I’ve just spent the past two-days at the SIFMA Conference in London. Unlike previous events I must say I found the mood at this one a bit flat. Understandable given my previous post regarding the near-future for FI e-trading.

Chatting to friends and colleagues from the Banks, Vendors and Buyside (Hedgies and Real-money) confirms the feeling that 2008 will be the year of minimal growth in terms of e-Trading development in the FI world.

Panelists were more upbeat, without really saying much, as always. Kudos to the “compere beyond compare”, Holky, for throwing a few curve balls into the session he ran. Unfortunately he told me that the lighting and acoustics meant he was flying blind and deaf on stage! We should even forgive his shameless plugging of his blog, without mentioning mine! 😦

Anyway, the “highlights” for mine:

– Stunned silence from the vendor panelists when asked “who other than yourselves have come through the market turmoil with your reputation in shape?”

– Buyside panel blaming their OMS for why they don’t trade more swaps, in general, and why they do very little electronically. Thus publicly confirming what I said all last year! Although Fidessa LZ tell me they have a great IRS module……hmmmmm

– The CDS panel…(pause)…NOT! If it was two-years away last year, it is still two-years away now!

– Real-money need multi-dealer (compliance, regulation etc), Hedgies were burned by multi-dealer during the credit crunch (poor pricing, no pricing) and now favour between 2-4 single-dealer applications.

– DB’s Kevin Arnold must read this blog, as he repeats my tier-1 of a “German bank, American bank and a British bank”……unless he meant Commerz, BOA and Lloyds? 😉

I avoided the FX sessions as I didn’t want to hear a panel of people saying how many years they were ahead of the FI market in terms of e-trading. FX is a simple, simple market! THAT’S WHY!!!!!!

I can’t help but think SIFMA need to shake things up a bit next year, or we will not see a 5th one. It will be at a new venue, but they need to try and get a few new topics and a few new faces.

In these times people just can’t dedicate the time and money to what is essentially a social gathering with a bit of business thrown in.