JPX set to acquire Tokyo Commodity Exchange

Mar 25, 2019

First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

The CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee will meet on Wednesday in Washington, DC. I will be in attendance and can confirm I have been appointed to another term as a member of the TAC. It is a privilege and honor to serve my country and industry so.~JJL

Just to make things interesting though, today I am having a medical procedure on my back, a radio oblation, where the doctors are going to try to relieve some of my back pain by burning the nerves between the facets in my lower back. I had this procedure a year ago and it helped a lot.~JJL

MarketsWiki Education will return to Chicago on July 16 and 17, with a kickoff event at Trading Technologies offices on July 16. We will follow with an event the next day at the Stewart School of Business at Illinois Tech.~JJL

The Cboe has done a nice job of celebrating Women’s History Month by featuring some of the key women at the company.~JJL

The NIBA’s annual spring conference is in New York on April 10 at the New York Athletic Club. The highlight will clearly be the fireside chat with Dr. Richard Sandor and Fox News’ Sandra Smith.~JJL

Curve Global has smartly started to use the phrase “adaptive pricing” in their marketing materials to describe how you to trade a block between the bid and offer at any price that suits you.~JJL

A significant number of the Twitter followers of Justin Sun, creator of the cryptocurrency TRON (TRX), are reportedly fake accounts. Some have accused the young CEO of artificially pumping up his follower account on Twitter in order to become more famous. Whether this was due to deliberate efforts by Sun and the TRON Foundation or not remains to be seen.~MR

CME Group announced Live Cattle futures open interest (OI) reached a record 453,659 contracts on March 21, surpassing 450,000 contracts for the first time.~JJL

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said he doesn’t expect an interest-rate increase in the U.S. until next year – most likely the second half.~SR


The Spread – The Madness Sets In – 3/22
‘Tis the season for college allegiances to come roaring back to the forefront of conversation, but the options world stops for no one.
Watch the video and see the stories referenced here »


Special Report – Risk Management: Financial Institutions
Cyber, climate change and conduct are among the top risks faced by today’s financial institutions. This report analyses how managers are tackling them — from using artificial intelligence to catch rogue traders before they act to sharing strategies on cyber security

  • Conduct replaces capital under the spotlight – Financial regulators are not giving up the fight against corporate malfeasance
  • ‘It’s a job for anyone who likes science fiction’ – Zurich’s chief risk officer on managing challenges such as climate change and groupthink
  • Banks use AI to catch rogue traders before the act – Technology presents an opportunity to spot errant bankers before misconduct takes place
  • How to protect your institution from cyber attack – Financial companies need to be vigilant and to share ideas, cyber experts say
  • Finance sector plans for the worst on Brexit- Lloyd’s of London chairman says specialist insurance market is ‘Brexit-ready’
  • Banks face a tough market for bail-in debt – After the crash, banks were ordered to raise a new form of debt. It has not been easy
  • China struggling to quit its debt addiction – State controls have so far seen off any contagion from bad loans
  • How to write business that will survive the debt cycle – Alternative lenders pore over the fine print and structure deals to reduce risk

****The FT has published a Special Report and each one of these bullet points is a different story. The link is to the Special Report home page.~JJL


Ex-Enron CEO Skilling Plans Second Act; Fresh out of prison, Jeffrey Skilling is meeting with Enron colleagues, others on new energy-finance venture
Christopher M. Matthews and Katherine Blunt – The Wall Street Journal
Former Enron Corp. Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling is looking to get back into the energy business, with a little help from his friends.
Just weeks after serving more than 12 years in federal custody on fraud, conspiracy and insider-trading convictions following Enron’s fall, Mr. Skilling has been holding meetings with former Enron executives and others, hoping to win backing for a new energy venture, people familiar with the matter said.

**** Skilling missed a lot of market structure changes.~JJL


Trump Offers Fed Board Position to Economic Commentator Stephen Moore
Nick Timiraos – The Wall Street Journal
President Trump has asked former campaign adviser Stephen Moore to accept a nomination to serve on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, a senior administration official said Friday.
Mr. Trump made the offer to Mr. Moore earlier this week, the official said.

