First Read

CME Cuts Livestock Hours as Traders Welcome More Sleep

Megan Durisin – Bloomberg

CME Group Inc., the world’s largest futures marketplace, said today it will cut trading in its livestock markets to as few as six hours a day on Fridays, from the current schedule of 23 hours on most days.

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***** In the old days the long hours would have cut into the drinking time, which may have been longer than the trading hours.

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Damage Control at the CFTC

Streetwise Professor

The WSJ recently ran an article describing the ongoing standoff between the EU and the CFTC over swaps clearing. The Europeans have refused to certify any US clearinghouse as being subject to regulations equivalent to those under which European CCPs do. For its part, the CFTC has refused to recognize EU CCPs. The Europeans have pointedly recognized CCPs from a variety of other nations, including Japan, Hong Kong and India: things are so bad between the US and Europe that I wouldn’t be surprised if the Euros certified a North Korean CCP before they did the same for CME or another US CCP.

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***DA: For a refresher on the CFTC rules that raised hackles, I recommend three pages on MarketsReformWiki – Final SEF rules (May 2013), Made Available to Trade rules, including current list of MAT swaps, and the summary page on cross-border rules

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Rating agencies’ demands pose threat to commodity supply chain

Neil Hume, Commodities Editor – Financial Times

Commodity-price spikes could become more common if credit rating agencies drive up the cost of capital for leading trading houses, forcing them to hold less inventory, a leading consultancy has warned.

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***** Let’s see what do we do if the cost of cash is too much? Right, we buy futures.

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Rocktoberfest from A Leg to Stand On is close at hand

JohnLothianNews.com

A Leg To Stand On is a non-profit that provides free prosthetic limbs and corrective surgery to children in developing countries who have lost their limbs in traumatic accidents or suffer from congenital limb disabilities. ALTSO’s annual fundraising benefit, Rocktoberfest Chicago, is moving into its 3rd year after having originated 11 years ago in New York. Rocktoberfest unites leaders from the finance industry for a night of Rock & Roll music performed by industry professionals. Rocktoberfest Chicago will be held on October 8th at City Winery. Hedgefund Rocktoberfest in New York will be on October 22 at Capitale.

Watch the video »

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Eureka! I discovered how funds are named

Terry Smith – Financial Times

Names of funds are often a clue to the fact that you may not understand what they do (or perhaps aren’t meant to). I am spoilt for choice with regard to examples, but I wonder what investors in the “SocGen UK Step Down Defensive Kick-out Plan” think they own, for example.

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***** It depends on if it is a boy fund or a girl fund.

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Better Volatility: Scott Nations and ISE Look to Launch a Better Volatility Contract

JohnLothianNews.com

There is a regular drum beat in the financial services arena about a “new asset class” or the “next asset class,” many of which really aren’t actually new. In recent years, volatility has checked most, if not all, of the boxes for a new asset class. The space has been dominated by the CBOE Volatility Index, better known as the VIX or “fear gauge.” But now a new volatility instrument has emerged, the VolDex, which teams Chicago-based options index firm NationsShares with the International Securities Exchange (ISE).

Scott Nations, president and CIO of NationsShares, says his VolDex index, on which the ISE is developing new options and possibly futures contracts, is the next generation volatility index that will address the needs of market users. ISE and his firm are working now to launch new options and futures contracts on the index.

Watch the video »

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Bridging the Week: Market Disruption; When Is Enough Enough; Pay to Play; Money for Mom

Gary DeWaal – Katten Muchin Rosenman

Last week, conduct of the nature of spoofing was the focus of a surprising criminal indictment in Chicago, Illinois and the settlement of a complaint brought by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission charging attempted manipulation. The CFTC was also involved in a host of other litigation developments, including a court’s ruling in an enforcement action against the New York Mercantile Exchange for the alleged disclosure of nonpublic customer and trade data by two ex-employees.

