Breaking News

John Lothian Newsletter: NYSE Euronext Plans New Contracts In Futures Challenge To CME; France to push ahead with ‘Tobin tax’ proposal; China set to bolster short selling

NYSE Liffe U.S. announces new interest rate futures contracts that take aim at CME Group’s market share.  France’s government moves aggressively forward on plans to establish a financial transaction tax well ahead of other nations.  China is set to boost its short-selling industry to expand the depth of its capital markets.  In banking, RBS contemplates shutting down its investment banking business, potentially putting ten thousand jobs on the negative side of that transaction.  And in today’s top box, JJLCO is hiring!  If you’ve got sales chops, high ethical standards and a big sense of humor, we’d love to hear from you.

Observations – Statistics – Commentary

John Lothian News Job Opening: Director of Sales, Chicago, IL
The title is the only boring thing about this job. We’re looking for someone who can do a bunch of things at once – marketing, sales, networking, and developing ideas that make this company different from any other media firm.

The main responsibility of the Director of Sales is to plan and implement sales and marketing activities in order to retain existing sponsors, develop new sponsors for existing products and find sponsors for new products. That said, a unique skill set can take this position in almost any direction.

About You

  • Comfortable calling people you know and don’t know, telling our story and giving new and existing sponsors your attention.
  • Willing to laugh, joke and bring enthusiasm and ideas every day.
  • Works well independently and on a team.
  • Able to organize and manage multiple concurrent projects.
  • Excited to travel some for business.
  • Available to (enthusiastically) participate in industry events during evenings.
  • Someone who knows what they know, and knows what they don’t know.
  • Great listener.
  • Embraces new media and technology with open arms.

About John Lothian News

We like to meet new people and current friends in the industry, tell our story and listen to theirs. We’re an organization where ideas are welcomed, molded, implemented and sometimes rejected (but always appreciated). We value honesty, fairness, integrity and loyalty.

John Lothian News (JLN) is the news division of John J. Lothian & Company, Inc. Focused on financial markets, JLN produces seven newsletters/blogs, two wikis and a video website. The online media and financial services firm is majority owned by John J. Lothian, a futures industry veteran of 30 years, and minority owned by Jim Kharouf, a journalism veteran of more than 20 years. The firm is staffed by derivatives industry, journalism and technology professionals.

Send resume and brief introduction to Or give John a call at 312-203-5515.


Emily Ahean Joins Numerix
Emily Ahearn has joined Numerix as Director of Public Relations. Numerix is an independent analytics provider for derivatives and structured products, enabling the structuring, pre-trade pricing, valuation and management of even the most complex deals. They support all major asset classes, including fixed income, inflation, credit, equity, foreign exchange and commodity instruments, as well as hybrids.

Previously, Ahearn was an account supervisor at Intermarket Communications in New York.

She can be contacted at


2nd UPDATE: CME Retains Futures-Trading Crown For 2011
By Jacob Bunge and Mia Lamar Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
CME Group Inc. maintained its standing as the world’s largest futures market in 2011, outpacing the prospect of an enlarged competitor in the planned merger of Deutsche Boerse AG and NYSE Euronext.


Poachers turned gamekeepers
Posted by Steve Grob – Fidessa
Interesting to read the venerable Leo Melamed’s open letter in the FT this week on HFT and regulators. The CME’s chairman emeritus certainly makes a good point when he says that trying to stifle innovation is both wrong and inevitably doomed to failure, but I am not sure he’s completely right in a couple of areas.


Malta Lures Connecticut Hedge Funds With 300 Days of Sun Aided by EU Rules
Erik Nelson was working in Stamford, Connecticut, as a research analyst at FMG USA LLC, the U.S. arm of FMG, a fund of funds specializing in emerging and frontier markets, when his bosses called him into a meeting in September 2009.


