First Read

A Bad Way to Make Banks Safe
By Editorial Board – Bloomberg
Global regulators say they’re making progress in reducing the threat that the world’s largest banks can pose to the economy. Actually, new rules may be making things worse.

***** I love it when a plan comes together.


When Bloomberg Employees Predict the Future; Look into our crystal ball and all will be revealed!
Bloomberg News
Every year around November or December, many journalists get an assignment they will probably hate. That assignment is, of course, to write about what will happen in the coming year – in other words, to predict the future.

****** I love it when otherwise really smart people try to do something that is really silly. Did they use a crystal ball or a ouija board?


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Why Getting Rid of Free Office Snacks Doesn’t Come Cheap
A small perk that can be trouble to take away.
Rebecca Greenfield – Bloomberg
To boost its bottom line, Sprint decided last week to end the era of free office snacks for its employees. The move represents a tiny fraction of the struggling telecom’s effort to cut $2.5 billion from its total operating expenses. Axing the free food will shave $600,000 from the budget. But at what cost?

****** The free snacks cost me a lot of money, but they also increase productivity. Feed the beast!


Fox Business Network looks to Republican debate to take on CNBC
Matthew Garrahan in New York – FT
Fox Business Network is predicted to record the highest ratings in its eight-year history on Tuesday night when it hosts its first Republican presidential debate, an occasion that its executives hope will highlight the differences between the channel and arch-rival CNBC.

***** When outdoing CNBC is your strategy, you need a new strategy.


Mary McDonnell, Simon Compliance – How to Manage (and even Succeed) in the Current Regulatory Marketplace

“It’s a lot harder to do something than to tell somebody else how to do something.”

Mary McDonnell got her start in the financial markets as a regulatory auditor for the Chicago Board of Trade, and though she has spent most of her career on the compliance and regulatory side, she did spend some time as a floor trader. She says this experience taught her to empathize with the traders she would be overseeing over the ensuing years. With that backdrop, she looks at the current regulatory environment and what it means in terms of opportunities, but also in terms of limits.

“If you understand what you cannot do, it leads you to what you can do – legally!”

Watch the video »

Lead Stories

EU Financial-Markets Overhaul Start Date May Be Delayed by Year
Julia-Ambra Verlaine – Bloomberg
European Commission’s Mock says a delay may be necessary
The EU’s executive arm will now discuss issue with lawmakers
The European Union is considering pushing back implementation of a law known as MiFID II that overhauls financial-markets rules by a year, after the bloc’s markets regulator said it might not be ready for the planned January 2017 start date.

CFTC Seeks to Bar Trader in Spoofing Case; Regulator offers supporting documents for its case
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Monday filed a motion to prevent a Chicago trader it accused of manipulating the market from continuing to trade, court documents show.

China to Allow Direct Conversion Between Yuan and Swiss Franc
Fion Li – Bloomberg
China took another step to boost the yuan’s global usage, saying it will start direct trading with the Swiss franc, as the nation pushes its case for reserve-currency status at the International Monetary Fund.

Rivals Tullett Prebon and ICAP join forces in new landscape
Philip Stafford – FT
Tullett Prebon’s planned purchase of ICAP’s global broking business shows how even long-running rivalries are thawing in the face of a new post-crisis trading landscape.

Global warming 1.02C above pre-industrial levels
Pilita Clark, Environment Correspondent – FT
Global temperatures are on course to rise to the highest level since the industrial revolution this year as humans drive the climate into “uncharted territory”, UK scientists warned on Monday.

Regulators Propose New Rules to Ease Strain of Bank Failures
A group of financial policy makers has outlined a new framework intended to keep banks around the world from becoming “too big to fail” and requiring government bailouts in a future financial crisis.

Citadel blasts IEX’s ‘Flash Boys’ exchange plans
Hedge fund and high-frequency trading (HFT) firm Citadel LLC has asked regulators to deny the U.S. exchange application of “Flash Boys” heroes IEX Group, saying a key element of the trading platform is unfair and would harm market quality.

