First Read

David Norman, Essex University – What Sets Graduates Apart?

“The industry feels like it has lost its way.”

In this video from MarketsWiki Education’s London Event, David Norman, a lecturer at Essex University and Queen Mary University of London, discusses the current landscape of the industry and how to stand out from the competition during a job search.

Every year he sees hundreds of students and found that there is no shortage of ‘doers’ — those who can successfully adapt to structure and learn a skill set. To Norman, the industry needs more people willing to think outside of the status quo and not just conform to existing norms. That is why he thinks that the job interview process has gotten longer and questions more bizarre — interviewers are trying to judge a person’s ability to think innovatively.

It might not seem like it at the time, but the interview question, “How many ping pong balls would fit on a 747?” has more merit than you might think.

Watch the video »


Wedbush Securities Appoints Bob Fitzsimmons Managing Director
Wedbush Securities is pleased to announce the appointment of Bob Fitzsimmons as a Managing Director. In this capacity, Bob will oversee the business operations within the Futures Commission Merchant (“FCM”), with a focus on developing and defining the strategic direction for the Futures and Treasury division. Bob is based in the Chicago office and reports to Executive Vice President of Wedbush Securities, Rich Jablonski.

**JK: I can not say enough good things about Bob Fitzsimmons. What a great hire for Wedbush. I did one of my first futures industry interviews with him while he was at Nomura, and he could not have been nicer. I’ve followed his journey since, including the courageous step into a new frontier, single stock futures with NQLX and subsequent ventures. We wish him the best of luck. Wedbush’s FCM has been growing nicely and this certainly strengthens that team.


SGX Titan


Challenging the Status Quo: Cinnober Aims To Break Into The Back Office Clearing Space
There was a time when many thought there wasn’t really much of a market for full clearinghouse solutions with real time clearing and risk management. But in 2007 and 2008, Cinnober successfully pushed into the space and carved out a nice niche for itself, especially as the global financial crisis illustrated the intense need for such solutions.

**JK: In case you missed it, can Veronica Augustsson and Cinnober rock the back office world? One of our top stories of the day yesterday.


Timeline: A History of Insider Trading
Dealbook – NY Times
Trading of securities by company executives based on inside information has been illegal throughout much of the history of corporate America, but enforcement has evolved over time. Over the years, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York and the Manhattan district attorney have pushed to investigate and prosecute those accused of insider trading. Below are some of the key cases.

**JK: Love the walk down the insider trading memory lane, complete with Ivan Boesky and Martha Stewart.


Goldman Sachs Alum Turns to Virtual Reality to Sell $57 Million Mansion; The super-rich might not be early adopters, but their brokers are.
by James Tarmy – Bloomberg
Standing in the living room of an oceanside $57.5 million home in Malibu, Calif., Jack Ryan, the founder of REX, an online brokerage, took in the view.

**JK: Wait, he’s a spy hero AND a broker? Impressive.


Most Americans Who See Fake News Believe It, New Survey Says
An exclusive Ipsos poll conducted for BuzzFeed News found that 75% of American adults who were familiar with a fake news headline viewed the story as accurate.

****JB: In similar news, from Stanford University, Stanford researchers find students have trouble judging the credibility of information online and from The New York Times, In News, What’s Fake and What’s Real Can Depend on What You Want to Believe


Top Three
There is no question there is young and emerging talent in our industry and you wanted to see who it is. Turns out, two of Crains Chicago’s top 40 under 40 included, Chicago Stock Exchange attorney Emily Kasparov and Jared Vegosen of DV Trading made up our top two stories. Our third most read piece of the day was the JLN story about Cinnober’s new effort to disrupt the back office space with a new offering in, Challenging the Status Quo: Cinnober Aims To Break Into The Back Office Clearing Space


Lead Stories

JPMorgan Hit Hardest as EU Fines Euribor Trio $521 Million
by Gaspard Sebag – Bloomberg
Firms shunned Euribor settlement, got formal complaint in 2014; Fines follow global scandal over benchmark manipulation
JPMorgan Chase & Co., HSBC Holdings Plc and Credit Agricole SA were fined a total of 485.5 million euros ($521 million) for rigging the Euribor benchmark as European Union antitrust regulators wrapped up a five-year investigation into the scandal.

