What the World’s Governments Are Saying About Cryptocurrencies

Mar 27, 2018

First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

A young man from my church is going to graduate from college in May and is looking to embark on the beginning of his career in finance. He eventually wants to work in the hedge fund area. I told him there are many paths to get there. He is an outstanding young man, an Eagle Scout from a good family and already dresses like he could be a London banker. He is the founder and president of his college’s investment club and finance director for a consulting company and his college fraternity. If any reader might be interest in assisting him in his search, or bringing him in for an interview, please contact me.~JJL

Chicago’s Best Places to Work finalists in 2018 from Crain’s Chicago Business includes Trading Technologies, Objective Paradigm, West Monroe Partners and Topstep Trader.~JJL

Deutsche Boerse is delving into the blockchain space with an announced MOU with HQLAX, to create a securities lending collateral management system using distributed ledger technology.~JK

NFA will conduct its fourth annual Town Hall webinar on Monday, April 9, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. CT/2:00 p.m. ET. During the webinar, NFA Public Director Ronald Filler, President and CEO Thomas Sexton, and NFA’s officers will provide a short update on NFA’s initiatives and respond to questions submitted by members.~JJL

Check out the virtual tour of ABN AMRO Clearing’s new offices in Chicago.~JJL

The Lothian boys sure can get political. First I write about Congress being shortsighted and lacking vision in their decision to cut the CFTC’s funding, then about how Andrew, Patrick and Ryan Lothian collaborate on a protest song and video about the impact of guns on American society. Maybe we should go back to reporting about the weather – after all, these are Stormy times.~JJL


2017’s Low Volatility Was Not a Problem – Julie Winkler, CME


The industry will remember 2017 for the lack of volatility in markets despite global geopolitical uncertainty. But as the CME Group’s many new volume records show, that low vol regime didn’t seem to hurt the demand for risk mitigation on its platforms.

In this second video of JLN’s annual series with industry leaders, CME Chief Commercial Officer Julie Winkler talks about the successful return of the Russell 2000 suite of products (CME’s largest sales campaign to date), the launch of bitcoin futures, the upcoming launch of the exchange’s Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) futures and the continuing issues with the leverage ratio.

Watch the video and read the rest here »


10 Years After The Crisis.
Cezary Podkul – WSJ
The financial crisis and the massive federal response reshaped the world we live in. Though the economy is in one of its longest expansions and stock indexes have hit new highs, many people across the political spectrum complain that the recovery is uneven and the markets’ gains aren’t fairly distributed. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at some of the most eventful aspects of the response and how we got to where we are today.

***** Ten years after the crisis I have aged 20 years.~JJL


NYSE’s Top Female Leaders: Working to Attract More Women to the Field
Tracy Byrnes and Julie Iannuzzi – The Street
“We are here to make Americans have confidence in the country, says Hope Jarkowski, Co-head of Government Relations at the the New York Stock Exchange

***** There is Hope.~JJL


Monday’s Top Three
Monday’s top read stories were led by CNN Money’s piece, Bank of America ‘systematically’ misled clients about stock trades. Second went to Business Insider’s article, An exchange giant lays out its defense of a bitcoin product that could transform the cryptocurrency. Third went to The Trade’s BAML fined $42 million for ‘masking’ electronic order routing


MarketsWiki Stats
122,580,796 pages viewed; 23,049 pages; 212,147 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

What the World’s Governments Are Saying About Cryptocurrencies
Bloomberg News
Regulations for exchanges, ICOs vary wildly across countries; Much of the crypto industry operates in a legal gray area. Getting your head around cryptocurrencies was hard enough before governments got involved. But now that policy makers around the world are drawing up fresh regulations on everything from exchanges to initial coin offerings, keeping track of what’s legal has become just as daunting as figuring out which newfangled token might turn in to the next Bitcoin.

Euronext completes Irish Stock Exchange acquisition; Completed acquisition of The Irish Stock Exchange will see entity rebranded as Euronext Dublin.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Euronext has completed the acquisition of 100% of the shares and voting rights of the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) following regulatory approval.

Deutsche Bank Lynch Mob Goes After the Wrong Man; If this about protecting the investment bank, then chairman Achleitner is on shaky ground.
Edward Evans – Bloomberg
There’s dysfunctional, and then there’s Deutsche Bank AG. The German lender wants to replace CEO John Cryan as tensions between him and chairman Paul Achleitner boil over, according to The Times of London.

