Promoting Shari‘ah-Compliant Investments via Exchange-Traded Instruments

Modern Islamic financial markets began their journey with the establishment of interest-free banking practices. But while Islamic banking served its purpose, markets began looking for alternative solutions for fund raising and insurance through Islamic finance a decade later. Today, Islamic financial markets have flourished throughout the Middle East, Europe and Asia, with assets of approximately US$1 trillion[i] and the industry is expected to grow at an annual rate of 25 percent.[ii]

The Long, Promising Evolution of Screen-Based Trading

As exchanges were created, they adopted the technology of the time. Early on, the technology available was relatively primitive. The first stock exchange began in Amsterdam in 1603. And the earliest modern futures exchanges began in the 1860s. In those years, the human voice was the main mechanism for executing a trade. Pen and paper were the tools used to record trades. And chalk and chalk boards were the basic technology to display quotes.

Who Pays the Bill ? The Mechanics of Collateral Costs for OTC Derivatives Trades in the US

This article looks at the need for corporations, insurance companies, hedge funds and other users of OTC derivatives to post collateral for their trades under Dodd-Frank. The article discusses the reality of Basel III’s impact on bank balance sheets and that in the end, costs will rise for endclients regardless of whether collateral is posted or not. The article concludes with recommendations for end-clients to assess their exposure now and to identify alternative financing options such as collateral conversion trades.

Regulatory Perspectives on Derivatives Markets in India

Keynote address by Dr. Subir Gokarn, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India at the International Options Market Association, World Federation of Exchanges Annual Conference organised by the National Stock Exchange at Mumbai on May 4, 2011

Market Surveillance Considerations in a Cross-Border Trading Environment

Once again, the world’s equity markets are witnessing a period of dramatic change. Driven by advances in technology, changes in regulatory and competition policy, and the evolution of exchanges from mutual to publicly traded, for-profit entities, we are seeing the simultaneous consolidation of exchange markets and the concurrent proliferation of alternative trading venues. A spectrum of market operators, traders and investors has raised concerns about these developments and their implications for transparency and market fragmentation.

A Free Option on the Future: Regulated Securities Exchanges beyond 2010

The business of financial intermediation – bringing capital to new endeavours, securing a well-regulated set of investment choices for savers, and enabling risks to be laid off or assumed – has been one of the world’s great growth industries. Regulated securities and futures’ exchanges have stood at the apex of the burgeoning business of financial intermediation. Were we not so used to it, we would be startled that a single type of business could be so prominent that its street address would serve as short-hand for the entire economy, and an index of its prices a key barometer of economic outlook. Wall Street, Threadneedle Street, Hang Sen, Sensex, CAC40: these and other such names have become accepted barometers for economic wellbeing or otherwise.

Self-Regulation in Securities Markets

This paper canvasses the trends in self-regulation and the role of self-regulation in securities markets in different parts of the world. It describes the conditions in which self-regulation might be an effective element of securities markets regulation, particularly in emerging markets. The paper also discusses important issues for the effective operation of SROs, including corporate governance, managing conflicts of interest, and regulatory oversight by government authorities.

Chicago’s Decade of innovation: 1972-1982

If anyone in Chicago in the 1960s had suggested that within a few decades the city would establish itself as an international financial centre, they would have been laughed out of town. To be sure, Chicago was to some degree a centre of money management, a banking hub for the US Midwest. It was also a town whose biggest markets had international significance: the settlement prices for corn, oats, wheat and soybean futures at the Chicago Board of Trade, the world’s biggest futures market, set prices for the whole world. But agricultural commodities were simply not part of mainstream finance. Wall Street was largely indifferent to futures trading, which was looked at as an exclusive domain of farmers and industrial food producers.

Recommendations Regarding Regulatory Responses to the Market Events of May 6, 2010

The events of May 6, 2010 and the subsequent investigation, analysis, and reporting by the staffs of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” and together with the CFTC, the “Commissions”) have highlighted many important policy and practice issues in today’s securities and futures market environment. In this Summary Report, the CFTC-SEC Joint Advisory Committee on Emerging Regulatory Issues focuses on recommendations targeted at the most important and pervasive issues affecting investors and the markets, rather than attempting to address all of the topics that have been raised in the course of our work.

High Frequency Trading: What We have Learned and Where We’re Headed

Think back to 2009 when high frequency trading (HFT) first became a topic of interest. At the time very little research existed on the issue -- essentially all we knew was that high frequency traders were fast and technologically sophisticated. They spent heavily to achieve low-latency, by purchasing co-located servers and by employing programmers who could optimize data analysis techniques. Since then researchers, including myself, have started studying HFT in greater depth. My work specifically looks at the activities and impact of HFT on U.S. equity markets, and my research has uncovered several key characteristics of high frequency traders.