First Read

Time to Get Out the Checkbook
By John J. Lothian

The New York Times editorial board has added some media influence to the debate about whether to tax transactions on Wall Street. With many of the major leading candidates for President espousing anti-Wall Street notions, it is time for Wall Street to get their checkbooks out and beat back this anti-market nonsense.

However, it might not work as well this time. A President Donald Trump would not be beholden to Wall Street like other candidates. And a President Bernie Sanders would bring a lack of appreciation for Wall Street and our markets that would be unprecedented in my lifetime. The more Sanders attacks Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street ties, the more the debate moves away from the markets.

If Wall Street can’t positively influence the White House, then they will need to use the system of checks and balances by influencing the U.S. House and Senate, with the emphasis on checks.

Thus, it is time to take a good look at the House and Senate races and find candidates who can help the U.S. grow and prosper, rather than add complexity, uncertainty and friction to our markets, thus decreasing their efficiency to allocate capital and transfer risk optimally.

In yesterday’s newsletter I included a video from TastyTrade with an interview of Thomas Day, a candidate for the 7th Congressional District in Illinois. It is the district that includes much of the Loop, including the Chicago Board of Trade Building.

He is running against longtime Democratic Congressman Danny Davis. Day deserves a look if you are in his district, or if you are in our markets. He is what I would describe as a business oriented enlightened candidate, with ties to Chicago’s 1871 innovation hub and service in the U.S. military.

Day has a big challenge in front of him, as the aging Congressman Davis has won re-election by wide margins in recent years, like many Congressmen in gerrymandered districts. He is not my Congressman, but he has my support.

You can check out his website at


New York Times’ editorial board calls for financial trading tax
The editorial board of the New York Times on Thursday called for a financial transaction tax on the buying and selling of U.S. stocks, bonds and derivatives, an idea that has gained traction in the Democratic presidential campaign.

***** A convincing argument for a bad idea.


The Need for a Tax on Financial Trading
A financial transaction tax — a per-trade charge on the buying and selling of stocks, bonds and derivatives — is an idea whose time has finally come. It has begun percolating in the Democratic presidential campaign, with all three candidates offering proposals.

***** This is an idea whose time has finally come, and should be gone again.


NYSE Outlines Priorities To Strengthen Equity Market Structure During Extreme Volatility
Actions include results from survey of market participants
The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), a subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange’s (NYSE:ICE) global network of exchanges, today outlined actions it will prioritize to enhance U.S. equity market structure and strengthen the markets during times of extreme volatility.

***** We all hoped when ICE bought the NYSE that Jeff Sprecher would try to fix the U.S. equities markets. We should listen to him.


John Kerry: Countries without free speech have nothing to brag about, or teach the world
Richard Macauley – Quartz
John Kerry criticized governments which censor free speech and control the media yesterday at an address to mark the opening of the Washington Post’s new headquarters.

***** “Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.” – Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years (1950)


The Great Reshuffling of 2016
A 2016 outlook from Object Trading, via Hedgeweek
The search for liquidity has overtaken the low latency arms race. Market participants’ survival is about more than simply managing risk and cost; it now requires reaching trading venues in unfamiliar regions and asset classes – and finding the optimal relationships between the buy-side and sell-side to access liquidity where it is growing, and create liquidity where opportunities await. This great reshuffling is already driving innovation, requiring new approaches to market access technology.


Emergency communication: Introduction of a Market Status Indicator
In conjunction with its emergency communication, Eurex Deutschland and Eurex Zürich will introduce the tool “Market Status Indicator” for Eurex Exchange’s trading system (MIC: XEUR), serving as an additional information source in case of emergency situations effective 1 February 2016. The new tool will be available in the lower right area of the Eurex website It will contain a direct link to the Production Newsboard.

***** I love a good emergency communication.


Still time to participate in our 2016 survey – please give us three minutes of your time!
Last week we kicked off our 2016 survey campaign. Help us help you by giving us three minutes of your time and sharing your thoughts. Plus, we tried to make it fun and colorful. The final kicker? You could win an Apple Watch. Click HERE to get started.


College Kids Are Now High Frequency Trading From Dorm Rooms
by Reuters
University student Spencer Singleton is among a growing band of amateurs turning to computer-driven automated stock trading—until now the preserve of hedge funds and mega brokers—and says he’s beating the market.

