First Read

Bits & Pieces
By Jim Kharouf

If you are like me and love to ride your bike to work, you might be interested in the latest offering for CBOT Building tenants – indoor parking. The building is offering 25 spots in a warm, locked, basement room for $120 for a year. A cheap way to keep your bike warm and safe. There’s more information here. There are 24 spots now, as I have rented one and love it.

In case you missed it, Henry Schwartz, of Trade Alert was a guest editor of the JLN Options Newsletter in December. If there is someone who knows options, it is Henry. He’s been a keynote speaker for years at the Options Industry Conference and we were glad to have him guest edit for a week. A compilation of his columns can be found below.

Speaking of conferences, let us know if there are any conferences or events we should include in our MarketsWiki event calendar.

And finally, a happy birthday to Katherine Lothian, 19 years old today!


Terry Duffy on Chicago and big business moral obligation
Frank Chaparro – Business Insider
Chicago, America’s third-largest city by population, is one of the great centers of American industry. Boeing, McDonald’s, and Discover Financial all have their headquarters either in the city or nearby. But despite all that the city has going for it in the world of business, Chicago still has a lot of problems.

**JK: Can Terry Duffy save the world? Maybe.


The Aggregated Wisdom of Henry Schwartz
In December, JLN was lucky to have Henry Schwartz of Trade Alert as a guest editor for the JLN Options newsletter. Some of you might have missed his contributions from that week – below is a post comprised of all of his observations with some slight edits. His columns are listed in chronological order from when they were published (12-12-16 through 12-16-16).


Opinion: Trading Trump’s tweets would have left you sad and poorer
Tim Mullaney – MarketWatch
Donald Trump tweets about a company, and its shares quake at his wrath. The president now is aiming at auto companies, trying to bludgeon Ford, General Motors, and Toyota, into expanding small-car production in the U.S. — reversing decades-old trends of moving manufacturing of mostly lower-priced, often-unprofitable cars to Mexico, even as Mexican presidents past and present flip The Donald the bird.

**JK: I suspect that will not be the first time, nor the last someone flipped the bird to Presidente Trump.


World’s Priciest Coffee Is Hand-Picked From Elephant Dung
Adam Majendie – Bloomberg
Ever since the Kopi Luwak craze began more than a decade ago, coffee connoisseurs have sought unusual ways to make the perfect brew. Kopi luwak is an Indonesian coffee originally made from part-digested beans defecated by wild palm civets, the gastric process of the animal helping improve the taste of the coffee.

**JK: Hence the phrase, “This coffee tastes like s—.”


Thursday’s Top Three
Yesterday’s top three stories started with a book. Not just any book, mind you, but a new book from the wizard himself, Jack Schwager and Mark Etzkorn. If you’re interested in buying a copy, A Complete Guide to the Futures Market: Technical Analysis, Trading Systems, Fundamental Analysis, Options, Spreads, and Trading Principles is now available. Second and third were all about ICE’s moves in the stock market space – NYSE Outlines 2017 Equity Market Strategy and NYSE, Former IEX Foe, Plans a Copycat Speed Bump of Its Own


MarketsWiki Stats
92,834,092 pages viewed; 22,321 pages; 203,351 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

Speed Traders’ ‘Stupid’ Plan for Fast Network Halted in U.K.
Will Hadfield and Brian Louis – Bloomberg
Dover District Council rejects Vigilant, Jump Trading, KCG; Towers would have sped up trading between London and Frankfurt
Local officials in rural England rejected as “incredibly stupid” a proposal by a group of high-speed traders to build radio masts as tall as the Eiffel Tower, dashing plans to open the fastest possible trading route between financial markets in London and Frankfurt.

CFTC fines E*TRADE for allegedly destroying customer records
Francine McKenna – MarketWatch
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission settled charges against Chicago-based E*Trade Securities LLC , an introducing broker, and E*Trade Clearing LLC, the firm’s futures broker-dealer, for record-keeping and supervision violations. According to the CFTC order, between October 2009 and January 25, 2014 E*Trade Securities and E*Trade Clearing allowed audit trail logs for their customers trades to be destroyed after 10 days rather than that maintaining them for use by regulators who use the records to monitor the firm’s compliance with laws and regulations.

