Over the past week we have published our highlights and perspectives of 2015. In binary options, regulation and high profile sponsorship deals took centre stage; the cryptocurrency field has experienced a renaissance with the emergence of its underlying technology– the blockchain- from Bitcoin to broader financial systems; fintech startups have set out to disrupt the world of finance with innovative technology, with marketplace lending and equity crowdfunding standing out; and the retail forex industry has had its fair share of drama, with the black swan event unleashed by the Swiss National Bank shaking the market to its core.
As the year draws to a close, and a few slow news days are ahead of us, this is a good time to revisit some noteworthy stories.
1. Morgan Stanley FX shakeup
Executives are on the move as leading banks have been restructuring and cutting jobs, particularly in the foreign exchange sector. Morgan Stanley said goodbye to two high level executives. The bank declined to comment, but the moves generated no small amount of interest on Bloomberg’s terminal, and rumour has it that they left because of further impending cuts.
2. Credit Suisse London cuts
Are banks losing the love for London? Following in the footsteps of Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered, Credit Suisse has removed over 100 London jobs from its fixed income rates and foreign exchange business, but this is just the beginning of thousands of planned eliminations. This month, the bank jettisoned its entire London-based Macro Hedge Fund Sales unit.
3. Singularity in FX ?
Are we on our way to a singularity, and what does this mean for the trading world? Computers are learning and could potentially create their own trading systems, while regulators scramble to keep up. While computers outperform humans, should ethical guidelines be built in? What about the suspicion with which traditionalists in the financial sector treat technology? Anne Reitman interviews CEOs on the subject, discusses new disruptive trends in the industry, and examines whether humans are really going to be replaced.
4. To launch or not to launch?
Are you a trader who thinks that he could do better than his broker? Be prepared to ask yourself some very tough questions. In this jumbo-sized article, Ron Finberg- having decided against opening a brokerage himself- discusses some of the issues and decisions to be contended with for those hoping to enter one of the most highly competitive industries in the world. Expert analysis, interviews with experts, and a good read.
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5. Alarming ties
New information comes to light regarding Stephen Wheatley, fresh from charges of involvement in the illegal stock offering of a Bob Marley-themed coffee company. Go Markets Group had planned to seek an IPO in Australia and Frankfurt, but it now turns out that it is connected with the alleged pump-and-dump facilitator. The trading services group has an international presence, thousands of clients, and its Australian arm holds an ASIC Financial Services Licence- it was ready with a response from its lawyers. Read the details of the controversy in this article.
6. Bitcoin firm on NASDAQ?
History is (possibly) being made! In 2016, for the first time, we could see a cryptocurrency firm listed on the Nasdaq. BTCS, fresh from its recent merger with mining equipment supplier Spondoolies-Tech, has enlisted a New York investment bank to underwrite its effort. This would signify a great leap forward in the acceptance of bitcoin and blockchain technology into the mainstream financial world, however the listing is by no means a done deal- there are many hoops to jump through and problems to overcome first.