First Read

Come Hither Sweet Florida
John Lothian
The John Lothian News team will be in Boca Raton, Florida next week in force for the Futures Industry Association’s International Conference. Besides yours truly, Jim Kharouf, Doug Ashburn, Patrick Lothian and RJ Roxas will be in attendance.

Speaking or RJ, he has been promoted to Editor/Producer at John Lothian News. Previously he had some title like Video Production Assistant or something like that. He heads up our editorial video production efforts, while Patrick Lothian concentrates mostly on work for John Lothian Productions. RJ is also taking on the role of social media coordination for MarketsWiki Education.

While the team will head back to the cold, cold midwest at the end of the week, I will be staying in Florida to visit some relatives and then attend the CBOE’s Risk Management Conference the next week across alligator alley in Ft. Meyers, FL at the beginning of the next week.

While we are in Boca Raton, we will be working on a new video series about the global competitive landscape in the exchange and trading place.

While the team is headed to Florida, Jeff Bergstrom and Sarah Rudolph will be editing this newsletter, as Jon Matte is taking the day off for personal reasons. Jeff will have the challenge of editing four newsletters in a single day; JLN, JLN Financial, JLN Options and JLN Environmental/Energy. This will tie a record set by Jim Kharouf who also once edited four newsletters in a day. Good luck Jeff.

Also, this week the uber-talented Doug Ashburn taught a Series 3 class in Chicago for the Institute for Financial Markets. This was the first time Doug had taught class for The IFM and I am looking forward to hearing how it went.

Lastly, it will be nice to be in Florida, away from the cold of this very long and snowy winter.


Swaps Revolution Falling Flat as Brokers Keep Grip on New Market
Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
Meet the new swaps market. Same as the old swaps market. U.S. lawmakers and regulators sought to transform the $693 trillion over-the-counter derivatives market by bringing transparency and competition to a historically private part of the financial industry that worsened the 2008 credit crisis. Two weeks after the regulatory shift related to the Dodd-Frank Act took effect, there’s been little change — and little indication that it’s coming.

***** Rome was not built in a week, and the plans for it were not 2300 pages long.


Massad to Push for “Strong Enforcement” of CFTC Rules
Scott Patterson –
President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will pledge to aggressively enforce rules against misconduct and beef up oversight of derivatives markets in a Senate hearing Thursday.

***** Sounds like the incoming chairman has the same “fine” DNA that Chairman Gensler had.

***DA: The Senate Ag Committee is meeting this morning to consider the nominations of Tim Massad, Sharon Bowen and Chris Giancarlo for the three open spots on the CFTC. We may actually have a fully empaneled commission soon.


JLN/MarketsWiki 2014 Annual Survey – Please Give us 30 Seconds of Your Time
John Lothian News
You still have time to fill out our quick demographic survey and get in the running for your choice of an iPad Mini or a pair of Bose Quiet Comfort Noise-Canceling Headphones. The cost is a mere 30 seconds of your time. Answers will be kept confidential.

***** We really, really want you to fill out this 30 second survey. Our sponsors regularly are asking for this information and we need it updated. So thank you in advance for filling it out. Oh, and you could win a cool prize for participating.


After a Dazzling Early Career, a Star Trader Settles Down
When Paul Tudor Jones II began his career as a Wall Street trader in the 1980s, some colleagues spoke admiringly of his ability to “shoot the lights out” by scoring huge profits on big market swings. Lately, however, people are just as likely to talk about the dazzling four-and-a-half-minute Christmas light show at Mr. Jones’s 13,000-square-foot mansion in Greenwich, Conn., as they are about his big market scores.

***** We all get more conservative as we get older as we have something to conserve.


Picking Up the Pace at the S.E.C.
In an important speech on Feb. 21, Kara Stein, a commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission since August 2013, laid out a powerful vision for how regulation should operate in the United States. She put much more focus on reducing unacceptable systemic risks and on cooperation between the S.E.C. and other relevant agencies.

***** I love the part about cooperation with other “relevant” agencies.


The Relentless Bid, Explained
Joshua M Brown | The Reformed Broker
You hear it all the time these days – “There is a relentless bid underneath this market just waiting to buy every single dip…” and you can’t really argue with the statement itself. The dips have become shallower and the buyers have rushed in more quickly each time. Sell-offs took months to play out during 2011 – think of the April-October peak-to-trough 21% decline for the S&P. In 2012, these bouts of selling ran their course in just a few weeks, in 2013 a few days and, thus far in 2014, just a few hours. It’s rather extraordinary. I’ve been thinking about the reasons why for a long time now and I believe I’ve got the answer – my unified theory of everything, so to speak.

