Industry news

Date: Sep 24, 2012

September 24, 2012: Managers Take A Timeout From Stocks; Senate JPMorgan Probe Said To Seek Tougher Volcker Rule; London Regulation Pushes Debt Deals Away

Even though the year’s not nearly over, investment managers are thinking about their current track record and wondering if they’re in a position to halt trading already for the year. The U.S. Senate’s committee investigating JPMorgan’s “whale” loss is expected to present its findings in the hope of toughening up the Volcker Rule.  Regulatory arbitrage surfaces in London, as debt issuers look overseas to countries with less strict rule interpretations.  In today’s First Read, you’ll find two new interviews:  one with Ryan McElvogue of FFastFill, discussing regulatory and operational risk; and Steven Crutchfield, new CEO of NYSE Amex Options and NYSE Arca Options, talking about current challenges and future directions for the exchanges’ operations.

First Read

Terry Duffy Georgetown Financial Markets Quality Conference Remarks
Press Release
CME Group Executive Chairman and President Terry Duffy delivered a keynote speech on restoring confidence in financial markets at the Georgetown Financial Markets Quality Conference in Washington, D.C. earlier this week. His key points focused on the need for implementing controls to safeguard against technical issues and human error as well as strengthening customer protections at every point in the system.


SEC must put a stop to casino markets
Leon Cooperman, Sal Arnuk and Joseph Saluzzi –
A little less than 2,000 years ago, the Great Fire of Rome wiped out nearly three-quarters of the city. It was widely rumoured that Emperor Nero fiddled while his city burnt. A similar story may go down in history with our equity markets. Regulators have done little while recent events have wreaked havoc on what had been the best source of capital formation and creation in the world.


Panel Gets Earful on Reforming U.K. Banks
Are personality tests the solution to Britain’s seemingly endless series of banking scandals? HSBC Holdings PLC seems to think they are at least part of the answer. The giant London-based bank proposed such screening—in the form of “a behavioral monitoring audit’”—in a submission to the newly formed Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards.


BofA Merrill Lynch Takes Loss Linked to Error on Options Trading -Sources
Jacob Bunge – Dow Jones
Bank of America Merrill Lynch on Friday sustained a loss approaching $10 million because of an error handling a controversial type of stock-option trading, according to people with knowledge of the issue.


Simple Reply to Bankers’ Demands
Shortly after the round of salary bonuses last year, I was having lunch with the boss of an investment firm. He told me of hearing that a handful of employees were grumbling about what, by most people’s standards, were still extraordinary sums of money. He called them into his office and told them that since they were unhappy, they should “just go.”


Scrutiny on high frequency traders
Pauline Skypala –
Technological change is as disruptive in financial markets as in any other. It creates new business models and threatens the profitability of established players, just as in the high street.


Hedge funds play long game for profits
Sam Jones in London –
Profit-starved hedge fund managers, best known as masters of the financial universe, are turning to an unlikely place for their next windfall: the unglamorous world of long-only asset ­management.


Collectors crave paper stocks
This image provided by shows a paper war bond for the United States Treasury War Finance Committee. At a time when stock trading is dominated by rapid-fire computers, there are people who relish paper stocks for their palpability.


C.E.O.’s and the Pay-’Em-or-Lose-’Em Myth
There are good reasons for rewarding top executives. The decisions they make are so crucial to their companies that the priority should be to hire competent people rather than scrimp on pay. But a study released last week pretty much drives a stake through that old “pay ’em or lose ’em” line — what you might call the brain-drain defense.

Ryan McElvogue of FFastFill Discusses Dodd-Frank Related Risk Management
Ryan McElvogue is managing director of FFastFill, the U.S. subsidiary of FFastFill Plc., a London-based provider of front-, middle- and back-office solutions for the global electronic trading community. In August 2012, FFastfill announced that OrbitRisk, its clearing member risk management suite, is fully conformant with certain Dodd-Frank related CFTC regulations scheduled to take effect October 1, 2012. McElvogue spoke with John Lothian News Editor-at-Large Doug Ashburn about Orbit Risk, Dodd-Frank readiness and operational versus technical implementation issues.

