John Lothian Newsletter: LME set to open in Shanghai free trade zone; NYSE CFO to Depart as ICE Deal Nears; A Prize for Some Cool-Headed Thinking on Volatile Markets

Oct 15, 2013

First Read

Where Scouting and Markets Converge: When 3 is the Magical Musical Number
John J. Lothian
I generally receive positive reviews about my notes in this newsletter about my adventures in Boy Scouts as an adult leader and the achievements of my sons, the troop and other boys. Why is this even in a newsletter about the markets you ask? There is actually a good story why I do this.

Several years ago, I was the chairman of a Boy Scout district in the western suburbs of Chicago and I was asked to raise some money for a scouting program, Soccer in Scouting. I made a deal with my son Tim that I would help him sell $10,000 worth of popcorn and in return he would donate $2000 of the $2500 he would earn to help fund this program.

This was the year we had the pie-throwing event at FIA’s EXPO in Penson GHCO’s booth. Tim and I had sold 23 $500 units for people to throw pies in my face, though only 17 pies were actually thrown. The event was a big success.

One of the entities that paid $500, actually more than $500, was the Jen Justice Band, led by Ray McKenzie of ICE. Rather than take the popcorn he bought, Ray asked me to give it to the Greater Chicago Food Depository (“GCFD”). Ray ordered three of each of the items on the order list and asked me to deliver them to the GCFD.

To read the rest of the story, visit the JLN website at


Tom Regazzi

Single Minded: Tom Regazzi of UBS Finds a Niche with Single Stock Futures

Single stock futures in the United States were launched in 2001, but are often forgotten since their big splash introduction twelve years ago.

Quietly, however, single stock futures have been growing nicely at OneChicago, the sole marketplace for the instrument. Through the first nine months of 2013, its volumes are up 49 percent, with 6.96 million contracts traded, topping total volumes posted in all of 2012.

This market has also caught the eye of UBS and Tom Regazzi, managing director at the firm’s Global Synthetic Equity department. He spoke with JLN editor-in-chief Jim Kharouf about how UBS uses single stock futures and the potential for the product going forward.

Watch the video »


MEFF CEO Fernando Centelles Passes Away
A message from MEFF:

We are deeply saddened to inform that Fernando Centelles passed away on 7 October, after a cruel illness that he faced up with great courage and determination.

Fernando was CEO of MEFF for many years, and recently he had been appointed Managing Director CEO of BME Clearing.

A tireless worker, excellent person and professional, he was a constant example and a source of inspiration for those that were privileged to work with him. We will miss him sorely. Our thoughts are now focused on his wife Maite, and their children Fernando, María and Carmen.

A funeral for Fernando will be held on Thursday 17 October, at 20:00, at the Church San Francisco de Borja (PP. Jesuitas), 104 Serrano Street, Madrid.


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John Lothian News Launches New Comprehensive News Website
JLN Announces JLN Financials; Sarah Rudolph Named Managing Editor of JLN
John Lothian News (“JLN”) is pleased to announce the launch of an eponymous comprehensive news website, The new site will combine content from all previous JLN newsletter sites and into a single dynamic multimedia news portal, displaying all JLN original content, newsletters, commentaries, stories, videos and interviews.


Credit default swaps run out of road
Tracy Alloway and Michael Mackenzie in New York –
Just two decades since their creation, CDS swaps have come under pressure from regulators, as well as a broader evolution in the behaviour of banks and investors. The amount of such swaps outstanding has shrivelled to less than half of what it once was, fuelling speculation that the market for single-name CDS is on its deathbed.

***** There is a time for everything. A time for living and a time for dying. And a time for errant predictions of demise.


Extended VIX Futures Trading Hours Delayed by Federal Shutdown
Kaitlyn Kiernan – MoneyBeat – WSJ
European traders will have to wait a little longer to trade the market’s so-called fear gauge during local hours, while U.S. traders have to wait on an extra late-day session. CBOE Holdings Inc., the operator of the largest U.S. options exchange by trading volume, will delay the launch of extended trading in its Volatility Index futures due to the continuing shutdown in Washington.

