Bloomberg’s Matthew Philips Wrong On HFT and Don Wilson
It is clear to me that Bloomberg reporter Matthew Philips does not understand what he is writing about in his story about Don Wilson and his conflict with the CFTC. Mr. Philips tries to frame this story in his lead paragraph as the “opening salvo” between the CFTC and high-frequency traders. It is not. He is wrong.
So let’s dismiss this argument first. There is no high-frequency trading in swaps trading. Period. Perhaps when we get the SEFs fully up and running and all potential swaps dealers are registered and participating, then we could see some HFT. Until then, this is an erroneous backdrop. Most swaps trading takes place over the phone and the SEFs are just getting started to trade them electronically. Take a look at the volumes on this webpage from Markit about CDS and tell me how much HFT you can get for these swaps that trade mostly single digits on a weekly basis.
Lastly, the idea in injecting and cancelling thousands of orders a minute, as traders using HFT techniques do, is to detect directional influences of the order flow. If there is no to little order flow, there is nothing to detect.
To read the rest of the essay, visit the JLN blog at jlne.ws/1bfY5d5
***DA: Also, check out the brand new MarketsReformWiki page on the “central clearing of interest rate swaps” comparison white paper at jlne.ws/1iZeDdH
Europe learns from CFTC on trade reporting
Philip Stafford – FT.com
A powerful body overseeing one of the world’s main derivatives markets has ruled that an important piece of legislation should be mandatory in months, in spite of industry warnings about difficulties in implementation.
***** Harmony is a trend, but disharmony is a fixture.
Assume the Position
The CFTC has released its new position limits proposed rule. It is an improvement on the earlier version, but still lacks a serious logical and empirical basis, try as the agency might to muster up a justification.
***** Evidently the Streetwise Professor did not hear about the Hunt Brothers Silver corner that the CFTC finally got around to solving.
From Our Man In Chicago, FIA Expo 2013, Tom Groenfeldt: Does Finance need a New Margin Calculator?
Has SPAN outlived its usefulness, or does the constant stream of new releases and updates make it still useful after 25 years? (And why did CME abbreviate Standardized Portfolio Analysis of Risk as SPAN instead of SPAR?)
***** And why is every sentence in this story a question?
Europe faces jigsaw of regulation as Emir stutters
David Wigan – FOW
There’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip, goes an old English proverb that resonates today. When the European Parliament’s flagship post-crisis derivative legislation came into force last year, market participants may have been forgiven for thinking that much of the work in bringing transparency to complex markets had been done. In fact, on recent evidence, it has only just begun.
***** We’ve only just begun to live, White lace and promises, A kiss for luck and we’re on our way, We’ve only begun…
NYSE Liffe Launches 30 Year Ultra Long Gilt Futures
NYSE Liffe, the European derivatives business of NYSE Euronext (NYX), today announced that it will be launching 30 Year Ultra Long Gilt Futures, in response to customer demand. The new contracts will be available from 25 November 2013.
***** I have a lot of ultra long term guilt. I wonder if I can hedge it with this contract.
Michael Grecoff comments on SEF surveillance needs
Watch Cinnober’s Michael Grecoff, Head of Sales for Market Surveillance Systems, talk to FIA’s Emma Davey about SEF surveillance needs, regulators’ market integrity reporting and the outlook for the market landscape in the next few years.
***** Did Emma Davey get traded from FOA to FIA, or did FIA finally eat all of FOA during EXPO?
Reading the SEF Tea Leaves
George Bollenbacher – TabbFORUM
It has been a little more than a month now since the SEFs opened for business, and, although there are no products that are Made Available to Trade on SEFs, we have some significant trading volume to look at. Let’s see if the volume figures tell us anything.
***** See the lyrics to the Carpenters Song above.
Corporate and Financial Weekly, November 8, 2013
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
It was a busy week at the CFTC, with several rulemakings released, including a final rule on margin for uncleared swaps and re-proposed rules on position limits. The commission also issued a proposed rule that would require IBs, CPOs and CTAs to become members of a registered futures association. In SEC news, the commission issued a $150,000 whistleblower award.