HFT law goes from bête noire to blueprint
ByJames Rundle – Financial News
While Europe has been focused on its grand regulatory projects that touch nearly every area of the financial markets, an attempt to curb one aspect of the modern landscape came from Germany in 2013, in the form of the Act for the Prevention of Risks and the Abuse of High-Frequency Trading, known as the HFT law for short.

A scammer’s charter for European capital markets
Daniel Davies – FT
Barriers that hold back small companies block unscrupulous stock promoters, writes Daniel Davies
For investors of a certain age, there are some names that vividly bring back the atmosphere of Europe in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Gigabell, Comroad, EM.TV: these were among the largest and most vivid flame-outs associated with the Neuer Markt , Deutsche Börse’s ill-fated attempt to create a technology-focused junior market for growth companies. Now it seems that Europe may be in danger of accidentally bringing back some of the worst practices of the era.

RPT-Middlemen the key to corporate bond market’s electric dreams
By Sinead Cruise, John McCrank and Davide Scigliuzzo – Reuters
Goldman Sachs, the biggest standalone U.S. investment bank, shuttered its GSessions electronic bond-trading platform in 2014. BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, closed its Aladdin bond trading network after less than a year in 2013. Last spring, Deutsche Boerse, owner of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, pulled its funding for a platform called Bondcube.

What If Banks Didn’t Create Money?
By Leonid Bershidsky – Bloomberg
A Swiss initiative to ban private banks from creating money has gathered enough signatures to put the matter to a referendum. This looks like another cranky economic idea that Swiss voters will throw out, as they did last year’s proposal to require the country’s central bank to keep at least a fifth of its balance sheet in gold. Yet perhaps such an experiment needs to be held somewhere to put to rest all the theoretical arguments about 100 percent reserve banking.

Small Price for Banks to Combat ‘Too Big To Fail’; European, U.S. banks should be able to meet new bond requirements at relatively little extra cost
Banks have been hit with another big, scary number in the battle to end “too big to fail”: $1.2 trillion. This is the headline number for how many bonds the world’s biggest lenders need to meet rules unveiled on Monday.


CFTC Staff Issues Time-Limited Extension of Swap Data Reporting Relief for Certain Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants Established under the Laws of Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan or Switzerland
The relief is provided subject to certain terms and conditions outlined in the letter and is time-limited, expiring on the earlier of: (a) 30 days following the issuance of a comparability determination by the Commission with respect to the SDR Reporting Rules for the jurisdiction in which the non-U.S. SD or non-U.S. MSP is established or (b) December 1, 2016.

Hedge funds confront impact of financial market regulations and challenges of evolving prime broker relationships
Hedge fund managers are experiencing the ripple effects of new regulations on banks and prime brokers, with hedge funds facing increased trading fees and broader changes to business relationships. These dynamics place additional pressure on margins and are leading managers to seek new growth strategies, according to The evolving dynamics of the hedge fund industry, EY’s 2015 Global Hedge Fund and Investor Survey.

Financial Conduct Authority’s Project Innovate celebrates first anniversary with plans for ‘regulatory sandbox’
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published plans for implementing a ‘regulatory sandbox’. The sandbox will allow businesses to test out new, innovative financial products, services or business models without incurring all the normal regulatory consequences of engaging in those activities.

Regulatory sandbox
This report sets out our plans to expand Project Innovate by implementing a regulatory sandbox. It also sets out proposals for how we can work with industry and the Government to further support businesses.

Innovation in financial services
Christopher Woolard – UK FCA
Speech by Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the FCA, delivered at the FinanceAsia Annual Compliance Summit in Hong Kong on 10 November 2015. This is the text of the speech as drafted, which may differ from the delivered version. Good morning ladies and gentlemen, it’s a great pleasure to join you in Hong Kong in such distinguished company and I’m grateful to FinanceAsia for asking me to speak.

