Breaking News

Duelling bitcoin futures go head-to-head as CME launches contract; How Systematic Internalizers Will Change Trading

First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

The CME Group’s bitcoin futures, launched last night, have traded 740 contracts as of 8:00 this morning CST. The Cboe’s bitcoin futures, one-fifth the size of the CME’s contract, traded 2941 by the same time.~JJL

The CME Group’s Bitcoin futures prices can be seen HERE. ~JJL

The CFTC has launched a virtual currency resource web page. ~JJL

MexDer turned 19 years old in the last few days. Congratulations to them on their anniversary. ~JJL

The @JohnLothian Twitter account has returned to the #1 spot for financial news tweeting as ranked by the website Streeteye.com. It was ranked number one during 2016, but fell from the top spot when the focus on politics became the major focus of financial news as determined by Streeteye. ~JJL

The White House is considering nominating former top Commodity Futures Trading Commission official Dan Berkovitz to a Democratic vacancy on the panel. Via 4-Traders.com ~JJL

This holiday season, you may want to change a child’s life by donating to A Leg To Stand On’s drive for a new prosthetic limb, The JOSHI – a high-quality modular limb kit system for pediatric and adolescent amputees living in low to middle income countries. Donate here. ~JK

Asia Pacific Financial News from John Lothian News – December 15, 2017 ~JJL

Trade Alert’s Henry Schwartz made a good point on LinkedIn last week – “…we bid farewell to a hardworking colleague who is retiring after 20 years in the business. This powerhouse worked on every single option desk across America without taking a paycheck or even a day off, and played an important part in the execution of approximately 13.1 Billion contracts since 1997. While others are already trying to fill the void left behind, there will never be another AOL IM. Goodbye running man, thank you for your service.” ~SD

Ziliak Law announced a blockchain practice area, supporting crypto funds, ICOs, and innovative trading platforms, along with established businesses that want to harness the power of blockchain technology. ~JJL

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The person who created Bitcoin remains a mystery
By Michael Kaplan – NY Post
Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto from Japan. Or, some say, he or she might be a Finnish sociologist or a mathematician from Israel. Some think Nakamoto is the pseudonym of software developer Gavin Andresen, others believe it’s Tesla creator Elon Musk. (Both have denied the claim.) Whoever it is, the person behind bitcoin has never given an interview.
/goo.gl/4Qigiu

***** Person or persons. ~JJL

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Bitcoin price rise makes creator Satoshi Nakamoto one of world’s richest billionaires
Lynsey Barber – City AM
The mysterious unknown creator of bitcoin who goes by the name Satoshi Nakomoto is among the world’s richest people as the cryptocurrency booms.
/goo.gl/4sm5MD

****** How long can he or they hold out? ~JJL

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ICOs; Financed Spot Virtual Currencies; Investment of Customer Funds; Wash Sales
Gary DeWaal – Bridging the Week
Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission said it had no appetite to classify as a non-security a digital token issued to support an iPhone food app, while the SEC chairman issued a personal statement cautioning generally about initial digital coin offerings. Separately, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued proposed interpretive guidance to clarify when financed offers and sales of virtual currencies to retail clients would be subject to regulatory requirements that ordinarily apply to all futures contracts.
jlne.ws/2yQSYD3

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The Spread – Week of 12/11 – 12/15

JohnLothianNews.com

Our second installation of The Spread! The Spread is a brief recap of some of the notable activity in the options world.

The following stories are referenced in this week’s installment:

 

 

 

 

 

Watch the video here »

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Chip Dempsey – Breaking Down Cryptocurrencies

MarketsWikiEducation.com

“Personally, I see it as our industry undergoing a new technological reformation, and I think it’s as significant as moving from the trading pits to matching engines.”

In this video from MarketsWiki Education’s Intern Recruiting Event in Chicago, Chip Dempsey, chief commercial officer at OCC, discusses cryptocurrencies and what effect they’ll have on markets. Dempsey says the emergence of cryptocurrencies is the beginning of a new age in finance, and using a shared ledger has enormous cost control implications.

