First Read

“You Can Close your Eyes” – an Appeal from Mark Spanbroek
John Lothian News – Giving News
Most of you know what this message is about. October is the month for breast cancer awareness and to raise money for its research. I am walking again this year for A Sisters Hope during the first weekend in October, for the 9th time, to support this much needed research. Over the last 8 years I raised with your support just over EUR 300.000, and this year I would like to increase this number again with your support.

‘Why still support breast cancer research’ you may ask? Every child needs a mother and not just for the first 9 years of its life. This is how old my son was when his mum passed away. Also every mum by nature needs to see her child grow up. This is my one and only reason to walk and to prevent this to happen to other kids and mums.
Please support me before October 3 through and state my participant number 1257.

Read the rest of Spanbroek’s appeal at
***DA: Spanbroek is acting chairman of the FIA European Principal Traders Association and also serves as the chairman of CME Europe. He will also be speaking at this year’s MarketsWiki Education London series in a couple weeks.


2015 Investment Industry Summits – October 6 (Chicago) and October 7 (New York)
2015 Investment Industry Summits
Join McGladrey’s financial services practice, leaders from alternative investment and private equity firms, broker-dealers, institutional investors and key industry influencers to explore the challenges, opportunities and trends facing firms like yours today.

***DA: Information and registration for these free events HERE (Chicago) and HERE (New York)


From Bunkers to Brews: Getting to Know Wedbush Futures
TradeTalk by Trading Technologies
The Chicago summer is in the back nine, but golf season is still in full swing. After all the strokes were tallied at the Trading Technologies golf outing at Chicago’s own Ridgemoor Country Club, I had the privilege of sitting down over a pint at the 19th hole with industry veteran Carl Gilmore, co-head of futures for Wedbush Futures.

***** Did Gilmore use his golf clubs he bought at the auction of Russ Wasendorf’s assets?


MarketsWiki Education London 2015

Is Photography the Best Deal in the Art Market?; Examining 10 years of auction data from Artnet Analytics.
James Tarmy – Bloomberg
Next week Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips will hold photography auctions in New York, where original prints by some of the most famous and influential artists of the 20th century will be available for purchase. Beyond the quality of the material—there are some stunning examples of early photographs from Karl Struss and Heinrich Kühn— the auctions are notable for being remarkably, improbably, cheap.

****** Good investment, but what about liquidity?


Living the Legacy: Chicago Economics through the Years
Becker Friedman Institute
A panel of eminent members of the Department of Economics faculty—each a part of the University of Chicago economic history themselves—will share experiences, memories, influences, and insider views of the unique approach and environment that gave rise to Chicago economics and its world-changing ideas. The panel will be moderated by Lars Peter Hansen.
October 5, 2015, 4:30pm – 6:30pm at The Logan Center for the Arts

***** You had me at eminent.


What IS a Self-Trade, Anyway?
FIA Principal Traders Group
In the Joint Staff Report on the U.S. Treasury Market on October 15, 2014, the authors noted that there was a higher than usual level of self-trading during the period of market volatility. Although we haven’t seen the data, according to the report, many principal traders stayed engaged in the market on October 15 while many banks withdrew for periods of time. So it would seem logical that, with fewer market participants, there was a higher probability of self-trades.

****** Can you do a self-trade with a selfie stick?


John Avery, SunGard – Financial Technology: An Innovative Career Choice

“The cost to comply with all of that [post-2008] regulation has actually forced firms to reduce what they spend on revenue generating opportunities… That’s created a situation where revenue growth hasn’t been as dramatic or as aggressive as it has been in the past.”

From incubators to hackathons, from the buy-side to the sell-side, fintech is consistently finding new places and avenues to develop. For John Avery of SunGard, that represents an opportunity to find technological solutions to industry-wide problems — the sort of redundant occurrences that drain a company’s coffers and employees’ time that could have been spent on innovation.

In this video Avery shares his experience rolling with the punches in a fintech career that featured the decision to choose Wall Street over Silicon Valley, a big firm over a small firm and selling over building the future.

