First Read

Bits & Pieces
By Doug Ashburn – John Lothian News

When Jim Binder left his job at OCC three months ago, there was much speculation around the office as to where he would end up. Yesterday afternoon we saw this post on Jim’s Facebook page:

“About this time 15 years ago I started working as an editor at Securities Week for Standard & Poor’s at 55 Water St in NYC. Ten years ago tomorrow I arrived back in Chicago so I could start working in PR at OCC on the day after MLK Day. Tomorrow I arrive in Jersey City to start my communications job at DTCC (headquartered at 55 Water St).”

A full circle for Mr. Binder, whose new title at DTCC is director of executive communications and content development. Best wishes on the new gig, Jim.

Chicago Fed Senior Policy Advisor John McPartland was the featured speaker at Wednesday’s Securities Traders Association of Chicago’s Mid-Winter Meeting in Chicago. McP gave a two-part speech on high frequency trading, the first part as sort of a primer on market structure and the second part being a glimpse of his most recent paper, which will appear in the Spring Edition of the Journal of Trading. He is calling it the Version 2.1 (or “2.last” since he says he is done with the topic after this installment) of last year’s controversial paper Recommendations for Equitable Allocation of Trades in High Frequency Trading Environments. If you have not seen it, take a look, and stay tuned for the update.

Speaking of STAC, we will be back there again today to showcase our MarketsWiki Education efforts, and to film three more speakers. Blair Hull compares tactical asset allocation to the game of blackjack. George Martin of Cheevers & Company, Inc. looks at the importance of the human element in today’s climate. And Mary Ryan of TD Ameritrade will show us how they engage with the younger set through TD Ameritrade U.

Later in the day, Mary and I will be on a panel for a group of students and would-be market participants entitled “Anatomy of a Trade.” We will be joined by Colleen Ryan of G1X Execution Services, Steve Roy of Citadel and IIT finance professor Michael Gorham

Five years ago I left the CME, where I had traded FX options for about 20 years, mostly in the Swiss franc. While we were sleeping this morning, the Swiss National Bank abandoned the 1.20 floor to the euro (EUR/CHF), and the currency skyrocketed 25 percent at one point versus the dollar. Talk about a flash crash. To put it in perspective, that would be about a 4300 point move in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Had I not left, today would have been my last day, one way or the other. Options market makers tend to hold fairly sizable positions, sometimes by choice, but often because our job is to take the other side of what the market demands. In a pinch, I would have hedged positions in the euro, which correlated strongly even before the SNB floor was put in place a few years ago. I would have awoken this morning to find myself either fabulously wealthy or out of business.

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CBOE Livin’ The High Life
JLN
CBOE Holdings held its annual press lunch yesterday and executives were proud to say that CBOE is doing just fine thanks. Among the highlights were:

  • 2014 volume was up 11 percent, to 1.3 billion contracts, outpacing the industry average of 4 percent.
  • VIX options’ ADV was 632,000 contracts, while VIX futures ADV was 201,000.
  • It’s SPX Weeklys continued to show great growth, up 38 percent with an ADV of 272,277
  • CBOE’s shareholder return in 2014 was 25 percent, and the stock hit an all time high of $68 last Thursday.

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Five Minutes with Mark Omens on CME’s New Futures Institute
Sarah Rudolph – John Lothian News
On Wednesday, the CME Group announced the launch of a new education initiative, the Futures Institute, an online platform for education on futures and options on futures. It offers live instruction, trading simulation, interactive training modules, and market research. JLN spoke with Mark Omens, senior director and head of retail sales for CME Group, to find out what stands out about the new program and who can benefit.

You can read the press release HERE

The web site can be found myfuturesinstitute.com

Q: There are other educational web sites out there for the futures industry. What is innovative and unique about this one?

A: What makes this web site different is that we’re trying to integrate learning about the product by actually applying this information to trading in a simulated environment. We take subject matter that may be confusing for someone who is new to the futures world, and break it up into bite size moments so the individual can integrate them into the marketplace while practicing trading those markets.

