First Read

A Plan to Make Chicago the STEM Capital of the World Starts with Us
By John J. Lothian
(Here is the gist of my speech at the LaSalle Street After Hours Affair for the Chicago Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.)

This is not a branding exercise. This is a strategic plan. I admit it is a bold one and I rightly call myself crazy for even thinking it up. However, I want to make Chicago the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) capital of the world. Again.

Again? Yes, again. I want to bring a World’s Fair of STEM to Chicago, a two-year celebration of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the innovation driving them. I want Chicago to host an event that will leave the city, state and region a world class STEM education complex for the teaching of STEM for the next century, much like the World’s Fair of 1893 left Chicago the Museum of Science and Industry and the Field Museum collection.

It was in those remnants of the Columbian Exposition of 1893 that many of us in Chicago learned STEM outside of the school classroom. It can be in a dynamic new complex central to a new World’s Fair, a World’s Fair of STEM, that an ongoing STEM focused program continues to reach young people and make Chicago the STEM Capital of the World. It can be in a complex built today that we prepare our population for the STEM jobs of tomorrow.

I have a plan to make this happen and it begins with the Boy Scouts of America, who are also dedicated to STEM education. And I am off to a good start on getting the commitments to plant the seeds which could bear the fruits of a World’s Fair.

It all starts with recruiting 300 Boy Scout volunteers a year for the next five years from Chicago’s financial and business community. It starts this year with recruiting 10 people from 30 different firms to become registered and trained Boy Scout Merit Badge Counselors. We call the program Trading Tech 300.

For the rest of the commentary, go to


Virtu’s Losing Day Was 1-In-1,238; Odds Say It Shouldn’t Have Happened at All
Bradley Hope – MoneyBeat – WSJ
When the high-frequency trading firm Virtu Financial LLC published details about how the firm operated earlier this year, one fact stood out: The firm had only “one losing trading day” over 1,238 days of trading. Virtu release the information as part of its regulatory filings to offer stock to the public.

***DA: I liken the bid-ask spread (the trader’s “edge”) to a sort of service fee like that of a barber or a dentist. And I guarantee my dentist has never had a losing day.

***JL: Spoken like a true former marketmaker with a bad hair cut.


CFTC Sanctions Rosenthal Collins Group for Supervision Violations
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced the filing and simultaneous settlement of charges against Rosenthal Collins Group, LLC (RCG), a registered Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) located in Chicago, Illinois, for failing to diligently supervise an Associated Person and for failing to provide and maintain an adequate program of supervision in violation of CFTC Regulation 166.3.

***DA: Another example of how hard it is to run a small independent FCM these days. Old revenue streams such as interest float cannot be counted upon, and the implementation costs of new regulations and technologies have added further pressure. Now, what looks to be a relatively minor compliance lapse at a branch office is a $700,000 mistake.


MGEX: Daily And Annual Volume Records Set
MGEX has set a new record for calendar year volume. With seven weeks remaining in the year, the Exchange has already totaled 1,894,681 trades during 2014, surpassing the previous high set in 2007.

***DA: A hard red spring victory in my book.


Tech Beat: Rethinking exchange reliability
Financial Times via Euro2day
One of the hazards of trading is the frequency at which venues break down. In the last month alone there have been minor glitches at Nasdaq, Singapore exchange SGX, Euronext, Bloomberg and several times at the Chicago Board Options Exchange. There are more. Two London-based entrepreneurs have had enough of this sorry pattern and set up a business that offers a radically different approach to developing the tools for trading.

***DA: Platform glitches, like FCM failures, are often viewed by the industry as one-off events.


Human Bond Traders to Coexist With Machines at One Firm
Lisa Abramowicz – Bloomberg
Liquidity Finance LLP argues that in the struggle between man and machines in the bond market, both can win. The London-based firm pitches clients on the opportunity to trade both over the phone or on its electronic-trading system and has doubled its sales staff since opening a U.S. office in September 2013.

***DA: Both sides can win, yes. But can both sides lose?

***JL: Only if Virtu is on the other side.


Goldman Sachs Recasts Its Reputation to Woo Tech Talent
Nathaniel Popper – Dealbook – NY Times
A panel of Goldman Sachs employees spent a recent Tuesday night at the Columbia University faculty club trying to convince a packed room of potential recruits that Wall Street, not Silicon Valley, was the place to be for computer scientists.

***DA: Exactly the philosophy behind MarketsWiki Education


CFTC continues to kick package transactions down the road
Jon Watkins – The Trade
US regulators have delayed the inclusion of certain package transactions from mandatory trading on swap execution facilities again, allowing participants more time to adjust to the new electronic platforms.

