Odds & Ends
Jim Kharouf, JLN
A busy day around Chicago yesterday. FIA held its Washington update lunch, where FIA President and CEO Walt Lukken told the audience that the pendulum on regulation is shifting back. He is hopeful that the new administration will adopt its recommendations for: smart regulation, open access to global markets and a focus on innovation from regulators.
How this all comes about is still to be determined. We will have more from Walt soon on all three topics. Later in the day, I checked out the new trading platform from TastyTrade at the Apple store on Michigan Avenue. If that sentence seems odd in many ways, well, that’s how Tom Sosnoff rolls. It’s impressive technology and a new take on retail trading. It’s also interesting that Apple, not generally thought of as a force in financial markets, is making a push into this sector, with the help of Ray McKenzie. The man can sell.
Speaking of selling, we’re trying to sign up as many students and young professionals as we can for our MarketsWiki Education event in Stockholm on March 1. We have a great speaker line up. You can sign up here
Finally, we will be putting out our annual reader survey next week. Please help us out as we try to learn more about you and what you would like to see in our publications and websites.
We’re off, as many of you are, on Monday. See you on Tuesday.
‘In Trump We Trust’ Is Market Mantra as Turmoil Besets White House
Oliver Renick and Brian Chappatta – Bloomberg
Follow the money: it’s a classic Washington catchphrase.
And if you follow the money on Wall Street right now, it’s hard to see how all that chaos in the White House you’ve been reading about adds up to much for the financial markets.
**JK: Where’s that “In Dusty We Trusty” T-shirt?
General Strike Set to Protest Trump on February 17
Joe Kukura – SF Weekly
A common thread in the protests of Donald Trump’s presidency has been the recurring request for a nationwide general strike. That request has been fulfilled, as a national general strike is scheduled for Friday, February 17.
***JB: (Checks date) Now they tell me.
|April 27 in Chicago – Register Today – Early Bird Rate – FinTech Exchange 2017
Join us on April 27, 2017 in Chicago for the 3rd annual FinTech Exchange hosted by Barchart. This all-day, expanded event will showcase concise and engaging on-stage presentations from financial technology leaders as they cover topics, including: Machine Learning, Exchange Technology, Data Analytics & Visualization, Tick Data Management, Big Data & Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Security, Market Data & Trading Software, Blockchain, Binary Options, APIs, Alternative Data and FinTech Trends. In addition, this year’s event features an extended program with optional in-depth round tables, expanded exhibit hall and an extended networking reception.
Last year’s event sold out, so get your early-bird tickets or one of our remaining sponsorships now now before they are gone.
To view event details or register, please visit www.fintechchicago.com.
Fund company files for first-ever marijuana-based ETF
Ryan Vlastelica – MarketWatch
A new fund could be lighting up in investor portfolios soon. In what would be a first for the exchange-traded fund industry, a marijuana-based ETF could soon begin trading. The ETF Managers Trust on Thursday filed paperwork with regulators, referring to the fund as Emerging AgroSphere ETF.
**JK: Looking for high valuations.
‘Hamilton the Protectionist’ Is a Show Trump Might Like Very Much
Daniel Moss and Scott Lanman – Bloomberg
Donald Trump has had plenty to say about the smash hit musical “Hamilton”: “Highly overrated,” for one. But if we focus instead on Hamilton’s economic policy, the president might find something to applaud.
**JK: Donald can’t rap, but he can rant.
We’re about to suffer a worldwide olive oil shortage
Amanda Erickson – Chicago Tribune
It might be the saddest quote you read today: “Olive oil is becoming a luxury.”
That comes courtesy of Italian chef Francesco Mazzei, who runs the Italian restaurant Sartoria in London. Mazzei depends on olive oil for much of his cooking. But because of a shortage, he told Bloomberg News, prices are skyrocketing. He’s even had to raise menu prices to compensate.
***JB: Olive oil is a [https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/03/food-fraud-uk-labs-fight-organised-crime-counterfeit|lucrative business for organized crime] (really).
Thursday’s Top Three
If you didn’t know any better, you’d think we have a bunch of Elmhurstians for readers. Crain’s real estate piece, which was posted only because of the publisher’s residence, was the most read piece with Elmhurst sees more million-dollar home sales. Second went to the Telegraph’s piece on economic armageddon in Donald Trump’s policies risk sending US economy back to the 1970s, warns former boss of Federal Reserve. And third, one of our top read pieces from Wednesday stayed in the top box with
CME Group Inc. Names Slate Of Director Nominees
93,975,443 pages viewed; 22,350 pages; 203,687 edits
Hunting for Dirty Deeds in the $34 Trillion U.S. Futures Market
Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
At the cash-strapped regulator of the U.S. derivatives market, even an iPhone’s worth of data is too much to handle. Every day, just a bit after 4 p.m., about 50 gigabytes of data are transmitted from the Chicago office of CME Group to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in Washington. The files contain the day’s history of trades on the world’s largest futures exchange, which CME runs. And that’s just a sliver of the information the agency gets.
