First Read

Dodd-Frank in Action: Swap Dealer Risk Management Reviews
Doug Ashburn – JLN
The first few years after the signing of the Dodd-Frank Act, the the narrative was all about the future – how an estimated 400 rulemakings would be implemented and how participants would be affected.

The future is here, as financial entities begin grappling with the new regulations. One such newly-implemented rule requires swap dealers, major swap participants (SD/MSPs) and futures commission merchants (FCMs) to undergo risk management program reviews. If you are keeping score at home, the SD/MSP reviews are required under CFTC Reg. 23.600 and for FCMs, it is CFTC Reg. 1.11.

Jim Falvey, veteran derivatives attorney, now a regulatory compliance manager at McGladrey, was part of a team that just completed such a review, for a U.S. swap dealer, and he shares a few of his insights from the front lines. He says that the clock starts ticking based on the end of an entity’s fiscal year, and the annual report must be completed no later than 60 days after the end of the fiscal year. Though the regulations do not require the use of a third party such as McGladrey to conduct the annual review and testing, if a third party is not used, it should be done by “qualified internal audit staff that are independent.”

Read the rest of the column, including the steps involved in a review, plus a few tips, tricks and lessons learned from the first round of reviews, on JohnLothianNews.com

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Tech Surge: Nasdaq’s Lars Ottersgard on New Developments in the Technology Space
JohnLothianNews.com

Nasdaq, the world’s first electronic stock market, is almost synonymous with technology, from listings to licensing. John Lothian News spoke with Lars Ottersgard, head of market technology at Nasdaq, at FIA Boca, about what they are providing to marketplaces, brokers, and corporates, and the areas of growth he sees in the tech sector.
Watch the video »
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Workers Seeking Productivity in a Pill Are Abusing A.D.H.D. Drugs
NYTimes.com
jlne.ws/1aJ1MPf

***** Kids were abusing it to stay focused in school. Now adults are using it to compete in the real world. Is this the competitive advantage drug on Wall Street?

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Let’s not race Indiana to the bottom
By JOE CAHILL
A couple of business moves announced yesterday neatly trace the diverging economic paths of Illinois and Indiana. A Chicago-based shelving manufacturer said it plans to open a facility in Gary, Ind. Esdal Manufacturing is the latest in a series of small industrial companies to see green in the brownfields of northwest Indiana…
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***** The workforce of tomorrow is a key competitive advantage for Illinois.

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Leo Melamed: a life in futures, a debt to the past
By SHIA KAPOS , Crain’s Chicago Business
Leo Melamed was 7 when he and his family fled Poland to escape the Nazis. They traveled to Lithuania, where a Japanese consular official defied government orders by issuing a coveted travel visa that allowed them to immigrate to the United States.
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***** There are stories you don’t mind hearing over and over again.The courage of the Melamed family to find freedom is a remarkable one that ultimately helped shape our modern financial markets.

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Bloomberg Americas Monetary Summit
Bloomberg LP
Michael R. Bloomberg will host Bloomberg’s first-ever Americas Monetary Summit, featuring Central Bank leaders from Canada, Chile, Colombia, Peru and the United States. Brazil’s Finance Minister will also speak. These policy makers will share their economic forecasts for 2015-2016, and strategies to boost growth, handle inflation and create more jobs amid a shifting global environment.
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***DA: The event is today, from 8:15-11 am EST so, basically, as soon as you get this newsletter. Streaming live.

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Lead Stories

OCC owners want dibs on half the pie
By LYNNE MAREK, Crain’s Chicago Business
Options Clearing Corp. has acted as a low-fee industry uti-lity in processing options trades for 42 years. Now the exchanges that own the Chicago-based company are demanding a raise. OCC Executive Chairman Craig Donohue won regulators’ initial approval of a deal that calls on the four exchange owners, including Chicago-based CBOE Holdings, to bolster the clearing company’s weak capital reserves with $150 million; in return, they’ll have dibs on half the company’s profit…
jlne.ws/1HL0C38

**** See our story from December, “The Road Ahead: Donohue Leads OCC In A New And Pricier Era” here

Jon Corzine Considers Launching Hedge Fund; Plan would mark return to finance for embattled former MF Global CEO
By JULIE STEINBERG and ROB COPELAND, WSJ
Jon S. Corzine, the embattled former MF Global Holdings Ltd. chief executive and ex-chairman of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., has discussed plans to start his own hedge fund in recent months, according to people familiar with the matter.
jlne.ws/1zB4k8u

