State Street brings Fearless Girl statue to London

Mar 5, 2019

First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

The new list of members of the FIA Futures Hall of Fame has been announced. The list includes Robert T. Cox, Paul Davies, Mitch R. Fulscher, Anthony George Gero, Phupinder S. Gill, Garry Jones, Bonnie Litt, Andreas Preuss, Michael Spencer, Lee B. Stern and Kim Taylor. I am proud to know most of them personally and can say this is a well deserved honor for each of them.~JJL

Bovill, a specialist financial services regulatory consultancy, is holding a free Cybersecurity Briefing this Wednesday, March 6th featuring representatives from the NFA and the cybersecurity industry. They will discuss how to best comply with the new cybersecurity requirements NFA members. There will be free drinks for attendees too. Details and RSVP information can be found Here.~JJL

It’s not often that you get an f-bomb in a Reuters story, but some folks over at Barclays got a bit heated back in ’08 when the bank was raising emergency funds, so here we are. See Barclays bosses fretted over Qatar deal in 2008 fundraising.~SD

The Financial Conduct Authority announced changes to its board, including the appointment of Richard Lloyd as a non-executive director and the re-appointment of Baroness Sarah Hogg as a non-executive director for a second three-year term.~SR

Last night was a historic night for for my new girl Troop in Scouts BSA, 117G. We had 8 girls earn the Scout rank. We had girls be honored for their first merit badges. We had our 15th girl sign up for the Troop. And we held what might be the first Order of the Arrow election at a girl Troop. And best of all, we elected an under 21 ASM to the Order of the Arrow, the Scouts honor society. That is bound to be the first female under 21 elected to the Order of the Arrow, at least for Three Fires Council. And on top of that, I was awarded the Unit Leader Award of Merit for my work as Scoutmaster of the Boy Troop, 117B.~JJL

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One of the World’s Most Valuable Banknotes Just Got a Face Lift
Catherine Bosley – Bloomberg
The Swiss National Bank has revamped its most controversial banknote, with state-of-the-art security features and a theme of communication. The new 1,000 franc ($1,000) note — which goes into circulation on March 13 — shows a handshake and Switzerland’s parliament.
/jlne.ws/2tO6tn0

***** I always carry a 1000 franc note around, but mostly to launder money.~JJL

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So…what actually is Acuiti?
William Mitting – via LinkedIn
Thank you to all my contacts who have offered their support and congratulations on the launch of Acuiti, I am delighted by the response over the past week. A few people have asked for more information on exactly what Acuiti is so I have taken the liberty of preparing a Q&A on the concept.
/jlne.ws/2tSrb57

****** Will Mitting will be at Boca. If you are there, seek him out about Acuiti.~JJL

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Smartphone-Wielding Chinese Tourists Challenge Cash’s Reign
A flood of Chinese tourists who expect to pay with a phone like they do back home is spurring Japan to adopt digital payments
River Davis – The Wall Street Journal
Japan, usually a high-tech model for China, is learning from its neighbor how people can pay without cash.
Old-time paper money has reigned supreme in Japan, but that is beginning to change, thanks to a flood of Chinese tourists who expect to pay with a phone like they do back home.
/goo.gl/8ZiGcs

****I cannot remember the last time I took cash out of an ATM. ~JB

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Monday’s Top Three
Our top read story of the day was Crain’s Chicago Business’ Options Clearing unwinds Donohue’s recapitalization. Second was Jeff Carter‘s blog A Trader’s Life. Third was Jim Kharouf‘s JLN piece Brace yourself. It may be time for a financial transaction tax

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Lead Stories

State Street brings Fearless Girl statue to London; Widely-recognised statue to reside opposite the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square for three months.
Jonathan Watkins – The Trade
The Fearless Girl campaign launched by State Street’s asset management arm to promote gender diversity at board and senior leadership levels has come to London with a copy of the now widely-recognised statue placed in the heart of the city.
/jlne.ws/2tPHjEq