Read the rest of the article on JohnLothianNews.com

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Futures magazine name its first Person of the Year
By Daniel P. Collins, Futures Magazine
On an 11 p.m. train headed to the South side of Chicago a group of veteran bond traders could not stop talking about the amazing event they just witnessed. See, they were members of the Chicago Board of Trade and had just spent four hours peppering Intercontinental Exchange Chairman and CEO Jeff Sprecher—who had recently turned the futures industry upside down by making a counteroffer to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s definitive agreement to buy the Chicago Board of Trade—with questions regarding his offer for the CBOT.
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***** Dan Collins today me yesterday we were not doing a good enough job of including Futures Magazine content in JLN. Fair criticism, but not today.

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‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Linked Firm Raided by Federal Agents
By Zeke Faux and Christie Smythe, Bloomberg
A Florida medical device firm that employs a man who inspired the character played by Jonah Hill in the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” was raided by federal agents, a lawyer for the company said.
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***** I bet he used a four letter word when he was raided.

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Knowledge needed to prevent Lehman repeat
Andrew Haldane, Aurel Schubert and Richard Berner, FT
When Lehman Brothers failed in 2008, it exposed fault lines in the global financial architecture. Many of those have since been recognised and progress made towards closing them, led by the Financial Stability Board under the auspices of the G20 heads of state.
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***** Knowledge needed to identify black swans ahead of time.

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Lead Stories

Swiss franc rockets as currency ceiling scrapped
Michael Hunter and James Shotter, FT
The Swiss franc has soared against the euro after the nation’s central bank shocked markets by abandoning a long-held ceiling it put in place more than three years ago to stem inflows of hot money from overseas.
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Nasdaq plans challenge to CME and ICE in energy derivatives
By Reuters
Exchange operator Nasdaq OMX Group is considering entering the energy derivatives market in a challenge to CME Group and Intercontinental Exchange Inc, according to documents seen by Reuters.
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Forex Probe Finds New Signs of Potential Wrongdoing; J.P. Morgan and Citi Sack or Suspend Forex Staff Partly as a Result of U.S. Justice Department Probe
By Chiara Albanese, David Enrich and Katie Martin, WSJ
Banks and traders that figured the worst was over in the foreign-exchange scandal are facing an unpleasant surprise.
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CME Group and GFI Group Announce Revised Offer for GFI Group Stockholders to Receive $5.60 per GFI Group Share
CME Group
Private Consortium of GFI Group Management to Increase Cash Payment for GFI’s IDB Business to $282M from $254M Plus the Assumption at Closing of Approximately $77M in Unvested Deferred Compensation Liability to Employees
Increased Consideration Passed Entirely to Holders of GFI Stock Excluding GFI Group Management Consortium Who Will Receive Only $5.25 per Share
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Bitcoin’s Plunge Bites ‘Miners’; As Value Falls, Some Pull Plug on Computers Supporting System
By Michael J. Casey, WSJ
A rapid collapse in the value of bitcoin is squeezing some owners of the computers that support the digital currency and raising concerns about its viability.
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Republican assault on Dodd-Frank act intensifies
Barney Jopson in Washington, FT
Republicans are intensifying an assault on the Dodd-Frank financial reform act in the second week of a new Congress with the House of Representatives voting on Wednesday to delay an element of the post-crisis legislation.
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Swiss central bank shocks markets with currency ‘tsunami’
By Alice Baghdjian and Silke Koltrowitz, Reuters
The Swiss National Bank (SNB) shocked financial markets on Thursday by scrapping a three-year-old cap on the franc, sending the safe-haven currency soaring through the 1.20 per euro limit and stoking fears about the export-reliant Swiss economy.
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Central London tops world as most expensive city for construction
Gill Plimmer, FT
Complex planning rules, high labour and land costs and exacting design standards have combined to make London the most expensive place in the world to build.
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Dimon warns breaking up JPMorgan would hurt US financial power
Tom Braithwaite in New York, FT
US financial power would be diminished if it were left to Baby JPMorgans to compete with emerging Chinese megabanks, Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase’s chief executive, said on Wednesday as he was forced to make the case for his bank staying intact.
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Regulatory