***** I think the headline writer confuses HFT with algo trading.


Advantage Futures: Economist Series
Advantage Futures
This is the second video in the Economist Series. Prof. Tassos Malliaris, Loyola, Quinlan: Fed, Yellen Wants Broad Consensus (Oct 2015)

****** Advantage Futures does good work.


Yesterday’s Top Three
The runaway winner in yesterday’s click count was the Reuters story, Accused UK trader likely not a factor in ‘flash crash’: paper, followed by the complete rundown of the winners of Wednesday’s Risk Awards. The third most clicked story was the Chicago Inno writeup of Trading Technologies‘ Campus Connect showcase last week, Chicago’s Trading Technologies Wants Tech Talent In Finance


MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Navinder Sarao

MarketsWiki Recent Updates


DeBorah Lenchard; Murray Pozmanter; Navinder Sarao; Luis Laginha de Sousa; Trabue Bland; Lynn Martin; Ben Jackson; Andrew Bailey

Companies, Organizations and Groups

DTCC; International Securities Exchange; Intercontinental Exchange; G. H. Financials


Swap Data Repository; LIBOR


74,461,902 pages viewed; 21,848 pages; 196,753 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

NYSE Proposes Changes, as It Braces for More Volatility; Planned changes come as exchange faces criticism for its handling of August market swoon
The New York Stock Exchange on Thursday proposed a series of rule changes designed to avoid another repeat of the market mayhem that struck in August

Intercontinental Exchange launches U.S. Treasury index family
ICE’s new benchmark indices selected by BlackRock to power
four iShares U.S. Treasury ETFs
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges, clearing houses and data services, announced today that its subsidiary, Interactive Data Pricing and Reference Data, LLC (Interactive Data), will become the new benchmark index provider for four of Blackrock’s iShares U.S. Treasury Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs): iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF (SHY), iShares 3-7 Year Treasury Bond ETF (IEI), iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (IEF) and iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT). Known as the ICE U.S. Treasury Bond Index SeriesTM, the indices will be operated by Interactive Data beginning in the second quarter of 2016.

BOJ stuns markets with surprise move to negative interest rates
The Bank of Japan unexpectedly cut a benchmark interest rate below zero on Friday, stunning investors with another bold move to stimulate the economy as volatile markets and slowing global growth threaten its efforts to overcome deflation.

The Lords of Finance are skidding out of control; Financial markets have become dangerously dependent on the cheap monetary steroids of central bankers – creating yet more debt
Jeremy Warner – Telegraph
‘When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, Sir?” So reputedly said the British economist John Maynard Keynes. Economists are always changing their minds, but few practitioners of the “dismal science” do it quite as regularly as central bankers.

NYSE calls for coordination among exchanges to ease volatility
The New York Stock Exchange on Thursday recommended reforms to the U.S. equities market which it said could improve stability and prevent a repeat of the wild price swings seen on Aug. 24 during a near-unprecedented bout of volatility.

NYSE acts to improve equity market structure
Nicole Bullock in New York – FT
The New York Stock Exchange has called for co-ordinated changes to market controls for stocks in the wake of extreme market volatility last year.

Fix stock market rules before admitting IEX: Nasdaq CEO
Regulators should overhaul decade-old rules that govern the U.S. stock market before allowing upstart venue IEX Group to become a fully-fledged exchange, Bob Greifeld, head of Nasdaq Inc (NDAQ.O), said on Thursday.

When Systematic Trading Comes to Credit Markets; Synthetic credit derivatives pave the way.
Tracy Alloway – Bloomberg
A profound trend in credit markets has been borne out by the results of Citigroup Inc.’s latest survey of credit derivatives, with investors expressing continually growing interest in derivatives tied to corporate bonds.

New entrants shake up prime brokerage field
By: Solomon Teague – Euromoney
For many prime brokers, 2015 was a chastening year amid rising macro risks, capital charges and innovation paving the way for a new breed of providers – but the traditional bank providers and the new entrants insist they target a different client base. Print Order With the prime brokerage (PB) industry having been shaken up by upcoming regulation and the Swiss National Bank (SNB) market shock in January 2015, it is in a transitional phase.

Bank of Japan, in a Surprise, Adopts Negative Interest Rate
As Japan’s economic doldrums have worsened over the years, its leaders have done everything from ramping up government spending to flooding the financial system with cash.

