Breaking News

John Lothian Newsletter: Swiss Franc Shock Spurs CME to Change Rules on Emergency Halts; New York Prosecutor Expands ‘Dark Pool’ Complaint Against Barclays; Traders Once Starved for Volatility Now See Too Much

First Read

The World Is Flat: ISE’s Boris Ilyevsky Talks PIM And New Flat Auction Pricing
Sarah Rudolph – John Lothian News

In October, seven options market making firms sent a letter to the SEC outlining their concerns about “the growing trend of exchanges imposing oversized transaction fees on market makers” competing in auction crosses. The firms said they were disadvantaged by the current structure in which internalization is encouraged by the use of a “breakup fee” that keeps market makers from competing with “initiators” of the auction.

The International Securities Exchange (ISE) responded to the debate over price improvement mechanism (“PIM”) auctions by announcing a flat pricing structure for PIM auctions on ISE Gemini, where both PIM initiators and responders will pay $0.05 per contract. Priority customers on the originating side of a PIM order will continue to be free. JLN spoke with Boris Ilyevsky, managing director at the ISE, who explained how the new structure addresses the market makers’ concerns and what’s behind the debate over price improvement and fees.

Read the full article on


Why Falling Prices Are Actually a Really Bad Thing
By Shobhana Chandra, Bloomberg
On the surface, everything getting cheaper sounds like a dream come true. It’s not. The prospect is so terrifying that it’s prompted central bankers around the industrialized world to pour trillions of dollars into their economies to prevent a sustained drop in prices. The European Central Bank is projected to follow suit with an announcement as soon as Thursday.

***** We have lived with inflation. We have read about hyper-inflation. Deflation is only something we read about concerning football pressure. We have taken so much money from savers through low to zero interest rates that this is their revenge, lower prices.


How to retire like an ‘aristocrat’
By Kenneth Roberts, MarketWatch
Say you want to retire today and need an income of at least $100,000 a year from your investments. All you need to do is have $5 million saved up and buy 30-year U.S. Treasury bonds. If saving the $5 million is problematic, you might want to consider some other investment strategies.

**DA: If one is retired and living off treasury bonds, falling prices would be a good thing.


ECB to launch $70B-a-month private and public bond-buying program
European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi has announced the launch of an expanded monthly 60 billion euro ($70 billion) private and public bond-buying program that will last until at least September 2016. The long-anticipated asset-purchasing program—touted as the euro zone’s answer to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE) programs—will start this March, Draghi told reporters at his regular media conference on Thursday.

***DA: 2:45 pm Frankfurt time, to be exact.


FXCM raising gold, currency margin requirements
By Wallace Witkowski, MarketWatch
FXCM Inc. said Wednesday it raised margin requirements for gold and currency accounts. The firm said that the requirements may be “adjusted at a later date” and recommended that clients stay up to date. “FXCM believes, at this time, there is a high level of uncertainty in the currency markets that could destabilize markets throughout 2015,” the firm said in a statement, pointing out Thursday’s pending ECB rate decision and Greece’s coming election on Sunday.

***** Horse. Barn door. Open. Late.


CFTC member calls for tougher retail forex broker oversight
Forex brokers selling products to retail clients should be subject to the same tough rules as operators in derivative markets, a member of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Wednesday, as the industry faces closer scrutiny from regulators. Sharon Bowen, a Democratic member of the agency that oversees swaps and futures, expressed the view after a sudden jump in the Swiss franc caused heavy losses at retail broker FXCM and the emergency bailout of the firm by a rival.

***** Yes, they should.


Chinese city says pollution all due to … bacon
By Laura He, MarketWatch
Homemade smoked bacon is a long-enjoyed delicacy in China’s famous Sichuan cuisine. But the meaty dish is now under fire as “the criminal culprit” responsible for the heavy air pollution, according to officials in Sichuan. Dazhou, a municipality located in the northeastern corner of Sichuan province, has suffered from especially “severe air pollution” since earlier this month, according to the provincial environmental monitoring center.

***** It turns out the best way to mitigate the pollution is to grow tomatoes and lettuce.


Focused: What The Industry Knows About Transparency (Part 2)

Back in November, the industry gathered for the annual FIA Expo event in Chicago. There, John Lothian News used an exhibitor booth (Thanks Cinnober!) as its studio to ask industry participants key questions about transparency issues in today’s markets.

