John Lothian Newsletter: U.S. exchanges grapple for solutions to trading glitches; US watchdog gives foreign banks more time on swap rules; Executive Departures Send Ripples Through Exchange Industry

Nov 27, 2013

First Read

Gone Tomorrow, Here Again After
Jon Matte
In honor of the US holiday on Thursday (“Premature Shopping Day” – or, as it used to be called, “Thanksgiving Day”), John Lothian News will be closed, and that means no newsletters. But never fear, on Friday JLN and JLN Financials will be back in action. Meantime, to those of you who have a day off, our best wishes for the holiday!

***** I have asked Jon Matte to exclusively edit JLN tomorrow as I will probably still be in a food coma. Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at John Lothian News.


Noll’s Nasdaq departure shocks insiders
Arash Massoudi in New York –
Welcome to the rough and tumble world of working at Nasdaq OMX. For the second time in three years a highly regarded executive at the US exchanges operator has quit unexpectedly. On Monday, Eric Noll, who led transaction services for Nasdaq’s US and UK businesses for the past four years, left to become chief executive at brokerage ConvergEx

***** There is a marked advantage of being a big fish in a smaller pond, or in this case a Noll (knoll) rather than a mountain.


Executive Departures Send Ripples Through Exchange Industry
Bradley Hope – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Change is buffeting American stock exchanges in ways that would have been completely out of the ordinary a decade ago. NYSE Euronext and Nasdaq OMX, once the stalwarts of equity trading, are rushing to stay relevant as nimble competitors from outside the established cities of New York and Chicago accumulate market share. So it should come as no surprise that two senior executives from the largest stock exchanges are on their way out.

***** You better get used to this.


Margin deposit practices in focus as clearing firms gain clout
Rules that kicked in this year now require most trades in the $668 trillion global privately negotiated derivatives markets to move to these firms, which are already a common presence in bond and repurchase agreement markets. That is concentrating more trading risks with clearinghouses than ever before, making them the new too-big-to-fail firms of global finance. It is also drawing new scrutiny on how they manage their exposures.

***** You don’t eliminate risk, you manage it. At least now you can see it to manage it.


CME Group Agrees to Sell Nymex Building to Brookfield for $200 Million
Tess Stynes – MoneyBeat – WSJ
CME Group Inc. agreed to sell the Nymex Building in lower Manhattan to Brookfield Office Properties Inc. for $200 million in a sale-leaseback deal that provides space for the New York Mercantile Exchange trading floor and offices.

***** Whereupon the NYMEX Building became known as the Brookfield Zoo.


ISE Gemini Completes Fourth Successful Product Rollout
ISE Gemini announced today that it has completed the rollout of 302 additional products, representing the fourth successful product rollout since launch. ISE Gemini now lists 996 total products and has an equity options market share of 2.9 percent through the month of November, excluding dividend trades.

***** Gemini should not roll out products. They should launch them into the stratosphere.


CBOE to List Options on CBOE Russell 2000 Volatility Index Beginning December 3
Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated today announced that it will list options on the CBOE Russell 2000 Volatility Index beginning Tuesday, December 3.

***** Listing is so much more dignified than launching or rolling out. Sounds like you could have tea and just list something.

***DA: For more on the story, check out the John Lothian News video interview with Russell’s Pat Fay.


Here’s why Wall Street has a hard time being ethical
Chris Arnade – The Guardian
A new report finds 53% of financial services executives say that adhering to ethical standards inhibits career progression at their firm. A former Wall Street trader describes why

***** There are ethical standards. It is just that some people may disagree with the ethics.


Alfred Feld, Who Worked at Goldman 80 Years, Dies at 98
Julie Steinberg – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s longest-serving employee died last night, the firm said. Alfred Feld, who had worked at the firm for 80 years, was 98 at the time of his death, Goldman said in an internal memo signed by Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein and President Gary Cohn

***** A nice story, but it makes you wonder what is the retirement policy at Goldman.


Technical Analysis Event in New York: Market Views for 2014
Thomson Reuters and the Market Technicians Association (MTA) are pleased to invite you to a Technical Analysis Event with Tom Fitzpatrick, Managing Director and Global Head of CitiFX Technicals. The event will take place on Monday, December 16th from 5:00pm-8:00pm at the Thomson Reuters building, 3 Times Square. Click here for more info and to register:
Kim Taylor

What’s in a name? CME’s Kim Taylor Says Extra Cost
Clearinghouses are now considered systemically important to financial markets. But with that designation are new regulations and capital requirements. John Lothian News sat down with Kim Taylor of CME Clearing to talk about how a new requirement will raise costs for market participants. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulation 39-33, passed on November 15, is a capital requirement that is set to be implemented by the end of the year. It calls for US-based clearinghouses to be designated as qualified central counterparties (QCCPs), which ultimately would give them more favorable capital requirements under Basel III but tough capital US guidelines.

