Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff
Do you have an opinion on the risks involved in digital assets? I know I do. Well, the U.S. Department of the Treasury would like you to share your comments with them via their eRulemaking portal, www.regulations.gov before November 3.
The Financial Times has put together a ransomware game. The object is to see if you will have to pay a ransom to restore your data. The FT says almost 60% of companies targeted in the last year paid a ransom. You can play the game by clicking HERE.
There are some weird things that get promoted in TikTok. Well, the FDA has issued a warning not to cook chicken with Nyquil. Evidently NyQuil Chicken was a thing on TikTok. This has to be the stupidest thing I have heard people eating since the Tide Pod challenge.
FEX is preparing to expand its offerings with a Large-Scale Generation Certificate (LGC) Futures and Options Contract – subject to all regulatory permissions.
The FIA has a new white paper responding to volatility in EU energy markets titled “A Futures Industry Perspective – How EU Policymakers Should Respond to the Energy Crisis.”
BGC shared on LinkedIn that “BGC Charity Day in London will take place on Thursday 29th September 2022. Charity Day was postponed in light of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s passing as a mark of respect for the period of mourning that the nation observed.”
Happy birthday to Qontigo, which turned three years old.
The Team of the Week of Wall Street Rides Far is NEO Exchange.
Last week senior executives of the HKEX hosted the Hong Kong Federation of the Blind at HKEX Connect Hall. During the half-day event, HKEX executives learned about sight guiding and took the blind guests on a guided tour around Connect Hall. The morning concluded with everyone striking the famous HKEX gong.
Eurex’s 5th edition of the DerivativesForum will be in Frankfurt on March 22 and 23, 2023. Save the date now.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
The Chicago-based futures broker and clearing firm R.J. O’Brien is making a big move into metals with a new London-Based global metals team. The “highly experienced” five-person team will be co-led by metals market veterans Bradley Marchant and Steven Bingley and will offer global institutional clients trade execution and clearing services specializing in the London Metal Exchange and CME Group, the world’s two largest metals markets. The team will offer voice brokerage, direct market access and other services in base, precious and non-ferrous metals to a wide range of clients, including physical metals traders, asset managers, hedgers, producers and high-frequency traders.~SR
MWE SHORT: Terry Savage – Five Steps to Creating Wealth
In this video from MarketsWiki Education’s World of Opportunity event in Chicago, personal finance expert Terry Savage spoke about wealth creation. Savage said everyone has a money personality, but whether you’re a saver or a spender you can set up systems to negate the angst your money can cause. To Savage, the keys to successful wealth creation are self-discipline and self-awareness.
Inside a college student’s ‘abusive’ summer from hell on Wall Street
Reed Alexander – Insider
Every year legions of optimistic college students vie for a chance to work for an investment bank. These jobs are famous for long, often grueling, hours. But the big bonuses and glamorous lifestyles (ie: putting together multi-billion dollar deals in bespoke suits) can make it all seem worthwhile. Insider recently spoke to an intern whose dreams of working on Wall Street were squashed after he spent the summer of 2022 working for a midsize investment bank in Chicago. The bank offered him big bucks to return full time, but the experience had left such a bad taste in his mouth that he said no. Wall Street’s culture — even without the screaming and yelling of yore — is just too “abusive,” he said.
***** There are plenty of students who had great summers too. Unfortunately, journalists don’t write stories about dogs biting men.~JJL
For New Yorkers, 6 p.m. Is the New 8 p.m.; Why are restaurants in the city filling up at hours that were once unfashionably early?
Rachel Sugar – The New York Times
I was eating french fries at the Odeon when I noticed that a server had begun to repeatedly check in. “Oh,” I realized, “she needs the table back.” It was 6:22 p.m. The restaurant was full. Once, 11:40 p.m. had been “a little too early for Odeon,” according to “Bright Lights, Big City,” Jay McInerney’s 1984 chronicle of druggy downtown Manhattan, which featured the spot’s red neon marquee on its original paperback cover. “We sometimes didn’t get busy until, like, 8:30,” says Roya Shanks, the restaurant’s longtime maitre d’. But lately, she reports, there are “waves of people making 5 o’clock reservations” — unheard of just a few years ago.
****** You don’t have to go home and freshen up when you work from home.~JJL
Heiress to $14 Billion Retail Fortune Bets on Managing Her Money; Alannah Weston, the former chair of luxury department store Selfridges, opens her London-based family office, AWC Projects.
Benjamin Stupples – Bloomberg
Alannah Weston, an heiress to one of the world’s biggest retail fortunes, has joined the growing number of women taking more control of their money. Weston, 50, set up her own family office, AWC Projects, in April as she began to step back from her role as chair of Selfridges & Co., the luxury department store operator her family agreed to sell last year for about £4 billion ($4.5 billion) to a Thai-Austrian joint venture. The deal closed in August. AWC is focused on sustainability and counts among its directors her former chief of staff at Selfridges, as well as an executive at holding companies for the Westons. The family has a fortune of $14 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
****** Imagine that, someone taking control of their own life and money. ~JJL
Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story Tuesday was Inc.’s High-Frequency Trading Techniques to Run Your Business Like a Hedge Fund. Second was a tie between Late Merc leader Jack Sandner’s Lake Bluff estate sells and our MarketsWiki page for Lee Tenzer, who passed away this month and was our MarketsWiki Page of the Day. And third was our video interview, Lee Tenzer: Open Outcry Traders History Project from John Lothian News.