***** Give me your entry for a top ten list, “Jon Corzine Considers……”

Clearing houses hit back at European plans
Philip Stafford, FT.com
A group of seven European derivatives exchanges operators have hit back at regulators’ plans to give investors greater choice to trading futures and options, saying law drafts underplay risks to financial stability.
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Cargill guards private life in 150th year
Gregory Meyer in New York and Neil Hume in London, FT
When the largest shareholder in Cargill wanted out, management drew up a spreadsheet with 13 possible options.
jlne.ws/1JkAiuI

For short-sellers in U.S. stocks, the agony just piles on
BY JENNIFER ABLAN AND DAVID GAFFEN, Reuters
In January 2014, veteran short-seller Bill Fleckenstein said he was readying a new fund to bet on falling stock prices. More than a year later, he’s still waiting to launch that fund. Despite lackluster U.S. economic data, a world grappling with slow growth, concern that Greece and Ukraine could default on their debts, the U.S. stock market has been more than resilient. Even after a selloff on Friday, major indices are less than two percent from all-time highs and volatility measurements have been close to their lowest levels for 2015.
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Just How Leaky Is the Fed? More Than You May Realize
by Alan Katz, Bloomberg
The leak came from the inner sanctum of Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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World Braces for Taper Tantrum II Even as Yellen Soothes Nerves
by Simon Kennedy, Andrew Mayeda, Bloomberg
The world economy is about to discover if to be forewarned by the Federal Reserve is to be forearmed.
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Swiss Franc Antics Threaten Banks’ Grip on Currency Trading
by John Detrixhe, Gavin Finch, Stephen Morris, Bloomberg
The grip of the world’s biggest banks on the $5.3-trillion-a-day currency market is under attack.
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Some banks tried to renege on deals after SNB’s policy U-turn-Bloomberg
Reuters
After the Swiss National Bank abandoned its price cap on the franc in January, some dealers such as Bank of America Corp, Barclays Plc and Goldman Sachs Group Inc approached customers about changing some trades, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the discussions.
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World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Seeks One Dark Pool to Cut Costs
by Jonas O Bergman, Saleha Mohsin, Bloomberg
Norway’s $890 billion wealth fund is taking the rare step of publicly criticizing the proliferation of dark pools, arguing the world’s biggest investors only need one such platform.
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Twitter Exec Who Oversaw Pre-IPO Trading Joins Battery East
by Telis Demos, WSJ
Another public-company executive is heading back into private markets.
Nils Erdmann, the former Twitter Inc. head of investor relations, who had helped manage the company’s pre-IPO stock trading, will join Duncan Niederauer, the former NYSE chief executive, at San Francisco-based Battery East LLC.
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Hillary Clinton Hiring of C.F.O. Is Called Signal to Possible Donors
By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and AMY CHOZICK, NY Times
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s recruitment of Gary Gensler, a former top federal Wall Street regulator, as her campaign’s chief financial officer was meant to show donors she is serious about avoiding the overspending that plagued her 2008 presidential campaign, according to people briefed on the matter.
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Derivatives squabble reaches crunch point
ByJames Rundle, Financial News
Tempers are beginning to fray in the derivatives industry. This month, the boss of one of the biggest US trading venues spoke publicly of the power of the US authorities to retaliate against European institutions, and the head of an international trade body made soothing noises about flexibility.
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Regulatory

Mutual funds oppose variation margin use in clearinghouse recovery
MLex
Regulators should not allow variation margin payments to be tapped to help clearinghouses recover from a crisis, a mutual fund group said.
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Mexico unveils new swaps rules to boost transparency
Reuters
Mexico’s central bank on Friday unveiled new rules aimed at limiting risk in the swaps market, despite concerns the measures could push trades into the United States where such instruments are subject to less oversight.
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Pimco Urges Basel to Fix Rules Before Swaps Market Disruption
by Matthew Leising, Bloomberg
Pacific Investment Management Co. is urging regulators to rethink bank-capital requirements because they threaten market stability.
jlne.ws/1GbPZqD

CFTC member urges much tighter oversight of retail foreign-exchange swaps
MLex
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission should monitor retail foreign-exchange derivatives more closely than it does the rest of the swaps market following FXCM’s near-collapse, Commissioner Sharon Bowen said.
jlne.ws/1zBoXBx

