Robots Conquered Stock Markets. Now They’re Coming for Bonds and Currencies

Mar 7, 2019

First Read

Open Outcry Traders History Project Announced by John Lothian
Large Scale Video Project Seeks to Capture the History of Open Outcry Traders and Era

John J. Lothian & Company, Inc., MarketsWiki Education and John Lothian Productions are pleased to announce plans for a large scale video project to collect the history of the open outcry era and traders’ personal stories. Additionally, John Lothian Productions plans to develop video documentaries about specific themes and subjects emerging from the collected personal histories.

The goal is to capture the stories of traders from an era that is increasingly becoming part of history before these accounts are lost forever. Open outcry trading was a form of commerce that was central to price discovery and risk transfer in the equities and derivatives markets for decades and even centuries, and its last participants are rapidly disappearing.

The project is modeled on the Veterans History Project signed into law by President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. In this case, rather than capturing the experiences of veterans of warfare and conflict, we are capturing the personal market experiences of those who participated in open outcry markets around the world. Traders from Chicago to London to Paris to Sydney to Singapore and beyond are welcome to submit videos.

Futures, equities and options traders who were part of the open outcry trading floors are welcome to participate in this project. Videos may be shot with a cellphone or video cameras and submitted, or John Lothian Productions will shoot interviews in its Chicago offices and other venues. We will make time slots available frequently for traders to sign up and sit for the interviews.

John Lothian Productions, the custom video arm of John J. Lothian & Company, Inc., will collect and present these videos on the website.

We have developed a list of questions for traders to address during their videos as well as a list of pointers for how to shoot a good video and record quality sound on a cellphone. These lists will be shared with traders signing up for the project.

Those traders interested are asked to fill out this Google Form or email us at for more information.


Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

Thomas F. Cashman, the corporate lawyer for John J. Lothian & Company, Inc., a former soybean pit trader and broker and member of the JJLCO Advisory Committee, brought the idea for the Open Outcry Traders History Project to the firm. Tom is the son of Thomas J. Cashman, a CBOT member who gave me my start in the industry.~JJL

The FIA has updated its SEF tracker with February’s data. Interest rate swap volumes are on a tear in 2019 in USD terms. While February’s IRS volumes were down from January, both February and January’s IRS volumes topped 2018’s January high of $724 billion.~SD

FTR Transportation Intelligence reported that Class 8 truck orders (the big ones – semis and the like) were down 58 percent year-over-year. However, it’s a cyclical industry and order backlogs are still at high levels. Where are those trucking futures already? (Oh, yeah, they’re launching on March 29 over at Nodal Exchange.)~SD

Random GE tidbit that isn’t about its cash flow and/or gnarly equity price action: Baker Hughes, a GE company, hosts an interactive map of U.S. oil and gas rigs that is updated monthly.~SD

Tim Apple??~JJL


Why the world is awash with $100 bills
This is meant to be a digital era — yet we’re still inexplicably crazy for cash
Gillian Tett – FT Magazine Opinion
In the decade since the 2008 crisis, plenty of weird things have occurred in the world of finance. But this week a new phenomenon was observed that might make even economists and financiers blink. Torsten Slok, Deutsche Bank’s chief international economist, spotted that the volume of hundred-dollar bills in circulation had, according to data compiled by the US Federal Reserve, doubled since 2008, leaving around 12.5 billion of these bills stuffed into wallets, safes and suitcases globally. That’s $1.25tn.

***** I wonder what this means for the supply of cocaine?~JJL


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Americans Blame Wall Street for Making American Dream Harder to Achieve
John McCormick – Bloomberg
Almost half of Americans say Wall Street banks have made the “American Dream” more difficult to attain, according to a national poll released Wednesday that also shows capitalism still has strong support.

****** I am smart enough, I am good enough, but gosh darn it, Wall Street is holding me back.~JJL


Steering Clear of the Top-Paid CEOs Pays Off for a Nordea Fund
Jonas Cho Walsgard – Bloomberg
It’s better to buy companies that pay their chief executive officers lower salaries. “I see a rather big difference,” said Robert Naess, who manages $36 billion at Nordea Bank Abp. “You shouldn’t buy the companies where the CEO make the most. It has worked over many years.”