***DA: You can’t rush greatness, or something to that effect. To view the timeline for all nine categories of packages, come on over to MarketsReformWiki’s SEF page


[Webinar] Trading Transparency: FX market surveillance and monitoring
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 3:00 pm GMT (London time)
Profit & Loss, in association with TIBCO Software, presents an online round table discussion. In a bid to demonstrate effective monitoring and oversight of the FX markets, regulators are increasingly demanding that trading firms demonstrate effective, near real-time surveillance of all trading activity. This web-based round table explores the rising use of market monitoring coupled with the need for platforms to provide accurate and timely regulatory insight for compliance officers and trading desks.


Steve Tucker, S&P Capital IQ – Dynamic Data: How markets use and consume information

“If you think about it…nothing happens in our industry without [data]. There are no fiscal decisions made, there are no financial trades made, there are no mergers and acquisitions.”

Steve Tucker, managing director, global head of enterprise and real-time solutions for S&P Capital IQ, discusses the importance of data and how the digitalization of data has affected today’s financial industry. Tucker gives a humorous opening example of two hamsters his son acquired, and how his son did not realize that he had a male and female hamster. After discovering a new set of baby hamsters in their household, Tucker relates this experience to how important knowing your data is, and then calculates the possible number of combinations of breeding hamsters his family could end up with. Tucker also discusses new and innovative ways firms are tapping into data and what the future of markets and trading holds for new graduates.

Watch the video »


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Lead Stories

Exchanges issue summary of data processor meeting for first time
Herbert Lash – Reuters
The U.S. stock exchanges have posted online details about the management of data processors that have sparked embarrassing trading glitches and accusations of shoddy disclosure by releasing minutes from an oversight meeting for the first time.

Swiss Demand for Currency Automation Seen Reshaping Trading
Hugo Miller and Julia Verlaine – Bloomberg
Switzerland’s decision to mandate automated trading of currency is an unprecedented push by a regulator to limit the scope for market manipulation and may accelerate a trend already reshaping the industry.

CBOE bond volatility futures make silent debut
Richard Leong – Reuters
A CBOE futures contract tied to a gauge on the expected volatility of the U.S. bond market, comparable to the exchange’s futures for its VIX index for stocks, made nary a ripple in its debut on Thursday.

CBOE launches Treasury version of Vix
Jamie Chisholm – Financial Times
The Chicago Board Options Exchange on Thursday launched a new derivative product. Investors can now trade futures on the CBOE’s 10-year US Treasury note volatility index, known by the ticker symbol VXTYN.

NYSE Halts Trading in Nine Securities Due to Workstation Issue
Michael Calia – MoneyBeat – WSJ
The New York Stock Exchange MKT cash equities market has said it would halt trading in nine securities for the remainder of the day after an issue with a workstation affected order processing and trade execution.

$4.2 billion FX fines are just the beginning
Farah Khalique – Euromoney Magazine
Investment banks are keen to close the chapter on the foreign-exchange rate-rigging scandal after Wednesday’s announcement of regulatory fines totalling $4.2 billion, but more banks are expected to be fined and industry participants believe other nefarious practices should now be thoroughly investigated.

Switzerland Opens Criminal Inquiry of Currency Traders
Chad Bray – Dealbook – NY Times
Switzerland’s attorney general has opened a criminal investigation of several individuals in relation to potential manipulation of the foreign currency markets, a spokeswoman confirmed on Thursday.

Penalise the banks but use the money well
Gillian Tett – Financial Times
This week some British charities have an unexpected reason to smile. On Wednesday, European and American regulators imposed fines of $4.3bn on six large banks for rigging foreign exchange markets. In the past, the British government has directed some of the money raised from so-called “misdemeanour fines” to worthy causes such as a physical rehabilitation programme for soldiers; it will probably do the same this time.

Mr Nobody is to blame in forex probe
Neil Collins – Financial Times
Did you see all those forex traders being marched off to clink this week for crimes against customers and shareholders? Did you note the names in the Financial Conduct Authority’s report into market rigging? No, you did not miss them. There was no “perp walk” parading any suspects in handcuffs past the cameras and no names in the shocking findings from the FCA.


The FCA is a child of crisis, says chairman
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) was born in the aftermath of a crisis, so that is all it knows, but it has laid the groundwork for making markets work well again, its chairman John Griffith-Jones is expected to say in a speech on Thursday.