As Stock Exchanges Multiply, Miami Wants In on the Game; Rival plans for new venues could bring number of U.S. stock exchanges to 16
Alexander Osipovich and Gunjan Banerji – WSJ
A new competitor is set to enter the stock-exchange business, planning to launch a marketplace even as some on Wall Street question whether another trading venue is necessary.
/jlne.ws/2NFMNe3

Coinbase Cuts Ties With Hacking Team Following Spyware Backlash
Nour Al Ali – Bloomberg
CEO Armstrong says they’ll “transition out of Coinbase”; Hacking Team allegedly sold spyware to oppressive regimes
Coinbase Inc., one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is letting go of staff after the backlash it faced for purchasing a company allegedly linked to the sale of spyware to oppressive regimes.
/jlne.ws/2tPGsDI

Widening Russia Money Laundering Scandal Hits Europe Bank Shares
Kati Pohjanpalo and Frances Schwartzkopff – Bloomberg
Raiffeisen International leads declines after Browder report; Dutch lenders, Deutsche Bank also fall amid more revelations
A money-laundering scandal involving Western financial institutions and the former Soviet Union widened, sending shares of banks lower across the continent.
/jlne.ws/2tR062w

How Did the U.S. Stock Market Get So Old?; Companies are already grown up when they go public, and big corporations like Amazon keep swallowing younger competitors.
Sarah Ponczek, Reade Pickert – Bloomberg
Certain adjectives come to mind in describing the U.S. stock market. Sprawling. Resilient. Diverse. Here’s another you probably haven’t thought of: old. Thanks to an absence of new entrants, the average age of companies listed on American exchanges has been steadily rising for three decades. Now it’s 20 years, almost twice the average in 1997, during the dot-com craze.
/jlne.ws/2tMUzdc

Bankers Are Circling Europe’s Growing Cannabis Market
Sam Unsted – Bloomberg
Canaccord Genuity sees significant interest in stock listings; Canadian companies still dwarf European pot businesses in size
Investors who are eager for the cannabis industry in Europe to emulate the boom in pot-stock listings in Canada may not have much longer to wait, judging by the activities of investment bankers.
/jlne.ws/2tQfVpX

Banking leak exposes Russian network with link to Prince Charles; Exclusive: investigation reveals how Troika Dialog channelled $4.6bn to Europe and US
Juliette Garside and Caelainn Barr – The Guardian
A charity run by Prince Charles received donations from an offshore company that was used to funnel vast amounts of cash from Russia in a scheme that is under investigation by prosecutors, the Guardian can reveal.
/jlne.ws/2tO1nav

Nasdaq’s CEO just threw her support behind the cloud and said she hopes to eventually move the exchange there
Dan DeFrancesco – Business Insider
New Jersey could soon lose some of its most notorious residents. The Garden State houses data centers where most US equity trading takes place, leading Wall Street firms to buy up space and implement cutting-edge technology in the region.
/jlne.ws/2HgJVmX

Consolidated Audit Trail: Those Messy Data Linkages
Chris Kentouris – FinOps
US brokerage operations managers are quickly turning their attention to how they will meet the cumbersome requirements for data linkages now that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has been stepped in at the eleventh hour to operate the new consolidated audit trail (CAT).
/goo.gl/5eMRkx

Battle for Oslo Børs heats up as Nasdaq matches raised Euronext offer; Nasdaq has matched an offer made by Euronext to acquire Oslo Bors and lowered the barriers for shareholder acceptance on the deal.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
US exchange operator Nasdaq has matched a rival bid from Euronext to acquire Norwegian stock exchange Oslo Børs and lowered the minimum acceptance conditions for shareholders.
/jlne.ws/2tO9rYG

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Nasdaq Raises Offer Price for Oslo Børs VPS and Reaffirms its Commitment to the Offer
GlobeNewswire
Raises offer price to NOK 158, reduces minimum acceptance condition, extends acceptance period and Drop-dead Date and reaffirms its commitment to its six-point program for the development and enhancement of Oslo Børs VPS and the Norwegian capital market
/jlne.ws/2tNux9C