Steven Crutchfield of NYSE Discusses New Management Structure and Options Technology
Steven Crutchfield was named CEO of NYSE Euronext’s two U.S. options exchanges, NYSE Amex Options and NYSE Arca Options earlier this month. The move marks a new management strategy for NYSE’s options markets, which had been managed separately. Crutchfield spoke with John Lothian News editor-in-chief Jim Kharouf about the new management structure, new initiatives for market makers and in risk management as well as dealing with lower options volumes this year.


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Lead Stories

Managers Take a Timeout From Stocks
It’s nowhere near the two-minute warning for 2012, but some players are mulling whether to sit out the rest of the game. As 2012 heads to its final quarter, money managers who caught the year’s rally are sitting on percentage gains well into the double-digits on stocks. As they look ahead to what could be a choppy few months, some are considering watching the rest of the year from the sidelines.

Senate JPMorgan Probe Said to Seek Tougher Volcker Rule
Cheyenne Hopkins – Bloomberg
A U.S. Senate panel probing the multibillion-dollar trading loss by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) plans to unveil its findings at a hearing this year to press regulators to tighten the Volcker rule, according to three people briefed on the matter.

London regulation pushes debt deals away
Ajay Makan, Brooke Masters and Michael Stothard in London –
Some large companies are looking to shift debt issuance programmes away from London to avoid a stricter interpretation of new European rules than can be found elsewhere.

SEC Said to Scrutinize Private Equity on Share of Payout
Joshua Gallu and Cristina Alesci – Bloomberg
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking to determine whether some private-equity firms are taking more profits from investments than they should under agreements with fund clients, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Knight Capital’s new directors aren’t pushing for change after $440 million trade glitch, CEO says
The Star-Ledger
Knight Capital Group Inc.’s new directors aren’t pushing for changes at the company after trading losses sent it to the brink of bankruptcy last month, according to Chief Executive Officer Thomas Joyce.

Draghi is the devil in Weidmann’s eurozone drama
Wolfgang Münchau –
Whatever you need to know about Germany, you will probably find it somewhere in Goethe’s Faust. But it is rare that wisdom is found in part two of the tragedy, one of the most revered and least read books in all of German literature. Someone who managed to dig up something truly remarkable from it was Jens Weidmann. The president of the Bundesbank cited Mephisto’s advice to the Emperor, quoted above, that the simple solution to a lack of money is to print it.


CFTC ‘Mad Rush’ Leads to Inconsistent Swaps Rules, O’Malia Says
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is failing to provide certainty to the swaps market by releasing overreaching rules without a clear timeline for compliance, said Scott O’Malia, a Republican commissioner.

Libor Poker
New York Magazine
It’s tempting to think of today’s Wall Street as a technocracy with a thin human overlay. Brokers flashing hand signals on exchange floors were long ago replaced by humming server farms.

Brokers Need More Discipline to Avoid Trading Errors, Finra Says
Nina Mehta – Bloomberg
Debacles like Knight Capital Group Inc.’s August trading loss will be avoided if brokers exercise more vigilance overseeing their risk controls, according to the head of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

John Paulson mocks financial regulations and SEC forms
The US hedge fund manager joked about the difficulties of filling out his US Securities and Exchange Commission applications.

[Video] Richard Grasso on Mounting Criticism of High-Frequency Trading
FOX Business
Grasso: SEC has a much broader problem than just high-frequency trading

Good Government: Making It Our Mission, Not Just A Slogan – Remarks By CFTC Commissioner Scott D. O’Malia, University Of Notre Dame Business Law Forum

Remarks at the Conference on Financial Markets Quality By SEC Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher – Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, Washington, D.C., September 19, 2012

ESMA Announces An Open Hearing On The SSR – Market Making Guidelines

ASIC reports on GFC short selling restrictions

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

CME Fines Firm $150,000 for 2011 Oil-Trading Glitch
By Jacob Bunge and Jerry A. DiColo – Dow Jones
CME Group Inc. (CME) on Friday fined a commodity trading firm $150,000 for placing thousands of mistaken trades in the crude-oil market last year, according to a notice issued by the exchange operator. The wayward trading system run by Aventis Asset Management LLC evaded risk controls and was often left to run with no human oversight, according to details of the settlement disclosed by CME.

