British Bankers' Association

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Frontrunning: July 22





  • EU Works to Punish Russia as MH17 Bodies Leave Rebel Area (BBG)
  • Bodies From Malaysia Airlines Flight Begin Long Trip to Netherlands (WSJ)
  • Israel pounds Gaza as Kerry arrives (Reuters)
  • U.S. judge dismisses Republican lawsuit over Obamacare subsidy for Congress (Reuters)
  • Israel Soldier Missing Amid Assault on Hamas in Gaza (WSJ)
  • Detroit Retirees Vote in Favor of Pension Cuts (WSJ)
  • Russia Axes 1st Bond Sale in 3 Months as Ukraine Drives Up Yield  (BBG)
  • Wall Street Cut From Guest List for Jackson Hole Fed Meeting (BBG)
  • Credit Suisse to Exit Commodities, Posts Big Quarter Loss (BBG)
  • Draghi Cedes Euro Control to Yellen on Fed Rate Wagers (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: July 19





  • Fighting erupts in Ukraine as crash investigators arrive (Reuters)
  • Russian Billionaires in ‘Horror’ as Putin Risks Isolation (BBG)
  • Israel kills militants entering from Gaza, death toll tops 500 (Reuters)
  • The other Gaza: In violent weekend, at least 40 people shot in Chicago (Reuters)
  • Barclays Dark Pool Drew Early Alarms (WSJ)
  • Finance Industry Bonus Hit in Poll as Revenue Disappoints (BBG)
  • Severstal to Sell North American Units (WSJ)
  • Yum, McDonald's apologize as new China food scandal brews (Reuters)
  • Yellen Wage Gauges Blurred by Boomer-Millennial Workforce Shift (BBG)
  • Ukraine Offers to Hand Over Malaysia Airlines Probe to Dutch (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: May 28





  • Yellen Concerned by Housing Slowdown She Has Scant Power to Cure (BBG)
  • Because snow in Q1? Citigroup’s CFO Says Trading Revenue Could Slide 25% (BBG)
  • Banks Raise Caution Flag on Trading (WSJ)
  • The answer is yes: Hilsenrath asks if BOJ’s Kuroda Awakening to His Limits? (WSJ)
  • Google Develops Prototype Cars for Fully Autonomous Driving (WSJ)
  • Amazon Expects Lengthy Hachette Dispute (WSJ)
  • Tencent $1 Billion Game Shows Global Hunt for Mobile Hits (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: May 15





  • More than 20 dead, doctor says, as anti-China riots spread in Vietnam (Reuters)
  • Russia's Gazprom plans Singapore stock exchange listing (Reuters)
  • Inside Europe’s Plan Z (FT)
  • Ukraine slides deeper toward war as Russia warns to vote (BBG)
  • Fast-Food Protests Spread Overseas (NYT)
  • BOJ Beat, Officials Could Upgrade Outlook for Capex (WSJ)
  • Euro-Zone Economy Shows Weaker-Than -Expected Expansion (WSJ)
  • Yahoo to YouTube Ads Spreading Viruses Rile Lawmakers (BBG)
  • New York Times Ousts Jill Abramson as Executive Editor, Names Dean Baquet (BBG)
  • NYT Publisher Said to Always Have Clashed With Abramson (BBG)
  • Google gets take-down requests after European court ruling - source (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: February 25





  • Turkish PM says tapes of talk with son a fabrication (Reuters) but opposition confirms authenticity, and national TV carriers cut parliament when played live
  • Inside the Showdown Atop Pimco, the World's Biggest Bond Firm (WSJ)
  • Ex-Jefferies Trader’s Customers Say Lies Common Tactic (BBG)
  • Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox disappears in blow to virtual currency (Reuters)
  • The messenger mania is spreading: SoftBank Said to Seek Stake in Naver’s Line Messaging Unit (BBG)
  • Ukraine Replaces Central Bank Head (BBG)
  • Yup, an actual headline: Harsh weather tests optimism over U.S. economy (Reuters)
  • Hiring of Law Grads Improves for Some (BBG)
  • Easy Currency Bet Gets Harder as the Chinese Yuan Tumbles (WSJ)
  • In Ukraine turbulence, a lad from Lviv becomes the toast of Kiev (Reuters)
 
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Stocks Wobble Overnight As China Tremors Get Louder





All eyes were on China overnight, where first the PBOC drained a quite substantial CNY 100 billion in liquidity via 14 day repos in the month following the biggest credit injection on record, pushing those worried about China's credit schizophrenia to the edge, and then things got even more bizarre when in an act of clear PBOC intervention, the CNY dropped to the lowest since August 2013 as concerns about the global carry trade's impact on China (as noted here previously) start to reverberate. We will have more to say about China's Yuan intervention, but what should be noted is that the Shanghai Composite has tumbled nearly 10% in the past week, and was down another 2% overnight and is once again just barely above 2000, a level it can't seem to get away from for years (which is fine: recall that the real bubble in China is not the stock but the housing market). Chinese property stocks dropped to 8-month lows as concern continues about bank's withdrawing some liquidity for the asset class.The USDJPY drifted along and after rising to a resistance level of about 102.600 has since slide just shy of its 102.20 support area which means US equity futures are now in the red, and concerns that the S&P 500 may not close at a new record high are start to worry the technicians.

