A High-Speed Trader Gets a Ticket
Matthew Philips – Bloomberg
In what may be the opening salvo in its war with high-frequency traders, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission just took aim at the 1,000-pound gorilla in the room. In a complaint (pdf) filed Wednesday, the CFTC charged DRW Investments, one of Chicago’s biggest high-frequency trading firms (and among the biggest in the world), with conducting a manipulative trading scheme that netted it a profit of at least $20 million in 2011.
***** I would like to say something nice about this terrible piece of journalism, but I just can’t find anything. It is a misleading, off-base, error-filled story that I will be addressing in a separate blog post on johnlothiannews.com later today.
The issues of the story have absolutely nothing to do with high frequency trading. These were block trades done via Exchange for Swaps, or EFS, executed over the phone. There were bids and offers on the electronic market for these contracts, but the values as part of a spread were not changed throughout the day or the close. There was no aggressive “banging the close”; rather, there was a posting of legitimate bids that were offered throughout the trading day on the electronic market on the close in order to help the market reflect what was in the market.
This writer uses words like “fake orders,” which is so incredibly wrong as to be a criminal misrepresentation of the market. This writer has absolutely no idea what the real story is. Don Wilson entered into a trade. He published a white paper on the differences he found in the swap futures offered and cleared by IDCG versus the ones in the OTC cash market. This explained exactly why he saw different valuations for the swap futures than other market participants. This article does not mention that Jeffries, one of the counterparties in the DRW trades, sued IDCG accusing “the firms of fraudulently inducing the bank to enter into cleared interest rate swap futures contracts on the premise the contracts would be economically equivalent to over-the-counter swaps,” according to an article in Risk published 2 years ago.
According to one source, the CTFC may be hanging its case on recorded phone calls where one of the counterparties accuses Wilson on the phone of manipulating the market and Wilson did not respond. This is just one mistaken person’s opinion because they did not understand the contract they were trading. Once they figured it out, they sued IDCG, as Risk points out, and they got out of the trade. If their market view was right, they would have put more positions on and shoved it down Don’s throat.
This was a largely illiquid market. You can’t have high frequency “trading” in a phone market or an electronic market that does not trade. You can’t have fake orders in a market when anyone could have hit those orders at any time. And if you have one party mispricing the market and bidding higher than is economically sensible – which was not the case – then make a trade. Help the market return to fair value. Don Wilson could not have been more fair in making these markets, sharing what he learned (via the white paper) and being the upstanding member of the trading community that he is. The CFTC and this writer just have it plain wrong on my humble opinion.
Timothy Massad is Set to Be Tapped as Next CFTC Chairman
The Obama administration is preparing to tap Timothy Massad, who has overseen the Treasury Department’s bank-rescue program for the past three years, to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, according to current and former government officials familiar with the matter.
***** With an opening at Treasury now that Mr. Massad has left, will Mr. Gensler ask to return to his Clinton-era position to help keep an eye on his handiwork at the CFTC?
From Our Man In Chicago, FIA Expo 2013, Tom Groenfeldt: Market Structure Panel
If only Sigmund Freud had been around to moderate yesterday’s FIA panel on market structure he could have rephrased his question about women and asked “What do regulators want?” Jeffrey Sprecher, chairman and CEO at IntercontinentalExchange, and soon NYSE, said he plainly got it wrong.
***** When they do the movie “What do regulators want?” I suggest Mel Gibson for the lead role.
|SEFCON IV: Open for Business
Monday, November 18, 2013, Grand Hyatt Hotel, NY
The rules are out, the registrations are in, and the products are being made available to trade on swap execution facilities (SEFs).
Join dealers, traders, exchanges and regulators for this once-a-year look at the state of the SEF world. Highlights include:
SEFCON IV is sponsored by the Wholesale Markets Brokers’ Association, Americas.
Derivative dealers face race against time
Philip Stafford – FT.com
Mandatory reporting of exchange-traded derivatives is likely to begin in three months’ time after the European Commission rejected a request from Europe’s main markets regulator for a year’s delay to implementation.
