Hits & Takes
Correction/Clarification: A clarification on an item in Monday’s JLN: DRW Cumberland’s Bobby Cho said Cumberland’s proportion of crypto-to-crypto trades now represents about 25 percent of its trades, versus crypto-to-fiat trades, meaning that counterparties now increasingly want to trade bitcoin to ethereum (or some other crypto combination), whereas in the past it was predominantly bitcoin to dollar (or other fiat currency). The item could have been interpreted as crypto trades account for 25 percent of all DRW trading, which is inaccurate.~JK
The CFTC collected $413 million in fines last year, which means an investment in market conduct training is an excellent investment. Check out the Exchange Analytics Market Conduct course. This course was designed specifically to teach traders how to avoid violations and when to seek guidance.~JJL
The 2017 budget for the CFTC was about $250 million.~JK
Join ION Capital Markets for a 10k/5k celebrating the 10th anniversary of @FuturesForKids on 23 May. Firms supporting the run at the Stratford Olympic Park are @rjobrien, @Cinnober, @OSTC, @FIAconnect, @CultWinesUK, @KyteConsultants, @GHFinancials, @JohnLothian, and @FOWgroup
NFA’s Board of Directors re-elects Michael Dawley to serve as Chairman
At its February meeting, NFA’s Board of Directors re-elected Michael C. Dawley, Goldman Sachs & Co., to serve a one-year term as Chairman. The Board also re-elected Maureen C. Downs, Phillip Capital Inc., to serve as Vice-Chairman.
***** The big news in this release is that Maureen C. Downs has joined Phillip Capital Inc.
Nasdaq Says It Will Delist Long Blockchain, the Iced-Tea-Turned-Bitcoin Company
David Z. Morris – Fortune
The Nasdaq stock exchange has notified New Jersey-based Long Blockchain, Inc. that it would delist the stock because the company’s market capitalization was too low. Long Blockchain was formerly known as Long Island Iced Tea, but changed its name last December and announced it would diversify from beverages into cryptocurrency.
****** Long Blockchain executives need a stiff drink. I know the right one.~JJL
The Rise of Bitcoin Factories: Mining for the Masses; As more people jump into bitcoin mining, companies like Bcause look to provide the infrastructure, security and electricity
Stephanie Yang – WSJ
Michael Poteat, an engineering student at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., decided to start mining bitcoin four months ago.
**** Why should you read this article? Bcause.~JJL
Mark Shore Joins Coquest Advisors As Director Of Educational Research
Dallas-based Coquest Inc., one of the largest independent introducing brokers in the U.S. derivatives markets, announced today that Mark Shore has joined its Coquest Advisors LLC as Director of Educational Research.
Tuesday’s Top Three
Two of our top three pieces yesterday were about the potential Temenos – Fidessa deal. The FT’s piece Temenos in advanced talks to buy Fidessa was the top read story. The Reuters’ article Temenos in talks to buy British trading software company Fidessa was third. The promotion announcement from RCG was second, with Rosenthal Collins Group Promotes Manumaleuna To President, Mackey To Deputy President
|MarketsWiki Statistics Sponsored by Level Trading Field|
Temenos and Fidessa forge banking software tie-up; Pact between Swiss and UK fintech groups creates ‘huge opportunity’ in fragmented market
Katie Martin in London – FT
Fidessa – one of the so-called “grandfathers” of the UK financial technology market – has agreed to a takeover by Swiss banking software group Temenos in a deal that will pay investors on the UK side £35.67 a share – a gain of nearly 37 per cent from the closing price in the middle of this month.
****The Trade here
Ex-CFTC Counsel Is Likely Pick for Democratic Slot, Sources Say
Benjamin Bain – Bloomberg
Daniel Berkovitz’s name has been sent to Trump, people say; WhileHale partner played key role in writing post-crisis rules
President Donald Trump is likely to name a former Commodity Futures Trading Commission official who played a key role in creating post-crisis rules to fill a Democratic slot at the U.S. derivatives regulator, according to people familiar with the matter.