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Lead Stories

Hackers’ Attack Cracked 10 Financial Firms in Major Assault

Matthew Goldstein, Nicole Perlroth and David E. Sanger – Dealbook – NY Times

The huge cyberattack on JPMorgan Chase that touched more than 83 million households and businesses was one of the most serious computer intrusions into an American corporation. But it could have been much worse.

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***** I have a cousin who does not trust the Internet one bit, or byte. He is consistently security conscious and does not leave any trace of any information online. He is looking smarter and smarter.

SEC Members Urge Including Brokers in Trading Safeguards

Dave Michaels – Bloomberg

U.S. rules meant to guard against breakdowns in automated trading systems should be expanded to include brokerages that match orders away from regulated stock exchanges, two Securities and Exchange Commission members say.

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Markit steps up push into electronic communications

Philip Stafford – Financial Times

Markit is stepping up its push into electronic communications with a system that would give banks greater control over which employees can access their existing electronic chat rooms.

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Dark Pools Pitched as Havens Are Anything But, T. Rowe Says

John Detrixhe and Sam Mamudi – Bloomberg

Although designed as havens for big institutions, the stock-trading platforms known as dark pools are no better than public exchanges at protecting the firms they purportedly serve, according to an executive at one of the biggest U.S. investment firms.

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Media is ‘making a meal’ of SEC’s investigation into Pimco ETF

Chris Flood – Financial Times

The probe by US regulators into Pimco’s management of its flagship exchange traded fund has again raised uncomfortable questions about the transparency of ETFs and whether investors are getting a fair deal

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‘Closet index trackers’ must be outed, regulators urged

Andrew Pearce – Financial News

Fund managers charging high fees for active management while effectively following much cheaper passive strategies must be exposed, UK and European financial regulators have been urged.

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The Riddle of Europe’s Capital Markets Union

Simon Nixon – WSJ

When the going gets tough, the European Union gets going on a big new integration project. Faced with weak growth, high employment and rising debts in many countries, the latest buzz in Brussels is a “capital-markets union.” There is just one problem: No one is really sure what it means.

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Regulatory

Look Who’s ‘Trading’ Commodities

Jason Zweig – MoneyBeat – WSJ

In the government’s bid to crack down on risky trading, charities and other nonprofit organizations may become collateral damage. That is causing alarm in the nonprofit world and should be a concern for donors. Under new rules, your local charity could be obligated to register with federal regulators as a commodity-pool operator—even if it doesn’t invest directly in corn or pork bellies.

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Focus on risk culture is ‘remaking’ the banking system

Daniel Hinge, Christopher Jeffery, Central Banking Newsdesk – Risk.net

The global financial system is undergoing fundamental changes as banks and insurers implement more rigorous approaches to risk culture, with major implications for central banks and regulators, according to Patricia Jackson, editor of a new book on risk culture.

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Thomas Zeeb: Caught up in the regulatory crossfire

Anish Puaar – Financial News

The once unglamorous world of post-trade services is undergoing a regulatory makeover, with policy-makers across the world putting processes that were traditionally an afterthought at the centre of post-crisis reforms.

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Banks collaborate to tackle KYC conundrum

Matt Turner – Financial News

Knowing your customer is at the heart of any successful venture, according to the business textbooks. For banks, it is also a regulatory requirement that has proven to be a potential pitfall in recent years.

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CFTC close to fixing Dodd-Frank commodity option woes

Alexander Osipovich – Risk.net

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and its new chairman, Timothy Massad, are said to be moving closer to resolving an ambiguity in the agency’s Dodd-Frank Act regulations that is causing major headaches for energy companies.

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OTC derivatives reform challenges regulators from South Africa to Hong Kong

Paul Golden – Euromoney Magazine

Over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market reform outside the US and Europe will be closely monitored by companies who use these derivatives to manage foreign-currency earnings exchange-rate risk.

