Bits and Pieces
The Security Traders Association of Chicago Mid-Winter meeting starts today at the Hilton Chicago. Speakers include Preet Bharara, U.S Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Rick Santelli, CNBC On-Air Editor and Turney Duff, author of “The Buy Side: A Wall Street Trader’s Tale of Spectacular Excess.” Go to stachicago.org for details.
Oh, and Doug Ashburn from John Lothian News and Dr. Maggie Crowley, Jim Kharouf’s wife, will be moderating different panels at STAC.
Industry executive Tim Lankford has started in a master’s program at Loyola University and clinical education at Lutheran General Hospital with the goal of becoming a chaplain. Tim has been a hospice volunteer for many years. Most recently Tim was the co-founder of a hedge fund.
For you traders who had a good year in 2013, the Strictly Sail Chicago show is in town January 23 to 26 at Navy Pier. Make sure you stop at Booth #230 and check out the Melges C Scow, which was the type of boat I used to sail when I was young and nimble(r). Tell them John Lothian sent you.
John D. Hill, a former employee of both the CBOT and the CME Group, has started a new company, JDH Analytics. Because of his experience in the registrar office of the CBOT, and as an economist with the CME Group, he says he can assist your company with all aspects of regularity related to any commodity traded at the CME Group. You can check him out at jdhanalytics.com
My daughter Katherine Lothian turns 16 on January 27. Please help me!
|Derivatives trade reporting comes to Europe
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) has been at the forefront of the development of trade repositories, building global capabilities across the spectrum of asset classes. Today, our Global Trade Repository (GTR) operates, through locally-licensed DTCC subsidiaries, in three continents enabling users to meet their local regulatory reporting obligations in an open and cost effective manner. 45 regulators around the world use DTCC’s GTR as a tool to monitor the build-up of systemic risk in a timely and accurate manner.
Our European repository was approved by ESMA to collect data from entities with a reporting obligation in Europe on 7 November 2013, paving the way for the mandatory reporting of derivatives contracts beginning on 12 February 2014.
Timing is of the essence
When choosing which derivatives repository to report to, firms need to understand the business models of each, ensure their trade repository has knowledge of the local regulatory requirements and experience dealing with regulators. It is important to consider the economies of scale, the cost structure and the flexibility and choice of reporting and connectivity options available.
Our European repository provides a flexible and open platform supporting direct and delegated reporting. For further information about our services please contact: GTR-EMEA@dtcc.com or + 44 207 650 1545
US swaps trading rules have ‘split market’
Philip Stafford – FT.com
New US legislation for swaps trading has dramatically fragmented the transatlantic market in the past three months, with European dealers unwilling to trade with US counterparts and shunning clearing, an industry study has found.
***** We shall not be shunned.
Euronext launches rapeseed complex
Euronext, a wholly owned subsidiary of IntercontinentalExchange Group, today announced that it will launch a combined Rapeseed derivatives complex by the end of 2014, offering the industry both Rapeseed meal and Rapeseed oil futures and options in individual contracts, subject to all relevant regulatory approvals.
***** Are you sure this is not canola?
A tour of Richard Sandor’s photo collection, one of the largest private collections in the country
Stephen J. Serio – Crain’s Chicago Business
If a picture is worth a thousand words, the walls of Richard Sandor’s office speak volumes. Aside from being in Chicago’s iconic Wrigley Building, the office itself is fairly unremarkable, save for the hundreds of photographs that adorn the walls of his office, the hallways and his colleagues’ offices at Environmental Financial Products LLC, where Mr. Sandor, 72, is CEO.
***** The collection in Doc Sandor’s office is just a part of his collection.
The Derivatives Industry in 2014: Adapting to Change & Creating New Opportunities
Nicki Gilmour and Jessica Titlebaum – The Glass Hammer
Starting today and running until the end of the month, the Glass Hammer will profile women that have immensely impacted the derivatives industry. We have women running exchanges, clearinghouses, and technology firms that have not only influenced the industry’s operations, but have paved the way for other women to leverage opportunities in derivatives by becoming mentors and sponsors.
***** Some days I find it more and more difficult to be a feminist.
For the Love of Money
SAM POLK – NYTimes.com
IN my last year on Wall Street my bonus was $3.6 million — and I was angry because it wasn’t big enough. I was 30 years old, had no children to raise, no debts to pay, no philanthropic goal in mind. I wanted more money for exactly the same reason an alcoholic needs another drink: I was addicted.
***** A terrific first-hand account of the impact of addiction to money from a former swaps trader. This is a good story about people who only know how to take. My premise is that happiness comes from giving and Sam Polk figured that out, but had to leave Wall Street in order to become a giver.
