First Read

Trading Technologies Goes Big with TT Desktop
Anthony Malakian – WatersTechnology
TT CEO Rick Lane talks with Waters about the vendor’s new desktop offering, which can accommodate 18 monitors, if not more.
Prior to this release, the TT platform was only available through a single browser window. While this was suitable for most of the company’s user base, more sophisticated traders found this setup to be cumbersome.

**JK: Time to revive the “Big Dog” T-shirts.


Bridging the Week by Gary DeWaal: Registration Forms; Social Networking; Recordkeeping; Exchanges Expenses
It was a light week for news impacting financial service industry participants, but there were still a few items of interest. Among other things, the core basic registration form required for all individual registrants with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will be getting a minor nip and tuck after many years. Additionally, India approved and proposed many significant changes regarding its oversight of commodity derivatives participants and products. As a result, the following matters are covered in this week’s edition of Bridging the Week:

**JK: Only Gary DeWaal can mix regulation with cosmetic surgery.


Billionaires Convene at Milken Conference for Trump Report Card
by Melissa Mittelman , Christopher Palmeri , and Devin Banerjee – Bloomberg
Cabinet members Mnuchin, Ross, DeVos representing White House; Drexel diaspora members Black, Attanasio pay homage to Milken
Four thousand of the wealthiest, most influential leaders in the world descend on Beverly Hills, California, this week for the annual Milken Institute Global Conference, in what amounts to a peer review of President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office.

***** CME Group’s Terry Duffy will be at Milken moderating some powerful discussions.


Avocado Prices Are Skyrocketing
by Marvin G Perez and Megan Durisin – Bloomberg
Consumption surges in U.S., China; prices doubled in a year; No relief seen until at least this fall, Rabobank forecasts
That bowl of guacamole on Cinco de Mayo will be more expensive this year, as avocado prices rise to a record on surging demand and a smaller crop in Mexico and California.

***** Mayday, Mayday! We have a problem.


The psychological importance of wasting time
Olivia Goldhill – Quartz
There will always be an endless list of chores to complete and work to do, and a culture of relentless productivity tells us to get to it right away and feel terribly guilty about any time wasted. But the truth is, a life spent dutifully responding to emails is a dull one indeed. And “wasted” time is, in fact, highly fulfilling and necessary.

****** I was just cruising around the Internet and found this story.


Christopher Dodd to Step Down as Top Lobbyist for Movie Industry
Brooks Barnes – NY Times
Christopher J. Dodd, ending an uneven six-year tenure, will step down in September as chief executive of the Motion Picture Association of America and will be succeeded as Hollywood’s top lobbyist by Charles H. Rivkin, a former United States ambassador and assistant secretary of state.


Friday’s Top Three
Our top three stories from Friday were led, by a long, long, long shot by the FT’s piece CME spooks investors with warning on market data. Second went to the contrast of a simple job, versus a complex and competitive job in banking in London, in the FT’s I would rather shine shoes than be a banker. Third went to The Trade’s piece JP Morgan exits R3 blockchain group


MarketsWiki Stats
99,265,815 pages viewed; 22,466 pages; 205,530 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

Singapore bourse offers to link up with Chinese futures trading venture; SGX says it is willing to open its clearing infrastructure to challenger Apex
by: Jeevan Vasagar in Singapore and Philip Stafford in London – FT
SGX, the Singapore Exchange, is looking to further boost its Chinese derivatives business by offering to collaborate with a planned new local futures venture backed by the founders of one of China’s largest hedge funds.

Hackers Ran Through Holes in Swift’s Network; Payment-transfer network left banks largely responsible for their own cyberdefense; old passwords at Bangladesh’s central bank
By Katy Burne and Robin Sidel – WSJ
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication has James Bond-level security at the facilities it uses to move millions of bank-payment orders around the world every day.

