John Lothian Newsletter: Cross-Border Swap Dispute Risks Trade War, CFTC’s Giancarlo Says; US regulator probes PIMCO ETF pricing; Nasdaq to administer data system behind three-hour trading halt

Sep 24, 2014

First Read

The New Commissioner’s Olive Branch
Doug Ashburn, from FIA Burgenstock 2014
When Commissioner Scott O’Malia left the CFTC last month to become the head of ISDA, many of us were worried the commission lost its voice of reason. For it was O’Malia to whom we turned when we wanted the real story, unbiased by ulterior motive or hidden agenda. He routinely asked the tough questions of his fellow commissioners, such as whether they were going in the right direction with all these new swap rules, or whether the commission was spending its resources wisely, especially in the area of technology. He was not afraid to criticize the agency itself when it was deserved.

This morning I saw that I need not have worried, for the commission has a new voice, and that voice is Chris Giancarlo, who was sworn in this summer after waiting nearly a year to be confirmed after the departure of Jill Sommers. Giancarlo, an attorney and derivatives executive who also led the Wholesale Markets Brokers’ Association Americas (WMBAA), an advocacy group made up of the five largest inter-dealer brokers, understands the importance of freely functioning markets. He kicked off the morning session with a stern reminder of what happens when global powers dig in their heels and default to protecting their respective turfs rather than work in harmony to the betterment of all. He pointed the finger squarely at his own commission as the source of controversy, and suggested that this same commission can and should make the next move toward setting it right. (View Giancarlo’s Keynote Address

His remarks, subtitled “A Return to Smoot-Hawley” centered on the unresolved cross-border derivatives issues creating a drag on the industry. He says that while entrenched interests on both sides of the Atlantic are holding back progress on central counterparty recognition, part of the problem rests with last July’s interpretive guidance on cross-border compliance and its far-reaching definition on who must comply with U.S. regulations. Unless steps are taken by global regulators to force a compromise, Giancarlo envisions a series of retaliatory measures that could further fragment the market, and thus of the capital formation process itself, at a time when the world’s economies desperately need a properly functioning market. He reminds us that the Great Depression was bad for everyone, not just the bankers, brokers and traders.

Today marks the five-year anniversary of the famous “Pittsburgh Summit” at which the G-20 finance ministers agreed to a harmonized framework for regulation to ensure a safer system after the global financial crisis. Giancarlo suggests an olive branch – the withdrawal of the CFTC’s November 2013 staff advisory that spelled out the reach of transaction-level requirements to non-U.S. persons (a move that CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad hinted he might be open to considering). It is hoped that this olive branch would put the ball back into the Europeans’ court to loosen up on its CCP rules.

It’s so crazy of an idea it might just work.


Julie Winkler, Senior Managing Director of Research and Product Development at CME Group – Innovation in the Futures Industry

“You can’t keep doing the same thing. You need to figure out different ways to innovate, different ways to collaborate…and by doing so, that’s how you come up with some breakthrough innovations.”

Einstein’s definition of insanity was repeating the same task over and over and expecting a different result each time. Julie Winkler of CME Group explains how innovation in the financial industry must also avoid repeating the same process over and over again in order to create change. Winkler defines innovation and gives examples of how companies like CME Group have been pioneers in their field. She also discusses designing successful new products and how innovation can start at the internship level.

Watch the video »


Cross-Border Swap Dispute Risks Trade War, CFTC’s Giancarlo Says
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
U.S. and European regulators risk a permanent breakdown in financial markets if they can’t end a dispute over transatlantic oversight of the $700 trillion swaps industry, a Commodity Futures Trading Commission member said.

***** This is just another battle in a larger war. It might just be a skirmish.


Time to Take Another Look at Build vs. Buy debate
Hazem Dawani, CEO of OptionsCity Software – Futures & Options World
The old build vs. buy debate was focused on whether trading firms would invest the substantial time and resources into creating their own infrastructure, systems and software, or instead rely on a third-party to provide an out-of-the-box solution. Since rigid, one-size solutions do not fit all, those that had the resources to implement tailored systems did just that – providing an edge over the smaller or medium-sized market players that had no choice but to buy off-the-shelf.

