John Lothian Newsletter: LME eyes launch of yuan-priced contracts via HKEx platform; NYSE Component Led to Five-Hour Mexican Trading Halt; Trading Probes Have a Long Way to Go

Nov 21, 2013

First Read

Morning All,

News today that Burger King will soon open in India, joining Subway, KFC and Dunkin’ Donuts. Although their core bestsellers are similar across countries, local adaptations spring up across Asia, for example rice porridge in KFC Taiwan, McSpaghetti in the Philippines, the curry rendang burger or even seaweed seasoned fries. After all, adaptation is the only true evidence of vital life.

The theory of evolutionary adaptation was actually developed by both Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace, after whom the “Wallace line” separating Asia and Australia is named. Megafauna on the Asian side include tigers, elephants and rhinoceroses (Chinese barbeque favourites), whereas Australian megafauna are unique in having developed pouches (postulated as a stash for tinnies at the barbeque).

During Movember this time of year, the adult Australian megafaun is commonly afflicted by hirsutism of the upper lip. However in Equatorial Singapore, the local Grasshopper is typically found kitesurfing off the beach during Nikkei trading hours. Barbeques are mandatory in all cases.

But the most cunning adaptation in the past half century is possibly that of “Socialism with Chinese characteristics”, best remembered as Deng Xiaoping saying that white or black, a cat that catches mice is a good cat. Further adaptations were noted recently at the Third Plenum, with China A-share markets encouraged by the prospect of interest rate and capital account liberalisation, as well as market-driven reforms in SOE (state owned enterprise) sectors. However, a quick look at the MSCI China basket indicates more pain for incumbents than opportunities for competitive sectors.

The way to cope with these exuberant animal spirits is meditation, advises an FIA Hall of Famer. This wise man now is semi-retired and will soon be teaching meditation at Georgetown together with his good friend Ray Dalio of Bridgewater. In the quest for mindfulness, clarity of thought and purposeful vision, the gurus advise simple living and demi-portions of plain food. “For it was a truth universally acknowledged that a single vicar must be in want of a wife.”

See you at the ashram!

Mike Syn


Indonesia bourse plans to launch tin futures next year
Indonesia’s main commodities exchange is planning to build on its physical tin contract by offering tin futures next year that it hopes could help win trade from the London Metal Exchange

*** MS: We wrote about this yesterday. Many interesting years of growth and development ahead for the theme of Asia-buying-Asia.


A Whirlwind Trip to SEFCON
Douglas Ashburn – John Lothian News
This past Sunday, I flew to New York for Monday’s SEFCON IV, the fourth annual get-together of swap execution facility (SEF) participants and the regulators who oversee this market. It was a whirlwind trip, literally and figuratively. I fought through pounding storms and tornadoes in order to get to the conference and, once I settled into the venue, I was reminded that the SEF regulatory environment is still, three years after the passage of Dodd-Frank, subject to a few weather disruptions of its own.

In between panels on technology, regulation and market structure, John Lothian News interviewed about a dozen SEF operators, service providers and regulators, and what we found was that, while much progress has been made in the three years since SEFs were created by the Dodd-Frank Act, and while SEFs are officially “open for business” (the theme of this year’s conference), the atmosphere is still a bit unsettled – stormy, if you will.

To read the rest of Doug’s fine essay, visit the JLN blog at


WMBAA Announces Record-breaking SEFCON IV Conference
The Wholesale Markets Brokers’ Association, Americas (WMBAA), an independent industry body representing the largest wholesale and inter-dealer brokers in North America, announced today that SEFCON IV, the Association’s fourth annual conference, which took place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on Monday, November 18, 2013, was a successful event, bringing together some of the industry’s most distinguished experts.

***DA: We spent the day at the event, interviewing panelists and participants. Stay tuned to John Lothian News over the coming days as we publish these interviews.


In Obama’s Pick to Lead a Financial Regulator, an Enigma
President Obama has nominated Timothy G. Massad to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. If you thought, “who?” — well, that may be the point. It’s difficult to escape the suspicion that his nomination is an effort to send a once-obscure agency back to obscurity.

