John Lothian Newsletter: NYSE Euronext Scrutinizing Portfolio In Bid To Cut Costs; ISDA Said to Begin Biggest Revision to Credit Swaps Since 2009; CFTC analysis nixes emergency trading restrictions on oil

May 10, 2012

NYSE Euronext looks over its basket of projects and investments for candidates to offload to save money. Another ISDA meeting this week will start discussions on big revisions and changes to the CDS market. The CFTC says that while they plan to implement oil market controls, it’s not appropriate for them to take emergency action and put changes in place immediately. In the top box, John Lothian considers the fairness of markets; Jon Matte admits that he likes a Bart Chilton speech; and Sarah Rudolph of JLN Options provides an interview with Russ Chrusciel of Sungard about the company’s Valdi Options Risk Manager.

Observations – Statistics – Commentary

Comment: The need to measure market fairness
By Mike Aitken – Financial Times
Amid disruptions like the “flash crash” and the advent of high-frequency trading and dark pools, regulators around the world are under pressure to give investors reassurance that markets retain their integrity. They have talked about circuit breakers and restrictions on high-frequency trading, short sales and further examination of dark pools to ensure that these practices and tools are as trustworthy as their supporters claim. But what evidence do we have that markets are clean or fair?

**** Back when New York futures markets were open outcry, I believed them to not be fair. One only needs to receive a 14 minute fill in cocoa once to come to this conclusion. I told people not to trade these markets then. I also was an outspoken proponent for electronic markets to help level the playing field. The playing field may be leveler, but some traders still have an edge. Speed has always been edge and always will be. What is different is that we are much more dependent on exchange staff and regulators to police our markets than in the self-regulating days of open outcry. Of course, that self-regulation can fail too, as I believed in New York markets. Can the exchanges and regulators keep up in the arms race that is electronic trading, dark pools and even payment for order flow schemes? Just throwing the book at some traders in big cases is not enough. In fact, that only hurts the markets perceptions in this climate. But maybe we need to hit the low of the market before the bad news starts to be good.

**** I am beginning to believe we need a new regulatory regime replacing the SEC and CFTC. We tried to fix the markets problems in Dodd-Frank, but we did not address our regulatory structure problems. And I am not sure that Dodd-Frank is going to make our regulatory structure problems any better. Why not start from scratch?


Ron Grossman to retire from ADM
Ron Grossman, Vice President of Sales for ADMIS, has accepted an early retirement offer from ADM that was effective April30th. Grossman joined ADMIS 16 years ago as Director of Trading Floor Operations. His career begin 37 years ago at Heinold Commodities at the CME, and has since worked on several committees at the CBOT and the FIA Chicago. Ron plans to continue to stay active doing B to B consulting within the futures industry. He has also begun volunteering for the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund.

**** Congrats to Ron on his “retirement” and best of luck with his new endeavors.


Opponents Of Expanded Grain Futures Hours Threaten Boycott
An online petition circulating among grains futures traders threatens a boycott of the IntercontinentalExchange Inc.‘s new grains contracts amid discontent over expanded trading hours that are set to start this month.

**** Resetting when the rooster crows is not easy.


London’s Futures And Foreign Exchange Communities Walk To Work On May 18th – London’s Futures And Options Industry Joins Forces With The Foreign Exchange Community To Slog 35 Miles Plus On 4 Routes To The City For 4 Children’s Charities
Press Release
Despite the bad weather, country lanes, public footpaths and bridleways around the Home Counties and beyond have seen a marked increase in use by an intrepid bunch of futures and options and foreign exchange industry executives in recent weeks. The reason? The Futures for Kids ‘Walk to Work’ and the sudden awareness that a good pair of walking shoes and a few plasters to ease the pain of those blisters will not suffice to drag those ageing legs some 35 miles to the City of London.