***** Good strategy. Buy all 3 companies that are like that.~JJL


Wednesday’s Top Three
Imagine that, Trump appointees working on Dodd-Frank limits on bonuses. Our top story of the day was Bloomberg’s Wall Street Pay Limits Said to Get Fresh Look by Regulators. It may make more sense than you think. Second was France24’s piece, German market puts brakes on high-frequency traders. Third was Bloomberg’s Europe Dirty Money Scandals Expose Absence of Credible Cops. From the story, there is “no central agency charged with investigating crimes that by one estimate may total as much as $2 trillion globally each year.” Hmmm, and one wonders why the money laundering argument holds against crypto markets.


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Lead Stories

Robots Conquered Stock Markets. Now They’re Coming for Bonds and Currencies
Lananh Nguyen – Bloomberg
New breed takes over to accelerate electronic-trading efforts; BofA, Morgan Stanley, UBS are among firms enlisting their help
Ashok Krishnan’s colleagues at Bank of America initially brushed off his pitch to automate trading. He recalls how some barely acknowledged him in the halls. But before long their aversion gave way to requests for help.

Regulators Move to Ease Crisis-Era Levers Over Financial Firms; FSOC to review business sector activity rather than individual nonbank companies
Andrew Ackerman, Liz Hoffman and Gabriel T. Rubin – WSJ
Regulators dialed back a practice of publicly shaming the nation’s biggest banks through “stress test” exams, taking one of the biggest steps yet to ease scrutiny put in place after the 2008 crisis.

US derivatives regulator opens probes into foreign bribery cases
Kadhim Shubber and Gregory Meyer – FT
The top US derivatives regulator is investigating cases involving foreign bribery, a senior official revealed on Wednesday in a warning shot to global commodities traders. James McDonald, the director of enforcement at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, warned in a speech that the agency had “open investigations” in overseas corruption cases.

Global regulators launch inquiry into leveraged loans; Scrutiny reflects concerns that corporate debt could undermine financial stability
Sam Fleming – FT
The Financial Stability Board, a top global rulemaker, has launched an examination of parts of the $1.4tn leveraged loan market, as officials intensify scrutiny into potential financial stability risks surrounding corporate debt.

Nordic Regulators Propose Bigger Fines, Prison in Response to Money-Laundering Scandal
Kati Pohjanpalo – Bloomberg
Hit by a money-laundering scandal involving their biggest banks, Nordic policy makers are stepping up the region’s defenses. Here is a list of actions and proposals made by governments and financial watchdogs across the Nordic countries.

Startup Stock Exchange Builds Executive Team With Nasdaq Hires
Alexander Osipovich – WSJ
A Nasdaq Inc. executive and one other key employee have left for Members Exchange, or MEMX, a startup with prominent Wall Street backers that plans to launch a low-cost stock exchange, people familiar with the situation said.
Thomas Fay, a senior vice president at Nasdaq who had overseen a number of technology initiatives, and Dominick Paniscotti, a vice president who worked with Mr. Fay, left the company last week, a Nasdaq spokesman confirmed.

Volcker 2.0 Is Said to Face Do-Over After Wall Street Complaints
Jesse Hamilton – Bloomberg
U.S. regulators are poised to scrap their proposal for revising Volcker Rule restrictions on banks’ trading in favor of a newer version as they respond to a misstep that drew fire from Wall Street lobbyists, according to people familiar with the effort.

Wall Street Gets Blame in Poll as Roadblock to ‘American Dream’
John McCormick – Bloomberg
Survey shows Americans think financial industry hurts them; Capitalism still viewed generally positively by most in U.S.
Almost half of Americans say Wall Street banks have made the “American Dream” more difficult to attain, according to a national poll released Wednesday that also shows capitalism still has strong support.

Regulators Move to Ease Post-Crisis Oversight of Wall Street
Alan Rappeport and Emily Flitter – NY Times
Federal regulators moved on Wednesday to ease oversight of the country’s largest banks and other financial firms, continuing a push by the Trump administration to reverse rules that were put in place following the 2008 financial crisis.

World’s wealthy face UK golden visa crackdown; Dirty money targeted in wake of Skripal attack but campaigners underwhelmed by new rules
Helen Warrell – FT
Wealthy investors from countries such as Russia who want to settle in Britain face stricter rules on so-called golden visas under a new regime to be announced on Thursday, a crackdown spurred by the Skripal nerve agent attack.