Citi trader deepened October’s pound ‘flash crash’; Tokyo sell order flood helped drive sterling to 31-year low
by: Katie Martin and Caroline Binham – FT
The UK investigation into October’s “flash crash” in sterling has focused heavily on the Japanese trading operations of Citigroup, which fired off repeated sell orders that exacerbated the pound’s fall, according to bankers and officials involved in the inquiry.

****JB: Citi responded to this FT article: Citi says behaved appropriately in sterling ‘flash crash’

NSE May Put IPO Plan on Ice as Top Execs Quit and Sebi Says No to Self-listing
By: P Vinod Kumar – Corporate Ethos
The much-awaited listing of National Stock Exchange (NSE) has come under a long shadow after the two executives who manned the top deck of the country’s largest bourse by volume quit in quick succession. While NSE’s chief operating officer (COO) Subramanian Anand left the exchange in October, the sudden decision by Chitra Ramkrishna, the managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of NSE, to end over a two-decades-long innings at the bourse has caught the stock exchange management by surprise.

Hong Kong brokers choose Fidessa for Shenzhen Connect
Builds on its success with Shanghai Connect program to deliver Shenzhen
Fidessa group plc (LSE: FDSA) has today announced that seventeen Hong Kong-based brokers have been using Fidessa for the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect link since it went live on 5th December.

India’s NSE listing on track after resignation of CEO: sources
By Abhirup Roy and Rafael Nam – Reuters
India’s National Stock Exchange will pursue plans to raise up to $1 billion via a public listing after Chief Executive Chitra Ramkrishna’s decision to step down last week, said four sources familiar with the matter.

Chinese fintechs overtake Western rivals in innovation
Alice Woodhouse – South China Morning Post
China’s financial technology (fintech) sector has leapfrogged competitors in the United Kingdom and United States in terms of numbers and innovation and sophistication, a report by EY and Singaporean banking giant DBS has found, by offering tailored services catering to strong consumer demand. However, the study also cautions it may still suffer a so-called “Galapagos Island effect” as the bigger players struggle to replicate their success overseas.

Insiders ‘Back On The Hook’ After Top Court’s Trading Ruling
Greg Stohr, Patricia Hurtado and Bob Van Voris – Bloomberg
For two years, stock traders and the attorneys who represent them said insider-trading law was a muddle, with no one knowing exactly what was or wasn’t legal. On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court said it had “easily” settled the question. No one doubted that a trader who paid cash to an insider for privileged information faced prison. But what about the trader who got the tip from a friend or golfing buddy as a mere gift? Is it illegal to trade on that?

New Market Aims to Make Trading Natural Gas More Like Oil
Sarah McFarlane – WSJ
Two U.S. exchanges plan to launch derivatives that could make it easier to trade a type of natural gas, potentially revolutionizing this market in the way that the Brent and West Texas Intermediate benchmarks did for crude oil, according to people familiar with the matter. The moves by CME Group Inc. and Intercontinental Exchange Inc. come as increasing shipments of liquefied natural gas from the U.S. and elsewhere have helped create a spot, or short term market, for this commodity, which is transported on ships in liquid form.

Banks Fight for Block Trades Amid Stalled IPO Market
Maureen Farrell, Corrie Driebusch and Matt Jarzemsky – WSJ
Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, Morgan Stanley bought about 3 million shares of insurer James River Group Holdings Ltd. from hedge fund D.E. Shaw Group. Its intention was to resell the shares at a profit before the market opened the next day. It is unclear exactly how Morgan Stanley did on the roughly $117 million purchase. It stood to make $1 on every share it sold on to investors, Dealogic estimates, but it isn’t known how many it unloaded.

