First Read

BRIEF-CME Group on April 6, James Oliff notified company that he would resign from the board effective immediately
CME Group – on April 6, James Oliff notified company that he would resign from company’s board of directors effective immediately – sec filing Source text

***** Jim Oliff had a great run on the CME Group board and made many contributions to the success of the company. I wish him well with what comes next.


Scammers Used SeekingAlpha for Bogus Stock Promotions, SEC Says
by Matt Robinson – Bloomberg
Regulator fines firms that made payments to article writers; Authors received compensation for publishing bullish research tries to ensure that research published on its popular investing website is unbiased by requiring writers to disclose whether they’ve been paid for touting stocks. But U.S. regulators say there’s an easy work around: lying.

***** Cat, bag, out; hard to put back in.


Odd Lots: Inside The Hidden Cycles That Rule Markets, History and Everyday Life; Up, down, expand, contract.
by Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway
History, as you may have heard, has a tendency to repeat. But does it repeat in ways that are measurable and predictable? On this week’s episode of Odd Lots, we speak with Peter Borish, a veteran investor and trader, who is currently chief strategist at the Quad Group.

***** Peter Borish needs more screen time. He tells it like it is.


GreenKey CEO Focused on Using the Cloud for Next-Gen Voice Broking Data

For years people have been predicting the demise of voice broking, but to a great extent what has happened is smaller voice broker desks are doing the same amount of work. This calls for more efficiency and a creative use of technology, according to Nader Shwayhat, the CEO of Green Key Technologies.

Read the rest and watch the video »


Stock Analysts’ Biases Are Showing, a Study Finds; Male stock analysts tend to write more favorably about public companies headed by men than about companies led by women
By Jeff Brown – WSJ
Turns out birds of a feather flock together on Wall Street, too: Male stock analysts tend to write more favorably about public companies headed by men than about companies led by women. White analysts favor firms run by white chief executives. And Republicans and Americans in general prefer companies helmed by people like them.

****** Who knew guys liked other guys. Weird?


Will London Fall?
By Sarah Lyall, The New York Times
The metropolis that globalization created may well be the capital of the world. But after the “Brexit” referendum, its future as an international crossroad is far from certain.

***JB: The movie was not that good.


Al Golin, PR counsel who helped Ray Kroc build McDonald’s, dies at 87
By STEVEN R. STRAHLER – Crain’s Chicago Business
Al Golin, who made one of the most famous cold calls in public relations history when he rang up McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc 60 years ago, died April 8 at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was…

***** What I did not mention yesterday was that Al Golin was the father of the uber-talented PR professional Ellen Resnick. Condolences to Ellen and her family.


Monday’s Top Three
Our most read story yesterday (and in contention for most read story so far this year) is Bloomberg’s How Middle-Class America Got Fleeced. The second most read was a sad Wall Street Journal article, Wall Street Made Charles Murphy Successful and Rich, but Happiness Eluded Him. Third is The Wall Street Journal’s Why Commodity-Index Investing May Be Futile


MarketsWiki Stats
97,560,290 pages viewed; 22,452 pages; 205,213 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

SEC targets fake stock news on financial websites
By Jonathan Stempel – Reuters
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday announced a crackdown on alleged stock promotion schemes in which writers were secretly paid to post hundreds of bullish articles about public companies on financial websites.

Daniel Maguire appointed LCH Group Chief Operating Officer; Responsibilities include the development and execution of integrated global product strategy; Daniel will continue as Global Head of Rates and FX Derivatives
LCH, a leading global clearing house, is pleased to announce that Daniel Maguire has been appointed as LCH Group Chief Operating Officer (COO), effective immediately. He assumes this role in addition to his current responsibilities as Global Head of Rates & FX Derivatives.

The quickening evolution of trading — in charts; Automated algorithms are on the rise, with high-frequency trading volumes picking up
by: Robin Wigglesworth, US markets editor – FT
The evolution of financial markets is quickening thanks to the rise of automated trading algorithms, which range from the relatively simple, such as exchange traded funds, to artificial-intelligence powered hedge funds. Here is a selection of charts showing some aspects of how investing and markets have changed in recent years.

