First Read

Notes at the Top
By John J. Lothian & JLN Staff

If you have someone you know who is looking for a job, you should pass along the video we have published below featuring Paul McCormick at our MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity Series in London this last fall. Paul has some of the best information and perspectives on getting a job I have ever heard. It is a must watch.

I mentioned yesterday that my attendance at this year’s FIA Boca Raton conference is somewhat in doubt. The issue is my back, which has again become my number one health challenge. Because of my recurring health issues, I have joined a new Scouting organization, the Geezer Scouts. The motto of the Geezer Scouts is “Be Repaired.” And that is the issue that may keep me from Boca.

Over the past few weeks we published Sweet Sixteen – a compilation of our interviews with market leaders (and a few disruptive upstarts) at last fall’s FIA Expo. The idea was to take the top 16 ideas, four each from four categories: exchanges, macroeconomics, technology and regulation. This proved to be more difficult than we expected, as we had almost 40 solid, insightful answers to chose from.

Beginning today, we are publishing what we call “honorable mentions” to the Sweet Sixteen series, though as you will see, the contributions are, in many cases, every bit as relevant as those published in the first round. We will publish our honorable mention segments in the coming days. Thank you to all who participated. We hope you gained some insight into the issues facing the industry as we start 2016. Thanks also to Cinnober for sponsoring the Sweet 16 series and for allowing us to use their booth at Expo to film the interviews.

Subscription prices for JLN have gone up for 2016. Our new individual subscription rate is $175 per user per year, or roughly 70 cents an issue. Our Enterprise rate is $115 per subscriber per year for firms with 5 or more readers. We also will negotiate flat price deals for firms with lots of subscribers. If you don’t know if your firm is an enterprise subscriber, check with me first before paying.

We depend on the integrity of our readers to pay for this newsletter. Their integrity is the base upon which everything we have done is built up. We could not have have built MarketsWiki
MarketsReformWiki or MarketsWikiEducation without your paid subscriptions.

We believe in adding value to your subscription every year. This year will be no exception. Our theme for the year is “Education.” We will expand our MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity series and launch a new video educational project.

Help us educate and inform the industry and the world by paying for your 2016 John Lothian Newsletter subscription today. Go here for details on how to pay.


Sweet 16 Honorable Mention – Exchanges

The John Lothian News Sweet 16 Series featured the 16 best ideas and thoughts about exchanges, regulation, economics and technology. But there are still more great ideas for 2016 that made our honorable mention. Here are comments from more industry professionals on exchanges.

The Sweet 16 Series drew from 38 interviews conducted at the FIA Expo Conference in November 2015. Here are comments from Michael Grecoff, head of sales at Cinnober, Matt Chamberlain, head of business development at London Metal Exchange, Magnus Haglind, CEO of Nasdaq Futures, Scott Caudell, Chief Technology Officer at IDC.
Watch the video »
Sponsored by Cinnober

J.P. Morgan to Eschew Wires When It Releases Fourth-Quarter Results
J. P. Morgan Chase JPM +0.17% & Co. is the latest company going wire-less.
The largest U.S. bank by assets said Tuesday it will not disclose its full quarterly results in a press release published through a wire service. Instead, J.P. Morgan will tweet out a link to the report on the investor relations section of its website. The bank will also send out a press release with a link to the report.

***** Twitter is now the official channel for news. More disintermediation.


Wells Fargo US hires Chivers to co-lead e-trading
Futures & Options World
Wells Fargo has hired the former head of electronic trading at Jefferies and UBS Steve Chivers to jointly run its electronic futures trading unit, as first reported by FOW. The US investment bank, which has been adding futures staff in the US and Europe over the past year, said Chivers joined this week as its Chicago-based co-head of futures electronic trading within the bank’s global exchange-traded service group. Chivers is working alongside James Deighton, the bank’s New York-based co-head of futures electronic trading.

*****Chivers, an unabashed Chicago Bears fan, now switching teams. Would he ever switch to the Green Bay Packers?


The Boss Doesn’t Want Your Résumé; ‘Blind hiring’ focuses on a person’s talents rather than education and prior experience
Compose Inc. asks a lot of job applicants. Anyone who wants to be hired at the San Mateo, Calif., cloud-storage firm must write a short story about data, spend a day working on a mock project and complete an assignment.

