John Lothian Newsletter: LME plans to raise fees by a third; Isda seeks green light on margin model; British Regulators Discuss Settlement With Banks in Currency Case

Sep 29, 2014

First Read

Bouncing Baby Lanes
Jim Kharouf
Today, we bring great news to the futures industry.

Rick Lane, CEO of Trading Technologies and his wife Megan celebrated the birth of twins last Wednesday.

Wheeler James and Evelyn Irene are doing fine as is Megan. Wheeler is already programing for Minecraft and Evelyn is working on a new HTML 5-based program.

Congratulations to the Lane family.

***JM: I’ve sent you folks a copy of “Baby’s First Network-Independent Communication Protocol” – has some really nice lullabye algorithms in it.


Leo Melamed’s greatest trade
Skylar Zhang – Futures Magazine
On Sept. 23, Leo Melamed, widely known as the father of financial futures, addressed an audience of Futures industry professionals at the CTA Expo, offering personal stories of his experiences that got him to where he is today.

***** There was a nice crowd at the CTA Expo in Chicago to hear Leo’s speech. You can see much of this story in our two part video from the 2013 MarketsWiki World of Opportunity Summer Intern Education Series on MarketsWiki Education.


KCG Sinks as Executives Depart Speed Trader Turned Broker
Sam Mamudi – Bloomberg
KCG Holdings Inc. (KCG), the trading firm formed in the aftermath of Knight Capital Group Inc.’s near collapse, is having a September to forget. Equity losses are mounting as Chief Executive Officer Daniel Coleman tries to integrate high-frequency trader Getco LLC with broker-dealer Knight Capital. Coleman, who worked at Getco, sees KCG as a general securities firm providing execution services, market making and trading platforms for clients.

***** Don’t count KCG out just yet. There is too much talent there for this to be a long term trend.


Trade associations pay up for top bosses
Joe McGrath – Financial News
A key challenge for any trade body is to find a charismatic and well-connected chief executive who can balance the interests of members, gain the ear of government and influence regulatory change. In the financial sector, someone with this list of skills and knowledge of finance is unlikely to come cheap. After all, asset managers, banks, brokers, insurers and regulators are all hunting from the same pool to find individuals with similar skill sets.

***** Somewhere Walt Lukken is smiling.


Matthew Scharpf, Vice President Sell Side Business Development, Eurex – Trading with a Creative MindMatthew Scharpf, Vice President Sell Side Business Development, Eurex – Trading with a Creative Mind

“You’re filling your toolbox…You’re not going to need it today or tomorrow, but one day it’s good to have.”

Matthew Scharpf, vice president of sell side business development for Eurex, gives a unique look at systems in the financial industry and how we can connect new pieces together to create innovation. Using his guitar and knowledge of music, Scharpf explains how individual notes can be combined into chords and used in a variety of instances to create different songs. And even when it may seem like there are some limitations in songwriting, different tools and methods can help facilitate the creation of something new. Scharpf compares this system to the financial industry and tells his audience how this type of thinking also applies to their careers. There may be times when different parts of a system utilized with other tools can create something new and innovative. It’s just a matter of thinking outside the box.

Watch the video »


NFA: Board and Nominating Committee Members Whose Terms Will Expire at the Board’s 2015 Regular Annual Meeting
Before October 15 of each year, NFA’s Secretary shall notify all Members in the Futures Commission Merchant (FCM), Introducing Broker (IB), Commodity Pool Operator and Commodity Trading Advisor (CPO/CTA) and Swap Dealer, Major Swap Participant and Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer (SD/MSP/RFED) categories of the elected Directors and the members of the Nominating Committee whose terms shall expire at the Board of Directors’ 2015 regular Annual Meeting and shall request that the names of eligible persons to fill those positions be submitted to the Nominating Committee.

***** Will there be Koutoulas and Roe backed candidates this election? My money says yes.


Why manipulating financial benchmarks needs to be a crime
Amid a spate of scandals over the rigging of financial benchmarks ranging from commodities to currencies to interest rates, the British government is making a bold move toward restoring confidence: By the end of this year, it plans to make manipulation a criminal offense in all the affected markets.

***JM: I’m sure it’s just me, but I find this to be a really strange conversation. It’s like debating the idea that armed robbery “needs to be a crime”…


Senate Democrats Urge CFTC Review of LME Aluminum Trading
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission should probe the London Metal Exchange to ensure aluminum trading and warehousing are free of manipulation, three Democratic senators said in a letter.