Clearing houses saddled with ‘too-big-to-fail’ tag
Philip Stafford – Financial Times
Clearing houses, the market utilities that manage the risk of billions of dollars worth of securities and derivative deals on a daily basis, are posing regulators a new headache. The institutions have been at the forefront of efforts to reform the financial system since the crisis of 2007-2008. Centralising the trading of derivatives into clearing houses has reduced risks to the financial system from the failure of an individual bank, but magnified the importance of clearing houses.
ASX’s blockchain may mean job losses
Australian Financial Review
Job losses in the back offices of some financial services giants may be the result of the Australian Securities Exchange’s plan to redesign its systems using a “blockchain”, but chief executive Dominic Stevens says the “profound” pay off for the industry will be worth the pain.
CBOE Holdings’ Acquisition of Bats Global Markets Expected to Close February 28
Transaction Has Received Final Remaining European Regulatory Approval; Three Bats Directors to Join CBOE Holdings Board; Election Deadline for Bats Stockholders Set for February 24
CBOE Holdings, Inc. and Bats Global Markets, Inc. announced today that the companies expect to complete CBOE Holdings’ acquisition of Bats Global Markets on February 28, 2017. Earlier this month, CBOE Holdings received its final remaining regulatory approval from the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), meaning that all U.S. and European regulatory clearances and approvals relating to the transaction have been received. Completion of the transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions.
From LTAD to LEAD: Why We’re Changing Our Speed Bump Proposal
CHX – Medium
As you may have seen on Twitter, we recently amended our speed bump proposal?—?formerly called Liquidity Taking Access Delay (LTAD), now entitled Liquidity Enhancing Access Delay (LEAD). You can view the full rule filing here, and you can read the comment letter we sent to the SEC here.
Fund’s $600 Million Lost Week Captivates Traders
Chris Dieterich and Gunjan Banerji – WSJ
It is the buzz of Wall Street: a five-day, 15% plunge in a U.S. mutual fund whose bearish bets were undone by the S&P 500’s latest run to fresh records. The decline of Catalyst Hedged Futures Strategy fund, a $3.4 billion fund employing complex derivatives, is topic du jour on trading desks fixated on the surprising resilience of the post election U.S. stock rally and the long decline of volatility, or price swings.
Citigroup, Barclays Said to Assist on Rand Probe to Avoid Fine
Franz Wild, Renee Bonorchis and Stephen Morris – Bloomberg
Citigroup Inc. and Barclays Plc won’t be targeted for fines by South African antitrust authorities for colluding to manipulate the value of the rand because they co-operated with regulators, three people familiar with the matter said.
Morgan Stanley Sees a Red Flag in Concentrated Confidence Boom
Julie Verhage – Bloomberg
The middle class is quite confident in the U.S. economy. But everyone else is less so. And that could be a big problem for consumer spending, says Morgan Stanley.
Industrial Revolution Comparisons Aren’t Comforting
Tyler Cowen – Bloomberg View
“Why should it be different this time?” That’s the most common response I hear when I raise concerns about automation and the future of jobs, and it’s a pretty simple rejoinder. The Western world managed the shift out of agricultural jobs into industry, and continued to see economic growth.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
ASX CEO Expresses New Confidence in Blockchain Post-Trade Tests
The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) revealed today that it expects to increase the amount it will invest in distributed ledger technology as part of its broader plans to become the first exchange in the world to upgrade to post-trade services built using the technology. –
After having already invested AUS$20.3m to develop the technology and research its benefits, the exchange’s CEO, Dominic Stevens, now says that number will rise to AUS$50m ($38.5m) by the end of this year.
Euronext Appoints Paulo Rodrigues da Silva as CEO of Euronext Lisbon
Euronext (Paris: ENX) (Amsterdam: ENX) (Brussels: ENX) announces that the Supervisory Board has approved unanimously the appointment of Paulo Rodrigues da Silva as CEO of Euronext Lisbon, CEO of Interbolsa and member of the Managing Board of Euronext N.V., pending all relevant shareholder and regulatory approvals.
