First Read

Boris Ilyevsky, International Securities Exchange – Growing Up with Options

“Your first impressions matter quite a bit, and perception is reality.”

When Boris Ilyevsky joined the fledgling International Securities Exchange back in 1999, he had no idea what it would entail. He quickly learned that starting out at a startup meant wearing a number of hats – customer service, business development, technology and more. Sixteen years later, he is still with ISE, and in many ways the exchange still embraces the startup mentality. In this MarketsWiki Education talk, he takes us through the ins and outs of a startup and the Golden Rule of customer service. He also reminds us that, unless one is working at Pizza Hut, one should never answer the customer service line with the greeting “Pizza Hut.”

Watch the video »

Summer Interns Storm Chicago Finance Jobs
Traders Magazine
The World of Opportunity Summer Intern Series
The John Lothian/MarketsWiki summer intern series brought together such speakers as Phupinder Gill of CME Group, John Kerin of CHX, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel among others.

***** A bunch of pictures from our Summer Intern Education series at Trading Technologies offices are included.


Citi Overlooked a Few Thousand Illegal Trades
By Matt Levine, BloombergView
Yesterday’s $15 million Securities and Exchange Commission settlement with Citigroup over a grab bag of administrative violations is objectively boring and yet I find myself fascinated by it. Big banks, as securities dealers, trade public stocks and bonds, but as relationship banks, they also have lots of secret information about the companies that issue those stocks and bonds, information that is not allowed to fall into the hands of their traders. So a major job of banking compliance is just to keep those functions separate. Citi’s subsidiary Citigroup Global Markets sometimes messed that up, in ways that probably didn’t hurt anyone but that tell you a lot about banks and regulation.

***** What is a few thousand illegal trades among friends?


Rosenblatt Securities, China Merchants Securities Announce Exclusive Pact to Bring Chinese Research to US Investors
Rosenblatt Securities
Rosenblatt Securities, one of North America’s leading boutique brokerage firms, and China Merchants Securities (HK), a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Merchants Securities Co., Ltd. (600999.CH), are pleased to announce they have signed an exclusive arrangement to bring Hong Kong and China research, corporate access, and execution services to US institutional investors.

***** Rosenblatt always pushing the envelope in the right ways.


Profiles: Blair Hull

It’s not every day you hear one of the most successful traders and businessmen in the industry say he got his start as a card counter in blackjack.

“My brother-in-law told me that he made money in Lake Tahoe, enough money to pay for his vacations,” he said. “I said “Well, if you do that consistently, you should be betting a lot more money and you wouldn’t have to be an accountant.”

So Hull put his own money where his mouth was and took up the game of blackjack for five years learning probabilities and strategy. His success in the game allowed him to put $25,000 of his winnings into leasing a seat in 1976 at the Pacific Stock Exchange (now NYSE Arca).

Watch and read the rest of Hull’s story at

Quant Trader Muller Will Be Hot-Dogging at City Winery in October
Quant trader Peter Muller is known for many things: his investing prowess, his poker game, his taste for adventure and his musical leanings. As our colleague Scott Patterson wrote of Muller in his book, “The Quants”:

***** Music, charity and fun. What could be better?


Collateral Conference for the Americas

Lead Stories

Commodity Rout Erases $2 Trillion From Stock Values; Prices have plunged after years of overinvestment led to a supply glut at the same time that economic growth is slowing in China
Isaac Arnsdorf, Bloomberg
The value that commodity producers have lost in the past year almost equals India’s entire economy.

NYSE plan to update private data feed draws criticism from IEX
Upstart stock trading venue IEX Group on Thursday criticized a plan by the New York Stock Exchange to give a more complete view of transactions executed on the exchange only to firms that pay a premium for that service.

Barclays must face U.S. class action over Libor
Barclays Plc shareholders who accused the British bank in a lawsuit of inflating its stock price by manipulating the interest rate known as Libor may pursue their case as a class action, a U.S. judge ruled on Thursday.

Japan Bond Trading’s 73% Drop to Record Shows Stimulus Damage
Kevin Buckland, Shigeki Nozawa, Bloomberg
Japanese government bond trading has slumped to a record low and the Bank of Japan’s own analysis shows a market still in stress across a range of indicators.

An Ashley Madison Recession? Or an Ashley Madison Stimulus?
By Josh Barro and Justin Wolfers, NY Times
The revelation of who opened accounts on the Ashley Madison site for adulterers got the attention of curiousity seekers and suspicious spouses. Josh Barro and Justin Wolfers had a different impulse. They wondered whether a surge in marital trouble resulting from the Ashley Madison hack could hurt the economy — or even, surprisingly, make it grow faster.