Part 2: What solution would you suggest in order to improve transparency in the markets today?
Watch the video »


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Lead Stories

Swiss Franc Shock Spurs CME to Change Rules on Emergency Halts
By Matthew Leising, Bloomberg
CME Group Inc., buffeted by trading halts last week after the Swiss National Bank prompted a record surge in the franc, said it was altering how it handles volatility during emergencies. Under rules announced Wednesday, it will be easier for the owner of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to change limits on price swings during unusual circumstances. On Jan. 15, CME was forced to alter volatility curbs on an ad-hoc basis as the franc jumped a record 41 percent against the euro, a move so big that it halted CME futures trading three times.

New York Prosecutor Expands ‘Dark Pool’ Complaint Against Barclays
By Keri Geiger, Christie Smythe and Sam Mamudi, Bloomberg
Several Barclays Plc (BARC) executives were aware that the bank was falsely representing how algorithms in its dark pool worked and how client orders were routed, according to an amended complaint prepared by New York’s attorney general.

Traders Once Starved for Volatility Now See Too Much
By Ari Altstedter, Bloomberg
As the value of the Canadian dollar plunged the most in more than three years in just two minutes, Brad Schruder remembered a lesson he’d learned in the chaos of the financial crisis. “Prices on a screen can no longer be trusted,” Schruder, a director of foreign-exchange sales at Bank of Montreal said Wednesday from Toronto. “No one knows what a price is.”

High-speed trading arms race escalates
Gregory Meyer in New York and Arash Massoudi and Philip Stafford in London, FT
“Lead With Speed” and “Don’t Get Picked Off” are among the slogans of vendors to the high-speed trading industry, where being a microsecond faster than rivals often determines success or failure. The technology required to survive in this industry costs money — a lot of it. At some point being first to capture a fleeting opportunity is not worth the extra investment.

Opinion: Obama tells investors there’s never been a better time to take risks
By David Weidner, MarketWatch
If you want to know how far Wall Street has come in pushing back the government and taxpayers who bailed it out, look no further than the State of the Union speech delivered Tuesday night by President Obama. The president addressed multiple topics that would have a direct effect on investors, Wall Street and the banking and brokerage sectors. For the industry, the biggest of these was a tax on “highly leveraged” financial institutions to “discourage excessive borrowing.”

Derivatives drive growth at Singapore exchange
Jeremy Grant, FT
SGX, the Singapore exchange, underscored how its business is being largely driven by derivatives with its second-quarter results boosted by record trading volume in futures contracts based on a Chinese stock index.

Regulators Boost Margin Requirements on FX Trades; Move Comes After Steep Losses for Traders and Brokers Following Unexpected Surge in Swiss Franc
By Andrew Ackerman, WSJ
Regulators took steps to address steep losses suffered by traders and brokers in the wake of last week’s unexpected surge in the Swiss franc, moving to temporarily restrict the amount of borrowed money, or leverage, used by foreign-currency traders.
The National Futures Association, the agency responsible for policing the futures industry, said it would temporarily require investors to put down additional cash when they enter into currency trades involving the Swiss franc. The move will require investors to post a “minimum security deposit” of 5% of their overall bet, up from 2%.

‘Too Big to Fail’ on Financial Regulators’ Agenda Again
By Mary Williams Walsh, NY Times
Top financial regulators on Wednesday discussed ways to improve how so-called too-big-to-fail institutions are singled out for closer supervision, but they stopped well short of reversing any designations made so far.

MarketAxess outlines targets for BlackRock partnership
The Trade
On Monday, BlackRock and MarketAxess extended their Open Trading partnership to the European credit markets.


BOE Lawyer Clashes With U.K. Politicians on FX-Rigging Probe
By Gavin Finch and Liam Vaughan, Bloomberg
U.K. politicians questioned the thoroughness of an investigation that cleared Bank of England staff of condoning manipulation in the foreign-exchange market.

New York says Barclays not cooperating in ‘dark pool’ probe
By Jonathan Stempel, Reuters
New York’s top law enforcer on Wednesday accused Barclays Plc of defying his subpoenas in a probe of high-speed trading in its private “dark pool,” and moved to expand his lawsuit accusing the British bank of fraud.

