First Read

Bigger Picture: BATS Execs Willing To Collaborate To Expand Options Business
Sarah Rudolph – John Lothian News

BATS Global Markets has a hand in both equities and options, and its options market, though relatively new, is holding its own among the growing list of options exchanges. John Lothian News’ Sarah Rudolph caught up with Kapil Rathi, the exchange’s vice president of options business strategy, and Bryan Harkins, its executive vice president and head of U.S. markets, at the Options Industry Conference in Miami Beach earlier this month and spoke to them about BATS’ plans for a new exchange, how to grow the pie in the options space, BATS’ new proposal for small-cap equity trading, as well as their take on the OCC’s capital plan.

SR: BATS Options has been building its market share. What is the next phase in the exchange’s growth?

KR: Our near-term goal is to launch a new options exchange called EDGX Options, with a customer priority/pro rata allocation model. BATS is a leader today in the price-time market, a fairly small subset of the options industry. So there is a large customer base not currently being served by BATS: the “classic” market with a pro-rata priority based model and payment for order flow. This is the model used by CBOE, Amex, MIAX and PHLX.

BH: Our expansion in options is also part of our overall plan to execute and be No. 1 in all the asset classes we touch. We try to identify large markets we can enter with our technology and our economies of scale and improve the efficiency of that market.

We’re almost just getting started in options; even though we got very respectable market share, between 9 and 10 percent this year, we haven’t started competing in the two-thirds of the pie yet.

Read the rest of the interview at


Trading Tech 300 Update
By John J. Lothian

Trading Tech 300, a collaborative effort of the Chicago trading community and the Pathway to Adventure Council of the Boy Scouts of America, is starting to take form. We shall soon be announcing the first Merit Badge Fairs to be held in participating firms offices.

A new feature for scouting in Chicago has opened the Trading Tech 300 program up to both scouts and non-scouts, specifically GIRLS. The Pathway to Adventure Council has been chosen as one of 12 councils to Beta-test the new STEM Scouts program. STEM Scouts is a STEM focused program for both boys and girls from grades 3rd to 12th.

Thus, Trading Tech 300 is now open to girls, whether they are registered as scouts yet or not. We are still working out the details for the recognition for non-scouts to receive for having completed merit badge and other award requirements, but there will be something.

Our hope is that girls participating in the program may want to join Scouts, either a Venture Crew, Explorers or the new STEM Scouts program.

So the door is open. If you and your firm are interested in learning more about Trading Tech 300, please contact me at


Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert Indicted;Charges relate to large sums of money he allegedly paid to keep someone quiet about ‘prior misconduct’
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges related to bank withdrawals of large sums of money that he allegedly paid to keep someone quiet about his “prior misconduct.”

***** Speaker Hastert has resigned from the board of the CME Group as a result of this indictment.


FIA Launches Innovators Pavilion to Showcase New Technology in the Futures, Options and Cleared Swaps Industry
Startups Encouraged to Apply Now to Be Featured at 2015 Futures and Options Expo in Chicago in November
FIA announced the launch of Innovators Pavilion, a showcase for startup companies providing forward-thinking solutions for the futures, options and cleared swaps industry. Innovators Pavilion is a new feature at the annual Futures and Options Expo, which is the industry’s most widely-attended event. Now in its 31st year, Expo draws more than 5,000 participants to Chicago each November. Startup companies that are selected to take part in Innovators Pavilion will be given a TechPod on the Expo show floor to display their services as well as a featured presentation slot to share their vision and direction with Expo attendees.

***** I think I know what room this will be in.


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IDX Gala Dinner 2015 in aid of Futures for Kids
The Artillery Gardens at the HAC
FIA and FIA Europe are delighted to announce that the IDX Gala dinner will, once again, be held in aid of Futures for Kids (FFK)

***** Who would like to invite a charming, tall, shiny-headed journalist to the gala?


Independent news sites are swimming with sharks
Matthew Garrahan, FT
The chief executives of Snapchat, Airbnb and Oculus Rift were among those who gathered this week for the annual Recode conference in southern California. The 700 tickets, at $6,500 and up each, sold out in a few hours. Recode, a technology-focused news site and conference business, was started by Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, who built the All Things D franchise for the Wall Street Journal and News Corp, its parent company, before striking out on their own.

