John Lothian Newsletter: 'Long and Arduous Process' to Ban a Single Wall Street Activity; Nasdaq plans dark pool for U.S. Treasuries; Hedge funds attract billions in new money

Dec 11, 2013

First Read

‘Long and Arduous Process’ to Ban a Single Wall Street Activity
At 6 feet 7 inches, Paul A. Volcker struck an imposing figure as chairman of the Federal Reserve during the economically turbulent 1980s. But the banking rule named after him, approved on Tuesday, may not have the same sway over an unwieldy global financial system.

***DA: Though it took three years, this was the easy part. The hard parts will be enforcement and surviving the inevitable legal challenge. To check out the new rule, view the documents, a summary and links to more info, visit MarketsReformWiki at Also, see today’s Regulatory section below for lots more opinion, analysis and statements from regulators.


Incentives boost growth at Nasdaq OMX’s new London venue
Philip Stafford –
The new London derivatives trading venue of Nasdaq OMX has dramatically increased its trading volumes in recent weeks, helped by an incentive scheme that pays participants up to $1.5m for market share.

***DA: Well, that’s one way to do it.


ISE Receives “Best Risk Management Initiative” Award At 2013 American Financial Technology Awards
The International Securities Exchange announced today that it received the “Best Risk Management Initiative” Award at the 2013 American Financial Technology Awards (AFTAs), hosted by Waters Technology.

***DA: Lots of awards handed out this time of year. I got another participation trophy.


Cinnober awarded for best new surveillance technology
On December 10, at a gala dinner in London, Cinnober received the 2013 “Best new market surveillance product” award from Futures & Options World. Cinnober delivers the service solution Cinteg to help market participants manage increased regulatory requirements for monitoring and gatekeeper obligations on trading and monetary transactions.


Notice to Members I-13-39: Request for Public Director Nominations for NFA’s Board of Directors
The terms of five of NFA‘s current Public Representatives – Ronald H. Filler, Douglas E. Harris, Michael H. Moskow, Todd E. Petzel and Susan M. Phillips – are set to expire at the Board of Directors’ (Board) 2014 regular annual meeting. Furthermore, in keeping with NFA’s policy to have 35% of its overall Board composition represented by Public Directors, NFA will be seeking an additional Public Representative.

***DA: During and after the MF and PFG crises, the board took a populist turn. The next round of turnover will be interesting.


Gary DeWaal

Extreme Makeover: Gary DeWaal Says FCM Landscape has to Change
The futures commission merchant (FCM) space is likely to change dramatically in the coming years. How is the question. John Lothian News sat down with Gary DeWaal, of Gary Dewaal Associates, for his views on the shape of the brokerage industry in the coming years. “For years FCMs have tried to be everything to everybody,” DeWaal says. “Frankly, except for two or three of the big FCMs, that is not a reasonable prospect going forward. I think that FCMs are going to really have to figure out what its niche is.”

Watch the video »


Ringfence fails to halt French trades
Patrick Jenkins, Banking Editor –
Outside the US, France is the country that has got closest to Volcker rule limits on banks betting on securities with their own money. France in the summer passed a banking reform law that requires its banks to conduct such proprietary trading via a ringfenced subsidiary. Even after the French rule change, banks there still have large trading operations in their main operating businesses.


Big U.S. custody banks mining Big Data need more engineers
The world’s two largest custody banks, BNY Mellon Corp and State Street Corp, are loading up on engineers to crunch mountains of data into juicy chunks of information that they can use to win more customers and generate more fees.

***JM: That’s good. Not all those folks we trained 20 years ago to write technical analysis software because that was going to win more customers, are ready for retirement yet.


Trades for 2014? Why Bother
Clare Connaghan – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Trades for 2014? A waste of time, according to one foreign-exchange analyst. “Why? Because it does not work,” said Steven Barrow of Standard Bank. Such recommendations “rarely come good.”

***JM: We should probably stick to things we’re really good at predicting, like the weather.


JPMorgan files patent for Bitcoin-style payment system
Tracy Alloway in New York –
JPMorgan Chase has filed a US patent application for a computerised payment system that resembles some aspects of Bitcoin, the controversial virtual currency.



