John Lothian Newsletter: Some frayed nerves as USDA grains data goes ‘live’; Big European funds dump euro assets; CFTC’s Gensler on JP Morgan: Firms Have ‘Right To Make A Bad Decision

May 25, 2012

Grain traders had to move faster today after the USDA report, given the expanded trading hours; some did fine, some not so much. Big funds in and focused on Europe are dumping assets and positions denominated in the euro, given the uncertainty spreading through the eurozone. CFTC’s Gary Gensler points out that trading firms are not prohibited by regulation from making bad market calls. The news channels are thick with stories from the eurozone today on the state of both the currency and the union; and for those with less of a European focus, there’s plenty of news about JPMorgan, the size of the recent loss, and more importantly the size of the risk that was being taken.

First Read

CME Group Announces Five-for-One Stock Split
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today declared a five-for-one split of its common stock, in the form of a 400 percent stock dividend. The dividend will be paid on July 20, 2012, to shareholders of record on July 10, 2012.
http://jlne.ws/JxEJEd

**** This is a long time in the coming.  While many people will tell you stock splits don’t work, I hate when people make broad all encompassing generalizations.  There are always exceptions.  This is one where it is a positive thing.  One of the reasons exchange stocks were successful in the pre-financial crisis era is that their prices allowed more people to own a piece of the exchange.  No longer did you have to buy a million dollar membership.  This could have the same benefit for stock traders and investors wanting to own the CME Group.  

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CME Group Opens its First Futures Contract on East European Crop
By Matthew Leising, Anastasia Ustinova and Tony Dreibus – Bloomberg
CME Group Inc.’s decision to spend a year-and-a-half developing its first futures contract on an Eastern European crop began with a newspaper. Leo Melamed couldn’t believe it when he read that Vladimir Putin wished there was a way to insure a wheat harvest after Russia’s disastrous 2010 drought.
http://jlne.ws/JxEHMB

**** The things to watch will be convergence to the delivery points, and all the politics.  If you think commodity prices are an issue in the US, you should check out Eastern Europe.

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Alacra Releases the Periodic Table of Bank Regulation and Compliance
PRWeb via Yahoo! News
Alacra, Inc., a leading provider of business information-based solutions for the financial and professional services industries, today announced the release of “the Periodic Table of Bank Regulation and Compliance”.
http://jlne.ws/JxEHfE

**** Don’t mix the elements, you won’t like the reaction.

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Short Sellers Find Friends in Banks
By TOM LAURICELLA, JENNY STRASBURG and JONATHAN CHENG – WSJ
As traders at Morgan Stanley were frantically trying to shore up Facebook Inc.’s share price following the company’s initial public offering, other managers on the deal were helping short sellers bet that the newly minted stock would fall.
http://jlne.ws/JxEHfM

**** Finding a friend anywhere on Wall Street is an accomplishment.  I always say, if you want a friend, get a dog.

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Greece’s Brain Drain Has Begun
BusinessWeek
By the end of 2011, Yanis Varoufakis was a celebrity. The director of the Ph.D. program in economics at the University of Athens, Varoufakis had been arguing for two years that Greece was insolvent and the country should default while staying in the euro region.
http://jlne.ws/JxEHfQ

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Goldman Sachs to start tweeting Thursday
Market Watch
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which has a reputation for being publicity-shy, has set up an official account with micro-blogging site Twitter and the investment bank is expected to start tweeting later Thursday. The bank is holding its annual shareholder meeting in Jersey City on Thursday. Its Twitter handle is @GoldmanSachs.
http://jlne.ws/JxEHMT

**** This should be interesting.

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Morgan Stanley Is Holding A Firm-Wide Conference Call To Blame The Facebook IPO Scandal On… Me (!?)
By Henry Blodget | Business Insider
A source close to Morgan Stanley tells me the firm is holding a firm-wide conference call at 4PM New York time today to discuss the firm’s role in the burgeoning Facebook IPO scandal.
http://jlne.ws/JxEHw9

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Phillip Securities Acquires TOCOM Broker Membership
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM), Japan’s largest commodity futures exchange, announced that Phillip Securities Japan, a Japanese subsidiary of Phillip Capital, a major Singapore based financial institution, acquired Broker Membership on May 24, 2012. Phillip Securities Japan is entitled to trade and clear for its global customers in the precious metals, oil and rubber markets. The total number of TOCOM members is now 84 (including 21 Broker Members).
http://jlne.ws/JxEOrF