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No room for complacency in AIFMD challenge

Emma Cusworth – Financial News

“What’s to come is unsure. In delay there lies no plenty”. The Fool in Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night may have been referring to affairs of the heart but his message was universal: don’t delay because you never know what may happen tomorrow. Fund managers, too, would do well to heed this warning when it comes to preparing for the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive.

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Theresa May revives attempt to abolish SFO

Caroline Binham and Helen Warrell in London – Financial Times

Theresa May is to revive plans to abolish the UK’s main anti-fraud and corruption agency and bring it into her new FBI-style national crime force, according to officials familiar with the situation.

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Shaping Company Disclosure: Remarks Before The George A. Leet Business Law Conference, Keith F. Higgins, SEC Director, Division of Corporation Finance, Oct. 3, 2014

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Exchanges & Trading Facilities

High-Frequency Firm Said to Be Finalist to Run Nasdaq Price Feed

Sam Mamudi and Nick Baker – Bloomberg

A high-frequency trading firm and Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. are the finalists to run a key piece of trading infrastructure for thousands of stocks such as Apple Inc. (AAPL), according to people familiar with the matter.

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Red flag raised over funding for Newcastle Stock Exchange

Joyce Moullakis – Sydney Morning Herald

The Newcastle-based National Stock Exchange (NSX) is receiving life support from its largest shareholder, as questions are raised by its auditor and industry peers about its ability to continue as a going concern.

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Spanish markets on track to attract most listings in 25 years

Tobias Buck in Madrid – Financial Times

Spain’s stock market is on track to draw the highest number of new listings since 1989, in the latest sign of investor confidence in the country’s economic recovery.

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Intercontinental Exchange Reports ICE And NYSE Volume For September And Third Quarter 2014

Intercontinental Exchange, Inc., the leading global network of exchanges and clearing houses, today reported exchange traded volumes. For September and the third quarter of 2014, futures and options average daily volume (ADV) decreased 6% and 13%, respectively, compared to prior year periods.

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Nordic Growth Market Reports A Turnover Of 4.6 Billion SEK (508 Million Euro) For September 2014

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Third Quarter 2014: Equity Trading On Vienna Stock Exchange Still Brisk, Market Sentiment Dims

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BM&FBOVESPA Publishes September Market Performance

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Borsa Italiana Monthly Update September 2014

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TSX Markets: Top 20 Largest Consolidated Short Position Report – September 30, 2014

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UBS MTF Trading Notice: Data Centre Migration 11th/12th October 2014

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TOM MTF Statistics Week 40, 2014

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Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

How Vanguard Hit $3 Trillion

Kirsten Grind – WSJ

Vanguard Group’s chief executive, F. William McNabb III, runs the largest mutual-fund company in the U.S.—just how large was highlighted last month, when the firm said it had surpassed $3 trillion in assets under management.

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Blockbuster funds: Growing AUM, shrinking returns?

Alice Rigby – Investment Week

Funds over GBP3bn in size risk “blowing up” if fund groups do not alter their practices to incorporate changing ‘AUM quality’ and other risks, according to industry consultant Roland Meerdter.

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‘School fees’ funds: The mixed assets of the future?

Julia Rampen – Investment Week

Fund managers may offer ‘school fees’ or ‘paying the bills’ products rather than mixed investments in future, according to Threadneedle’s head of distribution.

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Former Lehman executive joins bond start-up

Tim Cave – Financial News

Former Chi-X Global chief executive John Lowrey has joined the board of a new electronic bond platform that is one of several new initiatives attempting to benefit from the changing dynamics of the fixed income market.

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Bill Gross Kicks Off New Janus Job With Only One Trader

Steven Russolillo – MoneyBeat – WSJ

Bill Gross earned the “bond king” moniker by surrounding himself with a strong stable of talent at Pimco. Now he reportedly will have just one loyal subject. According to Morningstar, Mr. Gross has requested only one trader by his side at his new gig at Janus Capital Group Inc.