***** Let’s all take a breath and just relax while the politicians in Washington do the chicken dance.


Premise taps into hunger for real-time data
Richard Waters in San Francisco –
The rise in US food prices accelerated in September and has continued into October, according to a detailed study of retail prices – though the US federal government shutdown has robbed financial markets of any official measures of the state of the economy. These unofficial inflation figures, from a US start-up called Premise, highlight the growing use of massive data collection and analysis – known as “big data” – to supplement and in some cases replace official economic statistics.

***** The computers are going to starve!


Kurt Oeler

Kurt Oeler of OptionMonster Discusses Options Education

OptionMonster recently expanded into distance learning and extended their product line with more interactive programs, digital workbooks, and one-on-one mentoring. Kurt Oeler, who was recently promoted to president of OptionMonster from vice president and general manager, spoke with JLN’s Sarah Rudolph about the new developments at the
company – a division of OptionMonster Holdings, Inc. – and the challenges of educating traders about options. According to Oeler, clients need a grounding in the basics before they can apply given options strategies, and some don’t fully understand that it takes a lot of time and practice to really learn all the elements involved in trading options. He also discusses the Najarians’ forthcoming book, “How We Trade Options,” a sequel to Jon Najarian’s book “How I Trade Options.” The new book covers topics such as weeklys and other new options products and also takes a personal approach by recounting some of the Najarian brothers’ journey from the Chicago open-outcry pits to the world of algorithmic trading.

Watch the video »


Hal Weitzman leads Video Panel Discussion on High Frequency Trading
Hal Weitzman, a former Financial Times Journalist who now is head of Intellectual Capital at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, led a video panel discussion about high frequency trading with Booth faculty members and Stephen Brodsky of Spot Trading.


An alternative to high-frequency trading: Eric Budish has a way to increase market stability
By John Hintze – Capital Ideas, Chicago Booth School
Spread Networks, a Mississippi-based telecom provider, announced with fanfare in June 2010 that it had completed a high-speed fiber optic cable between Chicago and New York. The company reportedly spent $300 million constructing an 825-mile route through the Allegheny Mountains, to make the cable as short as possible. The Herculean achievement cut 0.003 seconds from the time it takes a message to make the round trip, from 16 milliseconds to 13 milliseconds.

***JK – Also check out Chicago Booth’s video panel as well – The Big Question: Are high frequency traders ruining the market?


Managing Volatile Steel Prices with the Virtual Steel Mill
CME Group
For the last decade, China’s infrastructure growth has meant a steadily increasing demand for steel, and an increase in steel prices globally. With it has come volatility for all the parts of the steel supply chain that go into making bridges and roads and buildings, including iron ore, steel scrap, coking coal and steel billet. But growth isn’t only happening in China

****** I once had a virtual friend. Now he is my Chief Operating Officer. And he is more virtual than ever.


Fama’s Nobel Work Shows Active Managers Fated to Lose
Charles Stein – Bloomberg
The work that earned Eugene Fama the Nobel Prize in economics provided the intellectual foundation for index-tracking funds, which have upended stock picking as investors abandon active money managers.

***JM: Everybody’s fated to lose at some point. ‘Course, there’s a question of how long you stay in the game, and whether you get lucky now and then. But that’s difficult to model.


Harriet Hunnable Q&A: ‘the market place for metals has to evolve’
Anna Irrera – Financial News
CME Group, the world’s largest futures exchange, last week announced that it will launch a new physically-deliverable aluminium contract, ramping up competition in a market dominated by the London Metal Exchange.

***** Competition in the metals business will be good for everyone, including the tin hat crowd.


Wells Fargo Joins Eris Exchange as Bank Liquidity Provider and FCM
Eris Exchange, a US-based futures exchange offering capital-efficient interest rate swap futures, today announced that Wells Fargo has joined Eris Exchange to provide liquidity and clearing services to Wells Fargo’s global client base. Wells Fargo’s swap desk recently executed its first Eris Swap Futures trade. Additionally, Wells Fargo launched support for customer clearing of Eris Swap Futures and client access to Eris SwapBookTM, Eris Exchange’s electronic central limit order book.

***** The order for the swap was delivered by Pony Express.



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Lead Stories

LME set to open in Shanghai free trade zone
Dong Junyu – Global Times
The London Metal Exchange (LME) may become the first international exchange house to establish commodities warehouses in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), Economic Information, an affiliate of the Xinhua News Agency, reported Monday, citing people close to the matter.

