First Read

Massad Heads to Swaps Agency as Wall Street Seeks Rollback
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
For almost five years, the head of a once obscure U.S. agency fought Wall Street to impose curbs on derivatives that helped ignite the 2008 financial crisis. His successor, Timothy Massad, must now decide how to finish the job

***** Congratulations to Mr. Massad and the other two new commissioners on their confirmation. May you regulate with grace, fairness and wisdom.

***** Expect a breaking in period for the newly constituted Commission. Mr. Massad has been working to get himself updated on Commission issues from within and without for several weeks. Mr. Giancarlo comes from the industry, so he an easier learning curve, but Ms. Bowen will need some more time to get up to speed. With many issues pending before the Commission, put on hold more or less since Mr. Gensler and Mr. Chilton left, expect a greater staff influence until the new commissioners are ready to go.


KCG Holdings Suspects Its Trading Code Was Stolen
Scott Patterson, Jenny Strasburg, Michael Rothfeld – WSJ
The Manhattan district attorney’s office is investigating whether a former technology executive stole computer code from a high-profile trading firm and used it to benefit a rival, according to people briefed on the probe.

***** A very complicated story, with interlinking relationships to the old Knight.


Comment: Monitor HFT predators, not algorithms
Arjun Singh-Muchelle – Financial Times
It is part of the duty of an asset manager to care about whether investors get a good deal in securities markets. But one thing that has made this task more complicated is the phenomenon of computer-assisted order execution, including various forms of high-frequency trading (HFT).

***** Based on what I heard yesterday about the futures markets and the equities markets at the CFTC TAC meeting, if I were an HFT predator, I would choose to live in the equities world. FINRA’s rep at the TAC was all we are going to and not we do.


European Market Participants Believe Greater Transparency Needed in Fixed Income Markets
According to a survey of over 200 senior buy- and sell-side market participants at the European Capital Markets Forum, hosted by Trax and MarketAxess last month, 58% of institutional market participants believe that there is not enough transparency in the European corporate fixed income markets. While most of the participants polled noted that the corporate debt capital markets needed to be more transparent, many were still undecided as to whether the transparency regime proposed by EU regulators will in fact improve or harm liquidity.

***** Markets need transparency, fairness, liquidity and integrity. More transparency just gets you part way.


MarketsWiki World of Opportunity Summer Intern Series Goes to London
John Lothian & Co. is pleased to announce the MarketsWiki World of Opportunity Summer Intern Education Series is coming to London on July 1st and 2nd, 2014 with the generous support of the [[CME Group]].


National 4-H Council and CME Group Bring Commodity Carnival to 11 States in Second Year
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, and National 4-H Council are partnering for the second year to bring the Commodity Carnival, an interactive fair experience, to 120 state and county fairs in 11 states this summer.

***** If there was 70 years ago, my mother would have been part of this. She raised and showed dairy cows for her 4-H club.


Fed may shun global risk rules banks spent billions to meet
The Federal Reserve may scrap international measures aimed at assessing bank health in favor of imposing its own rules, frustrating bankers who have spent billions of dollars retooling their books to meet global standards.

***** The word of the day is “bespoke.”


Three New CFTC Commissioners Approved by US Senate on Same Day CFTC Technology Advisory Committee Considers Low Latency Trading Issues
Gary DeWaal
The same day that a spirited discussion was held at the Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regarding low latency trading — the US Senate confirmed the appointment of three new commissioners to the agency, including its new chairman, Timothy G. Massad.

***** If I count right, Mr. Massad is the 8th chairman or acting chairman of the CFTC since this newsletter started in 2000.


Dark Pool Transparency Just Beginning
Valerie Bogard – TABB Forum
New FINRA reporting requirements for Alternative Trading System volumes may be just the beginning of the regulatory push for more transparency into off-exchange trading.

***** Finra does not do half measures. They are more like quarter, eighth or sixteenth measures.


The Taming of SAC Capital’s Steven A. Cohen
Steve Fishman — New York Magazine
“Even billionaires have feelings,” Alexandra Cohen had taken to saying. Her husband, Steve Cohen, is the billionaire in question.

***** Yes, he has lots of insider feelings.


Isle of Man launches solid gold credit card backed by the metal
Andrew Bounds and Xan Rice – Financial Times
Possessing a gold Visa card is about to take on a whole new meaning with the launch of the world’s first solid gold credit card backed by the precious metal itself.

