Observations – Statistics – Commentary
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night
By the Streetwise Professor
In an uncharacteristically dyspeptic opinion piece on his newsletter, John Lothian concludes that CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler has his eye on something more than Chairmanship of what has long been an also ran among Federal agencies:
**** Evidently Professor Pirrong does not know how many TUMS I go through every day.
CTAEXPO New York
CTAEXPO New York currently has over 135 registrations including over 50 Professional Money Raisers, Asset Allocators and Clients and 28 different CTAs. Fewer than 30% of the New York capital sources attended the October, 2009 CTAEXPO in Chicago. The deadline for participating in the CTA Directory and Service Provider Directory is March 24. We anticipate again being sold out. Because of security at the NYMEX Building walk ins will not be allowed. CTAEXPO continues to be offer free registrations to Professional Money Raisers, Asset Allocators and Clients. Register on line or obtain additional information at
Song of the Day
by The Irish Tenors
Danny Boy Lyrics
Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer’s gone, and all the roses falling
Tis you, ’tis you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer’s in the meadow
Or when the valley’s hushed and white with snow
Tis I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.
But when ye come, and all the flowers are dying
If I am dead, as dead I well may be
You’ll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an “Ave” there for me.
And I shall hear, tho’ soft you tread above me
And all my grave will warmer, sweeter be
For ye shall bend and tell me that you love me
And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me.
CME Group Announces the Launch of Ultra Treasury Bond Options
Ultra T-Bond Futures: Fastest Growing Interest Rate Product Ever Introduced
CHICAGO, March 17, 2010 – CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced the launch of options on Long-Term U.S. Treasury Bond (“Ultra T-Bond”) futures beginning June 7, 2010. Both standard and flexible options on Ultra T-Bond futures will be available. This contract will be listed with, and subject to, the rules and regulations of the CBOT. “The Ultra T-Bond futures contract is the fastest growing interest rate futures product ever launched by the CME Group exchanges,” said Robin Ross, CME Group Managing Director of Interest Rate Products. “By adding options to the product suite, we are providing our customers with even more opportunities to manage long-term risk and add duration to their portfolios.”
**** CME Group fixed the problem on their Open Markets blog and now FIA is no longer “Futures Industry of America.”
Neutrality provides a foundation of stability
by Bryan Durkin
Many have argued that the recent financial crisis has been the worst this country has had to endure since the great depression. While the debate will continue for years on the cause, one thing is certain: the crisis certainly tested the resiliency of the exchange traded markets, which successfully functioned without incident.
**** Speaking of the CME’s Open Market blog, above is the latest blog entry from Bryan Durkin of the CME Group. So my question is this. Will people believe that these blog entries, which are supposed to be personal, are really from the people whose name they are posted under? Or, will readers assume that this is something that is written by the Corporate Communications department and posted under the person’s name? Given the process driven culture at the CME Group, I would lean to the latter. Of course, now if they started shooting these as videos, I might have to change that view, somewhat.
Ex-CBOE vice-chair gets cash incentive to refrain from suing fellow members
By: Lynne Marek
(Crain’s) – The Chicago Board Options Exchange‘s board director and former vice-chairman will get a “cash award” of as much as $300,000 after the company completes its demutualization and becomes a public company if he does not sue any fellow members for patent infringement in the future. Bradley Griffith, who also is an owner-member, took a leave of absence last year from his post as vice-chairman after the company at which he is a partner, Edge Specialists LLC, sued two of the exchange’s big bank members, Barclays Bank PLC and UBS A.G., and Chicago-based Wolverine Trading LLC over allegations that they infringed patents his company holds for an electronic trading technology.
BATS OPTIONS JOINS THE OPTIONS INDUSTRY COUNCIL
CHICAGO (March 17, 2010) – BATS Options has become a member of The Options Industry Council (OIC). BATS Options joins the member firms and other options exchanges cleared by OCC in helping promote the responsible use of equity options through education.
**** BATS is starting to step up to the plate.
Oil traders look to James Bond-style data collection
By Gregory Meyer in New York
Twice a week a helicopter pilot lifts off from a remote Oklahoma airport, circles several times and returns with images as important to oil traders as celebrity spreads are to magazine editors. Cameras bolted to the aircraft shoot photos and video of the oil tanks at Cushing, the US pipeline hub that plays a central role in the oil market as the delivery point for West Texas Intermediate oil futures, the global benchmark.
FT.com / UK
**** There is nothing like Data Galore, or would it be Plenty O’Toole.
Why women now prefer Johnny Depp to Sean Connery
British women now prefer feminine looking men over their more rugged counterparts because they no longer need to worry about the survival of the fittest, new research suggests.
**** I was hoping for survival of the “tallest” being the hot new thing.
OptionsCity Introduces a New Version of Metro
Chicago, March 17, 2010 – OptionsCity is pleased to announce the release of OptionsCity Metro 2.1. This latest release adds to its 2.0 milestone release and includes performance improvements to Metro’s server based low latency Quoting Engine, as well as major enhancements to the user interface to improve GUI responsiveness and intuitiveness. In this release, OptionsCity also exposed additional API (Application Programming Interface) functionality for clients integrating their proprietary systems and algorithms. “This is another step in creating the most intuitive, powerful, and low latency electronic trading platform available for Options traders”, said Victor Glava, CTO and VP Development. “OptionsCity Metro user interface is more streamlined and our server based low latency engine is more powerful”.
