Permanent measures for CFD bucket shops; Democratic Proposal Would Ban Lawmakers From Any Stock Trading

Dec 7, 2018

Permanent measures for CFD bucket shops; Democratic Proposal Would Ban Lawmakers From Any Stock Trading

Dec 7, 2018

First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

The CME Group raised more than $234K for Movember in support of men’s health. Nice job, hairy people.~JJL

Molly McGregor is now managing director, marketing and communications at Axioma Inc. She recently left Hanweck and was previously at the ISE as well.~[[JJL

If the cost of electricity figures into the breakeven price of bitcoin mining, how do you figure in college students using free electricity in the econometric equation?~JJL

The arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, a move widely viewed as a U.S. attempt to gain another bargaining chip at the trade negotiation table, is the icing on an already bad year for Huawei. (Huawei suppliers are also getting it handed to them in the wake of the arrest.) The year kicked off with Huawei finding out AT&T wouldn’t sell its phones, the U.S. intelligence community recommending not to use Huawei’s devices, and Best Buy announcing it would stop carrying Huawei products. The list goes on. The timing of the arrest just so happens to coincide with the kick off this week of China’s National Science and Technology Leading Small Group which is tasked with developing the country’s long term technology strategy.~SD

The Security Traders Association of Chicago’s 93rd Annual Mid-Winter Meeting is January 16-18. SEC Commissioner Hester M. Peirce will address the gathering.~SD

Elaine Wah is now head of quantitative research at IEX. She spoke at our MarketsWiki Education event last summer.~JJL

As of this writing BTC is trading south of $3400.~SD


NFA Board Update – November 2018 Meeting
NFA Vice-Chairman Maureen Downs and President Tom Sexton discuss highlights and other notable information from NFA’s November Board meeting, including CFTC Commissioner Behnam’s visit to NFA’s New York office, upcoming Board elections and an update on recent rulemaking initiatives. The video is intended to keep NFA Members and the investing public apprised of the important topics discussed by NFA’s Board.

****** Get the latest on the upcoming elections.~JJL


“US Regulators Have Essentially Become Do-Nothing Institutions”
Asher Schechter – – The Stigler Center at the University of Chicago
In an interview with ProMarket, Jonathan Tepper talks about the rise of America’s oligopoly problem, why he believes antimonopoly is not a left-right issue, and how a passionate fan of free markets came to write a book titled “The Myth of Capitalism.”

***** A shocking headline from the University of Chicago.~JJL


Cinnober Group 2018: Year in review
Peter K. Lenardos – Cinnober
As we approach the end of 2018, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on what has been a milestone year for the Cinnober Group. 2018, our twentieth year, has been one of our best years yet in terms of new client wins, important product breakthroughs and system go-lives across the globe, not to mention our pending transaction with Nasdaq. And we have achieved all of this while undergoing major change across the business. As you know, I was appointed Cinnober Group CEO in August, and I feel very privileged to be entrusted with the responsibility of leading the Group forward.

***** Peter only says things one time, but very well. He does not want to repeat.~JJL


Thursday’s Top Three
Yesterday’s top story was Trading in US stock futures had to be halted after violent moves, and markets are spooked. It did indeed turn into a sea of red in the morning, but an afternoon tech rally helped erase the day’s losses. Second place went to Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up.
The third most clicked story was Bloomberg’s NYC Officials Blast Wall Street’s Ice-Out of Women in Wake of #MeToo.


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Lead Stories

Permanent measures to put hole in CFD bucket shops
Dan McCrum – FT
An announcement from the Financial Conduct Authority has landed. The UK regulator is to make temporary Europe-wide restrictions on contract for difference companies permanent. Best understood as bucket shops – the US term for companies offering punters the chance to bet inside a closed system – CFD providers had found a highly profitable way to seperate the unwary from their money in recent years, by letting them play with complex financial derivatives.

