New York Stock Exchange

Illinois Court refuses to dismiss indictment against software developer in spoofing conspiracy case

Aug 24, 2018

First Read

Hits & Takes
By JLN Staff


On Wednesday, Matthew Kelly of the CME Group taught the law merit badge to a group of scouts as part of the Trading Tech 300 program for the 3rd year in a row. Thank you to Matt and his associates who helped, and to the CME Group for hosting this workshop. I greatly appreciate the CME Group’s historical support for Scouting.~JJL


Yesterday, our friends at US Bank held a personal finance merit badge clinic as part of Trading Tech 300. Thank you to US Bank for the incredible experience you gave the Scouts.~JJL

Clarification: In yesterday’s newsletter we mentioned a webinar presented by the Montreal Exchange but did not make it clear that the webinar was directed only to our non-U.S. readers. According to SEC rules, foreign stock options are only available to U.S. residents who are “qualified institutional buyers” subject to a number of specific “familiarization” procedures. ~SR

A headline in Sky News reads: Parrots able to make complex economic decisions, study shows. Write your own punchline – it’s too easy. ~SR

Put Optiver’s Tech Blog on your reading list.~JJL

There is one week left to save on #FIAExpo full conference & single day session passes! Register by August 31 for early bird rates & join us in Chicago this October.~JJL

Here are details about LME Week in London.~JJL


MWE World of Opportunity – Why Fundamentals are Important
“If you want to be a really good trader… understand the cash markets to the best of your ability. Crawl inside of them so you know what’s going on.”

After years of market focus shifting away from fundamental analysis, Dan Basse, president of AgResource, thinks the pendulum is finally swinging back. In this video from MarketsWiki Education’s Chicago event, Basse talks about a few essential tools everyone should have to help analyze agricultural futures markets.

Watch the video here »



CFTC Wins Permanent Ban Against ‘Vicious’ Bitcoin Operator
Patricia Hurtado – Bloomberg
The Commodities Futures Trading Commission won a court order permanently banning a cryptocurrency promoter that a judge said preyed on investors in “a bold and vicious fraud.”

***** We have a special place in regulatory hell for vicious fraudsters.~JJL


At Hedge Funds, Where Are the Women?; Women run only two of the top 50 funds; instead they cluster in positions away from the money
Rob Copeland – WSJ
At hedge funds, women do just about any job—but rarely run the money. Of the largest 50 U.S. hedge funds by assets under management, only two have women as their top investment executive, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data from researcher Absolute Return. In that same group of 50 hedge funds, half the investor-relations or marketing departments have female heads or co-heads.

****** The question answers itself. We need more.~JJL


Thursday’s Top Three
Our top read stories on Thursday were led by Reuters’ Wall Street’s sector shakeup will let more tech stocks shine. Second was Reuters’ CME to launch Libor-substitute contract linked to BoE rate meetings. Third was S&P Global’s piece Exchanges hope to escalate high-frequency trading case to Supreme Court


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Lead Stories

Illinois Court refuses to dismiss indictment against software developer in spoofing conspiracy case
Maria Nikolova – FinanceFeeds
A spoofing case targeting Jitesh Thakkar, the founder and principal of Edge Financial Technologies Inc., continues at the Illinois Northern District Court after the Honorable Robert W. Gettleman has refused to dismiss the indictment against the defendant.

**** Law360 has the story here and the initial indictment from February can be found here.~SD

Bitcoin ETFs Aren’t Coming Any Time Soon Thanks to the SEC
Rachel Evans and Lily Katz – Bloomberg
Commissioner Peirce tweets that SEC is reviewing rejections; Peirce’s push to reexamine ruling seen unlikely to succeed
Don’t hold your breath for a U.S. exchange-traded fund that invests in Bitcoin. Prospects for such a fund took a nosedive on Wednesday when the Securities and Exchange Commission rejected requests to list nine cryptocurrency funds, citing continuing concerns about manipulation and market surveillance. Hester Peirce — one of four commissioners currently at the SEC — has since said the agency will review that decision. A ruling reversal is however unlikely.

Wiretaps Show French Crackdown on Insider Trading; Once ignored, the offense is being targeted in a push to fight white-collar crime.
Gaspard Sebag – Bloomberg
It was a busy Thursday, and Stephane Fima was on edge. After wrapping up a conference call with colleagues, the Société Générale SA managing director rang his friend Thomas Seligman. Fima stammered that he was worried and wanted “to stay safe,” then started reading a series of seemingly random figures. “Just write them down,” the banker said, before asking Seligman if he had another phone.