Nasdaq February 2019 Volumes
GlobeNewswire
Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ) today reported monthly volumes for February 2019, on its investor relations website.
/jlne.ws/2tMYEhw

Euronext notes updated recommendation by Oslo Børs VPS Board of Directors
Euronext
Euronext notes that the Oslo Børs VPS Board of Directors has considered Euronext’s increased offer announced on 11 February 2019 as equal to the updated Nasdaq offer from a purely financial point of view. Euronext also notes that today, following Nasdaq’s announced decision to match Euronext’s offer, the Board of Directors has upheld its recommendation of Nasdaq as the preferred bidder in line with its commitment to do so under any circumstances.
/jlne.ws/2tOas2W

Intercontinental Exchange Reports February Statistics
Press Release
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, today reported February trading volume and related revenue statistics, which can be viewed on the company’s investor relations website at http://ir.theice.com/ir-resources/supplemental-information in the Monthly Statistics Tracking spreadsheet.
/goo.gl/fPV14R

TMX Group Welcomes International Mining Community to PDAC 2019; Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange are patron sponsors as Toronto plays host to the world’s premier annual mining industry event
TMX
TMX Group, the global exchange leader in mining, is pleased to welcome delegates from around the world to the 2019 Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) International Convention, Trade Show & Investors Exchange, taking place this week in Toronto. Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV), home to approximately half of the world’s public mining companies, will mark the event with a series of market open and closing ceremonies throughout the week featuring delegations from key international mining centres.
/jlne.ws/2tRYBkx

Deletion of Component Issues for the TSE Mothers Index
JPX
/jlne.ws/2tR4ZIM

Euronext announces quarterly review results for the AEX, AMX, AScX
Euronext
Euronext today announced the results of the annual review for the AEX®, AMX® and AScX® indices. The changes due to the review will be effective from Monday 18 March 2019.
/jlne.ws/2tOLsZh

Byron Baldwin: Generating alpha – Eurex Fixed Income Futures Calendar Rolls
Euronext
In his latest LinkedIn article, Byron Baldwin, Deputy Global Head, Fixed Income Trading & Clearing Sales at Eurex, examines Eurex’s globally unique suite of Fixed Income Futures contracts.
/jlne.ws/2tS0NbI

ASX Monthly Activity Report – February 19
ASX
/www.asx.com.au/documents/investor-relations/1105MarASXMarketMonthlyActivityReportFebruary2019.pdf

New Trading Participants At EEX In February 2019
Mondovisione
In February 2019, EEX admitted BofA Securities Europe SA (Paris) as a new participant on the power derivatives market and the derivatives market for freight, emission allowances and agricultural products. Innovenergy S.R.L. (Rome) was also admitted as a participant on the power derivatives market. The participant Energy Financing Team AG (St. Gallen) was admitted on the emissions spot market. MFT Energy A/S (Aarhus) was additionally admitted to trade UK Financial Power Futures.
/jlne.ws/2tRcf7B

OCC Welcomes MIAX Emerald Options Exchange
Markets Media
OCC, the world’s largest equity derivatives clearing organization, today congratulated MIAX on the launch of MIAX Emerald, which began operations on Friday. This successful launch brings the total number of U.S. options markets to sixteen.
/jlne.ws/2HcHGRA

NZX Shareholder Metrics February 2019 – NZX, New Zealand’s Exchange
NZX
/jlne.ws/2TfO9Cv

CFTC Commissioner Berkovitz to Participate in a Panel at CERAWeek 2019
CFTC
/jlne.ws/2HfavwI

Fintech

Cinnober chief to step down following Nasdaq takeover; Peter Lenardos to leave company after six months as chief executive following the closure of Nasdaq’s takeover.
John Brazier – Thee Trade
The chief executive of Cinnober has announced he is to leave the company after the closure of Nasdaq’s acquisition of the Swedish exchange and clearing technology provider.
/jlne.ws/2tOazeS

Police launch fraud investigation into Revolut; UK fintech company valued at $1.7bn faces multiple regulatory probes
Martin Coulter and Nicholas Megaw – FT
Police have launched a fraud investigation following a complaint against British digital bank Revolut over a money transfer, adding further pressure to a fintech company that is already facing probes on other issues from regulators.
/jlne.ws/2tPG2gC

