First Read

How Do You Save the Capital Markets? Kennedy Looks to Lead Market Revamp
By Jim Kharouf, JLN

Nasdaq’s Kevin Kennedy is my new hero.

The senior vice president and head of equity options, on stage at the Options Industry Conference last week, spoke about taking the lead on a new initiative to change the existing financial and regulatory structure for financial markets. And he urged the other exchange executives from the other four major options markets to join him.

In today’s political environment, it takes courage for someone to stand up and say they want to fix the financial markets so they stay the envy of world capital markets. And there is much to fix – from products priced in pennies and those that should not be, to the fragmentation of the markets, to the way auctions work, to how various market participants interact with the markets and with what capital requirements.

For the rest of the commentary, go here


Kim’s Kilt Challenge; Fundraising for Futures for Kids
Kim Taylor – CME Group

Each year, FIA hosts the IDX Gala in aid of Futures for Kids, an organization that raises funds on behalf of the futures and options industry for charities that strive to provide better lives and futures for children internationally. Over the last nine years, the IDX Gala has raised more than £1.2 million for Futures for Kids, including through the Kilt Challenge.

Since 2010, various giants from the futures industry (to wit – John Lothian and Bill Herder and five others) have accepted the sporran and the challenge to beat the previous year’s Kilt Challenge fundraising record, collectively raising more than £30,000 to support this worthy cause. Last year, FIA’s Head of Asia-Pacific, Bill Herder raised more than £8,000 at the 2016 IDX Gala. But now, it’s time for the first woman to don the sporran – and raise the bar. We are pleased to announce that Kim Taylor, President of Clearing and Post-Trade Services at the [[CME Group, for the 2017 IDX Gala.
***** Jeremy Grant called me from a London cab to tell me about the origins of this fundraising challenge minutes after it was made. And from here thousands of pounds have been raised for Futures for Kids.


Emanuel, CME Group Present New Scholarships ; The CME Group Star Partnership Mayoral Award will financially assist Star Scholar graduates to continue at a four-year institution.
By Mona Kazour – Patch
From the Office of the Mayor: Mayor Rahm Emanuel, City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Juan Salgado and CME Group’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Terry Duffy honored 25 Chicago Star Scholar graduates with transfer scholarships that will support them in continuing towards a four-year degree. Students have obtained an associate degree from the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC), and will continue on to earn a bachelor’s degree in a STEM-related pathway.

***** With Great Power comes Great Responsibility. It is nice to see it used so well.


Block Trades; EFRPs; Delivery Reports; Wash Trades; Government Employee Lied
Gary DeWaal – Bridging the Week
Last week, ICE Futures U.S. settled disciplinary actions against three persons for violating its block trade rule for a combined fine of US $325,000. The violations included allegedly trading on nonpublic information regarding block trades; purportedly receiving allocations of block trades without expressly requesting such transactions; and possibly executing block trades without being an eligible contract participant. Separately, CME Group resolved disciplinary actions involving purported violations of its rules regarding exchange for related positions, reporting of long positions eligible for delivery and wash trades.


Ex-Orioles Player DeCinces Found Guilty of Insider Trading
by Edvard Pettersson – Bloomberg
DeCinces had paid $2.5 million to settle SEC allegations; Former Baltimore teammate Eddie Murray also settled with SEC
Former Baltimore Orioles third baseman Doug DeCinces was found guilty of insider trading for making more than $1 million off a tip about an acquisition of Advanced Medical Optics Inc. from his friend who was the company’s chief executive officer.

***** And to think he used to man the “Hot Corner.”


For Business School Naming Rights, the Price Is Only Going Up; B-school glory comes at a cost.
by Janet Lorin – Bloomberg
Northwestern University’s business school became the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 1979, thanks to a $10 million gift from the John L. and Helen Kellogg Foundation. The Kelloggs got a bargain. The school is approaching 40 years with their name attached, even though its home has undergone a transformation and received far larger gifts. Contributions from the family foundation of alumnus and former Motorola Chief Executive Officer Chris Galvin and the estate of James Russell, among others, supported Kellogg’s new 415,000-square-foot home, which press reports peg at $250 million. In the decades since that 1979 gift, the cost of B-school naming rights has gone way up.

***** Still trying to take a buyer for “The John Lothian School of Business for People of Unusual Size.”


In Cashless Sweden, Even God Now Takes Collection Via an App
Love Liman and Niklas Magnusson – Bloomberg
Data show notes and coins in circulation is rapidly shrinking; Church donations are now made via app as cash loses its lure
In the most cashless society on the planet, even God now accepts digital payments.