Brazil’s BM&FBovespa buys 8.59 pct in Lima exchange for 49 mln reais
BM&FBovespa SA, Latin America’s largest financial bourse, has agreed to buy 8.59 percent of Peruvian peer Bolsa de Valores de Lima SA for about 49 million reais ($15 million), the latest effort to increase ties with regional exchanges.

Citigroup to Pay $18 Million to Settle Charges It Overbilled Clients; SEC says bank billed advisory clients higher fees than they had agreed on
Austen Hufford – WSJ
Citigroup Inc. will pay $18 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission allegations that it overbilled investment advisory clients and lost client contracts.

House Speaker Ryan Told Lawmakers Financial Deregulation a Top Priority; Ryan statement comes alongside Trump vow to ‘pursue financial reform’
Ryan Tracy and Rachel Witkowski – WSJ
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) told Republican lawmakers at a retreat that legislation aimed at relieving the financial sector from regulations will be a top priority in 2017, according to congressional aides.

A GOP Regulatory Game Changer; Legal experts say that Congress can overrule Obama regulations going back to 2009.
Kimberley A. Strassel – WSJ
Todd Gaziano on Wednesday stepped into a meeting of free-market attorneys, think tankers and Republican congressional staff to unveil a big idea. By the time he stepped out, he had reset Washington’s regulatory battle lines.

How Fintech Could Cause a Revolution in Compliance
Nicholas Elliott – WSJ
Compliance in financial services could be revolutionized by financial technology, which holds the potential of making the processes more efficient for firms and regulators, according to Jude Scott, chief executive of Cayman Finance.

High-frequency traders consume more liquidity than they provide according to the AMF
Valentina Kirilova – LeapRate
The Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) has published a detailed analysis of the activity of market participants engaged in high-frequency trading (HFT) on CAC 40 stocks, with focus on their presence in the order book, how they provide and consume liquidity and how their behaviour changes during periods of intense stress.

The Biggest Regulatory Change Ever Is Coming in a Year. Are You Ready?
Despite ESMA’s successful request for a one-year extension to the implementation of MiFID II, the rulemaking process has continued to be slow, and in effect, very little extra time was actually given to firms to devise and implement solutions. We are likely to see efforts to build or, more probably, to outsource solutions to third-party providers right up to and through December 2017.

“Reform” Isn’t the Answer for Everything
Satyajit Das – Bloomberg
Nearly a decade after the global financial crisis, the recovery remains disappointing and nothing — neither massive fiscal stimulus, nor record-low rates, nor generous injections of liquidity by central banks — seems to be helping. Policymakers from Washington to London to Tokyo all seem to agree there’s only one answer left: structural reform. Everywhere there’s talk of amending tax codes, rolling back regulations, reviving industrial policy.

Elon Musk Has Trump’s Ear, and Wall Street Takes Note
James B. Stewart – NY Times
The election of Donald Trump and the accompanying rehabilitation of fossil fuels should have been, by all rights, devastating for Tesla Motors.

Why Dodd-Frank Is Unfair to Banks
Donald E. Powell – Fortune
President Trump has been in office less than a week, but so far it seems he and Congress share similar views as Wall Street: Less regulation is better, particularly when it comes to Dodd-Frank Act that aims to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.

Ordered to Seek Approval on ‘Brexit,’ Theresa May Does So. Tersely.
Katrin Bennhold – NY Times
Two days after being ordered by Britain’s Supreme Court to seek Parliament’s approval before beginning the process to take the country out of the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May submitted a terse, 132-word bill to lawmakers on Thursday.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Nasdaq Withdraws Controversial Retail Post-Only Order Proposal
Themis Trading
Nasdaq has decided to withdraw their controversial proposal for a Retail Post-only order type. The SEC noted this in a filing that was published yesterday:

Deutsche Börse Presents Blockchain Concept for Risk Free Cash Transfer
Blockchain News
Deutsche Börse Group has developed a concept for riskless transfer of commercial bank money via an infrastructure based on distributed ledger technology (DLT). By combining Blockchain technology with its proven post-trade infrastructure, Deutsche Börse aims to achieve efficiencies while at the same time investigating possible new business opportunities enabled by this technology.

OTC Markets Group Reports 2016 Trading Statistics and Highlights
PR Newswire via Yahoo
OTC Markets Group Inc. (OTCM), operator of financial markets for 10,000 U.S. and global securities, today announced its trading statistics and news highlights for 2016.

