I spent most of yesterday at the FIX Protocol EMEA event. For my string of live Tweets, follow the
#finxlive hashtag, or @LizLum. From now on we will try to incorporate #finxlive into our live Tweets from events, to make it easier to watch the 140 character nuggets of news, comment, and gossip from Finextra's roving journos.
Now, back to FIX - as expected the talk centred around movements of the trade. Whether discussing low latency, smart order routers, dark pools, FIXatdl or the consolidated tape.
Brain Gallagher of Morgan Stanley will be talking about educating the buy side on dark pools in a Finextra video to be up tomorrow.
Stuart Adams from FPL will be discussing the launch of version 1.1 of FIXatdl (for algo trading) also in a Finextra video to be live tomorrow.
Stu Taylor of UBS talking about electronic trading, algos and the fixed income market will, hopefully, be live next week.
That leaves us with FIX, Europe and the consolidated tape.
"Consolidated tape and European best bid and offer are two different things."
The main issue with a US-style consolidated tape, running in Europe, is that it's in the EU - a loose collection of European countries, some running different currencies and all at various stages of financial technological advancement.
The EU - based exchanges all 'talk' about market data standards and centralised reporting - but never agree on anything. The panel had harsh words for this type of European inertia.
- "The regulators will be given powers in the MiFID review to set standards - that is a given."
- "There is an enormous opportunity for FIX to move to facilitate standards and go to the regulators with a solution."
- "What on earth is a 'national exchange'? That is tricky for some countries. No matter how successful Chi-X becomes - some countries may not see them as their 'national exchange'."
- "European regulators should define what is a clear, harmonised view of post-trade data."
- "If we cannot set standards - it should be mandated."
Mandated standards, regulators defining post-trade data, the legacies of MiFID and the politics of the EU - this panel was looking at the FIX Protocol membership for action.
Is a European consolidated tape a case for the Protocol to fix'it?