Celebrate a Legacy of Leadership and Support for the Scouting Movement from the Chicago Financial Community
Join Me Thursday at the LaSalle Street Trading Tech Awards Event
On Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 5:30 PM, the LaSalle Street Trading Tech Awards event will be held virtually, hosted by the most interesting event chairman, Pat Kenny of CQG. The event will include a special video message about the financial community’s impact on the Scouting movement and breakout rooms for us to congregate and socialize. Despite the pandemic, the financial community’s legacy of supporting Scouting continues. Let us gather virtually as a community and celebrate our legacy of helping develop young people in the Scouting movement.
Because the event is virtual this year, ALL are welcome to attend the event. You don’t have to be in Chicago to attend.
Join your industry colleagues, warm your heart and have some laughs.
December 3rd at 5:30 log on to:
To read the rest of this invitation, go HERE.
FIA Asia-V: Asian Commodity Futures Bloom Despite COVID’s Chaos
Suzanne Cosgrove – John Lothian News
While the pandemic was a major economic disruptor in 2020, impacting global demand and the supply chain, the use of futures and options grew in Asia as more investors players them as hedge and arbitrage vehicles, said members of an FIA Asia-V panel devoted to change in the world of global commodities.
That process was not without its pitfalls, noted several panelists in a discussion moderated by Bill Herder, head of Asia-Pacific for the FIA, at the second day of the conference.
To read the rest of this story, go here.
“This Is A Great Time To Be Alive”
Thom Thompson – John Lothian News
“This is a great time to be alive!”
Glenn Seah actually said that on the FIA Asia-V panel titled The Regulatory Landscape for a New Decade when he was asked to discuss cross border issues in light of current geopolitical conditions. Seah, SGX’s Head of Legal, Compliance and Corporate Secretariat, had just said that when there is chaos, there are also opportunities for those who can react – because of either planning or luck – and adapt.
Seah’s remarks turned a little less sunny when he noted that there has been “some pullback from” appreciating the merits of globalization. Fragmenting regulation shows itself when governments withhold equivalence determinations or deny regulatory deference to foreign regulated markets. Seah said he is concerned when he sees this happening for political rather than regulatory reasons.
To read the rest, go here.
FIA Asia-V: HKEX’s Charles Li Bids Industry Farewell But Not Goodbye
Suzanne Cosgrove – John Lothian News
In his last address to the FIA as the chief executive of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd., Charles Li looked back at 2020 and toward a brighter future “now that we are seemingly coming out the other side of the tunnel with the vaccines coming.”
Set to retire from HKEX on December 31 after 11 years, Li will serve as a senior advisor to the exchange board for another six months into 2021. Under Li’s watch, HKEX transitioned from a regional stock exchange into a global-focused marketplace.
To read the rest, go here.
Hits & Takes
Normally at this time a gala would be occurring for FIA Asia and as part of that a silent auction for Futures For Kids. Despite the lack of a gala, the silent auction for Futures For Kids is happening, right now. You can see more details HERE.
Following up on yesterday’s news that Lynne Marek had exited Crain’s Chicago Business, here is a statement from Lynne Marek about her exit from Crain’s:
“I’m not in a position to comment on my exit from Crain’s, but what I will say is that I’ve truly enjoyed covering the Chicago trading industry, way more than I expected. It’s full of bright minds and salty characters who have been a real pleasure to get to know and follow. Thank you all for keeping it lively! I’ve been a workaholic for more years than I care to think about so it’s time for a little break…but I’ll be back.”
I am sad to report that David Fisher has passed away. David was a CBOT member and former vice chairman of the exchange. He was fighting pancreatic cancer. Thank you to any of you who sent him notes, as was requested in JLN a while back.
AFX has announced that E D & F Man Derivative Products Inc. and First Merchants Bank transacted the first AMERIBOR interest rate swap.
We had no new donations to the https://jlne.ws/3oOHnjJLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday. Please help our efforts to preserve industry history by donating to our GoFundMe campaign.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
Yet another rigorous study fails to find effects from the intake of CBD! This time, Dutch and Australian researchers found that ingesting CBD does not affect the ability to drive a car. CBD is the legal, wildly popular, non-psychoactive cannabis derivative that provides miracle-like health benefits almost none of which has so far been demonstrated in clinical studies. Most research into CBD seeks to confirm its efficacy as a calming or sleep agent unaccompanied by negative side-effects. CBD has been approved by the FDA for use in calming seizures in certain kinds of epilepsy with a recommended daily dosage of 4 to 9 mg CBD per pound of bodyweight. The same Australian study did document driver impairment from THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana.~Thom Thompson
Ripple’s CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, walked back his statements about the company potentially leaving the U.S. over frustrations with regulatory uncertainty while speaking with CNN’s Julia Chatterley Wednesday. Apparently the election of Joe Biden was a major factor.~MR
During the FIA Asia-V seminar, “Are Data and Technology the New Drivers for the Business?” last night, Catherine Clay, Cboe senior vice president, global head of Information solutions, said Cboe was forming a partnership with Coinroot. We’ll pass along more information as we learn it.~JB
Businessperson of the Year 2020
The strategic pivot Friedman embarked on at Nasdaq a few years ago is now delivering handsome returns: Leaning into fast-growing and highly profitable niches such as market indexes as well as data and analytics has helped boost Nasdaq’s earnings 73% over the past 12 months. It’s also become the go-to stock exchange for companies going public, with Nasdaq winning two-thirds of U.S. IPOs so far in 2020 (and 81% if you exclude the trendy but controversial listings of so-called SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies). Its latest big score: Airbnb, which chose the tech-heavy exchange over the NYSE for its upcoming debut (following other new Nasdaq additions including drug price startup GoodRx and antivirus software maker McAfee). Investors in Nasdaq’s own stock have also reaped benefits, with its shares up 20% over the past year.