***** How many time-outs are there in this game? I guess the answer is none.
CME, ICE brace for renewed fight on esoteric trading rule
Tom Polansek and Ann Saphir – Reuters
CME Group Inc and the IntercontinentalExchange Inc are gearing up to revisit a high-stakes battle in an obscure corner of commodities rule-making, highlighting the fallout still emerging from Washington five years after the financial crisis. CME Executive Chairman Terrence Duffy for his part is already taking aim, on Thursday calling the decision to reinstate so-called conditional position limits “the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life.”
***** Think of all the time Terry has spent on the CME board and then consider his statement that the CFTC proposed position limits are “the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard in my life.” That is a lot of absurdity to beat.
FIA Global Holds First Board Meeting – Names Jackie Mesa As Executive Director
FIA Global, the new organizational structure that brings together the Futures Industry Association in Washington, the Futures and Options Association in London, and FIA Asia in Singapore, passed a key milestone today when it held its first face-to-face board meeting and began setting its work priorities for the coming year.
***** An excellent choice for executive director.
CME Group Announces Multiple Ferrous Metals Volume Records
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, announced it reached monthly volume records in its U.S. Midwest Domestic Hot-Rolled Coil Steel (CRU) Index futures and Iron Ore 62% Fe, CFR China (TSI) futures contracts in October.
***** What do you spread against CRU or TSI? Maybe TMI or BYOB?
When brokerages look away from advisers’ shady pasts
Suzanne Barlyn | Reuters
There are no second acts in American life unless you are a stockbroker. Then, there can be third and fourth acts, too. Some brokers who get fired have no trouble getting a new job the next day. Others move from firm to firm, despite having regulatory troubles or mounting complaints from customers.
***** FINRA needs the BASIC improvement.
Former U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner Jill E. Sommers joins the IFM
The Institute for Financial Markets (IFM) today announced that former Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner Jill E. Sommers has joined the nonprofit foundation as a consultant. Sommers, who was one of two Republican members on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, stepped down earlier this year from the five-member agency that regulates the U.S. derivatives market.
***** Another excellent hire. She will help the IFM implement its strategic vision. Disclosure: I am a member of the IFM Board.
ESMA Approves The DTCC Trade Repository In Europe – Next 90 Days Crucial For The Industry’s Readiness To Meet Reporting Requirements
DTCC announced today that the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has approved DTCC’s Derivatives Repository Limited (DDRL) to operate a multi-asset class derivatives repository in Europe.
***** DTCC’s DDRL is so ESMAgic!
Bruce Blythe is pleased to announce the launch of Blythe Communications (web site, www.blythecommunications.com/), a content strategy, creation and management service led by a veteran of the world’s top real-time financial news organizations. BlytheComm’s specialties include futures & options exchanges, trading firms and others in financial services trying to build a narrative bridge from big data, analytics and research to the target audience/customer. Bruce has spent two decades covering business and markets for Bloomberg, Reuters, Dow Jones Newswires and Crain’s Chicago Business, and recently led the establishment of CME Group’s market commentary & analysis section. What’s your story? BlytheComm would love to help you tell it.
***** Good luck to our friend Bruce Blythe on this innovative new venture. Check out Bruce’s new venture.
WMBAA Announces SEFCON IV Agenda
The Wholesale Markets Brokers’ Association, Americas, an independent industry body representing the largest wholesale and inter-dealer brokers in North America, announced today the Agenda of the SEFCON IV Conference being held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on Monday, November 18, 2013
***** This is SEFCON 4, not SEFCON Intravenous Fluid, just in case you don’t know your Roman Numerals.
MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Donald R. Wilson Jr.
MarketsWiki Recent Updates
45,010,422 pages viewed, 7,694 articles, 167,653 edits
U.S. Options Exchanges Close to Issuing Uniform Rule on Erroneous Trades, Exchange Leaders Say
Kaitlyn Kiernan – WSJ.com
The 12 U.S. options exchanges are close to issuing a uniform rule on how to handle erroneous trades, according to exchange leaders at an industry event in Chicago on Thursday. “We will come out with harmonized obvious error rules,” Jeromee Johnson, head of BATS Options at BATS Global Markets, said at the Futures Industry Association’s Futures & Options Expo. “There are still some discrepancies, but we’re close,” he said.