NYSE CFO to Depart as ICE Deal Nears
Jacob Bunge – MoneyBeat – WSJ
NYSE Euronext’s chief financial officer plans to depart the exchange company, the latest high-ranking official to leave ahead of the Big Board parent’s sale to rival IntercontinentalExchange Inc.

A Prize for Some Cool-Headed Thinking on Volatile Markets
David Cottle – MoneyBeat – WSJ
U.S. economists Eugene F. Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert J. Shiller have won the prize this year for their “empirical analysis of asset prices.”

Clearing Firms Gird for Treasury Default
Katy Burne and Jacob Bunge –
Some of the largest U.S. clearing firms are preparing for a potential U.S. Treasury default, the latest group to gird for the fallout if the government can’t break its budget impasse. Citigroup Inc. and State Street Corp. have been discussing ways in which they might impose limits on clients’ use of short-term U.S. Treasury bills due in the coming weeks as collateral, according to people familiar with the matter.

Taking the Bus on Road to Default
Francesco Guerrera – MoneyBeat – WSJ
You know things are getting bad when Wall Street chiefs have to take the bus. That is what happened a couple of weeks ago when Lloyd Blankfein, James Dimon and other top bankers boarded a coach for a short trip to the White House. Their mission: to warn the president about the government shutdown and ensuing politicking over the budget. One participant told me of how his feelings changed on the two rides: mildly optimistic en route to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., incredibly worried on the way back.

Brent options trading disrupted by Ice expiry date shift
Alexander Osipovich –
Proposals unveiled by Atlanta-based Ice to shift the expiration dates of North Sea Brent crude oil futures and options – the exchange’s latest attempt to remedy a long-standing disconnect between Brent futures and the physical market – have damaged liquidity in long-dated Brent options, market participants say.

Osborne Wins Yuan Deal Giving Boost to London Over Frankfurt
Bloomberg News – Bloomberg
China and the U.K. will introduce direct trading between the yuan and the British pound, helping London steal a march on Frankfurt and Paris to become Europe’s hub for the Chinese currency.

Occupy London: two years on
Nick Kostov – Financial News
The UK capital has heard little from Occupy recently, in stark contrast to the airtime devoted to the movement during its four-and-a-half month stay on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral, which became the makeshift home to the protesters after they were barred from pitching their tents outside the London Stock Exchange in mid-October 2011.


Sefs, shutdowns and no-action confusion
Peter Madigan –
The new Sef trading regime came into force on October 2, but a flurry of last-minute no-action letters has left platforms confused – and there is no one at the CFTC to answer their questions.

Dodd-Frank commodity option rules sow confusion among energy firms
Alexander Osipovich –
Confusion over CFTC rules is tying US energy firms in knots, as they struggle to determine whether their physically settled commodity options need to comply with critical rules issued under the US Dodd-Frank Act.

Wall Street watchdog signals new hurdles for clearing brokers’ records
Wall Street’s industry-funded watchdog issued new guidance late Monday that gives arbitrators more information about their responsibilities in a process that allows securities brokers to request the removal of customer complaints from their public records.

UK’s Financial Conduct Authority Confirms How It Will Use New Power To Publicise Warning Notices
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) today confirmed how it will use its new power to publicise warning notices by publishing information about proposed enforcement action. Previously, the regulator could only publish information about enforcement proceedings at a later stage in the enforcement process, once it had decided to take action.

Statement from Chairman and CEO Richard G. Ketchum on FINRA’s Report on Conflicts of Interest

FASB and IASB Refocus on Financial Disclosures
Michael Cohn – Accounting Today
The Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board are revealing further details about their long-stalled plans for creating a Disclosure Framework to help accountants decide on which notes to include with financial statements.

Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority – Finansinspektionen – Wants To Strengthen The Culture Of Amortisation
FI wants banks to offer households individual amortisation plans. The aim is to have households make a decision about amortisation by having the banks clearly show how amortisation affects a household’s finances in the long run. FI is submitting its proposal to the Government today.