How a Tiny Latvian Bank Became a Haven for the World’s Dirty Money; ABLV Bank allowed entities from Russia, Ukraine and North Korea to funnel illicit funds, U.S. officials say.
Drew Hinshaw, Patricia Kowsmann and Ian Talley – WSJ
A few years ago, U.S. Treasury officials noticed a troubling undertow in the world’s financial currents. Shell companies were shifting billions of dollars through a little-known bank in Latvia, a former Soviet state of two million people.

The ridiculous size of the ‘average’ Wall Street bonus in 2017? Three times what most US households made all year
Washington Post via SCMP
Wall Street bonuses are climbing toward record highs again, according to government data released Monday showing that in 2017, the average bonus payout reached US$184,220. That is an 17 per cent increase compared to the previous year and the closest Wall Street has come in more than a decade to its all-time high of US$191,360, according to the New York State Comptroller. That follows an 15 per cent increase in 2016, when the average bonus was about $157,660.

****WSJ here

If Stock Auctions Are So Great (and They Are), Let’s Do Them All Day Long
Don Ross – PDQ Enterprises via TABB Forum
Stock auctions are front-page news – for good reason, says PDQ CEO Don Ross: Computerized auctions have the potential to improve the efficiency and integrity of global stock markets.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Euronext completes the acquisition of the Irish Stock Exchange
Today, Euronext announces the completion of the acquisition of 100% of the shares and voting rights of The Irish Stock Exchange plc, after receiving regulatory approvals.

The new version of the Methodology for calculating the fixes of the Moscow Stock Exchange
Since April 2, 2018, the new edition of the Methodology for calculating currency fixings of the Moscow Stock Exchange comes into effect. The new version of the Methodology specifies the procedure for determining reserve values ??of fixings and informing participants in case of non-conduct of exchange currency trading during the calculation period of indicators (12: 25-12: 30 MSK).

Nasdaq Announces Mid-Month Open Short Interest Positions in Nasdaq Stocks as of Settlement Date March 15, 2018
At the end of the settlement date of March 15, 2018, short interest in 2,331 Nasdaq Global Market securities totaled 7,230,277,603 shares compared with 7,052,302,122 shares in 2,345 Global Market issues reported for the prior settlement date of February 28, 2018. The mid-March short interest represents 3.96 days average daily Nasdaq Global Market share volume for the reporting period, compared with 3.72 days for the prior reporting period.

The GEM Listing Committee censures or criticises a number of its current and former directors of Changhong Jiahua Holdings Limited for breaching the GEM Listing Rules and the Director’s Undertaking

Summary of HKEX Chief Executive Charles Li’s Speech at the 2018 China (Shenzhen) IT Summit
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) Chief Executive Charles Li delivered a keynote speech in Chinese on 25 March at the 2018 China (Shenzhen) IT Summit. For your reference, below is a brief English summary of his address.

Deutsche Börse Group and HQLAX develop joint securities lending solution on the R3 Corda Blockchain platform
Deutsche Börse Group
Deutsche Börse Group and HQLA X have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a strategic partnership to develop an innovative securities lending solution using the R3 Corda Blockchain platform.

Cboe Europe Signs Saxo Bank as New Indices Customer
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE | Nasdaq: CBOE), one of the world’s largest exchange holding companies, today announced that Saxo Bank, the online trading and investment specialist, has signed a licence agreement to utilise 15 Cboe European national benchmark indices, including its FR 40, DE 30 and CH 20 indices. Saxo Bank plans to utilise the Indices for benchmarking against European markets and the creation of original products. Cboe’s indices are also expected to be available in real-time and with historical charts to clients via the online Saxo Trader platform.

Cboe Global Markets Announces Date of First-Quarter 2018 Earnings Release and Conference Call
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE | Nasdaq: CBOE), one of the world’s largest exchange holding companies, today said it will announce its financial results for the first quarter of 2018 before the market opens on Friday, May 4, 2018. A conference call with remarks by the company’s senior management will begin at 7:30 a.m. Central Time (CT), 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

DTCC posts cybersecurity white paper
As cyber-threats against the financial sector become more frequent, complex and sophisticated, cross-industry coordination around response and recovery mechanisms are essential to mitigating the systemic consequences of a large-scale attack, according to a white paper published today by The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the premier post-trade market infrastructure for the global financial services industry, and Oliver Wyman, a leading global management consulting firm.

OCC Continues To Clear The Path For The Exchange-Listed Options Industry In 2017
OCC achieved a number of key milestones that position our company for continued resiliency, innovation and growth while providing our exchange partners, clearing firms, and market participants with open access and reliable central counterparty services with operational excellence.

