Trying To Stop The Next Flash Crash
In the run-up to the CFTC’s move to create new rules for automated trading next week, the Futures Industry Association and its members have engaged in a dialog with the CFTC and developed its own guide, which it published in March. John Lothian News spoke with two of the key contributors to that report to talk about guidelines and what we might see from the US agency next week.
View the Story »
Preventing Terrorism Through Markets
By Stephen L. Carter – Bloomberg View
Maybe it’s time to bring back the Pentagon’s terror prediction market. Remember that much-maligned experiment? Toward the end of Bill Clinton’s administration and into the early days of George W. Bush’s, DARPA began studying the feasibility of establishing an electronic market where participants would risk money on geopolitical trends, mostly in and around the Middle East. Given the success of prediction markets in other realms, intelligence analysts at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency were interested in whether such a market might prove a useful tool in their work. The program was called the Policy Analysis Market, and it was a very good idea.
***** This was a bad idea 10 years ago and it is a bad idea now. Markets need a natural economic player in order to work properly. Without this, they are just a gambling venue disguised as a market. That would hurt the credibility of real markets and have more unintended consequences than positive results. Put this idea back in the bad idea vault.
| Emerging Trends in Securities and Futures Trading Regulation
Join Katten Financial Services attorneys in a panel discussion at 4:00 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, December 3 in its Chicago office. The program will address the following topics:
To register, click HERE
Peeling back the layers of the European regulatory onion with Finex’s Andrew Gebhardt
As regulatory bodies implement sweeping new rules for the financial industry in the wake of the ’08 crisis, an increasing problem lies in navigating these always complex and occasionally differing rules and regs across international boundaries.
JLN sat down with Andrew Gebhardt, managing partner at Finex LLP, to see how the situation is playing out for investment funds in Europe.
The short answer is not well.
Watch the video »
Iowa’s Climate-Change Wisdom
By JEFF BIGGERS – NY Times
NEGOTIATORS en route to the United Nations conference on climate change in Paris, scheduled to begin later this month, should take a detour on rural roads here in Johnson County. A new climate narrative is emerging among farmers in the American heartland that transcends a lot of the old story lines of denial and cynicism, and offers an updated tale of climate hope.
***** Iowa is not just filled with a bunch of people who want Donald Trump to be president.
‘I Want to Be a Boy Scout.’ There’s Just One Hitch.
By JULIE TURKEWITZ – NY Times
Five girls wearing makeshift scout uniforms stood before top Boy Scout brass this month and made an announcement: We want in.
***** In my Boy Scout Troop we are starting an Explorer Club (part of the Learning for Life division of Boy Scouts of America) and inviting girls to join. We hope to get Girl Scouts who will continue to work on their Gold Award while we teach them first class trail skills and they get to do everything that the boys get to do. Of the 133 nations at the World Scout Jamboree in Japan this summer, 128 have boys and girls together. Time for that to happen here too, even it if takes a little push.
Navigating Bridges: Timely Updates in Financial Services
Gary DeWaal – Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
Two senior federal law enforcement regulators indicated that seeking personal accountability will be emphasized in upcoming criminal and civil actions involving alleged corporate wrongdoing. Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued proposed new rules aimed to enhance transparency and its oversight of alternative trading systems, including so-called “dark pools,” that include stocks listed on national securities exchanges, while the Commodity Futures Trading Commission readies for release tomorrow proposed new rules dealing with automated trading systems, and possibly the registration of certain proprietary traders who directly access exchanges through ATSs. Moreover, it appears similar SEC rules for proprietary traders may be forthcoming too – as well as rules on disruptive trading.
CME: Shrinking locally to grow abroad
By LYNNE MAREK – Crain’s Chicago Business
CME Group is making headway in its campaign to expand abroad, and that means shrinking at home. The biggest futures exchange operator in the world says revenue on its electronic platform from clients outside the U.S. hit a record 32 percent during the third quarter—up from 30 percent at the end of last year—as volatility and volume spiked. The Chicago-based company’s offshore headcount also has reached a high of 440 employees this year.