*****Adena Friedman continues to define what leadership is all about.~JJL
Trump backers, including Flynn, edge toward a call to ‘suspend’ Constitution to head off Biden taking office
Caitlin Dickson – Yahoo News
Even as prominent Republicans, including Mitch McConnell, began to grudgingly acknowledge that Joe Biden will be the next president, a noisy grassroots movement devoted to keeping Donald Trump in office seemed to be edging closer to advocating seizing power in what would amount to a coup d’état.
*****There are too many AR-15s out there to totally dismiss the risk.~JJL
Doug Collins’s Sacrilegious Attack on Raphael Warnock
Ed Kilgore – NY Magazine
When I was growing up as a Southern Baptist, there was a joke other Christians would tell about a newly deceased person being given a tour of heaven by St. Peter. The new angel was shown where certain prophets lived and was shown the road to the celestial throne, and so on. The pair then happened upon an area surrounded by a high wall. “Who’s in there?” the new resident of the hereafter asked. “Oh, that’s the Southern Baptists,” replied St. Peter. “They want to believe they’re the only people here.”
******This attack was made during a Sen. Kelly Loeffler campaign event at a gun range. This is some very difficult politics that could have larger repercussions. One needs to be careful of being a party to an attempt at excommunication for a large group of Christians in the name of politics. Discrediting people for their faith is not an American value. Tolerance of others’ beliefs is.~JJL
Drinking at bars might never recover after COVID; At least that’s the view of Gavin Hattersley, the CEO of Chicago-based brewing giant Molson Coors.
The pandemic has changed the way the world drinks beer — maybe for good, according to Molson Coors Beverage Co. Chief Executive Officer Gavin Hattersley. “There’s no doubt in my mind it will take a very long time to recover to 100% of bars and restaurants, if we ever get back to that level,” Hattersley said Tuesday at an investor conference. And even when establishments do reopen, they will likely stock fewer brands, he said.
*****I am going to disagree. Having lived in Wisconsin for a time, I know how important bars are to local communities. I think they will find a way to recover. Now taverns? That is a completely different thing.~JJL
Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Wednesday was a repeat from Tuesday’s top three, Yahoo Life’s It Only Takes This Long to Get COVID in a Room With Someone Who Has It. Yep, it’s not long. Second was Bloomberg’s The Future of Finance Is in Wealth Management and Retail Trading. Third was Salon’s New Kelly Loeffler ad claims multimillionaire knows what “it feels like waiting on that paycheck.”
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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.Recently Updated Pages
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2,596 Trades in One Term: Inside Senator Perdue’s Stock Portfolio; The Georgia Republican’s stock trades have far outpaced those of his Senate colleagues and have included a range of companies within his Senate committees’ oversight, an analysis shows.
By Stephanie Saul, Kate Kelly and Michael LaForgia – NY Times
As a member of the Senate’s cybersecurity subcommittee, David Perdue has raised alarms that hackers from overseas pose a threat to U.S. computer networks. Citing a frightening report by a California-based company called FireEye, Mr. Perdue was among the senators who asked this spring that the National Guard prepare to protect against such data breaches.
*****That is a lot of trades for anyone who’s not a high frequency trader. Is there a term for a high frequency insider?~JJL
Congress Sets Stage for Exiling Chinese Stocks From U.S. Over Audit Dispute
The U.S. has long battled Beijing’s resistance to overseas inspections of Chinese companies’ audits
Dave Michaels and Alexander Osipovich – The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON—The House unanimously approved legislation on Wednesday that threatens a trading ban of shares of Chinese companies, such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. , over concerns that their audits aren’t sufficiently regulated.
The bipartisan measure passed the Senate in May and could quickly become law with President Trump’s signature. The fight over China’s resistance to allowing overseas inspections of its companies’ audits has lasted for years, but reached a fever pitch during the Trump administration.
Carney calls for ‘$100bn a year’ global carbon offset market; Demand expected to grow as more companies and countries try to reach emissions targets
Leslie Hook in London and Patrick Temple-West – FT
Former Bank of England governor Mark Carney has thrown his weight behind efforts to create a global carbon offset market, calling it an “imperative” to help reduce emissions.
Tokyo bourse outage exposes need for investment in human resources
Yuk Nakao – The Japan Times
After a computer glitch that brought trading to a grinding halt for one full day in October exposed the Tokyo bourse’s unpreparedness for contingencies, some experts say more investment in human resources will be key to strengthening its risk management capabilities. Although a temporary suspension is not uncommon globally, shutting down for an entire session on Oct.1 was an embarrassment for the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which has been banking on information technology to give it a competitive edge.
Pope Francis’s Plan to Fix the Vatican’s Finances Meets Internal Resistance; The Church bureaucracy known as the Curia is clinging to the privileges that come with controlling the purse strings.