Special Report: A Bitcoin for Your Thoughts
What is it? And if you can determine that, how should it be regulated, taxed, or even traded? Is this the next asset class? Some may find potential there, while others still find it a joke or worse. Our special report features a column from JLN publisher John Lothian about his thoughts on Bitcoin, a short primer on the aspects of Bitcoin, as well as some of the best articles we have found in recent weeks. This special report is designed to inform and perhaps, raise the debate and dialog further.

Watch the video »



MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Power Exchange Central Europe

MarketsWiki Recent Updates


Duncan Niederauer; Bob Swarup

Companies, Organizations and Groups

Power Exchange Central Europe; ICE Futures Europe; Global Markets Exchange Group International LLP




45,810,544 pages viewed, 7,716 articles, 169,436 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

Nasdaq plans dark pool for U.S. Treasuries
Nasdaq OMX Group plans to create a so-called dark pool for electronic U.S. Treasuries trading where buying and selling interest is not revealed, even on a post-trade basis, the company’s chief executive officer said on Tuesday.

Hedge funds attract billions in new money
Stephen Foley in New York –
Hedge fund managers are attracting new money and preparing expansion plans, even though their performance has fallen behind roaring equity markets this year, thanks to a shift in how investors view the industry.

Odd-lot trades add 3 pct volume to consolidated tape
Transactions in trades of less than 100 shares boosted reported volume by 3 percent on the first day that “odd lots” were included in the public dissemination of stock quotes and sale prices, trading data showed on Tuesday.

Unlikely Legacy of Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme: A Bonanza for Newfangled Funds
Jason Zweig – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Five years later, the most ironic part of Bernard Madoff’s legacy is clear: After his Ponzi scheme made hedge funds seem scary, especially to individual investors, the industry got busy making them seem safe enough for everybody.

For sovereign rating analysts, hell hath no fury like an EU official scorned
Sid Verma – Euromoney magazine
The investigation by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), uncovering alleged flaws in the sovereign-ratings process, could presage a more intrusive supervisory regime, rekindling the debate about their role in global financial markets.

EU executive cautious on shadow banking controls
The European Union’s executive has ruled out hasty curbs on “shadow banking”, or simplistic trading restrictions on mainstream lenders, in case it ends up crimping finance for the economy.

Past performance is no guarantee
Dan McCrum | FT Alphaville
With thanks to the eagle eyed Tracy Alloway, the year in asset class returns illustrated in shades of Deutsche Bank blue.


Volcker Rule: Reaction from Volcker, Obama, Washington and Wall Street
WSJ Staff – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Tuesday’s final approval of the long-debated Volcker rule, which places new restrictions on bank trading, sparked celebration from supporters and warnings from critics. But it also brought relief and even, from some quarters, a welcoming of opportunity. Here is a sampling of the reaction Tuesday.

Volcker Rule Gets It (Mostly) Right
The immediate goal of the Volcker rule, which U.S. regulators approved after a troubled four-year gestation, is to end speculative trading by banks. It also has a larger ambition — to tame the culture of excessive risk-taking that had Wall Street in its grip by 2008.

Misbegotten Volcker Rule Can Still Do Good
Stephen Mihm – Bloomberg
Long debated and long-awaited, the Volcker rule is being hailed as the 21st-century equivalent of the Depression-era legislation known as the Glass-Steagall Act.

Volcker Rule Makes Taxpayers ‘Safer, If Not Safe,’ Barofsky Says
Paul Vigna – MoneyBeat – WSJ
The Volcker rule will make taxpayers “safer, if not safe,” Neil Barofsky, the former special inspector general of the TARP program and author of the book “Bailout,” said on Tuesday’s MoneyBeat show.

How to Make Sure the Volcker Rule Survives in Court
Eric A. Posner and E. Glen Weyl – Bloomberg
Vocal opposition from banks didn’t stop U.S. financial regulators from approving the so-called Volcker rule, which bans proprietary trading. Yet the real threat to the rule never came from Wall Street. It is coming from the courts. Unless regulators can defend the rule based on principles of economics, it could go down in flames.

