John Lothian Newsletter: Happy Flash Crash; Nasdaq to Launch New Stock-Options Trading Venue; Bids for the London Metal Exchange Due Monday

May 7, 2012

The flash crash was two years ago; high-frequency trading since then has bred high-frequency analysis over unsupervised algorithmic trading, but less consensus or operational changes. Nasdaq is going to launch a new options platform, too! Concern is growing that since the number of people trading options isn’t increasing exponentially, adding lots of new options venues will do little other than fragment the existing order pool. And if anyone else wants to bid for LME, today is the day to get them in.

Observations – Statistics – Commentary

Debut of new exchanges could hurt options industry
With nine exchanges already battling for a piece of the U.S. options market, as many as three new competitors this year may entry the market this year. The new entrants face the challenge of offering innovation and better ways of managing option order flow, amid a decline in U.S. options volumes, driven by subdued volatility. Volume is down nearly 8 percent this year.

**** The more is not the merrier?


Stock Trading Is Still Falling After ’08 Crisis
Even though American stocks have doubled in price in the last three years, investors and traders large and small keep giving the market the cold shoulder.

***** Like real estate prices, exchange traded volumes can go down. You would not know this from recent history, but it it true. And they can trend this way for an extended period of time. The much needed regulatory overhaul after the financial crisis of 2007-08 continues to hang over the markets, leading to uncertainty about new investments and businesses. Low interest rates, a key factor in every stock or commodity, continues to stifle volatility. The impact of MF Global and the security of customer funds should not be underplayed. The wealth effect, which was helped by decades of rising housing prices and financial innovation allowing people to tap into this wealth, has been reversed as housing prices continue to sag and banks are much tighter with credit than pre-crisis. The financial crisis does not end until the problems in housing prices end.


Quick View: Retreat to move forward
By Telis Demos – Financial Times
Industry lobbies are usually understood to be in the business of celebrating the growth of their activity. But a common theme at the just-ended annual meeting of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association in Chicago was the industry’s slimmer profile.

**** See our video interview with ISDA’s Robert Pickel. The link is below and it is on the front page of MarketsWiki.


Rebates to Brokers Are Seen As a Conflict of Interest
New York Times
The so-called rebates that stock exchanges pay Wall Street firms could give those firms an incentive to profit at the expense of investors, experts find.

**** I am shocked!!


Two Years After The Flash Crash, Are Markets Any Safer?
Twenty-four months later, opinions are split on whether letting machines drive market volume is a good thing, or setting us up for another blowup.


Customer Divide at MF Global
In the fight to get their missing money back, not all customers at MF Global Holdings Ltd. were created equal. Andrew McCormick, a commodity-fund manager in Seattle, had about $480,000 at MF Global when the firm collapsed in October. Half of his money was invested in the U.S., and the other half went into non-U.S. investments.

“Instead of hunting for new clients, he spends more time trying to get his money back and making sure other brokerage firms are safe to deal with.”

**** How is that for an industry growth driver? Much of the industry is doing just that same thing.


Understanding the King’s Speech
Mervyn King chose an odd way to open his first radio lecture: He reminded listeners that the last governor of the Bank of England to address the nation in this way was Montagu Norman in 1939. It was an illuminating reference.


Norway state fund sells eurozone debt
By Richard Milne in Oslo – Financial Times
Norway’s oil sovereign wealth fund has sold all its holdings of Irish and Portuguese government debt and reduced its ownership of Spanish and Italian bonds as part of a continuing protest over its forced participation in Greece’s debt restructuring.

***JM: If you’re holding a rope, and somebody tied the other end to a rock and threw it overboard, wouldn’t YOU let go?


U.S. Fiscal Cliff
Clarke Camper – Inside the Beltway
The buzz over the impending fiscal cliff the U.S. is heading towards at the end of this year continues to grow louder inside the Beltway. In today’s Washington Post, Pimco’s Mohamed El-Erian warns that the coming combination of spending cuts mandated by the 2011 debt ceiling compromise and the expiration of income, payroll and capital gains tax cuts would “derail the U.S. recovery and undermine the well-being of the global economy.”