Investor, consumer groups call on Finra to release more arbitration data
Investment News
As task force reviews process, regulator pushed to fess up on selection of arbitrators, award collections and case statistics

Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) Rulemaking and National Market System (NMS) Plans

  • MIAX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Implement an Equity Rights Program (Release No. 34-74095; File No. SR-MIAX-2015-02; January 20, 2015)


  • NASDAQ OMX BX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Changes to Amend Rule 7018 to Amend Fees and Rebates in Connection with BX’s Retail Price Improvement Program (Release No. 34-74107; File No. SR-BX-2015-005); see also Exhibit 5


  • NASDAQ OMX BX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Regarding BX LMM and Penny Pilot Options (Release No. 34-74097; File No. SR-BX-2015-004; January 20, 2015); see also Exhibit 5


  • NSCC: Order Approving Proposed Rule Change to Amend NSCC’s Rules and Procedures in Connection with the Discontinuance of the Analytic Reporting Service (Release No. 34-74098; File No. SR-NSCC-2014-12; January 20, 2015)


  • NYSE Arca: Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, Relating to the Listing and Trading of Shares of the AdvisorShares Pacific Asset Enhanced Floating Rate ETF under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600 (Release No. 34-74093; File No. SR-NYSEArca-2014-126; January 20, 2015)


  • NYSEMKT: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Rule 123C – Equities to Specify that Exchange Systems May Close One or More Securities Electronically if a Designated Market Maker Registered in a Security or Securities Cannot Facilitate the Close of Trading as Required by Exchange Rules (Release No. 34-74094; File No. SR-NYSEMKT-2015-05; January 20, 2015); see also Exhibit 5


  • Phlx: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to SPY Pilot Program (Release No. 34-74099; File No. SR-Phlx-2015-07; January 20, 2015); see also Exhibit 3, Exhibit 5

Investment Management Director Norm Champ to Leave SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Norm Champ, Director of the Division of Investment Management, will leave the agency later this month after five years serving in senior leadership positions.

Schneiderman makes another splash in Barclays dark pool
By Kevin Dugan, NY Post
New York’s top cop is naming and shaming Barclays’ top executives over guarding its dark pool secrets.

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

CME Group Notices

  • Additional Authority of Global Command Center with Respect to CME Rule 589 (Special Price Fluctuation Limits) and Revisions to CME/CBOT/NYMEX/COMEX Rule 589 (Special Price Fluctuation Limits)


  • Large Trader Requirements. Listing of Freight Route Liquid Petroleum Gas (Baltic) Futures Contract


  • CME Clearing Notice: Week of Monday, January 19, 2015


  • Large Trader Requirements. Listing of the New Physically Delivered Gold Kilo Futures Contract


  • CME Secured FTP Availability – January 24, 2015

Eurex fixed income futures & options: highlights 2014
Interest rate derivatives make up one of the largest markets in the world. Roughly 70% of all listed and centrally cleared euro interest rate derivatives are traded on Eurex Exchange.

Investors urged to block GFI sale to CME
Philip Stafford, FT
An influential US proxy voting advisory service has recommended shareholders of GFI Group, the interdealer broker, vote against a deal to be purchased by CME Group, the US futures exchange operator.

Rival Suitor for New York Clearinghouse Raises Bid
New York Times
BGC Partners has increased its offer for the GFI Group, the New York brokerage firm and clearinghouse, in an effort to wrest the company from the arms of its chosen suitor, the operator of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade.

Eris agrees deal with market data provider
Futures & Options World
Eris Exchange, the Chicago futures exchange, has cut a deal to make its prices available through Barchart data feed services and its trading platform, Barchart Trader. Under the terms of the deal, Eris will be making the exchange available to Barchart’s large client base of third-party brokers and trading firms.

LedgerX: Bitcoin Options Exchange Awaiting CFTC Approval
As announced on 15 December, 2015, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is asking for public comment on related applications submitted by LedgerX, LLC (LedgerX), for registration as a derivatives clearing organization and registration as a swap execution facility. LedgerX plans to list and clear fully collateralized, physically settled options on bitcoin. Comments should be submitted on or before January 30, 2015.

MEFF launches new contract on stock dividend future
As of January 27th, MEFF, the Spanish Derivatives exchange operated by BME, will list for trading and registration Single Stock Dividend Futures contracts with a larger contracts size, following its approval by the Spanish securities regulator, CNMV.

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Canadian Dollar Drops Most Since 2011 on Surprise Cut
By Andrea Wong and Ari Altstedter, Bloomberg
Canada’s dollar sank the most in more than three years after the central bank unexpectedly cut interest rates, saying crude oil’s collapse will slow inflation and weigh on the economy.

Cattle Succumb to Commodity Rout in Sign of Cheaper Beef
By Lydia Mulvany, Bloomberg
The global rout in commodities finally hit cattle with futures off to the worst start to a year since 1980. The good news: The rout signals that your steak dinner could start costing less soon.

