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Blockchain is the answer but not in the way you think

Barely a week goes by without yet another announcement heralding a new blockchain initiative in capital markets. It almost seems that if you are the CIO of a major financial institution and you don’t have a blockchain project underway then you simply have nothing to talk about at dinner parties any more. But what is really going on is that these firms have finally figured out that their post-trade operations are woefully inefficient and represent... Read More

Central Risk Books – the new black for capital markets

I first came across the term “central risk book” at the excellent International Trader Forum event in Rome a couple of weeks back. It seems like it’s the banks’ answer to the dark pool caps that will be upon us in a little over a year. As of January 2018 banks won’t be able to operate their own dark pools in their current form and it seems that the preferred option is to become Systematic Internalisers and trade on a principal... Read More

Mexico blues

Back from a couple of weeks in Mexico where it seemed the whole world was going steadily insane (or maybe that was just the tequila). Anyways, it was reassuring to start the week with another “wow is that what they really meant?” moment whilst gorging on the never-ending box set known as MiFID 2. This time it’s about the obligations on brokers to report annually their top venues of execution. A sensible(ish) pointer towards disclosure... Read More

Brexit hangover

I was out fairly late last night at an industry function and almost forgot that I had an internal Brexit briefing here at Fidessa Towers this morning. As the memories of the fine Barolos I’d been served rescinded, I engaged with my dear friend and colleague Dr Voigt on what the whole Brexit thing might mean for our industry. Christian made some good points as usual, including that MiFID et al are actually (or will be) enshrined in UK law and... Read More

Bumpy road ahead?

Interesting story in the FT today about IEX and its application to become a fully-fledged exchange. At issue is IEX’s so-called ’speed bump’ that will slow down the HFT ‘boy racers’ and so make markets safer again. Naysayers claim that the inclusion of a speed bump is contrary to the rule that investors should have “immediate” access to the best liquidity. The SEC counters that anything that is sub-millisecond... Read More

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