Spread-betting industry loses £1bn after City watchdog steps in
Sean Farrell – The Guardian
More than £1bn has been wiped off the stock market value of the spread-betting industry after the City regulator announced a clampdown to protect inexperienced retail customers from unexpected losses on complex trades.

SocGen’s ‘Most Worrying Chart’ Shows Markets Still Shrugging Off Political Risk; Credit spreads should be twice as wide.
by Luke Kawa – Bloomberg
Political upheaval and the economic policy uncertainty that’s accompanied it have left little impression on the corporate bond market in 2016. And that’s got researchers at Societe Generale SA concerned.

Credit Suisse Steps Up Cost Cuts as Revenue Eludes CEO Thiam
by Jeffrey Voegeli and Nicholas Comfort – Bloomberg
Profit goals cut for Asia investment bank, asset management; CEO Thiam confirms targets for wealth management operations
Credit Suisse Group AG rose in Zurich trading, leading European bank shares higher, as Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam pledged to cut an additional 1 billion Swiss francs ($1 billion) in expenses and lowered profit targets that were seen as too ambitious.


Supreme Court Judges Question Whether Lawmakers Need Brexit Vote
by Kit Chellel and Patrick Gower – Bloomberg
Justices say Parliament may have ceded powers in referendum; Legal challenge attempting to force vote on Article 50 trigger
The Supreme Court in London. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
Supreme Court judges challenged the case against the U.K. government’s Brexit plans by saying it is possible that Parliament gave the final say on leaving the European Union to the British people by agreeing to hold a referendum.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Appointment of Derivatives Market Consultative Panel Member
The Board of Directors of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) today (Wednesday) approved the appointment of Mr Alexander Longman as a member of the Derivatives Market Consultative Panel to fill the vacancy arising from Mr Craig Robertson’s resignation. HKEX wishes to take this opportunity to thank Mr Robertson for his dedicated service to the panel.

Nasdaq November 2016 Volumes
By GlobeNewswire
Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ) today reported monthly volumes for November 2016, on its investor relations website.

One Of The World’s Most Important Derivatives Events
BM&FBOVESPA took part in FOW Derivatives World London: The Debates in London on Wednesday (Dec. 7). This is one of the most important derivatives events in the world and representatives from all of the major global exchanges participated in it.

BM&FBOVESPA Publishes November Market Performance
Trading value in the equity market (BOVESPA segment) totaled BRL 185.48 billion in November, compared with BRL 176.28 billion in the previous month. Average daily trading value was BRL 9.27 billion, versus BRL 8.81 billion in October. Total volume amounted to 23,867,645 shares, compared with 19,152,939 shares in the previous month. Average daily volume was 1,193,382 shares (957,647 shares in October).

Coal Trading Association considering new financial met contract, merger with ACC
Jim Levesque – Platts News Article & Story
The US-based Coal Trading Association is looking at creating a new financial contract for export metallurgical coal off the US East Coast, board members said Monday. At a CTA business meeting in New York, board members confirmed they have begun talks with industry players to gauge interest in a new futures product in what has become an active export market.

TOCOM Signs Memorandum Of Understanding With China Futures Association And China Xin Yongan Futures
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange, Inc. (TOCOM) announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China Futures Association (CFA) on December 4 and China Xin Yongan Futures Company (XYA) on December 3, respectively while participating in the 12th China International Derivatives Forum. The forum took place in Shenzhen, China from December 2nd to 4th, 2016.


Can algos trade Trump’s tweets? Absolutely. Maybe.
Eamon Javers – CNBC
Donald Trump sent the tweet heard ’round the defense industry Tuesday morning at exactly 35 seconds after 8:52 a.m. ET, blasting Boeing and suggesting he wanted to cancel the company’s contract for the new Air Force One aircraft. One second went by. Then two. No reaction on Wall Street. It wasn’t until a full 10 seconds later that Boeing stock began trading down on the news in the premarket hours, a dive that would shortly send Boeing’s stock price down by as much as 1 percent in early trading, before rallying back later in the day.

