Hits & Takes
By JLN Staff
CHX got the cold shoulder on Wednesday when the SEC decided to postpone their decision on the sale of the exchange to a group that includes Chinese investors. It’s a politically driven maneuver not far off from the XL Pipeline in the last administration, but it’s also an abdication of its responsibilities as a regulatory body. Leaving companies in limbo is bad policy, not to mention it will be noticed in Beijing the next time a US company wants to make an acquisition or deal there. You can have it both ways – an open, capitalist and democratic country that steps in as a central authoritarian when it wants to – but that’s not the marketing slogan the USA has used all these years. There are reasons this deal should go through and some that are cause for concern. But CHX has diligently gone through the process with the SEC and deserve a decision that is fair and unbiased by stump speeches. It just won’t get it until further notice from the SEC. ~JK
Kirsten Wegner is the new CEO at Modern Markets Initiative, according to a LinkedIn update. Bill Harts has stepped away from the day-to-day operations at MMI and is now a senior advisor to the group, he told us. ~JJL
An update John Lothian posted on LinkedIn breaking the news of Gary Flagler‘s new job has received over 6000 views. That is a good start for the former JP Morgan executive as he begins his work as the head of international business development, derivatives consulting for Bolsa Mexicana de Valores, S.A.B. de C.V. ~JJL
The NFA website will be undergoing maintenance on Sunday, August 13, 2017 between 2:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. CT and the following systems will not be available: Online Registration System, BASIC Data Entry, Security Futures Products Training, Online Payments, Online Arbitration Claims, Arbitrator Profile, Arbitrator Training, Employment Application and Profile System, and all Electronic Filings Systems including EasyFile, the Exemptions System, the Annual Questionnaire, and the Electronic Disclosure Document Filing Systems. ~JJL
Check out Seed Futures Acquired by tastytrade. Seed Futures is a subsidiary of Seed CX, the SEF started two years ago (SEF designation came in August 2016) to initially trade forwards and options on industrial hemp products. Geared to all “emerging commodities,” as they phrase it, Seed CX now has tradeable products like Hass avocados, organic soybeans and Persian limes. ~SD
Counterfeiters Cast a Shadow on Booming Sales of Eclipse Glasses which concerns me since I am going and already bought my glasses (but not sure if they are “good” ones). I checked and it seems the good glasses are sold out at Amazon. ~JB
Trading Technologies International sues Vela Trading Technologies over trademark infringement
Trading Technologies International accuses Vela Trading Technologies of infringement of its registered trademarks, including TRADING TECHNOLOGIES and TT.
***** Things in the patent litigation department at TT must be in summer doldrums.~JJL
Wall Street Claim That Rules Imperil Trading Undercut by SEC
By Benjamin Bain – Bloomberg
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission economists are throwing cold water on Wall Street’s persistent complaints that post-crisis regulations have made markets more susceptible to shocks.
The market dynamics of recent years weren’t necessarily caused by stricter rules imposed by U.S. and international regulators after the 2008 financial meltdown, the SEC’s Division of Economic and Risk Analysis said in a 300-plus page report to lawmakers released Tuesday. The report examines the extent to which measures such as the Volcker Rule and capital requirements associated with Basel III have impacted trading in a range of asset classes including equities, government and corporate bonds, as well as some derivatives.
***** Let us not confuse hyperbole with research and facts.~JJL
What Opportunities Does Unstructured Data Present? – Joe Gits
“Financial professionals spend about 80 percent of their time managing data, and only about 20 percent of their time generating excess return for each giving unit of risk.”
In this video from MarketsWiki Education’s World of Opportunity event in New York, Joe Gits, CEO of Social Market Analytics, breaks down how unstructured data can benefit your trading. Social media posts, news articles and blogs are all sources of potential market moving information. The trick is parsing through all of the data and using it to your advantage. Gits reveals how market participants can stay ahead of the curve using unstructured data to generate ideas, stay informed of breaking news, and identify early warning signs. The information is out there. You just have to know where and how to look.
