LSE showed overall improved performance by combining flat share-trade revenue with more charged-up clearing returns. Futures exchanges from BRIC nations join up to create new futures contracts so some of their incoming wealth can better circulate. The EU agrees to create a permanent $1 trillion bailout/firewall fund. In the top box, John Lothian remembers a good friend, and takes note of the generosity of many people in and out of the financial industry.
Observations – Statistics – Commentary
The Richness of Giving
By John J. Lothian
Last week, the last thing I did before taking off for Florida on vacation was to speak at the memorial service for my friend and Assistant Scoutmaster who had passed away in February. I told the overflowing assembly of friends and family the story about how Bill Griswold was a rich man.
Bill was not rich like we often think of rich. He did not have a big house, a fancy car or a large bank account. Rather, Bill was rich because all he did was give and give of himself. He gave his time and his talents generously to our troop, our scouting district and council. Bill was a guy who could always be depended on to help out.
He must have been rich, because all he did was give and give. I had written about Bill when I announced his passing to the troop that he had forgotten more about scouting and camping than I would ever know. He had incredible knowledge about lots of things, big and small. And he was always willing to share his knowledge, whether helping boys in the trail to the First Class rank or as a Merit Badge Counselor for any number of badges.
I am blessed to know other people from this industry who are rich like Bill. One of them is Jim Johanik, who gave up a career in this business to go full time into Christian ministry. Jim took the leap of faith that other faith-filled people would support him and his family as he dedicated his life to his One Way Ministries. Jim has a faith and courage I could only hope to find.
I am blessed to know so many readers who give of their time, talent and treasure to support so many important charities. Last year I had the honor of being asked by the FT’s Jeremy Grant to wear a kilt to the IDX gala dinner in order to raise money for Futures for Kids. This year, Simon Rostron, a towering figure in London public relations in the financial services industry, will take up the kilt challenge; I hope Simon will beat my record of 2500 BP.
Robin Ross recently left the employment of the CME Group. What did she do with her time while on garden leave? She went to Africa and did volunteer work there. There is a richness to giving.
Here is her elevator speech about her experience:
There are so many great stories from this newsletter.
A senior executive in this industry responded to one of my scout’s request in this newsletter for help going to the 2010 National Jamboree and paid his way to go. Another scout had about half his way paid by another senior executive after a newsletter appeal. Another senior executive paid a similar amount to help meet the goal of a friend who was raising money for a charity aimed at preventing and treating childhood leukemia.
Many responded to the famous pie-throwing scout popcorn fundraiser that helped my then 11 year old son Tim donate $2000 to help needy young people in a Soccer in Scouting program.
After reading about a boy in need of a lot of help, a hedge fund with a broker-dealer arm gave one-day’s commissions to help the young boy pay for his portion of a research project to find a cure for his rare and incurable disease. The total reached over $300K. There is a backstory I can’t share here that makes the story even that more incredible.
Numerous people have walked, rode and worked for charity, and the readership of this newsletter has responded generously.
Next week, the London Stock Exchange will have its first ever charity day. I did not know this when I first wrote this commentary. Thank you to them, their customers and stakeholders. Thank you to all the firms who give one day’s commissions to charity.
There is a richness in giving. My friend and Assistant Scoutmaster Bill Griswold was a great example of a rich man.
It is said that when our days in this world are over, we will be remembered for what we gave, not what we had.
Charitable Trading Day At London Stock Exchange Group On 2 April – Equity Trading Fees From London And Milan To Be Donated To LSE Group Foundation
On Monday 2 April, London Stock Exchange Group will, for the first time in its history, donate a full day’s worth of equity trading fees from the London Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana and Turquoise – in excess of L500,000 – to charity. The money raised will be donated to the LSE Group Foundation which funds charitable projects in the UK, Italy and Sri Lanka.
BATS Weighs Cooling Its Listing Push
BY JACOB BUNGE – Dow Jones
BATS Global Markets Inc. is considering suspending its efforts to recruit corporate listings after a software glitch last Friday derailed the exchange operator’s IPO, people familiar with the matter said.
Trading at the Speed of Light
Matthew Philips – BusinessWeek
In April the Canadian research ship Coriolis II will set out from Halifax to survey parts of the continental shelf stretching 1,000 miles off the east coast of Nova Scotia. The ship has been hired by Hibernia Atlantic, a Summit (N.J.)-based company that operates undersea telecom cables, to map out a new $300 million transatlantic fiber-optic line called Project Express. The cable will stretch 3,000 miles beneath the North Atlantic, connecting financial markets in London and New York at record transmission speeds.