How an Everything-Must-Go Trump Sale Might Look
Dealbook – NY Times
With all the attention on President-elect Donald J. Trump’s business and the potential conflicts that it could pose with the White House, one possible — if admittedly unlikely — solution has emerged.
He could sell the operation altogether.

Trump’s Team Says He Sold All His Stocks in June
NY Times
Since his election a few weeks ago, Donald J. Trump has faced serious questions about the conflicts of interest his vast business empire could create once he enters the White House. There is at least one facet of his holdings that should not be an issue: his stock portfolio.
The president-elect sold all his stock holdings in June, according to Jason Miller, a spokesman.

Finding Risk in All the Wrong Places as Trump Era Begins; Trump’s foreign policy and European elections may be biggest threats to the world order
by Andre Tartar and Flavia Krause-Jackson – Bloomberg
The tables have turned. The U.S. and Europe, for decades bastions of political stability, are now exporting political risk to the rest of the world .

Investing and Trading

Sugar Pills
Josh Brown – The Reformed Broker
I know I’m doing a lot of stuff about the alleged “Trump Rally” lately but I have good reasons: First of all, it’s the most dominant story in the market by far, now that the Fed is basically PGing a rate hike. And second, it’s absolutely absurd and people are running around acting like maniacs, which I love. You guys know I love that.

SocGen’s ‘Most Worrying Chart’ Shows Markets Still Shrugging Off Political Risk
Luke Kawa – Bloomberg
Political upheaval and the economic policy uncertainty that’s accompanied it have left little impression on the corporate bond market in 2016. And that’s got researchers at Societe Generale SA concerned.Even as a wave of surprising election results and a rising populist tide ushered in regime changes in major economies, credit spreads globally are near their tightest levels of the year.

Looking under the hood of the Russell 2000 Dividend Growth Index
Tom Goodwin – FTSE Russell
When shopping for a car, the value-minded consumer seeks quality and long-term durability at a reasonable price. This mindset can also be applied to indexing. For many market participants, evaluating stocks by price alone is not enough—they want quality characteristics, too. This can be especially pertinent when evaluating a small cap universe, like the constituents of the Russell 2000 Index, in this current period of heightened uncertainty. By filtering this universe for certain characteristics of quality, our value-minded consumer might evaluate stocks using the same traits they seek in their new car.

SRI Community Stands Together
Kelly Tang – S&P Dow Jones Indices
The SRI (Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing) conference took place recently in Denver, and it is a three-day conference that brings together asset owners, asset managers, and other investment professionals in the ESG, shareowner advocacy, and impact investing space. The conference is in its 27th year, and given that the conference took place in mid-November—right after the U.S. election results—a great deal of discussion centered on what will become of U.S. climate change policy under a Trump presidency.

Add Sell-Side Stock Analysts to the List of Experts Caught Out by Trump’s Rise; Unloved stocks outperform analysts’ favorites.
by Luke Kawa – Bloomberg
The list of experts with egg on their faces after the ascendance of President-elect Donald Trump extends to many who ply their trade on Wall Street.

Knight Assets Said Raising Fund That Charges No Management Fee
by Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg
London-based asset manager said targeting $500 million total; Fund to focus on investments in mid-sized global companies
Knight Assets & Co., a London-based investment firm led by former Deutsche Bank AG and Bank of America Merrill Lynch employees, has raised about $300 million for a new equity-focused fund that will not charge management fees, according to a person familiar with the situation.

So Much for Autopilot. Now Active Investors Get a Turn.
By Conor Sen – Bloomberg
What’s good for workers is bad for investors. With one asterisk. Signs of full employment — like we got in Friday’s jobs report with an unemployment rate of 4.6 percent — are terrible news for passive investors but perhaps a ray of hope for those beleaguered active investors.