****Moore’s December 2018 piece for The Heritage Foundation was called “Fire the Fed” and opens with a comparison of Fed decision makers to Abbott and Costello.~SD




Friday’s Top Three
Our top stories Friday were led by The Wall Street Journal’s Bitcoin Futures Launch Hits Regulatory Snag. Second was Bloomberg’s Trump Says China Deal Is ‘Close’ Ahead of Fresh Round of Talks. Third was Bloomberg’s A $6 Million Denim Inheritance at $5.6 Billion in Levi’s IPO


MarketsWiki Stats
147,792,719 pages viewed; 23,640 pages; 217,879 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


CryptoMarketsWiki Website»

CryptoMarketsWiki, our archive of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, is going strong and keeping pace as this area of finance grows and evolves.Recently Updated Pages

Recently updated pages include

CryptoMarketsWiki Stats

1,015 pages; 8,898 edits
CryptoMarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

JPX set to acquire Tokyo Commodity Exchange; Merger aims to raise volumes and boost Tokyo as a financial centre
Robin Harding – FT
The largest futures exchanges in Japan are set to announce a merger this week as part of a national effort to take on foreign rivals and restore Tokyo’s place as the financial centre of Asia.

Cashing In on Volatility Has Been Tougher Than Expected for Cboe; To regain investor confidence, options exchange operator is undergoing one of the biggest transformations in decades
Gunjan Banerji – WSJ
Chicago-based Cboe Global Markets Inc. CBOE 0.77% is trying to convince investors that new products and a technology upgrade can pull it out of a year-long share-price slump.

Wall Street Embraced Bitcoin As the Next Big Thing. But Crypto Slumped and the Party Got Postponed
Avi Salzman – Barron’s
Bitcoin’s big coming-out party on Wall Street has been postponed, if not canceled altogether. More than a year after major exchange operators introduced Bitcoin futures, and hedge funds scrambled to get in on the game, most of the marquee projects and services designed for institutional investors have yet to launch or have been rolled out to only select clients. Among the obstacles: a price plunge, a confusing regulatory environment, and crypto’s still-sketchy nature.

Back to the Marc Rich Days as U.S. Probes Commodity Traders; Executives fear U.S. authorities are zeroing in on the industry once again
Andy Hoffman, Javier Blas, and Mark Burton – Bloomberg
Not since the days of fugitive oil merchant Marc Rich has the commodities trading industry faced so much global scrutiny. The biggest independent oil and metals trading houses, including Vitol Group, Trafigura Group Ltd., Glencore Plc., Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. and Gunvor Group Ltd., are facing bribery and corruption investigations in jurisdictions ranging from Brazil to Switzerland and, most importantly, the U.S.

‘Fatal Trifecta’: How JPMorgan Is Eyeing Market Risk
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Lack of volatility calls for vigilance in other areas; Watch for signals in positioning and valuations: strategist
In markets, too much of a good thing is often framed as bad. When things are too calm, investors too enthusiastic, or valuations too rich, there is a category of analysts who reliably get worried

The star fund manager hiding a £17bn secret; Thousands of investors trust Terry Smith with their life savings. Yet in nine years he has never published his full holdings
Holly Black – The Times
Terry Smith, one of Britain’s top-performing fund managers, has failed to publish the stocks and shares he holds for nine years, a Money investigation can reveal. The Fundsmith Equity fund, which holds £17.5bn of investors’ money and is the second- biggest in the UK, has never published its full list of holdings to investors — flying in the face of industry rules.

Louis Dreyfus profits surge on oilseed volatility; Trader boosted by US-China trade war as it bounces back from weak first half
Neil Hume – FT
Louis Dreyfus Company, one of the world’s biggest traders of agricultural commodities, has reported a 44 per cent surge in annual profits as its oilseeds business took advantage of ructions caused by the US-China trade war.

A New Person Is in Charge of the Perot Family Fortune; Boaz Sidikaro, veteran hedge-fund trader, is taking the reins from Steve Blasnik
Juliet Chung – WSJ
The Perot family in Dallas has hired a veteran hedge-fund trader as its new investment chief. Boaz Sidikaro, 44, started at the multibillion-dollar Perot Investments in March after more than 20 years at New York hedge-fund firm Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC. Mr. Sidikaro was one of the earliest employees at Och-Ziff and rose to become one of its senior managers, at one point running its U.S. equities business.

Commodity traders have nothing to fear from transparency; Openness benefits all stakeholders — governments, industry and civil society
Fredrik Reinfeldt – FT
Commodity traders are critical players in global supply chains. The core of their business is logistics — moving oil, minerals or other commodities from point A to B, connecting suppliers and customers. In a number of developing countries, the revenues from trading far exceed the amounts received in development assistance and from the extractive industries.

