John Lothian Newsletter: CBOE Tweaks Electronic S&P Options Market To Spur Growth; EU Leaders Sign Fiscal Pact; ISDA’s Greek Ruling Not Last Word

Mar 2, 2012

CBOE rolls out changes to its S&P options, hoping that the shifts will give a boost to the interest in those products. EU leaders sign a new agreement to be more careful with their money and their debt, with some countries already clearing their throats about financial difficulty ahead. Several people point out that the ISDA’s no-credit-event ruling yesterday regarding Greece’s debt and default was a specific answer to a specific question, not an “all clear” for the whole situation, and the falling financial piano is still whistling down from overhead. It being the start of a new month, you’ll find many links to the first major helping of monthly exchange results. And in the top box, an interview with Sunil Annapareddy of Gold Bullion International; an interview with Max Eagye of Altegris Clearing Solutions; and a peek at the top stories from the JLN Managed Futures and JLN Interest Rates newsletters.

Observations – Statistics – Commentary

CME Group and MGEX Announce the Launch of MGEX-CBOT Wheat Spread Options
Press Release
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace and MGEX, a Designated Contract Market and Derivatives Clearing Organization, today announced the launch of MGEX-CBOT Wheat Spread Options to begin trading on March 26. These contracts are listed with, and subject to, the rules and regulations of CBOT.
http://jlne.ws/AexVuM

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Exchange Traded Derivatives Trading Volumes Increase 11% in 2011
Exchange Traded Derivatives (ETD) worldwide increased in 2011, according to statistics compiled by the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE). The WFE, which annually conducts a survey on derivative markets, found that in 2011, more than 24 billion derivative contracts (11.9 billion futures and 12.9 billion options) were traded on exchanges worldwide – an increase from the 22 billion traded in 2010.
http://jlne.ws/z4YALP

THE OPTIONS INDUSTRY COUNCIL ANNOUNCES FEBRUARY OPTIONS TRADING VOLUME OFF 1%
The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that 349,463,168 total options contracts changed hands in February, 1.34 percent less than the 354,214,236 contracts traded in February 2011.
http://jlne.ws/z5eRqs

OCC Announces 2% Decrease In Cleared Contract Volume In February While Stock Loan Activity Rose 7%
Press Release
http://jlne.ws/yM6aUn

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World’s Most Admired Companies
Fortune Magazine
http://jlne.ws/wXXfLo

***** Well done, Thomson Reuters. Thumbs up to SunGard (MarketsWiki sponsor) for moving into the top this year!

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Wiermanski to COO at OptionsCity
Margaret Wiermanski was named chief operating officer at OptionsCity Software. She most recently served as COO at Chicago Trading Company.
http://jlne.ws/xloCfx

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SEC Accounting of Record Enforcement Year in 2011 Doesn’t Add Up
Joshua Gallu – Bloomberg
U.S Securities and Exchange Commission officials have been citing a jump in the number of enforcement actions last year as proof that an overhaul of the agency’s investigative force is bearing fruit. The claim isn’t supported by a detailed examination of the statistics.
http://jlne.ws/zc3F3q

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Five Minutes With Sunil Annapareddy (Gold Bullion International)
Sunil Annapareddy, vice president of marketing and business development for Gold Bullion International (GBI), is focused on the physical side of the gold market. GBI is an institutional precious metals provider that merges its technology with existing systems in the wealth management industry. Investors buy the physical and then can store and insure it through commercial vaulting providers. Annapareddy spoke with JLN Metals editor Nicole V. Rohr about what investors should consider when buying physical, and how new technology has helped buying, storing and insuring physical metals.

Q: How did GBI get started?

A: Two of our founders – this was back in mid-2009 – kind of lost confidence in the paper market and were really looking to diversify their holding in gold assets, and specifically gold, silver, palladium, and platinum. They wanted to buy a decent amount of gold, and really found the process very cumbersome and with very little transparency. They reached out to their private bankers, and basically the bankers said, “You need to have an order up to $20 million or we really can’t service you.” So, there was really no one servicing the high-net-worth individual, allowing them to basically buy, sell and safely store physical metals. And that’s kind of how we got started. The only other options you had were online retail websites where you had to wire money through an account, and there’s really not much comfort in that.

