First Read

Squeezing Pennies: Clearing Houses Reach For Compression, Margin Relief and Netting
By Sarah Rudolph and Jim Kharouf, JLN
When it comes to clearing and settlement today, the name of the game is capital efficiency.

With a host of regulations hitting the market, particularly with bank capital requirements under Basel III, exchanges and clearing houses are moving quickly to find ways for banks and clearing FCMs to lower the amount of cash they need to hold onto in the name of lower systemic risk.

It is an interesting time to be in the clearing space, as clearing firms offer a number of new services and some oldies aimed at clearing FCMs. Portfolio margining, which has been done more or less in a fragmented way by individual clearing houses in recent years but with limited success, may be finally finding an audience in today’s market environment. Clearing houses such as CME Clearing, LCH.Clearnet, Eurex Clearing, ICE Clear, OCC and others have all offered some form of portfolio margining services in recent months or years. LCH.Clearnet is attempting to push that concept further with its so-called “open access” on clearing, which essentially allows customers to choose where they would like to clear transactions with the markets it services. A London Stock ExchangeDeutsche Boerse merger could help, or depending on the German approach, alter the concept.

Sunil Cutinho, the president of CME Clearing, said the top priority for clearing house customers is finding that capital relief.

To read the rest of the story, click here


2016 Exchange CEO Series: LSE’s David Weisbrod Talks Clearing And Openness

Weisbrod, who serves a dual role as US country head of the USA for LSEG and CEO of LCH.Clearnet US, has been focused on providing more access to customers to the London market and its clearing facility.

“We’re a big believer in open access, which enables market participants to use whichever clearing house they want or whichever exchange they want as it meets their own needs,” Weisbrod told John Lothian News at the FIA Boca Conference. “We don’t have a vertical silo which binds the participants to use the clearing house, the exchange, or vice versa.”

“We started to pivot the company to get deeper into the data space,” Sprecher said. “We want to articulate a vision on how exchanges and data can come together into one holistic business that can serve customers.”

Watch the video »

A Word From Gary Katz of ISE On Autism Speaks
At this year’s Options Industry Conference, attendees will be participating in a 5K charity event to benefit Autism Speaks, a charity near and dear to my heart. I have pledged to match all individual donations, dollar for dollar. I invite you to support this event either by participating or donating (any donation amount will be appreciated).
Please click here to learn more about my son, Dylan.
****** Gary Katz showing great leadership, compassion and charity. Please join him.


Katten 2015 Annual Review
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
It is our great pleasure to share with you our firm’s first annual review – a celebration of the important work on which we partnered with our clients last year and the developments at Katten that enable us to continue delivering the superior service that our clients expect of us. 2015 was a fantastic year for our firm and one that was best characterized by the theme for this inaugural review – focus.

****** How many lawyers does it take to have a good year?


PDQ Announces Advanced Transaction Analytics For Its ATS Based on Paradigm4’s SciDB
PR Newswire
“When you buy a house, the real estate agent provides you with comparable properties to document fair market value. We want to do the same for equity trades, helping the customer to understand what it should cost to make the transaction,” stated Don Ross, chief strategic officer at PDQ Enterprises.

***DA: Dark pool innovation helping equities traders see the light? Speaking of eye openers, if you missed our recent interview – Let’s Pause a Moment: Keith Ross Talks Dark Pool Rules and IEX – check it out.


Has the futures industry just been Uberised?
Steve Grob – Fidessa Fragmentation Index
A seemingly innocuous news item from my good friend John Detrixhe at Bloomberg got us all chatting here at Fidessa Towers this morning. The story was about how Eurex Clearing was going to allow large buy-sides direct membership of its derivatives clearing house. The rationale for this is entirely logical as today’s regulations treat client capital as a risk asset and therefore subject to capital ratios. In a capital constrained world then, surely Deutsche Börse is doing the FCM community a favour?