Breteau to leave Newedge in shake-up
Philip Stafford – FT.com
Nicolas Breteau has resigned as chief executive of Newedge in a management reshuffle at the world’s largest futures broker as it prepares for full ownership by Société Générale.
S&P Cuts France’s Credit Rating by One Notch to Double-A
Inti Landauro – WSJ.com
Standard & Poor’s Friday cut France’s credit rating by one notch to double-A, dealing a blow to President François Hollande’s efforts to turn around the euro zone’s second-largest economy.
Currencies market probe shifts to the US
Daniel Schäfer and Delphine Strauss in London and Camilla Hall in New York – FT.com
A global probe into alleged manipulation of the multibillion-dollar currencies market has widened its focus to include the US, with Barclays putting three New York-based traders on leave and Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley becoming embroiled in the investigations.
Goldman Discloses Foreign Exchange Inquiry
CHAD BRAY – NYTimes.com
Goldman Sachs on Thursday became the latest big bank to acknowledge that it was the subject of a series of wide-ranging investigations into the potential manipulation of the $5-trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.
Esma fires starting gun on European swaps reporting
Anish Puaar – Financial News
The European Securities and Markets Authority has approved the first four trade repositories that will be responsible for collecting data on derivatives transactions, starting the countdown to trade reporting under new regulations.
Nasdaq to Quote Structured Note Prices as SEC Urges Transparency
Kevin Dugan – Bloomberg
U.S. investors will be able to shop for structured-note deals for the first time in the $40-billion-a-year market as Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. is set to publish daily values of the securities.
Senate panel to hold Yellen Fed hearing on November 14
The Senate Banking Committee said on Thursday that it will hold a hearing on November 14 on the nomination of Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen to take the helm of the central bank when Ben Bernanke steps down at the end of January.
SGX settlement upgrade via LSE tech deal
Philip Stafford – FT.com
The Singapore Exchange plans to use a technology deal it has sealed with the London Stock Exchange Group as a platform to retain its attractiveness to international investors and companies. The southeast Asian bourse on Thursday finalised a deal with the LSE’s MillenniumIT to supply the technology for an upgrade of SGX’s securities clearing systems.
Suit against US Bank over Peregrine $ to proceed
The Associated Press
A judge has refused to dismiss a civil lawsuit filed by regulators that accuses U.S. Bank of mishandling customer funds from the failed Iowa-based brokerage Peregrine Financial Group.
Dodd-Frank Derivatives Momentum Threatened by Vacancies on CFTC
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
The top U.S. derivatives regulator may dwindle to just two voting commissioners and struggle to approve new rules unless the White House and Senate can overcome political hurdles to fill the vacancies by the end of the year.
Remarks At FINRA Enforcement Conference, SEC Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher, Alexandria, VA, Nov. 7, 2013
Exchanges & Trading Facilities
CME Group Announces Launch of Yen-Denominated Nikkei 225 Options
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced the launch of options on CME’s Yen-denominated Nikkei Stock Average futures. CME Group will reference the Osaka Security Exchange’s (OSE) Nikkei 225 (Yen) Futures contract in connection with these options contracts.
Twitter Celebrates Initial Public Offering and First Day of Trading on the New York Stock Exchange
Chi-X Europe founder plots new trading venue
Anish Puaar – Financial News
One of the founders of Chi-X Europe is to become the latest former senior executive from the exchange to set up a new trading venue, joining Alasdair Haynes and Hirander Misra, who are working on separate projects.
FX volumes drop as Fed weighs, manipulation probe lurks
Daily spot foreign exchange trading volumes on Thomson Reuters dealing platforms fell in October, reflecting a broad decline in turnover across the world’s largest financial market, company data showed on Thursday.