Japan Banking Recovery Means Payday for ‘Pink Slip’ Organizer
By Takahiko Hyuga
March 17 (Bloomberg) — Soichiro “Swimmy” Minami parlayed a get-together for laid-off bankers into a $2.2 million paycheck in less than a year. In April 2009, Minami threw what he called Japan’s first “pink slip party” at the Heartland bar in Tokyo’s Roppongi district. About 300 finance professionals, made jobless by the worst recession since World War II, mingled with recruiters and sipped $5.50 beers they paid for themselves. The cost to Minami: Zero.
Trading on the past
Jignesh Shah, managing director of the Multi Commodity Exchange, India’s largest commodity exchange, is the best-known face of India’s modern commodity futures trading fraternity. Articulate and just media-friendly enough to warrant a mostly favourable press, Shah’s story holds a Narayana Murthy-type of attraction – humble background, ambitious, pioneering, tech-savvy, simple, hard working et al.
**** Hype, hype and more hype.
Commentary: How High Frequency Trading Benefits All Investors
March 17, 2010 – The critics of high-frequency trading fail to appreciate the major contribution that traders employing high-frequency strategies have made towards ensuring that our nation’s equity markets are the world’s most fair, transparent, resilient and lowest cost.
**** Do all high frequency traders speak with a “squeaky” voice?
‘Daily Show’ Takes On Financial Regulatory Reform, Explains Dodgy Wall Street Practices (VIDEO)
**** “You can sell short your own reform bill,” Jon Stewart said.
MarketsWiki Page of the Day
MarketsWiki Recent Updates
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Companies, Organizations and Groups
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4,337,807 pages viewed, 5,326 articles, 89,239 edits
Banks face trial over derivative trades
FT.com / Companies / Banks
By David Oakley in London and Vincent Boland in Milan
Four banks were on Wednesday charged with fraud linked to the sale of derivatives to the city of Milan in a case that could set off a string of lawsuits by Italian local governments facing potentially billions of dollars of losses on their borrowings.
Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan, UBS Are Charged With Derivatives Fraud
By Elisa Martinuzzi and Sonia Sirletti
March 17 (Bloomberg) — Deutsche Bank AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co., UBS AG and Hypo Real Estate Holding AG’s Depfa Bank Plc unit were charged with fraud linked to the sale of derivatives to the City of Milan.
BlueNext Halts Spot CO2 Trading, ICE Bans Surrendered Credits
By Catherine Airlie
March 17 (Bloomberg) — BlueNext SA halted spot trading of UN carbon credits, and ICE Futures Europe said it won’t accept already-surrendered allowances as the exchanges tried to mend broken links between the world’s biggest emissions markets. BlueNext “ceased trading first thing this morning,” spokesman Keiron Allen said today by telephone. The exchange “temporarily stopped trading” in United Nations credits and the spot spread contract based on the difference between UN and EU carbon dioxide permits. ICE Futures Europe said it revised its rules for trading on the European Climate Exchange in London to clarify that UN credits that have already been canceled or surrendered for compliance in the EU “are not deliverable.” Nasdaq OMX Inc.’s Nord Pool exchange halted trading in Certified Emission Reduction units, efffective immediately, the exchange said in an e-mailed statement today.
LCH.Clearnet set to clear European equity CFDs
LCH.Clearnet Limited (LCH.Clearnet), working with Chi-X Europe Ltd, will launch a unique contract-for-difference (CFD) clearing service. Investors will be able to benefit from clearing for European equity CFDs; a market that, in 2007 accounted for 30% of all UK equity transactions according to the FSA1.
LCH/Chi-X clearing could boost buy-side’s CFD use
The Trade News
European clearing house LCH.Clearnet and multilateral trading facility (MTF) Chi-X Europe have joined forces to offer a clearing service for equity contracts for difference (CFD) trades.
The firms expect to launch the service in Q3 2010, subject to regulatory approval. It will initially be available for UK blue-chip equities and will be extended to further European markets shortly after launch.
EU hedge fund curbs delayed after the intervention of Gordon Brown
A dramatic eleventh-hour intervention by Gordon Brown saw controversial EU legislation to curb the powers of hedge funds dropped from the agenda of a top finance ministers meeting on Tuesday.
Delay in EU hedge fund rules is “good news” -UK
LONDON, March 16 (Reuters) – The delay in deciding European Union-wide rules for hedge funds is welcome because more work needs to be done on agreeing the directive, a spokesman for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Tuesday.
Tavakoli: Credit Default Swaps on Sovereign Debt
by Tom Pauken
As investigations unfold on questionable activity conducted by investment banks during the recent Greek debt crisis, certain financial instruments – similar to those that tanked the housing market – are coming under scrutiny for driving up sovereign bond prices through speculation. Janet Tavakoli has written extensively on these instruments and their potential dangers especially when used to insure underlying debt not owned by the purchasing party (or “naked trading” as it’s called in the financial world). In a recent entry on her Huffington Post blog, Ms. Tavakoli argues that the same speculative practices that wreaked havoc in a number of EU states are now occurring with United States Treasury bonds:
Feldstein Sees Greek Euro-Exit Pressure as Plan Fails (Update1)
By Simon Kennedy
March 17 (Bloomberg) — Harvard University Professor Martin Feldstein, who warned almost two decades ago that the euro would prove an “economic liability,” said Greece’s austerity plan will fail and the country may quit the single currency to fix its fiscal crisis.
Merkel Berates U.K. Over Hedge-Funds, Slams France on Exports
By Tony Czuczka and Patrick Donahue
March 17 (Bloomberg) — Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized France and the U.K., saying Germany’s response to the recession was better, and cautioned against “hasty” decisions on aid for Greece.