SEC Commissioner Says Regulators Not Given Time To Review Volcker
Andrew Ackerman – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Regulators weren’t given enough time to review the final version of the Volcker rule and were under “intense pressure” to meet an “utterly artificial, wholly political” year-end deadline to complete the regulation, said Daniel Gallagher, a Republican member of the Securities and Exchange Commission, who is expected to oppose the final rule.

Rules Restricting Bank Proprietary Trading Passed by Five Federal Agencies: An Initial Review
Gary DeWaal and Associates LLC
Despite a winter snowstorm that shut down the US Government in Washington DC, five federal agencies issued rules today (December 10) to implement the so-called Volcker Rule under the Dodd Frank law enacted in 2010.

Citigroup: Documentation of Trades Will Be Key Part of Volcker
Shayndi Raice – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Citigroup Inc. Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach said details around banks’ documentation of trades are an important part of new rules approved by regulators Tuesday.

Agencies Issue Final Rules Implementing the Volcker Rule
Five federal agencies on Tuesday issued final rules developed jointly to implement section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Volcker Rule”).

CFTC cross-border guidance was not a dodge, says ex-staffer
Peter Madigan –
Controversial cross-border guidance issued by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in July was not an attempt to avoid checks on the agency’s power – as a lawsuit filed last week by three industry associations claims – according to a former CFTC staffer, who worked on the text.

Adoption Of The Volcker Rule – SEC Chair Mary Jo White

Statement Of Support Of CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler On Volcker Rule

Statement On The Volcker Rule: Reducing Systemic Risk By Banning Excessive Proprietary Trading With Depositors’ Money – SEC Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar

Statement Of CFTC Commissioner Mark Wetjen On The Volcker Rule

Statement Regarding Adoption Of Rule Implementing The Volcker Rule – SEC Commissioner Kara M. Stein

Dissenting Statement Of CFTC Commissioner Scott D. O’Malia – Prohibitions And Restrictions On Proprietary Trading And Certain Interests In, And Relationships With, Hedge Funds And Private Equity Funds

Dissenting Statement Regarding Adoption Of Rule Implementing The Volcker Rule – SEC Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher

Statement Regarding Adoption Of Rule Implementing The Volcker Rule, Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar, U.S. Securities And Exchange Commission, Dec. 10, 2013

“High Roller’s Room” – Statement Of CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton

Aggregation versus aggravation
Sungard –
Five years have elapsed since the onset of the financial crisis and, at the behest of regulators, firms have scaled back many of the risky activities they engaged in at the time. But, if another crisis emerged tomorrow, too many institutions would still have an inadequate overview of the risks they were running

[Canada] Change to AMF Senior Management
The Autorite des marches financiers (the AMF) confirms the appointment of Gilles Leclerc as Superintendent, Securities Markets.

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

London Metal Exchange (LME) Successfully Completes Technical Delivery For EMIR
The London Metal Exchange (LME) has successfully delivered the systems modifications necessary to support its members and clearing house in response to the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) requirements. The on-schedule delivery of the technology changes means that LME members can make necessary modifications to their own systems in advance of EMIR coming into force.

Late-Night Moscow Trading Looms as Winter Time Takes Toll
Lyubov Pronina and Ksenia Galouchko – Bloomberg
While Russia’s elimination of its annual winter clock change may be providing the intended health benefits to farmers and milk cows, the move is pushing OAO Moscow Exchange to search for ways to regain lost stock trading. The exchange is considering extending the market’s close by an hour to 7:40 p.m. Moscow time so there’s more overlap with the U.S. day, giving American investors more time to trade in Russia, Chief Executive Officer Alexander Afanasiev said.

Barclays LX Surpasses Crossfinder as Top Dark Pool
Traders Magazine
Move over Credit Suisse, Barclays is now king of the dark pools. Technically. After a long buildup during which it trailed Credit Suisse Crossfinder, Barclays LX is now top of the heap.