***** Take that Bitcoin!



MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Jos Dijsselhof

MarketsWiki Recent Updates


Robert Litterman; Alan Greenspan; Caroline Davis, Deutsche Börse; Caroline Davis, OIC; Jos Dijsselhof; Jock Percy

Companies, Organizations and Groups

NYSE Liffe U.S.; Global Association of Risk Professionals; ABN Amro Bank; NASDAQ OMX NLX


GCF Repo Index futures


49,462,623 pages viewed, 7,963 articles, 183,365 edits
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Lead Stories

Euronext London gets key UK regulatory approval
Euronext’s London market has been approved as a full exchange by Britain’s financial regulator, putting it on a level footing with rivals such as the London Stock Exchange Group and BATS Chi-X Europe.

Exchange operator ICE to cut at least 15 order types from NYSE
IntercontinentalExchange Inc plans to eliminate at least 15 order types from the New York Stock Exchange in order to help simplify the structure of the market, an executive of the exchange operator said on Tuesday.

***** I heard it myself yesterday at the CFTC TAC meeting.

Markit Seeks to Raise $1.14 Billion in U.S. Initial Offering
Leslie Picker and Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
Markit Ltd., the financial information company whose price data forms the basis for much of the global derivatives and bond markets, is seeking to raise as much as $1.14 billion in its U.S. initial public offering.

Warsaw aims to become a regional financial hub
Liam Nolan – Financial Times
In late 1989, Poland’s new finance minister Leszek Balcerowicz and his team of young economists faced the gargantuan task of privatising the economy and re-establishing an entire capital markets infrastructure.

Transatlantic swap liquidity split persists – poll
Tom Osborn –
Regulators appear to have failed in their attempts to tackle a liquidity split created by two-speed swap market reforms in Europe and the US, according to the results of a poll.

Trading to influence gold price fix was ‘routine’
Xan Rice – Financial Times
When the UK’s financial regulator slapped a £26m fine on Barclays for lax controls related to the gold fix, it offered more ammunition to critics of the near-century-old benchmark. But it also gave precious metal traders in the City of London plenty to think about.

Risk, regulation and rehabilitation: bankers meet to gauge progress
How far banks are along the path to rehabilitation will be thrown into sharp focus this week when politicians, central bankers and bank bosses gather in London – Europe’s finance capital and also the site of many of the industry’s ills.

World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Escapes Flash Boys in IEX Dark Pool
Saleha Mohsin – Bloomberg
Norway’s $880 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, is throwing its support behind Brad Katsuyama’s new exchange.

Stephen Colbert on Thomas Piketty
NY Times
What happens when you cross a parody of a blowhard right-wing talk-show host with an influential French economist who seeks a fight against global inequality? Now we know, after the Thomas Piketty World Tour continued Monday night with a stop at “The Colbert Report.”

Colourful world of interdealers faces deep structural changes
Philip Stafford – Financial Times
The fast-growing asset management business that Terry Smith, the chief executive of Tullett Prebon will focus on when he departs the UK interdealer broker, stands in stark contrast to the industry he will leave behind.

Illegal Bitcoin IPO Actually Worked Out Pretty Well for Investors
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
Today the Securities and Exchange Commission shut down a bitcoin investing scam that, as bitcoin investing scams go, is disappointingly un-scammy. A very bitcoiny guy named Erik Voorhees1 started some very bitcoiny companies called SatoshiDICE and FeedZeBirds,2 and he sold shares in those companies, for bitcoins, over the internet. He called these sales initial public offerings, and published homemade prospectuses for them on the Internet,3 but he forgot to register them with the SEC. The SEC does not like it when you do that.


The Dubious Campaigns to Fight Overregulation
DAVID ZARING – Dealbook – NY Times
Most businesses cannot make plans without making predictions about what their regulators will do. Some have argued that this task has been complicated by the fact that old regulations are rarely repealed, even as new ones are added, making for overlapping requirements and outdated regulations.

SEC to Push for More Disclosure from Proxy Advisers – Law Blog
Andrew Ackerman – WSJ
The Securities and Exchange Commission is preparing to crack down on firms that advise shareholders on how to vote on public-company proxies, pressuring such companies to disclose more about potential conflicts of interest.

