CME Group steps up to go head to head with HKEx as it announces new offshore renminbi futures products. Canada’s RBC sells a world-first box of publicly traded, USD-denominated covered bonds. Australia’s APRA regulator may be given additional power to install new management at banks and other financial institutions when it believes that failure may be imminent. And in today’s First Read, John Lothian finally announces his retirement… of a sort.
I Retired Yeterday
by John J. Lothian
I retired yesterday. Yep, I took the big plunge and bought 4 new tires for my 8-year old truck with 120K miles on it.
While I acquired new rubber on my truck, I am not ready for the other type of retiring. In fact, I am just getting my second wind. I am gearing up for the challenges ahead. I am preparing and refining my strategic plan.
On a personal level, the first thing I am doing is trying to get into better physical shape. For the last 3 weeks I have been getting up first thing in the morning and riding my bike 8, 10 or 12 miles. On the last two weekends, I completed a marathon on bike, 26.2 miles, and did a 24 mile ride. I have set goals, the biggest one being when people ask “have you lost weight?”, that it is not just politeness, but rather obviousness.
On a professional level, I am working on plans for a new type of brokerage company, one that attempts to bring innovation, education and marketing to futures customers while working collaboratively with other brokerage firms and exchanges.
I am working on plans to restart my Commodity Trading Advisor business. While I traded from 2003 to 2011 as a CTA, I pretty much ignored trying to grow that business while building John Lothian News into what it is today. I am glad to have been on the sidelines for the last 14 months, but am ready to get back into the game. There is too much opportunity to stay sidelined.
It is time to get back into the game. I am ready to get started and burn rubber.
ADMIS is a Friend level sponsor of MarketsWiki and MarketsReformWiki and a Premier sponsor of JLN Managed Futures newsletter and its website.
We are very pleased to have the continued support of ADMIS.
Fact Right, Sound Wrong
Yesterday’s webinar with Fact Right LLC titled “When Money Goes Missing” should have been titled “When Sound Goes Missing.” For some reason, the webinar technology did not like me and I was prevented from participating in this discussion about fraud. My apologies to the readers who tuned in. I hope you got something out of the webinar from the other presenter and the moderator. We may try again, but only if the technology is guaranteed to work.
~John J. Lothian
Peregrine customers to get 30-40% of money back
The trustee running the collapsed futures brokerage Peregrine Financial Group Inc. can start planning to return $123 million to customers, a federal bankruptcy judge ruled Wednesday. Judge Carol Doyle approved Trustee Ira Bodenstein’s proposal to distribute the money starting near the end of September.
**JK – It’s news, but not good news. (More PFG Best news in Lead Stories)
Commodities trading faces big changes
Javier Blas in London – FT.com
The commodities trading industry will embark on its biggest transformation in three decades as companies boost investment, according to a report co-authored by an industry veteran executive.
**JK – Interesting analysis.
Exclusive: Senior MF Global Executive Said Corzine Knew About Misuse of Funds
By Charlie Gasparino – FOXBusiness
In the days following MF Global’s stunning implosion last year, a senior executive at the firm made a startling concession to investigators looking into both the company’s demise and the loss of more than $1 billion in customer money, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.
**JK Another “exclusive” from Charlie. What’s the over-under on Corzine being charged with something, anything?
Ang Swee Tian to be presented with Lifetime Achievement Award
Singapore Mercantile Exchange chairman Ang Swee Tian will receive the lifetime achievement award at next week’s FOW Awards for Aisa dinner in Singapore.
**JK – Ahh, it seems like yesterday we were talking about the mutual offset system between CME and SIMEX.
Deutsche Börse signs exclusive agreement with Fitch Ratings to offer machine-readable credit ratings
Deutsche Börse today announced an exclusive agreement with Fitch Ratings to deliver low-latency credit rating announcements in machine-readable format via its news feed “AlphaFlash”. The AlphaFlash Fitch Ratings feed will initially provide sovereign debt rating announcements including changes in outlook. Other types of credit ratings will be added in the next months.