Cryptocurrencies

As Bitcoin And Crypto Markets Lose Billions, One Coin Is Soaring
Billy Bambrough – Forbes
Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies have lost some $5 billion over the last 48 hours as a long-running bitcoin sell-off again bears down on the market.
But there is one bright spot of green in the now familiar sea of red: binance coin, the digital token from the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, has risen 16% over the same period and is up an eye-watering 120% since the beginning of the year, according to CoinMarketCap which tracks most major cryptocurrency prices.
/jlne.ws/2NHMek8

Crypto Brokerage Tagomi Gets $12 Million in Second Funding Round
Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
Co-founder Greg Tusar was Goldman’s head of electronic trading; Digital-asset market reminds Tusar of stocks in early 2000s
Tagomi Holdings Inc., a digital asset brokerage founded by a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive, raised $12 million in its second round of funding.
/jlne.ws/2tR3WIQ

Tether to launch on the TRON blockchain
The Block Crypto
Tether announced Monday that it is launching its controversial USD stablecoin on the TRON blockchain. USDT will operate as a TRC20 token that’s interoperable with protocols and DApps on TRON.
/jlne.ws/2tRfyve

‘Coffee for Bakkt’? Starbucks Equity Deal Will See Crypto-Based Payments, Source Claims
William Suberg – CoinTelegraph
New details about Starbucks’ partnership with United States cryptocurrency platform Bakkt suggest the coffee giant will accept Bitcoin (BTC)-based payments after an equity deal, cryptocurrency industry news outlet The Block reported on Mar. 4.
Starbucks, which became known as a founding partner in Bakkt upon its unveiling in August last year, will reportedly support its software to allow U.S. customers to pay for products.
/jlne.ws/2NIYpNJ

Minimal Long & Short Interest May Send Bitcoin (BTC) Plummeting, Warns Crypto Researcher
Nick Chong – Ethereum World News
Over recent weeks, there’s been an odd dichotomy between Bitcoin (BTC) bulls and bears. Optimists have claimed that as the cryptocurrency remains above key support levels, as volumes surge, a breakout is inbound. Conversely, short-term cynics have argued that lower lows are inbound.
/jlne.ws/2NJyaGO

Crypto Trading Platform Tagomi Nets $12 Million in New Funding Round
William Suberg – CoinTelegraph
New York-based cryptocurrency brokerage and trading platform Tagomi Holdings raised $12 million in its latest funding round from investors including the Yale-backed Paradigm Fund, the company confirmed in a press release on Mar. 4.
/jlne.ws/2NId5fP

‘Crypto Challenger Bank’ Offers Bitcoin Interest Account–And Has Great Rates
Billy Bambrough – Forbes
Bitcoin is out to (eventually) replace your bank account and that’s just got more likely with the launch of two bitcoin and ethereum accounts that pay a whopping 6.2% interest on deposits.
There is a catch though—that interest will be paid in either bitcoin or ethereum’s ether, depending on the account deposits, making this account most appealing to those who want to accumulate as much bitcoin and ethereum as possible.
/jlne.ws/2NGQFvo

Politics

Evidence Grows That Trump’s Trade Wars Are Hitting U.S. Economy
Shawn Donnan – Bloomberg
President Donald Trump regularly declares that he’s winning his trade wars. Yet evidence is growing that the U.S. economy is a net loser so far. In two separate papers published over the weekend, some of the world’s leading trade economists declared Trump’s tariffs to be the most consequential trade experiment seen since the 1930 Smoot-Hawley tariffs blamed for worsening the Great Depression. They also found the initial cost of Trump’s duties to the U.S. economy was in the billions and being borne largely by American consumers.
/goo.gl/VzhtxM

Hateful Propaganda From White Supremacists Spreads; Number of incidents nearly triple; ‘It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen’
Joseph De Avila – WSJ
White supremacist groups have ramped up their use of propaganda to spread racist, anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic messages, according to a new report by the Anti-Defamation League.
/jlne.ws/2tPi19D