CFTC’s Gensler says unconvinced about CDS ban
By Huw Jones
BRUSSELS/LONDON, March 16 (Reuters) – A top U.S. regulator cast doubt on Tuesday on calls in Europe for a ban on trading of credit default swaps saying it was unclear if a ban would be workable. “I am not sure how an outright ban would work mechanically,” Gary Gensler, chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, told the European Parliament.
US Warns EU Derivatives Ban Won’t Work
BRUSSELS (AP) — Europe’s threat to ban the sort of financial derivatives trading that some blame for worsening Greece’s debt crisis wouldn’t work, a senior U.S. official told EU lawmakers Tuesday.
EU,US Policymakers Question Need For CDS Ban
By Matthew Dalton and Carolyn Henson
BRUSSELS (Dow Jones)–A key member of the European Parliament and a senior U.S. official Tuesday questioned the need for a ban on credit default swaps, despite claims from other European officials that CDSs linked to sovereign debt are exacerbating the debt problems of Greece and other fiscally-challenged European governments.
FSB Will Designate Derivatives for Central Clearing (Update1)
By Ben Moshinsky and Joseph Heaven
March 17 (Bloomberg) — Financial Stability Board Chairman Mario Draghi said the global regulatory body plans to designate which over-the-counter derivatives should be standardized for central clearing “in the coming weeks.”
SEC Didn’t Act on Lehman’s ‘Problematic’ Liquidity, Report Says
By Joshua Gallu and David Scheer
March 17 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission didn’t take action after determining in June 2008 that Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. was exaggerating the liquid assets on its books, the bankruptcy examiner’s report shows.
U.K. Will Push Countries for Similar Bonus Rules, Turner Says
By Caroline Binham
March 17 (Bloomberg) — The U.K. will push other countries to adopt a “rules-based” approach to bonuses similar to its own, the head of Britain’s Financial Services Authority said.
Comptroller Dugan Says He’s Concerned About Dodd Bill (Update1)
By Phil Mattingly
March 17 (Bloomberg) — Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan said he’s concerned a Senate bill to overhaul Wall Street regulation would make consumer protection a higher priority than the need to preserve banks’ financial stability.
Dodd 2.0: Maybe we need to reboot
Chamber, Wall Street lobby seek to alter Dodd bill
By JIM KUHNHENN
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON – Financial institutions and their allies mobilized lobbyists and fueled their media campaigns Tuesday in a swift response to a Democratic plan to rein in Wall Street and protect consumers in their banking and borrowing transactions.
Financial regulatory reform bill falls short: NASAA
Group calls for fiduciary standards for anyone giving investment advice
News Investment Executive
Gregg: Bipartisan deal on derivatives overhaul unlikely this week
By J. Taylor Rushing and Silla Brush
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) on Tuesday cast doubt on reaching a bipartisan deal this week on derivatives legislation
The Hill’s On The Money
Senate panel seen approving financial reform
(Reuters) – The new financial reform bill introduced in the Senate will likely be approved at the committee level next week, but its shape could change substantially once it comes before the full Senate and winning Republican support comes into play, analysts said on Tuesday.
Corker Sees Middle Ground on Volcker Rule
By BOB DAVIS
Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee said that he sees a “middle ground,” where he could support the so-called Volcker rule, which would bar banks from trading for their own profit or from owning hedge-fund or private-equity funds.
Environmental Trading News
Carbon traders voice fears over recycled carbon credits
James Murray, BusinessGreen
The integrity of the EU’s emissions trading scheme could be badly undermined unless governments resist the temptation to sell on “recycled” certified emission reduction (CERs) credits that have already been surrendered by businesses.
Carbon Trading Paralysed by EU Loophole
LONDON, March 17, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Trading of UN-backed carbon credits ground to a halt on Tuesday, due to a loophole that means used credits can find their way back to the market.
Bluenext suspends CERs trading on double-counting issue
UN CO2 Credits Fall in Spot Trading as BlueNext Advises Caution
By Mathew Carr and Ewa Krukowska
March 16 (Bloomberg) — United Nations emission credits fell today in spot trading after the BlueNext Exchange “strongly recommended” investors be cautious about buying credits that may not be valid for European Union compliance.
EU Approves Regulation to Fight Tax Fraud in Carbon Markets
By Ewa Krukowska
March 16 (Bloomberg) — The European Union agreed on measures today to fight value-added tax fraud in the bloc’s emissions-trading market by shifting the levy to customers.
New Analysis: 15% Cut in U.S. Carbon Emissions Achievable Through Simple Inexpensive Personal Actions
NEW YORK (March 12, 2010) – New analysis released today at a symposium on “Climate, Mind and Behavior” reveals that Americans can reduce U.S. carbon pollution by 15 percent – or one billion tons of global warming pollution – through collective personal actions that require little to no cost.
Nasdaq OMX Acquires Nord Pool’s Power, Carbon Exchange Business
By Lars Paulsson
March 17 (Bloomberg) — Nasdaq OMX Group, Inc. said it acquired Nord Pool ASA, Europe’s largest power derivatives exchange which also operates carbon trading, following Statnett’s and Svensk Kraftnät’s decision to exercise their option to sell the shares in Nord Pool.
