RJO hires Stephen Brodsky; Economists warn on US corporate giant dominance

Aug 15, 2018

First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

Don’t miss the profile of Stacey Cunningham, the first female president of the New York Stock Exchange, in Time Magazine.~JJL

Longtime options industry executive Kevin L. Murphy has written a new book, The Three Rooms, which focuses on helping increase awareness of your own thoughts and emotions. Can’t wait to read it.~JK

Joe Lubin, Ethereum’s cofounder, was on Bloomberg talking about the future of transaction speeds and other things – the story is in the newsletter. But if you want some hot gossip on Lubin and other Ethereum insiders, check out the Mechanical Markets blog post – Related Party Transactions In ETH? ~SD

Those Interested in learning more about NFA opportunities can stop by and visit with them from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. during the NYU Stern School of Business hashtag, #MeetTheFirms, event on August 29th.~JJL

The book, “Billion Dollar Whale” by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope, has made the longlist for FT Business Book of the Year.~JJL

Mayra Rodriguez Valladares first piece as a contributor to Forbes is titled “High Time To Stop The Dodd-Frank Blame Game.”~JJL

Robert Russell, CEO of Minerva Capital Markets, announced via LinkedIn the launch of the first ever BSc (Honours) Financial Trading and Investment Management degree, a collaboration between Sheffield Hallam University and Minerva Capital Markets.~JJL

Richard Sandor sat down with Bart Chilton to discuss Libor, Ameribor and bank standards.~JJL

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Trade War Costs to Consumers, Companies and Nations
Erik Norland – CME Group
The level of U.S. tariffs on Chinese products and the number of goods they cover are constantly changing as the trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies escalate. To help investors evaluate the possible macroeconomic impact from the trade war, we put together a back-of-the-envelope economic analysis (Figure 1). Like any similar approach, it contains many simplifying assumptions and will not fully capture the complex reality of the dispute’s economic impact, but it will provide a framework for evaluating the effects on inflation, corporate profits, Federal revenues and Chinese GDP. As is the case with monetary and fiscal policies and currency movements etc., there are many second and third order possibilities to consider.
/goo.gl/4fBQdU

****This piece has a cool “Back of the Envelope Tariff Impact Calculator” that estimates the impact of “x” percent tariff on U.S. CPI, GDP permutations, etc.

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MWE World of Opportunity – From Corporate Red Tape to Liberated Entrepreneur
JohnLothianNews.com
“Growth … really comes from change. So if you look at when I was in the fixed income business and people were using HP calculators to interpolate their yields – if we’d stuck with that, it would not have driven us forward.”

Ralf Roth, CEO of Quantitative Brokers, has seen colleagues try to meticulously plan for their future or that of their children only to realize that nothing can go exactly as planned. In this video from MarketsWiki Education’s New York event, Roth talks about how he inadvertently ended up meeting his goal of working for a bank, the location of the “i” in team, and the positive side of change.

Watch the video here »

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State sues Trump Tower over Chicago River pollution
Danny Ecker – Crain’s Chicago Business
The state of Illinois is taking the Trump Organization to court, alleging it is polluting the Chicago River without a permit.
A lawsuit filed yesterday by the Illinois attorney general’s office alleges that the Trump International Hotel & Tower’s state permit to discharge a limited amount of pollutant into the river has lapsed, but that it has continued to operate for almost a year without the state’s permission to run that water management system, known as a cooling water intake structure.
/goo.gl/L4zEHC

****This comes one week after the 14-year anniversary of a Dave Matthews Band tour bus emptying its septic tank into the Chicago River, dousing a tour boat with human waste while the bus was crossing the Kinzie Street bridge. In case you forgot. Speaking of waste, Visual Capitalist has a slick infographic with stats on how different parts of the world view waste. ~SD

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With Felix Salmon, Axios Continues Its Push to Commandeer the Bloomberg Set
Joe Pomeo – Vanity Fair
Axios is hiring Felix Salmon and Courtenay Brown to spearhead its foray into coverage of the public markets.
/goo.gl/uDcS1E

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Guys Named Dave Equal Number of Women in FTSE 100 CEO Roles
Amy Thomson – Bloomberg
The chief executive officers of the largest London-listed companies are as likely to be named Dave as they are to be female.
Just seven of the FTSE 100 companies’ CEOs are women, equal to the number of men named Dave or David who lead firms on the index, according to a report released Wednesday by the CIPD and the High Pay Centre. CEOs named Steve and Stephen also match up, with seven represented.
/bloom.bg/2MxNnNb