***** I prefer to think that JLN is in an ocean of its own.


Lead Stories

Lehman’s Fuld Says It Wasn’t His Fault; Dick Fuld argued Lehman Brothers was ‘mandated into bankruptcy’ and could have survived
In an appearance marking his return to the public eye, Richard Fuld Jr. insisted he doesn’t want to play “woulda, coulda, shoulda” about the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

***** Of course it was not Dick Fuld’s fault that he played the game and lost very badly.

Finance must blow the whistle on foul play
Gillian Tett, FT
Four years ago, I received a phone call from a mysterious man keen to talk about Deutsche Bank’s accounts. Initially I was tempted to hang up. Journalists often get crank calls and this tale was particularly baffling. But in my two decades as a journalist I have learnt (the hard way) that it is difficult to tell a crank from a genuine whistleblower on the first encounter.

****** We are doing a great job of shooting ourselves in the foot, over and over again. I am surprised we can still stand.

LME nears deal with market makers for steel futures, hurdles remain
The London Metal Exchange (LME) is close to sealing deals with market makers to guarantee liquidity for its new steel rebar and scrap futures, a move that industry experts say is a step in the right direction. But for real longevity, the contracts will need crucial support from major banks and participation of major steelmakers and institutional investors.

While Not Accused, Big Banks Played Role in FIFA Case
Alongside the names of several world soccer officials that U.S. prosecutors accused of racketeering and corruption in a Wednesday indictment were mentions of the three largest U.S. banks by assets.

Congress has more questions for Fed about alleged leak
Congressional staffers are raising more questions about an alleged leak of confidential Federal Reserve information, according to a report Thursday.

Madoff Accountant Avoids Prison Term
By his own admission, David G. Friehling was not much of an auditor for Bernard L. Madoff — pretty much rubber-stamping financial statements for the man who masterminded an enormous Ponzi scheme.

Goldman Sachs tried to lure Libor trader with $3 mln bonus, court hears
Tom Hayes, a former trader charged with conspiring to rig benchmark interest rates, had become such a powerful player in 2008 that Goldman Sachs tried to hire him with a $3 million signing-on bonus, a London court was told on Thursday.


SEC Names Andrew J. Donohue as Chief of Staff
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Andrew J. “Buddy” Donohue has been named the agency’s chief of staff. Mr. Donohue will replace Lona Nallengara who will leave the agency in June. As chief of staff, Mr. Donohue will be a senior adviser to the Chair on all policy, management, and regulatory issues.

EU regulators open review of Remit reporting
Futures & Options World
European energy regulators have launched a review of the Regulation on Wholesale Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (Remit) with the aim of standardizing reporting by market participants. The Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (Acer) said market participants had struggled with implementation of Remit’s disclosure requirements resulting in inconsistent reporting practices.

ASIC consults on central clearing obligations for OTC derivatives
The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) today proposed draft rules to implement mandatory central clearing requirements (clearing requirements) for certain over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. The proposals are the next stage in Australia meeting its Group of Twenty (G20) commitments to reform OTC derivatives markets following the global financial crisis (GFC).

FCA must not delay publishing HBOS report
Neil Collins, FT
In addition to naming the guilty, the report should provide ammunition for the die-hards who believe that Lloyds Banking Group and its top brass knew they were buying a lemon. That HBOS was a lemon is not in dispute, since the purchase price was cut after it had been agreed, and the damage to Lloyds’ balance sheet was extensive.

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

    • FINRA: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Clarify the Scope of the Definition of “Asset-Backed Security” for Purposes of Reporting to FINRA’s Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE) System (Release No. 34-75058; File No. SR-FINRA-2015-012); see also Exhibit 5


  • NYSE: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Amend Section 804.00 of the Listed Company Manual to Specify that Issuers Seeking a Review of a Delisting Decision Made by the Staff of NYSE Regulation, Inc. Must Have Paid All Prior Fees Owed to the Exchange (Release No. 34-75057; File No. SR-NYSE-2015-25)L

SEC Announces Agenda for June 3 Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that the next meeting of its Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies will focus on public company disclosure effectiveness, intrastate crowdfunding, venture exchanges, and treatment of “finders.”

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

CME to clear Brazilian real rates swaps in third quarter
Futures & Options World
CME Group has said it will start clearing Brazilian real interest rate (IRS) swaps in the third quarter of the year, amid a raft of improvements to its over-the-counter clearing capabilities The global derivatives market said it is working to begin clearing the new currency in the quarter, building on its success clearing Mexican peso IRS. The new currency will take the number offered by CME to 19.