ING says cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has an account with it
Dutch financial services company ING on Tuesday confirmed that Bitfinex, one of the largest exchanges for trading in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, has a bank account with it in the Netherlands.
Bitcoin and the Incredible Power of Fiction; Viewed in a certain light, cryptocurrencies are just like nation-states or religion. Humans generate abstract concepts and use them to coordinate action.
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
Here’s Paul Singer’s Elliott Management with the bull case for bitcoin: “FOMO (fear of missing out) has solidly trumped WTHIT (what the hell is this??),” Elliott told clients in a January 26 letter seen by Business Insider. “When the history is written, cryptocurrencies will likely be described as one of the most brilliant scams in history.”
IBM study slams derivatives clearing, prime brokerage systems
Joe Parsons – Global Custodian
A new white paper from IBM has criticised current IT systems at major prime brokers and derivatives clearing firms, claiming they are is restricting cost savings.
The paper, published with Cinnober’s subsidiary Minium, highlighted that outdated systems used by banks are not fit for purpose for today’s current regulatory environment.
Quick Byte: Supplemental Leverage Ratio is having an impact on liquidity
FIA Principal Traders Group
On Wednesday, the CFTC held a meeting of the Technology Advisory Committee (TAC). The meeting was wide-ranging, covering topics including regulatory fintech support, blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT), algorithmic trading, cybersecurity, and crypto assets like Bitcoin.
Blunder at a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange let investors briefly buy bitcoins for free
Thomas Wilson and Taiga Uranaka, Reuters vis Business Insider
A blunder at a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange let investors briefly buy bitcoins for free – though none were able to profit from the mistake.
Venezuela says launch of ‘petro’ cryptocurrency raised $735 million
President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday that Venezuela had received $735 million in the first day of a pre-sale of the country’s “petro” cryptocurrency, aimed at pulling the country out of an economic tailspin.
IBM study slams derivatives clearing, prime brokerage systems; The study explained outdated systems used by clearing banks and prime brokers are not fit for purpose for today’s current regulatory environment.
By Joe Parsons – Global Custodian
A new white paper from IBM has criticised current IT systems at major prime brokers and derivatives clearing firms, claiming they are is restricting cost savings.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
Deutsche Boerse posts upbeat quarterly results
Olaf Storbeck – FT
With the resignation of the former chief executive, an ongoing criminal investigation into alleged market manipulation and a profit warning, 2017 proved a tough year for Deutsche Boerse. Yet, operationally, the German exchange slightly exceeded analyst expectations in the fourth quarter, according to preliminary figures published on Tuesday.
****Deutsche Boerse release here
Candidates for Directors and Executive Officers
Date of Switch to New Official Website Address
JPX previously announced plans to change site addresses for all pages on our website. The switch has now been scheduled for the date indicated below.
If you have included links/URLs of any page in the JPX website on digital/printed materials, we ask that you update the site addresses on any such materials once the switch has occurred.
Barclays joins multi-dealer platform SPIRE; SPIRE platform was launched in May last year by BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and JP Morgan.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Barclays has signed up to a multi-dealer programme launched by four major investment banks for issuance of secured notes.
CurveGlobal To Benefit From MiFID II Best Execution
Shanny Basar – MarketsMedia
Andy Ross, chief executive of CurveGlobal, said the London Stock Exchange Group’s interest rate derivatives venture will benefit from the new best execution regulations despite the mandate for open access being postponed.
Why MSCI’s index call is bad
The Hindu Business Line
The three Indian stock exchanges, the BSE, NSE and the MSEI, stirred a hornet’s nest last week when they decided to stop providing market data to enable trading on foreign exchanges and platforms. While the reaction of many global institutions was conciliatory, MSCI Inc, the global index provider, made the strongest comment against the move.