Trader who touted ForceField stock on Fox Business gets 15 months
Brendan Pierson – Reuters
A Dallas-based trader was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Wednesday after pleading guilty to taking part in a scheme to pump up the stock price of LED lighting company ForceField Energy Inc, which U.S. prosecutors have said caused investor losses of $131 million.
***** Evidently the force-field did not work~JJL
I was a trader on the day of the financial crash – this is what really happened
Alexis Stenfors – Independent
When I received a phone call from a trader colleague at Merrill Lynch on 9 August 2007, I was in the middle of chopping wood in the Swedish countryside. As always, I had my mobile on me in case of an emergency.
***** You would think this financial crisis thing 10 years ago was a big deal.~JJL
Wednesday’s Top Three
Yesterday’s top piece included a chart that tells a story from the New York Times Our Broken Economy, in One Simple Chart. The second most read piece included a chart, which also tells a sad story, comparing top wage earners for women versus men in Business Insider’s Top earners of every US state. Third was the Bloomberg piece in Crain’s Chicago Stock Exchange deal tests new SEC chief
105,821,222 pages viewed; 22,668 pages; 207,677 edits
Celebrating first anniversary of new trading platform
The New J-GATE brought not only new functionalities but also extended trading hours and new products including TSE Mothers Futures. Its retail participation is increasing steadily, and its trading volume jumped and marked new records. See what else has changed since the launch!
SEC Delays Decision on Chinese Buyout of Chicago Exchange
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has dodged a political hot potato — for now — by delaying a decision on whether to approve a Chinese-led group’s controversial takeover of the Chicago Stock Exchange.
SEC pushes back on Chinese-led takeover of Chicago Stock Exchange; After initially supporting deal, regulator delays approval of politicised transaction
Don Weinland and Hudson Lockett in Hong Kong – FT
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has delayed approval of a Chinese-led takeover of the Chicago Stock Exchange, the latest setback for an acquisition that has attracted a lot of pushbacks from US lawmakers.
World Federation Of Exchanges Publishes H1 2017 Market Highlights
Market performance in the first half of 2017 was mixed. Overall, domestic market capitalisation reached record levels. Listings were also up on the same period. Secondary market activity was muted, with volume and value of shares traded, investment flows, and volumes of derivatives traded down on H1 2016. Global market capitalisation was up 16.3% on June 2016. Exchange Traded Derivatives (ETD) volumes ended the year 5% down on H1 2016, driven by declines in volumes of stock index futures, currency futures and commodity futures.
Former HK commodities exchange chief charged with conspiracy to defraud regulator: court
Prominent businessman Barry Cheung, who founded the now-defunct Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange, appeared in a Hong Kong court on Thursday charged with conspiracy to defraud the securities regulator and fraud.
TMX Group Announces Changes to Executive Committee
TMX Group Limited today announced executive changes, including new strategic and expanded responsibilities for several members of the company’s senior management team.
Virtu slashes KCG staff by more than a third; Virtu has trimmed headcount and shut down unprofitable businesses following its $1.4 billion KCG takeover.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Virtu Financial has cut more than a third of KCG’s employees, mostly from management level, as the firm looks to trim costs following its acquisition.
The Quant Fund Robot Takeover Has Been Postponed
Dani Burger – Bloomberg
For computerized strategies that are supposed to be making people obsolete, quants are looking decidedly human in 2017.
Program-driven hedge funds are stumbling, a promising startup has closed, and once-reliable styles are showing weakening returns. A handful of investment factors, the wiring of smart-beta funds, have gone dormant.
Here’s What Goldman Is Telling Big Money Clients About Bitcoin
Camila Russo – Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is acknowledging that it’s getting harder for institutional investors to ignore the cryptocurrency market with total assets ballooning to $120 billion and bitcoin soaring more than 200 percent this year.
Bank Negara hits out at SGX and ICE
Bank Negara has hit out at the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in Singapore after the bourses introduced the trading of ringgit futures on their exchanges that went against the country’s policies.
Banker Bonuses Are Rising, But Traders Aren’t as Lucky
Sarah Ponczek – Bloomberg
Wall Street investment bankers can expect some hefty bonus gains this year, while traders may have to settle for little or no increase.