NYSE Looks to Ease Late-Day Pileup; Exchange plans midday auction for thinly traded shares
The New York Stock Exchange is preparing a new plan to make it easier to buy or sell the shares of thousands of listed companies, an effort to counter the slow midday trading and uneven liquidity plaguing U.S. stock markets.

BATS and Thomson Reuters update FX trading rules
The Trade News
BATS and Thomson Reuters have both announced new rules for their FX platforms to clarify the way liquidity is offered.

Orc kickstarts VIX options offering following CBOE certification
Pablo Conde, SRP
Orc Tbricks, the trading platform of Stockholm-based trading technology provider Orc, has started quoting and trading CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) options following the certification of its high-speed interface to the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), including the CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE).

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Unseen Stashing Pays Off for Metal Traders; Traders are shifting metals from LME-approved warehouses to less well-documented locations
Global commodities traders are seeking new places in Asia to store billions of dollars-worth of metals in a bid to drive down costs—a trend that also helps reduce scrutiny of their position in the market.

Wipeout in Europe Bond Funds Tests Investors’ Resolve; Recent rout in government debt pummels funds’ strong start to the year
A strong start to the year for many of Europe’s biggest bond funds was all but wiped out by an abrupt selloff in the region’s credit market, testing the mettle of investors who rely on the asset class for its steady returns.

Mario Draghi: Economic outlook for the euro area is brighter than it has been in the seven years before
The economic outlook for the euro area is brighter than it has been in the seven years before, said Mario Draghi at the “EBC Forum on Central Banking” in Portugal. Furthermore Draghi said that recovered inflation expectations and economic growth due cyclical recovery provide near perfect conditions for governments to engage structural reforms.

Banks & Brokers

Banks face pushback over surging compliance and regulatory costs
Laura Noonan, FT
The additional outlay — up to $4bn a year for some banks — covers demands ranging from checks to prevent money-laundering, to requirements to give more data to regulators for stress tests.

J.P. Morgan Aims to Cut 5,000 Jobs; Job cuts come as bank continues to reduce expenses
? J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is cutting more than 5,000 jobs in an effort to trim costs and become more efficient.

Banker jumps to his death from luxury apartment
By Aaron Feis, Beckie Strum and Jennifer Bain, NY Post
An investment banker jumped to his death from the window of his million-dollar apartment in the Financial District on Thursday, sources and authorities said.

Workers at Deutsche Bank HQ call for Jain to quit as job cuts loom
Labor representatives at Deutsche Bank’s (DBKGn.DE) Frankfurt headquarters called on Thursday for the resignation of co-Chief Executive Anshu Jain as Germany’s largest lender prepares to slash jobs.

Clearing & Settlement

Buy-side backs clearing despite concerns
Futures & Options WorldCentral clearing has heralded a positive change in the market for buy-side firms, although advances may have been possible independently. Despite its cost, institutional investors see the central clearing model, regulators’ framework of choice to reduce counterparty risk, as largely beneficial. A report by Greenwich Associates, ‘Systemic Risk and the Impacts of Central Clearing’ published in April 2015 makes the case that using a central counterparty (CCP) to buffer over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives traders against a counterparty default has been net positive for the buy-side.

OCC Appoints Joseph Kamnik as General Counsel
OCC, the world’s largest equity derivatives clearing organization, announced today that Joseph Kamnik, currently the firm’s Vice President and Chief Regulatory Counsel, has been promoted to Senior Vice President and General Counsel, effective June 1. Kamnik will oversee OCC’s legal and regulatory affairs, and provide counsel on a broad range of legal matters to OCC’s management and board of directors. He will report to Craig Donohue, Executive Chairman.

Europe to begin derivatives clearing from spring 2016
Financial News
One of Europe’s chief financial watchdogs said on Friday that the central clearing of derivatives trades will likely begin in April 2016, giving the strongest indication yet that years of regulatory uncertainty may be coming to an end.

LCH.Clearnet launches buy-side clearing of FX derivatives in Europe
Automated Trader
LCH.Clearnet has announced that ForexClear has extended its client clearing offering to include European model account structures. End-users trading Non Deliverable Forwards (NDFs) are now able to connect to four clearing brokers offering the service, including HSBC, Société Générale and Standard Chartered Bank. As a result, a greater number of firms in Europe will now be able to access the features of NDF clearing, including enhanced risk management and improved capital efficiencies.