Watch the video »



MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Eric Noll

MarketsWiki Recent Updates


Xerxes Bhote; Diane Eastabrook; Dennis K. Berman; Debbie Carlson; Nandini Sukumar; Bruce Blythe; Eric W. Noll

Companies, Organizations and Groups

ConvergEx Group, LLC; Advantage Futures


45,515,329 pages viewed, 7,713 articles, 168,962 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

Analysis: U.S. exchanges grapple for solutions to trading glitches
U.S. security exchanges are feverishly working in the wake of August’s Nasdaq trading halt to reinforce a market that too frequently seems to succumb to technology glitches, but these efforts are unlikely to rectify all the weak spots.

***JM: I’ve written a lot of software, but I’ve never written a sandbag. Similarly: when a company sits down to create a new, robust transaction network, do they build it by taping together half a dozen incompatible legacy systems? So… this approach isn’t really going to work, is it?

U.S. watchdog gives foreign banks more time on swap rules
The U.S. swaps regulator issued a temporary reprieve from its rules for foreign banks after closing a loophole that had allowed trading to continue outside regulated platforms in the United States.

CME alters some natgas, oil settlement prices due to glitch
CME Group on Tuesday said it had changed the contract expiration price of 10 New York Mercantile Exchange energy products and related instruments settled between May and October due to a technical glitch.

Aquis Exchange Launches Successfully – Subscription Pricing Introduced, UK, French And Dutch Stocks Traded
Aquis Exchange, the pan-European equities trading exchange, today successfully completed its first day of live operations, executing trades in all three of the markets available at launch. Aquis Exchange, which has introduced subscription pricing to European equities trading, saw several Members participate on launch day and trades were executed in a range of blue chip stocks from the UK, France and the Netherlands.

For First Time in 13 Years, Nasdaq Closes Above 4,000
Wall Street reached another market milestone on Tuesday when the Nasdaq composite index closed above the 4,000-point mark for the first time in 13 years.

German watchdog starts probe into gold price-fixing: report
Germany’s financial watchdog BaFin has started a probe into suspected manipulation of benchmark gold and silver prices by banks, the Wall Street Journal Deutschland website reported on Tuesday.

FDIC Says U.S. Banking Industry Continues Slow Rebound
Ryan Tracy –
The U.S. banking industry continued its recovery during the third quarter, reflecting the sector’s gradual rebound from the financial crisis, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said.


Ink barely dry, EU aides fret new rules crimp investment
With the ink barely dry on new capital rules for banks, insurers and pension funds, some European policymakers are already pressing for changes to avoid strangling investment in credit-starved small business as an unintended consequence.

City lawyers dismiss ‘hopeless’ criminal sanction threat to bankers
Matthew Attwood – Financial News
City of London lawyers have lined up to dismiss an amendment to the UK’s Banking Reform Bill – being debated in the House of Lords today – that seeks to land “reckless” bankers in jail, with one describing the measures as “hopeless” in their current form.

CFTC Staff Issues Time-Limited No-Action Letter on the Applicability of Transaction-Level Requirements in Certain Cross-Border Situations

B.C. Securities Commission appoints Pamela McDonald as Director of Communications and Education

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority AFA Update: Issue # 18 – Changes Ahead For AFAs Who Provide DIMS

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Ex-Nasdaq trading chief reveals exchange’s fixed-income ambitions
Helen Avery – Euromoney magazine
Before his surprise departure to become president at brokerage firm ConvergEx, announced on Monday, Eric Noll was the driving force behind Nasdaq’s expansion into fixed income and seen as a likely successor to CEO Bob Greifeld, who has been in charge since 2003.