Euronext announces departure of Luis Laginha
Euronext today announced that Luis Laginha, Chairman and CEO of Euronext Lisbon and Interbolsa and member of the Managing Board1 of Euronext NV, has resigned and will step down from his role as CEO. This departure was agreed mutually based on Luis Laginha’s desire to pursue other professional interests. He will continue to fulfil his responsibilities until the shareholders’ meetings of both entities have taken place on 22 February 2016.

FTIL enters stake sale pact with Dubai commodity centre; To sell 27.3% stake in DGCX at an enterprise value of Rs 274 cr
Business Standard
Financial Technologies has entered into a share purchase agreement with Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) for sell of FTIL’s 27.3% stake in Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) at an enterprise value of Rs 274 crore.

These are the Brokers Cleared of Helping Tom Hayes Rig Libor
By Liam Vaughan – Bloomberg
Six ex-brokers accused of helping convicted trader Tom Hayes fix the benchmark Libor interest rate have been acquitted by a London court.

Margin calls a fresh threat for China’s battered stock markets
Jan 29 Chinese companies may be forced to sell at least $12 billion in shares in coming weeks to meet margin calls, dealing a further blow to stock markets which have already seen some $2 trillion in value wiped out so far this year.

Investors Shunning Asian Stocks at Record Rates; Mutual funds worldwide own the fewest number of Chinese stocks in a decade
Investors from mutual funds to hedge funds are turning away from Asian stocks at record rates.

A New Theory of Why Global Financial Collapse Is Coming Soon
Hamilton Nolan – Gawker
Here is a fun new theory to add to the annals of looming financial apocalypse: at least one analyst believes that the global shipping industry is foreshadowing global doom.


Obstacles to Europe’s reporting vision
Futures & Options World
Almost two years since new reporting rules were introduced in Europe, major hurdles remain to achieving their underlying regulatory objectives: identifying and monitoring systemic risks in the over-the-counter derivatives market.
Individual firms are struggling to report trades consistently across business lines. Counterparties are failing to agree on trade identifiers. Reconciliation rates between trade repositories (TRs) remain low. The European Securities and Markets Authority’s (Esma) data aggregation plans are subject to delay. And regulators globally are taking different approaches to data quality requirements within their own jurisdictions.

City regulators have put in teeth but it won’t make them sharper
Kate Burgess – FT
Setting the dogs on HBOS’s former top bods is hardly battening down on banks
It is hard for a City regulator to look as if it is ahead of the game when it is so often caught behind it.

City Insider: FCA’s Andrew Bailey and the bear
Edited by Harriet Agnew – FT
Andrew Bailey: Ursine tales, Part II
As the FT reported this week, Andrew Bailey — the new boss of the Financial Conduct Authority — plans to abandon the aggressive approach of his predecessor, Martin Wheatley, who believed in “shoot first, ask questions later”. As the FT also reported, Bailey once gave moral telephonic support to his wife when a bear invaded their Idaho holiday home while he was trapped in London, dealing with the collapsing Northern Rock.

Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) Rulemaking and National Market System (NMS) Plans

    • NYSE: Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change Deleting Rule 410B Governing Reporting Requirements for Off-Exchange Transactions (Release No. 34-76983; File No. SR-NYSE-2015-48)
    • NYSE Arca: Order Approving Proposed Rule Change to Provide for Price Collar Thresholds for Trading Halt Auctions (Release No. 34-76994; File No. SR-NYSEArca-2015-121)
    • NYSEMKT: Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change Deleting Rule 410B Equities Governing Reporting Requirements for Off-Exchange Transactions (Release No. 34-76982; File No. SR-NYSEMKT-2015-80)
    • Phlx: Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change to Make Permanent the Pilot Program Eliminating Minimum Value Sizes for Opening Transactions in New Series of FLEX Options (Release No. 34-76989; File No. SR-Phlx-2015-94)
    • Phlx: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Make Minor Changes to Rule 1064, Crossing, Facilitation and Solicited Orders (Release No. 34-76984; File No. SR-Phlx-2016-07); see also Exhibit 5


Exchanges & Trading Facilities

LME Bows Third-Party Data Fees, Licensing Portal; The move brings LME in line with other exchanges around data usage for non-trading purposes.
Joanne Faulkner – Waters Technology
The London Metal Exchange (LME) is to introduce a new market data usage policy specifically for use of LME data and data on its LBMA Platinum and LBMA Palladium contracts to support valuation and pricing activities, or as a reference price in transactions, to ensure that clients are paying “appropriately” for what they use.