Futures on EURO STOXX 50 Corporate Bond Index (FCBI): Tradability for U.S. Participants
As of 1 March 2018, Futures on the EURO STOXX 50 Corporate Bond Index (FCBI) will also be available for trading to Eurex Participants and investors domiciled in the U.S.
IMOEX – the new ticker of MOEX Russia Index
On March 26, 2018 the ticker for the MOEX Russia Index will be changed across all Moscow Exchange data and trading systems. The new ticker – IMOEX – will replace MICEXINDEXCF.
Confluence and ICE Data Services to Help Firms Meet SEC Modernization Reporting Requirements
Confluence, the global leader in investment data management automation for regulatory, financial and investor reporting, today announced an agreement with ICE Data Services, which is part of Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), to help asset managers meet their compliance obligations with respect to SEC Modernization and other regulatory reporting requirements.
Computer shops embrace lucrative business: outfitting cryptocurrency miners
Wyman Ma, Dewey Sim, Joyce Lee -Reuters
Some of the biggest electronics bazaars in Asia are being flooded with customers looking for the latest piece of technology: cryptocurrency mining rigs.
Software update aims to lower costs and transaction speeds in bitcoin market
Aaron Hankin – MarketWatch
In an attempt to tackle expensive bitcoin transaction fees and slow processing times, two leading cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase and Bitfinex, announced Tuesday they have rolled out a software update that they hope will address mounting concerns.
Bogus Charges, Surprise Fees: Inside Coinbase’s Credit-Card Pain
Jennifer Surane, Matthew Leising, Julie Verhage – Bloomberg
Exchange clients complain about getting charged twice on sales; Coinbase says it’s evaluating its long-term payment methods
Coinbase, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, risks seeing its burgeoning business choked if it doesn’t work smoothly with the traditional finance industry.
Artificial intelligence poses risks of misuse by hackers, researchers say
Eric Auchard – Reuters
Rapid advances in artificial intelligence are raising risks that malicious users will soon exploit the technology to mount automated hacking attacks, cause driverless car crashes or turn commercial drones into targeted weapons, a new report warns.
****From the FT: AI experts warn of new types of threats
Crypto millionaires are funding research to reverse the aging process
John Detrixhe – Quartz
Silicon Valley’s elite is famously fascinated by the promise of extreme lifespan extensionóif not outright immortality. Research on these issues has drawn funding from the likes of Google, while the Bay Area’s Unity Biotechnology, which is developing drugs to treat diseases that accompany aging, has also raised a bunch of money. Now, the sci-fi-like cause is attracting a new group of benefactors: cryptocurrency tycoons.
Intruders ‘borrowed’ Tesla’s public cloud for cryptocurrency mining (updated)
Jon Fingas – Engadget
Tesla isn’t immune to the plague of cryptocurrency mining hijacks, it seems. Security researchers at RedLock have reported that intruders gained access to Tesla’s Kubernetes console (where it deploys and manages containerized apps) without needing a password, exposing the EV brand’s login credentials for Amazon Web Services. From there, the attackers both abused Tesla’s cloud resources for cryptojacking and accessed private data held in Amazon’s S3 service. The culprits were creative, too.
Russian Trolls Tweeted Disinformation Long Before U.S. Election; Tweets about contaminated water, tainted turkey look to security experts like practice for the political season
Rob Barry – WSJ
Alice Norton posted an emergency message on a cooking-website forum on Thanksgiving 2015: Her entire family had severe food poisoning after buying a turkey from Walmart.
Jihadists See a Funding Boon in Bitcoin; Cryptocurrencies come under increased U.S. scrutiny as militants seek anonymous donations
Brett Forrest and Justin Scheck – WSJ
When a group that says it provides financial assistance “relating to the jihad” sought to improve conditions for fighters in a squalid, sandbag-fortified trench in Syria late last year, it turned to a new funding conduit: bitcoin.