**** The latest deal from the company across the hall from John Lothian News’s 30 Jack offices.

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Last tweet for Derwent’s Absolute Return
By James Mackintosh, Investment Editor
The only dedicated “Twitter” hedge fund has shut down after deciding to offer its social media indicators to day traders instead. Derwent Capital Markets’ Absolute Return fund was quietly liquidated just a month after starting up last year. Paul Hawtin, chief executive and founder of Derwent Capital, said that one of its largest investors suggested taking the trading signals to private investors rather than trading on them directly.
http://jlne.ws/JxEHwd

***JM: This is not really about Twitter. This is a different though similarly common bird song: “We plan to use [a recently created or popular thing] as a way to make money, and we will all be rich.” Fill in “artificial intelligence,” “expert systems,” “candlestick charts”, “social media” – it’s all the same. Never hurts to experiment, of course; but like with any bird call, it gets a little old around the thousandth time you hear it through the window.

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Cooperative banking has arrived
Ellen Brown, Alternet
Alternative to the bad corporate giants are growing in the U.S. and abroad — and they could transform our economy.
http://jlne.ws/JxEHwj

JLN Interest Rates

FDIC: Bank profits at highest level since 2007
MarketWatch
Bank profits rose in the first quarter of 2012, reaching their highest quarterly levels since the second quarter of 2007, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s quarterly banking report, released Thursday. However, total loan and lease balances on the books of banks declined by $56 billion in the quarter, a situation that FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg said was “disappointing” after the industry saw three quarters of growth last year.
http://jlne.ws/LjuenB

Regulators Designate Swaps Clearinghouses Systemic
Bloomberg
A panel of U.S. regulators voted to designate swaps clearinghouses as systemically important, a step that would put them under heightened supervision.
http://jlne.ws/MGD2Ja

European Economic Outlook Dims Amid Impasse
The New York Times
http://jlne.ws/MKuVLz

Ponzi Scheme Mastermind Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison
Keith Franklin Simmons, 47, of West Jefferson, North Carolina, was sentenced today to 50 years in prison in connection with a $40 million Ponzi scheme he operated, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr. also ordered the defendant to serve three years under court supervision following his prison term and to pay $35,331,632 in restitution.
http://jlne.ws/KKS6kT

MarketsWiki

MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Joseph A. Walker
http://jlne.ws/MveJeJ

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MarketsWiki Recent Updates

People
Steffen Köhler; Joseph A. Walker

Companies, Organizations and Groups
European Energy Exchange AG; NYSE Euronext; North American Derivatives Exchange (Nadex)

Miscellaneous
Clearing house; Sponsor Page

Statistics
24,056,594 pages viewed, 6,871 articles, 141,267 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

Some frayed nerves as USDA grains data goes ‘live’
By Sam Nelson – Reuters
Some CBOT grain traders suffered frayed nerves on Thursday as they got their first taste of trading without a two-hour cushion between the release of price-sensitive U.S. government data and markets being open under the new 21-hour trading cycle.
http://jlne.ws/JxEI3l

Big European funds dump euro assets
By David Oakley and Alice Ross in London – Financial Times
Some of Europe’s biggest fund managers have confirmed they are dumping euro assets amid rising fears over a possible Greek exit from the eurozone and single currency turmoil.
http://jlne.ws/JxEIjG

CFTC’s Gensler on JP Morgan: Firms Have ‘Right To Make A Bad Decision -CNBC
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
Companies have the “right to make a bad decision,” Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler told CNBC on Thursday when asked for his response to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s (JPM) recent $2 billion trading loss.
http://jlne.ws/JxEKrP

JP Morgan Had $101.3 Billion One-Sided Exposure, Fed Data Show
By Katy Burne Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) sold $101.3 billion more long-dated derivatives insuring against defaults by investment-grade companies as of March 31 than it had bought back, according to quarterly data from the Federal Reserve. The amount of insurance-like credit-default swaps the bank sold was double its $50.2 billion net position at the end of December and more than four times its $23.6 billion net position as of Sept. 30, 2011.
http://jlne.ws/JxEKrU