There’s Still Too Much Risk in the Financial System; For 10 years, central banks have done what they could to keep markets stable. Governments can’t say the same.
Mohamed A. El-Erian – Bloomberg
Intervening 10 years ago to contain the damage from the banking system’s excessive risk-taking in mortgage-backed securities, the European Central Bank initiated what has proven to be an exceptional and prolonged involvement in markets by central banks. Much has changed since then, yet too much remains the same. The risk of unsettling financial instability, while lower, has morphed and migrated but has not disappeared.
A decade on from the credit crunch that led to a global financial crisis, we still need to confront ‘too big to fail’
Julian Harris – City AM
Looking back at City A.M.’s front pages from 10 years ago makes for fascinating reading. The headline on 9 August 2007, for example, read as follows: “[Mervyn] King upbeat on sub-prime loan crisis”.
China targets mobile payments oligopoly with clearing mandate; PBoC move could force Ant Financial and Tencent to share valuable user data with rivals
Gabriel Wildau in Shanghai – FT
China’s central bank has ordered online payment groups to operate through a centralised clearing house, a move likely to undercut the dominance of Ant Financial and Tencent by forcing them to share valuable transaction data with competitors.
Buoyant bitcoin stirs crypto-bubble fears
Jemima Kelly – Reuters
Bitcoin and other “cryptocurrencies” are big money, virtually as big as Goldman Sachs and Royal Bank of Scotland combined.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
OCC to Work With SEC as U.S. Court of Appeals Remands Capital Plan to Agency
OCC, the world’s largest equity derivatives clearing organization, today said it would provide Commissioners and staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission any information it needed to evaluate OCC’s capital plan in light of the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to remand it to the agency for further review.
‘Continued weakness’ in global metal markets dent LME volumes
Neil Hume – FT
The challenges facing the London Metal Exchange have been highlighted by its parent company Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing.
NSE to verify suspected ‘shell companies’ after trade restrictions by Sebi; Sebi has asked NSE to seek documents from 48 cos and verify credentials of these firms
Stock exchange major National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) on Wednesday said that it has commenced the process to verify the credentials of firms on its platform, on whom trade restrictions were imposed by regulator Sebi.
MCX gets Sebi nod to launch options contract in gold; Plan was delayed by discussions among market players and govt over tax rules, settlement procedures
Santanu Chakraborty & Swansy Afonso – Business Standard
The Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX) said it will start the country’s first gold options contract, about a year after the market regulator permitted options trading in commodities. The Securities & Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has approved the bourse’s plan to offer kilogram contracts and the bourse will release product details in about two weeks, MCX Spokesman Girish Dev said by phone on Wednesday.
Ceconomy Equity Option, Single Stock Futures and Single Stock Dividend Futures: Change of product codes
Due to technical reasons, the Eurex product codes will change for the above-mentioned products.
TMX Group Limited Declares Dividend of $0.50 per Common Share
The Board of Directors of TMX Group Limited declared a dividend of $0.50 on each common share outstanding, payable on September 8, 2017 to shareholders of record at the close of business on August 25, 2017.
TMX Group Limited Reports Record Quarterly Earnings Per Share for Q2/17
TMX Group Limited [TSX:X] (“TMX Group”) today announced results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2017.
Change of operation schedule on test FX server
In order to provide our clients with opportunity to test upcoming changes related to the commission fee XML report on the FX market (CCX10) we have rearranged the operation schedule on the SPCUR_GATEWAY test environment.
Dalian Commodity Exchange: Live Hogs Industry Expects Futures To Help On The “Hog Cycle” Problem
Live hog is the agricultural product with the largest market size in China. In 2016, about 685 million hogs were slaughtered, and the market size exceeded RMB1 trillion long ago. The healthy and sustainable development of the live hog industry is of great importance for the social stability and people’s living standard.
Silicon Valley stalls hiring of foreign tech workers; Employer requests to interview candidates fall 37% on Trump immigration fears
Hannah Kuchler in San Francisco – FT
Silicon Valley companies have stalled their foreign hiring, fearing President Donald Trump could restrict immigration and make it more difficult for them to employ immigrants.
