My Problems Are All Behind Me
By John J. Lothian
My back surgery went well and as the baseball player George Brett once said about a medical condition he had, “my problems are all behind me.”
I used that joke at my first public appearance after surgery when I emceed an event for Econ Illinois where Bill Brodsky was the featured speaker. I got a good laugh and even some applause. I don’t remember getting applause for any of my jokes before, so I take that as a good sign.
I want to thank the guest editors that took the reins of this newsletter in my absence, or as Gary DeWaal said, sat on the throne. Each brought his own unique talents and perspectives to the assignment and I am grateful to have been one of the readers enjoying their musings. Thank you Martin Mosbacher, Nils-Robert Persson, Alun Green and the aforementioned Gary DeWaal. Gary, you can keep the throne. Thank you to the JLN team too for supporting their efforts.
We are going to have a guest editor for the last week in June too. Rick Lane, the CEO of Trading Technologies, will take the editorial reins as the John Lothian News team prepares to go to London for our Summer Intern Education Series. We are still looking for a guest editor for the shortened first week of July when Jim Kharouf, Patrick Lothian, RJ Roxas and I will be in London for the July 1 and 2 events.
We are very excited and pleased to be taking this event to London and King’s College. The CME Group is our Premier Sponsor of the event. We have a great line up of speakers including:
Veronica Augustsson, CEO of Cinnober
Patrick Birley, Chief Executive, ICAP Securities & Derivatives Exchange Ltd.
Steve Grob, director of group strategy of Fidessa
Mark Hemsley, CEO of Bats Chi-X Europe
Clive Furness, managing director of Contango Markets
Hirander Misra, CEO and co-founder of Global Markets Exchange Group
Gareth Parker, senior director, index research, design and development at Russell Indexes
Jock Percy, CEO of Perseus Telecom
John Parry, journalist and consultant
Adrienne Seaman, director and associate general counsel with CME Group
Steve Stewart, managing director at Trading Technologies Europe
Bill Templer, chairman of Futures For Kids, London Stock Exchange Group
I am very excited to hear this group and their over the Atlantic perspectives on their career treks and the opportunities in the industry today.
We are also holding the Summer Intern Education Series in Chicago again this summer and will be releasing some of the details this week. The plan is to host five events, one each on July 29 and 31 and August 5, 7 and 8. This year our final event on August 8 will be followed by a proper social event at a nearby watering hole.
We are looking for sponsors for our Chicago Series. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Speaking of sponsors, I am really pleased to have BATS join our list of Partner Level sponsors for MarketsWiki. I have long been a supporter of BATS and their efforts to bring competition to the equity markets, all the way back to when I would publish Dave Cummings’ early viral columns in this newsletter. Thank you BATS and welcome aboard!
Thank you to all who supported Robby Lothian in his fundraising efforts for this travel baseball team’s trip to Omaha and for cancer research. I know what a difference it makes to a kid to be successful in a fundraising effort like this and thank each of you for supporting Robby.
Lastly, I want to thank each one of you for the kind messages while I was away having surgery and healing. Your support and love was exactly the right medicine. My recovery is ongoing and so far very successful and I could not have done it without the support of my family, colleagues and friends. Thank you all!
Congratulations to Nandini Sukumar on her new position as Chief Administration Officer of the World Federation of Exchanges. The WFE is one of my favorite organizations and I have had the pleasure of attending several of their conferences in recent years. Nandini starts at the WFE on July 1 and can be reached in the meantime at email@example.com and/or +44 795 85 90 399 .
Also congratulations to my friend Keizo Goto, Senior Managing Director at The Financial Futures Association of Japan. He is now also Professor by Special Appointment at Rikkyo University/St. Paul’s University, Graduate School of Economics.
MarketsWiki World of Opportunity Summer Intern Series Goes to London
John Lothian & Co. is pleased to announce the MarketsWiki World of Opportunity Summer Intern Education Series is coming to London on July 1st and 2nd, 2014 with the generous support of the [[CME Group]].
Index Evolution: Guillermo Cano Looks at the New Generation of Equity Indexes
Equity indexes have come a long way over the past few decades, says Guillermo Cano of Russell Indexes.
While market cap-weighted indexes still capture the lion’s share of volume, new investment choices include such things as sector weighting, factor modeling and so-called “smart beta ” which aims to blend active and passive investing.