27,011 pages; 240,804 edits
A $29 Billion Derivatives Market Faces Squeeze in Japan; Financial regulator has been clamping down on structured bonds; Move deals blow to lucrative business for banks, brokerages
Takashi Nakamichi and Taiga Uranaka – Bloomberg
Japan is intensifying a clampdown on its $29 billion structured products market, threatening a lucrative business for banks and brokerages after it saddled mom-and-pop investors with losses. The country’s financial regulator wants to largely eliminate sales to individual investors of so-called structured bonds, which offer higher returns than regular debt but at significantly higher risk, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Some big financial institutions have already scaled back or stopped selling the securities in the face of pressure from the Financial Services Agency.
Putin Mobilizes More Troops, Wields Ukraine Nuclear Threat; Russia to call up as many as 300,000 reservists after losses; US says Kremlin’s moves are ‘signs of weakness,’ failure
President Vladimir Putin declared a “partial mobilization,” calling up 300,000 reservists, in a major escalation of his flagging invasion of Ukraine, which he portrayed as a fight to the death with the US and its allies. As Russia moves to annex occupied Ukrainian territory, Putin also renewed his warnings of a nuclear threat. “When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people,” he said in a televised national address Wednesday. “This is not a bluff.”
Citadel’s Griffin Brings Billions to Miami With Political Winds at His Back; The Citadel founder worth $29.6 billion has ditched Chicago for Wall Street South. Not everyone in Miami is so welcoming.
Amanda L Gordon – Bloomberg
In a few years and change, if everything goes to plan, Miami will look far different than it does today. There will still be nightclubs, Little Havana, perhaps even the crypto diehards. But alongside them: programmers and portfolio managers filling the streets of Brickell and driving breathtaking profits inside the state-of-the-art, built-from-scratch global headquarters of Citadel and Citadel Securities. Plus legions of lawyers, accountants and hedge-fund hopefuls following the money to an enduring Wall Street South that outlives the Covid-19 pandemic.
Binance, FTX make top bids for bankrupt crypto lender Voyager – WSJ
Crypto exchanges Binance and FTX have come up with the leading bids for assets of bankrupt crypto lender Voyager Digital, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. Binance’s bid is about $50 million, slightly higher than the competing bid from FTX, the report said.
UK to cut business energy prices by more than half; Government seeks to stop wave of corporate collapses this winter
David Sheppard – Financial Times
The UK will cut the wholesale price of energy for businesses and public organisations by more than half this winter, the government said on Wednesday, as it announced new subsidies to try and ward off a wave of corporate collapses.
Nasdaq considers crypto trading as it pushes into digital assets; US equities exchange undeterred by market crash that saw bitcoin and ethereum plummet in value
Scott Chipolina – Financial Times
Nasdaq is expanding into the crypto market in a fresh sign that the world’s biggest financial institutions have not been deterred from the crash in digital asset prices. The US exchanges operator said on Tuesday that it was launching a digital assets services business that would begin with custody of crypto tokens for institutional investors. The New York company, which handles billions of dollars of share deals every day in stocks such as Apple and Tesla, also said it was considering rolling out trading of digital assets.
Jamie Dimon warns capital rules pose ‘significant economic risk’; JPMorgan CEO says higher buffer ‘handicaps’ banks at a time when they should be lending more
Joshua Franklin – Financial Times
Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan, has warned US lawmakers that capital requirements for large banks pose “a significant economic risk” that is curtailing their capacity to lend to homebuyers and other customers. Dimon said “the continued upward trajectory” of capital requirements is making it harder for banks to meet customer needs just as “storm clouds” are gathering on the horizon for the US economy.
AFME calls for industry discussion on shortening settlement cycles in Europe; A new paper discusses the pros and cons of a one-day settlement cycle in Europe, a topic the industry seems to be reluctantly accepting is on the horizon.
Jon Watkins – The Trade
The Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) has published a new paper discussing whether Europe should move to a one-day settlement cycle, weighing up the benefits and hurdles of a reduction. With the US planning a move to T+1 over the next two years, the conversation has naturally shifted to Europe and whether it needs make a similar transition.
Nasdaq launches new digital assets business; New business will be led by former global head of Gemini Prime, Ira Auerbach.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Nasdaq has launched a new business aimed at powering the digital asset ecosystem, named Nasdaq Digital Assets. The move comes as part of Nasdaq’s goal to advance and help facilitate wider institutional participation in digital assets by providing solutions focused on enhanced custody, liquidity and integrity. “Nasdaq Digital Assets builds upon the successful solutions we have introduced in recent years to serve the digital assets ecosystem, including marketplace technology for digital asset exchanges, crypto-native anti-financial-crime offerings, and crypto-related index solutions for tradable products,” said Adena Friedman, president and chief executive of Nasdaq.
Record 38% Plunge in Bond ETF Leaves Bearish Traders Exhausted; TLT short-interest at all-time low despite abysmal performance; Investors ‘gun shy’ on shorting Treasuries: Contopoulos
Katherine Greifeld – Bloomberg
A brutal wipeout in a $25 billion bond exchange-traded fund has investors wagering that the worst is over on the eve of a crucial Federal Reserve decision. The price of the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (ticker TLT) has plunged 38% from its August 2020 peak in the biggest drawdown since the fund’s 2002 inception, according to Bloomberg data. Meanwhile, IHS Markit Ltd. data show that short interest as a percentage of TLT’s shares outstanding dropped to a record low of 0.15% on Monday, after reaching 13% earlier this year.
Luxury cars seized from 23-year-old ‘Crypto King’ as investors try to recoup millions; Aiden Pleterski and his company allegedly owe $35M to more than 140 investors
Nicole Brockbank – CBC News
Two McLarens, two BMWs and a Lamborghini make up just a few of the $2 million worth of assets seized from a 23-year-old from Whitby, Ont., as his investors try to recoup millions of dollars they handed over to the self-described “Crypto King.” But so far, Aiden Pleterski’s assets fall far short of what his investors claim they’re owed. Creditors are working to unravel where at least $35 million provided to Pleterski and his company AP Private Equity Limited for cryptocurrency and foreign exchange investments ended up, according to a fraud recovery lawyer and documents filed in two separate actions reviewed by CBC Toronto.
