Reports are in that NYSE Euronext and CME Group (and possibly ICE) have made a bid for the London Metal Exchange. Regulators are expressing an interest in somehow regulating or punishing firms that let rogue orders into the market. An unnamed bank in Canada allegedly named UBS, has told regulators there that traders were successful in manipulating LIBOR interest rates. In the top box, John Lothian writes about more fallout from MF Global (looks like nobody’s getting 1099 forms for last year); an article discusses customers who scrape excess funds out of their futures accounts each night, post MF Global; and Cinnober announces that they’ve got the top thumbtack on the board right now for, “Fastest Real-Time Index Engine”.
Observations – Statistics – Commentary
There is No Accounting for Chaos
By John J. Lothian
Wednesday, just before 4 p.m., an email arrived at The Price Group. MF Global 1099s would be delayed, it said. The deadline to send out the 1099s to clients, February 16, would be missed and an extension had been filed.
A short time later, I learned from sources close to the matter that no 1099s are likely to be issued by MF Global for 2011. One of the leading MF Global GMI technologists had been let go Wednesday, so were other senior employees. They said the online account interface Emidas was dead and the back office system GMI was going to be shut down.
The gist of the conversation was this. The trustee was told by MF Global staff they needed to send out 1099s, to which the trustee responded, no they did not. Because the firm is in bankruptcy, the trustee said, they don’t have to issue 1099s. Not only was the bankruptcy trustee not interested in sending them out, but they were letting go of the key people necessary to produce these reports.
So the message is clear to me. MF Global customers will not get 1099s, pending a change of heart by the trustee, according to sources I find very credible.
A few months back I addressed this issue with some industry colleagues. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to offer a specialized service to produce 1099s for MF Global customers. They passed on the idea because they believed the trustee had a legal obligation to issue these reports. There would be no need, they said.
It is not the end of the world if MF Global customers have to figure out their own profits and losses for tax purposes, but it is a big headache.
You could argue that some customers may be better off calculating their own numbers, rather than depending on MF Global’s accounting. But there are some clients, those who were flat going into the October 31 bankruptcy, for whom the information should be accurate. For those with open positions, the 1099s would at least serve as another tool to help them compute their own figures.
There may be good reason for the trustee to delay, or indeed cancel, the 1099 duties of MF Global. But in the end, it’s another insult to the customers who have endured plenty of hardship already, now 3 and a half months after it declared bankruptcy.
Cinnober Releases World’s Fastest Real-Time Index Engine – Microsecond Continuous Updates With Superior Flexibility
Cinnober today announces the launch of TRADExpress Index Engine, the financial industry’s fastest real-time index engine. As the latest addition to the suite of products based on Cinnober’s proven TRADExpress platform, it will permit exchanges and other actors to rapidly develop new indexes to fit their markets and attract new business.
**** I love fast match engines. In fact, I think I want to co-locate with this one. February does strange things to one’s love life.
CBOE Hosts 28th Annual Risk Management Conference, March 11 – 13 in Bonita Springs, Florida
30 Top Professionals Present on Latest Trends in Risk Management
CHICAGO, February 16, 2012 – The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) will host its annual Risk Management Conference from Sunday, March 11 through Tuesday, March 13, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa in Bonita Springs, Florida. Now in its 28th year, CBOE’s Risk Management Conference (RMC) is the most sophisticated event of its kind, providing end-users of equity derivatives with an educational forum to explore the latest policies, trends and techniques in risk management.
**** Back to back with Boca. If you are looking for a reason to go to Florida on business, here is your chance.
Video: Terry Duffy Interview with Maria Bartiromo
CME Group – Open Markets
CME Group Executive Chairman Terry Duffy sat down today with Maria Bartiromo on CNBC to discuss the latest on the MF Global situation, CME Group’s Farmer and Rancher Fund, and where future growth for CME Group will come from.