***** I have heard of “Blond Hiring” before, but never Blind Hiring.


Interested in working for Deutsche Börse?
Deutsche Börse
Check out our vacancies

***** Do they have a spot for a 54 year old former futures broker now media publisher?


Paul McCormick, Opening City Doors – Finding your First/Next Financial Job

“There is a mismatch between the way companies like to hire people and the way graduates and young professionals like to get hired.”

Paul McCormick has represented a half dozen of the biggest names in the banking world in his 30 years as a fixed income trader. Now he works as a graduate recruiter for Thomson Reuters, and also writes a blog, Opening City Doors, that helps graduates and young professionals find a place in the London financial scene.

He says most companies’ recruitment flow charts run from the top down – internally, personal referrals, LinkedIn contacts, professional recruiters – and resort to company web sites and submitted CVs only after those other channels have been exhausted. Job seekers who rely primarily on the lowest channels will likely be disappointed. The successful candidate will listen to McCormick’s talk and follow his instructions.

Watch the video »

Gilbert Kaplan, millionaire businessman and self-taught maestro of Mahler, dies at 74 –
The Washington Post
Gilbert E. Kaplan, who amassed a fortune on Wall Street that enabled him to fulfill his fantasy of becoming an orchestral conductor, confining himself to a single work, Mahler’s Second Symphony, but stunning a skeptical musical world with his command of the daunting score, died Jan. 1 in New York City. He was 74. He was in his mid-20s, just starting out as an economist with the American Stock Exchange, when he borrowed more than $100,000, mostly from Seagram’s liquor baron Gerald Bronfman, to start the financial publication Institutional Investor.

**** The founder of Institutional Investor passes away.



MarketsWiki Page of the Day

MarketsWiki Recent Updates


Fred Hatfield; Paul Atkins; Daniel M. Gallagher; Julie Lerner; Paul McCormick; Jeffrey Tessler; John M. Angelo; Diane Swonk; Kevin Heffron; Elizabeth K. King

Companies, Organizations and Groups

Audacity Capital; Louis Dreyfus Group; Patomak Global Partners; Angelo, Gordon & Co.; Trayport


73,018,668 Pages viewed; 21,785 Pages; 195,707 Edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

Finra to Examine Brokerage Firm Culture
Industry self regulator to focus on how culture affects compliance and risk-management practices
The culture at brokerages and financial-advisory firms is getting a closer look from Wall Street’s self-regulator this year. In outlining its annual regulatory and examination priorities, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority on Tuesday said it will scrutinize the stated—and unstated—rules, policies, practices and behaviors that govern how such firms operate and interact with customers.

Nasdaq and Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange Sign Landmark Strategic Agreement
The two have agreed to form a jointly-operated venture to support private growth companies in Israel. The venture, which will operate out of Tel Aviv, will offer various benefits to private companies including strategic counseling and mentoring, exclusive networking, a secondary market for liquidity events and debt financing services. The private market will have an independent management team chosen by both exchanges. Further details of the venture will be announced during first half of 2016.

Industry profile: HKEx’s Trevor Spanner; As Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing outlines plans for expansion
By Joe McGrath – The Trade
In November 2015, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing announced that LME Clear chief executive Trevor Spanner was to become chief operating officer from January 2016.

Marex Spectron CEO John Wall to retire
Futures & Options World
Commodities broker Marex Spectron said on Wednesday its chief executive officer John Wall will step down from the position on Friday January 8. Marex has appointed its New York-based chief financial officer Ian Lowitt as Wall’s successor, also effective January 8. As part of the appointment, he will relocate to London. Following Lowitt’s promotion, Rob Watts, who has served as Marex’s group financial controller since January 2014, will step into the role of CFO.

An Innovator on Wall Street Dies; Robert H.B. Baldwin, a former Morgan Stanley chairman, was credited with modernizing a Wall Street stalwart
Robert H.B. Baldwin, the former Morgan Stanley chairman credited with modernizing a Wall Street stalwart, has died. He was 95 years old. Mr. Baldwin served as Morgan Stanley’s president for six years before his election as chairman in 1979. He led the private partnership until 1983, when he ceded the post to his top lieutenant, S. Parker Gilbert.

