Bits & Pieces
By John J. Lothian
Later today John Lothian News will be publishing an exclusive video interview with the incoming president and CEO of the National Futures Association, Tom Sexton. Our Jim Kharouf sat down with Sexton in the NFA’s offices last week.
We will also be publishing this week some print stories from Jim following up on his trip to Colombia and the WFE Annual Meeting in Cartagena, Colombia. He has a U.S. Treasury story that features KCG’s CEO Dan Coleman and a Bitcoin story.
Our condolences to Jeff Bergstrom and my wife on the passing of their uncle Robert Guinter. Uncle Bob was 89 and in failing health in Green Bay, Wisconsin when he passed on Saturday. He was the older brother of my mother-in-law Betty Bergstrom. Jeff and I will be off on Wednesday for the funeral.
For those of you who ate too much at the Thanksgiving dinner table, I will see you at the gym.
Women Rising To The Top: Chitra Ramkrishna, Adena Friedman Take Top Roles In The Exchange Space
Jim Kharouf – John Lothian News (JLN)
There was another historic election this month, this one at the World Federation of Exchanges’ annual meeting in Cartagena, Colombia. The WFE elected the first female chair in its 56-year history.
Chitra Ramkrishna, managing director and CEO of the National Stock Exchange of India, will serve as WFE chairperson for the next two years. She succeeds Juan Pablo Cordoba, CEO of the Bolsa de Valores de Colombia. She is also the first woman to head up an exchange in India, beginning in 2013, and has been a pioneer in helping develop India’s capital markets. Neither is a small feat.
***** In a case you missed this on Friday.
At World Chess Championship, Familiar Overtones of East-West Politics
By JOHN LELAND – NY Times
A Cold War battle has been playing out in Lower Manhattan for the last three weeks, in a soundproof glass chamber watched by partisans around the world. When the contest ends this week, victory will belong either to a resurgent Russia or to Norway, a wary neighbor along Russia’s increasingly militarized border.
***** Long live the Queen.
World Chess Has A Big Problem; While grandmasters earn millions, the sport still can’t shake ties to tyrants and a leader under U.S. sanctions.
By Carol Matlack – Bloomberg
On a grim New York Monday in November, a small crowd clustered in a dark room with a thick pane of glass at one end. Defending world chess champion Magnus Carlsen and challenger Sergey Karjakin sat on the other side of the soundproof window. Carlsen shifted in his seat, furrowed his brow, shrugged off his jacket. Karjakin was nearly motionless but for the occasional sip of water. Flash photography was strictly prohibited.
***** The leader of world chess claims aliens did what?
Most Popular MarketsWiki Pages Over Last 30 Days (Via Google Analytics)
China Foreign Exchange Trade System
Convergex Group, LLC
Carrie L. Tolstedt
Organized Trading Facility
National Multi-Commodity Exchange
Borje E. Ekholm
Eurex Euro Bund
The list of the most popular pages includes some expected ones, like former CME CEO Phupinder Gill, the ever popular Jon Najarian and extradited trader Navinder Sarao. Madhu Kannan, a former NYSE Euronext executive and former chief executive of the Bombay Stock Exchange, attracted some attention after leaving Tata Sons. Former NYSE Euronext executive Lawrence Leibowitz was added to the board of CBL Markets, formerly Carbon Trading Exchange.
Friday’s Top Three
Our top read stories from Friday’s newsletter were led by the Wall Street Journal’s piece on new Fed accounts for CME clearing and OCC in Clearinghouses Park Billions in New Fed Accounts. The second place finisher was Zacks’ How Small Traders Win in the Era of Algos. Third went to the FT’s Winton Capital’s David Harding on making millions through maths
EU calls on clearing houses not to become ‘too big too fail’
Philip Stafford, Jim Brunsden – FT
Brussels is calling for a formal cross-border regulatory framework to ensure that clearing houses do not become the market’s new “too big to fail” institutions that threaten financial stability.
CME Group Announces Record Open Interest of 117 Million Contracts; Interest Rate Complex Hits 69.5 Million
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, announced it set a total open interest record of 116,999,368 on Nov. 23, 2016. The new record surpassed the previous open interest record of 116,427,935 contracts set on June 9, 2016.