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Bill Gross told rival Gundlach: ‘I am Kobe, you are LeBron’

Jennifer Ablan – Reuters

It was one of the most extraordinary meetings in the history of the bond market. Two of the biggest-ever names in fixed-income investing, Bill Gross and Jeffrey Gundlach, fierce rivals who had never previously talked, held a secret meeting over glasses of lemonade, water, and plates of crudites about whether to join forces.

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Bill Gross to release first investment outlook with Janus on Oct. 9

Reuters

Bill Gross will release his first investment outlook with Janus Capital, the smaller rival for whom he left bond fund manager Pimco, next Thursday.

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Meanwhile, a rolling debacle for stock mutual funds

Joshua M Brown – thereformedbroker.com

Barron’s has some details about the performance of equity mutual funds during Q3 2014. There’s not much left to say anymore about active stockpicking in a mutual fund wrapper.

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Rothschild, Qatar Holding Invest in Ackman’s Pershing Square IPO

Ruth David – Bloomberg

Qatar Holding LLC and Rothschild units are among the key investors in the European initial public offering of Pershing Square Holdings Ltd., one of the funds managed by activist investor Bill Ackman.

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Banks & Brokers

Banks Unite to Set Up One-Stop Bond Shop

Katy Burne – WSJ

Under pressure to supply fund managers with bonds to trade, Wall Street banks are borrowing an idea from Main Street: the shopping mall. A group of 12 banks, including BNP Paribas SA, Credit Suisse Group AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., HSBC Holdings PLC, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co, and Société Générale SA, are working on a new initiative called “Neptune,” said people familiar with the matter.

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Banks to report strong fixed income trade

Tom Braithwaite and Tracy Alloway in New York and Daniel Schäfer in London – Financial Times

Wall Street banks are set to report an unusually strong third quarter for fixed income trading according to industry executives, helped by the recent turmoil at Pimco and the tapering of the Federal Reserve’s bond buying programme.

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Chief of Citigroup’s Banamex Unit in Mexico Steps Down

Michael Corkery – Dealbook – NY Times

As a costly fraud continues to haunt Citigroup’s Mexican unit Banamex, the chief executive of the unit’s holding company, Javier Arrigunaga, has resigned.

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JP Morgan sells commodity arm to Mercuria for $800 mln -sources

Dmitry Zhdannikov and Silvia Antonioli – Reuters

JPMorgan Chase & Co raised $800 million from the sale of its physical commodities unit to trader Mercuria, about a quarter of the initial valuation as the transaction excluded some oil and metal stockpiles and other assets, sources close to the deal said.

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SocGen wins French muni bonds contract

Mark Cobley – Financial News

Societe Generale has won a contract to provide derivatives services and cash-fund custody to a new public agency established to raise finance for French local authorities, as efforts to create a US-style municipal bonds market in Europe gather pace.

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BGC Partners Announces The Departure Of Yevette Tierney From The Role Of Chief Information Officer

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BGC Partners Announces The Appointment Of Trading Technology Veteran Eric Hirschhorn To The Role Of Chief Information Officer

Mr. Hirschhorn Brings With Him Over 25 Years Of Experience From Firms Including Bank Of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, And Chase Manhattan Bank

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Clearing & Settlement

SIX Swiss Exchange: Introduction of the shortened settlement cycle

Today, SIX successfully introduced the shortened settlement cycle T+2. The time between the execution of a trade and its settlement in Switzerland is therefore reduced from three to two business days. Covered are all instruments tradable on SIX Swiss Exchange Ltd and SIX Structured Products Exchange Ltd and settling through the Swiss Central Securities Depository, SIX SIS Ltd as well as Euroclear and Clearstream.