John Follain – Bloomberg
When Pope Francis’s advisers report back on the battle to overhaul the Vatican’s sprawling finances, they regularly bring poor tidings. As they huddle with the pontiff, the aides voice their frustration at the resistance of the Roman Curia, the bureaucracy that runs the Catholic Church and which Francis has called “the last court that remains in Europe,” saying it’s filled with careerists and gossips. The bureaucrats are pushing back against Francis’s drive for transparency and accountability, refusing to give up the privileges that control of money grants them, according to officials who asked not to be named as these discussions are confidential.
Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square promoted to UK’s FTSE 100; Billionaire hedge fund manager’s well-timed pandemic bet boosts returns
Laurence Fletcher, Katie Martin and Adam Samson – FT
Bill Ackman’s London-listed investment vehicle will join the UK’s most high-profile stocks index after a year of strong returns fuelled by a well-timed bet that coronavirus would spark sweeping lockdowns and destabilise global markets.
Global Oil Benchmark Brent Could Soon Incorporate American Crude
Brian Wingfield, Alex Longley, and Sherry Su – Bloomberg
Platts opens consultation to add WTI Midland to Dated Brent; If approved, change would affect cargoes starting March 2022
S&P Global Platts is considering adding a key U.S. crude grade to its North Sea benchmark, a move that could transform the way oil prices are set in many parts of the world.
Macquarie to launch FX trading engine in Singapore; FX trading and pricing engine from Macquarie will give traders access to developed and emerging regional markets including Australia, Singapore, Japan, China and others.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Macquarie has confirmed plans to establish a foreign exchange (FX) trading and pricing engine in Singapore in what will become the broker-dealer’s third FX trading hub globally. The trading hub, expected to launch in the first quarter next year, will be an extension of the commodities and global markets division’s digital trading platform Aurora, which allows clients real-time access to Macquarie’s products and services.
U.K. Says It Won Vaccine Race Because It’s a ‘Better Country’
Thomas Penny – Bloomberg
Minister amplifies boast that triggered spat with German envoy; British regulator approved Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine Wednesday
A minister in Boris Johnson’s government said the U.K. won the race to approve a coronavirus vaccine because it’s a “better country,” threatening to amplify a row over Britain claiming credit for the shot.
Covid vaccine supply chain targeted by hackers, say security experts; Sophisticated operation likely to have been backed by a nation state
Hannah Kuchler and Hannah Murphy – FT
Cyber attackers have targeted the cold supply chain needed to deliver Covid-19 vaccines, according to a report detailing a sophisticated operation likely backed by a nation state.
Former Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton volunteer to get coronavirus vaccine publicly to prove it’s safe
Jamie Gangel and Shelby Lin Erdman, CNN
Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are volunteering to get their Covid-19 vaccines on camera to promote public confidence in the vaccine’s safety once the US Food and Drug Administration authorizes one.
Los Angeles Mayor Issues Order for Residents to Stay Home
Angus Whitley – Bloomberg
Garcetti says city is nearing a ‘devastating tipping point’; Any gatherings of more than one household are prohibited
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an order for residents to stay at home, warning that the city is approaching a “devastating tipping point” in its fight against Covid-19 that would overwhelm the hospital system.
U.S. Hits Record Daily Death Toll, With Worse Likely to Come
With cases in the U.S. blowing past the spring peak, more than 100,000 people were hospitalized for Covid-19 on Wednesday. Experts warn that the nation could be facing the most difficult time in its public health history.
Report: Nearly 50 NBA Players Test Positive for COVID-19
Walter Jackson – Sports Illustrated
As players across the National Basketball Association return to their respective arenas, 48 out of 546 players tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday during the initial testing phase from Nov. 24 to Nov. 30, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
Intercontinental Exchange Reports November Statistics; Energy Open Interest +9% y/y; November Futures & Options ADV +7% y/y including Energy +9% y/y
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of mortgage technology, data and listings services, today reported November 2020 trading volume and related revenue statistics, which can be viewed on the company’s investor relations website at https://ir.theice.com/ir-resources/supplemental-information in the Monthly Statistics Tracking spreadsheet.
Cboe Adjusts Trading Hours
Shanny Basar – MarketsMedia
Cboe Global Markets is aiming to extend the close time cutoff on one of its four US equity exchanges as another starts trading earlier from next week. The exchange is seeking regulatory approval to extend the close time cutoff on BZX Equities Exchange by four minutes to 3:59pm ET in the first quarter of next year after soliciting feedback from traders.
Former IEX strategy chief joins electronic trading division at BMO Capital Markets; Eric Stockland joins BMO Capital Markets as managing director in the electronic trading division after four and half years at IEX Group as chief strategy officer.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Bank of Montreal’s BMO Capital Markets has appointed former strategy chief at US exchange group IEX, Eric Stockland, as managing director in its electronic trading division.
Meltwater admitted to trading on Euronext Growth
Oslo Børs today congratulates Meltwater, a leading global provider of media intelligence and social analytics Software-as-a-Service solutions, which has today been admitted to trading on Euronext Growth Oslo (ticker code: MWTR).
Get an update on FX exchange trading in the latest edition of e-Forex magazine
Don’t miss this article in e-Forex magazine which provides an up-to-date overview of forex trading from around the world. Also featured is Joshua Hurley, FX Sales and Business Development at Eurex.