Brookline Pioneers Use Of New AMERIBOR Benchmark Interest Rate
Brookline Bank, a subsidiary of Brookline Bancorp, became the first bank in the Northeast to index a commercial loan to the American Interbank Offered Rate (AMERIBOR). AMERIBOR is a new benchmark interest rate created by the American Financial Exchange (AFX). AMERIBOR reflects the true unsecured funding costs for a nationally broad base of U.S. banks and financial institutions.

Monthly Activity Reports – February 2019
Average daily volume (ADV) across rates, credit, money markets and equities for Tradeweb Markets continued to grow year over year (YoY). ADV for February 2019 of $601.6 billion (bn) rose 6.5 percent (%) YoY while average daily trades totaled 50,128.

MarketAxess plans to aggressively look for new acquisitions: CEO
Kevin Dugan – NY Post
MarketAxess, the largest electronic bond-trading platform in the US, is on the hunt to buy up companies to beef up its data business and make buying and selling debt around the world smoother for traders, Rick McVey, the company’s CEO, told The Post in an exclusive interview.

Wall Street Wants to Reform CDS. Here’s Why That’ll Be Tough
Claire Boston – Bloomberg
Manufactured defaults aren’t the only trades to draw scrutiny; Panel that governs the market has faced controversy itself
Some of Wall Street’s biggest players are proposing a fix that they hope will reform a $10 trillion credit derivatives market that has become a hotbed of ruthless side deals and alleged manipulation. It may not be so simple.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Nasdaq And Bourse Régionale Des Valeurs Mobilières (BRVM) Sign New Market Surveillance Technology Agreement
Nasdaq and Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières (BRVM) have signed a new agreement for Nasdaq to deliver market surveillance technology (SMARTS) to BRVM. BRVM is one of the world’s most integrated supranational organizations. It connects eight West African markets, which leverage a single common exchange, currency, central bank and language. BRVM will implement Nasdaq’s surveillance technology to monitor cross-market and cross-asset trading activity.

Intercontinental Exchange Announces Successful First Auction for Permian WTI Crude Oil Storage Futures Deliverable at Magellan East Houston
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, today announced the completion of the first auction for the ICE Permian WTI Crude Oil Storage Futures (HOS), deliverable at Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P.’s (NYSE: MMP) terminal in East Houston, Texas.

JPX welcomed Ms. Mary Schapiro, Special Advisor to the Chairman of TCFD
On February 12, Japan Exchange Group Inc. (JPX) and the Japan’s Financial Services Agency co-hosted a symposium titled “TCFD – The Power of the TCFD Framework in Company-Investor Dialogue”. Prior to the symposium, JPX welcomed Ms. Mary Schapiro for a discussion with Akira Kiyota, JPX Group CEO(Sustainability Committee, Chair), on promoting the TCFD (the FSB’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures). Ms. Schapiro, who was the 29th Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, currently serves as Special Advisor to the Chairman, TCFD.

Euronext announces volumes for February 2019
Euronext, the leading pan-European exchange in the Eurozone, today announced trading volumes for February 2019.

Eurex Clearing: CCP 16.5 – Introduction of T2S settlement for selected NCSC instruments
With the introduction of T2S processing for Clearstream (CBF) in the course of the T2S wave 3 migration, Eurex Clearing has aligned its internal processing to the T2S continuous settlement.


QuantHouse wins ‘Best Low Latency Data Feed – Managed’ at the 2019 TradingTech Insight Europe Awards
QuantHouse, the leading independent global provider of end-to-end systematic trading solutions including innovative market data services, algo trading platform and infrastructure solutions, today announced it has been awarded ‘Best Low Latency Data Feed – Managed’ at the 2019 TradingTech Insight Europe Awards.

Banks say they lack the necessary digital and leadership capabilities to transform their businesses
Eleni Digalaki – Business Insider
To identify how financial services firms measure up on their digital transformation journey, companies, including banks and insurers, were asked to consider how they’re doing across four areas of capability: customer experience, operations, business model innovation, and talent and organization, per a Capgemini report published this week.