***** I hate waiting on the curb for a clearinghouse.


Hedge fund ‘quants’ win heart diagnosis challenge
Richard Waters in San Francisco – FT
Two hedge fund “quants” have come up with an algorithm that diagnoses heart disease from MRI images, beating nearly 1,000 other teams in one of the most ambitious competitions in artificial intelligence.

***** You can do well and do good, just like the good Dr. Sandor always says.


OCC Annual Report


Wednesday’s Top Three
Matt Leising’s story Exchanges Condoned Alleged Spoofer’s Trades, Ex-Partner Say, smoked the field in yesterday’s click race. Coming in second was the throwback,
Famed Trader Blair Hull on Data Analytics, Investing, and Black Monday, and in third place, another throwback,
These were the gadgets of the ’80s Wall St. banker. The key takeaway? Readers are attracted to gossip, scandal and entertainment related to the financial sector.


Sponsored Content
Special Offer for JLN Readers…

FinTech Exchange 2016 – First 10 to Register with promotion code “LOTHIAN” get a free pass. ($199 value) – Register Today

Join us on April 21, 2016 in Chicago for the 2nd annual FinTech Exchange hosted by Barchart.

This one-of-a-kind event will showcase concise and engaging on-stage presentations from financial technology leaders like Google Cloud, Tally Capital, Amazon Web Services, Trading Technologies, Rival Systems, CME Group, CBOE Livevol, Quandl, Cantor Exchange, Narrative Science, Nadex, Neurensic, Alpaca and many more as they cover topics such as trading software, cloud infrastructure, artificial intelligence, Bitcoin and Blockchain, binary options, market data APIs, R&D tax credits and much more. Last year’s event was a sold-out show and space is limited, so be sure to register today.

Don’t miss out – Be one of the first 10 people to register here with promotion code “LOTHIAN” and get a free pass into the event.

Fintech Exchange 2016


Lead Stories

Nasdaq NLX holds fees ahead of LCH Spider
Futures & Options World
European rates exchange Nasdaq NLX said its trading fees will remain unchanged for the sixth consecutive quarter despite volumes remaining well below their peak in late 2014. NLX, which has traded euribor, short sterling, bund, bobl and schatz futures since opening in mid-2013, said in a client notice on Wednesday its trading fees will remain at the same level for the three months to the end of June. The exchange said it will continue to charge £0.01 per lot per side for sterling products and EUR0.0125 for Euro-denominated products for three months from April 1.

***DA: Will Spider become NLX’s savior? And what about the upcoming launch of Curve Global, which aims to list its own look-alike products? And what about the incumbents, ICE on the short end of the rates curve and Eurex on the long? They each have their own portfolio margining service, and each is looking to further feather their nests. No matter how you slice it, when the merger music stops, there will not be enough chairs to go around.

Eurex to launch buy-side clearing access model
Joe Parsons, The Trade News
Eurex Clearing will launch a new service to allow buy-side participants to become direct clearing members, as institutional investors gear up for incoming clearing rules in Europe. The service, named ISA Direct, will be available from this summer and will be initially offered for Eurex Clearing’s interest rate swaps and repo transactions. Listed derivatives and securities lending transactions are to follow, according to a statement from Eurex.

**JK: See Steve Grob’s piece above.

ISE Announces First Implementation of a Securities Exchange on Amazon Web Services Cloud Computing Environment
The International Securities Exchange (ISE) is the first regulated securities exchange to build and operate cloud-based disaster recovery infrastructure as part of disaster preparedness requirements established by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) recent Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity (Reg SCI) initiative.

Fintech’ Start-Up Boom Said to Threaten Bank Jobs
Up to 30 percent of the current employees in the banking industry may lose their jobs to new technologies in the next 10 years, according to new projections from Citigroup.

BlackRock planning to cut 400 jobs
BlackRock Inc, the world’s largest asset manager, is planning to cut about 400 jobs, or 3 percent of its workforce, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

MetLife and the Dodd-Frank Backlash; Judge Rosemary Collyer’s decision helps strengthen industry pushback against Obama-era financial overhaul
Judge Rosemary Collyer did more than hand MetLife Inc. a victory in its battle to fend off stricter federal oversight.