Twitter Teams Up With Bloomberg for Streaming News; New Service Comes as Social-Media Firm Fights for Video Ad Dollars
By Lukas I. Alpert – WSJ
Twitter Inc. TWTR -0.78% has found its first partner for its push into round-the-clock streaming television: Bloomberg.

Calypso and R3 successfully test FX trade matching on Corda DLT platform
Calypso Technology Inc., a provider of capital markets and investment management software, and R3, the financial services industry’s largest distributed ledger (DLT) consortium, are developing a DLT application for trade matching confirmations with a group of global financial institutions.

Wall Street Wellness Programs Are Being Used to Drive Sales; Most companies want healthier employees to cut insurance costs. ING wants them to increase profit.
by Rebecca Greenfield – Bloomberg
When Lance Hulack calls his first client on Monday morning, they spend 15 minutes talking about their fitness trackers. “I’ll say ‘Hey, I saw you crushed it on Saturday! 25-k steps!,'” Hulack, the director of corporate sales at ING Group, says. “Then we talk about what we need to do work-wise: ‘What are you looking to hedge? What levels are you looking at?’ It’s a really good ice-breaker rather than talking business all the time.”

What index provider FTSE Russell has learned about ESG investing
Keith Larsen – Green Biz
When the index provider FTSE first started integrating environmental and sustainability factors into indices back in 2001, the landscape for environmental social and governance (ESG) investments looked drastically different.

FX Traders Find Trump’s First 100 Days Are Good for Business
by Lananh Nguyen – Bloomberg
Headlines generated by POTUS jolt market, CLS data show; One example: Volumes surged Jan. 31 on currency remarks
President Donald Trump has given the $5.1-trillion-day currency market a shot in the arm.

China leverage rising at ‘alarming pace’: central bank official
China’s level of leverage is rising at an “alarming pace”, particularly in the finance sector, a senior central bank official said in a commentary, amid growing concern by the country’s senior leaders over financial security.

US ultra-long bonds: a tricky temptation for Trump; Selling first 50-year bond may be a quick win but Treasury is likely to be cautious
by: Robin Wigglesworth and Joe Rennison – FT
A club of top bankers, investors and Treasury officials will this week meet at the venerable Hay-Adams hotel in downtown Washington to discuss the US government’s borrowing plans. It could be a blockbuster meeting.

Institutions at odds with retail over SEC’s Order Protection Rule
By Rick Baert – PI
For many institutional traders and analysts, getting rid of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Order Protection Rule is a no-brainer, making it easier to trade in large blocks.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

TSX Company Services Announces Collaboration with Diligent to Offer Board Collaboration Tools to TMX
TMX’s listed company support division hosts leading global provider of board management software tools for market open ceremony to celebrate
TSX Company Services and Diligent today announced a collaboration to offer Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange issuers secure, effective tools to enable board members to work on materials in real-time from anywhere. Through this arrangement, issuers will benefit from preferred pricing for Diligent’s best-in-class board management software.

Trading Overview in April 2017
Japan Exchange Group released Trading Overview in April 2017.
In April 2017, total derivatives trading volume was 25,441,409 contracts.

DGCX Launches Shanghai Gold Futures Boosting Precious Metals Trading in April
Press Release
The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX), the region’s largest and most diversified derivatives exchange, witnessed an eventful month of trading across its precious metals, base metals and currency segments in April.

Calcutta Stock Exchange’s lone battle for survival; Close to 20 RSEs have gone for voluntary exit, including big exchanges of Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru
Namrata Acharya – Business Standard
While all other regional stock exchanges (RSE) have gone for voluntary exit in the face of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi)’s stringent regulations against RSEs, CSE continues to fight a lone battle, which is pending with the …

Product Modification Summary: Expansion of Strike Price Range for Options on Soybean Meal and Livestock
CME Group

NZX Q1 2017 Revenues & Shareholder Metrics
NZX reported its first quarter revenue and operating metrics today, highlighted by growth in markets and funds services revenue despite lower trading and clearing volumes. NZX sold its loss-making grain trading and magazines publications businesses at the end of 2016, which impacted year on year revenue comparisons. Excluding the impact of these disposals, group revenue was up 3.0%. A summary of revenue by operating segment is provided below.


