First Read

SEC Announces Charges Against Standard & Poor’s for Fraudulent Ratings Misconduct
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced a series of federal securities law violations by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services involving fraudulent misconduct in its ratings of certain commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS).

***** Charges come how many years later?


NYSE Unveils New Trading Room
By Kristen Scholer
New year, new digs for traders at the New York Stock Exchange. The NYSE, a subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange Inc.ICE -0.68%, debuted a brand new trading room Tuesday morning before the opening bell. The space, dubbed “The Buttonwood Room,” is next to the main trading floor and houses units for NYSE stock and options market makers and ICE futures participants. It also includes the NYSE Arca customer service desk and NYSE/ICE national operations center.

***** Who knew the NYSE was a fixer-upper?


U.S. Markets Favored by Investors, Bright Spot in Dim Global Economy: Bloomberg Poll
By Rich Miller, Bloomberg
International investors are the most bullish they’ve been on the U.S. markets in more than five years as America is seen as a bright spot in an otherwise worsening global economy, according to the latest Bloomberg poll.

***** Bullish, but not irrationally so.


The time to start worrying about U.S. deflation may be now
By Anora Mahmudova, MarketWatch
The correlation between ‘feeling optimistic’ and ‘spending’ isn’t pitch perfect
The risk of deflation in the U.S. is becoming all too real. The last time the U.S. economy seriously faced deflation was in March 2009, when the core consumer-price index fell below zero. The Federal Reserve under chairman Ben Bernanke acted with a most unconventional tool: quantitative easing.

****** Yes, I am worried about deflation as I take out a mortgage.


BitBeat: ‘The Street’ Buys a Window Into Bitcoin
By Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey
Crossing Our Desk: – “They want a portal into what’s happening.” That was the reason, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong surmised, that a number of financial institutions, including the New York Stock Exchange, chose to invest in Coinbase as part of the startup’s $75 million Series C funding.

***** Fintech is the hot thing, or the new black as some people say.


Shazam valued at $1bn after new funding round
Murad Ahmed, European Technology Correspondent, FT
Shazam, the music discovery app, has raised $30m in a new funding round that values the British company at over $1bn, as it continues to push towards a potentially lucrative initial public offering.

****** Shazam, just like that they are worth $1 billiion.


Focused: What The Industry Knows About Transparency (Part 2)

Back in November, the industry gathered for the annual FIA Expo event in Chicago. There, John Lothian News used an exhibitor booth (Thanks Cinnober!) as its studio to ask industry participants key questions about transparency issues in today’s markets.

Part 2: What solution would you suggest in order to improve transparency in the markets today?
Watch the video »

Facebook clamps down on fake news stories
By Alexei Oreskovic, Reuters
Facebook Inc said on Tuesday it has taken steps to clamp down on “hoaxes” and fake news stories that can spread like wildfire on its 1.35-billion member online social network.

***** No word yet on the impact this will have on The Daily Show.



MarketsWiki Page of the Day
John Grace

MarketsWiki Recent Updates


Karen Bertoli; Jonas Hansbo; John Grace; Dennis Zarr; Kristin Wood; James M. Falvey; John Authers; Johan Van Overtveldt; Fredrik Backlund; Gavin Maguire; James Wilson; Ian Wall; Leslie R. Sutphen

Companies, Organizations and Groups

Deutsche Börse Group; OCC


57,549,043 pages viewed, 8,135 articles, 188,866 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

Regulator to Review Leverage Limits for Currency Trades; Move Follows Market Volatility Stemming From Surge in Swiss Franc
By Andrew Ackerman, WSJ
Regulators and currency-dealing firms are considering tougher requirements on borrowed money used by mom-and-pop investors after an unexpected surge in the Swiss franc left traders and brokers with steep losses.
The National Futures Association, a self-regulator responsible for policing the futures industry, said it is considering whether to alter a cap on borrowed money, or leverage, for currency bets in response to last week’s market tumult, according to spokeswoman Karen Wuertz.

CFTC approves TOCOM as an FBOT
Automated Trader
Tokyo Commodity Exchange granted registration as Foreign Board of Trade by CFTC. Statement from CFTC’s Mark Wetjen on SEFs as next step.
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange has announced that the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued an Order granting TOCOM’s application for registration as a Foreign Board of Trade (FBOT) under the U.S. Commodity Exchange Act on January 20. FBOT registration permits TOCOM to provide its Members and market participants located in the U.S. with direct access to its electronic order entry and trade matching system.