**** Was Terry sitting down in this interview?
After MF Global, traders hold tight to excess collateral
Reuters via Yahoo! News
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Until last October, farmers and fund managers rarely lost sleep over the extra money that they habitually maintained in their brokerage accounts, confident that it would be there the next morning. Now, stung by the loss of customer money from the failure of MF Global Inc, many cannot sleep soundly without transferring every spare cent into their own banks overnight.
**** This is a megatrend. Customers are responding to the MF Global bankruptcy before regulators are. This has the potential to reshape the futures industry from a retail perspective.
LME bidders face catch-22 over trading model
FOWintelligence reported today that sources close to the London Metal Exchange have said that the race to buy the exchange will be run not only on price but also on showing “empathy” to the existing structure of trading.
This injects and interesting dynamic into the bid. When the IntercontinentalExchange bought out the International Petroleum Exchange in 2001, a condition of the deal was the closure of the pit. This was not achieved until 2005, in the meantime IPE was effectively paying ICE to run the exchange without the deal completing and money changing hands. ICE will have no such luxury should it be successful in its bid to acquire the LME.
**** CME and NYSE Euronext want to buy a ring in February, how romantic.
US regulator poised to soften derivatives curbs
By Gregory Meyer in New York – Financial Times
US regulators are poised to increase 20-fold the amount of derivatives a company can sell before it is subject to strict new rules for the biggest traders, softening a significant plank of financial market reform.
**** Derivatives are like cream cheese. It is best when it is spreadable. Chunky, not so good.
TSE punishes president for trading glitch
By Ben McLannahan in Tokyo
Tokyo Stock Exchange president Atsushi Saito has had his pay docked, following a trading glitch earlier this month that knocked out an entire morning’s trading session.
**** Who is going to pay for the Globex outage this week?
Court Overturns Conviction of Ex-Goldman Programmer
By PETER LATTMAN – NY Times
A federal appeals court reversed the conviction late Thursday of Sergey Aleynikov, a former Goldman Sachs programmer found guilty of stealing proprietary code from the bank’s high-frequency trading platform.
JLN Interest Rates Newsletter
Big Banks Expected Fed to Keep Rates Low Longer
Ahead of the last Federal Reserve meeting, Wall Street’s biggest banks expected the central bank to lengthen the period it saw interest rate rates staying very low, although not by as much as the Fed actually delivered. In a survey of the primary dealer banks that serve as counterparties to Fed market interventions, the median projection of the banks was that the Fed will raise interest rates in the second quarter of 2014. The survey of dealers was conducted in advance of the Jan. 24-25 Federal Open Market Committee. Dealers got the questions on Jan. 12, with the responses received by Jan. 17.
Federal Reserve minutes show members divided over bond buys
Los Angeles Times
The Federal Reserve appears open to the idea of a third round of bond purchases to boost a still-modest recovery. But members remain divided over when or whether to take that step.
Moodys Unveils Broad Ratings Review of Major Banks
By JULIA WERDIGIER – NY Times
LONDON Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, UBS and more than 100 other financial institutions might have their credit ratings cut by Moody’s Investors Service because of increasingly challenging market conditions.
MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Marc P. Berger
MarketsWiki Recent Updates
Companies, Organizations and Groups
19,498,734 pages viewed, 6,699 articles, 137,095 edits
NYSE Euronext and CME kick off race for LME
By Jeremy Grant, Jack Farchy and Anousha Sakoui in London – Financial Times
NYSE Euronext and CME Group, the two US exchange groups, have submitted bids for the London Metal Exchange, valuing it at up to £1bn and kicking off a contest for the commodities business, according to people familiar with the matter.
US Regulators Take Aim At Trades Made In Error
By Jacob Bunge Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
U.S. regulators are preparing to clamp down on firms that send so-called rogue orders into the stock market, citing concerns that an erroneous trade could ricochet across exchanges and ensnare investors.
