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Author Archives: Jeff Bergstrom

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

JLN Financials: Settling the LIBOR and FX Settlement Mess; Barclays Said to Suspend Chief FX Dealer Ashton Amid Probe; No need to worry about too much easy money Standard

First Impressions Settling the LIBOR and FX Settlement MessDoug Ashburn, John Lothian News The rapidly expanding probe into foreign exchange manipulation has certainly given journalists, pundits and regulators something else about which to write, talk and consider rules. Near as I can tell, though, these financial benchmark foibles are, by and large, not so much about rooting out pervasive evils so much as moving the inner workings out of legacy structures and into the modern world. Read more here: http://jlne.ws/1iAFL2g Quote of the Day “Despite the fact that most SEC employees are often told that they may take an hour for…

JLN Options: SEC Rebuffs Nasdaq on Options-Market Rule Change; Options Traders Turn Bearish on Energy Sector Standard

Lead Stories SEC Rebuffs Nasdaq on Options-Market Rule ChangeKaitlyn Kiernan – The Wall Street JournalFederal regulators rebuffed an attempt by Nasdaq OMX Group to grant greater options-trading rights to certain large trading firms.In rare disapproval of a proposed rule change, the Securities and Exchange Commission told the Nasdaq BX Options market that the change could fail to protect investors and the public interest. http://jlne.ws/1801jAl U.S. small cap stocks have reached all-time highs amid historically low levels of volatility, according to Russell Indexes.Russell InvestmentsWhile U.S. small-cap stocks have continued to reach all-time highs in 2013, U.S. small-cap market implied volatility is…

JLN Financials: How the Federal Reserve is like a snake eating itself; Debunking the theory of hallowed carry; The Perils of a Free Trade Pact With Europe Standard

First Impressions There’s no such thing as optional incomeJon MatteThe Fed unsurprisingly extended its stimulus program.  I say “unsurprising” not in the sense of, “I note and concur with all those analysts who follow the Fed,” but from the perspective that it’s nearly impossible to receive no-strings-attached assistance without almost immediately coming to rely on it.  From the outset, the Fed’s introduction of its stimulus package sounded ominously similar to those words that turn nearly every parent’s palms clammy and cold: “C’mon, mom and dad, I just need to stay here for a few days until I can find a…

JLN Options: Hair-Raising Critique Aimed at Options Clearing by SEC; Deutsche Bank Starts Trading System for U.S. Options; Suspicious Trades Before Jobs Report in Three Charts Standard

Lead Stories Hair-Raising Critique Aimed at Options Clearing by SECNandini Sukumar & Nikolaj Gammeltoft – BloombergFor the second time this year, U.S. regulators have cited one of the biggest American options institutions for failing to police itself.The Securities and Exchange Commission told Chicago-based Options Clearing Corp. that it has “serious concern about systemic weaknesses in OCC’s risk management and operations,” according to a letter obtained by Bloomberg News. http://bit.ly/1ibQT5t Deutsche Bank Starts Trading System for U.S. OptionsNikolaj Gammeltoft – BloombergBusinessweekDeutsche Bank AG is introducing an electronic platform for investors to trade options on single stocks, equity indexes and exchange-traded funds…

JLN Financials: The Man Who’ll Do Triage on Europe’s Banks; Transparency poor amid FX SEF launch; “Tapering is off the table” Standard

First Impressions Brand Equityby Doug Ashburn, John Lothian News After last week’s supposed near-miss on a U.S. debt default, the pundits and pontificators are out in full force with their “yeah…but” arguments about whether there has been damage to the U.S. Treasury “brand.” I say “brand” because, quite frankly, that’s what it is. Just as Colgate is #1 recommended by dentists and nobody does it like (or doesn’t like) Sara Lee, buying a U.S. Treasury security entitles the bearer to the full faith and credit of the United States of America. The U.S. did not default last week, but did…

JLN Options: Trading Volume In The ‘Fear Gauge’ Exploded To An All-Time High During The Government Shutdown; One Fear Gauge Trader Looks in Horror at New Debt Ceiling Date Standard

Lead Stories Trading Volume In The ‘Fear Gauge’ Exploded To An All-Time High During The Government ShutdownMatthew Boesler – Business InsiderTrading volume in the VIX (a measure of the implied volatility of S&P 500 index options known as the “fear gauge”) hit record highs over the past two weeks as the government shutdown and debt ceiling debate became the dominant theme in financial markets.http://jlne.ws/Hb0nDd Russell 2000 Index Option Volume Update – Look at that Growth!Bill Ryan – NYSE EuronextRussell U.S. Index Options began trading on NYSE Amex and NYSE Arca Options on a semi-exclusive basis along with another exchange group…

JLN Financials: Treasuries Lose Cachet on Lowest Foreign Demand Since ’01; Alan Greenspan: Financial crisis probability was small; The Worst Ex-Central Banker in the World Standard

First Impressions Greenspan needs his own showJim Kharouf, Editor-in-Chief, John Lothian News Today, we will spend a few minutes with former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, who has somehow raised his profile in the media, at the age of 87 with a new book. He is featured in a BBC News interview and article titled “Greenspan fears US government set for more debt stalemate” and in Paul Krugman’s New York Times column titled “The Worst Ex-Central Banker in the World.” In Krugman’s short and sharp post, he says Greenspan has managed to establish a “record of being wrong about everything” since…

John Lothian Newsletter: Gary Gensler explains how financial reform is going; Banks Brace For Fallout From J.P. Morgan’s Record Settlement; Bank Earnings Wrap-Up: The Good, the Bad, the FICC Standard

First Read Top 10 Morale Booster Suggestions From CFTC Staff 10) Hawaiian Shirt Day! (thanks Michael Cosgrove) 9) Cocktail Weenie Eating Contest 8) Staff basketball game with Gary Gensler as center 7) Dancing with the Stars competition with the chairman 6) Poetry contest using only words from SEF regulation 5) “Regulation Jeopardy!” with Gary DeWaal and Ron Filler as your hosts 4) How to build and operate an aircraft carrier workshop with 680 people, or less 3) Mountain climbing exercise up the SEC’s $1.67 billion budget 2) Halloween corn maze with paintball gauntlet – exit papers at the end 1)…

JLN Options: Gary Katz on ISE Gemini; VIX Trader Pays $6.7 Million Betting That Fear Gauge May Double; The Options Market Is Pricing In Big Moves When These 14 Stocks Announce Earnings Standard

Commentary and Insight   Born Under a Good Sign: Gary Katz Says ISE Gemini Off to Fast Start JohnLothianNews.com Gary Katz, president and CEO of the International Securities Exchange (ISE), has seen the options markets change dramatically since he co-founded the all-electronic options exchange in 2000. Now with the launch of ISE Gemini in August, the ISE is looking to add another exchange model that differs from the flagship exchange. Gemini also represents the 12th US options exchange. Katz sat down with JLN editor-in-chief Jim Kharouf about the new exchange, which garnered 2 percent marketshare of the total industry options…