John Lothian Newsletter: High-Speed Trader Accused of Commodity Market ‘Spoofing’; Humans Lose to Machines in $500 Billion-a-Day Bond Market; Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes Put Pressure on New York Fed

Oct 3, 2014

First Read

Today’s Number: Options Records a Reflection of Global Events
Derek Sammann – OpenMarkets
Options trading is growing rapidly, and for good reason. We are seeing seismic shifts in volatility potential coming from a wide variety of sources. The Fed is likely to end its quantitative easing program soon, setting up a debate in the market about the timing of when zero short-term rates might be abandoned. Equities went from new high to new high for the past few years, but a decelerating China and deflation possibilities in Europe have brought more volatility. And FX markets are now alive as the U.S. and U.K. economies outperform Japan and Europe. Options come into their own as risk management tools when volatility regimes are in motion.

***** QE is likely to end? Winter is coming.


Nasdaq’s Greifeld laments ‘broad middle’ of trading losing ground
EricGarcia – MarketWatch
The head of the Nasdaq OMX on Thursday said stock-market trading is increasingly focused away from where stock exchanges offer the most value.

***DA: I have been lamenting my broad middle for years.


Cross-border Concerns Are an ISDA Priority
Excerpted from new ISDA CEO Scott O’Malia’s first post to its derivatiViews blog
Perhaps the biggest concern I have consistently heard over the past month or so is the importance of cross-border harmonization. In the medium and longer term, ISDA will remain focused on providing solutions to global regulators to resolve their differences and create an outcomes-based regulatory regime that relies on substituted compliance. ISDA will continue its advocacy for more consistent data reporting standards across jurisdictions; trading protocols and platforms that aggregate liquidity, rather than fracture it; and consistency in rules surrounding clearing mandates and OTC margining.

***DA: Now where have I heard that before? Oh, yeah. It is what O’Malia said time and again while at the CFTC.


Rocktoberfest from A Leg to Stand On is close at hand
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 »


Industry Veteran Jeff Voss Passes Away
Jeff Voss, a long time industry brokerage professional died this week of a heart attack. He was 56 years old and would have celebrated his 57th this week. I met Jeff when he ran the order desk for LIT America in the 1990s. He later would work for Man Financial after it acquired LIT, then later MF Global as Man became. My sincere sympathy to his family and friends. He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Kathy, a son (16) and daughter (14). Here are the arrangements:

Beidelman-Kunsch Funeral Home
516 S. Washington St., Naperville, IL 60540
Saturday, October 11, 2014, 1pm-6pm


John Lothian News is Coming to London
John Lothian News is coming to London in October with its World of Opportunity educational series. The two-day series will feature three events held on October 14 and 15 at the CME’s London headquarters.

Speakers at the event will present on various market related themes in a TED Talk like format. Get the details here, including our line up of speakers and the subjects they will be presenting. Click here to sign up!


MGEX Re-Elects Board of Directors
MGEX, a Designated Contract Market (DCM) and Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO), announced the results of its annual Board of Directors (Board) election, held October 2, 2014. Re-elected to the Board were Scott A. Cordes, Martin F. Farrell, Christopher T. Matzdorf and Michael O. Miller. All will serve two-year terms.

***** I rode the Apple Cider Century last weekend in Red Oaks, Michigan. MGEX missed a great opportunity to market their apple juice futures.


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


Disruptive technology will not kill banks
John Authers – Financial Times
When Bill Gates speaks, bankers listen. And when he delivered a keynote speech this week at Sibos, the vast annual banking conference held this year in Boston, the symbolism was rich.

***** Mr. Authers makes all good points, but never count out disruptive innovation when the right one comes along.


FIA’s Sixth SEF Tracker Shows Continued Growth In FX Trading
FIA today published the sixth issue of FIA SEF Tracker, a periodic report on trading activity taking place on swap execution facilities. This issue includes new data from the month of August and shows volume trends and market share for interest rate, credit default and foreign exchange products.

***** I think the FIA should use a picture of a bloodhound to market their SEF Tracker. I think I have a scent.


You Know It’s a Tough Market When Ben Bernanke Can’t Refinance
Elizabeth Campbell – Bloomberg
Ben S. Bernanke said the mortgage market is so tight that even he is having a hard time refinancing his own home loan.