Traders Manipulated Key Rate, Bank Says
BY JEAN EAGLESHAM, PAUL VIEIRA AND DAVID ENRICH – WSJ
A group of traders and brokers successfully managed to manipulate an interest rate that affects loans around the world, one of the banks being investigated has told regulators. In a court filing in Ottawa, Canada’s Competition Bureau said a bank it didn’t identify has told the agency’s investigators that people involved in the alleged scheme “were able to move” interest rates.
Libor probe shines light on voice brokers
By Michael Mackenzie – Financial Times
Computers and Bloomberg terminals dominate trading floors, but the human element remains a crucial feature of transacting across derivatives and other parts of the global financial system. This is no better illustrated than by the presence of so-called “voice brokers” who act as middle men for banks trading swaps and other fixed income securities in financial centres that link Asia, Europe and the US.
[Video] Europe Unrewarded for Austerity, HSBC’s King Says
Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) — Stephen King, chief economist at HSBC Holdings Plc, talks about the economic outlook for Greece and the rest of the euro zone. King also discusses the impact of the European debt crisis on emerging economies.
Eurozone central bankers and the taboo subject of losses
By Gillian Tett – Financial Times
Fifteen years ago, a little-known tragedy hit the Bank of Japan. In the mid-1990s, during the early stages of Japan’s banking crisis, BoJ officials decided to use some of the central bank’s own yen to prop up a failing finance company in a desperate effort to paper over problems and buy time.
China wants say in World Bank choice
By Simon Rabinovitch in Beijing – Financial Times
China has said that the next World Bank president should be chosen on merit, seeking to challenge a tradition that the bank’s chief be a US citizen, though it did not suggest a candidate.
Environmental Trading News
EU politicians agree compromise text on CO2 allowances
European parliamentarians have agreed to compromise wording ahead of a vote this month that is expected to increase pressure on the Commission to remove carbon allowances to prop up prices on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme which have plumbed record lows.
Carbon Set-Aside Option Endorsed by Europe Parliament Groups
The European Parliament is poised to signal support for the option of withholding some carbon permits to bolster prices after political parties in the assembly reached a compromise tied to draft energy legislation.
UBS Immunity, EU Carbon Trading Plan, Pentagon Capital Ruling: Compliance
UBS AG (UBSN), Switzerland’s biggest bank, sought immunity from prosecution by Canadian regulators probing a potential conspiracy to rig the price of derivatives worldwide, three people with knowledge of the inquiry said.
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
CME Group Said to Submit Bid to Purchase London Metals Exchange
By Matthew Leising and Nina Mehta – Bloomberg
Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) — CME Group Inc., the world’s largest futures exchange, has made a bid for the London Metals Exchange, according to a person with knowledge of the offer.
CME bids for London Metal Exchange: report
Crain’s Chicago Business
(Reuters) – CME Group Inc., which operates the world’s largest futures market, has made an offer for the LME.
ICE Announces March 5 Launch of 7 New Cleared OTC Contracts
ATLANTA, Feb. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global regulated futures exchanges, clearing houses and over-the-counter (OTC) markets, today announced the launch of 7 new cleared OTC contracts for natural gas liquids, North American natural gas, North American power, crude and refined petroleum products.
NYSE Liffe Consults On New Regime For London Commodity Contracts
Michael Haddon, Dow Jones Newswires
LONDON (Dow Jones)–The NYSE Liffe exchange Thursday proposed a new regime for the monitoring and regulation of London’s commodity contracts which would include accountability levels and delivery limits, in an attempt to maintain market confidence and enhance transparency.