ICAP Brokers Ran Four-Year Libor Con on Tom Hayes, Read Says
Liam Vaughan – Bloomberg
Darrell Read tells jurors `we couldn’t’ influence Libor
Read testifies for fourth day at London criminal trial
Brokers at ICAP Plc ran an elaborate, four-year con on Tom Hayes, tricking the former UBS Group AG trader into believing they were helping him rig Libor, a former employee accused of conspiring with Hayes told London jurors.
Wheat Futures Contracts Hurt by Full French Silos
By ED BALLARD – WSJ
Snarled delivery system has consequences for French farmers struggling to compete against cheaper Ukrainian and Russian peers
A key futures contract that helps set the price of grain has hit a roadblock: three full wheat silos in France.
Hedge funds poach computer scientists from Silicon Valley
Robin Wigglesworth, US markets editor – FT
Hedge funds and asset managers are scrambling to poach talent from Silicon Valley and attract computer scientists fresh from college to capitalise on the investment industry’s hottest frontier.
U.S. Conducting Review of Government Bond Market
By KATY BURNE – WSJ
Agencies are working toward information-sharing agreement and other tools, official says
A senior counselor to the U.S. Treasury Department said Friday the government has embarked on its most sweeping review of the government bond market in recent memory, and would use a range of new and existing measures to obtain real-time data as it monitors the $12.8 trillion market.
Accused Mastermind of J.P. Morgan Hack a Product of Israel’s Internet Underbelly; Gery Shalon is alleged to have run a ‘criminal conglomerate’ that reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal profits
By ORR HIRSCHAUGE in Tel Aviv and NICOLE HONG in New York – WSJ
To many in Tel Aviv’s thriving tech community, Gery Shalon appeared to be one of its most prosperous entrepreneurs.
Fairness of SEC Judges Is in Spotlight
By JEAN EAGLESHAM – WSJ
Comments from judges raise worries of defendants that they won’t be able to get a fair hearing
In a small, windowless courtroom in downtown Manhattan, the chief in-house judge for the Securities and Exchange Commission told eight stockbrokers to give up on the idea that she would toss the case against them without first holding a hearing.
China heightens scrutiny of financial sector
Jennifer Thompson and Patti Waldmeiri – FT
China’s financial sector has been hit by more corruption-related punishments with four bank regulators demoted while one of the country’s leading brokerages said its chief executive was missing.
Chinese brokerage’s shares plunge after CEO disappears
Shares in Guotai Junan International plunged by as much as 17pc in Hong Kong after the brokerage said it could not contact its chairman and chief executive Yim Fung.
China Has a $1.2 Trillion Ponzi Finance Problem
Some 45% of new debt will be used to pay interest: Hua Chuang
`Ponzi’ finance was seen by Hyman Minsky as unsustainable
Chinese borrowers are taking on record amounts of debt to repay interest on their existing obligations, raising the risk of defaults and adding pressure on policy makers to keep financing costs low.
Hong Kong Exchange Looking to Launch China Share Arbitrage Products
By GREGOR STUART HUNTER – WSJ
Chinese shares with dual listings in Hong Kong tend to be much more expensive on the mainland than their counterparts in the city—a gap tempting to investors seeking arbitrage opportunities.
Global debt defaults near milestone
Gavin Jackson and Eric Platt – FT
Global debt markets are on the cusp of an unwelcome development with the number of companies defaulting on their obligations set to reach the century mark, driven largely by struggling US shale gas providers. Of 99 global companies that have defaulted since the year began, the US accounts for 62, the third greatest tally in more than a decade, according to Standard & Poor’s, the rating agency.
Bond market blues sneak up on asset managers
Sophia Grene – FT
While screeds are being written about bond market liquidity, or rather the lack of it, and the risks this may entail for global markets, less attention is paid to the implications for investment managers, who are traditionally one step away from the actual trading.
What’s Worse Than the SEC’s Revolving Door?
By Barry Ritholtz – Bloomberg View
Arthur Levitt is incensed. That doesn’t happen all that often. It takes a lot to make the level-headed, even serene, former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman angry. http://bv.ms/1jemGd3
Wall St. Ties Linger as Image Issue for Hillary Clinton
By PATRICK HEALY – NY Times
John Wittneben simmered as he listened to Hillary Rodham Clinton defend her ties to Wall Street during last weekend’s Democratic debate. He lost 40 percent of his savings in individual retirement accounts during the Great Recession, while Mrs. Clinton has received millions of dollars from the kinds of executives he believes should be in jail.