***** My church uses the app to give electronically, but the participation is just starting.


Friday’s Top Three
Friday’s far and away top read story in JLN was Bloomberg’s Trading Fortunes Depend on a Mysterious Antenna in an Empty Field. Taking the second spot was an analysis piece from Finance Magnates titled Was CME Europe Doomed From the Start? In third place was the 2-Second defense from a Citigroup trader in a Bloomberg story titled Citigroup Trader Fired Over 5-Word Message Uses 2-Second Defense


MarketsWiki Stats
100,329,984 pages viewed; 22,487 pages; 205,882 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

White House Nominates Former House Aide for Republican CFTC Vacancy; Brian Quintenz also founded Saeculum Capital Management in Washington, D.C.
By Andrew Ackerman – WSJ
The White House on Friday tapped Brian Quintenz, a former House aide and investment manager, to fill a Republican vacancy on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the second time Mr. Quintenz has been nominated for the slot.

CME Group Announces Record Open Interest of 125.7 Million Contracts
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, announced it set a total open interest record of 125.7 million contracts on May 11, 2017. The new record follows four consecutive record open interest days. Prior to this four-day streak, the previous open interest record of 123.1 million contracts was set on March 9, 2017.

Global alert to prepare for fresh cyber attacks; More than 1.3m systems still vulnerable to WannaCry, intelligence agents warn
by: Sam Jones in London, Tim Bradshaw in San Francisco and Yuan Yang in Beijing – FT
Businesses must brace for further cyber attacks this week on a potentially “significant scale”, British intelligence officials have warned, less than 48 hours after the debilitating WannaCry infection swept across the world.

Eldorado Trading is latest Chicago firm to wind down
Lynne Marek – Crain’s
Eldorado Trading is the latest Chicago trading firm to call it quits, at least in terms of its recent business model.
Eldorado, like most other Chicago trading firms, operated as a proprietary trading firm, buying and selling in the financial markets to make money on pricing discrepancies for the benefit of the firm’s owners.

IEX may shift business model to charge customers fees
By Kevin Dugan – NY Post
IEX, the upstart stock exchange founded by “Flash Boy” Brad Katsuyama, is weighing a major change to the company’s business model — charging customers fees to access its data, The Post has learned.

Nex Group acquisitions slow profitability progress; Company left from ICAP sale says targets will not be met until 2020
by: Philip Stafford – FT
Nex Group forecast it would take until 2020 for its main trading and market technology businesses to hit profitability targets because of further investments in the past year.

There Are Now More Indexes Than Stocks; This chart shows how on Earth that happened.
Bloomberg News
The number of market indexes now exceeds the number of U.S. stocks. Traditional ones such as the S&P 500 are collections of securities weighted by market value, and index funds mimic them as a low-cost way to deliver the market’s performance. Many new indexes are different: They include stocks based on custom criteria, such as having low volatility or high dividends.*

Hunt for the bitcoin bandits: World’s cyber police are on the trail of the gang who unleashed crippling virus
By Michael Powell for The Mail
An international army of detectives was working around the clock last night to hunt down the cyber crooks behind the hacking attack that crippled the NHS and froze IT systems in 100 countries around the world.

Misys deploys AI for trade monitoring; FusionCapital Detect acts as a ‘smart personal assistant’ for validation teams.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Misys has developed a trade monitoring service for financial institutions, using artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

Man Who Helped Bury Lehman Turns to Saving Troubled Trader Noble
by Jack Farchy – Bloomberg
Noble Group’s new chairman specializes in restructuring; Commodities house’s stock and bonds have plunged in value
As Noble Group Ltd. investors head for the door, the embattled commodity trader has turned to a man whose resume is a roll-call of Asia’s highest-profile corporate collapses.

Follow the data: does a legal document link Brexit campaigns to US billionaire?; We reveal how a confidential legal agreement is at the heart of a web connecting Robert Mercer to Britain’s EU referendum
Carole Cadwalladr – The Guardian
On 18 November 2015, the British press gathered in a hall in Westminster to witness the official launch of Leave.EU. Nigel Farage, the campaign’s figurehead, was banished to the back of the room and instead an American political strategist, Gerry Gunster, took centre stage and explained its strategy. “The one thing that I know is data,” he said. “Numbers do not lie. I’m going to follow the data.”