Goldman insider to cash in on Twitter fame with exposé book deal
Tracy Alloway in Las Vegas – FT.com
What is good news for Kate Upton, Vanilla Ice and Bette Midler might make grim reading for Goldman Sachs executives as the anonymous author behind the @GSElevator Twitter profile has agreed a deal to turn his allegedly insider observations into a tell-all book about life at the bank.
***** I think I will start a @CBOTBuildingElevator twitter account. You would not believe some of the things we hear.
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CFTC to Address Data Problems Clouding Swaps Transparency
Andrew Ackerman – MoneyBeat – WSJ
U.S. commodity regulators are taking steps to resolve a series of data problems that have hobbled their efforts to see more clearly into the multitrillion-dollar swaps market.
***DA: What data problems? Watch our recent interview with Commissioner Scott O’Malia and see for yourself.
Stung by penny stock scandal, Singapore Exchange bets on derivatives
Singapore Exchange Ltd , set to report its weakest profit in more than a year after a penny stock scandal hammered trading volumes, is placing a big bet on an increasingly crowded derivatives market.
City bankers warn against UK’s potential loss of influence in EU
Sam Fleming and George Parker – FT.com
Britain’s banks have launched a strong intervention in the debate over the nation’s membership of the European Union, calling for closer ties with Brussels and urging the government to raise its game in order to make the single market work.
Corzine Loses Bid for Dismissal of CFTC’s MF Global Suit
Christie Smythe and Patricia Hurtado – Bloomberg
Jon Corzine lost his bid for dismissal of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trade Commission’s lawsuit over the 2011 collapse of MF Global Holdings Ltd. The requests of Corzine and former MF Global Assistant Treasurer Edith O’Brien to throw out the case are “without merit,” U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero said in a ruling filed Jan. 17 in Manhattan federal court.
Rising CEO confidence in economy, but plenty of worries in Davos
Business leaders gathering for their annual high-profile networking forum in Davos are feeling a bit better about their companies’ prospects and a lot more so about the broader economic outlook. But they still have a long list of worries.
Letter from Davos: the Big Brother problem
Anne Richards – Financial News
Data collection by persons known or unknown is one of the hot topics around the espresso machines in Davos this year.
Mom and Pop Flock to Options Market
Kaitlyn Kiernan – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Small investors stepped up their options trading last year, even as a steady bull market in stocks meant hedge funds and other big traders pulled back.
The time for official e-money is NOW!
Izabella Kaminska | FT Alphaville
Now, more than ever, is the time for central banks to launch their own official e-money. We’ve campaigned for this before. But in light of further Bitcoin and altcoin developments, as well as secular stagnation observations by Larry Summers, it’s worth reiterating the argument for an unconventional policy of this sort.
Why Bitcoin Matters
MARC ANDREESSEN – NYTimes.com
A mysterious new technology emerges, seemingly out of nowhere, but actually the result of two decades of intense research and development by nearly anonymous researchers.
Bitcoin Turns Into Art as Sweden Rejects Creative Currency
Veronica Ek and Johan Carlstrom- Bloomberg
Bitcoin is making an art critic out of the Swedish taxman. The largest Nordic economy is set to reject Bitcoin and its competitors as a currency and instead give the software the same tax treatment it would an antique Persian rug or a painting by Andy Warhol.
Fenwick leaves in Dow Jones shake-up
Emily Steel in New York – FT.com
Lex Fenwick has left his post as chief executive of News Corp’s Dow Jones with immediate effect following a disappointing performance by the financial news and data group.
EU’s top court rejects UK challenge to short-selling law
The European Union’s top court has dismissed Britain’s challenge to the bloc’s law on banning the short-selling of shares in market emergencies.
Funds advised to consider suing over CDS trades
Luke Clancy – Risk.net
As well as Libor proceedings, funds should pay attention to EC investigations into credit default swaps and identify trades suitable for litigation
CFTC to Form an Interdivisional Working Group to Review Regulatory Reporting
Excellence Program – AMF Announces Names of Latest University Scholarship Recipients
Exchanges & Trading Facilities
Eurex Exchange Council Elects Carola Gräfin Von Schmettow As Chairperson
At its meeting on Tuesday, 21 January 2014, the Exchange Council of Eurex Deutschland elected a new chairperson as well as the vice chairman for a period of three years. Carola Gräfin von Schmettow, member of the Management Board, HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt AG, was appointed as Chairperson, Johannes Pieterse, Managing Director, Optiver VOF was elected as Vice Chairman.