Watch the video at »

“How Should We Measure Futures Investment Performance?”
Featuring presentations by Hilary Till (Premia Capital Management LLC), Galen Burghardt (COEX Partners Inc.), Mark Shore (Shore Capital Research LLC), and Jerry Nolan (County Cork LLC). Monday, October 12 – 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM (lunch provided), Illini Center (Illinois Room, 4th floor), 200 South Wacker Drive, Chicago. Hosted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. No charge for this event, but registration is required:

Lead Stories

Old engine of Wall Street is sputtering
Ben McLannahan, FT
You can imagine teams of bank regulators in the US punching the air at Jefferies’ feeble third-quarter profits when they were announced last month. Net income at the Wall Street bank dropped 98 per cent from the same period a year earlier, as it slashed the carrying value of big inventories of energy bonds.

CME ordered to tell judge names of alleged spoofers in HTG case
Bloomberg via Crain’s Chicago Business
CME Group Inc., the world’s largest futures market, must reveal the identities of customers suspected of manipulating markets, part of a legal battle against “spoofing” begun by one of Chicago’s best-known trading firms.

Markets: Can they really be tamed?
Robin Wigglesworth, FT
Cobras are revered in Indian culture, but the British Raj took a dimmer view of the poisonous snake. Officials promised a lucrative reward for every dead serpent — a scheme that, according to economic lore, backfired horribly.

Glencore cotton deal comes unstitched
Gregory Meyer in New York, FT
Glencore failed to deliver about 3m pounds of cotton owed to rival commodities trader Noble Agri earlier this year and may have to pay a financial penalty over the lapse, industry executives said.

Questions About Leak at Federal Reserve Escalate to Insider-Trading Probe; Firm at center of probe says it is a media organization with special legal protections
A high-profile investigation into a leak of sensitive information from the Federal Reserve in 2012 has escalated into an insider-trading probe led by a key market surveillance agency and federal prosecutors in Manhattan, according to people familiar with the matter.

Aggressive HFT and Institutional Trading Activity – Who Leads Market Crashes?
Traders News
What happened on the “crash” of August 24, 2015 and what role did HFT firms play? The authors look at the data in this Traders Insight.

Uncertainty is the Watchword for Global Markets; The third quarter was grim for many markets mainly because investor confidence took a series of hits. That means a higher risk premium on assets.
Sometimes, investors are their own worst enemies. That certainly appears to have been the case in the third quarter of 2015, which many in markets will be glad to see the back of.

The credit bubble, the bears and the central bankers
Gillian Tett, FT
When officials at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank first decided to hold this year’s annual meeting in Peru, some hoped that the location would offer a celebratory backdrop.

ConAgra moving HQ to Chicago, changing cities as it faces changing tastes
Greg Trotter and Kim Janssen, Chicago Tribune
ConAgra CEO says moving HQ from Omaha to Chicago part of plan to reinvigorate brands, save money.

Banks Finalize $1.86 Billion Credit-Swaps Settlement; Suit claimed banks conspired to prevent competition
Wall Street’s biggest banks have agreed to pay $1.86 billion to settle accusations that they conspired to prevent competition in the credit-derivatives markets, according to plaintiff lawyers in the private lawsuit.

Trading legend Dauphin leaves void at Trafigura
When Claude Dauphin, the billionaire founder of Trafigura, was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, few doubted he would entirely abandon the fierce work ethic or grueling travel that helped him to build one of the world’s biggest commodity traders.

Commodity traders eye Hurricane Joaquin
Emiko Terazono, FT
Commodity traders are closely watching the progress of Hurricane Joaquin as it has strengthened over the past few days and is heading towards the north-east coast of America.

At Glencore, a Mining Emperor Tries to Save His Realm; CEO Ivan Glasenberg struggles to reassure investors amid a rout in commodity prices
The morning he closed the biggest mining deal in history, Ivan Glasenberg pulled out a map dotted with mines around the world.

William Macaulay, the reluctant Glencore insider
Paul Murphy, FT
On the face of it, another Glencore director has done the decent thing: following the example this week of fellow directors Tony Hayward and John Mack, Glencore non-exec William Macaulay has picked up a parcel of distressed Glencore stock.

KCG Reorganizes London Sales Staff as Four Said to Be Departing
John Detrixhe, Sam Mamudi – Bloomberg
New approach comes after Rob Crane arrives from Goldman Sachs
Sales shakeup comes 2 years after Knight Capital-Getco merger
KCG Holdings Inc. is reorganizing its London sales staff following the arrival of former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive Rob Crane at the brokerage and automated trading firm. Four sales staff are planning to leave.