Getting Crowded in Here: U.S. Options Exchanges Continue to Proliferate
Rachel Koning Beals – FI Magazine
For the last decade or so, the U.S. equity options business has been characterized by an exceptionally high level of competition among exchanges. While some observers expected that the forces of competition eventually would lead to consolidation, the opposite has turned out to be the case.
**JK – Next year’s OIC Conference will feature: How many exchange CEOs can fit in a Volkswagen Bug?
CME Group Awards Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales the 2012 Fred Arditti Innovation Award
CME Group’s Center for Innovation (CFI) today announced that Jimmy Wales is the 2012 CME Group Fred Arditti Innovation Award recipient. Wales is the founder of Wikipedia and is a recognized leader in technology and free information. The award will be presented at the fifth annual Global Financial Leadership Conference in Naples, Florida on Tuesday, November 13.
**JK – Wales, the father of wikis and a distant uncle of MarketsWiki.
High-Frequency Traders Once Again Flat Out Buying Data Ahead of You
Geoffrey Rogow – Wall Street Journal Blogs
Fitch Ratings on Wednesday became the latest provider of market-moving news to streamline a path to high-frequency traders.
Incentives for banks to stray will persist
John Gapper – FT.com
If regrets, apologies and promises to behave better were redeemable for cash, the world’s banks would be rolling in it.
PerTrac Releases New Infographic: Illuminating the World of Hedge Funds
From Alfred Winslow Jones coining the term “hedged fund” in 1949 to the recent passage of the JOBS Act, Illuminating the World of Hedge Funds, the new infographic released today by PerTrac, provides a top to bottom look at the hedge fund industry for asset management industry professionals as well as the general public.
Footnote to Financial Crisis: More People Shun the Bank
GARY FIELDS And MAYA JACKSON-RANDALL – WSJ.com
The Russell family of Kirkland, Wash., makes about $230,000 with Charles Russell, 43 years old, working as a systems analyst for Microsoft Corp. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, that puts them among the top 5% of American households. But their affluence might not be apparent based on the way Mr. Russell conducts his personal finances. He has no bank account, having dumped it due to irritation over fees and overdraft penalties.
**JK – People who hate banks and get away from them.
The Cost of the Crisis Caused by Wall Street = No Less Than $12.8 Trillion Dollars, According to New Better Markets …
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance
Better Markets today released a Report detailing the enormous costs of the financial and economic crisis that began in 2007 and continues to this day. As detailed in the Report, the cost of that crisis is at least $12.8 trillion as measured conservatively by lost GDP.
VIX Volume Surges; Sets One-Day Record
Kaitlyn Kiernan, The Wall Street Journal
The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index options hit a new single-day volume record at 1.2 million contracts on Tuesday, topping the previous record — set the day S&P cut the U.S. credit rating last year — by a solid 50,000 contracts.
Why Markets Need ‘Naked’ Credit Default Swaps
Stuart M. Turnbull and Lee M. Wakeman
Many regulators, politicians and academics consider credit default swaps to be insurance contracts. These folks then use the insurable-interest rule—which limits life-insurance claims to individuals adversely affected by the death of the insured—to recommend banning “naked” CDS purchases, that is, buying sovereign credit default swaps without holding the underlying sovereign bond.
Fear Making a Comeback
Steven Russolillo, The Wall Street Journal
Fear is starting to percolate within the markets. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility index, or VIX, was abnormally calm for much of the summer. But since mid-August, the stock-market’s so-called fear gauge has been choppier than usual.
MarketsWiki Page of the Day
MarketsWiki Recent Updates
Companies, Organizations and Groups
28,310,848 pages viewed, 7,102 articles, 147,490 edits
CME Group to launch renminbi futures
Simon Rabinovitch and Leslie Hook in Beijing – FT.com
CME Group will launch offshore renminbi futures, putting it into battle with the Hong Kong exchange, in an effort to tap growing international demand for the Chinese currency.
RBC Completes World’s First SEC-Registered Covered-Bond Deal
Mom-and-pop investors found a new spot to park their cash Wednesday, as Royal Bank of Canada sold a $2.5 billion batch of the world’s first publicly traded U.S. dollar covered bonds, triple-A-rated assets that carry the added protection of being backed by a pool of mortgages.