Read the rest of the interview here: http://jlne.ws/wusKp3

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Max Eagye

Max Eagye – Altegris [INTERVIEW]
MarketsWiki.tv
Max Eagye is a director of Altegris Clearing Solutions, a San Diego-based introducing broker specializing segregated managed account services for institutional clients, family offices, commodity pools, hedge funds and mutual funds. John Lothian News Editor-at-Large Doug Ashburn spoke with Eagye about the Altegris family of affiliated companies, ManagedFutures.com, and emerging issues and trends in the managed futures space.

Watch the video >

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JLN Managed Futures

CTA Expo New York, April 19, 2012, NYMEX Building
CTA EXPO was created to help professional capital raisers and allocators identify futures trading talent and to promote investing in managed futures. In just over three years CTA EXPO has grown to offering one day conferences in New York, London, Chicago and Miami. Registrations have grown for our conference in Chicago from 140 in 2008 to 500 in 2011.
http://jlne.ws/zc1HxN

**Note from Bucky this morning – Two keynote speakers: Chuck Johnson, CEO of Tano Capital, a family office of one of the families in the Forbes 400; Dr. Bob Swarup, alternatives manager at an $8 billion pension fund and aspiring author. “We currently have 310 registered, including 53 CTAs, and expect to sell out by mid-March.”

U.S. futures players at odds on post-MF Global path
Reuters
Four months after $1.6 billion in customer funds went missing in the collapse of futures brokerage MF Global, industry participants are full of ideas for how to prevent a similar debacle going forward. They are far from agreed on which are the best. About two dozen regulators, exchanges, brokers, money managers, dealers, and academics took part Wednesday in an open meeting at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on ways to beef up protection of customer collateral.
http://jlne.ws/zI5Rgw

**DA: Panelists at the roundtable include our own John Lothian. To see more ideas from industry participants, and to cast your vote on submitted ideas, visit our FuturesCrowd site

Deutsche Bank Hedge Fund Survey Predicts Growth And Increased Institutional Participation
HedgeCo.Net
Institutions now account for approximately two thirds of hedge fund assets compared to less than one fifth in 2003. Investors also predict continued growth, with an estimated net inflow of $140bn in 2012, taking industry AUM to an all time high of $2.26tn by year end.
http://jlne.ws/xthlMX

**JK – BarclayHedge reports that Q4 2011 AUM for Managed Futures totaled $314.6 billion, down from $320.3 billion in Q3 2011.

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JLN Interest Rates Newsletter

Credit Managers’ Index for February Suggests Robust Future for the Economy
The Credit Managers’ Index (CMI) is now sitting at 55.8, rising a full percentage point above January’s reading. The index is at its highest since April 2011, a time when most indicators were pointing to a pretty solid year. It is worth noting that last year was also affected by an oil shock at about this point and a back-sliding economy in the months that followed. However, readings from this month are solid in key categories providing some confidence regarding what happens from this point.

“The mood of the country could best be described as cautious and perhaps a little encouraged as far as economic growth prospects are concerned,” said Chris Kuehl, PhD, economist for the National Association of Credit Management (NACM). The cautious part stems from the sudden spike in the price of oil and its impact on the price of gasoline. In the past, this kind of leap has been enough to send the economy hurtling into a recession, but thus far the consumer seems to be taking the hike in stride. This situation is not expected to last, Kuehl noted. If the threat of high prices is temporary, the consumer and the business community will heave a sigh of relief and will continue to focus on the good news that has dominated the start of the year. “There has been good news on the job front, better demand numbers, better growth numbers and better numbers in the CMI,” he said.