Eurodollar Whale Betting on Fed Rates Looks Well Beyond December
Edward Bolingbroke – Bloomberg
Large bets have been amassed in puts expiring in 2020-2021; December eurodollars face IOER uncertainty, among other risks
It looks as though there’s a new eurodollar options whale in town who doesn’t care whether the Federal Reserve raises rates in December. With the market assigning near-even odds to a fourth rate increase in 2018, the newly popular wager is on where the benchmark rate will come to rest well beyond that.

U.S. banking profits hit record $60 billion in second quarter: FDIC
Pete Schroeder – Reuters
The U.S. banking sector reported a record $60.2 billion in profits in the second quarter, up 25.1 percent from the same period one year ago.

UniCredit, SocGen decline to comment on tie-up report
Reuters Staff
UniCredit (CRDI.MI) and Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) declined to comment on a report that Italy’s biggest bank was working with a senior Rothschild banker to advise it on a possible merger with the French lender.

Little-known Chicago fund wins big in US IPO bonanza; Driehaus Capital invested in more than half of 20 best-performing new listings in 2018
Lindsay Fortado and Nicole Bullock in New York – FT
The best picker of initial public offerings in the US this year is not one of the Wall Street’s celebrated money managers or big-name investment gurus but a Chicago-based mutual fund group with less than $9bn under management.

Fed’s Fork in the Road: Even Higher Rates or Pause
Bluford Putnam and Erik Norland – CME Group
As has been the case several times in the current tightening cycle, there is a large gap between what the Federal Reserve (Fed) suggests it is likely to do and what the market believes the Fed will accomplish. The Fed’s “dot plot,” a survey of Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) members’ expectations for future policy, suggests that the Fed will likely hike twice more in 2018, three times in 2019 and two times in 2020. That’s seven more rate hikes before the Fed calls it quits. Moreover, unless long-term bond yields rise, seven more rate hikes would be enough to invert the curve and bring short-term interest rates to around 75 basis points (bps) over 30-year rates.

ECB hawk Weidmann sees chances dimming of succeeding Draghi
Paul Carrel, Balazs Koranyi – Reuters
Germany’s Jens Weidmann is seeing his prospects of becoming European Central Bank president fade, amid signs that trade issues handled in Brussels are eclipsing Berlin’s concerns about securing its man to steer monetary policy.

Financial firms are increasingly giving away their services for free
John Detrixhe – Quartz
Zero is the most sought-after number in personal finance right now. TransferWise, for example, has spent years grinding down the cost of sending money across borders. The end goal is to make transfers as easy as sending email—meaning potentially even free.

SEC to review decision rejecting bitcoin ETFs
Trevor Hunnicutt, Michelle Price – Reuters
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Thursday it will review a decision by its staff to block nine bitcoin-based exchange-traded funds from coming to market.

The Fed Worries About Corporate Monopolies. Investors Should Just Buy Them; Shareholders should embrace companies with a commanding position in their business, limited competition and less need to invest
James Mackintosh – WSJ
Is rising corporate power hurting capital spending, wage growth and U.S. productivity? Central bankers meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyo., to discuss the issues will be worrying that the answer is yes. Investors should be thrilled if it is.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

SGX, Nasdaq and Singapore regulator to develop blockchain settlement system; MAS and SGX have been among the leaders in promoting the use of blockchain technology in financial markets.
Joe Parsons – The Trade
Singapore Exchange (SGX), Nasdaq and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will collaborate with two other tech vendors to create a blockchain settlement system for cryptocurrencies.

MAS and SGX partner Anquan, Deloitte and Nasdaq to harness blockchain technology for settlement of tokenised assets
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Singapore Exchange (SGX) today announced a collaboration to develop Delivery versus Payment (DvP)[1] capabilities for settlement of tokenised assets across different blockchain platforms. This will allow financial institutions and corporate investors to carry out simultaneous exchange and final settlement of tokenised digital currencies and securities assets, improving operational efficiency and reducing settlement risks.

China CSD goes live with DvP settlement for Bond Connect; The adoption of the new settlement system could significantly boost foreign investment into the Chinese domestic bond market.
Joe Parsons – The Trade
China’s main central securities depository (CSD) has gone live with delivery verses payment (DvP) settlement for its cross-border fixed income trading platform.