***JK: When LME warehousing issues affect Green Bay Packers tailgating in Wisconsin, you know its a big story.


Bridging the Week: Peregrine; Smoot-Hawley; Unauthorized Swap Trades; Ontario Exemptions; Father and Son Sanctioned Together
Gary DeWaal
A bit of new and a bit of old highlighted international financial regulatory developments this past week. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission brought its first action invoking a new prohibition under its business conduct standards for swap dealers, while Peregrine Financial Group made news when a US federal court permitted two lawsuits to proceed against one of the banks that held the firm’s customer segregated funds. Meanwhile a new CFTC commissioner invoked Smoot-Hawley to implore cooperation among international regulators regarding the oversight of swaps. Smoot-Hawley? Talk about a great Final Jeopardy answer!


Profiles: Lee Stern
Lee Stern has seen it all in his career – the highs of great markets and the lows of market scandal. After completing his military service in 1947, Stern found his way to the Chicago Board of Trade after answering an ad for a runner on the floor. Stern recalls the thrill of making his first spread trade and the low point in 1992, when a customer schemed to manipulate the bond market and lost $9 million. That event led to a brief suspension and its eventual exit as a clearing member firm.

And if trading was his first love, his second is certainly professional sports – as the founder and owner of the Chicago Sting soccer team and then as a part owner of the Chicago White Sox. John Lothian News presents the story of a career that has spanned more than six decades – and counting.

Watch the video »



MarketsWiki Page of the Day
William H. Gross

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William H. Gross; Phupinder Gill; Robert Zagotta; Sean Tully; Derek Sammann; Sunil Cutinho; John Edge; Kevin Kometer; Julien Le Noble

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53,672,583 pages viewed, 8,047 articles, 186,165 edits
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Lead Stories

LME plans to raise fees by a third
Josh Noble in Hong Kong – Financial Times
The average cost of trading on the London Metal Exchange will rise by a third from January next year, a major step towards commercialising the 137-year old exchange by its Hong Kong owner.

Isda seeks green light on margin model
Philip Stafford – Financial Times
Derivatives markets participants are expecting to receive the green light from regulators to develop an industry initiative designed to head off potential pricing confusion as new rules come into force.

British Regulators Discuss Settlement With Banks in Currency Case
Jenny Anderson and Ben Protess – Dealbook – NY Times
Six of the world’s biggest banks met with British regulators this week to discuss a potential settlement of a sweeping investigation into suspected manipulation of the foreign currency market, according to people briefed on the matter, a new sign that the case is ramping up this year.

London Gold, Silver And Other Benchmarks To Get Libor Style Regulation
Tim Worstall – Forbes
The British government has announced that various of the London price benchmarks are to get the same sort of regulatory treatment that Libor has recently received. On the grounds that as one or more of these benchmark prices seem to have been manipulated, as Libor was, then the same sort of protections should be offered:

Yuan-Euro Direct Trading Permitted by China Central Bank
China’s central bank said Monday that it will allow direct trading between the yuan and the euro in the interbank market for the first time, a major step in increasing trade and investment ties between the country and the European Union.

Lloyds Bank Fires 8 People and Claws Back Bonuses in Rate Inquiry
Chad Bray – Dealbook – NY Times
The Lloyds Banking Group said on Monday that it had terminated eight individuals and clawed back about 3 million pounds, or about $4.9 million, in bonuses after its settlement last summer of inquiries into the manipulation of global benchmark interest rates.

New York Fed rejects claims of being too soft on Goldman Sachs
Gina Chon in Washington and Tom Braithwaite in New York – Financial Times
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York strongly rejected allegations that it was too soft on Goldman Sachs in a transaction involving Banco Santander, after secret recordings of officials at the agency discussing the deal were made public on Friday.

100 Years: Charles Dow to Quants to Predictive Analytics for Everyone
Dave Allen – Wall Street & Technology
High-frequency trading and quantitative financial analysis left most investors in the dust. Today modern advanced data analytics tools are giving all investors access to unique information.


CFTC gripped by fiscal year-end hiring frenzy
Alexander Osipovich –
The US government’s fiscal year ends on September 30, and that means one thing at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC): it’s time to hire new employees, the quicker the better.

Big data drives US regulator, says senior official
Michael Hegarty –
Advanced data analytics plays increasingly major role in risk assessment of financial institutions by SEC

Catch me if you can: Emir reporting crackdown looks tricky
Fiona Maxwell –
If any of the firms that are subject to Europe’s derivatives reporting regime fail to comply, they will be fined – in theory, at least. In practice, most do not believe the regulators can identify offending parties, let alone punish them.