Vienna Stock Exchange Wins A New Customer: Eurex Derivatives Exchange
CME Clearing – Performance Bonds / Margins
Performance Bond Requirements: Coal, Crude Oil, Ethanol, NGLs, and Refined Products Inter-Commodity Spread Credits- Effective Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Program Trading Averaged 28.0 Percent of NYSE Volume during Feb. 6-10
NYSE Euronext welcomes EOS imaging to its European market
TMX: The MiG Report January 2012
KDPW Poland: Increase Of The Number Of Securities Accounts In January 2012
NYSE Euronext Statement on H.R. 3606
NASDAQ OMX Statement On H.R. 3606
NASDAQ OMX Statement Following Markup Of H.R. 3606
Banks, Brokers & Dark Pools
GFI Group Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2011 Results and Completion of Restructuring
GAAP net revenues were $204.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2011, an increase of 4.2% from $196.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. On a non-GAAP basis, net revenues increased 0.6% to $192.6 million from $191.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Macquarie Expands North American Futures Trading Capability
Marketwire via Yahoo! Finance
MONTREAL, QUEBEC– – Macquarie Group today announced the launch of a Canadian futures business as part of its North American futures franchise. The new business comprises a team of senior sales professionals …
European Banks to Suitors: Hands Off the U.S.
By ROBIN SIDEL And DAVID ENRICH – WSJ
European banks are keeping “for sale” signs off the lawns of their U.S. branches. Despite deep financial problems that are forcing them to unload assets around the world, most big European banks consider their U.S. retail divisions to be among their most stable operations. That means—at least for now—big banks such as Banco Santander SA, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA want to hang onto these businesses.
Goldman Said to Delay Samurai Bond Sale
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) delayed its proposed sale of Samurai bonds until Feb. 21 at the earliest after Moody’s Investors Service said it’s reviewing the bank’s rating, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
Citigroup whistleblower: I have no regrets
Reuters via Yahoo! News
(Reuters) – It wasn’t Sherry Hunt’s original intent to go public on the shoddy quality control at a mortgage unit at Citigroup Inc , her employer since 2004. But by March 2011, as it became apparent to her that the problems were getting worse and not being addressed, the Missouri quality assurance manager decided enough was enough.
BofA Said to Add Citigroup’s McKee for Energy Corporate Banking
Bank of America Corp., the second- biggest U.S. lender by assets, hired Citigroup Inc.’s J. Nicholas McKee to help the firm lend money in the energy industry, said two people with knowledge of the matter.
Morgan Stanley’s Roach Retiring to Focus on Scholarly Work
Stephen Roach, Morgan Stanley’s former chairman for Asia and chief economist, is retiring from the firm to focus on scholarly pursuits.
Ex-Merrill broker boss slams bank on client focus
By Joseph A. Giannone – Reuters
(Reuters) – Lyle LaMothe, who last year retired as head of brokerage giant Merrill Lynch, is warning his former employer and other banks that obsessing over corporate goals at the expense of brokers and investors will ultimately damage their business.
TD Ameritrade Announces Results of Annual Stockholders Meeting
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance
TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation announced the results of the voting by stockholders at its 2012 annual meeting, held Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012 in Omaha, Neb. At the m
Bernanke says community banks have strengthened
Associated Press via Yahoo! News
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Thursday that the health of the nation’s community banks has strengthened, despite what he described as a frustratingly slow economic recovery.
SecondMarket Launches Pilot Program for Private Community Banks
PRWeb via Yahoo! News
Platform for alternative investments expands its private company stock market.New York, NY (PRWEB) February 16, 2012 SecondMarket, the leading marketplace for alternative investments, including private company stock, announced today that it has launched a new pilot program for private community banks.
Madoff Trustee May Struggle to Undo HSBC Ruling, Lawyers Say
The liquidator of Bernard Madoff’s firm asked an appeals court to reinstate $30 billion of his claims against banks including HSBC Holdings Plc and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
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 Updates Rule on Commodity Pool Operator Exemption to Boost Transparency
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) released updated rules to Part 4 of its regulations dealing with registration and compliance obligations for commodity pool operators.
SEC Removes Value of Investors’ Homes From Minimum Net Worth Requirement for Fees
Going forward, investment advisors will no longer be able to include the value of an investor s home in a new $1 million minimum of investable assets now required to charge performance fees, according to the SEC, which is tightening its rule around fees.