Australia’s Financial Sector Faces Tough New Crisis Rules
According to a government report, if the plans are approved, APRA would be given far-reaching powers to move in and appoint a manager to a financial institution–including banks, insurers and superannuation funds–where it has “reasonable grounds” to believe the institution is on the verge of collapse.
As MF Global criminal probe nears end, civil cases become likely
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Prosecutors investigating the collapse of failed commodities brokerage MF Global are close to wrapping up their criminal probe and are unlikely to file criminal charges, a move that could pave the way for regulators to bring civil cases, according to people familiar with the investigation.
MF Global trustees ask judge to dismiss employee lawsuit
Trustees liquidating failed brokerage MF Global (MFGLQ.PK) argued on Wednesday that a lawsuit accusing them of firing employees without proper notice should be thrown out.
Peregrine Bankruptcy Judge Approves Bulk Account Offers
Peregrine Financial Group Inc.’s liquidating trustee can consider bulk offers for futures client accounts from other commodities firms, a U.S. bankruptcy judge said.
Peregrine’s Wasendorf Jr. Offers to Give Assets to Receiver
By Jacob Bunge
The president of Peregrine Financial Group Inc. has volunteered to turn over to a court-appointed receiver his ownership in the headquarters and other property used by the defunct futures-and-currency brokerage.
Some in Europe Resist Reach of Central Banking Plan
By JAMES KANTER and STEPHEN CASTLE – NYTimes.com
The European Commission president, José Manuel Barroso, described the proposal for a single supervisor for the region’s banks on Wednesday as the first step in a renewed drive for a federally unified Europe. But immediate dissent from different European quarters over the ambition and scope of the banking plan, as well as concern about its feasibility, were reminders that a call like Mr. Barroso’s for “more Europe” as a solution to the Continent’s ills might be more easily said than done.
Lawmakers Postpone Plans to Increase Oversight of Regulators
BEN PROTESS – NYTimes.com
Lawmakers postponed plans to advance a bill that could curb the influence of Wall Street regulators, a move that came as some federal officials mounted opposition to the effort.
Life ban and fine for HBOS’s Cummings
Brooke Masters and Sharlene Goff – FT.com
A banker who spearheaded the rapid growth of one of the UK’s biggest lenders before its collapse in the financial crisis has been banned from working in financial services for life and fined £500,000 after being held “personally culpable” for management failings.
Whistleblower Is Key to New York Tax Probe on Buyout Firms
REED ALBERGOTTI and LAURA SAUNDERS – WSJ.com
New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s probe of tax practices at private-equity firms is based on information from a whistleblower, according to a person familiar with the matter.
DealBook: Sometimes, It Takes a Thief to Catch One
New York Times
In spite of the $104 million whistle-blower award given to a convicted criminal this week, White Collar Watch notes that there isn’t a perverse incentive to violate the law.
U.S. Senate panel to examine computerized trading
A U.S. Senate panel will examine computerized trading, after a recent series of technology glitches that has eroded investor confidence in financial markets and alarmed regulators.
Andrew Bowden Named Deputy Director In The SEC’s Office Of Compliance Inspections And Examinations
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Andrew J. Bowden has been named Deputy Director of the agency’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE). He succeeds Norm Champ who was named in July to head the SEC’s Division of Investment Management.
Update On UK’s Financial Services Authority Report Into The Failure Of HBOS
Exchanges & Trading Facilities
CME Group Earns Spot on 2012 InformationWeek 500 List of Top Technology Innovators across America
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced that for the ninth year in a row it has been recognized in the InformationWeek 500, an annual listing of the nation’s most innovative users of business technology. The 2012 list was revealed last night at a gala awards ceremony at the exclusive InformationWeek 500 Conference taking place at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA.
Exchanges consider “speed bumps” for trading firms
Reuters via Yahoo! News
NEW YORK – U.S. regulators and exchanges are looking at sweeping circuit breakers and other speed bumps for the high-speed world of electronic trading in case glitches occur, industry executives said on Wednesday, but also noted they are being overwhelmed by the pace of regulatory reforms.