ESMA Consults On Implementing Measures For European Regulations On Social Entrepreneurship And Venture Capital Funds

ESMA Consults On Prospectuses Related Issues

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

London Stock Exchange to pursue African company listings
Javier Blas, Africa Editor – Financial Times
The London Stock Exchange is launching an aggressive attempt to increase the number of listings of African companies in the UK, following strong interest from institutional investors in a recent wave of initial public offerings from the region.

Euronext To Lower Client Fees For Dutch Options
Euronext today announces client trading fee reductions for transactions in Dutch individual equity and index options, as part of its strategic review for this vibrant retail market.

NASDAQ OMX Welcomes Cinnober To First North
NASDAQ OMX announces that the trading in Cinnober Financial Technology AB shares commenced today on First North at NASDAQ OMX Stockholm. Cinnober belongs to the Technology sector and is the 31st company to be admitted to trading on First North’s Nordic markets (Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen and Iceland) in 2014.

Alibaba options to list on CBOE exchanges with strikes ranging from $75 to $100
Chinese e-commerce heavyweight Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s options will debut on CBOE Holdings Inc’s exchanges on Monday with strike prices ranging from $75 to $100 in $5 increments, a CBOE spokeswoman said on Friday.

MIAX Options Exchange – Listing Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA) On September 29, 2014

CBOE Holdings Announces Date of Third-Quarter 2014 Earnings Release and Conference Call
CBOE Holdings, Inc. will announce financial results for the third quarter of 2014 before the market opens on Friday, October 31, 2014. A conference call with remarks by CBOE Holdings, Inc. senior management will begin at 7:30 a.m. Central Time (CT).

NASDAQ OMX Lists the Arrow DWA Tactical ETF (DWAT) Nasdaq:NDAQ

Moscow Exchange: Central Bank Of Russia Assigns NSD And NCC Status As Systemically Important Financial Institutions

Deutsche Börse: Subscription Launch For KTG Agrar SE Bond In The Entry Standard

TOM MTF Statistics Week 39, 2014

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

RailPen, BT pension fund join hedge fund pullback
Mike Foster and Andrew Pearce – Financial News
Two of the largest pension funds in the UK are cutting their exposure to hedge funds as the reaction to high fees and lacklustre performance gains pace.

PIMCO names Ivascyn as Gross successor
Dan Jones – Investment Week
PIMCO’s Dan Ivascyn has been named as Bill Gross’ successor following the legendary bond investor’s resignation, but three other managers will take over the $221bn Total Return Bond fund.

Pimco’s Blunt Statement on Bill Gross: ‘Fundamental Differences’
Steven Russolillo – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Pacific Investment Management Co. minced few words in its explanation of co-founder Bill Gross’s departure, saying Mr. Gross and the firm had “fundamental differences” about Pimco’s future.

Pimco Employees React: ‘We Didn’t See It Coming’
Alexandra Berzon – MoneyBeat – WSJ
In the hours after Bill Gross announced he was leaving Pacific Investment Management Co., employees outside the company’s headquarters in this seaside city said they were shocked by the sudden departure of their company’s co-founder.

“Do we need to fire Pimco?”
Joshua M Brown – The Reformed Broker
This weekend, thousands of institutional investors, financial advisors and wealth managers are faced with one of the most uncomfortable questions imaginable: Do we need to fire Pimco?

Pimco sees $10 billion in withdrawals after Gross exit: WSJ
Bill Gross’s exit from the investment firm Pimco had an immediate impact on the company, with investors withdrawing about $10 billion following the announcement, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

What Is Janus Capital Group?
Maureen Farrell – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Bill Gross is jumping to Janus Capital Group, abruptly leaving Pacific Investment Management Co., the famed bond fund he co-founded more than four decades ago.

So Are Any Hedge Fund Strategies Producing Alpha?
Laurence Fletcher – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Returns from hedge funds’ clever trades may be in short supply at the moment, but funds betting on M&A are reaping greater rewards than last year.

Caddo partners with Emerging Edge
Matt Smith – CTA Intelligence
Chicago-based Emerging Edge Group, the early-stage manager specialist, has entered into a strategic partnership with Caddo Capital Management.

Threadneedle’s Fleming: Active fund fees resist price pressure
Dan Jones – Investment Week
Actively-managed retail funds have resisted pricing pressure more strongly than their passive rivals, according to Threadneedle chief executive Campbell Fleming.

Aberdeen Asset Management fund outflows slow
Mark Odell – Financial Times
Aberdeen Asset Management has revealed outflows of investor funds from its business have slowed but said that markets were likely to remain volatile.

UK Funds Under Management Reach Record GBP6.2 Trillion – 50% Above Pre-Crisis Peak
TheCityUK’s Fund Management 2014 report, released today, shows that the UK’s fund management sector was responsible for a record GBP6.2 trillion of funds at the end of 2013. The sector recovered quickly from the fall experienced at the outset of the economic downturn and is now nearly 50% above the pre-crisis peak.