Foreign banks face disappointment over Volcker rule clarification
Gina Chon in Washington – Financial Times
Foreign banks are set to be disappointed by long-awaited US guidance on the implementation of the controversial Volcker rule, people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Opening Statement Of CFTC Commissioner Scott D. O’Malia, 12th Meeting Of The Technology Advisory Committee, Washington, DC

Statement Of Acting CFTC Chairman Mark P. Wetjen on Confirmation Of Sharon Bowen To The Commodity Futures Trading Commission

FIA CEO Walt Lukken Congratulates New CFTC Commissioners

CME Group Congratulates CFTC Appointees Massad, Bowen And Giancarlo

Our Supervision Overview – Speech By Clive Adamson, Director Of Supervision, The UK Financial Conduct Authority, At The General Insurance Conference, London

Good Conduct And Market Intergrity – Speech By Martin Wheatley, CEO, The UK Financial Conduct Authority, At The General Insurance Conference, London

Competition And Insurance – Christopher Woolard, Director Of Policy, Risk And Research, The UK Financial Conduct Authority At The General Insurance Conference, London

Australian Senate Estimates: Opening statement – Greg Medcraft, Chairman, Australian Securities And Investments Commission, 4 June 2014

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority: Presentation By Rob Everett To The Global Risk And Compliance Institute 2014

ESMA Announces Three Open Hearings On MiFID II

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Euronext UK Markets Limited receives FCA approval for RIE status
Euronext, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange, today announced that the London based entity, Euronext UK Markets Limited, has been declared a Recognised Investment Exchange by the Financial Conduct Authority.

SGX commodities volume grow in May
Total value of securities traded was $23.4 billion, down 38% year on year and down 9% month on month; daily average value declined to $1.2 billion. Derivatives volume declined to 8.1 million contracts, down 26% year on year and down 4% month on month. Volume of iron ore swaps, futures and options cleared more than quadrupled year on year to a record of 214,534 contracts.

TMX Group Consolidated Trading Statistics
Total TMX equities trading volume in May 2014 decreased 14% compared to April 2014, and decreased 12% compared to May 2013. Trading volume on Toronto Stock Exchange in May 2014 decreased 11% compared to the previous month, and decreased 21% compared to May 2013. Volume on TSX Venture Exchange decreased 18% in May 2014 compared to the previous month, but increased 10% compared to May 2013. Trading volume on TMX Select in May 2014 decreased 14% compared to April 2014, and decreased 2% compared to the same month a year earlier. Alpha trading volume in May 2014 decreased 14% compared to the previous month, and decreased 7% compared to May 2013.

Summary Of May 2014 Activities At Tokyo Commodity Exchange
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange announced today that average daily tradingvolume for May was 73,882 contracts, down 0.2% from April. TOCOM’s leading commodities had lower volume: Gold was down 1.5% to 27,695 contracts and Rubber fell 7.9% to 9,483. This slightly outweighed an increase for products such as Platinum, which was up 9.2% to 17,424 contracts.

ASX Group Monthly Activity Report – May 2014

ASX Compliance Monthly Activity Report – May 2014

Vienna Stock Exchange Monthly Statistics – May 2014

CME Group Congratulates CFTC Appointees Massad, Bowen and Giancarlo

EnterNext congratulates Anevia on its successful listing
on Alternext in Paris

Visiativ lists on Alternext in Paris

Norlandia Care Lists Its First Bond Issue On Oslo Børs

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

The Children’s Investment Fund Partner Departs for Rival Hedge Fund
Laurence Fletcher – WSJ
Mark Derbyshire, a partner at high-profile activist hedge fund firm The Children’s Investment Fund Management (U.K.) LLP, has left to join a rival hedge fund.

Schroders’ commodity hedge fund to shut
Gregory Meyer in New York – Financial Times
A prominent backer of commodities hedge funds is shutting down after investors frustrated by market doldrums and high management fees took their money elsewhere.

The Nasty, Brutish Life of the Modern Mutual Fund Manager
Ben Steverman – Bloomberg
It’s become one of the toughest sells of a fund manager: pay a fee to underperform the rest of the market.

Fund managers weigh global changes as FCA commissions rules take effect
Sarah Krouse – Financial News
Stringent new rules on the use of dealing commissions, introduced by the UK financial regulator, have forced fund managers to bolster their internal compliance systems and increase transparency on research costs, with some implementing global changes.

T. Rowe’s Rogers to step down as manager of $30 bln equity fund
Baltimore asset manager T. Rowe Price Group Inc said Brian Rogers will step down as manager of its $30 billion Equity Income fund in October 2015 and hand over the reins to John Linehan.