EU prepares rules for tackling failed financial firms outside banking
BY HUW JONES, Reuters
The European Union is looking at creating rules on how to deal with financial firms outside the banking industry that run into trouble, including clearing houses, insurers and asset managers, the EU’s financial services chief said on Friday.
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Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) Rulemaking and National Market System (NMS) Plans
SEC

  • BYX: Order Granting Approval of a Proposed Rule Change to Amend Rules 11.9, 11.12, and 11.13 of BATS Y-Exchange, Inc. (Release No. 34-74739; File No. SR-BYX-2015-07; April 16, 2015)

 

  • CME: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Regarding Liquidity Risk Management (Release No. 34-74761; File No. SR-CME-2015-013)

 

  • EDGA: Notice of Designation of Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, to Amend Rules 11.6, 11.8, 11.9, 11.10 and 11.11 of EDGA Exchange, Inc. (Release No. 34-74763; File No. SR-EDGA-2015-10)

 

  • EDGX: Notice of Designation of Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, to Amend Rules 11.6, 11.8, 11.9, 11.10 and 11.11 of EDGX Exchange, Inc. (Release No. 34-74762; File
  • MIAX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Establish the MIAX Order Feed (Release No. 34-74759; File No. SR-MIAX-2015-28)
  • MIAX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Amend Its Fee Schedule (Release No. 34-74758; File No. SR-MIAX-2015-27); see also Exhibit 5
  • NYSEMKT: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Modifying the NYSE Amex Options Fee Schedule Relating to the Amex Customer Engagement Program (Release No. 34-74760; File No. SR-NYSEMKT-2015-29); see also Exhibit 5
  • OCC: Order Approving Proposed Rule Change Concerning the Execution of an Agreement for Clearing and Settlement Services between OCC and NASDAQ Futures, Inc. (Release No. 34-74747; File No. SR-OCC-2015-03; April 16, 2015)
  • Phlx: Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 and Designation of Longer Period for Commission Action on Proceedings to Determine Whether to Approve or Disapprove Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 2, to Adopt New Exchange Rule 1081, Solicitation Mechanism, to Introduce a New Electronic Solicitation Mechanism (Release No. 34-74746; File No. SR-Phlx-2014-66; April 16, 2015); see also Exhibit 5
    Staff Interpretations
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    ASIC consults on repealing redundant ASIC class orders
    ASIC
    ASIC has today released a consultation paper proposing to repeal 59 class orders that are due to expire between 2015 and 2022. ASIC proposes to repeal these class orders as in our view they no longer serve a regulatory purpose.
    jlne.ws/1OxDeWz

    Regulatory Relief for Banks That Rarely Fail
    By GRETCHEN MORGENSON, NY Times
    Rolling back regulations created after the 2008 crisis has been Job 1 for leaders of many of the nation’s large and powerful banking institutions. So it’s no surprise that recent proposals for regulatory reform in the financial industry have overwhelmingly been the work of big banks or their supporters. The bankers want to return to the days when they could roll the dice, pocket their winnings and rely on the taxpayer if something went wrong.
    jlne.ws/1Iv2RWd

    Quicken Strikes Back, Suing DOJ and HUD Over Investigations;Detroit lender alleges it’s a target of a political agenda, being pressured to settle fraud cases
    By JOE LIGHT, WSJ
    Long on the attack in mortgage-fraud cases, the U.S. government now finds itself the defendant in a lawsuit brought by one of the country’s largest consumer lenders.
    jlne.ws/1yJc8dr

    Exchanges & Trading Facilities

    Performance Bond Requirements: Nymex New Products – April 17, 2015
    CME Group
    jlne.ws/1bddm5N

    RTL Group SA: Extraordinary dividend
    Eurex
    On 15 April 2015, the annual general meeting of the company RTL Group S.A. decided to pay an extraordinary dividend of EUR 1.00 per share in addition to the regular dividend of EUR 2.50.
    jlne.ws/1H7ohf3

    HKFE Announces Revised Margins for Futures Contracts
    HKEx
    jlne.ws/1D5bAtz

    SGX and Chengdu Municipal Finance Affairs Office collaborate on listings
    SGX
    Singapore Exchange (SGX) and the Chengdu Municipal Finance Affairs Office (Chengdu FAO) announced today that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to cooperate on facilitating capital raising by companies from Chengdu on SGX.
    jlne.ws/1GafF4c

    Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

    The Biggest Threat To Your Portfolio
    by Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker
    Last night at the Nasdaq Marketsite, Mark Hulbert and I served on a panel discussion entitled Defend Yourself: Top threats to investors in 2015. The event was organized by MarketWatch and we spoke to a standing-room only crowd of over a hundred individual investors, Dow Jones journalists and other financial industry folks.
    jlne.ws/1E0YKBv

    When a hedge fund’s approach breaks the rules
    By Stefanie Eschenbacher, Financial News
    A hedge fund manager meets an investor at the drinks reception of a crowded conference. After a brief conversation, the investor becomes interested in finding out more and they swap business cards. The following week, the investor emails the hedge fund manager and after a few months of discussions and due diligence ends up investing in the fund.
    jlne.ws/1DD3UlW

    Hedge Funds Hawk Single-Bet Deals; Fees are lower, money is locked up longer in special co-investments
    By ROB COPELAND
    It is the gold-plated equivalent of a late-night infomercial: a special deal for hedge-fund investors willing to act fast.
    jlne.ws/1OxHqpr

    Investors must look beyond US assets
    Russ Koesterich, FT
    Over the past six years investors have been rewarded for adopting a consistent and simple strategy: overweight the US. For most of this period, a straightforward 60/40 blend of US stocks and bonds has outperformed most other asset allocations.
    jlne.ws/1D5PVCB

    Trend is your friend, say investors flocking to futures
    Stephen Foley in New York, FTY
    The trend, they say, is your friend. Following the crowd in financial markets has been a successful investment strategy over the long run, since asset classes that start to go up, continue going up more than they go down, and vice versa.
    jlne.ws/1HKUZBL

    Banks & Brokers

    UBS Exiting U.S. Automated Options Market-Making Business; The bank will continue other aspects of its options trading business
    By SARAH KROUSE and SAUMYA VAISHAMPAYAN, NY Times
    The Swiss bank has contacted clients and options exchanges in the U.S. this week to notify them of the change, the people said.
    jlne.ws/1J0IC6m

    Neonet to provide access to Oslo Bors new North Sea dark pool
    Automated Trader
    Neonet, the independent agency broker and execution provider, has announced that it will be an early adopter of and provide its clients with access to North Sea, the re-launched dark pool functionality from Oslo Børs. This includes fully integrated DMA, Smart Order Router and algorithm support. North Sea will allow Oslo Børs members to execute larger orders, at mid-price, in a dark pool, in an exchange regulated environment. The new version of North Sea is launched today, 20th April 2015.
    jlne.ws/1HKX3tC

    Former MF Global CEO Corzine considers launching hedge fund-WSJ.com
    Reuters
    Jon Corzine, the former chief executive of bankrupt financial services firm MF Global, is considering starting his own hedge fund, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday on its online edition, citing people familiar with the matter.
    jlne.ws/1Q9kvV5

    JPMorgan’s Japan Head of Equity Research Jesper Koll Resigns
    by Anna Kitanaka, Toshiro Hasegawa, Bloomberg
    Jesper Koll is leaving JPMorgan Chase & Co. after running the firm’s equity-research team in Tokyo for more than five years.
    jlne.ws/1yKms4V

    Goldman Sachs Utters the Deplorable Word
    by John Carney, WSJ
    “Trade” is a loaded word, at least if you’re Goldman Sachs .
    The investment house appears to have banished the word from its earnings reports sometime around 2011. In prior years, Goldman regularly reported revenues from “trading.” It had an entire division it called Trading and Principal Investments. In 2010, “trading” was mentioned in the firm’s quarterly reports nine times.
    jlne.ws/1JkC1QQ

    Deutsche Bank prepares to spin off Postbank
    James Shotter in Frankfurt, FT
    Deutsche Bank is preparing to divest its Postbank retail operation in the latest strategy overhaul by a big global bank in response to sluggish markets and a welter of tough new regulations since the financial crisis.
    jlne.ws/1DZpen3

    Clearing & Settlement

    Companies Join Forces to Fight Hackers
    WSJ
    “It’s an arms race between attackers and defenders,” says Mark Clancy, chief information-security officer at securities-clearing firm Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. (DTCC) and the head of Soltra, a joint venture overseeing a platform that makes information-sharing easier. By banding together, companies can tip each other off about specific threats and vulnerabilities discovered within their networks, he says, “decreasing the cost of their defense while raising the cost of their attackers.”
    jlne.ws/1yK4ajY