U.S. SEC adopts rules establishing regime for swap data warehouses
By Sarah N. Lynch, Reuters
U.S. securities regulators took another step toward shedding more light on the over-the-counter derivatives market Wednesday, adopting a raft of measures to give them a direct window into the opaque market.
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House Passes Bill to Ease Some Wall Street Regulations; Move Is Latest Legislative Effort to Roll Back Provisions of Dodd-Frank
By Andrew Ackerman and Michael R. Crittenden
The House Wednesday passed a bill to ease nearly a dozen Wall Street regulations, the latest legislative effort to roll back provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law.
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Heightened Scrutiny of Brokers – SEC Approves FINRA’s Proposed Background Check Rule
by Daniel A. Nathan, JD Supra
In recent years, questions have been raised in many quarters about how brokers with questionable backgrounds have been able to move among firms and remain in the industry. FINRA has responded by enhancing a broker-dealer’s obligations for reviewing the backgrounds of its newly hired brokers.
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Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) Rulemaking and National Market System (NMS) Plans

  • BATS: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Use of BATS Exchange, Inc. (Release No. 34-74043; File No. SR-BATS-2015-01; January 13, 2015); see also Exhibit 5

 

  • FICC: Order Approving Proposed Rule Change to Amend the Rules of the Government Securities Division and the Mortgage-Backed Securities Division on Insolvency and Ceasing to A (Release No. 34-74046; File No. SR-FICC-2014-06; January 13, 2015)

 

  • NASDAQ: Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change to Adopt NASDAQ Rule 7015(i) to Offer the New IPO Workstation (Release No. 34-74041; File No. SR-NASDAQ-2014-110; January 13, 2015)

 

  • NASDAQ OMX BX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Regarding the Extranet Access Fee (Release No. 34-74045; File No. SR-BX-2015-003; January 13, 2015); see also Exhibit 5

 

  • OCC: Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Concerning the Date of the Annual Meeting of The Options Clearing Corporation’s Stockholders (Release No. 34-74042; File No. SR-OCC-2015-01; January 13, 2015)

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Speeches and Public Statements

  • Statement at Open Meeting Concerning Rules Regarding Security-Based Swap Data Repositories and Regulation SBSR by Chair Mary Jo White, Washington, D.C.

 

  • Creating a Regulatory Infrastructure to Address the Lack of Transparency in the Security-Based Swap Market by Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar, Washington, D.C.

 

  • Dissenting Statement at Open Meeting Concerning Rules Regarding Security-Based Swap Data Repositories and Regulation SBSR by Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar, Washington, D.C.

 

  • Statement on Swap Data Repositories (SDR) and Reporting and Dissemination of Security-Based Swap Information (SBSR) by Commissioner Kara M. Stein, Washington, D.C.

 

  • Dissenting Statement Regarding Adoption of Regulation SDR by Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher, Washington, D.C.

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Exchanges & Trading Facilities

CBOE considers posting employees abroad
By Lynne Marek, Crain’s Chicago Business
CBOE Holdings has been spooling up sales abroad without actually placing employees anywhere outside the U.S., but its Chicago-centric approach could change sometime soon. of its employees outside the U.
jlne.ws/1zhr6qg

Nasdaq plans challenge to energy futures duopoly
Gregory Meyer in New York, FT
Nasdaq OMX plans to break into global oil and gas derivatives markets, invading the turf of established commodity exchanges by offering traders lower fees.
jlne.ws/1DI17K9

CME Group Announces Record NYMEX Brent (BZ) Volume Surpasses 200K
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced it reached a trading volume record for its NYMEX Brent (BZ) crude oil futures contract on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. Trading volume for NYMEX Brent reached 206,088, compared to January 9, 2015, the last record day when volume reached 191,961 contracts.
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ICE Futures Europe Achieves Daily Volume Record in NBP Natural Gas
ICE
Intercontinental Exchange, the leading global network of exchanges and clearing houses, today announced that the ICE Futures Europe NBP Natural Gas futures and options contracts achieved a daily volume record of 148,765 lots (equivalent to 4.48 billion therms) on January 13, 2015. The previous record of 120,145 lots was set on March 3, 2014.
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GATElab named as accredited software vendor by Moscow Exchange
London Stock Exchange

