A Reflection on a Life, Its Influences and the Trading Floor
John Lothian, John Lothian News
I learned recently a life-long friend was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. My friend and former Wisconsin neighbor is older than me. In fact, at one time he was my babysitter. As I learned yesterday the CME would shut down most of its futures trading pits, his story came rushing back to me. He was one of the young men from Southern Wisconsin who found a way to the Chicago futures markets in the early 1980s. He knew many traders from around the lake, just like the CME Group’s Terry Duffy and CQG’s Pat Kenny did.
(for the rest of the commentary, go to http://jlne.ws/16ugQhF
Mostly Sunny: MIAX Options Exchange Grabbing Some Market share
Jim Kharouf – JLN
As options exchanges jostle for position in a crowded field, the monthly OCC options market share report sometimes tells an interesting story. MIAX Options Exchange is one of them. MIAX posted total equity options market share of 4.38 percent in January, a nice jump from 2.65 percent a year earlier, according to the OCC Options Exchange market share data.
Federal Court Orders U.S. Bank National Association to Pay $18 Million to Peregrine Customers
U.S. Bank held the Peregrine Financial Group, Inc. customer segregated funds account that Russell Wasendorf, Sr. used to misappropriate customer funds
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that on February 4, 2015, Chief Judge Linda R. Reade of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa entered a Consent Order imposing a permanent injunction against U.S. Bank National Association (U.S. Bank) and ordering the bank to pay $18 million dollars to be returned to Peregrine Financial Group, Inc. (Peregrine) customers.
***** My bank gets whacked for PFG missteps.
Intercontinental Exchange Reports Record Fourth Quarter 2014
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), the leading global network of exchanges and clearing houses, today reported record financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2014. For the quarter ended December 31, 2014, consolidated net income attributable to ICE was $288 million on $800 million consolidated revenues less transaction-based expenses. On a GAAP basis, diluted earnings per share (EPS) in the fourth quarter were $2.54 and for the full year 2014 were $8.55.
***** Not Apple-like record money, but still pretty good.
Bats Global Markets January 2015 Update: Record U.S. Options Market Share Of 8.8%; Reports 24.2% European Equities Market Share; Completes Direct Edge Integration
Company Also Announced Entry into FX Market with Agreement to Acquire Hotspot FX
BATS Global Markets (BATS) today reported January volume, market share, and monthly highlights including record market share for BATS Options of 8.8% and one of its strongest months on record in European equities with 24.2% market share.
****** Not ICE-like record numbers, but still pretty good.
SGX organises inaugural investment carnival, launches mobile app
Singapore Exchange (SGX) will hold its first-ever SGX My First Stock Carnival, as part of a campaign to educate new investors and encourage them to start investing. The campaign comprises a fun-filled carnival this weekend (6 to 8 February), digital initiatives including an interactive online tool, the launch of SGX Mobile App as well as a weekly radio programme.
***** Exchanges are not carnivals, they are circuses.
Is a college degree more important than it used to be?
Matthew C Klein, FT
We recently had the chance to attend a fascinating presentation given by Erik Hurst at the Booth economic outlook in New York. He discussed the divergent employment outcomes of those with college educations compared to those without them, which featured a chart that looked something like this:
****** It is more important because I am the one paying the tuition.
Jefferies CEO Richard Handler turns down bonus
Richard Handler, the chief executive of Leucadia National Corp, parent of investment bank Jefferies Group LLC, turned down his bonus for the previous year, which was dogged by lackluster performance.
****** I think the idea of a “bonus” has been somewhat lost in Wall Street. Nice to see Mr. Handler understand this.
CBOE RMC, March 4-6 2015, Carlsbad California
Now in its 31st year in the U.S., the annual CBOE Risk Management Conference (RMC) is the premiere financial industry conference designed for institutional users of equity derivatives and volatility products. Hosted by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), RMC is an educational forum dedicated to exploring the latest products, trading strategies and tactics used to manage risk exposure and enhance yields. RMC brings together top traders, strategists and researchers, enabling participants to learn the state-of-the-art in investment risk management from true experts in the field.
*****John Lothian News is a media sponsor for this event.
Correction:Yesterday I spelled Leslie Rosenthal’s first name incorrectly. It was spelled Lesley, not Leslie. My apologies for the sloppy spelling.
|CME to Close Trading Floors|
|CME to close futures pits
Neil Munshi in Chicago, FT
CME Group will close most of its future pits in Chicago and New York by this summer, in the latest sign of how electronic trading has taken over the old system of floor-based trading.