***** I have yet to see a feed handler on the shelf at Best Buy.


CME Group Named ‘Exchange of the Year Asia’ by Energy Risk
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced the company was named ‘Exchange of the Year Asia’ at the 7th Energy Risk Awards Asia 2014. The awards ceremony held on 23rd September 2014 in Singapore recognized CME Group’s significant achievements in the Asian energy derivatives space.

***** My exchange of the year was a new disc in my back for a degenerated one.


Isda chief O’Malia dismisses global repository plan
Joe Parsons – Futures & Options World
Scott O’Malia, the new chief executive of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (Isda) has urged regulators to focus on harmonising cross-border swaps rules rather than building a single global trade reporting system.

***** Scott isda chief.


2014 T4Youth: Techies take your table…
The inaugural Table Tennis Tech Tournament, T4Youth, is happening Oct 2 and you and your company are invited! Chicagoland technology companies will be competing to stake their claim as the #1 tech table team.

Our goal is to unite Chicago tech professionals around a common passion for table tennis in order to raise money and support future generations of technologists. This year, all of the proceeds will be benefitting Chicago Tech Academy. Games will happen throughout the day at Killerspin House and a big bash will culminate the day with food, drinks, and raffle for all particpants.

Trading Technologies, IMC Financial Markets, and DRW are all sending teams. Sign up! More details here:

***** This tournament is innovative and fun. Check it out!



MarketsWiki Page of the Day
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MarketsWiki Recent Updates


Steve Chivers; Michael McClain; Michael E. Cahill

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European Energy Exchange AG; ConvergEx Group, LLC; Liquidnet; MCX Stock Exchange


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Lead Stories

US regulator probes PIMCO ETF pricing
Investment Week
The US regulator is investigating how bond giant PIMCO prices its exchange-traded funds after it became concerned the group may have artificially inflated returns on one of Bill Gross’ ETFs.

Nasdaq to administer data system behind three-hour trading halt
Herbert Lash – Reuters
Nasdaq OMX Group Inc won a contract to administer billing and other chores for the data feed system that sparked a three-hour trading halt in Nasdaq-listed stocks last year, but a contract to build and manage the system is still undecided, the firm that oversaw bidding said on Tuesday.

Warsaw pulls plug on Vienna merger talks
Luke Jeffs – Futures & Options World
The Warsaw Stock Exchange has drawn a line under its proposed merger with Vienna’s CEE Stock Exchange Group to form a regional powerhouse, saying the WSE management has opted instead to focus on “organic growth”.

GFI Sale Talks With BGC Said Stuck on Confidentiality Pact
Matthew Monks and Zeke Faux – Bloomberg
GFI Group Inc. (GFIG) and rival brokerage BGC Partners Inc. (BGCP) are mired in a dispute over a confidentiality agreement that is keeping them from starting formal merger talks, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Digital threat to investment banks
Daniel Schäfer – Financial Times
Yet another threat to investment banks’ business models looms on the horizon. While having to cope with a host of stricter rules, a tougher capital regime and a sharp drop in revenues, trading firms also face an uphill struggle to transform themselves into technology companies.

German Prosecutors Charge Deutsche Bank Executives
Jack Ewing – Dealbook – NY Times
German prosecutors filed criminal charges on Tuesday against the co-chief executive of Deutsche Bank, Jurgen Fitschen, and several former bank leaders, accusing them of colluding to give false testimony in a long-running lawsuit over the collapse of a bank client’s media empire.

EC considers six-month pause for CME’s ‘doomsday clock’
Tom Osborn, Lukas Becker –
The European Commission (EC) is considering giving its markets watchdog a further six months to assess whether clearing house rules in foreign jurisdictions match up to those in the EU, postponing a potential capital hit for banks that use non-approved central counterparties (CCPs). Capital requirements were due to jump on December 15 – a supposedly immovable deadline that has been described as a “big doomsday clock” by one CME Group executive.