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NASDAQ OMX NLX Marks 12 Months Trading With Over 15% Market Share In Euribor
NASDAQ OMX NLX, the London derivatives market for trading a range of both short-term interest rate and long-term interest rate euro- and sterling-denominated products, reaches its first 12 months of trading, capturing over 15% moving average market share in Euribor, the world’s second largest STIRs futures contract.
**JK – Happy first anniversary to NLX today! Congrats to Charlotte Crosswell and her team.
Euronext prepares to relist for ‘a new era’
Philip Stafford – Financial Times
Euronext, the exchanges operator, is set to relist in coming weeks, still driven by its desire to have a central role in the European capital markets.
**JK – So will the new ownership stake work? 10 banks to own roughly 30 percent.
Nasdaq OMX: The exchange that is out to grow it alone
Anna Irrera – Financial News
Nasdaq OMX, which descends from Nasdaq, the world’s first electronic exchange back in 1971, takes its own approach to creating the businesses and technologies that it hopes will power its future. The Nasdaq way is to incubate new ventures within the group.
Authorities Find Insider Trading Case Tied to Phil Mickelson Is Slow to Take Shape
BEN PROTESS and MATTHEW GOLDSTEIN – Dealbook – NY Times
In the summer of 2011, a series of winning stock trades raised immediate red flags for financial regulators. And yet, nearly three years after the trades flashed some telltale signs of possible insider trading, a case has yet to materialize.
**JK – A long read of the green apparently.
Insider-Trading Probe Hits Snag
A snag has hit the insider-trading investigation of investor Carl Icahn, golfer Phil Mickelson and sports bettor William “Billy” Walters: News of the probe derailed government efforts to secretly deploy wiretaps, which have been key components of many successful insider-trading cases.
New York’s Lawsky wants senior BNP executives fired in probe: sources
New York state’s top banking regulator, Benjamin Lawsky, is asking BNP Paribas SA to fire some senior executives as part of a settlement of allegations that the French bank violated U.S. sanctions, two sources familiar with the matter said on Saturday.
**JK – At what point is it regulation versus control over the internal operations of a company?
Voice Brokers, FCMs & the Debate About When Execution Occurs
Wall Street & Technology
Voice brokers in OTC derivatives are under pressure from FCMs to screen customers for pre-trade risk limit, but they lack the technological means to carry this out. Meanwhile, it’s ambiguous as to when a voice execution actually occurs.
**JK – I think doctors figured this out years ago. Oh, execution? Too complicated.
Do not be fooled by fund rankings
Stephen Foley – Financial Times
To the extent that good can come from calamity, the silver lining of the credit crunch is that it has begat an era of more cautious lending, tougher capital rules and wider regulation, plus more risk-aware investment processes. The crisis was so searing that its lessons will be carried by a whole generation of finance professionals. It is not the fading of human memories that should worry us most. It is a fading of statistical memory.
**JK – Ahh, the old investors chasing returns bit.
Lehman Lesson Lost as Bank Lobby Gains Clout, Reinfeldt Says
Johan Carlstrom – Bloomberg
Sweden’s Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said the world risks forgetting the lessons of the financial crisis as the bank lobby gains dominance.
**JK – Tough talk from Fredrik Reinfeldt.
Protecting European bank test data from lucrative leaks
It would be an insider trader’s dream to know ahead of time which of Europe’s banks will fail or need more capital, and all that data will be stored somewhere in cyberspace as the European Central Bank assesses the euro zone’s top banks.
Twelve major banks seek dismissal of forex price-rigging lawsuit
Twelve major banks asked a U.S. judge on Friday to throw out a consolidated antitrust lawsuit accusing them of colluding to rig prices in the $5 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market, saying the plaintiff investors had failed to properly allege the existence of a conspiracy.
**JK – A new action-packed drama repackaged but still called the Dirty Dozen with Clint Eastwood still in the lead roll.
Death of US dollar is greatly exaggerated
John Authers – Financial Times
What does not kill the dollar makes it stronger. There have been plenty of obituary notices for the US dollar’s reserve currency status in recent years, and with good reason. And yet, whenever crisis hits, the dollar rises – even when the epicentre of the crisis is itself in the US.
