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Norwegian watchdog censures Nasdaq for failure to supervise power traders

Jan 11, 2019

First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

Our friends at Predata have offered some predictions for 2019 based on trends from 2018. The piece is called “The Yearly Foreword“. Everyone loves predictions, right? I knew you were going to say that.~JJL

Our friends at Viable Markets are offering the readers of this newsletter a 20% discount on the price to attend the January 24 Rates Evolved event in New York. I will be on a market structure panel in the morning. This will be my first trip since my November surgery. I have 10 tickets with a 20% discount from the regular price. Email me at johnlothian@johnlothian.com if you want one.~JJL

I have signed up to attend the ISDA-TABB Forum/Wholesale Markets Brokers’ Association, Americas DerivCon event in New York on February 27. I will be in NY the day before. If you want to meet with me, let me know.~JJL

Funny and sad all at the same time. Ally Maynard, @missmayn, shared this thought “Last year lettuce killed more Americans than undocumented immigrants so it’s a good thing we’re halting food inspections over a wall that won’t work.”~JJL

Another weakness in the government shutdown is the impact on law enforcement. The FBI has over 5000 agents/employees furloughed. So we have many in food inspection, law enforcement, border safety (TSA) and prison employees all not getting paid, or being furloughed. My trip to New York will be an interesting test of the system.~JJL

Today is the last day of the tech world’s big expo – CES. This year, there were 20 percent fewer Chinese companies in attendance, though Chinese firms still occupied ~13 percent of the expo’s floor space. Here’s more on the show from CNN. ~SD

The CFTC still wants to know more about crypto and blockchain tech, and they’re calling on the public to help. If you would like to help the CFTC understand cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, you can leave a comment on their official site here. The deadline is February 15th, so if you want to take your time to write a really well-constructed, thoughtful response, you still have plenty of time to do so. ~MR

Advanced registration for the STAC 93rd Annual Mid-Winter Meeting in Chicago Jan. 16 – 18 ends today (but you can also register on site). You can go here to register and for more information.~SR

Thank you to the many readers who paid for their 2019 JLN subscription yesterday. It is greatly appreciated by all on the JLN team. If you missed paying, you can click HERE for details on how.~JJL


Government shutdown poses threat of agricultural data shock
Myra P. Saefong – MarketWatch
The partial U.S. government shutdown couldn’t have come at a worse time for the agricultural markets. Farmers and traders are missing key pieces of U.S. government data they need to market and trade soybeans and other crops, just as China has resumed at least some purchases of U.S. agricultural products.

****** Come on, they use a dart board to come up with this data anyway.~JJL


Government workers launch 1,000 GoFundMe pages as shutdown drags on
Julia Carrie Wong – The Guardian
People affected by the government shutdown have established approximately 1,000 fundraisers on the crowdfunding site GoFundMe to help cover their expenses, a spokeswoman for the company said on Wednesday.
The campaigns, often seeking a few hundred to thousands of dollars to cover necessities such as rent, groceries and utilities, have raised about $100,000 altogether – or an average of just $100 each.

***** The public funding government workers, what a concept.~JJL


From Jaguar to Macy’s, Global Gloom Spreads Across Industries
Cecile Daurat – Bloomberg
Wave of profit warnings, plans to cut jobs in recent days; China, trade tensions, volatility loom large over 2019
Trade wars, China’s slowdown, erratic stock markets: The outlook is getting grimmer for an increasing number of companies across the globe.

***** So much for a Happy New Year!~JJL


The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still the richest families in Florence
Aamna Mohdin – Quartz
The richest families in Florence, Italy have had it good for a while—600 years to be precise. That’s according to a recent study by two Italian economists, Guglielmo Barone and Sauro Mocetti, who compared Florentine taxpayers way back in 1427 to those in 2011. Comparing the family wealth to those with the same surname today, they suggest the richest families in Florence 600 years ago remain the same now.