NASDAQ OMX Acquires Nord Pool ASA
OSLO, Norway, Mar 17, 2010 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) — The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:NDAQ) announces the acquisition of Nord Pool ASA, the world’s largest power derivatives exchange and one of Europe’s largest carbon exchanges, following Statnett’s and Svenska Kraftnät’s decision to exercise their option to sell the shares in the company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Nasdaq OMX Acquires Nordic Derivatives Exchange
Securities Industry News
Nasdaq OMX Group said Wednesday it had acquired Nord Pool ASA, the world’s largest power derivatives exchange and one of Europe’s largest carbon exchanges.
Alternative Energy to Bring $326 Bln by 2019
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Clean Edge) — Following one of the worst years in economic history, signs of hope have begun to emerge for the clean-tech sector, with clean energy becoming a driving force for global economic recovery from Beijing to Seoul, and Washington D.C. to Brussels.
Climate change’s Hail Mary
By Steve Hargreaves
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The horse trading over climate change law is in full swing, and Senators are trying to appease interests on both sides of the aisle.
In the next couple of weeks, lawmakers are expected to unveil an unprecedented proposal that combines more oil and gas drilling with a cap on greenhouse gases and a tax on gasoline.
Khosla Says Clean-Energy Investors Should Beware of IPO Rush
By Tim Mullaney
March 17 (Bloomberg) — Investors should beware of stock offerings from clean-technology companies this year that lack a long-term technology edge and rely too much on government aid, said Vinod Khosla, the biggest U.S. investor in green startups.
Waste Management To Deploy First Plasma Gasification System
S4 Energy Solutions LLC, a joint venture by Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: WM) and InEnTec LLC, announced plans to develop a plasma gasification facility at Waste Management’s Columbia Ridge Landfill in Arlington, Oregon. The planned facility will convert municipal solid waste into fuels and energy.
Contract Rules amendments: ICE Futures ECX CER Futures Contract and ICE Futures ECX CER Futures Daily Contract (the CER Contracts)
For more environmental trading news, subscribe to the Environmental Markets version of the John Lothian Newsletter edited by Jim Kharouf.
Visit http://www.jlnenvironmental.com to subscribe.
Exchange & ECN News
BM&FBOVESPA: Number Of Contracts Traded Is The Highest In 2010
On March 16, BM&FBOVESPA registered the highest daily volume of 2010, on the derivatives segment, with 4,155,992 contracts traded. The historical record of 4,355,624 contracts traded was established on April 17, 2008.
ETFS Marketing LLC expands product team and appoints Darren Fortunato as SVP, US Product Development
New York, March 17, 2010 – As part of US business expansion efforts and solid growth in the newly launched US products: ETFS Physical Silver Shares (SIVR), ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (SGOL), ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (PPLT) and ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (PALL), total assets under management in the four products now stand at $1.16B as of March 12, 2010. ETFS Marketing LLC, the US Marketing Agent for ETF Securities, has appointed Darren Fortunato to the expanding US product team.
BM&Bovespa Considers Selling $300 Million of Bonds (Update1)
By Helder Marinho
March 16 (Bloomberg) — BM&FBovespa SA, the owner of Latin America’s biggest exchange, may sell $300 million of bonds to finance the purchase of a stake in the CME Group Inc., Chief Financial Officer Carlos Kawall said.
CME Group Announces the Launch of Ultra Treasury Bond Options
NZX, power generators in talks on derivatives market
WELLINGTON, March 17 – New Zealand’s stock exchange operator NZX Ltd said it was in early talks with the country’s five main power generators to establish an exchange traded and centrally cleared electricity derivatives market.
NYSE Liffe lists further 25 futures contracts on MSCI Indices on on Bclear
Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon, London, Paris, 17 March 2010 – NYSE Liffe, the European based derivatives business of NYSE Euronext (NYX), announced the launch today of twenty four new futures contracts on MSCI indices on its pioneering wholesale service, Bclear.
WSE to launch new single stock futures
Futures and Options Intelligence (subscription)
The Warsaw Stock Exchange is set to launch single stock futures on three blue chip firms in the energy and technology sectors. The futures, on Polska Grupa …
CME Group Inc. Announces Date of First-Quarter 2010 Earnings Release, Conference Call
CHICAGO, March 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — CME Group Inc. will announce earnings for the first quarter of 2010 before the financial markets open on Thursday, April 29, 2010. The company has scheduled an investor conference call that day at 7:30 a.m. Central time.
ASX appoints deputy CEO-Peter Hiom is new deputy chief executive, ASX restructures group executive responsibilities.
RTS Indices Weekly Review
RTS Group Weekly Trading Results: March 9 – 12, 2010
FORTS: Final Settlement Prices Determined For Urals And Brent Futures Contracts
NYSE Amex to Delist Securities of Armour Residential REIT, Inc.
NYSE AMEX TO DELIST SECURITIES OF WILSHIRE ENTERPRISES, INC
Banks, Brokers & Dark Pools
Thrift regulator defends industry, agency
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Thrifts did not engage in regulatory arbitrage, nor were they a cause of the financial crisis, the top U.S. thrift regulator said on Wednesday.
John Bowman, acting director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, speaking at the American Bankers Association meeting in Washington, defended the industry against criticism it shopped around for the best regulator.
Goldman Sachs fixed-income sales could see exodus to UBS
By Sameera Anand
UBS is trying to beef up its fixed-income sales team at the expense of rival Goldman Sachs, with attempts to poach up to 12 people from the US investment bank in Hong Kong and Korea, according to sources.
Atos Origin considering buying RBS WorldPay – report
French software group Atos Origin is considering buying RBS WorldPay, an electronic payments unit of part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland , Le Figaro newspaper reported on Wednesday.