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MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Richard Giles
http://jlne.ws/wEBWsp

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MarketsWiki Recent Updates

People

Sunil Annapareddy; Ben Kaplan; Drew Mauck; Richard Giles

Companies, Organizations and Groups

CBOE Futures Exchange; Gold Bullion International; 3Points Communications

Miscellaneous

Five Minutes With Sunil Annapareddy (Gold Bullion International)

Statistics

20,094,373 pages viewed, 6,720 articles, 137,575 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics
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Lead Stories

CBOE Tweaks Electronic S&P Options Market To Spur Growth
By Jacob Bunge Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
CBOE Holdings Inc. (CBOE) on Thursday rolled out changes to its new market in electronic stock-index options, which has been slow to grow since its launch last fall. The Chicago Board Options Exchange parent tweaked the way trades in electronic S&P 500 options are assigned and listed a slate of longer-dated contracts, aiming to lure more investors to a product seen as one of CBOE’s biggest growth opportunities.
http://jlne.ws/zey51N

EU Leaders Sign Fiscal Pact
By LAURENCE NORMAN, FLEMMING HANSEN and DAVID ROMAN – WSJ
BRUSSELS—European Union leaders Friday signed the region’s new fiscal pact, adopting strict new rules on deficits and debts, even as some members warned a tougher economic environment is challenging their fiscal commitments.
http://jlne.ws/yeBADK

ISDA’s Greek Ruling Not Last Word
By Charles Forelle – WSJ
There’s a swirl of excitement over the International Swaps and Derivatives Association’s ruling today not to declare Greece in default on its government bonds. Relax. This isn’t an important ruling by ISDA, and it was widely expected to come out as it did. But don’t worry, there will almost certainly be more rulings later, and an ISDA-sanctioned default (a “credit event” in its lingo) remains quite likely. Here’s what’s up.
http://jlne.ws/xp7XFS

AT A GLANCE: The Mechanics Of The Big Greek Debt Swap
By Neelabh Chaturvedi and Katy Burne, Dow Jones Newswires
An international trade association on Thursday ruled that no credit event has occurred yet as part of a Greek debt restructuring and therefore payouts of insurance contracts against Greece defaulting on its debt won’t be triggered.
http://jlne.ws/Aos6Kf

Life as Libor Traders Knew It Seen as Abusive by Collusion Investigators
Liam Vaughan, Gavin Finch and Jesse Westbrook – Bloomberg
Regulators probing the alleged manipulation of global interest rates are focusing on what traders involved in setting the benchmark say were routine discussions condoned by their superiors.
http://jlne.ws/yNvokK

Brazil declares new ‘currency war’
By Samantha Pearson in São Paulo – Financial Times
Brazil has declared a fresh “currency war” on the US and Europe, extending a tax on foreign borrowings and threatening further capital controls in an effort to protect the country’s struggling manufacturers.
http://jlne.ws/AB6uNb

Eurozone delays Athens rescue funds
By Peter Spiegel in Brussels, Kerin Hope in Athens and Richard Milne and David Oakley in London – Financial Times
Eurozone members have delayed approval of more than half of the E130bn bail-out for Greece after deeming that Athens has yet to meet all the terms set as the price of a second rescue.
http://jlne.ws/wwcqdh

Banks deposit record cash with ECB
By Richard Milne in Oslo – Financial Times
The amount of cash deposited by eurozone banks overnight at the European Central Bank hit a record on Friday, coming just two days after financial institutions took advantage of an offer of unlimited cheap loans.
http://jlne.ws/zviHtn

Secretary Of The U.S. Treasury Tim Geithner Op-Ed: ‘Financial Crisis Amnesia’
http://jlne.ws/wC4YtF

Environmental Trading News

GreenX To Launch European Union Aviation Allowance (EUAA) Futures Contract
GreenX today announced, pending all relevant CFTC regulatory review periods, its intention to list futures contracts on European Union Aviation Allowances (EUAAs) for trade date April 2, 2012. The contract will serve as a compliance and risk management tool for the aviation sector, included in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme from 2012.
http://jlne.ws/zbibSi

