First Read

Strength In Smaller Numbers
Jim Kharouf – John Lothian News President & Editor-in-Chief

Back in the mid- to late 1990s, I used to head up the most read edition of the year for Futures Magazine, called the Top 40 Brokers issue. We highlighted the Top 40 Futures Commission Merchants by assets held in customer accounts, also known as required segregated funds, along with other metrics reported to the CFTC

With the number of FCMs whittled down to 54 today, the former Futures, now Modern Trader, just published a Top 30 article Top 30 Brokers: Mean, lean and ready for what comes next, Futures Magazine, and it didn’t even get top billing on the magazine cover.

A search back to my days, for 1997’s raw data couldn’t be found on the CFTC’s website, as they only go as far back at 2002. In that year-end, 169 FCMs reported to the CFTC, with a total of $52.32 billion held by US FCMs in customer segregated accounts, and $10.2 billion in so-called Part 30 funds, which are held for customers trading outside the US.

Read the rest of the commentary at JohnLothianNews.com

Sweet 16: The Tops For 2016 – Technology
JohnLothianNews.com

Technology is the lifeblood of the financial markets. As we look ahead in our Sweet 16 series for 2016, here are four ideas from Matthew Rees, Hazem Dawani, Adam Honore and Matt Hughes – about where we are headed with new technology.
Watch the video »
Sponsored by Cinnober
***DA: This is the fourth and final installment of our Sweet 16 series. In case you missed the first three, here they are: Part 1 – Exchanges; Part 2 – Economics and Part 3 – Regulation

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Statement of Chairman Timothy Massad on the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Agreement
CFTC
The failure to provide the CFTC even a modest increase in the fiscal year 2016 budget agreement sends a clear message that meaningful oversight of the derivatives markets, and the very types of products that exacerbated the global financial crisis, is not a priority.
1.usa.gov/1OhRaTU

***DA: Message received.

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Integritas Financial Consulting
COMMITTED TO HELPING CLIENTS NAVIGATE REGULATORY COMPLEXITY
Providing a broad base of advisory, expert, and consulting services, we use the full weight of our 25 years of experience to help you solve your business problems.
bit.ly/1NJicEn

***** Carl Gilmore’s new firm has launched its website. I like the name; it has gravitas.

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In 2016, it’s time to go beyond gimmicks and commit to a loyal base of readers and viewers
Dan Colarusso, Executive Editor, Digital, Reuters, via LinkedIn
Virtual reality, web videos larded with kinetic text and puppies, oh, and mashups of Olympic swimming, “something green,” and risk management for avery interested prospect targeting millennials. These are all things publishers, consultants, gurus, and ad sales folks will say I need in 2016.
bit.ly/1ZllFAn

***** I need a self-creating newsletter.

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Cinnober on 2015
Cinnober
Shining history forming a bright future
As the new year of 2016 approaches, I would like to take the opportunity to recap the exciting past twelve months. From Cinnober’s perspective it can be summarized in three words — inspiring, developing and challenging. Let me take the reasoning a bit further.
bit.ly/1YtMqWp

***** Do you know the Christmas carol with Seven Cinnobers A Leaping?

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The Financial Benefits of Buying What You Love
By CARL RICHARDS – NY Times
Eleven years ago, I needed a new bike. At the time, I rode a lot. I was in a big group of relatively competitive riders, and we’d often put hundreds of miles on our bikes each week. I agonized over what bike to buy, but I kept coming back to one made by a company called Moots, a Colorado company that builds titanium road and mountain bikes by hand.
nyti.ms/1QVFjQq

***** Jim Kharouf does not know it, but I am buying him the new self-riding bike from Google for Christmas. He is getting me the new self-driving Google wheelchair.

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‘Star Wars’ Scores at Box Office, Not on Wall Street; Record-breaking opening doesn’t translate to immediate gains on Wall Street
By BEN FRITZ – WSJ
The force is powerful everywhere except, it turns out, on Wall Street.
on.wsj.com/1QIfPYp

***** Buy the rumor, sell the FORCE. Just don’t short the FORCE. As Yoda said, “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.”