Watch the video here »

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Friday’s Top Three
Top read stories on Friday were led by the Financial Times’ Race to launch bitcoin futures stirs anger. Second went to the story on Matthew Chamberlain in
The Wall Street Journal’s Young CEO Reshapes 140-Year-Old Metals Exchange. Third went to the CME Institute’s What is Bitcoin?, a question befuddling anyone who isn’t into Bitcoin.

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MarketsWiki Statistics Sponsored by Level Trading Field
  • 115,181,239 pages viewed
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  • 210,888 edits
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Lead Stories

Duelling bitcoin futures go head-to-head as CME launches contract; Two exchanges roll out rival products amid demand for regulated trade of cryptocurrency
Gregory Meyer in New York and Philip Stafford in London – FT
The bitcoin futures race began in earnest on Sunday as exchange operator CME Group challenged another Chicago exchange that had launched the first digital currency futures a week before.
/goo.gl/csFJ9A

How Systematic Internalizers Will Change Trading
Will Hadfield – Bloomberg
The transformation of Europe’s financial markets under the new MiFID II rules that take effect Jan. 3 will be accompanied by swathes of new jargon. Two words will be more important than most: systematic internalizers. That’s the name that banks and algorithmic trading firms will go by when they trade directly with clients. Regulators created the category to impose some rules on the unregulated trading that happens away from public markets, yet exchanges complain that SIs are likely to increase the amount of over-the-counter trading. Banks aren’t complaining.
/goo.gl/QNppmd

Finally, a British centurion: London Stock Exchange notches up 100 floats for the year
Jasper Jolly – City AM
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) today notched up its 100th company flotation of 2017 this week, breaking the century barrier for the first time in three years thanks to a strong international showing and a proliferation of investment fund listings.
/goo.gl/4oonkE

Bitcoin Takes Bigger Wall Street Stage With Smooth CME Debut
Rob Urban , Camila Russo , and Brian Louis – Bloomberg
Cboe’s exchange started offering similar contracts a week ago; CME’s contracts get off to faster start in first hour Sunday. The world’s biggest exchange just joined the bitcoin revolution.
/goo.gl/hJjJFj

Bitcoin Futures Manipulation 101: How ‘Banging the Close’ Works; The launch of bitcoin futures raises a new danger for traders of the digital currency. A look at some of the biggest questions about futures manipulation
Alexander Osipovich – WSJ
Bitcoin, this year’s hottest investing fad, has plenty of risks. Hackers could steal your bitcoins. The price could crash, after surging 1,600% this year.
/goo.gl/xdA4pY

Bitcoin Hits a New Record High, But Stops Short of $20,000
David Z. Morris – Fortune
The price of one bitcoin (BTC) reached a new all-time high of $19,783.06 early Sunday before dropping back below $19,500, according to Coindesk’s price index.
/goo.gl/9s2U3Z

Get Ready for a Faster, Pricier and More Confusing Internet; Without FCC rules, tech and media giants are free to consolidate, upsell and—hopefully—build more pipelines to increase competition
Christopher Mims – WSJ
The Federal Communications Commission’s abandonment of net-neutrality regulations—which had promised retribution for companies that didn’t treat all internet traffic the same—only reinforces trends that have been in motion for years: Alliances are being forged and dissolved, and companies once known as giants are being swallowed up by even bigger behemoths.
/goo.gl/YZybUh

Dutch High-Frequency Trader Drifts in Becalmed Markets
Alasdair Pal – Reuters
This year’s unusually quiet markets may have soothed the nerves of many investors, but for Dutch market-maker Flow Traders the lack of volatility spells bad news.
/goo.gl/cNVeK5

Brokers Launch Funds to Prove Their Worth as MiFID Threat Looms
Julie Edde – Bloomberg
New products put firms’ investment advice to work in market; ETFs, basket-traded, managed accounts demonstrate performance
Faced with falling prices for research, Rob McCreery decided his Libra Investment Services would start doing some of its own trading to show off the money-making power of its investment recommendations.
/goo.gl/VZ6sqW

Wall Street Bonus Pools Look Shallow in Unexciting Trading Year
Hugh Son, Laura J Keller, and Dakin Campbell – Bloomberg
Three Fed rate hikes, two major European elections and the biggest drop in China’s currency since 2008 would normally make for a busy year for macro traders, leaving them optimistic come bonus time. Not this year.
/goo.gl/UKje6Q