Arista Introduces Enhanced Ultra-low Latency, High-precision Network Application Platforms
Arista Networks (NYSE:ANET) today announced the Arista 7130L Series, the next generation ultra-low latency, high-precision network application platform, with deterministic 5 nanosecond switching and virtually undetectable jitter. The 7130L Series consolidates FPGA (field-programmable gate array) based network applications, notably MetaMux, which enables lower latency data aggregation and is ideal for connecting electronic trading platforms directly to exchanges and MetaWatch for tapping and aggregating time-stamped packets for data analysis or compliance.

Cognizant Acquires Meritsoft, an Award-Winning Fintech Innovator in Post-Trade Processing
Cognizant today announced it has acquired Meritsoft, a privately-held financial software company based in Dublin, Ireland. Meritsoft is best known for its FINBOS platform for post-trade processing, an intelligent automation solution for managing taxes, fees, commissions, and cash flow functions between financial institutions. Meritsoft’s products are currently used by five of the world’s eight leading investment banks. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Fintech Innovator ThinkMarkets Launches New Low-Latent Algorithmic & Automated Trading Solution
ThinkMarkets, a leading provider of financial derivatives trading that is headquartered in Australia has announced the launch of its new offering that caters to the needs of algorithmic and automated traders. The new solution, ThinkZero, combines advanced trading technology and a sophisticated order management system to provide some of the lowest spreads and fastest order execution on currencies, stock indices and commodity derivatives.

Stable Launches A Commodity Price Risk Management Platform And Seals $6m Seed Funding Round
Stable, the venture backed fintech that is rapidly disrupting the commodity price risk management (CPRM) industry, today announces the launch of its risk management platform. The new platform is initially focused on food and farming businesses in over 15 countries around the world. Stable has raised $6m in seed funding from Anthemis, Syngenta Ventures, Baloise and Ascot Underwriting.

Nationwide invests in Antony Jenkins fintech 10x
Nicholas Megaw – FT
Nationwide has taken a stake in the technology company set up by former Barclays chief Antony Jenkins, as it looks to strengthen its systems ahead of a new push into business banking.

Why Wall Street is betting on business software; Investors hope that fast-growing but mainly lossmaking apps can become essential office tools
Richard Waters – FT
So much for the technology stock collapse. Some of the tech companies worst hit in last autumn’s stock market retreat have bounced back to new highs in recent weeks — in the process shining a spotlight on a group of business software applications that are becoming increasingly familiar to the world’s white-collar workers.

Amazon won’t spin-off Amazon Web Services
Jamie Powell – FT
We like Scott Galloway on Alphaville. The colourful professor of marketing at NYU Stern School of Business holds big, acerbic opinions on tech, media and finance. And he isn’t afraid to share them. He also once graced Alphachat, so there’s that too.


Credit Agricole-Backed Blockchain Startup in Insolvency Filing
Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
SETL, a London-based blockchain startup that named a former Bank of France governor to its board and counts Credit Agricole SA among its investors, has appointed administrators in a step to protect itself from creditors.

Experts finally tracked down the digital wallets of the crypto CEO who died with sole access to millions. They say the money’s gone
Theron Mohamed – Business Insider
Millions of dollars were missing when the CEO of a crypto exchange died without sharing the passwords to his accounts. Investigators, who have secured his laptop and other devices, have revealed the money is gone.

Swiss Stock Exchange SIX Will Tokenize Equity on R3’s Corda Blockchain
Ian Allison – Coindesk
SIX Group, the Swiss stock exchange operator, has picked R3’s Corda Enterprise platform as the underlying blockchain for the digital asset trading, settlement, and custody service it is building.

Facebook Should Pay Everyone Cryptocurrency
Robert Hackett – Fortune
Facebook is undergoing a major transformation—the likes of which haven’t been seen in Menlo Park since since the company reinvented itself for the mobile era. The revamp centers on Facebook’s messenger apps. The tech giant is reportedly in talks with cryptocurrency exchanges to list a Facebook Coin, a messenger-compatible stablecoin pegged to a basket of traditional currencies, like the U.S. dollar and Euro, as The New York Times reported last week. This virtual coin would presumably roll out across Facebook’s to-be-consolidated messenger networks: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram messages.