Warsaw Stock Exchange Selects SunGard’s Protegent and Valdi for Market Abuse Surveillance
The Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE), the securities and commodities exchange mandated to organize and manage the trading of securities in Poland, has selected SunGard’s Protegent compliance solution and Valdi electronic trading tools for real-time surveillance and monitoring of trading activity on the exchange

ROFEX & Raptor Trading provide Direct Market Access to Argentina
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance
Raptor Trading Systems Inc, a global leader in advanced connectivity platforms and solutions announced today that it is set to be the first international provider of Direct Market Access to the Rosario Futures Exchange , an Argentina based derivatives exchange.

EEX: Exchange Council Adopts Resolution To Launch Day Futures
At its meeting in Paris on 19 September 2012, the Exchange Council of the European Energy Exchange (EEX) paved the way for the new Day Futures on power. With this product, the exchange responds to the lasting trend towards trading in short-term products on the Derivatives Market which is observed, in particular, against the background of marketing of renewable energies.
ISE Weekly Listings September 21, 2012

[CBOE] Trader E-News

[CBOE] All-Or-None (AON) Orders

[CBOE] Restrictions on Transactions in China Valves Technology, Inc.

London Stock Exchange Group Launches New Corporate Governance Guide

NZX Limited Change Of Registered Office For Service

TOM MTF Statistics Week 38

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Asset manager angst at collateral requirements
Ellen Kelleher –
A whiff of panic hangs in the air at asset management houses. Indeed, all that fretting in the corridors about the pending arrival of expensive collateral requirements for the trading of over-the-counter derivatives persists.

BlackRock’s outspoken chief is OK with ‘boring’ business
Seattle Times
Larry Fink runs the world’s largest money manager but is increasingly called upon to help unravel financial disasters like AIG and Bear Stearns.

Armajaro Trading CEO Richard Ryan Said to Leave Commodity Group
Isis Almeida, Nicholas Larkin and Agnieszka Troszkiewicz – Bloomberg
Richard Ryan, chief executive officer of Armajaro Trading Group Ltd., left the company, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Hedge Funds Cut Bets as Prices Drop Most Since June: Commodities
Hedge funds cut bullish commodity bets for the first time this month as weaker manufacturing from China and Europe eclipsed central banks’ efforts to boost growth, driving down prices the most since June.

Mercer appoints LDI pioneer
Sarah Krouse – Financial News
Investment consultant Mercer has hired the man who traded the first liability-driven investment hedges, pioneered for Dutch pension funds and insurers, as its new head of asset liability management.

Success is a double-edged sword, even for hedge fund moguls
Joshua M. Brown
Ray Dalio, the manager of the world’s biggest hedge fund firm, has achieved hedge-fund-mogul status. His success comes with certain trappings and pitfalls, Brown writes.

Paulson & Co. Victimized By Copy Cat Fraudsters
Famed hedge fund victimized by wannabe fraudsters Commitments Of Traders Reports Update
The Commitments of Traders (COT) reports provide a breakdown of each Tuesday’s open interest for markets in which 20 or more traders hold positions equal to or above the reporting levels established by the CFTC.

Banks & Brokers

Eisso van der Meulen joins EBS’s Product team
EBS, ICAP’s market-leading electronic FX platform, today announces that it has appointed Eisso van der Meulen to its product team, reporting to Nichola Hunter, Global Head of Product Management.

JPMorgan Whale Loss Leads U.S. Bank Revenue Lower, OCC Says
Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
The trading loss at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) helped cut revenue from cash and derivative positions at U.S. commercial banks by 73 percent, compared with a year ago, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said.

Exactly Whose Money Did the London Whale Lose?
Whose $6 billion did JPMorgan Chase & Co. lose during the now-infamous London Whale debacle? Was it depositors’ money or shareholders’ money? Or was no money lost at all?