NEO Receives Designated Offshore Securities Market Status by the SEC
Business Wire via Yahoo
Aequitas NEO Exchange Inc. (“NEO Exchange” or “NEO”) is pleased to announce it has received designated offshore securities market status from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). As of January 5, 2017, NEO listed companies and their shareholders can rely on certain safe harbors provided by Regulation S under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “1933 Act”).

Big bourse bang on massive response
Dalal Street Investment Journal
Asia’s largest stock exchange BSE’s initial public offer (IPO) was oversubscribed 51.15 times on the last day of offering. The bourse has raised about Rs 1,243 crore. The IPO bidding process closed on Wednesday.

Adjustment of Power Assets Structured Products, Futures and Options
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) has announced the arrangements for the adjustment to Power Assets Holdings Limited (Power Assets) structured products, futures and options to account for Power Assets’ special interim dividend

Eurex Exchange’s Equity Index Derivatives highlights
Looking back over the final quarter of 2016, equity markets enjoyed strong performance post the uncertainty surrounding the US presidential election, with strong monthly gains realised in December for both the MSCI World and MSCI Europe Index. The EURO STOXX 50 and the DAX – two of our largest contract benchmark indexes – closed at year-end highs. Realised volatility and correlation for the EURO STOXX 50 Index continued to grind lower into year-end leading implied volatility and skew to new lows.

Fixed Income Highlights – 1/2017
In the final quarter of 2016 Fixed Income markets enjoyed a strong performance that was largely driven by increased event and geopolitical risks. This helped drive better than expected realized volatility in the underlying markets which supported Eurex’s core and periphery products.

Eurex Exchange and DEGIRO enter knowledge partnership
DEGIRO, one of Europe’s largest retail brokers and Eurex, Europe’s largest derivatives exchange team up to jointly educate retail investors: A new section on DEGIRO’s website explains the products listed on Eurex with input coming directly from the extensive knowledge pool of the derivatives exchange.


Trump adviser Icahn faces conflict of interest scrutiny over biofuels; Billionaire gains on investment in oil refiner ahead of rule change
Gregory Meyer and Stephen Foley – FT
Donald Trump’s election has doubled the value of an energy company owned by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who was appointed special adviser to the president on regulatory reform.

Markets need to find vigilance in era of Trump populism; The seductive ‘sugar high’ for markets will collide with Trump’s economic populism
Cardiff Garcia – Financial Times
Donald Trump is less an ideologue than he is an exclusive populist. Politically this means that he is anti-pluralist, contemptuous of democratic traditions, and he positions himself antagonistically against elites in politics and business.

Trump, Brexit and the age of broken promises; ‘Only now is outright lying taking off in politics. That’s because the nature of politicians is changing’
Simon Kuper – FT
Now that Brexit and Trumpism are being implemented, they are entering a new phase: broken promises. Donald Trump said during his campaign that he would prosecute Hillary Clinton, get rid of lobbyists, deport 11 million undocumented immigrants and ban all Muslims from entering the US. He has since admitted he won’t. The Clintons, he explained, are “good people” (so why all the “lock her up” chants?), he only wants to deport two to three million “bad hombres”, and so on.

Warren Says Labor Department Website for Wells Fargo Taken Down
Elizabeth Dexheimer – Bloomberg
U.S. senator asks the agency for status of probe into bank; Website was to allow bank workers to report illegal activity
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren asked the Department of Labor for an update on its investigation into Wells Fargo & Co.’s sales practices after she was unable to access a website the agency set up to track complaints from the bank’s employees.

Investing and Trading

The dangers of writing coal’s obituary; The fuel faces headwinds but will continue to play major role in developing economies
Neil Hume – FT
Unfashionable, unloved and unpopular, but still one of the best performing commodities of the past 12 months.

Gold Goes Cold Turkey as Chinese Stop Buying for Year of Rooster
Eddie Van Der Walt – Bloomberg
Metal set for longest losing run since October on lunar break; Palladium heads for biggest weekly drop in more than a year
Gold is headed for its longest streak of losses since October as buying from China comes to a sudden stop ahead of the country’s traditional week-long holiday to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Trump is Wall Street’s $2.2 trillion man
Adam Shell – USA TODAY
The paper gains are piling up since the stock market rally began the day after Donald Trump was elected president.