To Reclaim the Envy of the World, Wall Street Must Pay
Until the financial crisis, Western finance—led by Wall Street—was the envy of the world. The biggest reason for this, of course, was money. Big financial institutions generated more than one-third of U.S. corporate profits, and their work force was compensated commensurately. And there was another reason why the world looked to American finance: U.S. markets were considered the most open, fair and transparent in the world.


HAROLD JAMES: Face It, The Global Economy Is A Riot Of Failing Economic Models
Business Insider
The protracted financial and economic crisis discredited first the American model of capitalism, and then the European version. Now it looks as if the Asian approach may take some knocks, too.


I Cannot Tell A Lie: I Neither Admit Nor Deny I Chopped Down The Cherry Tree
Howard Sklar – Forbes
Would George Washington’s famous childhood admission been as popular if he had been sued by, and settled with, the SEC?


How Kraft, McDonald’s, Sears are doing social media right
Which companies are doing the best job of leveraging social media to reach customers, boost their brands and sell stuff? The answers — based on data from Austin, Texas-based consultancy Dachis Group — may surprise you.


Harder for Americans to Rise From Lower Rungs
WASHINGTON — Benjamin Franklin did it. Henry Ford did it. And American life is built on the faith that others can do it, too: rise from humble origins to economic heights. “Movin’ on up,” George Jefferson-style, is not only a sitcom song but a civil religion.


JLN Options Newsletter

NYSE CEO Says Takeover Will Be Determined in ‘Next Few Weeks’
By Whitney Kisling, Bloomberg
The fate of NYSE Euronext (NYX)’s merger (NYX) with Deutsche Boerse AG (DB1) will be determined in “the next few weeks” as European officials rule whether it will stifle competition, Chief Executive Officer Duncan Niederauer wrote.

Euro zone crisis, MF Global chill trading at CME, ICE
By Tom Polansek and Ann Saphir, Reuters
CME Group (CME.O) and IntercontinentalExchange (ICE.N) said on Wednesday that trading volume dropped last month, which analysts attributed to MF Global’s collapse and Europe’s debt crisis chilling trading in U.S. futures markets.

Asia Hedge Funds Face Year of Attrition After Most Closures Since 2008
By Netty Ismail and Bei Hu, Bloomberg
Asia’s hedge-fund industry is set to shrink in 2012 after a year in which growth stagnated, performance faltered and managers struggled to raise capital.


MarketsWiki Page of the Day


MarketsWiki Recent Updates


Mark ShoreSara Jean Goodman

Companies, Organizations and Groups

Futures Industry Association


17,726,286 pages viewed, 6,634 articles, 134,753 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

NYSE Euronext Plans New Contracts In Futures Challenge To CME
The fledgling U.S. futures market run by NYSE Euronext announced Wednesday it would launch a new sort of interest-rate futures contract in the coming months as the Big Board parent ramps up competition with CME Group Inc., the dominant player in domestic futures trade.

France to push ahead with ‘Tobin tax’ proposal
By Hugh Carnegy in Paris – Financial Times
President Nicolas Sarkozy’s centre-right government, pushing hard to accelerate the adoption of a financial transaction tax in Europe, is aiming to introduce legislation in France as early as next month, ahead of other countries and before presidential elections in April.

China set to bolster short selling
By Henny Sender in Hong Kong – Financial Times
China is poised to unveil measures to bolster the country’s nascent short-selling industry in an effort to deepen its capital markets, according to securities officials and fund managers.

RBS plan puts 10,000 jobs at risk
By Patrick Jenkins, Sharlene Goff and Anousha Sakoui – Financial Times
As many as 10,000 bankers at Royal Bank of Scotland face the prospect of losing their jobs, as the state-owned UK bank draws up detailed plans to retreat from investment banking.

SNB publishes ethical code after currency trades
By Haig Simonian in Zurich – Financial Times
The Swiss National Bank has been forced to publish its central bankers’ ethical code after the wife of its chairman bought $500,000 of “almost ridiculously cheap” US dollars while the bank discussed braking the Swiss franc’s rapid appreciation.

