Breaking News

Exchanges on offensive in market data cost dispute; Bitcoin turns boring

First Read

POV: Are Publicly Traded Exchanges Sticking It To You?
Jim Kharouf – JLN

There is a recurring criticism of publicly traded exchanges – that they are not serving the needs of their customers, all to satisfy shareholders.

Such was the essence of the argument by James Andrus, an investment manager from CalPERS, the California pension and investment giant. On a panel at the World Federation of Exchanges annual meeting last week in Athens, he said stock exchanges are bending to the desires of listed companies on their exchanges on proxy voting rule changes and other policy changes at the expense of investor firms like his. And the motivation, he said, was that exchanges are “for profit” companies reaching for revenue.

Sandy Frucher, vice chairman of Nasdaq, was having none of it. In a blistering rebuttal he said today’s publicly traded exchanges are more regulated and more transparent than they have ever been. He added that criticisms of today’s exchanges are often misguided, especially as compared to the prior privately-held member run exchanges. He likened those exchanges to a “circus tent” where all the business conducted was aimed at serving the member firms, often to the detriment of the customers.

Read the rest here.


Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

At Friday’s CFTC Technology Advisory Committee (“TAC”) meeting I shared my concerns about the origin story of Bitcoin and offered an alternative narrative to consider. I offered no proof, just questions to ponder. On the video on YouTube from the meeting, my comments come in about 103.30.~JJL

The full slate of CFTC Commissioners were together at the TAC, or any open meeting for the first time since 2013.~JJL

The MIAX Exchange Group, the youngest of the five options exchange families, handled 9.5 percent of the options market’s volume in September, per its latest monthly report. That’s a 75 percent year-over-year increase.~SD

There are now more than 700 pages on CryptoMarketsWiki covering a wide array of people, terms and companies in the digital asset space.~SD


Planet has only until 2030 to stem catastrophic climate change, experts warn
Brandon Miller and Jay Croft – CNN
Governments around the world must take “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to avoid disastrous levels of global warming, says a stark new report from the global scientific authority on climate change.

****** Forget long range planning. Survival is now the modus operandi.~JJL


SIX has licensed the SARON index (Swiss Average Rate Overnight) to Eurex as underlying for Futures contract
SIX, the leading index provider for the Swiss Market today, 8 October 2018, announces that it has licensed the SARON (Swiss Average Rate Overnight) to the derivative exchange Eurex as underlying for Futures contract. SARON represents the overnight interest rate of the secured funding market for Swiss franc (CHF). It is based on transactions and quotes made on the regulated trading platform SIX Repo. The Futures contracts, with a maturity of three months, will start trading on October 29, 2018 on Eurex.

****** Nice deal for Eurex.~JJL


Friday’s Top Three
Friday’s top stories were led by the Bloomberg piece Virtu Is Pursuing Takeover of Investment Technology Group. Second was Bloomberg’s Numerai’s Craib Targets Hedge Funds With Crypto Marketplace. Third was the Wall Street Journal’s Cryptocurrencies, Trading Scams Draw Increased Federal Enforcement


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Lead Stories

Exchanges go on offensive in dispute over cost of market data; NYSE and Nasdaq call for recusal of SEC official from lawsuit over fee increases
Nicole Bullock – FT
Rival exchanges New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq this week went on the offensive in a bitter industry dispute over the cost of market data.

Bitcoin Turns Boring as Speculative Frenzy Fades Into Apathy
Eric Lam – Bloomberg
The words Bitcoin and boring have rarely been uttered in the same breath.
But after a dizzying rally, a gut-wrenching crash and near-constant ups and downs over the past two years, the cryptocurrency did something strange in recent weeks: it stayed relatively still.

Banks back Democrats in bid to rebuild bipartisan support
Michelle Price – Reuters
Banks are going to bat for Democrats in the U.S. November midterm congressional elections as part of an ambitious strategy to rebuild the bipartisan support they enjoyed before the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

“Bitfinex is not insolvent:” Crypto exchange giant Bitfinex responds to recent rumors in new blog post
Frank Chaparro – The Block Crypto
In a Sunday blog post, Bitfinex responded to rumors regarding its possible insolvency; The blog post follows numerous reports about the firm’s banking relationships.
Bitfinex, the cryptocurrency exchange, responded to brutal rumors surrounding its business in a blog post Sunday.