Listing of GreenX European Union Aviation Allowance (EUAA) Futures Contract
http://jlne.ws/zqnEkH

Governments embrace carbon voluntary market: report
Reuters
A growing number of national and regional governments are likely to use voluntary carbon credits to meet mandatory climate targets, a report by U.S. research company Ecosystem Marketplace said on Thursday.
http://jlne.ws/yXawZ5

European Parliament: Ensuring International Airlines Pay Their Share In Emissions Trading
Press Release
http://jlne.ws/yxfZtC

For more environmental trading news, subscribe to the Environmental Markets version of the John Lothian Newsletter edited by Jim Kharouf.
Visit http://www.jlnenvironmental.com to subscribe.

Exchange & ECN News

NYSE Wins Tax Dispute With IRS Over Deductions On Grasso Pay
By Jacob Bunge Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
The Internal Revenue Service has backed down from efforts to claw back $161 million in tax deductions taken by the New York Stock Exchange linked to the controversial pay of former Chief Executive Richard Grasso.
http://jlne.ws/wymFK9

CBOE Holdings says February trading higher
Associated Press via Yahoo! News
Futures and options exchange operator CBOE Holdings Inc. said its average trading volume in February was up about 1 percent from the same month last year, but jumped sharply from the month before.
http://jlne.ws/wwonA3

February is Second Most-Active Trading Month in CBOE Futures Exchange History
PR Newswire
The CBOE Futures Exchange, LLC (CFE) today announced that February 2012 was the second most-active trading month in CFE history as volume totaled 1,340,780 contracts, an increase of 70 percent from the 789,734 contracts traded in February…
http://jlne.ws/xljTIj

Average daily volume of 8.7 million contracts at Eurex Group in February
In February 2012, the international derivatives markets of Eurex Group recorded an average daily volume of 8.7 million contracts (Feb 2011: 10.3 million). Of those, 6.0 million were Eurex Exchange contracts (Feb 2011: 7.1 million), and 2.7 million contracts were at the U.S.-based International Securities Exchange (ISE) (Feb 2011: 3.2 million). In total, 179.3 million contracts were traded, thereof 125.8 million at Eurex and 53.5 million at the ISE.
http://jlne.ws/zVCmpI

96 billion euros turned over on Xetra in February
Order book turnover on Xetra and the Xetra Frankfurt specialist trading stood at E102.1 billion in February – a decrease by 9 percent year-on-year (February 2011: E112.7 billion).
http://jlne.ws/zH4hKR

Clearstream launches enhanced proxy voting services with ISS
Service launched in advance of the 2012 proxy voting season – Facilitating active ownership to meet corporate governance guidelines – Coverage of all Clearstream eligible assets including international securities and investment funds
http://jlne.ws/A6LbfN

ISE Reports Business Activity for February 2012
The International Securities Exchange (ISE) today reported average daily volume of 2.7 million contracts in February 2012. This represents a decrease of 16.6% compared to February 2011. Total options volume for the month was 53.5 million contracts. ISE was the second largest U.S. equity options exchange in February with market share of 17.8%*.
http://jlne.ws/xFJ5e4

MGEX Reports Top 20 Electronic Volume Month; Strong Month Over Month Volume Increase
http://jlne.ws/Ai1gAq

KCBT HRW Wheat Futures & Exchange Volume Increase Compared to Previous Month
The Kansas City Board of Trade volume traded in February posted increases in the Hard Red Winter Wheat futures contract and the exchange as a whole when compared to January.
http://jlne.ws/zQXgE2

OneChicago Announces Trading Volumes for February 2012
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
OneChicago, LLC (OCX), an equity finance exchange, today announced that a total of 237,197 security futures contracts were traded in the month of February 2012.
http://jlne.ws/AeuE9r