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A hedge fund fortune goes long on smart giving
Sarah Gordon – FT
Sir Tom Hughes-Hallett is working hard, considering that he is a volunteer. The recently appointed chairman of a new philanthropy institute at the London School of Economics also chairs the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS foundation trust and is a trustee of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, a grant-making charity set up by his great uncle in 1962. Only the NHS role is paid.
on.ft.com/1U27QmU

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Lead Stories

Spoofing Went Mainstream in 2015
Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
High-frequency bait-and-switch schemes take years to detect
Tech available to regulators just now catching up to industry
Inside Ken Griffin’s $25 billion empire, Citadel LLC’s cyber investigators had isolated a new enemy: spoofers.
bloom.bg/1NAkQOV

**Nice piece by Matt Leising.

Deutsche Bank Tally of Suspect Russia Trades at $10 Billion
Gregory White, Stephanie Baker – Bloomberg
Beyond mirror trades, $4 billion in transactions were flagged
Regulators said to have received review results in September
Deutsche Bank AG has identified as much as $4 billion in suspicious transactions related to its Russian operations, in addition to $6 billion in so-called mirror trades it is examining, said several people with knowledge of the bank’s review of the matter.
bloom.bg/1Ol5q4J

SEC Appeals Process on the Slow Track; Regulator’s use of its own tribunal has coincided with longer delays in the handling of appeals
By JEAN EAGLESHAM – WSJ
After five years, four judges, three rulings, two appeals and the loss of their careers, John Flannery and James Hopkins this month won their legal battle against the Securities and Exchange Commission.
on.wsj.com/1YyrsAg

JPMorgan to pay $150 million in ‘London Whale’ U.S. class action
By Nate Raymond – Reuters
JPMorgan Chase & Co has agreed to pay $150 million to resolve a securities fraud lawsuit by investors suing the bank over its “London Whale” trading scandal, which caused a $6.2 billion loss.
yhoo.it/1U09t4l

Eurex aims to tap new traders with incentives
Futures & Options World
German exchange giant Eurex will launch at the start of next year a new clearing incentive programme for traders who are new to its exchange markets, with participants set to benefit from “significant” fee waivers. Eurex Clearing, the German clearing house, will launch the Trading Development Programme 2016 incentive scheme on January 1, with the programme open to new traders from Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.
bit.ly/1NAntjN

Cantor Fitzgerald to pay U.S. watchdog $7.3 million for microcap sales
BY SUZANNE BARLYN
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co will pay $7.3 million for selling billions of unregistered microcap shares and for lapses in its procedures to detect possible money laundering, Wall Street’s industry-funded watchdog said on Monday.
reut.rs/1ImP3lO

Boston College alumni beat Ivy League graduates at stock picking: SumZero
BY SVEA HERBST-BAYLISS
Boston College graduates know how to pick stocks. Alumni from the private Massachusetts Catholic college, who now work as analysts and portfolio managers at some of the world’s best known hedge and mutual funds, beat out graduates from Ivy League and other top tier universities in selecting top performing U.S. stocks, according to SumZero, an online community that has been tracking investment bets since the financial crisis.
reut.rs/1mfz92e

LSEG ACQUIRES XTF
London Stock Exchange Group
XTF is a provider of U.S. ETF data, analytics and ratings; Acquisition adds to LSEG’s leading offering in the ETF space; Growing demand for greater research tools to track $3 trillion global ETF market
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) today confirms that it has completed the acquisition of assets, through its Information Services division, from XTF Inc., a U.S. based provider of high-quality ETF data, analytics and ratings. The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. The business will be integrated into LSEG’s Information Services Division, which includes FTSE Russell, a global leader in indexes, and a range of real time and reference data products, including SEDOL, UnaVista and RNS.
bit.ly/1QVFziw

Barclays `Last Look’ Fine Inspires Currency Venue Rule Change
John Detrixhe – Bloomberg
FastMatch will keep last look, but will monitor its use
Bats Global Markets has given users less time to reject trades
Barclays Plc’s $150 million fine has inspired the chief of one foreign-exchange platform to change its rule book, a sign of how regulatory action is reshaping the world’s biggest market.
bloom.bg/1NAn1Sx