Exclusive: Goldman Sachs plays catch-up with hedge fund offering
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Goldman Sachs Group is taking a page from its Wall Street competitors in bringing a new hedge fund product to market. The firm has begun offering its wealthiest customers the opportunity to invest in about a half-dozen hedge funds, according to regulatory filings, including well-known names like Brevan Howard and Jana Partners, without having to go to the funds themselves

German ex- finance minister wants lender-financed bank bailout fund
Reuters via Yahoo! News
BERLIN – Former German finance minister Peer Steinbrueck, who could challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel in next year’s election, wants to create a bank bailout mechanism funded by lenders rather than governments, a German news magazine reported.

Iranian hackers target Bank of America, JPMorgan, Citi
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Iranian hackers have repeatedly attacked Bank of America Corp, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup Inc over the past year as part of a broad cyber campaign targeting the United States, according to people familiar with the situation.

JPMorgan Chase asks FERC not to revoke its right to sell power
Los Angeles Times
JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Friday that providing inaccurate information to regulators probing California’s electricity market was a mistake that doesn’t justify the threatened revocation of its right to sell power.

Julius Baer to cut up to 880 jobs at Merrill Lynch unit: report
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Swiss private bank Julius Baer plans to cut between 660 and 880 jobs at Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s overseas wealth management business as the integration of the newly acquired unit gets under way, a Swiss newspaper said on Sunday.

Why BofA Weighed Name Change for Investment Bank
In the last six years, the Bank of America corporate family has markedly changed face: Buying Countrywide, salvaging Merrill Lynch from the brink of collapse, shedding $40 billion in other assets and streamlining its workforce. So should its name change, too?

Deutsche Bank LatAm Equity Strategist Searby Said to Leave Job
Frederick Searby is no longer working at Deutsche Bank AG , where he oversaw Latin America equity strategy, according to a person with direct knowledge of the move who asked not to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Cost of Leaving Greece Rises for Crédit Agricole
Crédit Agricole SA ACA.FR -2.56% will likely have to pour a further E600 million ($779 million) to E700 million into its flailing Greek unit before it will be able sell the subsidiary, according to people from both the private and public sectors with knowledge of the sales process.

Indexes & Products

Metro Booted From DAX as ‘Concrete Shoes’ Drag Down Stock
Metro AG, Germany’s biggest retailer, has spent much of the past four years trying to hive off department stores, supermarkets and other assets. With little to show for the effort other than a sinking stock price, the nation’s benchmark index will today hive off Metro instead.


IBM and Broadridge Study Reveals Financial Markets Firms Challenged to Deliver Innovation and Efficiency
A new report released by IBM in collaboration with Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (BR) reveals that increasing regulatory pressures and shifting customer demands are forcing financial markets firms to transform how they operate.


CFTC Sanctions York Business Associates LLC d/b/a TransAct Futures, a Registered Futures Commission Merchant, $199,000 for Supervision Failures in Handling a Customer Account
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today issued an order filing and settling charges against York Business Associates LLC, doing business as TransAct Futures (TransAct), for failing to supervise diligently its employees’ handling of an account held at TransAct in the name of Gordon Driver, who was using his account at TransAct to engage in commodity pool fraud. TransAct is a registered Futures Commission Merchant based in Chicago, Ill.

CFTC Orders Infinity Futures LLC, an Introducing Broker, to Pay $340,000 for Supervision Violations
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today issued an order filing and settling charges against Infinity Futures LLC (Infinity), a Chicago-based registered Introducing Broker, for failing to supervise diligently the handling of certain trading accounts by its officers, employees, and agents.

CFTC Orders Citigroup Inc. and Citigroup Global Markets Ltd. to Pay $525,000 Penalty for Violating Wheat Futures Speculative Position Limits
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today issued an order filing and settling charges that Citigroup Inc. (Citigroup) of New York, N.Y., and Citigroup Global Markets Ltd. (CGML) of London, England, exceeded speculative position limits in wheat futures contracts in trading on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), which is part of CME Group, Inc.

CFTC Seeks To Revoke The Commodity Trading Advisor Registration Of Pro Trading Course, LLC
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that it filed a notice of intent to revoke the registration of Pro Trading Course, LLC (PTC), a registered commodity trading advisor.