*** MS: From 10 thousand miles away, the Kremlinology surrounding appointments is truly fascinating.


Exchanges body seeks regulation consensus
Philip Stafford –
The new president of Europe’s exchanges trade association is looking to build bridges with banks and financial institutions as implementation of new rules governing the region’s securities markets comes into effect.


Jim Bennett

Connecting the Data Dots: Sapient’s Jim Bennett Talks Compliance Reporting
New financial regulation has ushered in a host of reporting rules for over the counter and listed markets. Jim Bennett of Sapient Global Markets knows full well how critical it is to properly integrate compliance systems. “Standardized, automated messaging is the key” to reporting says Bennett, but platforms must also be flexible enough to interface with internal systems. Bennett sat down with John Lothian News editor-at-large Doug Ashburn to explain Sapient’s approach to Dodd-Frank and EMIR reporting, and how its Compliance Management and Reporting System (CMRS) is helping firms meet the regulatory challenge.

Watch the video »


The Pros and Cons for Crash-Proofing the Markets
Robert Stowsky – Traders Magazine
At a meeting of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Technical Advisory Committee in September, Commissioner Scott O’Malia posed a question: Should the risk controls developed by the leading futures exchanges be “federalized” into regulations? Industry veteran Cliff Lewis spoke for many, if not most, market participants when he responded, “Don’t do it!”


Cheat Sheet on European High Frequency Trading Firms
Tim Cave – MoneyBeat – WSJ
High frequency trading firms are a divisive lot. Blamed for using algorithms that can wreak havoc in the market, gaining early peeks into market-moving data, for trading on news faster than news can be disseminated, they’ve nevertheless found support from some unlikely quarters, such as traditional exchanges, and even this working paper on the European Central Bank’s website.


CFTC, SEC Identity Theft Policies Now Required
Turnkey Trading Partners
As a reminder, on May 20, 2013, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) joint final rules concerning identity theft precautions took effect. Most regulated firms will be required to comply with the final rules by November 20, 2013. In particular, the final rules require that certain regulated entities establish programs to address and reduce the risk of identity theft within their operations. If you are subject to the regulations, your required program must be designed to detect, prevent and mitigate identity theft in connection with your firm’s existing accounts or the opening of new accounts.

***DA: For more on the joint final rule, visit the rule summary page on MarketsReformWiki


Derivatives Reform Is a Thorny Rose
Will Rhode – TabbFORUM
For those who feared that the derivatives industry had had its fill of regulatory debate, there is still plenty of fodder for discussion as the process of Dodd-Frank implementation rolls on.


Pat Fay

Small Cap Splash: Russell’s Pat Fay talks about CBOE’s latest volatility contract
The CBOE Volatility Index futures, or VIX, has been THE most successful futures contract in recent years. With the VIX posting record volumes this year, the exchange and Russell Indexes say now is the time to launch the Russell 2000 Volatility Index futures or RVX. John Lothian News sat down with Russell Investment’s Pat Fay to talk about RVX and its potential, especially versus other indexes like VIX and the European volatility index VSTOXX. Fay says the appetite for a small cap stock volatility futures is strong, especially among money managers looking to incorporate volatility hedges into their portfolios. “Clients are asking for volatility products,” Fay says. “Folks have taken the opportunity to educate themselves on it, develop strategies, it’s become very popular.”

Watch the video »



MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Finbarr Hutcheson

MarketsWiki Recent Updates


Calvin T. Wheeler; Stephen Clary; James Bibbings; Josiah W. Preston; John C. Dore; Anna Schwartz; Charles Walker; John L. Hancock; Jim Bennett


Swap Execution Facility; Onion Futures Act


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Lead Stories

LME eyes launch of yuan-priced contracts via HKEx platform
The London Metal Exchange aims to introduce yuan-based contracts denominated and settled in the Chinese currency via its Hong Kong platform, in hopes of tapping into growing demand for hedging tools amid volatile prices.