LME gets boost from US-China trade war; Cutting of fees at exchange helped drive volumes, says chief executive
Henry Sanderson and Neil Hume – FT
The US-China trade war and swingeing sanctions on Russian oligarchs have proved a boon for business at the London Metal Exchange.

Blow To Bitcoin As Coinfloor CEO Makes Worrying Warning
Billy Bambrough – Coindesk
Bitcoin, known for its wild price swings, has hit a period of stagnation in recent months after last year’s massive bull run ó with bitcoin’s volatility rate sinking to a 17-month low as trading volumes slump.

Norway Is Plowing Cash Back Into Its Wealth Fund
Mikael Holter and Sveinung Sleire – Bloomberg
Norway lowers base tax rate to 22% and reduces wealth tax; Conservative-led government keeps tax rate on banks at 25%
Cash is once again flowing into the world’s biggest wealth fund. Norway’s government on Monday proposed depositing 24 billion kroner ($2.9 billion) in the fund this year and 53 billion kroner next year, according to budget documents. It took out 64 billion kroner in 2017.

Crypto Now the Only Way Isolated Venezuelans Can Buy Passports
Fabiola Zerpa – Bloomberg
New passports to cost four times national monthly mininum wage; U.N. says an estimated 5,000 people per day leave Venezuela
Venezuelans seeking to escape their country’s hardships now face another hurdle: getting their hands on the government’s elusive Petro cryptocurrency to pay for their passports.

Forex scandal comes down to case against the ‘Cartel’; Three British traders deny chatroom banter amounted to price fixing in US trial
Katie Martin, Caroline Binham and Kadhim Shubber – FT
The currencies market goes on trial this week in a process that has whittled down systemic poor behaviour, years of investigations and billions in bank fines to three former London traders. They face a court in New York and a potential sentence of 10 years in jail.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Battle lines drawn for London Metal Exchange
Andy Home – Reuters
The great and the good of the global metals industry are descending on London, making their annual pilgrimage to the London Metal Exchange’s LME Week jamboree. They do so because the 141-year-old market sets the world’s reference prices for everything from aluminium to zinc. And away from the many seminars and cocktail parties, metal producers, traders and users will meet behind closed doors to hammer out details of next year’s contracts.

HKEX Monthly Market Highlights
Press Release
The average daily turnover of futures and options for the first nine months of 2018 was 1,197,645 contracts, an increase of 45 per cent when compared with the 823,469 contracts for the same period last year.

HKEX Implements Nasdaq’s Real-Time Risk Management Technology
Deployed via the Nasdaq Financial Framework, the risk management solution will be applied across all HKEX equity and derivative markets
Nasdaq Inc. (Nasdaq:NDAQ) has announced that Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) will roll out the Nasdaq Real-Time Risk solution across all of HKEX’s cash and derivatives markets via the Nasdaq Financial Framework.

Shimon Sebban, OTCex: “Eurex is becoming an Asian exchange”
Eurex Exchange
Eurex runs global markets and is continually enhancing its services. As of December 2018, we will extend our trading hours in the Asian time zones to strengthen the bridge between Asia, Europe and the US. We discussed this subject with Shimon Sebban, Equity Derivatives Broker at OTCex.

CME initiatives coalesce around spot FX basis spreads
Paul Golden – Euromoney Magazine
At its launch in March, CME FX Link was heralded as the first-ever central limit order book between OTC spot FX and FX futures markets, enabling more efficient access to FX futures as part of a wider trading strategy.

Exchange Executive Says SEC Trading Experiment Will Cost Investors ‘Millions’
Cboe president weighs in on fight over rebates between market operators and regulator
Dave Michaels – The Wall Street Journal
Stripping stock exchanges of the ability to offer incentives to lure trading will cost investors “millions of dollars,” according to one of the largest U.S. market operators.
The remarks on Thursday by Chris Concannon, president and chief operating officer of Cboe Global Markets Inc., add to the growing fight between stock-market operators and their regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC has proposed a two-year pilot program that exchanges say would undermine a key leg of their strategies: a widely used pricing system in which exchanges pay rebates to attract orders and charge fees to other traders.