Trump Might Not Like It, but the Dollar Should Be Strong; U.S. currency’s strength is because the economy is doing relatively well and inflation is roughly on target
James Mackintosh – WSJ
President Trump has chosen an odd time to accuse the Federal Reserve of making the dollar too strong. After all, the dollar is still below December’s high and the Fed has changed its tune.
/jlne.ws/2tSjmfL

Chinese Hackers Target Universities in Pursuit of Maritime Military Secrets; University of Hawaii, University of Washington and MIT are among schools hit by cyberattacks
Dustin Volz – WSJ
Chinese hackers have targeted more than two dozen universities in the U.S. and around the globe as part of an elaborate scheme to steal research about maritime technology being developed for military use, according to cybersecurity experts and current and former U.S. officials.
/jlne.ws/2tPhGDT

New Treasury Rules Shape Corporate Tax Break; Proposed regulations involve a piece of the 2017 tax law that benefits companies such as Boeing and Intel
Richard Rubin – WSJ
The Treasury Department proposed the final major international-tax regulation under the 2017 tax law on Monday, outlining how businesses can claim a break related to certain foreign sales.
/jlne.ws/2tT1stA

The Making of the Fox News White House; Fox News has always been partisan. But has it become propaganda?
Jane Mayer – The New Yorker
In January, during the longest government shutdown in America’s history, President Donald Trump rode in a motorcade through Hidalgo County, Texas, eventually stopping on a grassy bluff overlooking the Rio Grande. The White House wanted to dramatize what Trump was portraying as a national emergency: the need to build a wall along the Mexican border. The presence of armored vehicles, bales of confiscated marijuana, and federal agents in flak jackets underscored the message.
/jlne.ws/2HeLulm

T-Mobile acknowledges its patronage of Trump’s Washington hotel increased sharply after announcement of merger with Sprint
David A. Fahrenthold and Jonathan O’Connell – The Washington Post
T-Mobile’s patronage of President Trump’s Washington hotel increased sharply after the announcement of its merger with its Sprint last April, with executives spending about $195,000 at the property since then, the company told congressional Democrats in a letter last month.
Before news of the megadeal between rival companies broke on April 29, 2018, the company said, only two top officials from T-Mobile had ever stayed at Trump’s hotel, with one overnight stay each in August 2017.
/goo.gl/xwS6sM

Regulation

Banking leak exposes Russian network with link to Prince Charles; Exclusive: investigation reveals how Troika Dialog channelled $4.6bn to Europe and US
Juliette Garside and Caelainn Barr – The Guardian
A charity run by Prince Charles received donations from an offshore company that was used to funnel vast amounts of cash from Russia in a scheme that is under investigation by prosecutors, the Guardian can reveal. Money flowing through the network included cash that can be linked to some of the most notorious frauds committed during Vladimir Putin’s presidency. In all, it is estimated that $4.6bn (£3.5bn) was sent to Europe and the US from a Russian-operated network of 70 offshore companies with accounts in Lithuania.
/goo.gl/h9D7c8

CFTC Announces Whistleblower Award Totaling More Than $2 Million
CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced a whistleblower award totaling more than $2 million to be paid to an individual whistleblower. The CFTC granted the whistleblower’s award application for both a CFTC action and a related action brought by another federal regulator. In ordering the award, the CFTC recognizes the contribution of a whistleblower in providing critical information through independent analysis of market data.
/jlne.ws/2tP3Jpt

FCA confirms introduction of rent-to-own price cap
UK FCA
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today confirmed the introduction of a price cap to protect some of the most vulnerable customers in the UK in the rent-to-own (RTO) sector. The cap will be introduced from 1 April 2019 and will save consumers in the UK up to £22.7 million a year.
/jlne.ws/2tNuWsE