NZX settlement costs may be ‘cost neutral’
By Pattrick Smellie
March 17 (BusinessWire) – Wellington broking firm McDouall Stuart says inadequate future returns and a trend towards increased capital requirements for clearing house participants are behind its decision to resign as a trading and settlement member of NZX.
CIT Net Worth 16% Above Stock as Thain Plots Recovery (Update1)
By David Henry
March 17 (Bloomberg) — CIT Group Inc., the commercial lender that hired John Thain to lead the company after bankruptcy, told investors its book value increased to $41.99 a share, more than forecast and 16 percent above its stock price.
IT Challenges Loom for Morgan Stanley’s Smith Barney
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney is already fighting a talent war while integrating two arch-rival brokerages. Now an even tougher test lies ahead — putting more than 18,000 advisers on the same computer system.
Broadcort(R) Attracts New Clients, Affirms Growth Intent
JERSEY CITY, N.J., March 17 /PRNewswire/ — Broadcort, a clearing division of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, today announced it has expanded its clearing and execution business for institutional broker-dealers by attracting more than a dozen new clients in the second half of 2009, and six additional new clients already in 2010.
Investment bankers at RBS awarded pay rises of up to 100%
By Perry Gourley
ROYAL Bank of Scotland is understood to have given pay rises of up to 100 per cent to a number of investment bankers, as it fights to hold on to key staff. Although not all of the bank’s 16,800 staff in its investment banking division received increases, it is thought a number have been awarded significant rises to take effect from next month.
Citigroup spends $1.25 million to lobby government
NEW YORK (AP) — Citigroup Inc. spent $1.25 million during the fourth quarter to lobby the government on banking and other financial regulation reform.
BofA Merrill hires new Asia corp banking head
HONG KONG, March 17 – BofA Merrill Lynch has hired Charles Alexander from Standard Chartered as head of its Asia-Pacific corporate banking team, the bank said, as it embarks on its expansion plan in the region.
optionsXpress Reports Key Monthly Performance Metrics for February 2010
CHICAGO, March 17, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — optionsXpress Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:OXPS) today reported key monthly performance metrics for February. Highlights for the month included
MB Trading Financial Services Wins Top Rating in Barron’s Review
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., March 17 /PRNewswire/ — Manhattan Beach Trading Financial Services, Inc. (“MBTFS”) and MB Trading Futures, Inc. (“MBTF”) (collectively “MB Trading”), which is a technology-driven, low-commission brokerage specializing in order routing in FOREX, Equities, Futures, and Options through various global exchanges and electronic networks, announced today that it earned the top four and a half star rating in Barron’s 2010 review of on-line brokers.
Clock ticks for RBS to refinance its balance sheet ahead of EU ruling
By Harry Wilson
The European Commission rule barring discretionary payments by banks that have accepted state aid comes into effect on April 30, handing RBS a tight schedule if it is buy-back or exchange existing debt for new bonds before the deadline.
Hartford Financial selling $3B in securities
HARTFORD, Conn. – Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. said Tuesday it will sell $3.05 billion in securities as part of its plan to repay the $3.4 billion it received under the federal financial bailout.
Hope in the Fuld
Ex-Lehman boss sees vindication in bank report
He may be one of the most vilified men coming out of the financial crisis, but ex-Lehman Brothers boss Dick Fuld is feeling vindicated in the wake of last week’s 2,200-page report by a court-appointed bank examiner, sources tell The Post.
Lehman takes middle road on plan for creditors
(Reuters) – Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc (LEHMQ.PK), which filed for bankruptcy in September 2008, wants to take a “middle of the road” approach to repaying creditors, hoping for a consensual outcome that avoids litigation.
EFX Prime Services Announces Hedge Fund Team
NEW YORK, March 17 /PRNewswire/ — EFX Prime Services, a division of First New York Securities, today announced its hedge fund client service team. The experienced team is comprised of operations and trading experts from First New York Securities and new hires that complete the EFX Prime service offering.
CA CHEUVREUX – THE GREEK CRISIS PRESENTS A TEST FOR THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THE EURO
Enterprise Financial Services names 2 executives
Enterprise Financial Services names heads of commercial, retail banking
The SEC News Digest
The SEC News Digest provides daily information on recent Commission actions, including enforcement proceedings, rule filings, policy statements, and upcoming Commission meetings.
CFTC Charges Florida Man and Cyber Market Group LLC with Operating a Multi-Million Dollar Ponzi Scheme in Hawaii and Elsewhere in the U.S.
Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that it charged Patrick Rakotonanahary and Cyber Market Group LLC (Cyber Market), both of Punta Gorda, Florida, with operating a multi-million dollar foreign currency (forex) Ponzi scheme in Hawaii and elsewhere in the United States.
SEC sues hacker for manipulating stock prices
Iain Thomson in San Francisco
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has accused a Russian man of illegally manipulating share prices by hijacking people’s online trading accounts. Valery Maltsev, who runs a firm called BroCo, is accused of stealing the login details for online share trading accounts and then using them to place orders for stock in which he had already taken a position.
SIFMA Supports FINRA Move To Regulate Placement Agents
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) today released the following statement after the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) decision to regulate placement agents.
FSA publishes Business Plan for 2010/11
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has today published its Business Plan setting out its priorities for 2010/11.
Stanford Receiver Sues Texas Lobbyist Ben Barnes for $5 Million
By Laurel Brubaker Calkins
March 17 (Bloomberg) — Ralph Janvey, the receiver for R. Allen Stanford’s businesses, sued former Texas Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes to recover consulting and lobbying fees he got from the indicted financier during the past five years.