The Decreasing Cost of Increased Government Spending
Clarke Camper – Inside the Beltway
The Atlantic’s Matthew O’Brien has an interesting analysis of a new paper by former Clinton Treasury Secretary and Obama economic advisor Larry Summers and Brad DeLong of the University of California. Summers and DeLong argue that, under certain circumstances such as America faces today, government spending can provide enough of a boost to economic growth that it actually pays for itself.
The client clearing documentation imperative
Andrew Sterry – FOW
With the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) now approved in Brussels, the ESMA consultation on technical standards in progress, and the G20 commitment to make the clearing of OTC derivatives mandatory implemented by the end of this year, the buy-side is starting to select its clearing partners. Among the various uncertainties surrounding the implementation and effect of EMIR, one fundamental issue needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency: the standardization of client clearing documentation.
Iceland: Recovery and reconciliation
By Michael Stothard in Reykjavik – Financial Times
A visitor seeking a sense of how Iceland’s clique of powerful financiers saw themselves before their empire came tumbling down need look no further than Reykjavik’s Harpa concert hall. The extravagant steel and glass structure, which has more seats than London’s Royal Opera House, looks like a futuristic beehive glowing above the grey buildings that make up most of the capital.
Goldman Should Stop Saying Clients Come First, Levitt Says
By Christine Harper and Erik Schatzker – Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) should stop promoting itself as “putting customers first” because the slogan ignores conflicts inherent in trading, said Arthur Levitt, the former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman and a senior adviser to the firm.
Save the Date – ISDA’s 27th Annual General Meeting: Chicago
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA) is holding its 27th Annual General Meeting in Chicago on May 1-2, 2012. ISDA’s AGM is the preeminent event of the derivatives and risk management industry.
JLN Interest Rates Newsletter
OECD report offers brighter outlook for Canadian, U.S. economies
The Globe and Mail
Prospects for Canada and the United States are brighter than a few months ago, and the euro crisis seems less likely to push the global recovery off a cliff, according to a new report from the OECD.
Economic growth in the G7 countries is expected to be firmer through the first half of 2012, but the recovery remains fragile and will likely proceed at different speeds in North America and Europe, the OECD said in its latest Interim Economic Assessment. The Assessment, presented in Paris by Chief Economist Pier Carlo Padoan, says the G7 economies are projected to grow by 1.9 percent in both the first and second quarters of 2012, although a strong variance in outcomes is expected across this group of countries.
The entire OECD report is available here:
OECD urges ambitious eurozone reform
By Stanley Pignal in Brussels – Financial Times
The eurozone needs to undertake ambitious structural reforms to boost growth and overcome its protracted debt crisis, the OECD said in a report released on Tuesday.
MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Dr. Jens Weidmann
MarketsWiki Recent Updates
21,189,484 pages viewed, 6,763 articles, 138,532 edits
LSE boosted by Italian clearing house
By Philip Stafford – Financial Times
The London Stock Exchange on Friday illustrated the growing importance of post-trade services to its business as it said income from its Italian clearing house offset a flat performance from its traditional strength of UK share trading and listings.
BRICS Bourses Start Futures Venture Aimed at Wealthy Individuals
Exchanges in the biggest emerging economies will begin trading futures based on each other’s benchmark stock indexes today as rising wealth spurs demand for new investment products.
Europe Agrees to $1 Trillion Bailout Fund for Euro
By JAMES KANTER – NY Times
European finance ministers agreed Friday to create a permanent bailout fund for the euro zone with temporary lending capacity of E800 billion, the latest signal sent by Europe to show its determination to overcome a two-year-old crisis of confidence.
Brics nations threaten IMF funding
By James Fontanella-Khan in New Delhi – Financial Times
Leaders of the world’s most powerful emerging economies have threatened to withhold additional financing requested by the International Monetary Fund to fight the European sovereign debt crisis unless they gain greater voting power at the Fund.
Madrid commits to reforms despite strike
By Victor Mallet in Madrid – Financial Times
Spain’s centre-right government said it would not be diverted from plans to liberalise the labour market and impose more economic austerity to cut the deficit even as it was confronted with a one-day general strike on Thursday.
UK Treasury review: unprepared for banking crisis
Britain’s Treasury was not prepared for the financial crisis which began in 2007 and still needs to do more to retain talented staff, according to a review published Thursday.
Three Major Banks Prepare for Possible Credit Downgrades
By SUSANNE CRAIG and PETER EAVIS – NY Times
Some of Wall Street’s biggest banks are bracing for fallout from a possible cut in their credit ratings.
Senate confirms top bank regulators
Reuters via Yahoo! News
The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed President Barack Obama’s picks for key spots at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC)and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), banking agencies that are playing a vital role in implementing the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial oversight law.