Hong Kong Investors’ Wait to Trade Shenzhen Stocks Is Over
Eduard Gismatullin and Benjamin Robertson – Bloomberg
New connect will provide access to China’s technology hub; Move strengthens case for China’s MSCI inclusion, says HSBC
Hong Kong investors will be able to trade on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange starting next week, ending a wait of more than two years for China to open a second equity trading link between the mainland and the city.
Central banks explore blockchain to create digital currencies; Trailblazers including UK, Russia, China seek to cash in on bitcoin breakthrough
by: Jane Wild – FT
“If you can’t beat them, join them,” could well be the mantra for the world’s central bankers. Having watched as bitcoin went from obscure experiment in digital money to a currency with a market value of almost $10bn, they themselves are now experimenting with digital currencies rather than waiting idly to be swept away by the tide of technology.
Bank of England to reveal stress test results for UK’s biggest banks; Snapshot assesses resilience of six banks and one building society as well as risks to post-Brexit financial system
Jill Treanor – The Guardian
The Bank of England is due to provide a snapshot of the strength of Britain’s biggest lenders after assessing their resilience to a dramatic economic downturn and sharp fall in house prices.
Boat Services strengthens fast growing team, Carl Nilsen joins as Director of Sales
With business gaining momentum and more clients continuously committing to the Pan-European MiFID II multi-asset trade reporting service TRADEcho, Boat have appointed Carl Nilsen, former Head of Equities at Oslo Bors, as Director of Sales. Carl joins hot on the heels of Per Lovén, former Liquidnet Head of International Corporate Strategy.
Banks seek to invest $59 million in blockchain startup R3: source
Anna Irrera and Jemima Kelly – Reuters
Banks involved in the blockchain consortium R3 CEV have expressed interest in investing $59 million in the company’s first funding round, less than half its overall target, a person close to the deal said on Friday.
A Proud Stock Exchange Fights for Life in Shadow of Tokyo Giant
Anna Kitanaka and Nao Sano – Bloomberg
The Fukuoka Stock Exchange occupies part of one floor in a gray eight-story building that it doesn’t own. Its stately but run-down entrance is a reminder of a prosperous bygone era, when the bourse on Japan’s southwestern island of Kyushu was home to a bustling trading floor. Now, the traders are long gone, and the two old wooden doors open to face a large black monitor flashing stock prices into the silence.
Investing in Creativity, and in the Greater Good
By PAUL SULLIVAN – NY Times
LORRIE MEYERCORD wants her portfolio to be made up entirely of investments that aim to do social good while earning a return. But in addition to established categories like the environment, clean energy and organizations benefiting women and girls, she invested in arts and creativity. And she hopes others will follow her lead.
Lloyd’s boss urges UK to share cyber attack data; Industry struggles to collect information about threats as demand for cover grows
by: Oliver Ralph, Insurance Correspondent – FT
Inga Beale, chief executive of the Lloyd’s insurance market, has called on the UK government to share data about cyber attacks as the industry is struggling to collect enough information about new digital threats.
When A.I. Matures, It May Call Jürgen Schmidhuber ‘Dad’
By JOHN MARKOFF – NY Times
Jürgen Schmidhuber may be the Rodney Dangerfield of artificial intelligence research. In a visit with him in this idyllic Swiss city in the mountains near the Italian border, it is easy to understand why he believes that his pioneering work in the field often, as the comedian liked to say, gets no respect.
Why the US government wants to bring cryptocurrency out of the shadows
Nicky Woolf in San Francisco – The Guardian
A US government request to trawl through the personal data of millions of users of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase signals the start of an effort to pull digital currencies like bitcoin into the mainstream, experts have said.
Bank of England prepares to protect City firms from hard Brexit; Governor Mark Carney begins work on transitional arrangements to maintain London’s stature in global finance
Phillip Inman Economics corrrespondent – The Guardian
The Bank of England is pushing ahead with plans for transitional arrangements after Brexit negotiations in an attempt to protect financial institutions from a cliff edge deal that could undermine their stability.
Single Market Should Be at Heart of Brexit Plan, Remainers Say
Alex Morales – Bloomberg
Clegg, Soubry, Umunna join forces to plead single market case
May has made immigration controls priority of Brexit talks
Keeping membership of the European single market should be at the core of Britain’s plan for Brexit, according to a cross-party group of senior lawmakers who campaigned to remain in the European Union.