HKEX Launches Real-time Price Information of Selected Futures Contracts on HKEX website
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) has introduced real-time price information of selected futures contracts on the HKEX website to help further promote the contracts.

Exchange Publishes Results of its Latest Review of Disclosure in Issuers’ Annual Reports
The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Exchange), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), today (Friday) published a report on the findings and recommendations from its review of issuers’ annual reports1 for the financial year ended in December 2014.

Report on Initial Public Offering Applications, Delisting and Suspensions

Nasdaq reports higher fourth-quarter profits
Transatlantic exchange operator Nasdaq Inc on Thursday reported a rise in fourth quarter profit, helped by higher stock trading and information services revenues, along with lower expenses.

Japan Exchange Group, Inc. And Consolidated Subsidiaries Consolidated Financial Results For The Nine Months Ended December 31, 2015 – Based On IFRS, Unaudited
During the consolidated cumulative third quarter (from April 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015), the Group recorded operating revenue of ¥85,284 million (8.1% increase from the same period of the previous fiscal year (i.e. year-on-year)) due to factors such as year-on-year increases in cash equity trading value and derivatives trading volume, while operating expenses were ¥36,103 million (9.4% year-on-year decrease). As a result, the Group recorded operating income of ¥51,745 million (28.9% year-on-year increase) and income before income tax of ¥52,971 million (28.4% year-on-year increase).

trueEX Completes First Electronic Mexican Peso Swap Trades For Institutional Investors
trueEX, the fastest growing swap execution facility (SEF), has created another industry innovation with the execution of the first dealer to client Mexican peso (MXN) interest rate swaps trades on its award-winning platform. Societe Generale Corporate and Investment Bank (SGCIB), and undisclosed institutional investors completed the transactions late in December and January; the first buy-side trades to be electronically executed.

NCDEX might suspend members who violated trade norms; The exchange’s initial findings into castor seed price manipulation started four days ago suggest some irregularities
Business Standard
The National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) might suspend registration of clients involved in manipulation of castor seed prices on its platform. Around half-a-dozen clients were involved in that.

NSE, BSE see increase in retail participation; NSE in a release said the new client growth has been encouraging from cities like Bengaluru and Rajkot
Business Standard
The National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the BSE have reported an increase in retail stock investor base in 2015. NSE has seen the number of active clients increase six per cent last year, while the total number of clients on BSE has risen 11 per cent. The rise in investor base comes amid a five per cent drop in benchmark equities in 2015. NSE said the new client growth had been encouraging from cities like Bengaluru and Rajkot. The exchange also said it had seen an increase in cash market turnover in the retail segment in 2015. Lacklustre returns in gold and real estate over the past few years have seen equity as gain favour among Indian investors over the past few years.

Osaka Exchange: Go-Live Date Of Next Generation Derivatives Trading System (Next J-GATE)
OSE is pleased to announce the go-live date of Next J-GATE. Steady progress has been made on Next J-GATE, which is being developed to expand market liquidity and further improve reliability and convenience for investors, trading participants, and other market users.

DGCX launches Global Single Stock Futures
On January 15th, 2016 the Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX) introduced a new financial futures product for the local, regional and global investors under its equities asset class vertical. The product is called ‘Global Single Stock Futures’ which essentially mirrors the underlying prices of selected stocks from USA and India. Traders/investors can replicate Single Stock Futures for their usual stock trading strategies with the additional benefit of inbuilt leverage.


Poll shows Bloomberg has a good shot at becoming president
By Carl Campanile – NY Post
Mike Bloomberg has a better chance of becoming president as an independent candidate than most people realize, a new poll found Thursday.

Bloomberg run could boost Trump’s bid for White House: poll
A third-party presidential run by Michael Bloomberg would be a long shot for the former New York City mayor but could help real estate mogul Donald Trump if he lands the Republican nomination, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

Sanders Goes After Goldman Sachs in Latest Campaign Ad; The self-described democratic socialist’s ad also criticizes Wall Street speaking fees, an indirect swipe at Hillary Clinton.
Mark Niquette – Bloomberg
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is running a new television ad starting Friday singling out Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for its role in the 2008 financial crisis, as well as indirectly criticizing speaking fees accepted by Hillary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders to climate skeptic: ‘You’re wrong’
By Elizabeth Landers, CNN
Bernie Sanders has made fighting climate change a central part of his message, and he’s not about to hold back when challenged by someone who questions the scientific consensus that human-caused emissions are behind global warming — even if it’s a teenager.

