News & Commentary
Content posted in March 2013
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SAC Capital: When The Feds Came Knocking
Slideshows  |  3/29/2013  | 
Early on Friday March 29, federal agents arrested the portfolio manager of SAC, the largest hedge fund in the country. Will SAC Capital founder Steve Cohen, who just enjoyed a week of retail therapy which saw him snap up mansions and Picassos, be next to see the Feds come knocking? Here’s a timeline of events that have put SAC Capital at the center of an insider trading scandal.
Cyprus Says Threat Contained, No Plan to Leave Euro
News  |  3/29/2013  | 
The president of Cyprus said on Friday the risk of bankruptcy had been contained and the country had no intention of leaving the euro, in a speech laden with criticism of Europe's currency union for "experimenting" with the island's fate.

Commission Considers Good and Bad of British Banking
News  |  3/29/2013  | 
The Archbishop of Canterbury has spent the run up to Easter contemplating the ethics of the trading floor and ways to curb greed in the City of London.

More Trouble for Cohen's SAC Capital as Steinberg Indicted in NY
News  |  3/29/2013  | 
U.S. prosecutors on Friday charged Michael Steinberg, a veteran portfolio manager with Steven A. Cohen's $15 billion hedge fund, with engaging in insider trading in two technology stocks, the most senior SAC Capital Advisors employee to be charged in the government's long-running probe.

Closing In On SAC, FBI Arrests Portfolio Manager
News  |  3/29/2013  | 
Federal agents arrested the portfolio manager of the largest hedge fund in the country. After a week of buying mansions and Picassos, is SAC Capital founder Steve Cohen next?
Isn't HFT Getting A Little ... Nuts?
Commentary  |  3/28/2013  | 
In the HFT game, the number of big-time players seems to be thinning. What can firms do to capture a piece of the shrinking HFT pie?
Hedge Fund Titan’s Shopping Spree: Cohen’s $60M Bet on Hamptons Real Estate
Commentary  |  3/28/2013  | 
SAC Capital Advisors’ founder Steve Cohen purchased a home for $60 million with an ocean view in East Hampton last week, topping a frenzy of deal making amidst resolving a pending settlement of insider trading matters with the SEC.
Winton Capital’s Hedge Fund Closes Amid No Interest
News  |  3/28/2013  | 
One of the world’s largest hedge funds Winton Capital announced that its Henri Capital spinout will close after two years of trading due to a lack of clients.
Limit Up-Limit Down: Where’s the Limit?
Commentary  |  3/28/2013  | 
It seems like the Limit Up-Limit Down rule is a blanket oversight that fails to tackle the real issue around extraordinary market volatility, the rise of high frequency trading and rogue algorithms.
Why Market Participants Should Invest In Post-Trade Settlement Best Practices
News  |  3/28/2013  | 
Regulatory change can dramatically improve the global post-trade environment. But in the meantime, market participants need to embrace industry best practices.
U.S. Court Doesn't Rule on SAC Capital's SEC Settlement
News  |  3/28/2013  | 
A U.S. judge ended a hearing on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's proposed $602 million settlement with a unit of SAC Capital Advisors without making a decision on whether to approve it.
BlackBerry Posts Surprise Profit, But Subscriber Base Down
News  |  3/28/2013  | 
BlackBerry reported a surprise quarterly profit on Thursday and said it shipped 1 million of its all-new Z10 smartphones in the period, but the company has yet to convince some investors that its turnaround plan is succeeding.