Connection fee rebates for new Trading Members affiliated with existing Trading Member
To support new Trading Members with an affiliated existing Trading Member, Eurex Frankfurt AG will offer a temporary rebate on the connection fees of new Trading Members effective from 1 October 2018 to 31 March 2019.

CCP Release 16.0: Introduction announcement
With this circular, Eurex Clearing announces the introduction of CCP Release 16.0 on 19 November 2018, which will have an impact on the CCP services. It is voluntary for all Clearing Members of Eurex Clearing and contains the following changes:

Green and Sustainable Finance Cluster Germany presents baseline report; Mobilizing the financial sector for climate protection and sustainable investments
Deutsche Börse Group
The Green and Sustainable Finance Cluster Germany presented its baseline report on Friday in Frankfurt with an inventory of sustainability activities in Frankfurt as a financial center. The report is the first publication of the cluster, which merged in the spring of 2018 from the Green Finance Cluster Frankfurt of the Hessian Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Accelerating Sustainable Finance Initiative of Deutsche Börse. The aim of the cluster is to mobilize the financial sector more for climate protection and sustainable investment

ICE Data Indices, LLC Successfully Completes Independent Assurance Review on its Implementation of the IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, today announced that ICE Data Indices, LLC, has successfully completed an assurance engagement on its implementation of the IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks. ICE engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) to perform the assurance engagement.

HKEX Announces Details of Launch of NB Investor ID Model on 17 September
EPs must assign a unique number to each of their Northbound trading clients and provide Client Identification Data to HKEX; HKEX will facilitate market readiness and compliance by providing a secure file transfer protocol service for EPs to submit the required information from 27 August
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) today (Friday) announced the launch details of the investor identification model for Northbound trading (NB Investor ID Model) through its mutual stock market access programme with the exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen (Stock Connect) after market regulators said the model will be launched on 17 September 2018 (Monday).

Exchange Publishes Frequently Asked Questions on Listing of Companies from Emerging and Innovative Sectors
The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Exchange), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), published today (Friday) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for prospective applicants under Chapters 8A, 18A and 19C of the Main Board Listing Rules (New Chapters).

Energy Producer Statkraft to Integrate Nasdaq’s SMARTS for Trade Surveillance
Statkraft, Europe’s largest producer of renewable energy has selected Nasdaq’s SMARTS Trade Surveillance to monitor trading behavior across power markets in the EU and Norway, in line with the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR).

SEDOL Masterfile expands its data offering with US fixed income additions
London Stock Exchange Group
London Stock Exchange’s SEDOL service, is pleased to announce significant enhancements to the SEDOL Masterfile. 11 new security types have been added to the Data Dictionary incorporating approximately 1.5 million fixed income SEDOL codes covering all US Municipal and US Corporate Bond data. The data is provided by Mergent, part of FTSE Russell.

OSE Receives FBOT Registration from U.S. CFTC
Osaka Exchange, Inc. (OSE) is pleased to announce that on August 22, 2018, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued an Order granting OSE registration as a Foreign Board of Trade (FBOT) under the U.S. Commodity Exchange Act. The registration permits OSE to provide trading participants located in the U.S. with direct access to OSE’s trading system*.


Look, no beard: Goldman Sachs’ Marcus subverts the fintech story
Patrick Collinson – The Guardian
We’ve seen the future of banking. Those fintechs clustered around London’s “Silicon roundabout”, such as Monzo (900,000 current account customers already) and Revolut (2 million customers since launch in 2015) have attracted smartphone-obsessed millennials with their digital prowess. But a new bank quietly launched on Thursday, called Marcus, turns the conventional fintech story upside down.

What A No Deal Brexit Could Mean For Fintech
Madhvi Mavadiya – Forbes
Today, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab discussed his plans for what has been dubbed as a no deal Brexit and suggested that Britons who are visiting the European Union could face extra credit card charges once Article 50 is triggered.
While ministers said that a deal is more than likely to be made, as reported in the BBC, the cost of card payments will “likely increase” and will not be covered by a ban on surcharges. Alongside this, companies that trade with the EU should plan for new customs checks and pay for new software.

Mexico’s new government wants fintech, banks to help financial inclusion
Stefanie Eschenbacher – Reuters
Mexico’s next government will look to fintech companies and large corporate banks to increase financial inclusion in the country, where only one-third of adults have a bank account, senior officials said on Tuesday.