‘SPAC King’ Chamath Palihapitiya Closing Two SPACs After Failing to Find Deals; Venture capitalist says it is a ‘precarious moment’ in markets after looking at more than 100 companies to take public with two SPACs and not finding a deal
Amrith Ramkumar – The Wall Street Journal
One of the biggest promoters of SPACs is shutting down two deal-making efforts that together hold more than $1.6 billion after the market collapsed, wiping out tens of billions in startup market value and punishing individual investors. Chamath Palihapitiya will wind down and return cash from the two special-purpose acquisition companies to shareholders after failing to find companies to take public. Giving up is an admission by the brash venture capitalist dubbed the “SPAC king” that the market that helped make him a mainstay on business television has effectively shut down.
U.S. Treasury Seeks Comment on Crypto’s Illicit Finance Risks; The request for comment is part of the agency’s mandate under President Biden’s March executive order to study the development of cryptocurrency
Mengqi Sun – The Wall Street Journal
The U.S. Treasury Department is seeking public comment on the possible illicit finance and national security risks posed by the use of digital assets, as part of the agency’s mandate under President Biden’s March executive order to study the development of cryptocurrency. The request for comment, issued Monday, also asks the public for suggestions to mitigate these risks by the deadline of Nov. 3.
A $150 Billion Crypto Market Faces New Regulations Under Lawmakers’ Proposal
Joe Light – Barron’s
Stablecoins would fall under a new era of government oversight under the latest version of a discussion draft worked on by House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) and Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R., N.C.), but the opportunity for the bill to actually become law this year is narrow. The bill would require most stablecoins to have reserves that only include cash or cash-like securities, according to a draft seen by Barron’s. It creates a path for nonbank stablecoin issuers like Circle Internet Financial to register with state regulators but would seek to make it much harder for so-called algorithmic stablecoins, like the one that helped cause the most recent crypto crisis.
A neighborhood’s cryptocurrency mine: ‘Like a jet that never leaves’; Cryptocurrency mining brought constant noise to this remote part of Appalachia
Kevin Williams – The Washington Post
It’s midnight, and a jet-like roar is rumbling up the slopes of Poor House Mountain. Except there are no planes overhead, and the nearest commercial airport is 80 miles away. The sound is coming from a cluster of sheds at the base of the mountain housing a cryptocurrency data center, operated by the San Francisco-based firm PrimeBlock. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, powerful computers perform the complex computations needed to “mine,” or create, digital currencies.
Germany Nationalizes Gas Giant in Step to Avert Energy Collapse; Talks to take control of two other gas importers are under way; Germany is paying the price for deep reliance on Russia
Vanessa Dezem, Petra Sorge, and Arne Delfs – Bloomberg
Germany will nationalize Uniper SE in a historic move to rescue the country’s largest gas importer and avert a collapse of the energy sector in Europe’s biggest economy. Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s administration will control about 99% of the Dusseldorf-based utility after injecting 8 billion euros ($8 billion) into the company and buying the majority stake held by Finnish utility Fortum Oyj. The final package will likely run into the tens of billions of euros, including credit lines to keep the company operating with energy markets still in turmoil.
Four Big Market Things to Know That Aren’t the Fed; From China’s flabby currency and Italy’s right-wing fever to Sweden’s 1% shock and Dr. Copper’s confidence show.
John Authers – Bloomberg Opinion
In Case You Missed It…
Within hours of this newsletter publishing, the Federal Reserve will have told us how much it is raising interest rates and probably provided a much clearer steer of how long it expects to keep rates high. It could be momentously important, and it follows Tuesday’s selloff for the ages in the bond market. It’s very unusual for such a move so soon before a big Federal Open Market Committee meeting.
Better work-life balance for bankers could be another ‘mommy track’; Citigroup’s new Málaga programme may permanently stigmatise its participants as unserious
Brooke Masters – Financial Times
It sounds like great work if you can get it. Citigroup has opened a new hub for junior investment bankers in Málaga, a Spanish city known better for beaches than finance. The 27 entry-level analysts have been promised eight-hour days and work-free weekends, which would add up to less than half the annual working hours that their peers in New York and London customarily log in similar programmes. The Málaga crew will also be paid roughly half the normal $100,000 starting salary.
Clean energy bosses urge permit reforms to meet US climate goals; Senator Joe Manchin to unveil bill revamping regulatory approvals for pipelines and power systems
Myles McCormick and Derek Brower – Financial Times
Renewable power executives have warned that unless Congress moves to speed up the bureaucracy for approving US energy projects, the Biden administration’s climate goals will be imperiled. Their comments in interviews with the Financial Times come as Joe Manchin, a Democratic senator from West Virginia, was on Wednesday planning to unveil legislation to shorten federal environmental reviews for energy infrastructure. The bill would aid builders of natural gas pipelines and export terminals as well as electric transmission lines, which the clean energy industry views as critical for connecting new solar and wind generation to the grid.
US banks threaten to leave Mark Carney’s green alliance over legal risks; Lenders fear lawsuits if they stick with Gfanz
Stephen Morris, Kenza Bryan and Owen Walker – Financial Times
Wall Street banks including JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America have threatened to leave Mark Carney’s financial alliance to tackle climate change because they fear being sued over increasingly stringent decarbonisation commitments.
Private equity may become a ‘pyramid scheme’, warns Danish pension fund; Tendency for buyout groups to sell companies to themselves and peers is ‘not good business’, ATP executive says
Kaye Wiggins – Financial Times
A top executive at Denmark’s largest pension fund has compared the private equity industry to a pyramid scheme, warning buyout groups are increasingly selling companies to themselves and to peers on a scale that “is not good business”. Mikkel Svenstrup, chief investment officer at ATP, said he was concerned because last year more than 80 per cent of the sales of portfolio companies by the private equity funds that ATP has invested in were either to another buyout group or were “continuation fund” deals, where a private equity group passes it between two different funds that it controls.