CME Group Clearing Notices
CME Group

    • CME OTC IRS USD Valuation Curves – June 1, 2015 28 May 2015
      Performance Bond Requirements: Electricity, Interest Rates, Metals, NGLs, and Refined Products Outrights; Agriculture, Interest Rates, and Metals Intra-Commodity Spread Charges; Electricity Inter-Commodity Spread Credits – May
  • Using FIA Tech OCR System for Submitting Additional Client Data, and Final September 30 Compliance Date

Indexes & Products

Why the major indexes are making investors play defense
For traders, opportunities are surfacing as the market flirts with longer-term support levels, and for longer-term investors, red flags are popping up because those same support levels started to break on Monday, which is why a more defensive posture may be necessary.

Why Sovereign Wealth Funds Love Smart Beta
Institutional Investor
Sovereign wealth funds are increasingly adopting smart beta strategies to diversify, enhance returns and reduce risk.

Growth in Eurex sector derivatives shows investor need for focus
Sector index derivatives are extremely convenient, easy to implement, exchange-traded and regulated products that deliver exposure to price movements of entire sector indexes with one single futures or options contract. They are also intelligent risk management instruments designed to fine-tune the risk in portfolios and thus provide for maximum added value to its customers. The high demand from market participants for sector index products stems from the increasing use of trading strategies that are focused on individual sectors. Eurex Exchange is the global leader for sector-based products.

New China weighting could make MSCI EM Index more volatile
Financial Post
The MSCI Emerging Market Index is a popular choice for many passive funds to track, but a change in the way it weights China could create new headaches for investors.

MSCI index entries continue the surge ahead of inclusion
The Economic Times
Shares of Indian companies due to be included in MSCI index are continuing their surge since the announcement to this effect came on May 12.


Equinix to buy Telecity for £2.35bn
Murad Ahmed and Elizabeth Paton, FT
Equinix, the largest US data centre group by value, is set to win a key battle over the future of Europe’s cloud computing market, acquiring the equity of UK’s Telecity in a deal worth £2.35bn while seeing off alternative suitors.

Google looks to enhancements instead of big new vision
By Richard Waters and Tim Bradshaw in San Francisco, FT
Google came up short on big new visions on Thursday as its annual developer conference, which serves as its main technology showcase, got under way in San Francisco. Instead, a spate of incremental enhancements to its Android mobile software and other products highlighted an attempt to reinforce the loose ecosystem that has built up around its technology platforms and match some of Apple’s more eye-catching recent advances, according to analysts.

Mobile fintech investment soaring
Fintech may be all the rage, but it is in the mobile arena where the biggest bets are being placed, with over $1.1 billion raised globally across 58 financings in Q1 alone, according to data from CB Insights.

These are the FinTech startups being backed by Citi
City A.M.
Four FinTech startups have won $100,000 (£65,400) backing from Citi after a search for new technology and innovation to transform banking and business. London-based Swave, an app that encourages users to monitor spending and make saving easier, trading platform Trade It, a supply chain solution created by Umati Capital and textbook subscription app Kytabu were each awarded $25,000 after pitching at the Citi Mobile Challenge, held across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Yahoo Japan Finds a Friend in Alibaba; Their operational tie-up could portend a more serious relationship
In the U.S., Yahoo is winding down its long relationship with Alibaba. It’s a different story for Yahoo’s Japanese cousin.


SEC Charges Two Stock Promoters With Conducting Market Manipulation Schemes
The SEC alleges that Mike Taxon and Itamar Cohen distributed promotional mailings of glossy “newsletters” with fake publication names like “Stock Trend Report” and “Global Investor Watch” in order to tout the stocks of purported gold and silver exploration company Raven Gold Corporation (RVNG) and natural gas production company Kentucky USA Energy (KYUS). The newsletters misled investors with purportedly positive – but fake – price and volume trends for these stocks and other false information about the promoters’ identity, compensation, and control of the stock.