J.P. Morgan Fires KCG Holdings as Its NYSE Market Maker; Virtu Financial appointed as J.P. Morgan’s new NYSE market maker
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has replaced its market maker on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange with Virtu Financial Inc., according to a trader notice sent out from the exchange on Tuesday afternoon.

Bankers still need a ‘bashing’ — as do the rest of us
Michael Skapinker – FT
New year is a good time to think about whether your critics are right about you and whether you should change your ways.

Bank Rule Distorting Performance Is Repealed
An “Alice in Wonderland” accounting rule that allowed stressed banks to book huge gains simply because they were stressed has been overturned. The Financial Accounting Standards Board, which formulates accounting rules, on Tuesday voted to do away with the rule, which took effect as the financial system was starting to crumble in 2007.

Nevsky’s Taylor Blames Algos in Closing $1.5 Billion Hedge Fund
Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg
Fund’s 18.4% annual gain since 2000 more than 10 times peers
Fund expects to liquidate portfolio by the end of January
Nevsky Capital’s $1.5 billion hedge fund is shutting down, part of a growing trend among money managers following weak returns in 2015. What’s unusual is the reason the managers gave for folding: navigating markets driven by computers and index funds.

Bond Traders Skeptical on Fed Rate Path Before December Minutes
Liz McCormick – Bloomberg
Derivatives market implies Fed target at about 0.9% in a year
Global volatility, tame inflation keeping Treasury yields low
Treasuries were little changed before Wednesday’s release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s December policy meeting as traders doubt officials will be able to raise interest rates as often as they envision.

Aim left bruised by a lack of new issues
John Murray Brown – FT
London’s Aim stock market last year saw the smallest number of new issues since 2009.

Brokers better invest in cyber security — or else
By Kevin Dugan – NY Post
Brokers who don’t invest in cyber security face stiffer fines in 2016 as part of a stepped-up enforcement strategy, Wall Street’s self-regulating cop told The Post on Tuesday.

Futures market quickens pace to go global
By Wen Jicong – China Economic Net
“As important sites for futures contracts, futures exchanges should seize the strategic opportunity of One Belt and One Road, gradually explored the route of internationalization and accelerated the internationalization progress of futures market.” In the 11th China (Shenzhen) International Derivatives Forum concluded days ago, industry experts initiated heated discussion.


FINRA’s 2016 Focus: Supervision, Liquidity and Securities Firms’ Culture
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) today released its 2016 Regulatory and Examination Priorities letter highlighting three broad issues – supervision, risk management and controls; and liquidity. The letter also emphasizes firm culture, conflicts of interest and ethics, and the significant role each of these plays in the way a firm conducts its business.

?CFTC official warns of risk buildup from clearing-bank exits
Neil Roland, MLex
The shrinking number of derivatives clearing firms is creating a buildup of risk that potentially threatens financial stability, a US Commodity Futures Trading Commission official said.

Banks Get Relief on Accounting Headache; New treatment to alter lenders’ debt-value adjustments
The banking industry’s least-favorite accounting rule is being scrapped.

Leaving Europe outweighs Mifid on risk scale
Financial News
With a year-long delay to the European Union’s revised trading rulebook now looking likely, and many implementation projects on ice, thoughts are turning to another issue looming over Europe: Brexit. A referendum on whether the UK should remain in the EU is set take place before the end of 2017 but many think the sooner it takes place, the better. A vote to exit would leave London-based practitioners wondering not when Mifid will be introduced, but whether it will be at all.

Financial Conduct Authority shelves mis-selling probe aimed at financial advisers
Daily Mail Online
A third inquiry into the banking industry has been shelved in a week by the City watchdog. The Financial Conduct Authority launched the probe into investment advice almost two years ago after revelations banks, fund managers and insurers were ‘bribing’ financial advisers to sell their products. But yesterday it emerged the watchdog has decided not to publish the results of its investigation, leading to accusations of a ‘cover-up’.