MetLife’s CEO Scores a Victory With Too-Big-to-Fail Ruling
Katherine Chiglinsky, Emma Orr – Bloomberg
SIFI exit may free up $2.5 billion to return to shareholders; Kandarian plans to proceed with separation of U.S. retail unit
After regulators slapped the too-big-to-fail label on MetLife Inc., Chief Executive Officer Steve Kandarian had several responses. One was to challenge government watchdogs in court — a move shunned by other insurers that got the TBTF tag. The CEO also scaled back share buybacks to guard capital, and he announced a plan to make the company smaller.

EU watchdog fines DTCC for derivatives repository failings
The European Union’s markets watchdog has fined the U.S. DTCC Derivatives Repository Ltd (DDRL) 64,000 euros ($72,620) for failing to give regulators speedy access to data on trades as required under the bloc’s laws. The fine is modest for a company the size of DTCC but will be embarrassing for one of the world’s most important market infrastructure organisations which handles trillions of dollars of securities transactions each day.

Citadel Securities in push to bolster electronic trading
Joe Rennison in New York – FT
Citadel Securities, the market making arm of the hedge fund, has hired a senior banker to bolster its bid to use electronic trading to break open traditionally dealer-dominated markets.

This Is Where Bad Bankers Go to Prison
Edward Robinson – Bloomberg
Kviabryggja Prison in western Iceland doesn’t need walls, razor wire, or guard towers to keep the convicts inside. Alone on a wind-swept cape, the old farmhouse is bound by the frigid North Atlantic on one side and fields of snow-covered lava rock on another. To the east looms Snaefellsjokull, a dormant volcano blanketed by a glacier. There’s only one road back to civilization.

Yellen Outsources U.S. Monetary Policy to the Financial Markets
Rich Miller – Bloomberg
Fed lowered 2016 rate projections after investors did; `That’s a good thing’ for policy, economist Crandall says
The Federal Reserve looks to have outsourced monetary policy to the financial markets — and that may not necessarily be bad.


Industry slams EU equity derivatives disclosure proposals
“The rules are based on assumptions that are incorrect,” says Isda
Catherine Contiguglia –
Industry groups are pushing back on proposals to extend pre-trade transparency requirements to equity derivatives, arguing that the logic underpinning the proposals is flawed and the regulator lacks the mandate to impose them. Europe’s review of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, known as Mifid II, proposes to require banks to make bids and offers for a transaction public before it is executed, while the price and size of the transaction would have to be disclosed after execution….

Itiviti launches Itiviti Analyst for MAR compliance covering all asset classes
Yahoo Finance
Based on the established Tbricks by Itiviti platform for outmost performance and flexibility, Itiviti Analyst MAR covers all mandatory scenarios and asset classes subject to MAR regulation (shares, ETFs, derivatives and bonds). Itiviti Analyst MAR consumes private data (i.e. orders and trades) through an industry standard FIX drop copy, enabling simple integration with virtually any system. Market data, news, and benchmarks are stored tick by tick in the ticker plant (OneTick) provided by Itiviti’s partner One Market Data.

Here’s Why the Blockchain Would Have Saved Lehman Brothers
Bitcoins could have saved Lehman Brothers, sort of. On Tuesday, J. Christopher Giancarlo, a commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said that if the blockchain—the technology that backs bitcoins—had been around in 2008, and had Lehman Brothers used it, then the investment bank bankruptcy that officially kicked off the financial crisis would never have happened.

How the Fiduciary Rule Will Harm Fintech and Startups
Add startup entrepreneurs and Fintech innovators to the long list of potential victims of the Department of Labor’s pending fiduciary rule. There is already bipartisan concern that many ordinary people far away from Wall Street will be harmed if the final fiduciary rule, likely to be released next week by the Labor Department (DOL), is not changed significantly from the proposed rule put forth last year.