Secretary Geithner To Travel To China And Japan Next Week
Press Release

Meddling in credit swaps poses sizeable stability risks
By Henny Sender – Financial Times
The costs of credit protection on the big US banks have come down from their peak levels five weeks ago, reflecting the belief that the probability of a European meltdown, with all the contagion that would imply, has diminished. That means concerns around the potential shocks that could come from the credit default swap market have also receded – at least temporarily. But the potential for future shocks is still there.

Environmental Trading News

Chinese airlines refuse to pay Europe carbon fee
Market Watch
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Chinese airlines will boycott payment of carbon-emission charges imposed by the European Union from Jan. 1 on international flights, according to a statement from China’s national aviation industry group on Thursday.

For more environmental trading news, subscribe to the Environmental Markets version of the John Lothian Newsletter edited by Jim Kharouf. 
Visit to subscribe.

Exchange & ECN News

CME Group Volume Averaged a Record 13.4 Million Contracts per Day in 2011, Up 10 Percent from 2010
Press Release
CHICAGO, Jan. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced that 2011 volume averaged a record 13.4 million contracts per day, up 10 percent from 2010. Highlights for the year included record annual average daily volume for foreign exchange (FX), agricultural commodities, energy and metals, as well as double-digit average daily volume growth in interest rates, equity indexes, agricultural commodities and metals product lines.

CBOE Holdings: Daily Trading Volume Averages Record 4.8 Million Options Contracts in 2011
Press Release
CHICAGO, Jan. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — CBOE Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBOE) today announced record 2011 options trading volume of 1.20 billion contracts for the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and C2 Options Exchange (C2), combined, compared to 1.12 billion contracts in 2010. Average daily volume (ADV) in 2011 reached a new all-time high of 4.78 million contracts, an eight -percent increase from 2010 ADV of 4.44 million contracts.

ICE Reports Record Futures Volume in 2011, ADV up 16%; 2011 OTC Energy ADC up 15% to a Record $1.6 Million; $26.2 Trillion Cleared in CDS, Record Annual CDS Revenues
Press Release
ATLANTA, Jan. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of regulated global futures exchanges, clearing houses and over-the-counter (OTC) markets, today reported record annual futures volume and average daily volume for 2011. ICE’s OTC energy and credit markets also produced record average daily commissions (ADC) and credit default swap (CDS) revenues, respectively.

BOX Price Improvement Activity Increases in December
Press Release
In the month of December, price improved contracts on BOX Options Exchange averaged 266,627 per day.

EEX Trading Results In December
Press Release

Wiener Boerse Monthly Statistics – December 2011
Press Release

Nadex Political Events Contracts Update
Press Release
The North American Derivatives Exchange (Nadex) has been notified by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that its application to offer “Political Event” Binary Options has been received and will be subject to the CFTC’s 90 day review process. While we believe these contracts meet all requirements for immediate listing, we respect the CFTC’s decision and we are happy to assist their review.

NYSE Liffe U.S. Announces the Launch of DTCC GCF Repo Index Futures
Press Release
New York, Jan. 4, 2012– NYSE Liffe U.S., the U.S. futures exchange of NYSE Euronext, today announced it has secured an exclusive license to launch futures contracts based on The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation’s proprietary DTCC GCF Repo Index.

[CBOE] Restrictions on Transactions in AMR Corporation (“AMR”)

[CBOE] Trades Below $1

[CBOE] Re-COA Activation

TSX Block List Leaders – December 2011

CHX INFORMATION MEMORANDA 2012-01: Orders Eligible for Entry to the CHX Matching System

[KCBT] Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Hours

Banks, Brokers & Dark Pools

Spain sees E50bn of new bank provisions
By Victor Mallet in Madrid – Financial Times
Spain says it expects its banks to set aside up to E50bn in further provisions on their bad property assets as part of a new round of reforms for the country’s financial sector.