BM&FBOVESPA obtains records for average daily financial and trading volumes in February
BM&FBOVESPA informs you that in February it obtained record average daily financial and trading volumes. The average daily financial volume was BRL 8,282.37 million, surpassing the previous record of BRL 7,777.83 million of October 2010. Average daily trading volume was a record 800,606 in February, surpassing the previous record of 705,855 of August 2011.
http://jlne.ws/xDZKM4

Key Figures SIX Swiss Exchange And Scoach Switzerland: February 2012
http://jlne.ws/zt2ebk

Trading On The Warsaw Stock Exchange – February 2012
http://jlne.ws/zhZkJQ

MICEX-RTS FX Market Total Turnover Made By Clients Of The Participants Exceeds RUB1.4 Trillion
http://jlne.ws/yLmJ5i

Program Trading Averaged 27.6 Percent Of NYSE Volume During Feb. 21-24
http://jlne.ws/zmrnW9

[CBOE] Price Protection Level Updates
http://jlne.ws/yHtqO2

[CBOE] Complex Order Protections
http://jlne.ws/yby2W1

Banks, Brokers & Dark Pools

Goldman Sachs To Acquire Bermuda-Based Ariel To Boost Reinsurance Business
Dow Jones
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) will acquire Ariel Holdings Ltd., a Bermuda reinsurance company, for an undisclosed sum in a deal that will boost the Wall Street bank’s existing property and casualty insurance operations.
http://jlne.ws/AoXMpo

JPMorgan Joins UBS to Offer to Unwind Milan Swap to Limit Damages at Trial
Bloomberg
Four banks charged with defrauding Milan with derivatives offered to unwind the swap at a discount and pay the city its profit from the transaction under a proposed settlement with the municipality.
http://jlne.ws/yTjTIY

BTG to include global depositary receipts in IPO
By Joe Leahy in São Paulo – Financial Times
BTG Pactual will sell global depositary receipts as part of an initial public offering of Latin America’s largest independent investment bank, a move that promises to test investor appetite for Brazilian shares.
http://jlne.ws/zFru1o

Straits Financial Announces Its Approval for Clearing Membership by COMEX
Straits Financial LLC, a member and brokerage arm of the CWT Group, today announced it has been approved as a Comex clearing member as of February 10, 2012. Straits is a registered FCM and a clearing member firm with the CME, CBOT and NYMEX.
http://jlne.ws/xUUQ8I

J.C. Flowers Said To Consider Bids For ING, RBS Units-Bloomberg
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
New York-based private equity firm J.C. Flowers & Co. is considering bids for Asian insurance assets being sold by ING Groep NV (ING) and for Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC’s (RBS) Direct Line Group insurance business, Bloomberg News reported Thursday, citing people with direct knowledge of the talks.
http://jlne.ws/yd6SGm

Deutsche Bank Reclaims Top Spot as World’s Largest Insurance Asset Manager
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance
Deutsche Bank today announced that its Insurance Asset Management business has once again been ranked the world’s largest manager of unaffiliated general account assets. According
http://jlne.ws/y3IlI6

Deutsche Bank: no settlement of $2.7BN lawsuits
Associated Press via Yahoo! News
Deutsche Bank AG said Thursday its board has rejected a proposed settlement in a long-running court case over hefty damages claims related to the bankruptcy of the late German media tycoon Leo Kirch.
http://jlne.ws/yFgkxZ

Banks’ fees pay off – for credit unions
By E. Scott Reckard and Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
Consumers fed up with the rising tide of bank fees helped the nation’s credit unions more than double their number of new customers last year, new figures show.
http://jlne.ws/x28sqV

Regulatory News

The SEC News Digest
The SEC News Digest provides daily information on recent Commission actions, including enforcement proceedings, rule filings, policy statements, and upcoming Commission meetings.
http://www.sec.gov/news/digest.shtml

U.K. Regulator Said to Quiz Banks About U.S. Swap Registration
Bloomberg
Britain’s Financial Services Authority, concerned that proposed new rules across the Atlantic may limit its powers, began quizzing firms last week on their plans to register as swaps dealers in the U.S., according to two people familiar with the talks.
http://jlne.ws/wtGyKL