SGX reports market statistics for September 2018
Market turnover of ETFs rise 12% y-o-y amid regional equities sell-off; Nikkei 225 Index Futures volume increases 16% m-o-m to six-month high

SGX RegCo statement on joint announcement from Mano Sabnani and Stamford Land
The amicable agreement between Mr Mano Sabnani and Stamford Land Corporation Ltd and its Board of Directors to settle their differences is a positive outcome.

Miami International Holdings Reports September 2018 Trading Activity for MIAX Exchange Group
Miami International Holdings, Inc.
Miami International Holdings, Inc. today reported the September 2018 trading activity for its two fully electronic options exchanges – MIAX Options and MIAX PEARL (together, the MIAX Exchange Group). The MIAX Exchange Group collectively executed over 30.7 million contracts in September 2018 for a combined average daily volume (ADV) of 1,617,423 contracts, representing a total U.S. equity options market share of 9.53%.

Chi-X Australia Launches Transferable Custody Receipts in Apple
Manesh Samtani – Regulation Asia
Deutsche-issued TraCRs represent a new mechanism for Australian investors to gain exposure to overseas listed companies, starting with Apple Inc.

NCDEX to launch four new options contracts from tomorrow; SEBI gives nod
The Hindu BusinessLine
The National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange has received SEBI’s approval to launch options trading in guar gum, soyabean, refined soya oil and chana.

Xetra-Gold exceeds mark of 1,000 deliveries; Volume of 4.9 tonnes / Above all, private investors use option
Deutsche Bˆrse Group
More than 1,000 investors have opted to extradite their physically deposited gold since the introduction of the Xetra-Gold bearer bond (ISIN: DE000A0S9GB0 ) in 2007. The volume amounts to a total of 4.9 tons.


UK court blocks class action suit against Google over iPhone data; Case was aimed at allowing 4.4m iPhone users to make a legal claim
Jane Croft – FT
An attempt to sue Google for gathering the personal data of millions of iPhone users in the UK has been blocked by the High Court from proceeding further.

GAIN Capital Deploys Eventus Systems’ Cloud Offering for Market Surveillance in Futures Business
Eventus Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative regtech software solutions for the capital markets, announced today that GAIN Capital Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GCAP), a leading global provider of online trading services, has gone live as a client. GAIN has deployed Eventus’ cloud-based version of the Validus platform to manage the market surveillance program for its futures operation.

JPMorgan’s requirement for new staff: coding lessons; Hundreds of new investment bankers and asset managers undergo mandatory training
Laura Noonan – FT
JPMorgan Chase is putting hundreds of new investment bankers and asset managers through mandatory coding lessons, in a sign of Wall Street’s heightened need for technology skills.

Northern Trust invests in front-office data provider; The custodian will also look to deliver new capabilities across data aggregation, data enhancement and data analytics to support trading and execution.
Joe Parsons – The Trade
Northern Trust has made an investment into Parilux Investment Technology, an investment data management provider as it looks to further its front-office capabilities.


Venezuela Mandates Passport Fees Must Be Paid in Controversial Cryptocurrency Petro
William Suberg – Cointelegraph
Venezuelans can only use the state-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro, to pay for passport fees starting next week, the country’s vice president Delcy Rodriguez said in a press conference Friday, Oct. 5.

Major Crypto Exchange Bitfinex Obtains Banking Partner in HSBC, Will it Last?
On Oct. 6, Larry Cermak, former editor at Diar and head analyst at The Block, reported that leading crypto exchange Bitfinex obtained a banking partner in HSBC, a $133 billion banking giant based in London.

Manny Pacquiao’s New Cryptocurrency
Adrian Barkley – Crypto Daily
One of the most famous boxers in the world, Manny Pacquiao is getting ready to promote his own digital currency at an up and coming blockchain event in Asia. Pacquiao is set to be a special guest at the event according to the official website in order to promote his PAC token which is powered by the GCOX (Global Crypto Offering Exchange).

Petition to make XRP the official cryptocurrency of Tokyo 2020 Olympics garners 7,500 signatures
Osato Avan-Nomayo – Bitcoinist
A petition to get the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to make XRP the official cryptocurrency of the next Summer Olympics has crossed the 7,500 signatures milestone.

South Korea: Ruling Party Lawmakers Urge Government to Go Ease on ICO Regulation
Williams Mugwagwa – Blokt
According to a report by Business Korea, South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party lawmakers Min Byung-doo and Roh Woong-rae are spearheading an initiative to convince the government to reverse the ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) enacted in Sept. 2017 and adopt a positive ICO regulation in line with crypto-friendly countries.