Banks seek to nurture emerging fintech talent
by Kimberley Long, Euromoney
Rather than relying exclusively on in-house platforms, or buying in third-party resources, banks are benefiting from nurturing the next generation of talent to experiment with emerging fintech solutions. Citi, Commerzbank and DBS reveal their incubator strategies.

Chinese trading rivalry ruffles Asian oil markets; Chinaoil, Unipec face off in Asia crude trade; Career oil traders rise to top of both companies; Push for more profits as firms become global traders; Beijing seen unlikely to intervene
By Chen Aizhu and Florence Tan, Reuters
An intensifying rivalry between China’s two top oil traders Chinaoil and Unipec is whipsawing Asia’s oil market, pitting the state-owned firms against each other in a battle for control of the region’s crude benchmark.

Are Hedge Funds Fake?
By Matt Levine, BloombergView
Here’s the seven-factor Fung and Hsieh model:
We start with Fung and Hsieh (2001) who argue that, theoretically, a payoff of an actively managed fund that can perfectly predict price trends resembles a payoff of a lookback straddle. They call the optimal trend-following strategy of buying lookback straddles the “Primitive Trend-Following Strategy” (PTFS). The authors construct PTFS factors for stocks, bonds, interest rates, and currency and commodity markets, and they show that returns of commodity trading advisors (CTAs), a popular hedge fund strategy, are well explained by these factors. Furthermore, Fung and Hsieh (2004) combine three PTFS factors (for bonds, currencies, and commodities) with four conventional asset-based style (ABS) factors and propose a pricing model for any hedge fund. This model is widely known in the literature as the seven-factor Fung and Hsieh (FH7) model.

StanChart whistleblower aids US probe into sanctions breach
Cynthia O’Murchu, Gina Chon and Martin Arnold, FT
A whistleblower provided evidence that helped US authorities reopen an investigation into Standard Chartered over possible sanctions violations, following its 2012 settlement on similar allegations, according to people familiar with the probe.

Four legs good: cattle, hog markets offer rare bright spot; U.S. cattle prices recovering after 4-month decline; Australia beef exports to U.S. nearing quota limits; Hog prices in China at record high as supply remains tight
By Naveen Thukral, Reuters
Tightening meat supplies in top consuming nations such as the United States and China are boosting the global outlook for cattle and hog markets, offering investors some reprieve from the sharp downturn in many commodity prices.


CFTC issues proposed amendments to swap data recordkeeping and reporting requirements for cleared swaps
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has voted to propose amendments to existing regulations in order to provide additional clarity to swap counterparties and registered entities regarding their reporting obligations for cleared swap transactions; and to improve the efficiency of data collection and maintenance associated with the reporting of the swaps involved in a cleared swap transaction.

ASIC to level Chi-X, ASX playing field
MICHAEL RODDAN, Business Spectator
Stock market operator Chi-X Australia may be able to start quoting and trading warrants and exchange traded funds after the corporate regulator proposed changes to its market integrity rules.

Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) Rulemaking and National Market System (NMS) Plans

    • CBOE: Order Instituting Proceedings to Determine Whether to Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change, as modified by Amendment No. 1, Relating to Rule 6.53C and Complex Orders on the Hybrid System (Release No. 34-75736; File No. SR-CBOE-2015-045; August 19, 2015)


    • MIAX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Amend Its Fee Schedule (Release No. 34-75735; File No. SR-MIAX-2015-52; August 19, 2015); see also Exhibit 5


    • MSRB: Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 to Proposed Rule Change Consisting of Proposed New Rule G-42, on Duties of Non-Solicitor Municipal Advisors, and Proposed Amendments to Rule G-8, on Books and Records to be Made by Brokers, Dealers, Municipal Securities Dealers, and Municipal Advisors (Release No. 34-75737; File No. SR-MSRB-2015-03; August 19, 2015)


    • NASDAQ: Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change to Adopt a Kill Switch for NOM (Release No. 34-75743; File No. SR-NASDAQ-2015-096); see also Exhibit 5


  • NASDAQ OMX BX: Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change to Adopt a Kill Switch (Release No. 34-75744; File No. SR-BX-2015-050); see also Exhibit 5
  • NASDAQ OMX BX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Surveillance Agreements (Release No. 34-75733; File No. SR-BX-2015-053; August 19, 2015); see also Exhibit 5
  • NSCC-AN: Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 and No Objection to Advance Notice Filing, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, to Establish a Prefunded Liquidity Program As Part of NSCCs Liquidity Risk Management (Release No. 34-75730; File No. SR-NSCC-2015-802; August 19, 2015)
  • NYSE: Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Amending Section 907.00 of the Listed Company Manual (the Manual) to (i) Amend the Suite of Complimentary Products and Services that are Offered to Certain Current and Newly Listed Companies, (ii) Update the Value of Complimentary Products and Services Offered to Listed Companies, and (iii) Provide that Complimentary Products and Services Would also be Offered to Companies that Transfer their Listing to the Exchange from Another National Securities Exchange (Release No. 34-75740; File No. SR-NYSE-2015-36; August 19, 2015); see also Exhibit 5