5 signs that a politician is a narcissistic psychopath; It’s virtuous politicians who are most influential, a new study finds
By CATEY HILL – MarketWatch
What makes a politician successful: virtues like wisdom and courage, or vices like narcissism and psychopathy?

Dems to Bloomberg: Don’t run
By Alexander Bolton – The Hill
Senate Democrats say former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has almost no chance of winning the presidency if he mounts an independent run and would likely only act as a spoiler.

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

January Is Turning Out to Be the Kindest Month for Treasuries
Wes Goodman – Bloomberg
Treasures gain, Japan yields fall to records on BOJ rate cut
U.S. economic growth slowed to 0.8%, based on Bloomberg survey
Treasuries are rallying in January for a third year in a row.

This is how to diversify your investments as hedge funds do; Managed futures mutual funds enable you to bet for and against stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities
When you hear about George Soros or other hedge fund managers placing bets against a country’s currency and making a lot of money, do you get jealous?

George Soros can’t do to the yuan what he did to the British pound
By WILLIAM WATTS – MarketWatch
China seems afraid that George Soros and other speculators are ready to attack the yuan in the same fashion that made the billionaire hedge-fund pioneer world famous in 1992, when he famously “broke the Bank of England” by aggressively shorting the British pound.

Canary Wharf bond investors win payout for early redemption
By Lucy Burton – Financial News
A UK judge has ruled in favour of investors who argued Canary Wharf Group should give them £169 million compensation after the property firm redeemed some of its debt early.

U.S. economy likely hit a speed bump in fourth quarter
U.S. economic growth likely braked sharply in the fourth quarter as businesses doubled down on efforts to reduce an inventory glut and unseasonably mild weather cut into consumer spending on utilities and apparel.

5 things to know about negative interest rate policy; Bank of Japan cut its benchmark interest rate below zero for the first time
Ishan Bakshi – Business Standard
In a surprise move the Bank of Japan (BOJ) cut its benchmark interest rate below zero for the first time. The benchmark rate now stands at -0.1%. Business Standard explains what this means.

Reasons for the Fearful to Be Fearful of Gold
By Matthew A. Winkler – Bloomberg
The stock market’s worst January coincides with a chorus of predictions that the fall of gold has reached bottom from its lofty peak in 2011. Gold is the investment of the fearful, and there’s fear of just about everything from recession to terrorism. Indeed, gold rallied 6.3 percent during the past six weeks.

Hunt or Be Hunted Is New Face of European Investor Activism
Alex Webb – Bloomberg
Swedish investor Cevian is taking aim at ABB, Thyssenkrupp
Using the press as a megaphone “doesn’t pass unnoticed”
When Cevian Capital buys a stake in your company, you have a choice: Join the hunters or become the hunted.

Inherited IRAs may be factor in filing for bankruptcy
By Tim Grant – Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Pittsburgh lawyer Ron Roteman recently met with a client who wanted to have about $400,000 in debts wiped clean by declaring a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but after scanning the client’s balance sheet, Mr. Roteman knew right away he was better off not filing.

This Options Strategy Cushions the Blow of Freefalling S&P 500
Cecile Vannucci – Bloomberg
S&P 500 down 7.4 percent in January as volatility jumps
Buy-write strategy tends to perform better in such markets
Here’s a way traders are cushioning losses in the stock market: selling bullish options that are unlikely to get exercised.

Beware Banks Yielding Dividends
By Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg
Jan 29, 2016 3:52 AM CSTShareholders are finally looking forward to a reward for buying beaten-up European bank stocks. Lenders have shrunk balance sheets, bolstered capital and shunned complex risk — all while promising bigger dividend payments.

Banks & Brokers

Barclays faces ‘£1bn lawsuit’ over 2008 financial crisis deal; Lender believes claim made by instigator of £3.5bn deal with Abu Dhabi client to be ‘misconceived and without merit’
David Hellier – The Guardian
The dealmaker who played a key role in finding backers for Barclays’ emergency fundraising during the 2008 financial crisis has filed a lawsuit against the lender and is reportedly seeking nearly £1bn.