Eurex Exchange Readiness Newsflash | Reminder: Tick size for futures outright and calendar spreads in DAX, Mini-DAX and (EURO) STOXX Banks Sector Index Futures and deletion of orders/quotes in FDAX
With this Newsflash we would like to remind you about the tick size change in following products: DAX (FDAX), Mini-DAX® (FDXM) and (EURO) STOXX Banks Sector Index Futures (FESB, FSTB) that will come into effect as of 21 December 2020.
Nasdaq November 2020 Volumes
Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) today reported monthly volumes for November 2020, on its investor relations website. A data sheet showing the monthly volumes and quarterly capture rates can be found at: http://ir.nasdaq.com/financials/volume-statistics.
Performance Bond Requirements: Interest Rate Margins – Effective December 03, 2020
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below.
Position Limit, Accountability Levels, and Large Trader Reporting Requirements in Connection with the Initial Listing of the Nasdaq Veles California Water Index Futures Contract
In connection with the listing of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. (“CME”) Nasdaq Veles California Water Index Futures contract (the “contract”) on trade date Monday, December 7, 2020 (see SER-8673 published October 27, 2020), please note below and in Exhibit B of CME Submission No. 20-399 the corresponding spot-month position limit (Rule 559), single month and all month accountability levels (Rule 560), aggregation allocation (Rule 559.D) and reportable level (Rule 561) for the contract.
Product Modification Summary: Amendments to the Termination of Trading Rule of Four (4) European Natural Gas Option Contracts – Effective: December 9, 2020
Effective Tuesday, December 8, 2020, for trade date Wednesday, December 9, 2020, and pending all relevant CFTC regulatory review periods, New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (“NYMEX” or “the Exchange”) will amend the Termination of Trading rule of four (4) European natural gas option contracts (the “Contracts”) in the table below to align the Contracts’ last trade date (“LTD”) with current over the counter market practices.
Product Modification Summary: Expansion of the Listing Schedule of Monthly Options on Euro/US Dollar and Japanese Yen/US Dollar Futures Contracts – Effective: January 11, 2021
Effective Sunday, January 10, 2021, for trade date Monday, January 11, 2021, and pending all relevant Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) regulatory review periods, please be advised that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (“CME” or “Exchange”) will expand the listing of contract months for the products listed below on CME Globex, Open Outcry, and for submission for clearing only on CME ClearPort.
SGX RegCo issues Trade With Caution alert on shares of ISOTeam Ltd.
Singapore Exchange Regulation (“SGX RegCo”) urges investors and potential investors to trade with caution when dealing in shares of ISOTeam Ltd (“ISOTeam”). The share price of ISOTeam surged to $0.149 on 24 September 2020 from $0.139 on 23 September 2020. Its share price has remained steady around $0.147 since then.
SGX welcomes the listing of China Development Bank’s domestic bonds
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today welcomed the onshore bond listings of China Development Bank (CDB), marking the first time that China onshore RMB bonds are being listed on the exchange.
SGX welcomes Credit Bureau Asia Limited to Mainboard
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today welcomed the listing of Credit Bureau Asia Limited on its Mainboard under the stock code “TCU”. Credit Bureau Asia provides credit and risk information solutions (“CRIS”) to an extensive client base across Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia and Myanmar. The Group has two core business segments – (i) the financial institution data business that provides credit reporting services, data analytics customer and portfolio monitoring services and customised solution and products, and (ii) the non-financial institution data business offering risk management services, sales and marketing solutions, receivables management services and business education services.
Vienna Stock Exchange: Austrian Financial Community Chooses “Corona-Related” As Stock Market Taboo Word Of The Year 2020
For the fourth time, the Vienna Stock Exchange invited 4,000 industry representatives to vote for the stock market taboo word of the year. This year’s decision was clearly made in favour of “corona-related”. Due to the coronavirus a multitude of restrictions on social and economic life were implemented. Discussions on dividend bans and a radical change in daily working life were only some of the consequences. The other contenders are “lockdown” and “dividend ban”.
Barchart and Mintec Announce Partnership for Global Ingredient Price Distribution
Barchart, a leading provider of market data and technology services to the financial, media and commodity industries, has announced a new partnership with Mintec, the world’s leading independent provider of global food pricing data and analysis.
Itiviti to hire hundreds of new employees in rapid expansion plan; The firm said it planned to hire 200 new research and development, quality assurance, and client service positions in 2021 and 2022.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Trading technology provider Itiviti has said it plans to hire hundreds of new employees to support its continued expansion into the foreign exchange and fixed income global markets.
EY hits back at German audit watchdog over alleged misconduct; Big Four firm accuses Apas of rushing to conclusions and not properly taking counterarguments into account
Olaf Storbeck – FT
EY has lashed out at Germany’s audit watchdog for prematurely reporting suspected criminal misconduct by its partners to prosecutors in an escalating battle over the Big Four firm’s audit work at defunct payments company Wirecard.
IOSCO Consults On Issues And Concerns Regarding Market Data
The Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) is seeking feedback on a consultation report on issues relating to access to market data in secondary equity markets.
Nigel Farage pivots to crypto; It was only a matter of time.
Jemima Kelly – FT
You might remember that Nigel Farage has recently found himself a new gig. No, we aren’t talking about his running around America brown-nosing Donald Trump, or his rebranding of the Brexit Party to an anti-lockdown party called “Reform UK” (he might have thought a little more about the demographics on that one), or even his newfound love for saving migrants in the English Channel (really).