Pots and kettles
The Economist
Misleading numbers and a confused mission, the hallmarks of troubled financial firms, dog one of their regulators too
TWO of the five seats on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the main Wall Street regulator, are about to be filled. The process is a partisan one, with Barack Obama, a Democrat, picking one new commissioner and the Republican leadership of the Senate the other. That, naturally, is a recipe for discord at an already bruised agency. Its clout has diminished thanks to its poor oversight of investment banks before the financial crisis, to say nothing of its failure to spot the Ponzi scheme of one Bernard Madoff. Now new research suggests that the SEC is doing less well at its main job—policing firms that list shares or issue bonds, among other investments—than its own data suggest.

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

    • BATS: Notice of Filing of Amendments Nos. 1 and 2 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change to List and Trade Shares of the ProShares Managed Futures Strategy ETF of the ProShares Trust Under BATS Rule 14.11 on BATS Exchange, Inc. (Release No. 34-76394; File No. SR-BATS-2015-56)


    • BATS: Notice of Withdrawal of a Proposed Rule Change, as modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto, to Adopt New Rule 8.17 to Provide a Process for an Expedited Suspension Proceeding and Rule 12.15 to Prohibit Layering and Spoofing on BATS Exchange, Inc. (Release No. 34-76393; File No. SR-BATS-2015-57)


    • FINRA: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Establish An Examination Fee for the Securities Trader Qualification Examination (Series 57) (Release No. 34-76391; File No. SR-FINRA-2015-044)


    • FINRA: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Amend FINRA Rule 7640A (Data Products Offered By Nasdaq) (Release No. 34-76385; File No. SR-FINRA-2015-045; November 6, 2015)


    • MIAX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Amend MIAX Rule 521 (Release No. 34-76392; File No. SR-MIAX-2015-62); see also Exhibit 5


    • NASDAQ: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Modify Chapter XV, Entitled Options Pricing, at Section 2 Governing Pricing for NASDAQ Members (Release No. 34-76386; File No. SR-NASDAQ-2015-128; November 6, 2015); see also Exhibit 5


    • NSX: Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Amending Rule 11.1, Hours of Trading, To Rescind Interpretations and Policies .01, Cessation of Trading Operations on NSX; Adopting Rule 11.25 Relating to Use of Market Data Feeds; Amending NSX Rule 11.13 Relating to the Order Delivery Mode of Order Interaction; Amending NSX Rule 11.11 to Remove Certain Order Types and Correct Technical Deficiencies in the Numbering of Certain Sections of the Rule; and Amending Rule 11.12, Cross Message and Making Conforming Amendments to NSX Rules 11.11(c) and 16.2 (“Release No. 34-76390; File No. SR-NSX-2015-05”); see also Exhibit 5


    • NYSE: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Its Price List to Modify Certain Fees for Transactions that Remove Liquidity from the Exchange (Release No. 34-76400; File No. SR-NYSE-2015-56); see also Exhibit 5


    • NYSE Arca: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Adopt a Principles-Based Approach to Prohibit the Misuse of Material Nonpublic Information by Lead Market Makers ( LMMs ) by Deleting Rule 6.83 (Release No. 34-76395; File No. SR-NYSEArca-2015-106); see also Exhibit 5

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

LME wants Chinese firms as market-makers
Futures & Options World
The London Metal Exchange wants to extend its new market-maker programme to include Chinese trading firms in the group’s latest attempt to stimulate more trading activity out of Asia. The British exchange launched last week its first market-maker programme supported by various firms including Stampede Capital but said it wants the backing of some Chinese firms for the programme.

Revised Arrangements for Adjustment of Standard Chartered Structured Products and Options
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) has announced revised arrangements for the adjustment to Standard Chartered PLC (Standard Chartered) structured products and options to account for Standard Chartered’s rights issue, as Standard Chartered announced the expected UK and Hong Kong record date for entitlements is now 18 November 2015 and not 13 November 2015 as previously stated.

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Pimco Seeks to Toss Gross’s Claims as ‘Reputational Warfare’
John Gittelsohn, Edvard Pettersson – Bloomberg
Co-founder’s lawsuit called more screenplay than court filing
Gross claims he was forced out to avoid $200 million bonus
Pacific Investment Management Co. fired back at the co-founder who oversaw the firm’s ascent for 43 years, saying Bill Gross’s lawsuit over his departure looks more like a screenplay than a legal filing and should be thrown out.