Historical Returns on Key Investment Categories
FINRA
Virtually all investment products fluctuate from year to year. Longer-term stocks have enjoyed a performance edge, outperforming bonds by a margin of almost 2 to 1 since 1926. But there is a tradeoff: Stocks’ performance edge has come with more uncertainty and bumps in the road. But bonds—even U.S. Treasury bills—can have their ups and downs, too.
/jlne.ws/2tPjD3b

Beware of Fake Check Scams
FINRA
We are warning the public about job-search scams in which people who respond to ads or online job postings receive checks that appear to be from legitimate companies—including FINRA. The type of job can vary—models, mystery shoppers, data entry personnel or some other type of independent worker. But one element is always the same: In each of these scams, you are sent an authentic-looking check.
/jlne.ws/2tObj3E

Federal Court Orders Purported Metals Dealer and His Companies to Pay More Than $8 million for Fraud and Misappropriation of Customer Funds in CFTC Action
CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that a Florida federal court ordered Carlos Javier Ramirez (Ramirez) and his companies, Royal Leisure International, Inc. (RLI) and Gold Chasers, Inc. (GCI), to pay restitution and civil monetary penalties for fraudulently soliciting customers to purchase physical gold and misappropriating their funds.
/jlne.ws/2tNI80N

Former company director and two pre-insolvency advisers charged with breaching director duties and money laundering
ASIC
Mr Richard Ludwig of Broadbeach Waters Queensland, Mr Stephen O’Neill of Port Melbourne, Victoria and Mr John Narramore, of Main Beach Queensland, have appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on charges that include breaching director duties and dealing in the proceeds of crime.
/jlne.ws/2tP3oTJ

ANU Climate Update; Address by ASIC Commissioners Sean Hughes (Canberra, 7 February 2019) and Cathie Armour (Sydney, 21 February 2019 and Adelaide, 4 March 2019)
ASIC
Good afternoon. Thank you very much for the introduction and indeed for the invitation to speak here at ANU today as part of ANU’s 2019 Climate Update.
/jlne.ws/2tMYMh0

Whistle-blower reports to the FCA rise 24% in a year
Steve Fisher – EastMidlandsBusinessLink.co.uk
The total number of whistle-blower reports to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has risen 24% in the last year to 1,755 in 2018*, up from 1,420 in 2017 (see graph), says BDO LLP, the accountancy and business advisory firm.
/jlne.ws/2tMZqLs

Investing and Trading

Investors flock to platinum ETFs on hopes of switch by carmakers; Holdings reach four-year high as investors bank on shift away from palladium in catalysts
Henry Sanderson- FT
Holdings in platinum-backed ETFs have surged by 15 per cent this year as investors bet that carmakers will start to use the metal in petrol car catalysts due to the short supply of mainstay palladium.
/jlne.ws/2tRSvkc

How to build a company with a gender-balanced ownership; Everyone told us fundraising is challenging enough without achieving parity
Emma Sinclair – FT
I like to put my money where my mouth is — as does the co-founder of my business, EnterpriseAlumni. So late last year, we set ourselves the goal of being the first software company of our size and scale to boast a gender-balanced shareholder structure.
/jlne.ws/2tT41fc

RPT-El-Erian: Europe’s slowdown is worse than investors imagined
Trevor Hunnicutt, Jennifer Ablan – Reuters
The European economy is cooling more than many investors believe, Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser for Allianz SE, said on Monday, warning that the slowdown poses the biggest risk to the market.
/jlne.ws/2tS2vd8

Why a bomb like the one that blew up markets in 2008 may be ticking right now
Shawn Langlois – MarketWatch
It’s been a banner year for stocks already. In fact, if we could just shut this whole thing down for the next 10 months, we’d be looking at double-digits returns on the S&P 500 SPX, -0.39% for 2019.
/jlne.ws/2HgInJJ

Institutions

Barclays to Merge BPay, Pingit Products as Banks Fend Off Apple
Nate Lanxon – Bloomberg
BPay launched wearable band, key fob in 2014 for payments; U.K. banks are having to defend competition from Apple, Monzo
Barclays Plc is preparing to merge its wearable mobile payments product BPay with its more popular Pingit app, after it struggled to attract users.
/jlne.ws/2tRb1sI