Turquoise triples turnover with revamped dark trading service
Elliott Holley – Banking Technology
The London Stock Exchange’s European equity market Turquoise has reported a substantial increase in dark trading volumes following the relaunch of its ‘dark’ pool Uncross service.

BSE to launch currency derivative platform on Friday
The Economic Times
Premiere stock exchange BSE will launch its platform for trading in currency derivatives from Friday, making it the fourth bourse in the country to offer such trades.

Top Euronext executive Lisa Dallmer to depart
Tim Cave – Financial News
One of the most senior European executives at NYSE Euronext is set to leave the group following its $11 billion acquisition by IntercontinentalExchange, Financial News has learned. Lisa Dallmer, chief operating officer for European cash market execution services at NYSE Euronext, is planning to leave the group by the end of the year, according to a person familiar with the situation.

NASDAQ OMX Nordic Launches Intraday Auctions To Improve Liquidity In SME Shares
NASDAQ OMX today announces the introduction of a scheduled intraday auction on certain market segments in Denmark, Finland and Sweden. The aim of introducing this is to improve liquidity in less traded shares, thereby contributing to SME funding and growth.

Montréal Exchange Achieves New Trading Volume Record On CGB Ten-Year Government Of Canada Bond Futures
TMX Group Limited today announced that Montréal Exchange achieved a record of 375,865 contracts traded on the Ten-Year Government of Canada Bond Futures contract (CGB) on November 25, 2013, which surpassed the previous record of 369,761 contracts traded that was established on November 26, 2012.

NYSE Group Inc. Issues Short Interest Report

NYSE MKT Issues Short Interest Report

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

There is no Fear in Fear Itself
Doug Ashburn – John Lothian News
In compiling yesterday’s newsletter, two themes stick out like sore thumbs. First, the world seems to be getting the message that current policy is having less and less impact, and the side effects of such policy may be worse than the disease itself. Meanwhile, asset prices keep lurching forward, and there is little to no fear in this market.

Goldman Sachs Asset Management launches first closed-end fund
Goldman Sachs Asset Management, a unit of Goldman Sachs Group Inc, launched its first-ever closed-end fund on Tuesday, raising $826.3 million from investors.

Insurers boost allocation to private equity
Louie Woodall –
Insurers are increasing their investment in private equity as they look for higher yielding assets to make up for poor returns on their government bond portfolios.

Carlyle to buy funds-of-hedge-funds manager
Carlyle Group LP said on Tuesday it would acquire Diversified Global Asset Management Corporation (DGAM), becoming the latest alternative asset manager to add a manager of funds that in turn invest in other hedge funds to its investment platform.

Volatile Loan Securities—CLOs—Are Luring Fund Managers Again
Matt Wirz –
Investment funds aimed at individual investors are barreling into collateralized loan obligations, a complex and volatile type of security that was shaken by the financial crisis.

Hedge backtesting for model validation
Lee Jackson –
Derivatives pricing and expected exposure models must be backtested as a basic regulatory requirement. But what does this mean exactly, and how can it be used to reserve against model risk?

Banks & Brokers

Madame Nouy set to take on Europe’s banks
Danièle Nouy will become the most powerful woman in European banking when she takes the helm at the industry’s new watchdog, the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), due to come into force next November. She will oversee the euro zone’s 6,000-odd lenders and will have the power to order a bank closed, if necessary.

TIMELINE-JPMorgan and its Henry Bath metals warehouse
JPMorgan Chase & Co decided in May to divest its Henry Bath metal warehousing company after a three-year struggle to conform the business to banking regulations, according to letters received by Reuters through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Morgan Stanley and Citi Got SEC Inquiries on Foreign Hiring
Justin Baer and Christopher M. Matthews –
U.S. authorities are stepping up their probe of Wall Street firms’ hiring practices abroad, sending letters seeking information from major financial firms including Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

Berndt impressed by the global reach of RBS
Matthew Attwood – Financial News
The new head of global transaction services at RBS joined the bank last month after three years leading the European business at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, preceded by 10 at Citigroup. FN talks to her about her move, growth in the industry and rising competition.