Seoul Mayor Plans $100 Million Fund to Build Blockchain Smart City
Wolfie Zhao – Coindesk
Park Won-soon, the mayor of Seoul, has revealed a five-year plan to invest $108 million to develop the South Korean capital as a smart city powered by blockchain.

Total of 7 Crypto Exchanges and 158 Wallets Hacked in South Korea, Police Find
Kevin Helms –
The South Korean National Police Agency has produced a report of all hacking incidents of crypto exchanges and wallets in the country during the past three years. According to local media, there were seven hacking cases of crypto exchanges and 158 cases of wallet hacks, 91 of which happened this year. However, only six arrests were made.

Here are the options for cryptocurrency users after exchange shuts down; Those with funds in the wallet need to wait indefinitely. Cryptocurrencies, however, can still be traded on exchanges
Tinesh Bhasin – Business Standard
Zebpay, one of India’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, shut down last week. And if you didn’t withdraw the money from the Zebpay wallet or didn’t convert it into a virtual currency, you will need to wait indefinitely for the funds. However, those who have purchased any form of cryptocurrency with the money have some respite.


America First is hurting China’s business
Jonathan Cable – Reuters
The U.S. economy has pulled ahead this year, extending a lengthy expansion with help from President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda and massive tax cuts, but upcoming data could illuminate the impact of his policies on global peers.

Trump Is the Best Incentive for a Stronger Europe, France Says
Radoslav Tomek – Bloomberg
Europe needs to bolster its unity to stave off international challenges, according to French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. But the biggest reason for the European Union to come together? U.S. President Donald Trump.

America First Is a Winning Strategy, JPMorgan Says
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
U.S. factors continue to drive asset prices globally; Mean-reversion trades ‘will struggle to deliver this fall’
America is the way to go. Markets continue to be driven by “uniquely American” factors such as strong activity data, a central bank that’s on the path to being restrictive and foreign policy aimed at systemically important countries, JPMorgan Chase & Co. strategists led by John Normand wrote in a note Oct. 5. That’s despite such factors as the long age of the expansion and an “unusually protracted” Federal Reserve rate-hike cycle.

Homeland Security says it has no reason to doubt spy-chip denials by Apple, Amazon
Mike Murphy – MarketWatch
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said over the weekend it has “no reason to doubt” statements from Apple Inc., Inc.’s AWS and Super Micro Computer Inc. and others denying that some of their servers were compromised by Chinese spy chips.

Wall Street Is Booming Under Trump. But Many of Its Donors Are Embracing Democrats.
Shane Goldmacher – NY Times
When Charles Myers, the chairman of a financial advisory firm, hosted four relatively unknown Democratic congressional candidates at his Midtown Manhattan home last month, he netted more money than he can remember collecting from an event that wasn’t headlined by a presidential candidate.


Boston Celtics Assistant Coach Pleads Guilty in Money-Laundering Case
Eben Novy-Williams and David Voreacos – Bloomberg
Jerome Allen admits taking money from father of Penn recruit; Allen agrees to forfeit $18,000, pay $202,000 fine after plea
A former University of Pennsylvania basketball coach who is now with the Boston Celtics pleaded guilty to laundering money he took from a businessman who paid him to help his son gain admission to the Ivy League school.

ASIC provides relief and updates guidance on short selling
ASIC has issued a new legislative instrument that provides various relief and modifications to the laws in relation to short selling (the Short Selling Instrument).

FCA and SFC sign MoU on United Kingdom-Hong Kong Mutual Recognition of Funds
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Recognition of Funds (MoU), which will allow eligible Hong Kong public funds and United Kingdom retail funds to be distributed in each other’s market through a streamlined process.

FCA consults on new rules to improve the approach to open-ended funds investing in illiquid assets
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is consulting on new rules and guidance to reduce the potential for harm to investors in funds that hold illiquid assets, particularly under stressed market conditions. These measures will also support the FCA’s market integrity objective and help address financial stability concerns.