Energy Traders Seen Needing Billions in Regulation Shakeup
Bloomberg Business
Large energy firms would need to add as much as 6 billion euros ($6.7 billion) in extra capital under proposed European Union trading rules designed to prevent market abuse, according to the European Federation of Energy Traders.

FX fixing needs more reforms outside London -FSB
The $5 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market is cleaning up its act following a price-rigging scandal, but more work is needed on setting daily benchmarks outside London, the industry hub, according to a report published on Thursday. Several of the world’s biggest banks have paid a total of around $10 billion in fines for failing to prevent traders from alleged manipulation of the so-called London “fixings”, which are used to reference trillions of dollars worth of financial contracts and prices.

Ex star trader says UK watchdog “shamed” him in Deutsche notice
Lawyers representing former Deutsche Bank star trader Christian Bittar on Thursday accused the UK watchdog of denying him his right of reply despite publicly “shaming” him with scant regard to protecting his identity when fining the German lender.

ESMA Publishes 14th Update To Its EMIR Implementation Q&As
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today issued the 14th update of its Q&A document on the implementation of the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). The Q&As provide answers and guidance related to questions received regarding the implementation of EMIR.

British Regulator May Call Time on PPI Claims; Move would end one of the most expensive scandals to hit the U.K. banking industry
A U.K. regulator is weighing calling time on one of the most expensive scandals to hit the British banking industry.

Senate Panel Scrutinizes Treasury Nominee Over 2012 Fed Leak; Probes Have Widened Into the Release of Market-Sensitive Information
Probes into the 2012 leak of sensitive Federal Reserve policy information are widening further, with a Senate committee scrutinizing a former Fed official nominated for a position in the Obama administration.

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

    • 17d-2: Notice of Filing of Proposed Amended Plan for the Allocation of Regulatory Responsibilities Between BATS Exchange, Inc., BATS Y-Exchange, Inc., BOX Options Exchange LLC, Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated, C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated, Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., EDGA Exchange, Inc., EDGX Exchange, Inc., Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., International Securities Exchange, LLC, ISE Gemini, LLC, Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., NASDAQ OMX PHLX, Inc., National Stock Exchange, Inc., New York Stock Exchange LLC, NYSE MKT LLC, and NYSE Arca, Inc. (Release No. 34-76056; File No. 4-618; September 30, 2015)


    • NYSE Arca: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Several Rules to Address Certain Order Handling Obligations on the Part of Its Floor Brokers (Release No. 34-76063; File No. SR-NYSEArca-2015-81); see also Exhibit 5


    • NYSEMKT: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Several Rules to Address Certain Order Handling Obligations on the Part of Its Floor Brokers (Release No. 34-76064; File No. SR-NYSEMKT-2015-66); see also Exhibit 5

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Australia Exchange Hires for Data-Crunch Unit Amid Tech Revamp
Adam Haigh, Eduard Gismatullin – Bloomberg
ASX hiring at least 20 people to package data and sell on
Futures trading technology revamp to finish by April 2016
Australia’s main exchange operator is hiring at least 20 people to help crunch data that can be packaged and sold on, as it works on the biggest overhaul to its trading technology in more than a decade.

Trading statistics September 2015; Eurex Exchange: ADV 7.5 million contracts, 16 percent growth year-on-year/ ISE: ADV 2.4 million contracts
1. October 2015
Deutsche Börse Group
Eurex: In September 2015, the international derivatives markets of Eurex, part of Deutsche Börse Group, recorded an average daily volume of 9.9 million contracts (September 2014: 9.1 million). Of those, 7.5 million were Eurex Exchange contracts (September 2014: 6.5 million), and 2.4 million contracts (September 2014: 2.6 million) were traded at the New York based International Securities Exchange (ISE). The volume traded on the spot and derivatives power markets of the European Energy Exchange (EEX) amounted to 268.8 terawatt hours (September 2014: 184.2 TWh). Eurex Repo recorded in all markets in September 2015 an average outstanding volume of 147.0 billion euros.