The trading firm that is eager for Mifid II
Financial firms across Europe breathed a sigh of relief when regulators said that Mifid II – which will rewrite the EU’s rules on trading from top to bottom – may be delayed by a year to 2018. One exception, however, was KCG.
Industry Warned to Push Ahead with MiFID II Plans
Firms have been warned to carry on with their implementation plans for MiFID II as it is possible that the regulations may not be delayed from January 2017. The new rules covering financial markets in the European Union are due to come into force at the beginning of 2017 but the European Securities and Markets Authority has asked for a delay of one year in the implementation date.
Inadequate dirty money regulation ‘leaves UK open to terror funds’: report
BY LISA BARRINGTON – Reuters
Britain’s “woefully inadequate” anti-money laundering system has left the country wide open to corrupt money and terrorism funds and needs radical overhaul, a leading anti-corruption group said on Monday.
Brexit will make ‘little difference’ to volume of financial regulation
Laura Dew – InvestmentWeek
An exit from the European Union would not reduce the volume of regulation imposed on UK financial services, according to former MEP Sharon Bowles.
FCA urged to break down barriers for smaller firms
By Charles Gubert – The Trade News
Help for smaller asset managers could improve the competitive environment in the sector.
The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) should use its latest market study of the asset management industry to reduce barriers to entry for smaller firms so as to bolster competition.
NFA Adopts Cybersecurity Guidance for NFA Members
by Bo Harvey, Andrew Konia, Andrew Phillips, John Servidio, Emily Voorheis | McGuireWoods LLP via JD Supra
On October 23, 2015, the National Futures Association (NFA) adopted its Interpretive Notice Regarding Information Systems Security Programs (the Notice). As noted in our prior Password Protected update, the Notice requires NFA member firms ? including swap dealers, major swap participants, futures commission merchants, commodity trading advisors, commodity pool operators and introducing brokers (collectively, Members) ? to establish, maintain and follow written information systems security programs (ISSPs). As a result, Members must (i) consider whether any existing ISSPs that they have are responsive to the Notice, or (ii) if ISSPs have not been implemented, then develop and implement ISSPs consistent with the Notice. The NFA’s Notice becomes effective on March 1, 2016.
Exchanges & Trading Facilities
Tough road ahead for LME’s new steel, aluminium contracts
By Maytaal Angel and Eric Onstad – Reuters
New steel and aluminium contracts to be launched next week by the London Metal Exchange (LME) are expected to attract initial interest from customers, but building up strong liquidity in the current bear market may be challenging.
London Stock Exchange launches ‘LinkedIn for corporate access’
By Anna Irrera – Financial News
The London Stock Exchange Group has formally launched its LinkedIn-style platform that will help listed companies and institutional investors connect online ahead of the looming shake-up of rules on corporate access.
SGX welcomes Astaka Holdings to Catalist
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today welcomed Astaka Holdings Limited (Astaka) to Catalist under the stock code “42S”.
LME announces successful launch of ferrous and premium contracts
LME Press Release
The London Metal Exchange (LME) today announces the successful launch of LME Aluminium Premiums, LME Steel Rebar and LME Steel Scrap, the first new contracts to be offered by the Exchange in more than five years.
F&O volumes plunge after increase in size of minimum contract
Volumes in the derivatives market have seen a sharp dip in November after the market regulator raised the bar for participation in the equity derivatives segment in an attempt to curb retail investor activity in this relatively high-risk segment.
The change, announced in July, came into effect in October end.
Coming soon: HBOS the sequel?
Aimee Donnellan – The Sunday Times
Light-touch regulation let the lender run amok. Will George Osborne’s sops to the City spell the start of a new era of lax controls?
FOR the truth as to why none of the directors of HBOS was pursued after the near-collapse of their bank in 2008, we have to rely on Mr Jones.