Investors Head Back to Safety of Bonds — Poll
News  |  3/28/2013  | 
Global investors grew more cautious this month, reacting to the crisis in Cyprus by adding to safe-haven bond positions, though cash buffers fell to a two-year low, Reuters monthly poll of asset managers showed on Thursday.
Industry Underprepared for OTC Derivatives Trading and Market Regulation
Commentary  |  3/27/2013  | 
Firms must realize that connectivity to SEFs and the various other OTC derivatives execution venues will be critical -- for both regulatory reasons and for getting ahead of the competition.
Wall Street Retreats on Euro-Zone Concerns
News  |  3/27/2013  | 
U.S. stocks dipped on Wednesday as soft demand at an Italian debt auction kept concerns about the financial stability of the euro zone at the center of investor focus.
Nearly 50% of U.S. Financial Advisors Now Use Social Media Daily to Interact with Clients
News  |  3/27/2013  | 
Research from Accenture shows that currently advisors don't know their clients very well, but social media can help strengthen the relationship, experts say.
Dark Pools Open Up About Surveillance Methods
Commentary  |  3/27/2013  | 
Brokers operating dark pools have come out with more sophisticated methods for preventing trades at bad prices and profiling client behavior — both in response to buy side concerns and regulatory scrutiny.
Three More Charged in Insider Trading Probe
News  |  3/27/2013  | 
Federal prosecutors announced criminal charges against three new defendants in the government's broad-based insider trading probe.
Omgeo adds Goldman, State Street and DTCC Executives to Board
News  |  3/27/2013  | 
Edward Hazel of Goldman Sachs, Richard Taggart of State Street Investment Management Services and Susan Cosgrove of DTCC Join Omgeo Board of Managers.
Do Our Industry's Problems Stem From Bad Parenting?
Commentary  |  3/27/2013  | 
The problems of our industry boil down to spectacularly bad parenting.
Self-Learning Algorithms: The New Frontier for Trading and Market Surveillance
Commentary  |  3/27/2013  | 
Self-learning techniques, such as machine learning or artificial intelligence, offer a potential route for smart algos to identify new trading patterns and can also be used to discover new patterns of market abuse.
Dark Pools: Setting the Record Straight on Operational Transparency
Commentary  |  3/26/2013  | 
Despite spin to the contrary, detailed information is available on dark pools. Sources matter.
HFT: Makings of an Evil Empire
News  |  3/26/2013  | 
Wall Street's reputation may be damaged, but don't blame all of the industry's woes on high-frequency trading.
EU Includes ISDA In Credit Derivatives Investigation
News  |  3/26/2013  | 
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) may have joined with investment banks to keep exchanges out of the credit derivatives market, European Union regulators said.
Mobile First Development Changing Trading Platforms in Forex Market
News  |  3/26/2013  | 
OANDA's newest mobile app responds to demands from mobile traders for functionality that matches or exceeds traditional desktop capabilities.
Cohen Buys Picasso's Painting 'Le Rev' for $155 Million
Commentary  |  3/26/2013  | 
Is it "coincidental" that hedge fund billionaire Cohen returns to the art scene after settling two insider trading cases for $616 million?
For The First Time In Decades, Investment Bankers See Pay Shrink
News  |  3/26/2013  | 
Average pay-per-head at U.S. and European investment banks has dropped compared to other sectors for the first time in a generation, according to new data.
SEC Approves Nasdaq Payback Plan for Botched Facebook IPO
News  |  3/26/2013  | 
UBS, Citi and others are not pleased with the $62 million settlement and may still sue.
Hedge Fund Manager Cohen Buys Wynn's Picasso for $155 million -Report
News  |  3/26/2013  | 
Hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen has bought a famous Picasso painting from casino mogul Steve Wynn for a record price, according to a report in the New York Post on Tuesday.

Goldman Sachs, Berkshire Amend Crisis-Era Warrant Deal
News  |  3/26/2013  | 
Goldman Sachs Group Inc will give Berkshire Hathaway Inc millions of shares in the bank in place of warrants that date to the financial crisis, a deal that saves Berkshire money upfront and reduces dilution risk for Goldman.

Canada's Top Six Banks to Get Capital Surcharge as of 2016
News  |  3/26/2013  | 
Canada's banking watchdog said on Tuesday it sees the country's six largest banks as being of systemic importance to the domestic economy and that it will make them keep 1 percent more capital on hand starting January 2016 to protect them from financial disruption.