The tangled web of Gary Cohn, Goldman Sachs and Glass-Steagall; The barring of so-called universal banking could be of great benefit for US bank
by: Patrick Jenkins – FT
The share prices of all the top Wall Street banks are still nudging all-time highs, amid investor confidence that Donald Trump’s deregulatory agenda will turbo-charge their businesses. The big five are up by between 25 per cent and 35 per cent since his election victory in November.

Rock Star Era at Risk for Wall Street Analysts Facing Fee Reform
by Beth Mellor and Felice Maranz – Bloomberg
Firms seen cutting $300 million out of research budgets; Providers race to come up with new pricing models by January
Upending eight decades of convention in how equities research is priced on Wall Street will increase transparency and reduce conflicts. What it won’t do is make more people want to become analysts.

Wall Street Cop Said to Purge Contractors as Budget Fight Looms
by Matt Robinson and Benjamin Bain – Bloomberg
SEC eliminates dozens of outside workers who assist on probes; Regulator concerned it faces deep funding cuts under Trump
Facing possible budget cuts under President Donald Trump, the Securities and Exchange Commission is eliminating dozens of contractors hired to help root out Wall Street fraud, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

Now Anyone Can Invest in Startups—if They Have the Stomach for It; With equity crowdfunding, you can become an investor in the next big thing, or in flop after flop after flop
By Christopher Mims – WSJ
When Oculus VR sold to Facebook for $2 billion in 2014, some asked: What if the people who backed the virtual-reality startup two years earlier on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter had received shares instead of T-shirts or VR headsets?

This Is What Dimon and Kashkari Are Really Fighting About; The Minneapolis Fed president spars with JPMorgan’s CEO about a little-known measure that’s central to preventing another crisis.
by Peter Coy – Bloomberg
Jamie Dimon is America’s most famous banker, and Neel Kashkari is its most outspoken bank regulator, so it’s not a shock that they would eventually come to blows. What’s interesting is that their contretemps is over an acronym that most Americans have never heard of, but one that may be central to preventing another recession.

A decade after the banking crisis, nothing has changed inside the City – and the latest Barclays scandal proves it; Former Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond said in 2011 that banks need to stop apologising – but they are just as corrupt now as when the crisis first hit
Ben Chu – Independent
“There was a period of remorse and apology for banks. I think that period needs to be over.” The words of the Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond in front of the House of Commons’ Treasury Committee in 2011 bear repeating.

China Is Playing a $9 Trillion Game of Chicken With Savers
Bloomberg News
WMPs have proliferated thanks to implicit state guarantees; Government wants to reduce moral hazard, but it won’t be easy
Like many individual investors in China, Yang Mo has no idea what’s in the wealth management products that make up a big chunk of her net worth.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

LCH promotes Maguire to chief operating officer; Daniel Maguire will continue with role as global head of rates and FX derivatives as well as COO responsibilities.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
LCH has promoted its global head of rates and FX derivatives, Daniel Maguire, to chief operating officer.

ELITE welcomes 17 companies today, surpassing 500 company milestone
London Stock Exchange Group
17 new companies join ELITE from across Europe and Israel; Budapest Stock Exchange unveils seven companies joining ELITE in Hungary from the ELITE-BSE Partnership; First Danish company joins ELITE; ELITE Club Deal, the private placement platform, signs strategic agreement with The HUB for technology solution; More than 750 companies, advisers and investors make up growing ELITE community
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) today announces that its successful international business support and capital raising ecosystem, ELITE, is welcoming a further 17 companies, bringing the total number of businesses in the community to 508. The new ELITE international company CEOs opened trading on London’s markets this morning, alongside Márton Michaletzky, Head of Issuers Acquisitions, Budapest Stock Exchange (BSE) and Luca Peyrano, CEO, ELITE.

Nasdaq March 2017 Volumes, 1Q17 Estimated Revenue Capture and Listings Statistics
By GlobeNewswire
Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ) today reported monthly volumes for March 2017, as well as quarterly volumes, number of listings and estimated revenue capture for the quarter ending March 31, 2017, on its investor relations website.