Huge Cincinnati money manager plans to liquidate its publicly traded fund
Steve Watkins – Cincinnati Business Courier
The board of Pacholder High Yield Fund, a publicly traded fund investing in high-yield bonds that’s managed by a JPMorgan investment team in Kenwood, plans to shut it down.

Yellen may be the foil of the Trump administration
Greg Robb – MarketWatch
President Donald Trump seems in pole position to get potentially budget-busting corporate tax cuts and infrastructure spending plans through a pliant Congress.


Bernanke says Fed shouldn’t rush to sell assets
By Greg Robb – MarketWatch
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Thursday tried to throw cold water on speculation that the central bank will soon begin to shrink its massive balance sheet

UBS sees investor outflows even as it beats profit expectations; Swiss bank predicts improvements in US but is cautious elsewhere
Ralph Atkins and Martin Arnold – Financial Times
UBS finished a tough 2016 on an upbeat note, with an unexpectedly strong increase in fourth-quarter profits, and has predicted improved US investor confidence would this year boost its wealth management businesses.

Morgan Stanley to Reduce Wealth Fees Even With Rule Uncertainty
Hugh Son – Bloomberg
‘Great deal of speculation’ over fiduciary rule, company says; Firm aims to reduce conflicts of interest, redundant offerings
Morgan Stanley, one of the biggest U.S. brokerages, said it plans to move ahead with client-friendly changes designed to comply with federal rules despite uncertainty over whether the regulation will be implemented.

Credit Suisse Said to Mull Dublin Expansion as Brexit Nears
Sharon R Smyth, Peter Flanagan and Dara Doyle – Bloomberg
Swiss bank already uses Dublin as hub for servicing funds; Ireland is courting lenders in race to win new finance jobs
Credit Suisse Group AG is exploring options for expanding in Dublin, as the U.K. moves closer to exiting the European Union, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Barclays Picks Dublin as Post-Brexit EU Headquarters
Stephen Morris and Neil Callanan – Bloomberg
Bank may move 150 staff to Ireland, including senior managers; Firm started scouting city for more office space this month
Barclays Plc has settled on Dublin for its main hub inside the European Union after Brexit and is planning to add about 150 staff there if U.K.-based finance companies lose easy access to the trading bloc, according to people with knowledge of the decision.

UBS hopes Trump-led rally will help boost wealth management
Joshua Franklin – Reuters
UBS (UBSG.S) hopes a Donald Trump-inspired rally in the United States will help boost earnings at its struggling wealth management business after posting a 47 percent fall in full-year net profit.


Paris Wants a Slice of the London Fintech Pie
Fabio Benedetti Valentini and Marie Mawad – Bloomberg
After years of lagging behind London on spawning financial technology startups, Paris this week hosted a show of force aimed at proving the French capital can catch up as more than 1,500 bankers, investors and entrepreneurs gathered.

Renaissance Capital selects Tbricks by Itiviti to consolidate trading operations
Itiviti, a world-leading technology provider for the capital markets industry, today announced that Renaissance Capital the leading emerging and frontier markets investment bank has chosen the Tbricks by Itiviti platform for its options market making, Delta-one algo trading,

New Thomson Reuters Compliance Solution Helps Organizations Manage Regulatory Change
Thomson Reuters
Organizations facing regulatory overload can now benefit from powerful new tools to help them better manage their compliance workflow as Thomson Reuters introduces Regulatory Change Management (RCM), its new end-to-end compliance solution.

PayPal Has Been Talking With Amazon on Payments, CEO Says
Spencer Soper – Bloomberg Inc. and PayPal Holdings Inc. have discussed letting shoppers pay for Amazon purchases using their PayPal accounts, highlighting how PayPal can attract new partners since its 2015 split from Amazon rival EBay Inc.

Fintech sector needs more regulatory oversight: Bundesbank
Financial technology companies require greater oversight because they have the potential to disrupt the banking industry and could threaten financial stability, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said on Wednesday.


CFTC has only six responses to extended Reg AT review
Julie Aelbrecht – Futures & Options World
Industry has identified subpoena-less access to source code as main issue
US regulator the Commodity Futures Trading Commission had received only six responses to its proposed changes to the controversial Reg AT reforms on electronic trading when acting chairman extended the consultation period by on Monday. Trade bodies the Futures Industry Association, the Commercial Energy Working Group, the Modern Markets Initiative and the International Energy Credit Associating as well as trading firm Virtu Financial has made written submissions by January 23, according to the CFTC.