*** MS: A logical next step for the innovative and talented team at HKEx

NYSE Component Led to Five-Hour Mexican Trading Halt
Jonathan Levin – Bloomberg
Mexico’s five-hour stock trading stoppage yesterday was caused partly by a connection failure with a component bought from a unit of NYSE Euronext, said Luis Tellez, chief executive officer of the country’s exchange.

Trading Probes Have a Long Way to Go
Enda Curran – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Banks and traders should be nervous. The growing list of probes into allegations that some banks manipulated key trading rates could expand to thousands of other market benchmarks, well beyond the foreign-exchange- and interbank-lending investigations that have dominated headlines in recent years.

*** MS: mutter….i wish someone would check the FX conversion rates on my credit card …

Where the Sef battle can be won and lost
Future and Options Intelligence
The CFTC temporarily approved 18 Sefs in its rush to the starting line on October 2 and the general consensus between industry participants is that there are too many Sefs vying for market share. Early data has shown incumbents such as Bloomberg and Icap leading the way in credit default swaps and interest rate swaps markets, respectively, while some of the newer faces are still looking to gain traction.

Top 13 investment banks’ profitability comes under fire
Patrick Jenkins –
The world’s 13 biggest investment banks are less efficient and less profitable than the next 200 – and the situation is set to worsen dramatically over the next five years, according to a new report.

Calls grow for global regulator
Tim Cave – Financial News
Senior bankers and regulators have re-iterated calls for stronger powers at a global level to settle cross-border rulemaking disputes, as the US implementation of the G20 agenda has begun to spill over into other jurisdictions.

*** MS: A curtain call for CPSS and IOSCO.

Mary Schapiro cools global regulator talk
Michelle Price in Hong Kong – Financial News
Mary Schapiro, the former chair of US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission, has rejected growing calls for a global financial services regulator to address increasing international regulatory tension.

FBI Visits Deutsche Bank Trader Robert Wallden in Currencies Probe
David Enrich, Katie Martin and Jenny Strasburg –
One morning this month, agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation showed up unannounced at the home of a New York-based currencies trader for Deutsche Bank AG. The agents showed him transcripts of an electronic chat in which the trader appeared to boast about trying to manipulate foreign-exchange markets, according to people familiar with the incident.

The bubble is us
Izabella Kaminska | FT Alphaville
FT Alphaville chaired a fortuitously timed Chatham House panel on Bitcoin, alternative currencies and the future of money on Tuesday evening. What was pretty amazing about the event was the calibre and quality of the attendants (including the audience), as well as the open mindedness of the participants towards the idea that a paradigm shift may be taking place.

***JM: Ok, THIS article is excellent and useful. Thoughtful analysis, without a single episode of breathless hand-flapping.


SEC Names Julie Lutz as Director of Denver Regional Office
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the appointment of Julie K. Lutz as director of the Denver Regional Office, where she will oversee enforcement and examinations in a seven-state region.

Buckle Your Prop Trading Seat Belts – CFTC Hooks Wagon to Volcker
Ken Barnes – Wall Street & Technology
Hints of stiffer interpretations of Volcker rule set off a round of teeth gnashing and budget rewriting for nearly 11,000 trading firms.

Probable Volcker Hedging Requirement to Tax Trade Capture Processes, IT
Timothy Bourgaize Murray – WatersTechnology
The latest round of amendments to the Volcker Rule is said to have tripled its pages, now rumored as high as 1,000. Supporters of a prescriptive approach say that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But one unresolved issue could have many tier-two sell-side firms—and even some global banks—queuing for an extension, as well as technology expertise.

CFTC Announces Weekly Swaps Report
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Gary Gensler today announced the initiation of the CFTC Weekly Swaps Report. The weekly report will provide the public with a detailed view of the swaps marketplace that before the Dodd-Frank Act was an opaque market.

Bart Chilton to Leave CFTC: Good Riddance
Dan Collins Report
You would think that after six years Bart Chilton would have learned something about the Futures industry, instead he gives credence to slanted uninformed stories to appear to be a champion of the little man. Chilton is only champion of the little mind.