Fees are a scourge on pension funds
Pauline Skypala – Financial Times
The contention that saving for retirement is a Good Thing brooks no argument, yet is rarely backed by solid evidence. Indeed, the only certainty is that those managing the money contributed to pension funds will get rewarded for their trouble regardless of the outcomes they produce for savers.

Banks & Brokers

BNP Paribas Names Lemierre Chairman as Prot Steps Down
Fabio Benedetti-Valentini – Bloomberg
BNP Paribas SA (BNP), France’s biggest bank, said Jean Lemierre will become chairman after Baudouin Prot resigned, the most senior official to step down in the wake of a record U.S. fine.

Goldman tightens conflict-of-interest rules
Goldman Sachs Group Inc has tightened rules on investments its bankers can make in individual stocks and bonds, a company spokesman said on Friday.

Commerzbank said to be investigated over money laundering charges -WSJ
Germany’s second-largest lender Commerzbank AG is being investigated by the Manhattan U.S. attorney for alleged violations of money-laundering laws, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

CoCo deals so-so after summer break
Edward Russell-Walling – Financial News
When Santander kicked off issuance in contingent convertible debt after the summer break, the investor response was distinctly lukewarm.

Credit Suisse offloads $40bn global CDS portfolio
Aaron Woolner –
Credit Suisse offloaded a global $40 billion credit default swap (CDS) portfolio to French bank Societe Generale earlier this summer, with sources indicating that a further deal involving purely Asian names is imminent.

How to engineer a cash management monster
Kimberley Long – Euromoney Magazine
What does it take to succeed in the increasingly competitive world of transaction services? Internal collaboration, global footprint, adaptability, connectivity and mobile technology all make up part of the equation. But every bank, and every client, is different

Clearing & Settlement

CME Clearing Europe Selects globeSettle As Collateral Location Venue
London Stock Exchange Group’s new central securities depository (CSD), globeSettle, has been selected by CME Clearing Europe as an additional securities collateral location for their members. The agreement will allow clients and members of the central counterparty (CCP) to benefit from a straight through collateral and custody solution, provided by J.P. Morgan, thus creating a new pool of collateral liquidity in Europe.

Many Asian firms oblivious about European T+2 settlement
Simon Osborne – The Trade
The majority of firms in Asia Pacific are not ready for the upcoming reduction in the settlement cycle in Europe. 58% of firms in Asia Pacific have said they are not prepared for Europe’s shorter settlement. This is according to a survey commissioned by Omgeo and published by Celent.

GBST Syn~ now certified for Omgeo CTM for greater control in post-trade processing and transparency
GBST Holdings Limited, a global provider of securities transaction and fund administration software for the financial services industry, announces that it has worked with Omgeo to develop and certify its Syn~ application with Omgeo’s Central Trade Manager (CTM).

CME Group – Clearing: Review of Collateral Haircuts Advisory

CME Group – Clearing: New Release Price Quality Auction Testing iTraxx Indices

CME Group – Clearing: Enhancements to the CDS Margin Model to Support iTraxx Indices in New Release

CME Group – Clearing: CME Haircut and Cross Currency Haircut files


OptionsCity Announces Support for CME Market Data Platform 3.0 Upgrade
OptionsCity Software, a global provider of electronic trading solutions for professional futures and options traders, today announced that the firm has completed certification with CME Group’s Market Data Platform (MDP) 3.0.

SunGard XSP Launches Dashboard, BPaaS Services
Michael Shashoua – WatersTechnology
SunGard’s XSP corporate actions data unit is launching two new services, XSPosure, a cloud-based risk data dashboard developed during an internal SunGard coding competition, and a separate business process as a service (BPaaS) version of its data utility.

Morningstar Begins Historical Tick Database Revamp
Max Bowie – WatersTechnology
The real-time data business of Chicago-based data and investment research provider Morningstar is in the middle of a project to make its database of historical tick data more flexible and accessible to different types of users and use cases.

Updata Integrates Eikon, Datastream Data
Faye Kilburn – WatersTechnology
UK-based technical analysis software provider Updata has integrated data from Thomson Reuters’ real-time Eikon terminal and Datastream economic research tool into its Professional analytics workstation, to enable customers to carry out advanced analytics on the datasets and compare them with similar data from other sources, including Bloomberg’s Professional terminal.

