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MiFID II – the best thing that ever happened?

So, if you’re planning to attend any kind seminar on what you need to do for MiFID II over the next few months, forget it and go to the movies instead. You’re simply too late and whatever plans you have (or have not) put in place will just have to do as there are only 6 months left to go. The more important questions concern how regulators will interpret and enforce the new... Read More

Thomas in Blockland

Thomas the crossing network wasn’t happy. For years he had enjoyed helping his friends buy and sell things amongst themselves. Sometimes he would even step in directly and agree to buy or sell something himself, especially if there was an awful lot of it. But now he had a tricky choice to make. The ruler of the land, The Regulator, had been convinced by the Exchanges that... Read More

Mince pies and MiFID

I spent the holidays diligently researching the best brand of mince pies in order to settle a pre-Christmas debate here at Fidessa Towers. Naturally my criteria included a number of factors including (but not just) price and, perhaps surprisingly, the winner was Tesco’s in-house bakery. Back at work, my attention turned to my other favourite M word – MiFID II – as... 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... Read More

One million Fragulators can’t be wrong

I don’t often write about fragmentation these days, but I noticed this morning that our frag counter surpassed the 1 million mark. To be honest I was planning to write something later in the week, but thanks to a certain university in Italy that slurped its way through 15,000 fragulations at the weekend, I am a bit off the pace. I have to admit that when we first launched the... Read More

Clear and present danger?

There has been a lot of talk about how the LSE/DB1 merger might create a “too big to fail” clearing house. This seems to be missing the point somewhat as both LCH and Eurex Clearing are already too big to fail. Imagine the fallout if either of these were to go through some sort of disorderly meltdown – would the UK or German governments really just sit back and watch? The... Read More

Slicing up the merger mania cake

One of the great things about industrial logic is that it’s easy to slice it up in so many different ways. This appears to be exactly what is happening with the DB1 LSE merger and the rumoured counterbids from ICE and possibly others. Reuniting Liffe (now owned by ICE) with its original clearing house (LCH, now majority owned by LSE) would be powerful, especially when you throw... Read More

Germany and the UK show the way

The pixels were barely dry on my last blog post on the regulatory impact of a potential Brexit on the City of London, when news broke that LSE Group was in talks with Deutsche Börse over a “merger of equals”. The LSE has done a great job under Xavier’s stewardship of positioning itself for the practical realities of the industry today, which are all predicated on the premise... Read More

BATS auctions off the block problem

There has a been a lot of talk about how to trade blocks that are smaller than the LIS waiver but that are still too big to go to regular lit markets. The debate has been ratcheted up by the 4 and 8% dark pool caps that are part of the MiFID II spectre looming above us all. One approach, of course, is to chop your block into smaller pieces with an algo but this is becoming increasingly... Read More

GMEX – going to eleven?

The announcement that new derivatives exchange GMEX has received investment from SocGen reopened the debate here as to the future of rates trading and who the likely winners are going to be. Reliable data is hard to come by on exactly what is happening to OTC volumes and where they are going. Such evidence as does exist seems to show a steady increase in SEF volumes, although this... Read More

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