Each NFA Member Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) is required under NFA Compliance Rule 2-26 (incorporating CFTC Regulation 1.11) to establish, maintain and enforce a system of risk management policies and procedures designed to monitor and manage the risks associated with its activities as an FCM (known as a Risk Management Program). Each NFA Member Swap Dealer (SD) and Major Swap Participant (MSP) is subject to similar requirements under NFA Compliance Rule 2-49 (incorporating CFTC Regulation 23.600) and must have a Risk Management Program with respect to monitoring and managing the risks associated with its swap dealing activities

The Morning Risk Report: FCA Turns Back Banking Culture Review
The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority has halted a public banking culture review, which according to one expert is an indication it may be softening its approach to the industry.

Stock market regulators in China must fine-tune circuit breaker to avoid repeat of ‘Black Monday’
South China Morning Post
China’s regulators exert a firm control over many things, but the stock market is not one of them. The first day of trading in the new year was labelled “Black Monday”, thanks in no small part to the newly launched circuit breaker, which halted trading in Shenzhen and Shanghai shortly after midday. The disruption has been an embarrassing hiccup for officials.

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

    • BATS: Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change to Amend BATS Rule 14.11(i) to Adopt Generic Listing Standards for Managed Fund Shares (Release No. 34-76820; File No. SR-BATS-2015-100; January 4, 2016)
    • EDGX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Use of EDGX Exchange, Inc. (Release No. 34-76816; File No. SR-EDGX-2015-67; January 4, 2016); see also Exhibit 5
    • NASDAQ: Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Listing and Trading of the Shares of the First Trust RiverFront Dynamic Europe ETF, First Trust RiverFront Dynamic Asia Pacific ETF, First Trust RiverFront Dynamic Emerging Markets ETF, and the First Trust RiverFront Dynamic Developed International ETF of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund III (Release No. 34-76817; File No. SR-NASDAQ-2015-161; January 4, 2016)
    • NYSE Arca: Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change to Adopt Generic Listing Standards for Managed Fund Shares (Release No. 34-76819; File No. SR-NYSEArca-2015-110; January 4, 2016)
    • OCC: Notice of No Objection to Advance Notice Filing, as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1, 2 and 3, Concerning The Options Clearing Corporations Non-Bank Liquidity Facility (Release No. 34-76821; File No. SR-OCC-2015-805; January 4, 2016)

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Euronext cuts French equity options fees
Alice Attwood – Futures & Options World
Pan-European exchange Euronext has cut client trading and clearing fees on its French individual equity options in a bid to become a more competitive trading venue for the contracts. The reduction covers the American style equity options listed on Euronext’s Paris market – the most frequently traded type offered by the exchange – and a competitive trading space for exchanges. According to a client note seen by FOW, the exchange has lowered trading and clearing fees on the contracts for clients to a flat nine cents in total.

CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight Grants FTSEF LLC Temporary Registration as a Swap Execution Facility
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Market Oversight announced today that it has approved FTSEF LLC’s (FTSEF) application for temporary registration as a swap execution facility. FTSEF is a limited liability company based in New York; and it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of FlexTrade Systems Inc., a corporation also based in New York.

Equity derivative volumes on BSE slide to 4-year lows; Average volumes for December stood at Rs 5,400 crore
Ashley Coutinho – Business Standard
Equity derivative volumes on the BSE have slid to four-year lows owing to the recent increase in the derivatives contract size and the exchange’s decision to gradually trim its incentive structure for market makers.

TMX Group Consolidated Trading Statistics – December 2015
MX reached a new daily volume record for Equity Options on December 18, 2015, of 400,001 contracts. In addition, the S&P/TSX 60 Index Standard Futures (SXF) reached a new daily volume record on December 15, 2015, of 161,994 contracts. MX also reached a new high in terms of overall monthly volume with 7,483,033 contracts traded in December.

Using Euro-BONO Futures to hedge Spanish yield risk
Trading strategy by Vassily Pascalis & Antonios Tsiantas, Eurex Business Development
This article will demonstrate how an investor with exposure to Spanish Government debt can hedge against yield changes using Eurex Euro-BONO Futures (Product ID: FBON):

Trading calendar: Adjustment for 16 May 2016 (Whit Monday) and 3 October 2016 (German Unification Day)
The Exchange Council of the Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse (FWB®, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange) decided that no trading will take place at FWB® on 16 May 2016 (Whit Monday) and 3 October 2016 (German Unification Day). The Management Board of the FWB® followed this decision.