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

TRADETALK: “GMEX’s CMF: A Novel Interest Rate Product”
Nearly two weeks ago Global Markets Exchange (GMEX) together with Eurex has launched its IRS Constant Maturity Future (CMF) to create a futures contract that closely replicates the hedging properties of a vanilla spot interest rate swap, while leveraging the advantages of a listed derivative. Trading Technologies describes in its official blog TRADETALK why to trade this product, its inherent efficiencies and novel design. Read more!

Irish Stock Exchange Hosts Great Place To Work Institute Event On Culture And Strategy
The Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) yesterday hosted an event on the interplay between culture and strategy in conjunction with Great Place to Work® (GPtW), a global research, consulting and training firm. GPtW helps organisations identify, create and sustain great workplaces through the development of high-trust workplace cultures.

BRIEF-CME lowers margins for silver and palladium

NEO Exchange’s Schmitt Says Not All Trading Speed Bumps Are Created Equal
John D’Antona Jr., Traders Magazine
Not all trading delays or intentional speed bumps are the same.
That’s according to Jos Schmitt, chief executive officer of Aequitas NEO Exchange. In a recent blog post Schmitt discussed the upcoming changes to Canadian market structure, more specifically, the changes to the TMX Alpha marketplace.

Nasdaq: Our plans with the blockchain
By Anna Irrera, Financial News
Nasdaq became one of the first big financial institutions to embrace the technology behind bitcoin when it announced in May that it planned to use the blockchain to run its Private Market.

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Teetering U.S. Stocks Add New Dimension to Global Selloff
Adam Haigh, Camila Russo, Bloomberg
Currencies and stocks from Hong Kong to Johannesburg and London were already faltering. Then the U.S. joined in.

Traders Sound Fed Policy-Error Alarm as Inflation Outlook Dives
Daniel Kruger, Alexandra Scaggs, Bloomberg
The bond market is sending a warning to the Federal Reserve: a false step could leave the U.S. bogged down in a disinflationary quagmire well into the next decade.

Bulls Against Wall in S&P 500 as Seven-Month Trading Range Caves
Joseph Ciolli, Callie Bost, Bloomberg
The worst drop for American equities in 18 months is setting up the biggest test since October for bulls after the floor caved in under the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Europe’s long/short heroes keep a Greek tragedy at bay
By Stefanie Eschenbacher, Financial News
Hedge funds betting on rising and falling stocks in Europe have navigated the Greek turmoil to outpace US rivals this year – and alternative investors are increasing their allocations to them as a result.

Hedge Fund Gains $100 Million in Two Days on Bearish China Bet; Surge enables ESG’s Nexus Fund to recover from losses earlier in year
A Carlyle Group LP hedge fund that anticipated a sudden currency-policy shift in China gained roughly $100 million in two days last week, a sign of how some bearish bets on the world’s second-largest economy are starting to pay off.

Banks & Brokers

Ex-JPMorgan banker to plead guilty in embezzlement case-hearing
Aug 20 A former investment adviser at JPMorgan Chase & Co is expected to plead guilty in September, after federal prosecutors in New York charged him with taking at least $22 million out of client accounts to use for his own purposes.

Clearing & Settlement

Deutsche Bank to resign as London bullion clearer – sources
Deutsche Bank is to sever its last link with commodity trading by resigning as a clearing member of the London gold and silver over-the-counter business, two industry sources close to the matter said on Thursday.
The move leaves five banks — Barclays, HSBC , Bank of Nova Scotia, JP Morgan and UBS — to settle daily bullion transactions between dealers, amounting to more than $5 trillion worth of metal each year.

SGX launches public consultation on affiliate segregation
Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX:S68) has opened a public consultation on the proposed introduction of Affiliate Segregation in cases where collateral of an affiliate of an SGX Derivatives Clearing (SGX-DC) member is protected if the member defaults on its own contracts.