China forex regulator buys $4.2 bln in stocks via new platform: Media
By Reuters via Economic Times
China’s foreign exchange regulator has bought mainland stocks worth over 27 billion yuan ($4.18 billion) via three low-profile investment firms it controls, the official Shanghai Securities News reported on Thursday.

Office Of The Comptroller Of The Currency Reports Fourth Quarter 2015 Bank Trading Revenue Declines To $4.3 Billion
Trading revenue of U.S. commercial banks and savings associations fell to $4.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015 down from $5.3 billion in the previous quarter, according to a report released today by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

How Investors Can Avoid Getting Fooled
On the eve of April Fools’ Day – which also happens to be the first day of Financial Literacy Month – the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) offers five tips to help investors avoid being tricked out of their money.

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

2016 NASDAQ Investor Day, March 31, 2016
Hear presentations from Bob Greifeld, Hans-Ole Jochumsen, Adena Friedman, Tom Wittman and other executives as they outline strategy, technology, key initiatives and more. Follow the action online via the broadcast link below.

Euronext appoints Maria João Borges Carioca Rodrigues as CEO of Euronext Lisbon; Maria João Carioca Rodrigues will join Euronext during the second quarter of 2016
Euronext announces that the Supervisory Board has approved unanimously the appointment of Maria João Borges Carioca Rodrigues as CEO of Euronext Lisbon, CEO of Interbolsa and member of the Managing Board of Euronext N.V., pending all relevant shareholder and regulatory approvals.

CME Group Announces First Trades of New Aluminium European Premium Duty-Paid (Metal Bulletin)
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced that the first Aluminium European Premium Duty-Paid (Metal Bulletin) futures contracts were traded on Thursday, March 24, 2016. A total of 96 futures contracts were traded, equalling 2,400 metric tons.

SGX welcomes Quam Securities as Securities Trading Member
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today welcomed Hong Kong-based broker, Quam Securities Company Limited, to its securities market as a trading member.

Companies begin scheduling AGMs with SGX and CSIS calendar
97 companies indicate AGMs on calendar
Singapore Exchange (SGX) and the Chartered Secretaries Institute of Singapore (CSIS) have launched an online calendar for listed companies to indicate their tentative Annual General Meeting (AGM) dates. 97 companies have thus far scheduled their AGMs in April on the calendar.

NYSE Margin Debt Falls to Lowest Since 2013
Investors continue to become more cautious. New York Stock Exchange margin debt fell last month for the fourth consecutive month, according to the exchange.

Report on Initial Public Offering Applications, Delisting and Suspensions

Further Information in respect of Election of Director at 2016 Annual General Meeting
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (“HKEX”) has despatched a circular dated 23 March 2016 (“Circular”) to its shareholders, which contains, inter alia, the notice of the 2016 annual general meeting of HKEX (“AGM”) and information about the election of a director of HKEX (“Director”).


Corporations Grow Nervous About Participating in Republican Convention
Some of the country’s best-known corporations are nervously grappling with what role they should play at the Republican National Convention, given the likely nomination of Donald J. Trump, whose divisive candidacy has alienated many women, blacks and Hispanics.

Ask the Next President About the Fed
By Narayana Kocherlakota – Bloomberg
The next U.S. president will have the opportunity to appoint (or re-appoint) someone to one of the most powerful positions in the world: the chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Yet voters still know far too little about how the leading presidential candidates would go about choosing.

There’s A High Chance Of A Contested Republican Convention; Political betting markets, which tend to be pretty accurate, put the odds at 61 percent.
Natalie Jackson, Senior Polling Editor, The Huffington Post
The biggest question of the political season is whether Donald Trump will get enough delegates to win the GOP presidential nomination before the convention. Prediction markets, which allow people to bet on future events using real money, estimate an average 61 precent chance of a contested Republican convention with two or more votes required. The chance Trump will fail to get to the required 1,237 delegates before the convention, they estimate, is 69 percent.