  • Offers low latency solutions across asset class

 

  • Available to all Moscow Exchange members

GATElab, the multi-asset electronic trading systems provider, part of London Stock Exchange Group, is pleased to announce it has been accredited as a software vendor of the Moscow Exchange (MOEX).
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Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

SNB Unexpectedly Scraps Cap on Franc in Reversal of Key Policy
By Catherine Bosley, Bloomberg
The Swiss National Bank (SNBN) scrapped its minimum exchange rate today, abandoning a tool policy makers said just days ago was necessary to ward off deflation.
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Golden parachutes are lead balloon for investors
Chris Bryant and Arash Massoudi, FT
He may lose his job as TRW Automotive chief executive, but John Plant will still have reason to cheer if Germany’s ZF Friedrichshafen completes a $12.4bn takeover of the US automotive supplier later this year.
jlne.ws/1ylsgj2

Son accused of murdering hedge-fund dad to share in $1.6M will
By Julia Marsh, NY Post
Good things come to those who . . . kill their rich parents?
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Flexible Bond Funds Flop as Rate Drop Stings Top Sellers
By Charles Stein, Bloomberg
The new generation of bond funds just can’t keep up with your parents’ investments.
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Ex-SAC’s Kumin Said to Gather $1 Billion for Hedge Fund Startup
By Saijel Kishan, FT
Solomon Kumin, who was chief operating officer of billionaire Steven A. Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors, is on track to gather $1 billion for his hedge fund firm when it starts trading in March, according to a person familiar with the matter.
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Gold Demand Seen Expanding 15% by HSBC on Asia-to-ETP Buying
By Glenys Sim, FT
Gold demand will rebound in 2015 as bullion consumption in Asia increases and investors return to exchange-traded products backed by the metal, according to HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.
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Bill Ackman distances Pershing Square hedge fund from rivals
Miles Johnson, Hedge Fund Correspondentm, FT
Bill Ackman, one of the world’s highest profile hedge fund managers, has said he would prefer to be called “something else” — and defended his record at a time when the industry has been come under fire from some of its largest investors.
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Banks & Brokers

BofA Profit Drops 11% as Fixed-Income Trading Revenue Slumps
By Hugh Son, Bloomberg
Bank of America Corp. (BAC), the second-largest U.S. lender, said fourth-quarter profit fell 11 percent as revenue from fixed-income trading declined.
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Citigroup Profit Misses Estimates After Year-End Drop in Trading
By Dakin Campbell, Bloomberg
Citigroup Inc. (C), the third-largest U.S. bank, said profit tumbled 86 percent, missing analysts’ estimates after year-end trading slumped more than forecast.
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Credit Suisse to face consumer push-back at regulatory hearing
By Sarah N. Lynch, Reuters
Credit Suisse Group AG will ask U.S. regulators at a hearing on Thursday to allow it to manage pensions following a criminal guilty plea, but will face resistance from groups determined to stop what they see as the rubber-stamping of such waivers.
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RBS Loses Senior Compliance Staff, Some Poached by HSBC; State-Controlled British Bank Braces for Fines Over Past Misconduct
By Margot Patrick And Rachel Louise Ensign, WSJ
Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC has lost four of its top legal and compliance staff, as the state-controlled bank braces for a series of expected fines over past misconduct.
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The prudent mogul breaks up his empire
John Gapper John Gapper, FT
Investors tolerate the foibles of a founder who displays talent, but are suspicious of his successors
There comes a time in most people’s lives, usually very late in the lives of self-made billionaires, when they settle their affairs and divide up their assets to put everything in order for the family. It has the added benefit for business moguls of pleasing the shareholders.
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Bank of America struggles with low rates
Tom Braithwaite in New York, FT
Bank of America suffered a decline in profits in the fourth quarter, with hefty cost cutting unable to make up for a fall in revenue.
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JPMorgan Currency Trader Said to Be Suspended for Actions at RBS
By Gavin Finch and Suzi Ring, Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) has suspended a foreign-exchange trader over allegations of wrongdoing related to his work at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, according to a person with knowledge of the decision.
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Goldman Sachs Names Salame to Lead Partnership Committee
By Michael J. Moore, Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) named Pablo Salame, co-head of the firm’s trading unit, as chairman of the partnership committee.
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Global Clearing: G. H. Financials Quarterly Newsletter
GH Financials
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Citi hit by sharp drop in trading income
Tom Braithwaite in New York, FT
Citigroup’s fourth-quarter earnings were hit by a sharper-than-expected drop in trading revenues, disappointing investors again and adding to evidence that banks failed to navigate the torrid markets at the end of the year.
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Morgan Stanley Names King, Sherk New Commodity Co-Heads; Changes Come at a Time of Transition for the Investment Bank’s Commodity Business
By Christian Berthelsen and Justin Baer
Morgan Stanley named new executives to oversee its commodity business after one co-head quit and another moved to take an advisory role, marking the latest changes to ripple through a trading business increasingly hemmed in by new bank regulations.
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Clearing & Settlement

