With Jamie Dimon’s $20M
What’s a banker got to do to get a big raise around here? You could ask Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan who saw a 17% increase in his annual pay after giving shareholders one of the best years since the financial crisis. There was no cash bonus but Moynihan’s salary and stock-based compensation did see a nice jump.

Madoff said JPMorgan executives knew of his fraud: lawsuit
Two senior officials at JPMorgan Chase & Co and predecessor companies repeatedly confronted Bernard Madoff over irregularities in his business, a new lawsuit said, suggesting that bank leaders had “direct knowledge” of his Ponzi scheme.

Wanted: 100 mln euros for new Irish bank
Wanted – investors willing to pump 100 million euros into a new European bank that picked Ireland as its first market. Strategic partners only, hedge funds, private equity and institutions need not apply.

Sallie Mae Notes ‘Significant’ Increase in Regulatory Inquiries
Federal and state officials are ramping up their probe of SLM Corp. amid a broader industry review of student-lending practices by regulators.

Clearing & Settlement

Hopes grow that US CCPs will get green light from EC
Lukas Becker –
Banks and central counterparties (CCP) are increasingly hopeful the European Commission will overlook differences in transatlantic clearing house rules and decide the US regime is equivalent to that in Europe – a step that would remove the threat of European banks giving up their membership of US CCPs.

Indexes & Products

A Debate Brews as ETFs Gain on Index Mutual Funds
Murray Coleman – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Investors like to argue about which is better, so-called “passively” managed funds or “actively” managed ones. But among indexing enthusiasts, an even bigger debate might be brewing.

State Street Launches European Online ETF Platform
Marina Daras – WatersTechnology
State Street Global Exchange has announced the launch of FundConnect, an online trading platform for Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) designed to enhance the speed and efficiency in European ETF order-taking process.

ETFs Gain Ground on Index Mutual Funds
Ron Vinder used to buy funds run by star managers who seemed to have the Midas touch in picking stocks. After 2008’s global financial crisis, the New York-based financial adviser decided to make a change.

Change To The Impact Of Corporate Action Of Vodafone Group Plc On NASDAQ OMX Indexes

S&P Dow Jones Indices Announces Changes To The S&P/TSX Canadian Indices – A Deletion From The S&P/TSX Venture Composite And Venture Select Indices


Lucera Launches On-Demand Infrastructure For Global Electronic Trading
High-Performance Platform Offers Unparalleled Flexibility To Dramatically Reduce Infrastructure Cost, Speed Time To Market And Unlock New Revenue Sources


CFTC Revokes Registrations of Colorado-Based Forex Company, Veruus Wealth Management, LLC
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that the CFTC has revoked the Commodity Pool Operator (CPO) and Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA) registrations of Veruus Wealth Management, LLC (Veruus), a Colorado limited liability company located in Denver, Colorado.

CFTC Revokes Registrations of Oregon Resident Joshua W. Wallace and His Company, System Capital, LLC
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced the revocation of the registrations of Joshua W. Wallace, a resident of Oregon, and his Oregon-based company, System Capital, LLC (System Capital). System Capital was registered with the CFTC as a Commodity Trading Advisor and Wallace was registered as an Associated Person of System Capital. Wallace is the sole principal and president of System Capital.

CFTC Seeks to Revoke Registration of Introducing Broker iFinix Futures, Inc.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today filed a Notice of Intent (Notice) to revoke the registration of iFinix Futures, Inc. (iFinix), a registered independent Introducing Broker based in Plainview, New York. iFinix has also done business under the name Pro-Active Futures.

CFTC Seeks to Revoke the Registrations of Abdul Sultan Walji and His Company, Arista LLC, Based on Court’s Permanent Injunction Order Prohibiting Them from Committing Fraud and on Walji’s Conviction for Criminal Commodities Fraud
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today filed a Notice of Intent (Notice) to revoke the registrations of Arista LLC (Arista), a registered Commodity Pool Operator with its principal place of business in Newport Coast, California, and its registered Associated Person, Abdul Sultan Walji (a/k/a Abdul Sultan Valji) of San Juan Capistrano, California.