CME Group Volume Averaged 14.4 Million Contracts per Day in Third-Quarter 2015, Up 7 Percent from Third-Quarter 2014
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced that September 2015 volume averaged 14.1 million contracts per day, down 7 percent from September 2014. Total volume was more than 296 million contracts, of which 87 percent was traded electronically. Average daily volume to date in 2015 is 14.2 million contracts, up 7 percent versus the same period in 2014, with year-over-year growth across all six product lines.

MIAX Options Ranks #1 in Time at NBBO among All Options Exchanges for August; Reports September Trading Activity
MIAX Options Exchange (MIAX) today announced that it ranked #1 in time at the National Best Bid/Offer (NBBO) among all U.S. Equity Options Exchanges for the month of August and over 20 million contracts were executed on MIAX in September. The over 20 million contracts executed represents a 48% increase from the approximately 13.6 million contracts executed in September 2014, and equates to an average daily volume of over 950,000 contracts. MIAX’s September equity options market share of 6.45% represents a 58% increase from the 4.08% achieved in September 2014.

CBOE Futures Exchange Reports September 2015 Trading Volume
VIX Futures ADV Up 41% from Year Ago, Down 17% From August
5.3 Million VIX Futures Contracts Traded
CBOE Futures Exchange, LLC (CFE®) today reported that September average daily volume (ADV) was up 40 percent from September 2014, but down 18 percent from August 2015, when CFE recorded its second-busiest month of all time.

ISE Holdings Reports Business Activity for September 2015
ISE and ISE Gemini combined represent 16.0% of equity options market share, excluding dividend trades.

CBOE Holdings Reports September 2015 Trading Volume
CBOE Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBOE) reported today that total trading volume in September for options contracts on Chicago Board Options Exchange® (CBOE®) and C2 Options Exchange (C2) and futures contracts on CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE®) was 104.0 million contracts, a decrease of 5 percent from September 2014 and 17 percent from August 2015.

Key Figures SIX Swiss Exchange And SIX Structured Products Exchange: September 2015

Proximus successfully lists a EUR500 million bond issue on Euronext Brussels
Euronext Brussels today welcomed the listing of an institutional bond issue by Proximus, the largest telecommunication group in Belgium. To celebrate the new listing, Sandrine Dufour, Chief Financial Officer of Proximus, rang the bell to open trading on Euronext’s markets.

Boerse Stuttgart generates turnover in excess of EUR 6.5 billion in September; Year-on-year increase in turnover from equities, securitised derivatives and exchange-traded products
According to its order book statistics, Boerse Stuttgart generated turnover in excess of EUR 6.5 billion in September. Although the trading volume was down when compared with the high figure for August, it was almost the same as in September 2014.

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Preparing for Volatility in Advance
by Joshua M Brown
I read an article in the New York Times about a family office that tried to get fancy with an internal hedge fund as their answer to volatility. They ended up chopping their clients in half in a month’s time with this strategy, according to the reporter. I love this line: “The fund has told investors that they can redeem what remains of their money.”

Glencore gives trading details as share price falls
James Wilson and Neil Hume, FT
Glencore has revealed key details of its trading operations and told investors its plans to cut its debt are on track in an effort to reassure traders nervous about the impact of falling commodity prices.

How the Superwealthy Plan to Make Sure Their Kids Stay Superwealthy; Passing on a fortune isn’t as easy as it seems.
Peter Robison – Bloomberg
The first clue that this is no ordinary crowd of sulky teenagers comes when the instructor asks those who’ve invested in the market to raise their hands. Most hands go up. As a financial planner explains the benefits of investing, one boy interrupts. “What do you suggest investing in right now?” asks Liam Whitfield, 18, a senior at a private Seattle high school, with swooping bangs and a shaggy sweater. The speaker, from a local investment firm, suggests a standard mix of 60 percent stocks and 40 percent bonds. Whitfield looks disappointed. He already owns shares of Apple, Facebook, and Starbucks. “I was kind of looking for an actual stock tip,” he says.

Glencore’s Wild Ride Has Investors Asking: Can It Happen Again?
Matthew Campbell, Dinesh Nair, Jesse Riseborough – Bloombergf
Monday’s plunge set off frenzied efforts to calm markets
Bankers, traders still don’t know what caused sudden crash
From London to New York to Hong Kong, the frantic question kept coming: could this be another Lehman?