FBI Agents Say the Shutdown Is a Threat to National Security; Nearly 5,000 FBI special agents, intelligence analysts, attorneys, and professional staff have been furloughed.
Natasha Bertrand – The Atlantic
They’ve weathered blistering attacks from the president, the exposure of sensitive sources, and the politicization of classified information. And now they’re not getting paid. “I’m not going to try to candy-coat it,” Tom O’Connor, a special agent and president of the FBI Agents Association, told me this week. “We really feel that the financial insecurities we are facing right now equate to a national-security issue.”

***** No word on if my next door neighbor, the FBI agent, is still being paid.~JJL


Thursday’s Top Three
Our top story of the day is about Einar Aas, in Bloomberg’s Aas Had People Trading on His Behalf Before Default on Nasdaq. You didn’t think he could almost bring down a clearing house all by himself did you? More on that in today’s Lead Stories. Second was on the mighty Bloomberg, the company led by the man of the same name, Bloomberg has reached $10 billion in annual revenue and some insiders are ecstatic about the special payout. So much for all those disrupters. Third was the CBOT disciplinary action against trader Benn Hepworth, who was fined $50,000 and suspended from all direct or indirect access to CME Group platforms for three years for wash trading. Have a great weekend.


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Lead Stories

Norwegian watchdog censures Nasdaq for failure to supervise power traders
Philip Stafford – FT
The Norwegian markets regulator has censured Nasdaq’s commodities exchange in Oslo for supervisory failures after a trader blew a EUR114m hole in the stability fund that ensures the safety of derivatives trading last year.

Corporate America distances itself from Trump’s policies; Business lobby group airs ‘differences of opinion’ with White House as shutdown drags on
Kiran Stacey – FT
The largest business lobbying group in the US has hit out at the Trump administration, criticising some of the president’s flagship policies on trade and immigration.

New York Sticks With Crypto, Opening Blockchain Center Amid Rout
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
Economic Development Corporation sets up Silicon Alley venture; Site to partner on software development classes, events
New York isn’t giving up on the digital-ledger technology that makes Bitcoin and other tokens work even after last year’s collapse of the cryptocurrency market.

Nasdaq Technology completes its recommended public cash offer to the shareholders and warrant holders of Cinnober
On 18 December 2018, Nasdaq Technology AB, a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of Nasdaq, Inc., announced the Revised Offer (see definition below). At the end of the extended acceptance period on 9 January 2019, the Revised Offer has been accepted by shareholders representing a total of 20,654,777 shares in Cinnober, corresponding to 91.0 percent of the total number of shares in Cinnober.1 This implies that Nasdaq Technology controls 98.2 percent of the total number of shares in Cinnober.2 Nasdaq Technology will now complete the Revised Offer and, at the same time, is extending the acceptance period to 30 January 2019 in order to give the remaining shareholders an additional opportunity to accept the Revised Offer.

Female Economists Push Their Field Toward a #MeToo Reckoning
Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley – NY Times
The economics profession is facing a mounting crisis of sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying that women in the field say has pushed many of them to the sidelines — or out of the field entirely.

Top Economists Grapple With Industry’s ‘Reputation for Hostility’ Toward Women; It’s robbing the profession of talent and insight, says former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
Eric Morath – WSJ
Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen—after fighting financial crises and anemic economic growth as Federal Reserve leaders—are turning their attention to a different problem: How women are treated in their own profession.

Here Are the Finance Firms Cutting Jobs Amid 2019 Market Turmoil
Shelly Hagan – Bloomberg
Asset managers and banks are under pressure as volatility roils global markets and investors pile into passive, low-fee funds. The $3 trillion hedge fund market has been hit hard as performance sank and funds closed last year. One recruiter thinks more shakeout lays ahead.

Missing Government Data Make Job Tougher for Policy Makers, Traders; Agencies aren’t releasing reports at a critical time for the Fed and others to read the economy
Sarah Chaney, Jessica Menton and Josh Zumbrun – WSJ
The partial shutdown of the U.S. government is making it harder for Federal Reserve officials, investors, trade negotiators and others to read the economy at a critical moment.

The Shutdown Isn’t the Only Threat to the Economy; The bond market reveals a growing crack in the financial system, but regulators are not doing enough to make sure that banks are prepared.
Sheila C. Bair and Gaurav Vasisht – NY Times
The momentum behind the American economy is strong. In 2018, unemployment hit its lowest rate in 49 years, 3.7 percent. Real wages were (finally) increasing and inflation remained muted. In 2019, growth is projected to slow but still remain above 2 percent.