Experts finally cracked the laptop of the crypto CEO who died with sole access to $137 million. But the money was already gone.
Theron Mohamed – Markets Insider
Millions of dollars were missing when the CEO of a crypto exchange died without sharing the passwords to his accounts. Investigators recently cracked his laptop — only to find the money was gone. Gerald Cotten, the founder of QuadrigaCX, was thought to have had sole access to the funds and coins exchanged on it. After his death in December, his colleagues said that about $137 million in cryptocurrency belonging to about 115,000 customers was held offline in “cold storage” and inaccessible.

Litecoin Is Rocketing, Boosting Bitcoin And Ethereum–Here’s Why
Billy Bambrough – Forbes
Litecoin, currently the world’s fifth largest major cryptocurrency by value, has leaped higher today following a steady rise over the last few days, pushing bitcoin, ethereum, and the wider cryptocurrency market higher. The litecoin price, which is some 85% down from its all-time highs, has risen 17% over the last 24 hours to a year-to-date high of $55. Litecoin began the year at just over $30 per coin.

Bitcoin Investors Targeted With Audits By Canada’s Federal Tax Agency
Kyle Torpey – Forbes
Multiple sources have confirmed to me that users of bitcoin and other crypto assets in Canada have been targeted by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) with audits. Those who have been targeted by the CRA have also been sent comprehensive questionnaires to fill out regarding their bitcoin-related activity over the past years. Earlier this year, CRA Project Oversight Director Jared Adams tweeted about the possible use of bitcoin in money laundering in response to a recommendation made by a bitcoin-related company to their users.

Blockchain start-up Setl appoints administrators as part of “growth strategy” [update]
Jemima Kelly and Philip Stafford
Setl, the blockchain firm founded by Chi-X founder Peter Randall whose board features a number of finance heavyweights, has appointed administrators as part of a “corporate reorganisation” that will separate Setl’s software business from its “investments portfolio”.


In Blow to Trump, America’s Trade Deficit in Goods Hits Record $891 Billion
Jim Tankersley and Ana Swanson – NY Times
America’s trade deficit in goods with the rest of the world rose to its highest level in history last year as the United States imported a record number of products, including from China, widening the deficit to $891.3 billion and delivering a setback to President Trump’s goal of narrowing that gap.

Blow to Trump as US trade deficit hits 10-year high; Data defy president’s key campaign promise to reduce imbalance
James Politi and Matthew Rocco – FT
The US trade deficit soared to $621bn last year, its highest level in a decade, dealing a blow to President Donald Trump’s ambitions to reduce an imbalance he has depicted as the primary threat to the American economy.

US ‘humanitarian crisis’ hounds Nielsen and Wall St; Homeland secretary grilled on separation policy as detention centre group scraps IPO
Courtney Weaver and Nicole Bullock – FT
The US homeland security secretary came under fresh pressure in tough questioning from House Democrats on Wednesday about the administration’s emergency declaration over the southern border and its family separation policy for immigrants.

Russia passes laws to ban ‘fake news’ and insulting officials online; Critics say legislation is tantamount to censorship
Max Seddon – FT
Russia has passed legislation that bans “fake news” and forbids insulting official institutions online in a move critics say is tantamount to total arbitrary censorship.

Trump Wants a China Deal and a Stocks Rally. He May Not Get Both
Saleha Mohsin and Emily Barrett – Bloomberg
Reality is that any deal may fail to meet market expectations; Trump, Xi may meet in Mar-a-Lago in next month to talk trade
President Donald Trump wants the stock market to celebrate if he strikes a trade deal with China. Investors may struggle to deliver.

Business groups go on lobbying offense against financial transaction tax proposed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats
Brian Schwartz – CNBC
Business advocacy groups are going on the offensive against a financial transaction tax that’s been proposed by Democrats as a way to curtail high-frequency trading and reduce the budget deficit.


SEC commissioner’s report reveals a ‘very troubling’ pattern in stock buybacks and insider selling
Julia La Roche – Yahoo Finance
Corporate executives cash out of their own stock more after their firms announce stock buybacks than on a typical day. And in the long run, the share prices of those companies underperform. This is according to a letter written by SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson.

Ex-UBS Trader, Whose Case Judges Called a `Tragedy,’ Sues Bank
Jonathan Browning – Bloomberg
A former UBS Group AG trader, banned from the finance industry over allegations he manipulated Libor rates, is suing the bank for breach of contract.