Banks Must Bear the Risk of Derivatives Losses, CME Paper Says
The debate over how clearinghouses are managed and the level of resources available has gone back and forth between the Chicago-based exchange owner and its largest bank members such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) CME said in a white paper published today it has set aside the equivalent of 5.25 percent of the money its bank members have put into a collective default fund. In September, JPMorgan said CME’s contribution, referred to as skin in the game, should equal 10 percent.

***DA: To see the paper, see today’s Clearing section.

OCC Announces Innovative New $1 Billion Committed Repurchase Facility – Increasing Total Liquidity Resources To $3 Billion
Today OCC announced the establishment of an innovative pre-funded, $1 billion committed repurchase facility with a leading pension fund. This new facility increases OCC’s overall liquidity resources from $2 to $3 billion, while diversifying OCC’s committed lenders to include qualified pension funds in addition to OCC’s existing participant base of banks and broker-dealers. Committed liquidity facilities are a critical resource to central counterparties like OCC, ensuring that sufficient capacity is maintained to fund payment obligations to clearing members in a timely way, and thereby promoting the uninterrupted flow of financial markets.

How Swiss Shock Humbled the King of Leveraged Currency Trading
By David Evans, Bloomberg
Drew Niv was looking for action. Then action came looking for him. While in his 30s, Niv built his young brokerage, FXCM Inc. (FXCM), into a money machine by turning the global foreign-exchange market into a playground for day-traders But by early 2014, his hot hand had gone cold. Niv’s customers — small-timers who usually lost money while FXCM was busy making it — were looking for thrills elsewhere. Currencies seemed boring. So from his 50th-floor office just south of Wall Street, Niv, now 41, held out a solution. FXCM could help customers capitalize on minuscule currency moves with a powerful financial tool: leverage.

FXCM Owners Are Almost Wiped in Swiss Franc Turmoil
By Zeke Faux, Bloomberg
FXCM Inc. (FXCM), the currency-trading firm that almost collapsed last week when the Swiss franc surged, saw its shares plunge after disclosing the terms of its bailout by Leucadia National Corp. (LUK)

FXCM Hobbling Prompts Regulator to Consider Leverage Rule Change
By Silla Brush, Bloomberg
The U.S. derivatives industry’s front-line regulator may tighten oversight for retail foreign-exchange trades after one of the largest brokerages required a $300 million lifeline to meet capital requirements.

Swiss Franc ‘Nuclear Explosion’ Spreading, Credit Suisse, Saxo Hurt
By Elena Logutenkova and Jeffrey Vögeli, Bloomberg
Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) and Saxo Bank A/S joined an increasing number of European financial companies warning that the Swiss central bank’s surprise decision to abolish its currency ceiling may dent earnings.

Is Dollar Next? Investors Reassess After Swiss Shock: Currencies
By Rachel Evans and Lananh Nguyen, Bloomberg
After Switzerland shocked markets by scrapping its currency cap, investors are beginning to ask whether a policy surprise may be lurking for the dollar, too.

Forex turmoil brings regulatory issues into sharp focus
Miles Johnson, Harriet Agnew and Caroline Binham, FT
Several years ago a consultant was speaking to an offshore foreign exchange brokerage who was eager to start marketing their trading platform to retail investors in the UK.

How to solve the fixed income liquidity problem
Gene Frieda, FT
Regulatory change means solutions lie in asset management sector, writes Gene Frieda
An investor looks at his mobile phone in front of an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Haikou, Hainan province December 9, 2014. Shanghai shares posted their biggest one-day percentage fall in five years on Tuesday, dragged down by a sell-off in the financial and property sectors, reversing a two-week long rally. The roots of the recent return of financial market volatility are not in fundamental factors, but rather reflect the Tower of Pisa-like financial architecture that has grown up in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Obama Pledges to Veto Measures Weakening Dodd-Frank; His remarks come as Wall Street re-emerges as a force in Washington.
Clea Benson, Bloomberg
President Barack Obama pledged to veto any legislation that weakens new curbs on Wall Street as banks and the Republican-led Congress increasingly seek to roll back the Dodd-Frank financial-regulation law.