Buffett’s Omaha Gets Stung as ConAgra Follows Heinz Cutting Jobs
Noah Buhayar, Katherine Chiglinsky – Bloomberg
Berkshire-Backed Kraft Heinz is `new benchmark,’ ConAgra Says
Omaha mayor says `very concerned’ for displaced employees
The cost-cutting zeal that Warren Buffett helped bring to the food industry is starting to hit home.

Glencore CEO Tells Staff Company `Will Emerge Even Stronger’
Javier Blas, Jesse Riseborough – Bloomberg
CEO says 2017 financing requirment will be a `formality’
Company still has about $13.5 billion of available liquidity
Glencore Plc Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg told staff that a plan to curb debt is sufficient, there is about $13.5 billion of available liquidity and the company “will emerge even stronger.”

How Glencore’s Crazy Month Makes Greek Banks Look Tame
Camila Russo – Bloomberg
The miner’s record plunge rivals slump in Greek lenders
Expectations for more volatility in Glencore shares surge
Which was a bigger trauma for European stock investors: this summer’s pummeling of Greek banks, or the last month in Glencore Plc? Based on value lost, it’s the latter by far.

Glencore Isn’t Out of the Woods Yet
Shares of Glencore, the giant Swiss-based mining and trading company, may have recovered from a panic sell-off this week, but few analysts consider the company out of danger.

Ackman, Einhorn Lead Hedge Funds on Track to Rival ’08 Slump
Katherine Burton, Saijel Kishan – Bloomberg
Einhorn’s fund at Greenlight tumbled 17% through September
Claren Road assets slumped three-quarters in past 12 months
There’s no big bank failure on the horizon. The housing market is booming, not melting. Yet for a handful of well-known hedge fund managers, 2015 is looking a lot like 2008, when their industry suffered record losses and investor withdrawals.

Banks & Brokers

KCG puts London traders at risk
By Tim Cave, Financial News
US electronic trading firm KCG Holdings has begun a process to cut its staff in London, as part of a review by the firm’s new leadership team in Europe.

Credit Suisse wins exemption for US pension business
Gina Chon in Washington, FT
Credit Suisse has been granted an exemption from the US Department of Labor that allows the Swiss bank to continue advising retirement funds despite its guilty plea on tax evasion charges.

JPMorgan prevails in $8.6 bln Lehman lawsuit
A federal judge ruled in favor of JPMorgan Chase & Co in an $8.6 billion lawsuit brought on behalf of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc creditors.

Former Morgan Stanley Broker Sues Over Arbitration Policy
A former broker at Morgan Stanley has filed a class-action race-discrimination complaint against the company, accusing it of making “an end-run around the civil rights laws” with a new policy that bars employee participation in class actions and forces civil rights claims into private arbitration.

Merrill Lynch must face class action for its role in Zale buyout
BY TOM HALS, Reuters
Merrill Lynch must defend its role in the $690 million sale of the Zale Corp jewelry chain after a judge refused on Thursday to dismiss a shareholder class action that alleged the deal short-changed investors.

Merrill Shuffles Brokerage Managers in Wake of Broader Cost Cuts at BofA; Brokerage also cuts number of regional ‘divisions’ to 10 from 11
Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit is shuffling several of the top executives who oversee the brokerage’s more than 14,000 financial advisers, in the wake of broader cost cuts at the bank.

JPMorgan to pay most in $1.86 bln swaps price-fixing settlement – Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co is set to pay almost a third of a $1.86 billion settlement to resolve claims that a dozen big banks conspired to limit competition in the credit-default swaps market, Bloomberg reported.

The Only Banker Sued for the Housing Crisis Prepares Her Appeal
Heather Perlberg, Bloomberg
Mairone helped design Countrywide `Hustle’ for loan approval
Ex-colleague calls her a `scapegoat’ for billions in losses
Rebecca Mairone scarcely deserves a mention in the annals of finance, except for this: She’s the only executive of a major U.S. mortgage lender found liable for her part in the 2008 financial crisis.

Morgan Stanley reshuffles top executive line-up
Laura Noonan and Josh Noble in London, FT
Morgan Stanley has rewarded two of its rising stars with expanded roles that will give them access to the company’s board and membership of the bank’s top operating committee.

