A Look at What's to Come, and Some Friendly Advice

Anthony Malakian, US Editor, WatersTechnology

Anthony previews what's to come from WatersTechnology between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day, takes a look at the ICE–NYSE deal, and—for something a little different—offers advice on which Christmas ales are worth drinking this year.

Since most of you wait to read my weekly Buy-Side Technology column before going on vacation, I'll keep this short and sweet.

First, some housekeeping: While we will not send any daily news alerts until January 2, we will still post news that breaks between now and then. And we will roll out our "Best Of” series, highlighting the events, issues and people that shaped 2012 in the world of financial IT.

Here's the schedule:
Monday, Dec. 24: Tim Bourgaize Murray will look at those who were naughty on Wall Street this year, as he examines the year in financial crimes and security.

Wednesday, Dec 26: Steve Dew-Jones will present the best of the opinion pieces that appeared both online and in print.

Thursday, Dec. 27: James Rundle will offer up his Best of the Sell Side, listing the major events in 2012 that most affected sell-side firms.

But is this deal is better—for NYSE and investors—than the failed Deutsche Börse tie-up would have been? And what are the technology ramifications in terms of synergies, overlaps, integration and overall strategy?

Friday, Dec. 28: Jake Thomases will present his Best of the Buy Side, examining what most impacted buy-side firms in 2012.

Monday, Dec. 31: I will analyze what we learned from the technology leaders profiled in the pages of Waters magazine in 2012.

Tuesday, Jan. 1: Victor Anderson will look ahead at what's to come for the industry.

So if you need a break from cookies and egg nog, or if you simply want to keep an eye on the industry while you’re away from your desk, be sure to check WatersTechnology.com every day.

Many will analyze and write about yesterday’s announcement of the $8.2 billion acquisition of NYSE Euronext by the IntercontinentalExchange (ICE), including my colleague, Tim Bourgaize Murray, who offered up a nice piece yesterday.

While this is more relevant to the sell side, buy-side participants should pay attention to what happens here. Unlike some recent tries at exchange mega-mergers, this deal makes sense because of the differentiation between the two exchange operators. And it serves as a materialization of how difficult it has become to achieve alpha in equities, and how the industry is moving more toward other asset classes like foreign exchange and commodities.

But is this deal is better—for NYSE and investors—than the failed Deutsche Börse tie-up would have been? And what are the technology ramifications in terms of synergies, overlaps, integration and overall strategy? I don't have the answers, but we will further dissect this deal with the help of our broad array of sources from throughout the industry as 2013 unfolds.

Some Holiday Cheer
Believe it or not, I have been known to offer opinions and analysis of topics outside of financial technology. So I will leave you with my best advice on a subject in which I consider myself an expert: beer.

’Tis the season when many breweries offer up their Christmas ales, traditionally known as “winter warmers.” Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, you can enjoy these holiday brews that are so-named purely for marketing purposes.

Without further ado, I present to you, my loyal readers, the top five Christmas ales on the market. They are generally malty and full-bodied, brewed with a variety of spices. But malt is the signature flavor of a good holiday ale.

Anderson Valley Brewing Company's Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale: This is probably my favorite if only because it does a fine job of mixing in a hoppy bitterness along with malty warmth.

Great Lakes Brewing Company's Christmas Ale: I'm a big fan of everything this Ohio-based brewery makes, and this offering, like Anderson Valley's, offers a pleasant mix of spice, malt and bitter.

Samuel Adam's Old Fezziwig Ale: If you like a Sam Adams lager, which is produced by the Boston Beer Company, then you'll like enjoy this, too. It is well balanced, and hits a nice malty note.

St. Peter's Brewery's Winter Ale: As you'd expect from this English brewery, this has a lovely creamy character with a bit of a smoked toffee kick.

Thirsty Dog Brewing Company's 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale: This is another ale from an Ohio brewery—the inventive Thirsty Dog Brewing Company. It is spicy, with notes of cinnamon and molasses, and has a full-bodied alcohol taste.

Whether or not you take my advice and enjoy these ales, I wish you and your family the best this holiday season, and hope you have a safe and prosperous 2013. If nothing else, let's toast to having survived the Mayan Apocalypse—so far.

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