*****Here is the release from the UK FCA, “FCA proposes permanent measures for retail CFDs and binary options.”~JJL

A Democratic Proposal Would Ban Lawmakers From Trading Any Stocks at All
Jesse Westbrook – Bloomberg
Senators Merkley, Brown say recent scandals show law is needed; Legislation faces long odds in politically divided Congress
Recent investing scandals involving members of Congress have prompted two Democrat senators to push a Draconian legislative proposal: a total ban on U.S. lawmakers trading any stocks at all.

Behind the Market Turmoil Lies Nothing But Excuses; After years of central bank quantitative easing, little makes sense. Also, there’s a clash of tech titans and London’s calling.
John Authers – Bloomberg
Did investors have a reason or an excuse to sell stocks? During World War I, British army recruiters asked a powerful question: Did you have a reason or merely an excuse for not enlisting? Presumably, not wanting to die in a horrible and pointless war did not count as a good reason.

CME Group completes Eris swap futures migration with 10 trading firms; Eris interest rate swap futures migrated to CME Globex on 3 December, with 10 firms actively trading.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
CME Group has completed the first trades of USD Eris interest rate swap futures following the migration of the derivatives to its exchange on 3 December, with ten firms actively trading.

Buy-side evades FX Global Code of Conduct labelling it ‘regulation in disguise’; The Bank of England’s Andrew Hauser says that buy-side concerns with compliance remain an issue, with just 11 of the 30 largest buy-side firms agreeing to adoption.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Asset management firms have expressed their frustration at being urged to comply with the FX Global Code of Conduct, describing it as ‘regulation in disguise’ and more relevant to the sell-side.

Nasdaq Launches U.S. Corporate Bond Exchange
Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ) today announced it launched a Corporate Bond exchange for listing and trading of corporate bonds. The Securities and Exchange Commission approved this exchange on November 13, 2018.

Financial Services Coming Up Short for Women
Dane Deaner – Barron’s
Attention financial services firms: By not fostering relationships with women, you’re missing out big timeóto the tune of an estimated $782 billion in investable assets.

Climate Change Moves From Risk to Reward; America’s biggest financial institutions make a big move to invest in a low-carbon future.
Mary L Schapiro – Bloomberg
As the effects of climate change loom ever larger, financial markets are embracing sustainability. Long a marginal concern at best, it has become a central component of any successful investment strategy.

Deutsche Bank hit by new laundering report; shares slide again
Andreas Framke – Reuters
Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) defended its record in fighting money laundering on Thursday after the Financial Times reported it had processed 31 billion euros ($35 billion) more in questionable funds for Danske Bank (DANSKE.CO) than previously thought.

Deutsche Bank processed additional EUR31bn of funds for Danske; German lender said to have handled 1m transactions from Estonia branch at heart of scandal
Olaf Storbeck and Caroline Binham – FT
Deutsche Bank processed EUR31bn more of questionable funds for Danske Bank than previously thought, increasing its exposure to the world’s biggest money-laundering scandal.

Why Huawei Matters; Huawei Technologies, the world’s largest maker of telecom equipment, has been a focus of U.S. concern
Dan Strumpf – WSJ
Huawei Technologies Co. has been the target of a yearslong, multipronged effort by Washington to limit the telecom-equipment giant’s footprint, both in the U.S. and around the world. Here’s what you need to know:

China demands release of Huawei CFO held on US charges; White House denies Trump knew about arrest before G20 dinner with Xi
Louise Lucas in Hong Kong, Demetri Sevastopulo – FT
China has demanded the release of Huawei’s chief financial officer, whose arrest in Vancouver on US sanctions-busting charges sent financial markets reeling from the intensifying confrontation between the world’s two largest economies.

U.S. securities regulator to consider stricter rules on shareholder proposals -chairman
The chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Thursday that the regulator will consider stricter rules for setting aside shareholder proposals in 2019, including the ownership and resubmission threshold.