***** In a bull market, you buy the dips. In a bear market, you sell the rallies. In a bull market, you buy the dips. We are in a bull market.


Cinnober launches cross-asset client clearing system for banks
Cinnober today announced the launch of a system for businesses offering client clearing services, such as investment banks and FCMs. The new system TRADExpress Client Clearing addresses the challenges faced by the clearing industry as it is heavily impacted by regulatory reforms following the G20 mandate for central clearing of OTC derivatives, as well as Basel III.

***** If you want some great legacy technology, don’t go to Cinnober. They only have great new technology. They are funny that way.


ICE plans additional guidance on Liffe coffee, cocoa rules
The IntercontinentalExchange plans to introduce additional guidance on the management of positions on the Liffe cocoa and coffee markets from the September contracts onward, the exchange said on its website.

***** ICE is the barista of the futures markets.


Barchart Launches Equity Option Center and Adds Naked Puts and Credit Spreads to its Advanced Option Screener, Inc., a leading provider of market data and information, today announced the release of its equity option center on its flagship website, as well as a major upgrade to its covered call screener, with the addition of naked puts, credit spreads, and intraday updates.

***** I can’t even imagine how many servers Barchart has to manage all this data.



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Lead Stories

CBOE toughens trader rules, following SEC fine last year
CBOE Holdings Inc, which was fined $6 million last year for failing to properly police its own marketplace, will implement tighter rules for traders to help prevent fraud, according to a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

Australian exchange appeals to queue-weary Chinese companies
Jamie Smyth in Sydney –
Australia’s first stock exchange specifically targeting Chinese listings began trading on Thursday, raising A$8m for two mainland companies and making a sales pitch to others eager to escape listing delays that are affecting the Shenzhen and Shanghai bourses.

ISDA stymied over derivatives contracts rewrite
Philip Stafford –
A global regulatory initiative to rewrite the way derivatives contracts work in a default may be slowed amid concerns that parts of the industry will not sign up to the changes.

NASDAQ Private Market Launches New Marketplace For Private Companies
The NASDAQ Private Market, LLC announced today the launch of its new capital marketplace for private companies. Built as a company-first platform on industry-leading technology, NASDAQ Private Market will provide qualifying private companies the tools and resources to efficiently raise capital, control secondary transactions, and manage their equity-related functions.

Stockbrokers Fail to Disclose Red Flags
In less than two years, stockbroker Marcos D. Leiva racked up a personal bankruptcy, a tax lien, a court judgment for unpaid debt and a criminal guilty plea relating to a false report to law enforcement. Each should have been promptly disclosed to investors. None was.

Forex scandal puts London’s reputation on the line
Daniel Schäfer and Sam Fleming –
The possible involvement of Britain’s central bank in a global scandal over alleged foreign exchange rate manipulation risks tarnishing London’s international reputation again, undermining City attempts to fight tighter European regulation.

S&P, ABN Amro trade blame for sale of toxic debt to councils
LEO SHANAHAN | The Australian
THE appeal against a landmark post-financial crisis decision has turned into a blame game between ratings agency Standard & Poor’s, ABN Amro and the financial institution that sold the toxic financial products.

Market hits back at Hong Kong plans to bar retail access to dark pools
Justin Lee –
The suggestion by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) that it might limit access to alternative liquidity, or dark pools, to institutional investors only has been criticised by market participants in Hong Kong who say that a greater diversity of investors aids price discovery.

Ex-Trader Kerviel Takes the Long Way Home
Pilgrimage of penance — or Hail Mary publicity stunt? After 10 days, his feet are already bloodied and blistered. But Jérôme Kerviel, the former derivatives trader convicted of causing billions of euros in losses at the French bank Société Générale, is determined to push on with a 900-mile march through Italy and France to protest the “tyranny” of the financial markets he sought to manipulate more than six years ago.


CFTC, FERC Implement Information Sharing MOU
Commodity Futures Trading Commission Acting Chairman Mark Wetjen and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Acting Chairman Cheryl LaFleur today announced the initial transmission of market data under the recently-adopted CFTC-FERC Memorandum of Understanding for use in analyzing market activities and protecting market integrity.

CFTC Staff to Host Public Roundtable to Discuss Dodd-Frank End-User Issues
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that CFTC staff will hold a public roundtable on April 3, 2014 to discuss issues concerning end-users and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank). The CFTC has received a number of comments and requests for clarification from commercial end-users that have been impacted by Dodd-Frank.