CFTC Staff Extends Conditional Time-Limited No-Action Relief to Australian-Based Trading Platform Yieldbroker Pty Limited

CFTC Staff Issues No-Action Position and Interpretations Addressing the Holding of Customer Funds

Fragmentation of swap markets “tragic”, says FCA
Lack of co-ordination between regulators has resulted in swap market split – a “very regrettable, almost tragic outcome”, says senior FCA official

Swaps Dealers Find Silver Lining in Meeting Dodd-Frank Trade Reconstruction Requirements
New global regulations and complex reporting requirements, Dodd-Frank in particular, make it difficult for financial institutions to implement and maintain simple and straightforward compliance solutions.

UK’s Financial Conduct Authority Finds Small Firms Need To Manage Financial Crime Risks More Effectively
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has found that many small banks and commercial insurance intermediaries fail to effectively manage financial crime risk. The two reviews published today follow related work by the FCA’s predecessor on banks in 2011 and intermediaries in 2010.

***JM: It’s good they made this distinction, seeing as how big institutions like Morgan, Citi, Barclays etc. have pretty much got this under control.

FSB Reports To G20 Brisbane Summit On Progress In Financial Regulatory Reforms

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority: Three New Members For Financial Advisers Code Committee
Professional financial advisers Martin Hawes and Stephen O’Connor join legal and financial services governance expert, Melanie Biss, as new members of the Code Committee. The existing members are Ross Butler, Shane Edmond, Professor Dimity Kingsford-Smith, David Russell and Gary Young, led by chair David Ireland.

ASIC Proposes To Cut Red Tape And Encourage More Electronic Disclosure
ASIC is seeking feedback on proposals to make it easier for businesses to deliver financial services disclosures electronically while preserving choice for consumers. Our proposals also encourage the use of more innovative formats for Product Disclosure Statements.

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Chi-X Australia Appoints New Head Of Market Operations As Trading Turnover Tops A$20 billion In October
Chi-X Australia Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of market operator Chi-X Global Holdings LLC, has appointed Peter Warton as Head of Market Operations. Peter joins from Tibra, where he served as Global Head of IT Operations.

The Newfound Popularity of Exchanges Raises the Bar for ERM
Mayiz Habbal – Wall Street & Technology
Regulators have looked to exchanges with their CCP clearing arms as solutions to the financial crisis. However, ERM practices at exchanges have historically been an afterthought.

CME Group Announces 2015 Annual Meeting Date
CME Group Inc., the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced that its 2015 Annual Meeting of Shareholders will be held at 3:30 p.m., Central Time, on Wednesday, May 20, 2015, in the Auditorium at CME Group, located at 20 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois.

Moscow exchange bows historical data products
The Moscow Exchange has launched a range of new historical data products for its securities, currencies, derivatives and over-the-counter markets, to provide trading members, data vendors and other subscribers with a golden copy of historical data for testing trading algorithms and performing technical analysis.

BM&FBOVESPA Announces Results For The Third Quarter Of 2014

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Janus opens Gross’ bond fund to European investors
Julia Rampen – Investment Week
UK investors can access Bill Gross’ Janus Global Unconstrained Bond fund after the firm announced it is open for subscriptions across Europe.

Legg Mason bond flows best since ’07, helped by Bill Gross move
Ross Kerber – Reuters
Legg Mason Inc said on Thursday the company’s best month of bond inflows since 2007 was due partly to the departure of famed bond manager Bill Gross from Pimco in September.

O’Connor Hedge Fund Scores Gains Where Prop Desks Exited
Jon Asmundsson – Bloomberg
Dawn Fitzpatrick wanted to be a trader. As a student at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School back in 1992, that meant one thing: landing a job at Chicago-based O’Connor & Associates. “O’Connor was the only place I wanted to work — and the only place I interviewed,” Fitzpatrick, 44, says. She was hired in her senior year.

US fund managers ‘more focused on flows than returns’
Julia Rampen – Investment Week
US fund managers have “failed” their clients by focusing on preserving their careers rather than growing clients’ capital, according to Baillie Gifford’s Ian Tabberer.

Ultra-Rich Increasing Exposure To Private Equity
Shasha Dai – WSJ
Ultra-rich investors are stockpiling cash, and to offset the drag on their portfolio they’re increasing allocations to private equity, according to the most recent quarterly survey of members by Tiger 21, a network of entrepreneurs, fund managers and corporate executives.

Wealth managers look to boutiques in hunt for quality active management
Alice Rigby – Investment Week
Fund selectors are increasingly favouring boutique investment houses and rejecting star managers, according to a survey by distribution company Harrington Cooper.