Deutsche Börse cash market turnover up by 28 percent in 2015
Deutsche Börse
Cash markets turnover totals EUR1.64 trillion in 2015; ETF segment records second strongest year since introduction in 2000; December order book turnover increases 12 percent year-on-year
Deutsche Börse cash markets recorded a total of EUR1.64 trillion in turnover in 2015 (2014: EUR1.28 trillion), a 28 percent increase over the previous year. Of this amount, EUR1.51 trillion is attributable to Xetra, EUR54.6 billion to Börse Frankfurt and EUR75.3 billion to Tradegate Exchange.

Euronext announces monthly trading volumes for December 2015
Euronext, the leading exchange in the Eurozone, today announced trading volumes for December 2015.

The Listing Committee censures New Sports Group Limited (formerly known as SinoCom Software Group Limited) (Stock Code: 299), and censures or criticises a number of its former and current directors for breaching the Exchange Listing Rules and/or the Director’s Undertaking

Announcement – In relation to the matter of Z-Obee Holdings Limited (Provisional Liquidators Appointed) (Stock Code: 948) Commencement of third stage of delisting procedures


Bernie Sanders Sharpens His Attacks on Wall Street; Democratic presidential candidate reiterates his calls for breaking up banks and intensifies criticisms of Hillary Clinton
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Tuesday ramped up the platform to overhaul Wall Street at the center of his campaign, proposing a set of measures that would go well beyond the 2010 Dodd-Frank law to rein in big financial firms and give more clout to consumers.

Bernie Sanders Attacks Hillary Clinton Over Regulating Wall Street
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in a fiery speech on Tuesday laid out his plan to break up “too big to fail” commercial banks and pointedly attacked Hillary Clinton for taking speaking fees from the financial industry and, in his view, not going far enough in her plan to regulate Wall Street.

Wall Street and the Economy
Speaking a few subway stops away from the epicenter of the global financial crisis, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders promised to remake the financial system to serve America’s working families. Below are his prepared remarks. Watch the live stream here.

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Nuveen, Ricketts financial firm do a deal
By LYNNE MAREK – Crain’s Chicago Business
Mutual fund company Nuveen Investments plans to acquire an investment services unit from Incapital, the Chicago financial firm led by Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts.

London Hedge Fund Nevsky Capital to Close; Says its flagship equities fund is ‘unsuited’ to a market dominated by computer-driven trades from algorithmic and index funds
London hedge-fund firm Nevsky Capital plans to shut down and return cash to investors, the latest closure in a struggling industry.

‘Two and 20’ add up to £120m for Brevan Howard partners
Miles Johnson – FT
Traders at one of Europe’s largest hedge funds have been left in no doubt of the benefit of their industry’s fabled “two and 20” fee structure. Partners at Brevan Howard, who go to work with the standard hedge fund promise of a 20 per cent cut of any profits they make for clients and a two per cent fixed fee, shared a £120m pot of salaries and bonuses last year — even as its main fund lost money for investors.

Former George Soros executive raises $4.5bn for new fund
Stephen Foley and Mary Childs in New York and Miles Johnson in London – FT
George Soros’s former chief investment officer has raised $4.5bn for what will be one of the biggest hedge fund launches ever, signalling that investment stars can still attract large sums despite weak performance from the industry as a whole.

William Ackman Fund Ends 2015 With a 20.5% Loss
What a difference a year makes. The billionaire investor William A. Ackman had a knockout 2014, prompting some to compare him to Warren E. Buffett. In 2015, Mr. Ackman’s hedge fund has slumped to the bottom of the industry’s worst-performing list.

Issuers raise $15.8bn in first test of 2016 bond market
Eric Platt in New York – FT
US and European companies raised $15.8bn on Tuesday, in the first test of US capital markets since the start of the year after turbulence in Chinese financial markets kept the primary market shuttered on Monday.