***DA: Where is Angelo Mozilo’s “friends and family” discount when you need it?


Golf: LPGA’s CME Group Tour Championship extends through 2018

***DA: CME Group also sponsors the Saracens rugby club in the U.K., and helps ex-players transition to careers in the financial markets afterward. If you missed this piece from last week’s OpenMarkets, check it out HERE



MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX)

MarketsWiki Recent Updates


Douglas Ashburn; Brian T. Moynihan; Daniel M. Keegan; C. Robert Paul

Companies, Organizations and Groups

The Bank of New York Mellon Corp.; Singapore Exchange Limited; Managed Funds Association


Out-of-the-money; At-the-money; In-the-money; Treasury Bond Futures; Funds of funds


53,899,479 pages viewed, 8,047 articles, 186,263 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

High-Speed Trader Accused of Commodity Market ‘Spoofing’
Andrew Harris and Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
A high-frequency trader was indicted for “spoofing” — placing and immediate canceling orders as a way to manipulate commodities markets — in what the U.S. Justice Department says is the first criminal case of its kind.

Humans Lose to Machines in $500 Billion-a-Day Bond Market
Lisa Abramowicz – Bloomberg
Human traders are increasingly losing out to machines in the world’s biggest bond market. While investors traditionally negotiated prices for U.S. Treasuries by telephone, they’re increasingly turning to computer-based marketplaces for a range of price quotes from different dealers.

Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes Put Pressure on New York Fed
Nathaniel Popper and Peter Eavis – Dealbook – NY Times
Wall Street’s top regulator is coming under new criticism for failing to adequately police the banks under its supervision, years after the financial crisis.

Major focus on post-trade in new WSE strategy
John Bakie – The Trade
Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) will be turning its attention to post-trade services in its new strategy, set to be announced later this month.

The New Race to Zero
Ivy Schmerken – Wall Street & Technology
The low-latency trading race is almost over, but the in-memory analytics race is just beginning.


SEC Unlikely to Touch 13(D) Stock-Buying Window
Liz Hoffman – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Activist investors can rest easy, at least in one area of their world. Securities and Exchange Commissioner Daniel Gallagher said the agency is unlikely to move anytime soon to tighten a rule that gives influence-seeking investors 10 days to disclose ownership stakes of more than 5% in public companies.

Greg Medcraft Of ASIC Re-Elected IOSCO Board Chair
The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) today re-elected Mr. Greg Medcraft as Chairman of the IOSCO Board. Mr. Medcraft was re-elected at the inaugural meeting of the newly constituted Board, during the IOSCO Annual Conference in Rio de Janeiro.

ESMA: Vacancy notice – Senior Officer – Financial Reporting

Poll: Should the FCA ban corporate entertainment outright?
Investment Week
A top regulatory lawyer has warned the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) could eventually ban all forms of corporate entertainment by asset managers.

Watered-down matching adjustment would be ‘utterly worthless’
Louie Woodall –
Certain UK insurers are reconsidering whether to apply for the Solvency II matching adjustment (MA) as regulatory communications suggest the benefits of the measure could be significantly watered down. One chief executive officer at a UK life firm, who did not wish to be named, went so far as to say the adjustment could be “utterly worthless” if the most recent definition stuck.

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Bats Chi-X Europe reaps benefits of merger
Tim Cave – Financial News
The European arm of privately-held US exchange operator Bats Global Markets has turned a profit for the first time since its launch in 2008, rebuffing industry fears over the long-term viability of alternative trading platforms.

CME Group Volume Averaged 15.3 Million Contracts per Day in September 2014, Up 17 Percent from September 2013, and Included Double-Digit Growth in Foreign Exchange, Interest Rate and Agricultural Commodities Volumes
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced that September 2014 volume averaged 15.3 million contracts per day, up 17 percent from September 2013. Total volume for September 2014 was more than 320 million contracts, of which 86 percent was traded electronically. CME Group open interest hit a record level of 108.4 million contracts on September 11, and stands at approximately 104.1 million contracts at the end of the month, up 24 percent year-to-date.

ISE Holdings Reports Business Activity for September 2014
ISE Gemini reported monthly record highs in ADV (679,604 contracts) and market share (4.3%). ISE and ISE Gemini combined represent 16.6% of equity options market share, excluding dividend trades. ISE and ISE Gemini reported a combined ADV of 2.6 million contracts.

ISE Gemini Exceeds One Million Contracts in Trading Day
ISE Geminiannounced that it traded more than one million contracts for the first time (actual: 1,076,222 contracts) in a single day yesterday, and also established an equity options market share record for the exchange of 5.2%, excluding dividend trades.