    Cross-border yuan transactions forecast to soar
    Cross-border transactions in the mainland currency are expected to more than double in five years, says survey of multinational firms.
    jlne.ws/1D5bsu4

    Modernisation of the payments system
    International Law Office
    Later this year amendments to the Canadian Payments Act are expected to come into effect which will significantly change the manner in which the Canadian Payments Association (CPA) is governed. The CPA is an association created by statute and operated by its members which has the mandate of running a national payment clearing and settlement system. At present, the payment systems run by the CPA clear and settle the vast majority of payment items in Canada.
    jlne.ws/1IlLqri

    Indexes & Products

    Does Your Mutual Fund Own Too Much Apple?
    Barron’s
    Apple constitutes 3.9% of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, which means money managers who track their performance against the S&P take a big risk if they don’t own a similar weighting. Apple looms even larger for technology fund managers who compete against the Powershares QQQ ETF (QQQ), in which the stock has a 14% weighting. Even investors looking for broad diversification have to account for Apple; it constitutes 3.3% of the Russell 3000.
    jlne.ws/1HKXtQI

    Finding the 84% of Stock Market Value That Most Investors Ignore
    Equities.com Global Financial Community
    For the S&P500 equity index, 84% of the market value is “intangible” – from assets not captured on the balance sheet, like human capital – while only 16% is “tangible” – cash, receivables, plant, property, equipment, inventory, which we all learned in Accounting 101.
    jlne.ws/1HKXG6w

    Biotech Has More Room to Run
    Indexology – S&P Dow Jones Indices
    S&P Capital IQ equity analyst Jeff Loo expects approximately a dozen drugs to be approved and launched in 2015 with the potential to achieve blockbuster sales levels of more than $1 billion annually by their fifth year after launch (2020). Total sales for the seven biotech companies in the S&P 500 rose 41.5 % in 2014, driven by new drug approvals, and sales growth of 122%. In 2015, our forecasted rate of increase moderates to 13.2%, nonetheless, an impressive rate, in our view. Loo projects gross margin for those seven S&P 500 constituents, to widen to 89.8% in 2015, from 88.6% in 2014.
    jlne.ws/1HKYcBx

    Technology

    Fintech Startups Navigate Legal Gray Areas To Build Billion-Dollar Companies
    TechCrunch
    Innovation, growth, technology, user experience, revenue and gross margin have become synonymous with how you define success for a tech startup. What is missing from this list is local, state, and federal regulation; terms that startups in the financial technology sector understand far too well as either barriers to or catalysts for growth and early success.
    jlne.ws/1HKYAju

    How a single computer system failure halted global financial markets
    PBS
    Bloomberg’s financial terminal, a popular software platform used by investors to trade stocks, exchange messages and gather news on companies, crashed early this morning and the global financial sector came to a momentary halt.
    jlne.ws/1Gaiz9d

    Why Hong Kong lags the world in fintech
    Economic Journal
    Although Hong Kong is a global financial hub, the development of fintech in the city lags the world. The Hong Kong Economic Journal’s StartUpBeat jointly organized the Internet Finance Technology Summit on Wednesday last week with the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer to discuss the problem.
    jlne.ws/1HKYsQQ

    Volante Technologies launches VolPay Foundation
    Volante Technologies
    Designed to expedite payment integration projects, speed-up client on-boarding and deliver a quicker time to new revenue streams for end-users
    Volante Technologies, a global leader in the provision of financial message and data integration, validation and processing software, today announced the launch of VolPay Foundation.
    jlne.ws/1D5Gbs3

    BOM Capital Selects SunGard’s Investran to Help Enhance Venture Capital and Private Equity Investment Insight and Performance
    Brabant Development Agency Capital
    Brabant Development Agency Capital (BOM Capital), an investment management company focused on strengthening the regional economic structure in the Province of Noord-Brabant, The Netherlands – one of the most innovative regions in the European Union – has chosen Investran, SunGard’s integrated private equity solution, to help enhance data and investment transparency across front- and back-office stakeholders and processes.
    (No Link)

    OptionsCity Software Attracts Industry Veteran to Head Global Sales Team
    OptionsCity Software
    OptionsCity Software, a global provider of electronic trading solutions for professional futures and options traders, today announced that Dan Rooney joined the company as the Vice President of Global Sales. At OptionsCity, Rooney will lead the company’s global sales force in Chicago, New York and London and be responsible for maintaining and growing the company’s broad client base. Rooney will also bring broad-based industry knowledge to OptionsCity’s leadership team, helping to define and execute the company’s strategic vision.
    jlne.ws/1HnwoCH