Britain Still Needs a Fiscal Reset
Mark Gilbert – Bloomberg
“The Chancellor is right to keep his powder dry” was George Osborne’s comment on the mini-budget presented this week by Philip Hammond, his successor at the head of the U.K. Treasury. That’s probably correct given the cloud of uncertainty the Brexit vote is casting over the economy. If he waits too long, however, Hammond risks missing an opportunity to deliver the much-needed fiscal reset he promised when he took charge earlier this year.
Brexit Impact Will Be Less Harsh Than Anticipated, OECD Says
Jill Ward – Bloomberg
Raises 2016, 2017 growth forecasts, with Brexit still a risk; Says BOE should maintain monetary stimulus despite inflation
Brexit is going to cause the British economy to slow less than originally thought, according to the OECD
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
SGX named “Asia Exchange of the Year” at Energy Risk awards
Singapore Exchange (SGX) has been named “Asia Exchange of the Year” by Energy Risk, adding to its earlier “Exchange of the Year” title at the magazine’s global awards.
Launch of Mini-KOSPI Futures: Interview with Michael Peters, Member of Eurex Frankfurt Executive Board
Eurex and Korea Exchange (KRX) recently announced the listing of Mini-KOSPI 200 index futures during Eurex trading hours. What is the advantage for market participants?
Shenzhen Connect Offers Chinese Stocks. Will the World Buy?
Neil Gough – New York Times
Hong Kong — Global investors in two weeks will get direct access for the first time to the stock market in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, giving them a chance to bet on a tech-heavy clutch of private companies on an exchange sometimes called China’s Nasdaq. But many investors will be skeptical, and the tale of Baofeng Group explains why. A largely unknown tech firm that designs online video players, Baofeng conducted a modest debut on the Shenzhen exchange in March 2015. Over the next three months, its stock rose 4,200 percent.
Millennium Exchange Release 9.1 Oslo Børs – Further To Sold Out State, RFQ And Micro Auctions Functionality
The announced introduction of Sold Out State and Request For Quote functionality in Millennium 9.1 requires enablement changes for affected members. Members this might be relevant for and the process for enablement is described below. Please also note that publication of closing prices in MITCH real time feed and ordinary dynamic circuit breakers for instruments enabled with Micro Auctions will be discontinued after Millennium 9.1 go-live.
Can Donald Trump breathe life into actively managed funds?
John Waggoner – InvestmentWeek
John Maynard Keynes described Wall Street as being like a beauty contest where the judges don’t choose the best-looking candidates. Instead, they choose who everyone else thinks are the best candidates. And those opinions can change suddenly. Up until Election Day, the conventional wisdom on Wall Street was that assets would flow to the largest fund companies with the lowest costs. But with Donald Trump’s victory, Wall Street suddenly sees the beauty in broker-sold active management funds.
Solar, wind industries hope years courting Republicans pays off under Trump; Solar panels sit on the roof of SunPower Corporation in Richmond, California
By Nichola Groom – Reuters
U.S. wind and solar companies for the first time gave more money to Republicans than Democrats during the 2016 election cycle, according to federal campaign disclosures, part of a years-long effort to expand renewable energy’s appeal beyond liberal environmentalists.
Trump shifts from Wall St. villain to savior
Adam Shell , USA
How did Donald Trump go from a scary president-to-be in the eyes of Wall Street on election night to a bullish catalyst that has propelled the U.S. stock market to a series of record highs in a surge investors dubbed the “Trump Rally”?
The elite’s Marie Antoinette moment; Right response is to focus on the financial sector and inequality
by: Wolfgang Münchau – FT
Some revolutions could have been avoided if the old guard had only refrained from provocation. There is no proof of a “let them eat cake” incident. But this is the kind of thing Marie Antoinette could have said. It rings true. The Bourbons were hard to beat as the quintessential out-of-touch establishment.
Investing and Trading
Baffled by Donald Trump, Analysts Tell Investors to Bet on Motorcycles and Pizza
ANDREW TANGEL and PATRICK MCGROARTY – WSJ
Joseph Spak thinks Donald Trump’s $1 trillion plan to rebuild American infrastructure will ultimately provide construction workers with extra cash. And what do construction workers like to spend money on? Motorcycles, of course. “If the economy is stimulated and construction jobs increase,” Mr. Spak, a Royal Bank of Canada analyst, ?wrote last week, Harley-Davidson Inc. “could see some better demand.”
