First Read

Take Our Survey: Yeah, really
By Jim Kharouf, JLN Editor-in-Chief & CEO

If you’re like me, you’re about to roll your eyes but hang in there. We need your help on our annual survey. If you’re still reading, it’s really import.

This 3-minute survey helps us learn a bit more about our readers as well as what you like and what you don’t like about our publications and websites. It’s also a great place to leave us comments and suggestions for future content and services.

We’ve tried to sweeten the deal this year by offering a chance to win an Amazon Echo. So help us out please. It does make a difference.

Here’s the link to the survey. Thanks!


20/20 Vision: Richard Sandor, Inventor Of Market Solutions, Releases New Book On Environmental Markets
By Jim Kharouf, JLN Editor-in-Chief & CEO

There are few who change the world in a profound way. Richard Sandor, who brought us the first interest rate futures contract, also created the Chicago Climate Exchange in 2003. CCX launched a new set of greenhouse gas contracts as an innovative step to solving the issue of global warming.

In his latest book, “How I Saw It,” Sandor republishes many of the columns he wrote from 1999 to 2005 during that pivotal time in the development of environmental markets. Despite what some may think about carbon markets today – as a politically unpopular solution in Washington – it’s a market that has grown dramatically around the world. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) among a number of northeast states was the first multi-state carbon market, while California has had to lead the way out west. But the idea and the products Sandor and his team designed and developed are also traded in Europe, as part of the European carbon market, not to mention a budding system of regional and national markets in China. CCX was sold to the Intercontinental Exchange in 2010.

To read the rest of this story, go here


FIA Boca Tennis Tournament | Boca 2017
Sponsored by: TT
Benefiting Futures for Kids
When: Tuesday, March 14, 9am-12pm
Where: Boca Raton Resort & Club
Registration fee: $50.00
***** Can anyone beat Jim Kharouf on the tennis court?

42nd Annual International Futures Industry Conference Golf Tournament
Sponsored by UBS
Greens Fees: $345 per person
Players are responsible for their own greens fees. This covers a cart, a grab-n-go breakfast before play begins and a light post-tourney snack. A portion of the fees will go directly to Futures for Kids.
***** Everyone can bet me at golf.

NFA Board appoints Carol Wooding as new General Counsel
NFA’s Board of Directors approved the appointment of Carol Wooding as Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at its February 16, 2017 meeting in Chicago. Ms. Wooding will assume the General Counsel’s duties from Thomas Sexton, who will serve as NFA’s President and CEO beginning March 1, 2017.
***** Breaking a tradition, Carol Wooding is a graduate of Loyola’s School of Law, not Notre Dame’s.

From an Anchor’s Lips to Trump’s Ears to Sweden’s Disbelief
Peter Baker and Sewell Chan – NY Times
On Friday night, Fox News aired an alarming six-minute segment in which the host, Tucker Carlson, interviewed a documentary filmmaker about a crisis of violence in Sweden ignited by the recent wave of Muslim migration.
***** My neck hurts from shaking my head so much in the last 30 days.

R.J. O’Brien Wins 2017 CTA Intelligence US Services Award for Best FCM – Client Service
R.J. O’Brien & Associates
Chicago-based R.J. O’Brien & Associates (RJO), the oldest and largest independent futures brokerage and clearing firm in the United States, announced that the firm won the award for “Best FCM – Client Service” at the CTA Intelligence U.S. Services Awards 2017. The awards recognize CTAs and managed futures service providers that have demonstrated “exceptional customer service and innovative product development” over the past 12 months.

Friday’s Top Three
The top story by a country mile was Bloomberg’s Hunting for Dirty Deeds in the $34 Trillion U.S. Futures Market. Second is a frightening story from Investment Week Jim Rogers: We’re going to have the worst economic problems of our lifetimes. In third was Business Insider with A little-known startup that has quietly amassed 100,000 Wall Street users just scored a big investment

MarketsWiki Stats
94,168,418 pages viewed; 22,352 pages; 203,716 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

Robot Traders Jolt Life Into Slow-Speed European Stock Venue
by John Detrixhe – Bloomberg
XTX Markets became a member of stock exchange Aquis this year; Virtu said in March that it had boosted liquidity on the venue
A London-based stock exchange that was on the ropes a year ago is getting a lifeline from algorithmic traders drawn to its efforts to blunt the advantages of raw speed.