****Yeah, but what about “Jeffs”? That is what I want to know.~JB

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Tuesday’s Top Three
The top read story of the day yesterday was Jim Kharouf’s column on Peter Lenardos, in Cinnober’s new CEO will have to consider the next move. Second, was Bloomberg’s piece Ether Tumbles as Concern Increases That ICOs Are Cashing Out. Third was the FT’s article NYSE is putting its own interest ahead of investors’

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CryptoMarketsWiki, our archive of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, is going strong and keeping pace as this area of finance grows and evolves.

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Lead Stories

R.J. O’Brien Names Stephen Brodsky to New Role of Chief Strategy Officer
R.J. O’Brien
Chicago-based R.J. O’Brien & Associates (RJO), the oldest and largest independent futures brokerage and clearing firm in the United States, today announced that Stephen A. Brodsky – long-time exchange, trading and capital markets executive – has just joined the firm as Chief Strategy Officer. Brodsky, also Senior Managing Director, reports to Chairman and CEO Gerald Corcoran in the newly created role.
/goo.gl/ScFVEH

Economists warn on dominance of US corporate giants; The rising grip of a small group of large companies comes under scrutiny
Sam Fleming in Washington and Brooke Fox – FT
America’s biggest companies are grabbing a swelling share of revenues across major sectors while workers see pedestrian wage growth, teeing up a vexed debate over whether public policy needs to respond.
/jlne.ws/2OCkIDE

On Turkey, Trump Turns Trade War to Financial War; U.S. tariffs intensify pressure on the Turkish lira, raising prospect of an open-ended cycle of protectionism and devaluation
Greg Ip – WSJ
Trade wars may be morphing into something more dangerous: financial wars. With Turkey facing a currency crisis, President Trump last week poured fuel on the fire by doubling tariffs on imports of its steel and aluminum to offset the effects of its weaker currency or force the country to release an American pastor. (Mr. Trump’s motive remains unclear.)
/jlne.ws/2OAifKg

AQR: Investor Worries Over Trading Costs May Be Overblown
Julie Segal – Institutional Investor
The total costs of equity trading just went down.
In a new paper, AQR principals Andrea Frazzini, Ronen Israel, and Tobias Moskowitz argue that equity trading costs are actually lower than previous academic studies have shown. What sets their findings apart from previous studies is that the authors used execution data from $1.7 trillion worth of live trades made over 19 years by AQR Capital itself. The underlying data represented trades in 21 developed markets for nearly 10,000 stocks.
bit.ly/2vKFDNZ

****Here’s a link to a PDF of the 88-page research paper. AlphaArchitect posted on the same paper – The Best Research Paper Ever Written on Trading Costs.~SD

Libor’s Heir Presumptive Prepared to Take on Bank Bond Market
Maciej Onoszko – Bloomberg
Financials or corporates may do SOFR-tied notes in months – TD; Fannie Mae, World Bank have already done deals based on SOFR
The heir presumptive to dollar Libor is gaining traction with debt issuers and banks may be ready to sell floating-rate notes linked to it within months.
/goo.gl/GHXXMZ

Cryptocurrencies’ collapse is one for the history books
Aaron Elstein – Crain’s New York Business
Early this year Crain’s called bitcoin frenzy a “textbook investment bubble.” Since then the cryptocurrency has shed most of its value. Bitcoin and its brethren are well on their way to securing their place in history with other infamous market bubbles.
/goo.gl/txDJJw

Coinbase Says It Was Signing Up 50,000 Users a Day
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
Coinbase Inc., one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, was signing up 50,000 new customers a day last year, Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong said at the Bloomberg Players Technology Summit in San Francisco.
/goo.gl/5aiVEW

Turkey’s currency steadies, but its leader wants more chaos; As the lira collapses, Erdogan announces a boycott of American electronics
The Economist
As Turkey speeds towards economic disaster, its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has refused to take his foot off the accelerator. On August 14th, just as Turkey’s currency began to recover from one of its worst weeks in decades, Mr Erdogan announced a boycott of American electronic products, escalating a diplomatic crisis with his NATO ally. “If they have the iPhone, there is also Samsung on the other side,” Mr Erdogan said. “We also have our own Venus Vestel,” he added, referring to a Turkish-made smartphone brand.
/goo.gl/F3B41s