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Nasdaq’s CEO told Vanderbilt MBA grads how going ‘all in’ on a project no one else wanted in her 20s changed the course of her career
Richard Feloni – Business Insider
Every year, ambitious graduates with a fresh new master’s degree have to deal with the reality of having to prove themselves all over again in an organization.

Spotify Said to Lean Toward Direct Listing on N.Y.S.E.
By MICHAEL J. de la MERCED – NY Times
Spotify helped popularize streaming music when downloading, or pirating, songs was mainstream. Now, the service may be veering away from the mainstream in going public.

ICE expands Daily Trading Limit for Cotton No. 2 futures
* ICE Futures U.S.- Daily Trading Limit for all Cotton No. 2 futures contract delivery months will expand to 5 cents per pound (500 points) above and below prior day settlement price

First bonds list on new International Securities Market
London Stock Exchange Group
Learn more about the International Securities Market (ISM); View an image gallery of the day
NTPC’s 2nd 5-year Masala Bond admitted to International Securities Market (ISM); ISM is an exchange-regulated MTF market for primary debt issuance, operating alongside London Stock Exchange plc’s other markets; Targeted at institutional and professional investors from around the world; Shri Piyush Goyal, India’s Minister of State for Power, Coal and Renewable Energy supports launch of new debt market; H.E. Mr. Yashvardhan Sinha, High Commissioner of India to the UK, attends launch
London Stock Exchange plc has welcomed the first bonds to list on its new International Securities Market (ISM), an additional market for the issuance and trading of UK and international primary debt targeted at institutional and professional investors. India’s NTPC Bond is now available for trading on ISM, which went live on 8 May 2017 following the publication of its rulebook.

Cotton price hits new high as US sales surge; Traders are bullish because global demand for the commodity has thrived
by: Gregory Meyer in New York – FT
Textile mills and hedge funds are engaged in a scramble for cotton as a resurgent global economy pulls bales from warehouses.


China’s central bank establishes fintech committee
by: Hudson Lockett – FT
The People’s Bank of China has set up its own committee on financial technology, it announced on Monday.

Bitcoin-Friendly Japan Plans a ‘Deregulated Sandbox’ for FinTech Sprint
Samburaj Das – CryptoCoin News
The Japanese government is reportedly plotting a pro-innovation sandbox that will encourage FinTech startups to enter the banking industry through regulator-free trials.
According to a report by prominent Japanese publication Nikkei, the government looking to update its often-criticized FinTech regulations to make it easier for new innovative services to take shape in the country. According to the report, a pro-innovation government panel discussed a suggested proposal for a regulatory sandbox on Friday.

Alibaba Makes Its First FinTech Investment In Hong Kong
Sam Ameen – Forbes
Alibaba has expanded its investment portfolio in Hong Kong and has chosen Qupital to be its first FinTech investment in the city.
Accessing cash when you need it the most is critical for the success of any business, especially startups and SMEs. Qupital’s aim is to address this problem.

GreenKey Technologies and iMarket Communications Announce Interconnection of their Network Communities
Press Release – GreenKey Technologies
iMarket Communications, a premier telecommunications provider specializing in trader voice and data solutions for the financial, banking and energy industries, and GreenKey Technologies, creator of an artificial intelligence (AI) and voice-driven collaboration tool for financial market participants, today announced an interconnection partnership. The companies have seamlessly integrated their networks and can now provide end-to-end services to their mutual customers. This partnership will provide their financial industry users with access to private wire clients using traditional hardware trading turrets (dealerboards).

FlexTrade launches algo wheel for best execution; FlexTrade becomes the latest to launch an algo wheel to help the buy-side meet best execution.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
FlexTrade has developed its own algo wheel for the systematic selection of algorithms and brokers to help firms meet MiFID II’s best execution requirements.


Trump nominates former fund manager Quintenz to serve on CFTC: White House
President Donald J. Trump nominated Brian Quintenz, a former fund manager, consultant and congressional policy adviser, to serve as commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the White House said in a statement on Friday.

Reckless stock trading leaves Congress rife with conflicts; After the furor over Tom Price’s investments, four more members quietly bought shares in the same firm.
Even a looming scandal wouldn’t deter some of Congress’ most eager stock traders.

Treasuries probe shapes up to be test for White House; Fallout for big banks and Trump administration could dwarf those of earlier frauds
by: David J Lynch in Washington and Joe Rennison and Alexandra Scaggs in New York – FT
A Department of Justice investigation into cheating in the $16tn market for US government debt is emerging as a potential political and financial test for the Trump administration.