Putin threatens to use nuclear weapons as he escalates his invasion of Ukraine: ‘This is not a bluff’
Sinéad Baker – Business Insider
Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened the use of nuclear weapons as he ramped up his invasion of Ukraine. Putin announced the partial mobilization of his country’s reservists in a speech on Wednesday, when he also baselessly accused the West of threatening to use nuclear weapons and gestured to Russia’s own nuclear arsenal.
Putin Discovers the Limits of Comrade Xi’s Friendship; In his first meeting with his Chinese counterpart since the invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s leader got mostly hot air.
Clara Ferreira Marques – Bloomberg
There were “no limits” to their bonds, declared the leaders of Russia and China earlier this year. More than six months, one messy invasion and a plethora of Western sanctions later, it turns out that perhaps there were a few. The slogan didn’t even appear to surface in the comments by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian leader Vladimir Putin at their encounter on Thursday in Central Asia. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, China has been in an uncomfortable spot, attempting to balance its ideological alignment with Moscow with an act of aggression by Putin that violates Chinese diplomacy’s cardinal principles of territorial integrity and non-interference. In Uzbekistan, meeting the Russian president for the first time since February, Xi showed clearly that he has no plans to resolve that ambiguity in Putin’s favor. Russia’s leader could have done with a few more strong words and a lot more economic support. He got little more than the bare minimum.
The Ragtag Army That Won the Battle of Kyiv and Saved Ukraine; Citizen volunteers teamed up with soldiers to turn the tide in the most consequential European battle since World War II
James Marson – The Wall Street Journal
Outside the Giraffe shopping mall on the western edge of Ukraine’s capital, a group of locals prepared to meet the Russian armored column thundering their way. It was late February, and the Russians, from an elite airborne unit, were riding atop their vehicles, as if expecting a warm greeting. One wore a Cossack woolen hat instead of a helmet. Another hadn’t loaded his rifle. The few dozen Ukrainians from the towns of Irpin and Bucha had other intentions, which they had written on the cement mixer and bulldozer that blocked the road: “Welcome to hell.”
Plane tickets out of Russia are selling out after Putin announces partial military mobilization
Sophia Ankel – Insider
Some plane tickets out of Russia sold out after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization on Wednesday. In a rare address to the nation, Putin announced an immediate partial mobilization as part of the next phase of his ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The announcement caused prices for some plane tickets out of Moscow to sell out, according to Reuters and Russian media company RBC.
Putin Is Cornered; The West faces a simple choice: reduce aid to Ukraine and deliver Russia a victory, or else finish the job it has begun.
Eliot A. Cohen – The Atlantic
President Volodymyr Zelensky is playing the role of a Ukrainian Churchill, minus some of the fantastical notions and with an infinitely better workout regimen. Like Churchill in 1940, he has been the indispensable man in a mortal crisis, without whom his country might well have been lost, and whose eloquence has rallied not only his fellow citizens but a larger democratic world. I recently met him in Kyiv, and found him as I had hoped—relaxed, optimistic but not cocky, determined, and on top of the details of the war for survival that his country is waging successfully.
Russia calls up 300,000 reservists, says 6,000 soldiers killed in Ukraine
Sergei Shoigu – Reuters
Russia will draft 300,000 reservists to support its military campaign in Ukraine, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday in televised remarks. In Moscow’s first update on casualty numbers in almost six months, Shoigu said 5,937 Russian soldiers had been killed since the start of the conflict. President Vladimir Putin had ordered Russia’s first mobilisation since World War Two in an early-morning television address, saying the additional manpower was needed to win a war against not only Ukraine but also its Western backers.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
Analysis: Europe energy crisis may deepen with looming liquidity crunch; Europe’s total exposure $1.5 trillion – Equinor; ECB source says liquidity crunch problem is exaggerated; Energy market players have money trapped in margin calls; Commodities market opaque, with no register of trades
Julia Payne and Dmitry Zhdannikov – Reuters
Europe’s problems in sourcing oil and gas this winter after a dispute with Russia may be exacerbated by a new crisis in the market where prices are already red-hot: a liquidity crunch that could send them spiralling higher still. But European governments have only belatedly rallied to offer financial support to power providers on the brink of collapse, in an effort to ease pressure on a market whose smooth operation is vital to keep people warm. “We have a dysfunctional futures market, which then creates problems for the physical market and leads to higher prices, higher inflation,” a senior trading source told Reuters.
Thailand Launches First Carbon Credit Exchange to Curb Emissions; Thailand pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050; Nation eyes becoming carbon trading hub of Southeast Asia
Patpicha Tanakasempipat – Bloomberg
Thailand launched its first carbon credit exchange, marking a major step toward the country’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and combat climate change. The new carbon market, called FTIX, will be operated by the Federation of Thai Industries, which comprises about 12,000 private companies across 45 sectors. Its supporting platform will allow firms and government agencies to buy and sell carbon credits and track their emissions on an online dashboard, said Somphote Ahunai, a vice chairman at the federation and chief executive officer of Energy Absolute Pcl.
Green-X Aims to Serve as Marketplace for Digitization and Tokenization of International Islamic Finance
Accesswire via Yahoo
Greenpro Capital Corp. (NASDAQ:GRNQ) today announced it had launched the World’s first Shariah-Compliant ESG Digital Asset Exchange, Green-X. Greenpro Capital was granted the license to operate such exchange by Malaysia’s Labuan Financial Services Authority (“LFSA”) in April 2022. The launch was officiated by LFSA, International Shariah Research Academy (“ISRA”), ESG Global and SME Association of Malaysia. There are four Digital Asset Exchange (“DAX”) Listing Sponsor engaged by Green-X, namely BBS Trust International Limited, Labuan, Malaysia; Gan & Zul Advocates & Solicitors, Malaysia;
SEATech Ventures, Hong Kong; Ata Global Inc., Singapore.