Withdrawal of admission of 41 Single Stock Futures and three equity options
Effective 13 April 2017, the Management Board of Eurex Deutschland and the Executive Board of Eurex Zürich AG decided to withdraw admission to trading of 41 Single Stock Futures and three equity options according to the attachment.

MOVES-Deutsche Bank names new CEO for Australia and New Zealand
Deutsche Bank named Anthony Miller as chief executive for Australia and New Zealand.
Miller replaces Michael Ormaechea and will report to Werner Steinmüller, the bank’s chief executive for Asia Pacific.

Fixed Income Highlights – Q1/2017 Edition
The first quarter 2017 delivered European fixed income markets a strong start to the year.
As a result, across its core and periphery derivatives markets, Eurex experienced strong demand and a robust uptick in client activity to underpin a firm foundation of volume and liquidity. More broadly, European markets have benefited from a supportive macroeconomic environment, where geopolitical and event risks have driven a pick-up in investor demand since late 2016.

Equity Index Highlights – Q1/2017 Edition
March represents a key month for our Members as we saw several significant volume highlights in this roll period; notably the EURO STOXX® Banks Futures and Options both recorded strong double and triple digit growth respectively compared to the same period last year.

Drew Niv relinquishes another Director role, leaves FXCM UK Merger Limited
Finance Feeds
In a regulatory filing submitted on April 7, 2017, FXCM UK Merger announces the resignation of Drew Niv as a Director.

Nadex seeks authority to limit trading privileges to minimize risk for market and members
Maria Nikolova
Nadex wants to limit trading privileges in cases where such an action may reduce risk, or otherwise protect the Exchange, the Members and the

***** This is a repeat from yesterday, but we had the wrong link with the story.


Lack of Lucrative Stock Options Causes Exits at Swedish Startup
Jeremy Kahn – Bloomberg
Company moving U.S. sales operation from Columbus to New York; Says staff turnover “normal” as several executives jump ship
A lack of lucrative stock options at Klarna AB, one of Europe’s few technology unicorns, is causing a raft of senior exits, highlighting the tech industry’s growing dismay with Swedish tax rules.

Silicon Valley Bank Teams Up With First Data For Fintech-Focused Accelerator Program Samantha Hurst – Crowdfund Insider
Silicon Valley Bank announced on Monday that it joined forces with First Data to launch a fintech focused accelerator program, Commerce.Innovated. 2017. According to the bank, this four-month virtual program provides participants with operational mentorship from Silicon Valley Bank, First Data, and their networks.

FCA’s Christopher Woolard on regional fintech hubs and the second regulatory ‘sandbox’
Oscar Williams-Grut – Business Insider
Britain’s financial watchdog has identified new fintech hotspots in Scotland and the north of England.
Christopher Woolard, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)’s director of strategy and competition, said in a speech at the Innovate Finance Global Summit 2017 on Monday that the regulator has identified the Edinburgh-Glasgow corridor and the Leeds/Manchester area as places “where ‘Fin’ and ‘Tech’ collide.”

London, Singapore Still Top Fintech Hubs, Deloitte Says
Paige Long – Law360
London and Singapore have retained their places as the top global hubs for establishing and growing a financial technology startup, according to a study published by Deloitte on Monday.

Spain Arrests Russian Thought to Be Kingpin of Computer Spam
He refused to meet business associates in person and never talked on the phone, preferring instead to communicate via encrypted messaging services. But the elaborate precautions taken by the Russian computer spam kingpin known as Peter Severa appear to have failed him.

The Gig Economy’s False Promise
The promises Silicon Valley makes about the gig economy can sound appealing. Its digital technology lets workers become entrepreneurs, we are told, freed from the drudgery of 9-to-5 jobs. Students, parents and others can make extra cash in their free time while pursuing their passions, maybe starting a thriving small business.


Currency Manipulation Has Another Meaning for Traders
By Ben Emons – Bloomberg
Politicians like to throw around the phrase “currency manipulation” when they feel that some other nation has developed an unfair trade advantage by way of an artificially weak exchange rate. In the currency markets, though, it has a more benign meaning and can help explain some of the seemingly head-scratching moves of late such as the dollar’s weakness.