*** MS: Cheetahs are certainly more charismatic than mosquitos

Custodians self-police to avoid the FCA’s magnifying glass
Sophie Baker – Financial News
Eight months ago, the Financial Conduct Authority singled out a behind-the-scenes, yet essential, part of the financial services industry, when it announced its intention to investigate whether custody banks were, in effect, ripping off their clients.

Keynote Address At The International Conference On The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Andrew Ceresney, SEC Co-Director Of The Division Of Enforcement, Washington, DC, Nov. 19, 2013

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

CME CEO: Hacking Is A Problem For Everyone
Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group Executive Chairman and President Terry Duffy spoke with FOX Business Network’s Liz Claman about the cyber intrusion at the CME in July.

NASDAQ OMX Nordic Revises Excessive Order Entry Ratio
NASDAQ OMX Nordic will implement changes in cash equity market pricing structure for members on its Danish, Finnish and Swedish markets effective of December 2, 2013. The order to trade ratio will be amended from 250:1 to 100:1.

NYSE Member Firms Report Third-Quarter 2013 Results
New York Stock Exchange member firms that conduct business with the public reported a third-quarter 2013 after-tax profit of $2.2 billion and revenues of approximately $37.7 billion, compared with a $2.2 billion after-tax profit on revenues of about $39.5 billion in the second-quarter of 2013.

Adam Maciejewski President Of The Management Board Of Warsaw Stock Exchange Appointed To FESE Board

Oslo Børs Companies Sweep The Board In Brussels
Companies listed on Oslo Børs are the winners in three of the four categories in the EU Commission’s awards for the best recently-listed European companies.

Warsaw Stock Exchange: Shorter Trading Session Until 31 December 2014

TOM Insight October 2013

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

CTAs Have Strong October as Trends Return
Nine of the 11 Newedge Hedge Fund Indices experienced gains in October, including the Newedge CTA, Trend, and Short-Term indices. Trend-following strategies, as represented by the Newedge Trend Index, faired particularly well, finishing the month up 2.55%.

Blackstone Taps Turnaround Pro David Calhoun to Advise on Buyout Shop’s Holdings
Mike Spector and Suzanne Vranica –
Blackstone Group LP is about to unleash a seasoned turnaround specialist on some of the private-equity giant’s 77 companies.

Europe’s Most Entrepreneurial Country? It’s Ireland
Ranking tech entrepreneurialism is a tricky task and whatever measure you come up with is going to annoy somebody, but by at least one measure, Europe’s most entrepreneurial country is Ireland.

Banks & Brokers

Wall Street banks must abandon ‘cottage industry’ model: McKinsey
The biggest Wall Street banks have not done nearly enough to boost shareholder returns, despite years of cost-cutting and tailoring balance sheets to a more profitable mix, consulting firm McKinsey & Co said in a report released on Wednesday.

*** MS: “Ah monsieur, but it is only a wafer thin mint!”

J.P. Morgan Won’t Back Down From FDIC Fight
Maureen Farrell – MoneyBeat – WSJ
In its $13 billion settlement with the Department of Justice, J.P. Morgan was willing to take financial responsibility for mortgages underwritten by Washington Mutual before J.P. Morgan’s 2008 acquisition of the failed bank.

Regulators Turn Their Attention to Next Bank Settlements
Andrew R. Johnson – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Who’s next? That’s the question facing the banking industry after J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. reached a $13 billion settlement with federal and state agencies Tuesday that puts to bed several probes of the bank’s mortgage-securities business.

Money Can Buy Relief On Wall Street: And Other Lessons From JPMorgan’s $13B Deal
Things could be a lot worse for JPMorgan Chase today. Yes, $13 billion is a lot of money. In fact, it’s equal to about 60% of JPM’s 2012 profit. That’s painful, but $13 billion is still better than (in JPM’s eyes, at least) the prosecution of one of its top executives or an ugly, public court battle.