Rebellious NYSE president calls bitcoin ‘growth market,’ joins $75M Coinbase investment
Michael del Castillo, Upstart
Tom Farley, the 39-year-old president of the New York Stock Exchange, isn’t wasting any time ruffling feathers at the largest securities platform in the world. Today, he announced the stock exchange participated in a $75 million investment in bitcoin startup Coinbase, the largest investment ever made in a bitcoin company.

Alpari co-founder applied to wind up business a year ago
Harriet Agnew, City Correspondent, FT
The co-founder of Alpari, the retail foreign exchange broker whose UK business filed for administration on Monday, says he applied to wind up the parent company a year ago because he felt the company was “doomed” without a reliable source of capital.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services Reaches Settlements With SEC And Attorneys General
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services today announced it has reached a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to resolve the SEC’s investigation into six U.S. conduit/fusion commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) transactions rated by S&P Ratings in 2011 and two additional U.S. conduit/fusion CMBS transactions from that period, the subject of a Wells Notice received and disclosed by S&P Ratings in July 2014. S&P Ratings also reached settlements with the Attorneys General of New York and Massachusetts to resolve investigations into the same matters. S&P Ratings did not admit or deny the charges in these settlements. These settlements are final and are not subject to court approval.


U.S. regulator NFA says monitoring brokers over FX volatility
The U.S. National Futures Association said on Friday it is monitoring the foreign exchange brokers it oversees after wild swings in the Swiss franc caused hefty losses for some of the firms across the globe.

CFTC Issues Order of Registration for the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, Inc.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) announced today that it has issued an Order of Registration to the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, Inc. (TOCOM), a Foreign Board of Trade located in Tokyo, Japan. Under the Order, TOCOM is permitted to provide its identified members or other participants located in the U.S. with direct access to its electronic order entry and trade matching system to trade futures contracts on metals, fuels, rubber and agricultural commodities and futures and option contracts on gold.

SEC Gets Busy With Accounting Investigations;Number of Cases and Investigations Surges at Agency
By Jean Eaglesham And Michael Rapoport, WSJ
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s push to step up its policing of accounting fraud has led to a surge of cases and investigations, new agency figures show, as officials again target cooking-the-books offenses that were once a staple of its workload.

Keynote Remarks of Chairman Timothy G. Massad before the Futures Industry Association
I want to talk today about where we are in the process of financial regulatory reform in response to the global financial crisis. But being here also reminds me of the Asian financial crisis, because I first came to Hong Kong in early 1998, just after the onset of the crisis. Much of my first year here, I worked on transactions involving sales of distressed debt by Thailand and Korea. I didn’t know at the time that a decade later, I’d be overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the principal response by the U.S. to the 2008 crisis.

Citic investor presses regulator on insider trading claim
Gabriel Wildau in Shanghai, FT
An investor in Citic Securities, China’s largest securities company, has asked regulators for evidence to support claims of insider trading against its parent group Citic Ltd, which unloaded shares in the brokerage days before a regulatory crackdown sent its stock plunging.

Swiss central bank faces struggle to curb rise of franc
James Shotter in Zürich, FT
By scrapping its currency cap, the Swiss National Bank solved one problem: It is no longer under pressure to fulfil an expensive promise to buy unlimited quantities of euros at SFr1.20.

Finra Enforcement Chief: Smaller Ponzi Schemes The Norm Post Meltdown
Ted Knutson, Financial Advisor
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Enforcement Director Brad Bennett said Tuesday the biggest change he has seen since the meltdown is that no major orchestrated frauds by large brokerages have cropped up.

American Agri-Women Leader Joins Advisory Committee
Jamie Johansen, AGWIRED
Doris Mold, First Vice-President for Resolutions and Vital Issues for American Agri-Women, was recently appointed to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Agricultural Advisory Committee.