Trump Faces Showdown With G-7 Over Climate Stance Next Month
by Joe Ryan and Marine Strauss – Bloomberg
G-7 ministers pull statement; U.S. objects to climate mention; All other six nations continue to support Paris accord
A rift between U.S. President Donald Trump and the rest of the Group of Seven over his hard-line climate change stance looks set to widen next month when leaders meet in Italy.

A Trump Nomination Shows He’s Serious About Deregulation; The president picks a law professor to lead the most important office you’ve never heard of.
Neomi Rao.
By Susan Dudley – WSJ
President Trump on Friday reinforced how serious he is about reforming the regulatory state by nominating Neomi Rao to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The OIRA administrator, or “regulatory czar,” is the ultimate policy wonk. Ms. Rao, a respected legal scholar with experience in all three branches of government, is ideally suited to the job.


Secret Recordings Play Role in SEC Probe of Insurer AmTrust; Probe focus includes accounting practices at major U.S. player in workers’ compensation insurance
By Mark Maremont, Leslie Scism and Michael Rapoport – WSJ
The auditor at accounting firm BDO USA LLP tried to act casually while wandering around the firm’s New York offices, striking up conversations with colleagues about the firm’s audit of the large insurer AmTrust Financial Services Inc.

SEC said it’s brought charges for promoting companies without disclosing payments
By Steve Goldstein – MarketWatch
The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday announced enforcement actions against 27 individuals and entities for undisclosed payments made in return for bullish articles. The SEC filed fraud charges against three public companies and seven stock promotion or communications firms as well as two company CEOs, six individuals at the firms, and nine writers. Of those charged, 17 have agreed to settlements that include disgorgement or penalties ranging from approximately $2,200 to nearly $3 million based on frequency and severity of their actions. The SEC’s litigation continues against 10 others.

U.S. judge orders hearing on claims of leaks in Platinum Partners probe
By Brendan Pierson – Reuters
A U.S. judge on Monday ordered a hearing to look into possible leaks about a criminal investigation of New York hedge fund management firm Platinum Partners, whose top executives are charged with running a $1 billion fraud.

FCA considers regulating blockchain; UK authority outlines concerns with regulating blockchain technology within new consultation paper.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is looking into separately regulating blockchain as some aspects of the technology do not fit with current regulation.

The Long(er) Arm of the Law: IOSCO Adopts an “Enhanced” Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding to Facilitate Cross-Border Investigations
Allen & Overy
On March 31, 2017, the members of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) approved the “Enhanced Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Consultation and Cooperation in the Exchange of Information” (E-MMoU). Since its adoption in 2002, the original IOSCO multilateral memorandum of understanding (MMoU) has become a critical tool for financial regulators to obtain basic documents and trading data in multi-jurisdictional investigations. If adopted by international securities and derivatives regulators, the new E-MMoU could facilitate the expansion of both cross-border investigations and more routine market surveillance of activities involving multiple jurisdictions. In particular, the E-MMoU could make it considerably easier for financial regulators to make broader requests for documents and testimony, and to impose shorter deadlines for compliance than market participants have experienced in the past.

Investing and Trading

Hedge Fund Seeks Spinoff of BHP Billiton’s U.S. Oil Business
With an ever-growing war chest — now some $33 billion — the hedge fund Elliott Management has chosen to take on bigger and more complex targets for its brand of shareholder activism.

Duration bet is back in favour for bond investors; Duration of portfolios extended as fears for growth and inflation ease
by: Eric Platt and Robin Wigglesworth in New York – FT
Longer-dated bonds may not sound thrilling, but they are more than capable of taking investors on a rollercoaster ride. Just take the example of Austria.

A Dude-Linked Brokerage Just Made Turkish Stocks the World’s Best Performers
by Tugce Ozsoy and Constantine Courcoulas – Bloomberg
Turkish stocks boosted by traffic through a single brokerage; Foreign funds have been rotating out of Turkish equities
Turkish equities started the week of a crucial referendum on a world-beating tear. A single brokerage was responsible for the biggest portion of trades.