Robert Pickel

Robert Pickel of ISDA Discusses Dodd-Frank & the Global Picture for OTC Derivatives
Robert Pickel, CEO of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), sat down with John Lothian News Editor-in-Chief Jim Kharouf to talk about regulatory reforms, swap rules recently passed by the CFTC, the cost of regulation and the global picture for OTC derivatives.

Watch the video >


Why College Football Should Be Banned
The average student gets nothing from football programs that remain sacrosanct despite tuition increases. In more than 20 years I’ve spent studying the issue, I have yet to hear a convincing argument that college football has anything do with what is presumably the primary purpose of higher education: academics. That’s because college football has no academic purpose. Which is why it needs to be banned. A radical solution, yes. But necessary in today’s times.

**** Get ready to hear this debate more.


Executive profile: Holly Duran
Understanding all angles of a commercial real estate deal gives Holly Duran an edge, keeps clients loyal

**** CME Group Real Estate advisor Holly Duran gets some press.


Webinar: ICE U.S. Grains Product Overview and Grains Forecast
Tuesday, May 8, 2:00 PM CT/3:00 PM ET

Join Ray McKenzie, VP at ICE Futures U.S., for an overview of the new contracts and a discussion of the benefits of trading in the ICE Futures U.S. trading environment offering a matching engine with sub-millisecond transaction times. After the product overview, well-respected ag analysts Dan Basse and William Tierney of the AgResource Company present a grain market forecast in advance of the important May 10 USDA supply and demand report.

A Q+A session follows the program.

Register at


MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Edward J. Joyce


MarketsWiki Recent Updates

Edward J. Joyce; John Edge; Dirk Forrister; Henry Derwent

Companies, Organizations and Groups
International Emissions Trading Association; Calypso Technology; Miami International Holdings, Inc.

Upcoming Events

23,014,910 pages viewed, 6,846 articles, 139,759 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

Happy Flash Crash
By JIM MCTAGUE | Barrons
Investors with IRA and 401(k) retirement accounts who held onto equities in 2007-2008, when panic in the markets erased about 26% of their accounts’ values, have profited from a rebound that began in March 2009. Gene Sperling, director of President Obama’s National Economic Council, says that assets in the retirement accounts of individual Americans are now at a record $17.9 trillion, about 3.3% higher than they were in 2007, when the credit markets froze, sending the economy into a dive. Investors who added to their stock holdings during those bleak days have enjoyed higher returns.

Nasdaq to Launch New Stock-Options Trading Venue
By Kaitlyn Kiernan – Dow Jones
Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. will launch a new stock-options trading venue that aims to capture more business from individual investors, the company was set to announce Friday. The new exchange, expected to launch in June pending approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission, will be known as Nasdaq OMX BX Options.

Bids for the London Metal Exchange Due Monday
New York Times
Bidders have until Monday to make an offer, but the member firms that own the exchange could face increases in trading fees if the exchange is sold and may band together to block a proposed deal.

Confusion Still Reigns on ‘Volcker Rule’ Date
The Federal Reserve’s attempt to clarify the “Volcker rule” is only creating more confusion. At issue is whether the Fed is requiring banks to start scaling back on making bets with their own money almost immediately, or whether they can continue until the ban on such activities goes into effect in two years.

SEC Extends Review Of NYSE Retail Trading Proposal By 60 Days
U.S. stock-market regulators will take another two months to review a proposal by NYSE Euronext (NYX) that would allow the exchange group a new way to compete for retail investors’ trading business.

Mounting Remuneration ‘No’ Votes Keep Europe Financial AGMs In Focus
Dow Jones
Executives at several European banks and insurers will be watching anxiously for signs of investor discontent at upcoming annual meetings, as a wave of “no” votes on pay gathers momentum in the financial services sector.

Euro tumbles as Greek vote threatens austerity
Reuters via Yahoo! News
The euro fell heavily across the board on Monday after Greek and French elections cast doubt on politicians’ commitment to austerity plans aimed at tackling the euro zone debt crisis.

