Month: January 2019

Firms Should Revisit OTC Reporting Frameworks – Study

A new report from Tabb Group argues that with regulators becoming increasingly strict on OTC derivative trade reporting it is time for firms to consider a comprehensive review of the trade reporting process.
The report, Checking in on OTC Reporting Rules was authored by Tabb’s head of derivatives research Russell Rhoads, who points out that a key component to reducing risk levels in financial markets involves regulators having access to timely and accurate data. “With the new regulations mostly set in stone, now may be the best opportunity for firms to consider a comprehensive review of the OTC trade reporting process,” he says.

Understanding Blockchain Forks

Most published analysis of the legal consequences of blockchain forks has been underwhelming. Discussions often centre around the legal risks to miners and developers, questions of little relevance because of the general absence of contracts between users of public blockchains and the constellation of jurisdictions from which they operate. In other words, it will freeze in hell before anonymous developers based god-knows-where win a lawsuit against unidentified Chinese miners aggregated in a mining pool. I should add that several articles appeared to be advertorials by law firms looking for new business.

FIA Calls for Removal of Barriers to Clearing

The Futures Industry Association (FIA) has filed a response to the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision urging the adoption of FIA’s suggested modification to the leverage ratio and to recognise the exposure-reducing nature of client collateral in order to align regulatory incentives.
Central clearing of derivatives was a key pillar of the G20 countries response to the post-2008 financial crisis reforms to reduce systemic risk in the financial system, however FIA argues that to date, the leverage ratio’s failure to recognise collateral has had a direct negative impact on the ability of banks to provide clearing services to customers.

Hedge Funds End Tough Year with December Loss

Hedge funds dipped 2.61% in December, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions, meaning it was down 5.08% for the year.
The loss was less significant, however, than that of the S&P 500 Total Return Index, which dropped 9.03% in December, to end down 4.38% for 2018.
While lowering its projections for future interest rate hikes, the US Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate a quarter-point in December. That, coupled with extreme volatility in equity markets was a major factor in December’s hedge fund downturn, BarclayHedge says.

FICC Markets Group Issues Best Practice Guidelines

The FICC Markets Standards Board (FMSB) has published the final version of its Statement of Good Practice (SGP) on Suspicious Transaction and Order Reporting.The FMSB is an independent body set up by market practitioners to try and improve standards of conduct in wholesale FICC markets. It aims to bring transparency to grey areas in the wholesale FICC markets by identifying emerging vulnerabilities, clarifying and documenting practice and agreeing standards to improve conduct and market behaviour. Setting up the FMSB was one of the main recommendations to emerge from the Fair and Effective Markets Review (FEMR), which was conducted by HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Surprise, Surprise, Timing Blamed for Increased Volatility Following SNB’s Unexpected 2015 Move

A new research report from JP Morgan Chase Institute highlights the impact of central bank communication choices on financial market volatility.In the report, Does the Timing of Central Bank Announcements Matter?, the authors analysed data around the Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) decision to remove the EUR/CHF floor in January 2015, and found evidence that the timing of the decision increased subsequent market volatility.This latest research builds on a previous paper released by JP Morgan in June 2018, in which it found evidence that many hedge funds had predicated trading strategies on the belief that the SNB would maintain the EUR/CHF floor at 1.20.

In the FICC of It

The January 3 flash event in FX markets continues to fuel the news cycle and in this week’s podcast, Colin Lambert and Galen Stops discuss the real impact of algos – widely cited as a major factor in the event – in markets. For once they agree on a central theme in the debate, including Lambert (very reluctantly) shooting down one of his own arguments with Stops last year on trend following, but as always there’s room for divergent views.

Schulz Exits Cboe

Profit & Loss understands that David Schulz has left exchange group Cboe, where was a director in the firm’s global markets group most latterly focused on its bitcoin futures offering.
Schulz joined Cboe in November 2012 after a more than eight year spell at rival exchange firm CME, where he was a director, FX products.
Prior to moving into the exchange space Schulz was a CME floor trader in Chicago for more than three years after exiting the banking industry after a 20 year career with Merrill Lynch in FX trading.

Survey Highlights Need for Users to Rewrite Libor-Based Contracts

A survey of more than 100 firms associated with the derivatives markets and conducted by JCRA, an independent financial risk management consultancy, along with law firm Travers Smith, has found that a large majority of firms with exposure to Libor are yet to start making preparations for its discontinuation.
The benchmark is set to be withdrawn in 2021, but the firms say that most of those surveyed have not started negotiating replacement language in their contracts that reference the outgoing benchmark.

And Finally…

Thursday’s column provided a steady stream of comments and feedback with one question over-riding all others – what can be done to avert more flash events, especially in the Australasian window before the mainland Asia open?
I actually think the question should be, ‘what, if anything, should be done?’ because I remain unconvinced that what happened last week requires a radical rethink of how the FX market operates. This may come as a surprise to long-standing readers who may recall me advocating for the use of central bank volatility bands post-sterling flash crash, but the two events are different.

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