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In the FICC of It There’s something for everyone in this week’s In the FICC of It podcast as Colin Lambert and Galen Stops traverse the US legal system, trading, crypto and China. Listen in as Lambert explains why he is mystified at the prosecution’s flip-flop in the Mark Johnson case and angry at the FX industry’s previous lack of effort to explain how markets work to the US legal authorities; and Stops takes a look at a new report n his favourite industry – CTAs. Having had the data explained to him, Lambert also thinks he knows why some CTA sectors are doing well and some aren’t, so that’s another of his “theories” then… Our podcasters then move onto debate whether crypto markets will evolve to an OTC model and whether this would be a good thing for attracting institutional money to what is still a relatively nascent market. Stops closes out by reporting from an analysts’ briefing this week that highlighted a change in approach on the part of China to its programme of liberalisation of the yuan.
In the FICC of It In football parlance it’s a tap in for Galen Stops and Colin Lambert in this week’s podcast as they have more academic-research-that-states-the-obvious to poke fun at. Listen in as they discuss last week’s report on the Swiss National Bank debacle in 2015 as well as the FX market's handling of the Brexit vote. They also take a look at the potential impact of last week's HSBC announcement that it had settled FX trades using distributed ledger technology, as well as the mysterious disappearance from marketing material of two asset classes at a recent platform media day.
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.
In the FICC of it In this week's podcast Colin Lambert and Galen Stops tackle two big stories in the FX market: the recent flash crash in the Asia markets and the changes at Citi's FX prime brokerage (FXPB) business.Both Lambert and Stops express skepticism that the news regarding Apple's profits in China was the cause of the flash crash, although the former is equally unsure about an alternative theory put forward by the latter to explain the price moves. Both agree though that the event was symptomatic of changes in the nature of liquidity in the FX market, and note a disparity between what many market participants will say in private and in public on this matter.
In the FICC of It It's the end of year It’s the end of year special podcast and Colin Lambert and Galen Stops are in jovial mood as they bring the curtain down on another busy year in the FICC industry. Listen in as they each identify a key theme from the past year and look to re-assess them with the benefit of hindsight, before moving into less certain territory by providing a price prediction for everyones favourite out-of-control child, Bitcoin. They also – this being the season of making a wish, share their one hope for 2019, although one of them (Lambert of course) appears to have forgotten it’s the season of goodwill! In a sensational end to the year’s podcasts, Lambert also reveals that yes, he did indeed quote from the film Love Actually in a podcast earlier this year, but he tries (and fails) to make amends by setting listeners another teaser by paraphrasing from a much more acceptable movie…in his mind at least!
Does TCA Really Need to be Independent? Speaking at the Forex Network Chicago conference, Mike Harris, president of Campbell & Company, discussed the pros and cons of independently provided transaction cost analysis (TCA). Pressed on whether a fintech firm being acquired by a larger company is necessarily a bad thing for their clients, Harris pointed to the example of BestX, the TCA provider that was acquired by State Street in August. Harris explained that Campbell & Company partnered with BestX because their TCA product was focused specifically on FX rather than being adapted from equities, and that they were the first to offer peer-to-peer functionality so that firms could opt-in to compare their trades to other people’s, as well generally being at the forefront of the TCA space.
In the FICC of It In this week’s podcast, Colin Lambert and Galen Stops take a look at the first in-depth analysis from a broker of the CME-NEX deal and while they accept that much of what was written was already known and had been discussed there were a few nuggets of useful information in there. On the subject of mergers and acquisitions, they also discuss the recent changes at Refinitiv and clarify their thoughts on potential M&A activity involving that firm’s Matching, Dealing and FXall businesses. Will firms be willing to splash the amount of cash required to complete such a deal? Who would be the best buyers for the combined business or elements thereof? This and more is discussed. In a quite remarkable conclusion, they close out by expressing sympathy for a regulator – something unlikely to ever happen again – before Lambert offers listeners the benefit(?) of his experience of trading Cable with a trading recommendation as the Brexit saga continues…what could go wrong?
Blockchain and the Internet: Is it a Good Comparison? The comparison between blockchain technology and the early days of the Internet is one that is perennially made in articles and at industry conferences, but is it accurate or even helpful? This was the question posed to Cristina Dolan, co-founder and COO of InsureX, and Adrian Patten, the co-founder and chairman of Cobalt, at the Forex Network Chicago conference. “The Internet was a lot easier to deal with because it was a linear process: you had a database, there were users, you had a web interface and although you were still training people how to use the web interface, you could control that whole ecosystem that you put up, you just had to drive people to the page,” said Dolan.
Stories from the Trenches: Building a FinTech Simon Wilson-Taylor, head of EBS Institutional, reflected at Forex Network Chicago on the challenges that he faced as the owner and head of a fintech firm, Molten Markets, prior to being acquired by EBS. “The first thing that I would say to any budding entrepreneurs out there is that building something, building a product, is the fun part and the easy part. Even finding clients is relatively easy,” said Wilson-Taylor, before adding: “The really difficult part that’s kind of out of your control is: how are my clients going to react? How is the market going to react? What are my legal, regulatory and insurance obstacles?” Going through the different business lines that Molten Markets operated, he explained that consultancy is a good way for fintech firms to generate some revenue and pay some bills as the barriers to entry are not particularly great.
In the FICC of It It may be his life-threatening illness (slight cold) but Colin Lambert is in punchy form in this week’s In the FICC of It podcast, so listen in as he and Galen Stops discuss a busy week in the FICC world. Starting with the potential implications of Cboe’s agreement with UBS to help broaden the reach of its FX platform – and why Refinitiv might want to sit up and pay attention – they rampage through the multi-dealer platform world looking at how (if according to Lambert) platforms can differentiate themselves. Are these firms really taking the single dealer model and deploying it in a multi-dealer landscape? Will this work? What are the USPs of a single and multi-dealer platform?