U.S. regulators warn over ‘Brexit’ risk to global markets, companies
Pete Schroeder, Michelle Price – Reuters
Two top U.S. regulators called on Britain and the European Union on Thursday to ensure a path forward for Britain’s exit from the EU that would minimize disruption for financial firms and markets, emphasizing the need for clarity and stability.

SEC Rulemaking Over the Past Year, the Road Ahead and Challenges Posed by Brexit, LIBOR Transition and Cybersecurity Risks
Chairman Jay Clayton – SEC
Thank you Jason [Healey] for that kind introduction. For many, December is a time to reflect on the past year and to look forward to what the New Year may bring. I believe organizations also should mark milestones, take stock of what has been done and what needs to be done, and adjust course accordingly.

11 Women Who Are Changing The Face Of Finance
Jaime Catmull – Forbes
The face of finance is changing. Now, more women are emerging as powerful movers and shakers in the finance industry, potentially taking the “old boys’ club” out of the arena once and for all.

Retail customers in Asia demand better tech, global access
When it comes to finding new retail customers in Asia, the playbook should be familiar to derivatives market participants: deploy cutting-edge technology, offer expansive market access, and educate new traders to use those tools responsibly.

Millennials to Advisors: We Don’t Need You
Millennials familiar with YCharts are more likely than not to be financial do-it-yourselfers, according to a survey published by the company. Only 11 percent of millennials surveyed have an advisor-directed brokerage account and most would rather go it alone than work with an advisor.


Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

CME Group Announces 10 Firms Trading USD Eris Interest Rate Swap Futures on CME Globex
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced the first trades of USD Eris Interest Rate Swap Futures, transitioned to CME Globex on Dec. 3, 2018. Ten firms have participated in trading since the transition.

NZX: Lindsay Wright Appointed As Lead Independent Director
The NZX board advises that Lindsay Wright has been appointed as lead independent director. NZX Chair James Miller commented: “Lindsay’s appointment reflects recommendations from proxy advisors and will further enhance NZX’s corporate governance standards. The appointment is effective immediately and reflects Lindsay’s strong performance on the board and her contribution to the broader organisation.”

Cboe Global Markets Reports November 2018 Trading Volume; Year – to – date ADV across options, futures, U.S. and European equities and global FX up over 2017
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), one of the world’s largest exchange holding companies, today reported November monthly trading volume and average revenue per contract (RPC)/net revenue capture data at

NYSE is accused of letting Morgan Stanley make after-hours trade
Kevin Dugan – NY Post
At the New York Stock Exchange, some traders are more equal than others. That’s the bitter takeaway from stock brokers, who say the Big Board, in an unusual move last week, gave special treatment to a broker at Morgan Stanley who asked to trade large blocks of stocks for several minutes after the markets closed.

French exchange Euronext loses global fixed-income boss; Newly-recruited London chief will take over the fixed-income business
By Samuel Agini – Financial News
Euronext, which operates stock exchanges in several top European capitals, has parted ways with its global head of fixed income, currencies and commodities, marking the latest management change at the company.

UBS agrees to act as intermediary on Cboe FX; UBS will act as intermediary for smaller firms with limited bilateral credit and relationships on Cboe FX.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Swiss investment bank UBS has agreed to act a central credit intermediary for counterparties on Cboe FX.

Celebration times for Eurex
When it comes to industry awards Eurex never had reason to complain, but the last few weeks have outperformed everything else. Five awards in total and three of them based on clients’ views.

Amendments to the Conditions for Trading at Eurex Deutschland and Exchange Rules of Eurex Deutschland
With this circular, we would like to inform you about the amendments to the Conditions for Trading at Eurex Deutschland (Trading Conditions) and Exchange Rules of Eurex Deutschland (Exchange Rules) which have been approved by the Exchange Council of Eurex Deutschland on 8 November 2018.

MSCI index derivatives: Specification of procedure to determine the final settlement price in the event of market disruptions
The Executive Board of Eurex Clearing decided to specify the procedure to determine the final settlement price for MSCI index derivatives in the event of market disruptions, which will come into effect with the March 2019 expiration.