Hedge Funds & Managed Futures
Capping fees could be best way to control fund management costs
Pauline Skypala – FT
In the days before governments decided deregulation was a good idea, UK investment fund charges were restricted under the 1958 Prevention of Fraud Act. The limit, of 13¼ per cent over 20 years, which translated into initial charges of 3-5 per cent and annual fees of 0.375-0.5 per cent, was discarded in 1980, just about the time I started writing about the investment industry.
Fed risks using wrong tool to tighten
Manmohan Singh – FT
The Federal Reserve has been sending strong signals that it is preparing to raise interest rates for the first time since 2006. As the Fed prepares for lift-off, its operational framework and large balance sheet may pose challenges to market functioning.
Expensive Swiss franc tests central bank
Ralph Atkins – FT
For mountaineers high in the Swiss Alps, the path ahead sometimes looks perilous, whichever way they turn. As it tries to prevent a strong Swiss franc scaling fresh heights in the weeks ahead, Switzerland’s central bank could be forgiven a similarly queasy feeling.
Junk Bonds Join the Monetary-Policy Battle
By RICHARD BARLEY – WSJ
The anticipated divergence in monetary policy between the U.S. and the eurozone is moving many markets. Junk bonds could be a key battleground for 2016.
The Fed’s Inflation Expectations Game
By JUSTIN LAHART – WSJ
People have come to expect less inflation than they used to, making it harder for the Federal Reserve to reach its target
Federal Reserve policy makers expect inflation will eventually reach their target. But the expectations of other people could get in the way.
Less than sparkling outlook for diamond miners
Kate Burgess – FT
Last week exposed the duality of the diamond industry. On Monday, Lucara Diamond, the midsized miner from Canada, found a 1,111 carat rough diamond in Botswana estimated to be worth $70m or more. The satsuma-sized piece of carbon is the second-largest diamond ever found in the world after the Cullinan diamond, which was dug up a century ago and ended up as part of Britain’s crown jewels. The stone might just qualify as a “paragon” — a flawless diamond of at least 100 carats.
Banks & Brokers
Credit Suisse says entity gets civil investigative demands from DOJ
A Credit Suisse entity has received civil investigative demands from the U.S Department of Justice over matters related to credit default swaps, the Swiss lender said in a prospectus for a share sale released on Monday.
Swiss Bank Data Thief: ‘I’d Do It Again’
By JOHN LETZING – WSJ
Switzerland has proposed easing bank-secrecy laws, allowing for more cooperation with foreign tax agencies—even where stolen information is involved
ZURICH—Even after a dawn police raid on his home and more than a year in a Swiss prison, Lutz Otte says he doesn’t regret stealing client data from Zurich-based bank Julius Baer Group AG.
Citic chairman ousted for failing to prevent insider trading
The outgoing chairman of China’s top investment bank was forced out of his position because of the insider-trading scandal involving senior executives, people familiar with the matter said. Citic Securities announced this week that Wang Dongming would not renew his term as chairman “in consideration of his age”. Mr Wang, 64,* has passed the standard retirement age of 60 for senior executives of state-owned enterprises, but the limit is not absolute. Mr Wang had planned to continue as chairman before the scandal, the people said.
Clearing & Settlement
5 New Banks, Incl. BNP Paribas, ING and Wells Fargo, Partnering with R3 Blockchain Project
The New York City-based innovation company R3 has announced that five more banks have joined its project on exploring the use cases of the blockchain in the financial industry. ING, BNP Paribas, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, MacQuarie and Wells Fargo have signed up to the initiative, thus increasing the total number of supporters to 30 banks.
Banks eye Traiana for EM forex netting service
Industry turns to Icap-owned utility as CLS emerging markets push stalls A group of large banks has tapped Icap-owned Traiana to help streamline the settlement process for spot and derivatives trades in emerging market currencies.
CHART: Most fintech unicorns are in payments or lending
Private investors are overwhelmingly favouring two types of fintech companies. While Square dropped out with an IPO last week, 14 of the 18 privately held financial technology products with a valuation over $1 billion (unicorns) are still in the payments or lending space, according to CBInsights.
Canada Touts ISO 20222 Potential
The Canadian Payments Association (CPA) is eyeing big savings for businesses by switching to the ISO 20022 payments messaging standard. Reports by Finextra this week said CPA anticipates that up to $3.4 billion in cost cuts can benefit businesses over the next five years, a direct effect of eliminating the paper check.
