First Read

Bits & Pieces
By John J. Lothian

My women friends over at WILD, and I only have women friends there, are having a networking and roundtable discussion on July 17 from 5 to 7 PM at SIFMA. The location is 120 Broadway, second floor, NY. Cost is $15 for members, $20 for non-members (who are women).

The discussion will look at current industry issues, what you wish to get out of WILD and striking a balance between career and family.

You can sign up at

John Lothian News is pleased to announce The IFM has agreed to join the list of sponsors for the World of Opportunity Chicago Summer Intern Education Series. They will again be providing Series 3 training kits as a raffle prize at the events.

I am back to editing JLN, giving Jon Matte some time to work on software development projects to improve our productivity. Jon takes back over the week of July 21, when I am away at Boy Scout summer camp with my troop. Jeremie Bacon of Orc Group will be our guest editor that week.

Do you have a job to fill. Consider posting it to the MarketsWiki Jobs Board.

Doug Ashburn will be representing JLN at the SFOA-FIA-FIA Europe Bürgenstock Conference on September 23-25. Are you signed up yet? Register at

While MarketsWiki has eclipsed the 50 million page view mark, MarketsReformWiki is nearing 7.3 million page views since is May of 2011 launch.


ICE CEO calls for market-wide purge of order types
By Sarah N. Lynch, Reuters
In a perfect world, stock exchanges would collectively agree to ban order types that critics allege create complexity and may give certain traders unfair advantages, Intercontinental Exchange Group chief executive Jeffrey Sprecher told lawmakers on Tuesday. “I am uncomfortable with having all of these order types. I don’t know why we have them. And I have started to unilaterally eliminate them,” said Sprecher, whose company owns and operates the New York Stock Exchange.

***** Here is a link to the order types at the NYSE


125 Years On, Mr. Market Is Older. But He May Not Be Wiser.
By E.S. Browning, WSJ
In some basic ways, financial markets have changed remarkably little since The Wall Street Journal’s founding 125 years ago. Companies still issue stocks and bonds to finance business. Investors trade them. Stocks still average 6.7% long-term annual gains with inflation removed. Popular metrics for measuring stock value, such as price/earnings ratios, have roots in the late 19th century.


The High-Frequency Trading Arms Race: Frequent Batch Auctions as a Market Design Response
In a talk to MBA students, Chicago Booth Associate Professor of Economics Eric Budish discusses the arms race between high-frequency traders and whether ceaseless drive for faster connection speeds encouraged by the current market’s continuous trading model is actually a failure of our financial markets.

**** From the Becker Friedman Institute For Research In Economics at The University of Chicago


India’s onion crisis: shortages after the best-ever harvest
By Rajendra Jadhav, Reuters
Indian farmer Ranganath Watpade made a killing last year by putting off selling his onions until four months after he harvested them. This year, the same trick has backfired.

***** Rule number 25: Never cry over onion shortages.


ICE prepares deeper reform of Libor
By Philip Stafford, FT
Intercontinental Exchange is preparing to ask banks that submit Libor rates for more of their internal transaction data as the derivatives exchange operator rehabilitates the scandal-hit benchmark.

***** Rule number 8: If it is broke, fix it.


NFA assessment fee reduction will become effective on October 1, 2014
Effective October 1, 2014, NFA’s assessment fee will be $.01 per side for futures and options contracts. The new rate is a 50 percent decrease from the current rate.

****** The New York Post would write something like this: “Futures Regulation Gets Cheaper!”


Swiss Futures And Options Association Announces Appointment Of Dan Day-Robinson As Vice-Chairman
The Swiss Futures and Options Association (“SFOA”), which was founded almost 35 years ago and is one of the most significant and important global associations for the derivatives industry today announced the recent appointment of Dan Day-Robinson as a Member of the Board and Vice-Chairman of the Association.

***** New blood into the SFOA is always a good thing, except if that new blood wears big collared shirts.


Chicago out of the running for America’s Cup
Organizers of the 2017 America’s Cup sailing race have named the island of Bermuda and the city of San Diego as finalists to host the event, eliminating Chicago from the running after it was one of four sites officials had been eyeing.