ISDA/IIF/TCH Final Response To The CPSS-IOSCO Consultative Report Recovery Of Financial Market Infrastructures

Interview By Boersen-Zeitung With Judith Hardt, FESE Director General

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Retired Chief Judge Paul R. Michel Joins Board of Intellectual Property Exchange International (IPXI)
Intellectual Property Exchange International, Inc., the world’s first financial exchange for licensing and trading intellectual property rights, today announced the appointment of Retired U.S. Chief Federal Circuit Judge Paul R. Michel as an independent member of the Board of Managers of IPXI Holdings, LLC. Judge Michel has consistently earned global recognition, awards and distinctions for his leadership in intellectual property and patent law.

NZX Acknowledges David Newman
NZX would like to acknowledge the significant contribution that David Newman made to the development of corporate New Zealand, and by extension our capital markets, during his career. David was a significant leader both in New Zealand and internationally, particularly throughout his long service at Infratil.

Cyprus bourse eyes boost from Chinese listings, halloumi trade
Shattered by an international bailout which stripped it of 80 percent of its turnover, Cyprus’s Stock Exchange is aiming to be a magnet for Chinese firms seeking a foothold in Europe.

Tokyo Commodity Exchange September 2013 Volume Averaged 94,011 Contracts Per Day, Down 1.9%

TOM Insight September 2013

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Norway orders review of $790 bln wealth fund
Norway has ordered a review of its $790 billion wealth fund, one of the world’s biggest investors whose largesse helps underpin Norway’s generous social benefits, responding to concerns that the fund is unwieldy and its returns too low.

Hedge Fund Bears at Year High as Equities Focus on Budget
Nikolaj Gammeltoft & Whitney Kisling – Bloomberg
Hedge funds, whose bearish bets on stocks have held their returns to half the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index in 2013, pushed short sales close to the highest level of the year just as the U.S. budget impasse spurred a doubling in volatility.

Hedge funds target Puerto Rico debt
Vivianne Rodrigues and Nicole Bullock in New York –
Hedge funds and managers of distressed assets have been buying debt sold by Puerto Rico, as traditional municipal bond investors shun the securities amid worries about the island’s finances.

KKR writes new check to help First Data refinance debt
Private equity firm KKR & Co LP (KKR.N) and its co-investors, which took First Data Corp private for $29 billion in 2007, are making a new $300 million investment in the world’s largest payment processing company to help it refinance its debt.

Xetra/FWB: Subscription Launch Of Alfmeier Präzision AG Bond

Banks & Brokers

Hero or Goat? Jamie Dimon Inspires No Consensus
Jamie Dimon should be fired. That seems to be the conclusion of some in the pundit class about JPMorgan Chase’s chairman and chief executive. Writers, editors and bloggers have made it clear that they want his scalp. Yet there is an almost bizarre disconnect between the headlines and what the people who matter — the investors, analysts, board members and, yes, even regulators — are seeking. None of them want him fired.

JPMorgan trader examined in currency probe: WSJ
British authorities investigating potential manipulation in the currency markets are looking at the role of a senior trader at JPMorgan Chase & Co while he worked for another firm, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website on Monday.

Barclays’s Hector Sants Takes Leave of Absence for Stress
Margot Patrick –
Hector Sants, a top Barclays BARC.LN +1.53% PLC executive brought in 10 months ago to help repair ties with global regulators, is taking a leave of absence from the bank until at least the end of this year, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Competition Heats Up in Retail Wholesaler Business
Sayena Mostowfi – TabbFORUM
Order senders have adopted more-sophisticated order-routing technology to optimize their execution quality and the value of their order flow. And ultimately, they will determine the winners in the space

Clearing & Settlement

Ahead of the curve?
The Trade News
As the US market approaches the third week of trading on swap execution facilities, volume figures suggest the buy-side has not yet fully embraced the new venues. Predictions are somewhat vague about which SEFs will attract volume in which asset classes, but participants have shown agreement on one key point: there will be a wave of consolidation within the first year that could drastically cut the number of SEFs.

TriOptima’s largest European energy compression cycle eliminates more than 4300 European energy forwards and swaps with a notional principal value of E 8.4 billion
TriOptima announces that 13 banks and energy houses have eliminated more than 4300 power and gas swaps and forwards with a combined notional principal value of E8.4 billion. Participants included: Alpiq, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BKW Energie, Citigroup Global Markets Ltd, EnBW Trading, Iberdrola, JP Morgan, ScottishPower, and Société Générale.