Harsh M&A landscape hits investment banks
By Anousha Sakoui and Daniel Schäfer in London – Financial Times
Investment banks face the prospect of another disappointing year as companies put off dealmaking, depressing fees for the first quarter of 2012 to their lowest level for three years.
Environmental Trading News
House votes to repeal RGGI
House Bill 1490 sailed through on a voice vote with an amendment that passed 237-110, a margin that would comfortably override a potential veto from Gov. John Lynch. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a multi-state compact designed to cut participants’ carbon emissions 10 percent by 2018. Republicans argue the RGGI program acts as a built-in tax on power producers that is passed down to consumers. A state report found RGGI adds 46 cents to the average monthly electric bill.
**JK – Yes, you read correctly. Republicans want out of RGGI because it adds 46 CENTS to the average monthly bill.
Lawsuit filed against California cap-and-trade offsets
Two environmental groups have asked a California state court to block the state’s plans to allow offsets to be used for compliance in its greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program.
The Citizens Climate Lobby and Our Children’s Earth Foundation filed the suit in the California Superior Court for the County of San Francisco. The groups say that offsets cannot meet the statutory requirements set under the state’s climate change law, AB 32.
Senate Rejects Attempt to End Oil Subsidies
The White House and its Democratic allies are doing what they can to shift Americans’ frustration with high gasoline prices from President Barack Obama to another group: oil and gasoline companies.
Senate Democrats pressed for a vote Thursday to end some $20 billion in federal subsidies to the largest oil and gas companies.
**JK – A cohesive energy policy still remains dead in the US.
For more environmental trading news, subscribe to the Environmental Markets version of the John Lothian Newsletter edited by Jim Kharouf.
Visit http://www.jlnenvironmental.comto subscribe.
Exchange & ECN News
AdVoice: BATS Hits the Rocks, Which May Help Fill Its Sails
Despite weeks of daily tests to the ensure company’s systems could handle its own Initial Public Offering, BATS Global Markets promptly noticed that they had a problem last Friday.
Clearstream launches Funds as Collateral Committee
Clearstream has announced the launch of the Funds as Collateral Committee (FCC) where 40 markets experts will discuss in London today the best use of investment funds as collateral. Founding members of the FCC include asset managers, industry experts and collateral management users. They will analyse the benefits of using fund shares as collateral over more established assets. Marcus Littler, Director of Liquidity Sales at BNY Mellon, will be the inaugural FCC Chairman.
Strategic Planning Committee for SMEs holds first meeting
NYSE Euronext (NYX) is pleased to announce the priorities identified by members of its Strategic Planning Committee for SMEs at their first meeting, held 23 March 2012 in Paris, as well as the agenda the Committee has set itself.
[CBOE] ITT Educational Services, Inc. (ESI)
Program Trading Averaged 28.0 Percent of NYSE Volume during Mar. 19-23
London Stock Exchange Group Plc Pre-Close Period Update For The Eleven Months Ended 29 February 2012
NZX Consults On Proposed Rule Changes
ASX 25th Anniversary Fact Sheet
Sydney Hosts 30th AOSEF General Assembly
NYSE Euronext welcomes DBV Technologies to its European market
Banks, Brokers & Dark Pools
Geithner Touts Kim’s Knowledge of World Bank to Drum Up Support
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner stressed Jim Yong Kim’s understanding of the World Bank’s responsibilities beyond his health expertise in a letter seeking support for the U.S. candidate to head the lender.
Canada To Allow Wealth Funds To Invest In Its Financial Institutions
The Canadian government said Thursday it plans to introduce legislation to allow foreign and domestic sovereign-wealth funds to invest in Canadian financial institutions, a move which would allow banks and insurance companies to raise capital to meet new Basel banking rules.
BGC Partners Updates its First Quarter 2012 Financial Outlook
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
BGC Partners, Inc., a leading global brokerage company primarily servicing the wholesale financial markets, today updated its financial outlook for the quarter ending March 31, 2012.
UBS Investment Bank Still Key, But Focus Moves To Clients
Investment banking is still a key pillar of UBS AG’s (UBS) strategy, but the Swiss bank aims to shift its focus to client and advisory businesses, which promises more stable returns than trading shares and bonds, Chief Financial Officer Tom Naratil said Thursday.
BofA settlement clears legal hurdle
By Tom Braithwaite in New York and Shahien Nasiripour in Washington – Financial Times
Bank of America took an important step toward cementing a $8.5bn legal settlement that is crucial to its future when a court rejected a challenge to the deal by Baupost, a Boston-based hedge fund.