Irishman targets more disruption in ‘trading war’ with Wall Street
Simon Rowe – Irish Independent
The Dublin-born businessman behind America’s newest securities market has said his “war” with Wall Street is only beginning as he plans more “disruption”. Ronan Ryan, a former trader and co-founder of Investors Exchange (IEX), has turned up the heat in his simmering row with the New York Stock Exchange after filing a complaint with a US watchdog over unfair pricing for brokers.

Europe Needs a Higher Price on Carbon
Bloomberg Editorial Board
Europe’s promise to lower greenhouse-gas emissions looked bright a dozen years ago, when its leaders created the first big market for trading carbon permits. Sadly, though, its system has failed to encourage investment in clean technology and appreciably lower carbon dioxide emissions. Until the European Union trims the number of permits traded enough to drastically raise the cost of emitting carbon dioxide, its market will remain dysfunctional.

Where Crony Capitalism Rose and Prosperity Fell (and Vice Versa)
Matthew A. Winkler – Bloomberg
With populists emulating autocrats from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe, free markets are being forced to confront crony capitalism.

Deutsche Bˆrse and London Stock Exchange merger threatens the national interest
Bill Cash – The Times
The proposed merger of Deutsche Bˆrse and the London Stock Exchange raises a matter of the United Kingdom’s vital national interest.

Euronext Seeks Takeover Targets Amid Goliath Rival Tie-Up
John Detrixhe – Bloomberg
Euronext CEO Boujnah is intent on acquiring Clearnet; Company may have few other targets if deal doesn’t succeed
Pan-European market operator Euronext NV, faced with losing ground to bigger rivals, is intent on transforming the company.

Fidessa appoints Chris Monnery to head its Electronic Execution business in the US
Fidessa group plc (LSE: FDSA) today announced a key new appointment for its sell-side business: Chris Monnery is now the US Head of Product Marketing for Electronic Execution. He is based in New York and reports to David Polen, Global Head of Electronic Execution.

India loosens derivatives limits, widening market for foreigners; Sebi’s recent change to trading rules has opened the door for fund managers to increase their holdings of derivatives in India
Santanu Chakraborty – Live Mint
Mumbai: A recent change to India’s trading rules has opened the door for fund managers to increase their holdings of derivatives in the country, loosening restrictions that had stifled trading.

The Next Financial Crisis Might Be in Your Driveway; Subprime borrowers are cruising in styleócautionary tale or systemic risk?
Kyle Stock – Bloomberg
Lured by low interest rates, low gas prices, and a crop of seductive vehicles that are faster, smarter, and more efficient than ever before, American drivers are increasingly riding in style. Don’t be fooled by the curb appeal, thoughóthose swanky machines are heavily leveraged.

Success of European block trades bodes well for IPO outlook; There have been 70 such accelerated offerings this year, worth EUR11.3bn
Dan McCrum – FT
Success for banks selling large blocks of stock in the European market this year points to a supportive environment for new listings in the months ahead, bankers say.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Euronext launches Europe’s first index dedicated to family businesses – Euronext Family Business index; Launch of Europe’s first index dedicated to raising family business profiles with investors
Euronext today announced the launch of EuronextÆ Family Business, the first European index dedicated to family businesses, designed to highlight the performance of 90 family companies listed in the four countries covered by Euronext.

Nasdaq and Borse Dubai Sign Landmark Market Technology Deal; Borse Dubai will overhaul trading and post-trade technology of Dubai Financial Market, paving the way for various market enhancements including CCP clearing
Nasdaq, Inc.
Nasdaq, Inc. (Nasdaq:NDAQ) and Borse Dubai today announced a new landmark agreement to bolster the technological infrastructure of Dubai’s stock exchanges, Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and Nasdaq Dubai, and further improve post-trade practices. DFM has been a Nasdaq Market Technology client since its inception in 2000.