Trading Platform EToro to Buy Danish Blockchain Company Firmo
Manuel Baigorri and Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
eToro is bringing Firmo’s R&D team to help tokenize assets; Israeli trading platorm to tap into tokenize assets growth
Trading platform eToro agreed to acquire Copenhagen-based blockchain firm Firmo to accelerate growth of tokenized financial assets.

‘Dead Malls’ Will Soon Be a Fixture in France, UBS Predicts
Sam Unsted – Bloomberg
UBS Group AG analysts are sticking by a prediction that a fifth of shops in French shopping centers will be empty by 2023.

China Has a Lot of Financial Opening Up to Do, Says Central Bank
Bloomberg News
The openness of China’s financial markets to the rest of the world isn’t high, so there’s a lot of room for increased access, according to People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang.

Deutsche Bank’s Investment-Banking Arm Looms Large Over Commerzbank Merger Talks; Cultural and business divides between the German lenders emerge as early focus
Jenny Strasburg, Patricia Kowsmann and Ben Dummett -WSJ
The fate of Deutsche Bank AG’s global investment bank, including its embattled U.S. operations, has emerged as a focus of debate following the first week of formal merger talks with Commerzbank AG, according to people familiar with the matter.

Cboe Europe delays launch of Amsterdam trading venue; Amsterdam trading venue was due to go-live on 1 April, but as Brexit negotiations continue Cboe Europe has postponed launch.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Exchange operator Cboe has postponed the launch of its Amsterdam-based European trading venue in the wake of the EU’s decision to grant the UK an extension on its withdrawal from the European bloc.

INTL FCStone acquires UOB’s brokerage, clearing business unit UOB in Singapore. Credit: DealStreetAsia
NTL FCStone Pte, a subsidiary of INTL FCStone Inc, has executed an asset purchase agreement to acquire the futures and options brokerage and clearing business of UOB Bullion and Futures Limited, a subsidiary of United Overseas Bank Limited, according to an announcement.

Australian exchange could shorten settlement with blockchain; ASX will seek comment on quicker settlement of cash stocks – possibly the same day
Blockchain network
Luke Clancy –
The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) could shrink settlement times for cash equities through the use of blockchain, and will be seeking feedback from its clients on the idea.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Eris takes aim at Europe with revamped swap futures
Jeff Reeves – MarketVoice
Intercontinental Exchange and Eris Innovations are revamping the pricing structure of their European interest rate swap futures to make the contracts more user-friendly. A similar change has already proved highly successful in the U.S., and the two companies are now working to roll out the new pricing structure in the third quarter.

Nasdaq Dubai Partners With The Dubai Business Associate (DBA) Programme To Provide Professional Placements For Talented Graduates
Nasdaq Dubai has partnered with the Dubai Business Associate (DBA) Programme to provide professional placements to talented graduates, drawn from world-leading universities, to develop business leaders of the future. DBA is delivered by Falcon and Associates which works to enhance the positioning of Dubai internationally.

SGX to report 3Q FY2019 results on 25 April
Singapore Exchange (SGX) is reporting its third-quarter (3Q) results for Financial Year 2019 (FY2019) after the market closes on 25 April 2019.

Nasdaq Extends the Acceptance Period for its Offer for Oslo Børs VPS
Nasdaq AB, an indirect subsidiary of Nasdaq, Inc., announced today that it is extending the acceptance period of its offer to acquire all of the issued shares of Oslo Børs VPS Holding ASA made pursuant to its offer document published on February 4, 2019, as amended by the announcement made on March 4, 2019, previously set to expire March 29, 2019 at 17.30 CET, to April 30, 2019 at 17.30 CET.

Nasdaq, Inc. Announces Proposed Senior Notes Offering
Nasdaq, Inc. today announced that it plans to offer, subject to market and other conditions, Euro-denominated senior notes (the “Offering”). The Company expects to use the net proceeds from the Offering to refinance indebtedness and for other general corporate purposes.

Eurex fosters transparency using cloud technology
Eurex Clearing, one of the world’s leading central counterparties (CCP) and part of Deutsche Börse Group, extends the transparency of its real-time risk management Prisma based on cloud technology. As of 25 March, clients can simulate margin requirements for both exchange-traded derivatives (ETD) and over-the-counter (OTC) contracts, including cross-margining using Eurex’s Prisma Margin Estimator in Cloud (Cloud PME).