Tullett Prebon Increases Job Cuts at Brokerage Unit to 70 People
John Detrixhe – Bloomberg
Broker is reducing headcount in Europe and North America
Firm also said sales rose 13 percent to $1.1 billion last year
Tullett Prebon Plc, which is buying rival ICAP Plc’s voice-broking division, said it will reduce headcount in its interdealer business in Europe and North America by about 70 people, more than than the job cuts it announced in November.

Clearing & Settlement

OTC margin rules will hit the buy-side hardest, says panel; Introduction of new margin rules will be highly detrimental to the buy-side, according to an industry panel.
By Paul Walsh – The Trade News
The introduction of new margin requirements for OTC derivatives will impact the buy-side more than anyone else, according to a panel.

Bank of England to Explore Distributed Ledger Tech for Settlement
The Bank of England has indicated it will consider the impact of distributed ledgers as part of a plan to modernize the country’s settlement system. During a speech given at the Bank of England yesterday, Minouche Shafik, the central bank’s deputy governor for markets and banking, laid out a four-point vision for the initiative, which has the mandate to deliver goals by the end of this year, with technological development beginning in 2017.

SWIFT learning curve
Automated Trader
We don’t need no education as Pink Floyd famously sang. However you feel about the grammar or the sentiment, the industry is all for education this week: SWIFT Institute launched a competition for UK university students, Innotribe opened its Startup Challenge for Africa, and Taiwan and Singapore Exchanges announced a series of market education and awareness programmes as part of their cross border trading agreement.

Indexes & Products

ETF Providers Try New Strategies to Woo Nervous Investors; Managers of exchange-traded funds plan new products in the face of market downturn
As the stock market slides, some exchange-traded fund providers are trying to attract nervous investors with new strategies.

ETF assets hit record $2.2 trillion in 2015
Post Online Media
This is according to quarterly data by Broadridge Financial Solutions via its Fund Distribution Intelligence.

Five Unforgettable Quotes From the World’s Biggest ETF Conference; A frozen Fed, old people, and … beer pools?
Eric Balchunas – Bloomberg
Even the booming exchange-traded fund industry isn’t immune from the current market turmoil.

Top Three Questions About Japan’s Bond Market
Indexology – S&P Dow Jones Indices
The S&P Japan Bond Index gained 0.87% in 2015, benefiting from a rally in the last quarter. The index’s yield-to-maturity tightened by 15 bps to 0.24% in the same period. In government bonds, the S&P Japan Sovereign Bond Index outperformed and increased 1.04%. Within the corporate sectors, the S&P Japan Utilities Bond Index was up 0.95%, beating other sectors like financials, services, and industries.


Morgan Stanley scales back equities financial technology investing group: sources
Morgan Stanley (MS.N) has scaled back a group that invests in financial technology on behalf on the bank’s equities division, according to people familiar with the matter.

Wells Fargo, BofA look to integrate Apple Pay into ATMs – TechCrunch
Wells Fargo & Co and Bank of America Corp are working to integrate Apple Pay into their ATMs, TechCrunch reported.

RTGS, and the story of batches instead of blocks
Izabella Kaminska – FT
Here begins a tale of how the Bank of England’s settlement system got broken without anyone really noticing…
On October 20 2014, the BoE suffered an embarrassing collapse of its real-time gross settlements (RTGS) system, forcing it to revert to manual processing for large payments such as CHAPs for about a day.


Hedge Fund Manager Agrees to Reimburse Investor Losses
he Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that a Manhattan-based investment advisory firm and its Toronto-based hedge fund manager have agreed to settle charges that they misled investors about a fund’s investment strategy and historical performance. They will reimburse investors $2.877 million in losses.

Environmental & Energy

For Mining Chiefs, Doomsday Scenarios Could Become Reality; Copper, iron-ore prices approach levels described by executives as ‘doomsday’
Mining executives, welcome to your worst-case scenarios.

Oil price plunge spurs restructuring shift at Canada banks, law firms
The oil price crash of the past year and a half is forcing Canadian investment banks and corporate law firms that profited from mergers and acquisitions, and financing deals during good times to focus instead on restructuring and asset sale work.