Indexes & Products

ETF sector to continue rapid growth
Jason Spits | Money Management
The exchange traded product (ETP) sector is set to continue growing by 40 to 60 per cent in the next three years as financial planners increase their ‘light touch’ use of exchange traded funds (ETF), with non-aligned planners being the front-runners in the use of the ETFs blended with other managed funds.

NASDAQ OMX Expands The NASDAQ BulletShares Index Family – NASDAQ BulletShares Ladder Indexes Start Disseminating Today
The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. is launching eight new indexes today in the NASDAQ BulletShares Index Family.

Moscow Exchange Indices Weekly review: October 7-11, 2013


Tbricks Opens Chicago Office to Support U.S. Growth
Tbricks ( today announced that it has opened an office in Chicago and hired Molly McMahon as Managing Director of the company’s United States business. The new office will enable Tbricks to provide dedicated coverage to its growing U.S. client base. Molly McMahon joins Tbricks from the CME Group where she worked in technology product marketing and product management. Prior to her time at CME Group, Molly worked at Orc Software, whose Chicago operation she helped to open. Effective immediately, Tbricks’ Chicago office will focus on the specific needs of U.S. market makers and professional traders


Olam to pay penalty in cocoa ‘cash and carry’ violation settlement
A division of Olam International Ltd has agreed to pay $100,000 as a penalty to settle potential violations of the ICE Futures U.S. “cash and carry” rule for the September 2011 cocoa futures contract, the exchange said on Monday.

MF Global Administrator: Corzine, Others’ Defense Costs ‘Exorbitant’
Joseph Checkler –
The court-appointed administrator in charge of winding down MF Global Holdings Ltd. is concerned about the “exorbitant” defense fees being rung up by lawyers defending Jon Corzine and other former executives and managers in a securities fraud lawsuit.

Environmental & Energy

China to have ETS ‘by 2020’
AAP/Climate Spectator
Australian research suggests China will have introduced a nationwide emissions trading scheme (ETS) and a carbon tax by the end of the decade.

US energy revolution will end old Opec regime
Wednesday marks the 40th anniversary of the Arab oil embargo, a turning point for US energy security policy.

**RKB — Contributor is managing director and global head of commodities research at Citi. His main point: US energy independence does not ever require the US becomes a net oil-exporting country. But it does mean that a more secure US and global energy system needs freedom to export and import as the market warrants. That means removing barriers to exporting crude oil that have been in place for decades.

Clean Energy Investment Headed for Second Annual Decline
Clean-energy investment fell 14 percent in the third quarter from the prior three months as Europe curbed subsidies and cheaper U.S. natural gas lured investment.


UK’s Osborne to offer special terms to Chinese banks: FT
British Finance Minister George Osborne is set to announce on Tuesday special terms that make it easier for Chinese investment banks to expand in the UK, the Financial Times reported.

Official Reply From China Securities Regulatory Commission On Listing Iron Ore Futures Contracts On Dalian Commodity Exchange

Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Market Bulletin 14 October, 2013 – Issue 19

Monetary Authority Of Singapore Consults On Proposals To Facilitate Better Understanding Of Prospectuses

Frontier Markets

Morocco upgrading its stock exchange
Ghana News –
The re-classification of Morocco’s Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) from emerging to frontier market has the potential to boost capital flows to the bourse, which has faced an increasingly difficult exogenous environment in recent years. Authorities are also implementing reforms that stand to strengthen the exchange in the medium term.

NSEL probe gets wider
Business Standard
The probe in the National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) payment crisis is being widened, with more agencies joining the investigations. Also, the Forward Markets Commission (FMC) is considering a special audit of the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX), NSEL’s sister concern.

No question of govt taking over Jignesh Shah’s NSEL, indicates P Chidambaram
Press Trust of India
Ruling out a takeover of Jignesh Shah’s crisis-ridden NSEL, finance minister P Chidambaram has said that its parent group, Financial Technologies India Ltd (FTIL), and another related entity, MCX-SX, are under watch and persons responsible for the alleged irregularities will have to pay the price.

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Past JLN Newsletters

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