US watchdog triggers buyout group fee queries
Henny Sender in New York and Gina Chon in Washington – Financial Times
Private equity groups say they have been inundated with questions from concerned investors about fees and expenses in the wake of an early May speech from a senior official at the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Bridging the Week by Gary DeWaal: Exempt DCOs Coming Soon; US a Laggard Related to PFMIs; NFA Gives an Early Christmas
A shortened workweek for most in the US and for some in Europe seems to have inspired a slowdown in regulatory developments worldwide impacting the financial services industry. As a result, only the following few matters are covered in this week’s Bridging the Week:
CFTC Grants Order to ICE Clear Europe Permitting Portfolio Margining of Futures and Foreign Futures Contracts
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) issued an order today granting a request from ICE Clear Europe Limited (ICE Clear Europe), a Commission-registered derivatives clearing organization (DCO), for an order pursuant to Section 4d(a) and (b) of the Commodity Exchange Act.
CFTC Vacates New York Portfolio Clearing, LLC’s Registration as a Derivatives Clearing Organization
At the request of New York Portfolio Clearing, LLC (NYPC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) today issued an Order that vacates the registration of NYPC as a derivatives clearing organization, pursuant to Section 7 of the Commodity Exchange Act.
CFTC Staff Issues Time-Limited No-Action Letter for Canadian Swap Dealers Concerning Quarterly Risk Exposure Reports
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight today issued a time-limited no-action letter that provides relief to each of the five Canadian banks that are registered with the CFTC as swap dealers. The five Canadian banks covered by the no-action letter are: the Bank of Montreal, the Bank of Nova Scotia, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the Royal Bank of Canada, and the Toronto Dominion Bank.
Salaries sizzle as competition heats up for compliance staff
Joe McGrath – Financial News
A surge in demand for compliance staff from asset managers has led to a talent war with banks and insurers and an upward spiral in salaries.
SEC urged to tackle foreign payment disclosure in oil and gas
Gina Chon in Washington – Financial Times
The US Securities and Exchange Commission is under growing pressure to tackle the issue of how oil and gas companies disclose payments to foreign governments.
Exchanges & Trading Facilities
Aquis adds eight new markets
Tim Cave – Financial News
Aquis Exchange, a fledgling European trading platform, will begin trading stocks from a further eight European countries at the end of this month as it battles to introduce a new fee model to the region’s equities markets.
LME Will Delay Start to Position Reports Until August
Agnieszka Troszkiewicz – Bloomberg
The London Metal Exchange, the world’s largest metals bourse, delayed starting commitment of traders reports until August to allow more time for members to classify positions.
[Japan Exchange Group] Trading Overview in May 2014
Japan Exchange Group announced a trading overview (preliminary estimates) in May 2014. In May 2014, the trading value for the 1st Section reached a daily average of JPY 2.0225 trillion, returning above the JPY 2 trillion mark after a two-month hiatus. Monthly trading volume for the ETF market was JPY 1.8661 trillion. Trading volume in the derivatives market in May reached a total of 17,752,749 contracts.
CME Group Approves UOBBF Clearing Limited as New Clearing Member
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced UOBBF Clearing Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Overseas Bank Limited, has been approved as a CME, CBOT, NYMEX and COMEX Clearing Member, effective 30 April 2014.
Tradeweb taps JP Morgan exec to build Europe and Asia business
Anish Puaar – Financial News
Tradeweb, an operator of fixed income markets owned by Thomson Reuters, has hired the former head of e-commerce at JP Morgan to develop its European and Asia business in light of a growing shift to electronic bond trading.
Moscow Exchange Newsletter – April/May Edition
Direct Edge Trading Notice #14-20: EDGA & EDGX Fee Schedule Changes
Hedge Funds & Managed Futures
K.K.R. Shuts Stock Hedge Fund
MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED – Dealbook – NY Times
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts made waves in the fall of 2010 when the investment giant poached a trading team from Goldman Sachs to set up a hedge fund focused on stock trading. Three years later, the firm is changing course.
Hedge fund giants secure grip on industry despite lagging returns
The world’s biggest hedge funds are managing more money than ever before – even while the returns they provide look less attractive compared to those achieved by younger, smaller firms.