***** Don Wilson is not happy about this.



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Lead Stories

Exchanges urge overhaul of trading rules
By Gina Chon in Washington, FT
Market rules that have fuelled the need for speed in trading should be overhauled to restore investor confidence, stock exchange executives and high-frequency trading participants told US senators on Tuesday.

At Senate Hearing, Wall Street Executives Share Concerns About the Market
By WILLIAM ALDEN, NY Times Dealbook
Wall Street has no shortage of ideas on how to improve the stock market. The question is whether regulators think those ideas are worth heeding.

****Quote of the Day and education challenge for the industry from Senator Elizabeth Warren on high frequency trading “I’m trying to figure out how that adds more liquidity to the market.”

Finra Opens Probe Into Broker Routing; Inquiry Comes Amid Mounting Concerns Practices Might Not Result in Best Price for Customers
By Scott Patterson
WASHINGTON—The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has launched a probe into how retail brokers treat customer orders amid mounting concerns some brokers might be sending orders to venues that provide the highest payments but not the best price for investors.

Rengan Rajaratnam cleared, U.S. insider trading streak snapped
By Nate Raymond and Joseph Ax, Reuters
Rengan Rajaratnam, the younger brother of convicted Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam, was cleared on Tuesday of conspiring to engage in insider trading while at the hedge fund, ending a five-year winning streak by U.S. prosecutors.

Prosecutors’ Winning Streak on Insider Trading Cases Ends
The scene that played out over and over again in Lower Manhattan in recent years — federal prosecutors enter the courtroom with an insider trading case and leave with a conviction — all began in 2007 with a tip about a little-known hedge fund trader, Rengan Rajaratnam.

Energy Trading Seen Slumping as Regulatory Oversight Rises
Energy trading on futures exchanges is slumping as increased oversight from regulators hinders transactions, according to Platts, a company publishing prices for physical commodities including oil.

Younger Rajaratnam Finally Out of His Brother’s Shadow
During their heady years as hedge fund managers on Wall Street, one quality divided the Rajaratnam brothers: Raj, the elder brother, was always more successful and better connected than his younger sibling Rengan.

SEC’s High-Speed Trader Plan Embraced by Funds, Exchanges
By Dave Michaels, Bloomberg
A sweeping blueprint designed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to reduce conflicts of interest in the stock market won support today from leaders of exchanges and large money managers.

Ban high-frequency trading? ‘Absolutely not!’ financial executives tell senators
Ban high-frequency trading, anyone? No thanks. That was the response Tuesday from witnesses at a Senate Banking Committee hearing to a question from Nebraska Republican Sen. Mike Johanns. The committee held a hearing on electronic trading and market structure, and while controversial, high-frequency trading was defended by three executives and one academic with industry ties.

Wholesale sector competition review
We have launched a review of competition in the Wholesale sector to identify any areas that might merit further investigation through an in-depth market study. We are asking for comments on this Call for inputs by 9 October 2014.

IEX bumps up planned fundraising to $75m
By Nicole Bullock and Michael Mackenzie in New York and Philip Stafford in London, FT
IEX Group, the US equity trading venue that aims to level the playing field between high-frequency traders and traditional investors, has bumped up the size of its planned fundraising to $75m, after receiving strong backing from investors.

World Gold Council Forum Discusses Reform Or Replacement Of The Gold Fix
The World Gold Council, the market development organisation for the gold industry, yesterday convened a roundtable debate to discuss how to modernise the London Gold Fix.

Scottish Banks Brace for Independence Vote; Companies Consider the Business Implications of Scotland Separating from the U.K.
By Max Colchester, WSJ
EDINBURGH—Visitors arriving at Edinburgh airport are greeted with a large Royal Bank of Scotland Group advert stating “This Is Home.”

Financial Industry Infrastructure in Need of Rebuild
by Allan Grody, WallStreet & Technology
The C suites are responsible for tearing down silo thinking and reengineering the financial system. So far, they’ve left much to be desired.


U.K. to Fight for City of London in Court Clash With ECB
Britain’s lawyers will take on the European Central Bank in a hearing at the bloc’s top court — fighting policies they argue would punish the nation’s financial hub because the U.K. has kept the pound sterling.

SEC’s cross-border rules expose loopholes
The Trade News
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has stepped out of the shadows to enforce US regulatory requirements on foreign banking operations, though issues remain in its cross-border reach.