**** Please donate to Futures for Kids and support one of these walkers effort.


JLN Options Newsletter: A Chat with Russ Chrusciel, Head of Sungard Valdi Options
On April 30, Sungard announced that its Valdi Options Risk Manager now supports options traded on international exchanges. JLN Options editor Sarah Rudolph spoke with Russ Chrusciel, the head of Valdi Options U.S., at the Options Industry Conference last week in New Orleans about the recent changes to the Valdi offering and the prospects for the options exchange space in the coming years.

Q: What is the role of Sungard Valdi Options?

A: We work with options traders and risk managers to create options risk management solutions, options valuation solutions, and solutions that serve the needs of general options traders.

Q: What is your latest addition to the Options Risk Manager?

A: Three things are new. First, options risk manager now supports analysis and valuation for foreign-listed options. We had previously been solely focused on U.S. listed options.

Second, we have introduced an extension of functionality that gives each user the ability to look at individual option Greeks and specific theoretical values.

Third, the solution is offered in ASP, or what some people call a “hosted” solution. That reduces the hardware costs, and reduces infrastructure maintenance costs over time.

These changes were officially launched in the past week.

Q: Which international options do you cover?

A: There are about 80 or 90 foreign exchanges. We don’t include them all at this point, but we have the capability through our Sungard global network and our in-house data providers to support a listed options market if the customer demand is there. Our primary focus is and will continue to be options exchanges that have a critical mass in volume and that our customers are seeking to be involved with. A couple of examples are the Montreal Exchange and the Eurex Exchange.

For the rest of the interview and detailed coverage of the options sector, visit the JLN Options website at


(Another) New daily record in the Eurex KOSPI Product: 9 May 2012
Press Release
New daily record turnover on 9 May 2012: 731,889 contracts
Previous daily record on 8 May 2012: 525,781 contracts


Former CFTC Acting Chairman And Commissioner Michael V. Dunn Appointed Chairman Of DTCC’s U.S. Swap Data Repository
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation today announced that former Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner Michael V. Dunn will join the company, effective May 12, to serve as the non-executive Chairman of its U.S. Swap Data Repository. Dunn will report to DTCC President and CEO-elect Michael Bodson, recently named to succeed Donald F. Donahue in July.

**** I never saw Mike Dunn as a data swapper.


The Thing Is: Speech Of CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton Before Citizens For Financial Reform, Washington, DC

***JM: While I don’t agree with Bart’s viewpoint on market mechanics, this speech overall is very good, and makes solid points about what is necessary in order for a diverse group to actually accomplish something.

***JJL: Bart Chilton could definitely be a data swapper.


Hedge funds head for big banana skin
By Hugh Hendry – Financial Times
For the moment, let us forget the chances of a hard landing in China. Forget the drama of Europe’s circus of politically inspired economic incompetency. Forget that the good news of the US economy’s succession of positive economic surprises is really bad news as fixed income managers have sold copious amounts of too cheap volatility and because it has made equity investors turn bullish, sending stock market volatility back to 2007 levels. This is dangerous. Improved US data may represent a classic short-term cyclical upturn amid a profound global deleveraging cycle.


Exchanges: Threat averted for London
By Philip Stafford – Financial Times
Pittsburgh is a long way from Europe but a G20 meeting in the US city more than three years ago has set off a game of chess on the old continent. It served as a backdrop as policymakers from the world’s leading economies thrashed out a series of measures designed to safeguard the financial system. They included pushing more of the vast, opaque over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market on to electronic trading venues, having the trades processed through clearing houses and the deals reported to trade repositories.


Round-up: Big hubs keep the wheels of industry turning
An analysis of the state of, and challenges facing, the financial hubs of Paris, London, Frankfurt and Zurich.
By Scheherazade Daneshkhu, James Pickford, James Wilson and Haig Simonian – Financial Times


Teaching financial experts about the cost of bad investments
Gail MarksJarvis – Chicago Tribune
Americans would like an apology from Wall Street for the financial crisis. They probably aren’t going to get it. But how about giving the number crunchers and investment managers a “time out” to reflect a little on the era of financial alchemy and greed that did so much damage?