Nasdaq Sees 2014 IPOs Benefiting From Stock Surge With Tapering
Cornelius Rahn – Bloomberg
Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. said the number of initial public offerings it handles may rise this year, buoyed by strong equity markets and the Federal Reserve’s announcement that it will reduce bond purchases.
Lynton Jones laments IPE’s hesitation over electronic trading
Mark Pengelly – Risk.net
Lynton Jones, the IPE’s former chief executive, tried hard to promote electronic trading in Brent futures. But those efforts met with strong resistance
Exchange Sells Stake In MICEX-IT To B2B Marketplace For 440 Million Rubles
As Russia’s determination to place Moscow firmly on the map alongside the world’s premier and established financial centers, the city’s major excecuting venue, Moscow Exchange, has today announced that it has sold its stake in MICEX-IT for 440 million rubles.
EEX: New Daily Record on the Power Derivatives Market
The European Energy Exchange (EEX) has achieved a daily record on the Power Derivatives Market. Yesterday, on 20 January 2013, a volume of 18,419,754 MWh of power was recorded on the Phelix Futures Market – this is the highest volume which has ever been traded in these products on one day.
Frankfurt Stock Exchange Exchange Council Re-Elects Lutz Raettig As Chairman
Borsa Istanbul’s Gong rang for NASDAQ OMX
A gong ceremony was organized today on the occasion of the strategic cooperation agreement between Borsa Istanbul and NASDAQ OMX.
Moscow Exchange: Free Float Methodology Change
ASX Welcomes ACTIV Financial To The Australian Liquidity Centre
Hedge Funds & Managed Futures
Bill Gross: ‘I’m Ready to Go for Another 40 Years’
Steven Russolillo – MoneyBeat – WSJ
In the aftermath of Pimco CEO Mohamed El-Erian‘s announced departure, the firm’s founder, Bill Gross, wasted little time sharing his view of the situation.
Following El-Erian’s Resignation, Meet the New Guard at Pimco
Maureen Farrell – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Pimco, one of the world’s largest bond funds, set an unfortunate record in 2013. Its flagship fund saw the most outflows of any mutual fund ever in one year — a net outflow of $41 billion in 2013.
Meet the new Pimco CEO: Douglas Hodge
Vivek Ahuja – Financial News
Pimco, the $2 trillion asset manager, is in the midst of a push to diversify beyond bonds that chief executive Mohamed El-Erian this month likened to building a highway and deciding “how many cars can run on it”. In a few weeks’ time, however, it will be Douglas Hodge, rather than El-Erian, directing traffic at the world’s biggest bond manager.
Buffett Leans on 29-Year-Old Cool to Oversee Problems
Noah Buhayar and Laura Colby – Bloomberg
When Warren Buffett bought half of a commercial mortgage finance company in 2009, he hired a 25-year-old fresh out of business school to keep tabs on the investment.
Hedge fund assets reach record high
The hedge fund industry grew to a record size last year after investors added billions of dollars more to managers’ coffers and rising stock prices swelled assets, new data showed on Tuesday.
Investors forgive weak hedge fund returns
John Authers – FT.com
Hedge fund investors must be forgiving types. Inquests on 2013 are under way, showing that the funds endured yet another year in which they failed to come anywhere close to the returns available on simple equity index tracker funds, which has been the story throughout the rally since 2009.
Alternative Fund Blurs Line Between Main Street and Wall Street
Juliet Chung – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Last year, a flood of so-called alternative mutual funds came to market from firms including Arden Asset Management, Blackstone Group and Aurora Investment Management, part of a broader move to give Main Street investors access to hedge-fund talent.
KKR Asset Management lands maiden Italy deal
Dan Dunkley – Financial News
KKR Asset Management, the special situations team of global buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, has struck its first Italian deal, taking a minority equity stake and debt position in vending machine operator Argenta.
Banks & Brokers
JPMorgan, Credit Suisse Ramp Up Push to Fund Startups
Serena Saitto – Bloomberg
When SurveyMonkey Inc. Chief Executive Officer Dave Goldberg wanted to buy out investors from his Internet company and attract new ones who wouldn’t balk at his aim to stay private, he steered clear of traditional startup financiers in the venture-capital community.
J.P. Morgan Avoids Some Deals In China, Fearing U.S. Investigations
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has pulled out of a $1 billion initial public offering of a Chinese chemical company and won’t seek a role in the IPO of a Chinese state-owned train maker, as the bank walks away from deals that could come under scrutiny from U.S. investigators probing its hiring practices in China.
