First Read

John’s Bits & Pieces
The CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee meeting in Washington, DC has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for early February due to an expected snow storm hitting the area today. Luckily, I decided to participate in the meeting from Chicago via teleconference.

Former NYBOT Clearing executive George Hasse, Jr., a member of the FIA Futures Hall of Fame, is now an innkeeper at the Fig and Olive Bed and Breakfast

ELX has a new name, logo and website. They are no longer ELX Futures, but ELX Markets. Check out

Pat Kenny continues to make progress coming back from his throat cancer scare. He is done with radiation and chemo and says he is getting stronger and feeling better every day. Also he wants to thank everyone for the phone calls and cards and all the well wishes . He really appreciated the support.

In 2014, R.J. O’Brien & Associates will be celebrating its 100th anniversary.

CFTC Made its first “Made Available to Trade” determinations on Thursday. This MRW page gives a little background and a table of the swap classes and tenors approved:



Toronto seeks slice of Hong Kong’s turf for listings
Enoch Yiu | South China Morning Post
The man who runs the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), a leading market for mining firms seeking to raise funds, says he wants to attract more mainland and Asian listings. The move is sure to pile more pressure on Hong Kong’s bourse, which is reviewing its listing rules in an effort to boost its appeal.

***** That is a long way to go to mine for customers.


Sponsored Content
Derivatives trade reporting comes to Europe
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Our European repository was approved by ESMA to collect data from entities with a reporting obligation in Europe on 7 November 2013, paving the way for the mandatory reporting of derivatives contracts beginning on 12 February 2014.

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content from:


Irish Stock Exchange to Introduce Market for Aviation Funding
Nandini Sukumar – Bloomberg
The Irish Stock Exchange, which lists companies including Ryanair Holdings Plc (RYA) and Aer Lingus Group Plc, will start an exchange for aviation-related debt as European and U.S. carriers seek additional sources of funding.

***** All kinds of bad puns for this exchange. Hopefully, it is not fly by night.


Social Media’s Value Battles Ambiguity In Financial Services
Becca Lipman – Wall Street & Technology
Firms everywhere are grappling with the social media mega trend. Initially casual and familiar sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and more have entered boardroom conversations across a variety of businesses. For those selling material products the impact of a re-posted picture with a link to a website is measurable in clicks and subsequent sales. Unfortunately for financial service, the lines connecting social media efforts and revenue are blurred, but that hasn’t stopped the continued dedication of resources to these efforts.

***** Quotes include Carol Kennedy of the CBOE.


Cinnober one of 2014’s top Swedish career companies
In a recent announcement, Cinnober Financial Technology was named as one of the top companies on the list of Sweden’s 100 most attractive career companies for 2014. The list is published annually by Sweden’s leading business newspaper, Dagens Industri, in its ‘Your career’ section, in cooperation with Jobtip.

***** I want to work at Cinnober. Hey, I let Veronica Augustsson guest edit my newsletter for a week. Shouldn’t I get to run Cinnober for a day?


Second wind for HKMEx
The Standard
The collapsed Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange, chaired by Barry Cheung Chun-yuen, pictured, might yet rise like a phoenix from the ashes again amid a mysterious transfer of share interest.

***** Is it the year of the Phoenix? Nope, it is still the year of the snake.


Snow Closes Washington Offices as U.S. Flights Disrupted
Brian K. Sullivan and Anna Shiryaevskaya – Bloomberg
Heavy snow will hit commuters this morning in Washington and in the evening in New York, disrupting air traffic as a blast of Arctic air meets Atlantic moisture to build a storm on the U.S. East Coast.

***** One CFTC source said not a flake of snow had fallen as of 8:11 AM EST.


Wells Fargo bans staff from investing in P2P loans
Tracy Alloway and Arash Massoudi in New York –
Wells Fargo has banned its employees from lending their own money through peer-to-peer loan platforms, in a sign of growing tensions between new “P2P” lenders and the largest US bank by market value.

****** What about barter?


Notable in Their Absence From Davos
The annual parade of boldface names at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is always striking. This year’s attendees at the meeting, which begins Wednesday, will include Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe; the billionaire Bill Gates; JPMorgan Chase’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon; and the movie star-philanthropist Matt Damon. But just as notable are the luminaries who consistently avoid Davos, despite repeated invitations.