Clearing & Settlement

OCC Cleared Contract Volume Down 3% in September
Business Wire
OCC, the world’s largest equity derivatives clearing organization, announced today that cleared contract volume in September was 361,537,608 contracts, off 3 percent from September 2014 volume of 371,034,038 contracts. OCC’s year-to-date average daily cleared contract volume dropped slightly by 0.17 percent from 2014 with 16,855,238 contracts in 2015.

LSE clearing link gets green light to go live in late October
Philip Stafford,
A new link giving investors greater choice for clearing their share trades on the London Stock Exchange will begin later this month after European regulators gave the delayed project the green light. A plan to link the operations of LCH.Clearnet, the LSE’s main clearer, and EuroCCP, Europe’s largest cash equities clearing house, had been due to start in January but was delayed in the wake of January’s violent market swings in the Swiss franc. It will now begin on October 26, the LSE said in a notice to customers on Friday.

HKMA-SFC consult on mandatory OTC derivatives clearing & reporting
FTSE Global Markets
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) have jointly issued a consultation on introducing the first phase of mandatory clearing and the second phase of mandatory reporting under the new over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives regime

MAS seeks feedback on margin requirements for certain OTC derivatives
Channel NewsAsia
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) plans to impose margin requirements for certain categories of derivatives that are not traded on exchanges, according to a consultation paper released on Thursday (Oct 1).

Indexes & Products

Peru Stocks Reach 10-day High After MSCI Delays Possible Cut
Bloomberg Business
The nation’s shares will stay in the same category as those of Brazil, Mexico and Russia, according to a Wednesday statement from MSCI, which compiles indexes that serve as the benchmark for more than $9.5 trillion in assets worldwide. A downgrade to the same frontier status as Argentina and Zimbabwe could have spurred as much as $5 billion of outflows from what is already the world’s worst-performing stock market this year, the Lima Stock Exchange said.

How S&P Sector ETFs React To A Strong USD
ETF Trends
With the U.S. dollar strengthening and the Federal Reserve looking at tightening its monetary policy, the various U.S. market sectors and related exchange traded funds could behave differently in a strong USD environment.

Can Hedge Fund Returns Be Replicated By ETFs?
If an investor can find actual alpha in a hedge fund investment they should be willing to pay 3 percent (management fee) and 30 percent (incentive fee), Nikki Tippins, managing director and head of Americas equity derivatives distribution at Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) said during a liquid alternatives panel discussion at the Morningstar ETF Conference. However, acknowledging that Hedge Funds who can outperform a benchmark offer significant value, she said if alpha can’t be found “don’t pay 2 percent / 20 percent for something that can be replicated.”

E.T.F. Sponsors Remain Confident in the Face of Volatility
It has been a tough week for Direxion, a sponsor of exchange-traded funds that make highly leveraged bets on various markets going up and down.

The world’s going passive. Is it a mistake?
Pensions & Investments
The move passive from active to investing has been nothing less than seismic for the asset management industry. In the past 10 years, passive equity has gone from around a tenth of total equity assets to more than a quarter, and the momentum seems inexorable.


Cybersecurity investment pays more than monetary dividends
Tech Target
Investments in cybersecurity startups are taking off. Driven by CEO and board-level demand for promising technology aimed at protecting corporate networks and sensitive data, financial and venture-capital firms are pouring money into dozens of cybersecurity companies each year. In 2014, venture-capital firms completed 56 deals worth a hefty $1.2 billion, according to investment tracking firm CB Insights.

Snapchat to launch sponsored selfies
Hannah Kuchler in New York, FT
Snapchat is preparing to launch a new advertising format that will allow brands to slip in to teenagers’ selfies, as it hunts for ways to make money from its young audience.


SEC Halts $32 Million Scheme That Promised Riches From Amber Mining
California resident Steve Chen and 13 California-based entities, including USFIA Inc., are at the center of the alleged scheme, the SEC said in a complaint filed in federal court in Los Angeles. According to the SEC’s complaint, USFIA and Chen’s other entities have raised more than $32 million from investors in and outside the U.S. since at least April 2013. The SEC’s complaint alleges that Chen and his companies misled investors about a lucrative initial public offering for USFIA that never happened and about claims to own or control amber deposits worth billions of dollars.