Climate change threatens ability of insurers to manage risk; Extreme weather is driving up uninsured losses and insurers must use
Damian Carrington – The Guardian
The ability of the global insurance industry to manage society’s risks is being threatened by climate change, according to a new report.


Citi trader who ‘panicked’ blamed for intensifying the pound’s flash crash
By Victor Reklaitis – MarketWatch
A Citigroup trader in Japan placed multiple sell orders that appeared to exacerbate the pound’s flash crash on Oct. 7, said a Financial Times report on Wednesday citing unnamed bankers and officials.

Hunt for alternative to Libor struggles four years after rigging scandal
Tim Wallace – The Telegraph
The Bank of England has admitted it is struggling to find a viable alternative to Libor, more than four years after the crucial interest rate benchmark was discredited by the manipulation scandal. Officials had hoped to start encouraging a move to a new benchmark at the start of this year, but have yet to come up with a better version, or a clear way to get financial institutions to move to this new benchmark.

Wall Street banks could have strong quarter in FICC
Portia Crowe – Business Insider
It sounds like Wall Street banks are having a strong fourth quarter. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Bank of America Merrill Lynch CEO Brian Moynihan both shed some light on their firms’ performance in the markets business, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Financial Services Conference on Tuesday.

Quantitative easing should fund infrastructure, says BlackRock; Bond manager advocates retooling the European Central Bank’s asset-purchase programme
by: Stephen Foley in New York and Claire Jones in Frankfurt – FT
The European Central Bank should retool its asset-purchase programme to fund a wave of new infrastructure spending across the continent, according to one of the world’s most powerful bond managers.

Activists say Chase and Bank of America Have a Big Gender Gap Problem
Lucinda Shen – Fortune
Say pay disparity is ‘Bad for Business.’ Call it too big to pay fair. A group of investors are targeting the nation’s largest banks, pushing for a break up of Wall Street’s boy’s club. Pax World Management, Arjuna Capital, and Trillium Asset Management are asking several financial giants including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo to disclose their pay data for men and women, Bloomberg reported. The investors, who have made headway on pay disparity with tech giants including Amazon and Apple, are trying to do the same in the finance sector.


FinTEx Chicago
Northwestern Mutual is invested in FinTEx’s mission to expand the FinTech ecosystem and promote innovation in the Midwest. Just a short train ride away from Chicago, they are interested in being part of the community to accelerate their transformation, embracing a digital economy and a tech savvy customer.

Abu Dhabi Global Market To Organise Its Inaugural Fintech Abu Dhabi Event In 2017
Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the international financial centre in Abu Dhabi, today announced its plans to host and organise an inaugural FinTech event in Abu Dhabi in early 2017. This ADGM FinTech initiative is to create a platform for financial institutions, FinTech start-ups and participants, investors, regulatory agencies and the business community to network, collaborate and exchange expertise and knowledge in FinTech developments in Abu Dhabi, the wider MENA region and internationally.


EU fines Agricole, JPMorgan and HSBC $520 million over Euribor
By Philip Blenkinsop – Reuters
The European Commission has fined Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA), HSBC (HSBA.L) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N) a total of 485 million euros ($520 million) for their alleged participation in a cartel to manipulate the price of the Euribor financial benchmark.

The Secret to Fine-Tuning Dodd-Frank, According to Jamie Dimon
James Langford – TheStreet
The reason bank stocks have surged since a Republican sweep in November’s elections is no secret: Wall Street believes the new government will move quickly to loosen post-financial crisis restrictions on the industry. But how that happens, if it does, is important. Unlike the Dodd-Frank reform law, which was passed by a Democratic Congress in 2010 with only minimal Republican support — three votes each in the House and Senate — any changes should be agreed on across party lines, says JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon.

Britain’s spending watchdog may review RBS privatization process
Britain’s spending watchdog may open an investigation into the government’s decision to start selling shares in Royal Bank of Scotland last year causing a 1.1 billion pound ($1.39 billion) loss for taxpayers, sparking accusations of poor timing from opposition politicians.