Nasdaq To Power EBS BrokerTec’s Market Surveillance Efforts
Nasdaq, Inc. (Nasdaq:NDAQ) today announces that it has been competitively selected to deliver its SMARTS Market Surveillance technology to EBS BrokerTec, a NEX Group business that provides electronic trading technology and services to the fixed income and foreign exchange (FX) markets.
Nasdaq: New Leadership Within Fixed Income And Post-Trade In The Nordics And Baltics
Fredrik Ekström takes responsibility for Nordic Fixed Income and Nasdaq Clearing; Julia Haglind new President of Nasdaq Clearing; Arminta Saladziene new Head of Securities Services and Chairman of Broker Services’ Board of Directors
MCX signs MoU with Singapore Diamond Investment Exchange
Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX) on Thursday said it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Singapore Diamond Investment Exchange (SDiX) for establishing areas of cooperation.
NSE plans revamp of co-location code
The National Stock Exchange (NSE) is strengthening its policies and procedures related to co-location facilities even as the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is looking into the allegations of selective brokerages getting preferential access at the exchange.
A little-known startup that has quietly amassed 100,000 Wall Street users just scored a big investment
Matt Turner – Business Insider
You might have heard of the high-speed market-maker Citadel Securities or the interdealer broker TP ICAP. Then there’s TruMid, the bond-trading platform backed by George Soros and Peter Thiel, and the Treasury-trading startup OpenDoor. One little-known firm connects them all — and many more Wall Street trading firms — behind the scenes: OpenFin. Now the startup, which helps electronic-trading firms build their desktop applications, is getting its moment in the spotlight.
Fidessa named Best Trading and Execution Technology Provider – www.fidessa.com
Fidessa group plc (LSE: FDSA) today announced that it has received the award for Best Trading and Execution Technology provider for its trading platform at the 2017 CTA Intelligence US Awards.
Treasury vendors take on corporate tech outsourcing
Kimberley Long – Euromoney Magazine
Running the latest treasury platforms internally can require a substantial upgrade in tech and increased IT spend, especially for smaller companies. For some, the solution is to look to third-party vendors for further outsourcing.
FX mobile trading devices go through growing pains
Paul Golden – Euromoney Magazine
Although use of mobile devices to place FX orders is growing steadily among retail traders, demand from sell-side institutional traders has stalled because of compliance and functionality restrictions.
A Little Birdie Told Me: Playing the Market on Trump Tweets
Nathaniel Popper – NY Times
Analyzing Twitter for market-moving information has been a business for years. High-frequency trading firms have even built such analysis into their trading strategies. Then along came @realdonaldtrump. A month into Donald J. Trump’s presidency, the best algorithmic minds on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley are still scrambling to come to grips with the phenomenon.
McKay Brothers Distributes Osaka Securities Exchange Data in Singapore at Lowest Known Latency English
McKay Brothers International (MBI) is now distributing Osaka Securities Exchange market data on its Quincy Extreme Data (QED) service.
Colt Technology Services Names VP of Capital Markets
Colt Technology Services, which provides on-demand services to the financial markets reports that Andrew Housden has joined as vice president of capital markets, reporting to Tom Regent, Colt’s chief commercial officer.
Deutsche Bank examined Trump’s account for Russia links
Luke Harding, Stephanie Kirchgaessner, Nick Hopkins and David Smith – The Guardian
The scandal-hit bank that loaned hundreds of millions of dollars to Donald Trump has conducted a close internal examination of the US president’s personal account to gauge whether there are any suspicious connections to Russia, the Guardian has learned.
Mnuchin Warned by Japan, Germany as G-20 Sees Policy Shift
Saleha Mohsin – Bloomberg
Within hours of being sworn in, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s counterparts from Tokyo to Berlin started telegraphing warnings to him: Please don’t call the yen weak. Be careful how you talk about cutting financial regulations — Europe is listening.
Complacent investors should heed the political risks
Gillian Tett – Financial Times
This week, investors have made two remarkable bets. One has been highly visible: global stock markets hit a record high, as investors bet that the economic outlook for America is improving. Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump has been quick to take credit. As the US president tweeted on Thursday morning: “Stock market hits new high with longest winning streak in decades. Great level of confidence and optimism — even before tax plan rollout!” The second bet has attracted less attention. In the political prediction markets, investors are betting on Mr Trump’s downfall.
Trump, Deutsche Bank and a Democrat Hunt for a Russian Connection
Geoffrey Smith – Fortune
The international banking giant that Donald Trump and some of his family use is coming under pressure to appoint an independent auditor to examine its books for any suspicious links between Trump’s accounts and Russia, according to a report in The Guardian.