Peter Thiel Wants To Give Wall Street a Fright; European mobile banking unicorns, like the Thiel-backed N26, are heading stateside. Regulation and competition from U.S. banks may well hobble them.
Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg
If any sector deserves a digital shakeup, it’s consumer banking. The highly-concentrated market is dominated by incumbents that rake in huge profits from bog-standard services like overdrafts and ATM withdrawals. So it’s heartening to hear that several billion-dollar European fintech startups are eyeing the U.S. for expansion. That doesn’t mean they’ll succeed.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Nasdaq wins approval from shareholders for $220 million Cinnober takeover; Nasdaq now controls 98.2% of the total shares in Cinnober after shareholders approve increased bid of $220 million.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Shareholders in exchange and clearing technology provider Cinnober have accepted a revised $220 million acquisition offer made by Nasdaq late last month.

FTSE Russell extends use of Refinitiv fixed income data; FTSE Russell and Refinitiv already have a long-standing relationship in fixed income data.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
The London Stock Exchange Group’s index business FTSE Russell has extended the scope of data sets provided by Refinitiv used within its fixed income indexes and analytics tool.

Central clearing in 2019: predictions by Matthias Graulich and Marcel Naas
A current report in the “Securities Lending Times” gathered a round of market participants, among them Eurex Clearing’s Matthias Graulich and Eurex’s Marcel Naas, who discussed their hot topics, opportunities and challenges for the upcoming year. On top of the list: collateral optimization, CCP services for Securities Lending, the Securities Financing Transaction Regulation (SFTR) and Central Securities Depository Regulation (CSDR).

Record-breaking Month and Year for Cboe’s Stock Index Options
Since 1983, Cboe has offered stock index options. In 2018, several new all-time records for volume and open interest were reported as investors faced heightened volatility. Index options have the potential to generate more income for options sellers who receive options premiums, help manage exposure and protect a portfolio from damaging huge drawdowns.

NSE 2019 Outlook
The Chief Executive Officer of The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, OON, will make a presentation to appraise the market performance in 2018 and give prognosis for the market in 2019. The presentation will also afford the CEO the opportunity to intimate capital market stakeholders with the plans to re-position the market for better performance.??

Wall Street firms take aim at America’s stock-exchange oligopoly
The Economist
On January 7th nine of America’s largest brokers and banks said they planned to launch a new equities exchange, dubbed the Members Exchange (MEMX). Though it has yet to gain approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the share prices of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Nasdaq and CBOE, the parent groups of America’s largest exchanges, fell by 2-3%. But MEMX is merely their latest reason to fret.

New Stock Exchange No Immediate Threat to Stock of ICE, Nasdaq, and Cboe
Bill Alpert – Barron’s
This week’s announcement of a new U.S. stock exchange sent investors scrambling to predict its impact on the venerable New York and Nasdaq bourses.
Since the news that nine brokers and market makers were forming an exchange called MEMX, the shares of New York Stock Exchange parent Intercontinental Exchange (ticker: ICE) have slid about 4%, to $72.45, while the stock of Nasdaq (NDAQ) is off some 2.2%, to $79.97. The second-largest operator of U.S. stock exchanges, Cboe Global Markets (CBOE), was off 6%, to $92.80.

New Stock Exchange Better for Wall Street Than for Small Investors
Daren Fonda – Barron’s
When the Pennsylvania Railroad started charging Andrew Carnegie steep fees to transport steel, he threatened to build his own railroad with a consortium of other industrialists and began blasting tunnels through mountains.
Similar brinkmanship is now playing out on Wall Street. Fed up with the fees charged for connectivity to exchange servers and data feeds, a group of brokers and trading firms plan to start their own trading venue, called Members Exchange, or MEMX.


