Top Headlines

So Bad It’s Good: Markets See Silver Lining in Brexit Rejection – Bloomberg

Prime Minister Theresa May’s record defeat in Parliament over her Brexit divorce deal provoked a curious response from markets: Optimism.

Why We Need Risk-Takers in the Industry Again (opinion) – Profit & Loss

This week has seen the start of the reporting season for US banks and at least as far as the FICC divisions are concerned, it hasn’t been good news. What I found intriguing amongst all the usual corporate-speak was the admission by Citi’s CFO John Gerspach, that the bank’s lowest quarterly FICC results since 2011 were in some way driven by “a pull back from clients waiting for clearer market conditions that did not materialise”.

Hedge Funds End Tough Year with December Loss – Profit & 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. 

Regulatory News

FIA Calls for Removal of Barriers to Clearing – Profit & Loss

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. 

Ensuring Best Execution in Light of Renewed SEC Focus – Tabb Forum

Best execution is clearly moving even further up the regulatory agenda. Bloomberg’s Janos Renz-Hotz highlights common deficiencies associated with advisers’ best execution obligations and outlines three foundational steps to consider in staying ahead of compliance requirements.

Germany Steps Up Work on Potential Deutsche-Commerzbank Tie-Up – Financial Times

Germany’s finance ministry has asked banking regulator BaFin to share the results of its scenario analyses that model a potential merger of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank.

Brexit Lures Numerous Financial Institutions to Germany: Watchdog – Reuters

More than 45 financial institutions are planning to newly establish themselves or significantly increase their presence in Germany as a result of Britain’s planned exit from the European Union, a German official said on Tuesday.

Crypto News

Crypto Winter Isn’t Fatal For All ‘Picks and Shovels’ Makers – Bloomberg

The crypto winter that’s seen major digital assets crash by as much as 90 percent hasn’t been bad for all of the firms building infrastructure or investors looking to pick up equity in projects that dropped appreciably.

Crypto’s Billion-Dollar Theft Problem Prompts Safer Way to Trade – Bloomberg

By the end of the month, BitGo’s customers will be able to buy or sell Bitcoin, Ether and other digital assets without the coins ever leaving cold storage – in other words, they’ll stay on devices not connected to the internet, making them harder to steal. BitGo is offering this through a partnership with Genesis Global Trading, a trading firm.

GMEX Unveils Digital Wallet and Custody Solution – Profit & Loss

GMEX Technologies (GMEX) has added two new products, ForumCustody and ForumWallet, to its Fusion product suite, thus providing digital custodian and vault capabilities. 

Crypto Exchange CEO Says Traders Shouldn’t Hold Their Breath for Ether Futures – The Block

A slew of crypto firms have their hearts set on launching markets for ethereum derivatives, but the chance regulators get comfortable with giving the green light for those products this year seem slim, some market experts say. 

Company News

Management Changes at State Street in Asia as Seck Steps Down – Profit & Loss

Wai-Kwong Seck, CEO of State Street in the Asia Pacific region (APAC) and member of the bank’s Management Committee, is leaving after an eight year career. Seck will be replaced by Ian Martin, currently EVP Asia Pacific and formerly head of Global Markets for the bank in the region.

CME’s TriOptima Launches Initial Margin Calculation Tool – The Trade

Post-trade derivatives services provider TriOptima has launched a tool to provide insights into options for initial margin (IM) calculation and to help firms identify in-scope counterparties.

Bloomberg Gets Green Light for Dutch MTF – The Trade

The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets has provided authorisation for Bloomberg Trading Facility to establish the Dutch multilateral trading facility known as BTFE. BTFE will operate alongside Bloomberg’s UK MTF and will provide cross-border trading services from Amsterdam throughout the European Union under a MiFID II passport. 

It’s Official: Wall Street Topped $100 Billion in Profit – Bloomberg

The six biggest US banks have never had a $100 billion year. Until now. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and their peers have already reported more than $111 billion of profit for 2018. Morgan Stanley will only make that number bigger when it releases its fourth-quarter results Thursday.

Citi Says Female Employees Earn 29 Percent Less than Men – Reuters

Citi’s female employees earn 29 percent less than their male counterparts, the Wall Street bank revealed on Wednesday, while announcing targets for appointing more women and minorities to senior roles.

The Banks that Pay the Most for the Least Amount of Time Spent Working – eFinancialCareers

Despite recent work-life mandates, junior bankers still put in marathon weeks, averaging north of 80 hours at some investment banks.

Market Savvy

Pound Holds Off Two-Month Highs as Uncertainty Sets in After Key Brexit Votes – Reuters

Sterling hovered just off two-month highs against the euro and the dollar on Thursday as uncertainty crept back in a day after British Prime Minister Theresa May won a confidence vote in parliament.

Kiwi Dollar Sags on Dampened Risk Appetite – Reuters

The New Zealand dollar moved the most among major currencies on Thursday, falling to a week’s low on renewed fears over global growth, while sterling dipped as the British government struggled to find consensus over how to exit the European Union.

Down Down Under: Why the Aussie Dollar is Grabbing Attention – Financial Times

All eyes are on the grinding gears of China’s economy, but for Australia, the fate of its largest trading partner is a particular worry.