Strong interest in Eurex’s Partnership Program for the Repo segment
The extension of Eurex’s Partnership Program to the Repo segment meets strong interest from major Repo market participants. So far, 24 participants from the U.S., the U.K. and Continental Europe registered for the program.

SGX reports market statistics for November 2018; Single-stock DLCs launched during month increased overall activity of listed structured products; Freight Derivatives volume hits record high
Securities – Total Securities market turnover value was at S$21.6 billion, down 11% month-on-month (m-o-m) and down 24% year-on-year (y-o-y), over 21 trading days. There were 23 trading days in October 2018 and 22 in November 2017.
Derivatives – Total Derivatives volume was 19.6 million, down 11% month-on-month (m-o-m) and up 9% year-on-year (y-o-y).


BNP Paribas Moves to Real-time Margin Calculations with FIS Margin Advisor
FIS (NYSE: FIS), a global leader in financial services technology, today announced that BNP Paribas has selected FIS’ Cleared Derivatives Margin Advisor, an innovative solution that enables sell-side firms, investment funds and institutional investors to better assess and calculate initial margin requirements on cleared derivatives portfolios.

Vela to facilitate electronic access to Eurex EnLight
Eurex, Europe’s largest derivatives exchange, and Vela, a global leader in trading and market access technology, have teamed up to facilitate electronic access to Eurex EnLight, the new selective request-for-quote (RfQ) platform, via Vela’s Metro Trading Platform.

Fidelity eyes robo-advice launch as banks pile in; Investment group already runs a similar service in Germany
Kate Beioley – FT
Fidelity International is weighing up the launch of a robo-advice service, in the latest sign that fund supermarkets are feeling the pressure to appeal to a wider range of customers amid increased competition.

EU’s tech commissioner says Europe should be worried about Huawei
The European Union should be “worried” about Huawei and other Chinese technology companies because of the risk they pose to the bloc’s industry and its security, the EU tech commissioner said on Friday.


Crypto Market Crash Leaving Bankrupt Startups in its Wake
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
ConsenSys plans to cut 13% of workforce; ETCDEV to close; More than 1,000 crypto companies received funding since 2012
The plunge in the cryptocurrency market is weighing on the software-development community that spawned over 1,000 digital coins amid dreams of independence from traditional financial systems and instant wealth.

****You can find a price action crypto update from CNBC here.

SEC Again Delays Decision on VanEck-SolidX Bitcoin ETF
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) extended a rule change proposal allowing the nation’s first bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), pushing the decision deadline to next year. In a notice posted online, the securities regulator said it was extending the review period for the ETF to Feb. 27, 2019. The proposal was first submitted by money manager VanEck and blockchain startup SolidX, who partnered with the Cboe exchange earlier this year.

Cryptocurrency trading platform ErisX adds $27.5M Series B to its wallet
Alton Zenon III – Built In Chicago
ErisX just added a bunch of coin to its wallet. The Chicago-based company, which is building a centralized platform for individuals and institutions to access, manage and trade spots and futures for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, announced the raise of a $27.5 million Series B.

New Protocols And Super-Fast Transactions; What To Expect From Cryptocurrency In 2019
Gerald French – Forbes
Roughly a year after the cryptocurrency market exploded and surged to unimaginable heights, there is absolutely no doubt that the market is continuing to exhibit bearish signals. The current state of affairs in the cryptocurrency space is of sharp contrast to the status quo.

Bipartisan lawmakers seek cryptocurrency rules to protect consumers and keep US competitive
Kate Rooney – CNBC
Congress is getting more serious about cryptocurrency. Members of the House plan to introduce two bills on Thursday to prevent fraud, protect consumers and make sure the country doesn’t fall behind as a leader in the global digital asset class. The bipartisan bills don’t give specific recipes for how to achieve those goals. Instead, they ask the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to come up with recommendations.