Leading banks share of fixed income trading dwindles
Anish Puaar – Financial News
The three largest banks in fixed-income trading lost market share last year, as new capital rules continued to bite into trading revenues and opened up new opportunities for small and regional firms.
Deutsche India’s M&A Chief Quits
MoneyBeat – WSJ
Sughosh Moharikar, the head of mergers and acquisitions at Deutsche Bank AG’s India operations, has quit, a person familiar with the development said Wednesday.
Swift reveals documentation to be included on KYC registe
Solomon Teague – Euromoney magazine
The financial messaging service has inched closer to settling on the final details of its know-your-customer (KYC) registry, focused on alleviating the challenge of fulfilling compliance requirements in the correspondent banking industry.
Credit Agricole Sells Bulgarian Unit
French bank Credit Agricole SA said it has signed a deal to sell its Bulgarian division to Bulgarian bank Corporate Commercial Bank AD for an undisclosed sum, as the lender continues to reduce the scale of its business.
Interactive Brokers Group Announces 2013 Results
Clearing & Settlement
Euronext sets date for shorter settlement cycles
Anish Puaar – Financial News
The IntercontinentalExchange-owned Euronext markets have joined the list of European stock exchanges that plan to shorten the time between a trade and its settlement.
OneMarketData Partners With Wall Street Horizon To Enhance OneQuantData Repository – Wall Street Horizon Will Provide Earnings Calendar And Corporate Events Data
Euroclear Bank and NSD Launch Post-Trade Services for Russian Bonds
CME Group Margins: Performance Bond Requirements: Electricity Outrights and Vol Scans- Effective Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Indexes & Products
China readies physical ETF market for offshore investment
Justin Lee – Risk.net
The decision to allow offshore investors to access physical China ETFs is set to catalyse the market – but obstacles remain
Ready-made platforms seek ETF take-up
Peter Davy – Financial News
Specialist companies that help firms set up exchange-traded funds have become an increasing presence in an ETF industry that has been dominated by big brands. From just two main players three years ago, there are now more than half a dozen so-called white-labelling providers in the US, the most recent being ETF Issuer Solutions, which launched in November.
S&P Dow Jones Indices launches Total China series
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
System quality in focus to build market confidence
Veronica Augustsson – Cinnober
A burning issue for exchanges 2014 will be to look into their quality assurance strategies. There is a great need for reestablishing confidence in financial markets, and the foundation for this is reliable, well-functioning systems without frequent disturbances. Marketplaces’ matching systems used to be regarded in quality on a par with nuclear power plants; this approach needs to be regained.
Marianne Brown Joins SunGard as Chief Operating Officer, Financial Systems
SunGard, one of the world’s leading software and technology services companies, today announced that effective February 24, 2014, Marianne Brown will become the chief operating officer of its Financial Systems business.
Numerix integrates with MathWorks Matlab environment
Numerix, provider of cross-asset analytics for derivatives valuations and risk management, and MathWorks, developer of Matlab, a high-level language and interactive environment for numerical computation and visualization, today announced that Numerix CrossAsset Integration Layer is now integrated with the Matlab environment.
Orc Group AB: Renewed Orc offering combines future proof, flexible technology platforms with expert services
Orc, a global leader in derivatives trading technology, today announced a renewed and expanded solutions offering. Building on Orc’s technology leadership, industry expertise and commitment to R&D, new Trading and Electronic Execution offerings are now introduced, backed by Professional Services.
b-next Partners With Thomson Reuters To Launch Accelus Market Surveillance
New Solution Provides Systematic Surveillance Of Trading Activity To Detect Market Abuse, Suspicious Trading, Price Manipulation And Insider Dealing
U.S. Gears Up for Trial of Former UBS Executive Weil
John Letzing – MoneyBeat – WSJ
The U.S. government has compiled millions of pages of evidence it may use in its case against Raoul Weil, a former UBS AG executive who is scheduled to go on trial next month for allegedly helping American taxpayers skirt their obligations. It also has readied two potential witnesses.
Key Witness in Martoma Trial Says He Lied to F.B.I.
ALEXANDRA STEVENSON – NYTimes.com
Dr. Sidney Gilman, the government’s star witness in its case against Mathew Martoma, a former SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager, testified on Tuesday that he lied to F.B.I. agents and regulators for nearly a year about passing inside information to Mr. Martoma.
Martoma Defense Walks a Tightrope
The trial of Mathew Martoma presents a challenge often seen in recent insider trading prosecutions: how to mount a defense denying any wrongdoing when the defendant is unlikely to testify. One way to persuade a jury to return a not-guilty verdict is by focusing on the ordinary nature of the trading to raise questions about whether any confidential information was even used.