CBOE Holdings Reports September 2014 Trading Volume
Press Release
CBOE Holdings, Inc. reported that September 2014 trading volume for options contracts on Chicago Board Options Exchange and C2 Options Exchange and futures contracts on CBOE Futures Exchange totaled 108.94 million contracts. Average daily volume (ADV) was 5.19 million contracts, a nine-percent increase from September 2013 and a ten-percent increase from August 2014.

CBOE Futures Exchange Reports September 2014 Trading Volume
Press Release
CBOE Futures Exchange, LLC reported that September 2014 average daily volume (ADV) and total trading volume, both exchange-wide at CFE and for futures on the CBOE Volatility Index, rose over year-ago levels, while the third quarter of 2014 experienced record trading activity.

BOX Options Exchange Price Improvement Activity For September
In the month of September, price improved contracts on BOX Options Exchange (“BOX”) averaged 271,291 per day, which represented a 59% increase over the same period last year.

Euronext Announces Monthly Trade Volumes For September 2014
The September 2014 average daily transaction value on the Euronext cash order book stood at EUR5,958 million (+7.7% compared to September 2013). Overall the third quarter average daily transaction value reached EUR5,718 million (+11.1% compared to Q3 2013).

TMX Group Consolidated Trading Statistics – September 2014, Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange, TMX Select, Alpha, Montreal Exchange, NGX

TOCOM September Volume Averaged 92,040 Contracts Per Day, Up 30.4% M-on-M
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange announced today that average daily trading volume for September was 92,040 contracts, up 30.4% from August. TOCOM’s main commodities saw higher volume: Gold increased 44.1% to 39,621 contracts, Platinum increased 30.4% to 19,622 contracts, Rubber was up 29.3% to 9,672 contracts and Crude Oil was up 24.7% to 3,360 contracts. The increase in volume appears to be attributed to an increase in volatility.

SGX Saw Strong Growth In Derivatives And Commodities For September

Oslo Børs: Share Trading Up 31.8% In September

ASX Group Monthly Activity Report – September 2014

ASX Compliance Monthly Activity Report – September 2014

NZX September 2014 Shareholder Metrics

Chinese Yuan Trading Volume Up 60% In September On Moscow Exchange

BOX Options Exchange October 2014 InBOX
This is the October issue of InBOX, your news source from inside the BOX Options Exchange. This monthly publication will provide convenient summaries of recent developments at BOX.

London Welcomes Borsa Italiana’s 14th STAR Conference
Press Release
Borsa Italiana today hosts the 2014 STAR Conference at London Stock Exchange in London. Over the course of two days, companies belonging to the STAR segment will meet international investors, to present their achievements and strategies for the future.

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Exclusive: Goldman considering setting up new infrastructure fund
Greg Roumeliotis – Reuters
Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) is considering raising a new infrastructure fund, according to three people familiar with the matter, even as U.S. regulations threaten to reduce its profits from such endeavors.

Ackman’s hedge fund Pershing Square up 31.5 pct through September
William Ackman’s hedge fund Pershing Square L.P. has gained 31.5 percent in the first nine months of the year, extending its already strong gains with a 1.4 percent rise in September, one investor in the fund said.

Pimco to Announce Hires After Adding 20 Money Managers in 2014
Mary Childs – Bloomberg
Pacific Investment Management Co., the $2 trillion asset manager that’s reeling from the sudden departure last week of its co-founderBill Gross, plans to announce new hires in the near future, according to its Chief Executive Officer Douglas Hodge.

Bill Gross to Have Internal Competition at Janus
Karen Damato – MoneyBeat – WSJ
The two portfolio managers that Bill Gross is replacing on his new fund at Janus Capital Group JNS +3.28% aren’t household names like the former Pacific Investment Management Co. “Bond King.”

Millions in Fees Vanish for Pimco
Mike Cherney – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Pacific Investment Management Co. saw a net $23.5 billion fly out of its flagship Total Return fund in September, in the wake of the departure of “bond king” Bill Gross, who managed the fund. According to a rough estimate from fund tracker Lipper, that means about $108 million in annual fees also evaporated.

Neptune head of UK wholesale exits in reshuffle
Alice Rigby – Investment Week
Neptune Investment Management’s head of UK wholesale Adam Hughes has exited the group following a restructure of the business, Investment Week understands.