Deutsche Bank Pushes Digital With Second Fintech Deal This Year
Sonali Basak and Steven Arons – Bloomberg
Deutsche Bank AG beefed up its digital banking operations again with a second investment in a fintech startup within four months, a move that points to a slow revolution at one of its most important divisions.
The German lender, which has been shrinking staff and operations internationally, agreed to buy an unspecified stake in Dallas-based startup ModoPayments, aiming to bolster its Global Transaction Bank and tap into the fast-growing channels outside of traditional banking.

Deutsche Bank takes minority stake in payments fintech ModoPayments; Start-up develops digital payments solutions for smartphones
Olaf Storbeck – FT
Deutsche Bank invested an undisclosed sum into US-based fintech company ModoPayments, acquiring a minority stake in the start-up that develops payments solutions for smartphones.

Mexico’s new government wants fintech, banks to help financial inclusion
Kitco News
Mexico’s next government will look to fintech companies and large corporate banks to increase financial inclusion in the country, where only one-third of adults have a bank account, senior officials said on Tuesday.
Arturo Herrera, one of two future deputy finance ministers, said in an interview that the lack of financial inclusion was one of the biggest obstacles in the new government’s fight against poverty, inequality and slow economic growth.


John McAfee Launches McAfee Market News
John McAfee doesn’t seem to stop in his endeavor to influence the direction of the crypto community. After relentlessly backing the BitFi wallet, he recently announced the launch of a website called “McAfee Market News,” which will provide quotes, charts, and news for 1,800 coins. It will also offer analysis tools, blogs and real-time updates for the coins. As usual, the tweet and the project received some flak from the Twitterati.

Cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex teams with registered trading venue Rialto
Anna Irrera – Reuters
U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex is partnering with registered broker-dealer Rialto Trading to offer a trading venue for blockchain-based digital assets, the companies said on Thursday.

The bitcoin bubble’s real losers
Katie Martin – Financial Times
A once-in-a-lifetime chance has emerged to invest in SchadenfreudeCoin — a decentralised digital token pegged to the smugness of No-Coiners who were never sucked into the ailing cryptocurrency fad.
The highly scalable, next generation, disruptive new coin comes with the backing of social media celebrities and provides the perfect hedge against the declining value of bitcoin. Hand over your bank details now.

China warns public over ‘blockchain’ Ponzi schemes; Retail investors told to be on guard against buzzwords and dubious marketing claims
Gabriel Wildau in Shanghai – FT
China’s government has warned of “criminals” attracting retail investors into Ponzi schemes using buzzwords such as “blockchain” and “virtual currency”, as official concerns over risk trump support for financial innovation.

A New York bond broker has partnered with Bittrex to develop a crypto trading platform; Rialto Trading and crypto exchange Bittrex are looking to launch a trading platform for blockchain-based digital securities.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
A New York-based fixed income broker-dealer is teaming up with cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex to develop a digital securities trading platform.

Time For A Clean Up? Market Manipulation Concerns Loom Large Over Bitcoin ETF Rejections
Aaron Stanley – Forbes
The Securities and Exchange Commission rejecting proposals for bitcoin exchange traded funds is officially the crypto community’s ‘dog bites man’ news story.

Crypto Exchange Coinbase Lists ‘Core Principles’ for Institutional Services
David Hundeyin – CCN
Coinbase has unveiled a set of guiding principles designed to facilitate the adoption and growth of its new range of products and services aimed at institutional investors.
In a blogpost signed by Coinbase Vice President and General Manager Adam White, the company stated that these ‘North Star’ principles will create a framework for the market participant experience on Coinbase to ensure fairness, security, transparency, access to all participants, high-quality infrastructure and processes, protection from malicious activity and provision of all necessary information.


Trump Says the Stock Market Will Crash if He’s Impeached. Here’s What History Says
Ben Levisohn – Barron’s
It’s hard to ignore the possibility of impeachment when even President Donald Trump is talking about it. In an interview with Fox News that aired Thursday, Trump claimed the stock market would crash if he were impeached. Maybe it would. History, however, suggests that the specter of presidential impeachment has little impact on the market.

