John Lothian Newsletter: Restoring Customer Confidence; CFTC proposes swaps position reports; French Transaction Tax Misses Mark as Speculators Find Loopholes

Nov 15, 2012

JLN’s first video in the Restoring Customer Confidence series debuts with Ron Filler, a Professor at New York Law School, who discusses how gross margining could alleviate segregated customer account risk. The CFTC produces a proposal for reporting swaps positions, similar to the way that they currently report futures positions. As France’s new transaction tax takes hold, it appears to be doing an effective job of failing to tax the group for which it was primarily intended.

First Read


Restoring Customer Confidence More ideas»
Regulatory Changes: A Pretty Picture For Gross Margining

Regulatory Changes: A Pretty Picture For Gross Margining

The Dodd-Frank Act has addressed numerous risks in the financial markets. Ron Filler, a Professor at New York Law School, says one provision, called gross margining, could alleviate segregated customer account risk, starting in January 2013.

Watch the video »


About the Restoring Customer Confidence video series
In the aftermath of the MF Global collapse, fraud at Peregrine Financial Group and high profile high-frequency trading shocks, John Lothian News asks – how do you restore customer confidence and bring traders back?

The Restoring Customer Confidence video series answers that question by exploring potential solutions using expert interviews and simple animations.

John Lothian News interviewed more than a dozen professionals in the industry to get their ideas and solutions. As these ideas become practice, or as new concepts are adopted by the industry, we will continue to add them to the site.

Visit the video series page on over the next several weeks for new ideas and solutions.


House Report Says Corzine’s Risky Bets Aided MF Global’s Fall
Congressional investigators on Wednesday took aim at a former colleague, Jon S. Corzine, blaming the onetime senator’s risk-taking at MF Global for accelerating the brokerage firm’s demise.

**** If they took aim, it was with a squirt gun.


Corzine blundered at MF Global, but how?
More than a year after MF Global Holdings Ltd.went bankrupt, investors and the public still want to know why the company used customer money to pay its debts and how more than $2 billion in customer funds remains mostly unaccounted for. A report issued Wednesday by the House Financial Services Committee doesn’t answer those questions.

**** Our next series will be Restoring Confidence in Congress. We like impossible tasks.


Eurex Clearing Launches EurexOTC Clear For Interest Rate Swaps
Eurex Clearing, Europe’s leading clearing house, announced today that EurexOTC Clear for Interest Rate Swaps (IRS) successfully went live on 13 November 2012. The launch was supported by Eurex Clearing’s cooperation banks Barclays, Citigroup Global Markets Ltd., Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan. All ten members have successfully cleared their first transactions via EurexOTC Clear for IRS.

**** The competition gets tougher.


Turquoise Appoints New CEO
Turquoise today announces that Natan Tiefenbrun has been appointed as its new Chief Executive Officer. This follows confirmation that Adrian Farnham will be stepping down from the role as CEO of Turquoise to pursue opportunities outside of London Stock Exchange Group.


Open to abuse
Financial Times
Whether UK wholesale natural gas prices have been manipulated, as was alleged this week, has yet to be established. Notwithstanding, physical energy and commodities markets are so vulnerable that an absence of foul play would be more surprising than its presence.

**** Agreed.


Thomson Reuters Global Equities Monthly Market Share Data Updated To Reflect October 2012 Activity
Trading is fragmenting between exchanges and competing venues. But by how much and which venues? Find out in Thomson Reuters summarised monthly reports.

**** Don’t read this while drinking coffee or while using sharp objects.


Bloomberg set for FX derivatives trading
Philip Stafford and Alice Ross –
Bloomberg is to enable derivatives trading on its foreign exchange trading platform – a move that underscores how sweeping reform of the derivatives industry is reshaping currency trading venues.

***** Enablers are sometimes the problem.


Icap lowers its voice in Spencer’s ‘toughest’ year
Tom Osborn and Michelle Price – Financial News
Traditional voice-broking at Icap now accounts for less than a third of profits at the interdealer broker for the first time in its history.

***** Or the opposite statistic is that electronic trading’s percentage is increasing.


Futures International Bolsters Staff With Addition of Senior Commodity Analyst Terry Reilly
Futures International, a subsidiary of independent interdealer broker OTC Global Holdings (OTCGH), announced today the addition of Terry Reilly as senior commodity analyst. Reilly joins a growing research team at Futures International, the leading on-floor exchange brokerage group in agricultural markets at the CME, and his 12 plus years of experience in institutional agricultural futures further strengthen the company’s ability to meet the needs of its customers. “It’s exciting to join a brokerage that has grown so rapidly in the last year,” said Reilly “I am looking forward to helping build out Futures International’s research component so that we can continue developing a global risk management team and provide additional value added services to our clients.”