Investors Poured Record $236 Billion Into Vanguard Last Year; Largest annual flow of money to a mutual-fund firm is latest sign of shift away from money managers who try to handpick winners
Investors poured an industry record $236 billion into mutual-fund company Vanguard Group in 2015, the latest evidence of a shift away from money managers who try to handpick winners.

Banks & Brokers

JPMorgan names Virtu Financial as its NYSE market maker
JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) said on Tuesday it appointed Virtu Financial Inc (VIRT.O) as its market maker on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Why 2015’s Best Commodity Could Turn Into This Year’s Nightmare
Isis Almeida – Bloomberg
Cocoa supply poised to surge as high prices encourage farmers
Rabobank says global surplus will send cocoa plunging in 2016
Last year’s best-performing commodity is poised to become the market’s worst nightmare.

Credit Suisse’s U.S. Stock-Trading Chief to Leave; Bank to reorganize many electronic-trading functions across stocks and fixed-income securities
Credit Suisse Group AG’s head of U.S. equities trading, Daniel Mathisson, plans to leave the bank in February, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Goldman Sachs Shuffles Executives, Adds Another From Morgan Stanley; Global head of technology business development and co-chief operating officers of securities appointed
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. recently moved several senior executives into new roles, and added another from its rival, Morgan Stanley.

Clearing & Settlement

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Payment Aspects of Financial Inclusion” Prepared for the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), World Bank Group
This report delineates the role of payment and settlement services – the mechanisms in place to facilitate electronic monetary transactions – in expanding formal financial access to people with low incomes in the developing world. Additionally, the report provides an overview of retail payments systems, discusses a framework for measuring the effectiveness of payment services, and introduces a framework and “guiding principles” for expanding financial access.

PwC Executives Give Some Insight On Developing Blockchain Technology in 2016
Payment Week
PwC leaders predicted that while most investment in Blockchain in 2015 went into developing proof-of-concept, this year the focus will shift towards building supporting systems for the transactional services. For example, financial institutions exploring the Blockchain technology for using in real world financial transactions will start exploring the governance, audit, and IT security of their projects.

Indexes & Products

Bloomberg Commodity Index Dropped 3 Percent in December, Finished Down 25 Percent for 2015
Bloomberg L.P.
Almost every commodity was lower for the year as raw-material surpluses grew after years of supply expansion. Cotton was the only gainer out of 22 commodity indices for the year. Crude oil was the worst performer, down 45 percent on excess in supply. The index was down three percent for the month of December. The full report along with market commentary and performance charts can be viewed online.

The S&P 500’s Flat Year
Indexology – S&P Dow Jones Indices
Although there were peaks and valleys during the year, 2015 as a whole was notable for not being notable. This is only true, of course, from a provincial American perspective. What we often overlook is that in 2015, the strength of the U.S. dollar produced impressive results for investors from outside our borders

iShares To Switch MSCI Eurozone ETF Listing To THE BATS ETF Marketplace From NYSE ARCA
BATS Global Markets (BATS), the #1 U.S. market for the trading of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), today announced that iShares is switching the listing of the iShares MSCI Eurozone ETF (NYSE: EZU) to the BATS ETF Marketplace from NYSE Arca on or around February 2, 2016. iShares becomes the second issuer to announce the transfer of ETFs to BATS since November.


Twitter considering 10,000-character limit for tweets – Re/code
Twitter Inc is building a new feature that will allow users post messages as long as 10,000 characters, Re/code reported.

Wall Street, Techdom and the Hard Truth About Parental Leave
Jeff Green – Bloomberg
Percentage of companies offering leave almost doubled in 2015
An estimated 44% of U.S.workers still lack even unpaid leave
There’s never been a better time to have a baby at Facebook Inc. Or at Netflix Inc. Or Credit Suisse Group AG.

Two Wall St Firms May Be Winning the Fintech Race
Payment Week
Research from an Autonomous Research survey has shown that JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, two of the largest Wall St firms, may be winning the fintech race. The financial technology sector has exploded over the last two years. Analysts at traditional banking and investment institutions have called them disruptors because of the new and innovative financial services being offered by fintech companies.