Morgan Stanley adjusting some Facebook trades
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Morgan Stanley will adjust thousands of trades to ensure outstanding limit orders to sell will be filled at no more than $42.99 a share for Facebook stock from last Friday’s botched initial public offering, the firm told its brokers on Thursday, according to several who listened to the call.
http://jlne.ws/JxEIA8

Critics Say Dimon Should Quit The New York Fed
Forbes
In the wake of the $2 billion-plus trading loss at , revealed earlier this month, a debate has been heating up about whether JPMorgan’s chief, James Dimon, should step down from the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. Today, one of Dimon’s critics, former Monetary Fund chief Simon Johnson, started a petition on Change.org, calling for …
http://jlne.ws/JxENnq

Bankers Belong On Fed Boards: KC Fed Chief
FOX Business
Bankers should be allowed to serve on the board of directors of the dozen Federal Reserve district banks because they provide critical in-depth information about current economic conditions, said Esther George, the president of the Kansas City Fed, on Thursday.
http://jlne.ws/JxENnt

Bankia to request more state aid
By Miles Johnson in Madrid – Financial Times
Shares in Bankia were suspended on Friday morning before a board meeting at the part-nationalised bank to finalise the amount it will request in aid from the Spanish government.
http://jlne.ws/JxEIAb

EU running out of time as Greece nears the exit
Associated Press via Yahoo! News
European leaders insist they want to keep Greece in the eurozone, but are putting off any agreement on how they hope to accomplish that. Greece says it, too, wants to stay in the eurozone, but until after elections it’s uncertain whether it can implement the austerity that Europe has set as a condition for doing so.
http://jlne.ws/JxEKs1

Beware hidden costs as banks eye ‘Grexit’
By Gillian Tett – Financial Times
Earlier this month, I asked the leaders of a group of US-based companies what – if anything – they were doing to prepare for “Grexit”, or a possible exit of Greece from the eurozone. The responses from the manufacturers were rather vague.
http://jlne.ws/JxEKs2

David Malpass: Greece’s False Austerity
BY DAVID MALPASS – WSJ
Currency traders are cheering for Greece to exit the euro. That would create currency volatility and, if other countries exit, mega-profits for traders. The cost would be much lower living standards and even bigger government—including the power to print money—for those exiting the euro.
http://jlne.ws/JxEKIi

In Spain, Bank Transfers Reflect Broader Fears
By LANDON THOMAS Jr. and RAPHAEL MINDER – NY Times
Angel de la Pena, a Spanish government worker, is seriously considering the once unthinkable: converting some of his savings from euros to British pounds.
http://jlne.ws/JxEKIp

SEC unlikely to file charges in Lehman case: memo
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
The staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has concluded its investigation into Lehman Brothers Holdings and will not likely recommend charges, according to the excerpt of a memo sent to Reuters.
http://jlne.ws/JxEKIv

Regulatory

CFTC Staff to Host a Public Roundtable to Discuss the Proposed Volcker Rule
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that staff will hold a public roundtable on Thursday, May 31, 2012, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., to discuss the proposed regulations to implement Section 619 (commonly known as the Volcker Rule) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
http://jlne.ws/JxEIAn

Esma sets timetable for derivatives rules
By Philip Stafford – Financial Times
Brokers, exchanges, pension funds and clearing houses face a two-month deadline to offer their views on detailed proposals to toughen supervision of the derivatives market as European regulators race to meet a year-end deadline.
http://jlne.ws/JxEIAq

John Bates: The Rat Race to Regulate High Frequency Trading
The Huffington Post
While it is true that HFTs have a vested interest in keeping market abuse to a minimum, it is not yet clear that their liquidity has been healthy enough to withstand the pressure of incoming regulations.
http://jlne.ws/JxEIQI

European Financial Integration In Times Of Crisis – Speech By Peter Praet, Member Of The Executive Board Of The European Central Bank, At The ICMA Annual General Meeting And Conference 2012, Milan, 25 May 2012
http://jlne.ws/JxEIQN

ESMA Announces Vacancies For Two TA And One CA Posts
http://jlne.ws/JxEKYM

ESMA Finds High Level Of Consistency In EU National Regulators’ Practices For The Approval Of Investment Prospectuses
http://jlne.ws/JxEIQS

New appointment at the Autorité des marchés financiers
Julien RUDERMAN has been appointed Deputy Head of Division of the European and International Affairs Division, part of the Regulatory Policy and International Affairs Directorate, on the 3rd of May 2012.
http://jlne.ws/JxEIQT