Online derivatives traders hit by new European rules on retail client leverage
Hannah Murphy – FT
Shares in large online derivatives trading platforms groups plummeted as much as 20 per cent on Monday morning, after European regulators announced tougher-than-feared plans to restrict the amounts retail customers can borrow to leverage their bets.
/goo.gl/8Y4eQQ

Poll shows sharp rise in sexual harassment in fund management; Third of female asset managers surveyed by FTfm say they have suffered from the abuse
Attracta Mooney and Peter Smith – FT
2017 will go down as a landmark year in the fight against sexual discrimination and harassment in the workplace. But the FT’s fourth annual Women in Asset Management survey has revealed an alarming increase in instances of harassment and sexism in an industry. In this special series we examine the persistence of more insidious forms of discrimination, hear the views of women at different stages in their career and ask what more can be done.
/goo.gl/4Z33bf

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

CME Group CEO: What Our Bitcoin Futures Trading Launch Really Means; CME Group gets ready to get into the bitcoin mix with bitcoin futures trading. TheStreet talks with CME Group chairman and CEO Terry Duffy about the big launch.
Brian Sozzi – The Street
Count CME Group (CME – Get Report) CEO Terry Duffy as among those that can’t believe how quickly the hype around bitcoin has materialized.
/goo.gl/5sdNx1

Exchange Giant CME Launches Bitcoin Futures; CME Group starts trading as volumes remain thin for a similar contract started by Cboe a week ago
Alexander Osipovich and Gunjan Banerji – WSJ
The world’s largest exchange company launched bitcoin futures on Sunday, seeking to capitalize on the mania for the booming digital currency.
/goo.gl/v9653p

CME’s Black Sea wheat, corn futures open for trading
Reuters Staff
CME Group’s Black Sea wheat futures attracted trade on their debut session on Monday.
/goo.gl/hmirD7

Kraken Admits “Degraded and Unreliable Performance,” Commits to Major Update
Victor Golovtchenko – Finance Magnates
Just as trading in Bitcoin futures is starting next week on the CME, one of the bigger crypto exchanges, Kraken, has announced that it is preparing a major upgrade to its systems. The company has been going through some tough times recently with the performance of the exchange being highly criticised by users.
jlne.ws/2ChgPOu

Citi and CME Clearing use blockchain to reduce back-office costs; Blockchain powered platform implemented to reduce costs of back office functions and speed up margin funding times.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Citi and CME Clearing have teamed up with Baton Systems to implement a blockchain-based platform as the firms look to reduce costs of back-office functions.
/goo.gl/wM3nbp

Citi, CME Group Implement Baton Systems’ Distributed Ledger Platform to Drive Down Cost of Margin Funding
BUSINESS WIRE
Citi and CME Clearing have implemented a real-time distributed ledger platform developed by Baton Systems, a payments technology provider. The solution allows a bank to view the collateral in its ledgers in real time, send cash or securities with one click to a clearing house, and receive an immediate acknowledgment, regardless of the current technologies they are deploying.
/goo.gl/fKZNj9

Giant CME exchange launches bitcoin futures to muted response
Martin Strydom – The Times
Bitcoin futures have started trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the world’s largest futures exchange, in what is seen as major step in encouraging big institutional investors to adopt the digital currency as a new asset class.
/goo.gl/tFmkaH

Equity derivatives, ETF and ETC derivatives and Bloomberg Commodity Index derivatives: Updated position limits
Eurex
Eurex Deutschland and Eurex Zürich (collectively: the Eurex Exchanges) review and update the position limits for equity derivatives, ETF and ETC derivatives in regular intervals.https://goo.gl/nAXkVg

ELITE continues global expansion in China
London Stock Exchange Group
ELITE, London Stock Exchange Group’s international business support and capital raising programme, today announces that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Shenzhen Securities Information Company (SSIC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE), to support the launch of ELITE in China through the creation of the ELITE V-Next Alliance.
/goo.gl/w6Jo1w