Hong Kong reappoints markets supervisor
Futures & Options World
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) on Friday, said its head of markets supervision, Keith Lui, has been reappointed as executive director of the Supervision of Markets Division, on three-year term effective August 28.
Lui will continue to head up the division, which is responsible for the supervision of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, in respect to its: trading and clearing activities, authorisation of automated trading systems, managing the investor compensation…

BitGold integrates Aurum Gold-Settlement Technology with 9 Major US Banks
GoldMoney Inc. (XAU), a full-reserve and gold-based financial services and technology group, has recently announced that the BitGold “Aurum” gold-settlement technology is now connected via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network to nine of the top U.S. financial institutions including: JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi, US Bank, USAA, Fidelity, Charles Schwab and Capital One.

Indexes & Products

Record Volume for VIX Weekly Futures Today as Five Volatility Indexes Rose by More Than 20%
Matt Moran, CBOE
August 20 – Today the S&P 500 (SPX) Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average both fell by 2.1%, while the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) and 4 other volatility indexes rose by more than 20% (see table below), and the VIX Weekly futures had record daily volume of 1,847 (estimated).

U.S. stock indexes plummet after China fears spur global sell-off
Indianapolis Business Journal
The U.S. stock market endured its worst performance in 18 months on Thursday, driven lower by another slump in Chinese shares and heavy selling by technical traders.
The global rout started in China, where sharp declines in energy and property stocks pushed the Shanghai Composite down more than 3 percent. That selling soon spread to European and U.S. markets, where the Standard & Poor’s 500 index moved further below a closely watched trading level.

Indices Get Crushed on Worse Day in Months
The stock market had a terrible day, one of the worst days in months as the indices cracked and cracked hard. They took out the head-and-shoulder bottoming patterns and the lows as well, reaching the bottom of the channel, and then key, secondary support at the close, going away at the lows for the day.
Net on the day, the Dow actually dipped and closed under 17,000 at 16,990.69, down 358.04, closing at the low for the day. The S&P 500 was down 43.88 to 2035.73. The Nasdaq 100 was down 125.77 to 4385.13.

Why investors need to know about indices
Financial Times
Why do you need to know about financial market indices? The FT is still only half way through a two-week series looking at this subject, so readers are owed an explanation. Here is my attempt.
First, indices have grown more powerful. That is partly of course because of the growth of passive index investing, in which funds merely follow an index. This has been a broadly positive development because it reduces costs.


The 25 fintech ‘unicorns’ worth over $1 billion ranked by value
Business Insider
Financial technology, or fintech, is a boom industry right now, with investment flooding into companies reinventing the way we do payments, lending, investing, and more.
Valuations in the sector are also sky-rocketing as more money floods in. Many companies are now reaching the fabled “unicorn” status — the term in the tech industry for companies worth $1 billion (£640 million) or more.

Box’s new FinTech boss, Adam Ross, talks about the company’s future in New York City
The way financial services firms communicate to regulators isn’t that far away from bicycle messengers and fax machines, according to Adam Ross, the new boss of Box for Financial Services, which is expected to open at the company’s new New York City offices this fall.

Banks seek to nurture emerging fintech talent
Euromoney Magazine
Rather than relying exclusively on in-house platforms, or buying in third-party resources, banks are benefiting from nurturing the next generation of talent to experiment with emerging fintech solutions. Citi, Commerzbank and DBS reveal their incubator strategies.

Paths to Fintech: first steps in the fintech sector
We’ve looked at job opportunities in the fintech sector, fintech companies who are currently hiring, and how to make yourself stand out to a fintech employer.
For this final Fintech Week article, we’re taking a look at what you can do to launch your fintech career, whether as a student, as a graduate or as someone looking to change jobs.

Alastair Blair: Ireland best placed to ride the fintech storm
Ireland is at the intersection of the finance and technology worlds but needs to move fast in order to reap the rewards, Accenture’s country manager Alastair Blair says.

Twitter Breaks Its IPO Price
So much for that brief Twitter Inc. rally. The micro-blogging site dropped below its initial public offering price for the first time ever Thursday.

BitBeat: Bitcoin Price Drops on Block-Size Debate, ‘Flash Crash’

Bitcoin Latest Price: $234.84, up 4.2% (via CoinDesk)
Crossing Our Desk:
– Bitcoin’s price has been under pressure amid the roiling block-size debate, and the selling that resulted from that debate sparked a “flash crash” on one of the biggest exchanges that pulled the price down across the cryptocurrency’s global markets.


Mt Gox founder Mark Karpelès faces rearrest in bitcoin probe
Leo Lewis and Kana Inagaki in Tokyo, FT
Mark Karpelès is expected to face an extended period of detention in Tokyo
Japanese police investigating the disappearance of nearly $500m of bitcoins are poised to rearrest the French founder of the Mt Gox virtual currency exchange amid questions about the purchase of a $48,000 four-poster bed.