The only solution to the eurozone crisis
By Wolfgang Münchau – Financial Times
It is easy to solve the eurozone crisis on a piece of paper. I have done it many times. It is also easy to invent new institutions: a fiscal union, a treasury secretary, a common sovereign bond and a banking union. I would welcome most of these. But we must subject these discussions to a reality check. While these institutions will emerge from this crisis, none of them can solve it. That will have to be the job of the existing institutions.

Risk assets shunned after eurozone votes
By Neil Dennis in London – Financial Times
Monday 13.00 BST. The euro fell and banks came under pressure on equity markets after France elected a new president and support for pro-Europe parties in Greece collapsed.

Spain May Pump Public Funds into Banks
Spain may pump public funds into its banking system to revive lending and its recessionary economy, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Monday, signalling a policy U-turn.

Environmental Trading News

Carbon Market Lobbyist Criticizes ‘Whopping Falsehoods’
The carbon market has been damaged by three “whopping falsehoods” that slowed its growth and caused European lawmakers to question their belief in the system, said the retiring head of a carbon market lobby group.

**RKB — In this must-read Bloomberg piece, Henry Derwent, who weathered some of the steepest carbon market highs and lows, has a few words of advice for the industry and incoming IETA president Dirk Forrister, former U.S. White House official and carbon fund manager. Best of luck, Henry, in your next endeavors. Henry easily earned the quote spotlight above. Perhaps only an outgoing lobbyist has the liberty to really tell it like it is, but here, summed up, the three “whopping falsehoods” that aggravate this climate market champion: 1. Climate science is exaggerated and unimportant. 2. Nations shouldn’t protect the climate because others aren’t. 3. Markets are not the best solution.

EU green power needs market access to thrive – draft
Free access to emerging renewable energy markets such as Brazil, China and India will be a major factor in helping the European Union maintain its lead in green energy, according to draft documents seen by Reuters.

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

CME: Eyes Global Futures, Options Market Dominated By 3 Firms In 10 Years
Alex MacDonald – Dow Jones Newswires
In ten years there will be three major futures and options exchange groups around the world, each dominating one of three key geographic regions: North America, Europe, and Asia, an executive of U.S.-based CME Group Inc. (CME) said Friday.

LME bid would test Hong Kong Exchanges Li’s M&A mettle
Monday promises to be a big day for Charles Li. The 50-year-old former journalist and investment banker is likely to report lower quarterly earnings at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEx), where he is CEO, and faces a deadline to bid for the world’s largest commodities exchange.

LME Wants Warehouses in China as Asia Growth Lifts Demand
The London Metal Exchange expects to receive multiple takeover offers when a deadline closes on May 7, and shareholders may assess the bids on price as well as the advantages a potential buyer may bring, the chief executive said.

Nasdaq OMX wins NZ exchange deal
By Philip Stafford – Financial Times
Nasdaq OMX, the transatlantic exchanges operator, has added to a string of recent technology contract wins with a deal to provide the trading platform for the New Zealand Stock Exchange.

Trading isn’t NYSE
New York Post
The New York Stock Exchange is on life support as profits get creamed by plummeting trading volume – exactly two years after the electronic Flash Crash sent the storied mart into a near-death spiral. Trading executives fear the clock is finally ticking for the city’s most famous financial landmark – the…

LSE Monthly Market Report – April 2012
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE.L) sits at the heart of the world’s financial community, offering international business unrivalled access to Europe’s capital markets. In April a total of 31.1 million trades were carried out across the Group’s electronic equity order books, an increase of 42 per cent on April 2011. They had a combined value of £154.3 billion (E187.7 billion), down 4 per cent on April 2011 (£161.1 billion).

CME Group Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer to Present at UBS Global Financial Services Conference May 8
CME Group announced today that Chief Executive Officer Phupinder Gill and Chief Financial Officer Jamie Parisi will present at the UBS Global Financial Services Conference, to be held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City on Tuesday, May 8, at 2:20 p.m. (Eastern Time).