Reminder of Deadline for Applications to the Listing Committee and Listing Review Committee
The Listing Nominating Committee of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Exchange), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), wishes to remind potential applicants that the deadline for submitting applications for nomination to the Listing Committee or the inaugural Listing Review Committee is 12 April 2019. News releases published on 25 January 2019 inviting applications for nomination to the Listing Committee and the Listing Review Committee are available to view on the HKEX website.


Stock market and data analytics: How machine learning helps to reduce trading costs
Financial Express
Machine Learning and Data Analytics are making trading much more efficient. Together, they complement each other and act as catalysts towards improved ability to identify opportunities and reduce trading costs.

Big data key for commodity traders’ future; Report forecasts margins to fall further unless industry invests in new technology
Neil Hume and David Sheppard – FT
The world’s biggest commodity traders need to invest heavily in big data and technology if they are to arrest the relentless erosion of profit margins and recapture their information edge over rivals.

Disrupting Brussels; Carlos Moedas has pledged a revolution in how Brussels finances breakthrough technologies
Jim Brunsden – FT
The European Commission has a wide range of expertise. Forcing the next disruptive tech start-up company into existence is not part of it.


Crypto Futures and Institutional Interest: Looking in the Wrong Place
Noelle Acheson – Coindesk
Last week, the Cboe let its traders know that it would not be renewing its futures contracts on bitcoin. This was taken by many as a sign that expectations of institutional interest in crypto assets were misplaced, and by some as a nail in the crypto coffin.

The Crypto ‘Trichotomy’
Tim Enneking – Coindesk
The crypto space ain’t what it used to be. In the good old days when bitcoin was the only “cryptocurrency” around, life was much simpler. Then, a few other “currencies” came along, followed by ICOs and things rapidly got much more complex.

R3 Co-Founder Jesse Edwards Is Leaving the Enterprise Blockchain Firm
Ian Allison – Coindesk
Jesse Edwards, one of the co-founders of R3, has left the enterprise blockchain company, CoinDesk has learned.

Sand, Death and Cryptocurrency: Life in a Decentralized Syria
Rachel Rose O’Leary – Coindesk
I’m writing from the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. Known to sympathizers simply as Rojava – meaning West – the predominantly Kurdish region revolted against the Syrian regime in 2012 and achieved its de-facto autonomy as a result.

Crypto Lawyer Drew Hinkes Joins Firm to Help ICO Issuers Fight Back
Anna Baydakova – Coindesk
Blockchain lawyer Andrew Hinkes is spoiling for a fight. The general counsel at investment bank Athena Blockchain and an adjunct business and law professor at New York University, Hinkes believes token issuers will soon start pushing back against regulatory enforcement actions and demanding clearer guidance, after mostly taking it on the chin for the last year or so. And when that happens, he’ll be in their corner.

A failed ICO is trying to flog itself on eBay
Jemima Kelly – FT
For as little as $60,000, a slice of history could be yours.That’s the starting price in an eBay auction for all the documents, all of the branding, all of the strings of 1s and 0s, and all the broken dreams of an initial coin offering (ICO) that never managed to sell a single token.

Bitcoin Critic Warns Against Central Banks Issuing Own Tokens
Catherine Bosley – Bloomberg
One of Bitcoin’s sharpest critics highlighted the risks of central banks issuing their own digital currencies to the general public, saying it could undermine both financial stability and monetary policy-making. Agustin Carstens, general manager at the Bank for International Settlements, once likened Bitcoin to a “a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster.” In a speech in Dublin on Friday he cited the example of a financial panic, which in a world with a central bank-issued digital currency (CBDC) might lead people to shift money to accounts at the monetary authority from commercial banks, undermining the system.

U.S. a Bigger-Than-Expected Source of Crypto Trades, Firm Says
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
Report from Bitwise claims other exchanges inflate volumes; Firm trying to create a crypto ETF sees solid regulation
U.S. exchanges handle about 29 percent of global Bitcoin trading — much more than previously thought because some unregulated rivals overseas are inflating their volumes, according to estimates from a firm working to create a crypto exchange-traded fund.

Bitcoin’s Biggest Potential Competitor Discussed At MIT Conference
Kyle Torpey – Forbes
At the recent 2019 MIT Bitcoin Expo, there was a debate, which turned out to be more of a discussion, about the usefulness of permissioned blockchains versus permissionless cryptocurrency networks like Bitcoin.