UK’s Serious Fraud Office to charge 11 over Euribor-rigging
By Carolyn Cohn – Reuters
Britain’s Serious Fraud office said on Monday it would next month charge 11 individuals accused of rigging the Euribor interest benchmark with conspiracy to defraud.
reut.rs/1OkXY9J

Lessons of Wall Street’s August turmoil
By Nicole Bullock in New York – FT
A Monday morning in the supposedly quiet days of August this year has become a striking example of sudden market turmoil that also reveals the structural limitations of trading US shares. From the onset, August 24 loomed as a tough day on Wall Street, foreshadowed by a rout in Asia. It was also rooted in something that was clearly identifiable: the changing economic picture in China.
on.ft.com/1mxK6MS

Currency markets face liquidity challenge
Paul McClean – FT
Liquidity is the oil that lubricates the wheels of foreign exchange. But in 2015, it has been in short supply..
on.ft.com/1O6aDv7

Bund shock highlights dangers of herding
Dan McCrum and Elaine Moore – FT
It was one of those things which made no sense, except for a febrile few weeks in the spring. The German bond market was gripped by a delusion: there was so much money washing around without a better option people would sooner hand it to the government in Berlin for a decade and expect nothing in return.
on.ft.com/1QIbcgW

Former Libor Trader Tom Hayes Gets Prison Sentence Cut to 11 Years; Hayes fails to get interest-rate rigging conviction overturned
By MARGOT PATRICK – WSJ
Tom Hayes, the former bank trader convicted of global interest-rate-rigging, won a reduction of his prison sentence Monday from 14 to 11 years but failed in an appeal to overturn his conviction.
on.wsj.com/1J2Yo1Z

Sandy and Joan Weill and the $20 Million Gift That Went Awry
By JACOB BERNSTEIN – NY Times
If you take a tour of some of New York’s most notable cultural and medical complexes, you are bound to encounter — and re-encounter — one prominent family name.
nyti.ms/1Pk8dKa

Credit Suisse Claims UBS Raided Staff; Roughly 70 of 300 brokers left for UBS in recent months
By MICHAEL WURSTHORN and JOANN S. LUBLIN – WSJ
Credit Suisse Group AG is accusing UBS Group AG of raiding its U.S. broker ranks, even as Credit Suisse winds down the private-banking unit at which those financial advisers worked.
on.wsj.com/1QErpUA

Regulatory

Regulator delays launch of EU bank bonus limits
Laura Noonan in London and Jim Brunsden in Brussels – FT
European regulators have delayed the full launch of new restrictions on banker pay to give authorities time to craft exemptions for smaller lenders and brokerages.
on.ft.com/1mxKs66

Europe’s Small Banks Should Be Exempt From Some Bonus Caps, Regulator Says
By CHAD BRAY – NY Times
Small banks and some other financial institutions in Europe should be exempt from some of the limits on bankers’ bonuses, the European Union’s banking regulator said on Monday.
nyti.ms/1YtPaDb

Hindering the S.E.C. From Shining a Light on Political Spending
Another View
By LUCIAN A. BEBCHUK and ROBERT J. JACKSON JR. – NY Times
Lucian A. Bebchuk, a professor at Harvard Law School, and Robert J. Jackson Jr., a professor at Columbia Law School, served as the principal drafters of the rule-making petition submitted to the S.E.C. by the Committee on Disclosure of Corporate Political Spending and are the co-authors of the study “Shining Light on Corporate Political Spending.”
The omnibus budget agreement adopted by Congress includes a provision that prevents the Securities and Exchange Commission from issuing a rule next year that would require public companies to disclose their political spending.
nyti.ms/1QIcFDS

FINRA, SEC Issue Investor Alert: 10 Questions Investors Should Ask About Securities-Backed Lines of Credit
FINRA
As a growing number of securities firms are marketing and offering securities-backed lines of credit (SBLOCs) to investors, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today issued a new Investor Alert, Securities-Backed Lines of Credit – It May Pay to See Beyond the Pitch.
bit.ly/1NAhf3t

IOSCO Publishes Statement on Regulation of Crowdfunding
IOSCO
The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) today published a Statement on regulation of crowdfunding.
bit.ly/1RD7DbV