Belgium Calls on BNP to Share Lessons Learned from $9 Billion Fine; Finance Minister Asks Bank CEO to Explain His Plans
By Frances Robinson and Noémie Bisserbe, WSJ
BRUSSELS— BNP Paribas SA’s largest single shareholder, the Belgian government, has summoned the French bank’s chief executive to seek an explanation about the U.S. sanctions case and its $9 billion penalties.

Ex-JPMorgan trader to challenge UK watchdog over London Whale decision
By Clare Hutchison and Kirstin Ridley, Reuters
A former JPMorgan (JPM.N) trader charged in the United States over his alleged role in the $6.2 billion “London Whale” trading scandal has won the right to a legal challenge of the British regulator’s decision to drop its investigation into him.

Catherine Bradley appointed as non-executive director
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) today confirmed the appointment of Catherine Bradley as a Non-Executive Director to its board.

CFTC Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo Announces Senior Staff Appointments
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo today announced the appointment of Jason Goggins and Marcia Blase to his senior staff.

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Eurex bullish over FX despite flat start; German exchange said it expected slow start for its nascent FX suite
by Luke Jeffs
Eurex said on Tuesday it is bullish about its new suite of currency futures that went live on Monday despite the German exchange’s first FX products failing to attract a single trade on debut. The exchange said on Tuesday there were no trades or open interest recorded for the new contracts when they started trading on Monday but it…

Nasdaq OMX buys to bolster private market business
Anna Irrera and Tim Cave, Financial News
Nasdaq OMX is to acquire a US software company which offers share management services for private companies as it seeks to widen its slate of services for pre-IPO businesses, Financial News has learned.

Hong Kong Stock Exchange Trading Slumps
By Enda Curran
Blame the World Cup? The surreal sense of calm that is gripping global markets is choking trading volumes in Hong Kong. Equity trading volumes on Hong Kong’s stock exchange slumped by 25% in June from a year earlier and 7% from May while derivative volumes tumbled by 24% on year and 6% on month. This is in a period when stocks were rallying. At the end of June 2014 the Hang Seng Index stood at 23,191, a gain of 11.4% compared to its close of 20,803 at end of June 2013.

New Online Exchange Matches Hedge Funds with Investors
By John D’Antona Jr., Traders Magazine Online News
Algorithms and behavior finance studies are now being sourced by a new exchange designed to bring investors and hedge funds together. The online exchange, dubbed AltX from IMATCHATIVE, is a cloud-based, two-sided automated network that harnesses its own proprietary algorithms and embraces a behavioral finance methodology to bring investors and capital providers together.

SGX launches liquidity hub in Hong Kong
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today announced the launch of its liquidity hub at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited’s (HKEx) Data Centre.

SGX expands in Hong Kong
Singapore Exchange Derivatives Trading Limited (SGX-DT) today opened its Hong Kong branch with Ringo Chiu as Chief Representative.

NASDAQ OMX June 2014 Volumes, 2Q14 Est. Revenue Capture
The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:NDAQ) today reported monthly volumes for June 2014, as well as quarterly volumes and estimated revenue capture for the quarter ending June 30, 2014, on its investor relations website.

KRX Enters Into A Comprehensive MOU With Bank Of China For Cooperation
The Korea Exchange (KRX) entered into a comprehensive MOU with the Bank of China on 4th of July, 2014.

Tokyo Stock Exchange ETF/ETN Monthly Report For June 2014
Monthly ETF/ETN trading value recovered to above JPY 2 trillion in June

DGCX To Relist Indian Rupee Options Contract On July 18
Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) today announced the re-listing of its Indian Rupee Options contract. The contract, which was temporarily suspended in 2013 to facilitate migration to a new trading infrastructure, will restart trading on July 18.

Enterprise Application Support Internship – Chicago
CME Group Jobs

Database Integrity Administrator – NY
CME Group Jobs

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Diamonds Regain Their Sparkle for Miners on Rising Demand and Prices; Sector Now Delivering Some of the Healthiest Returns in the Mining World
By Alexis Flynn, WSJ
Diamonds, it turns out, may not be forever. There hasn’t been a major new diamond lode discovered for years. Along with rising demand from new consumers in the East, that is good for mining companies whose profits are rising at the most lucrative part of the business: the rock face.