Cryptocurrency market update: Western Union partners with Thunes to leverage Stellar technology – no update on Ripple (XRP) trials
John Isige – FX Street
Western Union is working hard to ensure that seamless cross-border remittance becomes a reality. Western Union is now going to utilize Stellar (XLM) based technology courtesy of Thunes’ network to revolutions international payments. The global payments behemoth, Western Union is reported to have signed a partnership agreement with a blockchain fintech startup referred to as Thunes. According to a report published by Finextra on March 21, Thunes focuses on cross-border payments.

Mexico’s Proposed Crypto Laws Create New Barriers For Exchanges, Adoption
Bitcoin Magazine
Mexico’s Proposed Crypto Laws Create New Barriers For Exchanges, Adoption
Earlier this month, the Bank of Mexico (Banxico) published a circular, wherein it laid out its plan to issue permits to bitcoin exchange platforms and other crypto-related businesses operating in the country.

Cryptocurrency scammer pleads guilty in $4M fraud case; He could be in prison for over 100 years
Matthew Beedham –
AriseBank CEO Jared Rice, who faced 120 years in prison for defrauding investors of $4 million in a cryptocurrency scam, has pleaded guilty.

A Citigroup job ad suggests blockchain initiatives are heating up at the ban
The Block Crypto
JPMorgan’s got JPMCoin. And Goldman Sachs has its “bitcoin” trading desk. But don’t sleep on Citigroup. The New York-based financial services firm appears to be just as deep in the blockchain world as its cross-town rivals — at least according to a recent crypto job ad.

One Small Bitcoin Rival Is Up Almost 50% So Far This Year–Here’s Why
Billy Bambrough – Forbes
Bitcoin has been flatling since taking a sharp dive late last year but the market for some minor cryptocurrencies, known as altcoins, has risen—with some digital tokens making major strides. The bitcoin price is down some 80% from its all-time highs set more than a year ago and remains trapped in a long-running bear market, dubbed crypto winter for its debilitating effect on the industry, and leaving investors and traders desperately looking for alternatives.

CFTC: We’re ‘Diligently’ Working on All Crypto-Related Applications, Including Bakkt’s
William Suberg – Cointelegraph
United States regulator the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is actively working to approve multiple crypto-related applications, including for Bitcoin (BTC) futures from institutional trading platform Bakkt. A CFTC commissioner revealed the news in remarks to cryptocurrency news network Blocktv in an interview on March 19.


Mueller delivers report on Trump-Russia investigation
Kadhim Shubber – The Financial Times
Robert Mueller has submitted his much-anticipated report on his investigation into links between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, the Department of Justice announced on Friday.
The special counsel delivered the report to the attorney-general, William Barr, as required by justice department regulations.

Mueller Finds No Trump-Russia Conspiracy, but Stops Short of Exonerating President on Obstruction
Mark Mazzetti and Katie Benner – NY Times
The investigation led by Robert S. Mueller III found no evidence that President Trump or any of his aides coordinated with the Russian government’s 2016 election interference, according to a summary of the special counsel’s key findings made public on Sunday by Attorney General William P. Barr.

Trump proposal to axe US quarterly reporting gets tepid reception; SEC launched consultation after presidential tweet
Richard Henderson and Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson – FT
Donald Trump’s proposal to end quarterly earnings reporting by US companies has had a tepid reception.

US Budget Deficit Largest Ever Posted in February
Katia Dmitrieva – Bloomberg
The U.S. posted its biggest monthly budget deficit on record last month, amid falling corporate and individual tax revenue and increasing federal spending.

A Year On, Trump’s Metals Tariffs Have More Losers Than Winners
Joe Deaux, Jack Farchy, and Masumi Suga – Bloomberg
Steel, aluminum’s ‘easy to win’ trade war isn’t so simple; U.S. manufacturing activity has dropped steadily since August
So far, trade wars don’t seem to be as “good, and easy to win” as U.S. President Donald Trump promised a year ago when he imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Russia Urges Trump to Grab Chance for New Ties After Mueller
Anthony Halpin and Henry Meyer – Bloomberg
Russian senator sees report helping Trump re-election chances; Trump pledged better relations with Russia during election
Russia urged U.S. President Donald Trump to seize the opportunity to reset relations after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report found no evidence of collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin.

Swift Pushback on Stephen Moore, Trump’s Latest Pick for the Fed
Brendan Murray – Bloomberg
President plans to nominate Heritage Foundation economist; One former Bush aide urges Senate to block the nomination
Stephen Moore drew swift and unusually pointed criticism after President Donald Trump picked him to be a governor of the U.S. Federal Reserve, with at least one prominent Republican economist calling on the Senate to block the appointment.

