Overstock.com’s Patrick Byrne To Launch Blockchain ATS for Stocks

blockchain-Byrne-brokerdealer-ats

(MarketsMuse) 09 Sept–“What’s Next? Well, for those familiar with Patrick Byrne, the controversial and innovative founder of Overstock.com, one of the first online retailers to embrace the use of bitcoins, it should not be a surprise that Overstock’s chief honcho would ‘get the joke’ and realize its all about the underlying technology that powers cryptocurrency applications, known as distributed ledger. While bitcoin currency continues to encounter challenges in terms of mass embracement, the real grease that makes the makes the wheels turn is under the hood. With that, Overstock subsidiary “T0” (T-zero) is taking a page from both the industry consortium formed by R3 and the Senahill-backed Symbiont –both of which target institutional capital markets usage–and aiming it’s own sights on retail investors by setting to launch an equities-centric Alternative Trading System aka ATS powered by their own blockchain formula.

A distributed ledger is a consensus of replicated, shared, and synchronized digital data geographically spread across multiple sites, countries, and/or institutions.
A blockchain is a type of distributed ledger, comprised of unchangable, digitally recorded data in packages called blocks.
Rob Daly of MarketsMedia (not related to MarketsMuse) provides the scoop..

Online retailer Overstock.com expects trading to begin on its blockchain-based alternative trading system before the end of the year, according to company officials.

The ATS will be operated by Overstock.com subsidiary TO as part of the company’s Medici Project, and it will only handle trades in the company stock, at least at first. So while it’s not an immediate competitive threat to the existing field of 13 U.S. stock exchanges plus several dozen ATSs, the initiative will be closely watched as a gauge of the potential of distributed-ledger technology in capital markets.

The ATS will write completed trades to its blockchain instead of routing them to the National Securities Clearing Corp., a subsidiary of Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., for clearing.

Overstock.com plans to prime the liquidity on the ATS through a new issue of corporate shares to existing shareholders the day before trading commences on the new trading venue.

 

T0 officials plan to formally announce its partnership with a broker-dealer on Sept. 12. “For those who want to trade on the ATS, they will have to create an account with the broker-dealer,” said Overstock’s man-in-charge Judd Bagley, who declined to name the brokerage firm.

BrokerDealer.com database of Global Broker-Dealers includes thousands of BDs in 30+ countries.

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WSL Best Broker-Dealers Are…

wsl-best-broker-dealer award

(MarketsMuse)-If not as widely-covered as the GOP or DNC primaries, financial industry publication Wall Street Letter (“WSL”) held its 6th Annual Institutional Trading Awards ceremony last night at NYC venue 583 Park Avenue and recognized best-in-class broker-dealers across 7 major categories, including Best Broker Dealer (OverAll), Best Broker-Dealer Research, Best BD-Client Service and Best Broker-Dealer across equities, futures and options. The WSL Awards also recognized the firms considered to be the top within technology offerings, including electronic trading applications and electronic exchange platforms.

Taking home the gold for Best Broker-Dealer “Overall” :Wolverine Execution Services (WEX). Runners-up included Bloomberg Tradebook, Interactive Brokers, Mischler Financial Group and Dash Financial. Best Broker-Dealer Research was awarded for the third consecutive year to Mischler Financial Group, the industry’s oldest minority broker-dealer owned and operated by Service-Disabled Veterans. Runners up in the Best Research category: Stifel Nicolaus and Sandler O’Neil.

Best Broker-Dealer Equities was awarded to Fidelity Capital Markets and  in the client service category BNP Paribas took the prize. Best Options Platform was awarded to Interactive Brokers and Best Options Broker was awarded to WallachBeth Capital.

ron quigley, mischler financial, marketsmuse
Ron Quigley, Mgn.Dir. Mischler Financial Group

Noted Mischler Financial Group Managing Director Ron Quigley, who accepted the award on behalf of his firm, “Its a great honor to even be considered as a contender for an industry award when considering the pedigree of the other great firms that were nominated. It’s always good to be in good company and its best to be recognized for capabilities.”