Investing and Trading

What Steve Jobs Might Say to Elon Musk; You’ve got to grow up sometime.
Joe Nocera – Bloomberg
Friday marked the seventh anniversary of Steve Jobs’s death, which has me thinking not only about his remarkable life, but also about the man most often compared to him in terms of charisma, audacity and vision. That, of course, would be Elon Musk.

Louis Dreyfus Pays Big Dividend as Billionaire Owner Seeks Cash
Andy Hoffman and Agnieszka de Sousa – Bloomberg
Margarita Louis-Dreyfus faces deadline to buy out family; Financial results follow surprise departures of CEO and CFO
Louis Dreyfus Co. paid a big dividend to its eponymous family owners despite a 38 percent drop in first-half profit, showing how majority owner Margarita Louis-Dreyfus is squeezing the company for cash.

The Price of Financial Advice Is, Finally, Falling; As the rest of Wall Street cuts all kinds of fees in a race to zero, financial advisers have been the exception. That is changing.
Lisa Beilfuss – WSJ
Mutual-fund and index-fund fees keep falling. Trading is free, depending on where you do it. Even hedge funds have started to drop their notoriously high charges.

Investment in Infrastructure Is Booming; Private-equity firms are on course to raise a record amount to invest in pipelines, telecom assets and the like
Miriam Gottfried – WSJ
Private-equity firms are on track to raise a record amount for infrastructure investing in 2018, as money managers bet on the growing need to upgrade and expand the world’s railroads, natural-gas pipelines and data centers.


What’s Fidelity Worth? It All Depends on How You Count
Daren Fonda and Alex Eule – Barron’s
Fidelity’s stockpickers spend their lives poring over financial reports to uncover value. But figuring out what Fidelity itself would be worth is much more of a guessing game.

Schroders Plc and Lloyds Banking Group in talks over wealth management alliance
Asset manager Schroders Plc (SDR.L) and Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) said on Sunday they were in discussions over a wealth management alliance.

UBS Accused of Bond Movie Tactics in Paris Tax-Dodging Trial
Gaspard Sebag and Patrick Winters – Bloomberg
French trial starts Monday; UBS posted 1.1 billion-euro bail; Bank accused of helping wealthy clients evade French taxes
UBS Group AG goes on trial in Paris on Monday accused of encouraging rich clients to stash cash overseas to evade French taxes by deploying tactics “worthy of James Bond.”

UBS goes on trial in France over alleged tax fraud
Inti Landauro, Emmanuel Jarry – Reuters
Swiss bank UBS Group AG, its French unit and six top executives go on trial on Monday after a long-running investigation into allegations they helped wealthy clients avoid taxes in France.

Morgan Stanley Redesigns Offices for a ‘Dynamic, Millennial’ Workforce
Sonali Basak – Bloomberg
More get views of Statue of Liberty, but no kombucha on tap; Luring ‘best and brightest’ means knocking down some walls
Morgan Stanley is remodeling. About 1.2 million square feet (111,000 square meters) of office space will get an overhaul in the next 15 months to put technology experts closer to brokers, traders and bankers, the firm’s head of technology, Rob Rooney, said in an interview. After changes to wealth-management operations, trading floors, investment-banking offices and space tied to asset management will all get a remake.


Chips are down for Britons after dry summer hits potato crop; Smaller portions likely as soaring prices serve up memories of 1976
Andy Bounds in Blackpool – FT
A dry summer has shrunk the British potato crop and raised a daunting prospect for Britons: a shortage of chips. Fish and chip shops say they will have to reduce portion sizes and raise prices for the national dish.

Why are investment banks nervous about Australia’s cartel case?
Paulina Duran, Alun John – Reuters
Investment bankers are bracing for the start of a landmark legal case about alleged cartel activity in Australia’s financial sector, nervous the proceedings could lead to increased scrutiny and tougher measures from regulators worldwide.

Europe is closing a trading loophole that banks were relying to cope with Brexit
Will Martin – Business Insider
The European Central Bank reportedly wants to crack down on a practice that many in the City believe would have helped London retain its European financial crown after Brexit.


ECB warns banks to curtail booking trades and loans in UK after Brexit; ‘Back-to-back’ arrangement would have helped keep staff and capital in London
Laura Noonan, and Stephen Morris and Martin Arnold – FT
The European Central Bank has warned banks they have a maximum of three years after Brexit to curtail their use of a “back-to-back” booking model that makes it easier to keep staff and capital in the UK.

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