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

  • BYX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Clarify the Use of Certain Data Feeds (Release No. 34-74075; File No. SR-BYX-2015-03; January 15, 2015); see also Exhibit 5


  • ICC: Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change to Revise the ICC Treasury Operations Policies and Procedures (Release No. 34-74084; File No. SR-ICC-2015-002; January 16, 2015)


  • ICC: Notice of Designation of Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change to Formalize the ICC Operational Risk Management Framework (Release No. 34-74082; File No. SR-ICC-2014-19; January 16, 2015)


  • ICEEU: Order Granting Approval of Proposed Rule Change Relating to CDS Pricing Policy (Release No. 34-74085; File No. SR-ICEEU-2014-20; January 16, 2015)


  • NYSE Arca: Order Instituting Proceedings to Determine Whether to Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change to Remove the Exchange’s Quote Mitigation Plan as Provided by Commentary .03 to Exchange Rule 6.86 (Release No. 34-74088; File No. SR-NYSEArca-2014-117; January 16, 2015)


  • NYSEMKT: Order Instituting Proceedings to Determine Whether to Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change to Remove the Exchange’s Quote Mitigation Plan as Provided by Exchange Rule 970.1NY (Release No. 34-74087; File No. SR-NYSEMKT-2014-86; January 16, 2015)


  • NYSEMKT: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending the NYSE Amex Options Fee Schedule (Release No. 34-74086; File No. SR-NYSEMKT-2015-04; January 16, 2015); see also Exhibit 5A, Exhibit 5B


  • NYSEMKT: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Sections 140 and 141 of The NYSE MKT Company Guide to Adopt A New Flat Annual Fee of $5,000 for Listed Warrants (Release No. 34-74083; File No. SR-NYSEMKT-2015-01; January 16, 2015)

Other Commission Orders, Notices, and Information
Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee (Release No. 34-74092; File No. 265-29)

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

CFTC allows direct access for US traders to the Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM)
By Andrew Saks-McLeod, LeapRate
Tokyo Commodity Exchange has beenpermitted by the CFTC to provide its identified members or other participants located in the U.S. with direct access to its electronic order entry and trade matching system to trade futures contracts on metals, fuels, rubber and agricultural commodities and futures and option contracts on gold

Euronext looks at other commodity markets after dairy revamp
By Gus Trompiz, Reuters
Exchange operator says studying sugar, biofuels, metals
Preparing for 2nd attempt at EU dairy market
Has faced tough competitor in its main equity business (Adds detail on dairy derivatives, background)
Exchange operator Euronext is looking at sugar, biofuels and metals as potential markets as it expands in commodities following an overhaul of its dairy derivatives, it said on Tuesday.

CME Group to impose 1-percent charge on Swiss franc deposits
CME Group Inc will start to charge a 1 percent rate for member clearing firms on Swiss franc deposits held at CME beginning Jan. 22, the futures exchange said on Tuesday.

Dow Jones opens second largest operation centre at BSE after New York
The Economic Times
Asia Index, a joint venture between S&P Dow Jones and the BSE, today opened a new operation centre at the BSE premises which is its second largest operation centre after the one in New York.

SGX 2Q net profit at $87 million
Revenue $195 million, up 19% from year earlier
Operating profit: $102 million, up 15%
Net profit: $87 million, up 16%
Earnings per share: 8.1 cents, up 16%
Interim dividend per share: 4.0 cents, unchanged
All figures are for the current year except for figures in brackets which are for the year earlier, unless otherwise stated
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today reported net profit of $86.6 million ($75.0 million) in the second quarter of financial year 2015 (FY2015). Revenue grew 19% to $195.1 million ($164.6 million). Excluding revenue of the newly-acquired Energy Market Company Limited (EMC) of $6.0 million, revenue grew 15%.

MIAX Options Exchange: Customer Cross Order Type – Availability
Beginning Wednesday, January 21, 2015 the Customer Cross Order type will no longer be available at MIAX.

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

BlueCrest Said to Shut Trader’s Book on Losses Tied to Franc
By Will Wainewright, Bloomberg
BlueCrest Capital Management shut a portfolio run by Peter Von Maydell after the Swiss franc’s surge last week sparked losses, according to a person with knowledge of the decision. Von Maydell, a currency trader, remains at the hedge fund, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. Von Maydell joined the $15 billion, Jersey-based firm two years ago from Credit Suisse Group AG, where he was global head of foreign-exchange strategy. He didn’t respond to phone calls and e-mails seeking comment.

Druckenmiller Alums at PointState Make $1 Billion on Oil
By Katherine Burton, Kelly Bit and Simone Foxman. Bloomberg
Hedge fund manager Zach Schreiber stood on stage at Avery Fisher Hall in New York eight months ago and made a bold prediction.