Brazil’s Cetip meets estimates on expenses; BM&FBovespa misses
Third-quarter earnings at Brazil’s two listed exchange and clearinghouse companies came in mixed on Thursday, as expense controls failed to offset the impact of declines in trading volumes and weak revenue from registration of securities and other financial services.
What LME bazooka means for aluminium trade
Jack Farchy in Abu Dhabi – FT.com
Boom! Charles Li just fired his bazooka. After a two-week dramatic pause that kept the market on tenterhooks, the London Metal Exchange on Thursday announced its solution to the thorny issue of warehousing: the LME will cap queues at 50 days and to arm itself with a range of punishments for badly-behaving warehouses.
Five takeaways from the LME’s new warehousing rules
The London Metal Exchange has announced a series of measures to tackle delays in its warehousing system, following a three-month consultation period that began in the wake of criticism over backlogs and rising premiums.
Block Trade Facility postponed
NASDAQ OMX Commodities has decided to postpone the launch of the Block Trade Facility. A new launch date is being revised and will be communicated as soon as details are established.
New Moscow Exchange FX Fixings Methodology Approved
Moscow Exchange’s Executive Board approved a new Moscow Exchange FX Fixings Methodology on 6 November, which will take effect on 11 November.
Preparations For Nibor Go-Live On Oslo Børs 9 December 2013
Oslo Børs will take the role as the calculation agent for the Norwegian interbank offered rate Nibor as of 9 December 2013.
Vienna Stock Exchange Monthly Statistics: Derivative Market – October 201
Amendments To NZSX / NZDX Listing Rules
TMX Group Limited Declares Dividend Of $0.40 Per Common Share
Program Trading Averaged 27.7 Percent Of NYSE Volume During Oct. 28-Nov. 1
Hedge Funds & Managed Futures
Pimco Said to Wager $10 Billion in Default Swaps: Credit Markets
Mary Childs – Bloomberg
Pacific Investment Management Co. is wagering at least $10 billion in the credit-default swaps market that U.S. corporate bonds will gain as the Federal Reserve extends unprecedented stimulus into 2014, according to traders and investors.
Ten Ways Twitter’s IPO Didn’t Turn Out To Be Like Facebook’s IPO
Nathan Vardi – Forbes
Twitter worked hard to make sure that its initial public offering didn’t turn into the kind of debacle that Facebook experienced when it started out as a publicly-traded company. Here are 10 ways Twitter’s IPO differed from Facebook’s IPO:
October Hedge Fund Performance Update From eVestment
Attached is the summary of hedge fund returns for October 2013. It was a good month for hedge funds.
Another walking dead update
Dan McCrum | FT Alphaville
Two months to go to year-end, and hedge fund managers are starting to ask their staff for some ideas to get performance up before January rolls around. So how are the still-living ranks of the zombie industry doing?
The thundering word: thrown from the bull ship
Dan McCrum | FT Alphaville
A delightful piece of strategy lands from BoAML man Michael Harntett, assessing both what the bulls are saying and, just as important, what remains unsaid. We note that nobody seems to ask about commodities and few seem to ask about China, the old leadership. And, nobody seems to talk about the “Tails” of inflation and deflation. We believe contrarians should at least consider hedges.
Banks & Brokers
Applying Plumbers’ Common Sense to Fix Europe’s Banks
JULIA WERDIGIER – NYTimes.com
Charlie Mullins made his fortune fixing other people’s plumbing. More recently, Mr. Mullins, the outspoken founder and owner of Pimlico Plumbers in London, is seeking to fix the European banking sector. His idea is to reduce bankers’ pay and by doing so force banks to become more cost-effective and customer-friendly.
SocGen Takes Questions on Investment Banking Slide
Noemie Bisserbe – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Like most banks in Europe and the U.S., French bank Société Générale SA posted a decline in investment banking revenue in the third quarter, hurt by a slump in fixed income trading. The bank, however, is confident it can turn its investment bank into a major growth driver for the group
Royal Bank of Scotland to Pay $153.7 Million to Settle Mortgage Case
RACHEL ABRAMS – NYTimes.com
The Royal Bank of Scotland agreed on Thursday to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission $153.7 million to settle charges that it misled investors into buying a risky mortgage-backed security offering, the latest move in a crackdown on mortgage practices that fueled the financial crisis.