***** Wait, I have to join the NFA? Again?
The CFTC is Losing Their Superman AND Their Batman
Because Finance Is Boring
One of the MOST important agencies in the last few years fighting for strong financial reform has been the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or the CFTC for short. The CFTC is run by five Commissioners. They currently have one vacancy (Commissioner Jill Sommers, a Republican, left in January). They’re about to have two more. And the two who are leaving, Chairman Gary Gensler and Commissioner Bart Chilton, are no less than the agencies key members.
***** Evidently regulators need Cod Pieces.
Chateau Haut-Brion ’06 Bordeaux Drops to Nine-Month Liv-Ex Low
Guy Collins – Bloomberg
A case of Chateau Haut-Brion 2006, a first-growth Bordeaux from the Pessac-Leognan district on the south side of the city, sold for 2,700 pounds ($4,340) on the Liv-ex wine exchange this week, its lowest level in nine months.
***DA: The best leading economic indicators do not show up in any government report. For example, the Beanie Baby market imploded six months before the dot com crash. Saved me a ton of money.
MarketsWiki Page of the Day
MarketsWiki Recent Updates
Companies, Organizations and Groups
45,095,862 pages viewed, 7,696 articles, 167,677 edits
ICE’s takeover of NYSE to close on November 13
IntercontinentalExchange Inc (ICE.N) said its takeover of NYSE Euronext (NYX.N) would close on November 13, after clearing final regulatory hurdles on Friday.
Big Banks May Block Traders From Chat Rooms
Jenny Strasburg – WSJ.com
Big banks are considering blocking employees from computer chat rooms that have become pervasive tools of the modern trading floor, but which face mounting scrutiny from regulators as potential venues for collusion and market manipulation.
NYSE Proposes One-Year Pilot Program for Larger Stock Trades
Sam Mamudi – Bloomberg
The New York Stock Exchange has asked regulators to approve a plan aimed at luring investors seeking to trade in bulk — lots of 500 shares or more.
Mexico aims to allay swaps trading fear
Philip Stafford and Jude Webber in Mexico City – FT.com
The Bolsa Mexicana de Valores is in talks with Mexican banks to use its derivatives exchange for trading swaps, to allow local dealers to comply with tough new US rules but prevent market liquidity draining to its North American neighbour.
FCMs stunned by $1.75 billion client buffer at Credit Suisse
Duncan Wood – Risk.net
Banks in the over-the-counter derivatives clearing business have been shocked by data showing Credit Suisse is holding $1.75 billion of its own funds against $3.94 billion of client swaps collateral in its US futures commission merchant, Credit Suisse Securities USA. The 44% ratio makes the bank the most conservative among US FCMs, but rivals say it would put the profitability of most OTC clearing businesses under huge pressure.
Chi-X Australia plots derivatives expansion
Michelle Price in Hong Kong – Financial News
Chi-X Australia, the alternative stock exchange owned by Chi-X Global, is exploring expanding into derivatives as it looks to step-up competition against incumbent rival the Australian Securities Exchange.
Swaps-Secrets Demands Said to Put Brakes on EU’s Antitrust Probe
Gaspard Sebag & Stephanie Bodoni – Bloomberg
The European Union’s antitrust probe into credit derivatives trading by 13 of the world’s biggest banks stalled after the lenders’ lawyers won the right to see confidential information compiled by investigators.
SAC Pleads Guilty, Then Judge Calls a Timeout
BEN PROTESS – NYTimes.com
After spending the better part of a decade fighting a federal insider trading investigation, SAC Capital Advisors must wait a few extra months for closure. The hedge fund pleaded guilty to insider trading charges at a court hearing on Friday, but the judge overseeing the case declined to give the plea preliminary approval.
Ex-ICAP Brokers Said to Face U.K. Prosecutors in Libor Probe
Suzi Ring – Bloomberg
Three former ICAP Plc brokers charged in the U.S. over their involvement in Libor-rigging will be interviewed by U.K. prosecutors within weeks, two people with knowledge of the probe said.