Tethys’ chief becomes chair of NFX advisory board
Luke Jeffs – FOW
Robert Finnegan replaced Steve Roberts as chair of NFX’s advisory board
Nasdaq Futures has appointed the head of US energy trading firm Tethys Capital to chair its advisory board, replacing Steve Roberts, the chairman of London-based Oak Futures who has stepped down after his term expired. Robert Finnegan, the president and chief executive of Chicago-based Tethys, has been approved as the chairman of the NFX advisory group and is set to oversee his first board meeting in the middle of next month.

DTCC-Euroclear’s margin utility launch delayed again
Paul Walsh – The Trade
The launch of DTCC and Euroclear’s GlobalCollateral margin transit utility (MTU) has stalled again with sources citing a lack of client demand for the service as a reason for the hold up.

ASX targets end of year for blockchain powered clearing platform
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) will decide later this year whether blockchain technology will be used to replace its clearing house electronic sub-register system (CHESS) platform.

SIX Swiss Exchange adds EuroCCP to clearing services
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
EuroCCP has joined SIX Swiss Exchange as a third central counterparty (CCP) for the Swiss market, as it moves forward with expansion plans.

Deutsche Borse Participates In “Digital Growth Fund I”
Deutsche Bˆrse Group announced today that it has invested in the first German growth fund for fast-expanding B2B-software companies. The fund has been initiated by Digital+ Partners; and the first subscription tranche of the ‘Digital Growth Fund I’ has been closed with an amount of 131.5 million euros. Deutsche Bˆrse has invested jointly with other institutional investors from Germany such as ZEISS. With its fund, Digital+ Partners contributes to the successful digitization of the German industry and the financial sector.

FCM retrenchment changing face of clearing – panel
Julie Aelbrecht – FOW
New financial regulations are set to force large banks further into retreat
The global retrenchment of banks in the derivatives is creating challenges for smaller firms and opportunities for non-bank futures commission merchants, market experts concluded at the FOW Derivatives Israel event on Tuesday. Keynote speaker Mark Phelps, global head of sales and marketing at GH Financials, set the tone when he pointed out that a number of larger banks were off-boarding small and mid-sized clients.

Brazil’s BM&F Bovespa says 4th-quarter expense jump not a trend
A jump in sales, general and administrative expenses in the fourth quarter at BM&F Bovespa SA does not represent a trend, Chief Financial Officer Daniel Sonder said on Monday in a conference call discussing the quarterly results.

Beware barring stock exchange merger, Tyrie warns MPs
Harry Wilson – The Times
The government has been warned that it must “tread carefully” before a debate in which MPs could call for the blocking of the £21 billion merger of the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Bˆrse.

STOXX expands fixed income offering
STOXX Ltd., the operator of Deutsche Boerse Group’s index business, and a global provider of innovative and tradable index concepts, today introduced the EURO STOXX 50 Corporate Bond Sector, Rating and Maturity Bucket Sub-Indices. They expand the EURO STOXX 50 Corporate Bond Index, which was launched in April and is the fixed income equivalent of the EURO STOXX 50, including the bonds of the blue-chip companies in the Eurozone. The new sub-indices represent certain maturity buckets, industries and rating classes. The maturity buckets include 1 – 3 years, 3 – 5 years, 5 – 7 years, and more than 7 years. There are also a EURO STOXX 50 Corporate Bond Financials, EURO STOXX 50 Corporate Bond Ex-Financials incl. maturity buckets and a higher quality AAA-A version.


Bringing Sexy Back…to FIX
Trading Technologies
By the time I entered capital markets more than a decade ago, FIX had already become mundane, boring. FIX is essential, but so are eating vegetables, drinking water and exercise. None of those are things I really want to do, and they certainly aren’t worth blogging about.
But for the first time in my career, I’m actually excited to talk about FIX. By leveraging the hybrid architecture of TT, we are putting a modern twist on the boring service of FIX, which we are calling FIX-as-a-service, or FaaS.