Scott O’Malia, Commodity Futures Commissioner, Seeks To Upend Wall Street Reform
The Huffington Post
WASHINGTON — In a signal that partisan squabbling in the nation’s capital may be reaching new levels of rancor, a key Republican regulator is pursuing an unusual avenue to overturn a Wall Street reform rule issued by his own agency.
http://jlne.ws/zNl4iQ

ESMA Advises European Commission On Prospectus Directive’s Overhaul – Advice Covers Possible Delegated Acts
http://jlne.ws/AlmjsE

Testimony Of Fiscal Assistant Secretary Richard Gregg Before The House Oversight Committee On The FY 2011 Financial Report Of The U.S. Government
Press Release
http://jlne.ws/x4ps86

[SEC] Fee Rate Advisory #6 for Fiscal Year 2012
Pursuant to Section 31 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Commission has determined that a mid-year adjustment to the Section 31 transaction fee rate is necessary. Effective on April 1, 2012, the Section 31 transaction fee rate will be set at $22.40 per million.
http://jlne.ws/ycet5q

FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Application Period Open From March 1-31—3/1/12
http://jlne.ws/xHzgVd

BC Securities Commission releases its National Investment Fraud Vulnerability Report (ENG. and FR.)
A national study of close to 2,500 older Canadians (50+), released for Fraud Awareness Month, found that almost 1-in-5 are vulnerable to a highly risky investment offer. More than 2-in-5 don’t understand the fundamental relationship between risk and return, and only 1-in-4 have a realistic expectation of the current rates of return for their investments.
http://jlne.ws/AAlH7A

ASIC permanently bans former Victorian company director and financial adviser
http://jlne.ws/zzi2p8

[AMF] Economic and Financial Newsletter – Winter 2011
http://jlne.ws/d8pwOQ

Investments – Indexes – Managed Futures – Managed Funds

Greek debt ruling dangerous precedent: PIMCO’s Gross
Reuters via Yahoo! News
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bill Gross, co-chief investment officer at PIMCO, on Thursday took issue with a derivative panel’s decision that the restructuring of Greek debt does not trigger a payout on insurance protection, even after his firm backed the move.
http://jlne.ws/zoC0qP

New York City Pensions Expand Hedge-Fund Investments, Liu Spokesman Says
Bloomberg
D.E. Shaw & Co. and Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP each will get $350 million from New York City’s police, fire and civil-employee pensions as the retirement plans expand into hedge funds.
http://jlne.ws/wZfe7i

Pimco’s Bid to Extend Bill Gross Brand to Active ETF Leaves Advisers Cold
Bloomberg
Bill Gross says the exchange-traded fund version of his $250 billion Pimco Total Return Fund (PTTRX) has the potential to become the first hot seller among actively managed ETFs. Investment advisers gave the fund a cool reception.
http://jlne.ws/wVTjpp

Gross Says Pimco’s ETF Designed to Meet Needs of ‘Mom-and-Pop’ Investors
Bloomberg
Bill Gross said it still bothers him that high brokerage-firm minimums stopped his mother from buying shares of Pimco Total Return Fund (PTTRX) , the mutual fund he runs that became the world’s largest in 2009.
http://jlne.ws/zRjRPG

Glenstrata is still far from a done deal
By Jack Farchy – Financial Times
“Glenstrata” will be big. When Glencore and Xstrata announced their proposed merger they talked of the “enhanced scale and market position” the combined group would have. Ivan Glasenberg, Glencore’s chief executive, described it as a “new powerhouse in the global commodities industry”.
http://jlne.ws/xFCeiu

Mesirow Financial: Hunting the Next Black Swan
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance
Since the collapse of the financial system after the failure of Lehman Brothers, the nightmare of another ‘black swan’ appearing has kept investors up at night, says Adolfo Laurenti, deputy chief economist of Mesirow Financial.
http://jlne.ws/AEKoZY