Indexes & Products
CFTC to Discontinue Collecting and Issuing Reports on Index Investment Data
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission today (CFTC or Commission) announced that it will discontinue the collection and release of the monthly Index Investment Data Report (IID Report) for select commodity index position data. This data collection predates the enhanced reporting regime implemented by the Dodd-Frank Act and the IID Reports are not being utilized when compared to larger Commission reporting initiatives.
3 Things You Never Knew About the S&P 500
The Motley Fool
Despite how popular the S&P 500 index is among investors, there are still a few things about the venerable index that may surprise you. Three of our Foolish contributors are ready to fill you in.
London Stock Exchange: FTSE TMX and State Bank of India to Launch FTSE SBI India Bond Index
FTSE Russell, the global index provider, today announced the signing of letter of intent between FTSE TMX Global Debt Capital Markets and State Bank of India to develop in partnership, a new index tracking Indian fixed income securities. State Bank of India, India’s largest bank, intends to use the new index as the basis for a new investment product.
Dollar’s Revival Adds New Life To These Commodities
Indexology – S&P Dow Jones Indices
It makes sense that a strong US dollar is generally bad for commodities since as the U.S dollar strengthens, goods priced in dollars become more expensive for other currencies. However, historically the U.S. dollar has a negative correlation of only about -0.30 with the S&P GSCI as shown in the chart below using data since 1970
FIX Trading Community Announces New Open Technical Resource To Facilitate Software Development
FIX Trading Community, the non-profit, industry-driven standards body at the heart of global financial trading, today announced that it is now opening its technical standards process to software developers throughout the financial industry.
New high-tech OTC board to launch in Shanghai this year
The Shanghai Equity Exchange is an OTC market similar to the U.S. OTC Bulletin Board which caters to non-public companies that lack the collateral for bank loans and do not have the scale or the motivation to join the long queue to list on the main bourses.
At a Time of Plenty, Some Technologies Are Shut Out
MIT Technology Review
New funding methods claim to democratize investment in innovation, but important technologies still struggle.
One big reason to build a startup in New York instead of San Francisco
Nathan McAlone – Business Insider
Early-stage startups need to be cautious when accepting funding
New York’s startup scene has grown over the past few years, but it’s still a much different experience building a company in NYC than in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Atlanta Businessman Charged in Nursing Home Investment Scheme
The SEC alleges that Christopher F. Brogdon amassed nearly $190 million through dozens of municipal bond and private placement offerings in which investors supposedly earn interest from revenues generated by the nursing home, assisted living facility, or other retirement community project supported by their investment. But Brogdon secretly commingled investor funds instead of using the money to finance the project described to investors in the disclosure documents for each offering. From the commingled accounts, he has diverted investor money to other business ventures and personal expenses.
Environmental & Energy
World trade has an important role in combating climate change; We must improve the dissemination of and access to climate-friendly technologies, goods and services which support the transition towards a low-carbon economy
Roberto Azevêdo – The Guardian
In a few weeks’ time world leaders will have the opportunity to usher in a new era of multilateral cooperation on climate change. This starts with the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, but it does not end there. Building momentum to tackle climate change is a common challenge for us all – individually and institutionally. The broader international community, including the WTO, has to play its part.
Paris climate talks: Developed countries must do more than reduce emissions
Shyam Saran – The Guardian
We are only days away from the climate change summit in Paris. Several world leaders are likely to be present to applaud a successful outcome, which is virtually guaranteed since the bar has been set so low in terms of effort expected from the major industrialized economies.
Big names pledge $100bn switch to low-carbon strategy
By Mark Cobley – Financial News
A coalition of big-name pension funds and insurers has pledged they will switch almost $100 billion out of the companies with the biggest carbon emissions, a victory for a new type of campaign that aims to use institutional investors to push companies to be more green.
Average U.S. gasoline prices resume slide, hit 10-month low: Lundberg
BY CHRIS PRENTICE – Reuters
The average price of gasoline in the United States resumed its slide over the past two weeks, dropping 11 cents to $2.14 a gallon, the lowest since late January, according to a Lundberg survey released on Sunday.