Reshaping Financial Industry Through Intelligence and Automation
Siamak Amirghodsi VP, Data Management & Analytics, OCC
As the world’s largest equity derivatives clearing house, OCC delivers cost-efficient and world-class risk management, clearing and settlement services to the listed options market. Regulated counterparties (CCPs) such as OCC have historically performed well during times of market stress, which has led global policy makers to mandate that more financial transactions be centrally cleared through CCPs following the 2008 financial crisis.

Blockchain funding plummeted 54% in 2016
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Funding to venture capital backed blockchain firms has more than halved since the first quarter in 2016 compared to the fourth, according to statistics from CB Insights.

Machine learning ‘RegTech’ being driven by post-Paris attacks AML rules
Ian Allison – International Business Times
Regulatory reforms following last year’s terrorist atrocities in Paris are just one example of tail-winds driving smarter anti-money laundering and know your customer technologies.

Bold claims for AI are hard to compute for economists
John Thornhill – Financial Times
Talk to a bunch of economists and they will doubtless tell you that poor productivity growth is the scourge of our age. Lounge in the back of a limo with some chief executives, on the other hand, and they will enthuse about how new technologies are transforming corporate productivity.

CrÈdit Agricole to overhaul FX and derivatives trading systems
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
CrÈdit Agricole CIB is to replace its trading legacy systems for interest rate derivatives and FX trading through a partnership with Orchestrade Financial Systems.

Vancouver seizes chance to lure Silicon Valley tech talent; Fears of tough US immigration reforms drive tech sector towards more liberal Canada
Leslie Hook – FT
The quaint cobblestone streets of the historic Gastown district of Vancouver belie its status as a fast-growing technology hub.


Trump Team Fosters Fears He’ll Adopt Alternative Economic Facts
Michelle Jamrisko – Bloomberg
President Donald Trump complains regularly about what he calls “fake news.” What’s got some statisticians worried, though, is the risk of doctored economic data coming from the administration itself.

Trump Administration Considers Change in Calculating U.S. Trade Deficit; Tweak in counting exports could bolster president’s case for redoing Nafta, other trade deals
William Mauldin and Devlin Barrett – WSJ
The Trump administration is considering changing the way it calculates U.S. trade deficits, a shift that would make the country’s trade gap appear larger than it had in past years, according to people involved in the discussions.

Republicans, Protect the Nation
Evan McMullin – NY Times
President Trump’s disturbing Russian connections present an acute danger to American national security. According to reports this week, Mr. Trump’s team maintained frequent contact with Russian officials, including senior intelligence officers, during the campaign. This led to concerns about possible collusion with one of America’s principal strategic adversaries as it tried to influence the election in Mr. Trump’s favor.

The first casualties of Trump’s trade wars are Texas cattle ranchers
Richard Parker – The Dallas Morning News
If the first casualty of war is truth, then the first casualties of trade war are the working man and woman. And first among them is about to be the iconic Texas rancher.

Report: Trump transition ordered government economists to cook up rosy growth forecasts
Matthew Yglesias – Vox
As the White House staff tries to put together a budget for President Donald Trump, they face a fundamental problem. Trump has promised to cut taxes, increase spending on the military and infrastructure, and avoid cuts to Social Security and Medicare. The only way to do that without producing an exploding budget deficit is to assume a big increase in economic growth.

How Tech Policies May Evolve Under Republicans and Trump
Cecilia Kang – NY Times
With Republicans now in power across the government, Congress has moved aggressively toward undoing Obama-era tech policies.


Signs of a Step Back in Financial Regulatory Enforcement
Peter J. Henning – NY Times
When you drive down the highway and see a police cruiser off to the side, the immediate response is to take your foot off the gas and check to see how much over the speed limit you were driving. There is that momentary anguish that the officer might stop you, and a sigh of relief when you check the mirror and see the officer hasn’t moved.

Dodd-Frankly Speaking
The Reformed Broker
The Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that household debt grew in 2016 by the most in almost a decade. The composition is different (more auto, less mortgage) but this is exactly what the Federal Reserve has been trying to produce all this time – velocity of money moving throughout the economy.