Madoff Brother and Sons Attack Trustee’s Claims
Lawyers for swindler Bernard Madoff’s brother Peter attacked as “sensationalistic” a trustee’s allegations that he should have known about the historic multibillion dollar fraud and stopped it while he was an executive at the Madoff firm.
A Trader’s Actions Cost Merrill Lynch
A former senior trader at Merrill Lynch in London has been banned for at least five years for deliberately overvaluing his trading positions to hide his losses, forcing the bank to take a $456 million write-down
CFTC’s New York Regional Office Employees will Utilize Temporary Spacing at 201 Varick Street, Room 636 Starting Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Melbourne director pleads guilty to failing to assist liquidator
Mr Barry John Patrick, 67, of Pakenham Victoria has pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrate Court to six charges following an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) into his conduct as an officer of a number of companies including Supatrust Finance Ltd.
Adelaide financial adviser banned for five years
ASIC has banned Mr Steven Edward Fleetwood of Glenelg North, South Australia from providing financial services for five years.
Order against C. Mackertich Ltd. in the matter of DSQ Biotech Ltd
Orders in the matter of Cals Refineries Limited and others
Order against Shri Sharad B. Shah in the matter of Washington Software Ltd
Investments – Indexes – Managed Futures – Managed Funds
UCITS III Fund Assets Rise to $52.3 Billion, Eurekahedge Says
By Tomoko Yamazaki
March 17 (Bloomberg) — Assets managed by UCITS III funds have increased to $52.3 billion over the last two years amid moves by hedge-fund managers to reach investors seeking funds compliant with European Union rules.
N.J. May Boost Hedge Fund Deals to Guard Against Equity Losses
By Dunstan McNichol
March 16 (Bloomberg) — New Jersey’s $67 billion pension fund may increase its hedge fund investments to protect against losses in the stock market, according to a memo prepared for a meeting later this week of the State Investment Council.
Renaissance Chiefs May Shut 2 Funds, Report Says
James H. Simon’s Renaissance Technologies is mulling whether or not it should close two of its main funds, amid lackluster returns and a sea change in the hedge fund firm’s management, The Wall Street Journal reported.
New Renaissance CEOs looking at a few changes: report
By Alistair Barr, MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Peter Brown and Bob Mercer, the new co-chief executives of Renaissance Technologies LLC, are considering a few changes for the hedge-fund firm, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
Regulatory pressure on banks may be helping hedge funds
By Alistair Barr, MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Regulatory pressure on big U.S. banks may be helping independent hedge-fund firms recruit more traders.
Eaton Vance Wins Greek Bet Five Years After Buying Credit Swaps
By Miles Weiss
March 17 (Bloomberg) — Michael Cirami, co-manager of the $2.2 billion Eaton Vance Global Macro Absolute Return Fund, waited five years for investors to realize that insurance on Greek government bonds was too cheap.
Olympia launches hybrid fund to tackle liquidity
Olympia Capital Management, one of the oldest funds of hedge funds, has come up with a hybrid approach for a new fund, to address the liquidity problems that many funds of funds faced during the crisis.
Karl D’Cunha to Speak at 10th Annual Valuation of Hard-to-Value Securities and Portfolio Conference
Chicago, March 17, 2010 – Houlihan Smith & Company, Inc. announced today that Karl D’Cunha will be featured as a keynote speaker on March 23 at the 10th annual Valuation of Hard-to-Value Securities and Portfolios conference titled “Mitigating Operational Risk Associated with the Valuation Process.” The conference will be held at the Princeton Club, 15 West 43rd Street in New York, New York on March 22-23, 2010. Karl D’Cunha is a Senior Managing Director at The Houlihan Firm and oversees the firm’s financial advisory practice. He is the head of the firm’s Hedge Fund Advisory Services Group and a team leader of the firm’s Technical Standards Committee.
Do Men And Women Think About Money Differently?
Yes, men and women do think about money differently, and it boils down to one thing: confidence.
Industry assets seen reclaiming pre-crisis highs
By Alistair Barr, MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — The hedge fund industry will likely rebound to its pre-crisis size as investors pour money back into the business in search of market-beating returns and downside protection, Deutsche Bank said Tuesday.
BNY Mellon’s Pershing Unit Releases New Study Focusing on the Multi-Prime Approach for Hedge Fund Managers
JERSEY CITY, N.J., March 17 /PRNewswire/ — Pershing LLC, a BNY Mellon company, and the Aite Group, LLC have published a new independent study, Expansion and Diversification: The Multi-Prime Model for Hedge Funds, that examines the key role of prime brokers and the market trend of hedge fund managers implementing the multi-prime business model.
How Value Investing Paid Off in the Crisis
The value investing thesis, championed by the Columbia University professors Benjamin Graham and David Dodd in the 1930s, was simple: find cheap stocks being sold below their intrinsic value, buy them, and then sell them when the market wakes up.
DealBook Blog – NYTimes.com
NewOak Capital LLC Appoints Donald H. Layton Senior Advisor and Co-Chairman of Investment Committee
New York, New York March 17, 2010 – NewOak Capital LLC announces the appointment of Donald H. Layton as Senior Advisor and Co-Chairman of its Investment Committee. He will take a lead role in developing the firm’s private equity vehicle for bank recapitalization investments, assisting in the identification and full evaluation of investment opportunities as well as providing ongoing advice regarding strategic and operational improvements for the banks in the firm’s investment portfolio. We value Don’s tremendous wealth of proven experience and leadership in the financial industry, both as Vice Chairman at J.P. Morgan Chase and as Chairman & CEO of E*Trade Financial Corporation, where he led their turnaround to financial health.