Analysis: Twitter gives NYSE momentum in IPO battle versus Nasdaq
Twitter Inc’s successful debut on the New York Stock Exchange could help the Big Board win a title it has never held before: the No.1 U.S. listing venue for technology companies.
KPMG treads new ground with fund
David Oakley, Investment Correspondent – FT.com
KPMG, the giant professional services company, will on Monday launch its first investment fund as it branches out into other areas in a sign of the big changes afoot in the financial services industry.
SEC Names LeeAnn Gaunt as Chief of Municipal Securities and Public Pensions Unit
Ms. Gaunt has worked in the specialized unit since its inception in 2010, and supervised the agency’s first pay-to-play enforcement action for “in-kind” political campaign contributions in September 2012 when the SEC charged Goldman Sachs and an executive vice president for violations related to contributions to the then-state treasurer of Massachusetts.
Banks face clampdown on client e-trading
Sam Fleming and Philip Stafford – FT.com
Banks are being put under pressure by UK regulators to impose more scrutiny over their clients’ electronic trading activity as they seek to clamp down on market abuse. Among the possible measures being suggested are restrictions on the number of orders that can be placed at any one time or in the value of the orders, or measures preventing orders from being entered and then deleted very rapidly.
Euro regulations face delays as election looms
Joe McGrath, Anish Puaar and Sarah Krouse – Financial News
European regulations on financial benchmarks, money market funds and long-term investment funds are facing extensive delays because they may not get passed before European elections due next May.
Gary DeWaal’s Bridging the Week: November 4 to 8 and 11, 2013
It was fitting that the 29th annual Futures Industry Association Expo occurred last week following the completion of the New York City Marathon on November 3. Like the many runners who staggered across the finish line in NYC’s Central Park the prior Sunday after their grueling 26.2 mile race, attendees at the FIA’s Chicago conference seemed very weary and resigned to accept that it is now past time to argue any more about the merits of Title VII of Dodd Frank and the various regulations of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to implement it.
Canada PM: foolish for foreign investment rules to be too clear
It would be foolish for Canadian rules on foreign investment to be too clear because Ottawa needs a certain amount of discretion when considering takeover bids, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Friday.
How do you solve too big to fail? One bite at a time
Ben Wright – Financial News
It could fairly be described as one of the defining issues of our age. Ben Bernanke, the outgoing chairman of the Federal Reserve, believes it is “one of the biggest problems” the world faces. And the general consensus appears to be that we are still a long way from solving it.
Regulators urged to probe metals markets abuse
Patrick Jenkins and Jack Farchy – FT.com
Britain’s parliamentary financial watchdog has urged regulators to probe potential abuses in metals markets as deeply as they are investigating the ongoing scandals over foreign exchange and Libor benchmark interest rates.
FX market faces challenges to meet Emir start date for trade reporting
Kathy Alys, Joel Clark – Risk.net
The European Securities and Markets Authority (Esma) last week approved the first four trade repositories to operate under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (Emir), marking the start of the countdown to mandatory trade reporting, which will now begin for all asset classes in February – despite concerns the foreign exchange market may still not have the necessary infrastructure to meet the requirements.
ESMA Announces Financial Statements’ Enforcement Priorities For 2013
Exchanges & Trading Facilities
HKEx Preps OMD for Derivs, New Gateways
Max Bowie – WatersTechnology
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing is preparing to migrate its derivatives market data to its new Orion Market Data platform, which went live last month for equities data, along with the implementation of the Nasdaq OMX Genium Inet platform for its derivatives trading, replacing the legacy OMX Click platform.
Brazil’s BM&FBovespa to invest up to 90 mln reais this quarter
BM&FBovespa SA, Brazil’s sole listed financial exchange, plans to invest as much as 90 million reais ($39 million) in the fourth quarter, a senior executive said on Friday.
Beware the darkside of the metal market force
Izabella Kaminska | FT Alphaville
Goldman Sachs launched a spirited defence of warehouse queues last week, arguing that they don’t have an unwarranted effect on physical prices because the hoarding is justified by curve dynamics.