***** For the 10th consecutive year, I will not be there.


Gary DeWaal’s Bridging the Week: January 13-17 and 20, 2014 (Mandatory IRS Trading on SEFs and DCMs; MiFID II Coming; More Enforcement & Prosecution)
One of the final pieces in the G-20 mandate of September 2009 related to OTC derivatives finally will be put in place on February 15, 2014, when certain interest rate swaps for US persons will be mandated from that date forward to be traded on swap execution facilities and designated contract markets. However, once again, the launch of a new CFTC initiative is marred in controversy…

***** Sorry to miss you in DC Gary. See you in Boca.


Open for Business: SEFs Navigate the New Regulatory Environment
Swap execution facilities (SEFs) were given life by the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires over-the counter (OTC) swaps to be cleared and traded on this new type of regulated platform. The CFTC published its final SEF rules in mid-2013 and trading commenced on 18 registered SEFs. John Lothian News interviewed a dozen of the leading SEF operators, regulators and other participants and put together a three part series on SEF regulation, the changing market structure and the new technology required to make it all happen. Part I looks at the state of SEF regulation. Though the final rules are out, the industry is still working on a few lingering issues such as new staff guidance and no-action letters on certain aspects of the rules. Also, as the CFTC begins making classes of swaps “available to trade” and subjecting them to mandatory execution on SEFs, the industry is expected to quickly adjust and comply.

Watch the video »



MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Aequitas Innovations Inc.

MarketsWiki Recent Updates


William Mallers, Jr.; Patrick Thornton-Smith; Hannah Sloane; Will Hill

Companies, Organizations and Groups

First American Discount Corporation; USAA Real Estate Company; Murlas Commodities, Inc.


Swap Data Repository


46,661,445 pages viewed, 7,771 articles, 176,889 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

Deutsche Boerse Looks to Asia, Calls on Europe to Be Competitive
Nandini Sukumar – Bloomberg
Deutsche Boerse AG said it will focus on Asia for growth this year and that European policy makers should ensure the region remains competitive.

Trading on combined BATS-Direct Edge set for February
The Trade USA
Trading on the combined BATS-Direct Edge US exchange will commence from 3 February after expected Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approval in January, sources close to the matter have said, with the group set to challenge the New York Stock Exchange’s dominance.

Position limits on electricity trade lifted
Gregory Meyer in New York –
Speculators facing a clampdown in commodities markets have a new place to take big positions: electric power. One of the world’s leading energy exchanges last week won regulatory clearance to dramatically loosen “position limits” for large traders in US power futures, in some cases increasing the cap 20-fold. Its main rival now seeks to do the same.

Wall Street Banks Remain Vulnerable on Derivatives Five Years After Financial Crisis
Francesco Guerrera – MoneyBeat – WSJ
You can’t judge a book by its cover, let alone a report by a bunch of banking regulators. A perfect example came last week. Watchdogs from 10 European and North American countries released one of the most hard-hitting, and worrying, studies on the financial industry since the 2008 crisis. Their conclusion: Many large banks and their regulators are still unprepared to deal with troubles in the immense market for derivatives.

Regulators start work on new bank asset valuation rule
Global regulators are planning the world’s first common rule within three years to value hard-to-price assets held by banks after unexpected revisions have unsettled investors, the man overseeing the plan told Reuters.

Work Weekends and Long Hours, Fund Manager Advises Young Bankers
Credit Suisse may be encouraging its young bankers to shun the office on weekends if they are not working on a big deal. And Goldman Sachs might have a “junior banker task force” to examine how to make the lives of lower-ranking analysts and associates more efficient and humane.

Helena Morrissey: It’s no real surprise that so few women plan to go to Davos this year
Financial News
So it’s that time of year again – when the attendee list for Davos is scrutinised and criticised for a stark lack of female representation. Just one in seven delegates this year are women. Shock! Horror!

Are Bitcoins futures? Depends who’s asking
Futures Magazine
Just asking? Like most people, the “virtual currency” is largely a mystery to me. Here are some choices of how the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) might regulate it.