Schroder income duo back embattled UK supermarkets despite dividend cuts
Annabelle Williams – Investment Week
Nick Kirrage has begun adding supermarkets to the GBP1.5bn Schroder Income fund he co-manages with Kevin Murphy, expecting a significant boost to dividends in the long term.

Lonestar Capital to shut down, hurt by market whipsaw
Hedge fund Lonestar Capital Management LLC will shut down for the second time in eight years after the fund’s performance in October dipped, hurt by the whipsaw in the market.

WallachBeth Hires CTO to Boost Broker’s Quantatitve Skill Set
Ivy Schmerken – Wall Street & Technology
To navigate increasingly complex markets, WallachBeth Capital hired quant trading veteran Matthew Rowley as CTO, who previously worked at Credit Agricole Cheuvreux and financial software provider Fidessa.

Pimco Paid Billionaire Gross $290 Million Bonus in 2013
Mary Childs – Bloomberg
Pacific Investment Management Co. paid its former Chief Investment Officer Bill Gross a bonus of about $290 million in 2013, a year in which his Total Return Fund (PTTRX) trailed a majority of peers, according to documents provided to Bloomberg View by someone with knowledge of Pimco’s bonus policies.

Banks & Brokers

Investment Banks See Head Count Slip
Saabira Chaudhuri – WSJ
Global investment banks are reining in their hiring of senior employees in a bid to cut costs and adapt to pressures expected to continue in trading businesses.

Julius Baer’s Managed Assets Gain in January-October Period
John Letzing – WSJ
Swiss bank Julius Baer Group AG said Friday assets under management rose 12% from the end of 2013, boosted by a continuing acquisition.

Credit Suisse loses fixed income e-commerce head
Ryan Sheftel, global head of e-commerce for fixed income, currencies and commodities and global head of electronic market-making for rates products at Credit Suisse, has left the bank, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Wells Fargo to sell $8.5 billion in federal student loans
Wells Fargo said it will sell government-guaranteed student loans worth $8.5 billion to Navient, one of the largest U.S. loan servicing and asset recovery companies.

Royal Bank of Scotland to exit U.S. mortgage business
Royal Bank of Scotland Plc’s securities unit will now exit its U.S. mortgage trading business after originally planning to shrink it by two-thirds.

TD Ameritrade weighs expansion into Asia
Jed Horowitz – Reuters
TD Ameritrade Holding Corp may expand into Asia if its surplus cash grows as much as it expects after U.S. interest rates start to rise, the head of the discount brokerage firm said on Thursday.

Strategy shift helps lift Neonet
The Trade
Swedish-based agency broker Neonet has said its turnaround strategy is working well, after making a series of new partnerships and technology advancements over the past year.

ABN Amro to Cut Jobs in Shift to Digital
Chad Bray – Dealbook – NY Times
ABN Amro, the state-owned Dutch lender, said on Friday that it planned to cut up to 1,000 jobs in its retail bank and invest significantly in its digital platform over the next four years, as customers increasingly conduct their financial lives online.

Goldman Sachs Conference Call to Announce Annual and Fourth Quarter 2014 Results

Clearing & Settlement

CCP “contagion” fears spark derivatives debate
Elliott Holley – Banking Technology
Controversy over the handling of derivatives dominated talk at the Mondo Visione Exchange Forum this week, where panellists contested the value of interoperability and whether CCP contagion might bring down the financial system.

Electronic OTC derivatives: driving global integration
The latest report from Aite Group, Making Sense of Global OTC Derivatives Infrastructure: Markets, CCPs, and Platforms, shows that despite the G-20 reforms of 2009, which put forward an agenda to improve transparency in OTC derivatives markets, global regulatory reform efforts have evolved into regionalisation of formerly global markets.

Indexes & Products

BM&FBOVESPA And S&P Dow Jones Indices Reach Landmark Index Agreement
BM&FBOVESPA And S&P DJI Agree To Co-Brand And Launch New Equity Indices For Brazilian Marketplace

Index launched for green bond growth
Andrew Bolger – Financial Times
A new green bond index family, measuring the global market of fixed income securities issued to fund projects with direct environmental benefits, has been launched by Barclays and MSCI.

Nasdaq To List FlexShares Credit-Scored US Corporate Bond Index Fund
Accessible And Efficient Investment Product Providing Exposure To U.S. Corporate Debt

New SPDR Bond Index ETF Launched On Xetra – ETF Tracks Government Bonds From Emerging Markets

Changes To The Composition Of The Oslo Børs Benchmark Index (OSEBX)


FIX makes push to standardise Stock Connect messaging
John Bakie – The Trade
FIX Trading Community has published its implementation guide for the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect service, due to go live on Monday.