SGX welcomes Clearbridge Health Limited to Catalist
SGX
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today welcomed Clearbridge Health Limited to its Catalist under the stock code “1H3”.
/goo.gl/6uBWCU

Bitcoin wobbles as futures debut on the CME but the bubble hasn’t yet popped; Politicians and regulators keep issuing warnings, but the punters aren’t listening as brokers urge them to get a piece of the dizzying returns available
James Moore -The Independent Online
A few hearts fluttered as Bitcoin futures made their debut on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
/goo.gl/69acbm

Hedge fund manager Hohn won’t attend LSE vote – source
Reuters Staff
British hedge fund manager Christopher Hohn will not attend a vote on the motion brought by his firm to oust London Stock Exchange (LSE.L) chairman Donald Brydon, a source close to the firm told Reuters.
/goo.gl/6DPEYk

TradeStation to Support Trading of CME Group Bitcoin Futures on Launch; TradeStation Now Offers Traders Access to Bitcoin Futures on Two Major U.S. Exchanges
TradeStation Group, Inc.
TradeStation, a Monex Group company and award-winning* online broker-dealer and futures commission merchant, today announced that its futures clients can trade the new Bitcoin futures contract offered by CME Group, Inc. (CME) effective today, December 17.
/goo.gl/YtdT4b

TD Ameritrade to start bitcoin futures trading on Monday
Reuters Staff
Retail brokerage TD Ameritrade Holding Corp (AMTD.O) said on Friday it will allow clients to trade bitcoin futures on the newly minted CBOE Futures Exchange from Dec. 18.
/goo.gl/RqYhwd

BITCOIN FUTURES AT ADVANTAGE
Advantage Futures
Advantage Futures is pleased to support Bitcoin futures via CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE) and CME Group Inc. (CME).
/goo.gl/gf3Nwy

Fintech

QuantConnect Launches Automated Alpha Discovery Platform
BusinessWire
QuantConnect, an open-source, cloud-based algorithmic trading platform, today announced the launch of Alpha Streams, a marketplace for the QuantConnect community to list their alpha-generating insights for licensing. Selected hedge funds and proprietary trading firms can subscribe to the Alpha Streams API to receive thousands of real-time signals, unlocking the ideas and market insights of a community of quants to automate alpha discovery.
jlne.ws/2ChlyQk

Ethereum, Ripple And Litecoin Have Arrived on Bloomberg Terminals
Sujha Sundararajan – Coindesk
Financial data firm Bloomberg has added three new cryptocurrencies – ethereum (ether), Ripple (XRP) and litecoin – alongside bitcoin on its Terminal service
/goo.gl/Ei6afK

Singapore’s Fintech chief warns on Bitcoin delusion
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard – Telegraph
Bitcoin has no fundamental value and is likely to end in tears once speculators discover how hard it can be to extricate their cash, Singapore’s financial watchdog has warned.
/goo.gl/1sqedh

Blockchain and bitcoin: In search of a critique
Martin Walker -London School of Economics and Politics
One of the few things that has grown as fast this year as the price of cyptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, is the number of books available about them, along with blockchain technology and their many derivatives. There are now in excess of 500 books available on Amazon on these topics. These books include excellent technical guides like “Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain” by Andreas M. Antonopoulos, breathless accounts of the (short) histories of these technologies and wildly enthusiastic visions of a cryptocurrency- or blockchain- based future.
/goo.gl/KQopVy

Politics

Treasury’s Shoddy Tax Analysis; It took Treasury more than six months to produce a superficial one-page report.
The Editors – Bloomberg
In the mid-1980s, when President Ronald Reagan was trying to get Congress to pass bipartisan tax-reform legislation, the Treasury Department issued a detailed economic analysis of his plan. It ran hundreds of pages. This week, as Congress rushes headlong to approve a far-reaching tax-cut bill, President Donald Trump’s Treasury Department also released an analysis. It’s a single page.
/goo.gl/3Nfnhh

US companies set to be big winners from Trump’s tax reform; Oil refiners, airlines, banks and Buffett group among the major beneficiaries
Ed Crooks in New York and Katrina Manson in Washington – FT
US companies are expecting sharp increases in earnings next year as Republicans in Congress remove the final obstacles to their overhaul of the US tax system, with a bill likely to be passed into law this week.
/goo.gl/zMhBkc