The NYSE Liffe U.S. mini MSCI Futures Report
This edition includes:
* Customer Q&A with Olivier Chameau, Head of 1 Delta Trading for Europe, Societé Generale
* mini MSCI Open Interest and Volume Update
* March Roll Data
* Focus On: Market Quality
* BIC Trading Passes $1 Billion
* European Market Making Program Launched

NZX: Resignation Of Officer – Caroline Leckie, Head Of Market Supervision

ISE Weekly Listings – May 4, 2012

TOM MTF Statistics Week 18 – 2012


Vienna Stock Exchange: ATX-Watchlist For April 2012

NYSE Amex Weekly Bulletin – 05/04/12

NYSE Arca Weekly Bulletin – 05/04/12

CME Clearing – SPAN Software
PC-SPAN Upgrade

[CBOE] Trader E-News

TMX Group Equity Financing Statistics – April 2012

Athens Exchange Monthly Statistical Bulletin April 2012

Banks, Brokers & Dark Pools

European Banks Stash Their Cash
LONDON—Some of Europe’s biggest banks are increasingly hoarding their cash at central banks, anxious the continent’s crisis could intensify and leave them with bigger problems.

BofA Names Ashok Krishnan Head of Execution Services
By Nandini Sukumar – Bloomberg
Bank of America Corp. (BAC), the second- largest U.S. lender, promoted Ashok Krishnan to lead its execution services business globally, succeeding Roger Anerella who is leaving the firm.

ICAP Reports Total Electronic Broking Volumes On BrokerTec And EBS Platforms Of US$714.2bn For April

Commonwealth Bank Australia Retail Bank Head To Resign
FOX Business
The head of Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA.AU) group retail banking services has resigned to take over as the chief executive of U.K. retail at the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Judge refuses to dismiss case against UBS
A federal judge in Manhattan said he would not dismiss a lawsuit against Swiss bank UBS filed by the federal regulator for two giant U.S. mortgage brokers.

Barclays to offer online U.S. savings accounts: FT
International Business Times
British bank Barclays is moving into the U.S. retail banking market for the first time in decades with the launch of an online savings account, the Financial Times said on Monday.

Deal Professor: Ignoring the Real Money in the Bank of America Lawsuits
New York Times
The focus following Bank of America’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch has been on the lawsuit by shareholders. But another federal securities lawsuit out there is where the real money is.

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.

US ‘flash crash’ measures suffer delays
By Telis Demos in New York – Financial Times
Two years after the “flash crash” on Wall Street, US regulators have still not implemented some of the key measures aimed at preventing further wild swings in stock prices that have harmed market confidence.

UK’s Financial Services Authority:
Martin Wheatley, managing director of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), told an audience last night there are still unresolved issues around how customers are treated across financial services and getting to grips with them is central to rebuilding confidence and trust.

ESMA Publishes Its 2012 Regulatory Work Programme

ESMA Launches A Call For Evidence On Transaction Reporting

Systems Managed Accounts
Clearing Participants are advised that recent amendments to the Rules of both ICE Futures Canada and ICE Clear Canada for Systems Managed Accounts (SMAs) have received non-disapproval from The Manitoba Securities Commission.

Former directors of companies within Dollarforce Group to stand trial

ASIC suspends financial services licence of New South Wales insurance broker

[BCSC] Portfolio manager agrees to pay $90,000 for gross negligence

SIFMA Applauds Progress In S&ED Talks

Investments – Indexes – Managed Futures – Managed Funds

Hedge Funds Bet Wrong Before Biggest Slump in 2012: Commodities
Hedge funds raised bets on higher commodity prices for the first time in six weeks, just before the biggest three-day slump since October as U.S. jobs data fell short of expectations and European manufacturing contracted.

Hedge Funds Fell 1% in April as Global Markets Decline
Hedge funds fell 1 percent in April, tracking stocks worldwide, as renewed concern that the European sovereign-debt crisis would worsen and global economic growth would stall halted an equity-market rally earlier in the year.