Bonaire Software Releases Revport for Invoice Reconciliation
News  |  3/26/2013  | 
The software enables fund managers, fund distributors and fund administrators to simplify and automate the process of reconciling invoices from different intermediaries.
JP Morgan and Heuristics – Lessons from the Whale
Commentary  |  3/26/2013  | 
JP Morgan's decisions in handling the London Whale incident can be traced to a series of cognitive biases and limitations, writes Andrew Waxman, who analyzes bank executives' responses based on the work of psychologist Daniel Kahneman.
Markit Launches Clearing Certainty Hub for OTC Derivatives
News  |  3/25/2013  | 
Buy side firms, regional banks and other firms that execute OTC derivatives through FCMs will have a consolidated view of available credit among multiple clearing venues.
Fed Pushes Banks to Ignore Rivals When Setting Bonuses
News  |  3/25/2013  | 
The Federal Reserve is pushing banks to ignore competitors' performance when awarding bonuses, and focus squarely on their own profitability.
The End of Indian IT Staffing As We Know It
News  |  3/25/2013  | 
India's IT outsourcers are promoting "mini CEOs" capable of running businesses on their own, while trimming down on the hordes of entry-level computer coders they normally hire as they try to squeeze more profits out of their staff.
Citigroup Spinout Napier Park Picks Infrastructure Provider
News  |  3/25/2013  | 
In the wake of its spinoff from Citigroup as an internal hedge fund unit, Napier Park Global Capital chose Options' infrastructure-as-a service offering as its technology platform.
Ten Things Compliance Officers Need To Do In 2013
News  |  3/25/2013  | 
Last year financial firms put an almost unprecedented focus on risk, control and compliance. That trend looks set to continue as organizations deal with the fall-out of regulatory change, major fines, and more.
U.S. Regulators Approve Plan for Lost Facebook IPO Money
News  |  3/25/2013  | 
U.S regulators on Monday approved a plan to compensate market makers who lost money in a botched Facebook Inc public offering in May on the Nasdaq exchange.

Banks Beef Up FX Options Reams as Big Moves Boost Risk, Rewards
News  |  3/25/2013  | 
Banks are strengthening their foreign exchange options desks, investing in people and technology, as companies and hedge funds seek protection or profit from big moves in major currencies.

Columbia University Professor Analyzes HFT
News  |  3/22/2013  | 
Based on what it calls 'the first meta-analysis of HFT,' Columbia Business School Professor Charles Jones finds that high frequency trading benefits liquidity and lowers trading costs, echoing other academic studies.
Inside the World's Largest High Rise Data Center
Slideshows  |  3/22/2013  | 
A new 1 million square foot high-rise data center in an old Verizon switching building at 375 Pearl Street opened this week. Here is a view of some of its features -- in pictures.
Unlike Yahoo, Financial Services Companies Are Right To Embrace Telecommuting
News  |  3/22/2013  | 
According to Gartner, banking and the financial services is the second top sector after business services for telecommuting.
Credit Suisse CEO Pay Jump to Fuel Banker Bonus Debate
News  |  3/22/2013  | 
Credit Suisse raised the pay of its chief executive by a third in 2012, a move likely to stoke public and political anger over banker pay after a year in which the Swiss group's profits fell and its shares stalled.

Instinet Announces Asia-Pacific Organizational Change
News  |  3/22/2013  | 
Shaun Bramham is named head of Instinet's Asia-Pacific business, succeeding Glenn Lesko who is returning to the US.
Buyout Firms Face Squeeze as Investors Go Direct for Deals
News  |  3/22/2013  | 
Tired of the hefty fees charged by private equity firms and wanting more say over what they buy, big investors like pension funds and insurers are taking matters into their own hands.

Cyprus Ruling Party Says Close to a Solution on Bailout Crisis within EU Rules
News  |  3/22/2013  | 
A solution to Cyprus's bailout crisis within the framework set down by the European Union may be possible within "the next few hours", the deputy leader of the island's ruling Democratic Rally party said on Friday.

Raj Rajaratnam Brother Charged with Insider Trading
News  |  3/22/2013  | 
Raj Rajaratnam's younger brother was indicted on charges of conspiring in the insider-trading scheme for which the founder of the Galleon Group hedge fund was convicted nearly two years ago, U.S. prosecutors announced on Thursday.

The Glamorous Personal Assistant and Her Hedge Fund Boss’ Amex Cards
News  |  3/21/2013  | 
Nearly one million dollars later, Ukrainian beauty Renata Shamrakova admitted in Manhattan Supreme Court to embezzlement while working as the personal assistant to hedge fund manager Todd Meister.
New Columbia Business School HFT Paper Is Disappointing
Commentary  |  3/21/2013  | 
The study by Charles Jones cite the usual benefits of HFT: enhanced liquidity and more efficient markets. But what about the conflicts of interest and order types designed specifically for the benefit of high frequency players?
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