Best Hedge Fund in Sweden Posts Historic Volatility Returns
By Love Liman and Niklas Magnusson, Bloomberg
Lynx Asset Management AB, which operates Sweden’s top-performing hedge fund, says the recent surge in market volatility has driven its best performance since it was created 16 years ago.

Speculators Looking for Havens from Slowing Growth are Piling Into Silver
By Debarati Roy, Bloomberg
Silver headed for a bull market in its best start to a year in more than three decades, supported by speculation that slowing global economic growth will spur demand for havens.

U.S. funds differ on managing tax liability as capital gains surge
By Tim McLaughlin, Reuters
Warning to mutual fund investors: the tax man is coming. U.S. investors in stock funds will take a big tax hit this year on capital gains that could top $300 billion after portfolio managers exhausted most of their loss reserves to offset several years of stock market advances.

KKR Refunds Some Fees to Investors; Move Comes After SEC Found Buyout Shop Overcharged for Expenses
By Mark Maremont
KKR & Co. refunded money to investors in some of its buyout funds after regulators found it overcharged them, marking one of the highest-profile results yet of regulators’ increased scrutiny of the private-equity business.

Banks & Brokers

RJO set to acquire Kyte clearing arm – sources
Futures & Options World

Hong Kong Brokerage CLSA Cutting Jobs in Asia
By Cathy Chan and Jun Luo, Bloomberg
CLSA Ltd., the Hong Kong-based brokerage owned by China’s Citic Securities Co. (600030), is cutting jobs in Asia, adding to reductions by banks including Standard Chartered Plc and Nomura Holdings Inc.

More Job Cuts at Banks Seen in 2015 in Poll of Investors
By Yalman Onaran, Bloomberg
The bloodletting at banks that started during the 2008 financial crisis isn’t letting up.

JPMorgan CEO Dimon’s pay package rose above $20 mln in 2014 -WSJ
JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon received a bigger pay package in 2014 than the $20 million he was given the year before, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Royal Bank Buys City National for $5.4 Billion
By Steve Dickson and Doug Alexander, Bloomberg
Royal Bank of Canada (RY) agreed to buy City National Corp. (CYN) for about $5.4 billion in cash and stock in its biggest takeover ever to expand sales to wealthy U.S. residents.

BlackRock and MarketAxess target Europe
Philip Stafford in London, FT
BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has brought its corporate bond trading venture with MarketAxess to Europe to try to offset the retreat of large investment banks from the market.

Icap readies european bond data feed, historical i swap data
Waters Technology

Goldman’s Cohn: “We are in currency wars”
Countries around the world are already engaged in a currency war in a bid to boost growth, Gary Cohn, the president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, said on Thursday

JP Morgan forms credit index group to tap into new demand
JP Morgan has created a global credit index group within its credit trading department, as the US bank seeks to tap into growing demand from real money for alternative ways of making bets amid decreased liquidity in fixed income, commodity and currency cash markets.

Goldman Investments Test the Volcker Rule
By Nathaniel Popper, NY Times
Goldman Sachs has been on a shopping spree with its own money, snapping up apartments in Spain, a mall in Utah and a European ink company, all of which the bank hopes eventually to sell for a profit.

Goldman client margin soared $4.5bn during wild October

Exclusive: GAIN to cover clients’ FX negative balances from Jan. 15 franc trades – letter
By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, Reuters
U.S.-based currency broker GAIN Capital Holdings Inc said it will forgive all negative balances incurred by its retail clients on Jan. 15 after the Swiss National Bank jolted markets by eliminating a three-year-old cap on the Swiss franc.

Clearing & Settlement

Margin Rules for Non-Cleared Derivatives: Ready or Not, They Are Coming
Juan M. Arciniegas, National Law Review
Without argument, one of the pillars of Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) was to require the central clearing of certain categories of swaps. For those categories of swaps that were not required to be cleared, lawmakers recognized the need to create a broad margining system because of the perception that non-cleared swaps pose greater risks than cleared swaps. As a result, the Dodd-Frank Act mandated the creation of a new section of the Commodity Exchange Act requiring rules establishing margin requirements for swap dealers and major swap participants (Covered Swap Entities) to ensure their safety and soundness and to reduce risk and increase transparency in the market.

Banks Must Bear the Risk of Derivatives Losses, CME Paper Says
By Matthew Leising, Bloomberg
CME Group Inc. (CME), the world’s largest derivatives market, wants its bank members to bear responsibility for ensuring there is enough cash on hand in the case of a default.