CIBC Leads Canadian Banks for Mergers, Ousting Goldman Sachs
CIBC led Canada’s investment banks in advising on Canadian mergers last year, ousting foreign firms such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley from the top-three spots for the first time in at least a dozen years.

Deutsche Bank Will Now Take Bids For Its Asset Management Business
Business Insider
Deutsche Bank is now in the “indicative bid” stage of selling its asset management business, the Wall Street Journal reports. This is the most we’ve gotten from the bank about concrete, external moves toward selling the business.

Banks Park Record Amount With E.C.B.
New York Times
Deposits hit a record high of E453 billion on Wednesday, underscoring the fear banks have about lending to each other during the debt crisis.

SocGen seeks to axe investment staff
By Scheherazade Daneshkhu in Paris – Financial Times
Société Générale said that it was “stepping up” the restructuring of its corporate and investment bank by considering axing 1,580 jobs in the division, equating to about 13 per cent of the unit’s staff.

Tullett unveils fresh cost cuts
By Adam Jones – Financial Times
Unsettled financial markets have led Tullett Prebon, the inter-dealer broker, to shed staff as part of a belt-tightening exercise costing £10m.

Regulatory News

The SEC News Digest
The SEC News Digest provides daily information on recent Commission actions, including enforcement proceedings, rule filings, policy statements, and upcoming Commission meetings.

Bassi to leave Mifid post
Michelle Price – Financial News
One of the authors of Mifid II, the regulatory text set to transform trading in Europe, is set to leave his post as head of the European Commission’s securities and markets unit after just nine months, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Key Brussels Mifid regulator to move jobs
By Jeremy Grant in London – Financial Times
Ugo Bassi, head of the European Commission department handling key reforms of securities markets, is likely to leave his post shortly and be appointed to a new job at a different department spearheading auditing reform and free movement of capital, three people familiar with the matter said.

No ‘special regime’ required for ETF regulation
By Chris Flood – Financial Times
The regulation of exchange trade funds should not be subject to any kind of “special regime”, according to the International Capital Markets Association, a trade body.

CFTC to Hold Open Meeting to Consider Three Final Rules, One Proposed Rule and a Delegation of Authority Order
Press Release
Washington, DC – The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, January 11, 2012, at 9:30 a.m.

SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies to Hold Conference Call Meeting
Press Release
Washington, D.C., January 4, 2012 – The Securities and Exchange Commission Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies will hold a public meeting by conference telephone call on Friday, January 6.

SEC Charges Illinois-Based Adviser in Social Media Scam
Press Release
Washington, D.C., Jan. 4, 2012 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged an Illinois-based investment adviser with offering to sell fictitious securities on LinkedIn and issued two alerts in an agency-wide effort to highlight the risks investors and advisory firms face when using social media.

CFTC Asks Court to Dismiss Challenge to Position Limits Rule
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission asked a federal appeals court to dismiss a challenge by two Wall Street groups to its rule that limits commodity speculation, one of the financial industry’s highest-profile efforts to weaken last year’s Dodd-Frank law.

After MF Global These Financial Firms Are Begging For More Regulation
Business Insider
Among the dozens of requirements made by Dodd-Frank on financial regulators is that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) develop new rules to protect trader’s collateral.

[AMF] Financial Regulation Newsletter No 4 – December 2011

Foreclosure lawyer Stern sued by his old company
Reuters via Yahoo! News
(Reuters) – David J. Stern, who became one of the country’s best-known foreclosure lawyers before shutting his business under regulatory pressure, has been sued for fraud by the publicly traded company he helped create to take on his now-defunct law firm’s back-office operations.

Investments – Indexes – Managed Futures – Managed Funds

Gross Backs Away From New Normal After Missing Bond Rally
Bill Gross is backing away from Pacific Investment Management Co.’s outlook for a “new normal” after lagging behind the majority of his peers during the biggest bond-market rally in nine years.