CME Group to close most floor-based trading in Chicago, New York
CME Group Increases Quarterly Dividend
CME quits pits
Reminiscences of a futures operator
Commodity Pits Bid Goodbye to Human Traders as CME Closes Floor
by Matthew Leising, Bloomberg
Marty Greenberg spent 20 years flailing his arms and shouting buy and sell orders in the silver pit at the Commodity Exchange in New York. After retiring, he joined a club that included famed Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino.
U.S. Bank to pay $18 million to end CFTC’s Peregrine case
Bloomberg via Crain’s Chicago Business
U.S. Bank NA agreed to pay $18 million to end a federal regulator’s lawsuit over its handling of funds belonging to clients of Peregrine Financial Group Inc., an Iowa futures trading firm that collapsed in a $200 million fraud that sent its founder to prison after a suicide attempt.
Howard Lutnick’s BGC Extends Offer for Clearinghouse GFI
BGC Partners, the brokerage firm owned by Howard W. Lutnick, announced on Wednesday that it was extending the deadline on its offer for the GFI Group, the New York brokerage firm and clearinghouse that has been locked in a prolonged takeover battle.
Tokyo needs foreigners to revitalise volumes
Trading in Japan has remained strong in 2015, continuing a trend that in 2014 took turnover up to a daily average level of JPY 2.5 trillion. Nevertheless, a new incentive is needed this year.
UBS faces fresh US tax evasion inquiry
Gina Chon in Washington and Tom Braithwaite in New York, FT
UBS is again being investigated for possibly helping clients evade US taxes, six years after the Swiss bank paid a $780m penalty for similar allegations.
ICAP to fight EUR14.9m Brussels fine
Philip Stafford, FT
ICAP is to fight a EUR14.9m fine imposed on it by European antitrust authorities for aiding a cartel in the yen swaps markets as Brussels formally closed a portion of its long-running probe into rate manipulation.
Currency conspiracy theory wide of the mark with iron ore
By Clyde Russell, Reuters
Some people love conspiracy theories and the latest is that the Australian central bank is deliberately weakening its currency to save the country’s big iron ore miners. That’s the opinion of Lourenco Goncalves, chief executive of U.S.-based iron ore and coal miner Cliffs Natural Resources but, like virtually all such theories, it fails the test of logic and credibility.
Michael Masters on speculation, oil, and investment
Izabella Kaminska, FT
Back in May 2008, nobody — especially regulators — had a clue about what was causing crude oil prices to spike to $100-per-barrel-levels, and mostly everyone was inclined to either blame “China” or “speculators” or some combination of the two.
Barges Sit for Hours Behind Locks That May Take Decades to Replace
By RON NIXON, NY Times
On a recent winter morning, Randy Holt piloted the boat Bill Berry as it pushed a group of barges nearly as long as two football fields steadily down the Tennessee River to the Kentucky Lock and Dam here. But then Mr. Holt had to wait several hours at what has become a major choke point as boats moved one at a time through the narrow, cracked, 70-year-old lock.
Europe exempts FX futures from mandatory clearing
Philip Stafford, FT
Europe has exempted mandatory clearing for some derivatives in the $130bn foreign exchange market after the main securities regulator was unable to decide how to define and implement new rules.
CFTC Extends Period for Public Comment on Related Applications Submitted by LedgerX, LLC for Registration as a Derivatives Clearing Organization and Swap Execution Facility
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is extending the deadline for public comment on related applications submitted by LedgerX, LLC (LedgerX), for registration as a derivatives clearing organization and registration as a swap execution facility.
S.E.C. Commissioners Split on Waiving Financial Industry Punishment
By Ben Protess, NY Times
Oppenheimer & Company has looked the part of a financial industry recidivist, its rap sheet replete with at least 30 regulatory actions over the last decade.
CMCRC: US Insider Trading Lawsuit Points To A More General Problem
The Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre (CMCRC) has suggested that the dismissal of insider trading charges against Australian Trent Martin last week is less dramatic than some have interpreted, but still points to the importance of understanding the means by which changes to insider trading regulations need to be judged.
U.S. regulators probing BP crude shipments on Enbridge pipeline
A U.S. investigation into oil major BP Plc breaking anti-fraud and reporting rules on using oil pipelines is related to crude shipped on Enbridge Inc’s Mainline system, Enbridge said on Wednesday.