The full list of nominees and winners of Wall Street Letter 6th Annual Institutional Trading Awards is available via this link

Minority BrokerDealer: Corporate Bond Market Balancing on Knife Edge

on a knife edge

BrokerDealer.com blog update offers weekend reading courtesy of MarketsMuse Fixed Income Department..

“Corporate Bond Market- Balancing on a Knife Edge” is courtesy of extract from the 10.02.15 weekend edition of “Quigley’s Corner”, a daily synopsis of the investment grade corporate bond market and rates trading space authored by Ron Quigley, Managing Director of investment bank and institutional brokerage Mischler Financial Group, the financial industry’s oldest and largest minority brokerdealer owned and operated by service-disabled military veterans. Mischler Financial was selected in 2014 and again in 2015 for the Wall Street Letter Award “Best Research-Brokerdealer”

Ron Quigley, Mgn.Dir. Mischler Financial Group
Ron Quigley, Mgn.Dir. Mischler Financial Group

Blackouts couldn’t be more optimally timed as we experience massive re-pricing in our IG primary credit market.  The corporate black-outs are serving as an unplanned, well-timed inherently built-in “kick-the-can” that is necessary in helping us to all buy time as we navigate thru what is perhaps the most unpredictable, treacherous, volatile and uncertain time that our primary markets have experienced since 2008.  As one very senior syndicate source told me “the credit markets are sitting on a knife’s edge.” IG spreads are on the whole 44 bps wider at the end of the third quarter according to Morgan Stanley.

Today’s notoriously and unexpected poor employment data was the last thing credit markets needed and it has instigated a massive Treasury rally. Perhaps this is a bit of good news because when both are combined, is a potential high velocity tailwind to credit products from big government bond funds.  However, that’s “if” funds want to own credit product and hold it for an extended period of time and potentially wear a negative mark-to-market.

Having said that, the guy-in-the-corner suggests that at some point this weekend, you should put on your favorite song and sing along to it after many shots of tequila.  When you get to the point of feeling bad, look at yourself in a mirror and realize that you can begin to feel better with coffee, food, sleep and time but come Monday morning the business model you are used to is about to change.  Not adapt; not get better; rather change. The trends in the credit markets that we have seen over the last two quarters are showing no signs of abating, and in some degrees, worsening.

Now please let me introduce the moment you’ve been waiting for..

Syndicate Forecasts and Sound Bites from “The Best and the Brightest!”   

I am happy to report that once again the “QC” received unanimous participation from all 23 syndicate desks surveyed in today’s Best & Brightest polling.  That includes all of the top 22 ranked syndicate desks according to Bloomberg’s U.S. IG U.S. Investment Grade Corporate Bond underwriting league table that can be found on your terminals at “LEAG” + [GO] after which you select #201 (US Investment Grade Corporates).  Their cumulative underwriting percentage is 94.00% of YTD IG dollar debt underwriting which simply means they’re the ones with visibility.  But it’s not only about their volume forecasts, rather it’s also about their comments!  This core syndicate group does it best; they know best; so they’re the ones you WANT and NEED to hear from. 

*Please note that these are Investment Grade Corporates only. They do not include SSA issuance unless otherwise noted.

The question posed to the “Best and the Brightest” early this morning was:

“Good morning! So, this week the massive repricing in primary markets saw average NICs bust out to 54.23 bps; bid-to-covers shrank to an average 2.02x; today’s numbers were BAD; Obamanomics is quite the engine of growth and job creation, China’s slowdown is showing up in our data (ISM Milwaukee posted its worst manufacturing number since the dot com bubble). Spreads are wider on today’s data to start. Lower-for-longer might just be lower forever!  The two-part question for today is what are your volume forecasts for IG Corporate supply for BOTH next week AND October?  It’s going to be challenging to nail that down but it’s an important survey at this critical juncture.  Many thanks, Ron” 

……and here are their formidable responses:

To continue reading, please visit Mischler Financial Group’s market commentary section via this link

BrokerDealer Bent on Best Ex Via Agency-Only

agency only executing broker

Below BrokerDealer blog post is republished courtesy of financial news curator MarketsMuse.com and spotlights institutional broker Dash Financial, a firm that is positioned as being “agency-only” , a phrase that suggests they only act as broker, not as a contra-side principal trader–a role that is typical to many investment bank trading desks.