John Arnold’s Inner Drive
How a former Enron energy trader became one of the greatest hedge fund managers of his day.
Q&A with Martin Gilbert: CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management
Martin Gilbert, chief executive of UK-quoted fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management, speaks to Financial News in the latest of a series of Q&As with leading figures across the institutional financial services industry.
Buy Real Estate as Inflation Hedge, Aberdeen Says (Update1)
By Hanny Wan
March 17 (Bloomberg) — Investors should buy real-estate assets and funds that invest in property in the U.K. and Asia because a potential rebound in prices and economic growth will counter inflation risks, Aberdeen Asset Management Plc said.
Paulson and Soros: Similarities Growing
It seems that billionaire hedge fund managers George Soros and John Paulson have more in common every day, and given their respective track records, this dynamic duo should be fun to watch in 2010.
Using ETFs in an Absolute Return Portfolio
In this environment of global economic uncertainty, many sophisticated investors and portfolio managers turn to “absolute return” strategies in an effort to make money under any market conditions … not to mention reduce their stress levels. This generally involves both long and short baskets of stocks, seeking to capture the performance spread between them, and a solid relative ranking system can make this a successful strategy.
Standard & Poor’s Announces Changes In The S&P/TSX Canadian Indices
Standard & Poor’s Announces Changes In The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index
Jefferies Launches New Suite Of Algorithmic Trading Strategies For Equity Markets In the U.S., Canada And Europe
The algorithms are built to address two features coveted by algorithmic traders: ease of use in terms of switching seamlessly between working algorithms, and the ability to have more control over the algorithm’s execution logic.
Trayport Exchange Systems Helps The J-Oil Exchange Add New Rack Fix, Float And Swap Contracts
Trayport Exchange Systems today announced the addition of new oil contracts for Rack Fix, Float and Swap to the J-Oil Exchange (JOX). Trayport supplies JOX with its GlobalVision Exchange Trading System and the contracts added have extended the number traded on JOX to 609.
Equinix Opens Second Data Centre In Geneva, Switzerland
Equinix, Inc., a provider of global data centre services, today announced the opening of the first phase of its second International Business Exchange (IBX) data centre in Geneva, Switzerland. The purpose-built GV2 IBX data centre, Equinix’s fifth in the country, will accommodate demand for premium colocation and data centre services from both local and global corporations and banking organisations. The first phase adds 380 cabinets to Equinix’s data centre capacity in Geneva and, when fully built out, will total 48,400 gross square feet (4,500 gross square metres) with capacity for 760 cabinet equivalents.
Equinix Opens Second Data Center in Geneva
Securities Industry News
Equinix opened the first part of its second data center in Geneva. The GV2 IBX data center is part of Equinix’s $1.4 billion 2007-2010 global expansion plan.
Atrium Network And Visual Trader Connect Their Networks To Offer Connectivity To The Spanish Exchange
Atrium Network , provider of smarter connectivity for the financial community, and Visual Trader (VT), a technological company owned by Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME), announced today that they are offering connectivity to the Spanish Exchange by connecting their respective networks.
Atrium offers high-speed access to Spanish exchange
Connectivity provider Atrium Network and Visual Trader, a technology company owned by Spanish exchange group Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME) are offering connectivity to BME by linking their respective networks.
The Trade News
J.P. Morgan expands FX algo offering
Investment bank J.P. Morgan has added two new algorithmic strategies to its MorganDirect AlgoX algorithmic order execution service for foreign exchange (FX) and made the suite available from Bloomberg terminals.
The Trade News
Verticlear Launches With Broker-Centric Data And Account Management Solutions
Verticlear plans to release additional solutions that improve on legacy data models and provide a better framework for brokers to integrate with downstream data systems.
Gorkana US Alert: Wednesday 17th March 2010
The Wall Street Journal
Rob Hunter has been appointed Personal Finance Editor at The Wall Street Journal. He was previously an Assistant Managing Editor at Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Rob can now be reached on +1 (212) 416 2343 and email@example.com
Neal Templin has been appointed an Editor on Page One at The Wall Street Journal. He was previously Personal Finance Editor. Neal can be reached on +1 (212) 416 3001 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Theo Francis has joined footnoted.org, a site covering SEC filings that was recently purchased by Morningstar. Prior to joining footnoted, Theo worked for BusinessWeek and The Wall Street Journal where he was part of the team that won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism for coverage of corporate scandals. Theo is based in Washington D.C. and can be reached at email@example.com. All pitches should be specific to SEC filings as well as any tips about stories buried in filings.
Briefing.com Economic Calendar
CBOE Events Calendar
Economic Release Calendar
The Economic Release Calendar (PDF) is a schedule of government, academic and industry economic releases, provided as a service to CME customers.
Hedging its bets, CSRC looks to limit futures risks
The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) Tuesday released the first guide for fund investment on index futures for public feedback, which it will accept till next Monday. The preliminary rules clarify the role of the index futures as a hedging tool for risk control, rather than an instrument for profit.
China Opens Most Stock Trade Accounts in Three Months (Update1)
March 17 (Bloomberg) — Investors opened the most accounts to trade Chinese stocks last week in three months as households shifted funds into equities to protect against faster inflation.
China in Midst of ‘Greatest Bubble in History,’ Rickards Says
By Bei Hu
March 17 (Bloomberg) — China is in the midst of “the greatest bubble in history,” said James Rickards, former general counsel of hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management LP.