 
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Frontrunning: January 24





  • Emerging market sell-off raises specter of contagion (Reuters)
  • China Bank Regulator Said to Issue Alert on Coal Mine Loans (BBG)
  • Argentina to Ease FX Controls After Peso Devaluation (BBG)
  • Pimco's Gross problem: who can succeed the 'Bond King'? (Reuters)
  • Ukraine protesters seize building, put up more barricades (Reuters)
  • Mideast Turmoil Dominates Gathering of Business Elite (WSJ)
  • Central Banks Withdraw Dollar Funding (WSJ) - oh really?
  • Samsung warns of weak earnings growth this quarter (FT)
  • Three explosions rock Cairo, killing 5 (USA Today)
 
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Risk Off: Yen Soars, Equity Futures Tumble As EM Revulsion Escalates





It's Risk Off time.

Things got really out of control, and the USDJPY plunged by some 150 pips in the matter of hours, plunging as low as 102, when EM revulsion once again hit participants, in particular TRY and ARS which also supported bid tone in USTs. This also saw spot TRY rate print fresh record high, while 5y Turkish CDS rate advanced to its highest level since June 2012, while at the same time Argentina announced it would life currency controls and dollar purchases in the aftermath of the ARS devaluation by 13%.  And since everything tracks the JPY carry pair as we have been showing for the past year, futures once again plunged overnight, for now held by 1810 support, Treasurys are bid throughout, with the same treasury yields that have "no where to go but up" sliding to 2.71% from 2.87% at the beginning of the week, while gold is finally spiking as the realization that absolutely nothing has been fixed, that apparently nobody got the taper is priced in memo, and that soon the Fed will have to untaper, begins to spread. Are the central planners finally starting to lose control?

 
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Frontrunning: January 22





  • Winter Storm Expected to Make Northeast Commutes Harder  (BBG)
  •  Invasion of Spanish Builders Angers France Struggling to Compete  (BBG)
  • Toronto mayor, caught ranting on video, admits drinking a 'little bit" (Reuters)
  • IBM's Hardware Woes Accelerate in Fourth Quarter (WSJ)
  • Sharp Divisions Come to Fore as Peace Talks on Syria Begin (NYT)
  • Afghanistan cracks down on advertising in favor of U.S. troops (Reuters)
  • Microsoft CEO Search Rattles Boards From Ford to Ericsson (BBG)
  • Banks Sit Out Riskier Deals (WSJ)
  • Netflix Seen Reporting U.S. Web Users Reach 33.1 Million (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: November 1





  • US admits surveillance on foreign governments ‘reached too far’ (FT)
  • He must be so proud: Obama halted NSA spying on IMF and World Bank headquarters (RTRS)
  • Obamacare website gets new tech experts; oversight pressure grows (Reuters)
  • R.B.S. to Split Off $61 Billion in Loans Into Internal ‘Bad Bank’ (NYT)
  • Draghi’s Deflation Risk Complicates Recovery (BBG)
  • Abenomics: Nissan slashes full-year profit forecast 15% (FT)
  • Credit Suisse Dismisses London Trader Over 'Unusual Trading' Losses (WSJ)
  • RBS avoids break-up with 38 billion pounds 'internal bad bank' (Reuters)
  • Twitter Said to Attract More Than Enough Interest for IPO (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: July 10





  • MSM discovers that soaring dollar hurts corporate profits: P&G to Apple Hurt by Strong Dollar Keep S&P 500 Profits in Check (BBG)
  • China Posts Surprise Drop in Exports (WSJ) - lol: "surprise"
  • Plan Reins In Biggest Banks (WSJ)
  • European Commission Seeks Authority to Wind Down Banks (WSJ) - and Germany just says 9
  • U.S. Banks Seen Freezing Payouts as Harsher Leverage Rules Loom (BBG)
  • Brussels sets up clash with Berlin over banks (FT)
  • EU to Toughen Creditor-Loss Rules at Failing Banks From August (BBG) - or September, or October, but definitely November... 2023
  • China's crude, iron ore imports falter as demand cools (Reuters)
  • Obama pushes economic case for immigration as House eyes next steps (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: September 26