Turkish Lira Jumps as Regulator Curbs Bank Swap Transactions
Constantine Courcoulas – Bloomberg
The Turkish lira rallied after the nation’s banking regulator limited lenders’ swap transactions, a move that is likely to deter short-selling in the battered currency.
/bloom.bg/2P8QBoC

Royal Bank of Scotland pays $4.9 billion for crisis-era misconduct
Pete Schroeder – Reuters
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) will pay $4.9 billion to settle U.S. claims that it misled investors on residential mortgage-backed securities between 2005 and 2008, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday.
/goo.gl/vgPfY1

Goldman Sachs Had No Mandate When Musk Tweeted
Sridhar Natarajan and Alex Barinka – Bloomberg
Silver Lake providing informal advice, not collecting fees; Conversations said to be ongoing between Goldman and Musk
Elon Musk’s announcement about his advisers might be as squishy as his funding.
/bloom.bg/2P9xJFZ

****From NYT – Elon Musk’s Effort to Take Tesla Private to Get Board Oversight.~SD

Fed is no longer worried about every market hiccup, economist Lavorgna says
MarketWatch
Perhaps lulled into a sense of complacency by a Federal Reserve that previously had seemed to attend to the market’s every hiccup, investors seem unprepared for a central bank that now thinks more hawkish medicine is in order, a veteran Fed watcher said Tuesday.
/on.mktw.net/2vH3qi2

Global Agreements Bring New Life to Voluntary Carbon Markets
Forest Trends
Voluntary carbon markets are heating up as companies and consumers are taking action on climate change. After years of at-times sluggish activity, Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace’s new report called Voluntary Carbon Market Insights: 2018 Outlook and First-Quarter Trends finds that supply and demand for voluntary carbon markets hit record-highs in 2017, at 62.7 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (MtCO2e) and 42.8 MtCO2e, respectively.
bit.ly/2OCsrSh

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Nasdaq, FINRA to boost reporting fees for dark pool trades
John McCrank – Reuters
Nasdaq Inc (NDAQ.O) and a Wall Street watchdog will raise fees for private stock trading platforms, such as “dark pools,” that report trade executions to a Nasdaq-run entity, in response to higher operational costs and off-exchange trading volumes, according to a recent regulatory filing.
/reut.rs/2vLjjDP

HKEX Appoints Group Chief Communications Officer
HKEX
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), today (Wednesday) announced that it has appointed Tori Cowley as its Group Chief Communications Officer. She will relocate from London to Hong Kong and will assume her role in late September 2018.
/jlne.ws/2BjQsM2

Bitcoin ETF Faces Moving Finish Line as Cboe Aims to Be First
Rob Urban and Lily Katz – Bloomberg
SEC delays decision on one fund after rejecting another; Regulators are concerned about market manipulation, liquidity
/goo.gl/cnKt7W

Increasing order book share in Bund options
Eurex
In HY1 2018, average daily volume in Bund options was ca. 192,000 contracts, an increase of more than 15 percent versus 2017. The screen to block volume share for Bund options moved from 30 percent in 2017 to 40 percent in HY1 2018. While higher volumes in the fall-out of the Italian elections were mostly conducted as block trades, screen trading was more strongly driven by an increase in option strategy trading.
/jlne.ws/2BfruO4

Jamaica Stock Exchange Selects Canadian Fintech Company Blockstation to Deliver Cryptocurrency Trading to Investors
Globe Newswire
The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) today announced it has selected Toronto-based Fintech company Blockstation to enable investors to trade blockchain tokens within a recognized and secure regulatory framework. Consequently, the JSE has signed an MOU paving the way for further collaboration.
/goo.gl/zJxpDs

Settlement giant Euroclear considers tender offers, IPO
Financial News
Euroclear has hired investment bankers at Moelis to help it explore alternatives to share buybacks
Euroclear, which is responsible for settling trillions of dollars worth of financial transactions a year, has not ruled out a move to list its shares publicly for the first time.
/jlne.ws/2Ozkc9A

Fintech

‘Fintechs’ sound cautious note on offer of U.S. bank charter
Pete Schroeder and Michelle Price – Reuters
Financial technology companies that lend online are sounding a cautious note on a U.S. banking regulator’s plan to offer them special federal charters because of concerns over legal challenges and requirements that are more onerous than expected.
/reut.rs/2vGlkRE