Both Sides Hope for Political Fodder in a Mueller Report That Remains Under Wraps
Joshua Jamerson and Kristina Peterson – The Wall Street Journal
Politicians across the political spectrum are calling for the public release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections now that the results of the investigation have been delivered to Attorney General William Barr. The calls to release the report come as only a small number of Justice Department officials know the report’s content, and as Mr. Barr prepares to provide Congress with “principal conclusions” about the report’s findings as early as Sunday.


Revised Meeting Agenda for CFTC Open Commission Meeting on March 25
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo announced a revised agenda for the CFTC’s open meeting on Monday, March 25, 2019, at 10:00 a.m., to consider the following:

Merrill Lynch to Pay Over $8 Million for Improper Handling of ADRs
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated will pay over $8 million to settle charges of improper handling of “pre-released” American Depositary Receipts (ADRs).

ESMA registers UnaVista TRADEcho B.V. as trade repository
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU supervisor of trade repositories (TRs), has registered today UnaVista TRADEcho B.V. as a TR under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), with effect from 25 March 2019.

ASIC extends relief provided for business introduction services
ASIC has issued ASIC Corporations (Amendment) Instrument 2019/216 (Instrument) which has the effect of preserving the relief provided by Class Order [CO 02/273] Business introduction or matching services (original class order) for an additional three years.

FCA under fire after staff take 25,887 sick days; ‘Alarming’ figures come as the UK’s financial regulator faces a rise in bullying and harassment claims
Shruti Chopra and Chris Newlands – Financial News
Staff at the Financial Conduct Authority took 25,887 sick days last year, the UK regulator’s worst set of figures for six years and more than 60% higher than the national average, raising concerns about morale.

Investing and Trading

We Are All Active Managers
Bob Seawright – Above the Market
We have all heard the arguments about the flaws of active management and we all should have looked closely at the underlying data: active managers generally fail to beat their benchmark indices. Last year was the fourth-worst year for U.S. equity managers since 2001, as 69 percent of domestic equity funds lagged the S&P Composite 1500. Even more notably, as the period reviewed gets longer, overall performance gets worse. Over the fifteen-years through 2018, roughly 90 percent of all domestic and global equity and fixed income managers underperformed their respective benchmarks.

One Junk-Bond Buyer Just Saved $600,000 With 21-Second ETF Trade
Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
Fee on BlackRock’s USHY is lower than on State Street’s JNK;mThe trade is another sign of investors’ high cost sensitivity
It could be the quickest return on an investment this year. An investor looks to have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars on Thursday by switching from one exchange-traded fund focused on junk bonds, to a cheaper ETF with a similar strategy. All told, the transactions took 21 seconds, and could reduce the trader’s investment bill by about $600,000.

Secrets of Wealthy Women: How Carrie Sheffield Changed Her View of Money; Founder of digital media startup Bold tells how she started to see money as a tool—as opposed to being evil
As a young child, Carrie Sheffield lived in poverty. She says her devout Mormon parents pursued spiritual riches instead of financial stability.

FTSE Russell to launch indicative Digital Assets Index
Press Release
FTSE Russell, the global index, analytics and data provider, in association with DAR Data Services (DAR), have announced their intention to launch a new indicative FTSE Digital Assets Index. The indicative index will be used to evaluate and test a benchmark for the most actively traded digital assets. It will also help assist in the establishment of new industry standards for the digital assets market, in consultation with market participants.

One by One, Global Bond Markets Are Flashing the Same Warning
Ruth Carson and Stephen Spratt – Bloomberg
It’s ‘very unlikely’ the Fed will raise rates again: Antares; Bond yields in Australia, New Zealand drop to record lows
Wherever you look in developed markets, sovereign bond yields are at their lowest levels in years as traders ratchet up bets that major central banks will be easing.

Bond Market Flashes Recession Warning Before Round of Auctions
Liz McCormick and Alex Harris – Bloomberg
Ten-year U.S. yield is below 3-mo. rate, first time since 2007; Note sales totaling $131 billion to test demand as yields fall
Investors are about to absorb $131 billion of Treasury note auctions at the lowest yields in months, after they piled into U.S. debt following a dovish Federal Reserve decision and fresh signs that global growth is weakening.

LVMH briefly sinks almost 9 percent; traders suspect ‘fat finger’
Shares in luxury goods group LVMH briefly fell almost 9 percent at the open on Monday before recovering in what traders said was likely a “fat finger” erroneous trade.