CryptoCompare Launches The Bitcoin Volatility Index (BVIX) Developed In Partnership With The University Of Sussex Business School – The First Benchmark Index To Quantify Bitcoin Implied Volatility
CryptoCompare, a global leader in digital asset data, and the University of Sussex Business School today announced the launch of the Bitcoin Volatility Index (BVIX).
What Is Sharding?
Alyssa Hertig – Coindesk
“Sharding” is a proposed method of splitting the infrastructure of Ethereum into smaller pieces with the goal of scaling the platform so it can support many more users than it currently does. Ethereum is the second-largest blockchain and was designed to make it easier to build decentralized applications that would give users more control over their finances and online data, among other envisioned benefits. The idea is these decentralized alternatives will spread, offering an alternative to apps – such as Robinhood or Twitter – that have a centralized point of control.
Swiss Firm Launches ‘No-Fee’ Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Product on Nordic Growth Market
Tanzeel Akhtar – Coindesk
Switzerland-based Valour has launched what it claims is the first bitcoin exchange traded product (ETP) without any management fees. Listed on the Stockholm, Sweden-based Nordic Growth Market, the Bitcoin Zero ETP brings investors exposure to bitcoin in a similar way to exchange-traded funds and shares, Valour said in an announcement. While trading and owning the investment product will not incur management fees, the firm said it will incur “investors’ usual brokerage fees.”
How American investors are gobbling up booming bitcoin
Tom Wilson, Alun John – Reuters
Bitcoin has grabbed headlines this week with its dizzying ascent to an all-time high. Yet, under the radar, a trend has been playing out that could change the face of the cryptocurrency market: a massive flow of coin to North America from East Asia.
Grayscale Ethereum Trust Announces 9-for-1 Stock Split
Tanzeel Akhtar – Coindesk
Grayscale Investments announced on Wednesday that shares of its Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE) will split 9-for-1, a move that will increase liquidity and perceived affordability of the shares. Effective Dec. 17, any shareholders as of Dec. 14 will receive eight additional ETHE shares for each one held, with each being a ninth the value and price of the present unsplit shares.
Why Ethereum and Bitcoin Are Very Different Investments
Muyao Shen – Coindesk
Those new to crypto, such as the institutional investors recently buying into bitcoin’s “digital gold” narrative, might now be looking around for the next big thing. With the long-anticipated arrival of phase 0 of the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade launching on Dec. 1, that could be the network’s native token, ether. But analysts say ether should be judged on its own merits and not as a bitcoin replacement.
Visa partners with Circle to let card issuers integrate USDC payment capability
MK Manoylov – The Block
Visa announced a partnership today with Circle Internet Financial — one of the firms behind Ethereum-based stablecoin U.S. Dollar Coin (USDC) — to add USDC payment capability into Visa credit cards. According to Forbes, Circle will work with select Visa credit card issuers to integrate USDC software into their platforms to send and receive USDC payments. “This will be the first corporate card that will allow businesses to be able to spend a balance of USDC,” Visa’s Head of Crypto Cuy Sheffield told Forbes. “And so we think that this will significantly increase the utility that USDC can have for Circle’s business clients.”
US Lawmakers Introduce Bill That Would Require Stablecoin Issuers to Obtain Bank Charters
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
A new U.S. Congressional bill would require stablecoin issuers to secure bank charters and secure regulatory approval prior to circulating any stablecoins. U.S. Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Jesús “Chuy” García (D-Ill.) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) introduced the Stablecoin Tethering and Bank Licensing Enforcement (STABLE) Act on Wednesday, writing in a press release that it would focus on regulating stablecoins, naming the stablecoin of the Facebook-led Libra project (since renamed Diem) as one example.
OKEx CEO Says Exchange Updating Procedures to Prevent Repeat of Withdrawal Freeze Issue
Tanzeel Akhtar – Coindesk
Jay Hao, CEO of Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange OKEx, said his firm has taken steps to ensure the issue that caused a freeze of over five weeks in cryptocurrency withdrawals cannot reoccur. In an ask-me-anything (AMA) session, a transcript of which was published on Wednesday, Hao said the incident led the exchange “to make several improvements in our internal processes.” “I think that the incident highlighted several very important points. It exposed some weaknesses in our internal processes, which we are now steadfast in correcting,” he said.
Bitcoin miners brought in more than $500 million in revenue during November
Michael McSweeney – The Block
Bitcoin miners made roughly $521 million in revenue during November — a significant jump over the previous month’s figure. According to data collected by The Block Research, the November number represented a 47.9% increase compared to October’s $352.57M in total Bitcoin miner revenue. Generally speaking, miners earn money by successfully creating the next block of transactions, earning both the built-in subsidy — currently 6.25 BTC — as well as the combined fees paid alongside the transactions included in the block. Of the $521 million earned in November, nearly $55 million came in the form of transaction fees.
Valour Launches World’s First Fee-Free Bitcoin Exchange Traded Product (ETP)
Valour Structured Products, Inc.
In a world first, Valour, the Swiss-based creator of investment products that provide exposure to innovative technologies, has announced the launch of Bitcoin Zero, a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange traded product (ETP) that comes with zero management fees.
Republican Sen. David Perdue’s stock portfolio shows he’d occasionally make at least 20 trades in one day, per a New York Times investigation
Oma Seddiq – Yahoo News
Republican Sen. David Perdue has occasionally made at least 20 stock transactions in just one day, according to a New York Times analysis on Wednesday.