Trump Rejects Portrait of Chaotic White House in Attack on Media
Alex Wayne and Toluse Olorunnipa – Bloomberg
President Donald Trump rejected portrayals of chaos in his administration and claimed “incredible” progress in his first four weeks in office, lashing out at media organizations he said “will not tell you the truth.”
Robert Harward Turns Down Offer to Become President Trump’s National Security Adviser
Phil Helsel and Kristen Welker – NBC
Retired Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward has turned down an offer to become President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, a White House official said on Thursday.
Here’s how the Trump administration needs to boost cybersecurity
John P. Carlin – MarketWatch
Before taking office, after details of the Russian hacking scandal became public, President Donald Trump vowed to make cybersecurity a top priority of his new administration, promising a comprehensive report from intelligence officers on hacking by foreign actors.
China relaxes trading rules on stock index futures
Samuel Shen and Nicholas Heath – Reuters
Feb 16 China’s securities regulator said late on Thursday it will relax certain rules on stock index futures trading as the government starts to gradually unwind restrictions imposed during the 2015 stock market crash.
Convergex CEO Eric Noll: MiFID II – Where Will All The Research Analysts Go?
Eric W. Noll, Convergex CEO – Mondovisione
MiFID II, an upcoming piece of legislation from European Union regulators, upends the traditional linkage between trading commissions and investment research in ways both the money management and brokerage industries have yet to fully understand.
Latest Dodd-Frank reversal bill would exempt a third of public companies from giving auditor warning
Francine McKenna – MarketWatch
The sweeping package to reform the Dodd-Frank bank reform law introduced in Congress has a provision that would curtail the reporting of accounting problems from about a third of issuers.
U.S. court to rehear challenge to SEC judges
Lawrence Hurley – Reuters
A U.S. appeals court on Thursday said it would rehear a challenge to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s use of in-house judges.
SEC’s acting chair scales back enforcement unit’s subpoena powers
Sarah Lynch – Reuters
Acting U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Michael Piwowar has taken steps to limit the agency’s enforcement division’s powers to initiate investigations and issue subpoenas, according to people familiar with the matter.
South Africa’s competition commission prosecutes 17 banks for collusion, manipulating currency exchange
Lynsey Chutel – Quartz
As South Africans worriedly watched the rand rise and dip against the dollar, more than a dozen banks were illegally profiting from the volatility, according to local antitrust agency, Competition Commission. It says it found evidence 17 banks were colluding on the rand to dollar exchange rate.
Father, son in Gerova stock scam get six years prison
Jonathan Stempel – Reuters
Two members of a family conspiracy to manipulate the stock of reinsurer Gerova Financial Group Ltd were sentenced to six years in prison on Thursday, a day after the scheme’s main architect received a more than 11-year term, prosecutors said.
Singapore Court Orders Civil Penalties For False Trading And Unauthorised Trading
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has successfully obtained civil penalties of $100,000 each against Chionh Teow Hie John (Chionh) and Kiew Yoon Seng (Kiew) for contraventions under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA).
Three men sentenced in New Jersey for hacking, spamming scheme
Three men have been sentenced for their roles in a wide-ranging hacking and spamming scheme that targeted personal information of 60 million people, including Comcast Corp customers, prosecutors said on Thursday.
Investing and Trading
Currency Market Misery Is Algo Traders’ Dream as Dollar Falters
Life may be a little tough if you’re a dollar bull hoping today’s the day the trend is going to resume. If you’re an algorithmic trader, you might just be in heaven.
Debt mountain casts shadow over the loonie
David Wigan – Euromoney Magazine
After a long period of dormancy, the Canadian dollar appears to have turned a corner in recent trading, as rising oil prices and a booming economy boosted appetite for the currency. But investors tempted to go long the loonie should beware hidden dangers in the Canadian economy, analysts say, including a housing bubble that could be set to burst.
Washington’s Chaos Is Far From Wall Street
Steven Russolillo – WSJ
Chaos in Washington, champagne on Wall Street. A turbulent start to Donald Trump’s presidency hasn’t stopped the U.S. stock market from once again setting records with minimal volatility. The second-longest bull market on record, set to reach its eighth anniversary next month, has shown very few signs of slowing.
Jim Rogers: We’re going to have the worst economic problems of our lifetimes
Renowned investor Jim Rogers has forecast the next financial crisis will be the worst in our lifetime where governments and countries could “disappear” and said people should start to “get very worried”.
Index IDEA: Yield & momentum US large caps rise more than broad market in January
Multi-factor indexes from global index provider FTSE Russell that underlie three ETFs from SSGA help illustrate the key characteristics that have enabled certain US large-cap stocks to experience higher returns than the US large-cap market in January, largely continuing performance trends exhibited in 2016.