ESMA sets out its approach to several MiFID II/MiFIR and BMR provisions under a no-deal Brexit
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today published a statement on its approach to the application of some key MiFID II/MiFIR and Benchmark (BMR) provisions should the United Kingdom (UK) leave the European Union (EU) under a no-deal Brexit.

ESMA report values EU Alternative Investment Funds at EUR4.9 trillion
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) today published its first statistical report on European Union (EU) Alternative Investment Funds (AIF). The study finds that the EU AIF sector in 2017, as measured by Net Asset Value (NAV), amounted to EUR4.9tn or nearly one third of the total EU fund industry. The report is based on data from 26,378 AIFs, or 80% of the market, and will be published annually.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the 529 Plan Share Class Initiative
FINRA is providing these Frequently Asked Questions about its 529 Plan Share Class Initiative (the “Initiative”) in response to a number of inquiries it has received from firms and trade associations. In order to allow firms sufficient time to consider the additional information provided here and to provide firms more time to review their supervisory systems and procedures with respect to 529 plan sales, FINRA is extending the due dates set forth in Regulatory Notice 19-04. New due dates: Participating firms must provide FINRA Enforcement notice of their self-report by April 30, 2019, and then must confirm their eligibility by submitting the additional information specified in Regulatory Notice 19-04 by May 31, 2019.

Mobile TeleSystems Settles FCPA Violations
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Russian telecommunications provider Mobile TeleSystems PJSC (MTS) will pay $100 million to resolve SEC charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) to win business in Uzbekistan.

Remarks of Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo at the 4th Annual DC Blockchain Summit; “The Digital Trinity: Technology, Markets, and Policy”
I am delighted to join all of you today. I am delighted because it is great to be part of this program put on by the Chamber of Digital Commerce, an organization that brings so much intelligence to the public discussion of digital assets and Blockchain technology. My thanks to Perianne Boring, who is truly one of the foundational figures in this emerging field of innovation.

CFTC Division of Enforcement Issues Advisory on Violations of the Commodity Exchange Act Involving Foreign Corrupt Practices
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Division of Enforcement today announced an Enforcement Advisory on self-reporting and cooperation for violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) involving foreign corrupt practices. CFTC’s Enforcement Director James McDonald announced the new Advisory in remarks he made today at the American Bar Association’s National Institute on White Collar Crime.

Remarks of CFTC Director of Enforcement James M. McDonald at the American Bar Association’s National Institute on White Collar Crime
The mission of the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement is to protect the public and preserve market integrity by detecting, investigating, and prosecuting violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA). In pursuit of this mission, one of the Division’s priorities has been to continue to enhance coordination with our law enforcement partners. This priority reflects good, common sense. We know that twenty-first century bad actors do not conform their misconduct to the technical boundaries of our respective jurisdictions, nor do they pause as their conduct crosses international borders. So we in the enforcement community must work together to meet the challenges presented by this sort of wrongdoing. As I get started, please keep in mind that these are my own views and not necessarily those of the Commission or its staff.

FCA reveals findings from first cryptoassets consumer research
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today published two pieces of research looking at UK consumer attitudes to cryptoassets, such as Bitcoin or Ether. The research includes qualitative interviews with UK consumers and a national survey.

EU States Reject Dirty-Money List Targeting Saudis, Puerto Rico
Alexander Weber – Bloomberg
European Union governments unanimously rejected a list of foreign jurisdictions posing higher risks of money laundering, criticizing officials in Brussels for drawing up the document in a flawed manner.

Federal Reserve scraps ‘qualitative’ test for U.S. banks in 2019 stress tests
Michelle Price, Pete Schroeder – Reuters
The U.S. Federal Reserve said on Wednesday it would no longer flunk banks based on operational or risk management lapses during its annual health check of the country’s domestic banks.

Investing and Trading

5 Questions With John “Rambo” Moulton
Brian Mehta – TT
John “Rambo” MoultonJohn “Rambo” Moulton was originally featured on Trade Talk last June in Chatting with Traders in Sydney: 4 Key Principles from John Moulton aka Rambo. We’ve circled back to get deeper into the “Rambo way” of trading.

‘Big Oil’ is rapidly becoming ‘Big Shale’; Bullish production forecasts from US supermajors make unhappy reading for Opec nations
David Sheppard – FT
It is not often that routine corporate updates can rattle nations but that is exactly what happened this week.