****Politico has the op ed below:

No, impeachment will not crash the stock market
Ben White – Politico
The longest bull market run in American history could get killed off by a financial collapse in Turkey, a policy mistake by the Federal Reserve or a plain old economic recession.

Will Stock Market Crash If Trump Is Impeached? What Analysts Say
Lu Wang and Sarah Ponczek – Bloomberg
Combined profit in the S&P 500 has soared under his policies; Question is whether any of that would be lost if he were gone

Manhattan D.A. Eyes Criminal Charges Against Trump Organization
William K. Rashbaum – NY Times
The Manhattan district attorney’s office is considering pursuing criminal charges against the Trump Organization and two senior company officials in connection with Michael D. Cohen’s hush money payment to an adult film actress, according to two officials with knowledge of the matter.

Tim Cook, Jamie Dimon Among CEOs Fearing ‘Harm’ From Trump Immigration Policy
Ben Brody – Bloomberg
Roundtable says growth risk from policy toward skilled workers; Business leaders write to DHS Secretary outlining their worry
Dozens of top U.S. business leaders including Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon and Pepsico Inc.’s Indra Nooyi signed a letter expressing “serious concerns” about the Trump administration’s immigration policy changes and their potential to undermine economic growth.

Constitutional crisis and financial markets
Dan McCrum – FT
The boring if safe strategist response to politics is to mutter about uncertainty, animal spirits and fundamentals.


CFTC Wins Trial against Virtual Currency Fraudster; Court Orders Defendants to Pay over $1.1 Million in Penalties and Restitution in Connection with the “Vicious Defrauding of Customers”
A New York federal court entered final judgment ordering Patrick K. McDonnell of Staten Island, New York, and CabbageTech, Corp. d/b/a Coin Drop Markets (CDM), McDonnell’s New York-based company, to pay over $1.1 million in civil monetary penalties and restitution in connection with a lawsuit brought by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) alleging fraud in connection with virtual currencies, including Bitcoin and Litecoin.

CFTC Unanimously Approves a Proposal to Amend the Clearing Requirement to Help End-Users
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today unanimously approved a swap clearing requirement proposed rule that would reduce unnecessary burdens on bank holding companies, savings and loan holding companies, and community development financial institutions.

****Giancarlo statement on the amendments here.

Podcast: CFTC Talks EP058: Craig Phillips, US Department of the Treasury
This week on CFTC Talks, we talk with Counselor to the Secretary of the US Department of Treasury Craig Phillips…

Statement on Investor Roundtables Regarding Standards of Conduct for Investment Professionals Rulemaking
In April 2018, the Commission proposed for public comment a significant rulemaking package designed to serve our Main Street investors that would (1) require broker-dealers to act in the best interest of their retail customers, (2) reaffirm and in some cases clarify the fiduciary duty owed by investment advisers to their clients and (3) require both broker-dealers and investment advisers to clarify for all retail investors the type of investment professional they are, and disclose key facts about their relationship.

****The SEC also announced one in Baltimore.

SEC Names Matthew S. Jacques As Chief Accountant In Enforcement Division
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Matthew S. Jacques has been named the new chief accountant in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.

Barry Miller, Associate Director in Division of Investment Management, to Leave SEC After More Than 40 Years of Public Service
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Barry D. Miller, Associate Director of Disclosure Review and Accounting in the Division of Investment Management, will retire from the SEC at the end of this month after more than 40 years of public service, including more than 30 years of service at the SEC.

Bifurcated Settlement Agreement
Gary S. Williky is a 55-year-old resident of Colleyville, Texas, who was an investor-relations consultant for the Evansville, Indiana-based public company Imperial Petroleum, Inc., from February 2010 through December 2011… While working for Imperial, Williky attempted to increase Imperial’s trading volume, which conveys to investors liquidity of – and public demand for – a stock.

SEC v.Fishoff, et al.
This case involves unlawful trading in one issuer’s stock as part of a serial insider trading scheme perpetrated by a group of stock traders led by Fishoff. The overall scheme involved numerous stocks and generated over $5.5 million in total trading profits for Fishoff’s group over the course of several years. Of those total profits, $1.5 million was generated by the illegal insider trading that is the subject of this action.

Treasury Moves to Block New Yorkers’ Path Around Cap on State Tax Deductions; New regulations would blunt high-tax states’ efforts to bypass a new limit on state and local tax deductions with donation programs
Richard Rubin – WSJ
The Treasury Department moved Thursday to block attempts by New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to let taxpayers circumvent the new $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions.