Davos Billionaires Predict Low Interest Rates, Terrorism
By Matthew G. Miller and Tom Metcalf, Bloomberg
Billionaires gathering at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting this week in Davos, Switzerland, are worried about global terrorism, oil prices and Vladimir Putin’s stance on Ukraine. The one thing they agree on is that the Fed will keep interest rates at record lows.

Commodities explained: The price-supply disconnect
Emiko Terazono, FT
The commodities cycle is all about supply and demand responding to prices.
To put it very simply, as prices rise, supply increases, which in turn depresses demand. Prices then fall, which leads to production cuts and demand increases, pushing up the market and the cycle starts all over again.

Gold rises to $1,300 on haven demand
Henry Sanderson, FT
Gold rose past $1,300 a troy ounce, its highest level since August, as investors sought havens ahead of expected stimulus by the European Central Bank.

Market gives thumbs down to FXCM after rescue deal
By Patrick Graham and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, Reuters
Shares in retail currency broker FXCM (FXCM.N) lost two-thirds of their value on Tuesday as the company laid out details of a rescue loan after $200 million of losses on last week’s shock removal of the cap on the Swiss franc.

The Woman Who Is Posting Some Of The Hedge Fund World’s Best Returns
Nehal Chopra, the founder of Ratan Capital Management, is a rarity in the rich $2.8 trillion world of hedge funds these days. The vast majority of hedge fund managers have been unable to keep up with the booming stock market, disappointing their investors in recent years. But for Chopra things have been different. Chopra has consistently been bettering the stock market and posting strong returns year after year.

Banks & Brokers

BGC Announces Increase Of All-Cash Tender Offer To Acquire GFI Group To $6.10 Per Share
Offers Additional Consideration of $0.10 per Share Contingent Upon Determination of Superiority by GFI Special Committee and Board
BGC Extends Tender Offer Deadline to February 3, 2015
BGC Urges GFI Shareholders to Vote AGAINST the Inferior CME/GFI Management Transaction and Tender Their Shares to BGC

Nomura to Hire 20 Bankers After Cutting Asia Equity Jobs
By Takahiko Hyuga, Bloomberg
Nomura Holdings Inc. (8604)’s on-again, off-again global expansion is taking another twist with plans to hire investment bankers in the U.S. and Asia even as it trims equity staff in Hong Kong.

J.P. Morgan Creates Unit to Meet New Bond Trading Patterns
By Christopher Whittall, WSJ
J.P. Morgan Chase JPM -0.39% & Co., the world’s largest investment bank in fixed income trading by revenue, has set up a new 12-person unit focused solely on trading credit index products such as credit default swap benchmarks and exchange-traded funds.

Clearing & Settlement

CME Group Releases White Paper: “Clearing – Balancing CCP and Member Contributions with Exposures”
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today published a white paper detailing the company’s position on a variety of issues facing central counterparty clearing houses (CCPs) in today’s financial markets, particularly the question of how much “skin in the game” clearing houses should contribute to a market’s financial safeguards.

Impacts and Implications of the CFTC’s Emerging Clearinghouse Exemptive Program
Annette Nazareth and Jeffrey Dinwoodie, Traders Magazine
The CFTC’s approach to the registration and regulation of swaps clearinghouses has become a critical global regulatory issue. Yet there has been little attention paid to an emerging CFTC regulatory program to exempt swaps clearinghouses from CFTC registration. In this article, we explore this emerging exemptive program and discuss the significant implications that it will have for clearinghouses and swap market participants throughout the world.

OCC Announces John Grace as New Chief Risk Officer
OCC announced today that John Grace has joined OCC as Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer. He will be responsible for driving and implementing OCC’s risk management strategy. This includes advising senior management and the Board of Directors on risk issues, overseeing OCC’s Model Validation and Enterprise Risk Management departments and working with regulators from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

RBI for regulating payment instructions in bourses
Business Line
The Reserve Bank of India wants an amendment in the Payment and Settlement Systems (Amendment) Bill to provide for regulation of the clearing and settlement of payment instructions in stock exchanges and commodity exchanges.

Indexes & Products

Russell Investments and Integral launch comprehensive execution service for institutional investors — designed to fix the Fix
Business Wire
Global asset manager Russell Investments and Integral Development Corp., a leading FX technology company, announced today the launch of Russell FX Network (RFX Network), a new end-to-end trading solution for the buy-side community for netting, execution and allocation of foreign exchange transactions. RFX Network is designed to help institutional investors including asset managers obtain currency exchange rates that seek to minimize tracking error with respect to the rates published by WM/Reuters.