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Best March For Commodities In 10 Years
Jodie Gunzberg – Indexology – S&P Dow Jones Indices
In the first half of March, the S&P GSCI Total Return had added 9.6% and staged its biggest comeback ever, gaining 18.8% from its bottom on Jan. 20, 2016. Unfortunately, the index gave up 4.3% since March 17, 2016, losing about half its March gain. Despite the loss, the index posted its first positive monthly gain of 4.9% (data ending Mar. 30, 2016) since Oct. 2015. March’s commodity return is historically big and is the biggest March since March 2006, when the index gained 5.1%.

Swiss $558m fundraising lifts IPO market
Ralph Atkins in Zürich – FT
A Swiss supplier to the semiconductor industry is set to launch Europe’s biggest initial public offering of the year so far, delivering a boost to the continent’s flagging market for new share issues.

Ireland Sells First 100-Year Bond, Staying on Comeback Trail
Dara Doyle – Bloomberg
Nation’s debt office issues sovereign debt at yield of 2.35%; Ireland follows Mexico in finding investors for `century’ bond
Ireland sold its first so-called century bond, less than three years after it regained economic sovereignty by exiting an international bailout program.

Investors Pull Cash From Hedge Funds as Returns Lag Market; In last quarter of 2015, more money was withdrawn from hedge funds than was taken in
Marc Levine, chairman of the $16 billion Illinois State Board of Investment, had a provocative question this month during a board meeting about hedge funds.

Looking for Volatility? Try the Currency Market
Investors recently have been looking for signs of volatility amid a sharp drop in stock swings. Perhaps they should turn their attention to the foreign exchange market.

Banks & Brokers

KCG Europe launches Catch algo in bid to grow institutional business; Catch liquidity seeking algo aims to take strengths of market making business and offer them to buy-side clients.
By John Bakie – The Trade News
KCG has launched an algorithm for European clients that utilises strategies from its market making business to seek out liquidity.

Quam Securities becomes trading member of SGX securities market
The Edge Markets
Broker Quam Securities Company Limited has been admitted to Singapore Exchange’s securities market as a trading member, the bourse’s first from Hong Kong. The admission of Quam Securities brings the total number of trading members in SGX’s securities market to 28. The securities market also has 25 clearing members.

Clearing & Settlement

FX: Banks urged to consolidate trading books as leverage ratio bites
Banks can notably increase their leverage ratios if they consolidate their trading books into currency hubs, according to TriOptima, a technology vendor. Reorganizing their trading books into groups by currency will allow banks to eliminate more trades in their compression cycles, it says, making them stronger in the eyes of regulators and freeing up capital they can use elsewhere.

2016 Blockchain Symposium: Opening Remarks By Michael Bodson, DTCC President And CEO
There is a lot of debate on the potential of distributed ledger technology, with competing opinions ranging from the skeptics and cynics to the evangelists and disciples, and everyone in between. While those opinions run the gamut, we can all agree that blockchain is absolutely going to impact the way we do business in the future.

Derivatives clearing: issues for pension schemes
Hogan Lovells, in Lexology
Almost four years since the EU Over-the-Counter (OTC) Derivatives, Central Counterparties and Trade Repositories Regulation (648/2012) (EMIR) came into force, one of its main requirements – to clear certain OTC derivative trades through a central counterparty – is now coming into effect. EMIR is Europe’s response to the G20’s commitment to implement measures to increase transparency and reduce counterparty credit risk and operational risk in the derivatives market. The clearing obligation will affect many derivatives users, including EU and non-EU funds, asset managers, pension schemes and insurers.

Smaller firms get boost on timing for non-cleared margin; Counterparties will be able to offset extra collateral calls, says source close to EBA
Frederico Mollet –
Smaller firms could get longer to settle margin calls for non-cleared derivatives without having to post additional collateral as had been expected, says a source close to the European Banking Authority (EBA). In final draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) published on March 9, the European supervisory authorities granted smaller users of derivatives the chance to extend settlement times for variation margin (VM). But many in the industry saw the collateral requirements for doing so as prohibitive….