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Indexes & Products

VIX Spot Index to Include S&P 500 Weekly Options Beginning Oct. 6th (Part 1)

Matt Moran – www.cboeoptionshub.com

Beginning Monday, October 6, 2014, CBOE will calculate the spot value of the CBOE Volatility Index using S&P 500 Index options with weekly and standard 3rd Friday expirations that more closely bracket the 30-day target timeframe. While this change is not expected to have a dramatic impact on the spot VIX Index (see point 5 below), the change is a more precise enhancement to the VIX as the premier 30-day measure of the expected volatility of the S&P 500 Index.

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BlackRock Makes Surprising Bet on ‘Active’ Mutual Funds

Michael A. Pollock – WSJ

Many investors are shunning actively managed mutual funds for low-cost exchange-traded funds. So why is BlackRock Inc., which owns the successful iShares ETF franchise, trying to build up its active-fund business?

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[TSE] ETF/ETN Monthly Report for Sep 2014

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Technology

Finance executives lament big data headache

Sarah Krouse, Anna Irrera and Anish Puaar – Financial News

The management and reporting of big data has emerged as a major concern among sellside and buyside executives, with the challenge of capturing and sharing data topping their worry list.

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Tabb Report: Capital Markets Trading Activity Consolidates in 10 Datacenters

Ivy Schmerken – Wall Street & Technology

After a 10-year building boom that led to excess capacity, datacenters with access to matching engines and liquidity are gaining the edge, Tabb Group reports.

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The Future of FinTech

Marc J. Firenze – Wall Street & Technology

Making predictions in technology is tricky but there are a couple of prevailing themes that are likely to influence how the industry will evolve over the next five to 10 years.

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Modernizing Voice Bond Trading

Adam Honoré – Wall Street & Technology

Algomi doesn’t take the approach that it can migrate voice trading to electronic flow. Instead, it focuses on how to make voice trading more efficient.

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MFX Compass takes aim at the FX flow monsters

Farah Khalique – Euromoney Magazine

Foreign-exchange technology provider MahiFX is seeking to challenge the dominance of the leading banks in the electronic FX market by eating into their share of trading and sales with second-tier banks and brokers.

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Thomson Reuters Preps 2015 Fee Hikes

Giulia Lasagni, Faye Kilburn – WatersTechnology

Thomson Reuters is to raise prices for certain data products and services by up to 10 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2015, especially for legacy products and services and for contracts agreed at a discount to the current list price, Inside Market Data has learned, prompting some end-users to call for more transparency around the vendor’s price list.

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ITG Gains Traction With POSIT Alert Brazil

Buyside Crossing Network Accesses Scarce Block Liquidity In Region’s Largest Market

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Revamped Ticker Plant, API, Data Appliances Up Exegy Throughput

Faye Kilburn – WatersTechnology

St. Louis, Mo.-based hardware ticker plant vendor Exegy has released versions 3.3 of its hardware-accelerated Ticker Plant, Market Data System appliances and Exegy Client API, which will provide customers with expanded order book information on the trading status of instruments, as well as more than three times the processing power of previous versions.

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Northern Trust selects SunGard’s Asset Arena Control Center

Northern Trust has chosen SunGard’s Asset Arena Control Center as the latest addition to the portfolio of SunGard solutions used by the asset servicing and investment management firm. Asset Arena Control Center will help Northern Trust by converting complex work processes into electronic checklists and dashboards that help increase automation and improve operational oversight and controls of the firm’s fund accounting and investor accounting activities.

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Enforcement

U.S. SEC to decide if investors share in $600 mln SAC settlement

Emily Flitter and Sarah N. Lynch – Reuters

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will decide next week whether investors in two drug stocks at the center of the largest-ever insider trading case are entitled to compensation.

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Former Jefferies Trader Can Remain Free While Appealing Conviction

William Alden – Dealbook – NY Times

A federal appeals court has determined that Jesse C. Litvak, a former senior trader at the Jefferies Group, can stay out of prison while he appeals a conviction of defrauding investors in mortgage-backed securities.

