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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

I’m afraid of Americans

It’s always cool when two different things come together to make you think. That’s exactly what happened on my commute this morning as I listened to David Bowie’s much-underrated album, Earthling. Just as I read another piece about the US election, my ears were treated to the classic track “I’m afraid of Americans”. I will leave you to listen to the song yourself,... Read More

Anyone for MiFID 3?

I was chatting with the Reg folks here at Fidessa Towers yesterday and the spectre of MiFID 3 came up. Before you all jump off the window ledge there is no official notion of this yet, but when will the regulators feel that their work really is done? The direction of travel has been clear for a while – dismantle the current industry and replace it with something that is utilitarian,... 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... 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 As the memories of the fine Barolos I’d been served rescinded, I engaged with my dear friend and colleague Dr Voigt on what the whole Brexit thing might mean for our industry.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... Read More

Brexit blues

Interesting to read over the weekend that London’s mayor Boris Johnson has decided to throw his charismatic and not inconsiderable weight behind the “NO” campaign. Most agree that this shifts the possibility of a Brexit from remote to now distinctly possible. I wonder, therefore, what this means for all the rules we are in the midst of implementing as part of MiFID,... Read More

Chinese Checkers

I was listening to a debate on the radio yesterday morning about the Chinese authorities’ inability to keep their financial markets in check. Amidst all the discussion on manufacturing indices, circuit breakers and the like, everyone on the show seemed to be missing the real point. Chinese financial markets are the perfect melting pot for capitalism and communism. Nothing... Read More

The train on platform MiFID 2 is delayed by one year

Not surprising to see that it now looks odds-on that we’ll get a full one year delay on the implementation of MiFID 2. This will embarrass the politicians who don’t want to be seen as going soft on those “reckless” bankers, but I assume Jo Public will have forgotten all about this by the time they’re up for re-election in 2019. It’s worth bearing in mind,... Read More

Can’t see the wood for the regulatory trees?

When you are immersed in an industry it’s sometimes difficult to see how it’s really changing. Global financial markets are a good example of this as the populist headlines can easily miss the subtlety of what is really going on. The polemic against misbehaviour by some market participants is obviously deserved (estimates of the total in fines and related costs are approaching... Read More

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