Top Headlines

EU Lawmakers Eye Compromise for US on Benchmarks – Reuters

European Union lawmakers look set to ease the international impact of rules to stop market benchmarks being rigged, addressing US concerns that global investors could lose out. The bloc is approving a law to directly regulate benchmarks such as those based on currencies and interest rates that banks have been fined billions of dollars for attempting to manipulate.

EBS Appoints Global Head of Strategy – Profit & Loss (subscription)
Icap’s EBS has appointed Justyn Trenner to the newly created role of global head of strategy as part of its drive to deliver new products, reach new client segments and potentially target other asset classes. The appointment follows a three-year transformation of EBS, overseen by CEO Gil Mandelzis, from a single-product to a multi-product company offering both execution platforms and workflow services.

RBS Trader Arrested in FX Rigging Probe Named in Court Records – Financial Times (subscription)
The Royal Bank of Scotland trader arrested last month as part of the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into alleged rigging of the $5 trillion-a-day foreign-exchange market was Paul Nash.

ECB Action Is ‘Just Going to be a Currency Play,’ Says Global Bank Group Chief – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)
If the European Central Bank expands its easy-money policies in the coming weeks, it will do little to fix the currency union’s underlying problems, according to Tim Adams, president of the Institute of International Finance, an industry group representing more than 500 of the world’s largest banks, pension funds, insurance firms and other financial firms.

Russia’s Ruble Collapse Strikes Ex-Soviet Currencies – The Moscow Times
Falling energy prices and the plunge in the Russian ruble are hitting currencies across the former Soviet states, with Belarus and Turkmenistan having already devalued this week and markets betting that Kazakhstan will follow soon.

SNB Sees 2014 Profit of 38 Billion Francs, Resumes Dividend – Bloomberg
The Swiss National Bank expects to record a 2014 profit of 38 billion francs as its foreign currency and gold holdings gained in value.

Greenback Makes a Comeback, Shaking Off Doubt – Sydney Morning Herald
Buoyed by a strengthening US economy, the greenback has firmly reasserted itself on the global stage, shaking off years of doubts over its status as the world’s leading currency. The US dollar is at its strongest against major currencies in nine years and showing no signs of slowing down in its ascent, as expectations grow the US Federal Reserve will this year raise interest rates for the first time since 2006.



Regulatory News

US Futures Industry Regulator Faces Director’s Accusations of Wrongdoing – Reuters
The chairman of a US futures industry regulator says a dispute over board nominations at the organisation and allegations of improprieties may stem from a director’s campaign to hold onto his seat. National Futures Association board member James Koutoulas has accused the regulator of breaking its own rules for nominating public representatives and falsifying documents to cover up alleged wrongdoing.

Buy Siders Up In Arms Over New ISDA Derivatives Protocol – The Trade
A derivatives protocol published by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association is causing consternation among buy-side participants who fear that it could disrupt their ability to unwind positions with banks that are on the cusp of failure.



Market Savvy  

European Central Bank QE: A Little Late to the Party
Olivier Desbarres
The ECB meets on 22 January and with Eurozone inflation having turned negative and growth stalling, there is a high probability it will announce a fully-fledged bond buying program. Its immediate goal will be to cap peripheral bond yields and systemic risk ahead of Greek elections on 25 January. Ultimately it will be tasked with staving off deflation and generating jobs – a tall ask for a measure of last resort which by definition has its limitations. Its effectiveness will depend on its size – likely to be around €1 trillion – and modalities but will be curtailed by its late timing. For EUR/USD it likely means further downside in coming months.



Press Releases

BGC Files Preliminary Proxy Materials and Issues Letter to GFI Shareholders
BGC Partners has urged GFI shareholders to vote against the CME-GFI transaction and tender their shares to BGC.

JP Morgan Asset Management (Singapore) Receives RQFII Licence
JPMorgan Asset Management (Singapore) has received a Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) licence from the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

David Morrisroe Joins Cürex Group as Managing Director, Business Development for EMEA
The Cürex Group has appointed David Morrisroe as a managing director focusing on business development across the EMEA regions at the New York-based institutional foreign exchange execution, product development and index data company.



Industry Events

IFM Lifecycle of Derivatives Trades: Uncovering the Middle and Back Office Functions, 22 January in Chicago, IL; 30 January in New York, NY; 12 March in Chicago, IL; 7 May in New York, NY; 14 May in Chicago, IL
Managed Funds Association’s Network 2015, 26-28 January in Miami, FL
ACI World Congress 2015, 3-7 February in Milan
FIA/SIFMA Asset Management Derivatives Forum 2015, 4-6 February in Dana Point, CA
FX Week Australia, 12 February in Sydney, NSW
FX Invest Europe, 24 February, Frankfurt, Germany
AFME 10th Annual European Market Liquidity Conference, 25 February in London
FIA International Futures Conference Boca 2015, 10-13 March in Boca Raton, FL
Profit & Loss FX Growth Markets Colombia, 17 March, Bogota, Colombia
Profit & Loss FX Growth Markets Mexico, 19 March, Mexico City, Mexico
Profit & Loss Forex Network London, 23 April, London, UK
Profit & Loss Forex Network New York, 28 May, New York, NY
Profit & Loss Toronto, 3 June in Toronto, Canada
Profit & Loss Forex Network Chicago, 24-25 September, Chicago, IL