AI creeps into the work of MBA careers advisers; Start-ups are bringing tech to the fore to help students find jobs
Jonathan Moules – FT
Technology is changing how business school graduates land a job. A large number of start-ups are selling their services to campus careers departments — and many were founded by MBA alumni.
Bad cop regulation will be the death of many a fintech firm
Nick Day – City AM
The days of sweet talking are over. After the “good cop” approach from policymakers and regulatory bodies, fintech businesses are increasingly moving into the spotlight of official supervision – with tough talking “bad cop” regulators on the rise.
FlexTrade Launches Best Execution Platform Website – Showcases Comprehensive Approach To Trading During MiFID II
FlexTrade (@FlexTrade), a global leader in multi-asset execution and order management systems, today announced the launch of a Best Execution Platform website to showcase the company’s new, comprehensive approach to ensuring Best Execution is planned, monitored and proven during the full trading life cycle.
It’s Hard to Price an ‘Extinction Event’ Like a North Korea War
Chris Anstey – Bloomberg
Financial markets haven’t really reacted much to the escalation in tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, and some observers explain that it’s largely because in the worst-case scenario it’s impossible to guess the appropriate price for things like stocks and bonds.
Trump’s Legal Team Is No Match for Mueller’s; The president could learn from Bill and Hillary Clinton’s years of litigation.
Tom Schoenberg – Bloomberg
When news broke on Aug. 3 that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had begun using a grand jury in Washington to gather evidence related to his Russia probe, it appeared to catch the White House off guard.
Trump loyalists lash out at ‘deep state gone rogue’; President’s rightwing allies claim secretive groups are out to get him
David J Lynch in Washington – FT
A secretive cabal of globalist bureaucrats is sabotaging Donald Trump’s presidency, determined to thwart his efforts to make America great again.
NEX Regulatory Reporting Launches EMIR RTS Rewrite Solution
NEX Regulatory Reporting, a NEX Group business which provides regulatory reporting services across global regulatory regimes, announces that it has launched a new solution to support the EMIR Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) Rewrite.
Stock Promoter Gets 15 Months for $131 Million ForceField Scam
Chris Dolmetsch – Bloomberg
Herschel Knippa III pleaded guilty to conspiracy in February; Knippa is one of nine people charged in scheme to pump stock
A stock promoter was sentenced to more than a year in prison after admitting he joined in a scam to pump shares of a worthless lighting distributor, depriving investors of $131 million.
Former company director sentenced to 8 years, 9 months jail for deception
Following an investigation, Mr Michael Samra, a former mortgage broker, has today been sentenced in the Adelaide District Court to 8 years and 9 months imprisonment, with a minimum of 4 years and 6 months to be served before becoming eligible for parole.
FINRA T+2 Settlement User Acceptance Tests
In accordance with the industry-led initiative to shorten the settlement cycle from three business days (T+3) to two business days (T+2), FINRA will sponsor the second of two production User Acceptance Tests (UAT) to allow clients to test the changes for T+2 Settlement for the Over-The-Counter Reporting Facility (ORF) and the Alternative Display Facility (ADF). This test will occur on Saturday, August 19, 2017.
Investing and Trading
Fidelity allows clients to see digital currencies on its website
Anna Irrera – Reuters
Fidelity Investments has started allowing clients to use its website to view their holdings of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies held through digital wallet provider Coinbase, the company said on Wednesday.
Long-Only Mutual Funds Have Turned Into the Stock Market’s Daredevils
Oliver Renick – Bloomberg
A yawning divide is opening between the stock market’s biggest players when it comes to risk tolerance.
On one side are long-only mutual fund managers, burdened with keeping up with the S&P 500 as it marched to 30 different records this year. Measured by their ownership of stocks with the highest volatility, they’re sitting on some of the most aggressive bets in three years, data from Morgan Stanley show.