In Banking Overhaul Fight, a Ruckus Over an Obscure Product
First, there was the TruPs crisis, as everyone surely recalls. No? Well, after the Volcker Rule was completed, some banks suddenly realized that they might have to sell some obscure holdings to conform to the rule — bundles of investments in banks, called trust-preferred securities, or TruPs.

***DA: Everything you ever wanted to know about TruPS in MarketsReformWiki

Justices May Limit Securities Fraud Suits
The Supreme Court on Wednesday seemed ready to impose new limits on securities fraud suits that would make it harder for investors to band together to pursue claims that they were misled when they bought or sold securities. But the justices did not seem inclined to issue a ruling that would put an end to most such suits.

US Agencies Issue Final Dodd-Frank Act Stress Test Guidance For Medium-Sized Firms
Three federal bank regulatory agencies are issuing final guidance describing supervisory expectations for stress tests conducted by financial companies with total consolidated assets between $10 billion and $50 billion.

CFTC Acting Chairman Wetjen To Testify Before The U.S. House Of Representatives Committee On Appropriations Subcommittee On The Agency’s 2015 Budget Request

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

APG connects to BondMatch through KBL epb
Euronext, a wholly owned subsidiary of IntercontinentalExchange Group, today announced that starting on 3 March 2014, APG, the largest pension fund Asset Manager in the Netherlands, is the first Dutch institutional investor to operate as an intermediated participant on BondMatch. APG has selected KBL European Private Bankers, one of Europe’s leading private banking groups, to serve as its market-member intermediary for order execution.

HKEx Monthly Market Highlights – February 2014

HKEx On-Floor & Off-Floor Trading Statistics

Oslo Børs: Continuing Growth In The Bond Market

TMX Group Consolidated Trading Statistics – February 2014

Ljubljana Stock Exchange: Monthly Statistical Report For February 2014

Direct Edge Trading Notice #14-09: Regulatory Transaction Fee Rate Adjustment Per SEC Section 31 Rate Change Effective Tuesday, March 18, 2014

TSX Markets Top 20 Largest Consolidated Short Position Report – February 28, 2014

SIX Exchange Regulation Media Release: Investigation against ams AG

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

KKR Bulks Up Asian Energy, Infrastructure Team
Robb M. Stewart – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Private equity firm KKR & Co. has expanded its Asian energy and infrastructure team with the redeployment of a U.S. director and the appointment of the former managing director of EIG Global Energy Partners in Australia.

Blackrock’s Fink Ponders Ageing Population and Pension Needs
Mark Cobley – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Larry Fink, founder and chief executive of BlackRock, the biggest asset management firm in the world, is worried about longevity. While the fact that we are all living longer is considered an unalloyed positive, Mr. Fink is concerned we have not fully adjusted to the effects on our economy – and on our personal finances.

Norway’s Smaller Pension Fund Also Impresses
Kjetil Malkenes Hovland – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Less than a week after the far-better-known Norwegian oil fund reported having its second-best returns in its history, Norway’s smaller government pension fund said it also had a banner year, returning 15.7% on a far better fixed-income performance than the oil fund.

K.K.R. Raises $2 Billion Energy Fund
The private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is making a bigger push into the North American energy business, with a fresh $2 billion fund to invest in oil and gas assets.

Quant Hiring Grows on Buy-Side Trading Desks
Ivy Schmerken – Wall Street & Technology
Large traditional asset management firms are seeking to hire quantitative professionals to tackle data intensive analysis of trading costs, venues and alpha modeling, according to Tabb Group’s report.

Banks & Brokers

Barclays Chief Defends Contentious Increase in Bonus Pay
Barclays’ chief executive, Antony Jenkins, told the Telegraph newspaper in Britain that he decided to increase bankers’ pay last year in spite of falling profits to avoid a “death spiral” in the investment bank unit, where the rate of attrition among senior bankers last year doubled.

Compliance chief quits Deutsche Bank after watchdog pressure
Deutsche Bank’s global head of compliance, Andrew Procter, will leave to work for law firm Herbert Smith Freehills after German regulator Bafin put pressure on the bank to make changes in senior personnel.

Scottish ‘Yes’ vote could force banks south
Martin Arnold, Banking Editor –
Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group may have little choice about where they are registered if Scotland becomes independent thanks to a two decades-old European Union law that would force them to move from Edinburgh to London.

JP Morgan relocates European electronic head Ed Duggan to Asia
Tim Cave – Financial News
JP Morgan is to relocate a senior European executive to Hong Kong as part of efforts to strengthen its electronic trading business in Asia Pacific, Financial News has learned.