Charles River Forms Business Alliance with Broadridge to Enable Clients to Reduce Risk and Improve Productivity
Business Wire
Charles River Development and Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR), have formalized a business alliance to enable better integration with the SWIFT network in the Charles River Investment Management Solution (Charles River IMS).
/goo.gl/PFUE7a

Intel discloses three more chip flaws
Reuters
U.S. chipmaker Intel Corp (INTC.O) on Tuesday disclosed three more possible flaws in some of its microprocessors that can be exploited to gain access to certain data from computer memory.
/goo.gl/gmQtsL

Broadridge Secures Alastair McGill as a General Manager
Celeste Skinner – Finance Magnates
Broadridge Financial Solutions, a provider of business intelligence for the asset management industry, announced today that it has appointed Alastair McGill as General Manager of its Messaging, Reconciliation and Connectivity solutions business (MRC). He will report to Tom Carey, the President of Broadridge International.
bit.ly/2Bj22r8

ION announces despatch of compulsory acquisition notices to Fidessa shareholders
FinanceFeeds
The notices set out ION Bidco’s intention to acquire any remaining Fidessa shares in respect of which the offer has not been accepted.
/goo.gl/X53AWq

Why community banks should negotiate shorter fintech contracts
Nathan DiCamillo – American Banker
When Eddy Arriola moved into banking in 2009, he was shocked at the slow pace of upgrades.
Arriola, CEO of the $600 million-asset Apollo Bank in Miami, was previously an entrepreneur in the call center industry and was used to quicker technology turnover.
“When we did our first core system contract they told us that a commitment of eight years would give us a discount,” he said. “But a discount of what? What tech vendor can guarantee me that they’ll be the best eight years from now?”
bit.ly/2Mujq0f

Square And MetLife Watch Out: Two Fintech Startups Target $21T Markets
Peter Cohan – Forbes
Should established companies spend time watching tiny startups? You could argue that it’s not worth a second of the CEO’s time. For example, I worked for an insurance company before I started my consulting firm in 1994.
In 1995 I pitched Bain Capital on a site that would sell automobile insurance directly to consumers — passing along the lower operating costs and missing agent commissions to them in the form of lower prices.
bit.ly/2Mn3m0n

Cryptocurrencies

World’s largest maker of crypto mining chips said to plan US$3bil IPO
The Star Online
Bitmain Technologies Ltd, the world’s biggest producer of cryptocurrency mining chips, is planning a Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise as much as US$3bil, people with knowledge of the matter said.
/goo.gl/S3xqZD

A team at Northwestern think they have solved one of bitcoin’s biggest problems
Aaron Hankin – MarketWatch
A problem tied to how bitcoin and other cryptocurrency transactions are processed and completed has long dogged enthusiasts of the digital-asset community, but a group of scholars believe that they may have a solution.
/on.mktw.net/2PaEjMD

Goldman Sachs And J.P. Morgan Join $32M Series B in Enterprise Blockchain Startup Axoni
Michael del Castillo – Forbes
Enterprise blockchain startup Axoni has raised $32 million to help it finish moving some of the largest financial infrastructures in the world to technology that interoperates with the ethereum blockchain.
Led by Goldman Sachs and Nyca Partners, the Series B investment will be used to complete work on projects including the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation’s effort to move its $11 trillion Trade Information Warehouse to a custom-built blockchain.
/goo.gl/7SbPnZ

Ethereum Co-Founder Joseph Lubin Says Speculators Driving Price Swings
Camila Russo and Erik Schatzker – Bloomberg
Speculative ‘trader types’ are driving crypto price swings; Lubin expects Ethereum to co-exist with hundreds of protocols
Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin said this past year’s surge in the value of digital currencies was a bubble and the burgeoning ecosystem is stronger because of it even as prices tumble.
/goo.gl/ekXas1

John McAfee Takes on CEO Position at Blockchain Startup
Simon Golstein – Finance Magnates
The eccentric businessman has taken the helm of a security-focused blockchain company.
/goo.gl/oJuVda