CBOE Holdings, Inc. Announces Date Of Third-Quarter 2012 Earnings Release And Conference Call
CBOE Holdings, Inc. will announce financial results for the third quarter of 2012 before the market opens on Thursday, November 1, 2012. A conference call with remarks by CBOE Holdings, Inc. senior management will begin at 7:30 a.m. Central Time. A presentation will be referenced during the call and will be available on the Investor Relations section of our website at http://ir.cboe.com under Events and Presentations.
NZX Dairy Futures Surpass 30,000 Lots Traded
NZX Dairy Futures have now traded over 30,000 lots since the launch of WMP futures in October 2010.
ERIS GO Live On Bloomberg
Bloomberg recently launched the ERIS GO page which includes live streaming pricing for Eris Exchange benchmark contracts. The new offering allows all Bloomberg users to view and analyze real time Eris Exchange markets.
Direct Edge Regulatory Notice #12-04: Direct Edge To Participate In Consolidated Audit Trail Industry Call On September 19th 4:15 p.m. ET
Bulgarian Stock Exchange Monthly Summary – August 2012
Warsaw Stock Exchange Adds New Factor Certificates To Its Offer
NYSE Group Inc. Issues Short Interest Report
NYSE MKT Issues Short Interest Report
TMX Group Inc. Shareholders Approve Subsequent Arrangement
NASDAQ Announces End-Of-Month Open Short Interest Positions In NASDAQ Stocks As Of Settlement Date August 31, 2012
Hedge Funds & Managed Futures
Hedge fund assets available for prime custody jump 40% in two years, says BNY Mellon
BNY Mellon, the global leader in investment management and investment services, reported today that hedge fund assets available for prime custody services now stand at an estimated $684 billion, a 40% increase since 2010.
Germany With Zero Yield Beats U.S. Since Crisis: Riskless Return
German bunds have proven better than Treasuries since the start of the global financial crisis five years ago as U.S. stimulus measures and record deficits keep investors wary of a resurgence of inflation.
Moore Said to Cut Positions Amid Equity Restructuring
Moore Capital Management LLC, the $15 billion hedge fund run by Louis Moore Bacon, eliminated 10 to 15 investment positions as part of a restructuring of one of its equity teams, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Babson Capital Raises $1.2 Billion for Global Loan Fund over the Last 18 Months
LONDON—-Babson Capital Management LLC and Babson Capital Europe Ltd., the global investment management firm known for its expertise in Senior Secured High Yield Credit, announces that it has raised in excess of $1.2 billion for its Dublin-domiciled Babson Capital Global Loan Fund in the last 18 months. This takes the AUM of the open-ended High Yield …
Turnbull and Wakeman: Why Markets Need ‘Naked’ Credit Default Swaps
STUART M. TURNBULL AND LEE M. WAKEMAN – WSJ.com
The premise that only sovereign-debt holders suffer when a country defaults is false. Many other agents are adversely affected by a default, and they should be allowed to purchase sovereign CDS.
Why the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund isn’t worried
The possibility of a worldwide depression or a market crash doesn’t keep Ray Dalio, founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, up at night.
A Corzine Hedge Fund? Don’t Hold Your Breath
Charlie Gasparino | Fox Business
What’s next for disgraced former MF Global chief Jon Corzine? According to friends interviewed by the FOX Business Network, Corzine has told them he won’t be starting a hedge fund as some have speculated, at least not anytime soon.
Banks & Brokers
FLEXTRADE PARTNERS WITH NYSE TECHNOLOGIES
FlexTrade Systems, a global leader in broker-neutral, multi-asset execution and order management systems, today announced a partnership with NYSE TechnologiesTM, the commercial technology division of NYSE Euronext (NYX), to provide exchange market data clients with direct access to FlexEdge, its predictive analytics platform offering advanced forecasting capabilities for trading U.S. equities.
Buy side firms find TriOptima’s triResolve counterparty exposure management service positions them for future market and regulatory developments
TriOptima announces today that ATP, BlueBay Asset Management, BlueMountain Capital, Cairn Capital, CPPIB (Canada Pension Plan Investment Board), Freddie Mac, Insight Investment, and Wells Fargo Global Fund Services are among the buy side firms and servicers adopting its triResolve counterparty exposure management service at an accelerating pace.