CFTC General Counsel Jonathan L. Marcus to Depart Agency
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or Commission) Acting Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo today announced that General Counsel Jonathan L. Marcus will depart the agency. Mr. Marcus joined the agency in 2011 as Deputy General Counsel for Litigation, and was promoted to General Counsel in 2013. Acting Chairman Giancarlo also announced that Robert A. Schwartz, currently the Deputy General Counsel for Litigation and Adjudication, will become the Acting General Counsel.

Former Och-Ziff London partner charged by SEC; Two ex-hedge fund executives accused of violating anti-corruption law
by: David J Lynch in Washington and Stephen Foley in New York – FT
Two former Och-Ziff executives have been charged with directing a scheme to win the hedge fund business in at least five African countries by paying “tens of millions of dollars” in bribes to government officials.

SEC says Citigroup paying $18 mln for overbilling clients
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Thursday that Citigroup Global Markets agreed to pay $18.3 million to settle charges that it overbilled investment advisory clients and misplaced client contracts.

SEC Charges Two Former Och-Ziff Executives With FCPA Violations
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged two former executives at Och-Ziff Capital Management Group with being the driving forces behind a far-reaching bribery scheme that violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

CFTC Orders Chicago-based E*TRADE Securities LLC and E*TRADE Clearing LLC to Pay a $280,000 Civil Monetary Penalty for Failure to Retain Required Records and Failure to Diligently Supervise
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today issued an Order filing and settling charges against E*TRADE Securities LLC (E*TRADE Securities), an Introducing Broker, and E*TRADE Clearing LLC (E*TRADE Clearing), a Futures Commission Merchant, for non-compliance with applicable record-keeping rules and failure to diligently supervise. Both entities have their headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.

Venezuelan authorities arrest 4 bitcoin miners
Joseph Adinolfi – MarketWatch
Venezuelan authorities have arrested four people allegedly involved with a cryptocurrency-mining operation based in a small city about an hour and a half’s drive from Caracas, according to local media reports.

ESMA publishes new Q&A on Alternative Performance Measures Guidelines
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a new Questions and Answers (Q&A) document, comprising six questions, on the implementation of its Guidelines on the Alternative Performance Measures for listed issuers.

Seven Investing Tips for 2017
Financially speaking, the beginning of the year is a great time to plan for the year to come. FINRA is here to help with these seven tips for making the most of your investments in 2017.

SIFMA Executive Vice President Randy Snook Remarks as Prepared for the 2017 Leaders and Experts Forum
SIFMA Executive Vice President Randy Snook delivered remarks as prepared for the January 26 Leaders and Experts Forum.


Investors brace for transaction tax hike, less friendly Budget 2017; Even as focus shifts to wringing out revenues to finance giveaways and higher public investment
Reuters – Business Standard
Investors are bracing for higher taxes and fewer incentives from the government’s annual Budget on February 1 as the focus shifts to wringing out revenues to finance giveaways and higher public investment.

Sebi bans Mallya, 6 others from markets; This came a day after CBI filed a charge sheet on Mallya in Rs 1,300-crore IDBI Bank loan fraud case
Shrimi Choudhary – Business Standard
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has barred fugitive tycoon Vijay Mallya from accessing the capital markets anymore. The charge is fund diversion of Rs 1,880 crore from United Spirits (USL).

China spells out curbs on capital outflows; Forex regulator clarifies steps being taken to shore up currency and keep it onshore
Lucy Hornby – FT
China’s foreign exchange regulator has spelt out measures to encourage companies to keep their money at home or bring it back from overseas, in the latest steps designed to shore up the renminbi and staunch capital outflows.

Trump’s Little Mexican War; The President is treating our neighbor like Obama treated Israel.
Donald Trump’s path to the Presidency as an outsider always implied on-the-job-training. This week’s lesson: The world is not a Republican primary. President Trump’s Twitter broadsides against Mexico have unleashed a political backlash that has now become a diplomatic crisis with a friendly neighbor.


Wealthy philanthropist jumps to her death on Upper East Side
Elizabeth Rosner and Jamie Schram – NY Post
A Manhattan animal rescue donor, the wife of a millionaire Wall Streeter, leapt to her death Thursday from the 14th floor terrace of her luxury Upper East Side apartment, sources said.

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