Korean Blockchain Groups Blast Plan to Strip Crypto Exchange Benefits
Wolfie Zhao – Coindesk
Several blockchain associations in South Korea are pushing back against a government plan they fear will stifle industry innovation.
The groups are objecting to a proposal aired by South Korea’s Ministry of SMEs and Startups on Monday for an amendment to the country’s existing venture business law that would, if enacted, exclude cryptocurrency exchanges from the category of SMEs and startups and group them instead with entertainment and gambling businesses.
bit.ly/2PcadZ4

Blockchain Could Be Key to Unlocking Internet of Things – ThirtyK
Mark Toner – Thirtyk.com
Blockchain technology is far from ubiquitous, but the internet of things, or IoT, has permeated nearly every industry and sector. Analysts have estimated there would be 11.2 billion connected devices this year. From Amazon’s Alexa to connected sensors in factories and the growing number of drones, the IoT has arrived.
Yet, it may be blockchain that helps IoT reach its full potential, so long as key hurdles can be overcome.
That’s the premise of a joint study by the Boston Consulting Group and Cisco Systems, which argues that challenges ranging from a lack of standards to security and privacy concerns have slowed the adoption of IoT, and that integrating blockchain technology may provide solutions.
bit.ly/2MqaclI

A Crypto Trader’s Guide To Stay Safe While Trading
Mike Genna – Blokt
It’s no secret that trading cryptocurrency can be dangerous. Without regulatory authority, skilled criminals and sleuths have been successful at shutting down servers and stealing millions of dollars worth of altcoins. I say altcoins because Bitcoin is not always stolen, in fact, it is almost never the coin victim to robbery.
A large majority of crypto trading around the world takes place on centralized exchanges like Coinbase, Binance, and Huobi, among others. They are vulnerable to hacking because they represent the biggest targets on the internet as they hold millions of in cryptocurrency for users of wallets. Let’s learn how to make the best choices when trading cryptocurrency.
bit.ly/2P8MjO2

Ripple ‘definitely’ wants to target China with its blockchain-based payments tech, exec says; China is “definitely a target” for Ripple, Jeremy Light, the firm’s VP of EU strategic accounts, told CNBC.
Ryan Browne – CNBC
Ripple wants to target the Chinese market with its distributed ledger technology designed to speed up cross-border payments, an executive at the firm told CNBC.
/jlne.ws/2BlxXHs

Why Is Bitcoin So Desperate For An ETF?
Peter Tchir – Forbes
I miss the days of arguing over the merits of bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Whether it is scalable or not? Whether it serves a valid function or not? Whether it can be a medium of exchange or just a store of value? Whether anonymity can remain a feature or whether government intervention and custodial activities will change all that.
/jlne.ws/2BbLnW6

Politics

Elizabeth Warren has a plan to save capitalism; She’s unveiling a bill to make corporate governance great again.
Matthew Yglesias – VOX
Elizabeth Warren has a big idea that challenges how the Democratic Party thinks about solving the problem of inequality.
/jlne.ws/2Oxh7qs

Trump’s Trade War Is Rattling China’s Leaders
Keith Bradsher and Steven Lee Myers – NY Times
China’s leaders have sought to project confidence in the face of President Trump’s tariffs and trade threats. But as it becomes clear that a protracted trade war with the United States may be unavoidable, there are growing signs of unease inside the Communist political establishment.
/goo.gl/HyXFsQ

China says U.S. solar tariffs violate trade rules, lodges WTO complaint
David Stanway, Muyu Xu – Reuters
China’s commerce ministry said a U.S. decision to subsidize renewable energy firms and impose tariffs on imported products has seriously distorted the global market and harmed China’s interests, firing the latest shot in a broader trade conflict.
/goo.gl/51NP3i

The US restaurant industry could be the big winner of Trump’s trade war
Bob Bryan – Business Insider
President Donald Trump’s trade war is taking its toll on a slew of US industries, but there could be one that comes out on top: restaurants.
While the president’s various tariffs are driving up costs for industries ranging from boat manufacturing to TVs, data provided to Business Insider by restaurant invoice management company Plate IQ showed that restaurants are actually seeing prices for ingredients fall due to the tariffs.
/goo.gl/rxQnAN

China accused of using Belt and Road Initiative for spying
Report identifies growing cyber espionage threat in countries across Asia and Europe
Stefania Palma – The Financial Times
Chinese cyber espionage linked to the Belt and Road Initiative is increasing, with experts warning that Beijing is using the huge infrastructure project to spy on companies and countries as well as to damp down dissent. The country is alleged to have targeted Belarus, the Maldives, Cambodia, European foreign ministries and non-governmental organisations, according to the report by US cyber security company FireEye.
/goo.gl/5JwKNp