MARF admits a new Green Commercial Paper Programme from Feníe Energía
MARF, BME’s Fixed Income Market, today admitted a new 30-million-euro Green Commercial Paper Programme from Feníe Energía. This new programme will allow Feníe Energía to diversify and expand its financing sources by tapping into the fixed income markets and placing Commercial Paper (CP) issues with maturities of up to two years. The funds will be used to finance or refinance all or part of existing or future renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The CPs issued under the Programme will be considered green instruments, in accordance with the Green Bond Principles (GBP) of the International Capital Market Association – ICMA. To this end, Feníe Energía has obtained a second opinion from Ethifinance confirming that the Programme is aligned with the four fundamental principles that make up the GBP.
SIX Commits to Net Zero by No Later Than 2050
Today, on Zero Emissions Day, SIX has committed to achieving the target of net zero CO2 emissions by 2050 at the latest. To underline this commitment, SIX has joined the Science-Based Target Initiative (SBTi). SBTi is globally recognized when it comes to ESG. The organization is part of global efforts to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. The Paris Climate Agreement was signed in 2015 by the majority of UN member states. It aims to ensure that global warming be limited to below 2 °C by 2050. The SBTi targets and objectives are used as a benchmark by many other climate initiatives.
Deutsche Boerse expands its offering with ESG data from the Chinese market
Deutsche Börse is adding historical ESG data from the Chinese market, collected by the International Institute of Green Finance (IIGF), to its data offering. IIGF is an independent and non-profit research institute based in Beijing that aims to support the development of green finance in China. For this purpose, IIGF has built the leading ESG database in China.
Nasdaq bets big on digital assets despite crypto turmoil
Nasdaq Inc is placing a big bet on the cryptocurrency market, with the launch of a digital assets business that is aimed at tapping institutional investors. The new unit, Nasdaq Digital Assets, will offer custody services for cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and ethereum, potentially pitting it against firms such as Coinbase, Fidelity Digital Assets and Winkelvoss twin-owned Gemini that offer similar products. Nasdaq has hired Ira Auerbach, a Gemini executive, to lead the new unit.
Nasdaq to provide crypto custody for institutional investors
Frances Yue – MarketWatch
Nasdaq Inc., owner of the second largest stock exchange, is looking to provide crypto custody service to institutional investors, in its first major push into the rather nascent industry, despite a price downturn for the asset. The service is subject to regulatory approval, according to a statement from Nasdaq on Tuesday. Ira Auerbach, Nasdaq’s senior vice president and head of digital assets, will lead the company’s new digital asset business, according to the statement. “Demand among institutional investors for engaging in digital assets has increased in recent years, and Nasdaq is well-positioned to accelerate broader adoption and drive sustainable growth,” Tal Cohen, executive vice president and head of north American markets at Nasdaq, wrote in the statement.
Nasdaq Makes First Big Crypto Push to Lure Institutional Clients; Firm hired Gemini alum Ira Auerbach to run digital division; Plans to offer crypto custody and expand to other services
Katherine Doherty and Yueqi Yang – Bloomberg
Nasdaq Inc. is making its first major push into crypto, as the second-largest stock exchange prepares to capitalize on increasing appetite for digital currencies among big-money investors. A new group dedicated to digital assets will initially offer custody services for Bitcoin and Ether to institutional investors, according to Tal Cohen, the company’s executive vice president and head of North American markets. Nasdaq hired Ira Auerbach, who ran prime broker services at crypto exchange Gemini, to head up the new Nasdaq Digital Assets unit.
The Kaliningrad region began placing a new bond issue for the population on Financial Services
On September 21, 2022, the Ministry of Finance of the Kaliningrad Region began placing a new issue of national bonds on the Finuslugi platform.
SGX FX deepens OTC FX liquidity in Singapore with the launch of SGX CurrencyNode
SGX FX – Asia’s most comprehensive marketplace for global FX futures and over-the-counter (OTC) participants – announced today that its FX electronic communication network, SGX CurrencyNode, has officially launched with the trading of non-deliverable forwards (NDFs), after obtaining its Recognised Market Operator (RMO) licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
big xyt appoints new head of the Americas; Incoming head brings over three decades of experience, having previously served at Score Priority, Lime Brokerage, Royal Bank of Scotland and Citadel Securities.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Market data provider big xyt has appointed Anthony Huck as head of the Americas and a member of its global executive team. Huck brings more than three decades of experience as a leader in the financial services industry to the firm.
TikTok Bans Political Accounts From Fundraising, Making Money
Alex Barinka – Bloomberg
TikTok, the social media app owned by ByteDance Ltd., is banning fundraising and all other moneymaking opportunities for politicians and government accounts on the platform. The short-video network already prohibits political ads, including any paid-for posts by influencers. The new policies will additionally bar requests for donations, e-commerce capabilities and accepting gifts from users. Political accounts will automatically be ineligible for making money through TikTok’s Creator Fund, according to a statement from the company’s president of global business solutions, Blake Chandlee.
Top 8 takeaways from the VMWare Cybersecurity Threat Report
VMware has recently released the 2022 edition of its annual Global Incident Response Threat Report. This report is based on feedback from 125 cyber security and incident response experts and outlines the most pervasive cybersecurity trends based on recent events. It is critically important for IT professionals to understand these trends and what they could mean for your organization’s cyber security efforts. Let’s break down VMware’s 8 key findings and offer meaningful insights into each.