GFI Group Inc, a leading intermediary in over-the-counter derivatives markets, announced today that it had been voted best broker for currency options by FX Week, an Incisive Media publication.
(via email)

Clearing & Settlement

Tradeweb TW SEF Completes First Swaps Compression Trade
Tradeweb Markets, the leading global provider of fixed income and derivatives marketplaces, announced that it has completed the first fully-electronic compression transaction of cleared derivatives trades on its swap execution facility (SEF), TW SEF LLC. Investment manager Arcem Capital successfully executed a pool of interest rate swap (IRS) trades as one or a zero line-item transaction with Deutsche Bank that was cleared by LCH.Clearnet’s SwapClear.

Traiana Announces Cross Jurisdiction UTI Management Solution
Traiana, the leading provider of pre-trade risk and post-trade processing solutions, announces that it has launched a comprehensive Unique Trade Identifier (UTI) management solution using the Harmony network.

SwapClear to restart compression in leverage boon for banks
Lukas Becker –
LCH.Clearnet’s SwapClear plans to restart its multilateral trade compression service next month, dealers say, after making changes that bring it in line with US clearing rules. A conflict with those rules forced part of the service to be suspended in April, restricting members’ ability to cut the size of their cleared portfolios – one way in which banks hope to comply with the leverage ratio.

Standard Chartered to offer client clearing for non-US persons
Justin Lee –
Standard Chartered has created a new unit within its financial markets business offering clients over-the-counter derivative clearing services in Singapore and London, with aims to expand the offering when OTC clearing regulations are implemented across Asia.

Indexes & Products

Greece to Join MSCI Emerging-Markets Index
Erin McCarthy –
Wednesday marks Greece’s return to a widely tracked emerging-markets stock index after a 12-year absence, but some fund managers aren’t enthused.

[SIX] Exchange Traded Funds are becoming smarter
Until recently, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) only focussed on replicating indices. After all the most important indices had been covered, the sector went a step further: Modern Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) aim to make use of an index’s specific potential to generate outperformance while minimizing risk.

STOXX Changes Composition Of Benchmark Indices – Results Of The Fourth Regular Quarterly Review To Be Effective On December 23, 2013

SRI Index Encourages Companies To Improve Transparency – JSE’s 2013 SRI Index Annual Review Results


Picking global data centre operator Equinix pays off for Chi-X
Jennifer Foreshew | The Australian
WHEN Chi-X Australia entered the local securities exchange market, it sought to remove as many business and commercial barriers to customers as possible.


SEC Charges Weatherford International With FCPA Violations
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged oilfield services company Weatherford International with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by authorizing bribes and improper travel and entertainment for foreign officials in the Middle East and Africa to win business, including kickbacks in Iraq to obtain United Nations Oil-for-Food contracts.

SEC Announces Charges Against Two Houston-Based Firms for Engaging in Thousands of Undisclosed Principal Transactions
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against two Houston-based investment advisory firms and three executives for engineering thousands of principal transactions through their affiliated brokerage firm without informing their clients.

SEC Announces Fraud Charges Against Detroit-Based Money Market Fund Manager
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges against a Detroit-based investment advisory firm and a portfolio manager for deceiving the trustees of a money market fund and failing to comply with rules that limit risk in a money market fund’s portfolio.

Federal Court in Connecticut Orders Feisal Sharif to Pay over $3 Million to Settle Fraud Charges in CFTC Action
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that it obtained a federal court Order against defendant Feisal Sharif of Branford, Connecticut, requiring him to pay restitution of $2,230,000 to defrauded customers and a $900,000 civil monetary penalty, as well as permanent trading and registration bans against Sharif for violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).

Analyst Seeks to Avoid Jail by Testifying in SAC Trial
The star witness in the federal government’s insider trading prosecution of Michael Steinberg, once a senior trader at SAC Capital Advisors, told a federal jury on Tuesday why he was cooperating with prosecutors and testifying at the trial.

[Canada] Securities regulator alleges former B.C. resident used scheme to conceal his identity

Environmental & Energy

China launches second pilot carbon trading platform
Lucy Hornby in Beijing –
China launched its second pilot carbon trading platform on Tuesday in Shanghai, as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases experiments with market-based systems for reducing pollution.

Trading emissions in China’s non-market economy
The Conversation/Climate Spectator
While Australia’s emission trading scheme has an uncertain future, China is determined to go ahead with its trading schemes. This week it launches its Beijing and Shanghai schemes. But the operating environment for these schemes will be vastly different to that in Australia or the European Union.