Indexes & Products

New FTSE Russell Index to combine China A shares, H shares – Business
FTSE Russell, the global index provider, announced the creation of a new index that combines the FTSE China A and H 50 Index, on Wednesday. It is the first FTSE Russell index to represent the largest companies listed in both the Chinese mainland (A shares) and/or Hong Kong (H shares).

MSCI restarts talks on including China A shares in EM index
Index provider MSCI said on Thursday it would resume discussions with traders, funds and other financial market participants on including domestic China “A” shares in its benchmark emerging markets index.

MSCI says competition issues could keep China A shares out of EM index
Index provider MSCI Inc said on Wednesday that alleged anti-competitive behaviour by China’s exchanges may keep mainland Chinese shares out of a major investment benchmark, adding to the hurdles China must jump before its stocks can be admitted

New China ETF in Europe to Focus on Onshore-Offshore Price Gap
The provider of the largest U.S.-listed exchange-traded fund investing in China’s mainland shares is starting an ETF in Europe that intends to profit from the price difference between stocks that sell both onshore and in Hong Kong. The Deutsche Asset Management fund launched Wednesday tracks the FTSE China A-H 50 Index, which is comprised of the 50 largest Chinese companies that trade on both the mainland and in Hong Kong but only includes those that sell for the lowest price. On average, the so-called A-shares of dual-listed companies are trading at a 34 percent premium to their counterparts in the former British colony, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Old School Smart Beta ETF Enjoys Value’s Resurgence
One of the earliest and most frequent criticism of alternatively-weighted exchange-traded funds is that when these funds outperform, it is often due to the value or small stocks factors or both. That is a charge frequently aimed at the PowerShares FTSE RAFI US 1000 (ETF)
PRF, one of the forefathers of the smart or strategic beta ETF movement. In fact, the creators of PRF’s underlying index, the FTSE RAFI US 1000 Index, probably would not deny that the value and small stocks factors are, in many cases, primary drivers of smart beta outperformance.


Calypso Adds New Module Amid Looming Basel III Counterparty Credit Risk
Finance Magnates
The counterparty credit risk exposure rules which are to be enforced starting from January 2017 demand upgrades.

China Fintech Passed Disruption Tipping Point, Report Says
Financial-technology companies in China have passed a “tipping point” in disrupting the banking industry owing to their surging number of customers, according to a Citigroup Inc. report released this week.

Promising FinTech Companies Appear in European Top 100 List
More than 55.000 financial technology enthusiasts from all over Europe have voted for their favourite European FinTech company. In addition a knowledgeable panel of judges from FinTech experts – consisting of experienced FinTech investors, innovation leads of European top banks (Deutsche Bank, Banco Santander, BBVA, Lloyds Banking Group en BNP Paribas) and FinTech visionaries – assessed this big selection of the most promising European FinTech companies. Combined with the public votes, the panel of judges constituted the European FinTech Top 100.

Blockchain’s Primetime Still A Ways Off, Citi Says; Blockchain tech could imrove trade finance, cross-border payments – eventually, Citi says
The blockchain isn’t going to eat the banks quite yet.

Blockchain: Disruption or Distraction?
Jeffrey Billingham, Markit via Tabb Forum
If every bank, exchange, infrastructure provider, and clearing house put their internal working groups in one room, all would agree to one point: Blockchain technology is not a silver bullet for financial markets. But beyond defining what the technology is not, few seem to agree on what the technology actually is. Markit examines the challenge in developing a long-term framework for blockchain in financial services.


SEC: Biotech Venture Capitalist Stole Investor Funds for Personal Use
An SEC investigation found that G. Steven Burrill concealed from investors that he took money from the Burrill Life Sciences Capital Fund III under the guise of “advanced” management fees and spent it on family vacations to St. Barts and Paris as well as jewelry, gifts, car service, and private jets. Burrill and his firm Burrill Capital Management agreed to the disgorgement of $4.785 million in investor money he stole for personal use plus a $1 million penalty. Burrill also agreed to be permanently barred from the securities industry. The fund’s investors included state pension funds, public companies, and other institutional investors.