Russell offers buyside choice with new FX platform
By Andrew Pearce, Financial News
Russell Investments is launching a FX trading platform that will allow buyside firms to match trades directly with each other, at a time of intense scrutiny into the way currencies are traditionally traded.

S&P faces rating suspension in SEC deal
Gina Chon in Washington and Stephen Foley in New York, FT
Standard & Poor’s will be suspended for a year from rating certain commercial mortgage bonds in an $80m settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the attorneys-general in New York and Massachusetts, according to people familiar with the matter.


Neonet and Quod Financial offer integrated trading solution
Automated Trader
Neonet Securities, the independent agency broker and execution specialist, has announced that it has integrated with Quod Financial, the provider of adaptive trading technology. The integration offers mutual customers using Quod Financial’s technology access to trading with Neonet as an agency broker.

IBM’s Efforts to Shift to Cloud Comes With Profit Sacrifice
By Alex Barinka, Bloomberg
For IBM (IBM), converting to the cloud is taking a toll. Even though it’s necessary to drive future growth, the company has to sacrifice profits for now.

Bitcoin company Coinbase lands $75m investment from NYSE and BBVA
Sally Davies in London and Thomas Hale in Madrid, FT
Coinbase has become the world’s most well-funded bitcoin company after landing a $75m investment from high-profile backers, including the New York Stock Exchange, Spanish bank BBVA and the former chief executives of Citigroup and Reuters respectively

Venture capital firms take stake in Codestreet
Codestreet, the leading provider of fixed income matching and liquidity discovery solutions, today announced significant minority investments from leading venture capital firms, Rochester Advisors and Cerium Technology. The investments will help accelerate the growth of the Codestreet Dealer Pool (“CDP”), the firm’s dealer-centric platform for solving the liquidity challenges of the corporate bond market.

Tech giants at risk of reputation collapse, warn business leaders
Gillian Tett in Davos, FT
Large technology companies will experience the same collapse in reputation as banks have endured in recent years unless they rapidly change their policy approach, business leaders cautioned in Davos.


Silk Road led agents to several suspects
Kara Scannell in New York, FT
US authorities investigated at least two other people as the suspected operators of the Silk Road website before arresting Ross Ulbricht on charges of running a drug trafficking business, a federal agent testified at the trial of the defendant on Tuesday.

Olam International, U.S. Unit Fined $3 Million by CFTC; Regulator Alleged Singapore-Based Firm Violated Rules Related to Cocoa Trading
By Leslie Josephs, WSJ
The U.S. Commodity Futures Commission has fined Singapore-based trade house Olam International Ltd. and its U.S. subsidiary $3 million for violating rules related to its cocoa trading, the regulator said Tuesday.

Olam pays $3m over cocoa trading claims
Neil Hume and Emiko Terazono, FT
Olam, one of the world’s biggest traders of agricultural commodities, will pay $3m to settle US claims that it breached trading limits in cocoa derivatives.

CFTC Imposes $3 Million Penalty against Olam International, Ltd. and Olam Americas, Inc. for Violating Cocoa Position Limits and Unlawfully Executing Noncompetitive Trades
Olam International and Olam Americas failed to disclose to the CFTC that their cocoa futures trading was not independently controlled
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today issued an order filing and simultaneously settling charges against Singapore-based Olam International, Ltd. (Olam International), which operates a futures trading desk in London, England, and its subsidiary, Olam Americas, Inc. (Olam Americas), which is based in Summit, New Jersey and operates a futures trading desk there. Both companies purchase, sell, and trade cocoa and other agricultural products. The CFTC Order requires Olam International and Olam Americas to pay a $3 million civil monetary penalty and prohibits them from committing future violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC Regulations, as charged.

Fox of Folkestone: Conman from Kent who modelled himself on Wolf of Wall Street
The Telegraph
Conman who compared himself to character played by Leonardo DiCaprio in hit film while duping investors out of £80k to fund lavish lifestyle is jailed for two years
A conman who posted photos on Facebook of him enjoying the high life – drinking champagne and posing with wads of cash and a Rolex watch – has been jailed for two years.