Credit Suisse to Wall Off Swiss Banking Business
The Swiss bank Credit Suisse said Thursday that it planned to separate its retail and private banking business in its home market from its riskier investment banking and trading operations in Britain and in the United States.

E.C.B. Nominates New Banking Regulator
The governing council of the European Central Bank nominated Danièle Nouy on Wednesday as head of the new central bank regulator for the euro zone. With the move, the council fills one of the most prominent job openings in Europe while answering criticism that it has no women in senior leadership positions.

Goldman Sachs burned by bad currency bets in third quarter
Goldman Sachs Group Inc lost more than $1 billion on currency trades during the third quarter, recent regulatory filings show, offering some insight into why the firm, considered one of Wall Street’s most savvy traders, reported its worst quarter in a key trading unit since the financial crisis.

Clearing & Settlement

LME Clear Connects With DTCC To Provide Trade Reporting Service
LME Clear has selected The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), an approved trade repository, as its strategic partner for the new LME reporting service, LMEwire. The service, powered by LME Clear, will be available by 12 February 2014, the confirmed start date for the reporting obligation for all asset classes, as set out by the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).

Pooled funds in clearing limbo
Cecile Sourbes –
Pension funds will not have to clear in Europe until at least mid-2015, but what about the vehicles some use to scale up their hedging transactions? As things stand, lawyers are giving different answers – and the industry wants regulators to clarify the issue.

CCPs face $161 billion liquidity shortfall to clear FX options, GFXD finds
Joel Clark –
Results of an industry study reveal the scale of the liquidity burden that would fall on CCPs clearing physically delivered forex options – but a net settlement mechanism could reduce the number by 73%

*** MS: The findings so far are interesting, although the results might look different if delta hedges were to be netted in as well …

CME Group Clearing: BPS IRS Form 1099 Notification #2

CME Group Clearing: NYMEX Options Expiration Operational Procedures for the Trading Floor and Clearing Members (HHQ) Effective Thursday, November 21, 2013

CME Group Clearing: IMPORTANT: Brokerage Billing

Indexes & Products

Bloomberg launches bank risk index
Matthew Attwood – Financial News
Bloomberg has announced the launch of a new index measuring banks’ credit and funding risks. The European Banks Funding Margin Index will be based on bank bond prices rather than credit default swap prices.

Equity inflows boost ETF assets by 19% to hit record highs
Yakob Peterseil –
Assets in exchange-traded funds reached an all-time high of $2.319 trillion in October, with three firms – iShares, State Street and Vanguard – accounting for 70% of the total

Moscow Exchange Indices Weekly Review: November 11-15, 2013


Deloitte Spain Taps SuperDerivatives’ DGX Terminal for Corporate Treasury Clients
Faye Kilburn – WatersTechnology
The Spanish business of accounting and consultancy firm Deloitte has rolled out derivatives pricing, data and risk management software vendor SuperDerivatives’ cloud-based DGX data terminal platform to provide its customers with access to real-time cash and derivatives market data, news and analysis.

Interim report Orc Group Holding AB January 1 – September 30, 2013

eClerx Wins 2013 NOA Award for International Contract of the Year
eClerx, a leading provider of knowledge and business processing to the global financial services industry, today announced it has been awarded the “International Contract of the Year” at the annual National Outsourcing Association (NOA) Awards.

Volante Technologies Launches ‘T2S Accelerator’
Designed To Help The Adoption Of T2S ISO 20022 Compliant XML Message Standards For All Participants In The Post-Trade Securities Space


SAC Trader Had ‘Secret Pipeline’ of Information, Prosecutors Say
Michael S. Steinberg is “successful, steady, serious,” said a lawyer for the most senior employee at SAC Capital Advisors to be charged with insider trading. And unlike the hard-charging billionaires who rule Wall Street’s top hedge funds, Mr. Steinberg was a history and philosophy major who started at SAC as a low-level clerk, the lawyer said.