London’s spread betting sector faces turmoil after regulatory blow
Philip Stafford, Hannah Murphy and Chloe Cornish – Financial Times
London’s spread betting companies have spent much of the year reassuring nervous customers they could withstand political shocks such as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as US president. On Tuesday, the industry was hit by a different kind of blow.

SEC hit with wave of departures ahead of Trump transition
Sarah N. Lynch – Reuters
The top official at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission tasked with reviewing corporate financial filings is leaving the agency, the SEC said on Tuesday, its latest resignation since the presidential election in November. The SEC said Keith Higgins, head of the Division of Corporation Finance, plans to leave the agency in early January.

SEC: Firm Settles Charges For Selling Unregistered Swaps Involving Pre-IPO Companies
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that a San Francisco-based firm agreed to settle charges that it violated federal securities laws by failing to register security-based swaps that were offered and sold online to shareholders in pre-IPO companies.

Supreme Court insider trading case started with cancer talk
By Kevin Dugan – NY Post
The Supreme Court case on Tuesday that upheld the insider-trading conviction of Bassam Salman, a Chicago trader, had an interesting start. Brothers Maher and Michael Kara starting discussing innovative cancer treatments when their dad was dying from the disease in 2004.

Switzerland makes progress in money laundering fight: task force report
By Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi – Reuters
Switzerland has boosted anti-money laundering measures over the last decade but could still do more to prevent financial crime, the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said on Wednesday.


India’s Missing Shock Therapy
Andy Mukherjee – Bloomberg
India’s economy has long been characterized as an elephant, a metaphor that got a whole new meaning on Wednesday when six blindfolded doctors were given the unenviable job of feeling up and, if possible, curing the comatose beast of its ennui.The five men and one woman on the central bank’s monetary policy committee ended their two-day meeting without so much as recommending a painkiller: A quarter percentage point cut in the policy rate was the consensus expectation; the panel didn’t even prescribe that.

Cash crunch nearly freezes dabba, grey market trading
Jayshree P. Upadhyay – Livemint
It is no secret that cash is a crucial part of unofficial trading, lending and investment pooling. Not surprisingly, the demonetisation of high-denomination currency has hit transactions in informal channels such as dabba trading, grey market, informal lending and collective investment schemes (CIS). Dabba trading and the initial public offer (IPO) activity in the grey market have virtually come to a standstill. “In the initial weeks we found it impossible to settle trades due to unavailability of cash,” said a trader, who declined to be named.

Poland Has a Lesson for Central Banks During Age of Populism
by Dorota Bartyzel – Bloomberg
Concerns are abating over central bank independence in Poland; Policy makers extended longest pause in almost two decades
Simply holding still shows backbone when other Polish institutions are under siege.

Competition From Chinese Imports Weakened U.S. Innovation, Economists Say; U.S. industries that faced surging Chinese competition invested less in new technology, a new study finds
Chinese import competition has greatly undermined U.S. technological innovation, a prominent group of economists found, a finding that could weaken the already wobbly support for free trade.

FTSE Russell adds emerging market ESG indexes
Fund Strategy
FTSE Russell has added two emerging market index funds to its ESG series. The FTSE4Good Emerging Markets Index and FTSE4Good Emerging Latin America Index mean FTSE Russell now has 15 indexes in its ESG series. FTSE Russell launched FTSE4Good in 2001 catering to three ESG themes.


Researchers compare biodiversity trends with the stock market
Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) have the potential to help stop species loss. An international research team is using an analogy to explain what these variables are. Just as the price of a share varies according to supply and demand and the prices of all individual shares are used to calculate the index of a stock exchange, data from observations of nature is used to calculate biodiversity variables. From these it is possible to calculate indices which are crucial to policy decisions. By using this analogy, the researchers aim to show how important EBVs are to the protection of biodiversity and where efforts in this area are being hampered by global gaps in our knowledge.

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