Madoff Ex-Aide Knew of Scheme to Pay His Son, Jury Told
Erik Larson – Bloomberg
Bernard Madoff added the son of a “key” executive to his payroll even though he didn’t work there, a jury was told in the trial of five ex-employees accused of aiding the con man’s $17 billion Ponzi scheme.
Ex-‘King of Biotech’ set to serve four-year term for fraud
David Blech, once dubbed the “King of Biotech”, failed to persuade a U.S. appeals court to throw out his four-year prison term for securities fraud on the ground that his sentencing judge was biased.
Environmental & Energy
Made in China: Up to a quarter of California smog
The modelling revealed that on any given day in 2006, goods made in China for the US market accounted for up to a quarter of the sulphate smog over the western US.
We export carbon emissions to China, get smog back in return
Barack Obama recently warned supporters at a fundraiser that the U.S. will be “four feet under water” if China and India start consuming energy the way Americans do, The New Yorker reports. The comment reflects growing international angst over the swelling carbon footprints of the two developing countries — each of which is home to more than a billion people, many of them understandably eager to emulate Western lifestyles.
**RKB — The New Yorker article, below.
Going the Distance
The New Yorker
On the Sunday afternoon before Thanksgiving, Barack Obama sat in the office cabin of Air Force One wearing a look of heavy-lidded annoyance. The Affordable Care Act, his signature domestic achievement and, for all its limitations, the most ambitious social legislation since the Great Society, half a century ago, was in jeopardy.
SGX posts second-quarter net profit of $75 million
Revenue: $165 million ($162 million a year earlier); Operating profit: $88 million ($90 million a year earlier); Net profit: $75 million ($76 million a year earlier); Earnings per share: 7.0 cents (7.1 cents a year earlier); Interim dividend per share: 4.0 cents (4.0 cents a year earlier)
SGX to introduce circuit breakers on 24 February
Singapore Exchange (SGX) will introduce circuit breakers in the securities market from 24 February as an additional market safeguard. Circuit breakers will initially apply to Straits Times Index and MSCI Singapore Index component stocks and all those securities priced $0.50 and above.
Founding president to step down at China wealth fund
Henny Sender in New York – FT.com
The long-serving Gao Xiqing, who almost starved to death in the Cultural Revolution and went on to help found China’s first securities market, is to step down from the helm of the country’s $570bn-plus sovereign wealth fund, according to an internal memo.
Secret wealth of Chinese leaders revealed
FT via CNBC
The secret financial holdings of the families of China’s leaders from Xi Jinping to Deng Xiaoping have been exposed in a massive leak of documents to the International Center for Investigative Journalism.
Sullen in Singapore: Its workers are the unhappiest in Asia
Workers in wealthy Singapore are the unhappiest in Asia and nearly two-thirds would like to quit their jobs in the next year, a regional survey by recruiting firm Randstad Group showed on Wednesday.
Japan’s Financial Services Agency: Press Conference By Taro Aso, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister Of Finance, And Minister Of State For Financial Services
Taiwan Futures Exchange Newsletter- January Newsletter
SGX Welcomes Kim Heng Offshore & Marine Holdings To Catalist
Foreign exchanges tempt Indian companies to list
Global exchanges are looking to egg Indian companies to explore the possibility of listing abroad, on the back of a regulatory shift towards easier norms for fund-raising abroad.
India’s Booming Cumin Market Attracts Speculators, Helps Farmers
Traders and Indian farmers alike are reaping an unlikely windfall from unrest in Syria: a booming cumin market.
Dubai eager to capitalise on Iran opening
Simeon Kerr in Dubai – FT.com
The many daily flights between Dubai and Tehran are always busy. But these days the Iranians heading home after business and shopping trips are being joined by rising numbers of briefcase-toting western and Asian passengers.
IMF warns on emerging market exposure to capital flight
Weaker emerging economies are exposed to sudden capital flight with the global economy staying on course to strengthen as expected this year, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.
Deal Reshapes Malaysia’s Brokerage Scene
Jason Ng – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Malaysia’s overcrowded brokerage sector is continuing to shrink. Affin Holdings Bhd, a Malaysian bank-to-insurance financial-services company, will pay 1.36 billion ringgit ($410 million) to buy some businesses under investment bank and stockbroker Hwang-DBS (Malaysia) Bhd6688.KU +0.47% in a deal that would create the country’s second-largest brokerage based on the value of transactions handled.
London Investors Turn Attention To Palestine
The Nigerian Stock Exchange 2013 Market Recap And Outlook For 2014