Why macro hedge funds keep praying for a return of volatility; The outlook for big bets on stocks, bonds and currencies should really be improving
Laurence Fletcher – FT
Hedge funds betting on big moves in global currency, bond and stock markets have not enjoyed the best of times of late.

Why bulls on Wall Street are becoming an endangered species; Investors build up cash levels amid fears that near-record US expansion may end soon
Richard Henderson and Robin Wigglesworth – FT
When Krishna Memani, chief investment officer for OppenheimerFunds, went on TV a few months ago to discuss his view that the US stock market bull run had at least another five years left in it, the hosts and guests were visibly flabbergasted.

MMT Moment? Pimco Veteran McCulley Says It Deserves a Hearing
Emily Barrett – Bloomberg
Economist who coined ‘Minsky Moment’ agrees with MMT’s logic; But he says more thought is needed on role Fed would play
Paul McCulley and Modern Monetary Theory go way back. The former Pimco chief economist says he’s “not a card-carrying MMTer.” But he has a lot of sympathy for the doctrine that’s burst into the debate about America’s public finances — and drawing a barrage of criticism from the economics mainstream.

Moving past the soyabean solution
Brendan Greeley – FT
Agreements between nations, like flowers and children, last while they last.
That’s Robert Lighthizer, the US Trade Representative, in testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee last week. He’s paraphrasing a rather less delicate quote from Charles De Gaulle, but the point he’s making is this: a deal with China won’t solve the problem.

Muni Bonds Enjoy Historic Run Despite Tax Overhaul; Investors this year have poured the most money into municipal bond funds in at least 13 years
Gunjan Banerji – WSJ
Municipal bonds are enjoying their strongest start to a year since at least 2006, defying expectations that President Trump’s sweeping tax overhaul would depress demand in the market.


Research Unbundling in the US Leaves Buy Side, SEC in a Quandary
Larry Tabb – TABB Forum
While MiFID II is a European mandate, it has driven global buy-side firms to attempt to unbundle their research bills in the US and beyond. But even if large US brokers were willing to change their business models and unbundle research and execution, most are prohibited from receiving direct hard dollars for research unless they register as investment advisors, which comes with additional rules and compliance challenges. This leaves US buy-side firms looking to unbundle in a quandary, as they may not be able to pay their US brokers. TABB Group founder and research chairman Larry Tabb looks at the SEC’s possible solutions and the challenges to each approach.

Employee Backlash Prompts BNY Mellon Into Work-at-Home U-Turn
Will Hadfield – Bloomberg
Bank of New York Mellon Corp. has done a U-turn on restricting staff working from home after a backlash from employees.

Deutsche Bank Is Making Deep Cuts to 2018 Bonuses
Jake Rudnitsky and Steven Arons – Bloomberg
Lender said to have cut bonus pool to below 2 billion euros; Deutsche Bank said to be giving raises to the top performers
Deutsche Bank AG employees learned their bonuses on Wednesday, with many facing deep cuts and some bankers in New York and London receiving zero payouts, people with knowledge of the decisions said.

Fed votes not to impose capital buffer on banks
Greg Robb – MarketWatch
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday voted not to activate the countercyclical capital buffer on the largest banks in the country, a sign the central bank doesn’t believe there’s a problem with financial stability.
In a statement, the Fed said the board voted 4-1 to affirm the buffer at the current level of zero.

European and UK G-Sibs cut leverage at year-end
Alessandro Aimone –
All but two of the 11 systemically important European and UK banks improved their leverage ratios in the last quarter of 2018, after loading up on capital and cutting exposures.

Anne Dinning returns to hedge fund DE Shaw; Pioneer of algorithmic trading rejoins quant’s executive committee
Robin Wigglesworth – FT
Anne Dinning, one the most prominent women in quantitative finance, has rejoined the executive committee of DE Shaw, the secretive New York hedge fund where she helped pioneer algorithmic trading that has since spread across Wall Street.

Banco do Brasil London Branch Deploys CloudMargin Platform for Global Collateral Processing
Brazilian Bank Branch Improves Control and Efficiency in Managing OTC FX Transactions
CloudMargin Press Release
CloudMargin, creator of the world’s first and only collateral and margin management solution native to the cloud, today announced that Banco do Brasil in London, a branch of one of Latin America’s largest banks, has deployed the CloudMargin platform for its global collateral processing.