FMA presents 2011 Annual Report23.05.2012
Supervisory activities further stepped up – gradual implementation of lessons learned from the financial crisis
http://jlne.ws/JxEKYZ

Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority – Finansinspektionen – Market Risks Management
http://jlne.ws/JxEKZ3

Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority – Finansinspektionen – Supervision Report 2012
http://jlne.ws/JxELfk

[ASIC] Get a sneak peek of the new national business names service
http://jlne.ws/JxEJ7r

ASIC welcomes remote community fee-free ATM transactions
http://jlne.ws/JxEJnH

BCSC publishes proposed recognition orders regarding Maple Group application
http://jlne.ws/JxELfr

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

China sharpens LME’s focus on Hong Kong exchange
By Susan Thomas and Melanie Burton – Reuters
A fast track into China could be the deciding factor in the race to win backing from shareholders in the London Metal Exchange, making Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing’s bid enticing.
http://jlne.ws/JxEJnM

Deutsche Börse expands its European network
Deutsche Börse continues to expand its high-performance network. The company announced today that it will set up an additional access point to its global trading network in the Equinix ZH4 data centre in Zurich. This access should be ready for use in the third quarter. SIX Swiss Exchange already uses the Zurich data centre operated by Equinix as a co-location centre for its customers.
http://jlne.ws/JxELfx

NYSE Euronext to Acquire Corpedia Corporation
NYSE Euronext (NYX) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Corpedia Corporation (Corpedia), a leading global provider of ethics and compliance e-learning and consultative services.
http://jlne.ws/JxELvQ

CME Group Inc. Declares Quarterly Dividend
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today declared a second-quarter dividend of $2.23 per share, payable June 25, 2012, to shareholders of record June 8, 2012.
http://jlne.ws/JxEJEi

IntercontinentalExchange Announces Record Brent Crude Option Volume  
IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global regulated futures exchanges, clearing houses and over-the-counter (OTC) markets, reported record daily volume in ICE Brent Crude options of 78,508 contracts on May 24, 2012. The previous daily volume record was 63,494 on May 2, 2012.
http://jlne.ws/KfRS7J

Major US Shares Start Trading On Chile’s Main Stock Exchange
Dow Jones
Chilean investors will now be able to locally trade some of the heaviest weighted and most reknowned U.S. shares as 16 U.S. companies started trading on the Santiago Stock Exchange Thursday.
http://jlne.ws/JxELMv

TMX Group CEO Addresses the Canadian Venture Capital Association Annual Conference
http://jlne.ws/JxEJEp

[CBOE] Continuation of CFLEX 2.0 Rollout
http://jlne.ws/JxEJEs

[CBOE] Price Protection Level Updates and Order Price Reasonability Checks For Options on Facebook Inc. (FB)
http://jlne.ws/JR378m

NASDAQ Announces End-of-Month Open Short Interest Positions in NASDAQ Stocks as of Settlement Date May 15, 2012
http://jlne.ws/JxEJUM

Program Trading Averaged 30.3 Percent of NYSE Volume during May 14-18
http://jlne.ws/JxEM2S

NYSE Group Inc. Issues Short Interest Report
http://jlne.ws/JxEJUW

NYSE MKT Issues Short Interest Report
http://jlne.ws/JxEM35

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority Releases KiwiSaver Performance Fees Guidance Note
http://jlne.ws/JxEMjm

Cyprus Stock Exchange Monthly Bulletin – April 2012
http://jlne.ws/JxEMjp

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Junk-Bond Funds See $2.46Bln Outflow, Fourth-Largest In Lipper Records
By Katy Burne Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
High-yield mutual funds and exchange-traded funds saw a net outflow of $2.46 billion in the week ended Wednesday, according to Thomson Reuters-owned Lipper, the fourth-largest outflow from junk bond funds since the data provider’s records began in 1992 and the biggest withdrawal since early August.
http://jlne.ws/JxEMjs

Recent Junk-Bond ETF Outflows Were Offset By Shorts -UBS
By Katy Burne Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
Last week’s net $917 million outflow from junk-bond dedicated exchange-traded funds–their second weekly outflow this year–would have been bigger if not for traders who bet against the ETFs and had to cover their short positions, according to strategists at UBS.
http://jlne.ws/JxEMjy

