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John Lothian Newsletter: How Economics Contributed to the Financial Crisis; Stock-picking makes a comeback as macro tides fade; NYSE Euronext loses head of market data John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

A Forbes writer points out the economists played a big part in the 2008 market collapse, correcting the oversight of not having blamed them before now. In the search for investment returns, the method pendulum appears to be swinging away from indexes and back toward stock picking as a favored strategy. Mark Schaedel, head of market data at NYSE Euronext, has now been named ex-head of market data, though apparently not for any reason related to the failed merger with Deutsche Boerse. Economic rumbling continues across Europe, with Greece slipping closer to default, and Romania trading out its government for…

JLN Special Report: January 2012 Volumes Down Environmental/Energy,Financials,Managed Futures,Metals,Options,Regulation,Special Report,Tech / HFT

Jim Kharouf

On Your CalendarA little over a month ago, I asked an exchange executive about falling volumes in the options space, to which he said. “January is going to tell us a lot.” January’s message to the options industry wasn’t kind. Most exchanges are reporting lower volumes for the month. Some may call it an off month, but given a host of events that have hit the financial markets – futures, options, stocks and currencies – January may be a harbinger for a rough 2012. CNBC’s Bob Pisani wrote a good story about equity market volume drops and its causes. He pointed out…

John Lothian Newsletter: CFTC Weighs Rules for High-Frequency Derivatives Trading Under Dodd-Frank; D Börse and NYSE challenge block to merger; MF Global Told S&P ‘Never Been Stronger’ as Failure Loomed John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

The CFTC begins the process of creating rules for high-frequency trading.  Hopefully, a working definition of “high-frequency trading” will precede those rules. DB-NYSE Euronext send a sharp letter to European regulators, asserting that Joaquín Almunia’s recent comments are out of step with the legal case for their merger.  Ratings agencies say that MF Global gave them a big thumbs-up self-assessment just days before the company exploded. France harvests negative predictions and opinions regarding its current plan to establish a transaction tax.  And in banking news, the sector is awash in news about bonuses, how little they are compared to days…

Futures industry self-regulatory organizations form joint committee to address customer segregation issues Blog,Regulation

The NFA released the following statement on January 18: Futures industry self-regulatory organizations form joint committee to address customer segregation issues CME Group and National Futures Association (NFA) today announced, in conjunction with the InterContinental Exchange (ICE), the Kansas City Board of Trade (KCBOT) and the Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX), the formation of a joint committee to review how self-regulatory organizations can strengthen current safeguards for customer segregated funds held at the firm level in light of the MF Global bankruptcy.

John Lothian Newsletter: NYSE CEO: EU Antitrust Review ‘Fundamentally Flawed’; ICE appoints LME member JP Morgan to advise on potential LME bid; New Rules on Swaps Will Protect Big Traders John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

Reaction to the recommended rejection of the DB-NYSE merger is loud and varied, including one from the NYSE Euronext CEO that the regulatory review was just plain bad. ICE hires JP Morgan to help them work on a bid for the London Metals Exchange, which is also in today’s news for record-breaking volume announcements, and a quarrel over whether dramatically raising fees right before being acquired is a smart decision. The CFTC yesterday voted to pass rules and proposals regulating swaps, though despite publicity and buzz regarding MF Global, the new rule does not appear to address that type of…

MF Global News (12/8/11 AM) Blog,Regulation

The latest news on the MF Global bankruptcy and fallout, published in the John Lothian Newsletter (subscribe here) the morning of December 8, 2011. In the wake of the MF Global bankruptcy, John Lothian Newsletter has created a special section on JohnLothianNewsletter.com devoted to news, information and commentary. The section features archived news stories featured in the John Lothian Newsletter, analysis and breaking news. Check regularly for updates. See the MF Global news section here.

Jim Falvey – Derivatives Attorney Interview,Regulation,Video

Jim Falvey has been an attorney in the exchange and FCM space for over 15 years. He has served as general counsel of Eurex US and IntercontinentalExchange, as assistant general counsel for CME Group and, most recently, as general counsel and corporate secretary of R.J. O’Brien & Associates. He also sits on the advisory board of CMDirect, a web-based commodity trading platform. John Lothian News editor-at-large Doug Ashburn spoke with Falvey about the MF Global bankruptcy, the Volcker Rule, protection of segregated funds, conflicts of interest, and other compliance issues related to the Dodd-Frank Act.

Ray McKenzie – ICE Futures U.S. Financials,Interview,Video

Ray McKenzie

ICE Futures U.S. posted a monthly volume record of 850,244 contracts in its ICE U.S. Dollar Index futures in June. It also hit a daily volume record of 81,814 contracts on June 9 when the notional value of USDX contracts traded exceeded $6 billion. Jim Kharouf spoke with Ray McKenzie, vice president of ICE Futures U.S. about what is driving volumes on the dollar index, what sets it apart from competing indices, ICE’s re-launched FX futures and where the FX futures markets are going.

Needing a Bigger Boat Commentary,Tech / HFT

John Lothian

NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse decided they needed a bigger boat.  NASDAQ OMX decided they needed a bigger boat.  ICE is building a bigger ICE boat one deal at a time.  Lots of firms every day decide  they need to get bigger in order to meet the challenges in front of them. On Friday, as I was returning from Brussels from a day of meetings introducing MarketsReformWiki, the line from the movie Jaws popped into my head.  “We need a bigger boat.”  I had seen the shark, the European market regulatory reform shark jump out of the water and it…