SEC Announces Charges Against Compliance Director Accused of Defrauding Investors and Stealing Brokerage Firm Assets
The SEC’s Enforcement Division alleges that William Quigley was involved in a scheme to solicit investors to buy stock in well-known companies or supposed start-ups on the verge of going public, but the securities were never actually purchased for them. Instead, after investors wired their funds to bank and brokerage accounts that Quigley set up and controlled, the money was quickly wired to a bank account in the Philippines or withdrawn in small increments from ATM machines in the vicinity of Quigley’s home and office.

Decision in ActiveSuper civil proceedings
The Federal Court today delivered its judgment relating to declarations and bannings against Gold Coast businessman Craig Gore and other individuals for misusing more than $4 million raised from self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) investors.

Creator of Silk Road website faces sentencing for drug scheme
The accused mastermind behind the underground website Silk Road will be sentenced on Friday for orchestrating a scheme that enabled more than $200 million of anonymous online drug sales using the digital currency bitcoin.

Environmental & Energy

Climate change blamed as thousands die in Indian heat
Victor Mallet in New Delhi, FT
For the wealthy of India, the annual heatwave before the monsoon is inconvenient, especially when water stored in black tanks on the roof becomes too hot to use for a shower. For the poor, however, daytime temperatures approaching 50C in the shade can be fatal.

Norway fund could trigger wave of large fossil fuel divestments, say experts
By Damian Carrington – The Guardian
Norway’s decision to dump all coal-focused investments from its $900 bn sovereign wealth fund could unleash a wave of divestment from other large funds, according to investment experts. The fund, the largest in the world, is one of the top 10 investors in the global coal industry.

World Bank sets date, start price for $25 million U.N. CO2 credit auction
By Susanna Twidale and Barbara Lewis – Reuters
The World Bank will on July 15 hold a first of its kind auction worth $25 million for U.N.-backed carbon credits from projects designed to cut methane emissions, the bank said on Thursday.

California and Quebec release results for third joint cap-and-trade auction
Press Release – California Environmental Protection Agency
California and Quebec released the results of the May 21, 2015 joint cap-and-trade auction of carbon allowances. The final numbers include sales figures and settlement prices for 2013, 2015 and 2018 vintages.

Lifting of U.S. crude oil export ban possible within year -analysts
The U.S. Congress could lift the 40-year-old ban on domestic crude oil exports within a year as a drop in gasoline prices and the potential return of Iranian oil to global markets makes it an easier measu

OTC Global Holdings
TC Global Holdings (OTCGH), the leading independent commodities interdealer broker, announced today that on May 27, 2015 its EOXLive platform represented 55 percent of options volume on the NYMEX Henry Hub natural gas benchmark, capturing 56 percent of ICE and 54 percent of CME volume. The volume represented 113,790 contract sides.
(No Link)


Flying too high
The Economist
IF YOU were a Chinese worker you could have spent the past year toiling to earn a living. Or you could have bought some shares and sat on the sofa (see article). Chinese equities have been on a bull run of epic proportions. The CSI300, an index of the biggest mainland stocks, has more than doubled over the past year. That looks positively anaemic compared with ChiNext, a market for Chinese startups which has tripled in 12 months; let alone with shares in Qtone, an online-education company that gained almost 1,300% between its listing early in 2014 and the middle of this month. Its own directors have warned investors to be wary of “ignorant hype”.

Report on Initial Public Offering Applications, Delisting and Suspensions (As at 29 May 2015)

HKFE Announces Revised Margins for CSOP FTSE China A50 ETF Futures

China securities regulator says to keep contact with global index companies
China’s securities regulator said Friday that it would keep in close contact with global index companies to facilitate the entrance of long-term capital into China’s stock market. Zhang Xiaojun, a spokesman for the China Securities Regulatory Commission, told a news conference in Beijing that regulators will make it more convenient for foreign investors to invest in yuan-denominated A shares.

Frontier Markets

India Inc seeks better pricing, FX relief to sell rupee bonds offshore
India’s plans to allow domestic firms to raise rupee-denominated debt abroad for the first time are being eclipsed by the rising cost of funds in international markets, making it harder for cash-starved businesses to take advantage of the relaxed rules.


Futures magazine announces name change
By Daniel P. Collins, Futures Magazine
Dan Collins, Editor & Chief of Modern Trader magazine, formerly Futures magazine, discusses the magazine’s second name change in its history. He and PRICE Futures Group’s Senior Analyst Phil Flynn also discuss trading in modern times and what readers will find in the premier issue.

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