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Author Archives: Jeff Bergstrom

About Author

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

JLN Environmental/Energy: Behind the $100 Billion Commodity Empire That Few Know; An Energy Weapon vs. Russia?; Goldman Sachs Slams Coal in Downgrade Standard

Lead Stories Behind the $100 Billion Commodity Empire That Few KnowAndy Hoffman and Chanyaporn Chanjaroen – BloombergBusinessweekIn less than a decade, Marco Dunand and Daniel Jaeggi have turned a 10-person company supplying oil to a pair of Polish refineries into the world’s fourth-largest commodity trader with revenue topping $100 billion last year.Now Dunand, 52, and Jaeggi, 53, are executing a plan to propel Geneva-based Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. nearer to the top independent traders, Glencore Xstrata Plc, Trafigura Beheer BV and Vitol Group.http://jlne.ws/1dzAwRI**JK – Interesting story. An Energy Weapon vs. Russia?Michael Levi – Council on Foreign RelationsAs the standoff between…

JLN Financials: U.S. Adds 175,000 Jobs; Unemployment Ticks Up to 6.7%; LSE’s fixed-income trading platform to acquire Bonds.com; Banks Enriched by Junk Resist U.S. Regulator Standards Standard

First Impressions CME Europe CEO Robert Ray Passes Away John Lothian Longtime exchange and brokerage executive Robert Ray passed away Thursday of a cardiac arrest in Atlanta, according to sources. Bob Ray, 60, was serving as the CEO of CME Europe at the time of his death. He moved to London to run the exchange’s European and Asian business interests a couple of years after the CME Group bought the Chicago Board of Trade in 2007. Ray was a senior executive of the CBOT at the time the CME acquired them. Ray also worked in senior trading and derivatives business…

JLN Options: The Options Industry Council Announces Blair Hull as 2014 Sullivan Award Recipient; High-speed trader Infinium stops trading, winds down -president; Looming Jobs Report Isn’t Lighting Fire Under Options Traders Standard

Lead Stories The Options Industry Council Announces Blair Hull as 2014 Sullivan Award RecipientPress Release (OIC)The Options Industry Council (OIC) today announced Blair Hull as recipient of the 2014 Joseph W. Sullivan Options Industry Achievement Award. This award is given annually to one individual in recognition of outstanding contributions to the U.S. options industry throughout his or her career. The 2014 Sullivan Award will be presented at the 32nd Annual Options Industry Conference to be held April 30 – May 2, in Austin, TX.http://jlne.ws/1kBhe31 High-speed trader Infinium stops trading, winds down -presidentReutersHigh-speed trader Infinium Capital Management has stopped trading and…

JLN Environmental/Energy: Germany Eyes Carbon-Market Reserve Start Five Years Early; To blunt Russia, time for American natural gas diplomacy; Chief execs call on Cameron to end carbon budget uncertainty Standard

Lead Stories Germany Eyes Carbon-Market Reserve Start Five Years EarlyBrian Parkin and Mathew Carr – BloombergGermany said an overhaul of the European Union’s carbon market to automatically tighten supply should begin at the latest in 2016, five years earlier than proposed by the bloc’s regulatory arm.http://jlne.ws/1kB34Pi**JK – Raise your hand for a carbon fed! To blunt Russia, time for American natural gas diplomacyPaul Bledsoe and Lee Feinstein – ReutersThe American natural gas revolution has boosted economic competitiveness, and helped reduce U.S. carbon emissions to their lowest levels in 20 years. The question is now whether the United States will leverage…

JLN Financials: No policy shift from ECB despite low inflation; Central Bankers Reach For Atlas as Ukraine Fallout Gauged; China’s 7.5 percent GDP growth target is flexible: finance minister Standard

First Impressions ECB Did Not Blink The European Central Bank left key interest rates unchanged at today’s meeting, despite widespread concern the eurozone has been flirting with deflation over recent months. “Not to worry,” says ECB President Mario Draghi. He says the eurozone is an “island of stability” and that the news since their last meeting has been “by and large on the positive side.” Of course, the central bank reiterated the boilerplate declarations of its commitment to a high degree of monetary accommodation and its readiness to act swiftly and decisively if required. He said the bank expects a…

JLN Options: CBOE Tightens Trader Rules After Paying $6 Million SEC Fine; An Artist Was So Angry With Wall Street’s Formula For Pricing Options, He Created This Brutal Exhibit; Nine private equity founders share $2.5bn payday Standard

Lead Stories CBOE Tightens Trader Rules After Paying $6 Million SEC Fine Sam Mamudi – BloombergNine months after regulators fined the Chicago Board Options Exchange for failing to police its members, the biggest U.S. options market approved a rule aimed at preventing fraud.Firms trading at the unit of CBOE Holdings Inc. (CBOE) will be required to write down how they supervise their businesses, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing from the Chicago-based options exchange. They must also carry out regular office inspections and send CBOE an annual report on regulatory practices. http://jlne.ws/1gaWtnl An Artist Was So Angry With…

JLN Environmental/Energy: UN climate change talks: pressure is on to reach legally-binding, global agreement; European Union Carbon Trading Fix Goes Into Effect; China’s choking smog places carbon trading schemes in shade Standard

Editor’s Note: Due to technical issues, we were unable to deliver the newsletter yesterday. Please see today’s edition, which includes yesterday’s articles as well. Lead Stories UN climate change talks: pressure is on to reach legally-binding, global agreementKatie Kouchakji – International Bar AssociationWhen climate change negotiators from more than 190 countries gather in Bonn, Germany on 10 March, the pressure will be on: time is running out to meet a deadline to complete a draft negotiating text by December 2014. The deadline has been set to allow a few more months of negotiation in early 2015, before finalising the text…

JLN Financials: Bond Market in China May See First Local Default; Japan Said to Be Ready to Impose Bitcoin Rules; S&P ratings “like car reviews” Standard

First Impressions Accountability: How S&P lost all respect for itself By Jim Kharouf There are a thousand lawyer jokes for this one. Standard & Poor’s, in an Australian court yesterday, argued that its ratings should not be taken so seriously. Still in the wake of the global financial meltdown, there has been little accountability and even less humility from the financial sector about the roles they played and damage they inflicted. S&P, which basically tacked on AAA ratings on lousy products and collected huge fees for it, is now is arguing that those ratings really don’t mean much at all….

JLN Environmental/Energy: For Storing Electricity, Utilities Push New Technologies; Report: UK “not acting alone” with climate legislation; Russian-Ukrainian Conflict Spilling Beyond Borders And Into Natural Gas Markets Standard

Lead Stories For Storing Electricity, Utilities Push New TechnologiesCassandra Sweet and Rebecca Smith – The Wall Street JournalFrom backyard tinkerers to big corporations, inventors have been struggling to find a way to store solar, wind and other renewable energy so it can furnish electricity when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow.Now California is offering businesses a big incentive for success—contracts that the utility industry estimates could total as much as $3 billion for successful, large-scale electricity-storage systems.http://jlne.ws/1fCu0fq**JK – It is a momentous and rare occassion when The Wall Street Journal covers energies other than coal, oil or…