HSBC Buys Several Lloyds Banking Assets In UAE
HSBC Holdings PLC (HBC) said Thursday that it had agreed to buy Lloyds Banking Group PLC’s (LYG) retail and commercial businesses in the United Arab Emirates, as Europe’s largest bank looks to reinforce its presence in the Middle East.
Deutsche Bank Unit Sued Over Mortgage Repurchase Claims
A Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) unit was sued over the sale of mortgage bonds by investors who claim $250 million in damages and are demanding that the bank repurchase loans underlying their securities.
Mark Lane of Lazard Dies at 44 in Turks and Caicos Boat Mishap
Mark Lane, a managing director at Lazard Capital Markets LLC who recently returned to work after a 3 1/2-year hiatus to help raise four young sons, has died after being hit by a boat in Turks and Caicos Islands. He was 44.
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.
Lawmakers to CFTC: keep swap dealer rule narrow
By Jessica Toonkel and Angela Moon – Reuters
The U.S. regulator that oversees the sale of investment products to investors is investigating how companies are marketing exchange-traded notes, a niche category that gained some notoriety when one ETN experienced a huge loss this year.
FINRA investigating exchange-traded notes: spokesperson
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
The U.S. regulator that oversees the sale of investment products to investors is investigating how companies are marketing exchange-traded notes, a niche category that gained some notoriety when one ETN …
European Commission: Regulation On Over-The-Counter Derivatives And Market Infrastructures – Frequently Asked Questions
CFTC Technology Advisory Committee – Opening Statement By Commissioner Scott D. O’Malia
Opening Statement By Chairman Gary Gensler, CFTC Technology Advisory Committee
Oral Testimony By Chairman Gary Gensler Before The U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee On Financial Services And General Government
SEC suspends trading in 10 stocks
By Melodie Warner – MarketWatch
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday temporarily suspended trading of 10 more penny stocks as it continues to crack down on companies that haven’t filed periodic reports with the regulator.
Nomura Australia Limited pays $30,000 infringement notice penalty
CSA Issues Investor Watch Regarding Foreign Currency Exchange (Forex/FX) Trading [CSA]
DTCC Statement On EMIR Agreement
Investments – Indexes – Managed Futures – Managed Funds
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund cuts Europe exposure
By Richard Milne – Financial Times
Norway is proposing that its state pension fund, one of the world’s biggest investors owning 2 per cent of all European equities, should cut sharply its exposure to Europe and boost it to emerging markets.
Commodity hedge funds returns falter
By Sam Jones and Jack Farchy in London – Financial Times
Commodity hedge funds are sitting on disappointing returns for the first quarter in spite of one of the biggest monthly rallies in crude oil in years and falling market volatility.
Goldman commodities crown slips as traders exit
Reuters via Yahoo! News
LONDON (Reuters) – At least 20 commodities traders, several senior, have left Goldman Sachs in the past months, dealing a blow to Wall Street’s long-time king of commodities as talent moves to better paying trading houses and hedge funds. The departures, according to around a dozen insiders and trading sources, mirror the exodus of traders from rival banks over the past two years.
Credit Suisse Opened Volatility Bets to Small Investors
By Christopher Condon and Matt Robinson – Bloomberg
Michael Gamble, a 67-year-old retiree, doubled down on a volatility exchange-traded note backed by Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) last week as it declined to a record low price. “When it started to fall, I bought more because I couldn’t believe how low it was going,” he said in a telephone interview. “I didn’t realize I was playing with a hand grenade.”
BlackRock Appoints Alex Hoctor-Duncan Head of Retail for Europe, Middle East and Africa
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance
BlackRock, Inc. today announced that Alex Hoctor-Duncan has been appointed Head of Retail for Europe, Africa and the Middle East , with immediate effect. Mr. Hoctor-Duncan most recently served as the firm’s Head of Sales for EMEA and will report to Rob Fairbairn, Head of BlackRock’s Global Client Group and James Charrington, Chairman of the EMEA Region for BlackRock.
Pimco and Invesco Try to Build a Better Retirement Fund
Margaret Collins – BusinessWeek
Target-date funds were designed to be a simple choice for retirement savers who don’t want to devise their own investment strategies or adjust them over time. The funds typically hold mostly stocks when an investor is younger, then shift to more conservative assets, such as bonds, as retirement approaches. In the financial meltdown of 2008, when stocks and bonds suffered sharp declines, that recipe didn’t offer much protection.
Breaking the Hedge Fund Industry’s Silence
New York Times
Investors may soon get a keyhole view into the cloistered world of hedge funds and private equity firms, thanks to a little-known provision in the new JOBS Act that would relax rules on how firms can market themselves to the public.