Deutsche Börse cautious on Bitcoin and big mergers, but ready for new ventures
Blockchain technology, artificial intelligence and machine-learning are all part of the stock exchange’s growth strategy, a top manager says.


CQG Announces Release of its 2018 Version of the Year; New Benefits Include Algorithmic Strategies and Analytics, Fixed Income Enhancements, and MiFID II Compliance Updates
CQG, a leading global provider of high-performance trading, market data, and technical analysis tools, announced today the release of its Version of the Year software upgrade. The Version of the Year marks the firm’s annual required upgrade and offers the benefits of many new features to CQG’s entire customer base.

Governments must intervene to build trust in data use; Obsessively secretive technology companies need regulation to force transparency
Robert Hannigan – FT
Beyond the pure grubbiness, there is a strategic conclusion to be drawn from the allegations that Cambridge Analytica misused data from 50m Facebook users.

QuantHouse Reports Double-Digit Revenue Growth Since S&P Buyback
Finance Magnates
The company’s impressive revenues performance can be attributed to various initiatives it promoted during 2017.

E*TRADE Brings New Technology to Futures Traders with Launch of Mobile Ladder; Once reserved for the desktop, a futures ladder can now be accessed in the palm of your hand
Business Wire
E*TRADE Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: ETFC) today announced a significant addition to its suite of mobile tools. Through the OptionsHouse Mobile iOS app, futures traders can now:

FlexTrade Integrates Kensho Actionable Intelligence into FlexTRADER EMS; Combines Artificial Intelligence and Analytics to Enhance Best Execution Capabilities
FlexTrade Systems, a global leader in multi-asset execution and order management systems, today announced the integration of Kensho Technologies pre-trade analytics solution into the FlexTRADER EMS, which provides a detailed, real-time event feed to assist a trader’s decision-making process when executing a trade.


Students are using their loan money to buy cryptocurrency: Study
Student loans aren’t just for buying textbooks, No. 2 pencils, and apples for bribing teachers anymore. According to a recent survey, as many as one in five college kids may be using their student loans to cash in on the cryptocurrency craze.

Twitter to ban cryptocurrency ads from Tuesday as online crackdown widens
Tommy Wilkes, Fanny Potkin – Reuters
Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) will start banning cryptocurrency advertising from Tuesday, joining Facebook and Google in a clampdown that seeks to avoid giving publicity to potential fraud or large investor losses.

Crypto Exchange Coinbase Adds Support for Ethereum-Based Tokens
Camila Russo – Bloomberg
Coinbase Inc., which owns one of the largest U.S. cryptocurrency trading platforms, is opening the door to offering digital tokens based on the Ethereum network.

Tradewind Launches Digital Gold Market; Platform is the first of its kind to utilize blockchain technology to manage the trading, settlement and ownership of precious metals
Business Wire
Tradewind, a financial technology company, announced today that it has launched a new digital gold platform that combines world-class exchange technology with VaultChain™ a tailored blockchain application expected to revolutionize the trading, settlement, and ownership of physical gold. The first gold registered on the Tradewind platform will be vaulted by the Royal Canadian Mint, a Crown corporation of the Government of Canada.

Solid Gold Casts of Nelson Mandela’s Hands Sell for $10 Million in Bitcoin
Danielle Bochove – Bloomberg
Canadian cryptocurrency firm plans world tour of Mandela art; Owner struggled to find buyer amid ‘Mandela Art’ stigma
It’s one of the more unusual deals in the art world. After more than a decade, an Alberta businessman has finally found a buyer for his prized collection of gold castings of Nelson Mandela’s hand. The final price? Ten million dollars — in bitcoin.


Arrival of Final Bank Regulator Could Speed Up Easing of Rules; Senate confirmation of FDIC nominee will establish a trio of Trump appointees at key banking agencies
Lalita Clozel – WSJ
Banks can expect to see a surge in relief from postcrisis rules in 2018 after the final Trump-appointed leader is seated at the nation’s banking regulators later this spring.

Citi Says Kushner Cos. Loan Was ‘Completely Appropriate’; In a letter to lawmakers, the bank said its CEO was unaware of the mortgage loan when he met Jared Kushner last year
Telis Demos and Erica Orden – WSJ
Citigroup Inc. said in a letter sent Tuesday to lawmakers that a loan made to Kushner Cos. shortly after the bank’s chief executive met with Jared Kushner last year was “completely appropriate.”

McConnell Wants Hemp Removed From Controlled Substance List
The U.S. Senate’s top leader said Monday he wants to bring hemp production back into the mainstream by removing it from the controlled substances list that now associates the crop with its cousin — marijuana.