Mind the gap: Washington and Wall St
Rana Foroohar — Edward Luce – FT
I’m always amazed at the cognitive gap between Washington and Wall Street. These two nodes of American power simply don’t revolve around the same things.
/goo.gl/ZqGqa9

GOP Tax Bill Would Set Up Years of Challenges; Expiration dates guarantee any changes would be revisited
Richard Rubin – WSJ
Republicans are on the cusp this week of passing a historic overhaul of the U.S. tax system but might also be ushering in a new period of instability in the tax code, because the plan is advancing without bipartisan support and with expiration dates that guarantee it will be revisited for years.
/goo.gl/pecy7j

Homeowners Have Had It Good. Too Good, Says the Tax Bill.
Conor Dougherty – NY Times
For decades, the tax code has been filled with rewards for homeownership. Tax breaks encourage people to get into first homes and to trade up as they get older, building a national mind-set that you’re never quite middle class until you’ve qualified for a mortgage.
/goo.gl/J7uTB1

WILL TRUMP LIE US INTO ANOTHER MIDDLE EAST WAR?
Tom O’Connor – Newsweek
U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley presented journalists Thursday with what she called “indisputable” evidence that a missile fired last month at Saudi Arabia by Yemeni rebels was supplied by Iran, thus proving Iran was in violation of international law and a threat to the region. Her findings, however, have been disputed by former leading U.S. intelligence officials whose own conclusions were at odds with President Donald Trump’s administration.
/goo.gl/gN2u9o

Regulation

Start 2018 using ASIC’s MoneySmart to set financial goals
ASIC
ASIC is encouraging Australians to start the New Year by setting financial goals. Every January, one of the most popular New Year resolutions people make is to take control of their money. Yet according to research conducted for ASIC, about 44% of Australians say they have a short term financial plan in place, while only 23% say they have a long term plan[1],’ said Laura Higgins, Senior Executive Leader for Financial Capability.
/goo.gl/uvxH1U

ESMA updates Q&A on MiFIR data reporting
ESMA
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today updated its Questions and Answers (Q&A) regarding data reporting under the Market in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and Regulation (MiFIR).
/goo.gl/Q2u965

FINRA Announces SFAB, NAC and District Committee Election Results and Appointments
FINRA
FINRA recently concluded elections to fill vacant seats on the Small Firm Advisory Board (SFAB), National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) and District Committees. Additionally, the FINRA Board appointed individuals to fill other vacancies. This Notice lists the individuals elected and appointed to fill vacancies on the SFAB, NAC and District Committees.
/goo.gl/hQ8fTk

Monthly Disciplinary Actions December 2017
FINRA
/goo.gl/5fS52n

CFTC Issues Proposed Interpretation on Virtual Currency “Actual Delivery” in Retail Transactions
CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced a Proposed Interpretation concerning its authority over retail commodity transactions involving virtual currency, such as bitcoin. Specifically, the Proposed Interpretation sets out the CFTC’s view regarding the “actual delivery” exception that may apply to virtual currency transactions. The Proposed Interpretation is open for public comment for 90 days from publication in the Federal Register.
/goo.gl/y7CBWB

Phishing for Bitcoin
Jeff John Roberts – Fortune
It had to happen sooner or later: The two biggest tech stories of 2017—foreign cyber attacks and bitcoin—have come together perfectly in a single story. Namely, it looks like the infamous North Korean hacking outfit, The Lazarus Group, is running a spear-phishing campaign aimed at executives of cryptocurrency companies.
/goo.gl/XHDB9J

The Federal Government Is Starting to Cash In Millions of Seized Bitcoin
Chris Morris – Fortune
The U.S. government wants to get out of the Bitcoin bubble before it bursts.
/goo.gl/LVe6H7

Fed vice chairman recuses himself on Wells Fargo matters
Steve Goldstein – MarketWatch
The Federal Reserve’s top official on regulatory matters on Friday voluntarily recused himself from any matters specific to Wells Fargo, the bank embroiled in a number of investigations.
/goo.gl/kA4KDb

