Top Headlines

Senate Passes Bill Easing Banking Rules – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Congress moved a step closer to relaxing the wave of crisis-era restrictions placed on the banking industry, with Senate approval of a bipartisan plan to ease rules for small and midsize banks.

Dollar Index Off 1% in March as Trade War Fears Build – Financial Times (subscription)

The dollar continued to edge lower amid negative sentiment in foreign exchange markets over the potential for a global trade war.

Goldman Sees US Dollar Weakness Persisting in 2018 – Reuters

Goldman Sachs said it continues to expect broad weakness in the US dollar and outperformance by emerging market currencies in 2018 amid investors’ concerns about escalating trade tension.

Traders Beware: Political Black Swan Looms Over Yen, Nikkei – Bloomberg

The scandal embroiling Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration may be more serious than some investors realize, raising the potential for a rapid move in Japanese markets to discount the potential for a surprise end to the champions of Abenomics.

South Africa Establishes FX Committee – Profit & Loss

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has announced the establishment of the South African Foreign Exchange Committee (SAFXC).

FIA PTG Calls for “Data-Driven” Discussion on Liquidity – Profit & Loss

As part of what it terms a continuing effort to foster a productive, data-driven discussion about the nature of liquidity and liquidity provision, FIA PTG has released a white paper entitled Liquidity in Today’s Markets that seeks to promote principles that it says are fundamental to healthy, liquid markets.

Tempers Flare in US-EU Spat Over Clearinghouse Supervision – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Tensions between the US and European Union over the supervision of clearinghouses boiled over publicly, with top regulators trading barbs and recriminations at an industry conference.

Hedge Funds Draw SEC Scrutiny in Crypto Coin Review – Bloomberg

Wall Street’s main regulator has a new worry in its race to keep tabs on the cryptocurrency craze: hedge funds.

Bitcoin Exchange in Banking Tie-Up with Barclays – Financial Times (subscription)

A major bitcoin exchange has struck a banking relationship with Barclays, a move that marks a break in the ranks of UK lenders who have been shunning the cryptocurrency industry as it comes under growing scrutiny from regulators.

The Philosophy of Benchmarks and Fixings – Profit & Loss (subscription)

A class action has been launched against an unnamed group of traders who allegedly manipulate the settlement price for Vix contracts.

Surprise: US Derivatives Industry Says It’s Not Main Cause of 2008 Financial Crisis – Financial Times (subscription)

That was the message from the US derivatives industry when it voted “easy money and excessive leverage” as the primary cause of the 2008 financial crisis, placing “excess OTC derivatives” in last place among four choices.

A Decade After Bear’s Collapse, the Seeds of Instability Are Germinating Again – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Since the bailout of Bear Stearns a decade ago this week and the failure of Lehman Brothers six months later, regulators have made it their mission to prevent a repeat.

Regulatory News

US Eyes Fed Official Randal Quarles for Top Global Regulatory Post – Financial Times (subscription)

Randal Quarles, the Federal Reserve governor who supervises big banks, is being discussed in the Trump administration as a candidate to head the body that oversees international financial regulation, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

Lawrence Kudlow to Become Trump’s White House Economic Adviser – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Lawrence Kudlow, a conservative economic commentator whose career included jobs in the White House, Wall Street, radio and business television, will become one of President Donald Trump’s top economic advisers as director of the National Economic Council.

Esma Investigating Mifid Trade Data Publishers – Risk (subscription)

European regulator warns approved publication arrangements could be breaking the rules.

Outgoing FCA Chair Warns Against Brexit Deregulation – Financial News (subscription)

The Financial Conduct Authority must fight “any sort of regulatory race to lower standards” ahead of the UK’s impending exit from the European Union, according to its outgoing chairman.

Warren Introduces Bill to End ‘Too Big to Jail’ – American Banker

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., introduced a bill that would create a permanent law enforcement unit to investigate potential criminal activity at large financial institutions.

The Dark Underbelly of Europe’s Financial System – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

The EU has rules to guard against money laundering, but members must ensure the law is enforced.

Company News

Cboe Signals Big Plans for Trading Cryptocurrency Derivatives – Bloomberg

Digital currencies are ‘here to stay,’ Cboe’s president says.

BBOD Launches Ethereum Derivatives and Spot Exchange – Profit & Loss

GMEX Technologies has announced that the Blockchain Board of Derivatives (BBOD) will be the latest exchange to implement the firm’s Fusion product, an integrated, centralised and distributed exchange platform solution.

Market Savvy

Norway’s Central Bank Says Rate Rise ‘Will Soon Be Appropriate’ – Financial Times (subscription)

The Norwegian krone has hit its highest point of the year after the country’s central bank indicated that it is preparing for an earlier rise in rates than previously anticipated.

Bitcoin Falls to Five-Week Low as Ethereum Drops Below $600 – Financial Times (subscription)

Bitcoin slipped to a five-week low that also marked a drop of nearly a quarter in the cryptocurrency’s value during the first two weeks of March.

Swiss Central Bank Warns of ‘Correction’ in Real Estate – Financial Times (subscription)

In a statement, the Swiss National Bank indicated that its customary aversion to excess currency strength would remain in place.