OUCH: Paulson’s Big Fund Bludgeoned By Gold
Business Insider
May 5 (Bloomberg) — John Paulson, the billionaire hedge- fund manager seeking to reverse record losses in 2011, lost 6.7 percent last month in one of his largest funds as gold-mining stocks dropped, said two people briefed on the returns.

Berkshire Derivatives Risk to Shrink Under New CEO, Buffett Says
Warren Buffett , who accumulated more than $7 billion of liabilities on equity-index puts, said the risk from derivatives at his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) will decline under the company’s next leaders.

Buffett Is Out of Step
Same old Buffett, different market. Warren Buffett gave the investors at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting on Saturday the identical message he has conveyed for decades: Invest in good businesses at great prices, and the market will take care of itself.

Cattle Futures Rebounding From Mad Cow, ‘Pink Slime’
U.S. cattle futures are starting to rebound from a spate of bad news in the beef industry, including a case of mad-cow disease and controversy over an additive derided as “pink slime.”

Remarks By U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner At The Close Of The Fourth Strategic And Economic Dialogue

NASDAQ OMX Starts Trading In New ETFs From Swedbank Robur

U.S. Treasury Announces Public Offering

Latin America ETF/ETP Industry As At End Of April 2012 – Preliminary Findings

Reports 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.

Asia-Pacific News

Dalian Exchange to start mock options trading – paper
Sources close to the Dalian Commodity Exchange said the bourse will launch an options trading simulation programme for all products from Monday, the China Securities Journal reported.

Silver futures trading to start on Thursday
THE Shanghai Futures Exchange, China’s biggest metals bourse, will offer silver futures from next week after draft contract rules received a positive response from potential investors, according to an executive.

HKEx: Appointment Of Listing Committee Members
The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Exchange), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx), announces the appointment of members to the Listing Committee of the Main Board and Growth Enterprise Market

Asia Pacific (Ex-Japan) ETF/ETP Industry As At End Of April 2012 – Preliminary Findings

Korea Exchange Fee Schedule – Effective From May 2, 2012

Fourth Meeting Of The U.S.-China Strategic And Economic Dialogue – U.S. Fact Sheet – Economic Track

Frontier Markets

DGCX Establishes New Monthly Volumes Record in April 2012
April volumes on the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) registered a 146% growth from the same month in 2011 to reach 559,781 contracts, the highest ever monthly volumes registered by the Exchange. This is the second consecutive month in which DGCX has achieved record-breaking monthly volumes. April volumes represent a value of $22.42 billion.

Conrad de Aenlle’s Funds For Thought: The case for frontier markets
Market Watch
There’s investing for the long term, and then there’s investing as though you won’t need to cash out until the day after forever. A recent report by Citigroup offers ideas for anyone who has a time horizon that’s not quite so long but is nevertheless in no hurry to reap gains.

India to deliberate tax measures as investors fret
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
MUMBAI (Reuters) – Whatever its intentions in cracking down on abuse of tax havens, India has alienated overseas investors with the timing and communication of its measures when it can ill afford to do so.

Morgan Stanley Frontier Emerging Markets Fund, Inc. Announces Intention to Convert to an Open-End Fund

Tehran Stock Exchange Bulletin April 2012

Istanbul Stock Exchange Starts Calculating IPO Index On May 7

Malawi Stock Exchange Weekly Trading Report-4th May, 2012

John Lothian Newsletter

We visit more than 100 websites daily for financial news (Would YOU do that?)

“John Lothian and Company… our industry intelligence.”

Rick Lane

CEO, Trading Technologies

Past JLN Newsletters

How Ken Griffin rebuilt Citadel’s ramparts

How Ken Griffin rebuilt Citadel’s ramparts

First Read $33,626/$300,000 (11.2%) Charlie Carey ++++ Trading Technologies Announces Matching Program to Benefit GoFundMe Campaign for MarketsWiki Education Video Series and John Lothian News As a pioneer of electronic trading, we at Trading Technologies value our...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This Story