Webinar: Arbitrage Trading of Soft Commodity and Agricultural Futures
Join NYSE Liffe, Complete Commodity Solutions Ltd and RTS Realtime Systems for an interactive webinar on the opportunities of arbitrage trading in soft and agricultural commodities. Our experts will look at a variety of contracts, analyze price relationshops and discuss the impact of the currency exposure of commodities such as coffee, cocoa, wheat and sugar. Using popular wheat contracts as an example, our experts will demonstrate how to successfully capture opportunities using low latency trading solutions.


MarketsWiki Spring Cleaning Party - May 18
MarketsWiki Spring Cleaning Party – May 18, 2012

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Lead Stories

NYSE Euronext Scrutinizing Portfolio In Bid To Cut Costs – COO
NYSE Euronext (NYX) is reviewing a list of about 25 investments and ventures, weighing the sale or closure of several efforts as the transatlantic exchange operator works to cut $250 million in annual costs by 2014.

ISDA Said to Begin Biggest Revision to Credit Swaps Since 2009
By Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
Credit-default swaps users will meet this week in New York and London to discuss changes to the contracts in what may become the biggest revisions since 2009, according to people familiar with the situation.

CFTC analysis nixes emergency trading restrictions on oil
The U.S. futures regulator has concluded it cannot currently use its emergency authority to impose trading curbs on speculators in the oil markets, according to people familiar with a recent internal legal analysis. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission conducted the study as it faces pressure in an election year from lawmakers to crack down as soon as possible on oil market speculation that they blame for driving up gasoline prices.

Magic numbers to determine fate of derivatives
By Huw Jones – Reuters
Two numbers at the heart of an overhaul aimed at cutting risk in the $700 trillion (434 trillion pounds) derivatives industry will determine how much more users such as airlines, banks and pension funds must pay. The industry is waiting for what David Clark, chairman of the Wholesale Markets Brokers’ Association (WMBA), told Reuters were the “magic numbers”.

Volcker: Big Banks are too big, but that’s OK
CNN Money
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker told lawmakers at a hearing Wednesday that the big banks are too big, but he stopped short of endorsing measures that force the banks to be broken up.

Volcker: Overly liquid markets hurts banking
Market Watch
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker said overly liquid markets are not constructive to the core business of banking, responding to critics who argue that the anti-speculation regulation that bears his name would hamper needed liquidity to the markets.

Swedish Banks Pummel EU Peers Wallowing in Laxer Rules
Far from languishing under stricter capital rules, Swedish banks are thriving.

Euro Zone May Delay Greek Bailout Payment-report
Euro zone nations are debating whether to delay a 5.2 billion euro payment to Greece because some governments in the currency bloc are concerned about making payments to the debt stricken country before political upheaval there settles down, Dow Jones reported on Wednesday.

Spain takes 45% stake in Bankia
By Miles Johnson in Madrid and David Oakley in London – Financial Times
Spain has taken a 45 per cent stake in Bankia, the country’s third-largest bank by assets, as worries over the financial system sent equity and bond markets falling on Wednesday.

Roubini: EU To Break Up Once Contagion Hits Italy And Spain
With the European sovereign debt crisis having flared up in full force on the back of a divided Greek election, Nouriel Roubini aka Dr. Doom said he expects Spain to lose market access next year, while he pins the fate of the EU on contagion not hitting Spain and Italy too hard.

Critics Weigh in on High-Frequency Trading on Flash Crash Anniversary
Gino Vicci – Huffington Post
Two years ago in early May, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged nearly 1,000 points within just a few minutes before recovering, an event known as the “Flash Crash.” Since then, critics charge, little has been done by regulators or the exchanges to prevent a similar event, which many blame on a type of trading that uses powerful computers to execute a large number of orders at lightening speeds of a few milliseconds. to develop low-carbon economy in China
People’s Daily
On February 16, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Environment Program and the Asian Development Bank jointly reported that economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region has been increasing for 20 years, but resource consumption of the region is the highest in the world.

Former MF Global Carbon Head MacGiffin Joins ClimateCare
Grattan MacGiffin, a former head of voluntary and new carbon at MF Global Holdings Ltd., has joined ClimateCare, an emissions offsetter in Oxford, England.