Alan Howard’s Hedge Fund Slumps 8.5% in Two Months
Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg
Hedge-fund manager Alan Howard is having a rough start to 2019 in the fund that he oversees himself, a person with knowledge of the matter said.


New Generation of FX Traders in Italy Gives Hope to the Industry
Celeste Skinner – Finance Magnates
Europe is home to one of the largest retail foreign exchange (forex) markets in the world. The FX market in the region is often thought of as a whole, however, it is comprised of smaller local markets, each with varying degrees of maturity and size.
In Europe, Italy is not often thought of as an FX trading hub. However, although the market is small, it could be on the verge of a turning point. So how does the FX industry in Italy stack up?

MSCI Pulls Chinese Stock From Indexes Over Foreign Ownership Cap; The weighting of a second company will be cut
Joanne Chiu – WSJ
Global index compiler MSCI Inc. MSCI -0.64% removed a Shenzhen-listed company from its China indexes and cut the weighting of a large home-appliance maker, as international holdings of both got close to breaching national foreign-ownership limits.

emissions goals come under fire
David Sheppard and Leslie Hook – FT
The UK has announced a new target to source a third of its electricity from offshore wind by 2030, but faces criticism for not setting more ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions.

Easy Money in European Gas Thwarted by Brimming Stockpiles
Vanessa Dezem and Andrew Reierson – Bloomberg
Winter-summer season spread most profitable since 2011; Gas storage capacity has shrunk 4 percent over past two years
Buying European natural gas in the summer to sell during winter is the most profitable it’s been for eight years — at least on paper. The trouble is there’s no room to store it.


U.K. Organic Foods Are Being Stockpiled Abroad Ahead of Brexit
Aine Quinn – Bloomberg
Some British organic food producers are stockpiling cheese and pork overseas so that they’ll still be able to sell the products if the U.K. leaves the European Union without a deal.
A no-deal Brexit risks shutting British producers out of some export markets because their foods would no longer be recognized as organic, a status it could take months to obtain. While the risk of a no-deal outcome by end-March has eased, some companies are still preparing for the worst by piling up goods in countries where they sell or process foods.

Philip Hammond warns Eurosceptics over Brexit deal vote; Chancellor says if May plan fails to pass parliament, it could lead to softer form of EU divorce
Jim Pickard – FT
Philip Hammond, the UK’s chancellor of the exchequer, has warned Conservative Eurosceptics that if they reject Theresa May’s deal to leave the EU they could end up with a softer form of Brexit.

EU Is Pessimistic That a Brexit Breakthrough Is in Reach
Ian Wishart and Dara Doyle – Bloomberg
European officials doubt anything they can offer will help; In London, Brexit hardliners becoming more entrenched
European and U.K. officials are pessimistic about the chances of a breakthrough in Brexit talks, with Britain accusing the bloc of intransigence and European negotiators worried that whatever they offer won’t be enough to get Parliament behind Theresa May’s deal.


Hudson Yards Bets $2 Billion a New Manhattan Mall Can Succeed; New York is usually where these suburban creatures go to die, but this massive development has some advantages others don’t.
Lily Katz and Kim Bhasin – Bloomberg
Developers and retailers have made a $2 billion wager that a new shopping mall can prosper in New York.

Deaths by suicide, drugs and alcohol reached an all-time high in 2017
In 2017, more than 151,000 Americans died of suicide or causes related to drugs or alcohol — the highest rate in U.S. history, according to a new study by Trust for America’s Health and Well Being Trust.

Why Women Need To Invest In Themselves
Irene Aldridge – Huffington Post
Twenty years ago, television told women to buy extraordinary quantities of shoes. There was the holy grail of happiness, according to the absolute hit “Sex in the City”. For today’s generation of women “Sex and the City” is out, and a new trend is in, marching in protest. The marching is against the dominant male stereotype, but also explicitly asking for the government (another patriarchal authority?) to provide certain services, higher wages, better working conditions, and the like.

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Floor Traders Clash With NYSE

Get a FREE 90 day trial of John Lothian Newsletter First Read Mr. Heath Tarbert Chairman, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Three Lafayette Centre 1155 21st Street, NW Washington, DC 20581 July 12, 2019 Dear Chairman Tarbert:...

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