JPMorgan’s new corporate bank leaders name lieutenants
Reuters via Yahoo! News
NEW YORK – Michael Cavanagh and Daniel Pinto, who were drafted in July to co-lead JPMorgan Chase & Co’s sprawling corporate and investment banking empire, named their top lieutenants in an internal memorandum on Wednesday.
JPMorgan Names Carlos Hernandez Head of Investor Services
JPMorgan Chase & Co. , the biggest U.S. bank, named Carlos Hernandez head of investor services as it sets leadership for the corporate and investment bank division formed in July.
Nomura’s Americas Equities Chief to Leave Firm
Normura Holdings Inc.’s U.S. securities division said Ciaran O’Kelly is resigning as head of the equities business in the Americas, less than one week after the bank announced a reorganization of its global equities businesses.
Deutsche Bank’s Jain Asks for Patience in Challenging Times
Eyk Henning – WSJ.com
Deutsche Bank AG’s new Co-Chief Executive Anshu Jain asked for investors’ patience Wednesday as the bank revamps its operations against a challenging economic and regulatory environment.
Deutsche Bank crash diet focuses on costs, assets
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Deutsche Bank AG is targeting wasteful spending on IT systems and real estate in an austerity drive to correct previous excesses, Germany’s flagship international bank told analysts on Wednesday.
Citigroup Wins Dismisssal of Security-Breach Lawsuit
Citigroup Inc. , the third-largest U.S. bank, won dismissal of a suit in which cardholders claimed the bank failed to take adequate steps to prevent a computer security breach that affected more than 360,000 accounts.
Online brokers look abroad to boost offerings
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Charles Schwab Corp , one of the biggest U.S. brokerages, announced on Wednesday a new online platform giving its clients direct access to 12 non-U.S. markets with the ability to trade in their local currencies.
Bank of France aiming to cut up to 2,100 jobs in branches
Reuters via Yahoo! News
The Bank of France could cut up to 2,100 jobs in its branch offices by 2020, largely by not replacing staff who retire as part of a restructuring of its nationwide network, it said on Wednesday.
UBS looks to put cap on banker bonuses
Daniel Schäfer in London – FT.com
UBS is looking at capping bankers’ bonuses as the Swiss bank joins its European peers in cracking down on remuneration schemes following regulatory and investor pressure.
European Banks’ Ties to Iran Hard to Cut
DAVID CRAWFORD and LAURA STEVENS – WSJ.com
At least several European banks that vowed to stop doing business with Iran have kept handling billions of euros in transactions for Iranian entities and foreign companies with operations there, a review of regulatory filings and other documents by The Wall Street Journal shows.
Tullett Prebon Ranked Number One Broker In Risk Magazine’s Interdealer Rankings 2012
ECB Extends The Swap Facility Agreement With The Bank Of England
Leading Binary Options Brokerage, Banc De Binary, Reaches 200,000 Milestone
Clearing & Settlement
State Street Is Latest Non-Bank Added To CME Clearing For Swaps
Katy Burne – Dow Jones
State Street Global Markets has signed on as a member of CME Group Inc.’s (CME) clearinghouse for off-exchange derivatives called swaps. The move adds another nonbank to CME Clearing’s membership roster for interest-rate swaps and comes on the heels of Newedge USA being approved as a rate-swaps-clearing member by CME Aug. 16.
CME Group Clearing Advisory
NYMEX Options Expiration Operational Procedures for the Trading Floor and Clearing Members (WCO) – Effective Thursday, September 13, 2012
Indexes & Products
db x-trackers bond index ETFs on Italian government bonds launched on Xetra
iShares’ Frontier ETF Coming Thursday
IndexUniverse.com via Yahoo! Finance
EEM, time to make way for iShares’ ‘FM,’ a pure-play frontier markets fund.iShares, the largest purveyor of ETFs globally, is slated to launch its iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Index Fund Thursday, a fund that will serve up focused exposure to the least mature and least liquid economies globally.