    MtGox ‘lost coins’ long before collapse
    Ben McLannahan in New York, FT
    MtGox, once the world’s most popular venue for trading and storing bitcoin, was in effect insolvent long before it collapsed, according to a report that claims thieves were routinely stealing the digital currency from its thinly protected vaults.
    jlne.ws/1G95xZu

    Enforcement

    Morgan Stanley, New York Talk $500 Million Mortgage-Bond Pact; Deal to include consumer relief, some cash
    By JUSTIN BAER And ARUNA VISWANATHA, WSJ
    Morgan Stanley is in talks to pay about $500 million to settle a probe by New York’s attorney general into whether the Wall Street firm misled investors in mortgage bonds that cratered during the financial crisis, people familiar with the matter said.
    jlne.ws/1J29pPv

    CFTC Charges Matthew J. Marcus and His California Company, Tech Power, Inc., and John D. Briner and His Canadian Law Firm, MetroWest Law Corp., with a Money Pass Scheme Involving More than 1,200 Single Stock Futures Trades
    CFTC
    The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that it filed a civil enforcement action in federal court in Chicago against Matthew J. Marcus of California and his company, Tech Power, Inc. (Tech Power), a Nevada corporation located in California, and John D. Briner, an attorney residing in Vancouver, Canada, and his company, MetroWest Law Corporation (MetroWest), a Canadian law firm. The CFTC Complaint charges the four Defendants with engaging in fictitious single stock futures transactions on OneChicago LLC (OneChicago) and trading non-competitively.
    jlne.ws/1HKQnfd

    Environmental & Energy

    Carbon reserves held by top fossil fuel companies soar
    By Damian Carrington – The Guardian
    The carbon locked up in coal, oil and gas reserves owned by the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies has swollen by 10% in the last five years, despite warnings from the World Bank and others that most existing reserves cannot safely be burned.
    jlne.ws/1aJwvvy

    Here’s What China Closing Coal-Power Plants Means for Emissions
    Bloomberg News
    China’s recent scrapping of small coal plants will avoid the release of as much as 11.4 million metric tons annually of climate-warming carbon dioxide, helping the country cut emissions for the first time in more than a decade.
    jlne.ws/1HKiUl4

    G7 agrees greater role for climate change in foreign policy
    BusinessGreen
    Last week’s meeting of foreign ministers from the leading group of countries ended with a pledge for a strong joint commitment to addressing climate risks, as recommended by a report presented to the meeting.
    jlne.ws/1F59QGy

    Asia-Pacific

    Temasek Succession Plans Under Scrutiny as Ho Takes Leave
    Bloomberg Business
    Temasek Holdings Pte Chief Executive Officer Ho Ching’s three-month sabbatical raises the question that’s been asked repeatedly in the past six years: who will steer Singapore’s investment mothership when she eventually leaves?
    jlne.ws/1HL1FzZ

    Fund managers bet they can get out before stock market bubble bursts
    South China Morning Post
    Bubbles are a bit like the weather: everyone complains but no one does anything about them. That’s one interpretation of the most recent survey of fund managers by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which found growing conviction that both global stocks and bonds are over-valued and that “equity bubbles” represent the biggest tail-risk they face. The proportion who think both stocks and bonds are overvalued, compared to those who don’t, is the biggest since at least 2003, when the data begins.
    jlne.ws/1HKUXdl

    The TV show that makes a stock market drop
    CNBC
    When this Hong Kong actor appears on the silver screen, watch out for a possible selloff in the Hang Seng. The index’s recent rally to seven-year highs could abruptly pull back on Tuesday after the television drama “The Greed of Man” from the local TVB network reairs in Hong Kong at 12:15 a.m. local time (12:15 p.m. Monday ET).
    jlne.ws/1GaifqP

    Japan Exchange Group: Opening Of Singapore Branch
    MondoVisione
    Today, Japan Exchange Group, Inc. announced that subsidiaries Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc. and Osaka Exchange, Inc. will open a branch office in Singapore on May 1, 2015. The branch will replace the current representative office in the city.
    jlne.ws/1F6bpUF