Former Hedge Fund Manager Pleads Guilty to $9 Million Investment Fraud
US Department of Justice
A Leesburg man pleaded guilty today to wire fraud in connection with his misuse of clients funds, some of which were invested through a purported hedge fund called Crescent Ridge Capital Partners.

SAC Capital’s $135 Million Insider Trading Settlement Approved by Judge
by Bob Van Voris – Bloomberg
Ruling ends last insider claim against Steven Cohen’s fund; Elan investors sued over trades by SAC fund manager Martoma
A judge approved the $135 million settlement to a group of investors by SAC Capital Advisors LP to resolve the final insider trading claims against Steven A. Cohen’s former investment company.

London Global Markets (clone of FCA authorised firm)
Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm. Find out more about this ‘clone firm’.

Don’t Pine for Glass-Steagall
By Nir Kaissar – Bloomberg
Main Street doesn’t ordinarily concern itself with the minutiae of banking regulation, but ever since the 2008 financial crisis, one Depression-era banking law has stuck in the public imagination but probably shouldn’t.

UK Financial Conduct Authority Publishes Policy Statement on Remuneration for CRD IV Firms
The National Law Review
On May 3, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a policy statement (PS17/10) to help firms subject to the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD IV) understand the rules applying to their remuneration policies and practices.

Sebi imposes Rs 7 fine on 8 entities for disclosure lapses in IPO documents; The entities did not disclose the financial liabilities in the IPO documents
Business Standard
Markets regulator Sebi has penalised Rushil Decor, Corporate Strategic Allianz and six others for disclosure lapses in their IPO documents.

Investing and Trading

Sorry, Stock Pickers: History Shows You Underperform in Bad Markets, Too; Odds of finding a money manager who can do better in down markets have long been less than 50-50
By Jason Zweig – WSJ
Even as evidence continues to mount that stock pickers have underperformed the market averages, active managers insist that they will make a comeback. Analysts at Bank of AmericaMerrill Lynch found earlier this month that 63% of active fund managers investing in large U.S. stocks outperformed their benchmarks in April, the best since February 2015.

Safety, Liquidity, and the Natural Rate of Interest
Authors: Marco Del Negro, Domenico Giannone, Marc Giannoni and Andrea Tambalotti – Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Why are interest rates so low in the Unites States? We find that they are low primarily because the premium for safety and liquidity has increased since the late 1990s, and to a lesser extent because economic growth has slowed. We reach this conclusion using two complementary perspectives: a flexible time-series model of trends in Treasury and corporate yields, inflation, and long-term survey expectations, and a medium-scale dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model. We discuss the implications of this finding for the natural rate of interest.

Hyperactive Bond Markets Hit a Speed Bump
By Lisa Abramowicz – Bloomberg
It was fun while it lasted.For a few quarters, it seemed as though the bond-trading business was back in force, with trading volumes accelerating to records on the heels of a flood of new debt sales and more uncertainty about the U.S. economy. Most of the big U.S. banks enjoyed better-than-expected earnings in the first three months of the year, in large part because of stellar bond-trading revenues.

Bitcoin’s surge fuels fears of asset bubble; Value of unregulated crypto currencies bursts through $50bn
by: Izabella Kaminska and Paul Murphy – FT
Sky-high valuations for bitcoin have helped the value of crypto currencies burst through $50bn, raising fears of an asset bubble in the unregulated market.

Much of the S&P’s Earnings Growth Is Coming from Overseas
by Ben Eisen – WSJ
Futures pointed to a 0.1% opening gain for the S&P 500, with oil drillers Transocean and Schlumberger among the best performers in premarket trading. Europe’s oil and gas sector—the only one trading in negative territory for the year—climbed 1.4% late morning despite a 0.1% decline in the wider Stoxx Europe 600 index.


JPMorgan Bankers Are Preaching to the Choir
By Gillian Tan – Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon has been saying for a while now that there are too many banks. It appears that message has filtered through the ranks.

Goldman ‘best positioned’ if Glass-Steagall Act returns: Blankfein to CNBC
Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) is best positioned if the Glass-Steagall Act returns, Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein said in an interview to CNBC on Tuesday.

Merrill Lynch to freeze costly recruiting bonuses for brokers
By Elizabeth Dilts and Olivia Oran – Reuters
Bank of America Corp’s Merrill Lynch will stop paying the big upfront bonuses that Wall Street brokerages have long used to lure talent, ending a costly practice that did not always reap returns.