No Jobs At All Were Lost In America Due To Japanese Currency Manipulation
Tim Worstall, Forbes
We’ve another of those calls to arms over the loss of American manufacturing jobs. From the usual suspects, the Alliance for American Manufacturing (a lobby group of a few manufacturers and the United Steelworkers). They claim that Japans’s “currency manipulation” has been responsible for the loss of 900,000 jobs in the US. This isn’t, I’m afraid, true. The level of aggregate employment in the US is something that is the responsibility of Congress (fiscal policy) and the Fed (monetary policy). Trade doesn’t affect that level of aggregate employment. It might well affect the mix of employment, that’s true, but not that total level. And anyway, what is Japan supposed to do when sunk in a two decades long slump?
Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) Rulemaking and National Market System (NMS) Plans
- BATS: Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change to List and Trade Shares of the iShares Short Maturity Municipal Bond ETF of the iShares U.S. ETF Trust under Rule 14.11(i) of BATS Exchange, Inc. (Release No. 34-74193; File No. SR-BATS-2014-054; February 3, 2015)
- BOX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Amend IM-3120-2 to Rule 3120 to Extend the Pilot Program that Eliminated the Position Limits for Options on SPDR S&P 500 ETF (Release No. 34-74196; File No. SR-BOX-2015-07; February 3, 2015); see also Exhibit 3, Exhibit 5
- BOX: Exhibit 3 (Release No. 34-74196; File No. SR-BOX-2015-07; February 3, 2015)
- CME: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Change to CME Rule 814 to Clarify Certain Operational Details Regarding Current CME Settlement Cycles. (Release No. 34-74191; File No. SR-CME-2015-003; February 3, 2015)
- ICC: Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change to Provide for the Clearance of Additional Standard Emerging Market Sovereign Single Names (Release No. 34-74192; File No. SR-ICC-2015-003; February 3, 2015)
- NASDAQ: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Amend the Rules of The NASDAQ Options Market Regarding Sharing of Risk Settings (Release No. 34-74198; File No. SR-NASDAQ-2015-007; February 3, 2015)
- NASDAQ OMX BX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Add New Section 20, Exchange Sharing of Participant-Designated Risk Settings, to Chapter VI, Trading Systems (Release No. 34-74195; File No. SR-BX-2015-007; February 3, 2015)
- NYSE Arca: Order Instituting Proceedings to Determine Whether to Approve or Disapprove Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto, to Reflect Changes to the Means of Achieving the Investment Objective Applicable to the Guggenheim Enhanced Short Duration ETF (Release No. 34-74199; File No. SR-NYSEArca-2014-107; February 3, 2015)
- OCC-AN: Notice of Filing of an Advance Notice, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, Concerning a Proposed Capital Plan for Raising Additional Capital That Would Support The Options Clearing Corporation’s Function as a Systemically Important Financial Market Utility (Release No. 34-74202; File No. SR-OCC-2014-813)
- Phlx: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Add New Rule 1016 to Authorize the Exchange to Share Phlx XL Participant-Designated Risk Settings in Phlx XL (Release No. 34-74197; File No. SR-Phlx-2015-11; February 3, 2015)
SEC Approves 2015 PCAOB Budget and Accounting Support Fee
The Securities and Exchange Commission today voted to approve the 2015 budget of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and the related annual accounting support fee.
Exchanges & Trading Facilities
Intercontinental Exchange Declares Quarterly Dividend of $0.65 Per Share
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), the leading global network of exchanges and clearing houses, announced today a $0.65 per share dividend for the first quarter of 2015. The dividend is payable on March 31, 2015 to shareholders of record as of March 17, 2015. The ex-dividend date will be March 13, 2015.
TMX quarterly profit dips as market environment weighs
TMX Group Ltd, the owner of the Toronto Stock Exchange, reported a dip in quarterly earnings, as revenues from its core listings business slid, amid a slump in prices of copper, oil and other commodities that hurt listings on the bourse.
CBOE Holdings Declares First Quarter 2015 Dividend
CBOE Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBOE) announced today that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.21 per share of common stock payable on March 20, 2015, to the unrestricted common stockholders of record on February 27, 2015.
CBOE, C2 and CFE Trading Schedule For the Presidents’ Day Holiday
CBOE Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBOE) announced the following trading schedule for Chicago Board Options Exchange ®(CBOE®), C2 Options Exchange (C2) and CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE®) in observance of the Presidents’ Day holiday:
Hedge Funds & Managed Futures
“A fancy thing that you don’t do at home”
Dan McCrum, FT
Bill Ackman there, on most Americans’ perception of short selling. His comments are part of a wide ranging interview in the new issue of Graham and Doddsville, the investment letter put out by students at the Columbia Business School which has a strong value investor heritage.