Regulation

CFTC delivers on ‘Project KISS’ with proposal to streamline regulations for swap dealers
Todd Ehret – Reuters
Since taking the helm of the U.S. top commodities and derivatives regulator, Christopher Giancarlo has made his ambitions clear to refocus and reinterpret the mission of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Regulatory change occurs at a snail’s pace but nearly a year into Giancarlo’s chairmanship, there are signs of progress.
/reut.rs/2vLAfKq

Here’s What an SEC Probe of Elon Musk Might Look Like
Matt Robinson and Benjamin Bain – Bloomberg
Regulator’s inquries take an average of two years to complete; Agency examinations very deliberative, ex-SEC officials say
As the bizarre Tesla Inc. go-private saga enters its ninth day, many investors are wondering when regulators will decide whether Elon Musk broke the rules by dripping out details so haphazardly.
/jlne.ws/2OEVQeF

SEC Files Charges in Municipal Bond “Flipping” and Kickback Schemes
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged two firms and 18 individuals in a scheme to improperly divert new issue municipal bonds to broker-dealers at the expense of retail investors. According to the SEC’s complaint, the defendants – known in the industry as “flippers” – purchased new issue municipal bonds, often by posing as retail investors to gain priority in bond allocations. The defendants then “flipped” the bonds to broker-dealers for a fee. The SEC also charged a municipal underwriter for accepting kickbacks from one of the flippers.
/goo.gl/7zH7Ca

SEC Bars Perpetrator of Initial Coin Offering Fraud
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today obtained permanent officer-and-director and penny stock bars against the founder of a company who perpetrated a fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) to fund oil exploration and drilling in California.
/goo.gl/1Egci9

ESMA Closed For Public Holiday On 15 August Date
ESMA
ESMA is closed for public holiday on 15 August. ESMA will reopen on Thursday 16 August.
/jlne.ws/2BarSNC

Sebi eyes framework for timely disclosure of loan defaults by listed firms
Press Trust of India
Markets regulator Sebi is looking to stipulate a framework for timely and detailed disclosures of loan defaults by listed entities to enhance transparency.
/jlne.ws/2B9n7UC

Goldman shareholders can again pursue class action over CDOs
Jonathan Stempel – Reuters
A federal judge on Tuesday said Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) shareholders may again pursue class-action claims that the bank concealed conflicts of interest when creating risky subprime securities before the 2008 financial crisis.
/goo.gl/4EzmJx

Investing and Trading

Investors pile into US stocks, BofAML survey shows
Kate Allen – Financial Times
Investors’ growing preference for the US at the expense of the rest of the world has spurred them to take the biggest overweight positions in US equities since the start of 2015, with record high sentiment about the outlook for US profits, according to a survey.
/goo.gl/GcnZsD

Spotify’s $8 Billion Rally Is Attracting Loads of Hedge Funds
Jeran Wittenstein – Bloomberg
Spotify Technology SA, the music-streaming company that’s gained 47 percent since its April debut, attracted a number of prominent hedge funds in the second quarter.
/goo.gl/6gkJ9T

The five most common scams that cost pensioners millions
Laura Miller – Telegraph
Scammers are getting their hands on increasing amounts of your pension money, with the figure lost to fraudsters more than doubling last year to £23m – or £91,000 per victim.
/jlne.ws/2BeG9Js

Rich Professionals Are Using Pension Plans as a Tax Dodge
Ben Steverman – Bloomberg
Plans can help older doctors, lawyers stash more than $300,000; Treasury proposed regulations Aug. 8 blocking some strategies
There’s one area where the traditional pension plan is getting new life — as a tax dodge for wealthy business owners.
/jlne.ws/2OCtEsU

Institutions

Brokers Object to New SEC Standard
Daren Fonda – Barron’s
Investors who like BeyoncÈ’s music can now get a cut of the royalties through Hipgnosis Songs (ticker: SONG.UK), a music-royalty fund that recently launched on the London Stock Exchange. But even if you think “Halo” is a terrific song that will be a moneymaker for decades, would an investment in BeyoncÈ really be in your best interest?
/goo.gl/w6wv4L