Hedge funds attract $72.2 bln in first five months of year -data
By Sam Forgione, Reuters
Investors poured $72.2 billion into hedge funds worldwide in the first five months of 2014, marking their strongest five-month start to a year since 2007 partly on fears of a downturn in stock and bond prices, data from a survey showed on Tuesday.

Banks & Brokers

Citigroup Nears Deal to Resolve Mortgage Probe; Bank Could Pay About $7 Billion to Settle Allegations It Sold Shoddy Mortgages
By Andrew Grossman, Christina Rexrode and Dan Fitzpatrick, WSJ
The Justice Department and Citigroup Inc. C -1.17% are close to a deal for the bank to pay about $7 billion to settle allegations it sold shoddy mortgages in the run-up to the financial crisis, according to people familiar with the matter.

BGC Partners’ Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results Announcement to be Issued Prior to Market Open on Thursday, July 31, 2014
BGC Partners

BNP Paribas Opens Reporting Tool to Agency Lending Clients
Marina Daras,
BNP Paribas Securities Services has announced that its agency lending clients can now access its interactive reporting solution, Data Navigation Analysis (DNA), and gain better oversight and control over their lending activities.

Swiss Banks’ Tradition of Secrecy Clashes With Quests Abroad for Disclosure
For a while, it seemed, the tide had turned against the tradition of secrecy in Zurich, the pristine Alpine city that is a hub of global banking.

Clearing & Settlement

Clearstream’s June 2014 figures
Deutsche Borse Group
New record assets under custody at EUR 12.3 trillion / Overall stable growth in all business areas / Berthold Kracke: “Acknowledgment of trust placed in us”

Deutsche Börse defends greater role for clearing houses
By Philip Stafford, FT
Deutsche Börse has defended the elevated role of clearing houses post-financial crisis amid growing calls for the risk managers to face tougher oversight to protect them from default.

UK clearing houses brace for ECJ hearing;
by Joe Parsons, FOW
British clearing houses will be watching on Wednesday as a European court case opens that could challenge the right of London-based clearers to operate in the Eurozone


Kynetix Launches Advanced Trade Exceptions Software For LME Clear ‘Go-Live’
Kynetix, a leading provider of data matching, reconciliation and exception management solutions for firms dealing in exchange-traded and OTC derivatives, today announced the launch of their new trade exceptions software for members clearing through LME Clear. The software will enable Category 1, 2 and 3 firms of the London Metal Exchange to easily reconcile their trades cleared through London’s newest clearing house.

Fidessa empowers investment managers with comprehensive business workflow; Latest release of IMS offers unparalleled levels of functionality, efficiency and flexibility
Fidessa group plc (LSE: FDSA) has today announced the launch of the latest version of its award-winning investment management system (IMS). Combining sophisticated portfolio management, real-time position management, compliance, order management, routing and execution capabilities, V14 of the Fidessa IMS provides a single, seamless workflow platform across business lines, geographies and asset classes, delivering the reliability and functionality required by the most demanding investment managers.

Press Release: Predictive Analytics, Visualization and Face Recognition Take SunGard’s Global Coder Cup Finalists to London
SunGard Financial Systems News
New York- July 9, 2014- On June 11, 2014, more than 500 SunGard developers in 30 cities around the world took part in SunGard’s Global Coder Cup. Participants had a 48-hour timeframe to focus on creating new technologies and solutions for the financial services industry. Out of the 115 teams that participated, the best teams from each region – North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, India and Africa – were selected to compete in a final championship round which will be an in-person 48-hour coding competition that will take place in London in September.

News Brief: SunGard Wins Systems in the City Awards for Best Corporate Actions Solution and Best Research and Analytics Tool
SunGard Financial Systems News
SunGard has won the 2014 Systems in the City Awards for Best Corporate Action Solution and Best Research and Analytics Tool for its XSP and Astec Analytics solutions, respectively. SunGard won the awards after securing the GoodAccreditation standard from Goodacre UK, a leading specialist consultancy for the securities and financial services industry.

5 Ways Semantic Technology Is Transforming the Financial Services Industry
by Marty Loughlin, WallStreet & Technology
Semantic search intuitively finds and connects relevant data across the enterprise. Innovation in this technology is helping organizations simplify and transform operations.