UBS buys Stabfund from SNB for $3.762 billion
Swiss bank UBS has bought back the stabilization fund set up five years ago to bail out the bank during the financial crisis, for $3.762 billion, the Swiss National Bank said on Friday.
Top investment banker at BofA nominated for Commerce Dept job
The White House said on Thursday that it has nominated a senior investment banking executive at Bank of America Corp to a high-level position at the Commerce Department.
Chairman says Deutsche Bank knew of probe when extending CEO contract
Deutsche Bank Chairman Paul Achleitner said the supervisory board at Germany’s flagship lender decided to extend co-chief executive Juergen Fitschen’s contract until 2017, despite knowing about a criminal probe against him.
Deutsche Bank lapses provided environment for rate rigging- court
Organisational lapses by Deutsche Bank provided a working environment that could have led to the rigging of interest rates, a German labour court said in a written judgement released this week.
Goldman Had Dismal Trading Quarter – Wall Street Journal
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is known as Wall Street’s smartest trading firm, but a dismal third quarter has raised questions on whether the firm needs to take bold steps to right the ship.
Clearing & Settlement
LCH.Clearnet Launches Buy-side Clearing of FX Derivatives
LCH.Clearnet Ltd’s ForexClear has expanded its market-leading FX derivatives clearing service with the launch of a new offering for buy-side clients. ForexClear is now available to buy-side clients through one of three Futures Commission Merchants (FCMs) connected to the service. The new offering also provides enhanced asset protection based on the proven LSOC (legally segregated, operationally commingled) model.
SGX proposes to remove unlimited liability for CCP clearing fund
Garima Chitkara – Risk.net
Singapore Exchange (SGX) is planning to change the clearing fund structure and auction process for managing member defaults within its over-the-counter derivatives clearing house, Asia Clear.
Fed discount window could resolve CCP collateral liquidity concerns, say clearers
Joe Rennison – Risk.net
Central counterparties (CCPs) should be allowed to access the Federal Reserve’s discount window, a move that would help resolve US regulatory concerns about the liquidity of US Treasury collateral, clearers say.
ESMA Registers DDRL, KDPW, Regis-TR, And UnaVista As Trade Repositories
19 Years Of The Central Securities Depository Of Poland
Indexes & Products
New Japan index vaunts return on equity and investor friendliness
Ben McLannahan in Tokyo – FT.com
Improving the accuracy of leveraged ETFs
Yakob Peterseil – Risk.net
Elliot Noma, a commodity trading adviser (CTA) at Garrett Asset Management in New York, believes he has solved a persistent problem with certain exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Noma was awarded a patent for his solution last year and is now seeking a partner to help launch it, he says.
Index-based longevity solutions continue to face challenges, experts say
Louie Woodall – Risk.net
Deutsche Bank hopes to provide a boost to the longevity risk market with the launch of a new index-based hedging product, but experts say it will struggle to attract insurers and pension schemes looking for customised protection.
iShares ETFs to Commence Trading on BATS Chi-X Europe on 18th November
BATS Exchange Welcomes ProShares ETF
[TSE] ETF/ETN Monthly Report for Oct 2013
S&P Dow Jones Indices Announces 2014 Weights For The S&P GSCI Along With Current Action Plan For The Pending Change Of Gas Oil To Low Sulfur Gas Oil
Deutsche Börse to pay $152m to settle Iran allegations
Philip Stafford in London – FT.com
Deutsche Börse, Europe’s largest exchanges operator by market value, has agreed to pay $152m to settle allegations by Washington that its Clearstream settlement business may have violated US sanctions on Iran.
