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New Data Suggest U.K. Government Figures Are Getting Released Early
Mike Bird – WSJ
U.K. government-bond futures often move sharply in the 24 hours before sensitive economic reports are released, an analysis of trading data shows, a phenomenon that suggests some investors may be trading with knowledge of official statistics before they are made public.

***JB: Is anyone even a little bit surprised?


Gin-Sipping Hipsters on Fixies Ride Into U.K. Inflation Metric
Lucy Meakin and Jill Ward – Bloomberg
They’ve faced much mockery for their beards and fixed-wheel bicycles, but U.K. hipsters are getting the last laugh as they make their mark on national statistics.
Non-dairy milk, gin and cycle helmets have all been added to the list statisticians use to gauge living costs, while basic mobile phone handsets have been removed as their rarity in a world of smartphones makes it hard to collect prices, the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday.

***JB: Try saying “Gin-sipping hipsters” after a few martinis.


Proof Wall Street Is Still a Boys’ Club
Ben Steverman – Bloomberg
Last week a statue of a young girl was temporarily installed in New York’s Financial District to mark International Women’s Day. Called The Fearless Girl and sponsored by State Street Corp., she was depicted bravely facing off against the bronze bull that’s become a symbol of Wall Street.

***JB: “I Don’t Want to Belong to Any Club That Will Accept Me as a Member” ~Groucho Marx


Google kills off the Captcha, ensuring humans don’t need to see the most annoying thing on the internet
Andrew Griffin – The Independent
Google just killed the Captcha, perhaps the most obstructive thing on the entire internet.
For years, Captcha served as the primary way of telling humans and robots apart on the internet. It made sure that the person looking to access a website was actually a human being – ensuring that robots couldn’t be used to send spam or flood a website with requests, for instance.

***JB: Not really market news but good news worth sharing. I am willing to bet we have all suffered through those things.


Sports Betting Is Starting to Look a Lot More Like Wall Street
Shelly Hagan – Bloomberg
Your March Madness office pool is like the Charles Schwab of sports betting. Beyond those hastily chosen brackets, there’s an entire cottage industry of sports betting that’s increasingly resembling Wall Street.

***JB: I usually get dirty looks if I equate investing to gambling.


Monday’s Top Three
Our top three stories from Monday actually were not about the weather. The top piece was the
New York Post’s PwC claims accounting wasn’t Corzine’s undoing at trial. Third also went to a Corzine story in Reuter’s Corzine emphasizes PwC role prior to MF Global collapse. Second was part two of our interview with Terry Duffy CME Group CEO Terry Duffy on Changes in Management


MarketsWiki Stats
95,539,496 pages viewed; 22,385 pages; 204,324 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


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Lead Stories

U.S. Blizzard Grounds Flights, Raises Power as Trump Tweets
Brian K Sullivan
A late-winter storm is blanketing the eastern U.S. in snow. Airlines canceled thousands of flights, wholesale power prices surged and natural gas futures gained as the storm prepared to spin up the Atlantic Coast, with a blizzard warning for New York in place. German Chancellor Angela Merkel delayed her trip to Washington, and President Donald Trump tweeted a picture of himself meeting with Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser about the storm, advising those in its path to be safe.

***** This storm is expected to keep a bunch of people bottled up in the Northeast and not able to make it to Boca Raton.

Senior U.K. central banker quits over disclosure failings
Associated Press
LONDON – The Bank of England’s newly appointed deputy governor, Charlotte Hogg, has resigned amid criticism that she broke internal rules by failing to declare that her brother held a senior position at London-based Barclays.

EU adopts rules to curtail executive pay, avoid short-term investing
Shareholders in listed European Union companies will have a greater say in setting executive pay under new rules adopted by EU lawmakers on Tuesday.

City bankers battle with quandary of ethics versus career; Survey finds more than third fear negative consequences of voicing any concerns
by: Martin Arnold and Patrick Jenkins
One in eight bankers say it is difficult to progress in their careers without “flexing ethical standards” while more than a third worry about the negative consequences of voicing any concerns, according to one of the biggest surveys of the industry.

William Ackman Throws in the Towel on Valeant
Dealbook – NY Times
William A. Ackman staked his reputation as a savvy stock picker on his ability to oversee a turnaround at Valeant Pharmaceuticals International.
Even as troubles mounted, he maintained that he had an “enormous stomach for volatility.”

Preet Bharara: ‘Sheriff of Wall Street’ or Pragmatic Showman?
Dealbook – NY Times
When it comes to policing Wall Street, there are two distinct narratives about Preet Bharara’s tenure as the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York.

