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News & Commentary
Content posted in December 2007
Subprime Crisis Inspires Christmas Poems
News  |  12/24/2007  | 
The Wall Street Journal's front-page, middle-column story today alerted us to a spate of CDO-crisis-inspired Christmas poems. We thought we'd share with you two of the efforts the Journal found and a third we found on our own. First is Broker Joe, written by Cameron Crise, a currency investor at Fortis, London. This is based on Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham and illustrated with drawings from the book.
Global Trading Technology Spend Reached $45.8 billion in 2007
News  |  12/20/2007  | 
Global spend on trading and related technology and services reached an estimated USD$45.8 billion in 2007, according to a new report from Somerset, UK-based Kimsey Consulting.
Salaries Expected To Increase For IT Professionals In 2008
News  |  12/19/2007  | 
Compliance management solution MyComplianceOffice from TerraNua audits activities including attestations, policy review and updates and employee trading.
U.S. Banks Are Targets in 60 Percent of Worldwide Phishing Attacks
News  |  12/19/2007  | 
Phishing Attacks target U.S. institions most, according to the RSA's Anti-Fraud Command Center.
SEC's Old Computer System Is Hampering Efforts to Stop Insider Trading
News  |  12/18/2007  | 
A new report found that deficiencies in the SEC's computer system are hampering the watchdog's efforts to thwart insider trading and spot other regulatory violations...
Remote Desktops Coming to Wall Street in 2008
News  |  12/18/2007  | 
Here's a prediction for the coming year: remote desktopping -- in other words, moving desktop CPUs off (or out from under) desks and into racks, data centers and closets -- will hit the Street in force some time in 2008, or maybe 2009. Wachovia has already said they're kitting out the new trading floor in their under-construction Charlotte headquarters with remote desktops (or "back-racked PCs" as they call them), which will open in 2009, and the inventors of the latest generation of remote desk
Wall Street Firms Increasingly Adopt Web 2.0
News  |  12/18/2007  | 
Financial firms increasingly are adopting Web 2.0 technologies to give customers the collaborative tools they've come to expect online. But traditional firms still have to catch up with the new generation of online brokers, and security remains a major concern.
CME Group Migrates Combined CME-CBOT Electronic Trading to a Single Platform
News  |  12/18/2007  | 
CME Group is migrating the CBOT's elecronic trading to the Globex platform while consolidating two trading floors into one.
Retirees Seldom Move Assets
News  |  12/18/2007  | 
Aite Group report suggests that once retirees have entrusted their assets with certain firms, they tend to stay there.
O’Keefe Joins Data Visualization Vendor
News  |  12/18/2007  | 
Former trader will develop programs that help traders perceive their risk profiles at a glance.
Three Prongs to Wachovia’s Virtual IT Strategy
News  |  12/18/2007  | 
Wachovia's vision of creating a virtual IT environment will provide the bank with a more agile technology infrastructure while cutting costs and helping the environment, says Jacob Hall, vice president and head of Wachovia's platform design and data center technology products group. According to Hall, the strategy is based on three principles:
Financial Industry’s Pandemic Exercise Gets Mixed Results
News  |  12/17/2007  | 
2,775 firms took part in the three-week long exercise, which allowed enough time to simulate a full pandemic wave.
Saxo Bank CEO Says Second Life is Good for Communications and Fun
News  |  12/17/2007  | 
Although it still is too early to tell how companies ultimately will leverage Second Life to gain strategic business advantage, the financial services industry continues to expand in the virtual world as it grows more and more popular.
Quants Are Taking the Fun Out of Investing
Commentary  |  12/17/2007  | 
Quants are Wall Street's version of the highly-efficient and near emotionless NFL scoring machine: the New England Patriots.
Minority- and Woman-Owned Broker Dealers Gaining Ground
News  |  12/13/2007  | 
More and more state and local pension funds are directing portions of their order flow to minority and woman-owned broker dealers. How are firms selected and what is important to consider when trading with these smaller shops?
The City of New York Turns to Minority- and Woman-Owned Broker-Dealers
News  |  12/13/2007  | 
New program to direct trading flow from New York City's pension funds to minority and woman-owned firms.
What is JPMorgan Doing in Luxembourg?