A Buyout Fund, First Backed by LVMH, Carves Its Own Niche
By MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED – NY Times
While it may share the same first letter as LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, and counts the French luxury conglomerate as an investor, L Capital would like everyone to know that it is its own firm.
http://jlne.ws/Axzest

Top hedge fund managers took home $13 billion in 2011
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
Even in a brutal year, some top hedge fund managers made out like bandits. The top 40 highest-earning hedge fund managers took home a combined $13.2 billion, according to a Forbes magazine survey. The …
http://jlne.ws/y3fHik

Billionaire Hedge Fund Losers
Forbes
Trading the financial markets in 2011 was a humbling experience for many billionaire hedge fund managers. While some hedge fund titans managed to successfully navigate through the year, many big names stumbled. The biggest loser, however, was billionaire John Paulson.
http://jlne.ws/zm3zmH

CalPERS Board Committee Chairs And Vice Chairs Chosen
http://jlne.ws/yuF5wc

There’s Only One Investment John Paulson Is Really Excited About In 2012
Business Insider
We know 2011 was bad for John Paulson’s Paulson and Co., but onward and upward. Now it’s 2012 and it’s time to put the past behind us (this will be much easier for those who didn’t invest in his fund, obviously).
http://jlne.ws/A5qA2a

Bottom Line: How High Will Gas Prices Go, And Why?
Hartford Courant
It’s 2008 all over again at the gasoline pumps. Remember when prices peaked that July at $4.39 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline during Connecticut’s painful stay-at-home summer?
http://jlne.ws/xqE349

Nuveen Closed-End Funds Declare Monthly Distributions
http://jlne.ws/yPXVdX

Calamos Closed-End Funds (CHI, CHY, CSQ, CGO and CHW) Announce Monthly Distributions for March 2012
http://jlne.ws/xOjAEK

STOXX Limited Named “Most Innovative ETF Index Provider”
Press Release
STOXX Limited, the market-moving provider of innovative, tradable and global index concepts, today announced that it has been named “Most Innovative Index Provider” by ETF Express.
http://jlne.ws/xmS7t8

Russell Investments sets 2012 index reconstitution schedule
Global asset manager Russell Investments announced today the 2012 schedule for its annual index reconstitution process, which will capture and reflect the past year’s global equity market shifts to ensure that investors continue to have the most accurate market proxy.
http://jlne.ws/xfgTnB

First Financial Bancorp, Radioshack, Altria Group Inc. Among 24 Stocks Added To Dow Jones U.S. Dividend 100 Index
http://jlne.ws/w4iwPR

NYSE Euronext : Definitive Selection AEX, AMX And AScX
http://jlne.ws/xM85G4

Standard & Poor’s Announces Changes In The S&P/TSX Canadian Indices
http://jlne.ws/yiD7jc

STOXX Announces New Composition Of Eastern Europe 50 Index – Results Of The Review To Be Effective On March 19, 2012
http://jlne.ws/w7wBbt

Technology News

Revising the Limits for the Unlimited
By BRIAN X. CHEN – NY Times
Sometimes, all-you-can-eat does not mean all you can eat. Smartphone users who try to get the most out of their devices are learning exactly what that means, even while paying for plans that promise unlimited consumption.
http://jlne.ws/wswysl

Media News

AgriCharts Brings Advanced Interactive Weather to Agribusiness Websites
AgriCharts, the agricultural division of Barchart.com, Inc., which provides market data, agribusiness website hosting and technology solutions to the agricultural industry, announces a new relationship with Weather Decisions Technologies (WDT), a global leader in state-of-the-art weather services, to provide WDT’s iMap, a dynamic and interactive weather mapping solution, to clients of AgriCharts.
http://jlne.ws/yea56S

Platts Introduces Daily Newsletter Focused On Steel Raw Materials Markets – Steel Markets Daily Expanded, Re-Branded, Re-Launched
http://jlne.ws/wdHXJ9