****The answer to that above question is “yes, go long Beyonce.” (You’d have a smidge of exposure to Jay-Z, too.) ~SD

A $12 Billion Asset Manager Wants Out of the Hedge Fund ‘Fee Racket’
Vernon Wessels – Bloomberg
CEO Wierzycka says hedge funds failing to work as designed; Cape Town-based money manager has fired hedge-fund managers
South African money manager Sygnia Ltd. closed all its hedge-fund products, ending a 13-year history with an investment strategy its chief executive officer now calls a ruse to pocket fees.
/goo.gl/EkBPwK

Regions

Turkey slaps tariffs on American booze, cars as business groups urge diplomacy
Natasha Turak – CNBC
Turkey’s government announced tariffs on American cars, alcohol and cigarettes on Tuesday, ramping up what has become a bitter dispute between the two NATO allies. According to local press, the move doubles tariffs on a number of U.S. products, raising duties on American booze to 140 percent, cars to 120 percent and leaf tobacco to 60 percent.
/goo.gl/nKo5Vq

Turkey Will Put Capital Rules to the Test
Satyajit Das – Bloomberg
A much-touted remedy for financial risk may not be up to the task.
/goo.gl/H2MXJU

Turkey Shifts Toward Russia as Sanctions Sour U.S. Relations
David Gauthier-Villars – WSJ
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey stepped up his attacks on the U.S. on Tuesday, calling for a boycott of Apple Inc.’s iPhones and other U.S. electronic goods, while his foreign minister joined his Russian counterpart in criticizing Western sanctions.
/goo.gl/7nkrwU

Interview: Singapore unveils strategy for next wave of commodities, energy growth
Norazlina Jumaat – S&P Global Platts
Singapore is aiming to push its next stage of growth in commodities and energy by striking a balance between grooming local enterprises to become global players, as well as by making its investment climate even more attractive and transparent for international firms looking to set up trading hubs.
/goo.gl/jFSvTj

Russia backs non-dollar trade with Turkey, no promise of help amid lira crisis
Andrey Ostroukh and Tuvan Gumrukcu – Reuters
Russia backs using national currencies, not the U.S. dollar, in its trade with Turkey, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday, but he made no firm commitments that would immediately help Ankara to weather its currency crisis.
/reut.rs/2vIPq76

De-risking agricultural investment in Africa; Climate science can reduce uncertainty in a high-risk environment
Evan Girvetz, CIAT – Financial Times
Beset by frequent drought, unpredictable rainfall, degraded soils, pests, disease and conflict, African farmers struggle to produce a steady supply of crops and livestock for consumption and sale.
/goo.gl/Ubj6fE

China accused of using Belt and Road Initiative for spying; Report identifies growing cyber espionage threat in countries across Asia and Europe
Stefania Palma – FT
Chinese cyber espionage linked to the Belt and Road Initiative is increasing, with experts warning that Beijing is using the huge infrastructure project to spy on companies and countries as well as to damp down dissent.
/jlne.ws/2BcEwM7

Currency pressure forces Hong Kong and Indonesia into action; HKMA defends forex peg as fallout from Turkey’s financial turmoil resonates
Emma Dunkley in Hong Kong and Edward White – FT
Asian currencies came under renewed pressure on Wednesday forcing central banks in Indonesia and Hong Kong to take action and marking an escalation in the fallout across emerging markets from the financial turmoil in Turkey.
/jlne.ws/2BcEALR

Brexit

Significant short-term market impact to no-deal Brexit
Gederts Gelzis – Reuters
The short-term market impact will be significant if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said during a visit to Latvia on Wednesday.
Britain is due to quit the EU in less than eight months, but the government has yet to agree with Brussels the terms of its departure. It has stepped up planning for the possibility of leaving without a formal agreement.
/reut.rs/2PbRigX

U.K. Equities Are Global Pariahs Amid Fears of Messy Brexit
Justina Lee – Bloomberg
Can U.K. stocks get any less love on the global stage?
Allocation to British equities dropped to a net 28 percent underweight in a Bank of America Merrill Lynch survey of global fund managers released Tuesday, the biggest drop since May 2016. It is no wonder: in dollar terms, the country’s shares have plunged to the lowest versus global equities since the 1970s, according to MSCI indexes.
/bloom.bg/2PaFMSY

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