The Extensive New Scale of David Perdue’s Shady Stock Trading Revealed
Matt Stieb – NY Magazine
Georgia Republican David Perdue has faced intense scrutiny over the last year for trading stocks while in office, including allegations that he used information that he gleaned in Senate hearings to buy pharmaceutical shares and sell others in live entertainment before the shutdown occurred. Now, a New York Times analysis published Wednesday reveals the scale his stock trading as a senator, adding more examples of questionable dealing in office.
Alabama congressman plots to overturn Electoral College certifying Biden’s election win
Graig Graziosi – Yahoo News
A Congressman from Alabama plans to challenge the Electoral College votes when Congress moves to certify Joe Biden’s victory on 6 January. Politico first reported the story. Rep. Mo Brooks, a Republican, is searching for a senator to join his challenge, though he said he might object to the election alone if he does not find a partner. He noted that doing so would largely be a symbolic, and not practical, undertaking.
Trump’s Election-Fraud Business Is Booming; The president needn’t risk his own money as long as others are willing to chip in.
Timothy L. O’Brien – Bloomberg
The president of the United States, a self-described multibillionaire, is still claiming the 2020 election was rigged — and he wants you to give him some of your money to help him sort that out. Ever since it became clear Joe Biden was the president-elect, Donald Trump’s campaign has pushed out a tsunami of text messages and email solicitations seeking donations to defray legal bills it’s incurred while trying, unsuccessfully, to overturn the election. Already, the effort has raised between $150 million and $170 million, according to the Washington Post and the New York Times.
The Shortest Road to Legal Weed Runs Through Georgia; A Democratic Senate would be good for the cannabis industry, but it’s hopeful for reform regardless.
Tiffany Kary, Ben Brody – Bloomberg
Marijuana isn’t technically on the ballot in Georgia’s Jan. 5 Senate runoff elections. But it might as well be: Cannabis advocates and trade groups are zeroing in on the state in hopes of ousting—or converting to their cause—its two Republican senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who’ll face Democratic opponents Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively. How the races go will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate, and that could be pivotal for the future of the $17 billion U.S. cannabis industry.
Trump’s Lame-Duck Damage Must Be Contained; A raging president threatens harm to everyone from the military to his own supporters.
Mark Gongloff – Bloomberg
President Donald Trump will leave office in 48 days, 19 hours, 50 minutes and 35 seconds, not that anyone is counting. That’s plenty of time for him to cause plenty of trouble, as we’ve written, and not just with his endless campaign to defy the will of the electorate. The latest example is his threat to veto a must-pass military funding bill unless Congress:
CFTC Chairman Tarbert Announces Members of the Agricultural Advisory Committee’s New Ag-OI Subcommittee
Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Heath P. Tarbert today announced the members of the Agricultural Advisory Committee’s (AAC) new Agricultural Futures Contracts with Open Interest Subcommittee (Ag-OI Subcommittee). The 22-member subcommittee will be chaired by Dr. Joseph Janzen, Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois.
Former FINRA Associate Director Erica Gerson Returns to Steptoe
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Steptoe & Johnson LLP is pleased to announce that Erica Gerson, a former associate director at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), has re-joined the firm as a partner. Gerson, who previously practiced at the firm for nearly a decade as of counsel and associate, will be based in the Washington office.
Former Don Quijote CEO Arrested on Insider Trading Charges
Lisa Du – Bloomberg
The former chief executive officer of Pan Pacific International Holdings Corp., the operator of popular discount chain store Don Quijote, has been arrested on charges of insider trading in 2018, according to an announcement from the Tokyo District Court.
U.S. Audit Watchdog Could Ramp Up Oversight Under New SEC Leadership; Changes at the top of the SEC don’t automatically trigger management turnover at the PCAOB, but the securities regulator can wield influence over its agenda
Mark Maurer – WSJ
New leadership at the Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to spur increased oversight of public-company audits, according to former regulators and auditors. The SEC, which is the U.S. securities regulator, supervises the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, an independent watchdog that sets audit standards, inspects audits and disciplines audit firms for violations.
Energy Companies Agree to Settle Fraud Charges Stemming From Failed Nuclear Power Plant Expansion
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that SCANA Corp. and its subsidiary South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. (SCE&G) have agreed to settle the SEC’s lawsuit charging them with defrauding investors by making false and misleading statements about a nuclear power plant expansion that was ultimately abandoned. The proposed settlement, which remains subject to court approval, would require SCANA to pay a $25 million penalty, and SCANA and SCE&G to pay $112.5 million in disgorgement plus prejudgment interest.
SEC Charges Disbarred New York Attorney and Florida Attorney with Scheme to Create False Opinion Letters
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged disbarred attorney, Richard J. Rubin, and licensed attorney, Thomas J. Craft, with fraud for their roles in a legal opinion letter scheme to fraudulently facilitate the sale of millions of shares of microcap securities to retail investors.
FCA publishes evaluation of its work on the financial advice market
The FCA has published an evaluation of the impact of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) and the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR).
Preparation for permanent cessation of LIBOR
Whereas reforming interest rate benchmarks have been developed in Japan and abroad, the possibility that the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) will be permanently discontinued after the end of 2021 has been increasing. While LIBOR is mainly referenced in derivative contracts such as interest rate swaps, it is also quoted in a significant number of cash products including corporate loans and bonds. Additionally, it is used in wide range of users, including not only financial institutions but also non-financial corporate and institutional investors. In this regard, there is the possibility of disruption to users if LIBOR were ceased without sufficient preparation.