Cybersecurity Investments Are No Longer Optional, Officials Warn
James Rundle – The Wall Street Journal
A mix of regulation, investor demands and insurance requirements is pushing companies to elevate the oversight of cybersecurity, officials from the U.S. and other countries say. While some companies in specific critical infrastructure sectors, such as energy and banking, must already comply with certain cybersecurity requirements, greater investment in digital defenses is needed across the board, said Brandon Wales, executive director at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
The government is (mostly) paying heed to a key cybersecurity commission
Tim Starks – The Washington Post
An influential cybersecurity commission — whose recommendations two years ago led to the establishment of a White House cyber czar — says in a report out today that 48 of its 82 proposals have seen implementation or are nearing completion, with significant progress on another 22. And there’s been momentum compared with last year, according to the update by the congressionally created Cyberspace Solarium Commission:
CFOs Should No Longer View Cybersecurity as Insurance
Adam Zaki – CFO
As external economic factors continue to drive CFOs’ thought processes and allocation decisions, reliance on data to both innovate and cut costs is leaving many organizations much more vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches than they are currently aware. In a recent survey by Kroll analyzing the relationship between cybersecurity and CFOs, data shows over three quarters (79%) of responding CFOs have encountered at least one security incident that resulted in compromised data or financial loss in the last 18 months.
New Crypto Exchange Aims to Bring What Old Crypto Hates: Wall Street Intermediaries
Fran Velasquez – CoinDesk
With more institutions becoming more involved in offering cryptocurrency to their big clients, a new crypto exchange assembled by Wall Street heavyweights wants to bring traditional finance into digital asset trading – by using intermediaries. Jamil Nazarali, CEO of crypto exchange EDX Markets, told CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” on Tuesday that his exchange is bringing “the best practices from traditional finance” into the world of crypto, claiming it will make digital asset trading “safer, faster [and] more efficient” while driving down costs. The exchange, which will serve institutional accounts, is backed by a handful of financial titans including Charles Schwab (SCHW), Fidelity Digital Assets and Citadel Securities, where Nazarali previously served as former senior executive.
MicroStrategy Doubles Down on Bitcoin With Purchase of Additional 301 BTC
MicroStrategy (MSTR) bought 301 bitcoins (BTC) between Aug. 2 and Sept. 19 for about $6 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The recent purchases increased the company’s total bitcoin holdings to almost 130,000. “The Hash” panel breaks down the investment.
No one’s using crypto to pay for things anymore, JPMorgan payments boss says
Sophie Mellor – Fortune
JPMorgan Chase’s global head of payments, Takis Georgakopoulos, argues cryptocurrency has “a niche use case” and said the demand for cryptocurrencies as a payment method has seen a drastic decline in the past six months. Georgakopoulos, speaking in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Tuesday, said that while the bank is still accommodating clients who want to use cryptocurrencies as a payment method, Chase is not taking on any more principal risk as the coins fall out of popularity.
The Tricky Business of Calculating Crypto’s Market Value; From the boom to crypto winter, is there a way to determine the true value of digital assets?
Victoria Vergolina – Bloomberg
The losses have affected the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem, from hedge funds, to lenders, to countless individual retail investors. By most calculations, $2 trillion worth of value has been wiped out. Before the big chill, the estimated total market value of crypto assets worldwide stood around $3 trillion in November 2021. That’s a sizable chunk. But how is market value calculated? And how representative is it of crypto’s actual economic value? Did the digital asset boom ever even happen? Is there an element of groupthink when it comes to crypto’s overall valuation? Do we need to rethink market value?
The $8.6 Billion Startup That Helps Governments Trace Crypto; Chainalysis software puts the lie to the idea that Bitcoin guarantees anonymity.
Tom Redmond – Bloomberg
In May 2021 hackers initiated a cyberattack against Colonial Pipeline Co., the company behind the US’s largest gasoline pipeline. It was the kind of incident American officials had feared for years. Colonial was forced to halt operations for six days, which led to panic buying, shortages, and an increase in the price of gas. The company paid the hackers a ransom of 75 Bitcoin, worth about $4.4 million at the time.
Indonesia Wants its Citizens to Lead Domestic Crypto Exchanges; At least two-thirds of crypto exchange board must be citizens; Officials say tightening rules will help to protect consumers
Norman Harsono – Bloomberg
Indonesia will require its domestic cryptocurrency exchanges to be mostly led by its citizens as it tightens rules to protect consumers. At least two-thirds of directors and commissioners on crypto bourses must be Indonesians residing in the country, said officials from the trade ministry and commodity futures trading regulatory agency at a parliamentary hearing in Jakarta on Tuesday.
India’s Market Regulator Aims to Tighten Rules for Fintech Firms; Regulator says business model cannot be a black box, unaudited; SEBI to narrow the regulatory gap in governing start-ups
Dhwani Pandya – Bloomberg
India’s capital market regulator has increased vigil over new age fintech companies amid exponential growth in that sector and pledged to tighten scrutiny of their business models after some large initial public offerings left retail investors with significant losses. “In past we have been little late to the party but now it is our intention to narrow that gap as much as possible.” Madhabi Puri Buch, chairperson of Securities and Exchange Board of India, said at an event in Mumbai on Wednesday.
ICO Promoter Ian Balina Charged With Violating Federal Securities Laws
Cheyenne Ligon – CoinDesk
Crypto promoter Ian Balina has been charged with violating U.S. securities laws for his role in promoting – and later reselling – tokens connected to a 2018 initial coin offering (ICO). In a complaint filed Monday in the Western District of Texas’s Austin Division, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Balina promoted an unregistered securities offering for SPRK tokens between April and July of 2018, and did not disclose that he was paid by the Cayman Islands-based issuer, Sparkster Ltd., to do so. Additionally, Balina is accused of violating the Securities Act by forming an investment pool on Telegram with which to re-sell his own SPRK tokens, therefore conducting “his own unregistered offering of SPRK tokens.”