Carbon market will be announced in Rio de Janeiro Rio +20
Instituto Carbono Brasil
The state government of Rio de Janeiro is preparing several announcements related to sustainable development to mark the completion of the Rio +20 in June and among them is the creation of the first mandatory carbon market in Brazil.

For more environmental trading news, subscribe to the Environmental Markets version of the John Lothian Newsletter edited by Jim Kharouf.
Visit to subscribe.LME To Hold Board Meeting Thursday To Discuss Bids – Sources
Dow Jones
The London Metal Exchange has called a meeting of its board Thursday to discuss the bids it has received for the exchange, people familiar with the matter said, accelerating the process to potentially sell the 135-year old business.

New CME CEO doesn’t plan widespread fee increases
Phupinder Gill, the new chief executive of CME Group, said on Tuesday the massive exchange operator would not try to compensate for sagging trading volumes with widespread fee increases for customers.

Top General Counsel Honored during Annual Legal Recognition Dinner
Corporate Board Member, publisher of Corporate Board Member magazine, and global business advisory firm FTI Consulting, Inc. (NYSE: FCN ) hosted the fifth annual Legal Recognition Dinner last tonight at the Grand Hyatt in New York City, honoring distinguished general counsel (GC) and the top 25 national corporate law firms.

EEX to launch GASPOOL Season Contracts
The European Energy Exchange (EEX) is expanding the range of tradable maturities on the Natural Gas Derivatives Market. From 18 June on, the trading participants will also have the possibility to trade in GASPOOL Season Futures.

NYSE Euronext To Present At UBS Global Conference; Webcast At 2:20 PM ET

CBOE Holdings To Present At UBS Securities Conference; Webcast At 10:40 AM ET

Federation Of Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges April Newsletter

Warsaw Stock Exchange Derivatives Market In April 2012

NYSE Amex Issues Short Interest Report

NYSE Group Inc. Issues Short Interest Report

NASDAQ Announces End-Of-Month Open Short Interest Positions In NASDAQ Stocks As Of Settlement Date April 30, 2012

Bucharest Stock Exchange Newsletter April 2012

NZX Receives Approval From High Court For Return Of Capital Capital Group Loses Shareholder Vote On Pay
Knight Capital Group Inc. (KCG) shareholders on Wednesday voted against the executive pay structure at the U.S. brokerage and trading firm’s annual shareholder meeting. Shareholders voted down an advisory vote on Knight’s executive compensation by a margin of around 2 to 1.

Natixis plans to shut commodities brokerage unit
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
French bank Natixis said it plans to close its commodities trading division, as one of the oldest ringdealing members of the London Metal Exchange becomes the latest victim of the European debt crisis.

Deutsche tops FX industry poll but loses ground to Citi
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
Deutsche Bank was rated the top bank for foreign exchange transactions for the eighth straight year but its market share shrank as Citi leapt into second place from fourth, an industry poll showed.

Tullett forced to cuts more jobs
By Philip Stafford – Financial Times
Tullett Prebon, the UK interdealer broker, is cutting a further 60 jobs as weak confidence in trading on global markets resulted in flat revenues for the first four months of the year.

Bundesbank signals softening on inflation
By Ralph Atkins in Frankfurt – Financial Times
The Bundesbank, the most hawkish of central banks, has signalled it would accept higher inflation in Germany as part of an economic rebalancing in the eurozone that would boost the international competitiveness of countries worst-hit by the region’s debt crisis.

Managing Financial Crises: The Role Of The ECB – Speech By Peter Praet, Member Of The Executive Board Of The ECB At The 40th Economics Conference Of The Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Vienna, 10 May 2012

Marex Spectron To Acquire Schneider Trading Associates Pro-Trader Division
Marex Spectron Group (“Marex Spectron” or “the Company”) has agreed to acquire the Pro-Trader division of Schneider Trading Associates (“STA”) in a transaction that is expected to complete before the end of May 2012.