Cryptocurrency index fund follows Warren Buffett’s playbook, but with a $1 million bet against the S&P
Kate Rooney – CNBC
A cryptocurrency asset manager is mimicking the playbook of one of the industry’s most notable critics: Warren Buffett. Morgan Creek Digital is recreating Buffett’s famous $1 million wager pitting the performance of the S&P 500 against a group of hedge funds. But unlike the famous value-investor, Morgan Creek is betting against the S&P and placing its faith in the 10-year performance of cryptocurrencies.

6,000 cryptocurrency laundering cases suspected in Jan-Oct period
Japan Today
Tokyo – Nearly 6,000 cases of suspected money laundering linked to cryptocurrency were reported to police in the January-October period, National Police Agency officials said Thursday. The figure is more than eight times higher than the 669 cases reported from April to December last year. Cryptocurrency exchange operators are required to report transactions suspected of involving money laundering after the law on prevention of transfer of criminal proceeds was revised in April 2017.

Roger Ver, Bitmain Sued for BCH Hard Fork ‘Manipulation’
Rachel McIntosh – Finance Magnates
The Bitcoin Cash ‘hard fork’ that many cite as the reason for the latest cryptocurrency market crash is now the subject of a lawsuit. A ‘hard fork’ is a kind of software upgrade on a cryptocurrency network that creates a new blockchain, and sometimes a new cryptocurrency. The Bitcoin Cash hard fork that took place several weeks ago resulted in two version of Bitcoin Cash, supported by two opposing parties: the Bitcoin ABC version, which uses the ‘BCH’ ticker symbol; and Bitcoin Cash Satoshi’s Version, which uses the ticker symbol ‘BCHSV’.


In Dow he trusts: Trump’s reassuring faith in stocks; He may not admit it but the president has to find any decline in prices worrisome
Tom Braithwaite – FT
He may ride roughshod over many American institutions, but there is one that President Donald Trump respects. His belief in the power of the stock market knows no bounds. This faith offers a glimmer of hope for companies dismayed by the current geopolitical whirlwind.

Trump Plans to Open 9 Million Acres to Oil Drilling and Mining
Coral Davenport – The New York Times
The Trump administration on Thursday detailed its plan to open nine million acres to drilling and mining by stripping away protections for the sage grouse, an imperiled ground-nesting bird that oil companies have long considered an obstacle to some of the richest deposits in the American West.

Trump Hasn’t Tweeted About the Stock Market Since Nov. 12
Sarah Ponczek – Bloomberg
Stocks go south and President Donald Trump goes quiet. Since his election, Trump has tweeted about the stock market more than 35 times. Yet since Nov. 12, his social media account has been mum on the wild vacillations in U.S. equities.

Impeachment and the ‘Preposterous’ Power of the Presidency; Obama’s White House counsel Robert Bauer on “reckoning with a problem that has been obvious for some time.”
Francis Wilkinson – Bloomberg
Robert Bauer served as counsel to President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns and as White House counsel from 2009 to 2011. One of the leading experts in U.S. laws regulating political activity, he teaches law at New York University. In late November we communicated via email. What follows is a lightly edited transcript.

Europe’s Tech Tax Is a Mistake in the Making; If France and Germany cared about efficient and equitable taxation, they’d drop their planned “Google tax.”
Editorial Board – Bloomberg
One way or another, Europe is determined to get tech companies to pay their fair share. All that remains is to decide the meaning of “tech company,” “pay,” “fair” and “share.”

8 of the most influential millennial women in US politics
Eliza Relman – Business Insider
Women are serving in larger numbers in American politics and government today than ever before. A record number of women will serve in Congress next year after a surge of female candidates ran for office in this year’s midterm elections. And the House’s freshman class will be the most diverse in history.