FX trading weighs on NEX Markets’ profits; Flat revenues at NEX Group’s FX trading unit hit profits across its Markets business.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Low foreign exchange (FX) and euro interest rate volatility hurt profits at NEX Group’s recently rebranded fixed income and FX trading business, according to its full-year results.

Japan Megabanks Forecast a Fourth Straight Combined Profit Fall
by Gareth Allan and Shingo Kawamoto – Bloomberg
MUFG sees rise while smaller peers have more gloomy outlook; Overall slide comes even as impact of negative rates eases
Earnings reports by Japan’s three megabanks on Monday pointed to a fourth straight fall in combined annual profit, even as the impact of negative interest rates begins to ease.


Many financial institutions should go bust, China central bank researcher says; Xu Zhong, chief analyst at People’s Bank of China, says lenders are being kept wrongly afloat because certain authorities ‘don’t want to open the jar’
Frank Tang – South China Morning Post
Many Chinese financial institutions should have been closed because their existence is only adding risks to the country’s overall financial system, a senior researcher at China’s central bank has said.

China’s President Xi Casts Country as Guardian of Globalization; He opened a two-day summit with speech portraying China as a force for stability
By Chun Han Wong – WSJ
China is using a forum to promote infrastructure-building across a swath of the globe in a bid to reshape the geopolitical world order.

G7 financial leaders reiterate FX pledges, vow more cyber cooperation
Financial leaders of seven leading world economies pledged stronger cooperation against cyber crime on Saturday and not to use foreign exchange to gain competitive advantage, but stuck to their cautious wording on trade, their final communique showed.

Chinese, Western Banks’ Battle for Dominance Reaches Bond Market; In Chinese dollar-bond underwriting, competition among banks has pushed average number of firms per deal to 6.4 in 2017
By Rachel Rosenthal and Julie Steinberg – WSJ
China’s banks are pressing hard on Wall Street firms in one of the banking world’s hottest markets: helping Chinese companies sell bonds overseas.

Chinese Banks Rattled by Regulatory Blitz; New banking czar walks fine line in crackdown on risk
By Chuin-Wei Yap – WSJ
The past two months have been tumultuous for Chinese lenders as a new banking czar has unleashed a blizzard of new directives, uncovered a fraud scandal and issued heavy fines.

How Big Are Mutual Funds’ Puerto Rico Losses? $5.4 Billion; To calculate the red ink, the Journal analyzed mutual-fund holdings and municipal-bond trades
By Heather Gillers and Tom McGinty – WSJ
The losses from soured investments in Puerto Rico bonds are coming into focus for some of the world’s biggest mutual funds, and it is a brutal reckoning.


Britain is gearing up for EU disputes, Brexit minister says
By Elizabeth Piper – Reuters
Britain is gearing up for rows with the EU over the structure of divorce talks and the future role of the European court, fuelling an increasingly bitter war of words before negotiations begin.

Brexit contingency plans are eating into availability of finance jobs in Britain
Ben Moshinsky – Business Insider
LONDON – The number of new available jobs listed in the the UK’s financial centre fell 15% in April year-on-year to 6,855, according to a survey by Morgan McKinley.

JPMorgan buys Dublin building with room for 1,000 staff
By Conor Humphries – Reuters
JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N) has agreed to buy a Dublin building with room for 1,000 staff in the first sign of a financial services company expanding significantly in Ireland since the government began a major campaign to attract firms in the wake of Brexit.

Banks braced for ‘hundreds of millions’ in Brexit costs; North American, Swiss and Asian groups are likely to be hardest hit
by: Laura Noonan and Martin Arnold – FT
Banks are bracing themselves for hundreds of millions in extra restructuring, funding and legal costs over the next few years to deal with the fallout from Brexit, senior executives have told the Financial Times.

The City of London After Brexit Isn’t Just About Jobs; Britain and the European Union have a common interest in financial infrastructure that works.
By The Editors – Bloomberg
Britain’s new relationship with the European Union is still a long way from being settled, but Brexit has started a process that is bound to hurt the City of London. Earlier this month, the European Commission launched a review of the rules governing one of the City’s lucrative lines of business — the clearing of derivatives denominated in euros.


More CEOs Are Getting Fired After an Ethical Lapse, Study Finds; The rise in forced exits after an impropriety is a result of more CEO accountability, not more misbehavior
By Vanessa Fuhrmans – WSJ
Ethical breaches are causing more chief executives to lose their jobs. The upside? Researchers say the rising numbers don’t point to more corporate misbehavior: It’s that CEOs are being held to a higher level of accountability.

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