Investing and Trading

Can the $86 Million “Pineapple Fund” Save the Soul of Bitcoin?; Anonymous crypto-millionaire pledges 5057 BTC to charity.
Eileen Guo
On Wednesday morning, Bitcoin enthusiasts on Reddit woke up to an intriguing thread in r/bitcoin: a user by the name of @PineappleFund had posted, “I’m donating 5057 BTC to charitable causes! Introducing the Pineapple Fund.”
/goo.gl/TQDcm5

Vanguard, the fund giant with nearly $5 trillion in assets, is using blockchain to underpin its mutual funds
Reuters
Vanguard is moving to use blockchain to simplify how it updates index data underlying mutual funds, executives said on Monday, an important sign of confidence for the new financial technology.
/goo.gl/Jq4jUw

Initial Coin Offerings Surge Past $4 Billion—and Regulators Are Worried; Some regulators say ICOs should be regulated like securities
Steven Russolillo – WSJ
Money raised from initial coin offerings has surged past $4 billion for the first time, even as regulators world-wide have escalated warnings about the new form of corporate funding.
/goo.gl/jzAjh4

Satellites Are Reshaping How Traders Track Earthly Commodities
Aaron Clark and Dan Murtaugh – Bloomberg
Satellite launches have nearly doubled from last year: UCS; Space imagery analysis focuses on China’s oil storage levels
A lump of coal is scooped onto a truck bed in Australia, driven to a port, loaded on a ship, piloted across the ocean to a dock in China, piled into a train car and delivered to power plant. And it would all happen under the watchful eyes of coal traders, if a fleet of new satellite tracking firms can deliver on ambitious promises.
/goo.gl/d2JsLa

Private equity sells assets at fastest pace since crisis; Strong demand from yield-starved investors helps buyout groups sell companies
Javier Espinoza – FT
Private equity groups are selling businesses at a faster rate than in the years leading up to the financial crisis as they look to cash in on record-high prices while the global economy remains strong.
/goo.gl/V2N8dN

Bitcoin will be niche asset for tech nerds in long term says ING bank analyst Teunis Brosens
Lynsey Barber – City AM
Bitcoin will retreat from its boom to become a niche asset, according to an analyst at a leading bank.
/goo.gl/ZZrwZm

Institutions

Banks to Funds: Have Some Leverage With That Deal; Funds get financing to lever up risky loans and esoteric investments
Christopher Whittall – WSJ
Banks are ramping up a business that was popular before the financial crisis—offering investors ways to lever up sometimes illiquid and complex investments to amplify their returns.
/goo.gl/RAebdg

Bitcoin ETF providers see new hope for approval; Fund managers seek U-turn by regulators after start of cryptocurrency futures trading
Robin Wigglesworth – FT
Bitcoin mania has reignited a race to launch an exchange traded fund in the US that would track the volatile cryptocurrency.
/goo.gl/p89vXs

EU Banks Told to Get Crisis-Ready by Removing Wind-Down Hurdles
By Alexander Weber – Bloomberg
Single Resolution Board’s Koenig speaks in Brussels interview; Koenig says many banks’ corporate structures are complex webs
Big euro-area lenders face a choice; clean up the complicated corporate structures that make them difficult to wind down in a crisis, or watch Elke Koenig do it for them.
/goo.gl/YrM7Yp

Barclays’ commitment to investment banking pays off in UK; Strategy seems to be bearing fruit as bank earns $352m in fees in the year to date
Laura Noonan and Hannah Murphy in London – FT
Barclays’ unpopular bet on investment banking seems to be paying off in the UK as the bank closes in on the top spot in the UK’s annual investment banking league tables for the first time since 2012.
/goo.gl/jrS8ve

Barclays the latest to opt into SI regime; Barclays opts into the systematic internaliser regime for all products including FX, rates, credit and equities.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Barclays has decided to become a systematic internaliser (SI) from 3 January under MiFID II for all products including FX, rates, credit and equities.
/goo.gl/2zfGM3

Hedge Funds: Rise of the Machines
Stephen Gandel – Bloomberg
The future of hedge funds is starting to look like there will be fewer managers. That doesn’t mean there will be fewer funds.
/goo.gl/1jQgxi