    China Drafts Rules for IPO Plans to Be Vetted by Stock Exchanges
    Bloomberg
    China’s government has drafted rules for companies’ applications for initial public offerings to be reviewed by the nation’s two stock exchanges, rather than regulators, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Monday.
    jlne.ws/1HKTyTS

    China Not Trying to Chill Red-Hot Stock Market, Says Regulator; Analysts say statement highlights dilemma facing the China Securities Regulatory Commission
    By SHEN HONG, WSJ
    A day after it warned small investors about trading risks and expanded the use of a mechanism investors can use to bet against stocks, China’s securities regulator moved to allay fears that it wants to kill a breathtaking rally in the country’s stock market.
    jlne.ws/1D56qh2

    Philippines’ bourse ponders future
    FinanceAsia.com
    Trading at a forward price-earnings ratio of 20 times, the Philippine Stock Exchange is one of the most expensive equity markets in the Asia-Pacific region
    jlne.ws/1HL2skn

    Non-Chinese companies warm to renminbi
    Roger Blitz, FT
    Non-Chinese companies are increasingly using the renminbi as an international currency and expect to more than double the volume of transactions in the next five years, despite several obstacles, according to research.
    jlne.ws/1D3PK9A

    Frontier Markets

    China Readies for Islamic Finance With a Little Help From Gulf
    Bloomberg Business
    The most populous country in the world may be poised to get serious about Islamic finance, and banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council are taking note. Qatar International Islamic Bank QSC and QNB Capital LLC last week signed an agreement with China-based Southwest Securities Co. to develop Shariah-compliant finance products in the country.
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    Egyptian Exchange Chairman Dr. Mohammad Omran Participates In The (IIF) Round Circle During The International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings In Washington
    MondoVisione
    Dr. Mohammad Omran, Chairman of the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) participated in the event organized by the Institute of International Finance (IIF) which subordinates to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to discuss the funds flows of the global and emerging markets on the sidelines of the IMF’ spring meetings held in Washington DC on 19 April 2015.
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    Dubai International Financial Centre Delegation Visits India To Explore Ways To Boost Partnerships, Consolidate Trade Ties
    MondoVisione
    In a bid to strengthen the trade partnership between the UAE and India, a high-profile delegation from Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) visited Mumbai, India’s financial nerve-centre. During the visit, the delegation explored and identified new investment opportunities for businesses and organisations that can support and encourage the economic growth of both India and the UAE.
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    Sensex, Nifty record biggest single-day drop in 3 weeks
    Business Standard
    The 30-share Sensex provisionally ended down 556 points at 27,886 and the 50-share Nifty ended down 162 points at 8,444.
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    Don’t buy gold on Akshaya Tritiya; Purchase a coin as token otherwise given gold’s bleak outlook for some time, it doesn’t make sense to invest or buy it
    Priya Nair, Business Standard
    This year, clients of Bengaluru-based financial planner Anil Rego have not yet asked him for advice on whether they should buy gold on Akshaya Tritiya. Given Indians’ general love for gold, this lack of interest might seem surprising as the festival, on the coming Tuesday, is considered an auspicious occasion to buy gold. Or, maybe not, given how returns from gold have fallen over the past couple of years.
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    The 1.37 lakh people who will benefit from NSEL-FTIL merger; NSEL’s ambitious pay-off plan will serve far less people than the 137,665 shareholders who will benefit from the merger
    N Sundaresha Subramanianf, Business Standard
    Why FTIL-NSEL merger is not an injustice to minority investors
    A spirited campaign is underway against the government move to bring an end to the National Spot Exchange crisis that has hit the financial community badly over the past couple of years. The government move under companies act involves various sections governing forced mergers, superseding the board etc.
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    Miscellaneous

    Section 475(e) or (f) revocation is now an automatic change; 5-year waiting period to re-elect mark-to-market treatment
    By Brian Blacklaw, Ben Wasmuth & Adam Spense, McGladrey
    The IRS has announced changes to the manner through which mark-to-market elections are revoked. Taxpayers that had made or were thinking of making a mark-to-market election under either section 475(e) or 475(f) found that the process to revoke this election was expensive and by no means guaranteed. Prior to the change, taxpayers wishing to revoke their ordinary mark-to-market accounting election needed advance consent from the IRS, which required a user fee as high as $7,000. The new process, as outlined in Rev. Proc. 2015-14, is relatively simple and painless. Advance consent and the attendant user fee are no longer required.
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