Insider-Trading Probe Could Snarl a Deal for Icahn
A federal insider-trading investigation could complicate a potentially large deal being negotiated by activist investor Carl Icahn, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Wanted: personal coach for investing drop shots
John Authers – Financial Times
As the tennis season reaches its peak, investment managers should heed the lessons. There is ever greater understanding that our psychology and our basic tendency to use mental shortcuts can get in the way of good rational decision-making when investing. But how can we use this research in behavioural finance to improve the way we invest?

Brandywine Asset Management: Monthly Performance Report, May 2014

Banks & Brokers

ICAP’s i-Swap Platform Sets US Dollar Interest Rate Swap Volume Record In May
i-Swap, ICAP’s award-winning electronic interest rate swaps platform, which allows trading on the ICAP SEF, announces today that it has set a monthly US Dollar interest rate swaps (USD IRS) volume record in May of 428 trades worth a notional value of $17 billion, representing 23% of all USD IRS trades at ICAP.

For Goldman’s New Strategy Officer, Putting the Bank Back in Banker
RACHEL ABRAMS – Dealbook – NY Times
When Stephen M. Scherr started at Goldman Sachs more than 20 years ago, the firm operated out of the public eye. Run by a consortium of partners, it did not have to disclose much about its financial health to the world.

Greenhill adviser on LSE deal moves to Lazard
Giles Turner – Financial News
Lazard has hired a senior UK managing director from rival Greenhill & Co, who was part of the team advising the London Stock Exchange on its potential acquisition of Russell Investments.

5 Things on Dollar Clearing and BNP Paribas
New York’s top financial regulator is considering halting BNP Paribas SA’s ability to transfer money into and out of the U.S., a process known as “dollar clearing.” It’s part of a probe into alleged violations of U.S. sanctions against Cuba, Sudan and Iran. Here’s what it means:

Ex-Bankers Upgrade the Good Life; Got to Have the Stradivarius-Shaped Pool
Max Abelson – Bloomberg
What’s ambitious about Jay Dweck’s bathroom isn’t the television by his whirlpool tub or the screen that will face his toilet and bidet. It isn’t the wide nook in his shower for a third TV and one more across from the sink, or his plan to have each turn on automatically when he’s nearby.

Tullett’s CEO Terry Smith could leave at end of month
Terry Smith, the chief executive of Tullett Prebon and a prominent figure in London’s financial circles, could leave the interdealer broker as early as the end of June, a source familiar with situation told Reuters on Tuesday.

Deutsche Bank prepares to price new shares at big discount
Deutsche Bank will price an 8 billion euro ($11 billion) capital increase on Wednesday, likely at a big discount, to fortify its balance sheet ahead of regulatory checks and to complete a costly restructuring.

Clearing & Settlement

Dealers opt to break reporting rules in privacy clash
Fiona Maxwell –
New swap reporting rules allow regulators to track who is doing what – in theory. But some jurisdictions have laws that prevent the disclosure of counterparty identities. Caught in the middle, some dealers are choosing to adhere to privacy laws while breaching regulations.

Developments and transformation within the clearing business – a natural fit for OCC
Mike McClain, OCC –
In this sponsored Q&A, Mike McClain, chief operating officer at OCC, discusses the impact of the new regulations on the over-the-counter derivatives market, and examines recent developments in the markets of other centrally cleared and uncleared swaps to ensure efficient clearing practices and minimise the costs associated with clearing.

CME Group Clearing: FIXML Settlement Price Files for Futures, Options and Forwards Upgrade Coming June 23, 2014

Indexes & Products

Sallie Krawcheck Opens an Index Fund Focused on Women
WILLIAM ALDEN – Dealbook – NY Times
When Sallie L. Krawcheck, a former big bank executive, bought a women’s network last year, she said she wanted to “move from advocacy of women to the smart business of real investment in women.” Now those plans are starting to take shape.

Index ETFs may not track benchmarks as expected
Ari I. Weinberg – Financial News
The party line on index exchange-traded funds is that they offer easy exposure to a benchmark, less the fund’s expense ratio. If a stock index were to gain 10% this year, for instance, and an index ETF charges 0.1% of fund assets a year in expenses, an investor in that ETF might expect to earn 9.9%.

Judge Rules in Favor of States in Suits Against S&P
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services lost a bid to combine more than a dozen state lawsuits filed in the aftermath of the financial crisis, with a U.S. federal judge ruling that the cases be dealt with separately in the state courts.