SIX Financial Information launches TICKS by SIX, flexibly delivering 6 years of global history
TICKS by SIX, an expansive database of trades and quotes from the world’s most important trading venues, allows clients to pinpoint the content needed, maximizing cost efficiency while minimizing onsite processing and storage investments.

LSEG’s UnaVista And NetOTC Partner To Offer New Derivatives Trade Monitoring And Matching Platform
London Stock Exchange Group today announces that UnaVista has partnered with NetOTC to provide a new service that will enable firms to monitor and match derivative transactions prior to novation and settlement.

CBOE Holdings Declares Special Dividend And Increases Stock Repurchase Authorization

NYSE Group Inc. Issues Short Interest Report

NYSE MKT Issues Short Interest Report

NASDAQ OMX Nordic Foundation Supports University Of Helsinki

NASDAQ Announces End-Of-Month Open Short Interest Positions In NASDAQ Stocks as of Settlement Date November 29, 2013

MIAX Options Exchange: Penny Pilot Classes For Option Classes To Start Trading On December 16, 2013

OneChicago December 2013 Holiday Schedule

TSX And TSXV Trading List Leaders By Volume And By Values – November 2013

Moscow Exchange Participates In London Session Of Moscow International Financial Centre Initiative

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Bill Gross’s Treasury Holdings Fall in November
Min Zeng – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Bill Gross, who runs the world’s biggest bond fund, slightly dialed back exposure to U.S. Treasury bonds in November after increasing the holdings for two straight months.

Flush with cash, Carlyle looks at new types of deals
Ryan Dezember – MoneyBeat – WSJ
A dearth of big buyout candidates has Carlyle Group doing deals these days it may have once looked past, the firm’s co-founder and co-chief executives William Conway told investors Tuesday.

Hedge Fund Lions’ Den: Emerging managers face the test
Margie Lindsay –
Hedge Fund Lions’ Den continues with episode three, The Pitch. Strategis Capital Management, Laurentia Funds and Aperios Partners Investment have two minutes to impress the lions

Meet the New Boss
Joshua M Brown | The Reformed Broker
BlackRock has $4.1 trillion in assets under management – they’re the largest investment management firm on earth – and probably 7 out of 10 people on the street where you live have never heard of them. And as a result of being so large, the company owns an awful lot of shares in the world’s largest public companies as well.

Funds Look to Liquidity Management Tools For Competitive Edge
Becca Lipman – Wall Street & Technology
Following 2008 investors became savvier about liquidity options. Prior to the financial crash it had been commonplace to have two year lockups on hedge fund investments but now investors expect, even demand, a more frequent schedule. Annual lockups have come down to quarterly, in some cases monthly. For the funds of funds and institutional investors managing portfolios, it has become something of a risk and liquidity headache.

For Privateer Holdings, Just Getting a Checking Account Is a Challenge
Ryan Dezember – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Upstart private-equity firms all face hurdles, from finding investors to making payroll in the years before deal profits roll in. Privateer Holdings, which bets solely on businesses tied to the legalization of marijuana, has an even more fundamental problem: having bank accounts.

Leading HFT taps Automat founder
Tim Cave – Financial News
A co-founder of high-frequency trading firm Automat — which was acquired by Getco in 2011 — has resurfaced at Spire Europe as it continues a hiring drive in the region.

BNY Mellon Launches AIFMD Regulatory Reporting Service
BNY Mellon, the global leader in investment management and investment services, has announced a new service for fund managers that helps them identify, aggregate and manage the regulatory reporting requirements of the Alternative Investment Fund Manager’s Directive (AIFMD).

Baker Street Capital boosts Sears holdings to 10.8 percent
Brigid Sweeney – Crain’s Chicago Business
Edward Lampert has at least one fan in high finance these days. Vadim Perelman, 31, founder of Los Angeles-based hedge fund Baker Street Capital, first made news in September when he published a bullish report about Sears Holdings Corp.’s real estate portfolio. Yesterday, he increased his stake in the company to 10.8 percent, according to regulatory filings, lifting his holdings to 11.5 million shares and options.