Barclays Fined Twice in One Day for Compliance Failures
Alan Katz – Bloomberg
Barclays Plc (BARC) was fined twice in one day for client account failures in the U.K. and the U.S., hurting the bank’s effort to rehabilitate a tarnished image. It agreed to pay a total of $77 million in penalties.

High-frequency trading: Focus moves from speed to safety
Nicole Bullock and Philip Stafford – Financial Times
More than 150 years ago, Paul Julius Reuter, founder of what is now the Thomson Reuters news agency, used carrier pigeons to transmit news and stock information speedily and gain a competitive advantage. The beat of wings has now given way to the flash of light down fibre-optic cables. But speed remains the name of the game.

Buy-side uptake of CLOBs can drive SEF growth
Jon Watkins – The Trade
The uptake of trading on swap execution facilities (SEFs) is creeping upwards, but it is the buy-side which hold the key to injecting rapid growth into the platforms, according to industry experts.

Trading firm KCG announces job cuts
Trading firm KCG Holdings Inc said it has begun cutting 4 percent of its workforce to focus on areas with potential for growth.

Wall St. Bankrolls Ex-Executive as He Sues Over A.I.G. Bailout
Ben Protess and Aaron M. Kessler – Dealbook – NY Times
One might call it “chutzpah,” as several irate lawmakers did, or “rubbing salt in the wounds” of the American taxpayer. But to a few Wall Street financiers, a lawsuit that accuses the government of shortchanging the American International Group in its 2008 bailout is something else: a promising investment in a cause they support.


Esma boss Maijoor calls on firms, EU for more cash
Luke Jeffs – Futures & Options World
The head of the European Securities and Markets Authority has called on the firms it oversees and the Europe to stump up more cash to “guarantee its independence” from national regulators who also fund the regulatory body.

Rhea Dignam Named as Senior Counsel To OCIE Director
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Rhea Kemble Dignam has been named as senior counsel to the director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE).

SEC Names Liban Jama as Director of Atlanta Regional Office
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the appointment of Liban Jama as director of the Atlanta Regional Office, where he will oversee enforcement and examinations in a region covering five states.

SunGard Global Coder Cup Unveils an Unexpected Tool Against Financial Fraud
On September 12, 11 teams from seven countries met at London’s Emirates Stadium to participate in the final championship round of SunGard’s second annual Codeathon, the Global Coder Cup. The finalists were given 48 hours and a clear mission: to harness big data technology to create new compliance solutions for financial services firms.The winning team used Artificial Intelligence to help strengthen compliance in financial firms.

Keynote Address Of CFTC Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo At The Global Forum For Derivatives Markets, 35th Annual Burgenstock Conference, Geneva, Switzerland – The Looming Cross-Atlantic Derivatives Trade War: “A Return To Smoot-Hawley”

[AMF Canada] Derivatives market transparency – Three entities recognized as trade repositories in Québec

ESMA Chair’s Statement To The ECON Committee At The European Parliament

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

HKEx’s stance on voting rights leaves it out in the cold
Jennifer Hughes – Financial Times
To Asia-based bankers, Alibaba’s interest in the number eight – from the $68 upper limit of its initial price range, to the double eight implied in its New York BABA stock code pronounced in Chinese, and the 1688 stock code of the now-delisted unit used in Hong Kong – is not at all unusual.

TMX Quantum XA Launched On TSX Venture Exchange – TMX Group Launches Award-Winning Trading Engine On Canada’s Public Venture Capital Marketplace

Beerenberg Lists Its First Bond Issue On Oslo Børs

SIX Exchange Regulation: Sanction Against Credit Suisse Funds AG For Breaching The Rules On Regular Reporting Obligations

MIAX Options Exchange Will Participate In SIFMA’s October 25, 2014 Industry-Wide Business Continuity Test

TMX Group Thanksgiving Holiday Market Closures

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Tiger Global, Big Investor in Tech Start-Ups, Said to Plan New $1.5 Billion Fund
Michael J. de la Merced – Dealbook – NY Times
Tiger Global Management, the $15 billion investment firm that has invested in the likes of the Alibaba Group and the sunglasses maker Warby Parker, has begun raising a $1.5 billion fund, just five months after raising another $1.5 billion vehicle, a person briefed on the matter said on Tuesday.