News  |  12/13/2007  | 
When we read this morning that JPMorgan is opening a hedge fund services office in Luxembourg, we thought, Luxembourg? Isn't that a postage-stamp sized country with a handful of people living in it? (Lacking confidence in our geographic knowledge, we checked wikipedia and found that indeed, Luxembourg is "a small landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. Luxembourg has a population of under half a million people in an area of approximately 2,586 square kilom
Empire Financial to Donate Day's Profits to Cancer Center
News  |  12/12/2007  | 
We might all think that one day we'll make a difference. One day after this or that, we will put aside our personal needs and do something that will make a dent---no matter how small--toward helpign others. Most of us never do it, but Gerry Mastrianni, head of trading at Empire Financial Group, a Longwood, Florida-based firm is an exception.
Clarifying TSX's Electronic Market Share and Alpha Trading Systems
News  |  12/12/2007  | 
Jackie Chung, president of Competitive Metrics, sent me an email this afternoon clarifying the TSX market share figures and explaining the strategy behind Alpha Group (now known as Alpha Trading Systems).
Wachovia Rolls Out Virtualization Throughout Its Data Centers and Some Trading Floors
News  |  12/12/2007  | 
To save time and money, the Charlotte, N.C.-based firm is virtualizing virtually everything in its data centers.
NYSE Specialist Elimination Is Overdue
Commentary  |  12/12/2007  | 
The NYSE specialist may soon be eliminated and replaced with designated market makers. But whether these new market intermediaries are effective and profitable is questionable.
Fidelity, Thrasher Fund and Cake Financial Take Unique Approaches to Serving Generation X and Y Investors
News  |  12/12/2007  | 
Financial firms are embracing mobile technology, Web 2.0 tools and social networking principles to reach Gen X and Gen Y.
TKS’ Penny Gets a Pickup
News  |  12/12/2007  | 
New York-based TKS Solutions has expanded the feature set of its flagship partnership and shareholder accounting software, Penny.
Agito Networks Releases RoamAnywhere Mobility Router
News  |  12/12/2007  | 
The router is a platform for mobile convergence with which an enterprise can leverage its WiFi networks for in-building mobile voice and data services.
L’Huillier Named CTO at Project Turquoise
News  |  12/12/2007  | 
Former Boston Stock Exchange CIO moves to head technology at Project Turquoise.
Vhayu Co-Founder Chadha Heads to Nirvana Financial
News  |  12/12/2007  | 
Chadha aims to enable the provider of technology for global hedge funds to take full advantage of available global market data while minimizing latency.
Asset Managers Adopt a Software-as-a-Service Model for Corporate Actions Processing
News  |  12/12/2007  | 
While asset managers and broker-dealers clearly do not need a corporate actions processing system as large as custodians, they do require an automated solution to mitigate the inherent risk with manual processing.
Omgeo President and CEO Marianne Brown Looks to Expand Globally By Acting Locally
News  |  12/12/2007  | 
Emerging markets are ready to compete, says Marianne Brown, who joined Omgeo as CEO and president in November 2006.
CIOs Must Lead By Example
News  |  12/12/2007  | 
CIOs need to exercise influence rather than control, refocusing the IT culture to home in on business value, better alternatives and rapid change.
CIO Influence Is Waning
News  |  12/12/2007  | 
CIO turnover is increasing, and the the role of the top IT executive is at a critical point of change.
CME Boosts Globex’s Capacity for CBOT Products and Speeds Up Data
News  |  12/12/2007  | 
CME increases capacity of Globex to process CBOT trading volumes while adopting the FIX FAST protocol to speed up market data.
Data Breaches Costly For Financial Firms
News  |  12/12/2007  | 
Data breaches are costly for any company, but according to a 2007 study by the Ponemon Institute the average total cost for an incident is much higher in the financial sector.
Dark Pools Don’t Translate in Foreign Markets
News  |  12/12/2007  | 
Despite their increasing popularity in U.S. markets, dark pools of liquidity are finding few takers in foreign markets, according to a new market study from Celent.
How Will the TSX/ Montreal Merger Affect Spreads?