Letting Shareholders Know How Their Money Is Spent
The most expensive presidential election in history may be over, and shareholders of public companies are still in the dark about whether and how their money was spent on politics. But the Securities and Exchange Commission is beginning a process that may bring this lack of transparency to an end.


SFOA And FIA Announce 2013 Bürgenstock Global Derivatives Conference In Geneva, Switzerland On September 25-27
The Swiss Futures and Options Association (SFOA) and the Futures Industry Association (FIA) today announced that the 2013 Bürgenstock Global Derivatives Conference will be held at the InterContinental Hotel and Resort in Geneva, Switzerland from Wednesday, September 25 to Friday, September 27.

**** The date and location has been moved. Will that be enough to revive this historic conference?


Philippe Buhannic

TradingScreen CEO Philippe Buhannic on Dodd-Frank and the Futurization of Swaps

Philippe Buhannic, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of TradingScreen has had his feet firmly planted at the executive level in the financial industry for many years now, including in positions as a managing director at Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) and as chairman and CEO of Fimat Futures USA Inc. He recently talked with JLN Managing Editor Christine Nielsen about the current environment and outlook for the industry, including an anticipation for the futurization of swaps, a topic which has garnered a good deal of attention recently as Dodd-Frank regulation starts to take hold and new ways of doing business must be built.

Watch the video »

Paul Cusenza

Nodal Exchange CEO Paul Cusenza Discusses The Grid and How Power Trading is Changing
Nodal Exchange CEO Paul Cusenza spoke with JLN Editor-in-Chief Jim Kharouf about how the power markets are changing, the impact of Dodd-Frank on the industry and the growth potential for Nodal Exchange and the power markets. Nodal Exchange is the first commodities exchange dedicated to offering locational (nodal) futures contracts and related services to participants in the organized North American power markets.

Watch the video »

JLN Options

New NYSE glitch puts pressure on SEC to act
Bruce Love, The Trade
Yet another interruption to trading at a major US exchange Monday has added more impetus to regulators to review market structure rules and assess the viability of continuing self-regulation of bourses. A technical problem with a server was blamed for the halting of trading in 216 companies on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) for most of Monday.

VIX Hits Snooze Button – Again
Steven Russolillo, The Wall Street Journal
The VIX keeps hitting the snooze button. At this rate, there’s no telling when it’s going to wake up. The CBOE’s volatility index is down 2.3% to 16.30 — piling on to yesterday’s 10% drop — amid yet another uninspiring session for the stock market.

***I didn’t know I had so much in common with the VIX.

Fight Club of corrupt analysts cited at insider trial
Basil Katz, Reuters
Two former hedge fund managers reaped a total of $70.8 million (44.6 million pounds) in illegal profits by tapping a “corrupt network” of Wall Street analysts, a U.S. prosecutor said at the start of an insider trading trial on Tuesday.

***You know the drill: “The first rule of insider trading…” –SR


MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Adrian Farnham


Ronald H. Filler; Lisa A. Dunsky; Ryan T. McNally; Adrian Farnham

Companies, Organizations and Groups

CNBC; StockTwits


SFO Magazine


Gross margin; Pro rata allocation; Implied spreads


30,743,852 pages viewed, 7,221 articles, 149,946 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

CFTC proposes swaps position reports
Gregory Meyer and Stephen Foley in New York –
Traders would be able to track the scale of bets in off-exchange interest rate, credit, equity and commodity derivatives under a plan that has been unveiled by regulators. The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission proposes to introduce futures-style position data for previously opaque swaps in the latest sign of how new rules stand to transform the $650tn over-the-counter derivatives markets.

French Transaction Tax Misses Mark as Speculators Find Loopholes
As France begins collecting its financial-transactions tax this month, it is becoming evident that President Francois Hollande’s levy is hitting all but the people it was aimed at: speculators.