ESMA ISSUES FAVOURABLE OPINION EXTENDING GREEK HCMC SHORT SELLING BAN
ESMA
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued its official opinion agreeing to an extension of the emergency short selling prohibition by the Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC) on the shares of certain credit institutions under the Short Selling Regulation that expires at 24:00:00 (CET) on Monday 21 December 2015.
bit.ly/1U2a9X1

Regulators stick to their guns on bonus cap
By Mark Cobley – Financial News
The European bonus cap is set to apply to thousands of smaller banks, asset managers and broking firms, in a sweeping extension of the EU’s say over financial institutions’ pay that dashes hopes of a reprieve from the rules.
bit.ly/1RDaPEE

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

CME equity executive director Tagliani departs
Futures & Options World
Derivatives marketplace CME Group has parted ways with an executive director in its equities team, the latest in a number of changes at the firm. Matthew Tagliani has left his role as an executive director for equity products at CME Group in London.
bit.ly/1Jrer4x

Exchange Publishes Guidance Letter on Cash Company Rules
HKEx
The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Exchange), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx), today (Monday) issued a guidance letter on its application of the cash company provisions of its Listing Rules (Rules) to large scale fundraisings.
bit.ly/1NJbsq7

ICE Futures Canada to push back closing time for grains and oilseeds
Reuters
ICE Futures Canada said it will move closing time for grains and oilseeds futures and options to 1:20 pm Central time as of Jan. 25, 2016.
reut.rs/1S7NUAv

EEX – Moving into the major league
FTSE Global Markets
Set against a dynamic business backdrop in its own backyard, the European Energy Exchange (EEX) has adopted a confident and bold strategy to establish its global footprint within the exchange industry. Last year’s move into new commodity focused asset classes marks a new dimension in EEX’s growth and its continued transition from Europe’s leading energy exchange towards a global, multi-commodity exchange group.
bit.ly/1NAgYNP

xSolvay raises EUR 1.5 billion on Euronext Brussels; Largest capital increase on Euronext this year
Euronext
Euronext Brussels today congratulated Solvay (SOLB), a worldwide chemical and advanced materials company, on its successful right issue, which was launched to complete the financing of the acquisition of Cytec. This transaction is Solvay’s first capital increase since its listing on the Stock Exchange in 1967. It is also the largest capital increase on Euronext Brussels since 2008, the largest on the Euronext markets in 2015.
bit.ly/22nen1w

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Music shifts for credit investors in 2015
Eric Platt in New York and Gavin Jackson in London – FT
The music kept playing in credit markets in 2015, but the tune definitely changed.
on.ft.com/1NAdRFM

Goldman Sachs Jazzed About Japanese Stocks
By SAUMYA VAISHAMPAYAN – WSJ
The bank’s strategists expect Japanese stocks to return 17% in 2016, or 11% in U.S. dollars. That’s more optimistic than the bank’s call for a “sideways” U.S. stock market, with the S&P 500 ending the year up about 5% from current levels at 2100.
on.wsj.com/1ImRsgj

Ethics body questions Le Pens’ wealth claims
Anne-Sylvaine Chassany in Paris – FT
National Front leader Marine Le Pen with her father, and party founder, Jean-Marie who is fighting her attempts to eject him from the far-right group©AFP
National Front leader Marine Le Pen with her father, and party founder, Jean-Marie
National Front leaders Marine and Jean-Marie Le Pen may have underestimated the value of their wealth, a French independent ethics committee has alleged.
on.ft.com/1V1Jivi

Why Markets Aren’t in the Holiday Spirit; There is more than pricey stocks behind this tepid month
By JUSTIN LAHART – WSJ
Investors hoped for a Santa Claus rally this month. What they have ended up getting looks more like a Krampus correction.
on.wsj.com/1OicHMm

Short Sellers Up Bets in 2015 Amid Falling Stock Prices
By KRISTEN SCHOLER – WSJ
Short sellers have loaded up on positions this year as the stock market’s record run has lost steam.
on.wsj.com/1OkYEfi

Dividend Dilemma Hounds Energy Companies
WSJ
In the midst of the worst commodity slump in years, investors still want their dividends.