Deutsche Bank Tweets on IPOs as Street Warms to Social Media
Bloomberg
Ted Tobiason, Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) ‘s head of equity capital markets for the technology industry, is doing something that would get most investment bankers fired: tweeting about work.
http://jlne.ws/xNmNMu

Social media or fraud – you decide
By Joshua Horn – Thomson Reuters
In this day and age, anyone who uses the internet appreciates the use of social media. There is another sector of our society that also enjoy social media; namely, individuals who engage in investment fraud. The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy recently issued an alert to help investors be more informed about fraudulent investment schemes that may use social media.
http://jlne.ws/zc1eWB

Defiant Google rolls out privacy rules
By Maija Palmer and Tim Bradshaw in London, and Alex Barker in Brussels – Financial Times
Google angered European regulators on Thursday by rolling out a new privacy policy despite repeated requests to delay the project and warnings that it might not be lawful.
http://jlne.ws/xzIWGO

Reports

Briefing.com Economic Calendar
http://www.briefing.com/Investor/Public/MarketAnalysis/Calendars/EconomicCalendar.htm

USDA Today
http://www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/index.asp

CBOE Events Calendar
http://www.cboe.com/AboutCBOE/EventCalendar.aspx

Economic Release Calendar
The Economic Release Calendar (PDF) is a schedule of government, academic and industry economic releases, provided as a service to CME customers.
http://www.cmegroup.com/tools-information/calendars/

Asia-Pacific News

The VIX Index and Options for Managing Volatility
CFA Japan Seminar Announcement
Date: April 4th (Wednesday) 2012 from 19:00-20:30
Speaker: Mr. Matt Moran (Vice President, Chicago Board Options Exchange)
Venue: 9F, Tokyo Shoken Kaikan (1-5-8, Kayaba-cho, Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo)

Outline: As investors have struggled to cope with bear markets over the past decade, more attention has been focused on alternative investments and tools that can be used to achieve the goals of managing portfolio risk, increasing income, and enhancing long-term risk-adjusted returns. This presentation discusses a number of risk-management strategies and related benchmark indices, including the protective put, the buy-write, the collateralized put-write, the protective collar, and the use of futures and options on the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) that measures implied volatility. Twenty-two years of historical data show that certain options-based benchmark indices have generated attractive risk-adjusted returns, with stock-like returns and bond-like volatility. A key source of return for options writers has been a persistence of “overpricing” for index options. The presentation will also review past studies by Duke University, Hewitt EnnisKnupp, Ibbotson Associates, and Callan Associates, and it will explore the benefits and disadvantages of key options strategies.
http://jlne.ws/AvIZVc

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission Bans Miranda Hui Chi Cheung From Re-Entering Industry For 10 Years
http://jlne.ws/zwGJP6

Frontier Markets

Operative Principles of Islamic Derivatives – Towards a Coherent Theory
IMF
Islamic finance is governed by the shari’ah, which bans speculation and gambling, and stipulates that income must be derived as profits from the shared generation of goods and services between counterparties rather than interest or a guaranteed return. The paper explains the fundamental legal principles underpinning Islamic finance with a view towards developing a cohesive theory of derivatives subject to shari’ahprinciples.
http://jlne.ws/wiSRBm

BRIC Investors Losing as State Companies Forgo Earnings Amid Slower Growth
Bloomberg
Investors in the biggest state- controlled companies are being punished with the lowest valuations in six years by emerging-market leaders putting public services ahead of shareholder profits as economies slow.
http://jlne.ws/AcNZfE

Malawi Stock Exchange Weekly Report – Week Ending 2 March
http://jlne.ws/xYXy9v

Miscellaneous News

Where the Jobs Are, the Training May Not Be
By CATHERINE RAMPELL – NY Times
As state funding has dwindled, public colleges have raised tuition and are now resorting to even more desperate measures — cutting training for jobs the economy needs most.
http://jlne.ws/ybQBXa

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