Millennial Investors Are Here, And Wall Street Will Never Forget It
Aparna Narayanan – Investor’s Business Daily
Millennial investors confound those who want their business. Are they less likely to invest than older Americans, or are they investing at an earlier age? Studies show the answer is yes to both questions. Are they completely smitten with ETFs, or are they favoring mutual funds in their workplace retirement plans and buying stocks in brokerage accounts? Again, the answers are yes and yes.
China ‘fake equity’ court ruling threatens shadow banks; Investors in debt-like equity rank below true creditors in bankruptcy, court finds
by: Gabriel Wildau in Shanghai – FT
A court ruling in a fourth-tier Chinese city has exposed legal risks from investment in “fake equity” by shadow banks, carrying potentially broad implications for the $2.6tn industry.
Warning Ahead: The Pitfalls of Dow Milestones
Dow 19000 was nice, but Dow 20000 is the real milestone to watch and maybe even fret about. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is roughly 5% away from reaching the next millennium marker. If history is a guide, it probably won’t be a straight shot getting there. But when the Dow hits 20000, holding that major milestone might prove to be problematic.
Some of the Wisest Words Ever Spoken About Investing
Jason Zweig – WSJ
After what for many has been a grim and stressful year, investors shouldn’t let Thanksgiving weekend pass without making sure to count their blessings. Begin by closing your eyes, thinking of this year’s economic and political news, and then guessing how the U.S. stock market has responded. Remarkably, the S&P 500 is up 10% so far this year, including dividends. That might not last, but only an ingrate would scoff at it. Next, be thankful for the low costs of investing.
Pound Due the Calm After the Storm as Brexit Effect Overshadowed
Charlotte Ryan – Bloomberg
After a torrid few months, the omens are lining up for a calmer time ahead for the pound. Sterling volatility, which surged to a post-financial-crisis high after Britain voted to leave the European Union, has fallen to the lowest since early October. The pound has retraced some of its post-Brexit losses and is the only currency to have risen versus the dollar this month.
LIbertarian Hedge Funder Cliff Asness Happily Accepts $35 Million Government Aid Package; The billionaire founder is O.K. with this one thing.
BY BESS LEVIN – Vanity Fair
Cliff Asness, the founder of AQR Capital Management, is a hard-core libertarian who opposes big government and spent the majority of Barack Obama’s time in Washington railing against the president.
Barclays completes sale of Singapore investment management unit; Wealth and investment business sold to Bank of Singapore, as Barclays declared unit ‘no longer central to strategy’.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Barclays has completed the sale of its wealth and investment management business in Singapore, as the group continues to scale back costs.
Appeals Court Concludes That IPOs Are Legal
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
Here’s a thing that happens. When a company goes public, it sells some shares to the underwriters, and the underwriters sell more shares to the public. Let’s say the company sells 100 shares, for $10 each. The underwriters will sell 115 shares, for $10 each, and give the company $1,000 (less fees). The underwriters will keep the other $150 for themselves. They have bought 100 shares and sold 115, so they are short 15 shares. If the stock price goes down over the next few days, they use some or all of that $150 to buy the stock, so it doesn’t go down too fast. This is called “stabilization.” The underwriters’ buying helps keep the stock price close to the IPO price. People think that is good.
StanChart to cut 10 percent of corporate, institutional banking staff: sources
By Anshuman Daga and Sumeet Chatterjee – Reuters
Standard Chartered (STAN.L) is set to cut about a tenth of its global corporate and institutional banking headcount, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Monday, as the bank steps up an aggressive drive to cut costs.
Lehman payout hit by more delays
James Quinn – The Telegraph
The administration of Lehman Brothers’ London arm may not end until 2022, some 14 years after the US investment bank imploded.
Amazon Broadens Cloud Services as Big Companies Sign On; AWS layers software onto its basic platform, making it harder to avoid encroaching on partners
By Jay Greene – WSJ
Amazon.com Inc. ‘s first cloud-computing conference in 2011 was a curiosity. Many of its 6,000 attendees worked for startups that had chosen to buy access to processing power and data storage via the web from Amazon Web Services rather than own and maintain their own data centers.
EUR 4 billion French asset manager deploys Axioma’s risk management
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Sycamore Asset Management has entered into an agreement with Axioma to deploy its risk management services.
Trump’s Bank-Regulation Rollback May Get Boost From EU Rules
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
European Commission proposal eases derivatives, funding rules; FIA’s Lukken says it’s critical Basel takes similar action
The European Union’s plan to grant banks concessions from global standards may encourage President-elect Donald Trump to follow through on his pledge to roll back regulations in the U.S.