Guinness to launch Global Innovators fund for UK investors
Laura Dew – Investment Week
Guinness Asset Management is to launch a version of the Global Innovators strategy run by its US sister company Guinness Atkinson, targeting UK investors.

Old Mutual to float US asset management subsidiary
Julia Rampen – Investment Week
Old Mutual is launching an initial public offering for its US subsidiary Old Mutual Asset Management.

OMGI’s Bradbury to retire
Nick Paler – Investment Week
Old Mutual Global Investors’ Ashton Bradbury is to retire from the group at the end of the year.

Hedge Funds Are Still Finding Love, Just Not at Calpers
Steven Davidoff Solomon – Dealbook – NY Times
I am here to defend the hedge funds, because, well, somebody has to. You could sense the glee in the air last week, when the enormous California state pension plan known as Calpers announced that it would eliminate its investing program in hedge funds.

Hedge Funds Face Growing Investor Unease Over Fees
Mike Foster – MoneyBeat – WSJ
The “two and 20” fee structure that has richly rewarded hedge fund managers over the years is under fresh attack from investment consultants.

Top fund managers split on Calpers hedge fund exit
Kris Devasabai –
The California Public Employee Retirement System’s (Calpers) decision to liquidate its $4 billion hedge fund portfolio elicited some strong reactions from speakers at the Bloomberg Markets Most Influential Summit in New York on September 22, with top asset managers arguing for and against the move.

Harvard Endowment Earns 15.4% Return for Fiscal 2014
Dan Fitzpatrick – WSJ
Harvard University’s endowment reinforced its commitment to hedge funds and private equity even as it reported investment gains for 2014 that trailed some Ivy League rivals.

New eVestment Report Highlights Impacts, Risks, Performance Of Largest Hedge Funds

Banks & Brokers

BNP Paribas Chairman Baudouin Prot to Step Down
David Enrich and Noémie Bisserbe – WSJ
BNP Paribas SA Chairman Baudouin Prot has decided to step down, according to people familiar with the matter, nearly three months after the French bank agreed to plead guilty to violating U.S. sanctions and pay nearly $9 billion in fines.

Santander and UniCredit in Talks to Combine Asset Management Units
Chad Bray – Dealbook – NY Times
Banco Santander said on Wednesday that it was in talks to potentially combine its asset management arm in a joint venture with Pioneer Global Asset Management, a unit of UniCredit of Italy.

IEX targeted in new ConvergEx strategy
John Bakie – The Trade
US broker ConvergEx has launched a new order routing strategy to specifically target orders at new alternative trading system (ATS) IEX.

UBS turns to AllianceBernstein for senior roles
Nick Kostov – Financial News
UBS has announced a second hire from AllianceBernstein in consecutive days, naming a new head of European research a day after announcing the hire of a new co-head of global equities from the US firm.

Goldman Sachs head of European FX trading to leave -source
Goldman Sachs is set to lose London-based European head of spot foreign exchange trading Mitesh Parikh, its second high-profile forex operative to leave this year, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Panmure ‘free from the shackles’ of US misadventure
Lucy Burton – Financial News
UK broker Panmure Gordon has reported a boost in profits for the first six months of the year, as those close to the bank claim it is finally “free from the shackles” of its legacy US business.

Zero-commission Robinhood brokerage gets funding
Bruno J. Navarro – CNBC
Zero-commission brokerage start-up Robinhood said Tuesday it has picked up $13 million in series-A funding from venture capital firm Index Ventures.

Clearing & Settlement

The FSB’s swaps data aggregation report
Futures & Options World
Allen Grody looks at the new report of data aggregation among trade repositories which outlines two approaches

Clearstream Further Improves Collateral Management Efficiency In Line With Eurosystem Changes
On 29 September the European Central Bank (ECB) will enable the use of triparty services for cross-border collateral pledges to national central banks

Sef boss spends his days “worrying about costs”
Catherine Contiguglia –
With competition fierce and volumes continuing to disappoint, it is no fun running a swap execution facility (Sef) at the moment, attendees at the International Swaps and Derivatives Association’s European regional conference were told yesterday.