ABN Amro Launches AMG Global Platform
ABN Amro Clearing, part of ABN Amro Bank, has announced the launch of its global execution platform, ABN Amro Market Gateway Global (AMG Global), providing clients with seamless routing capabilities between Asia, the US and Europe via a single FIX connection.

Clearing & Settlement

Clearstream To Roll Out The Bilateral Collateral Management Service OTC Collateral
OTC Collateral Will Strengthen The Over-The-Counter Processing Capabilities Of The Global Liquidity Hub – All Bilateral Collateral Management Activities Are In Scope Such As Cleared And Uncleared Derivatives, Bilateral Repo, Securities Lending And Dedicated Collateral Agreements

Daniel Maguire Appointed Global Head of SwapClear
LCH.Clearnet Group today announced that Daniel Maguire has been appointed Global Head of SwapClear, LCH.Clearnet’s global interest rate swap clearing business. Daniel replaces Michael Davie, who will focus on his role as CEO of LCH.Clearnet Ltd. Daniel Maguire will report to Michael Davie and join LCH.Clearnet Group’s Executive Committee.

EU banks fear capital hit from CCP approval delays
Lukas Becker –
For banks to apply a 2% risk-weight, non-EU CCPs must be approved by Esma and their home-country rules by the EC. That process has to be complete by June 15 but banks now fear that will not happen in some cases

CME Group New Product Advisory: 2 Year, 5 Year, and 10 Year Euro Deliverable Interest Rate Swap Future

Indexes & Products

Round-the-Clock Ukraine Twists Spur Russia ETF Trading
Lyubov Pronina and Maria Levitov – Bloomberg
Overseas trading of Russian stocks is soaring as investors react to the twists and turns of the military standoff in Ukraine long after the Moscow bourse has closed for the day.

Money Pours Into Health-Care ETFs Spurred by New Drugs
Drew Armstrong and Lu Wang – Bloomberg
Money is flooding into exchange-traded funds focused on health care at the fastest rate in at least six years, driven by booming biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors bringing new products to market.

SGX: No Changes To Straits Times Index (STI) After Quarterly Review

Deutsche Börse: Changes To SDAX And TecDAX – Changes Are Effective On 24 March 2014

Euronext Launches PEA PME Family Of Indices
New CAC PME Index – More Indices To Be Added In 2014

[Euronext] The Expert Indices Committee


Scivantage Appeals to Next Gen Investors with New Platform
Becca Lipman – Wall Street & Technology
Generation X and Y investors are pushing for bar on traditional brokerage offerings by demanding the best tools, savvy interfaces and intuitive workflows for their online investment experience.

Corvil Unveils Industry Alliance To Drive Innovation In Real-Time Analytics From Data Streaming Over The Network
World’s Leading Networking Companies Join The Alliance And Demonstrate Integration With Corvil

BT Launches New Voice Solution Tailored To The Financial Services Market
BT Radianz Cloud Expands To Offer Cost Savings On Voice Solutions For Leading Banks, Brokers, Exchanges And Clearing Firms


SEC Halts International Pyramid Scheme Being Promoted Through Facebook and Twitter
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an emergency enforcement action to stop a fraudulent pyramid scheme by phony companies masquerading as a legitimate international investment firm.

SEC orders New York firm to pay record $7.2 million sanction
A New York proprietary trading firm and its owner will pay $7.2 million to settle civil charges in what U.S. regulators said on Wednesday marks the largest sanction they have ever imposed for certain short-selling violations.

Bitcoin’s Shrem Defends Himself in Public Appearance
Paul Vigna – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Charlie Shrem may be under house arrest in New York, but he still managed to address a group of the bitcoin faithful in Texas.

Frauds or fibs? Ex-Jefferies trader’s fraud case goes to jury
Prosecutors said greed motivated former Jefferies Group Inc trader Jesse Litvak to defraud the government on mortgage securities, while defense lawyers said their client’s “fibs” were perfectly acceptable, during closing arguments at a closely-watched trial on Wednesday.

Criminal Charges Expected for 3 Former Dewey & LeBoeuf Executives
Three former top executives of Dewey & LeBoeuf, the giant law firm that filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012, are expected to be charged on Thursday with misleading other lawyers and lenders about the financial health of the firm.

Convicted SAC Trader Loses His Business School Degree
Mathew Martoma, the former SAC Capital Advisors trader convicted of insider trading in February, can no longer say he has a degree from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority Contributory Mortgage Broker Pleads Guilty

Environmental & Energy

UN climate change talks: pressure is on to reach legally-binding, global agreement
Katie Kouchakji – International Bar Association
When climate change negotiators from more than 190 countries gather in Bonn, Germany on 10 March, the pressure will be on: time is running out to meet a deadline to complete a draft negotiating text by December 2014. The deadline has been set to allow a few more months of negotiation in early 2015, before finalising the text by mid-year. This timeframe is in line with the rules of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which stipulate that any protocols must be communicated to all parties six months before a planned Conference of the Parties (COP) to adopt it.