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Ex-Jefferies trader may win reversal of fraud conviction

Jonathan Stempel – Reuters

A federal appeals court signaled that former Jefferies Group Inc managing director Jesse Litvak has a good chance to overturn his conviction for defrauding mortgage bond investors after the 2008 financial crisis.

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NFA Regulatory Actions: Quick Trade Futures, Inc. and Jim Xu

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Environmental & Energy

Clean-Energy Spending at $175 Billion on Chinese Rise

Justin Doom, Bloomberg News

About $175 billion was spent globally on renewable energy projects during the first three quarters, up 16 percent from the same period last year, with Chinese solar investment at a record, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report.

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Is Global Clean Energy Investment At A Tipping Point?

Qiao Feng and Peter Sopher, Forbes

Last week, amidst the U.N. Climate Summit and historic climate march, governments, investors, and financial institutions took the opportunity to make big announcements about their investment in clean energy.

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Poland may veto CO2 emission cuts in EU talks

The Malaysian Insider

Poland’s new prime minister said Thursday her coal-reliant country would not rule out vetoing the high carbon cuts likely to be demanded by other European Union members.

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Asia-Pacific

Asian fund houses to grow at Europe’s expense

Madison Marriage – Financial Times

Asian fund houses are poised to take market share from their western rivals following the introduction of pan-Asian fund passports and the overseas expansion of Asia’s largest fund groups.

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Japan’s volumes increase in September

Simon Osborne – The Trade

The Japan Exchange Group has released its trading overview for September 2014. In the cash equity market, the daily average trading value in the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 1st Section was JPY 2.28 trillion, an increase from JPY 1.95 trillion in the previous month and bucking a monthly downward trend during the spring and summer of 2014.

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JCCH SPAN Parameter Updarte effective 10/7

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HKFE Announces Revised Margins For Esprit Holdings Futures

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Frontier Markets

Emerging markets adapt to ‘new normal’ as commodities cycle ends

Jonathan Wheatley in London – Financial Times

Emerging market investors are in the grip of their third taper tantrum in 18 months. This time, however, “tantrum” – suggesting an all-consuming but shortlived emotional fit – may no longer be the right word.

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Dubai SWF chief urges merger of UAE bourses

Dow Jones

The head of Dubai’s sovereign wealth fund (SWF) has called for the creation of one stock exchange in the UAE, a merger that officials have unsuccessfully been trying to engineer in the past few years.

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Israel Missing Out as IPOs Bypass Bourse, Lawmaker Margalit Says

Gabrielle Coppola – Bloomberg

Erel Margalit, a member for the Labor party of Israel’s Knesset and former venture capitalist, said the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TA-25) must become more open to attract new listings and halt a decline in trading volumes.

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U.S. judge orders Argentina to stop servicing exchange bonds locally

Reuters

A U.S. judge said on Friday Argentina must reverse the steps it has taken to evade his orders in a longstanding dispute with hedge funds over debt the country defaulted on in 2002.

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U.S.-Africa Business Vision Turns Cloudy

Peter Wonacott – WSJ

American and African leaders in August celebrated a new story for Africa, one centered on an era of expanding commerce and a shift away from a relationship built around conflict, terrorism and pestilence. But months after a summit in Washington, those remain the ties that bind. Business, as usual, not so much.

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South African Regulator Fines Trader for Market Manipulation

Renee Bonorchis – Bloomberg

The Financial Services Board fined David Martin Sweeney, a securities trader, 1 million rand ($89,000) for manipulating the share price of African Dawn Capital Ltd. (ADW) in 2008.

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African investors discover routes to riches beyond commodities

William Wallis – Financial Times

Legend never had it that there would be diapers, foam mattresses, tampons and bottled water at the end of the rainbow. But private equity firms investing in Africa have been using the special financial alchemy at their disposal to turn just this kind of humble household goods into pots of gold.

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Malawi Stock Exchange Third Quarter Market Performance Report 2014

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Lahore Stock Exchange Market Holiday – Eid

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