The Dilemma Facing a $358 Billion Investing Giant; With everyone diving in to private equity, future returns may not be as attractive as in the past. Yet Calpers believes it has a competitive advantage.
Jason Zweig – WSJ
You can learn a valuable lesson from the nation’s largest public-pension plan: Be careful how high you set your expectations. You might have to try to meet them.

JPMorgan awards research grants, deepening its AI push
Anna Irrera – Reuters
JPMorgan Chase & Co has awarded 47 financial grants to university faculty and PhD students for artificial intelligence research, ramping up its efforts in the emerging technology, the bank plans to announce later on Monday.

Goldman disturbs Rajat Gupta’s post-prison calm; Ex-McKinsey managing director still has a bone to pick with Lloyd Blankfein
Sujeet Indap – FT
After serving two years in prison on insider trading charges, Rajat Gupta maintains he is a man at peace. But the former McKinsey managing director’s calm quickly dissipates when the conversation turns to Goldman Sachs.

Citigroup Moves Sales Traders to Cover for Ousted Hong Kong Team
Cathy Chan – Bloomberg
Asia-Pacific equities head says bank spoke to clients Friday; Eight equities traders were pushed out after internal probe
Citigroup Inc. moved a team of sales traders in Hong Kong to work on its equities desk to support clients after eight staff were pushed out in the wake of an internal investigation.

Deutsche staff banned from selling shares during merger; Top bankers told deferred stock is on ‘no-sale’ list until Commerzbank talks resolved
Stephen Morris and Laura Noonan – FT
Deutsche Bank’s top managers have been banned from selling any stock they own in the lender while it explores a merger with Commerzbank, another blow for employees who saw the value of their deferred-share pay more than halve last year.

RBS under pressure from small investors over governance; Shareholder rights group pushes for committee that would regularly meet the board
Nicholas Megaw – Ft
Royal Bank of Scotland is facing pressure from small investors who want more control over corporate governance and say their stance is vindicated by an escalating row over executive pay.


China’s Huge Bond Market Is Coming to an ETF Near You Soon
Saumya Vaishampayan – WSJ
China is becoming less optional for investors. Debt from the Chinese government and key state banks is set to join the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate, an influential bond index, in April. That follows similar moves to introduce shares listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen to MSCI and FTSE Russell stock indexes. Here’s what investors need to know.

Bloomberg News
Shanghai Composite Index slides 2% to close below 3,100 points; Overseas investors grow risk-averse amid global rout, KGI says
Foreigners dumped the most Chinese shares on record via stock trading connects as they steered away from risk and the country’s benchmark index fell below a key level.

Danish Bankers Seek Interest-Rate Cap After Loan Made at 760% a Year
Frances Schwartzkopff – Bloomberg
Households in Denmark already are Europe’s most indebted; Industry group seeks 50% limit on so-called quick loans
Denmark’s banks are calling on the government to impose a limit on what companies offering consumer loans can charge after a court ruled a 760 percent interest rate was legal.

Mahathir Downplays Threat to Choose China Jets Amid EU Palm Spat
Anuradha Raghu, Anisah Shukry, and Yoga Rusmana – Bloomberg
Malaysia, Indonesia considering action on EU over palm curbs; Palm war looms as Europe sets limits on use of the biofuel
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad downplayed threats that the country may switch to China to source its fighter jets instead of the European Union to retaliate against the bloc’s plan to restrict palm oil.

Erdogan slams investors as Turkey probes JPMorgan; Watchdogs investigate bank over claims of ‘misleading’ analyst advice to short lira
Laura Pitel and Katie Martin – FT
Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned investors that they would pay “a heavy price” for currency speculation as the country’s regulators said they would probe JPMorgan for advising clients to short the lira.

Australian regulator moves to toughen up lending standards
Paulina Duran – Reuters
Australia’s banking watchdog said lenders should stop using benchmark indices to estimate if borrowers can afford to repay loans and move to a more intensive system of credit checks.

China says will reduce gov’t direct intervention in industrial sector
China will reduce the government’s micro management and direct intervention in its vast industrial sector, the industry minister said on Monday.

Mexican president urges bank competition to boost financial inclusion
Mexico’s president and the head of the country’s banking association on Friday called for more competition among banks to drive them to offer lower commissions, in a bid to help millions of Mexicans without bank accounts to enter the formal economy.