[Video] Bloomberg Link Panel on Alternative Investments
Bloomberg
Olwyn Alexander, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Louis Gargour, chief investment officer and founding partner of LNG Capital LLP, and John Hydeskov, chief analyst at Danske Bank A/S, discuss the alternative investment environment in Ireland.
http://jlne.ws/JxEKbw

Hedge Fund Got Most South Carolina Fees While Lagging on Returns
Bloomberg
Mariner Investment Group LLC, a hedge fund founded by a former Bear Stearns Cos. fixed-income executive, charged South Carolina’s pension fund more than any other manager while delivering returns that trailed competitors.
http://jlne.ws/JxEMjC

Goldman Said to Plan Private REIT to Invest in Japan Properties
Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) plans to start a private real estate investment trust with as much as 50 billion yen ($628 million) that will invest in Japan ‘s property market, two people familiar with the situation said.
http://jlne.ws/JxEN6X

May Hedge Funds Performance Update: Red Is Bad
Zero Hedge
And it was shaping up to be such a good year. According to the latest just released HSBC hedge fund performance update, increasingly more funds are starting to lose it, certainly for the month, but increasingly more for the year.
http://jlne.ws/JxEN74

New Book Reveals The Cool Childhood Of Hedge Fund God David Tepper
Business Insider
CNBC’s Hedge Fund Specialist/ “Squawk Box” producer Maneet Ahuja’s book “The Alpha Masters” comes out at the end of this month and it’s definitely a must-read.
http://jlne.ws/JxEN75

Banks & Brokers

Moody’s downgrades Nordic banks
By Michael Stothard in Stockholm – Financial Times
Some of the largest and best capitalised banks in the Nordic region have been downgraded by Moody’s in a stark warning on how contagion from the eurozone crisis may affect even those areas perceived to be safe havens.
http://jlne.ws/JxEN78

JPMorgan Gave Risk Oversight to Museum Head Who Sat on AIG Board
Bloomberg
The three directors who oversee risk at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) include a museum head who sat on American International Group Inc.’s governance committee in 2008, the grandson of a billionaire and the chief executive officer of a company that makes flight controls and work boots.
http://jlne.ws/JxENnu

JP Morgan Private Bank’s Watered-Down Fiduciary Standard of Care
Edward Siedle – Forbes
Conventional wisdom is that there are two types of financial advisers – securities brokers and investment advisors – and that each is held to a different standard of care. Most investors consider the advice they receive from brokers and investment advisers to be similar, but according to experts there is a key difference between the standards applicable to each. Pick an adviser subject to the …
http://jlne.ws/JxENnx

DealBook: Citigroup Wins Fed Auction for Maiden Lane Bonds
New York Times
On Thursday, the Federal Reserve Board of New York announced that Citigroup had won an auction for $1.6 billion of assets, beating out six other financial firms for the bonds.
http://jlne.ws/JxENny

Goldman Sachs enjoys relatively calm shareholder meeting
New York Post
For once, the spotlight wasn’t on Goldman Sachs. The bank that Wall Street critics love to hate enjoyed a relatively calm shareholder meeting Thursday while two of its peers, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase, grappled with public-relations nightmares.
http://jlne.ws/JBFpgM

Citigroup Completes Sale Of 10.1% Equity Interest In Akbank
Dow Jones
Citigroup Inc. (C) said Friday it sold 404 million common shares in Turkish lender Akbank TAS, representing a 10.1% stake, for 5.24 Turkish lira per share.
http://jlne.ws/JxEMQo

UBS Sued in New York Over $331 Million in Losses on CDOs
Bloomberg
UBS AG (UBS) , Switzerland’s biggest bank, was sued for fraud in New York , accused of misleading investors in a group of collateralized debt obligations.
http://jlne.ws/JxEMQp

BGC Partners Files Historical Consolidated Financial Statements of Grubb & Ellis
http://jlne.ws/JxEMQq

Clearing & Settlement

DTCC Joins The 100,000 Jobs Mission In Pledge To Increase Hiring Of Veterans
http://jlne.ws/JxENnF

CME Group Clearing Advisory
REVISED HOLIDAY CLEARING SCHEDULE – MEMORIAL DAY, MAY 28, 2012
http://jlne.ws/Lo13yZ