Euroclear, Six Securities Partner on Enhanced Global Fund Servicing
Six Securities Services and Euroclear Bank have joined forces to offer Swiss asset managers with an end-to-end fund services platform.

TriOptima Wins Global Capital’s Derivatives Compression Provider Of The Year

Indexes & Products

CBOE SKEW Index Hits 146.08
By Matt Moran – CBOE Options Hub
Highest Value Since 1998 Shows Demand for Portfolio Protection

Bucharest Stock Exchange: Launch Of BET Total Return Index


Extensive Market Data Cloud Launched by Barchart – Introducing Barchart OnDemand, Inc., a leading provider of market data and information, today announced the launch of Barchart OnDemand (, a cloud-based service developed for accessing and delivering market data and information using web services.

Thomson Reuters and Markit Expand Communications Connectivity in Financial Markets
Thomson Reuters and Markit today announced that the directory for the open messaging network powered by Markit’s Collaboration Services has been fully integrated with Eikon Messenger, extending the reach of the industry’s first vetted, cross-network directory. Financial market professionals from across the industry can now securely find contacts from a growing address book of 250,000 individuals, work more efficiently and create new business opportunities through improved collaboration.

NSD launches pre-LEI portal
National Settlement Depository (NSD), Russia’s central securities depository, has launched a pre-LEI website (

Sparinvest picks SunGard
Dan DeFrancesco – WatersTechnology
Denmark-based asset manager Sparinvest will use SunGard’s XSPrisa to automate its global corporate actions processing.

Thomson Reuters Wins 2014 Data Provider Of The Year Award At Energy Risk Asia Awards
Thomson Reuters Innovative Solutions For The Commodities And Energy Markets Recognized

Misys Named “Best-In-Class” For Corporate Experience And Functional Depth In Trade And Supply Chain Finance
CEB TowerGroup Analysts Highlight User Experience And Supply Chain Finance As Key Strengths Of FusionBanking Trade Innovation And FusionBanking Corporate Channels


CFTC Charges Ohio Resident John R. Bullar and his Company, Executive Management Advisors L.L.C., with Fraud and Embezzlement in Operating an $8.3 Million Commodity Pool and Ponzi Scheme
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today filed a federal civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio against Defendants John R. Bullar, who resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Executive Management Advisors L.L.C., a company organized in Ohio and of which Bullar was the sole principal.

CFTC Orders Georgia Resident Todd Young and His Company, Young Scott & Associates, to Cease Illegal Fictitious Precious Metals Sales
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today issued an Order filing and simultaneously settling charges against Todd Young, a resident of Atlanta, Georgia, and his company, Young Scott & Associates (YSA), for engaging in illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions.

SEC Charges Two Florida-Based Attorneys for Roles in Offering Fraud by Transfer Agent
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged two Florida-based attorneys for their roles in an offering fraud conducted by a transfer agent that was the subject of an SEC enforcement action two months ago.

SEC Charges Purported Health Food Company and CEO with Issuing False Press Releases in Microcap Fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a Florida-based penny stock company and its CEO with defrauding investors by issuing false and misleading press releases proclaiming large sales and fantastic revenue projections while the purported health food company actually was a failing enterprise.

SEC Charges Barclays Capital with Systemic Compliance Failures After Acquiring Lehman’s Advisory Business
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Barclays Capital Inc. with failing to maintain an adequate internal compliance system to ensure the firm did not run afoul of any federal securities laws after its wealth management business in the U.S. acquired the advisory business of Lehman Brothers in September 2008.

Law Firm Founder Dreier Ordered to Testify in New York
Patricia Hurtado – Bloomberg
Marc Dreier, the New York lawyer convicted of defrauding his hedge fund clients of $400 million, was ordered by a federal judge to testify in person in a trial over his bankrupt law firm.