Applications Open for 2019 FIS FinTech Accelerator
For the fourth consecutive year, 10 FinTech startups will be challenged to create next-generation financial technology; Startups will receive in-depth mentoring and feedback from FIS executive leadership along with a monetary investment; The deadline for applications to the 2019 FIS FinTech Accelerator is Feb. 9.
FIS (NYSE: FIS), a global leader in financial services technology, in collaboration with the State of Arkansas and Little Rock-based The Venture Center, announced today that applications are open for the 2019 FIS FinTech Accelerator program.

Fortnite’s Digital Goods Are Key to the Future of Global Trade; Huge multiplayer games are true economic exchanges, but persuading governments to let data flow freely may be the ultimate battle royale.
Shawn Donnan – Bloomberg
Last summer, after months of waiting, Chinese internet users finally got access to the online game Fortnite. So YouTube star Alastair Aiken, aka “Ali-A,” did what many of his more than 15 million largely teenage followers around the world fantasized about. He navigated around firewalls and language barriers and logged on to a desolate corner of the Fortnite universe in China. “This is all a crazy experiment,” declared the Brit in a video streamed from his home. One of the world’s highest-paid professional online gamers, he was setting out to battle unwitting new rivals in a far-off land. “Obviously, China have had games for ages, so it’s not like they are going to be utterly terrible or trash at Fortnite,” he said as he launched into his first Chinese firefight. “But?…”

Are securities rules limiting the evolution of fintech?
Ryan W. Neal – Investment News
As financial technology companies grow beyond the startup phase, they are pressing up against the rules and regulations governing traditional financial institutions.
The friction highlights a debate over new companies looking to disrupt the industry landscape and established institutions looking to maintain their position. Is the existing regulatory framework protecting consumers from harm, especially the young and inexperienced investors many fintechs are targeting, or is it stifling innovation that could create a more open, transparent and equitable financial services industry?

Scrutiny Of EU FinTech Sandboxes And Innovation Hubs
Giovanni Campi – The National Law Review
The European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs), including the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the European Banking Authority (EBA), have published a report setting out a comparative analysis and best practices in the design and operation of sandboxes and innovation hubs (“innovation facilitators”) established in the European Economic Area. The report was requested by the European Commission in its FinTech Action plan, as part of its efforts to enable innovative businesses to reach EU-wide scale.

Majority of buy-side firms anticipate increased spend on AI technology; Research suggests the buy-side is slightly ahead in terms of AI technology adoption compared to sell-side firms and exchanges.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Over 60% of asset managers have said they expect their spending on artificial intelligence (AI) technology to increase over the next year, according to research.


Winklevoss twins’ Gemini cryptocurrency ad campaign hopes to ignite the ‘people’s movement’
Aaron Hankin – MarketWatch
The Winklevoss twins have launched an ad campaign in New York City.
If you live in New York City, your eyes probably glaze over subway ads offering mattress discounts or taxi tops promoting various drinking establishments.

Study: High volatility significantly limits cryptocurrencies usefulness for portfolio diversification
Francine McKenna – MarketWatch
Neither shocks to inflation expectations nor shocks to the yield curve significantly affect cryptocurrency market activity, according to new research. Cryptocurrencies aren’t really a traditional asset class since there’s no significant relationship between the returns on cryptocurrencies and returns on traditional asset classes, according to new research.

The CFTC Wants to Know More About Ether: Your Feedback Could Impact Ether Futures in 2019
Jorge Pesok – Lexology
The CFTC is giving the public an opportunity to influence its views as they relate to Ethereum, Ether or similar virtual currencies or projects. On December 11, 2018 the CFTC issued a Request for Information (the “Request”) seeking public comments and feedback on Ether and the Ethereum Network. The Request “seeks to understand similarities and distinctions between certain virtual currencies, including Ether and Bitcoin, as well as Ether-specific opportunities, challenges, and risks,” according to the accompanying press release.

Bitcoin Bubble Has Popped but Hope for ETF Remains
Crystal Kim – Barron’s
The crypto craze isn’t over, though a Barron’s poll indicates otherwise. True, with bitcoin below $4,000—in late 2017 it was trading at $20,000—it isn’t drawing the attention it once did. But the applications to launch a bitcoin exchange-traded fund continue to pile up.