National Futures Association: Proposed Interpretive Notice entitled NFA Compliance Rule 2-9(d): Swap Dealer and Major Swap Participant Supervision of the Use of Marketing Materials
Dear Mr. Kirkpatrick: Pursuant to Section 17(j) of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”), as amended, National Futures Association (“NFA”) hereby submits to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”) the proposed adoption of the
Interpretive Notice entitled NFA Compliance Rule 2-9(d): Swap Dealer and Major Swap
Participant Supervision of the Use of Marketing Materials (“Interpretive Notice”). NFA’s
Board of Directors (“Board”) unanimously approved the adoption of this Interpretive
Notice on November 19, 2020.
Investing and Trading
OPEC+ Closes In on Deal as Talks Focus on Gradual Taper of Cuts
Javier Blas, Salma El Wardany, Grant Smith, and Dina Khrennikova – Bloomberg
Tense negotiations have made progress; oil in London falls; OPEC+ meeting starts at 1 p.m. London time on Thursday
OPEC+ is closing in on a deal to gently ease output curbs after days of fractious negotiations that revealed deep cracks at the core of the cartel.
November Bankruptcies Hit 14-Year Low With Steep Drop in Personal Filings; While corporate bankruptcy filings ticked up for the month, personal filings declined amid a continued government ban on home evictions
Alexander Gladstone – WSJ
November bankruptcy filings in the U.S. hit a 14-year low, driven by a decline in individuals filing for protection from creditors as they continue to enjoy the benefits of eviction moratoriums and other government assistance stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
Russell 2000 makes history as risk rally broadens
Philip Lawlor, head of Global Investment Research – FTSE Russell
In a banner month for global equity markets, the Russell 2000 clinched a historic milestone of its own. The US small-cap index climbed more than 18% in November, the best monthly gain since its inception in 1984.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
‘We Don’t Have To Live This Way’: Doctors Call For Climate Action
Rebecca Hersher – NPR
Climate change is making people sick and leading to premature death, according to a pair of influential reports on the connections between global warming and health.
Eating Less Beef Can Save Lives and Help Climate, Lancet Says; Lancet report finds heat-related deaths in older people have risen 54% in the last 20 years
Jess Shankleman – Bloomberg
Getting more people around to world to cut down on eating beef could save lives by reducing heart attacks and curbing global temperature rises, according to The Lancet medical journal.
Nomura to introduce permanent flexible work for Japan staff
Takaski Nakamichi, Takako Taniguchi – The Japan Times
Nomura Holdings Inc. plans to make flexible work permanent for its employees in Japan once the coronavirus pandemic ends, underscoring how the health crisis may hasten changes to working styles in the nation.
Haidar Hedge Fund That Surged on Virus Slumps on Vaccine
Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg
Haidar Jupiter lost 23.5%, the most in more than two decades; Losses sparked by stocks rally after vaccine optimism
The raging global pandemic helped hedge fund manager Said Haidar make more than 25% during the market turmoil in March. Vaccines that could end the crisis have now erased those gains.
‘Tiger cub’ hedge fund Coatue surges to 52% gain; Stakes in Tesla and PayPal, and a bet against Wirecard, make 2020 a banner year
Robin Wigglesworth – FT
Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management has notched up a 52 per cent gain this year thanks to bets on electric carmaker Tesla and against Wirecard, the fraudulent German payments group, making it one of the best-performing big hedge funds in the world in 2020.
Vanguard to close European active ETF range; Quartet of factor funds had just $300m in assets
Ed Moisson – FT
Vanguard is to close its four European actively managed exchange traded funds because of insufficient demand for the products.
Gary Cohn still hasn’t paid Goldman Sachs in clawbacks over scandal
Thornton McEnery – NY Post
It has been six weeks since Goldman Sachs clawed back millions of dollars from top executives over the company’s involvement in the Malaysian corruption scandal — but one high-profile holdout remains.
Goldman Names Mallory, Flynn to Run Private Wealth Management
Devon Pendleton – Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. named John Mallory and Meena Flynn as co-heads of global private wealth management, a business that’s key to the bank’s aim to diversify revenue streams beyond its core strengths of dealmaking and trading.
Ex-farm minister suspected of taking bribes from egg production firm representative
The Japan Times
Ex-farm minister Takamori Yoshikawa is suspected of taking cash from a former representative of a major egg production company in Hiroshima Prefecture in return for favors for the egg farming industry, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.
China buys first Indian rice in decades amid scarce supply
Rajendra Jadhav – Reuters
China has begun importing Indian rice for the first time in at least three decades due to tightening supplies from Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam and an offer of sharply discounted prices, Indian industry officials said.
India is the world’s biggest rice exporter and China the biggest importer. Beijing buys in around 4 million tonnes a year but has avoided purchases from India, citing quality issues.
Japan Had Better Find Some Clean Energy or Risk Losing Its Biggest Businesses; Sony and others have said they may need to relocate factories to meet their renewable power targets.
Nathaniel Bullard – Bloomberg
Japan’s major businesses are making moves to clean up their operations and their portfolios. More than 40 major Japanese companies have pledged to source 100% renewable electricity for their operations. More financial institutions in Japan than in any other country now support the framework developed by the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures for disclosing climate risks.
India’s Angry Farmers Have Reason to Worry; The old system is crumbling and the government hasn’t offered up new assurances yet.