EU extends emergency ban on selling binary options to retail clients
Hannah Murphy – FT
Europe’s financial regulator has said it will extend a temporary ban on complex speculative products known as binary options to retail punters, as it continues to wield its new “emergency intervention” powers.

Two former company directors convicted for engaging in illegal phoenix activity
Allan Raad of Wentworthville, NSW and his brother-in-law Yousef Joseph Bazouni of Sandringham, NSW, have been convicted and sentenced in the Downing Centre District Court after pleading guilty to ASIC charges concerning a breach of director’s duties and the fraudulent removal of company assets.

ESMA to renew prohibition on binary options for a further three months
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has agreed to renew the prohibition of the marketing, distribution or sale of binary options to retail clients, in effect since 2 July, from 2 October 2018 for a further three-month period. ESMA has also agreed on the exclusion of a limited number of products from the scope of the measure.

Custom-Built Index Funds—Are You the Right Customer?
Pete Chandler – FINRA
There are custom homes, custom cars and custom clothes. Now, there are even custom index funds. Non-traditional index funds, or custom funds, can include mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). These funds typically use more complex or targeted investing strategies than traditional index funds that track a particular market index. Rather than replicate an existing market index, these funds use custom-built indexes to select a fund’s investments.

Investing and Trading

Surging Production Is Killing Sugar Prices
Myra P. Saefong – Barron’s
Sugar prices have fallen to their lowest levels in a decade and are likely to drop further as record worldwide production collides with healthier eating.
Raw sugar futures traded on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange settled at 10.1 cents a pound on Monday, the lowest finish for a front-month contract since June 10, 2008, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Year to date, prices have lost more than 33%—the biggest percentage decline so far among major commodities.

Opinion: If you missed out on the FAANGs, then it’s time to buy the BAITs
Michael Brush – MarketWatch
For anyone who went to business school, a conversation with money manager Albert Meyer is like a trip back in time — straight to accounting class, that is.

For many young investors, the stock market’s only gone up
The Associated Press
Meet the generation of investors who haven’t known a bear market.
The U.S. stock market has been on the upswing for nine and a half years, during which a cohort of younger investors has never dealt with a 20 percent drop in the S&P 500 — the classic definition of a bear market. Such a decline has historically happened on average every four or five years.

Has Gold Lost Its Safe Haven Status?
Jim Iuorio – CME Group OpenMarkets
Before we pull back the layers on this topic, I would like to make a solemn promise to avoid the temptation of using trite and tired analogies to describe the descending price of gold, such as “lost its luster”. We can all agree that it is time to retire that one.

Dear Investor, That Cocky Voice in Your Head Is Wrong; The findings from the field of behavioral economics apply to everyone. Especially you.
Jason Zweig – WSJ
As much as all of us investors wish we were perfectly logical calculating machines, we are human: emotional, distractible, impatient, inconsistent. Behavioral economics is the study of how real human beings—not the walking, talking spreadsheets that traditional economists pretend we are—make financial decisions. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to persuade yourself that the findings of behavioral economics apply to everyone else but you. After more than 20 years of studying research in that field, here’s how I think most investors interpret it. How many of these sound like you? I know many of them sound like me.

Space Investors Urged to Get Their Heads in the Clouds
Kamaron Leach – Bloomberg
Recent events accelerate significance of ‘space economy’; Adobe, Boeing, Facebook and Softbank among the stocks to gain
If you know nothing about what’s happening kilometers above the clouds, maybe you shoul

U.S. Hemp Firm Charlotte’s Web Boosts Canada IPO to $77 Million
Scott Deveau – Bloomberg
Boulder-based company originally sought to raise $50 Million; Latest U.S. cannabis company to list on Canadian exchange
Charlotte’s Web Holdings Inc., a producer of hemp-based cannabidoil products, boosted its Canadian initial public offering 52 percent to C$100.1 million ($77 million).


Credit Suisse says committed to Russia after U.S. sanctions
Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) said it remained committed to Russia after it ringfenced 5 billion Swiss francs ($5.02 billion) of customer money linked to Russia for fear of falling foul of U.S. sanctions.