SEC Charges Royal Bank of Scotland Subsidiary with Misleading Investors in Subprime RMBS Offering
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged RBS Securities Inc., a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland plc, with misleading investors in a 2007 subprime residential mortgage-backed security (RMBS) offering. RBS agreed to settle the matter and pay more than $150 million, which the SEC will use to compensate investors for harm suffered as a result of RBS’s conduct.
SEC Charges New York-Based Audit Firm and Four Accountants for Failures in Audits of China-Based Companies
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced sanctions against a New York-based audit firm, its founder, two other partners, and an audit manager for their roles in the failed audits of three China-based companies publicly traded in the U.S.
U.S. seeks new defendant in Wells Fargo mortgage fraud case
The U.S. government on Thursday asked for permission to add a Wells Fargo & Co mortgage executive as a defendant in its year-old lawsuit accusing the country’s largest mortgage lender of fraud.
[SIX] Sanction against Eastern Property Holdings Limited for breaching the rules on ad hoc publicity
Environmental & Energy
UN Climate Tension Stoked by Nations’ Lack of Empathy, E3G Says
United Nations climate talks will fail unless nations put aside their indifference toward other countries’ emission-reduction efforts, according to Third Generation Environmentalism Ltd.
Hunt urged to ‘face the music’ at UN talks
Australia won’t be sending a government minister to next week’s major United Nations climate talks, bucking a trend that has existed since the days of the Howard government.
Hopes for strong 2015 climate deal fade, as risks grow
World governments are likely to recoil from plans for an ambitious 2015 climate change deal at talks next week, concern over economic growth at least partially eclipsing scientists’ warnings of rising temperatures and water levels.
China Allows US Investors Access, For The First Time, To Yuan-Linked Shares In Shanghai And Shenzhen
China will begin offering U.S. investors more direct access to shares traded on exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen, in a landmark move signaling that the country could further open up its financial markets.
New TSE ‘Uptick Rule’ Makes Life Easier for Japan Traders
Bradford Frischkorn – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Traders of Japanese equities have welcomed an easing in rules on short selling in the Tokyo market, saying it will help increase trading volumes and liquidity as the market competes with regional rivals.
Dalian Commodity Exchange Q&A On Listing Of Egg Futures
Why did DCE choose the egg futures? What is the significance of the listing of egg futures on the industry and on the domestic market development? How will DCE ensure the safe and steady operation and the function display of the egg futures?
Dalian Commodity Exchange Official Details Epidemics Prevention And Control Of Egg Futures
HKEx: Changes Of Designated Securities For Short Selling
Japan’s Financial Services Agency And Ministry Of Finance Set Up The Panel For Vitalizing Financial And Capital Markets
India’s New Banking Rules Seen Leveling the Field
Enda Curran and Shefali Anand – MoneyBeat – WSJ
For foreign banks, India may finally start to shine. Analysts say new banking rules announced Wednesday will make it easier and more appealing for big names such as Standard Chartered Plc and even regional banks such as Singapore’s DBS Group Holdings Ltd. to ramp up their retail operations in India.
Reaction Is Cautiously Positive to India’s Bank Rules
NEHA THIRANI BAGRI – NYTimes.com
New regulations issued by India’s central bank would make it easier and more attractive for global banks to enter the Indian market, a senior banker and several analysts said on Thursday, though they cautioned that restrictions in the rules might slow the pace of expansion.
Is This London’s Latest Tech Land-Grab?
MoneyBeat – WSJ
Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has put his weight behind a new £100 million ($160 million) initiative to fund Arab and Muslim technology entrepreneurs, encouraging them to set up shop in the business-friendly U.K..
MCX Weekly Market Report November 01, 2013 – November 07, 2013
Malawi Stock Exchange Weeky Trading Report-08th November, 2013
Securities Commission Malaysia: SC fines Ranhill Energy and Resources Berhad and Tan Sri Hamdan Mohamad
Changing Course: Business Schools Cut Programs
Melissa Korn – WSJ.com
Business schools are learning that, sometimes, less is more. After spending years adding new programs in an attempt to boost enrollment and capitalize on untapped revenue streams, deans say the efforts often confused prospective students or distracted administrators.