How Volatile Will Market Volatility Get?
By Mohamed A. El-Erian – Bloomberg
The financial consequences of wider divergence among central bank policies — a stronger dollar, great volatility in stocks and larger yield differentials among U.S. and German benchmark government bonds — have been playing out over the last 10 days.

ECB Faces Three Suits Over Quantitative Easing in Germany
Karin Matussek – Bloomberg
Cases targeting ECB’s asset purchases and Germany’s role
Third action was filed late October at Constitutional Court
German politicians who failed in previous attempts to have courts derail European Union policy filed lawsuits at the country’s top court challenging the European Central Bank’s 1.1 trillion-euro ($1.2 trillion) asset-purchase program.

Pimco urges dismissal of ‘Bond King’ Bill Gross’ lawsuit
Saying the billionaire known as the “Bond King” should cease engaging in “reputational warfare,” Pacific Investment Management Co said co-founder Bill Gross’ lawsuit accusing it of driving him out so others could divvy up his bonus should be thrown out.

Banks & Brokers

Former CEO of ITG Seeking $13 Million From Firm; Robert Gasser claims contract breached and punitive damages
The ex-chief executive of Investment Technology Group Inc. is seeking $13 million from his former firm three months after being forced out, according to a new company filing.

Should banking be easy?
Izabella Kaminska – FT
The Financial Stability Board wants banks to raise up to EUR1.1tn in so-called “total loss absorbing capital” (TLAC) to make the banking system less risky.

Millennials Ditch Big Banks and Go Local With Their Money
Ali Donaldson – Bloomberg
Larger banks lose 16% of millennial clients, a survey finds
The `ease of banking’ generation is willing to switch
Millennials are increasingly shunning big banks and going local with their money.

ABN Amro to raise up to £3.1bn in IPO; The bailed-out Dutch bank is to go public in a stockmarket flotation that could value the lender at more than EUR18bn
Nationalised bank ABN Amro could raise raise as much as EUR4.3bn (£3.06bn) in an initial public offering as the Dutch government begins to unwind its ownership of the bailed-out lender seven years after it collapsed.

Clearing & Settlement

IRD and CDS Weekly Analysis: week ending November 6, 2015
ISDA SwapsInfo
For 2015 year-to-date vs. 2014 year-to-date, overall interest rate notionals decreased 2%, while trade counts increased 14%. For CDS, both overall CDS notionals and trade counts were down 13% and 2% respectively. For the full rundown, including activity on SEFs, go to

Credit Suisse, Goldman Said Mulling Plan to Promote CDS Clearing
Bloomberg Business
Two of Wall Street’s biggest credit-default swaps dealers are considering plans that could help revive trading in a key part of the market — just as an increase in corporate failures boosts demand for loss insurance. Credit Suisse Group AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. may offer better pricing to clients that agree to settle their transactions through a clearinghouse, which can lower the cost of the trades for the banks, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.

Brazil power clearing house suspends energy contract settlement
Brazil’s CCEE electrical power market clearing house on Monday said it suspended the payment of credits for short-term power deals for September scheduled for liquidation on Tuesday. The suspension was made in response to court injunctions. A statement from the CCEE did not say when or why the injunctions were put in place.

Indexes & Products

Come Together: Low Volatility Meets Equal-Weight In These ETFs
Fox Business
There is an increasing number of ways to approach smart or strategic beta methodologies in the world of exchange-traded funds. Some critics would argue the universe encompassing strategic beta is becoming unwieldy and too complex for many advisors and investors to digest.

S&P Dow Jones launches futures index
The index tracks the returns generated from an investment in the front-month S&P/ASX 200 index futures, calculating both excess return and total return, a statement issued by S&P Dow Jones Indices said. S&P Dow Jones Indices director of global equity indices Michael Orzano said: “As understanding and use of passive investment continues to take hold in Australia, we are seeing increasing demand from investors for more sophisticated index solutions.”