That was illustrated as energy firm Oneok Inc. said Monday it was committed in 2016 to sustaining the dividend at its unit that processes and transports natural gas.
on.wsj.com/1NAimjq

UK house price rises expected to outstrip pay in 2016
Emily Cadman – FT
UK house prices are set to continue rising faster than incomes next year as a rebound in interest from would-be purchasers runs up against a shortage of supply.
on.ft.com/1Zn41wf

Banks & Brokers

Edmond de Rothschild Bankers Quit to Form New Merchant Bank; Move comes after Franco-Swiss group said it was withdrawing from brokering, market making activities
By MAX COLCHESTER – WSJ
A number of senior bankers have defected from Edmond de Rothschild Group to found their own venture, after the Franco-Swiss group scrapped its U.K. merchant bank, the company said Sunday in a statement.
on.wsj.com/1QIaL68

Office Of The Comptroller Of The Currency Reports Third Quarter Trading Revenue Of $5.3 Billion
Mondovisione
Insured U.S. commercial banks and savings associations reported trading revenue of $5.3 billion in the third quarter of 2015, a drop of 4 percent or $200 million from the previous second quarter, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) reported today in the OCC’s Quarterly Report on Bank Trading and Derivatives Activities. Trading revenue in the third quarter was $300 million or 5 percent lower than in the year earlier period.
bit.ly/1NAgOGh

Investors seek EUR105m in damages over BES collapse
Peter Wise in Lisbon – FT
International investors are suing for EUR105m in damages after the value of shares in Portugal’s Banco Espírito Santo, once the country’s largest listed bank, was wiped out within weeks of their subscribing to a EUR1bn capital increase.
on.ft.com/1JriJZH

The long wait for a banker who is statesmanlike
Robert Jenkins – FT
Who’s in the frame? John Cryan, Sir Win Bischoff and Jamie Dimon, writes Robert Jenkins
The recently appointed chief of Deutsche Bank says he would willingly work hard even if he happened to be paid less. John Cryan went on to question the entire banking bonus culture. The pronouncement was not only refreshing, it was statesmanlike.
on.ft.com/1TeO33E

UBS takes steps to improve oversight in stock research following ASIC probe into NSW power sale analyst note
THE AUSTRALIAN
The corporate regulator has agreed to close its investigations against UBS Securities after the investment bank agreed to undertake remedial steps to improve controls in its research department.
bit.ly/1keA8OA

BGC Partners To Update Outlook For The Fourth Quarter Of 2015 On December 31, 2015
PR Newswire
The Company’s Fourth Quarter 2015 Financial Results Press Release will be Issued Prior to Market Open on Wednesday, February 10, 2016
BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: BGCP) a leading global brokerage company servicing the financial and real estate markets, today announced that it plans to update its outlook for the quarter ending December 31, 2015 on that date. BGC’s results will include the consolidation of those for the Company’s majority-owned division, GFI Group Inc. (OTC: GFIG), a leading intermediary and provider of trading technologies and support services to the global OTC and listed markets.
bit.ly/1U2aOaS

Goldman promotes trio to management committee
FT
A trio of top investment bankers at Goldman Sachs has been rewarded with management roles, after a year in which the firm stretched away from rivals across all regions.
on.ft.com/1OIqDzL

Clearing & Settlement

Milestone for LCH.Clearnet’s compression service; LCH.Clearnet’s compression service continues to make progress
By John Bakie – The Trade News
LCH.Clearnet has eliminated over $100 trillion throughout 2015 through its compressions service.
bit.ly/1U28r8e

LCH.Clearnet’s SwapClear Compresses $323 Trillion to Reduce Notional by $107 Trillion in 2015
Finance Magnates
Compression of cleared trades continues to see an increase of demand due to the benefits of reducing outstanding counterparty exposure.
bit.ly/1NAhHyx

Banks test promise of blockchain as CCP replacement
Risk.net
“You can imagine a world where you don’t need clearing houses,” says senior banker
bit.ly/1NAkZC5