Ex-head of New York bank sentenced to two-and-a-half years prison for TARP fraud
A former president of a failed New York bank was sentenced to 2-1/2 years in prison on Thursday after becoming the first person to be convicted for trying to defraud the U.S. government bailout program established during the financial crisis. Charles Antonucci, Park Avenue Bank’s former president, was ordered to serve prison time by U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald despite cooperating with authorities, who ultimately charged three other people.

Here’s a Really Nerdy Way to Buy Gold, Honey, or Concert Tickets Using Bitcoin’s Blockchain; The technology underlying bitcoin is powering new online retail sites
Olga Kharif, Bloomberg
Mark Vanderaar and his daughter Katie run a small honey-making business in Ohio, Beerbelly Bees. Earlier this year they sold several bottles on the online marketplace OpenBazaar using the technology that underlies bitcoin: the blockchain.

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority: Guilty Pleas Entered In OPI Pacific Finance Case
Two former directors of OPI Pacific Finance, Mark Lawrence Lacy and Jason Robert Duncan Maywald, have today pleaded guilty to two charges under the Securities Act 1978 in a prosecution commenced by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) in 2013.

Sebi bars 59 entities for manipulating markets, evading taxes; Bars the entities for alleged manipulation of the stock exchange route to evade taxes
Jayshree P Upadhyay, Business Standard
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Thursday passed an interim order against several wealthy investors, for alleged manipulation of the stock exchange route for evading taxes.

Environmental & Energy

No End in Sight for Oil Glut; Crude-price plunge is deepening, yet producers keep pumping
When oil prices started to edge down a year ago, most energy mavens thought the drop would be small and short-lived.

Refineries Could Push Oil Over the Edge; Oil’s drop into the $30s could come from U.S. refiners throttling back after an intense summer.
As crude oil teeters on the edge of the $30s, it isn’t necessarily China or Saudi Arabia that will push prices over the edge. Rather, the final shove could come from the U.S.

The Pope’s Climate Change Message Is Lost on Americans; Even a majority of the Catholics don’t know much about his climate change push
Eric Roston, Bloomberg
Pope Francis released a 180-page indictment of capitalism and climate change that has fallen, for the most part, on deaf ears in the U.S.

Oil’s spill: crude’s second-longest losing streak
Things are starting to look uglier than a polar bear covered in crude. West Texas Intermediate is about to notch up its second-longest losing streak in more than 30 years, writes Peter Wells.

Next Texas Energy Boom: Solar; Companies are spending $1 billion on new projects to harvest electricity from the sun
A new energy boom is taking shape in the oil fields of west Texas, but it’s not what you think. It’s solar.


Shanghai got the headlines, but this diving market was China’s ground zero
Not one, or two, but three bulls stand sentinel outside the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, symbols of a city, and a country, that have spent more than three decades charging up, and up, and up.
This spring they stood watch as the market went on yet another epic tear, a frenzy of borrowing and buying that saw Chinese stocks rush to ridiculous new heights, attracting millions of new investors along the way.

EM rout spreads to Korea and Japan markets
Patrick McGee in Hong Kong, FT
Asia suffered a stark and ugly open after the emerging markets sell-off spread to western markets overnight and investors reacted to the trading of artillery fire between North and South Korea.

Yuan unlikely to fall further: says Hong Kong’s financial services chief
South China Morning Post
Beijing will not devalue the yuan much more as further cheapening of the currency may not help boost exports and might have adverse ramifications, said Hong Kong’s financial services chief.
“The level of devaluation last week was small compared with other currencies such as the Korean won or the Malaysian ringgit, which have devalued by 10 to 20 per cent against the US dollar in recent months. I do not expect Beijing to devalue the yuan substantially in the near future as that may create more problems than help the mainland economy,” Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Chan Ka-keung said on Thursday.

What a Chinese Population Boom Would Mean for the Stock Market
Chinese diaper makers, health-care providers and education companies would be among the biggest winners if President Xi Jinping shifts his economic policy priority to population growth.

Frontier Markets

Lehman survivor wants to build a $12 billion solar empire; Lehman’s collapse in 2008 choked off credit to SkyPower, forcing it to seek protection from creditors in 2009
Business Standard
Seven years ago, Kerry Adler watched as the disaster at Lehman Brothers Holdings scuttled his vision of renewable-power riches. Today, he has reassembled assets from the collapsed investment bank, laying the foundation for a green-energy colossus.


Bloomberg hits back over politics claims
Shannon Bond in New York, FT
Bloomberg, the financial data and news empire run by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, played down reports that it was poised to engage in a major restructuring of its Washington and New York operations.

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