Hedge Funds Seen Gaining Market Influence in Passive Boom
Lukanyo Mnyanda – Bloomberg
Hedge funds’ growing power may be distorting asset prices; Asset managers have warned U.K. regulator about this issue
The decade-long growth of cheap index-tracking funds is giving hedge funds an unexpected influence in setting market prices.
Pimco and T. Rowe Price Warn Investors It’s Time to Reduce Risk
John Gittelsohn and Charles Stein – Bloomberg
Pimco says elevated prices leave ‘little room for error’; T. Rowe Price cut stock allocation to lowest level since 2000
Two of the biggest money managers have a message for investors: it’s time to dial back risk.
Are Index Funds Evil?; A growing chorus of experts argue that they’re strangling the economy—and must be stopped.
Frank Partnoy – The Atlantic
If you’re like me, you’ve cheered the decades-long rise of index funds—investment vehicles that seem (these days) to be a rare case of financial innovation that actually helps regular people. By trying merely to match the market, not beat it—investing passively in stocks that mimic a published market index, like the S&P 500—they’re able to offer both low fees and peace of mind for people not inclined to try to pick which stocks to buy and sell.
Yogurt, Liquidity and Listings; Also index funds, smart contracts, Bitcoens, seating charts and global nuclear war.
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
Froyo Juicero! One thing that puzzles me is how Blue Apron Holdings Inc. is a tech company. Blue Apron is a grocery company; its business is to put meat and vegetables into bags and deliver them to your door so you can cook them. And yet everyone seems to think it’s a tech company. I express this puzzlement from time to time, and people try to explain it to me (it’s “tech-enabled”?), but I have never really gotten it.
The Danger From Low-Skilled Immigrants: Not Having Them
Eduardo Porter – NY Times
Let’s just say it plainly: The United States needs more low-skilled immigrants. You might consider, for starters, the enormous demand for low-skilled workers, which could well go unmet as the baby boom generation ages out of the labor force, eroding the labor supply. Eight of the 15 occupations expected to experience the fastest growth between 2014 and 2024 — personal care and home health aides, food preparation workers, janitors and the like — require no schooling at all.
Glencore Profits Rise on Commodities Boom; Mining giant’s recovery continues as market remains strong
Scott Patterson – WSJ
Swiss mining and trading giant Glencore GLNCY -1.85% PLC reported strong first-half results on Thursday, benefiting from rising commodity prices as it continues to recover from a downturn that sparked widespread worries about its financial health and caused an investor revolt.
Millennials are driving a $9 trillion change in investing
Frank Chaparro – Business Insider
Millennials aren’t just eating avocado toast and snapchatting; they’re also driving the growth of a $9 trillion market on Wall Street: sustainable investing.
Why Gundlach says ‘coiling’ markets could spark a volatility surge; The CBOE Volatility Index has hovered close to a reading of 10 over the past year
By Sunny Oh – MarketWatch
Bond savant Jeff Gundlach says “coiling markets” could prompt a surge in volatility as Wall Street’s so-called “fear gauge” remains at multidecade lows.
Graham Capital, a $14 billion hedge fund, has lost money in almost all of its strategies this year
Rachael Levy – Business Insider
A $14.4 billion macro hedge fund is having a tough year – but still raising money.
Here’s How Jamie Dimon’s Black Diversity Claim Stacks Up
Max Abelson and Jordyn Holman – Bloomberg
Jamie Dimon said Tuesday on CNBC that JPMorgan Chase & Co. has “done as well as almost any corporation out there” when it comes to black diversity. That’s not what the firm’s own numbers show.
European Banks Still Ache 10 Years After BNP Roiled World; A decade after the start of the credit crisis, European bank shares lag behind global peers
Sofia Horta E Costa – Bloomberg
Wednesday marks a full decade since BNP Paribas SA froze funds that were exposed to U.S. subprime mortgages, an event that in hindsight, signaled the start of the credit crunch that snowballed into the global financial crisis. Though banks around the world are yet to recover, the pain has been particularly severe for lenders on the Euro Stoxx 50 Index, faring about three times worse than U.S. peers.