SEC Announces Fraud Charges Against Two Florida-Based Investment Advisers
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against two Tampa-area investment advisers accused of committing fraud by failing to truthfully inform clients about compensation received from offshore funds they were recommending as safe investments despite substantial risks and red flags.

Projected cost of rate hedge mis-selling rises
Alexander Campbell –
The investigation of interest rate hedge mis-selling by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is nearing the end of its first stage, but rising payouts mean that the total bill for the banks at fault could be far higher than originally thought.

Environmental & Energy

China, India Push Rich Countries to Move First on Climate Change
China and India are stepping up pressure on wealthy countries to move first on fighting global warming, saying the earliest industrialized nations are the most to blame for rising temperatures.

Fossil-Fuel Subsidies Outstrip Climate Aid Fivefold
Fossil-fuel subsidies paid by industrial nations are more than five times the climate aid provided to poorer nations that need funds to reduce emissions and adapt to global warming, a study showed.

A Conversation With: British Climate Economist Lord Nicholas Stern
International New York Times
Even as the annual United Nations climate change conference is nearing its end on Friday, negotiations are obstructed by longstanding disputes over responsibilities of combating the crisis.


Dalian Commodity Exchange: Steady, Satisfactory Operation Of Iron Ore Futures In First Listing Month – Meeting The Requirements For High Standard, Steady Start
On October 18, 2013, following the futures of deformed steel bar, coke and coking coal, the world’s first iron ore futures with physical delivery were successfully listed on Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE), making the hedging instruments for the iron and steel industry chain even more complete. The first listing month has seen brisk trading of the iron ore futures, a new futures product, with active participation of the industrial clients and the steady market operation featuring the price fluctuations centering around the spot market prices, thus gradually achieving the functions of price discovery and hedging against risks, meeting the requirements for high standard and steady starting and presenting the market with a satisfactory result.

Japanese companies face double challenge
Henny Sender –
After the Japanese government recapitalised ailing Japan Air Lines and installed Kazuo Inamori, formerly Kyocera’s chief executive, in the cockpit, the airline’s new chairman discovered that it took the country’s once flagship airline a full 50 days to figure out whether it was making money or losing money on any given day.

China, Bitcoin and the EM transfer problem
Izabella Kaminska | FT Alphaville
A common criticism of the secular stagnation and post-scarcity theory is that it is contradicted by the fact that unacceptable levels of poverty exist in many places around the world, and in particular the developing world. If there’s so much growth potential out there, how is it possible that the economy is in secular stagnation? Or so, at least, the argument goes.

Asia rise pulls in property players
Sarah Krouse – Financial News
Growth in emerging markets in Asia is bolstering the appeal of real estate assets in the region to western investors seeking to diversify their portfolios.

*** MS: I know a man who has this bridge for sale. Mint.

HKFE Announces Revised Margins For HKEx Futures

Hong Kong’s Securities And Futures Commission Commences Disciplinary Proceedings Against Chow Yei Ching And Others For Alleged Breach Of Takeovers Code

Frontier Markets

Reciprocity sword hangs over big foreign banks
Business Standard
Many big foreign banks, including Citibank, Standard Chartered and Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), may not get unfettered branch access in India, even if they opt for the wholly-owned subsidiary route. This is because the countries where these lenders are headquartered have set stiff rules for branch expansion by foreign players. So, when these lenders look to expand footprint here, the ‘reciprocity’ clause — one of the cardinal principles in the latest guidelines, released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) earlier this month — could prove a major hurdle.

Deutsche Bank Targeted as Dubai’s DFSA Fines Rogue Bankers
Stefania Bianchi – Bloomberg
Dubai, which teetered on the brink of default in 2009, is cracking down on misconduct at its financial center to safeguard its position as a business hub.

Frontiers forge ahead as emerging markets disappoint
Robin Wigglesworth –
Kyle Bass, a hedge fund manager who made a fortune betting against Greek bonds and US subprime, dropped a bombshell at a conference in September: he is investing in Argentina, Latin America’s perennial problem child and a nemesis of hedge funds.

Indonesian Parliamentary Delegation Visits Tehran Stock Exchange

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