Nasdaq’s Push Into Crypto Shows ‘Laudable Commitment to the Space’: Hashdex Exec
Nasdaq’s push in starting a cryptocurrency custody service is “a major thing,” Hashdex Head of Global Expansion Bruno Ramos de Sousa says. “I think the discussion around not being safe to store assets or store private keys … is something from the past, especially when you have great solutions like Nasdaq is bringing.”
Don’t Let the Crypto Winter Go to Waste; Regulators shouldn’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to head off an obvious threat to the financial system.
The Editors – Bloomberg
The cryptocurrency market has granted US policy makers the opportunity of a lifetime. Less than a year ago, it was on the verge of becoming a systemic threat, gathering disciples, leverage and political clout faster than regulators could get a grip. Then, the danger miraculously dissipated: The market imploded before reaching critical mass, entering the “crypto winter” that persists to this day. This reprieve might not last long. Policy makers should act now to impose some much-needed rules on this market.
‘Our world is in peril,’ UN secretary-general warns general assembly; Countries not willing, able to tackle world’s major challenges, Antonio Guterres says in grim assessment
The world’s problems seized the spotlight Tuesday as the UN General Assembly opened on Tuesday with dire assessments of a planet beset by escalating crises and conflicts that an aging international order seems increasingly ill-equipped to tackle. After two years when many leaders weighed in by video because of the coronavirus pandemic, now presidents, premiers, monarchs and foreign ministers gathered almost entirely in person for diplomacy’s premier global event. But the tone was far from celebratory. Instead, it was the blare of a tense and worried world.
Gore Says Weather Crisis Is Like ‘Hike Through Book of Revelation’; Climate change has gotten worse and worse every year over the past decade, according to the former US vice president.
Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
Pakistan’s worst-ever floods, record heat in China, never-seen-before wildfires in Europe. Put it all together and 2022 is going down as a year when climate change took on biblical proportions, according to former US Vice President Al Gore. The steady drumbeat of climate disasters is for Gore, who’s chairman and co-founder of Generation Investment Management, a vivid reminder of what’s at stake as politicians and investors weigh up whether to throw their weight behind the transition to clean energy.
Digital Dollar Likely Won’t Be Part of Retail Banking World, US Lawmaker Says
Nikhilesh De – CoinDesk
A U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC) may be one step closer to reality after the White House published several reports analyzing the technical and policy aspects of a digital dollar last week. Congressman James Himes (D-Conn.) has been an outspoken advocate for a U.S. central bank digital currency, going so far as to publish a white paper on the issue in June 2022.
Citigroup’s Fraser, JPMorgan’s Dimon Warn of Economic Risks as They Head to Capitol Hill; Executives tout overdraft-fee reductions, other consumer help; Dimon says headwinds, tailwinds make predictions ‘challenging’
Jennifer Surane, Katherine Doherty, and Max Reyes – Bloomberg
The CEOs of the biggest US consumer banks are set to warn lawmakers that Americans are struggling amid surging inflation, as they brace for tough questions about how they’re helping customers being pummeled by rising prices. The chief executive officers will testify before two congressional committees this week at a time when Americans face the highest levels of inflation in a generation and economists debate whether the US has entered a recession. The hearings start Wednesday as Federal Reserve officials meet to determine their next interest-rate move and release new economic projections.
New York climate week: John Kerry calls for reform of global financial bodies over climate change; New York climate week attendees agitate for action as leaders gather for UN General Assembly
Aime Williams, Camilla Hodgson and Richard Milne – Financial Times
US climate envoy John Kerry has called for reform of international financial institutions over a failure to marshal funds related to climate change, but refused to be drawn on whether the Biden administration had confidence in the leadership of the World Bank. Speaking at a climate week event held alongside the UN General Assembly in New York, Kerry said it was not for him to speak about the leadership of the World Bank Group, the largest and oldest of the multilateral banks.
Give Bankers Bigger Bonuses? The UK Is Playing With Fire; Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng is wading into the politically sensitive area of banker pay. The benefits may not be worth the risks.
Marcus Ashworth – Bloomberg
The bonfire of the inanities. UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng isn’t pulling any punches with his first moves in office. First, he unceremoniously fired the most senior civil servant in the Treasury. Now he is contemplating taking an axe to European Union regulations on financial services. But he is starting on the latter in a very odd way — wading into the politically sensitive area of banker pay and possibly scrapping the cap on bonuses (currently at double one’s salary) the EU introduced in 2014 in a belated response to the global financial crisis. This looks like ideological vice-signaling for a microscopic number of beneficiaries. Focusing on salaries of the very wealthiest would certainly send a message that trickle-down economics is leading the new government’s pro-growth agenda.
Guide to What Italy Election Will Mean for Financial Markets; Uncertainty over new government policy could hurt risk assets; Banks, energy and state-controlled firms likely to be in focus
Michael Msika and Chiara Remondini – Bloomberg
Mario Draghi injected some confidence into bruised Italian markets after becoming prime minister in February 2021, driving reforms and forging a strong relationship with Brussels. His impending exit adds to a growing list of worries for domestic assets. A right-wing coalition is widely expected to win Italy’s election on Sunday, bringing fresh uncertainty for investors already fretting over rising interest rates, an energy crunch and a potential recession. Such an outcome may raise doubts over the path of reforms that are a condition for the country to receive European Union funds to hasten its post-pandemic recovery.
FINRA Enforcement: Bringing Cases Against Individual Brokers
When it comes to bringing enforcement actions against individual brokers, there is a lot to consider, especially when the sanctions can be life altering for the individual in question.