S&P DJI introduces new European sustainability index
ETF Strategy
S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI) has launched the Dow Jones Sustainability Europe Diversified High Beta High Dividend Index which is designed to measure the performance of high yielding stocks with high historical betas constructed from an eligible universe of companies which operate responsibly with regards to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

Fallen Gold May Help India’s Diwali and Monetisation Plan Shine
Indexology – S&P Dow Jones Indices
Could India’s gold obsession be over? The Indian government seems to think so, since they are betting that their people are willing to part with their precious metal to earn just 2.5% interest. Last Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched three programmes aimed at reducing physical gold demand and luring tonnes of gold from households into the banking system. That’s a big bet considering gold in India is a status symbol of wealth, and is widely used for wedding gifts, religious donations and as an investment.


‘First Blockchain’s Use Case Expected as Early as Q2 2016,’ Says TABB Group Report
The research firm TABB Group has released a new report that states the first use cases of the blockchain technology across capital markets may be expected in Q2 of 2016.

Why Fintech Startups Aren’t Killing Banks — Yet
Tech is coming for banking, and unwary banks will quickly be replaced by startups. While such illustrations make great clickbait, they also, unhelpfully, oversimplify what’s going on. The truth is much less alarming — and far more interesting.

Fintech Prompts ‘Generational’ Change
Markets Media
Mark Beeston, the former chief executive of Icap’s post-trade risk business, said market infrastructure in financial services is going through a generational change as his fintech venture capital fund raised capital from Deutsche Börse and Markit.

Is London the Fintech Capital of the World?
Finance Magnates
With its long standing place as one of the world’s most important financial centers, as well as supporting a thriving technology sector, London is also aiming to be the top fintech destination of the world for startups. While the city’s ranking in the global markets can be argued, London is arguably the top European location for fintech startups.

Match Is Seeking $3.1 Billion Value in I.P.O.
The Match Group is seeking a valuation of about $3.1 billion as it prepares for an initial public offering. The company, which owns the online dating brands OkCupid and Tinder, said on Monday that it planned to sell 33.3 million shares for $12 to $14 apiece. Those terms indicate an offering size of $433 million and a market valuation of $3.1 billion at the midpoint.

By Justin Pot – Digital Trends
Satoshi Nakamoto, who created BitCoin, has been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Economics. Just one problem — no one knows who Satoshi Nakamoto is!
Bitcoin, once seen as a novelty, is increasingly garnering mainstream attention, and even acclaim. A recent The Economist cover story said that blockchains, the technology that makes Bitcoin possible, could change the world. And now Bhagwan Chowdhry, Professor of Finance at UCLA Anderson School, is nominating Nakamoto for the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences – whoever Nakamoto may be.


Stephen Colbert Shows Us Just How Insane Climate Change Has Become; And what scientists have to do to get our attention.
?It turns out that climate change could be much, much worse than we thought. It can reduce our “coital frequency,” as Stephen Colbert pointed out last night on The Late Show. But while that sucks on its own, it’s pretty crazy that the only thing that will get people to care about climate change is

Environmental & Energy

Oil glut to swamp demand until 2020
Anjli Raval, Oil and Gas Correspondent – FT
The oil market will remain oversupplied until the end of the decade as an unstoppable push for cleaner fuels and greater efficiency offsets the effect of lower prices, the world’s leading energy forecaster said.

Pressure builds to probe Exxon climate claims
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
The Obama administration is under increasing pressure to investigate allegations that Exxon Mobil Corp. misled the public about its knowledge of climate change.

***LB: Also in this story “All of the Democratic candidates for president have called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to launch an investigation, joining a number of Dem lawmakers and major environmental groups. Some are also pushing for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to probe whether the company broke federal law.”

Greenhouse gases hit new milestone, fueling worries about climate change
By Joby Warrick – Washington Post
New scientific data released on Monday confirmed 2015’s place as a milestone year for the Earth’s environment, with both temperatures and greenhouse gases crossing symbolic thresholds with ominous implications for future climate change.