CME Clearing – Performance Bonds / Margins
Performance Bond Requirements: Agriculture, Coal, Crude Oil, Ethanol, Freight, Metals, NGLs, and Refined Products Outrights – Effective Tuesday, May 29, 2012
http://jlne.ws/JxEPM4

Indexes & Products

Safe-Haven Currency ETFs Shine in Euro Crisis
ETF Trends via Yahoo! Finance
Currency exchange traded funds pegged to perceived safe havens such as the U.S. dollar and Japanese yen have rallied on fears Greece will leave the euro.
http://jlne.ws/JxEPM7

AdvisorShares Partners with Cousteau on Sustainable ETF
ETF Trends via Yahoo! Finance
AdvisorShares has partnered with environmental advocate Philippe Cousteau, Jr. to launch an actively managed exchange traded fund that focuses on sustainable investment themes, with a philanthropic objective.
http://jlne.ws/JxENE6

Now You Can Trade Black Sea Wheat
After Russia’s ruinous 2010 drought, Leo Melamed read a newspaper story that quoted Vladimir Putin saying he wished there had been a way to insure the wheat harvest. http://jlne.ws/MAxqgU

El Ezz Aldekhela Steel-Alexandria To Join Dow Jones EGX Egypt Titans 20 Index
http://jlne.ws/JxENEf

Viacom Inc. To Join The NASDAQ-100 Index Beginning May 30, 2012
http://jlne.ws/JxEPMj

STOXX Launches ESG Leaders Blue-Chip Indices And Becomes UNPRI Signatory
http://jlne.ws/JxEQ2G

ETF Fund Flows: GLD Adds $135.3 Million
http://jlne.ws/JxEQ2J

UBS Debuts Two Monthly Leveraged Dividend ETNs
http://jlne.ws/JxENUD

Technology

NYSE Euronext Opens U.S. Liquidity Center to Third-Party Service Providers
NYSE Euronext (NYX) today announced that its U.S. Liquidity Center in Mahwah, New Jersey has enhanced its data center community, managed by NYSE Technologies, by revising a number of policies aimed at reducing customer costs, increasing platform flexibility and broadening access to the facility. For the first time, the financial services vendor community now has the opportunity to acquire data center space and offer their services within NYSE Technologies’ state-of-the-art liquidity center.
http://jlne.ws/JxENUH

Enforcement

CFTC Charges Chicago-based Trader Bradley Schiller with $7.8 Million Commodity Fraud
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, charging Bradley Scott Schiller of Chicago, Ill., with solicitation fraud, misappropriating investors’ funds, and issuing false statements in connection with soliciting at least $7.8 million from at least six investors to trade commodity futures contracts in managed accounts.
http://jlne.ws/KlpuzF

SEC Charges Northern California Fund Manager in $60 Million Scheme
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged an investment adviser in Scotts Valley, Calif., with running a $60 million investment fund like a Ponzi scheme and defrauding investors by touting imaginary trading profits instead of reporting the actual trading losses he incurred.
http://jlne.ws/JxEOb0

SEC Bars Former Staffer From Practice Before The Commission
http://jlne.ws/JxEOb5

SEC suspends trading of 7 non-compliant companies
By Melodie Warner – Market Watch
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission temporarily suspended trading of Indocan Resources Inc. IDCN -50.00% because of questions concerning the adequacy of the company’s publicly available information.
http://jlne.ws/JxEOb6

Ex-Lloyds security chief accused of fraud
By Caroline Binham, Legal Correspondent – Financial Times
The former head of fraud and security for digital banking at Lloyds Banking Group, which is 40 per cent-owned by the taxpayer, faces a criminal charge for allegedly claiming nearly 2.5m in expenses dishonestly.
http://jlne.ws/JxEObe

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority Welcomes Belgrave Finance Guilty Plea
http://jlne.ws/JxEQjl

Bursa Malaysia Reprimands, Fines And Orders To Strike Off Zackery Bin Aziz For Unlawful And Unethical Conduct
http://jlne.ws/JxEOry

Environmental & Energy

UN’s Ban Sees Industry Advancing Climate Treaty in Rio
Bloomberg
The United Nations will pursue partnerships with global industry leaders to help drive climate change negotiations in Rio de Janeiro next month as governments struggle to find common ground, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said.
http://jlne.ws/K1IWTC