News  |  12/12/2007  | 
CFA and an Advanced Trading reader, Bud Haslett of Miller Tabak & Co., emailed me the following commentary. I'd like to ask our readers the question he asked me: Do you think the merger will result in narrower spreads and increased option volume for the combined organization? Below is Bud's commentary:
Asset Allocation Tools: Helping Investors Put Their Eggs in the Right Baskets
News  |  12/12/2007  | 
Year end is often a time for investors to reflect upon their portfolios and determine whether their assets are properly allocated and how they might be rebalanced. In our November e-Monitor Report, we reviewed the online tools available to the clients of major brokerage firms - both "self-directed" and traditionally "full-service". Perhaps not surprisingly, the self-directed firms provided better and more robust
iPhone Gets Secure VPN Solution
News  |  12/11/2007  | 
In a bid to turn Apple's iPhone into a business tool, Astaro, a unified threat management solution maker, announced it will now provide the device's users with virtual office capabilities...
TSX Group to Merge with Montreal Exchange to Create Multi-Asset Trading Venue
News  |  12/10/2007  | 
The TSX Group has agreed to merge with the Montreal Exchange Inc. (MX) in a C$1.3 billion deal that will create an integrated, multi-asset class execution venue for equities and derivatives in Canada.
Goldman Sachs Launches Global Signature Program to Clarify Relationships with Tech Vendors
News  |  12/10/2007  | 
Goldman Sachs launched a new program last week to clarify its relationships with external vendors, brokers and service providers so as to enhance their clients trade workflow throughout the execution and clearing process.
Data Analysis Demand Spurs Need For Business Intelligence, Says American Century's Gudrun Neumann
News  |  12/7/2007  | 
Keeping up with all the advances on the trading end also is important, as is the greening of IT, says Gudrun Neumann in a Wall Street & Technology podcast. We expect questions from potential customers along the lines of how green our data centers are.

SEC Rolls Out Taxonomies That Bring XBRL Reporting Closer to Reality
News  |  12/6/2007  | 
Yesterday, the SEC released accounting-rule-savvy taxonomies that companies can start using to submit financial statements, such as 10-Ks, to the agency electronically. (You can view the new taxonomies here.) An SEC committee on the future of financial reporting has recommended that the SEC consider mandating the use of XBRL for financial statements for fiscal years ending December 31, 2008 for large, acclerated filers (companies with
Demand for Quants Surges as Trading Requires More Math and Programming Skills
News  |  12/5/2007  | 
As trading becomes more mathematical and model-driven, the role of the quant is becoming even more influential.
Markit to Acquire Swapswire to Fortify OTC Derivatives Processing Infrastructure
News  |  12/5/2007  | 
UK data supplier Markit announced an agreement to acquire Swapswire, an electronic trade confirmation network backed by dealers for processing OTC derivatives.
Broker Parity Energy Is Building An Electronic Trading Platform for Energy Derivaitves
News  |  12/4/2007  | 
Parity Energy CEO Charles Reyl is tapping into his quantitative background to build liquidity for a new energy derivatives trading plaform.
U.S. Algorithm Spending Slows
News  |  12/3/2007  | 
Algo spending hits a plateau in the United States, but more-sophisticated offerings are on the horizon.
Growing Dark Pool Trading Volume Could Spell Trouble for Exchanges
News  |  12/3/2007  | 
As dark liquidity pools garner more and more volume, how will they evolve going forward, and what does it all mean for exchanges?
TradingScreen and Axes Partner for Global Execution
News  |  12/3/2007  | 
TradingScreen and Axes, a global institutional agency broker, have entered into a partnership to connect TradingScreen clients to Axes' GEMS (Global Execution Management System).
Good Or Bad, Technology Is Allowing Firms To Offer Multiple Services Originally Out Of Their Traditional Scope
Commentary  |  12/3/2007  | 
Trading firms and exchanges are trying to be all things to all people. Will the pendulum start to swing back to the speciality model?
Intelligence Chief Warns Banks of Chinese Espionage threat
News  |  12/3/2007  | 
UK intelligence network MI5 has contacted 300 chief executives and security experts at leading British financial institutions, warning them that Chinese state organizations may be spying on them...
Platform Computing Lets Quants, Developers Quickly Put Apps On A Grid
News  |  12/3/2007  | 
"Quants can wear pants to work now," says Martin Harris, product manager at Platform Computing, citing this as one of the benefits of the Symphony 4 grid computing solution his company announced today. Before, he explains, quants at many firms had to wear shorts because they had so many CPUs under their desk that all ran hot.

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