CFTC to Hold Open Meeting to Consider Two Final Rules and One Proposed Rule
Washington, DC – The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will hold a public meeting on Thursday, February 23, 2012, at 9:30 a.m., on the following topics:
ESMA Issues Discussion Paper On Future Technical Standards For EMIR
IOSCO Consults On Revised CIS Valuation Principles
Tech Analyst Arrested in Insider Trading Crackdown
By AZAM AHMED and BEN PROTESS
The government’s crackdown on insider trading has ensnared one of the most vocal critics of the campaign to root out illegal information swapping on Wall Street. John Kinnucan, a technology analyst who gained notoriety last year for openly challenging federal authorities, was arrested on Thursday night by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. His lawyer could not be immediately identified.
Federal Court Orders Texas Resident Robert D. Watson to Pay $31 Million for Defrauding Customers, Misappropriating Millions of Dollars, and Providing Fictitious Records in Forex Scheme
Watson’s business entities ordered to pay disgorgement of $21 million, and Texas resident Daniel J. Petroski ordered to pay more than $550,000 for his role in the scheme
In a related criminal matter, Watson was sentenced to 20 years in prison on February 10, 2012
Former corporate broker at Merrill Lynch fined £350,000 for disclosing inside information
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has fined Andrew Osborne, former Managing Director in Corporate Broking at Merrill Lynch International (now Bank of America Merrill Lynch International) £350,000, for engaging in market abuse by improperly disclosing inside information ahead of a significant equity fundraising by Punch Taverns Plc (Punch) in June 2009.
L&G employee arrested in trading probe
By Kate Burgess and Caroline Binham – Financial Times
A 44-year-old man employed at Legal & General Investment Management, one of the UK’s largest investment firms, has been arrested by the Financial Services Authority. It is the regulator’s ninth arrest in two years in connection with its largest operation against alleged insider trading.
Further arrest in FSA and SOCA insider dealing investigation
Searches were conducted today at one London business address and two domestic premises in London and Kent. A 44 year old man has been arrested and interviewed under caution at a London police station. He has been released on bail pending further enquiries.
BCSC panel confirms sanctions against former director of public company
Vancouver – A British Columbia Securities Commission panel has confirmed the expiry date of orders made against a former director of a company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (TSX-V) following an appeal to the British Columbia Court of Appeal.
Investments – Indexes – Managed Futures – Managed Funds
Global Hedge Funds Find Success in Emerging Markets: Report
Global hedge fund assets are off to a fairly good start this year, with a total of $2.01 trillion in assets under management, and a global median up 1.52 percent since January 1 – according to Deutsche Bank’s Monthly Hedge Fund Trends Report February 2012.
Hedge funds faulted for not being short-term enough
Reuters via Yahoo! News
LONDON (Reuters) – Used to criticism for caring only about short-term profit, hedge funds are now being faulted for a failure to think short-term enough after losing out badly in last year’s volatile markets.
Hedge Funds Forgiven for Slump by Insurers Shunning Low-Yield Bond Wagers
Policyholder-owned insurer FM Global plans to boost the allocation to hedge funds in its $10.5 billion portfolio this year, after the bets “didn’t really deliver too well” in 2011, said Paul LaFleche, the company’s senior vice president of investments.
Citigroup’s Havens Says Managers to Own Part of Hedge-Fund Unit
Citigroup Inc., the third-biggest U.S. bank by assets, will let managers of its hedge funds own part of the business ahead of rules that limit shareholders’ cash in the unit, Chief Operating Officer John Havens said.
Bill Gross’s Dual Play In Treasury Bonds Pays Off
Wall Street Journal Blogs
Although Bill Gross may have missed the broad rally in Treasurys, the manager of the world’s biggest bond fund has found ways to extract decent returns from that market and recover from a poor performance last year.