Environmental & Energy

Obama: Climate change the greatest threat to future generations
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
President Obama declared climate change the greatest threat to the future during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

GOP chairman blasts Obama’s ‘war on fossil fuels’
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
The chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee accused President Obama of taking credit in his State of the Union address for energy industry successes that his policies are trying to hurt.

More than 150 investors demand climate action from BP
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
A coalition of 151 BP shareholders, including the Church of England and the Environment Agency, have today called on the company to step up its response to escalating climate change risks.

Crude Collapse Has Investors Braced for ’80s-Like Oil Casualties
By Rebecca Penty and Zain Shauk, Bloomberg
When a glut of crude flooded the market in the 1980s, scores of energy companies disappeared through almost five years of depressed prices. Investors are worried history is repeating itself.

Climate Reporting’s Hot Mess
AP takes the cake in the relentless campaign by global-warming journalists to discredit their own profession.
By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., WSJ
News reporting of the latest climate alarm was not uniformly bad. Among hundreds of publications in the Factiva database, exactly one—the Mail on Sunday, one of those derided London tabloids—injected the phrase “statistically significant” into consideration of whether 2014 was in any meaningful sense the “hottest year on record.”

Energy traders shun trade surveillance, survey finds


Shanghai’s option market launch shadowed by regulatory probes, brokerage suspensions
South China Morning Post
City’s exchange chief wants focus on risk controls for hedging instrument amid rising market volatility and fears for small investors

China to launch gold options on Shanghai Gold Exchange soon
Business Recorder
China will soon launch gold options on a trial basis on the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) to boost its bid to develop a viable bullion price benchmark, the bourse said on its website. China currently bans trading in commodity options to limit speculation, but allowing participants to test options trade indicates its openness to altering that rule.

Hong Kong exchange chief said expects Shenzhen link this year
The Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing expects to extend its landmark Shanghai trading link to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange this year, the bourse’s chief executive said on Tuesday.

HKFE Announces Revised Margins for China Life Insurance Futures

Frontier Markets

Gold CEO Caught on Bus in $970 Million Colombia Laundering Case
By Andrew Willis and Oscar Medina, Bloomberg
A manhunt for the Chief Executive Officer of CI Goldex SA has ended after police captured John Hernandez on a public bus last night, according to Colombia’s Attorney General’s office. “He was captured while traveling with his wife in the province of Quindio,” Luz Angela Bahamon, who headed the investigation, said in a telephone interview last night. The AG’s office alleges that Goldex is at the center of a $970 million money-laundering scheme, which they say is the biggest in the country’s history.

VTB Chief Says Russia Won’t Burn Foreign Bondholders
By Jason Corcoran, Bloomberg
Russian companies aren’t planning to renege on borrowings from foreign investors as the country faces having its debt rating cut to junk, VTB Group chief Andrey Kostin said.

Securities and Exchange Board of India Notices
Order in the matter of acquisition of shares of Brand Realty Services Limited
Transpek Finance Limited
Onmobile Global Limited – Post Buyback Public Announcement

Agreement with London stock exchange extended
English News
An agreement established between the Mongolian Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange is being extended by three more years without any allocation of additional expenses from the state budget. The two sides will continue to cooperate at a strategic partnership level.

Zagreb Stock Exchange Successfully Goes Live With Ancoa’s Market Surveillance Platform
Ancoa, providers of contextual surveillance and insightful analytics for exchanges, regulators, buy & sell-side firms, today announced that it has successfully integrated its real-time market surveillance capabilities with the Zagreb Stock Exchange’s (ZSE) trading platform across all trading segments; their regulated market, MTF and OTC trading platform.


Impact Partnership Expands Relationship with Fortune to Include Money, Fortune Knowledge Group
Impact Partnership, a marketing organization that works with financial advisors across the country, has expanded its relationship with to include and Fortune Knowledge Group.

Griffin divorce: Billionaire’s wife says terms seek her to be ‘good girl’
By Becky Yerak, Chicago Tribune
Billionaire asking wife he’s divorcing to be “good girl,” court filing says
Billionaire says “enough is enough” to wife’s $450,000 vacation
Anne Dias Griffin says the billionaire husband who is divorcing her will no longer give her free run of their downtown Chicago high-rise starting next month, doesn’t want to commit to any financial support “on paper,” and wants most family-related payments to be “off paper” to ensure that she is a “good girl” to him.

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