Why Bond Bears Look Poised to Come Out of Hibernation…Again
by Sid Verma – Bloomberg
Four arguments in favor of higher U.S. Treasury yields; Fed’s balance sheet, positive data, better yield, growth
A springtime for shorts? Besieged Treasury bears may finally be set for a winning streak in the world’s largest bond market. Strategists are citing an under-pricing of inflation in the U.S. economy, waning foreign demand and a bid by the Federal Reserve to tighten its monetary stance at a faster pace than markets anticipate.

Meet an Unsung Force in Stock Trading: First Trust’s ETF of ETFs; While funds of funds are common in the mutual-fund industry, they are relatively rare in ETFs
By Asjylyn Loder – WSJ
Some of the biggest action in exchange-traded funds last month took place in two little-known First Trust ETFs.


Barclays C.E.O. Investigated Over Treatment of Whistle-Blower
The British banking giant Barclays is again facing questions about its leadership just as its efforts to turn itself around in the aftermath of the 2012 Libor scandal are starting to take shape.

‘Genius’ Banker Randy Work Loses $225 Million Divorce Battle
by Jeremy Hodges – Bloomberg
Randy Work asked for a larger share of assets than ex-wife;’ Appeal judges reject ‘special contribution’ argument
A former Lone Star Funds executive, who asked judges to consider the nature of “genius” in a bid to win a bigger share of a $225 million fortune than his ex-wife, lost his divorce appeal at a London court on Tuesday.

Citi tops global transaction banking ranks: Coalition
By Sujata Rao – Reuters
Citi was the top bank last year in transaction banking, a segment comprising trade finance and cash management services, rankings compiled by industry analytics firm Coalition showed on Tuesday.


U.S. Accuses Russian Email Spammer of Vast Network of Fraud
Several years ago, federal agents traveled to Moscow to enlist the help of their Russian counterparts in arresting one of the world’s most pernicious email spammers. They were rebuffed, a former American law enforcement official who was there said. The spammer, who used the pseudonym Peter Severa, was protected, probably by the Russian government, and could not be touched.

China Regulator Warns Banks Away From Speculative Activity; CBRC tells lenders to conduct reviews of certain practices viewed as risky to China’s economy
By Shen Hong – WSJ
China is taking another step to contain the growing risk in its financial system, warning banks against engaging in speculative activity that has created unhealthy asset bubbles and prevented money from flowing into a weak real economy.

Japan’s GPIF starts recruiting managers for alternative assets
By Thomas Wilson – Reuters
Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) on Tuesday began recruiting asset managers for investments in private equity, infrastructure and real estate, as the world’s largest pension fund’s embrace of riskier assets gathers pace.

Toshiba Warns It May Be Unable to Stay in Business; Japanese conglomerate reported a net loss of $4.8 billion for nine-month period ended December
By Takashi Mochizuki and Peter Landers – WSJ
Toshiba Corp. TOSYY 5.79% on Tuesday expressed doubt for the first time over whether it can continue as a going concern after huge losses at its U.S. nuclear subsidiary, which filed for bankruptcy last month.

Spicer Calls Expanded U.S. Beef Sales to China a ‘Big Prize’
by Alan Bjerga and Shruti Singh – Bloomberg
Ban dating to 2003 ended in September, but still poses hurdles; No concrete changes; ‘The plan was to put together a plan’
President Donald Trump achieved a “big prize” during his meeting last week with Chinese President Xi Jinping by expanding U.S. beef exports to China, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said, without offering details on any tangible steps taken toward ensuring greater access.

Japan’s Top Brokerages Cut Back on Graduate Hires
by Takahiko Hyuga – Bloomberg
Security companies to hire fewest graduates in 5 years in 2018; Cuts come as household pessimism squeezes retail businesses
Japan’s top three brokerages are cutting back on graduate hires as household investors continue to shun the stock market, squeezing their retail business.


London races ahead of European rivals as top choice for company flotations
Alan Tovey – Telegraph
London was the top choice for company flotations in the first quarter of the year, accounting for almost half of the total amount raised in European initial public offerings.


Grains piled on runways, parking lots, fields amid global glut
By P.J. Huffstutter and Karl Plume – Reuters
Iowa farmer Karl Fox is drowning in corn. Reluctant to sell his harvest at today’s rock-bottom prices, he has stuffed storage bins at his property full and left more corn piled on the ground, covered with a tarp.

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