SEC Charges Three California Residents Behind Movie Investment Scam
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged three California residents with defrauding investors in a purported multi-million dollar movie project that would supposedly star well-known actors and generate exorbitant investment returns.

Bond executive cross-examined over ex-Jefferies banker’s trades
A lawyer for Jesse Litvak, on trial on charges he defrauded clients and the United States on bond trades, on Thursday tried to discredit one of the government’s main witnesses against the former Jefferies Group Inc banker.

U.S. judge asks if Goldman can cover ex-trader Tourre’s penalties
A U.S. judge on Thursday weighed the limits of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s ability to punish former Goldman Sachs Group Inc trader Fabrice Tourre, including whether the agency could block him from asking the bank to cover any penalties.

[AMF Canada] Martin Couture 1 to pay $7,500 administrative penalty

[AMF Canada] Administrative penalties imposed on Windermere and its compliance officer

Environmental & Energy

US hedge fund investor to put $100 mln into climate change fight
A California hedge fund investor has pledged $100 million in contributions to pro-environmentalist congressional campaigns, bolstering the battle against climate change.

Nebraska ruling could grant Obama breathing space on Keystone
A Nebraska judge’s ruling on the Keystone XL pipeline could let President Barack Obama delay his final decision on the project until after mid-term elections and avoid political damage, analysts say.

TransCanada Confident of Keystone Pipeline Plan
The Wall Street Journal
TransCanada Corp.CEO Russ Girling said Thursday a potential setback dealt by a Nebraska court to its proposed Keystone XL pipeline is disappointing, but he called the ruling a “solvable problem” that won’t deter the company from pursuing the controversial project.


SGX and SIM University partner on investor education
Singapore Exchange (SGX) is collaborating with SIM University (UniSIM) to develop and provide investor education to the public. The initiative is also part of UniSIM’s ongoing Continuing Education and Training programme to make university-level education accessible, particularly for working adults wishing to better themselves in work-related competencies.

Tokyo Stock Exchange Will Conduct An Online Seminar On Japanese Stock Options – A Growing Market Sector
The TSE is teaming up with Interactive Brokers for an online seminar on Japanese single stock options! Join the TSE on March 13th at 6:00 p.m. Japan Standard Time for this FREE broadcast.

Japan’s Securities And Exchange Surveillance Commission Annual Report 2012/2013

SGX Lists Capitamall Trust’s Seven-Year Retail Bonds

HKEx Publishes Results Of Stock Exchange Review Of Listed Issuers’ Financial Reports

Frontier Markets

Emerging markets can learn from America’s bank stress tests
Gillian Tett –
Five years ago next Tuesday, an embattled US Treasury announced that it would conduct “stress tests” of America’s largest banks. The idea was to reassure the markets of the stability of solvent institutions, and force weaker ones to repair their balance sheets.

Investments in Brazil Rose Last Year, Study Says
Despite its economic woes, Brazil experienced an increase in private equity and venture capital investments in 2013 over the year before, the Latin American Private Equity and Venture Capital Association said on Thursday, in presenting its annual survey.

Russia says better positioned than peers to deal with U.S. policy impact
Russia may see a balanced budget this year, which puts the country in a better position than other emerging markets to fend off the impact of the U.S. decision to curb its monetary stimulus, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Friday.

MCX Weekly Market Report – February 14, 2014 – February 21, 2014

Malawi Stock Exchange Weekly Trading Report -21st February, 2014


Former Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit Launching New Consulting Firm
Less than two years after he was ousted as chief executive of Citigroup Inc., Vikram Pandit is collaborating with the co-author of the popular “Freakonomics” book series to launch a new consulting business aimed at helping companies improve their cultures and use of technology.

John Lothian Newsletter

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Past JLN Newsletters

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