The Surge in Investing by Conscience
ANNA BERNASEK – NY Times
Financial risk and return may be the main focus of most investments. But strategies with an explicit social component are growing rapidly, according to the most current data from the industry association that supports and tracks this field: US SIF — the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment.
Solving a sales and trading mystery
Matt Turner – Financial News
It is one of the great mysteries of sales and trading. How much does it cost, in the whole, to service a fund manager? For an industry that purports to help the economy allocate resources in an efficient manner, the question might appear elementary.
Winton: ‘People are frightened of us’
Chris Newlands – Financial Times
It is difficult not to like David Harding, the Cambridge-educated physicist who in 1997 founded Winton Capital, now one of the world’s largest hedge fund companies. On paper it should be easy to find the fast-talking and freewheeling 52-year-old objectionable, given that he is a devotee of the much-maligned hedge fund market, has a disconcerting love for mathematics, and has amassed an enviable fortune of GBP750m. In person, however, Mr Harding is, well, nice.
Funds Cut Bullish Gold Wagers Most This Year: Commodities
Debarati Roy – Bloomberg
Hedge funds pared bets on a gold rally at the fastest pace this year after prices capped the biggest monthly decline since December.
CalPERS Welcomes Dana Hollinger To The CalPERS Board
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) welcomed Dana Hollinger to the Pension Fund’s Board of Administration. Hollinger was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to serve on the CalPERS Board as the insurance industry representative, one of two seats appointed by the Governor.
CFTC Commitments Of Traders Reports Update
Banks & Brokers
Baml hires Hines for Emea flow equity derivatives sales role
Richard Jory – Risk.net
Bank of America Merrill Lynch has replaced Paul Baron as London-based head of flow equity derivatives sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa with Whitfield Hines. Baron is moving to New York to run Baml’s flow equity derivatives sales in the US and Hines starts his new role in August
Chairman David de Rothschild steps back from Rothschild London arm
Giles Turner – Financial News
David de Rothschild, the patriarch of the Rothschild banking dynasty, has stepped down as chairman of NM Rothschild, the UK investment banking arm, focusing on management at a group level.
What Credit Suisse did next
Duncan Wood – Risk.net
The fixed-income business has been dying a slow death over the past five years; Credit Suisse’s secretive trading venture could give it new life
BNP Fine Stirs French Anger, Pressuring Hollande to Act
Fabio Benedetti-Valentini and Mark Deen – Bloomberg
The French are crying foul. A potential $10 billion U.S. penalty against France’s largest bank BNP Paribas SA (BNP) for its alleged dealings with Iran and other sanctioned nations, is stirring outrage in the country. It is putting pressure on President Francois Hollande, who hosts Barack Obama this week to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, to protect the bank from the American onslaught.
Clearing & Settlement
Euroclear: where timing is everything
Rachael Singh – Financial News
Johan Evenepoel, who runs treasury functions at European settlement and asset services bank Euroclear, used to be a maths teacher. So here’s his job, and his employer, in numbers.
Indexes & Products
BlackRock’s Fink jolts ETF business with ‘blow up’ warning
BlackRock Inc Chief Executive Larry Fink this week dropped a stink bomb on a small corner of the $2.5 trillion global market for exchange-traded funds.
BlackRock Cuts Europe ETF Fees in Race With Vanguard for Assets
Christopher Condon and Mary Childs – Bloomberg
BlackRock Inc., the world’s biggest provider of exchange-traded funds, is creating a new low-fee lineup of European ETFs in a race against Vanguard Group Inc. for the region’s emerging class of retail investors.
Thomson Reuters Launches Investable Corporate Social Responsibility Index To Measure Indian Stock Market – ICICI Prudential Asset Management To Be The First Licensee Of The Thomson Reuters CRI India 50 ESG Index
TOM: Official Launch Of The NL20 Index
S&P Dow Jones Indices Market Attributes: U.S. Index Dashboard
Nasdaq Guts FinQloud, Amazon Web Services Gets Clients
Max Bowie – WatersTechnology
Nasdaq OMX is scrapping parts of its FinQloud financial services-dedicated cloud computing service, handing off some components to partner Amazon Web Services—which provides the underlying cloud infrastructure—and ending support for other key aspects of the service
PwC & SunGard Endorse Data Standard From AltExchange
Wall Street & Technology
Four major players in the financial markets, PricewaterhouseCoopers, global equity investor AlpInvest, the technology and service vendor SunGard, and The Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA), have become the newest members of the AltExchange Alliance.