CFTC Obtains Default Judgment and Permanent Injunction Order against ProfitStars Intl, Corp. and Ulysis Starling
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced that Judge Paul A. Engelmayer of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a default judgment and permanent injunction order against ProfitStars Intl, Corp.

Standard Chartered Signs Pact With New York Regulator
Standard Chartered, the British bank accused of illegally funneling money for Iranian banks and corporations, signed a settlement on Friday with New York State’s top banking regulator.

Rajaratnam Classmate to Discover If He’ll Go to Prison
Rajiv Goel, a former Wharton classmate and friend of Raj Rajaratnam who testified against the fund manager at his insider-trading trial, is due to learn whether he’ll be imprisoned or spared like other cooperators.

Court Told of ‘Risk Seeking’ on UBS Desk
The American manager of Kweku M. Adoboli, a former UBS trader, told a court here on Friday that he was surprised by the size of some of the positions on the bank’s London trading floor.

NFA Enforcement and Registration Actions
Steven H. Joseff

NFA Enforcement and Registration Actions
Atlantas Group, Inc. and Edmund K. Hysni

[ASIC] Commonwealth Securities Limited pays $50,000 infringement notice penalty

Environmental & Energy

Spoiled opportunity: Harvard expert bemoans squandering of model for cap and trade
While many believe the sulfur dioxide regulatory system, which was adopted as part of the Clean Air Act of 1990, is a proven success and a model of how a cap-and-trade regulatory scheme should work, Harvard environmental economist Robert Stavins contends that national politics have “tainted” cap and trade.

**JK – Stavins isn’t the only one bemoaning the destruction of the NOx and SOx program.

California regulator defends CO2 market design
Reuters Point Carbon
California’s top air regulator offered a stern defense of the state’s forthcoming carbon cap-and-trade system, battling back against complaints from industry that it will cost jobs and drive up consumer prices at a hearing on Thursday.

**JK – A familiar and rather tired refrain from industry.

Business Groups Protest California’s Impending Cap-and-Trade Market
Environmental Leader
Industry groups as well as executives and workers from refineries and factories demanded the California Air Resources Board make changes to the state’s impending cap-and-trade carbon market, arguing the landmark emissions reduction scheme amounted to a $1 billion-a-year-tax increase that would stifle economic growth and drive companies out of the state.


SGX Appoints Timothy Utama as Chief Operations and Technology Officer
Singapore Exchange (“SGX”) is pleased to announce the appointment of Timothy Utama as its Chief Operations and Technology Officer, effective 1 December 2012. Mr Utama will join the SGX senior management team and report to the Chief Executive, Magnus Bocker.

SGX deepens ties with China Tianjin city
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today further deepened its ties with China by signing a Listing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Tianjin People’s Government State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (Tianjin SASAC).

Japan’s Teachers Fund to Start Investing in REITs, Hedge Funds
Japan’s Teachers’ Mutual Aid Co- operative Society, with about 600 billion yen, will start investing in real estate investment trusts and hedge funds as it seeks to diversify risks and boost returns.

Research Reports On Companies Listed On BSE SME Platform
Government of India and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) have come out with regulations, allowing creation of SME platforms to trade on recognized stock exchanges. The objective behind launching a dedicated SME Platform on BSE Ltd. is to help the SME Companies to unlock their wealth in medium to long term and to create wealth for various stake holders.

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission: Hontex Issues Repurchase Offer To Shareholders

Frontier Markets

High wage claims seen spreading in S Africa
Helen Thomas in London –
Calls for higher wages in South Africa’s mining industry could spill over into other areas of the economy, the chief executive of Anglogold Ashanti has warned.

Istanbul Menkul Kiymetler Borsasi To Sign Memorandum Of Understanding With Bahrain Bourse

Qatar Exchange Launches Mobile Market Watch For Apple Devices

Egyptian Exchange Wins Vice President Seat In The Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges Federation

Malawi Stock Exchange Weekly Trading Report-21st September, 2012

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