Swiss Officials Sound Swiss Franc Alarm; Warning About Threat Over-Valued Currency Poses For Exporters and Labor Market
By Neil MacLucas, WSJ
Swiss officials have warned that scrapping of the central bank’s cap on the Swiss franc may hobble Switzerland’s exporters, throw more people out of work, and even tip the economy into a recession.
Banks & Brokers
BGC Provides Electronic Trading Platform For The INR NDF Market ; Launched in November 2014 BGC became the first interdealer broker to offer an electronic trading platform for NDF Indian Rupee future based instruments, available on BGC’s SEF and off-SEF
BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: BGCP) (“BGC Partners,” “BGC,” or “the Company”), a leading global brokerage company servicing the financial and real estate markets, today announced that it launched BGC Trader for the Indian Rupee non-deliverable forward (“INR NDF”) market in November 2014. Since its launch BGC has seen strong interest in INR NDF trading across its SEF and off-SEF platforms.
JPMorgan unit set to take control of Towergate
Alistair Gray, FT
A $30bn alternative investments arm of JPMorgan is closing in on a deal to take control of Towergate, ending a battle among the insurance broker’s creditors over who gets what in a restructuring of its £1bn debt burden.
Former head of UK equities Lees exits F&C
Alice Rigby, InvestmentWeek
Peter Lees has resigned from F&C, two months after handing over his UK equity fund to other managers.
Ex-BarCap boss Cooney swoops for Goldman MD
A former managing director at Goldman Sachs is to join the foreign exchange trading business founded by BarCap’s former e-FX trading boss, David Cooney.
Clearing & Settlement
European Commission calls for 2-year pension fund exemption on clearing rules
Pensions & Investments
Pension funds in Europe should be granted a further two-year exemption from compliance with new central clearing rules for over-the-counter derivative transactions, said a report from the European Commission.
CFTC extends comment period for LedgerX derivatives clearing and swap execution registration
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is extending the deadline for public comment on related applications submitted by LedgerX for registration as a derivatives clearing organisation and registration as a swap execution facility.
FIA releases recommendations on improving swap clearing infrastructure
FIA today released a set of recommendations aimed at improving important operational elements of the new clearing infrastructure for over-the-counter derivatives.
Indexes & Products
Smart Beta ETFs: Have You Checked Your Index Lately?
A mong the many things to love about ETFs is the passive investing style. For investors, that means low costs and consistent exposure. But when it comes to portfolio holdings and weightings, not every exchange traded fund is sitting still. For successful investing , ETF owners are better off keeping up with index changes.
ProShares Expands Dividend Growers Suite of ETFs
ProShares, a premier provider of alternative ETFs, today launched two new ETFs, each investing in the best dividend growers of a major equity index.
MSCI February Quarterly Index Review Announcement Scheduled for February 11, 2015
MSCI Inc. (NYSE:MSCI) , a leading provider of investment decision support tools worldwide, including indexes, portfolio risk and performance analytics and ESG data and research, will announce the results of the February 2015 Quarterly Index Review for the MSCI Equity Indexes, as of the close of February 27, 2015.
NFL’s Offseason Nonsense Index: Topics You Will Be Sick of Before Spring
The Super Bowl may be behind us, but NFL nonsense knows no offseason. There’s an entire industry built upon round-the-calendar speculation, rumor-mongering, scandal-stoking, drama-manufacturing and out-and-out spitballing about football’s most fascinating teams and personalities.
***DA: I had to include this one.
Transforming the trading desk
Christoph Hock, head of trading, and Michael Muders, portfolio manager, detail the sweeping overhaul of Union Investment’s trading desk following Hock’s appointment at the Frankfurt-based asset manager in April 2014.
Liquid Holdings Group Introduces LiquidMobileSM – A Real-Time, Mobile-Optimized Risk Analytics App for Hedge Fund Managers
Feature-Forward, Intuitive Design Equips Managers to Make Faster, More Informed Investment and Investor-Relations Decisions
Liquid Holdings Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:LIQD), a provider of cloud-based investment management solutions for the financial community, today introduced LiquidMobile, a web-based app that allows hedge funds to manage portfolio and risk analysis and reporting across multiple funds on a mobile device in real-time, all the time, everywhere.
Twitter Keeps Adding Features to Prove It Isn’t Completely Dysfunctional
Twitter Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo has been delivering on his promises in a quest to save his job
Man Behind Silk Road Website Is Convicted on All Counts
By BENJAMIN WEISER, NY Times
A California man behind the website Silk Road, once a thriving online black market for the sale of heroin, cocaine, LSD and other drugs and illicit goods, was convicted on Wednesday of all seven counts related to the enterprise.