LCH.Clearnet appoints Lisa Rosen as Group Head of Compliance and Public Affairs
Press Release
LCH.Clearnet Group Ltd (LCH.Clearnet) has appointed Lisa Rosen as Group Head of Compliance and Public Affairs. Previously, Lisa was Managing Director, Global Head of Regulatory Affairs at Barclays Capital in London.

Susquehanna reports UK profit surge
Tim Cave – Financial News
Susquehanna International Securities, one of a clutch of secretive high-frequency trading firms, has reported a surge in revenues of almost 50% at its UK branch during 2010, beating the average performance of its peers over the period.

Paulson’s Gold Fund Said to Fall 10.5% in 2011 as Metal Rises
John Paulson, the billionaire money manager mired in the worst slump of his career, lost 10.5 percent in his Gold Fund this year even as the metal heads for its 11th straight annual gain, according to people familiar with the fund’s performance.

Ex-Galleon Manager Peter Swartz to Start Hedge Fund for Fortress
Peter Swartz, a former Galleon Group LLC portfolio manager, is starting a new technology hedge fund for Fortress Investment Group LLC.

Black Diamond Capital Management Expands Hedge Fund Team with Appointment of Kenneth Rubin as a Senior Managing Director and Hedge Fund Portfolio Manager
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance

ETF Growth Shrinks in 2011
Tom Steinert-Threlkeld – Securities Technology Monitor
Investors added $117.6 billion to their holdings in exchange-traded funds in 2011. That is almost identical to 2010, when they added $118.7 billion, and 2009, when they added $119.4 billion.

Active Mutual Funds Stink Worse Than Ever
Last year was the worst year since 1991 for the Indianapolis Colts, and it was the worst in more than 30 years for actively managed mutual funds. Something has gone terribly wrong in retail asset management to the point where only 10% of large-cap growth funds outperformed their benchmark (typically the Russell 1000 Growth, according to Morningstar) and fewer than 20% of large-cap core …

Hatteras Funds Renames Multi-Strategy Fund Hatteras Core Alternatives Fund
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance

Byron Wien’s surprises of 2012
CNN Money
Byron Wien, vice chairman of Blackstone Advisory Partners, today published his list of surprises for 2012 — following a 25-year tradition he began while still chief U.S. investment strategist at Morgan Stanley.

A Financial Transaction Tax Could Weed Out All The Pointless Trading
Business Insider
In an editorial published in the Wall Street Journal (” Taxing Stock Trades Will Hurt Main Street “, by Yakov Amihud and Haim Mendelson, Nov 11, 2011) the authors inadvertently make the case for imposing a stock trade tax rather than opposing it.

First Series Of WSE Bonds Now Listed On CATALYST – 5-Year Bonds Issued By The Warsaw Stock Exchange Have Been Newly Listed On The Catalyst Market
Press Release

DTCC Releases November Report On Annuity Product Activity
Press Release

Gemini Fund Services Expands Northern Lights Variable Fund Trust With Nine Funds
PR Newswire

UBS Announces Monthly Changes to the UBS Next Generation Internet Index
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance

Technology News

SunGard Study Finds Risk, Bank Communications and Payments Consolidation Priorities for Corporate Treasurers
Press Release
SunGard conducted a study with 100 treasury professionals at the 2011 AFP Annual conference in Boston, which revealed that thirty-one percent identified gaining a holistic view of risk as the top priority for corporate treasurers.

Media News

Yahoo names PayPal’s Thompson as CEO
Reuters via Yahoo! News
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Yahoo Inc named PayPal President Scott Thompson as its chief executive on Wednesday, hoping the well-regarded Internet technology and e-commerce expert will replicate his success at eBay Inc and turn around the struggling company.

Reports Economic Calendar

USDA Today

CBOE Events Calendar

Economic Release Calendar
The Economic Release Calendar (PDF) is a schedule of government, academic and industry economic releases, provided as a service to CME customers.