Trump’s Man for the SEC: Time to Ease Regulation
Dave Michaels – WSJ
In late November, Jay Clayton was called by a longtime client seeking advice for how the Trump administration should tackle scaling back rules on Wall Street. Mr. Clayton, a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP who has represented Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., dashed off an email explaining how government could promote growth by easing what he considered unnecessary regulations on raising capital, according to a person familiar with the matter.

She Began Her Career at Hedge Funds. Now She Reports on Their Crimes.
Gregory Cowles – NY Times
Before she became a journalist, the New Yorker staff writer Sheelah Kolhatkar worked in the late 1990s and early 2000s as an analyst at a couple of small hedge funds specializing in risk arbitrage ó basically, she researched companies that planned to merge, and tried to predict how their stock prices would move.

Industry warns FCA of ‘unintended’ risks of all-in fee proposals in responses to Market Study
Jayna Rana and Daniel Flynn – InvestmentWeek
In its Asset Management Market Study released late last year, the FCA proposed an ‘all-in’ fund management fee, with four options of how this could work in practice, alongside a raft of other proposals to improve “weak price competition” in the industry.

SEC sues three local men claiming securities fraud
L.M. Sixel – Houston Chronicle
The Securities and Exchange Commission sued three local businessmen for allegedly violating federal securities laws, claiming they participated in a scheme to inflate the size and importance of a small energy company so it could be “uplisted” to a major stock exchange.

TP ICAP Said to Report Broker Patel to the FCA Over Expenses
William Canny, Suzi Ring and Will Hadfield
TP ICAP Plc has removed equities broker Rupesh Patel from his role and reported him to the U.K. regulator after issues arose surrounding his claims for business expenses, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Investing and Trading

Gold Isn’t Behaving in Practice The Way It Should in Theory
Eddie Van Der Walt – Bloomberg
What works for gold in practice rarely works in theory. The last three U.S. interest-rate increases that should, all other things being equal, be bad for the metal have seen prices jump in the months that followed.

Stock Manager of $37 Billion Doesn’t Believe the Earnings Hype
Jonas Cho Walsgard – Bloomberg
Global stock investors may have their hopes set too high for 2017. With rising stock prices, analysts may need to dial back their expectations with companies missing earnings growth estimates posing the biggest risk to equity markets, according to Robert Naess, who manages 35 billion euros ($37 billion) in stocks at Nordea Bank AB, Scandinavia’s largest bank.

Brent Crude Oil Benchmark Undergoes Biggest Change in Decade
Laura Hurst – Bloomberg
Norway’s Troll grade will be included from January 2018; First major change in more than a decade to Dated Brent
The Brent crude price benchmark for millions of barrels of physical crude sales each day is poised for its biggest shakeup in a decade with a new grade added to the mix from January next year.

What if brokerages graded their customers’ trading?
Reformed Broker
This is fascinating. My pal Larry Swedroe of Buckingham Strategic Wealth looks at the first study of its kind – an online brokerage informed 1500 of its customers about whether or not the trades they were doing added any value. Note that this stands in direct opposition of the goals of online brokerages – to encourage more, not less activity. Brokers are only required to issue statements of positions, balances, activity, etc – not judgments.

Who Are the Richest of the Rich?; There are 2,473 billionaires in the world by a new count, and how they got their money and what they plan to do with it are matters of global importance.
Paul Sullivan – NY Times
Sitting at a table, grinding his pinkie into the corner of his mouth and staring at the screen, Dr. Evil announces he is holding the world ransom for $1 million. Having been cryogenically frozen for 30 years, the comic villain created by the actor Mike Myers is shocked when he is told that $1 million isn’t a lot of money in 1997.

LiquidityBook Continues Sales Momentum with the Addition of Three West Coast Hedge Funds
LiquidityBook today announced its SaaS-based LBX Buyside POEMS (portfolio, order and execution management system) has been selected by three West Coast hedge funds: Pier 88 Investment Partners, Zeo Capital Advisors and Solstein Capital.


