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John Lothian Newsletter: VCs Hunt for the Next Unicorn on Snapchat; Citadel’s Ken Griffin: Hedge fund talent is there to snag; Germany’s School for Central Bankers Draws Risk-Averse Crowd John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

First Read Half Full: Trade Alert’s Schwartz Says Options Industry Has Growth OpportunitiesJim Kharouf, JLNToday’s options market is a mixed bag of some strong products gaining traction but, in general, the industry has slowed dramatically over the past decade. Henry Schwartz, president of Trade Alert, speaking at the 34th Annual Options Industry Conference in Palos Verdes, California on Wednesday, told the audience that options industry volume growth has slowed from 14.7 percent over the past 20 years, to 8.5 percent over the past 10 years, to just 2 percent in the past 2-year period. Schwartz attributed the slowdown over the…

JLN Financials: Bond Investors Love Ger-pan; IMF introduces floor on interest rates; Here Are the European Banks That Failed the Stress Tests Financials,Newsletter

First Impressions Welcome to the end of QE2, or so we hear. How temporary will the pause be? Since the stock market has become the proxy for the health of the economy, I imagine the resumption will commence if and when we take out the most recent lows in the S&P 500. That would be 1860 for those keeping score. Quote of the Day Thinking that lending somehow can lead GDP is an illusion, and I don’t know how that has somehow crept into the policy debate. Erik Nielsen, chief global economist at Unicredit, in the Reuters story “Federal Reserve…

JLN Financials: JPMorgan at Odds With IMF in Touting Emerging-Market Debt; Can’t Find Enough 30-Year Treasuries to Buy? Here’s Why; High-speed traders find bumps in road as they drive into FX Financials,Newsletter

First Impressions Speedy Delivery: Keith Ross on HFT, Reg NMS and Dark Pools Today’s financial markets can be summed up in three words – global, fast, and complex. But as the market structure evolves, so must the regulatory structure that oversees it. John Lothian News has spoken with several industry experts to create this series on the evolution of financial market structure. In Part 3, Keith Ross, CEO of PDQ ATS offers his thoughts on HFT, Regulation NMS, maker-taker arrangements, and dark pools, and voices his concerns that regulatory oversight may give way to legislative overreach. Watch the video…

Uncoordinated: Gordon Brown on why the world economy struggles Commentary,Financials

Gordon Brown

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Last November, I interviewed former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown about the state of the global economy and efforts he undertook during the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. Among the goals set by Brown and others who made up the G-20 meeting in April 2009 were simply these: prevent a global depression, – check, implement global regulatory reforms – check for the most part and a growth pact among the leading economies – unchecked. Hey, two out of three ain’t bad is it? Well, when the “coordinated growth pact” disintegrated into “every…

JLN Financials: I.M.F. Shifts Its Approach to Bailouts; Firms Take Advantage of China’s Murky Interbank Market; Surfing central banks in a benign ‘QE trap’ Financials,Newsletter

First Impressions Gone Tomorrow, Here Again After Jon Matte In honor of the US holiday on Thursday (“Premature Shopping Day” – or, as it used to be called, “Thanksgiving Day”), John Lothian News will be closed, and that means no newsletters. But never fear, on Friday JLN, JLN Financials and JLN Options will be back in action. Meantime, to those of you who have a day off, our best wishes for the holiday! Quote of the Day It doesn’t feel entirely right. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney on the weak investment statistics released by Britain’s Office for National Statistics,…

John Lothian Newsletter: Tom hits 1m options contracts in 10 months; US and European asset managers split on new money-fund rules; Chamber, Oil Groups Sue SEC on Foreign Payment Rule John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

Amsterdam’s TOM trading platform hits the million-contract milestone in less than a year.  Lobbyists in Europe and US have different viewpoints when it comes to additional regulation in the asset management sector.  The US Chamber of Commerce and a couple of oil trade groups are suing the SEC over rules governing the reporting of payments to foreign governments.

John Lothian Newsletter: Regulators Approve USD 8 Billion Threshold for Swaps Dealers; IMF Says European Banks May Have to Sell USD 3.8 Trillion in Assets; Starting a hedge fund loses its appeal John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

The CFTC leads the news with a couple of rule decisions, one of which is controversial beginning with its vote. The IMF says that European banks may have to sell trillions of dollars in assets through next year if their financial firewalls prove inadequate. The hedge fund industry, coming off a fairly lousy 2011, sees enthusiasm for new startups wane as far fewer investors are willing to fund new ventures. In the top box, lots of attention paid to the CFTC, which is a great showcase for how well MarketsReformWiki catalogs regulatory information; and Sarah Rudolph’s JLN Options Newsletter has…

John Lothian Newsletter: MF Global Commodity Customers Must Be Paid First, CFTC Says; SEC Charges Fund Managers and Analysts in Insider Trading Scheme; IMF requests $500bn for bail-out loans John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

The CFTC says that MF Global’s trustee has made rookie errors about bankruptcy payouts, and that the ex-brokerage’s customers are first in line for payback.  The SEC continues its insider-trading cleanup program by arresting fund managers and analysts, and leveling new charges in some cases at the firms themselves.  The IMF, looking over the European crisis, asks for more capital in order to weather rough financial seas ahead.

John Lothian Newsletter: Europe set to block DB-NYSE tie-up; Citi chief urges risk disclosure shake-up; Hedge funds lock horns with IMF on Greek debt John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

Early reports suggest that European regulators are preparing to reject the DB-NYSE merger.  Vikram Pandit of Citigroup suggests that banks should explain the methods used to evaluate risk, providing more insight into the degree of optimism present in bank self-evaluations. Hedge funds involved with Greek debt add their name to the IMF’s “bailout complications” list. And in regulation, the CFTC prepares to vote on Dodd-Frank rules from last year; while other agencies consider including clearing houses, insurers and other types of firms to in “too big to fail” considerations that were once applied just to banks.