Recently lauded crypto exchange addresses criticisms over security issue that exposed user data
Frank Chaparro -The Block Crypto
DX.Exchange, the Estonian-regulated digital currency exchange, announced its launch last week with much fanfare, including coverage in Bloomberg, CNBC, and The Block. DX.Exchange offers cryptocurrency trading and is provided with trading technology by Nasdaq, a source at Nasdaq confirmed.

Security Token Trades on Regulated Platform in Market First
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
A regulated alternative trading system (ATS) has facilitated a secondary trade of security tokens on a blockchain in a milestone for the development of this market.

Volatility in the crypto market not yet over, SFOX specialist says
The Block Crypto
It’s not yet the end of the volatility of the crypto market, claimed SFOX in a Forbes article. Analysts expect it will continue for some time in the new year, albeit not as intensely. Using the data compiled from eight major exchanges and liquidity providers, SFOX provides us with some insights, like that infrastructure development and community engagement will likely yield positive results despite the bear market.

Google Policy Change Forces Bitcoin Wallet to Remove Security Features
Christine Kim – Coindesk
The team behind Samourai, the privacy-focused bitcoin wallet, has removed a series of key security-related features from a version of its app as a result of “extremely restrictive policies” by Google.

New York City Economic Corp Launches Blockchain Education Center
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
New York City may begin testing blockchain technology for various use cases later this year. The New York City Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC) new Blockchain Center opened Thursday, and intends to begin testing the tech’s use cases next fall, Bloomberg reported Thursday. The center is part of a partnership with the venture capital fund Future\Perfect Ventures and the Global Blockchain Business Council trade organization.

NASA Eyes Blockchain Tech to Secure Aircraft Flight Data
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is examining blockchain technology as a means to ensure the privacy and security of aircraft flight data.


Ocasio-Cortez may take on Wall Street, fellow Democrats on finance panel
Zachary Warmbrodt – Politico
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is poised to win a seat on the powerful House Financial Services Committee, in what would be a victory for progressives fighting to curb Wall Street’s clout in Washington and inside the Democratic Party itself.

Trump insists he has right to invoke emergency powers over wall; Fed chair Powell warns of threat to US economy from prolonged shutdown
Sam Fleming – FT
Donald Trump insisted he had the “absolute right” to declare a national emergency in order to find funding for his border wall as the impasse between the US president and congressional Democrats neared the end of its third week.

Trump farm bailout money will go to Brazilian-owned meatpacking firm, USDA says
Jeff Stein – Washington Post
U.S. taxpayers will buy about $5 million in pork products from a Brazilian-owned meatpacking firm under President Trump’s bailout program, which was designed to help American farmers hurt by the administration’s trade war, according to documents released Wednesday.

Exclusive: Leading Brexit donors say Britain will reverse decision to leave EU
Andrew MacAskill, Ben Martin, Maiya Keidan – Reuters
Two of the biggest donors to the Brexit campaign say they now believe the project they championed will eventually be abandoned by the government and the United Kingdom will stay in the European Union.

EU’s plan to reduce states’ blocking powers on tax to be subject to veto
The European Commission is set to fail to break the EU deadlock on tax reforms as it is planning to give states a veto right on a proposal meant to end governments’ blocking powers on the matter.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s Former Lawyer, Agrees to Testify to Congress
Maggie Haberman and Nicholas Fandos – NY Times
Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer who implicated him in a scheme to pay hush money to two women claiming to have had affairs with him, said on Thursday that he had agreed to testify before a House committee next month and give “a full and credible account” of his work for Mr. Trump.


Why the World Bank President Has Always Been an American
Natasha Bach – Fortune
With World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s early departure from his position, the international financial institution is now in the position of selecting a new president.

Watchdog steps up probe of RBC’s UK ‘working culture’; Former staff have complained about their treatment at Canadian bank’s London arm
Katie Martin, Caroline Binham and Philip Stafford – FT
The UK’s City watchdog has begun a full-blown investigation into the working culture at Royal Bank of Canada in London after dozens of former employees complained over their treatment, several people familiar with the matter told the Financial Times.