The Great Corporate Bond Rush of 2017 Persists as Fed Mulls Hike
Claire Boston – Bloomberg
U.S. companies are issuing bonds at the fastest pace ever. And investors say the Federal Reserve’s next rate hike may do little to change that. Investment-grade firms are on track to complete the busiest first quarter for debt sales since at least 1999. Firms from Apple Inc. to Morgan Stanley have pushed new issues to more than $360 billion so far in 2017, closing in on the previous record of $381 billion from 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That puts bond sales 17 percent ahead of last year’s record pace.

Inflation: The Price Is Finally Right for the Fed
It isn’t just the healthy labor market giving the Federal Reserve enough confidence to raise interest rates; inflation is finally cooperating, too.

Raphael Bostic to Be First Black President of a Fed Regional Bank
NY Times
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta on Monday shattered a 104-year-old racial barrier by naming Raphael W. Bostic as its new president.
Mr. Bostic, an economist and a former housing policy official in the Obama administration, will become the first African-American to lead any of the Fed’s 12 regional reserve banks, and just the fourth to serve on its policy-making committee, which raises and lowers interest rates.

Cambridge, a $142 Billion Wall Street Gatekeeper, Cuts Staff
Juliet Chung – WSJ
Cambridge Associates laid off roughly four-dozen employees last week as the pioneering investment consultant, facing pressures in that business, attempts to remake itself as a money manager. Cambridge is one of the best-known purveyors of advice to endowments, foundations and pensions, acting as a gatekeeper between these deep-pocketed investors and the Wall Street firms that want their money. But recently, the consulting model has faced pressure from increased competition that has driven down fees and from investors’ growing embrace of low-cost, passive index products.

Charles Schwab launches hybrid human-robo financial advice
Anna Irrera – Reuters
Brokerage Charles Schwab Corp (SCHW.N) on Tuesday launched a service that combines its automated investment management technology with human advisors, as financial institutions race to offer digital financial advice. The service, called Schwab Intelligent Advisory, provides clients with a financial and investment plan, unlimited access to a human advisor via phone or video conference, and an investment portfolio of exchange-traded funds managed by computer algorithms.

Look at Life Experience as You’re Decoding Fedspeak
Jeanna Smialek – Bloomberg
Federal Reserve officials are products of their eras. A policy maker’s hawkish or dovish tilt hinges at least partly on the inflation environment they’ve experienced, according to new research. That’s the leading item in our research wrap this week, and it’s followed by a Goldman Sachs analysis of the U.S. economy’s neutral interest rate, which is another piece worth reading about ahead of Wednesday’s Federal Open Market Committee rate decision. This week’s roundup also links to studies on single mothers and the marriage premium and on how immigration status affects wages. Check this column each Tuesday for the latest in policy-relevant or interesting economic research.

Why Emerging Markets Shouldn’t Fear the Fed
The U.S. interest-rate cycle finally seems to be getting going in earnest. One traditional fear for investors is that higher U.S. rates and a stronger dollar might unsettle emerging markets. But the bigger issue is the state of growth in emerging markets themselves.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Eris Launches Live Swap Curve
Press Release – Eris Exchange
Eris Exchange (Eris), the U.S.-based futures exchange offering cash-settled swap futures as the leading alternative to traditional OTC interest rate swaps, announced the successful launch of the Live Eris Swap Curve, a value-added market data product featuring real-time valuations and analytics for Eris Standard Swap Futures.

Bloomberg TSOX drives MTS BondsPro to record buy-side volumes; LSE’s MTS BondsPro platform has seen record buy-side activity in 2017.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
The London Stock Exchange’s (LSE) MTS BondsPro trading platform has seen buy-side trading activity almost triple in 2017, compared to the same period the year prior

Nasdaq provides blockchain tech to new advertising exchange
By Anna Irrera and John McCrank – Reuters
Nasdaq Inc has provided blockchain technology to run a new exchange to trade guaranteed advertising contracts as more mainstream finance projects using the record keeping software move into the real world.

STOXX Limited Wins “Most Innovative Index Provider” Award By etfexpress For The Seventh Time
Deutsche Boerse
STOXX Ltd., the operator of Deutsche Boerse Group’s index business, and a global provider of innovative and tradable index concepts, today announced that it has been named “Most Innovative Index Provider” in 2016 by etfexpress. STOXX has won this award for the seventh time since 2010. Award winners are chosen based on votes cast by readers of etfexpress. The newsletter’s readership consists of index and exchange-traded fund (ETF) users.

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Says Trayport Ruling Remitted to CMA for Reconsideration
Street Insider
As announced on 6 March 2016, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) has reversed the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decision that the new agreement between ICE and Trayport should be terminated, and remitted this issue to the CMA for reconsideration.