Glencore reveals more IPO rewards
By Javier Blas, Commodities Editor – Financial Times
The extent of the wealth created by Glencore’s initial public offering has been highlighted afresh, with the company identifying a further seven executives each holding stakes of more than $500m.
[Xetra] Nine UBS bond index ETFs launched
Dow Jones Indexes’ Dow Jones Golden Crossover U.S. Large-Cap Total Stock Market Index To Begin Increasing Its Equity Allocation To 100% From 25%
Dow Jones Indexes announced that, beginning today, the equity weighting of its Dow Jones Golden Crossover U.S. Large-Cap Total Stock Market Index would increase over the next four days to 100% from 25%.
STOXX Information On Index Calculation Issues
London tech firm gets MF Global windfall
Tom Osborn – Financial News
FFastFill, the London-listed trading technology vendor, has signed a deal to provide execution software to commodities trading house ED&F Man, as the technology vendor sweeps up new clients in the wake of MF Global’s collapse.
Muscat Securities Market and NYSE Technologies Celebrate Successful Launch of MSM’s New Trading Platform
Orc Group AB (publ) files for delisting
Cidron Delfi Intressenter AB (“Cidron Delfi Intressenter”), an indirectly wholly-owned subsidiary to Nordic Capital VII Limited, has on 31 January 2012 completed the public tender offer for Orc Group AB (publ) (“Orc” or the “Company”).
RTS Realtime Systems Connects to Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange (HKMEx)
RTS Realtime Systems Group, a leading global trading solutions provider, today announced that the company now offers market access to the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange (HKMEx), China’s international commodity marketplace.
Caplin Presenter – A New Product To Improve The Development Of Financial Web Applications – Easily Incorporate And Test HTML Components In Your Trading Interface
How Google Tracked Safari Users
By Jennifer Valentino-DeVries – WSJ
Google and other advertising companies have been following iPhone and Apple users as they browse the Web, even though Apple’s Safari Web browser is set to block such tracking by default.
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.
Tokyo Stock Exchange: Measures To Prevent Recurrence And Other Matters Concerning The Failure In The Equity Trading System
Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) would like to offer its deepest apologies for the inconvenience and concern caused to investors and other market users by the failure in the equity trading system on February 2, 2012.
Japan’s Financial Services Agency: International Conference On Asian Market Integration And Financial Innovation
The Financial Services Agency (FSA), in cooperation with the Japan Securities Dealers Association and the Tokyo Stock Exchange Group, Inc., held an international conference on “Asian Market Integration and Financial Innovation” on February 10, 2012.
Shanghai Gold Exchange Cutting Margins
International Business Times
The Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE), China’s biggest metals bourse, will lower trading margins for gold and revise its tiered margin system from March 1 to make it cheaper for investors to trade.
Hedge fund pioneer back for Asia venture
By Sam Jones in London – Financial Times
William Bollinger, one of the pioneers of London’s hedge fund industry, has come out of retirement to launch a new venture – in Singapore.
Singapore’s FX exemption welcomed as a sign of global consistency
A proposal by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to exempt foreign exchange swaps and forwards from the mandatory clearing element of over-the-counter derivatives reforms has been welcomed by market participants for its consistency with the proposed approach in the US, which it is hoped will be replicated in Europe.
SGX Welcomes Hong Leong Finance As Full Sponsor On Catalist
Singapore Exchange (SGX) is pleased to welcome Hong Leong Finance Limited (“HLFL”) as a Full Sponsor on Catalist, its sponsor-supervised board for growth companies.
Thai Bourse Joins SCB To Enhance E-Dividend
Thai Bourse’s Websites Operate Normally
Sri Lanka May Remove Stock Trading Limits, Exchange Chief Sellahewa Says
Sri Lanka may remove a 10 percent price trading limit on some stocks listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange, according to its chief executive officer.
MCX Weekly Market Report February 10, 2012 – February 16, 2012