Statement of Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo on Financial Stability Concerns regarding Brexit
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) continues to carefully monitor discussions between the United Kingdom (U.K.) and the other EU member states (EU27) regarding the U.K.’s exit from the European Union. Uncertainty surrounding the effect of Brexit on the U.K. and EU27 financial markets is already having a substantial impact on entities and markets regulated by the CFTC. If not dispelled, such uncertainty has the potential to create instability in the global derivatives market. For this reason, we look forward to the U.K. and EU27 settling the terms of Brexit in a manner that provides sufficient legal and regulatory certainty to market participants so that European and international derivatives markets can continue to carry out their essential role in economic risk transfer essential to global economic growth.

CFTC Wins Judgment against Commodities Trader for Commodity Pool Fraud, Including Misappropriating Funds
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that Defendant Mark R. Slobodnik of Libertyville, Illinois, has been ordered to pay approximately $370,000 in fines in connection with a $1.76 million commodity pool fraud operated under the name Blue Guru, LLC.

Shell’s carbon emissions targets are a clear model for others; Victory for investor groups puts oil majors under pressure
The Editorial Board – FT
Royal Dutch Shell’s decision to set carbon emissions targets from next year is as welcome as it is overdue. The announcement was made as signatories to the Paris climate change agreement, which seeks to limit global temperature rises, gathered for the COP24 talks in Poland to try to agree rules on implementation. Like the Paris commitments themselves, Shell’s pledge and its plan to link 1,200 executives’ pay to progress against its targets raise the bar for everyone.

Exclusive: U.S. probe of China’s Huawei includes bank fraud accusations: sources
Karen Freifeld – Reuters
Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s chief financial officer was arrested as part of a U.S. investigation into an alleged scheme to use the global banking system to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran, according to people familiar with the probe.

SEC Investor Advisory Committee to Meet on December 13
The Securities and Exchange Commission will hold a meeting of its Investor Advisory Committee on Dec. 13, 2018. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. ET in the Multipurpose Room at SEC Headquarters at 100 F Street NE, Washington, D.C. and is open to the public. The meeting will be webcast live and archived on the committee’s website for later viewing.

SEC Halts Alleged Insider Trading Ring Spanning Three Countries
The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed insider trading charges against an IT contractor and two others he illegally tipped with confidential client information he stole while working in the Singapore branch of an investment bank.

British Columbia Securities Commission: Securities Market Fee Changes To Support Stronger Enforcement And Regulatory Innovation
The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) is increasing fees to bolster the commission’s ability to carry out its mandate to protect investors and oversee an increasingly complex securities marketplace.

CFTC set to have its say in case concerning NFA’s publications about FXCM
The CFTC is invited to file a brief as “amicus curiae” in a case launched by Effex Capital, which accuses the NFA of making false statements in documents relating to the FXCM settlement.

Wiped-out fund investors, represented by Cleveland law firm, seek to recoup losses from broker
Crain’s Cleveland
Twelve investors of wiped-out investment firm are seeking to recoup more than $7 million in losses from INTL FCStone Inc., the brokerage that handled their accounts.

HSBC Monitor Flagged Suspicious Huawei Transactions to Prosecutors; Canadian authorities arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou at the request of the U.S. for alleged violations of Iran sanctionsS
Rachel Louise Ensign – WSJ
A federally appointed overseer at HSBC Holdings HSBC -3.62% PLC flagged suspicious transactions in the accounts of Huawei Technologies Co. to prosecutors seeking the extradition of the Chinese company’s finance chief, people familiar with the matter said.

Podcast: CFTC Talks EP075: Georgetown Law Prof. Chris Brummer
This week on CFTC Talks, we talk with University of Georgetown’s Faculty Director of the Institute of…

Investing and Trading

Traders Cast Doubt on More Fed Hikes as Even December Odds Ease
Liz McCormick – Bloomberg
Traders of U.S. interest-rate futures are rapidly losing confidence that the Federal Reserve will raise rates even once more next year and are also beginning to have some doubts if they’ll notch rates higher this month.