Eurozone hedging is tough game to play
By Brian Bollen – Financial Times
A break-up of the eurozone might be regarded very much as a tail risk in today’s markets, if only thanks to the European Central Bank’s brace of three-year longer-term refinancing operations in December and February, but it cannot be completely ruled out.
Dalio tops hedge fund pay list with $3.9bn
By Dan McCrum in New York – Financial Times
Ray Dalio, head of Bridgewater, the world’s largest hedge fund, personally made $3.9bn in a year that his $70bn Pure Alpha fund produced $13.8bn of investment profits for its investors, according to industry rankings.
ISDA: Final IRS, Credit And Equity Derivatives Matrix And Legend published (Standardisation Q2 2011)
NYSE Technologies and Koscom Announce Memorandum of Understanding
NYSE Technologies, the commercial technology division of NYSE Euronext and Koscom Corporation, the technology firm created by the Korean Ministry of Finance and Korea Exchange, today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that formalizes a joint commitment to continued technology cooperation and the creation of new international business opportunities.
HKEx Selects NYSE Technologies’ Exchange Data Publisher for HKEx Orion Market Data Platform
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) has selected NYSE Technologies’ Exchange Data Publisher (XDP) to drive the HKEx Orion Market Data Platform. XDP is an ultra-low latency solution designed to collect, integrate and disseminate real-time market data to local customers and, using regional hubs, to customers around the globe.
Calypso turnover rises to $220m
By Philip Stafford – Financial Times
Calypso Technology, a US trading technology company, is targeting emerging markets and asset portfolio management as the rush to build infrastructure to comply with new rules on derivatives trading pushed its annual turnover over $200m for the first time.
Briefing.com Economic Calendar
CBOE Events Calendar
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.
ICBC Join Smaller Chinese Rivals in Posting Profit Gains
ICBC widened its lead as the world’s most profitable lender after reporting a 17 percent increase in net income to 44.4 billion yuan ($7 billion). That compared with the 43.4 billion- yuan average estimate of 22 analysts in a Bloomberg survey.
Tokyo Commodity Exchange: Revised Weight Percentage Of Nikkei-TOCOM Commodity Index
Publication of amendment to administrative notice on capital adequacy rules for internationally active banks based on Basel III (March 30, 2012) Japanese versionopen new window
Authorization of Merger involving The Sumitomo Trust and Banking Co., Ltd, The Chuo Mitsui Trust and Banking Company,Limited and Chuo Mitsui Asset Trust and banking Company,Limited
Tokyo Grain Exchange: Maximum Rate For Additional Discharging Ports Charge
HKFE Announces Revised Margins For Futures Contracts
HKEx Announces Liquidity Providers For BRICS Futures
SGX And Phillip Futures Set Up New Professional Traders Development Centre
Rising powers say new bank can help development
Associated Press via Yahoo! News
The leaders of five of the world’s fast-rising powers agreed Thursday to move toward creating a new development bank that would improve access to capital for poor nations.
Myanmar Economy Poised to Take Flight as Voters Head to Polls
Myanmar next week holds the most inclusive elections since the military rejected an opposition victory in 1990, as the potential for economic ties with western nations encourages the leadership to relax control.
Goldman advisor says completed work on sukuk
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Dar Al Istithmar, the advisor to Goldman Sachs’ planned $2 billion sukuk program, said it had finished obtaining the approval of Islamic scholars for the issue and that the next move was up to Goldman.
Securities Commission Malaysia: Malaysia’s New CG Code Puts Strong Emphasis On Board Effectiveness
MCX Weekly Market Report March 23, 2012 – March 29, 2012
On Campus, Wall Street Still Carries Its Cachet
The Wall Street Journal via Yahoo! Finance
The financial industry may be in retreat, but for hundreds of students Wall Street still is seen as the ultimate launch pad to a successful career.
Fixing Distorted Economic Data
Clarke Camper – Inside the Beltway
Are outdated economic statistics causing governments around the world to misdiagnose economic problems and prescribe the wrong policy solutions? That’s the contention of professional money manager and Columbia University faculty member Peter Marber in a recent article in the World Policy Journal and in his forthcoming book, Brave New Math: Why We Need New Economic Thinking in the Global Age.
Maneuvering for an Immunity Deal
By PETER J. HENNING – NY Times
When a witness has valuable information and may be implicated in a violation, there are delicate maneuvers between prosecutors and defense lawyers. That is playing out behind the scenes for Edith O’Brien, an assistant treasurer at MF Global, who could have crucial information about how millions of dollars of customer money went missing in the firm’s final days.