Cinnober selected to receive EU funding for disruptive client clearing technology
Cinnober
The European Commission recognizes need for real-time risk margining, multi-asset client clearing solution for the banking sector
jlne.ws/14znHoO

SEC Adopts Rules to Increase Transparency in Security-Based Swap Market
SEC
Commission Also Proposes Additional Security-Based Swap Transaction Reporting Rules and Guidance
The Securities and Exchange Commission today adopted two new sets of rules that will require security-based swap data repositories (SDRs) to register with the SEC and prescribe reporting and public dissemination requirements for security-based swap transaction data. The SEC also proposed certain additional rules, rule amendments and guidance related to the reporting and public dissemination of security-based swap transaction data. The new rules are designed to increase transparency in the security-based swap market and to ensure that SDRs maintain complete records of security-based swap transactions that can be accessed by regulators.
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Indexes & Products

Legends Of Indexing: Kathleen Moriarty
ETF.com
Kathleen Moriarty, a partner at the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman, worked with the late Nate Most on the development of the first ETF, the S&P Depositary Receipts, now known as the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY/A-98). That earned her the nickname in the industry of “Spider Woman.” She’s since gone on to advise a wide range of ETF issuers—including iShares, Vanguard and State Street Global Advisors—as they have brought their products to market, and has worked on some of the best-known products such as the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD/A-100), the first ETF to actually provide investors with ownership in physical gold.
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iShares exec says it’s legit to worry about sheer number of ETFs
By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch
One challenge for investors using ETFs is the sheer number of these low-cost, index-tracking funds—nearly 1,700 in the U.S.
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Technology

DRW Acquires HFT Firm Chopper, Joining Chicago-Based Traders
By Matthew Leising, Bloomberg
Don Wilson’s DRW Trading Group agreed to buy the assets of Chopper Trading LLC, joining two of the most prominent Chicago-based computerized trading firms.
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NY AG to propose new bill to strengthen data security law
Reuters
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will propose legislation on Thursday that he says would make the state’s data security law the strongest in the country and require “unprecedented safeguards” for personal data.
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Exclusive: Samsung talks to BlackBerry about $7.5 billion buyout: source
By Jennifer Ablan and Liana B. Baker, Reuters
Samsung Electronics recently offered to buy BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY.O) (BB.TO) for as much as $7.5 billion, seeking its valuable patents as it battles Apple (AAPL.O) in the corporate market, according to a person familiar with the matter and documents seen by Reuters.
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“HFT Influence” – The Real Story Behind the Latest Stock Exchange Fine
Themis Trading LLC
Direct Edge was fined $14 million yesterday by the SEC for failure to disclose important information about how some of their order types worked. Before we get into the details of this latest case, we thought it was important to give you a quick review on the controversies that have plagued Direct Edge over the past few years.
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Enforcement