Record-Breaking Day in Front-End Rates as Fed-Hike Bets Crumble
Edward Bolingbroke – Bloomberg
Volumes surge across fed funds futures and eurodollars; Open interest data for Thursday may offer clues to the rally
A dramatic day across the front end of the U.S. rates curve was backed by record volumes in a number of futures contracts amid crumbling confidence in the Federal Reserve’s ability to follow through on its projection of three 2019 rate hikes.

Trading Trump: Wall Street stresses over White House comments
Lawrence Delevingne and Trevor Hunnicutt – Reuters
JPMorgan Chase & Co’s trading desk was not buying what U.S. President Donald Trump was selling this week.

Afraid of the Yield Curve? You’re Looking at the Wrong One; When bond yields flatten to current levels before a recession, the S&P often posts gains over next year
James Mackintosh – WSJ
Shareholders constantly live up to their reputation as flighty irrational beings prone to panic and wild abandon. What is odd is that so many have come to view their counterparts in the bond market as stolid and sensible forecasters on whose views they can rely.

4 Things Not to Do in Times of Stock Market Volatility
Al Root – Barron’s
Things are getting a little hairy in the markets, to say the least. Did we already say that? The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq all opened with sharp losses on Thursday. The Dow and the S&P 500 both regained ground to finish with narrow losses, while the Nasdaq finished slightly in the green.

Wild market swings hinge on a different kind of leverage; Modest developments these days are triggering extreme volatility
Gillian Tett – FT
Many American stock market investors are feeling seasick. That is not simply because a tumble on Thursday reflected that equity markets are down on the year; more unnerving are recent, wild swings.

Biggest Worry for Traders? They Don’t Know Why Stocks Are Moving
Vildana Hajric and Sarah Ponczek – Bloomberg
Trade, rates, tariffs — no one reason explains wild swings; Geopolitical risks difficult to fit into trading analysis
It would be nice to write the market’s convulsions off to liquidity failures, or tariffs, the Federal Reserve or tech valuations.

When a Loss Feels Like a Win: Biggest Stock Swing Since 2010
Luke Kawa – Bloomberg
If that tiny loss in the S&P 500 almost felt like a huge gain, there’s a good reason. The S&P 500 was down 2.9 percent at its lows of the day. From that level, the benchmark equity gauge rose 2.8 percent. U.S. stocks haven’t declined that much and gone on to enjoy a bigger intraday recovery at the close since May 25, 2010. That session, the S&P 500 fell as much as 3.1 percent before recouping the losses to close flat on the day.

Investors withdraw billions from US equity funds; Corporate bond funds also suffer as market turmoil increases appeal of government debt
Joe Rennison – FT
Investors pulled money from equity and corporate bond funds over the past week, preferring the safety of US government debt as trade uncertainties and a re-assessment of global growth forecasts roiled US markets.

Trade Fears Are Robbing Stocks of Their Tax-Cut Gains; Trump’s signature economic policies are at war with each other.
Stephen Gandel – Bloomberg
“Tariff Man” Donald Trump is close to squandering all of the gains of his tax cut, at least as far as the market is concerned.

What is the yield curve and why has it spooked investors?; Measure could be the best indicator investors have of an oncoming recession
Joe Rennison and Robin Wigglesworth – FT
What if there was a way to know when the next recession was close? What if there was a market measure that could clearly communicate economic trouble ahead, without fail?

Noble facing insolvency after new share listing is blocked; Singapore authorities deal blow to commodity trader’s restructuring plan
Neil Hume and Stefania Palma – FT
Noble Group is facing insolvency after authorities in Singapore said the crisis-hit commodity trader would not be able to list shares in a new entity, dealing a potentially fatal blow to its emergency debt restructuring.


The Never-Ending Turnaround of Credit Suisse; Tidjane Thiam has spent three years pivoting the Swiss bank from Wall Street to its roots serving the world’s richest. Shareholders are still waiting for the results.
Jan-Henrik Foerster – Bloomberg
Tidjane Thiam is still standing. By simply surviving as chief of Credit Suisse Group AG, the Ivory Coast-born trained engineer has done what more experienced bankers couldn’t in trying to fix Europe’s troubled banks. With a restructuring plan he masterminded coming to an end this month, Thiam’s next feat will be to prove to skeptics that a one-time consultant can do more than just cut costs.