Cofunds to review ‘provider speak’ letter after criticism
Julia Rampen – Investment Week
Cofunds is planning to review the language of a client letter after an adviser slammed its ‘provider speak’.

Investors review UK small caps as opportunities open up abroad
Laura Dew – Investment Week
Multi-managers are reviewing holdings in UK small-cap funds following a multi-year run higher for the sector, with many opting to move their allocations to overseas small-cap mandates instead.

Pricing multi-asset trades – part two
Tim Mortimer –
In his second article about pricing multi-asset structured products, Tim Mortimer of Future Value Consultants looks at the correlation sensitivity of worst-of autocallables and reverse convertibles

TCW had $1 bln net inflows into flagship fund since Fri-Morningstar
Jennifer Ablan – Reuters
TCW, an investment firm that is a major rival of Pimco, posted roughly $1 billion in net inflows into its Metropolitan West Total Return Bond Fund since Friday, according to data from Morningstar on Thursday.

The London Pensions Fund Authority Annual Report 2014 Reports Fund Growth Of GBP196 Million

Banks & Brokers

Hackers’ Attack on JPMorgan Chase Affects Millions
Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Matthew Goldstein and Nicole Perlroth – Dealbook – NY Times
A cyberattack this summer on JPMorgan Chase compromised the accounts of 76 million households and seven million small businesses, a tally that dwarfs previous estimates by the bank and puts the intrusion among the largest ever.

Bank of America’s Latest Move Defies Good Governance
Antony Currie – Dealbook – NY Times
Bank of America has just given good governance a solid kick in the teeth. The bank announced late Wednesday that its directors had voted to add on the title of chairman to Brian T. Moynihan’s duties as chief executive.

Barclays Bans Broker Freebies in Compliance Crackdown
Sarah Jones, Ambereen Choudhury and Stephen Morris – Bloomberg
Barclays Plc (BARC) has banned employees from giving or receiving gifts and entertainment from brokers as the British bank tightens internal controls.

Analyst duo ditch Espirito Santo for HSBC
Lucy Burton – Financial News
Two Panmure Gordon analysts who were due to join Espirito Santo’s Investment Bank last month have made a last-minute move to HSBC, according to four people familiar with the matter.

Citi targets Q4 to complete Asian client roll-out
Simon Osborne – The Trade
Citi has completed another overhaul of its electronic product in Asia and plans to complete the roll-out process to Asian clients by the end of this year.

HSBC autocallable delivers monthly income – at a price
Suzi Hampson –
Short-term autocallable from HSBC pays US investors a monthly income stream but exposes initial capital to risk at maturity if the American barrier is breached

It’s All About Personalization at TD Ameritrade
Anne Rawland Gabriel – Wall Street & Technology
Veteran financial services CIO Marv Adams is making personalized client experiences the priority at TD Ameritrade.

JPMorgan nears sale of parts of physical commodities unit-WSJ
JPMorgan Chase & Co is close to announcing the sale of parts of its physical commodities business – one of the most powerful oil and metals desks on Wall Street – to Swiss trading house Mercuria for $1 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Clearing & Settlement

Esma starts clock on EU swaps clearing
Tim Cave – Financial News
European regulators finalised the start date for the mandatory clearing of swaps on Wednesday, accelerating the timeframe for the largest buyside firms. Here is Financial News’s guide to what this means for market participants and what happens next.

Polish Capital Market Ready For Change of Settlement Cycle From T+3 To T+2
The Central Securities Depository of Poland (KDPW) changes the settlement cycle from T+3 to T+2 as of 6 October 2014. The shorter settlement cycle will have a positive impact on KDPW and KDPW_CCP participants as well as investors.

BlackRock adds to clamour for more CCP capital
Kris Devasabai –
BlackRock co-founder Barbara Novick has criticised clearing houses for their lack of capital and called for more robust supervision

FX non-deliverable forwards land on Europe’s clearing radar
Jon Watkins – The Trade
European regulators have published a consultation paper on the central clearing obligation for foreign exchange non-deliverable forwards (NDFs).

Industry looks for collaborative approach to collateral
Jon Watkins – The Trade
As part of the post-crisis financial markets overhaul, global regulators are forcing standardised OTC derivatives through central clearing, while all uncleared transactions will be subjected to higher margin requirements. Launched in parallel with tougher capital requirements for banks, the outcome is a collateral challenge for the whole industry.