**RKB — The authors, college lecturers in environmental policy and sustainability, note: We identified 42 domestic carbon exchanges in China. Most are backed by state-owned enterprises. These exchanges depend on government and are subject to indirect state influence – more so than their counterparts in major international markets.

Climate Change Bills in the 113th Congress
Energy Collective Blog
The first year of the 113th Congress (2013-2014) draws to a close with no passage of climate-specific legislation, but signs that some in Congress understand the importance of addressing this issue. More bills were introduced that support climate action than oppose it. (For brevity, we refer to all legislative proposals as “bills.”)

**RKB — Blogger Jason Ye is a Fellow at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.


Four challenges facing Shanghai free-trade zone
Kanika Saigal – Euromoney magazine
China’s ambitious liberalization experiment in Shanghai, announced at the third plenum, could reshape national policy – but there are four key challenges that could thwart the project.

Korean Regulator Rolls Out Financial-Sector Road Map
Kanga Kong – MoneyBeat – WSJ
South Korea’s banks helped big conglomerates like Samsung and Hyundai become internationally competitive, and now the government wants the companies to return the favor.

Firms Take Advantage of China’s Murky Interbank Market
Richard Silk – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Until recently, China’s banking system remained stubbornly boring: With the industry a virtual state monopoly and lending quotas and interest rates dictated by the government, there wasn’t much room for financial innovation.

China Securities Regulatory Commission’s Reply To The Listing Of Fireboard And Plywood Futures Contracts On The Dalian Commodity Exchange
We approve the listing of fireboard futures contracts and plywood futures contracts on your Exchange.

Dalian Commodity Exchange Holds Symposium On Futures Market Serving Real Economy

Dalian Commodity Exchange: Orienting Designing Of “Two Boards” Futures Contracts Toward Spots

Hong Kong’s Securities And Futures Commission Sanctions Daqing Dairy And Its Directors

HKFE Announces Revised Margins For Futures Contracts

Frontier Markets

RenCap eyes Turkey as HFT interest builds
Anish Puaar – Financial News
Renaissance Capital, an emerging markets-focused investment bank, is planning to offer electronic trading services for Turkey’s markets ahead of an expected influx of high-frequency trading firms to the country.

Russia: Too many thrills, too few buyers
Dominic O’Neill – Euromoney magazine
As growth slows, Russia needs to become less volatile as a market.

Brazil top court to review landmark case for banks, economy
Brazil’s Supreme Court on Wednesday begins reviewing a two-decade old case on savings accounts that could cost banks almost one-third of their market value and throw a wrench into Latin America’s largest economy.

No MILA role for Bovespa ahead, says Pinto
The disparity in trading volumes and regulations means BM&FBovespa is unlikely to join MILA, the integrated Latin American market, the CEO of Brazil’s SE, Edemir Pinto, said.

Borsa Istanbul to expand partnerships
Hurriyet Daily News
While Borsa Istanbul (BIST) is expecting to tie up loose ends in its strategic partnership deal with the U.S Nasdaq OMX Group soon, it is also currently in partnership talks with ten global institutions, BIST President Ibrahim Turhan has said.

RBI balm fails to reduce foreign banks’ headache
Business Standard
Foreign banks would not have to pay capital gains tax and stamp duty for converting their India branches into wholly-owned subsidiaries (WOS), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) clarified on Tuesday.

RBI to recognise self-regulatory bodies for NBFC-MFIs
Business Standard
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to recognise industry associations of non-banking financial companies engaged in microfinance (NBFC-MFIs) as self-regulatory organisations. The central bank has said this will ensure effective monitoring of NBFC-MFIs, their compliance with regulations and the code of conduct and aid the customers of NBFC-MFIs.

The Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) And The Bahrain Bourse (BHB) Sign Cooperation Agreement
The Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) and the Bahrain Bourse (BHB) have today entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which will serve to deepen and enhance the existing cooperation between the two stock exchanges.

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Past JLN Newsletters

CME to permanently close most trading pits

CME to permanently close most trading pits

First Read $40,626/$300,000 (13.5%) Anonymous ++++ Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff Without fanfare or amplification from its executives, the CME Group shut the books on most -- but not all -- of its floor trading history Tuesday afternoon with the...

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