Brexit fears set alarm bells ringing for financial services; Sector sentiment giving lowest readings since 2008 alongside contraction in business
Valentina Romei – FT
Sentiment and business volumes in UK financial services deteriorated sharply at the start of 2019 owing to Brexit uncertainty, raising fresh concerns over the crucial but underperforming sector.

Britain’s financial sector has gloomiest outlook since 2008 crisis: survey
Lawrence White – Reuters
Optimism about the business outlook among Britain’s financial services firms has fallen at its fastest rate since the 2008 financial crisis amid concerns about Britain’s exit from the European Union, a survey showed on Monday.

Revoke Brexit? Don’t Hold Your Breath; Second thoughts are surfacing even among once-avid Brexiteers. But the politics are against reversing course.
Therese Raphael – Bloomberg
The U.K. Parliament will try this week to take control of Brexit from a severely embattled prime minister. What will follow is anyone’s guess, but it is likely to include voting on the largest range of options for leaving the European Union that lawmakers have formally considered.

A no-deal Brexit remains highly likely;l EU leaders do not want further delay, and MPs will struggle to unite around an alternative plan
Wolfgang Münchau – FT
Forecasting Brexit is still the same old mug’s game it always was. But the probability of a no-deal Brexit has risen dramatically since last week’s summit of European leaders.

ING chief claims Dutch bonus rules hurting in race to lure bankers; European capitals vying for financial services jobs expected to leave London
David Crow – FT
The chief executive of ING, the largest lender in the Netherlands, has claimed the country will miss out in the race to win post-Brexit investment banking jobs due to its strict bonus rules.

Brexit is Postponed, but Chaos Still Reigns
Amy Davidson Sorkin – The New Yorker
“Are we ever going to leave the E.U., Prime Minister?” a reporter from the Daily Mail asked Theresa May at a press conference in Brussels, on Thursday night, which was held hours later than expected. May, who looked weary, assured him that Brexit was still on—even though Britons don’t seem to like the options for making it happen, her own Conservative Party has turned on her, and, by the time she spoke, nearly two million people had signed a petition to call it off.

Brexit march: Million joined Brexit protest, organisers say
BBC News
Hundreds of thousands of people have marched in central London calling for another EU referendum, as MPs search for a way out of the Brexit impasse. Organisers of the “Put It To The People” campaign say more than a million people joined the march before rallying in front of Parliament. Protesters carrying EU flags and placards called for any Brexit deal be put to another public vote. On Thursday, European leaders agreed to delay the UK’s departure from the EU.


U.S. Housing Will Be Next Market Lifted by the Fed’s Low Rates
Conor Sen – Bloomberg
Investors have been so focused on how the Fed’s dovish stance on interest rates led to a rebound in stock prices that they haven’t yet digested how much this development could stimulate the housing market, particularly in the back half of the year. Friday’s strong numbers on existing home sales – up nearly 12 percent last month compared to January – might get their attention.

Finance People Will Eat You for Lunch, Rajat Gupta’s Wife Warned
Jeanette Rodrigues – Bloomberg
Former McKinsey MD explains fall from grace in his memoir; Gupta was convicted of insider trading after financial crisis
Rajat Gupta, feted business guru turned convicted felon, says he should have trusted his wife’s instincts about tangling with the world of high finance.

Schools Aim to Teach Teens Financial Savvy; More states are enacting financial-literacy requirements for schools, a move some hope will save taxpayers money in the long run
Anne Tergesen – WSJ
Owen Cole, a senior at Elizabethtown High School in Kentucky, planned to attend Western Kentucky University after graduating. A financial literacy class changed his mind.

John Lothian Newsletter

So you want to know what’s happening in the financial markets?We visit more than 100 websites daily for financial news (Would YOU do that?)

“John Lothian and Company… our industry intelligence.”

Rick Lane

CEO, Trading Technologies

Past Newsletters

Virus is Becoming a Global Political Risk

Virus is Becoming a Global Political Risk

First Read Hits & Takes By JLN Staff Congratulations to Maureen Downs on being elected as chair of the board of directors of the National Futures Association. Don Thompson of JPMorgan Chase & Co. was elected to serve as vice-chair. With...

Millions of Chinese Firms Face Collapse If Banks Don’t Act

Millions of Chinese Firms Face Collapse If Banks Don’t Act

First Read Hits & Takes By JLN Staff Tomorrow I head to Washington, DC for the CFTC's Technology Advisory Committee meeting on Wednesday. However, a snow storm looks like it is going to impact my flight, so we will see if I can get there.~JJL We published part one...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This Story