Brokerage CEO Carris Barred After Funds Spent on Booze, Cleaners
By Zeke Faux, Bloomberg
George Carris, the former head of defunct brokerage John Carris Investments LLC, was barred from the industry for fraud, regulators said.
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CFTC Obtains Judgment against Commodity Pool Operators TOTE Fund LLC and MJS Capital Management LLC, and their Principal, Michael J. Siegel, for Commodity Pool Fraud and Other Violations
CFTC
Federal Court Orders Defendants to Pay More than $871,000 in Restitution, Disgorgement, and Civil Monetary Penalties
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that Judge Noel L. Hillman of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey entered an Order of default judgment and permanent injunction against Defendants TOTE Fund LLC (TOTE) and MJS Capital Management LLC (MJS), two Commodity Pool Operators, and their sole principal Michael J. Siegel of Northfield, New Jersey.
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Silk Road Served as EBay for Heroin ‘Dread Pirate’ Jury Told
By Bob Van Voris, Bloomberg
Silk Road, the online marketplace where prosecutors claim more than 1 million drug deals were done from 2011 to 2013, resembled a normal consumer site like EBay or Amazon.com, only with listings for cocaine, LSD and black tar heroin.
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Dread Pirate’s story unravels in library
Kara Scannell in New York, FT
An undercover agent told a court on Wednesday that within a few minutes of watching Ross Ulbricht enter a California library, the moniker of Dread Pirate Roberts — the alleged mastermind of an online marketplace for illegal drugs called Silk Road — flashed to life on his computer screen.
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Ex-Calpers Executive Facing Corruption Trial Dies in Reno
By Karen Gullo, Bloomberg
Alfred Villalobos, an former California Public Employees’ Retirement System board member scheduled to stand trial next month for conspiracy and bribery charges, has died in a Nevada gun club.
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NFA orders Lake Forest, Ill. firms Aspirant Management LLC and Luckow Group, Inc. to permanently withdraw from NFA membership and sanctions the firms’ principal, Paul D. Luckow
NFA
National Futures Association(NFA) has ordered Aspirant Management LLC, an NFA Member commodity pool operator (CPO) and commodity trading advisor (CTA), and Luckow Group, Inc., an NFA Member CTA, both located in Lake Forest, Ill., to permanently withdraw from NFA membership. NFA also has ordered the firms’ sole principal and associated person (AP), Paul D. Luckow, not to register as an AP or be principal of an NFA Member CPO or CTA. Finally, Aspirant Management, Luckow Group and Luckow also were ordered to pay a total fine of $20,000.
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Environmental & Energy

Warm Weather Sinking EU Emissions-Market Plans
By Mathew Carr, Bloomberg
Europe’s attempt to revive its carbon market is being thwarted by a lack of pollution.
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Forget That Warm Weather Talk: U.S. Is About to Get Cold
By Brian K. Sullivan, Bloomberg
The computer forecast models have taken a turn for the cold. The prospects of a January thaw are dropping right off the map. Even the chances that the U.S. East Coast will hold on to some above-normal temperatures into the last week of the month are fading like cheap paint in the bright sun.
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EPA Set to Regulate Oil and Gas Methane Emissions; Proposal Would Be First-Ever Direct Regulation on Methane
By Amy Harder
The Obama administration unveiled plans Wednesday to regulate methane emissions from the nation’s oil and natural-gas industry for the first time, a move aimed at meeting climate-change goals while not hampering the nation’s energy boom.
jlne.ws/1zhlUm0

Oil projects worth billions put on hold
Christopher Adams and Michael Kavanagh, FT
Billions of dollars of spending on oil and petrochemicals projects has been scrapped or put on hold, with Royal Dutch Shell and UK-based Premier Oil announcing the first big cost-cutting moves of 2015 after a brutal slide in crude prices.
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Gravy Train Derails for Oil Patch Workers Laid Off in Downturn
By David Wethe, Bloomberg
The first thing oilfield geophysicist Emmanuel Osakwe noticed when he arrived back at work before 8 a.m. last month after a short vacation was all the darkened offices.
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Asia-Pacific