Canada’s Alberta to introduce economy-wide carbon tax in 2017
By Mike De Souza – Reuters
The Canadian province of Alberta, home to the country’s controversial oil sands, said on Sunday it will implement an economy-wide tax on carbon emissions in 2017, addressing long-standing criticism it is not doing enough to combat climate change.
Chinese brokerage shares dive as Hong Kong chairman goes missing
Shares in Guotai Junan International dived after the major Chinese brokerage said it could not find its Hong Kong chief, at a time when Beijing is targeting the financial sector in an anti-graft campaign.
China’s Latest Growth Market: Venture Capital
MIT Technology Review
China’s first-generation Internet entrepreneurs are now venture investors in the next generation, placing big, sometimes risky bets on early-stage startups.
Hong Kong and China a model for S’pore-India partnership?
The Straits Times
The world’s two fastest-growing economies, India and China, are clearly at different stages of development and that makes for unfair direct economic comparisons. But parallels can be drawn here.
Beijing buying Malaysia’s bonds to help stabilise financial market here
The Rakyat Post
China will invest more in Malaysia’s treasury bonds in a move to help stabilise the financial market, Premier Li Keqiang said today. “Inflation is peaking and currencies depreciate. It is imperative to stabilise the financial market. So, we want to assume a market role by purchasing your treasury bonds,” he said at the Malaysia-China High-Level Economic Forum here today.
Who’s blocking the yuan’s emergence? China
Christopher Balding – Bloomberg, in Malay Mail Online
In its ongoing quest for glory and global influence, China appears to have won a notable victory. The International Monetary Fund is set to anoint the renminbi—the “people’s currency,” also known by the name of its biggest unit, the yuan—as one of the world’s reserve currencies along with the dollar, pound, euro and yen. For those who fear (or hope) that China will eventually transform the postwar economic order, this appears to be the first step toward dethroning the dollar.
No, very kind offer, but we think we’ll keep our gold for now. Yours, India
David Keohane – FT
Compare, contrast and then draw your own conclusions about India’s newly born Gold Deposit scheme, its plan to lure gold out of temples, vaults and jewellery boxes with the promise of (hopefully but not apparently yet) lovely enough interest rates.
Investors fret over inordinate delay in listing stock exchanges
Oommen A. Ninan – The Hindu
The inordinate delay in listing of stock exchanges is worrying investors who say the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the capital market regulator, should not delay the process any further as it is creating uncertainty and excuses for some exchanges not to list.
D-Street more financialised than Wall Street
Krishna Kant – Business Standard
Banks and finance firms accounted for 31% of BSE 500 companies’ profits in 2014-15 versus their 20.6% profit share in S&P 500
The financial sector has become more important in the Indian stock market than in the US, the country with the world’s most developed financial services sector.
Pearson’s Big Paydays Defy the Odds Against Print Media
By WILLIAM D. COHAN – NY Times
It has been tough sledding for print media. More than 150 newspapers have closed or converted to digital-only offerings in the last two years. Recently the magazine giants Condé Nast and Time Inc. have both cut employees and closed magazines.
Fourteen journalists leaving due to Bloomberg Markets overhaul
CHRIS ROUSH – Talking Biz News
Fourteen business journalists, including three senior writers, are leaving Bloomberg LP as part of the decision to overhaul Bloomberg Markets, sources told Talking Biz News.
Donald Trump and Wall Street Journal break bread. Well, not really
By Ahiza Garcia – CNN Money
The saga of Donald Trump and the Wall Street Journal continues.
Members of the Journal’s editorial board sat down with Trump this week for what it called a previously scheduled meeting.
Personal-finance publisher Austin Kiplinger dies at 97
Alex Dobuzinskis, Reuters
Austin Kiplinger, a journalist who took over the financial publishing firm founded by his father and helped create the first magazine devoted to personal finance for U.S. families, has died at age 97, his company said in a statement on Saturday.
John E. Zuccotti, Urbanist and Financier, Dies at 78
By SAM ROBERTS – NY Times
John E. Zuccotti, a street-smart urbanist who was an unsung hero of New York City’s fiscal crisis in the 1970s, died on Thursday in Brooklyn. He was 78.