FTSE Italia Index Series Quarterly Review September 2012
Melrose And Wood Group (John) To Join FTSE 100 Index
ATP, BlueBay Asset Management, BlueMountain Capital, Cairn Capital, CPPIB, Freddie Mac, Insight Investment, And Wells Fargo Global Fund Services, And Others Adopt triResolve
TriOptima announces today that ATP, BlueBay Asset Management, BlueMountain Capital, Cairn Capital, CPPIB (Canada Pension Plan Investment Board), Freddie Mac, Insight Investment, and Wells Fargo Global Fund Services are among the buy side firms and servicers adopting its triResolve counterparty exposure management service at an accelerating pace. Buy side firms are looking to proactively implement best practice in risk management and portfolio reconciliation ahead of changes in OTC derivatives market practice and regulation.
Long-time Madoff employee to plead guilty: prosecutors
Reuters via Yahoo! News
One of Bernard Madoff’s longest-serving employees is expected to plead guilty to criminal charges in the multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, U.S. prosecutors said, the latest among a dozen former employees to face charges.
New Jersey Court Clears Exis Capital in Fairfax Financial Hedge Fund Lawsuit
New Jersey Superior Court Judge Donald Coburn of Morristown today dismissed a multibillion-dollar lawsuit filed against New York-based hedge fund Exis Capital Management Inc., fund manager Adam Sender and other defendants after ruling that the damages claim filed by Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. was not supported by law.
NFA Enforcement and Registration Actions
Vincent Capital Group LLC and Ryan Litfin
UK’s Financial Services Authority Issues Ban And Fine Of L500,000 Against Former HBOS Executive, Peter Cummings
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has fined Peter Cummings L500,000 and banned him from holding any senior position in a UK bank, building society, investment or insurance firm. This is the highest fine imposed by the FSA on a senior executive for management failings.
Merrill Lynch Ordered to Pay $3.6 Million to Brazilian Heiress
An arbitration panel has ruled that Merrill Lynch must pay $3.6 million to a wealthy Brazilian heiress for losses she said resulted from her brother’s unauthorized trading in her account.
Environmental & Energy
European Energy Exchange: Press Release
EEX to arrange NER auctions for the Czech Republic
The European Energy Exchange (EEX) is pleased to announce that it will conduct primary market auctions of EU allowances (EUA) on behalf of the Czech Ministry of the Environment through its auction platform.
Guangdong launches pilot emissions trading scheme
The industrial powerhouse province of Guangdong in China has launched a carbon emissions trading pilot project in an attempt to rein in carbon emissions. Beijing is hoping that a successful programme will emerge from the seven regions it has chosen to champion pilot schemes as it tries to reduce carbon intensity — a measure of carbon emissions per unit of GDP — by 40-45pc by 2020.
Kyoto carbon credit glut is far larger than expected, warn analysts
The giant surplus of carbon credits currently swamping the global carbon market may never recede, removing any hope of reducing global emissions without a significant increase in national emission reduction targets, campaigners will warn today.
HKEx Receives Approval To Set Up A Financial Information Services Business Subsidiary In Shanghai
HKEx Information Services Limited (HKEx-IS), a wholly-owned member of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) Group, has obtained approval from Chinese authorities to establish a financial information services business subsidiary in the Mainland.
DGCX Signs MoU With Dalian Commodity Exchange
The Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX) today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE), the first MoU that DCE has signed with an Exchange in the Middle East.
NCDEX FY13 volumes seen at record high – official
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
Volumes on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) may hit a record high in the year ending March 31, 2013 as oilseeds contracts make up the gap left by a suspension of guar futures, a senior exchange official said.
RBS, others sue Dubai Group over $10 billion debt
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Royal Bank of Scotland and two other banks have begun legal proceedings against an investment vehicle owned by Dubai’s ruler, seeking immediate repayment after abandoning talks to restructure $10 billion in debts.
Former Goldman Sachs exec has book deal
Associated Press via Yahoo! News
Months after reports of a deal first emerged, Grand Central Publishing has confirmed that it signed up former Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith for a book coming in October.