Disjointed OTC reforms ‘could destroy Asia derivative market’ – video

Misys Provides Trade Reporting to DTCC, Adds Commodities Capacity
Traders Magazine
Misys announced it has added connectivity to the Depository Trust Clearing Corp.
By providing DTCC with its Regulatory Reporting Service (RRS), Misys helps provide corporates, fund managers and smaller banks the choice of multiple trade repositories that they can automatically connect to and can meet their regulatory reporting requirements.

Euroclear reports record-breaking 2014
Securities Lending Times
Euroclear has reported a successful 2014, including a 12.1 percent rise in collateral outstanding on its Collateral Highway, which reached EUR 883.1 billion. The result comes alongside a range of record-breaking figures, including assets under custody for 2014.

Clearing House Collateral Services Year Round Internship
CME Group Jobs
The Clearing House Collateral Services team is responsible for managing the collateral programs, maintaining account and banking relationships and prioritizing collateral programs across the Clearing organization, in addition to project execution, resourcing, budgeting, and strategy. This internship role with the CME Group’s Clearing House Collateral Services team will provide broad exposure to Clearing’s core processes, projects, and teams.

Clearing House Risk Summer Internship
CME Group Jobs
The Market Risk Management Intern will be responsible for assisting the risk department in data analysis, data entry, and testing efforts. The role has significant interactions with the Operations, and Systems Development departments in the Clearing House to complete enhancements to the risk process.

Indexes & Products

Two new iShares bond index ETFs launched on Xetra; ETFs provide exposure to long-term euro-zone and US government bonds
Xetra/Börse Frankfurt
Two new iShares bond index ETFs from BlackRock’s product offering have been tradable in Deutsche Börse’s XTF segment on Xetra since Thursday.

SGX Plans China Equity-Index Options on Futures Demand
By Jonathan Burgos and Adam Haigh, Bloomberg
Singapore Exchange Ltd. (SGX), Southeast Asia’s biggest bourse, plans to start trading Chinese equity-index options as investors seek ways to hedge risks in the world’s most volatile stock market.


EBay’s breakup plans may open door for e-commerce M&A
By Deepa Seetharaman, Reuters
EBay Inc’s plans to break up into three different companies could accommodate would-be suitors, signaling a potential merger fight after the breakup.

Davos 2015: Banks call for free rein to fight cyber crime
Executives at some of the world’s largest banks are pressing government officials to pursue cyber criminals more aggressively or let the industry off the leash to fight them directly.

Goldman makes first foray into big data in Asia
Jeremy Grant in Singapore, FT
Goldman Sachs has made its first foray into big data in Asia by investing the lion’s share of a $56m round of funding for Antuit, a data analytics start-up in Singapore.


Federal Court Orders California-Based Defendants Bharat Adatia and His Companies, Lions Wealth Holdings, Lions Wealth Services, and 20/20 Precious Metals to Pay over $5.3 Million in Monetary Sanctions for Multi-Million Dollar Fraudulent Precious Metals Scheme
Defendants Defrauded Customers of More than $2.3 Million in Connection with Illegal Off-Exchange Precious Metals Transactions
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that on January 16, 2015, Judge Josephine L. Staton of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California entered a Consent Order for permanent injunction against Defendants Lions Wealth Holdings, Inc. and Lions Wealth Services, Inc. (collectively Lions Wealth), 20/20 Precious Metals, Inc. (20/20 Metals), and their principal Bharat Adatia (aka Brad Adatia) for fraudulently soliciting retail customers and prospective customers to enter into off-exchange trading of precious metals on a leveraged, margined or financed basis. Adatia resides in San Juan Capistrano, California. The Defendants were also charged in the CFTC Complaint with falsely representing that customers were purchasing actual physical metal and issuing false account statements, among other illegal conduct (see CFTC Press Release and Complaint 6729-13, September 30, 2013).

Federal Court in New York Imposes a $2.16 Million Penalty and Permanent Trading Bans against Michael A. Kardonick, Gary R. Shapoff, and Atwood & James for Forex Options Fraud and Misappropriation
Kardonick and Shapoff Are Serving Time in Prison after Pleading Guilty to Related Federal Criminal Charges
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that a federal court in Rochester, New York issued a consent Order against Atwood & James, Ltd. and Atwood & James, SA (collectively, Atwood), which operated out of New York and Brazil, and Michael A. Kardonick, who maintained multiple residences in Brooklyn; New York; Pembrook Pines, Florida; and Rio de Janeiro, and Gary R. Shapoff of Pittsford, New York. Kardonick and Shapoff are currently incarcerated in Federal custody. The court’s Order stems from a CFTC civil Complaint that charged the Defendants with fraudulently soliciting retail clients to trade foreign currency (forex) options and charged Atwood and Kardonick with misappropriating client funds (see CFTC Press Release and Complaint 5605-09, January 27, 2009). None of the Defendants has ever been registered with the CFTC, as required.