US T+2 migration guidance published
Banking Technology
An “Implementation Playbook” detailing the timeline, milestones and dependencies involved in migrating the US equities, fixed income and unit trust markets to a two-day settlement cycle has been published by the T+2 Industry Steering Committee.
bit.ly/1NAhfk0

NSD develops settlement services
Asset Servicing Times
The National Settlement Depository (NSD), Russia’s central securities depository, has started applying the electronic matching procedure for all counterparties’ potential counter clearing and settlement instructions for OTC securities trades. Previously the service was optional for the NSD clients.
bit.ly/1NAh6Nn

Indexes & Products

S&P DJI: S&P 500 Q3 Buybacks Increases 14.5% Over Q2 2015, Up 3.7% Year-Over-Year
Press Release
S&P Dow Jones Indices (“S&P DJI”) announced today that preliminary results show that S&P 500 Q3 2015 stock buybacks, or share repurchases, increased 14.5% to $150.6 billion, up from the $131.6 billion posted in Q2 2015. Year-over-year comparison shows that share repurchases have increased 3.7% over the $145.2 billion reported during the third quarter of 2014.
bit.ly/1NAigIG

LSEG acquires ETF provider XTF
Automated Trader
London Stock Exchange Group has completed the acquisition of assets, through its Information Services division, from XTF Inc., a U.S. based provider of ETF data, analytics and ratings. The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
bit.ly/1NAiEa1

Japan Exchange Group: Launch Of S&P/JPX Dividend Aristocrats Index
Mondovisione
It is the third index to be launched as part of the S&P/JPX Smart Beta Index Series via a strategic index agreement announced by S&P DJI, JPX and TSE in October of this year.
bit.ly/1NAiqzT

The Rieger Report: S&P 500 Has Outperformed S&P 500 Bond Index 7 of last 9 Years
Indexology – S&P Dow Jones Indices
Blue chip stocks have seen dramatic twists and turns over the past 10 years creating opportunity and angst for investors. The bonds of these same companies have been less volatile and perhaps a bit boring. The result has been that the S&P 500 has outperformed the S&P 500 Bond Index 7 of the last 9 years. A closer look at those returns over a 10 year period show they actually are quite close.
bit.ly/1NAiKyG

Technology

Behind Frank Quattrone’s Comeback in New Tech Era; Famed deal-maker is again in high demand, but controversy lingers from his dot-com days
By MAUREEN FARRELL – WSJ
When Aruba Networks Inc. was considering a sale of the wireless-networking company to Hewlett-Packard Co. last year, the board of directors turned to an investment banker who made his name during the last technology boom.
on.wsj.com/1OickBg

China’s payment market: why Apple wants in
Enterprise Innovation
Market research IDC estimates that 3.2 billion people, or 44% of the world’s population, will have access to the Internet in 2016 with more than 2 billion using mobile devices to do so. A new IDC infographic, How the World Uses the Internet, reveals that China has the highest number of 981 million mobile devices in Asia.
bit.ly/1NAjbZF

Fintech: friend or foe?
Banking Technology
While the mainstay of the financial services industry was busy dealing with the global financial crisis in 2008, start-up organisations in Silicon Valley, New York, London and other major financial and technology hubs were turning their attention away from social media plays and looking to reinvent financial services
bit.ly/1NAiT5b

What’s in store for FSIs in 2016: China-style disruption
Enterprise Innovation
While many financial institutions may be threading in unchartered waters, an Accenture survey of senior industry executives involved in the FinTech Innovation Lab revealed that talent and cultural challenges are the two biggest hurdles preventing incumbents from responding to the digital disruption Fintechs are bringing to the table
bit.ly/1NAiXlf

Enforcement

Disciplinary action against an Audit firm and Certified Public Accountants
Japan FDA
On December 22, 2015, the FSA issued an administrative order to Ernst & Young ShinNihon LLC (“the firm”), suspending the firm from accepting new engagements for 3 months from January 1, 2016, to March 31, 2016 and requiring the firm to improve its operations, pursuant to Article 34-21(2) (ii) and (iii) of the Certified Public Accountants Act (“the Act”).
bit.ly/1OicbOf