Mihir Sharma – Bloomberg
The third rail of Indian politics has always been agriculture. While the economy has been partly liberalized since opening up to the world in 1991, the process has largely bypassed the three-fifths of Indians who depend for their livelihoods, directly or indirectly, on farming. In September, the government finally introduced a much-needed set of changes to how agriculture is organized and how produce is sold in India. Now tens of thousands of agitating farmers have marched upon New Delhi in protest.
Bankruptcy Is Exactly What China Needs; It’s not quite Chapter 11, but a more robust legal framework has bloated state-owned enterprises in its crosshairs.
Anjani Trivedi – Bloomberg
As debt defaults for state-owned enterprises in China rise, international investors find themselves in what for most is a new place: Chinese bankruptcy courts. That may be just the right venue for them, debtors and regulators to meet and take a crucial step toward a better functioning economy.
Guatemala Farmers Can’t Afford to Grow Starbucks’s Loved Bean
Marvin G Perez – Bloomberg
Climate change has driven up costs for growers, group says; Market prices are insufficient to make ‘minimum living wage’
Central America’s second-largest coffee exporter can’t afford to boost production of beans preferred by big coffee chains because rising costs are discouraging investment by Guatemalan farmers. Guatemala is the world’s sixth-largest supplier of arabica beans, the variety favored by Starbucks Corp. The Seattle-based coffee giant even calls the country’s beans “the touchstone of quality” on its website. Such advantages aren’t enough for Guatemala’s 125,000 coffee-growing families who are facing higher costs from climate change and the pandemic, said Juan Luis Barrios, a producer who’s also the new president of the Guatemalan National Coffee Association.
France Floats Veto Threat on Brexit Deal as EU Feels Strain
Alberto Nardelli, Ian Wishart, and Kitty Donaldson – Bloomberg
EU ambassadors warn Barnier not to give too much away in talks; Negotiating teams trying to complete deal within next few days
France warned it could veto a trade deal between the U.K. and the European Union if it doesn’t like the terms, piling pressure on the EU negotiating team not to make further concessions as talks build to a climax.
Brexit: It’s nearly now or never for UK-EU trade deal
Laura Kuenssberg – BBC
Whether they were double pepperonis, Hawaiians, or even just basic cheese and tomato, there was a tell-tale suggestion tonight that the Brexit negotiating teams were hard at it. They don’t work late into the night if there is nothing to talk about, and if there is no pressure. So a delivery of boxes and boxes of pizza arriving at the venue where the talks are taking place in central London suggest, at least, they believe there is stuff that’s worth chewing over (sorry) and that needs to be concluded urgently.
Brexit deal can be struck in next few days, says Irish foreign minister
Lisa O’Carroll – The Guardian
Ireland’s foreign minister has said he is optimistic a Brexit trade deal can be struck “in the next few days”. As EU and UK representatives continued negotiations in London on Tuesday, Simon Coveney was flying to Paris for talks with his French counterpart during which fishing rights, one of the remaining stumbling blocks in the talks, were expected to come up. “There’s a good chance we can get a deal across the line in the next few days,” he told Ireland’s Newstalk radio. “We are in the space of days not weeks.”
The End of a Wonderful Friendship and the Beginning of Trade Woes
Rosalind Mathieson – Bloomberg
China and the U.K. tried to be pals. That didn’t last. Now Beijing is seizing on the economic vulnerabilities arising from Brexit to press its advantage, just as it’s doing with Australia. When Xi Jinping visited London in 2015, aside from enjoying fish and chips and a beer at the pub with then-Prime Minister David Cameron, the Chinese president addressed a joint sitting of Parliament. Speaking in the Royal Gallery behind the House of Lords, he invoked Shakespeare’s The Tempest, telling lawmakers “what’s past is prologue.” The visit was a roaring success.
Are small businesses really ready for Brexit?
Lisa O’Carroll – The Guardian
With just 29 days to go before the end of the transition period, the government is urging businesses to get ready for Brexit. But how are small to medium-sized businesses – the family businesses that are the backbone of the country – faring? We returned to businesses we spoke to in 2018 about the issue and the answers we got ranged from contempt about the “Westminster bubble” to multiple claims that hauliers, suppliers and courier companies were providing more information about the new import and export paperwork than the government.
Japan to allow ‘large-scale’ overseas visitor numbers for 2020 Olympics, Nikkei reports
The Japan Times
Japan aims to admit “large-scale” numbers of overseas visitors for the Tokyo Olympic Games without mandatory vaccinations or quarantines, provided tourists submit negative coronavirus test results and download smartphone tracking apps on arrival, the Nikkei business daily reported Wednesday.
Bill Gross’s Neighbor Feud Shifts from Gilligan to Latin Music
Patricia Hurtado – Bloomberg
Property manager liked listening to Spanish music, lawyer says; Gross embroiled in dispute with tech entrepreneur Mark Towfiq
A lawyer for Bill Gross said his Latino property manager will testify that he was responsible for the Spanish music that boomed from the billionaire’s California oceanfront home on weekdays when Gross wasn’t home.
Ken Griffin joins Citadel exec in giving another $1 million to boost internet access in Catholic schools; The donation will help get 3,000 students online.
AD Quig – Crain’s Chicago Business
The Big Shoulders Fund, a nonprofit that provides support to Catholic schools around Chicago and Northwest Indiana, is leading an expanded initiative to connect students to internet service while they learn at-home.