SEC Charges New Jersey Fund Manager With Securities Fraud
he Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a New Jersey fund manager and his firm with defrauding investors by lying about his credentials, concealing trading losses, and using investor funds to make Ponzi-like payments to other investors.

The SEC’s complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan alleges that William J. Wells, of River Vale, New Jersey, falsely told some investors that he was a registered investment adviser and would invest their money in specific stocks. Instead, Wells and his firm, Promitor Capital Management LLC, are alleged to have invested mainly in high-risk options with poor results that Wells concealed with phony investor account statements that grossly inflated performance

SEC Charges Two Grant Thornton Firms With Violating Auditor Independence Rules
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Grant Thornton India LLP and Australia-based Grant Thornton Audit Pty Limited with auditor independence violations that occurred when two Grant Thornton Mauritius partners served on the boards of Mauritius-based subsidiaries of companies that were Grant Thornton audit clients and performed non-audit services prohibited under the SEC’s auditor independence rules.

Alberta Securities Commission Sanctions Bert Holtby And Randy Kowalchuk For Illegal Insider Trading
The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) has sanctioned John (Bert) Holtby for illegal insider trading and informing (tipping), and Randall (Randy) Kowalchuk for illegal insider trading, relating to Edmonton-based Eveready Inc. This sanction decision was made in response to the Alberta Court of Appeal’s direction to reconsider the sanctions ordered against Bert Holtby and Randy Kowalchuk in June 2013.

Environmental & Energy

Wall Street says ready if Joaquin hits New York
Wall Street has a new risk on its radar: Hurricane Joaquin. The Category 4 hurricane, now pummeling the Bahamas, is the first major storm to threaten the U.S. East Coast since Superstorm Sandy devastated New York and New Jersey in October 2012.

Drought woes in California town highlight thirsty poultry industry
Residents of Livingston, California have sharply reduced their water usage during the state’s severe drought, now in its fourth year. But this summer, when state officials ranked how water suppliers had done meeting mandated conservation goals, the blue-collar town of 13,800 came in dead last.


Global Giants Listed in Hong Kong Crumble as Ties to China Backfire
Kyoungwha Kim – Bloomberg
Prada sinks below IPO price amid downturn in luxury spending
Glencore battered after economic slowdown sinks commodities
International companies that listed shares in Hong Kong to highlight their ties with China are finding what once was a bragging right is now a burden.

Frontier Markets

What Exactly Is a ‘Frontier Market’? And How You Can Invest
Just as “emerging markets” is thrown around by financial media, another term, “frontier markets,” is increasingly bandied about. But new and even established investors may not know what it means, perhaps assuming that emerging and frontier markets are the same thing.

Macau Sept gambling revenues fall 33 pct, 16th consecutive monthly decline
Gambling revenue in Macau fell 33 percent year-on-year in September, in line with forecasts but still near five-year lows as wealthy gamblers continued to stay away from the Chinese casino hub.

For traders, Rupee is best bet among emerging market currencies
By Saikat Das, ET Bureau
It may be somewhat deceptive to study the USD-Indian rupee combination to get a sense of the state of the currency: while the rupee may be weakening against the dollar in line with a global trend, it is appreciating against many of its peers, as investors are sticking their neck out to bet that it could be different for India this time around.

Saudi Arabia caused a ‘Black Monday’ for fund managers
Charles Kennedy, via Business Insider
The ongoing slump in oil prices is forcing Saudi Arabia to retrench and bring home tens of billions of dollars that it has overseas.

Bombay HC says MPID Act applicable on NSEL; Investors hope govt will proceed to liquidate attached properties and use it to pay them
Dilip Kumar Jha, Business Standard
The high court here has dismissed the plea of National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) in questioning the applicability of the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishment Act (MPID) to the Rs 5,600-crore payment crisis. This also means the Act will apply on all exchanges in the country.

RoC disapproves FTIL’s change of name; Firm says it plans to come out of the shadow of the NSEL scam in the next three years
T E Narasimhan, Business Standard
Financial Technologies (India) will have to look for another new name for itself. The one it had chosen has been rejected by the registrar of companies (RoC).


Griffin divorce ensnares high-finance execs, limo drivers, photographer
Becky Yerak, Chicago Tribune
Drivers in Miami and New York. High-finance business appraisers. A Chicago photographer.

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