Former Skadden Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Lying in Russia Investigation
Sharon LaFraniere and Kenneth P. Vogel – NY Times
The son-in-law of a Russia-based billionaire admitted on Tuesday to lying to investigators about his communications with a former Trump campaign aide. The guilty plea by the defendant, a former lawyer at a powerful New York-based law firm, broadened the scope of the special counsel’s inquiry into Russia’s election interference.
Trump Administration Looking at Bankruptcy Options for Student Debt; The Education Department could clarify the meaning of ‘undue hardship’ that is needed to have loans erased
Josh Mitchell and Katy Stech Ferek – WSJ
The Trump administration indicated Tuesday it is considering allowing more Americans to erase student debt in bankruptcy.
Supreme Court Rejects Hedge Funds on Fannie, Freddie Suits
Greg Stohr and Joe Light – Bloomberg
U.S. Supreme Court won’t take up challenges to profit sweep; Decision leaves 2017 ruling against GSE investors intact
The U.S. Supreme Court dealt hedge funds and other big investors a blow Tuesday by refusing to revive core parts of lawsuits that challenged the federal government’s capture of billions of dollars in profits generated by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Steven Cohen loses bid to seal lawsuit alleging sexism at Point72
Jonathan Stempel – Reuters
A U.S. judge on Tuesday rejected billionaire investor Steven A. Cohen’s request to temporarily seal a lawsuit accusing his hedge fund firm Point72 Asset Management LP of sexism toward women.
Wall Street welcomes Trump’s shift on regulation; Obama-era Dodd-Frank statute still in place but bankers back approach
Ben McLannahan and Barney Jopson – FT
It is just over a year since Donald Trump vowed to “do a big number” on Dodd-Frank, the 2010 law designed to rein in excesses on Wall Street. The new Republican administration would dismantle many of those restrictions, the president said, freeing banks to play their part in boosting growth in the world’s largest economy.
Reminder: FINRA Internal Testing In Production
As a reminder, FINRA will often conduct internal testing of its TRACE, ORF, ADF and TRF systems on Saturdays in the production region. Clients are advised to only bring up their applications and connect to FINRA on those Saturdays if they will be participating in testing.
CFTC Staff Extends Time-Limited No-Action Relief for Entities Submitting Swaps for Clearing with Derivatives Clearing Organizations Acting Under Exemptive Orders or No-Action Relief
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Market Oversight (Division) today announced the extension of time-limited no-action relief to entities submitting swaps for clearing by derivatives clearing organizations (DCOs) operating under CFTC exemptive orders or no-action relief provided by CFTC staff (Relief DCOs).
FCA plans for machine-readable regulatory reporting; Financial regulator issues call for feedback on proof concept developed in TechSprint
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has called for views on how technology can make it easier for firms to meet regulatory reporting requirements and provide better quality information.
Sebi permits clearing corps at IFSC to accept cash as trade collateral; Cash and cash equivalents would form at least 50 per cent of the total liquid assets at all times
Markets regulator Sebi today allowed clearing corporations at international financial services centres (IFSCs) to accept cash and cash equivalents as collateral for trades in all product categories.
FCA’s chair-elect admits error of judgment over tax avoidance scheme; Charles Randell tells MPs he repaid HMRC more than £100,000 after Ingenious investment
Simon Goodley – The Guardian
The incoming chairman of the Financial Conduct Authority has admitted to an “error of judgment” after investing in a controversial tax avoidance scheme that resulted in him repaying more than £100,000 to the taxman.
FCA calls for help embracing regtech
Mike Sheen – InvestmentWeek
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is seeking advice on how best the firms it regulates can embrace technology to aid their reporting requirements and “reduce the regulatory burden” they face.
Investing and Trading
The Mining Industry Is Awash With Cash
Thomas Biesheuvel – Bloomberg
Rio pledges record payout and even Glencore pays hefty reward; Companies put era of big spending, risky deals behind them
The mining industry is awash with cash, and so far it’s got two main uses — pay down debt and reward investors.