City trader has Libor sentence reduced
Lindsay Fortado – FT
Tom Hayes arrives at court for the original verdict in August 2015
Tom Hayes, the first person convicted of rigging Libor, has had his prison sentence reduced by three years by a panel of senior judges in London, but his conviction has been upheld.
on.ft.com/1QEofjV

British Authorities Accuse 11th Person of Rigging Benchmark Interest Rate
By CHAD BRAY – NY Times
British authorities said on Monday that they had begun criminal proceedings against a former Société Générale employee in a continuing investigation into the manipulation of a global benchmark interest rate.
nyti.ms/1RD8IAG

SEC Charges Financial Advisor in Market Manipulation Case
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced additional fraud charges in a market manipulation case the agency filed last week.
1.usa.gov/1QIenW2

Ex-Royal Bank of Scotland employee pleads guilty to securities fraud conspiracy
Reuters
A bond trader pleaded guilty on Monday to conspiring to defraud Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc customers by misrepresenting the prices of bond transactions he and others handled for them in an effort to boost the bank’s profit.
reut.rs/1J2Zz1q

SEC to Retrench Case Against SAC’s Steven A. Cohen; Shift reflects changing legal landscape
By ARUNA VISWANATHA – WSJ
The Securities and Exchange Commission said it pared back its case against Steven A. Cohen and disclosed settlement talks with him, a reversal that reflects a major shift in the legal landscape since the government declared victory in its long pursuit of the hedge-fund billionaire’s firm.
on.wsj.com/1kdqqfv

SEC has a new plan to go after ex-hedge fund boss Steve Cohen
By Michelle Celarier – NY Post
Steve Cohen considers reopening London office
The Securities and Exchange Commission just can’t let go of Michael Steinberg.
nyp.st/1S7SnTU

Trader pleads guilty in U.S. insider trading hacking case
By Nate Raymond – Reuters
A Georgia-based real estate developer pleaded guilty on Monday to participating in what U.S. authorities say was a $100 million insider trading scheme that involved hacking into networks that distribute corporate news releases.
reut.rs/1NJemuR

Environmental & Energy

Trafigura strikes $100-million deal to buy GeoPark’s Colombian crude oil
Reuters
Latin American-focused oil and gas explorer GeoPark Ltd has signed a $100-million prepayment agreement with Swiss commodities trading group Trafigura, under which it will sell a portion of its Colombian crude oil output.
reut.rs/1J2YJSg

Energy groups move to hedge Australia LNG exposure
By Jamie Smyth – Financial Times
Chevron and Origin Energy are moving to insulate their Australian liquefied natural gas businesses from plunging commodity prices as analysts warn a surge in LNG supply in 2016 will put further pressure on spot prices in Asia.
on.ft.com/1YxSF6k

Brent oil hits 11-year low as global supply balloons
BY JESSICA RESNICK-AULT AND CATHERINE NGAI – Reuters
Brent oil cratered to its lowest price in more than 11 years on Monday, as demand for heating oil slumped on warmer-than-normal temperatures and traders tested for a bottom.
reut.rs/1YtU17m

Oil Companies Call for Stronger Carbon Pricing
By Margo T. Oge – Huffington Post
Something strange happened during the run-up to this month’s Paris climate conference. Several major oil and gas companies, including Shell and BP, acknowledged the serious threat of climate change. But they weren’t done yet: they also demanded “ambitious” policy solutions to combat the issue — including a price on carbon.
huff.to/1PjYYK1

The Paris climate agreement: Get the carbon pricing right
By Caterina Lindman – The Record
After nearly two decades of continuous international negotiations, the Paris Agreement, formally adopted on Dec. 12, set into motion an ambitious global process of accelerated action to avoid catastrophic changes in our global climate.
bit.ly/1U1vEan

As Pot-Growing Expands, Electricity Demands Tax U.S. Grids
Jennifer Oldham – Bloomberg
Equipment causes emissions equal to those of New Hampshire
The industry’s energy use is undoing cities’ efficiency gains
Pot’s not green.
The $3.5 billion U.S. cannabis market is emerging as one of the nation’s most power-hungry industries, with the 24-hour demands of thousands of indoor growing sites taxing aging electricity grids and unraveling hard-earned gains in energy conservation
bloom.bg/1JrrJ17