Nomura picks first foreigner for its board
By Michiyo Nakamoto in Tokyo and Sundeep Tucker in Hong Kong
Nomura has for the first time appointed a foreigner to head its non-retail operations in Japan and overseas, in a shake-up to build its credentials as a global investment banking force.
Jasjit “Jesse” Bhattal, who was born in India, will become president and chief operating officer of the group’s new “wholesale” banking unit and become the first non-Japanese to join Nomura’s executive management board.
FT.com / Companies / Banks
ITG Takes Asian Trading to Next Level With Launch of New Type of Dark Pool – POSIT Marketplace(TM)
NEW YORK, March 16 /PRNewswire/ — Investment Technology Group (ITG), a leading independent broker and financial technology firm, today launched POSIT Marketplace, a new type of dark pool for Asia. The first of its kind, POSIT Marketplace will combine institutional liquidity from POSIT, ITG’s leading global crossing network, with dark liquidity from some of the largest internalization pools and external venues in Asia.
ITG Launches Asian Dark Pool
On the one-year anniversary of the start up of POSIT Marketplace in the U.S., parent company Investment Technology Group has launched a dark pool under the same name in Asia.
ITG’s Asia dark pool to tackle fragmentation
Agency broker and technology provider ITG has launched a dark liquidity aggregation tool for the Asian market to counter buy-side concerns about fragmentation.
The Trade News
Markit Said to Plan Index on Asian Government Swaps (Update2)
By Shelley Smith and Abigail Moses
March 17 (Bloomberg) — Markit Group Ltd., the London-based provider of bond and derivatives indexes, plans to create a benchmark for credit-default swaps on Asia-Pacific governments, according to six traders familiar with the matter.
HSBC ‘Ready’ for Shanghai Listing, Geoghegan Says (Update1)
March 17 (Bloomberg) — HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest bank, is “ready” to list the company’s shares on the international board in Shanghai, Chief Executive Officer Michael Geoghegan told reporters in the city.
HSBC Said to Hire Nomura’s Wang to Boost China Fees (Update2)
By Cathy Chan
March 17 (Bloomberg) — HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest lender, hired former Nomura Holdings Inc. executive Jane Wang to bolster investment banking in the world’s fastest-growing major economy, two people with direct knowledge of her plans said.
Rio Iron Ore Workers Face Trial in China Next Week (Update1)
By Bloomberg News
March 17 (Bloomberg) — Four Rio Tinto Group employees, including the company’s iron-ore chief in China, will stand trial in Shanghai on March 22, almost nine months after being arrested on suspicion of bribery and stealing state secrets.
Central Japan Commodity Exchange To Change Contract Month Structure Of Gold Futures Contract From Six Consecutive Months To All Odd Months Within A Year
[OSE] Change of Component Issues for RN Prime Index
HKEx: Stock Exchange Participants’ Market Share Report
DSE may launch equity trading in May
The Delhi Stock Exchange (DSE), which had postponed twice the launch of equity trading on its platform, is gearing up for a trial run. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has inspected the exchange and a regulatory nod to allow the bourse to trade is expected soon, said a top DSE official who did not want to be quoted.
Push to raise Palestinian bourse’s profile
By Tobias Buck in Jerusalem
Palestinian business leaders are arriving in London for an investor roadshow this week, part of a global effort to draw foreign shareholders to the Palestine Securities Exchange and raise the bourse’s international profile.
Banks in the trade worries stock brokers
DOHA: Many in the stock brokerage community are unhappy about the decision of the Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) to allow the listed banks to resume brokerage activity.
‘India Will Muddle Along Until The Debt Crisis Hits’
After all the budget euphoria, it is time for a reality check. Investor and venture capitalist Jim Rogers remains deeply skeptical of India’s future. In an interview with S. Srinivasan, he argues that the country is sitting on a fiscal time bomb.
VSE SSL to launch ‘Currency Derivatives’
The VSE Stock Services Limited (VSE SSL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Vadodara Stock Exchange Limited (VSE) is ready for launching ‘Currency Derivatives’ after completing the required formalities, its managing director Dipak Raval said here today.
Mideast private equity firms eye alternative to elusive bank lending
Private equity firms in the Middle East are looking at development financial institutions (DFIs) as an alternative to elusive bank lending, executives said yesterday.
NCDEX hikes margin for turmeric futures by 10%
Agriculture commodities bourse NCDEX has increased the margin on turmeric futures by 10% to curb speculation and check prices that have risen sharply over the past one month.
Saudi Arabia approves first ETF open for foreigners
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has approved the Gulf Arab state’s first exchange-traded fund, which will be accessible to foreigners as part of efforts to open up the biggest Arab bourse.
Can You Afford to Retire?
By Peter Coy
The expensive approach to retirement is to pile up so much money that you’ll be safe no matter how long you live or what goes wrong with your health or the markets. But for many families, the amount required seems ridiculously out of reach, especially after the twin crashes of Wall Street and Main Street. “There’s a big sense of futility and hopelessness,” says Liz Davidson, founder and chief executive of Financial Finesse, a Manhattan Beach (Calif.) educational firm.
StockCross Trades for a Cure: Seventh Annual Trading for a Cure Day Set
ORLANDO, Fla., March 16 /PRNewswire/ — Trading for a Cure, a one day event where all revenue and trading profits will be donated to the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute’s Pediatric Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant Units, announced that StockCross Financial Services, Inc., a full-service provider of brokerage and financial services, is the exclusive trading partner for the Trading for a Cure event.