  • China To Maintain Prudent Monetary Policy (China Daily)
  • Why Exit Is An Option For Germany (FT)
  • China-Japan Ministers Hold 'Severe' Talks As Spat Damages Trade (Bloomberg)
  • Eurozone Deal Over Bank Bailout In Doubt (FT)
  • UBS Co-Workers Knew of Fake Trades, Adoboli Told Lawyer (Bloomberg)
  • Banks Seek Changes To Research Settlement (FT)
  • Secession Crisis Heaps Pain On Spain (FT)
  • SEC: NY Firm Allowed HFT Manipulation (Bloomberg) - busted 'providing liquidity'?
  • Germany To Tap Brakes ON High-Speed Trading (WSJ)
  • Rajoy Outlines Fresh Overhauls (WSJ)
  • BBC Apologizes To Queen Over Radical Cleric Leak (Reuters)
  • British Banks Step Back From Libor Role (WSJ)
  • Obama Seeks To Recast Ties With Arab World (FT)
 
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"Mr Libor" Leaves The British Bankers' Association, Goes To Reuters





There was a time when regulators caught red-handed abusing their privileges, aka, doing nothing in the face of glaring malfeasance, would quietly fade away only to even more quietly reappear, sans press release, as a third general counsel or some other C-grade menial role paying a minimum 6 figure compensation to the individual for years of doing nothing. This is no longer the case: it appears that the best such exposed "regulators" can hope for going forward is to get media positions. Such is the case with John Ewan. Who is John Ewan? None other than the director "responsible for the management of the setting of Libor" at the British Bankers' Association. In other words, the man whom The Sun of all non-captured publications (oddly enough, tabloids sometimes have more journalistic integrity than Reuters and the FT as we will shortly find) has dubbed Mr. Libor. The Sun continues: "In a staggering profile on the internet Mr Ewan reveals he joined the BBA in 2005 to “put Libor on a secure commercial footing”. That year Barclays traders began fiddling the figures they submitted for the Libor calculations. On the LinkedIn networking site Mr Ewan boasts of generating a “tenfold” increase in revenue from licensing out the Libor rate." He adds: “I introduced new products and obtained EU, US and Japanese trademarks for BBA Libor. "I successfully negotiated contracts with derivatives exchanges and all of the major data vendors." Well, in the aftermath of Lieborgate surely Ewan is going to someone receptive to his permissive and highly profitable tactics over the years, such as Barclays. Actually no: instead of a bank, the only place that is willing to accept Ewan is media conglomerate Reuters. And not just as anyone: "Thomson Reuters confirmed that Ewan has joined the company as head of business development for its fixing and benchmark business." We wonder how much revenue Mr. Ewan generated for Reuters?

 
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Will The British Bankers' Association Ban Barclays As It Said It Would?





In the ongoing reincarnation of Lie-borgate (because as Jon Weil reminds everyone, this is nothing new under the sun, except for a few e-mails, and a bottle of Bollinger), there is just one missing link right about now. From Bloomberg, April 16, 2008:

"It's very important to us that we preserve the integrity of the figures," said Lesley McLeod, a BBA spokeswoman in London. "It's something we have been looking at. If we find that people have been putting in figures which don't reflect accurately their financial figures, the ultimate sanction is to throw them out of the pond.''

And just so there is no confusion, from the NYT, June 6, 2008

The British Bankers Association (BBA) -- which oversees the daily benchmark setting process -- in April announced that it was bringing forward its annual review of the process. It stated that any member found to be deliberately misquoting would be banned.

So: Will the British Bankers' Association now ban Barclays as it said it would? After all, there is all that "integrity" to be preserved.

 
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Barclays Chairman Is Lie-borgate's First Victim





Three weeks ago we mocked, rightfully so, the utter joke that is Liebor, which had been unchanged for just over 3 months. Nobody cared, certainly not the British Banker Association. This was not the first time: our first allegations of Liebor fraud and manipulation started over three years ago. There were others too. Nobody certainly cared back then. Now, in the aftermath of the Barclays lawsuit, and "those" e-mails, everyone suddenly cares. And a few days after the first public exposure of Lie-borgate, the first victim has been claimed: as numerous sources report, Barclays' Chairman Marcus Agius wil step down immediately. From the WSJ: "Political and investor pressure has mounted on the management of U.K.-based Barclays since the settlement was announced Wednesday. The announcement of Mr. Agius's departure could come as soon as Monday, said one of the people. Mr. Agius, 65 years old, a British-Maltese banker who formerly worked at Lazard Ltd., has led the bank since 2007, steering Barclays through the 2008 financial crisis and avoiding the direct state bailouts that were needed by many of its global peers." While the sacrifice of a scapegoat is expected, what we don't get is why the Chairman: after all by the time Agius became Chair of the British bank, the bulk of the Libor fixing alleged in the FSA lawsuit had already happened. And of course, with Bob Diamond having succeeded John Varley as CEO in 2010, one can easily claim that in this first (of many) confirmed Liebor transgression there really is nobody at fault who can be held accountable. Of course, Barclays is merely the first of many. We fully expect Lieborgate to spread not only to other British BBA member banks, but soon to jump across the Atlantic, where CEOs who have been with their banks for the duration of the entire Libor-fixing term will soon find themselves under the same microscope.

 
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