Three former Barclays traders denied Libor appeal request
Kirstin Ridley – Reuters
Three former Barclays (BARC.L) traders jailed for manipulating Libor benchmark interest rates after a London trial have been denied a request to appeal against their conviction and sentence, the wife of one said on Friday. Julie Pabon said her husband, Alex, and former colleagues Jay Merchant and Jonathan Mathew were recently notified that their requests had been rejected by the Court of Appeal.
China’s Ball of Money Is Rolling Back to Commodities; Hot money has come full circle
Narae Kim – Bloomberg
In China, money flow is tightly controlled and capital markets are relatively underdeveloped, meaning the economy works like squeezing a balloon.
World’s Most Reliable Stock Trade Sparks Race for 360% Gains
To have a shot at the global stock market’s closest thing to a guaranteed windfall, you’re going to need a really accurate clock. Because with this trade, success has nothing to do with corporate fundamentals or technical patterns. It’s all about timing, and fractions of a second can mean the difference between a 360 percent return or nothing at all. They call the strategy “hit stock” in China. And it’s there, on the country’s most-active exchange in Shenzhen, that a unique mix of market rules and government intervention has turned newly-listed shares into huge winners for investors who place their bids at just the right moment.
China’s Ball of Money Is Rolling Back to Commodities
Narae Kim – Bloomberg
In China, money flow is tightly controlled and capital markets are relatively underdeveloped, meaning the economy works like squeezing a balloon. You press it in one place, and it bulges in another. Policy-maker moves to cool one expansion only serve to inflate another. Now that “gyration of bubbles,” according to Société Générale SA’s chief China economist Wei Yao, has been heating up the commodities market again.
Hong Kong, Shenzhen markets set for bounce from new stock connect though risks remain
Enoch Yiu – South China Morning Post
Hong Kong and mainland stock market sentiment will get a boost this week after last Friday’s announcement of the launch date for a new cross border trading scheme between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, though any rally isn’t likely to happen until trading kicks off next Monday, say stockbrokers. However, they warn that devaluation of the yuan and potential interest rate rises in the US would be concerns that could hold the market back from a bull run driven by international investors looking to buy Shenzhen stocks.
Analysts call for Australia’s $100 note to be scrapped; Few people seem to use them, yet there are nearly 330m in circulation – HSBC and UBS say the economy would be better off without the $100 banknote
Elle Hunt – The Guardian
Analysts have called for Australia’s $100 banknote to be scrapped to improve transparency in the economy.
Accounting meets religion in challenge for Islamic banks
By Bernardo Vizcaino – Reuters
Reconciling accounting standards and religious principles is challenging Islamic banks and regulators as they adapt to new international book-keeping rules due to come into force in 2018.
Nigerian oil companies hit hardest by funding crisis; Many indigenous producers took on debt just before the oil price dropped
by: Anjli Raval, Oil and Gas Correspondent – FT
This year’s militant attacks in the Niger Delta, combined with the downturn in crude prices, have compounded a funding crisis that has hit Nigeria’s domestic oil companies especially hard.
China risks wasting $490bn on new coal plants, say campaigners; Carbon Tracker says many plants running at overcapacity but China reluctant to wean itself off coal, fearing unemployment and unrest
China could waste as much as half a trillion dollars on unnecessary new coal-fired power stations, a climate campaign group has said, arguing that the world’s top carbon polluter already has more than enough such facilities.
China Issuing ‘Strict Controls’ on Overseas Investment; Government to announce new measures intended to curb capital flight
By Lingling Wei – WSJ
China plans to clamp tighter controls on Chinese companies seeking to invest overseas, intensifying efforts to slow a surge in capital fleeing offshore amid tepid growth and an uncertain economic outlook.
Ringgit speculation rampant in offshore market, says Johari
Malaysia will not impose any pegging or capital control on its currency to encourage investors, corporations and financial institutions to access the onshore market to undertake their forex and hedging activities in Malaysia, said Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani.
When the workforce is the weakest link; Staying alert to possible disaster should be a priority for employees
by: Brian Groom
The 21st century has so far been littered with corporate crises, from accounting frauds to fatal explosions, security breaches and mis-selling scandals. Companies are increasingly aware that the way they manage people is often at the root of these crises. To what extent they are learning lessons from them is a more open question.
OPEC’s Last Cut Shows Oil Market Could Get a Whole Lot Messier