SEC Charges Investment Adviser and Manager in South Florida-Based Fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges and an asset freeze against a Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based investment advisory firm, its manager, and three related funds in a scheme that raised more than $17 million since November 2013.

Two former senior executives of Martin Brokers fined and banned for compliance failings related to LIBOR
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined and banned two former senior executives of interdealer broker Martin Brokers (UK) Limited (‘Martins’) for compliance and cultural failings at the firm. This follows previous enforcement action against Martins: in 2014 the FCA fined Martins £630,000 for misconduct relating to the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR).

S.&.P. to Pay Nearly $80 Million to Settle Fraud Cases
By Ben Protess and Matthew Goldstein, NY Times
Standard & Poor’s, the credit rating agency blamed for helping inflate the subprime mortgage bubble, has settled accusations that it orchestrated a similar fraud years after the bubble burst.

Environmental & Energy

House votes to speed natural gas pipelines
By Cristina Marcos – The Hill
The House passed legislation on Wednesday to expedite the federal review process for natural gas pipeline applications.

When It Comes to Climate, Modi Is More Worried About Renewables Than Obama’s Emission Cuts
By Natalie Obiko Pearson and Alex Nussbaum, Bloomberg
With U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to India just days away, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is focused more on boosting the use of renewables in his country than committing to cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions.

EU Parliament’s Biggest Group Withdraws Early Carbon-Fix Offer
By Ewa Krukowska – Bloomberg News
The European Parliament’s largest political group withdrew a draft compromise on advancing a remedy for Europe’s carbon market to 2019 after its proposal failed to win broad support Monday in the legislature’s industry committee.

Getting rid of fuel subsidies
Alan Beattie, FT
There are very few things on which economists overwhelmingly agree: free trade and apple pie are about it. But almost all of them will say that across-the-board subsidies for households and companies to lower the price of fuel are a terrible idea.

China’s nuclear dream: how the atom could lead to self-sufficiency near-zero emissions
By Eric Ng – South China Morning Post
When China embarked on its first nuclear programme 60 years ago, it was in response to threats from the United States over the Taiwan Strait. Today, the power of the atom is front and centre of another strategy – energy self-sufficiency and to drastically curb carbon emissions.


Margin Traders in Japan Raise Bets That Yen Will Fall Against Dollar to a Record
By Kevin Buckland and Kazumi Miura, Bloomberg
Margin traders in Japan raised bets the yen would fall against the dollar to a record amid their currency’s best start to a year since 2010.

HKFE Announces Revised Margins for China Mobile Futures

Stock Exchange Participants’ Market Share Report

KRX Signs MoU With Markit Ltd.
On January 19, 2015, Korea Exchange(KRX) and Markit Ltd. signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) to build cooperative relationships and promote global competitiveness of over-the-counter(OTC) derivatives market in Korea

Frontier Markets

Rightwing Hindus stir up ‘battle of the babies’ in India
Victor Mallet in New Delhi, FT
Religious leaders seek more births in a country already facing a population crisis

Good news for NSEL investors as government mulls funds recovery
The victims of the National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL) scam may soon get their lost money back. After attaching properties worth more than the scam amount of Rs 5,600 crore, the government is now considering setting up a special court of Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) or a Special Competent Authority with independent infrastructure to fast-track the recovery process.

Kenya bourse gets ready for day trading with new platform
Kenya’s bourse is buying a new securities settlements platform to cut transaction times and allow for the introduction of day trading, a senior official said on Wednesday.


Tootsie Roll CEO dies at 95
By Steven R. Strahler, Crain’s
Melvin Gordon, who with his wife, Ellen, kept one of Chicago’s most famous brand names—Tootsie Roll—in the family and themselves out of the limelight for more than half a century, died yesterday in Boston. He was 95. A vintage Tootsie Roll ad Because of its closely held status and the Gordons’ wariness of analysts and other outsiders, Tootsie Roll ..

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About Author

Doug Ashburn is a former editor-at-large of John Lothian News. He left in late 2016 and is now the managing editor of T3 Custom.