Wells Fargo reform plans fail to satisfy Fed after scandals: sources
Patrick Rucker – Reuters
The Federal Reserve has rejected Wells Fargo & Co’s plans to prevent further consumer abuses and told the scandal-plagued lender it needs stronger checks on management, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions.

Hedge fund industry’s big guns misfired in November; Point72, Millennium and Balyasny suffered losses even as equity markets rose
Laurence Fletcher and Lindsay Fortado – FT
Some of the hedge fund industry’s biggest names, including Millennium Management and Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management, suffered sharp losses in November, even as equity markets bounced back.


Maduro Thanks Putin for Helping Venezuela ‘Survive’
Frances Martel – Breitbart
Venezuelan dictator Nicol·s Maduro met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow Wednesday, where the latter agreed to support the socialist regime economically and politically. As of press time, both sides have kept the details of this support secret, however.

Germany’s DAX Enters Bear Market in Worst Year Since 2008
Jan-Patrick Barnert – Bloomberg
Germany’s DAX index tumbled 3.5 percent on Thursday, the most since mid-2016, with the benchmark entering a bear market as profit warnings mount, political tensions prevail and the global equity market sell-off accelerates.

Fearing ‘Act IV’ of unrest, France to close Eiffel Tower, Louvre, at weekend
Richard Lough, Marine Pennetier – Reuters
France will close the Eiffel Tower and other tourism landmarks in Paris and draft in thousands more security forces on Saturday to stave off another wave of violent protests in the country over living costs.

In major shift, U.S. now exports more oil than it ships in
David Gaffen – Reuters
The United States last week exported more crude oil and fuel than it imported for the first time on record, according to data released on Thursday, the same day OPEC ended a meeting without a decision to curb global output to balance out the historic surge in U.S. supply.

Australia’s IOOF drops as banking regulator targets top executives; Disqualification action marks step change by Apra over attitude to misconduct
Jamie Smyth – FT
Australia’s banking regulator said on Friday it was seeking to disqualify five senior executives and directors of IOOF Holdings, one of the country’s biggest wealth managers, for failing to act in the best interests of pension fund members.


Barricades in Paris make Brexit bankers think again; Frankfurt suddenly looks more attractive amid the ‘gilets jaunes’ protests
Henry Mance – FT
French president Emmanuel Macron has been rocked by leaderless protesters nicknamed the ” gilets jaunes”, or yellow vests. His government has backpedalled on fuel tax increases. Yet the violence threatens Mr Macron’s attempt to brand France as a home for financial services and tech companies. Some bankers have already crossed the Channel from Brexit Britain; might they be having second thoughts?

Financial services exports to EU face 59% fall, warns think-tank; Post-Brexit trading barriers will force economic activity to relocate, says report
Delphine Strauss – FT
Britain’s exports of financial services to the EU could fall by almost 60 per cent as a result of leaving the single market, marking a “sea change” in the services sector that drives the UK economy, according to new research by the Centre for European Reform.

Norwegian politicians reject UK’s Norway-plus Brexit plan; Norwegian MP says it is not in either country’s interest for UK to use trade agreement
Patrick Wintour – The Guardian
Senior Norwegian politicians and business figures have rejected Norway-plus, the increasingly touted British cross-party plan for the UK to leave the EU but join Norway in a free trade trade area inside the EU single market.

Sleeping bags and mini golf as traders brace for Brexit all-nighter
Lawrence White, Ben Martin – Reuters
As lawmakers gather in Britain’s parliament on Tuesday to vote on the future of the country’s relationship with Europe, traders in London’s financial hub will be bracing for a potential burst of market turmoil that could affect the Brexit process itself.

John Lothian Newsletter

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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

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