Banks & Brokers

Finance Chief of R.B.S. Resigns After 3 Months in Post
LONDON – The Royal Bank of Scotland said Tuesday that Nathan Bostock resigned as chief financial officer after less than three months in the job.

Rise of electronic FX trading won’t silence voice brokers
Peter Garnham – Euromoney magazine
Electronic trading is set to account for an increasing share of the volume on the world’s $5.3 trillion-a-day FX market, but that does not mean the death of voice brokers. That is the view of Aite Group consultancy, which believes the continued adoption of electronic trading will play a key role in fuelling the overall growth in the FX market.

How much would you pay for the privilege of working at your bank?
William Wright – Financial News
Over the next few months, very few people who work at investment banks (or asset managers for that matter) are going to admit to their boss that they might not be worth the bonus they have just been paid.

Tullett Prebon Named Fixed Income Broker Of the Year By Futures And Options World

Clearing & Settlement

EU equities clearing primed for 2014 transformation
Anish Puaar – Financial News
Next year could finally lay the groundwork for a cheaper, fully competitive environment for the clearing of cash equity trades in Europe, with market participants looking ahead to changes that could drastically cut costs.

Liquidity not margins will determine clearing house success: SGX
Aaron Woolner –
There won’t be a race among central clearing houses to provide the lowest cost margin model to dealers because the competitive landscape will instead be decided on which platform can provide the most liquidity, says Singapore Exchange president M Ramaswami.

Calypso Interfaces With Tradeweb Markets SEF
Calypso Technology Inc., the leading integrated capital markets platform provider, today announced the extension of its over-the-counter (OTC) clearing solution for end-users to support Swap Execution Facility (SEF) connectivity.

Asset Control Named As Number One Risk Data Repository And Data Management Vendor – Risk Magazine’s Readers Vote For Asset Control As Part Of The Risk Technology Rankings 2013

ECC And NOREXECO To Cooperate In The Commodity Sector
European Commodity Clearing (ECC) and the Norwegian NOREXECO AS have agreed to cooperate in the field of commodity trading and settlement and have concluded a corresponding cooperation agreement to this end.

Indexes & Products

Integral Announces First-of-its-Kind FX Benchmark to Provide Unprecedented Market Transparency
Integral Development Corp., a leading service provider to FX market participants, today announced Integral FX Benchmark, a set of second-by-second foreign exchange benchmark rates for major currency pairs. Based on the broadest available set of market rates and trades, joint research work with Stanford University and feedback from buy-side FX market participants, FXB will provide first-of-its kind benchmark rates for each second of each trading day.

Japan Exchange Group And Tokyo Stock Exchange: The Retroactive Index Value Of JPX-Nikkei Index 400


Scila Compliance technology gets best new surveillance product award from FOW
During the FOW Derivatives World London, Cinnober received the award ”Best new market surveillance product” for its SaaS based on Scila Compliance technology.

10 Takeaways From the FIX Regulatory Briefing
Candyce Edelen – Wall Street & Technology
The FIX Trading Community (formerly called FPL) put on an excellent regulatory briefing event in New York late last month. The topic was emerging global regulations affecting the electronic trading community across all asset classes. I took away a number of interesting insights. Here are some highlights.

Mike Rhoden Joins b-next’s London Office To Continue UK Expansion In Market Surveillance solutions

RTS Realtime Systems Receives FOW Data Centre Of The Year Award


FCA fines Lloyds Banking Group firms a total of GBP 28,038,844 for serious sales incentive failings
The failings affected branches of Lloyds TSB, Bank of Scotland and Halifax (which is part of Bank of Scotland).

Madoff Five Years Later: Where Are Some of the Key Players Now?
MoneyBeat – WSJ
Five years after Bernard L. Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme was unveiled, here’s a look at what several of his family members, employees and investors are up to now and how their lives were forever altered by the biggest financial fraud in history.

Environmental & Energy

European Parliament votes to cut carbon permit supply
The European Parliament voted on Tuesday to remove surplus permits from the carbon market from next year to prop up allowance prices on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), ending months of argument over the plan.