HSBC in talks over possible sale of Latam operations
HSBC plc is in talks over possible sale of its operations in Colombia, Peru, Uruguay and Paraguay, as the Europe’s biggest bank continues to retreat from non-core markets.

Queen’s Speech – British Bankers’ Association Response 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.

SEC Charges Deloitte & Touche in Shanghai with Violating U.S. Securities Laws in Refusal to Produce Documents
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an enforcement action against Shanghai-based Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu CPA Ltd. for its refusal to provide the agency with audit work papers related to a China-based company under investigation for potential accounting fraud against U.S. investors.

SEC Charges Former Detroit Officials and Investment Adviser to City Pension Funds in Influence Peddling Scheme
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged former Detroit mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick, former city treasurer Jeffrey W. Beasley, and the investment adviser to the city’s public pension funds involved in a secret exchange of lavish gifts to peddle influence over the funds’ investment process.

SEC Charges New York Man With Manipulating Biopharmaceutical Stocks and Conducting Unregistered Sales of Securities
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a Manhattan resident with carrying out a complex market manipulation scheme in biopharmaceutical stocks after he was kicked out of the brokerage industry for fraud.

CFTC Charges New York Firm Madison Dean, Inc., And Its Principals, George Athanasatos And Laurence Dodge, With Forex Fraud
Press Release
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced the filing of a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York charging

NFA Enforcement and Registration Actions
TMA Asset Management LLC the pack
By Anousha Sakoui – Financial Times
The wave of political change that unseated the French and Greek governments has stirred up new worries about the future of the eurozone. This uncertainty sets up another barrier to dealmaking and also explains why the market for mergers and acquisitions has not recovered – and is not predicted to this year.

At hedge fund confab, talk of devaluing the euro
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
Economists gathered in Las Vegas for a hedge fund conference were focused on the crap games going on in Europe. “Europe is a huge mess,” Jeremy Siegel, professor of finance at the Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said at the annual Skybridge Capital hedge fund conference here.

Zoe Cruz’s Voras Capital hedge fund shutting down: source
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
Zoe Cruz, the former Morgan Stanley co-president, is closing her Voras Capital Management hedge fund and returning investor money, a source familiar with the fund said.

Ex-Deutsche Securities Banker Plans Commodities Hedge Fund
By Tomoko Yamazaki and Komaki Ito – Bloomberg
Ryo Ishiyama, a former Deutsche Securities Inc. banker, plans to start a hedge fund investing in global commodities futures as early as July using a strategy he employed on his own personal investments.

Shift Now Underway in How Capital is Allocated
John Carney – CNBC
The largest institutional investors in the world are increasingly looking for investments that generate positive “contractual” cash flows, as opposed to mark-to-market paper gains, according to both panelists and attendees at the Skybridge Alternatives Investor Summit.

Hedge Fund Manager Eric Sprott Demonstrates How To Avoid A Question Like A Boss
Business Insider
This little gem just happened on CNBC’s “Fast Money: Half-Time Report” at the SALT Conference in Las Vegas when Scott Wapner asked Canadian hedge fund manager Eric Sprott about silver.

Philip Falcone Voices Concern Over China
Harbinger hedge fund manager Phil Falcone says his view of Europe isn’t entirely dire. He’s also concerned about China.

EDHEC-Risk Institute: Equity And Bond Index Investors In Asia-Pacific Region Show Dissatisfaction With Their Indices, And Concerns Exist Over Index Transparency

Invesco Ltd. Announces April 30, 2012 Assets Under Management

New Amundi ETF launched on Xetra

SPDR ETF On Asian Government Bonds Launched On Xetra Group Releases Latest Generation Fenics Professional
GFI Group announced today the release of FENICS Professional version 12.2, a new generation of the award winning FX option platform which brings together pricing, distribution, bilateral trading and risk management capabilities for FX options.

Wolverine Execution Services Launches New Multi-Asset Spread Trading Tool That Provides Advanced Automation and Efficiencies
Wolverine Execution Services (WEX), a leading provider of premier technology and execution services, today announced the launch of WEX Spread Agent, an advanced trading applet focused on spread and pairs trading.

