SEC officials on Thursday told exchanges to work with other market players to come up with “comprehensive action plans” to ensure that the data feeds are resilient, and to ensure the soundness of other “critical infrastructure systems,” according to an SEC statement.
Thursday’s SEC meeting, attended by top executives from exchange operators Nasdaq, NYSE Euronext, BATS Global Markets Inc., Direct Edge Holdings LLC, and others, was marked by one snafu. Nasdaq Chief Executive Robert Greifeld was 40 minutes late due to transportation problems, according to people who attended.
And lest you thought that (slowly outgoing) CFTC Chief Gary Gensler was going to let Mary Jo have all the fun, think again. Read more »
BRB aka EFF aka SP-RG, pictured above as her latest persona, the BBB, outside of Chuck Schumer’s office on Friday.
Her dispatch to DB: “Here I am in front of Senator Schumer’s offices Friday morning to protest his whining to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to scrap CFTC rules that would regulate cross border derivatives since he (and several other senators claim) the megabanks would get “confused.” (those poor sad banks!) And unfortunately, all that whining worked. Now Gary Gensler bowed to pressure from Lew and European Officials to negotiate a compromise within the rules. All this political maneuvering to save TBTF bank profit is making me sick! What is this frustrated butterfly supposed to do — whose ass do I need to kick — because I’M READY !!!”
If anyone has any ideas, do share. In the meantime: Read more »
President Obama has decided that CFTC chief Gary Gensler, unlike most of his first-term economic team, is worth keeping around. Gary Gensler agrees. Now if only they could figure out in what capacity. Read more »
This House Financial Services investigations subcommittee hatchet job on MF Global is, I don’t know, pretty reasonable and not-that-hatchety? It’s 100 pages and not exactly full of new news, but it’s a good read, stuff happens, there’s a clear story arc, heros and villains (kidding, just villains), you’re in suspense until the end. There’s some law of narrative that demands that every financial disaster be a parable for something, and the Fall of the House of Corzine obliges nicely. It reads like the sort of fairy tale where three whatevers come to the guy and tell him “repent repent a thing will happen” and each time he’s like “naaaah” but the third time the thing happens and he’s all “huh, wish I’d repented.”
The thing that was going to happen – which has the benefit of being inevitable in this report though I guess maybe not in real time – was that MF Global’s inventory of fairly short-dated peripheral Eurozone sovereign bonds, which it had bought and then financed via repo-to-maturity transactions, were going to be the death of it. And people kept telling Corzine that and he was all “I SAID NAAAAAH.” And then they were the death of it.
The first people who told him were his auditors at PwC in late 2010, who were troubled by how MF Global was accounting for the repos-to-maturity.1 The RTMs were accounted for as a sale plus a derivative purchase liability; the forward was required to be marked to market but MF Global used its own models to determine that the mark-to-market was so small as to be immaterial because Corzine was pretty sure the chances of default were low. PwC were unamused and advocated a mark-to-market that marked more to the actual market.
The memo even explored why Gensler ran the New York Marathon with Corzine’s number more than 20 years ago. According to the report, Gensler learned that Corzine had registered to run the 1991 race. Gensler asked Corzine’s secretary if Corzine was actually going to run. Several weeks later, the secretary informed Gensler that Corzine had decided against running and wouldn’t need the number, the memo said. The secretary gave the number to Gensler. [Bloomberg via DI]
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