Nasdaq and CloudMargin Join Forces to Help Buy-Side Institutions Manage Cleared and Non-Cleared Derivatives Collateral
Press Release – CloudMargin
CloudMargin, the multi-award winning creator of the world’s first web-based collateral and margin management solution, today announced that Nasdaq Clearing has been included into the CloudMargin platform. This will provide Nasdaq Clearing’s clients with a seamless collateral management solution for collateralising cleared derivatives products. Under the arrangement, CloudMargin and Nasdaq Clearing are establishing interoperability that will significantly enhance and streamline Nasdaq Clearing’s collateral-related communications, including issuance of the most up-to-date eligibility schedules, reports, messages and instructions.

Trading Platform Level Playing Field
Press Release – Rival Systems
Rival Systems (Rival), an award-winning provider of trading and risk management software, and Algo-Logic Systems, a leading FPGA ultra-low latency trading solutions provider, announced today that they have teamed up to develop an integrated offering using Algo-Logic’s FPGA hardware and Rival’s trading and algorithmic strategy development software. The complete tick-to-trade “out-of-the-box” solution for futures and options enables traders and firms of all sizes to capture the sub-microsecond latency and deterministic performance that typically only the largest trading firms with expensive internal infrastructures have enjoyed.

Corvil extends its technology to fixed income; Corvil launches a new tool for traders to view transaction lifecycle for fixed income.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Corvil has extended its technology to fixed income trading with the launch of a new tool that allows traders to view each transaction’s lifecycle in real-time.

NEX Launches New Regulation Reporting Platform
John D’Antona Jr – Traders Magazine
Led by Collin Coleman and powered by Abide Financial (Abide), a NEX Group business, NEX Regulatory Reporting brings together a suite of best-in-breed services under a single umbrella to offer clients an extremely powerful and versatile reporting solution.


Why Robert Shiller Is Worried About the Trump Rally
by Jason Clenfield and Adam Haigh – Bloomberg
‘The market is way over-priced,’ Nobel laureate says
Trader psyche reminds one academic of tulip-mania and plague
The last time Robert Shiller heard stock-market investors talk like this in 2000, it didn’t end well for the bulls.
Back then, the Nobel Prize-winning economist says, traders were captivated by a “new era story” of technological transformation: The Internet had re-defined American business and made traditional gauges of equity-market value obsolete. Today, the game changer everyone’s buzzing about is political: Donald Trump and his bold plans to slash regulations, cut taxes and turbocharge economic growth with a trillion-dollar infrastructure boom.

Rex Tillerson Used Email Alias at Exxon to Discuss Climate Change, New York Says; Attorney general’s office accuses Exxon of withholding documents in probe into what it told investors about climate change; says Rex Tillerson used pseudonym ‘Wayne Tracker’
The New York attorney general accused Exxon Mobil Corp. Monday of withholding documents from his office as it investigates whether the energy company misrepresented its understanding of climate change to investors and the public.


EU adopts rules to curtail executive pay, avoid short-term investing
Shareholders in listed European Union companies will have a greater say in setting executive pay under new rules adopted by EU lawmakers on Tuesday.
Investors in the more than 8,000 listed companies on EU markets will be able to issue binding votes on remuneration policies, although EU states are free to make this advisory and will have about two years to enact them in national law.

World Federation of Exchanges responds to FSB’s consultative document on CCP Resolution & Resolution Planning
Press Release – World Federation of Exchanges
The World Federation of Exchanges (“WFE”), which represents more than 200 market infrastructure providers including exchanges and CCPs, has responded to a consultative document from the Financial Stability Board (“FSB”) related to CCP Resolution & Resolution Planning.
As outlined in previous responses to the FSB on the broader topic of CCP Recovery & Resolution*, the WFE maintains its position that recovery must be given every opportunity to succeed before resolution proceedings are invoked.

Regulator Proposes Walling Off Wall Street Investment Banks
by Jesse Hamilton – Bloomberg
President Donald Trump has worried Wall Street by promising to bring back a Depression-era law that separated investment banking from consumer lending, but he hasn’t offered details on what his modern version might look like. Now a key regulator may be filling the void.

FT Explainer: Dodd-Frank picked to pieces
Barney Jopson and Lauren Leatherby – The Financial Times
Shares in the US’s biggest banks have been flying high on expectations that President Donald Trump will cast off the shackles imposed by the Dodd-Frank post-crisis financial regulations.