FX industry reels from regulatory earthquake
Rob Daly – Euromoney magazine
The spot FX market is a different beast than the credit markets, but industry experts already see the likely outcome of the investigation by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the numerous US regulatory and law-enforcement agencies.

Day of the Mifid, or, To Stupidity and Beyond!
Streetwise Professor
After years of wending through to what is to an American an incomprehensible legislative process that involves a three body problem (the trialogue of the Commission, the EU Parliament, and member states), Europe has agreed on its version of the trade execution portion of Frankendodd: Mifid II.

Why History is Useful: Some Perspective on Liquidity Supply in Floor and Electronic Markets
Streetwise Professor
One of the annoying things about the debate over HFT, particularly related to the quality of liquidity supplied by HFT traders, is the lack of any historical context. HFT firms are criticized for pulling liquidity suddenly, particularly when volatility ticks up, thereby exacerbating price moves and the impact of order flow on prices. The thing is, that market makers/liquidity suppliers have been doing this since time immemorial.

Chicago law firm Latham hires veteran SEC attorney John Sikora
Steven R. Strahler – Crain’s Chicago Business
John Sikora, a top enforcement attorney in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Chicago office, is leaving after 16 years to join law firm Latham & Watkins LLP. His move, effective tomorrow, is part of a rich tradition of public-sector lawyers switching to higher-paying defense work.

City alert to white collar crime threat
Richard Partington – Financial News
A regulatory crackdown on white collar crime and insider trading in the wake of the financial crisis is leading to higher levels of detected fraud in the City of London, according to two reports made public this week.

[FCA] Financial Services Compensation Scheme – management expenses levy limit 2014/15

[Canada] Court rules damage insurance consultants must register with AMF

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Entrepreneurs should rely on investors, not banks’
START-UPS and growing small businesses should reject bank debt as their main funding because of the significant burdens and risks, the head of the London Stock Exchange has warned.

SIX Swiss Exchange: Q&A with CEO Christian Katz
FTSE Global Markets
Christian Katz is the chief executive officer of SIX Swiss Exchange. In November last year, he was named as the new president of exchange lobby the Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE).

EEX: New Daily Record on the Natural Gas Spot Market
Last Friday, on 17 January 2014, EEX achieved a new record on its Natural Gas Spot Market (GASPOOL, NCG and TTF market areas) with 1,429,588 MWh traded on that day. This represents an increase of 65% compared to the previous record of 868,624 MWh traded on 10 January 2014. For the first time, the daily volume on the Natural Gas Spot Market exceeded 1 TWh.

PEGAS: Powernext To Launch PEG TIGF / PEG Sud Spot Spread Contracts On 4th February 2014

Joachim Faber, Chairman Of The Supervisory Board, Deutsche Börse AG: Speech At New Year’s Reception 2014, Deutsche Börse Group, 20 January 2014

Reto Francioni, Chief Executive Officer Deutsche Börse AG: Speech At New Year’s Reception 2014, Deutsche Börse Group, 20 January 2014

TSX Markets Top 20 Largest Consolidated Short Position Report – January 15, 2014

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Contrarian Bets Weigh on Weinstein’s Saba
Rob Copeland And Katy Burne –
The hedge-fund manager who helped bring down the “London whale” is battling choppy waters.

‘Emerging Markets? Never Heard of ‘Em’ and Other Nuggets from BAML Poll
Ben Edwards – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s monthly Global Fund Manager Survey has once again tested the mood of the markets. The global survey and its regional versions, seen by The Wall Street Journal, this month captures the views of 234 investors managing a total of $653 billion.

Billionaire Carl Icahn’s Investment Fund Returned 31% In 2013
By just about any measure, billionaire investor Carl Icahn had a great year in 2013. The stock of Icahn Enterprises returned 158% last year as investors embraced Icahn’s publicly-traded investment vehicle, which not so long ago traded at a discount to its net asset value.