FCA investigates culture at investment bank RBC — report; Move comes at a time of increased scrutiny into the way City of London institutions handle whistleblowers
FN Staff
The UK financial regulator is investigating the treatment of staff at the London offices of Canadian investment bank RBC Capital Markets, following complaints from dozens of ex-employees.

France to put Danske Bank back under investigation; Move follows allegation by anti-Russian graft campaigner Bill Browder that lender lied
Richard Milne – FT
Danske Bank is bracing itself to be placed under formal investigation again by a French judge probing its EUR200bn money laundering scandal after a complaint from a prominent campaigner against Russian corruption.

Investing and Trading

Markets Struggle With the Meaning of ‘Substantially’; Jerome Powell’s Fed vocabulary leads market commentary.=
Robert Burgess – Bloomberg
Over the years, the Federal Reserve has used rather ordinary words and phrases to describe its attitude toward monetary policy that have nevertheless beguiled investors as to their true meaning. For example, what exactly constitutes a “gradual” pace of interest-rate increases? Fed Chairman Jerome Powell may have just come up with a new one for market participants to debate: substantially.

U.S. Recession Risk Hits Six-Year High Amid Trade War, Shutdown
Katia Dmitrieva , Chibuike Oguh , and Catarina Saraiva – Bloomberg
Economists put the risk of a U.S. recession at the highest in more than six years amid mounting dangers from financial markets, a trade war with China and the federal-government shutdown.

ADM Investor Services Names New Senior Vice President, Operations
ADM Investor Services
ADM Investor Services, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE:ADM), today announced that Mike Deaton has been named senior vice president, Operations.
“Mike’s background and experience uniquely qualify him to provide expert oversight, direction and coordination of our firm’s operations and processing teams,” said Tom Kadlec, ADM Investor Services President. “He will focus on strategic planning, process efficiency and coordination of clearing functions across all ADM Investor Services operating entities in Chicago, New York, London, Hong Kong and Singapore. His work will support the expansion of our customer base by further enhancing our service and technology capabilities.”
(via e-mail)


Perella Weinberg Plans to Name Peter Weinberg as CEO
Sonali Basak and Matthew Monks – Bloomberg
Investment bank said to plan leadership shuffle amid IPO prep; Firm may also redistribute equity among partners: sources
Peter Weinberg is set to become chief executive officer of the firm he helped found as Perella Weinberg Partners shuffles its leadership — and potentially the stakes of its partners — in planning for an initial public offering, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

BlackRock cuts jobs as industry comes under pressure; Strategies revised in response to more challenging market conditions
Robin Wigglesworth – FT
BlackRock will cut staff by 500 to free up resources to focus on new priorities such as fee-rich alternative strategies and faster-growing markets, underscoring how the biggest players are revising their strategies in challenging industry conditions.

JPMorgan Chase boosting employee bonus pool 3 percent for 2018
Sinead Cruise, Elizabeth Dilts – Reuters
JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) is boosting its bonus pool by 3 percent for 2018 after its investment banking division topped charts throughout the year, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

‘Extraordinary’ Month Heaps Further Pain on Hedge Funds
Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg
Volatility surged as stocks crashed, hurting money managers; Lansdowne Partners, Pershing Square and Key Square lose money
Hedge fund winners and losers in 2018: Bloomberg’s Nishant Kumar reports.
A spurt in volatility was supposed to help hedge funds rebound from years of mediocre returns. Instead, it made things worse.

BNP Paribas Is Said to Have Reviewed EuroMillions Trade Boast
Harry Wilson and Donal Griffin – Bloomberg
Bank earned about 1 million pounds in fees, sources said; French bank was responsible for New Year’s Day conversion
For the couple in Northern Ireland who won the EuroMillions lottery on New Year’s Day, the foreign exchange rate might have seemed like a rounding error on their 130 million euros ($150 million) prize.

Exclusive: Goldman Sachs on course to launch cash management in mid-2020
Elizabeth Dilts, Sumeet Chatterjee – Reuters
Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) is considering paying big multinational corporations more for their deposits than other banks as it paves the way for its entry into a mundane but prized business: managing cash.