5 Tips to Find Alpha in Your Infrastructure
Wall Street & Technology
From the flashy to the practical, financial firms looking to gain operational alpha from infrastructure face an overwhelming world of choices in terms of commercial and off-the-shelf offerings. Proper perspective, kill switches, and diagnostic tools can help.
Calypso Takes Leader Position In TABB Group’s Assessment Of New Risk Tools For The Buy Side
Calypso Technology Inc., a leading provider of cross-asset front-to-back technology solutions for financial markets, today announced that the TABB Group has recognized Calypso as one of the leaders in its assessment of new risk systems for the buy side.
Thomson Reuters Launches Accelus World-Check One To Simplify And Accelerate The Customer Due Diligence Process
Simplifies Screening For Money Laundering, Sanctions And Threat Finance – Customizable To Identify A Variety Of Specific Third Party Risks
Calastone Extends Global Reach With On-Boarding Of State Street Global Advisors In Luxembourg And UK – Increasing Cross-Border Automation Across Europe
After Fighting Insider Trading Charges for 10 Years, a Fund Manager Is Cleared
RACHEL ABRAMS – Dealbook – NY Times
A jury of five men and five women had just cleared him of insider trading accusations, which Mr. Obus, a 67-year-old hedge fund manager, had spent more than 10 years and $9 million battling in court.
Rajat Gupta Loses Bid to Avoid Prison During Appeal
Dealbook – NY Times
Rajat K. Gupta, a former director at the Goldman Sachs Group who was convicted on insider trading charges, has lost a last-minute attempt to stay out of prison.
Environmental & Energy
Green group: Obama climate rule will save consumers $37 billion
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
A national environmental group on Thursday touted the Obama administration’s coming proposal for carbon limits on existing power plants, saying it would save consumers $37.4 billion once they fully take effect.
***LB: Also in this story “The rule, which the administration is expected to unveil Monday, would save consumers billions on their electric bills in 2020, according to the analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).”
White House boasts on energy agenda
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
A dramatic expansion in U.S. domestic gas production and a drop in oil consumption puts the nation in a strong position to tackle climate change, argues a White House report released Thursday.
Obama confident on EPA
Timothy Cama and Benjamin Goad, The Hill
The Obama administration is confident that sweeping new rules it is set to announce on coal-fired power plants will survive court challenges from opponents.
China Sees Citic Listing as Model for State-Firm Overhauls
China is poised this week to complete plans for one of the world’s biggest mergers of the year, a $37 billion deal that could be a blueprint for overhauling massive, inefficient state-owned enterprises.
Renminbi bulls offered glimmer of hope
Josh Noble in Hong Kong – Financial Times
Remember when currency policy, rather than maritime disputes, used to top the agenda for US-China relations?
Investors Are Rewarded for Trekking Into Little Known Markets
Dan Keeler – WSJ
Investors who ventured into frontier markets—the smaller, lesser-known cousins of emerging markets—have been rewarded with impressive equity returns over the past 18 months. While the MSCI Emerging Markets Index has been essentially flat since the start of 2013, the MSCI Frontier Markets Index has shot up by more than 50%.
BRIC Rally’s Weak Point Exposed in Brazilian Selloff
Weiyi Lim, Ye Xie and Kyoungwha Kim – Bloomberg
The selloff in Brazil’s stocks and currency on the final trading day of May wiped out what was to be the first pan-market monthly advance in the four biggest developing countries since 2010.
Brazil Targeting Mideast Riches With First Islamic Fund
Filipe Pacheco and Samuel Potter – Bloomberg
Banco do Brasil SA, Latin America’s biggest bank by assets, is courting investors in the Middle East and Asia as it prepares to start Brazil’s first Shariah-compliant equity fund this month.
Argentina awaits decision on appeal
The countdown to a US Supreme Court decision on Argentina’s petition for a reversal of an earlier ruling favouring holdout creditors has begun. Deliberations start on June 12.
Egyptian Exchange: Trading Session Suspended For 30 Minutes
Egyptian Exchange Response To What Was Published In ElWatan Daily Newspaper
Nigerian Stock Exchange Weekly Report For The Week Ended 30 May 2014