**RKB — Continuing coverage from yesterday’s announcement. Repeating the EU press release below.

ETS backloading: carbon market schemes at a turning point
European Parliament Release
Plans to freeze the auctioning of some CO2 permits, so as to raise their price and thus encourage firms to invest in low-carbon innovation, will be put to a final vote on Tuesday, after EU ministers endorsed Parliament’s July 2013 proposal setting stricter conditions for the freeze. The aim is to restore the incentive effect of the Emissions Trading System, which is designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change.

European Lawmakers Vote to Support Carbon Trading System
The New York Times
The European Parliament on Tuesday approved a rescue plan for the European Union’s system for trading carbon-emission credits. The lawmakers hope to revive prices for carbon credits, which have been so low that the system is creating few incentives for smokestack industries to cut back on their emissions of greenhouse gases.


China private equity in transition
Josh Bateman – Euromoney magazine
China’s private equity industry has been going through a long-term growth spurt, with the number of private equity firms growing three-fold over the past decade to number more than 750 today. However, the industry is at a transitional stage as a result of the virtual closure of the Chinese IPO market in recent months.

Santander to Buy Stake in Bank of Shanghai for $647 Million
The Spanish lender Banco Santander has agreed to buy an 8 percent stake in Bank of Shanghai for 470 million euros as part of its strategy to increase its presence in Asia.

Frontier Markets

Borsa Istanbul, Nasdaq OMX Group deal inking postponed Anadolu Agency
The signing ceremony of strategic cooperation agreement between Borsa Istanbul (BIST) and Nasdaq OMX Group was postponed to a yet to be announced date, Borsa Istanbul officials said Monday.

Asset managers chafe as Indian regulator cracks down on new funds
When Franklin Templeton’s India unit wanted to launch a mutual fund that would switch allocation among stocks, bonds, gold and money markets, the Indian regulator baulked, deeming it too risky for domestic investors, according to the company.

Islamic liquidity project faces Saudi hurdle
Chris Wright – Euromoney magazine
At the end of August this year, the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation finally made its inaugural sukuk auction. It was almost three years after the institution’s foundation to create and issue short-term Shariah-compliant financial instruments and improve cross-border liquidity management in Islamic finance.

Bursa Malaysia Goes Live With Its New Trading Engine Powered by NASDAQ OMX
Bursa Malaysia and NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc., today announced that Bursa Malaysia has gone live with their new trading engine, Bursa Trade Securities 2 powered by NASDAQ OMX’s X-stream INET.

Malaysian banks face challenges in meeting OTC trade reporting rules
Justin Lee –
The inability of Malaysian regional banks operating across several jurisdictions to reconcile cross-border counterparty trade information and the shift from a current month-end reporting cycle for over-the-counter derivatives transactions to a daily reporting framework are key challenges that banks face in order to comply with the proposed trade reporting requirements set out by Malaysian regulators, say market participants.

Yangon Stock Exchange to open in two years – Deputy Minister
Eleven Myanmar
The Yangon Stock Exchange (YSE) will open in two years based in the former headquarters of Myawaddy Bank in Yangon, according to the deputy minister for finance.

Nigerian financial infrastructures increasing cooperation
Luke Clancy –
Nigeria has in the past suffered from an image problem that has contributed to investor deterrent. But having recently overtaken South Africa as the largest economy in Africa, that could be about to change as Nigeria’s financial services leaders work together to modernise the country’s capital markets.

Ministries spar over due-diligence reports
Business Standard
The Department of Financial Services (DFS), in the finance ministry, has criticised the corporate affairs ministry for not responding to the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) request for “due-diligence reports” on 22 of the 25 companies that had applied for banking licences earlier this year.

The Most Recent Addition To Dubai Financial Market’s Leading Efforts Regionally: Dubai Financial Market Inaugurates Its Educational Trading Floor At The American University In The Emirates

ADX Partakes In Euro-Asian Bourses Meeting
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) partook in the Federation of Euro Asian Stock Exchanges (FEAS) 19th Annual Meetings which took place in Muscat, Oman recently and was hosted by Muscat Securities Market.

John Lothian Newsletter

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