Esma fines DTCC for European trade repository failings
By James Rundle – Financial News
Europe’s top markets regulator has fined the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation for failing to provide regulators with direct access to data in its trade repository – the largest of its kind in Europe.

Husband of former Areva chief faces insider trading probe
Michael Stothard in Paris – FT
French prosecutors have opened a formal investigation into alleged insider trading by the husband of Areva’s former boss, Anne Lauvergeon, as part of a probe into the ill-fated acquisition of a Canadian uranium miner.

Deutsche Bank agrees to pay $4 mln for trading violations
A Deutsche Bank AG unit will pay more than $4 million to settle allegations that it failed to properly report data on millions of options trades, according to a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) document.

Environmental & Energy

U.S. arrests oil industry networking site creator over hacks
The founder of an oil and gas networking website was arrested on Wednesday on charges that he hacked and stole information from a rival site he had created and sold to DHI Group Inc, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

Harvesting Sunshine More Lucrative Than Crops at Some U.S. Farms
Joe Ryan – Bloomberg
North Carolina added almost 1 gigawatt of farmland solar; Projects offer stable income not affected by commodity markets
For more than a century, Dawson Singletary’s family has grown tobacco, peanuts and cotton on a 530-acre farm amid the coastal flatlands of North Carolina. Now he’s making money from a different crop: solar panels.

Climate Model Predicts West Antarctic Ice Sheet Could Melt Rapidly
For half a century, climate scientists have seen the West Antarctic ice sheet, a remnant of the last ice age, as a sword of Damocles hanging over human civilization.

Meet the millennials looking to get rich or die tryin’ with one of Wall Street’s riskiest oil plays
By Sally French and Shawn Langlois – MarketWatch
“Y-O-F**KING-LO,” the teen wrote, flashing his trading statement. “900 to 55K in 12 days!” On Reddit, he’s known as “World Chaos,” a Florida high schooler who earlier this year multiplied his money by betting against the S&P 500. His real name is Jeffrey Rozanski, and the 18-year-old’s appetite for risk would make many seasoned market players facepalm.


China’s bad banks swell as defaults spread
Gabriel Wildau in Beijing – FT
As China’s economy slows and defaults rise, bad loan managers are quietly buying toxic debt so it does not poison the broader financial system. Yet questions remain about whether these bad banks are savvy investors in distressed assets or conduits for a backdoor bailout of state banks.

China investment bank defaults on ‘dim sum’ bond
Gabriel Wildau in Shanghai and Don Weinland in Hong Kong – FT
A unit of Guosen Securities, China’s eighth-largest investment bank, has defaulted on a Hong Kong-traded renminbi bond, according to a document seen by the Financial Times, marking the first debt breach by a state-owned enterprise in China’s offshore market in nearly two decades.

How will China’s renminbi impact the global financial system?Share REUTERS/Reuters
The rapidly rising renminbi came of age with the news that it is to be included in the International Monetary Fund’s basket of currencies with Special Drawing Rights (SDR). Its inclusion may sound like a dry technical measure; it is anything but, and it is changing the landscape of global commerce fundamentally.

Deutsche targets Chinese share price anomaly
Steve Johnson – FT
Chinese equities are not top of everyone’s shopping list at the moment, given a backdrop of a slowing economy, Beijing’s newly-won reputation for financial market mismanagement and a brittle belief in emerging markets in general, notwithstanding strong inflows this month.

Frontier Markets

IPOs in India likely to raise $5 billion in 2016, says EY report; Meanwhile, in 2015, the Indian IPO market saw significant momentum after a gap of nearly four years
Business Standard
Initial public Offerings (IPOs) in India are set to hit a six-year high in 2016 and estimated to raise more than $5 billion, largely owing to a growing appetite for equities and positive sentiment on the growth front, says an EY report.

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