Investing and Trading

Hedge-Fund Trader Andurand Loses Big on Oil Bets
Andurand’s Commodities Fund has lost about $130 million in first two months of 2017
Laurence Fletcher – WSJ
Pierre Andurand, one of the world’s best-known oil traders, has suffered a large loss at the start of this year because of wrong-way bets on crude. Mr. Andurand, who runs the $1.5 billion Andurand Commodities Fund, lost 8.5%, or approximately $130 million, in the first two months of this year, according to numbers sent to investors and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The loss makes his fund one of the global hedge-fund industry’s worst-performers in 2017.

Buyout Firm Buys $800 Million of Assets From Itself
By Simon Clark – WSJ
Buyout firms face increasing competition from patient investors like sovereign-wealth funds. One has found a way to play them at their own game: Investindustrial, a European buyout firm, is creating a fund to buy EUR750 million ($800 million) of assets it already owns.

JPMorgan’s Risky Bonds Plan Lost Billions, Insurers Claim
by Chris Dolmetsch – Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co. stuffed two investment accounts with risky mortgage bonds almost a decade ago as the housing market started to crumble, lawyers for two insurance companies told a state judge, causing their clients to lose more than $1 billion.


This Millennial China Stock Guru Has Banker Parents, But Won’t Touch Banks
by Kana Nishizawa – Bloomberg
Baijing Yu was raised by two generations of Chinese bankers and talks with pride about her family’s contributions to the nation’s financial system over nearly seven decades.
But would the 32-year-old stock picker risk a penny of her clients’ assets on shares of a Chinese lender? Not a chance.
Yu, whose Comgest Growth Greater China fund has returned an annualized 22 percent over the past three years, says growing up in a house of Chinese bankers has only reinforced her view that the sector is un-investible. Lenders in China are often policy tools of the government, she says, with “black box” balance sheets that provide little clarity on their exposure to non-performing debt.

JP Morgan prepares wealth clients for change in IRAs
JPMorgan Chase & Co has sent some wealth management customers letters this month notifying them that they could be moved to the firm’s self-directed platform soon ahead of a pending Labor Department retirement regulation, the bank said on Monday.
While implementation of the U.S. Labor Department’s fiduciary rule may ultimately be delayed, the letters went out as part of a plan the bank announced in November to end retirement accounts that pay financial advisers commissions.

Opinion – More Bank Capital Could Kill the Economy
Regulators sparked the Great Recession with a credit crunch. Now they want to do it again.
By Tim Congdon and Steve H. Hanke – WSJ
In the decade since the financial panic of 2008, politicians and bureaucrats joined in a remorseless and determined effort to tighten regulation. Banks have been required to hold more capital against their risky assets, in the belief that this would make them—and the economy—safer. Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, wants more. He argues that the financial system won’t be truly safe unless capital requirements are doubled—to 23.5% for the biggest banks.


Netherlands Sells Bonds in Speedy Auction Day Before Elections
Investors gave the Netherlands a vote a confidence a day ahead of general elections, snapping up government bonds in an auction that only lasted four minutes.

China Property Sales Surge Despite Government Efforts to Cool Market
China’s property sales surged in the first two months of the year despite government measures to cool the market, though growth in real estate investment showed signs of easing, according to official data on Tuesday.
Property sales by area rose 25.1 percent year-on-year in January and February.

Iceland, Symbol of Financial Crisis, Finally Lifts Capital Controls
NY Times
Nine years after a giant banking crash made Iceland a symbol of the global financial crisis, the government on Tuesday effectively declared that financial stability had been restored as it ended longstanding restrictions on the flow of money into and out of the country.

1MDB scandal: Singapore slaps 10-year ban on former Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner
The local regulator is also set to issue bans on three others for similar breaches
Rachel Middleton – IB Times
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has slapped a 10-year ban on former Goldman Sachs director Tim Leissner from its securities industry over breaches related to the Malaysian sovereign fund 1 Malaysia Development Fund Berhad or 1MDB.

Libya Guard Chief Urges International Protection for Oil Ports
by Saleh Sarrar – Bloomberg
The head of Libya’s Petroleum Facilities Guard, a force affiliated with the United Nations-backed government, called for a no-fly zone to protect critical oil installations, as fighting threatens to escalate in the holder of Africa’s largest crude reserves.


BofA Likely to Choose Dublin for Main EU Base After British Exit
by Steven Arons and Gavin Finch
Bank of America Corp. views Dublin as its default destination for a new hub inside the European Union if Brexit means the U.K. loses easy access to the single market, according to one of the U.S. firm’s top executives in Germany.
The bank will likely move some jobs to other cities across the EU, including Frankfurt, Madrid, Luxembourg and Amsterdam, Nikolaus Naerger said at a press briefing hosted by the Association of Foreign Banks in Germany Tuesday.

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