Firstrade Moves To Free Online Trading – Stocks, ETFs, Options, Mutual Funds
Firstrade Securities, Inc., a leading online brokerage firm, has eliminated its commissions for all stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, and mutual funds, effective today. Firstrade customers will now be able to trade for free with no time restrictions, no limits on the number of trades allowed and no minimum account requirements. The move is part of Firstrade’s ongoing commitment to offer the best investment choices for self-directed investors at little or no cost.

JPMorgan Is Planning to Hire for its Midsize Banking Push Abroad
Michelle Davis – Bloomberg
Calderon joins from Barclays in Mexico as part of the effort; Will have to compete with local banks’ longstanding ties
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is seeking to do more business with midsize companies abroad, expanding in a market that’s traditionally dominated by local banks, according to people briefed on the matter.

Goldman Sachs opens digital consumer bank in Britain
Reuters Staff
Goldman Sachs (GS.N) has opened its digital consumer savings platform Marcus to its own staff in Britain ahead of a wider roll-out to the public in the coming weeks, according to an internal memo sent to staff on Thursday and seen by Reuters.

Deutsche Bank Pushes Digital With Second Fintech Deal This Year
Sonali Basak and Steven Arons – Bloomberg
Deutsche Bank AG beefed up its digital banking operations again with a second investment in a fintech startup within four months, a move that points to a slow revolution at one of its most important divisions.


Norway $1 Trillion Fund’s Plan to Dump Big Oil Meets Resistance
Sveinung Sleire and Mikael Holter – Bloomberg
Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund is meeting resistance on its plan to dump more than $40 billion in oil and gas stocks.

Foreign investors play defensive with China A-shares; Consumer companies seen as relatively insulated from external risks such as trade wars
James Kynge – FT
Overseas investors getting to grips with China’s A-share market show navigational tendencies similar to self-driving cars. “Obstacle avoidance” appears to be the overriding priority guiding foreign funds nearly three months after A-shares were included in the benchmark emerging markets’ index for the first time.


U.K. Outlines Plan to Avert Chaos of a No-Deal ‘Brexit’
Stephen Castle – NY Times
The British government issued its first contingency plans on Thursday for leaving the European Union without an agreement, seeking to prepare the public for possible disruptions without spreading alarm that could undermine support for the entire undertaking.

UK food exports to EU may be stalled by ‘no deal’ Brexit: NFU
Reuters Staff
Britain could be barred from exporting some food to the European Union for months if it leaves the bloc without a deal, the National Farmers Union said on Thursday after the government published reports on that scenario.

Hunt says parliament will only approve Brexit deal consistent with vote
Reuters Staff
Britain’s foreign minister, Jeremy Hunt, said on Thursday he believed the British parliament would only approve a Brexit deal that was consistent with the “letter and spirit” of the 2016 referendum result in favor of leaving the European Union.

No-deal Brexit will bring tangle of red tape, Britain warns companies
Kylie MacLellan, Kate Holton – Reuters
Britain on Thursday told companies trading with the European Union they would face a tangle of red tape, possible border delays and more costly credit card payments if the government fails to negotiate an exit deal before Britain leaves the bloc.

Dublin Isn’t Showing It’s Luring Bankers Because of Brexit Just Yet
Peter Flanagan – Bloomberg
Irish capital’s luxury housing market cools amid uncertainty; City had been expecting surge of finance workers to relocate
In Dublin, bankers seeking shelter from Brexit are thin on the ground. So far. Ireland’s luxury homes market had been pegged as one potential big winner from U.K. firms seeking a base within the European Union. Yet, Ireland’s booming capital is seeing little impact from bankers relocating, even after Bank of America Corp. and Barclays Plc chose the city as their European hubs.


The fake news about journalism; Simon Kuper responds to common charges against his profession
Simon Kuper – FT
One oddity of being a journalist these days is that non-journalists are always critiquing the profession. It isn’t only Donald Trump. Many see broadsheet newspapers and public-sector broadcasters as a liberal cartel that cooks up ” fake news”. But few of our accusers understand our everyday working practices. That’s normal: hardly anyone knows much about life in other professions. I’ve only the vaguest idea of how people in construction or advertising do their jobs, or how they think of themselves. Below I have responded to common charges against contemporary upmarket journalism by explaining how it actually works day by day.

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Investor Christopher Hohn’s annual pay falls to $274m

Get a FREE 90 day trial of John Lothian Newsletter First ReadHits & TakesJLN StaffJohn Lothian News has launched a new updated version of the johnlothiannews website. Please take a look and let us know what you think and if you see any...

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