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Has the blockchain hype finally peaked?; Launch of Consortium and Proof of Concept Testing for Capital Market Infrastructure Utilizing Blockchain Technology; RBS Falls on BOE Stress Test Failure, Plan to Shrink Further John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

First Read Blockchain That Makes Sense: How Post-Trade Digital Ledger Technology Will Make Banks And Brokers Happy Jim Kharouf – JLN When you talk about the potential for digital ledger technology, words like revolutionary and transformative are often mentioned. Ray Kahn and Thorsten Peisl are not in the disruptor camp. Yet both left solid jobs in the financial markets and launched blockchain start-ups aimed at bringing new efficiencies to the marketplace. Their message about blockchain was clear at the World Federation of Exchanges annual meeting in Cartagena, Colombia this month. Yes, blockchain is coming. No, it’s not going to turn…

Options Signaling Momentum to Drive Stocks Higher; Options Say Italian Referendum Won’t Jolt Stocks Across Europe; Guess What Day It Is! It’s FOMC Day! Newsletter,Options

Lead Stories Options Signaling Momentum to Drive Stocks Higher Gunjan Banerji – WSJ Options that allow investors to wager on the S&P 500 are suggesting that the benchmark could keep setting fresh records. A post-election rally sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average above the 19,000-level this morning for the first time ever, as the S&P 500 breached the 2,200 threshold. Four major equity benchmarks hit all-time highs yesterday. ****SD: TD Ameritrade’s Ticker Tape has the skinny on recent market action – Record Run Continues, Driven By Oil Ahead of Possible Output Cut Options Say Italian Referendum Won’t Jolt Stocks…

Market change doesn’t have to be violent to hurt; U.S. Said to Probe Tullett, BGC, TFS-ICAP Over FX Options; Buy Side Looks to Fill Market-Making Vacuum Newsletter,Options

Observations & Insight Bits & Pieces Last call. Our MarketsWiki Education series in London will be held on Monday. Do you know any interns, students, or young professionals who would benefit from hearing about our industry from the likes of Scott O’Malia, Guy Simpkin, Steve Woodyatt, Steve Grob, Rob Russell, Andrew Gibbins, Cathy Lyall and more? It’s not too late to send them our way. Register Hosted at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, 25 Basinghall St, London EC2V 5HA, there are three 90 minute sessions: from 10:00 to 11:30, 13:00 to 14:30 and 15:00 to 16:30….

JLN Options: New Study Presents First-Ever List of 119 Funds That Use Options; Nerves Rattled in U.S. Equities as S&P 500 Volatility Turns Ugly; Listed Options Volume Up 20 Percent at 355 Million Contracts in December Newsletter,Options

Observations & Insight Can Options-based funds compete? By Jim Kharouf The CBOE announced the release of a new study today, “Highlights of Performance Analysis of Options-Based Equity Mutual Funds, CEFs, and ETFs,” which analyzed the growth and performance of exchange-listed options-base funds. What is notable about the chart-laden report, is the growth of options-based funds from just 10 in 2000, to 119 in 2014 with a total of $46 billion in AUM. The report looked at 80 options-based equity funds, 51 mutual funds, 22 closed-end funds and seven ETFs with a total of $27.6 billion in AUM. The study found…