Risk Hungry? Meet Barclays’s New Investment Bank Boss
Max Colchester and Jenny Strasburg – WSJ
Barclays PLC’s new corporate-and-investment-banking boss, Tim Throsby, recently stood in a hall at the bank’s London offices to address over a hundred members of his team and dozens of others who had dialed in from abroad. He started by explaining who he is. Last year Barclays Chief Executive Jes Staley turned to Mr. Throsby, a relatively unknown former J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. executive, to run Barclays International, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the bank’s revenue.

More than two thirds of bankers are ‘bored’ with their jobs
Will Martin – Business Insider
Over two-thirds of bankers and financial services workers are “bored” in their jobs, according to new research released by salary benchmarking site Emolument.

A top Wall Street bank is looking for the next generation of dealmakers
Matt Turner – Business Insider
UBS is on the lookout for the next generation of dealmakers in the US.

The Canadian investment idea that busted a mutual-fund monopoly
David Berman – The Globe and Mail
There was a time when mutual funds roamed the financial landscape virtually unchallenged, charging high fees and underperforming benchmarks – as a group – without concern. Investors with smaller amounts of capital may have grumbled, but they had few alternatives.

The Rise and Decline of the Hedge Fund Billionaire
Gretchen Morgenson – NY Times
In the annals of the immensely wealthy, the hedge fund manager is a relatively new entry. It has been only about a decade since significant numbers of hedge fund managers, including Kenneth C. Griffin of Citadel, Paul Tudor Jones of Tudor Investment Corporation and Steven A. Cohen of Point72 Asset Management, began appearing on billionaire rankings.

The Fed Is Behind the Curve
Charles Lieberman – Bloomberg
Senior Federal Reserve officials have commented recently on how undesirable it would be if the Donald Trump administration implemented expansionary fiscal policy right now.

Citi to improve internal systems after pays fine for South Africa forex collusion
Citibank, N.A. South Africa said on Monday it aimed to improve its internal systems and monitoring processes after it agreed to pay a 69.5 million rand ($5 million) penalty for its role in a forex trading cartel.

The biggest hedge funds have been piling into bank stocks
Julia La Roche – Yahoo Finance
The biggest hedge funds recently revealed the stocks they bought and sold after the presidential election. The financial sector gained popularity, seeing the largest inflows during the fourth quarter, according to a new report from FactSet that tracks the 50 biggest hedge funds.

Time for HSBC to Take Some Risks
Nisha Gopalan – Bloomberg
With a disappointing buyback in the cards, shares of HSBC Holdings Plc may struggle to continue their ascent. It’s time for the London-headquartered bank to deliver on revenue growth and profitability.

HSBC to Buy Back More Shares After Net Loss Widens; Stock price falls sharply
Margot Patrick and Joanne Chiu – WSJ
HSBC Holdings PLC said it would return more cash in a stock buyback despite weak fourth-quarter results that sent its stock down 6%.

HSBC profits tumble on writedowns and one-off costs; UK bank also blames slowing economic growth in its main markets
Don Weinland and Martin Arnold – FT
Shares in HSBC fell more than 6 per cent on Tuesday after one-off costs and multibillion-dollar writedowns dragged down the lender’s 2016 profits 62 per cent year on year to $7.1bn.


Chinese Banks’ Off-Book Wealth Products Exceed $3.8 Trillion
Chinese banks had more than 26 trillion yuan ($3.8 trillion) of wealth-management products held off their balance sheets at the end of December, a 30 percent increase from a year earlier, according to the central bank.

This Currency Reigns Supreme in Asian Emerging-Market Plays
Yumi Teso and Lilian Karunungan – Bloomberg
As the most sensitive emerging Asian currency, South Korea’s won provides the best proxy for investors looking to bet on how the region reacts to U.S. President Donald Trump.

Saudi Bank Samba Follows Bourse in Naming Woman to Top Position
Matthew Martin and Vivian Nereim – Bloomberg
Saudi Arabia’s Samba Financial Group named Rania Mahmoud Nashar as chief executive officer, the second woman to ascend to a top finance position in recent days as the conservative kingdom goes through unprecedented social and economic change.