Who’s Sucking Up All the World’s Safest Bonds?
Jon Sindreu – WSJ
The world is running out of safe financial assets. One reason may be regulators’ push to make trading safer. A scarcity of safe collateral can create bouts of volatility in the markets where investors fund their purchases. Economists also worry that a lack of quality public-sector assets leads the private sector to create less reliable and riskier substitutes.
BlackRock Backs Gold to Hedge Market Risk
Susanne Barton – Bloomberg
Investors should probably be a little more nervous, according to one BlackRock Inc. money manager. Stocks have rallied to records amid signs of stabilization in China’s economy and bets that President Donald Trump will boost U.S. infrastructure spending, roll back regulations and cut taxes.
Falling Correlations Spell Opportunity for Investors
Christopher Whittall – WSJ
The tight synchronization that has characterized financial markets for much of the past decade is breaking down, presenting investors with opportunities and risks they haven’t grappled with in years.
Pimco Warns and Warns on Inflation as Bonds Hint It’s Not So Bad
Wes Goodman – Bloomberg
Pimco keeps warning there’s a U.S. inflation risk. The bond market is signaling there’s no cause for alarm.
US banks ‘wasting billions’ trying to track crime
Ben McLannahan – Financial Times
The US’s biggest banks are wasting billions of dollars each year trying to track criminal activity, according to a powerful lobby group which is arguing for a radical overhaul of the way the US keeps tabs on terrorists, money launderers and tax dodgers.
Mr Dror Niv – Status Inactive, UK Financial Services Register shows
Maria Nikolova – FinanceFeeds
While the situation for former US retail FX clients of FXCM Inc is now clearer thanks to information provided about their transfer to Forex.com, the retail FX subsidiary of Gain Capital Holdings Inc, too many questions remain pending as to the future of non-US businesses operating under the FXCM brand.
Bob Diamond’s African Dreams Start to Unravel
Margot Patrick – WSJ
Bob Diamond is looking like the last person standing at Atlas Mara Ltd., the troubled African banking group he co-founded three years ago.
Norway plans shake-up of $900bn oil fund
Richard Milne – Financial Times
Norway’s government has proposed the biggest changes to the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund in decades, cutting the amount of oil money the country can spend each year and tilting the fund towards higher risk by investing about $90bn more in stock markets.
Commodity Deals Show China Flexing Muscles in Trading Clout Hunt
China’s stepping up its campaign for greater clout in global commodities trading. The Asian nation’s state-run Sinochem Group is said to be in early talks to become a strategic investor in embattled commodities trader Noble Group Ltd. A potential deal could give the Chinese oil and chemicals behemoth access to Noble’s trading expertise and businesses around the world, from gasoline blending on the U.S. Gulf Coast to petroleum storage in Panama and fuel transport via American pipelines.
Ex-Citigroup Banker Taps Global Talent to Revive India Bank
Anto Antony – Bloomberg
Hiring from banks including Barclays, Standard Chartered Bank’s bad-loan ratio at highest in at least 10 years Bank of Baroda, India’s third-largest state-run bank, is looking to a slew of senior managers poached from foreign lenders including Barclays Plc and Standard Chartered Plc to help drive profitability at the 108-year-old company.
Tata in turmoil: the battle inside India’s biggest business
Simon Mundy – Financial Times
Immortalised in dark sun-beaten bronze, his shoulders garlanded with fresh orange flowers, Jamsetji Tata gazes out over the eastern Indian city that bears his name. Before his death in 1904, the founder of the Tata group drew up a vision of the model town that his company would one day build around its first steel plant.
S&P BSE SENSEX Performance during Budget Sessions over the Past Decade
Ved Malla – S&P Dow Jones Indices
The S&P BSE SENSEX acts as an indicator of the economic growth of the Indian economy. Any national or international change in economic activity has an impact on the S&P BSE SENSEX. In India, market participants are interested in knowing how movements in the S&P BSE SENSEX are related to various changes in economic activities.
Blair Urges Brexit Opponents to Rise Up and Fight to Stay in EU
Robert Hutton and Alex Morales – Bloomberg
Tony Blair urged opponents of Brexit to “rise up” and fight to change the British people’s minds about leaving the European Union, in a speech that aimed to show U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May that she won’t get everything her own way.
New £1 coin: Time running out to spend old coins, government warns
Britons are being urged to spend or bank their old £1 coins before they become worthless later this year. The new-look 12-sided £1 will come into circulation across the UK next month and shops have been told to stop accepting the traditional round coins on 15 October.