Venture capital enthusiasm for fintech startups shifts to Europe
By Heather Somerville – Reuters
Venture capital investments in financial services startups are showing a geographical split, with funding for so-called “fintech” companies in the United States cooling but soaring in Europe, according to a new report out Wednesday.

Itiviti Rolls Out New MiFID II Certification Solution
Finance Magnates
Itiviti, a provider of technological resources for the capital markets industry, has deployed a new Itiviti MiFID II Certification Solution, helping support onboarding and re-certification efforts for FIX protocol order flows ahead of upcoming legislative changes in January 2018.

Hyperscalers taking over the world at an unprecedented scale
Synergy Research Group has released new figures that show a growth in cloud shares amongst hyperscalers which accounted at the end of 2016 for 68% of the cloud infrastructure services market (IaaS, PaaS, private hosted cloud services) and 59% of the SaaS market.

Hackers Ran Through Holes in Swift’s Network
Katy Burne and Robin Sidel – WSJ
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication has James Bond-level security at the facilities it uses to move millions of bank-payment orders around the world every day. Visitors to a Swift operations center in Culpeper, Va., say their car trunks were inspected upon arrival by armed guards, who used mirrors to check under the chassis. Security inside included a fingerprint scan, a test for chemical weapons and an iris scanner in the most restricted areas. “It’s like Fort Knox,” says Mohan Murali, chief executive of Axletree Solutions Inc., which helps banks and companies connect to Swift.

£3m Awarded to Oxford-led Consortium for Machine Learning Facility
A consortium of eight UK universities, led by the University of Oxford, has been awarded £3 million by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to establish a national high-performance computing facility to support machine learning.

Five Considerations when Pursuing Patent Rights in the Blockchain Technology Space –
Many blockchain technology innovators begin with the same concerns.
Time is of the essence. In 2011, the United States passed the America Invents Act, which was legislation that changed the patenting regime such that between two competing inventors filing an application for patent rights in the same or similar invention, generally the first inventor to file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the one who gets to claim patent rights on the invention.

Redline Trading Solutions Announces Support for Quincy Extreme Data Microwave Feed
PR Web
Redline’s ultra-low latency InRush™ feed handlers, combined with QED’s global technology footprint, provides an integrated market data solution for latency-critical trading applications.
Redline Trading Solutions, the premier provider of high-performance market data and order execution systems for automated trading, today announced its new feed handler for the Quincy Extreme Data™ (QED) feed. QED is distributed by Quincy Data, LLC via McKay Brothers’ microwave links from 18 co-location centers in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.


White House Aide Revives Pledge to Curb Private-Equity Tax Break, Though Impact Unclear
Eric Morath and Richard Rubin – WSJ
The Trump administration plans to try to limit certain tax benefits currently enjoyed by private-equity firms and other financiers, a top White House aide said Sunday. But even with such a shift, the administration’s full tax plan may still lower taxes on those firms and their managers.

BlackRock CEO Fink likes Trump policies, is skeptical on Trump himself
Ryan Vlastelica – MarketWatch
Larry Fink, the chief executive officer of asset management behemoth BlackRock Inc., on Friday struck a cautious tone about President Donald Trump, noting that while Trump’s anticipated economic policies represented a “bucket list of things we’d like to see done,” the president was also the cause of market uncertainty and a threat to industries and growth engines.

Trump Aluminum Probe Evokes ’49 Cheese and Wool Threat in Canada
by Danielle Bochove – Bloomberg
Canadian academic says Trump’s trade views cause for concern; Congress has evoked war concerns in past to push protectionism The latest U.S. trade volley against aluminum and steel imports could mark a sea-change in cooperation between Canada and the U.S. over defense production that’s been in place since World War II.