Hollande expected to soften bank stance
Reuters via Yahoo! News
France is expected to reject tough rules proposed by Europe to curb the riskier activities of banks, after months of lobbying by the industry. The draft rules to be unveiled next month will focus on banks’ proprietary, high-frequency and algorithmic trading, sparing market-making

Libor Probe Wrangle
U.K. regulatory officials are pushing to ensure that the still-unfolding interest-rate-fixing scandal doesn’t become synonymous with London’s banking industry. Nearly five months after the fierce public reaction to British banking giant Barclays PLC’s settlement of rate-rigging allegations with U.S. and U.K. regulators, several other banks in Europe and the U.S. are negotiating similar settlements.

Industry secures AIFMD changes in UK and Germany
Paul Hodkinson – Financial News
The private equity industry has scored two key victories on how the European Union’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive will be implemented in the UK and Germany.

Eurozone falls back into recession
James Fontanella-Khan in Brussels –
The eurozone fell back into recession in the third quarter after the combined economy of the 17-member bloc contracted for the second consecutive month, dragged down by the Netherlands and peripheral nations.

Canadian regulator rebukes RBS over probe
Kara Scannell in New York and Patrick Jenkins in London –
Canadian regulators investigating a half-dozen global banks in an interest-rate manipulation probe have publicly rebuked Royal Bank of Scotland’s recent statement that it was co-operating with authorities around the world.


CFTC Issues Proposed Swaps Report for Public Comment
Press Release
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today issued, for public comment, a proposed CFTC Swaps Report that, when the proposal is finalized, will give the public a view into the previously dark swaps market.

Chilton Hints More Banks in Libor Crosshairs
Katy Burne – Dow Jones
CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton hints at a New York swaps-industry conference that other banks are likely providing information to regulators because “it probably means they are being investigated.”

Scrap Dodd-Frank cross-border guidance and opt for rule-making approach, CFTC’s O’Malia urges
Automated Trader
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) should ditch the cross-border guidance entirely and use formal rule-making to establish the approach to cross-border application of Dodd-Frank, CFTC Commissioner Scott O’Malia said.

Senators to Fed: Bank capital rule is too complex
Market Watch
A bipartisan group of senators express serious reservations about a global agreement on capital buffers for big banks, arguing that a proposal under consideration is too complex, opaque and can be gamed.

CCP regulations pose challenges for both CCPs and regulators
Given the focus on central counterparty (CCP) clearing in the post-financial crisis world, it is no surprise that clearing houses today face more scrutiny from regulators and central banks than ever before.

Katten Brings on Former CME Group Executive Lisa A. Dunsky
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP announced today that Lisa A. Dunsky, former executive director and associate general counsel at CME Group Inc., has joined the firm as a partner in its Financial Services Practice.

SEC’s Enforcement Program Continues To Show Strong Results In Safeguarding Investors And Markets – Last Two Years Reflect Two Highest Numbers Of Total Actions Brought By SEC
Building on last year’s record results, the Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it filed 734 enforcement actions in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2012, one shy of last year’s record of 735. Most significantly, that number included an increasing number of cases involving highly complex products, transactions, and practices, including those related to the financial crisis, trading platforms and market structure, and insider trading by market professionals. Twenty percent of the actions were filed in investigations designated as National Priority Cases, representing the Division’s most important and complex matters.

CFTC Seeks Public Comment on Request from ICE Clear Europe Limited for Order Permitting Portfolio Margining of Swaps and Security-Based Swaps in a Customer Account
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) is requesting public comment on a petition submitted by ICE Clear Europe Limited (ICE Clear Europe) for an order pursuant to Section 4d(f) of the Commodity Exchange Act (Act).

CFTC’s Office of General Counsel Responds to Questions Regarding Certain Physical Commercial Agreements for the Supply and Consumption of Energy
Today, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Office of General Counsel (OGC) is providing its view, in the form of an answer to frequently asked questions (FAQ), in response to questions from market participants and other interested parties regarding the classification of certain physical commercial agreements for the supply and consumption of energy

SEC releases guidance on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
Business Insurance
The long-awaited guidance on the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to help multinational organizations comply with the law was released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.The 120-page guide, “A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign

“Regulatory Relativity” CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton’s Keynote Address To The 7th Annual OTC Derivatives Operations & Processing Conference, New York, NY

“The Trouble” Statement By CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton Before The Bloomberg FX 12 Summit, New York, NY

Remarks During News Briefing About SEC-DOJ FCPA Guide By Robert Khuzami Director Of The SEC’s Division Of Enforcement U.S. Securities And Exchange Commission

UK’s Financial Services Authority: CPP Fined L10.5 Million For Widespread Mis-Selling And Agrees To Pay Redress

ASIC updates guidance on advertising to expand on credit

ASIC consults on market integrity rules for ASX 24 and FEX markets

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority: Release Of PwC Report Into Ross Asset Management

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Canada’s TMX sees regulation driving any M&A
Reuters via Yahoo! News
TORONTO – TMX Group Ltd will look closely at any regulatory changes that the United States or other jurisdictions put into place as it sizes up acquisitions during and after the exchange industry’s current rough patch, TMX’s chief executive said on Wednesday.