**JK – Recycle Copenhagen, Bali, Rio, Cancun, stories here.

European Union Carbon Trading Fix Goes Into Effect News
Next week, the EU’s fix to its flagging cap-and-trade program finally goes into effect.
For years, the European Union’s Emissions Trading System (cap-and-trade) has been under attack because the supply versus demand for pollution permits was so out of whack.

PEGAS: February Volumes Increase By 92 Percent Year-On-Year


After buying up the world’s commodities, China gears up to trade more of them
The Hong Kong Exchange is moving into commodity trading this year to cater to the changing needs of “China Inc.,” the bourse’s exuberant chief executive Charles Li told analysts and reporters in Hong Kong on March 4. “China’s commodity business needs to internationalize and we’ll be here,” he said, with “new products, new members and new partners,” including potential tie-ups with the mainland’s fast-growing commodity trading platforms.

Japan’s GPIF pension fund needn’t cling to JGBs, govt panel says
Japan’s $1.26-trillion public pension fund need not cling to the safety and paltry yields of government bonds, advisers to the fund said on Thursday, in another sign that it will shift more money into stocks and other risky assets.

Asia’s currency rollercoaster creates winners and losers
Josh Noble in Hong Kong –
Central bank policies in the US and Japan have buffeted Asian currencies in the past 12 months, sending the Indian rupee down 15 per cent, the yen 10 per cent lower and wiping a fifth off the value of the Indonesian rupiah. But they have also created some unlikely winners and losers, from Mickey Mouse to pickled cabbage.

HKEx securities market survey finds more online trading by retail investors
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited released today the findings from its Cash Market Transaction Survey 2012/13, showing year-on-year increases in the value of all types of trading in its securities market and a five percentage point increase in retail investors’ online trading to nearly 40 per cent of all their trading.

Thai Bourse Encourages Listed Companies To Boost Productivity
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has today signed a memorandum of agreement with Thailand Productivity Institute to jointly hold a project named “Enhancing strength of listed companies and preparing companies to list on SET and Market for Alternative Investment (mai),” in order to boost productivity among listed firms and pre-listed companies.

Thai Listed Companies Net Earnings Up 7.22 Pct In 2013

Japan’s Financial Services Agency: Exchange Of Letters On Co-Operation With The State Securities Commission Of Vietnam

Shanghai Stock Exchange Key Work Arrangements For 2014 Released

Shanghai Stock Exchange Reduces Bond Nominal Value For Repayment On Installments

Frontier Markets

A Saudi Arabian Rarity: a Female Investment Bank CEO
Ellen Knickmeyer – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Saudi Arabia’s NCB Capital said Tuesday it has picked a veteran Saudi asset manager as its new CEO. Of particular note, the new boss is a woman. Female CEOs are even more uncommon in Saudi Arabia than they are in the West, and many of the few women chief executives that there are in the kingdom lead family firms.

Dubai’s DMCC to boost Islamic commodity trade with tie-ups
The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre aims to boost activity on its sharia-compliant commodity trading platform by partnering with a global brokerage, while local Islamic lender Noor Bank is set to offer use of the platform to all its corporate clients.

Goldman Reversal Mirrors Rupee’s Trade Improvement: Currencies
Shikhar Balwani – Bloomberg
Firms from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to Deutsche Bank AG are putting their faith in India’s rupee as the country looks forward to the biggest improvement in its broadest measure of trade in a decade.

Fink warns of emerging market ‘black swans’
Mark Cobley in Edinburgh – Financial News
Larry Fink, the chief executive of BlackRock, said the rapid take-up of technology in the developing world had put so many jobs at risk that it had become his new “black swan of the moment”.

Emerging Market Crisis Would Hit European Shares Hardest, Morgan Stanley Says
Jake Maxwell Watts – MoneyBeat – WSJ
A heads-up to investors pumping money into European equities: an emerging market shock would hurt you more than those invested primarily in U.S. or Japanese equities, according to Morgan Stanley.

UOB Bullion And Futures Joins Dubai Gold And Commodities Exchange
The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange announced today that UOB Bullion and Futures, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore’s leading bank United Overseas Bank Limited, has been approved as a Clearing Member of the Exchange.

DFM – Announces The Resulotions Of Its AGM Held On 03 March 2014

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