Global Coal Consumption Heads for Biggest Decline in History
By Ewa Krukowska – Bloomberg News
Coal consumption is poised for its biggest decline in history, driven by China’s battle against pollution, economic reforms and its efforts to promote renewable energy.

Peabody Energy, the world’s largest coal company, to disclose more climate risks to investors
By Chris Mooney – Washington Post
Peabody Energy, the world’s biggest publicly traded coal company, agreed Sunday to disclose more fully potential risks to its business from climate change regulations and resulting impacts on coal demand as part of a settlement with New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman.


Strategy key as Japan’s M&A market takes off
Japan Today
Japan is in the midst of a merger and acquisition (M&A) boom, with cashed-up companies eager to seize growth opportunities overseas, while inbound deals have also picked up speed. But with research showing more than half of all M&A transactions fail, domestic and foreign acquirers have been warned to avoid burning their cash in the race to acquire assets.

China’s wagging tail dogs global markets –
The British historian Arnold Toynbee liked to characterise America as a large, friendly dog in a very small room. Every time it wagged its tail, he said, it knocked over a chair. Today he might have said the same of China, though friendly is not the adjective that springs immediately to mind in relation to the Chinese leadership. The point is that trade, investment and financial linkages between China and the rest of the world have intensified dramatically, so everyone is hurt when chairs in the Chinese economy are knocked around.

Mainland Chinese Companies Flock to Hong Kong Properties
Hong Kong’s Central district, already studded with the world’s priciest office towers, is attracting more mainland Chinese companies to move in, sparking a rise in rents and prompting some Western firms to search for cheaper digs elsewhere. Despite China’s stock-market tumult this year, mainland banks and asset managers are crowding into the district in hopes of drumming up new business with foreign clients.

Will the Fed finally put an end to Hong Kong’s property bubble?
As the Federal Reserve readies to raise interest rates, on the other side of the world one asset class is bracing for the fallout — bricks and mortar in Hong Kong. In the past seven years, Hong Kong property has risen by more than 150%, and in that period most analysts have just about given up trying to benchmark prices to any fundamental yardstick. What we do know is the two big drivers have been the U.S. on one side and China on the other.

Ways to invest in China’s still-astounding growth
The Globe and Mail
As rumblings of the Chinese stock-market collapse last June fade, investors in Canada may be breathing a sigh of relief that they can’t invest in it – at least not yet. That will change in time as the government moves to open up capital markets, and shares reserved for domestic investors – known as A shares – come to be included in global stock-market indexes.

Frontier Markets

Frontier markets: Investors go west east and south
The frontier has always represented opportunity for Americans. Opportunity and risk. On the investing landscape, frontier markets can provide the same leading — and sometimes bleeding — edge to investors looking for high-risk/-return scenarios.

Kevin Rudd slams George Pell as ‘radical climate sceptic’ ahead of Paris talks
Former prime minister says Pell’s views on climate change directly oppose those of Pope Francis, muddy the ‘ethical waters’ and should be challenged
The Guardian
Kevin Rudd has mounted a scathing attack on Cardinal George Pell for being a “radical climate change sceptic” who is “muddying the ethical waters” ahead of the critical Paris climate change conference, in direct contradiction to the views of Pope Francis.

Saudi Arabia to tap global bond markets as oil fall hits finances
Simeon Kerr in Riyadh – FT
Saudi Arabia has decided to tap international bond markets for the first time, in a sign of the damage lower oil prices are inflicting on its public finances.


A futures market could help fix one of the biggest problems in science
Akshat Rathi – Quartz
Reproducibility is the cornerstone of good science. If the results of a study can be successfully reproduced, it shows that the work is probably edging towards a universal truth.

Ken Griffin hit with $2.2 million property tax bill for Florida homes
Chicago Tribune
If Chicago’s recent property tax increase has you reeling, spare a thought for billionaire hedge fund CEO Ken Griffin, who’s just been socked with the largest property tax bill in Palm Beach history, according to the Palm Beach Daily News.

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