Asia-Pacific

HK’s IPOs draw US$31.8b in funds
Shanghai Daily
Funds raised through Hong Kong’s initial public offerings from January 1 to December 15 totaled HK$246.5 billion (US$31.8 billion), the world’s highest for the period, the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEx) said.
bit.ly/1NAgS91

Got Milk Processing?
By ABHEEK BHATTACHARYA – WSJ
2015 was an unhealthy year for commodity producers, and China Modern Dairy 1117.HK -1.50% offers a reminder that this extends to a commodity as nutritious as milk. One of China’s largest milk producers, it warned Monday that its 2015 profits would fall alongside raw-milk prices. Producers are supplying too much dairy, partly in anticipation of accelerating Chinese demand, the same misplaced expectation that has ravaged iron-ore and oil extractors.
on.wsj.com/1JrlUR7

China’s Equity Capital Markets a Boon for Bankers in a Wild Year
WSJ
After a stunning first half, the summer’s stock-market fall and IPO crunch still didn’t erase all gains for equity capital markets, which are up 2.8% from last year.
on.wsj.com/1NAjzYa

Shenzhen: Where China’s economic boom began
CNN.com
The full horrors of the landslide that buried an industrial park in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen are yet to be felt — with bodies only just being pulled from a collapsed mountain of construction waste and trash.
cnn.it/1NAjDau

China Said to Ask Banks to Test Longer Yuan Trading Hours
Bloomberg Business
Chinese authorities have asked some banks to conduct test runs for longer trading hours for the onshore yuan, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified as the matter hasn’t been made public.
bloom.bg/1NAjFyW

Japan Stock Bulls See Abe Rally Evolving With 18% Gain Next Year
Bloomberg Business
Brokerages are the most optimistic on Japanese stocks in three years, even as strategists pare back forecasts for two of the biggest boosts for equities under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: earnings growth and yen weakness.
bloom.bg/1NAjK5M

Frontier Markets

Making sense of derivatives: How NSE will handle new segment
Standard Digital News – Kenya
The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) has received the green light from the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) to start issuing and trading derivative contracts on the NSE’s Derivatives Market — NEXT.
bit.ly/1NAgxDj

Azerbaijani manat collapses after government abandons dollar peg
Jack Farchy in Moscow – FT
Azerbaijan’s central bank abandoned its dollar peg on Monday and allowed its currency to tumble by almost a third, the latest sign of how the oil price fall is hurting energy-dependent economies.
on.ft.com/1QIgglo

BSE Forms Advisory Group for Development of BSE Hi-Tech (Institutional Trading Platform) for start-ups
BSE
In order to develop BSE Hi-Tech, a platform where young fast growing companies can list and access capital from sophisticated investors, the Exchange has decided to form an “Advisory Group”. This group inter-alia comprises of experts from the start-up ecosystem, investors, merchant bankers and legal professionals who will advise the exchange on the newly proposed framework on BSE Hi-Tech, which will be based on the new Institutional Trading Platform regulations announced by SEBI in August 2015. This group will interact with various stakeholders including the Ministry, SEBI and Industry Associations and support in framing policies for the creation of a robust platform.
bit.ly/1Yys34Z

Suspension of companies as a Surveillance measure
BSE
Mumbai – Trading Members are aware that, in past, SEBI had passed several orders against the concerned parties/companies, inter alia, in relation to unusual price movements vis -a- vis preferential issue price and weak financials of the company.
bit.ly/1Pk93GV

Miscellaneous

Larger Wine Glasses Encourage More Drinking, Study Finds; University of Cambridge researchers found that wine sales were 9% higher when larger glasses were used
By DENISE ROLAND – WSJ
Bartenders and waiters love to hear a wine drinker say, “I’ll have another.” Could the glassware they use make this happen more often?
on.wsj.com/1O67jQP

Trinity Church Campaigns Against Some Gun Sales at Cabela’s
By LIZ MOYER – NY Times
After pushing Walmart to remove high-capacity weapons from its shelves, Trinity Church on Wall Street is turning its attention to the sporting goods retailer Cabela’s.
nyti.ms/1JrnmmO

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