Barclays Is Said to Hire Nomura’s Tyndall for Currency Trading
Sonali Basak – Bloomberg
Michael Tyndall to join in September as a director in New York; He’ll report to Paul Thirwall and locally to Siddharth Mehla
Barclays Plc hired Michael Tyndall from Nomura Holdings Inc. as a senior trader for foreign exchange options, according to a person familiar with the move.
Why Goldman Sachs Seized a Client’s 217-Foot Yacht; Wall Street banks’ latest gold rush is making loans to wealthy clients; collateral includes Warhol and rare wine collection
Liz Hoffman – WSJ
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS -0.45% owns hundreds of billions of dollars of stocks, bonds and commodities. Add to its portfolio: a 217-foot luxury yacht called “Natita.”
Noble Group’s Net Debt Balloons as Constraints Hurt Trading
Jasmine Ng – Bloomberg
Trader ‘facing significant credit constraints,’ company says; Shares have slumped by almost 80% in Singapore this year
Noble Group Ltd., the commodity trader that’s fighting to escape a spiral of decline, said net debt surged by almost $1 billion over the first six months as its business was hurt by constrained access to funds.
Goldman to use ‘personality test’ for hiring decisions
Olivia Oran – Reuters
Goldman Sachs Group Inc plans to begin using a “personality test” as part of the hiring process for positions in its banking, trading and finance and risk divisions, a senior Goldman executive said on Wednesday.
Morgan Stanley searches for new Manhattan HQ, may favor Hudson Yards
Herbert Lash and Olivia Oran – Reuters
Morgan Stanley (MS.N) is looking around Manhattan for a possible new global headquarters and may be leaning toward the hot Hudson Yards district, as the amount of space the bank is asking brokers to seek out is constraining its options.
Wall Street traders have had a tough year — and it’s eating into their bonuses
Graham Rapier – Business Insider
Less-than-stellar Wall Street trading results will likely have an impact on this year’s bonuses.
South Korea, Japan Warn Kim Against Firing Missile at Guam
By Isabel Reynolds and Hooyeon Kim – Bloomberg
Plan for missiles to be fired over Japan by mid-August: KCNA
North Korea statement comes in response to Trump’s remarks
South Korea and Japan warned North Korea that it would face a strong response if it carried through with a threat to launch a missile toward the U.S. territory of Guam.
Hong Kong’s Crowded Currency Trade Enters Perilous Territory
By Justina Lee – Bloomberg
Hong Kong dollar’s steady decline abruptly reversed Wednesday; Carry traders had been positioned for further weakness
One of the world’s most reliable currency bets is suddenly looking like less of a sure thing.
This Bond Shows China Investors Don’t Put Premium on Accounting
By Carrie Hong and Narae Kim – Bloomberg
Chinese textile company bonds rebound despite ownership query; Buyers from China probably ‘considered such risks’ already
Transparent accounting may be one of the topmost concerns of bond investors in developed markets. When it comes to China, well, things aren’t so straightforward.
China slammed for delayed alert on palm oil spill; A dozen Hong Kong beaches closed after lard-like clumps clog waterways
Nicolle Liu in Hong Kong – FT
Hong Kong authorities have closed more than a dozen beaches and launched a clean-up effort after a ship collision caused almost 1,000 tonnes of palm oil to spill into the sea.
May’s Cabinet Is Split Three Ways Over Brexit Transition Plan
By Svenja O’Donnell – Bloomberg
Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet remains divided over the best way to navigate Britain’s exit from the European Union, with advocates of a harder Brexit arguing for the shortest transition period possible.
U.K., Scotland Fail to Reach Agreement on Post-Brexit Powers
By Svenja O’Donnell and Charlotte Ryan – Bloomberg
Prime Minister Theresa May’s government failed to reach an agreement with Scotland’s administration over repatriation of powers after Britain leaves the EU, as Scottish lawmakers said they would continue to reject the Brexit bill in its current form.
Seminaries Reflect Struggles of Mainline Churches; Storied institutions are shutting their doors as enrollment shrinks
By Ian Lovett – WSJ
The entire faculty at Episcopal Divinity School has been laid off this summer. The remaining students are transferring to other seminaries.