Asia-Pacific News

China’s IPO market the world’s biggest despite slump
Reuters via Yahoo! News
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China remained the world’s biggest IPO market in 2011, even as total funds raised slumped from the previous year due to global economic uncertainty, undercoring the shift of financial power from the west to the east.

Philippines Sells $1.5 Billion of Bonds to Fund Stimulus
The Philippines sold $1.5 billion of 25-year dollar-denominated bonds as the government boosts spending to support economic growth.

HSBC poised to sell Korea retail unit to KDB
By Song Jung-a in Seoul – Financial Times
HSBC is in the final stages of talks to sell its retail banking unit in South Korea to KDB Financial Group as the UK lender retreats from unprofitable operations as part of a global overhaul.

Filing Of A Notification To Japan Fair Trade Commission, Etc. Concerning Business Combination Between Tokyo Stock Exchange Group, Inc. And Osaka Securities Exchange, Co., Ltd.
Press Release
Tokyo Stock Exchange Group, Inc. (TSE Group) today filed a notification to the Japan Fair Trade Commission regarding the business combination with Osaka Securities Exchange, Co., Ltd. (OSE) in accordance with the Anti-Monopoly Act.

SGX derivatives, commodities and clearing activities continue to grow in December
Press Release

Tokyo Stock Exchange: Trading Conditions (Outlook & Initial Figures) 2011
Press Release

Tokyo Grain Exchange: Reviewed Weights Of The TG Index For FY2012
Press Release

Tokyo Grain Exchange Monthly Trading Report December 2011
Press Release

Frontier Markets

Bursa Malaysia: Local Participants Entry Requirements For Derivatives Trading Eased; Examination, Academic And Experience Pre-Requisites Removed
Press Release

Tehran Stock Exchange In 2011
Press Release

Listings and liquidity on W.Africa bourse’s agenda
Reuters via Yahoo! News
ABIDJAN (Reuters) – The West Africa regional bourse is eyeing at least four listings in 2012 and is seeking to improve liquidity by lowering the minimum price for a share, the head of the exchange said. Operations at the bourse, known by its French acronym BRVM, were hobbled during 2011 due to a civil war in Ivory Coast that saw it temporarily shift its HQ to Mali’s capital Bamako.

Miscellaneous News

Quelle Surprise! Fed Sees We Have a Big Mortgage Problem
Naked Capitalism
It certainly is gratifying to see the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, via a paper released on Wednesday, ” The U.S. Housing Market: Current Conditions and Policy Considerations ,” (hat tip Calculated Risk) finally acknowledge that US has a mortgage/foreclosure mess that is not going to go away by virtue of QE or other efforts to goose financial asset prices.

Appointment Clears Way for Consumer Financial Agency
New York Times
The appointment of Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finally gives the agency the legal standing to supervise payday lenders, money transfer agencies, credit bureaus and debt collectors.

Trading Out: The Rise of Bartering
By Vivian Wagner – E-Commerce Times
Bartering — trading goods and services — is as old as humankind. However, new technologies are making it easier and more accessible than ever. Bartering is seeing a resurgence as people look for new ways to make money and stay afloat in unpredictable financial times.

Job Cuts on Wall Street: Bad News Is Good News
Wall Street Journal Blogs
Hooray for lost jobs? Credit Suisse says cuts to jobs and other expenses at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley could “yield meaningful incremental earnings” in the second half of 2012 and next year.

‘Invest’ in the lottery; ‘gamble’ in the market
By Chuck Jaffe, MarketWatch
BOSTON (MarketWatch) — Most people don’t see playing the lottery as “investing” any more than they view playing the market as “gambling,” but there are enough similarities that it’s worth examining the behavior of the player, particularly at times when decision-making is critical.

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About Author

Matte is chief operating officer of John J. Lothian & Co. He edits the John Lothian Newsletter, JLN Forex and MarketsWiki.