Bonn Talks Disappoint On Land-Based Offsets
Matt Leggett of Global Canopy Group on Ecosystem Marketplace
Progress at the Bonn UNFCCC Climate Conference has been frustratingly slow. One of the key goals for the conference was to lay the foundations for scaling up the finance needed for REDD+, and to secure short term additional finance commitments to support this transition in advance of COP18 in Doha. However, as the conference draws to a close, Parties are still struggling to agree on whether sources of private finance (e.g. market based approaches) can, or should, be used to supplement flows of public finance (e.g. non-market based approaches) to support REDD+ activities. While most interventions from Parties have supported pursuing a combination of market and non-market based approaches to fund REDD+, key parties such as India, Bolivia and others continue to disagree. Their argument is that any reliance on funds from markets (with most Parties equating this to carbon offset markets), will provide insecure and insufficient flows of funding for REDD+ between now and 2020.
http://jlne.ws/JqOuHM

Asia-Pacific

Asia Stocks to Watch: Tokyo Stock Exchange plans to woo global investors
Market Watch
The Tokyo Stock Exchange plans to tout the attractiveness of Japanese companies to overseas investors as part of efforts to increase its trading volumes, Managing Director Hironaga Miyama says.
http://jlne.ws/JxEOrC

SGX and UOB Bullion and Futures set up new Professional Traders Development Centre
Singapore Exchange (SGX) and UOB Bullion and Futures Limited (UOBBF) today announced that they are setting up a new Professional Traders Development Centre to grow and strengthen Singapore’s talent pool of professional futures traders.
http://jlne.ws/KDdvu4

Analysis: China’s new privatization plan faces push-back risk
Reuters via Yahoo! News
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s new push to open state controlled industries may look bold after a decade of stuttering privatization progress, but Beijing faces stiff resistance from vested interests in its effort to extend its World Trade Organisation dividend.
http://jlne.ws/JxEOrI

Tokyo Grain Exchange: SPAN Parameters Effective From June 1, 2012 To June 15, 2012
http://jlne.ws/JxEOrN

Tokyo Grain Exchange: Revised SPAN Parameters For Rice Futures
http://jlne.ws/JxEQQg

Tokyo Grain Exchange: First Rice Agreed Early Delivery For The June 2012 Contract Month Concluded
http://jlne.ws/JxEOI4

Osaka Securities Exchange: Price Limits For Futures And Options Trading From June 1, 2012 To August 31, 2012
http://jlne.ws/JxEOI6

Hong Kong’s Securities And Futures Commission: Court Fixes Pre-Trial Review Date Of Market Manipulation Case
http://jlne.ws/JxEOIe

Frontier Markets

Asia private equity funds line up dollars for Myanmar
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
Hong Kong’s Cube Capital and Marc Faber-backed Leopard Capital are among Asian private equity firms lining up nearly $500 million aimed at Myanmar, hoping to tap into its rich natural resources and fill its infrastructure void, as sanctions on the former pariah state are lifted.
http://jlne.ws/JxER6M

India Ink: India’s Faltering Economy Could Get Worse
New York Times
A bearish economist’s plea to Sonia Gandhi to allow economic reforms.
http://jlne.ws/JxER6P

In the Persian Gulf, Struggling to Adapt as Deals Dry Up
By SARA HAMDAN and STANLEY REED – NY Times
As a new wave of austerity has left many financial firms around the world struggling, their counterparts in the Persian Gulf region have too been forced to hunker down.
http://jlne.ws/JxER6W

What It Takes To Win In Emerging Markets
Forbes
Companies racing to capture their share of emerging markets’ booming growth find something unexpected: Along with unprecedented expansion, these markets are undergoing rapid changes that make the opportunities trickier to pursue.
http://jlne.ws/JxERnd

A Good Place To Gobble Up Some Retail Stocks? Turkey.
Forbes
Among young people, Turkey’s unemployment rate is considerably lower than many countries in Europe, including Spain, Greece, Ireland and Italy. Germany is the only country with a lower unemployment rate than Turkey. This low rate translates to a vibrant, young workforce with rising wealth.
http://jlne.ws/JxERnl

MCX Weekly Market Report: May 18, 2012 – May 24, 2012
http://jlne.ws/JxEOYN

Updated List Of Shariah-Compliant Securities By Securities Commission Malaysia’s Shariah Advisory Council
http://jlne.ws/JxEPf2

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