Boost ETP: The Positives Of Leveraged ETFs And ETPs In Response To Blackrock’s Laurence Fink’s Comments

New iShares ETF Launched On Xetra – ETF Offers Access To Stock Corporations From Emerging Markets

Semi-Annual Review Of The OMX Copenhagen 20 Index – ISS A/S (ISS) Will Be Added To The Portfolio And Topdanmark A/S (TOP) Will Exit The Portfolio


Markit to Acquire Compliance Technologies Int.
Financial services provider Markit announced that it has agreed to acquire Compliance Technologies International (CTI), a tax compliance and reporting service provider.

Numerix provides TCorp with portfolio management and reporting suite for structured debt instruments
Numerix has announced that The New South Wales Treasury Corporation (TCorp) of Australia has selected Numerix CrossAsset to effectively risk manage debt portfolios on behalf of clients. As a real-time enterprise analytics platform, Numerix CrossAsset provides global, desk and portfolio-level pricing, risk aggregation, revaluation, simulation and optimization.

NovaSparks Adds FPGA Handlers for ICE, Eurex Feeds
Max Bowie – WatersTechnology
French FPGA feed handler and data appliance provider NovaSparks has rounded out its futures data offering with the addition of feed handlers for IntercontinentalExchange’s iMpact feed and Eurex’s Enhanced Order Book Interface (EOBI) feed.

Options and Velocimetrics Announce Partnership, Adding Real-Time Latency Monitoring To Options’ Ultra Low Latency Platform
Options, the leading private financial cloud provider for the global capital markets industry, has today announced a partnership with Velocimetrics, the provider of comprehensive monitoring and performance analysis solutions. The partnership sees Options integrate the Velocimetrics solution with the managed service provider’s ultra low-latency, market data and connectivity product offering, Velocity.

Aequitas Selects Millenniumit Technology To Power Canada’s Newest Exchange

Instinet Adds Last Hour VWAP Crossing Session


SEC Awards $875,000 to Two Whistleblowers Who Aided Agency Investigation
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced a whistleblower award of more than $875,000 to be split evenly between two individuals who provided tips and assistance to help the agency bring an enforcement action.

SEC Charges Albany, N.Y.-Based Investment Adviser With Defrauding Clients
The Securities and Exchange Commission today filed an emergency enforcement action to halt an ongoing fraud by an investment adviser based in Albany, N.Y., who is charged with lying to clients about the success of their investments while stealing their money for his personal use.

SEC Charges Bitcoin Entrepreneur With Offering Unregistered Securities
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged the co-owner of two Bitcoin-related websites for publicly offering shares in the two ventures without registering them.

[AMF Canada] Matter of Henri Lemieux and Financière Hélios Capital – Service of hearing notice

Environmental & Energy

US unveils sharp curbs on coal power plants
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan seeks to cut carbon emissions by 30% by 2030.

***LB: Also in this story “The 645-page rule is a centrepiece of President Barack Obama’s plans to leverage similar commitments from polluting nations like China and India. States must submit initial compliance plans by June 2016.”

Obama: U.S., EU must commit to ambitious emissions targets
U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday touted new proposals from his administration to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and said the United States and Europe had to lead by example in fighting global warming.

Obama’s new emissions rules likely to face a friendly court
Lawrence Hurley, Reuters
The fate of President Barack Obama’s new regulations for curbing greenhouse gas emissions from existing U.S. power plants likely lies in the hands of a Washington, D.C., appeals court he largely reshaped through a series of key appointments.


SGX Attracts Diverse Bond Listings In May
SGX continued to attract a strong flow of new bond listings in May, supported by a geographically diverse suite of transactions. A total 41 new bond issues were listed on SGX in the month, down from the 56 listed in April.

SGX Proposes Regulatory Framework For Secondary Listings
Singapore Exchange (SGX) is consulting the public on its proposed regulatory framework for secondary listed companies on the exchange.

Thai Bourse Continues To Support Capital Market Skills Among University Students

Hong Kong’s Securities And Futures Commission : Broker Acquitted Of Illegal Short Selling

Hong Kong’s Securities And Futures Commission Reprimands And Fines Delta Asia Securities Limited

CES China Cross Border Index Series Semi-Annual Review June 2014

Frontier Markets

Peru’s central bank ‘not optimistic’ about April economic growth
The president of Peru’s central bank said on Tuesday he is not optimistic about economic expansion in April, as weaker-than-expected mining activity continues to drag on overall growth.

Non Jordanian Investment At The Amman Stock Exchange During May 2014

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