Copenhagen set to divest from fossil fuels; The mayor of Denmark’s capital launches a push to withdraw the city’s £700m investment fund out of coal, oil and gas holdings
Arthur Neslen – The Guardian
Copenhagen’s mayor has announced plans to divest the city’s 6.9bn Krona (£700m) investment fund of all holdings in coal, oil and gas.

UAE banks on ‘rainmakers’ to secure future water supply
Suzanne Goldenberg in Abu Dhabi – The Guardian
As climate change makes the desert nation hotter and drier and a growing economy uses more water, the United Arab Emirates is giving £5m to international researchers finding ways to wring more moisture out of the clouds
On a winter morning in one of the world’s driest and most water-stressed countries, meteorologist Sufian Khaled Farrah watched on the Doppler radar screen as a cold, wet front scudded across the Arabian Gulf – and quickly called air traffic controllers.


Politics to blame for China stocks’ lost decades: James Saft
The huge and puzzling gap between China’s great long-term economic growth and the terrible performance of its stock market is significantly explained by politics. A new study finds a strong link between political connections and initial public offerings in China, one which is doing the average investor no favors.

Hundreds of Billions of Dollars Have Fled China. Now What?; China is seeing the largest episode of capital flight in history. That is bad news for other emerging markets
For lovers of dramatic numbers, China has long been a gift. The flood of cash leaving the country has produced another impressive statistic: We are witnessing the greatest episode of capital flight in history.

China’s Fraud Paper Trail Shows Flaws in Booming Funding System
Bloomberg News
Recent incidents at two Chinese banks highlight risks; China’s bank regulator pushing lenders to tighten controls
An archaic part of China’s banking system meant to provide short-term funding to companies is coming under renewed scrutiny after at least two cases of fraud were uncovered recently.

HKEx considers expanding cross-border stock connect to IPO market
Asia Asset Management – The Journal of Investments & Pensions
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx) is considering expanding the cross-border stock linkage between the Mainland and Hong Kong that allows investors in the two locations to access each other’s primary stock markets

Frontier Markets

BSE seeks Sebi nod to proceed with IPO; After Sebi’s go-ahead, BSE will be able to file its offer document and proceed with listing process
Business Standard
BSE Ltd, the country’s second-largest exchange in terms of volume, has written to market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) about its proposed initial public offering (IPO).

Can Angola’s New Steel Mill Save Its Economy? As Oil Prices Plunge, Luanda Looks To Diversify
IB Times
Angola’s first major steel mill aims to transform the quaint fishing and agriculture village of Barra do Dande into a bustling community. Since its official opening last month, the sprawling, privately owned factory is melting scrap metal into steel billets and rolling out rebar and wire rods, with the capacity to one day produce enough steel to meet Angola’s domestic demand.

Iran opportunities ‘too big to ignore’: CEO
Yahoo7 Finance Australia
Like any frontier or emerging market, investors need to be wary of value traps, and make sure that stockholders are aligned with investors. There are are lots of large conglomerates who don’t really care about the share price.

10 tips for investing in emerging markets
AFR Weekend
Investors seeking large exposure to Latin America, Brazil, parts of Africa or other frontier markets will not get it through emerging markets funds. About 65 per cent of the Emerging Markets index is based on equities in China, South Korea, Taiwan and India. An investment in emerging markets is increasingly a bet on Asia.


Was there ever a time when so few people controlled so much wealth?
Eoin Flaherty – The Guardian
Our objections to inequality, the report notes, are not driven simply by a desire to improve our own material standard of living. Rising inequality is one of the surest signs of the failure of economic growth to make things better for us all. The accompanying decline in the income shares of the bottom 50% since 2010 suggests that although governments across the world have been quick to tout their role in bringing about a global “recovery”, the rewards of that recovery have been very selectively spread.

‘He didn’t give a hoot in hell about anybody including his family’: Actor Richard Dreyfuss claims ‘sociopath’ Bernie Madoff didn’t care when both of his sons died
Actor Richard Dreyfuss said that he thinks Bernie Madoff is a sociopath and that he doesn’t think the fraudster cared when his sons died
The actor is starring in ABC’s Madoff mini-series as the convicted criminal
Dreyfuss said: ‘Nothing. Nothing penetrated him. And I think when his sons died, he went, “Oh, well”’
Award-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss has formed quite the opinion of fraudster Bernie Madoff.

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