Misys Launches Integrated Corporate Banking Platform To Enhance Sales And Service With A Single View Of The Client
Unified Digital Channels With Enterprise Pricing Streamlines Business To Deliver Tailored Products With Flexible Pricing And Market-Leading Service To Win Corporate Business

Calypso Announces Expanded Partnership With SAP Through Participation In SAP PartnerEdge Program For Application Development


SEC Announces Cases Targeting International Pyramid Scheme Operators
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against the operators of an international pyramid scheme that raised more than $129 million from investors worldwide, primarily in the U.S., China, and Taiwan. The case follows another against a separate pyramid scheme that lured investors in the U.S., China, and Korea with seminars, webinars, and YouTube videos.

SEC Charges Four Insurance Agents in Securities Fraud Targeting Elderly Investors
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against four insurance agents for unlawfully selling securities in what turned out to be a multi-million dollar offering fraud targeting elderly investors.

CFTC Charges Delaware Depository Services Company with Confirming the Execution of Off-Exchange Precious Metals Transactions
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today issued an Order filing and simultaneously settling charges against Delaware Depository Services Company, LLC (DDSC) for confirming the execution of off-exchange precious metals transactions relating to Hunter Wise Commodities LLC (Hunter Wise) in violation of Section 4(a) of the Commodity Exchange Act. DDSC is a precious metals depository located in Wilmington, Delaware, and has never been registered with the CFTC.

Environmental & Energy

Is Alaska the new Florida? Experts predict where next for America’s ‘climate refugees’
Jennifer A. Kingson, The Observer
Alaskans, stay in Alaska. People in the midwest and the Pacific north-west, sit tight. Scientists trying to predict the consequences of climate change say that they see few havens from the storms, floods and droughts that are sure to intensify over the coming decades. But some regions in the US, they add, will fare better than others.

China embraces carbon pricing and UN takes a shine to plan
Valerie Volcovici, Reuters
Millions of visitors and residents could hardly miss the message projected on the side of the world famous United Nations building in New York this week: “Put a price on carbon.”

***LB: Also in this story “Carbon pricing, largely rejected by the United States and struggling in Europe, is suddenly all the rage, with China leading the charge. The world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter plans to establish a national market for carbon permit trading in 2016 and has already launched seven regional pilot markets.”

President’s Drive for Carbon Pricing Fails to Win at Home
Coral Davenport, The New York Times
President Obama stood in the chamber of the United Nations General Assembly last week and urged the world to follow his example and fight global warming.

***LB: Also in this story “But a major new declaration calling for a global price on carbon – signed by 74 countries and more than 1,000 businesses and investors – is missing a key signatory: the United States.”


China, Hong Kong Reveal New Rules on Stock Market Link
Gregor Stuart Hunter – WSJ
The Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges have published an overhaul of rules governing a new trading link that will open China’s tightly held capital markets to the investing public, ahead of a launch that could take place as early as next month.

Singapore Kilobar Gold Contract To Launch In October 2014
International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, Singapore Bullion Market Association (SBMA), Singapore Exchange (SGX) and the World Gold Council, today announced that the new exchange-traded Singapore Kilobar Gold Contract (“Contract”) will launch on Monday, 13 October 2014.

Credit-linked notes return to Asia, with added CDSs
Richard Jory –
Private banks in Singapore and Hong Kong are offering their investors credit-linked structured notes issued by special purpose vehicles that include credit default swaps. Issuers and private bankers suggest they are not complex, as long as they are sold properly

HKEx Latest Charles Li Direct: Unlocking the value of the LME

Japan’s Financial Services Agency: Publication Of Highlights Of The Financial Monitoring Policy For 2014-2015

Frontier Markets

Ashmore Said to Hire John Sfakianakis for Saudi Arabia
Matthew Martin – Bloomberg
Ashmore Group Plc (ASHM), the London-based money manager specializing in emerging markets, appointed John Sfakianakis to lead its expansion into the Middle East, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Judge Grants Temporary Stay in Argentina Default Case
Alexandra Stevenson – Dealbook – NY Times
A group of New York hedge funds that sued Argentina is now asking a New York court to lower the temperature a little on the long-running and acrimonious dispute.

Egyptian Exchange Winner Of The Most Innovative African Stock Exchange For The Year 2014
In a move that reflects the evolution size of the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) in the recent years, The Egyptian Exchange won today the most innovative and developed African stock exchange award offered by Africa Investor foundation, one of the largest institutions concerned with the African capital markets for the most advanced and the best African market during the past year.

Amman Stock Exchange Eid Al-Adha Holiday

Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Rings Bell To Celebrate Listing Of A 500 Million Dollar Emirates NBD Bond On NASDAQ Dubai

Nigerian Stock Exchange Weekly Report For The Week Ended 26 September 2014

John Lothian Newsletter

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