UK’s Financial Conduct Authority Bans Individual For Fake And Misleading Mortgage Applications

Environmental & Energy

UN climate summit sets goals to save forests, use clean energy
Alister Doyle, Reuters
A United Nations summit on climate change agreed on Tuesday to widen the use of renewable energy and raise billions of dollars in aid for developing countries in an effort to increase the prospects for a wide-ranging deal to slow global warming.

U.N. Climate Summit Harvests a Host of Commitments
Andrew C. Revkin, The New York Times
It’s heartening to review the summary of governmental and private climate and energy commitments compiled by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the end of his daylong climate change summit.

World pledges to end deforestation by 2030
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
Businesses, world leaders, green groups and indigenous peoples have for the first time set a deadline to end net deforestation, in a bid to reduce billions of tonnes of carbon emissions each year.


SGX must overcome market’s cynicism and scepticism
R Sivanithy –
Among the challenges that the exchange will encounter in the weeks and months ahead in its bid to transform the market, the biggest will probably be the need to overcome an ingrained cynicism and widespread scepticism which, sad to say, seems to have taken root in many corners of the local marketplace.

Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan to set up booking hubs in Asia
Viren Vaghela –
Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are making preparations to establish subsidiary hubs in Asia to book their Asian derivatives trades in response to incoming cross-border regulation from the US, with impending European Union swap rules likely to push fellow US firms Citi and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (Baml) into similar actions.

South Korea to Double Share-Trading Limits in Boost for Brokers
Seonjin Cha and Sharon Cho – Bloomberg
South Korea will double the daily trading range of shares next year as the country seeks to increase the appeal of its $1.3 trillion equities market.

South Korea regulator appeals for private equity investment
Simon Mundy in Seoul – Financial Times
South Korea’s top financial regulator has urged foreign private equity funds to invest in the country, as the government embarks on deregulation that may ease the country’s reputation for taking a wary stance towards the sector.

MOVES-BlackRock names head of global consultant relations for Asia ex-Japan
BlackRock Inc said it appointed Steven Rust as head of global consultant relations for Asia ex-Japan.

Moscow’s ‘Mr. Yuan’ Builds China Link as Putin Tilts East
Evgenia Pismennaya – Bloomberg
Vladimir Putin has a secret agent in his campaign to curb the impact of sanctions on Russia’s economy: Mr. Yuan.

Korea Exchange: Global Conference For KOSDAQ-Listed Companies
The Korea Exchange (KRX) will host 2014 Global Investors Conference for twelve (12) KOSDAQ-listed companies to expand investment base in the KOSDAQ stock market.

TOCOM Signed Agreement For Trading System Usage With OSE
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange, Inc. announced today that it signed a letter of intent with the Osaka Exchange (OSE), a unit of Japan Exchange Group Inc. The LOI covers services to be provided by OSE related to their derivatives trading system.

SGX welcomes Versalink Holdings to Catalist

Tokyo Stock Exchange Imposes Disciplinary Action Against Bansei Securities Co.,Ltd.

Tokyo Stock Exchange Imposes Disciplinary Action Against Musashi Securities Co., Ltd.

Notice Of Releasing “Shanghai Stock Exchange Guidelines For Information Disclosure Work Of Shareholding Plans For Listed Companies’ Employees”

Frontier Markets

Indonesia looks to retail investors of the future
Ben Bland in Semarang, Central Java – Financial Times
He is not a securities litigator or quantitative analyst, but Stephanus Cahyanto Kristiadi has one of the toughest jobs in global capital markets: turning risk-averse Indonesian housewives, students and noodle sellers into the equity investors of the future.

Dubai Financial Market “eIPO” Platform Successfully Contributes To The Effective Implementation Of Emaar Malls Group IPO
Electronic Applications Proportion Of Overall Subscriptions Jumps 10 Times Compared To The Previous IPO

Luxembourg Stock Exchange Welcomes Two Debut Sukuk Issuers: South Africa And Goldman Sachs

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