Deutsche Bank Outsourcing Jacksonville Jobs to Mumbai
Lily Katz and Anto Antony – Bloomberg
Some 60 accounting positions said impacted in bid to cut costs; Lender has been under pressure after lackluster performance
Deutsche Bank AG was at the forefront as Wall Street began “nearshoring” staff to cheaper cities across the U.S. Now, the German lender is moving some of those jobs to India.

Goldman advisory division surges past fixed-income traders; Choppy markets cause investment banks to underperform retail banks in fourth quarter
Laura Noonan – FT
Goldman Sachs’ quarterly results are expected to mark a historic moment next week: investment bankers in the group’s advisory division are set to make more revenue than its under-fire fixed income traders for the first time in a decade.

Goldman Sachs could be liable for $5B in Malaysian scandal
Kevin Dugan – NY Post
Goldman Sachs may be on the hook for as much as $5 billion for its role in a Malaysian bribery scandal — twice previous estimates of a worst-case scenario, according to a report.


Mexico hedges 2019 oil at $55 per barrel, spends $1.2 billion on options
Stefanie Eschenbacher – Reuters
Mexico completed its 2019 oil hedge, the world’s largest sovereign derivatives trade, at an average of $55 per barrel, placing the equivalent of $1.23 billion in put options, the finance ministry said on Thursday.

Russia to resume forex purchases after sanctions hiatus
Max Seddon – FT
Russia’s finance ministry said it is resuming foreign currency purchases on open markets after fears over US sanctions saw it halt them last year to head off a slide in the rouble rate.

Myanmar court rejects appeal by jailed Reuters reporters
Thu Thu Aung and Poppy McPherson – Reuters
YANGON (Reuters) – A Myanmar court on Friday rejected the appeal of two Reuters reporters sentenced to seven years in jail on charges of breaking the Official Secrets Act, saying the defense had not provided sufficient evidence to show they were innocent.


U.K. Says Won’t Delay Exit as Speculation Grows: Brexit Update
Tim Ross and Alex Morales – Bloomberg
The U.K. Parliament continues to debate Theresa May’s apparently doomed Brexit deal, with speculation mounting that exit day will be delayed. The pound rose on growing expectations that Brexit will be postponed.

Is Brexit the result of post-imperial arrogance?; Two professors argue that an exit from the EU could be a ‘disaster with silver linings’
Henry Mance – FT
When did the British empire end? Was it with the fall of the Raj or the handover of Hong Kong? Or was it perhaps with the Brexit vote of 2016 that Britain’s imperial mindset finally started to unravel?

Now parliament must produce a Brexit plan; Taking back control demands more responsibility from MPs
The editorial board – FT
The promise of Theresa May’s government has been that Brexit will allow Britain to take back control of its affairs. Ironically, the prime minister has now all but lost control of the shape of an exit deal with Britain’s European partners. With the clock ticking towards the March 29 deadline it now seems more likely that parliament rather than Mrs May’s government will choose the terms of departure.

For Theresa May, Still at Odds With Parliament, the Brexit Walls Are Closing In
Stephen Castle – The New York Times
Prime Minister Theresa May often puts off critical decisions over Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, or Brexit, hoping to wear down opponents through doggedness and determination. But her room to maneuver is rapidly shrinking.

A crunch Brexit vote is coming that could trigger even more political chaos
Sam Meredith – CNBC
Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal faces virtually certain defeat on Tuesday. That leaves the prospect of a complete collapse of government, a disorderly exit from the bloc or even the entire Brexit process being scrapped altogether over the coming weeks. The United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union at 11:00 p.m. London time on March 29, 2019.


‘Worsening’ funding problems for schools
Sean Coughlan – BBC News
Almost a third of local authority secondary schools in England are unable to cover their costs, a study suggests. The Education Policy Institute says its research shows the proportion of such schools with budgets in the red has almost quadrupled in four years. And the average local authority secondary school debt is £483,000. But the Department for Education says that across all types of state schools, more than 90% are in surplus.

Older People Shared Fake News on Facebook More Than Others in 2016 Race, Study Says
Niraj Chokshi – The New York Times
When it came to sharing fake news on Facebook during the 2016 election, no age group was quite as active as those aged 65 and older, according to a new study.

John Lothian Newsletter

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