IG Group voices disappointment with severe CFD leverage restrictions outlined by ESMA
Finance Feeds
IG expects that its revenue in FY19 will be lower than that expected in FY18, mainly because of the impact of the regulatory changes in the UK and EU.

FCA statement on ESMA’s temporary product intervention measures applied to retail CFD and binary option products
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has agreed a range of product intervention measures (link is external) to prohibit the provision of binary options and to restrict the provision of Contracts for Difference (CFDs) in order to protect retail investors.

2018 Town Hall Webinar
To provide Members with an opportunity to ask questions of NFA’s leadership, NFA will conduct its fourth annual Town Hall webinar on Monday, April 9, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. CT/2:00 p.m. ET.

ESMA harmonises position calculation for trade repositories
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today published guidelines on how trade repositories (TRs) should calculate derivative positions under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).

ESMA updates its Q&A on MiFID II commodity derivatives topics
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today updated its Questions and Answers (Q&As) on the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and Regulation (MiFIR) regarding commodity derivatives topics.

ESMA agrees to prohibit binary options and restrict CFDs to protect retail investors
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has agreed on measures on the provision of contracts for differences (CFDs) and binary options to retail investors in the European Union (EU).

ESMA moves forward with SI tick size regime amendment; ESMA to enforce SI tick size regime and intends to address escalating market data costs imposed by exchanges highlighted by market participants.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
The EU financial regulator has decided it will enforce the tick size regime on systematic internalisers (SIs) under MiFID II, despite much controversy around the subject.

SEBI Plans To Give Bourses More Firepower To Deal With Non-Compliance
Markets regulator SEBI is planning to give exchanges the power to freeze promoter shareholdings and even delist shares of defaulting companies that failed to comply with the regulator’s listing conditions.

Investing and Trading

Someone Somewhere Is Pushing a Big ‘Buy’ Button: Taking Stock
Arie Shapira – Bloomberg
Stock futures are seeing follow-through from yesterday’s rally, when the benchmark indices soared around three percent. The VIX is pulling back to ~20 after hitting 26 on Friday, while Facebook shares are up another ~1% after yesterday’s impressive recovery (more on this below).

EDF to invest EUR8bn to bolster electricity storage in renewable push
David Keohane – FT
France’s state-backed energy group EDF is planning to invest EUR8bn by 2035 to become a European market leader in electricity storage.

UK block trading continues to rise after record trading week; Turquoise Plato and Liquidnet led major block trading venues in record week of activity in the UK.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
The UK saw a record number of block trades and value traded last week with Turquoise Plato and Liquidnet leading the way, according to the latest statistics from Fidessa.


Women at Credit Suisse paid 29% less than men
Pan Kwan Yuk – FT
Credit Suisse has become the latest big bank to reveal the gender pay gap at its UK operations.

BofA Pays U.K. Female Staff 28.7% Less Than Male Employees
Gavin Finch, David Hellier – Bloomberg
Gap widens to 57.9% for bonuses, according to pay report; That compares with a national average gender gap of 18%
Bank of America Corp. pays female staff in Britain 28.7 percent less on average than male employees, according to a report released Tuesday.

Deutsche Bank seeks to replace CEO with Goldman executive -report
Reuters Staff
Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) is seeking to replace Chief Executive John Cryan amid an intensified boardroom row over the bank’s future and alarm at its performance, the Times newspaper reported on Monday.

Oil’s Seven Sisters Enter a ‘Golden Age’, Goldman Sachs Says
Kelly Gilblom – Bloomberg
Big Oil’s weight in equity indices to rise from 50-year low; Cost cuts, recovering oil prices put companies in a sweet spot
The world’s largest oil companies have survived a life-changing crisis, and are now poised to reap the rewards, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said.


City of London to set up ‘green’ finance centre to help build Xi’s dream city
South China Morning Post
The City of London has set up a “green finance centre” with a Chinese partner to fund sustainable development projects, and the first beneficiary may be Xiongan, a district earmarked by President Xi Jinping as the site for a massive new city in northern China. The move comes as London’s financial district tries to increase its business links with China and expand overseas markets ahead of Britain leaving the European Union. The centre will work with the China Green Finance…


Brexit Referendum Campaign Accused of Breaking Spending Rules
Robert Hutton, Hugo Miller – Bloomberg
Campaigners for Brexit may have conspired to break spending limits in the U.K.’s 2016 referendum on European Union membership, according to allegations by a whistle-blower who worked for one of the Leave groups.

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