Warburg Pincus Shuns Debt Amid Chase for ETF Growth
Dan Dunkley – MoneyBeat – WSJ
U.S. private equity firm Warburg Pincus used no debt for its acquisition of a majority stake in European asset manager and exchange traded funds-provider Source. It bought the company from a group of investment banks in deal valuing the ETF provider at $300 million.

Private equity funds increasingly tailor-made
Simon Meads – Financial News
Tough fundraising conditions after 2009 shook up the private equity industry, concentrating capital in the hands of those firms viewed as the best performers. After four years in the doldrums, private equity fundraising picked up sharply last year, with $431 billion raised, according to figures from data firm Preqin.

Jerry Lees hedge fund hotel plots Asia push
Michelle Price in Hong Kong – Financial News
Linear Investments, the specialist prime brokerage run by City of London veterans Jerry Lees and Paul Kelly, is looking to launch a Singapore operation.

Banks & Brokers

Dimon Avoiding Davos Limelight as Fines Impede Bank Trust
Elisa Martinuzzi – Bloomberg
Jamie Dimon was right. Speaking at a televised session during the World Economic Forum in Davos last year, the JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) chief executive officer predicted that the condemnation of bankers was far from over.

Veteran European Dealmaker to Retire from J.P. Morgan
Matt Turner – MoneyBeat – WSJ
The chairman of European investment banking at J.P. Morgan, described as “a cornerstone” of its operations in Europe and its longest-serving investment banker in London, is to retire.

Former JP Morgan executive was questioned by FBI: Bloomberg
A former JPMorgan Chase & Co executive who ran the banks operations in Asia was questioned by FBI agents late last year about a bribery probe related to the bank’s hiring practices, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing a person briefed on the matter.

Clearing & Settlement

Euronext sets date for shorter settlement cycles
Anish Puaar – Financial News
The IntercontinentalExchange-owned Euronext markets have joined the list of European stock exchanges that plan to shorten the time between a trade and its settlement.

Xtrakter Aligns Services With CME European Trade Repository Ahead of EMIR Reporting Deadline
Xtrakter Ltd., the leading provider of trade matching and regulatory reporting services to the global securities market announces the launch of the TRAX Repository Link (TRL) in a strategic alliance with the CME European Trade Repository (CME ETR).

Euroclear’s Collateral Highway Grows 12 Percent To EUR 787 Billion In 2013

Indexes & Products

Comment: It’s the ETF marketplace that is not yet fit for purpose
Mark Hemsley –
In the global hunt for return, you would be forgiven for thinking that investors around the world would be united in their appetite for low-cost, transparent solutions that generate income, particularly if they could pay lower management fees. But a cursory glance at the global exchange traded funds market suggests that this is not the case.

Indexing: “the worst way to invest, except for all the others”
Aaron Task | Daily Ticker
Investing in index funds vs. individual securities is the best bet for individual investors, according to academic studies and nearly all responsible market pundits. And yet, our recent discussion on the subject touched a nerve with viewers.

Warburg Pincus Shuns Debt Amid Chase for ETF Growth
Dan Dunkley – MoneyBeat – WSJ
U.S. private equity firm Warburg Pincus used no debt for its acquisition of a majority stake in European asset manager and exchange traded funds-provider Source. It bought the company from a group of investment banks in deal valuing the ETF provider at $300 million.


Orc Group AB: Renewed Orc offering combines future proof, flexible technology platforms with expert services
Orc, a global leader in derivatives trading technology, today announced a renewed and expanded solutions offering. Building on Orc’s technology leadership, industry expertise and commitment to R&D, new Trading and Electronic Execution offerings are now introduced, backed by Professional Services.

Activ Deploys Ticker Plant in ASX Co-Lo
Faye Kilburn – WatersTechnology
Market data and ticker plant provider Activ Financial has established a point of presence in the Australian Securities Exchange’s (ASX) Australian Liquidity Center (ALC) co-location facility in Sydney, to provide local and international firms with enhanced access to low-latency market data from ASX and global venues.