CME Group New Product Advisory: Transco Zone 6 Natural Gas (Platts IFERC) Fixed Price Swap & US Midwest Busheling Ferrous Scrap (AMM) Swap
NYSE Euronext Announces Timeline for Completing Acquisition by IntercontinentalExchange
Moscow Exchange Monthly Market Report: October 2013
TSX And TSXV Trading List Leaders By Volume And By Values – October 2013
Warsaw Stock Exchange Derivatives Market In October 2013
TOM MTF Statistics Week 45 – Record Volumes And Market Shares
Hedge Funds & Managed Futures
Vanguard hires as part of pensions push
Sophie Baker – Financial News
Vanguard Asset Management is aiming to take a bigger role in the UK defined-contributions pensions sector with the hire of a high-profile former consultant to develop its offering.
Vanguard hires as part of pensions push. It is the latest sign of increasing interest in the sector, in part triggered by the additional 10 million people who could be automatically enrolled into workplace schemes under the government’s latest pensions reform.
‘Long-only’ Funds Lose Their Hedge
Juliet Chung – WSJ.com
What do you call a hedge fund that doesn’t hedge? The latest growth area for the industry. On the heels of a multiyear market rally, a slew of hedge-fund firms are launching “long-only” funds betting that at least some stocks have further to climb. The moves come amid a brutal stretch for short bets against companies, traditionally a key strategy for hedge funds.
Pimco Hurt by Near $39 Billion Net Outflow
Sarah Krouse – WSJ.com
Bond giant Pimco reported net outflows of E28.8 billion ($38.6 billion) in the third quarter, suffering from a selloff in fixed income during the period triggered by fears of rising interest rates.
Harvard Swap Toll Tops $1.25 Billion as Agreements Exited
John Lauerman & Michael McDonald – Bloomberg
Harvard University, the world’s richest college, lost $345.3 million terminating interest-rate swaps last year, bringing its cost of unwinding debt derivatives since 2008 to more than $1.25 billion.
Italy serves up biggest slice of fund charges
Mike Foster and Joe McGrath – Financial News
High distribution costs make retail funds domiciled in Italy the most expensive in Europe, according to research by data provider Morningstar.
Hedge Fund Invests in Argentina
As head of a hedge fund that specializes in distressed debt, David Martinez has had lots of practice trying to figure out when an asset’s value has been beaten down so much that it is a buy. He has just made an unusual call: Invest in Argentina.
The pros and cons of aiming for the stars
Mike Foster – Financial News
The pulling power of star managers was demonstrated at Old Mutual Global Investors last week, where UK fund sales leaped in the third quarter by 79% to £2 billion compared with a year ago. OMGI benefited from inflows into funds managed by Richard Buxton, who joined from Schroders in June, in contrast to its less fortunate rivals.
2014 likely to be positive year for hedge fund growth
Margie Lindsay – Risk.net
As 2014 looms, the hedge fund industry is poised to enter a very different world, shaped by regulation on both sides of the Atlantic, but whether the new normal is going to extend throughout 2014 is moot.
Family offices debate role of structured products at London panel
Yakob Peterseil – Risk.net
Family offices, firms that manage family fortunes, say structured products have become more attractive as the industry has improved transparency and customisation, but there is a long way to go before the products achieve widespread acceptance, they report.
Bats sinks Markit Boat
Tim Cave – Financial News
The unglamorous world of trade reporting enjoyed a rare moment in the spotlight earlier this month. Just days after Bats Chi-X Europe secured the support of five major dealers for its new equities reporting service, incumbent provider Markit announced the closure of its offering from next September. The news emerged over the course of a week, but the demise of Markit’s service, formerly known as Boat, was in the pipeline for much longer.
Markit takes £25m hit on closing reporting service
Tim Cave – Financial News
Markit has incurred losses of more than £25 million over the five years it has owned the equity trade reporting service it is to close down.
CFTC Commitments Of Traders Reports Update
Banks & Brokers
Banks move early on bonus caps amid confusion
Matthew Attwood and Matt Turner – Financial News
Banks have started the process of deciding how they will implement the EU-wide bank bonus cap which comes into force in 2015 even though there is still confusion on some key issues, according to lawyers.