China Economic Policy Has Never Been More Uncertain. Sort of.
Economic policy is always challenging to decipher in China, where Communist Party leaders steer one of the world’s most opaque central banks. Indeed, one measure of uncertainty has never been higher amid complications from Hong Kong’s politics to Donald Trump’s protectionism.

China’s bitcoin traders are finding new ways to trade after an official clampdown
Joon Ian Wong – Quartz
China’s central bank has stepped up oversight of bitcoin exchanges this year, leading major trading platforms to impose halts on withdrawals and other checks to appease the regulator. But Chinese traders aren’t playing alongóthey are apparently flocking to peer-to-peer marketplaces to continue buying and selling bitcoin.

Saudi Arabia Breaks Records on Oil Exports and Output for Year
Wael Mahdi – Bloomberg
Saudi Arabia boosted oil exports and production last year to the highest monthly averages on record as the global crude market endured oversupply.

Japan’s move to end ‘death by overwork’ will drag economic growth: Deutsche Bank
Leslie Shaffer – CNBC
Japan’s efforts to put the kibosh on karoshi, or “death by overwork,” by addressing excessive overtime could weigh heavily on economic growth, Deutsche Bank said.

Mexico City, Parched and Sinking, Faces a Water Crisis
Michael Kimmelman – NY Times
On bad days, you can smell the stench from a mile away, drifting over a nowhere sprawl of highways and office parks.

Rules threaten $100bn worth of China share sales; Securities regulator concerned private placements used to fund speculation
Gabriel Wildau and Ma Nan – FT
At least 180 Chinese listed companies will be forced to cancel or scale back planned rights offerings worth $97bn in response to regulations that target excessive fundraising used for dubious acquisitions and financial speculation.

Greece Misses Another Bailout Deadline as Talks Set to Resume
Ian Wishart, Corina Ruhe and Marine Strauss – Bloomberg
Agreement on sending monitors to Athens topped Monday agenda; Finance ministers meeting in Brussels say deal wasn’t urgent
Euro-area finance ministers on Monday poured cold water on a quick disbursal of new aid payments, with Athens and its creditors agreeing to pick up discussions in the coming days. Greek bonds rallied.

What is the message from Greece’s bond market?; The small size makes it difficult for investors to decipher
Elaine Moore – FT
The International Monetary Fund’s description of Greek debt as potentially explosive has left negotiators in Brussels struggling to bridge the differences between Athens and its creditors before time runs out to avert default.


The head of an investment bank explains how Trump, Brexit, and the rest have changed trading
Matt Turner – Business Insider
The world has changed pretty dramatically in the past 12 months.
We’ve moved from an era of globalization to one of nationalism and populism. There has been a shift from fears of stagflation to one where inflation is the buzzword. Davos Man has lost the ascendancy, and now Joe Six Pack is in charge.


How Mark Cuban Hangs Onto His Money
Paul Sullivan – NY Times
If there is a wild, out-there script to becoming a billionaire, Mark Cuban could lay claim to following it. Mr. Cuban, worth $3.4 billion, now owns the Dallas Mavericks, which won the N.B.A. championship in 2011, and is a star of “Shark Tank,” a reality television show where successful entrepreneurs vote to support or reject a new entrepreneur’s business.

U.S. Appetite for Organic Food Prompts Jump in Grain Imports; Farmers Cry Foul; Prices for organic grains sag despite booming demand; U.S. growers say foreign rivals don’t face the same oversight
Jacob Bunge – WSJ
Organic grain is flooding into the U.S., depressing prices and drawing complaints from domestic organic farmers who fear their harvests are held to stricter standards than foreign-raised crops.

Smartphone Addicts Behind the Wheel Drive Car Insurance Rates Higher; Insurers increasingly blame distracted drivers as costs related to crashes outpace premium increases
Leslie Scism and Nicole Friedman – WSJ
Distracted by their smartphones, America’s drivers are becoming more dangerous by the day. That is pushing auto-insurance rates higher as insurers struggle to keep up.

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