US fiscal stimulus bodes ill for dollar, says currency market; Expansion of budget deficit viewed as extending a 12-month decline of 11.3%
Adam Samson – FT
Currency strategists are increasingly concerned that the fiscal stimulus ushered in by Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress means a much weaker US dollar.
Oil industry’s swagger takes knock from gas boom; Gas industry challenges oil for headline billing at key industry conference in London
Anjli Raval and David Sheppard – FT
The oil executives who control the world’s most traded commodity are usually the big draw at the annual International Petroleum Week conference. But this week, it could be the leaders in gas that steal the limelight.
Buckle up, there’s a lot more to inflation than the price of goods
Maria LaMagna – MarketWatch
Your dollars aren’t going quite as far when you’re at the store. The consumer-price index (CPI) increased 0.5% on the month and 2.1% on the year, the government announced last week. The increase was fueled in part by a spike in the cost of clothing and gasoline prices. The CPI refers to the rate at which prices for certain products have increased.
Gold, violins and wine don’t cut it as a rival to stocks; Over a long time frame beating equity returns is tricky and requires ingenuity
John Authers – FT
Housing has had the Dimson Marsh Staunton treatment, and it seems to have been uncomfortable. For the uninitiated, this week saw a big annual event in the calendar of devoted market-watchers with the publication of the Global Investment Returns Yearbook, produced for Credit Suisse by the academics Elroy Dimson, Paul Marsh and Mike Staunton.
U.S. Pays Up to Auction $179 Billion of Debt in a Span of Hours
Alex Harris – Bloomberg
Three- and six-month bills sold at levels unseen since 2008; Bid-to-cover ratio on 4-week sale declined to near-decade low
The U.S. Treasury on Tuesday sold $179 billion of securities as it works to rebuild its cash balance, with yields at its auctions of three- and six-month debt rising to levels unseen since 2008.
Bitcoin nearly doubles in value from year’s low hit in early February
Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss – Reuters
Bitcoin hit a three-week high on Tuesday and has surged nearly 100 percent from its lowest level this year, as its recovery continued after South Korea’s financial regulator eased its stance on cryptocurrencies, weeks after it considered shutting down digital currency exchanges.
Biggest gilt redemption set to buoy the market; Fresh BoE purchases come as policymakers consider rate rises
Kate Allen – FT
The Bank of England is set to embark upon its biggest purchases of government debt since it called a halt to its quantitative easing programme last year, in a move that analysts say will prove supportive for the price of medium-dated gilts.
Barclays Puts ‘America Second’ as Europe’s Attractions Grow
Ksenia Glaauchko – Bloomberg
Europe has replaced the U.S. as Barclays Plc’s favorite developed market, based on what the bank perceives to be the region’s cheaper valuations and strong earnings potential.
Lloyds Fixates on Cost Discipline With Push in Technology
Stefania Spezzati, Stephen Morris – Bloomberg
Bank also unveils 600 million-pound charge for PPI in quarter; Shares gain 2 percent after results and strategy details
Lloyds Banking Group Plc investors welcomed the British bank’s focus on cost discipline over the next three years and its renewed push on technology and insurance.
JPMorgan Plans New Manhattan Headquarters for 15,000 Workers
Steve Dickson – Bloomberg
Bank plans to consolidate locations into a bigger building; Construction to begin next year to replace ‘outdated’ facility
JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. bank, plans to build a headquarters in midtown Manhattan that would consolidate other offices into a new office building for 15,000 employees on Park Avenue.
Glencore issues bumper payout after 44% profit jump; Swiss miner and trader benefits from higher commodity prices
Neil Hume – FT
Glencore, the miner and trader, has announced a bumper payout to shareholders after annual earnings surged on the back of higher commodity prices and the best performance from its trading arm since 2008.