NASDAQ OMX Commodities adds Frankfurt connectivity
NASDAQ OMX is continuing its roll-out of a new connectivity product, NASDAQ OMX Datacenter Extended (NODE), across Europe offering access to our Commodity, Equity, Fixed Income, markets and colocation space in the Nordics.

NSEL Signs A Strategic MoU with Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange, Republic Of Belarus
National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL), India’s largest electronic commodity spot exchange signed an MoU with Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange (BUCE), the largest Commodity Spot Exchange, Republic of Belarus.

[CBOE] Expanded Weekly Program Option Classes

NYSE to Suspend Trading in Overseas Shipholding Group, Inc.

CBOE, C2, CFE, and CBSX Trading Schedule For The Thanksgiving Holiday

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Moore Capital Reports Holdings of $2.4 Billion
Dow Jones
Moore Capital Management, the hedge fund run by financier Louis Bacon, reported holdings valued at $2.4 billion in a regulatory filing Wednesday, 32% more than the value of positions it reported in the prior quarter.

NYSE Bonds Launches NYSE Bondwatch
NYSE Euronext’s fixed income trading platform in the U.S., NYSE Bonds, today announced the launch of NYSE Bondwatch, a web-based tool that provides investors access to transparent, pre-trade pricing data on individual corporate bonds. Bond investors can now freely access this information and use it to help determine the current market for specific corporate bonds.

Renaissance shifts focus to fund management
Sarah Krouse – Financial News
Russian financial group Renaissance has sold its investment banking unit in a move that will make fund management its key focus, the firm said on Wednesday.

GrainCorp Rebuffs $2.8 billion Bid by Archer Daniels
The board of the Australian grain trader GrainCorp on Thursday rejected a takeover bid by the American agricultural business giant Archer Daniels Midland that valued the Sydney-listed firm at 2.7 billion Australian dollars.

AlpInvest bolsters New York office
Jennifer Bollen – Financial News
AlpInvest Partners, the Netherlands-based private equity manager part owned by Carlyle Group, has bolstered its New York office in the latest sign it is growing its business outside Europe after closing its London operation.

TheCityUK: Global Funds Under Management Reach $84 Trillion – Industry Set For Further Growth
Conventional assets under management of the global fund management industry climbed by 5% in the first nine months of 2012 to a record $84.1 trillion, some 13% above the pre-crisis peak. According to the 2012 edition of our

Banks & Brokers

FERC Suspends JPMorgan Unit’s Power-Trading Authority
The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday suspended a JPMorgan Chase & Co. unit’s electrical-trading authority, saying it had filed false information to regulators.

Goldman Sachs Names 70 Partners, Fewest as Public Company
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. named 70 employees to join its so-called partnership, the fewest in the firm’s 13 years as a public company, as sluggish revenue growth pressures expenses.

UPDATE: Barclays Sells $3 Billion of Rare CoCo Bonds in U.S.
Patrick McGee and Katy Burne – Dow Jones
Barclays PLC received strong demand for its debut issue of a rare type of debt instrument: a high-yielding bond that could result in a total loss to bondholders even if the bank remains a going concern. The $3 billion sale, which priced Wednesday at 7.625%, was for a contingent convertible bond that frees up capital for the bank in times of distress. If a certain regulatory threshold is breached, the bank’s liability to bondholders is removed, and the bank receives an injection of equity that boosts its capital levels.

Citi Opens Securities Lending Desk in Dublin
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance
Citi has opened a securities lending trading desk in Dublin as part of its commitment to expand its OpenLend capabilities in key cities and regions around the globe. The Dublin desk will form part of an expanded EMEA securities lending trading team that covers Global Equity lending, Global Fixed Income lending and multi-currency cash reinvestment.

Knight Capital Group Releases October 2012 Volume Statistics
Knight Capital Group, Inc. today released U.S. equity Market Making, Knight Direct equity and Knight Hotspot FX foreign exchange volumesat for the month of October 2012.