Regions

BOJ’s Massive Bond Holdings Pace Seen Expanding Even More Slowly in 2018
James Mayger and Masahiro Hidaka – Bloomberg
The pace at which the Bank of Japan is expanding its massive hoard of bonds will continue to slow in 2018, according to the majority of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
/goo.gl/qUtHFS

Chinese IPOs in the U.S. Are Saddling Investors With Big Losses; Ten of the 16 Chinese firms debuting on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq this year are trading below their IPO prices
Steven Russolillo and Corrie Driebusch – WSJ
Struggling shares of newly listed Chinese companies in the U.S. are saddling investors with unexpected losses and dealing a setback to other firms from China hoping to go public in New York.
/goo.gl/rM3wwb

Chinese tech groups look for edge in using artificial intelligence; Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu tap into massive databases to test capabilities
Louise Lucas in Hong Kong – FT
As the quest to master artificial intelligence intensifies, China’s tech trio of Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent have a distinct advantage over their Silicon Valley rivals — data.
/goo.gl/GiVMNn

Iceland set to be a ‘regular visitor’ to bond market after comeback; Strong demand for first debt sale in three years a milestone for country devastated by financial crisis
Thomas Hale in London and Richard Milne in Oslo – FT
Iceland expects to be a “regular visitor” to the bond market in the coming years, after its first debt sale in three years drew high levels of demand from investors who are becoming more confident in the country’s recovery.
/goo.gl/p7CYEm

China Seeks Financial Cooperation With U.K.
Bloomberg News
Vice premier Ma says U.K. has obvious financial advantages; U.K.’s Hammond agrees on $1.9 billion worth of China deals
China wants to deepen financial and investment links with the U.K. as Britain seeks to boost two-way trade once it leaves the European Union.
/goo.gl/jMqFo7

Bitcoins Legal Or Illegal in India? Ten Things You Must Know About Cryptocurrencies
NDTV
About bitcoin trading, the RBI apprised of five major risks. The first and foremost is that digital currencies, being in electronic format, are prone to losses arising out of hacking, loss of password etc
/goo.gl/ZPcE9n

Brexit

Brexit will usher in a dark chapter for new British authors, warns publisher; Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury warns UK’s exclusive English rights across EU will end, with firms fighting US companies in an open market
Mark Sweney – The Guardian
The next generation of British authors could struggle to land a book deal after Brexit, according to the publisher who launched Harry Potter writer JK Rowling’s career.
/goo.gl/pRRho7

ECB Reminds Brexit-Hit Banks That ‘Empty Shell’ Offices Won’t Do
Gavin Finch – Bloomberg
Special attention will be paid to compliance with local rules; ECB preparing for banks to start implementing Brexit plans
The European Central Bank warned London-based banks it will be paying “special attention” to their relocation plans to avoid the establishment of any empty shell offices inside the European Union after Brexit.
/goo.gl/otBYRK

Brexit Is More Threatening Than EU Conflict to Polish Government
Dorota Bartyzel and Marek Strzelecki – Bloomberg
‘No impact’ from EU tensions on Polish funds, Kwiecinski says; Poland faces EU probe, threat of bloc’s sanctions within days
It’s Brexit, and not Warsaw’s escalating conflict with the European Union over democratic values, that presents a bigger threat to inflows of the bloc’s assistance to Poland, according to the government official in charge of funds absorption.
/goo.gl/PvFzSw

The real price of Brexit begins to emerge; FT research shows that the weekly hit to the British economy could be the same £350m that Leave campaigners promised to claw back
Chris Giles in London – FT
A big red bus emblazoned with the words “we send the EU £350m a week, let’s fund our NHS instead” is credited as being decisive in Britain’s vote to leave the EU last year.
/goo.gl/DMXgxK

Miscellaneous

Wall Streeters are reportedly spending up to $10,000 on ‘healing crystals’ to attract love, money, and success
Abby Jackson – Business Insider
Actors, health gurus, and now, perhaps inexplicably, Wall Street men are into the healing power of crystals, according The New York Post.
/goo.gl/1QD6Xc

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About Author

Bergstrom is chief information officer of John J. Lothian & Co. He edits MarketsWiki and JLN Options.