Deutsche Bank plots March IPO of asset management unit; German lender aim to sell about a quarter of Deutsche Asset Management for up to EUR2bn
Peter Smith in London and Olaf Storbeck in Frankfurt – FT
Deutsche Bank is preparing to publish an “intention to float” document for its DWS asset management unit next week before listing the business on the Frankfurt stock exchange in March, according to people close to the initial public offering.
Goldman Debunks Idea Dollar Is Being Driven Down by U.S. Worries
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Further moderate dollar depreciation coming, Goldman says; Some investors still appear structurally long greenbacks
Are worries about the twin U.S. deficits dragging down the greenback? Is it more about the Trump administration endorsing a weak-dollar policy? Not so, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts say.
Latvian defense ministry says corruption claims may be disinformation campaign
Gederts Gelzis – Reuters
Corruption allegations that led to the suspension of Latvia’s central bank governor on Tuesday may be part of a disinformation campaign aimed at damaging trust in the country and influencing October elections, its Defence Ministry said.
North Korea steps up cyber powers with shadowy ‘Reaper’ hacker group
Nicola Smith – The Telegraph
North Korea is stepping up its cyber capabilities to target international aerospace and defence industries through a shadowy and sophisticated hackers group called Reaper, a new report revealed on Tuesday.
The group, also known as APT37, was identified in research by American private security company FireEye, which tracks cyber-attackers around the world.
South Korea won’t ban cryptocurrency trading after all
Swapna Krishna – Engadget
South Korea has been flirting with banning cryptocurrency trading for some time now. However, now it appears the country is backtracking. Bloomberg reports that South Korea’s regulators have indicated that they will continue to support “normal” trading of the cryptocurrency.
Two ways to read Mrs Watanabe’s splurge on Japanese stocks; The biggest weekly buying of Japanese equities since 1987 offers conflicting historical signals
Leo Lewis – FT
It’s not often that the October 1987 “Black Monday” crash that eviscerated the world’s biggest stock exchanges finds itself lit by the cosy glow of nostalgia, but these are counterintuitive times.
The latest pro-Brexit analysis has got its sums badly wrong
Chris Giles – FT
An analysis by the pro-Brexit advocacy group Economists for Free Trade says the potential gains from the UK government’s favoured route to leaving the EU would provide a 2 to 4 per cent boost to national income in the long term. The results contrast with the unpublished internal Whitehall analysis suggesting a 2 to 8 per cent loss of national income from any plausible Brexit policy.
U.K. Eyes Longer Brexit Transition and Asks EU to Talk Dates
Nikos Chrysoloras and Tim Ross – Bloomberg
Transition must last until new systems are in place, U.K. says; British position outlined in draft legal text on transition
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is asking the European Union for flexibility on the length of the Brexit transition period with just over a year before the country leaves the bloc.
Anglo-Dutch bonds suffer the strain from Brexit; With so much to lose, the Dutch position on EU-UK relations is more complicated than most
Mehreen Khan in Brussels – FT
Few countries have felt the pain from Brexit like the Dutch.
Sexism in the City: Business Women Take On Old-Boy London Clubs; ‘The zeitgeist is really with us,’ co-founder says
Suzi Ring – Bloomberg
“There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other,” Madeleine Albright told a fired-up Hillary Clinton rally in 2016.
Epic crop fail made it a bad year for bulk wine
Janina Conboye – FT
Last year was unkind to wine producers across the globe. Bordeaux, one of France’s best known regions, was ravaged by frost. California’s wine country endured soaring temperatures and forest fires. Italy’s prossecco region was hit by a heat wave, frost and hail. Spanish viticulturists also experience brutal weather extremes.
Clean meat is the future of meat
Richard Branson – Virgin
In 30 years or so, I believe we will look back and be shocked at what was the accepted way we killed animals en masse for food. I think that in the future clean and plant-based meat will become the norm, and in 30 years it is unlikely animals will need to be killed for food anymore.