Dimon’s Vacation Comes Up in New ‘London Whale’ Documents
Dan Fitzpatrick and Michael Crittenden – MoneyBeat – WSJ
The day before The Wall Street Journal published a story describing the outsized bets taken by a J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. trader nicknamed “the London whale,” one of J.P. Morgan CEO James Dimon’s top lieutenants told him via e-mail that she wanted to “go over all the technicals” with him but “understood you were on vacation.”
Tradition’s Mike Anderson cheerful despite headwinds for energy brokers
Stella Farrington – Risk.net
Regulatory change and tough market conditions are creating deep uncertainty for energy brokers. But Tradition’s Mike Anderson remains optimistic about the business
U.S. Seeks $864 Million From Bank Over Poor Loans
The United States government has asked that Bank of America pay $863.6 million in damages after a federal jury found it liable for fraud over defective mortgages sold by its Countrywide Financial unit.
Candid Criticism for Fed That Wasn’t on the Agenda
It started off as yet another staid International Monetary Fund conference on financial crises, filled with ample praise for one of its high-wattage speakers, Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, and carefully calibrated comments on optimal monetary policy. Enter Lawrence H. Summers.
Tullett Falls as Revenue Drops Amid ‘Challenging’ Conditions
Sarah Jones – Bloomberg
Tullett Prebon Plc tumbled the most in four months in London trading after the inter-dealer broker reported a drop in sales, citing a “challenging” market.
Deutsche Bank CEO says new rules crimp ability to provide loans
German companies need to diversify their funding as the implementation of new bank safety rules makes it harder for banks to provide loans, Deutsche Bank co-Chief Executive Juergen Fitschen told Germany’s Boersen Zeitung.
FXall Named “Best FX Dealing Portal” In Treasury Management International Awards For Innovation & Excellence In Treasury 2013
Clearing & Settlement
Clearstream’s October 2013 Figures
EUR 11.8 Trillion In Assets Under Custody Mark A New Record Peak – Global Securities Financing Sees 5 Percent Increase In Value Of Its Combined Services Compared To October Last Year – Investment Funds Services Sees 24 Percent Increase In Number Of Transactions Processed Compared To Year-To-Date October 2012
CME Group Margins: Performance Bond Requirements: CBT New Products- Effective Friday, November 8, 2013
CME Group Margins: Performance Bond Requirements: New Natural Gas Fixed Price Futures, Petroleum Cracks and Spreads- Effective Friday, November 8, 2013
CME Group Margins: Performance Bond Requirements: FX, Petroleum Cracks and Spreads, and Weather Outrights; Interest Rates and ERIS Inter-Commodity Spread Credits; Interest Rates and ERIS Inter-Commodity Spread Ratios- Effective Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Indexes & Products
According To ETFGI: Global ETF And ETP Assets Reached US$2.3 Trillion, A New Record High, At The End Of October 2013
October marked another month of strong inflows for global ETFs/ETPs. Combining the US$32.6 billion of net inflows with positive market performance during October global ETF/ETP assets reached a new record high of US$2.3 trillion, according to preliminary findings from ETFGI’s October 2013 Global ETF and ETP industry insights report.
iShares ETFs To Commence Trading On BATS Chi-X – Europe On 18th November Two iShares ETFs To Mark First Listings On BATS Chi-X Europe
Tokyo Stock Exchange ETF/ETN Monthly Report For Oct 2013 – Trading Value Remained High In October
AlgoSpan launches Stockholm PoP enabling full access to AlgoNet pan European low latency exchange network
AlgoSpan has recently completed upgrades to its Ultra Low Latency network infrastructure to Stockholm and officially launches its Stockholm PoP in NASDAQ OMX Lunda, enabling full access to AlgoNet shortest-path pan-European infrastructure and real-time market data services. Trading firms co-located in NASDAQ OMX Lunda can now access Nordic venues such as Oslo Bors and Burgundy, as well as other markets where Scandinavian securities are traded e.g. Turquoise, Chi-X and BATS.