Deutsche Bank makes more cuts to key equities division; German bank is cutting its strategic equity transactions group at a time when revenues across the sector are surging
Paul Clarke – Financial News
Deutsche Bank has cut more executives from a specialist division that structures complex equity products, adding to the team’s dramatic shrinkage as the German investment bank pulls back from non-core businesses.
/jlne.ws/2HfKNrV

The traders who are winning and losing the first quarter
Beecher Tuttle – efinancialcareers
The majority of sell-side trading desks suffered through a fairly miserable fourth quarter of 2018, with total trading revenues falling 13% on the back of particularly poor performances in fixed income. Looking across all asset classes, European firms significantly underperformed U.S. banks (-18% YoY compared to -9%). The good news is that market conditions have improved dramatically following the New Year, as has the outlook for the first quarter. The bad news is that Q1 trading revenues are expected to remain well below those produced during the first quarter of 2018 as client activity has yet to fully rebound to the lofty levels seen last year.
/goo.gl/okLajS

Regions

China Has a Dirty $1 Trillion Stimulus Secret; Another economy-boosting infrastructure binge is afoot, but you won’t find it reflected in the fiscal deficit target.
Shuli Ren – Bloomberg
Investors trying to gauge how much appetite China has for stimulus should ignore official targets and look at local government bond issues instead.
/jlne.ws/2tR0bTB

China’s winning streak driven by investors taking long view; Despite the threat of the trade dispute, most see some light at the end of the tunnel
Fabiana Fedeli – FT
During a recent media interview in Shanghai, a local journalist asked me why foreign investors were piling into the Chinese domestic market. It was a pertinent question. In the first eight weeks of the year, Chinese mainland equity markets saw a nearly US$17bn inflow through the “stock connect” corridor with Hong Kong — the largest consecutive inflow since the launch of the programme in November 2014.
/jlne.ws/2tQ0mP9

Rise in China’s defense budget to outpace economic growth target
Michael Martina and Ben Blanchard – Reuters
China’s 2019 defense spending will rise 7.5 percent from 2018, according to a budget report issued at the opening of the country’s annual meeting of parliament on Tuesday, a slower rate than last year but still outpacing the economic growth target.
/jlne.ws/2NHVFjl

Brexit

EU banks could face panicky trading after no-deal Brexit
Phillip Inman – The Guardian
The Bank of England has said that the failure of EU regulators to put in place measures to protect continental banks increased the risk of panicky trading on financial markets in the aftermath of a no-deal Brexit.
Without further guidance to EU banks and insurers and greater urgency to put in place rules before the 29 March article 50 deadline, traders on international money markets could raise the costs of lending to the banking sector. This could intensify the impact of Britain crashing out of the EU, the Bank said.
/jlne.ws/2NHMK1y

Fundraising drought suggests nerves over Brexit; New UK bond deals drop 40% from last year while equity deals shrivel to zero
Katie Martin – FT
The flow of new debt and equity deals hitting markets slowed to a trickle in January and the following month has shown little sign of a pick-up, particularly in the UK, suggesting that Brexit is weighing heavily on companies’ plans to raise money.
/jlne.ws/2tR5UZK

Brexit: UK in further push for deal with EU
BBC
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox will meet EU officials in Brussels in search of guarantees over the backstop plan to avoid border checks in Ireland.
Mr Cox has dismissed reports he has given up on securing a firm end date to ensure the UK is not stuck.
MPs will vote on the deal by 12 March.
/jlne.ws/2NIZpBt

Miscellaneous

‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Townhouse Sells for $12.65 Million; The home of ex-banker Alan Wilzig is bought by wealthy Brazilians for dramatically less than the original $44 million asking price.
Katherine Clarke – WSJ
Alan Wilzig, the race car driving banker known for inspiring a character in Martin Scorsese’s film “The Wolf of Wall Street,” is in contract to sell his New York townhouse for $12.65 million, dramatically less than its original nearly $44 million asking price.
/jlne.ws/2tSKHhU

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