Chinese hedge funds drive copper plunge
By Henry Sanderson and Neil Hume, FT
What caused copper to plunge precipitously on Wednesday?
Market participants say aggressive selling by Chinese hedge funds that are virtually unknown in the west played a powerful part in pushing the metal down more than 7 per cent to its lowest level since 2009.
jlne.ws/1u6m3r7

HKFE Announces Revised Margins for London Copper and Zinc Mini Futures Contracts
HKEx
jlne.ws/1515iCr

SGX welcomes Mizuho Securities USA as first remote derivatives clearing member
SGX
Singapore Exchange (SGX) is pleased to welcome Mizuho Securities USA Inc. as its first remote clearing member. SGX was the first exchange in Asia in October 2013 to pioneer a new membership class for international clearing clients to access SGX platform from their home jurisdictions. This capability is required by the US Dodd-Frank Act, and SGX is the first in Asia to be accorded Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO) by the US status Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
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Frontier Markets

Khazanah reaps $1bn from Alibaba investment
Jeremy Grant, Kuala Lumpur, FT
Khazanah, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, reaped more than $1bn from investing in Alibaba ahead of the Chinese e-commerce group’s stock market flotation last year, in a sign of how big Asian investors have cashed in on what remains the world’s biggest initial public offering to date.
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Forget Emerging Markets. Hot Topic at Davos 2015 Is the U.S.
By Matthew Campbell and Jacqueline Simmons, Bloomberg
The World Economic Forum has long been something of a coming-out party for emerging economies, with developing countries dispatching politicians and executives to the Swiss resort of Davos to drum up interest. This year, the big magnet for investment looks to be an older player on the global stage: the United States.
jlne.ws/1G0WZXP

Russia to Shift Ukraine Gas Transit to Turkey as EU Cries Foul
By Elena Mazneva, Bloomberg
Russia plans to shift all its natural gas flows crossing Ukraine to a route via Turkey, a surprise move that the European Union’s energy chief said would hurt its reputation as a supplier.
jlne.ws/1INrNr1

Russia to Dip Into Wealth Fund as Ruble Crisis Pressures Economy
By Olga Tanas, Anna Andrianova and Ksenia Galouchko, Bloomberg
Russia will unseal its $88 billion Reserve Fund and use it to acquire rubles, the government’s latest effort to stem the country’s worst currency crisis in almost 17 years and limit its effects on the ailing economy.
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Russia Picks New Monetary Policy Chief as Currency Plummets
By Yuliya Fedorinova, Anna Andrianova and Ryan Chilcote, Bloomberg
Russia’s central bank replaced its head of monetary policy after President Vladimir Putin criticized the failure of emergency measures to halt ruble’s decline.
jlne.ws/1AiDgu0

YES Bank plans to seek regulator nod for entering mutual fund business
Business Standard
However, the bank is yet to decide on whether they want to build their asset management business or to buy an AMC
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Miscellaneous

Financial markets suspend trading in light of papal visit
GMA News
Philippine financial markets are closed Thursday in light of Pope Francis’ visit to the country from January 15 to 19.
jlne.ws/1KN6Pwk

Bitcoin Plummets 32 Percent in Two Days
By Olga Kharif, FT
The price of bitcoin has plummeted 32 percent in two days, as the virtual currency’s volatility threatens to undermine its ability to gain mainstream use.
jlne.ws/1u6nZjp

Billionaire Carlos Slim Doubles Holdings in New York Times
By Patricia Laya and Gerry Smith, FT
Billionaire Carlos Slim became the largest investor in the New York Times Co. after exercising options to acquire 15.9 million shares in the newspaper company.
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Chipotle tries to beef up pork supplies
Neil Munshi in Chicago, FT
There was hope for carnitas lovers on Wednesday as Chipotle said it was trying to get hold of additional pork supplies, after the burrito chain suspended sales of the meat at about a third of its outlets.
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