Numerix, CameronTec Partner for Structured Products RFQ System
James Rundle,
Numerix and CameronTec have announced a joint project that allows clients to institute a FIX-based request-for-quote system for over-the-counter structured products, returning a quote in seconds.


Ex-Carter’s executives, NY fund manager get prison for insider trading
By Nate Raymond, Reuters
Two former executives at Carter’s Inc (CRI.N) and a New York hedge fund manager received prison sentences on Tuesday for engaging in an insider trading conspiracy involving the children’s clothing company’s stock.

SEC Charges California School District with Misleading Investors
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a school district in California with misleading bond investors about its failure to provide contractually required financial information and notices. The case is the first to be resolved under a new SEC initiative to address materially inaccurate statements in municipal bond offering documents.

Environmental & Energy

Climate sceptics are losing their grip; Our current path is likely to cause irreversible and costly damage
Martin Wolf, FT
We do not have a Chinese or an American atmosphere. We have a global atmosphere. We cannot run independent experiments upon it. We have instead been running a joint experiment. This was not a conscious decision: it happened as a result of the industrial revolution. But we are consciously deciding not to stop.


China’s yuan global ambition faces payments hurdle
By Koh Gui Qing and Saikat Chatterjee, Reuters
* Planned payments network meant to boost global yuan use
* Roll-out likely delayed by tech glitches-bankers
* Central bank says work on system progressing as planned
* Deals on foreign clearing hubs signal global ambitions
China’s quest to turn its yuan into a full-fledged global currency has hit a road-block as the planned roll-out of a worldwide payments superhighway looks certain to get delayed because of policy snags and technology challenges.

Frontier Markets

Ljubljana Stock Exchange: Semi-Annual Statistical Report First Half Year 2014

About 2,600 regional brokers default on fees; Sebi says regional stock exchanges can only exit after they clear outstanding dues
Sachin P Mampatta, Business Standard
The unpaid dues of 2,591 regional exchange stock brokers are holding up the exit plans of at least 10 bourses. Seven other exchanges, which have not yet applied for an exit, also have dues. This brings the cumulative owed from regional exchanges to Rs 100 crore. The bourses whose exit is held up because of dues are Cochin, Bangalore, Ludhiana, Gauhati, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Madras, Delhi and Jaipur, in addition to the OTC Exchange of India. The seven exchanges that are yet to apply for an exit are bourses from Magadh, Vadodara, Ahmedabad and Kolkata, in addition to UP Stock Exchange, Madhya Pradesh Stock Exchange, and Inter-connected Stock Exchange of India.

Kenyan Exchange to Sell Shares in Africa’s Second Bourse IPO
By Eric Ombok, BusinessWeek
Kenya’s stock exchange will become the second publicly traded African bourse with a share sale that was planned at least five years ago.

Jhunjhunwala buys 2% of MCX from Financial Technologies
By FPJ Bureau
MUMBAI : – Jignesh Shah-promoted Financial Technologies India Ltd sold 1 mln shares of Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd to investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala at 664.00 rupees each through the open market

SAT dismisses FTIL plea against Sebi order declaring it unfit
MUMBAI: The SAT today dismissed FTIL’s plea against a SEBI order declaring it unfit to hold stakes in bourses, citing a similar directive to Jignesh Shah-promoted company by the commodity markets regulator, holding that orders passed by one regulator would apply to others too.

Time for government to release NSEL out of deep freeze
Economic Times
When the central government urges states to dismantle the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act or at least to remove perishable produce from its ambit, it needs to complement the move with the promotion of electronic spot exchanges.


R.I.P. Cupcake Bubble (2009-2014)
by Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker
The trouble with bubble-callers is that they overplay their hand and point at everything as evidence of a bubble. As a result, the actual bubbles get lumped in with all the stuff that turns out to be just normal business activity and the public’s perception switches from “Maybe we should listen to these guys” to “Oh god, these guys again? Give it a rest.”

Dollar-Backed Digital Currency Aims to Fix Bitcoin’s Volatility Dilemma
by Michael J. Casey, WSJ MoneyBeat
A Santa Monica-based startup says it has produced the first dollar-backed digital currency. If successful, this new currency could exploit bitcoin’s inexpensive and direct payments network, while avoiding its volatility.

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