ETF Issuers Rush to Capitalize on Trump
by Morwenna Coniam – Bloomberg
2017 Sees a Slew of Politically-Themed Exhange Traded Funds; Smaller Issuers Seek to Find Growth in Policy and Populism
The first hundred days of Donald Trump’s presidency have seen a slew of new exchange-traded funds that seek to capitalize on the administration’s policies and platforms. A few have proven to be decent bets.


Initial Full Senate Vote on SEC Chairman Nominee Set for Monday
Dave Michaels – WSJ
President Donald Trump’s choice to lead Wall Street’s top regulator could be approved by the Senate as soon as next week. Senators will cast an initial vote Monday evening on Jay Clayton’s nomination as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to Senate aides. The move sets the stage for a final vote on his confirmation by Wednesday, aides said.

Executives Charged in Connection With Accounting Failures at Government Contractor
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against two former executives at a government contractor that was the subject of an SEC enforcement action earlier this year and paid a $1.6 million penalty for accounting failures.

ESMA will be closed for public holiday on 1 May
We will reopen on Tuesday 2 May.

SEC Charges EB-5 Operator With Securities Fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that an Idaho man has agreed to pay back several million dollars he siphoned away for personal use rather than investing it as promised to create U.S. jobs through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.

Sebi flags concerns over corporate governance practices
Securities and Exchange Board of India is doing simulation studies before implementing a solution to strengthen the regulatory framework for algorithmic / high frequency trading (HFT).

Investing and Trading

This Big Short Threatens to Be a Big Bust
Lisa Abramowicz and Shelly Banjo – Bloomberg Gadfly
It’s easy to say American malls are dying. It’s much harder to profit from their death.That isn’t stopping a growing number of hedge fund traders from trying. One group in particular is making bearish bets on derivatives tied to commercial mortgages originated in 2012, namely, the Markit CMBX Series 6. Fund manager Eric Yip has led the charge, going public with his “Big Short” idea as documented here, here and, most recently, this week in the Wall Street Journal.


A $28 billion hedge fund is pushing into machine learning
Raul Hernandez – Business Insider
Man GLG, a UK hedge fund overseeing $28.8 billion of assets as of March 31, is embracing machine learning. The group has created a new position titled “head of machine learning.” The new role will oversee development of Man GLG’s machine learning capabilities involving news and social media analysis, breaking market news, and visualizing complex data.


‘Extreme’ steps may be needed to fight next recession, MPs warned
Szu Ping Chan – The Telegraph
The UK will be forced to take radical steps to fight the next recession if the current recovery fails to gain traction, building societies have warned. MPs risk being pushed towards “extreme” policy measures to support the economy, including tearing up the Bank of England’s current 2pc inflation target or launching a massive fiscal stimulus as traditional responses become less potent, the Building Societies Association claims.

Hedge funds may be allowed in non-farm commodity derivatives initially; Globally, hedge funds are market movers in commodities with an exposure 10 times that in equities
Rajesh Bhayani – Business Standard
Following recommendations of its Commodity Derivatives Advisory Committee (CDAC), Sebi has proposed to allow category-3 Alternative Investment Funds (AIF), typically known as hedge funds, in commodity derivatives.

As China’s Investors Rush In, Hong Kong Shares Take a Wild Ride
Meitu had been a snoozer of a stock since listing in Hong Kong in December. Then investors from mainland China had a chance to buy in.

China banks miss out on U.S. investment banking bonanza
By Koh Gui Qing – Reuters
As scores of investment bankers profit from the fee bonanza offered by Chinese companies hunting for deals in the United States, one group is conspicuously absent – Chinese banks.


The UK Government Is Completely Deluded About Brexit
Frances Coppola – Forbes
The UK’s eventual exit from the EU is looking more and more likely to be a train wreck. The Brexiteers in Prime Minister Theresa May’s administration are living in a fantasy world. And although May herself comes across as sensible and pragmatic, it now appears that she is as deluded as they are.

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