S.&P. Settlement Leaves Future Unclear for Ratings
By Ben Protess and Nathaniel Popper, NY Times
It cost $1.37 billion, but Standard & Poor’s has finally appeared to close the darkest chapter in its 150-year history as a rating agency.
European Authorities Fine ICAP $17 Million in Libor Investigation
By Chad Bray
European competition authorities fined the British financial firm ICAP about 14.9 million euros, or $17 million, on Wednesday, saying the firm had breached antitrust laws by facilitating attempts by several banks to rig a benchmark interest rate.
CFTC Orders Florida-Based Midwest Metals Exchange and Its Owner, Brian S. Ekasala, to Pay Restitution and a Civil Monetary Penalty Totaling More than $522,000 for Engaging in Illegal, Off-Exchange Precious Metals Transactions
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today issued an Order filing and simultaneously settling charges against Brian S. Ekasala, a resident of Lake Worth, Florida, and his company, Midwest Metals Exchange, LLC (Midwest) of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for engaging in illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions.
CFTC fines Summit Energy Services, Inc. for violating CTA registration rules under the Commodity Exchange Act
Daphne G. Frydman, Catherine M. Krupka, Alexander S. Holtan, Nicole S. Lim and Raymond A. Ramirez, ACC
On January 16, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a settlement order requiring Summit Energy Services, Inc. (Summit Energy) to pay a $140,000 civil monetary penalty for acting as an unregistered commodity trading advisor (CTA),1 in violation of Section 4m(1) of the Commodity Exchange Act (the CEA).
3 More Former J.P. Morgan Reps Suspended, Fined by FINRA
by Margarida Correia, Bankinvestmentconsultant
Three former J.P. Morgan registered reps joined a growing roster of J.P. Morgan alumni suspended and fined by FINRA since January.
Environmental & Energy
Nitrogen-Fixing Bacterium Could Cut Biofuel Costs
By Jenny Rood – The Scientist
A bacterium that turns inedible plant parts into ethanol three- to five-times faster than baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) can fix—or convert—atmospheric nitrogen gas into ammonium, according to a study published today (February 2) in PNAS.
Richard Branson leads call to free global economy from carbon emissions
By Fiona Harvey – The Guardian
Governments should set a clear target of making the world’s economy free from carbon emissions by mid-century, Sir Richard Branson and a group of other prominent businesspeople have urged.
EPA Keystone Review Links Oil Sands to Carbon Emission Jump
By Jim Snyder and Mark Drajem – Bloomberg
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said developing Canadian oil sands would significantly increase greenhouse gases, a conclusion environmental groups said gives President Barack Obama reason to reject the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
Big oil is not the biggest victim of cheap crude
John Gapper, FT
Countries not companies are paying the price for the industry’s crisis
If only oil-producing countries that got into trouble could merge, bring in fresh management, lay off citizens, cut costs and restructure their operations. At this point in the energy cycle, betting on a national merger wave similar to the corporate one that created supermajors such as ExxonMobil and BP in the late 1990s would be a good investment.
SEC, Chinese units of accounting firms near settlement – WSJ
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Chinese units of the Big Four accounting firms are close to settling a dispute related to audits of U.S.-listed Chinese firms, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.
Large credit cost to keep bank profits under pressure in FY16
India Ratings says outlook for banking sector said impaired asset formation likely to move closer to peak by FY16 premised on gradual economic revival
FX Mart only player from Punjab to apply to RBI for payment bank
A total of 41 companies all over the country have applied to RBI for the payments bank license
Moscow Exchange Recommends Candidates for Supervisory Board
The Moscow Exchange AGM will be held in late April 2015. The AGM agenda will include election of a new Supervisory Board comprising 15 directors. The Supervisory Board will set the date and the full agenda of the AGM at a meeting in the beginning of March. From 1 January to 1 March 2015, shareholders owning at least 2% of Moscow Exchange shares are eligible to nominate candidates for the new Supervisory Board.
Securities and Exchange Board of India Notices
Change in investment conditions for FPI investments in Government Debt securities
Interim Order in the matter Agri Gold Farm Estates India Private Limited
ADC India Communication Limited
Investment Association consults on ‘major reorganisation’ of sector system
Anna Fedorova, InvestmentWeek
The Investment Association (IA) is consulting members on a reorganisation of its sector structure as it seeks to better accommodate ‘outcome-focused’ funds. The consultation seeks to address the growing number of fund groups launching ‘solution’ products, most of which currently sit in the Unclassified sector, both post-RDR and in anticipation of upcoming pensions reforms.