Portware To Acquire Technology Assets Of Aritas Group, Inc. – Predictive Analytics Adds Broker-Neutral Intelligence To Automated Trading Workflows

Will Supercomputer Watson Be A Superhero For Banking?
Banking has been in the dumps since the financial crisis of 2008. The road ahead doesn’t look much more promising. What with increased regulation, fewer significant profit centers ( prop trading, for example) and an extremely challenging commercial and residential real estate market, banks don’t seem to have a lot to look forward. I’m thrilled Mark Zuckerberg is annoying the bankers
The horror! Facebook’s CEO apparently wore a hoodie to a meeting. Let’s face it: He could dress like Thor, wield the fabled hammer Mjolnir in presentations, and they’d still want in on the company’s IPO. Originally posted at News – Internet & Media

Facebook admits to mobile weakness
by April Dembosky – Financial Times
Facebook said the migration of its users to mobile platforms is compromising its ability to make money from them, according to additions the company made to its IPO regulatory filing on Wednesday. Economic Calendar

USDA Today

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.’s Latest Reforms Not a Sign of Economic Strength
This year, China has announced a flurry of financial liberalization measures that were perceived by many in the U.S. and Europe as a sign of confidence among Chinese leaders about their economy’s growth prospects.

China unveils accounting sector overhaul
By Simon Rabinovitch in Beijing – Financial Times
Foreign auditing firms will have to appoint a Chinese national as their chief partner in China as part of a sweeping overhaul of the country’s accounting industry. The regulations, unveiled on Thursday, are aimed at localising the mainland operations of foreign auditing firms, but they also provide for a lengthy transition period and wiggle room to limit controversy over the changes.

Three Chinese banks expanding in U.S.
CNN Money
The Federal Reserve gave three state-owned Chinese banks its stamp of approval Thursday to expand their presence in the United States.

Vietnam ETF up 44%, beating all others

SGX-ST fully and substantively accorded Mr Yeap Wai Kong a fair hearing
The Singapore High Court has dismissed the application of Mr Yeap Wai Kong, a former director of China Sky Chemical Fibre Co Limited (China Sky), to quash the SGX-Securities Trading Limited’s (SGX-ST) public reprimand of him on 16 December 2011. The High Court found that the SGX-ST fully and substantively accorded Mr Yeap a fair hearing by giving him notice of its intention to reprimand, particulars of the case against him and full opportunities to be heard.

Summary Of April 2012 Activities At Tokyo Commodity Exchange
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) announced today that April 2012 trading volume averaged 92,493 contracts per day. This was down 22.4% from March 2012 and was broadbased, affecting all listed commodities except Gas Oil.

Monetary Authority Of Singapore Modifies The Regulatory Requirements Governing The Marketing And Sale Of Listed And Unlisted Investment Products

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission Proposes To Enhance Sponsors Regulatory Regime

Shenzhen Stock Exchange Warns The Risks Of Speculation On New Shares Again, And Urges Conscientiousness From Brokers

Tokyo Grain Exchange: SPAN Parameters Effective From May 16, 2012 To May 31, 2012

Tokyo Commodity Exchange: Good Delivery Material Price Differential For May 2012 Rubber Contract

Taiwan Futures Exchange Monthly Newsletter – May 2012 provides low-latency market connectivity to Indian exchanges
Orc, a leading provider of technology and services for the global financial industry, today announced new market gateways to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. (NSE).

IMF mission to visit Malawi, recommend new loans
AFP via Yahoo! News
An IMF mission hopes to recommend new loan programmes for Malawi following a visit next week, an official said Wednesday, after the country devalued its currency to boost the economy.

Dubai Financial Market Empowers Public And Private Companies To Further Embrace Investor Relations And Corporate Governance Europe Day! Well, Not in Greece
By Peter Coy – Bloomberg
Today is officially Europe Day, honoring a proposal by French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman on May 9, 1950, that led eventually to the formation of the European Union. Break out the deflated balloons!

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