JPMorgan Banker Backed $200 Million Madoff Loan in 2008
Erik Larson – Bloomberg
A former JPMorgan Chase & Co. banker who managed Bernard Madoff’s account said the con man was on track to receive a $200 million loan less than a month before his arrest if the request hadn’t been dropped.
NFA permanently bars Escondido, California commodity trading advisor and commodity pool operator Light Tower Investments, Inc. and its principal, Klaus P. Weyers
NFA Regulatory Actions: Ironbeam Inc.
NFA Regulatory Actions: Euro Pacific Holding Corporation and Alexander C. Blum
NFA Regulatory Actions: SK Madison LLC and Michael J. Seward
Environmental & Energy
EU states reach breakthrough at carbon supply cut talks
European Union diplomats on Friday agreed to begin talks on a legal text to slash permit supply and prop up carbon prices in the bloc’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), marking a big step forward for the divisive proposal.
EU states approve ‘backloading’ fix to rescue bloc’s carbon emissions trade
A majority of EU governments have backed a rescue plan for the bloc’s cap-and-trade system for carbon dioxide emissions. The plan aims to boost the price of allowances to make climate-saving investments more profitable.
EU in new push to revive the carbon market
EU diplomats today (8 November) agreed to begin talks on a legal text to slash permit supply and prop up carbon prices in the bloc’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), marking a big step forward for the divisive proposal.
SGX forex futures launch signals market evolution
The Singapore Exchange (SGX) is reattempting a launch of its Asian currency futures offering after its predecessor the Singapore International Monetary Exchange failed to attract interest to its first currency futures offering on the dollar, the pound and the Deutschmark in 1984.
The Third Plenum: What the Markets Are Watching
Chao Deng and Shen Hong – MoneyBeat – WSJ
The Chinese leadership confab that opened over the weekend could be a game-changer for investors willing to gamble on how policy changes might affect the country’s stock market. While Beijing has been mum on details of the widely-anticipated reforms, the investment community has mapped out its expectations.
Henderson deploys eastern expertise
Joe McGrath – Financial News
Henderson Global Investors is expanding its Singapore-based Pan-Asian equities team from March to boost its knowledge of local companies.
SGX welcomes Figtree Holdings to Catalist
Thai Bourse Announces Winners Of CSRI Recognition 2013 Awards
Thailand Futures Exchange Announces Winners Of Derivatives Trading Competition
Taiwan Stock Exchange Leads Delegation To London To Promote The Taiwan Capital Market
When candyfloss costs dear
Gillian Tett – FT.com
Seven long years ago, I had a chance to meet Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani, a Pakistani scholar who is also a leading expert in Islamic finance. It was an unexpectedly memorable conversation. Back then, during the height of the credit bubble, there were very few people who expressed strong criticisms of how western finance worked. But Usmani was scathing. Most notably, he bewailed the tendency of American and European banks to create money untethered from any real assets; or, as he put it, to spin “derivatives out of more derivatives”.
Abu Dhabi’s Waha Capital Q3 profit soars
Waha Capital, an Abu Dhabi-based investment firm, posted a near fourfold increase in its third-quarter profit as income from its portfolio companies increased sharply.
New norms for foreign players not to hit Indian banks: Union Bank
Opening up of Indian banking industry for foreign players will not harm local lenders, who have been operating in the country for nearly 100 years, asserts a senior executive of Union Bank.
DGCX Year-To-Date Volumes Rise 56%
Among the key highlights of October trading was the robust growth of precious metals contracts. Gold Futures volumes increased 60% from last month to reach 45,928 contracts while silver futures rose 88%, hitting its highest monthly volume of 2,882 contracts this year.
S&P Dow Jones To Upgrade UAE To Emerging Market Status
As Part Of Yemen’s Preparations To Launch Its Exchange: DFM Welcomes High Level Delegation From The Yemen Ministry Of Finance Essa Kazim: DFM Is Committed To Providing Its Extensive Expertise To Yemen
ADX Partakes In UAE Global Investment Forum
Ninth Sukuk Listing Of 2013 Adds Further Momentum To Dubai’s Growth As The Global Centre Of The Islamic Economy