Tough Road For FinTech In 2016?
The FinTech industry had a good run in 2015, but as ever, the rearview mirror is nice for sentiment, while the key question remains what lies ahead. As Forbes reported Tuesday (Jan. 5), the startup pantheon within FinTech numbers 5,000 to 6,000 companies. So, what subsets stand to do well in the months ahead?


Hong Kong’s Securities And Futures Commission Reprimands And Fines Lui Chi Hang $300,000
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has reprimanded and fined Mr Lui Chi Hang $300,000 for account opening failures and lending money to a client (Notes 1 & 2).

Sebi bans 27 entities from capital markets; Sebi has already restrained 20 entities from the market for fraudulent trading in shares of Well Pack Papers and Containers
Press Trust Of India
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has barred 27 entities from the securities market for indulging in fraudulent trading in shares of Gemstone Investments and Spectacle Infotek.

Environmental & Energy

Oil trading houses tweak old playbook in market rout
David Sheppard and Neil Hume – FT
In the words of Glencore chief executive Ivan Glasenberg, the world’s largest trading houses had a “blowout” year in 2015 as a sharply falling oil price has spurred profitable storage and arbitrage trades.

After El Niño, commodity markets brace for La Niña
Emiko Terazono – FT
The strongest El Niño in almost two decades that caused droughts in Asia and was linked to storms in the UK could be followed by the opposite weather phenomenon.

Earth is ‘experiencing a global warming spurt’
The Guardian
Climate Central: Scientists say cyclical changes in the Pacific Ocean have thrown Earth’s surface into what may be an unprecedented warming spurt, following a global warming slowdown that lasted about 15 years


FIA Japan Newsletter January 2016 Edition Released
FIA Japan
Futures Industry Association of Japan has released the January 2016 edition of its bimonthly newsletter. For browse, please access the following URL.

30 listed Chinese firms say big shareholders to extend selling ban
A total of 30 Chinese listed companies have said so far that their controlling shareholders or senior executives would not sell shares on the secondary market within the next six or 12 months to help stabilize China’s stock market after Monday’s 7 percent slump, the official Shanghai Securities News reported on Wednesday.

Chinese stocks bounce back as authorities step up intervention; Hopes that Beijing will extend ban on major share sales props up market amid mounting turmoil
Stock markets in China bounced back today, led by a surge in resources shares, on hopes that regulators will extend a ban on share sales by major stakeholders to avoid a potential repeat of last summer’s crash.

Speeding up China IPO approvals to dilute Hong Kong’s market share of offerings in 2016
South China Morning Post
The push from the Beijing to install a “registration-based” initial public offering (IPO) system will add fuel to mainland China’s primary securities market in 2016 and put pressure on Hong Kong’s share of the IPO market, analysts said.

Why bringing back stock market support in China is a bad idea
Channel NewsAsia
Chinese media reported on Wednesday that a ban on share sales by major shareholders will remain in place following recent turmoil in the country’s equity markets. Analysts say the move, if true, may be a step back for Beijing’s market reforms.

Frontier Markets

A Tour Around The World Of Emerging (and Frontier) Markets
Tony Daltorio: Last week, my colleague Stephen Mauzy wrote that emerging-market investments are often “sucker bets.” He’s right – sort of. I’ve been in the investment business since the 1980s as a broker, trading supervisor and now as a writer. I’ve also been an emerging-markets investor since the 1980s. The problem really isn’t the markets themselves. It’s the investment instruments U.S. investors are offered to invest in emerging markets.

Shaping Africa
The first obstacle in discussing Africa as a single entity is the breadth of the uniqueness of its peoples, in terms of culture, economic development or political orientation. However, many experts do believe that most countries in Africa, with the exception of countries like South Africa (to an appreciable degree), belong to the class of third-world nations, with features like high-rate of poverty, low level of infrastructure, and brazenly corrupt governments. This, the curse of underdevelopment, is seen by many as the rope that binds a continent once described as “dark”. Sadly, the statistics support this assertion.


Blizzard Buried Some Dairy Cows in the Snow; 35,000 Die
After a mild and dry Christmas Day, a fierce blizzard whipped across the rolling plains of West Texas and eastern New Mexico. The wind blew mercilessly for 48 hours, leaving snow drifts as high as 14 feet.

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