Advisors Must Prepare for the Investor of Tomorrow
Ram Nagappan – Wall Street & Technology
Advisors who successfully serve tomorrow’s investor will embrace technology today.

Corvil embeds kx database for performance stats storage
Dublin-based latency management technology vendor Corvil has added connectivity to Palo Alto-based time-series database provider Kx Systems’ kdb+ database to its streaming analytics platform, to enable users to store real-time network and application performance data generated by Corvil’s platform in kdb+.

TMX Group’s Brenda Hoffman Named ITAC Canadiancio Of The Year – TMX Quantum XA Trading Engine Wins Ingenious Award

Portware Wins Best Buy-side EMS
Portware, the first and only global provider of multi-asset trade automation solutions powered by artificial intelligence, today announced that Buy Side Technology has again recognized Portware Enterprise as the Best Buy-side execution management system (EMS) in the 2014 Buy Side Technology Awards.


UPDATE 1-Ex-banker at Switzerland’s Rahn & Bodmer charged in U.S. for tax scheme
Nate Raymond – Reuters
A former vice president at Swiss private bank Rahn & Bodmer was indicted on Thursday in the United States on charges of conspiring to help Americans to evade taxes by using secret accounts.

Environmental & Energy

Secret talks and a personal letter: how the US-China climate deal was done
Suzanne Goldenberg,
The climate deal announced on Wednesday between the world’s two biggest carbon polluters was struck after a personal letter from Barack Obama, and nine months of intensive diplomacy.

China’s Gigantic New Commitment To Renewable Energy, Explained
Kiley Kroh, Climate Progress
Late Tuesday night, the U.S. and China announced an historic agreement to combat climate change, a major step forward from the world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters.

Nukes and Shale Win The Day in U.S.-China Climate Deal
Joe Carroll and Jim Polson, Bloomberg News
Natural gas drillers and nuclear power producers can celebrate aggressive new emissions cuts promised by the U.S. and China, even as other parts of the fossil fuels world push back.


SGX Bull Charge Raises $2.6 Million For Children, Elderly, Youth And Families
Singapore Exchange’s (SGX) Bull Charge 2014 charity run has raised $2.6 million this year, benefiting hundreds of underprivileged children, youth, the elderly and families from four charities, namely Asian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA), Autism Association of Singapore, Fei Yue Community Services and Shared Services for Charities.

Shanghai-HK link leaves a Singapore divide
MARKET players here will be closely watching the new trading link between Hong Kong and Shanghai when it goes online next week, with no consensus on how the tie-up between the two Greater China exchanges will affect their South-east Asian rival.

S&P says it will be tough for China to revive debt-laden corporates
China’s top corporate borrowers will find it harder to service their debt after the government’s massive 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus programme resulted in funding industrial and infrastructure projects that weren’t all commercially viable, Standard & Poor’s said in a report on Friday.

Sell-side firms and buy-side traders honoured at TRADE Asia awards
The Trade
The TRADE Asia held its annual awards event at the Conrad Hotel in Hong Kong on 13 November, presenting trophies to sell-side and buy-side winners that recognised their excellence in trading and execution.

The French ‘petits entrepreneurs’ exported to Hong Kong
Jennifer Thompson – Financial Times
It is not unusual to feel homesick while working abroad but when Jérôme Spitzer began to pine for the classic bistro fare he loved as a boy in Paris, he resisted hopping on to the next flight to Charles de Gaulle airport and took action.

TOCOM Announces Trade Participation Survey Results
The results show that proprietary trading firm trading (combined sell & buy orders) accounted for the largest proportion of the month’s volume at 33.2 percent. This is followed by retail investors at 30.0 percent and commercial participants at 12.3 percent.

SGX welcomes Resources Prima Group to Catalist

SGX Commodities Market Updates: Differentiation In Iron Ore Matters

Frontier Markets

JPMorgan Chase Bankers Said to Lead Moscow Departure
Jason Corcoran and Anna Baraulina – Bloomberg
Bankers from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) to Morgan Stanley are leaving Moscow for London as sanctions over Russia’s incursions into Ukraine bring business to a halt, according to people familiar with the matter.

Nigeria battles looming currency crisis
Javier Blas, Africa Editor – Financial Times
Nigeria is fighting to avoid a currency crisis as lower oil prices prompt investors to bet that Africa’s largest economy could soon be forced to devalue the naira.

MCX Weekly Market Report: Nov. 07, 2014 – Nov 13, 2014

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