Options Expands Into CME’s Data Center Facility in Aurora to Complete US Co-Location Build-Out
Options, the leading private financial cloud provider for the global capital markets industry, today announced that it has completed the firm’s expansion into CME’s co-location facility in Aurora, IL. This latest expansion sees the firm complete its build-out of all US exchange colocation venues and follows the IaaS provider’s recent expansion into the NYSE Euronext exchange co-location facility in Mahwah, which was completed in June of this year.

Banks slow to embrace ‘digital revolution’
Anna Irrera – Financial News
Open source systems, peer-to-peer lending, cloud computing, big data and crypto-currencies are some of the technologies bank fintech funds will consider investing in, as the largest financial firms seek to play technological catch up.

The challenges of going electronic
Philippe Morel and Rupert Bull – Financial News
There are two primary drivers currently affecting capital markets and investment banking businesses: regulation and electronification.

Thomson Reuters Third-Quarter 2014 Earnings Announcement And Webcast Scheduled For Thursday, October 30, 2014 – Conference Call And Webcast Scheduled For 8:30 A.M. EDT

NetDania Preps HTML5 Charts, Mobile Trading App
Giulia Lasagni – WatersTechnology
NetDania, a Danish provider of foreign exchange data display and analytics workstations, is rolling out a new HTML5 charting solution and an upgraded version of its NetDania mobile app in response to customer demand for more functionality, officials say.


Imaginary Michael Jordan Caught Up in Alleged Stock Fraud
Michael P. Regan – Bloomberg
If there’s a Hall of Fame for (alleged) penny stock scams, this one definitely warrants at least a nomination. Imagine you’re a doctor attending a medical conference in sunny Florida. In between speeches, you stroll over and check out the exhibition booths. (You may or may not be sporting Tommy Bahama and sipping a blue-agave martini. This is, after all, your imagination not ours.)

California Federal Court Permanently Bans Glenn Kane Jackson and Highlands Capital Management from Trading and Registration in Action by CFTC Charging Commodity Pool Fraud

Environmental & Energy

Canada switches on world’s first carbon capture power plant
Suzanne Goldenberg,
Canada has switched on the first large-scale coal-fired power plant fitted with a technology that proponents say enables the burning of fossil fuels without tipping the world into a climate catastrophe.

***LB: Also in this story “In Mississippi, Southern Company has spent more than $5.5 bn over the last six years trying to bring a new-built CCS project, the Kemper County Energy Facility, into operation. The opening is now delayed until mid-2015.”

Iconic London phone boxes inspire first ‘solarbox’
James Murray, BusinessGreen
One of London’s iconic, but increasingly unused, phone boxes has today been turned literally and figuratively green with the launch of the capital’s first “solarbox”.

***LB: Also in this story “Solarbox, the company founded by recent LSE graduates Kirsty Kenney and Harold Craston, aims to monetise the technology by selling advertising space in the new boxes. It is planning to deploy a number of solarboxes across the capital from early next year.”

Administration launches climate competition
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The Obama administration launched a competition Wednesday aimed at helping cities and towns cut greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the effects of climate change.


Singapore Sukuk Hub Goal Leaves a Lonely Sabana: Islamic Finance
Liau Y-Sing, Yudith Ho and Lilian Karunungan – Bloomberg
Sabana (SSREIT) Shariah-Compliant Industrial REIT is the sole entity in Singapore to have sold sukuk this year in a setback to the republic’s ambitions to become an Islamic finance hub.

Bankers call for progress on Asean Exchanges project
Rob Hartley – Euromoney Magazine
There is more work to be done before the Asean Exchanges project – designed to connect bourses in the region – can realize the ambitions it set out during its inception.

Frontier Markets

Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange Volumes Hit All Time Historical Highs
Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange (BMD) ended the September trading month registering five new historical highs.

JSE Launches New Range Of African Currency Futures
Today the JSE launched the first currency futures which track the exchange rate between the Rand and select African currencies. The JSE listed three new currency futures contracts which track the exchange rate between the Rand and the Zambian Kwacha, Kenyan Shilling and Nigerian Naira.

Banking business still being won amid crisis in Iraq
Duncan Kerr – Euromoney Magazine
US-led airstrikes in Iraq have heightened security concerns among international banks and companies operating in the country, but despite the growing crisis, banking business is still being won on the ground.

Palestine Securities Exchange Monthly Investor Newsletter- September 2014

Malawi Stock Exchange Weekly Trading Report – 3rd October, 2014

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