Why Nuns, Yes Nuns, Think Citigroup Should Break Up
Since the financial crisis Citigroup has managed to firm up its balance sheet and fence off most of the toxic assets that brought the bank to its knees. Some shareholders want the firm to go further though, and the latest call for a breakup comes from an unlikely source.

Goldman Sachs Announces New Partners
Press Release
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. today announced that it has invited 70 individuals to become Partners of the firm. These appointments recognize some of the firm’s most valued senior professionals and acknowledge their leadership and contribution to the firm’s culture of excellence.

Morgan Stanley Places in Top 10 of America’s 50 Most Community-Minded Companies

Clearing & Settlement

DTCC Statement On Condition Of Securities Vault
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) has begun the initial phase of recovering the contents of its securities vault. Our analysis of the condition of the vault, once we were able to open it, was that significant flooding and water damage occurred throughout the facility.

CME Group Clearing Advisory: NYMEX Options Expiration Operational Procedures for the Trading Floor and Clearing Members (OR) Effective Thursday, November 15, 2012

Indexes & Products

MSCI Equity Indices November 2012 Index Review

MSCI Rolls Out ‘China A 50 Index’


QuantHouse And Cisco Partner To Deliver Ultra Low Latency Asian Network

MillenniumIT Selected By HKEx For Central Gateway


Jury considers Adoboli fate
Richard Partington – Financial News
After 40 days of watching proceedings at the criminal trial of Kweku Adoboli – the former UBS trader accused of losing $2.3bn at the Swiss bank last year – a jury of 11 men and women are now considering their verdict.

CPP fined £10.5 million for widespread mis-selling and agrees to pay redress
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has issued its joint largest retail fine of £10.5 million to Card Protection Plan Limited (CPP) for mis-selling insurance products.

Hong Kong’s Securities And Futures Commission Disciplines And Fines CIC Investor Services $4 Million Over Handling Of Professional Investors And Documentation Of Advice

[ASIC] Former Hogan and Partners stockbroker pleads guilty to charges in Perth

[ASIC] Former Bill Express salesman sentenced

ASIC disqualifies two Melbourne directors from managing corporations

Environmental & Energy

EEX pushes trading in Emissions – No Annual Fee for New Participants – New volume rebates
The European Energy Exchange (EEX) creates further incentives for trading Emission Allowances on its markets. Although companies that wish to trade exclusively on the Spot and Derivatives Markets for Emission Allowances can already join EEX via the “Emissions Only”-Membership, EEX now waives the Annual Fee for 2013 totalling 5,000 Euro per market, for those companies who register for “Emissions Only” on the exchange until 31 December 2012.


Thailand Futures Exchange To Establish Investor Protection Fund
The Thailand Futures Exchange PCL (TFEX), under The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) group, joins hands with 33 brokers members to set up a Derivatives Investor Protection Fund (DIPF), with an initial worth of THB 100 million (approx. USD 3.23 million), aiming at building the confidence of investors, who trade derivatives on the exchange, as they will be protected against member broker bankruptcy or broker inability to return assets or compensate for loss in price of assets to investors.

Thai Bourse Revises Calculation Method Of Final Settlement Price For Stock Futures

Summary Of October 2012 Activities At Tokyo Commodity Exchange – TOCOM October 2012

Dalian Commodity Exchange President And CEO Liu Xingqiang Accepting Media Interview During The 7th CIOC

Frontier Markets

Abu Dhabi asset manager targets Africa
Sarah Krouse – Financial News
The fund manager spun out of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund is launching an African equities fund together with Moroccan bank Attijariwafa, seeking to take advantage of Africa’s “economic emergence”.

Dubai Financial Market Closed On Thursday 15 November 2012 And Will Resume On Sunday 18 November 2012


Pearson CFO says no plans to sell FT, book stake
Reuters via Yahoo! News
BARCELONA – British media group Pearson does not have any plans to sell the Financial Times or a stake in a business being formed from a merger of its Penguin Books unit with Bertelsmann’s Random House.

John Lothian Newsletter

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CEO, Trading Technologies

Past JLN Newsletters

CME to permanently close most trading pits

CME to permanently close most trading pits

First Read $40,626/$300,000 (13.5%) Anonymous ++++ Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff Without fanfare or amplification from its executives, the CME Group shut the books on most -- but not all -- of its floor trading history Tuesday afternoon with the...

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