Global Custodian Chooses AIM for Instrument, Issuer Data
Nicholas Hamilton – WatersTechnology
A custodian bank with $3 trillion in client assets under management is using the GAIN Security Master application to create and maintain instrument and issuer reference data

Thomson Reuters Launches Accelus Market Surveillance – New Solution Provides Systematic Surveillance Of Trading Activity To Detect Market Abuse, Suspicious Trading, Price Manipulation And Insider Dealing


Cuomo and Attorney General Agree on Division of JPMorgan Funds
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Eric T. Schneiderman, New York State’s attorney general, have reached an agreement on how to divide a big piece of the $613 million the state received as part of a securities settlement with JPMorgan Chase.

***JM: “I’m buyin’ me some new office furniture!” exclaimed a delighted Schneiderman, “and probably a big-screen TV, too!”

ASIC: Citigroup Global Markets Australia Pty Limited Pays $40,000 Infringement Notice Penalty

Environmental & Energy

EU Carbon Fix Vote Set for Jan. 23 in Parliament Industry Panel
The European Parliament’s industry committee will vote Jan. 23 on a resolution objecting to an emergency plan to buoy carbon prices, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Europe Energy Investment Seen at Risk Without 2030 Carbon Target
Europe must set a target to cut emissions by 40 percent in 2030 or risk delaying investments in much-needed energy infrastructure, a group of investors said.

EU energy costs widen over trade partners
Financial Times
The gap in energy costs between Europe and its leading trading partnersis widening, according to an official paper to be released by Brussels that shows industrial electricity prices in the region are more than double those in the US and 20 per cent higher than China’s.


A Globe-Trotting Serial Entrepreneur Finds Roots in China’s Start-Up Scene
Richard Robinson tended bar in the Virgin Islands, taught English in Prague, picked grapes in France, painted houses in Norway and toiled at a BMW factory in Munich. But little prepared him for the adventure that awaited him in Hong Kong.

China’s Taste for Corn Grows
China imported record volumes of corn in December, with the U.S. accounting for a still-dominant but declining share of shipments to the massive grain market. China’s shift to a protein-rich diet is changing global trade flows. The Middle Kingdom is already the world’s largest consumer of corn, and its rising food demands have turned the nation from being a net exporter of corn three years ago to the world’s fifth-largest…

CSRC Approves Dalian Commodity Exchange Launching PP Futures Trading
Recently, the trading of the polypropylene (PP) futures on Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) has been approved by China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC). The specific listing time of the contracts will be determined by DCE based on the progress of the preparations.

Notice Of Dalian Commodity Exchange On Soliciting Opinions On Contracts And Related Rules Of Polypropylene Futures

Dalian Commodity Exchange, A New Member Of China National Coal Association

Frontier Markets

L&T Infotech eyeing stake in NCDEX
The Economic Times
In yet another indicator of the growing interest of I.T majors in commodity exchanges , L&T Infotech, the I.T services arm of engineering conglomerate Larsen and Toubro is evaluating options for a possible stake buy in multi-commodity exchange NCDEX, two sources familiar with the development told ET NOW.

BRIC or MINT? Investors suffer acronym anxiety
Which investment takes your fancy: BRIC, MINT or CIVETS? For many fund managers seeking the next big thing in emerging markets, the answer is none.

Interest Rate Futures, the new game changer in town
The Economic Times
Punters in India’s financial markets will soon have a new toy to play with. Beginning this week, day traders, banks, well-heeled investors sitting on a pile of bonds, as well as foreign portfolio managers can bet on the direction of interest rates. All this will happen on the stock exchange where the new product will be launched.

Frontier markets begin to lose their allure
James Mackintosh –
Investors feeling good about avoiding the carnage of emerging markets and making a 32 per cent return from the S&P 500 since the start of last year will feel a bit less smug if they look at frontier markets. These risky countries – including Nigeria, Pakistan and Argentina – produced the same return, while all of the top 10 stocks more than doubled.

Leaders of Palestine’s capital market, investment & export community concluded the Palestine Capital Markets Day in strength, highlighting Palestine as ‘the investment opportunity for 2014’. Led by national export body, Palestine Trade Centre (PalTrade) and the Palestine Exchange (PEX), the delegation told influential institutional investors and senior analysts in London that 2014 could be a ‘threshold year’ for Palestine’s growing economy and a robust capital market.
(via email)

First Tehran Stock Exchange’s IPO In 2014

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