MarketsMuse dip and dash department frequently prefers spotlighting altruists and do-gooders, including Agency-only execution firms in the brokerdealer sphere who, unlike “principal trading desks”, do not take the contra side to institutional customer orders as a means of making a profit; agency-only firms merely execute those client orders via the assortment of major exchanges and dark pools that traffic in equities and equity options. Today’s spotlight is on Dash Financial; the only position they purportedly take is a business model position by promoting the fact they act as a conflict-free agent only representing the best interest of their institutional brokerage clients in consideration for an agreed-upon commission.

BrokerDealer.com provides a global database of brokerdealers operating in more than three dozen countries throughout the free world.

The phrase “Best Execution” is therefore popular jargon among agency-only firms and implies that customers are receiving ‘the best” execution. What that means is a function of who you ask, particularly when considering the brokerdealer community has proven uniquely adept at capturing hidden revenue via rebate schemes in consideration for orders routed to those respective venues for execution. These schemes are aggressively promoted by the nearly two dozen major exchange and dark pools that facilitate trading in equities and equity options.

Courtesy of our friends at FierceFinance, today’s altruist of the week award goes to equity and options market agency brokerage Dash Financial, who asserts that being a broker in today’s fast-paced market is about being a technology expert and a consultant on clients’ execution objectives.

Below is the extract from FierceFinance’s interview with Dash Financial’s CMO:

David Karat, Dash Financial

“Everything is a tradeoff,” said David Karat, chief marketing officer for Dash Financial. “Every action you take to minimize fees, you risk losing liquidity, and for every technique to maximize liquidity it will cost you more money because it will be less relevant which venues you go to get that liquidity. It’s that balance we sit on top of and consult with our clients on.”

To that end, Dash Financial aims to help clients achieve what it calls on best net execution – execution that incorporates exchanges fees and all other associated costs.

“If there is liquidity in multiple places we are going to capture that liquidity based on the cheapest economics for the client,” Karat said. But Dash Financial has also designed its tracing architecture to couple its best execution algorithms with a focus on in-depth transparency, Karat said.

“We actually want you to see all the child orders, the millisecond time stamp of which destinations we are going to and what happened,” Karat said.

To continue reading the entire story, please visit MarketsMuse.com

BrokerDealers Can Now Recommend ETFs Compliance Free

new rules

BDs Now Compliance-Free when it comes to recommending a buy, sell or hold for ETFs

BrokerDealer.com blog update profiles what could be a watershed moment for the broker-dealer community: BDs can now ‘recommend’ to clients to buy, sell or hold exchange-traded-funds (ETFs) without having to c0mply with long-established Finra and SEC rules with regard to research.

This story is courtesy of MarketsMuse, the financial industry news curator, with extract below:

buysellholdMarketsMuse ETF update profiles just-passed-by-Congress legislation that offers a sigh of relief for broker-dealers who aspire to frame ETF recommendations within the context of research (which might qualify them for ‘buyside research votes’), but have held back from issuing a buy, sell or hold recommendation for ETFs out of fear of Finra and/or SEC staffers sanctioning them.

All can guess that those lobbyists engaged by ETF issuers and sell-siders  who focus heavily on ETFs will be getting a hefty bonus in consideration for greasing the wheels and halls of Congress and helping brokerdealers creatively usurp Finra rules and regs when it comes to what is and what is not considered “research.” One group of folks not celebrating: top brass and salesman at Morningstar (read further)