On this episode, we hear from Deputy Head of Enforcement Chris Kelly about what makes cases against individual brokers different from those brought against firms and all the considerations involved.
New York AG Pushes for US Probe of Power Debacle in Puerto Rico; James seeks investigation into utility operator Luma Energy; Puerto Rico residents endure chronic blackouts with aging grid
Michelle Kaske and Jim Wyss – Bloomberg
New York Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday called for a federal investigation into Luma Energy, the private operator of Puerto Rico’s power grid, after billions of dollars in US aid failed to prevent chronic outages and an island-wide blackout from a hurricane this week. In a letter to US Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell and Richard Glick, chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, James questioned how the federal money was spent.
Did the US Shortchange Investors $27 Billion? A coming trial will determine whether the government acted in good faith in bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Marc Rubinstein – Bloomberg
Elon Musk’s bid to get out of buying Twitter Inc. for about $44 billion goes to trial Oct. 17 in Delaware. The same day, another multibillion-dollar lawsuit that zeroes in on good faith when parties sign contracts will be heard in US District Court in Washington. The investment firm Fairholme Funds Inc. is leading a group that claims US government agencies shortchanged them $27 billion in the financial engineering that has its roots in the 2008 mortgage meltdown.
Commissioner Johnson to Participate in a Panel Discussion at the MIT Golub Center for Finance and Policy Annual Conference: Building and Regulating the New Financial Infrastructure
Commissioner Kristin N. Johnson will participate in a panel discussion on the topic, How to Regulate the New Financial Infrastructure, at the MIT Golub Center for Finance and Policy Annual Conference.
Opening Statement of Commissioner Caroline D. Pham before the Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee
Good morning. I am excited to be attending my first EEMAC meeting as a CFTC Commissioner. I am sorry that I couldn’t be with you in Oklahoma today as I had originally planned. In fact, one of my earliest assignments as an intern at the CFTC was to research Cushing, and I had hoped to finally see it with my own eyes and see if I got it right.
Opening Statement of Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero Before the Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee
Good morning. I’m pleased to join you today for this meeting of the Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee (EEMAC). I want to thank Commissioner Mersinger, her staff, and Lauren Fulks, for coordinating this event. I also appreciate my meetings with committee members to discuss the challenges that they face. I look forward to hearing more today about the important, and very timely, topics on the agenda.
Commissioner Pham to Participate in a Fireside Chat at the NYC Climate Week Blockchain Summit
Commissioner Caroline D. Pham will participate in a fireside chat on innovation in the climate and crypto sectors moderated by Siddhartha Jha, Founder and CEO of Arbol and Co-Founder of dClimate.
Opening Statement of Commissioner Summer K. Mersinger: Meeting of the Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee
As prepared for delivery at the CFTC Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee meeting in Stillwater, Oklahoma
Commissioner Johnson Participates in a Candid Conversation with Women in Derivatives (WIND)
Commissioner Kristin N. Johnson discusses a range of topics, including her perspectives on market risk and evolving market structure in domestic and global commodities and derivatives markets, at a Women in Derivatives event.
Opening Statement of Commissioner Kristin N. Johnson before the Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee
Good morning. I would like to thank Commissioner Mersinger for the kind invitation to join this meeting of EEMAC – the inaugural meeting of this advisory committee under your leadership. I also want to extend my gratitude to the members of this committee. These are volunteer roles and I understand well that you have very demanding day jobs. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. We value your input greatly. Thank you to Oklahoma State University (OSU) for hosting this important meeting.
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney to Pay $35 Million for Extensive Failures to Safeguard Personal Information of Millions of Customers
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (MSSB) stemming from the firm’s extensive failures, over a five-year period, to protect the personal identifying information, or PII, of approximately 15 million customers. MSSB has agreed to pay a $35 million penalty to settle the SEC charges.
SEC Charges Cheetah Mobile’s CEO and its Former President with Insider Trading
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged the CEO of Cheetah Mobile Inc. and the company’s former President with insider trading for selling Cheetah Mobile’s securities, pursuant to a purported 10b5-1 trading plan, while in possession of material nonpublic information. The SEC’s order finds that Sheng Fu, the company’s CEO, and Ming Xu, its then-President and Chief Technology Officer, jointly established a purported 10b5-1 trading plan after becoming aware of a significant drop-off in advertising revenues from the company’s largest advertising partner.
Statement Regarding In the Matter of Toews Corporation
We are unable to support this action, which may affect how investment advisers shape their proxy voting policies and procedures. The Commission’s Order finds that Toews Corporation (“Toews”), a registered investment adviser, violated Sections 206(2) and 206(4) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Advisers Act”), and Rule 206(4)-6 thereunder (the “proxy voting rule”), when it caused a third-party service provider to vote client proxies pursuant to a standing instruction without any review by Toews of the proxy materials associated with those votes. In particular, Toews instructed the third-party service provider always to vote all client proxies in favor of the proposals put forth by the issuers’ management and against any shareholder proposals. Importantly, the Order does not make any findings that the adviser’s clients would have been financially better off had the adviser cast any of the votes at issue in an alternative manner. The Order also does not find that any of the votes cast were the product of a conflict of interest.
SEC Charges Securities Professional and Former Corporate Insider with Insider Trading
The Securities and Exchange Commission today filed a settled action against registered representative and investment adviser representative John P. Mendes and former corporate insider Andre Dabbaghian, charging them with insider trading in the securities of Layne Christensen Company (“Layne”) before the February 14, 2018 public announcement that Granite Construction Inc. (“Granite”) had agreed to acquire Layne for $565 million.
FCA statement regarding potential enforcement action against Link Fund Solutions Ltd
Following an announcement made on 21 September by Link Group to the Australian Securities Exchange, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is providing a short update on its proposed enforcement action against Link Fund Solutions Ltd (LFS).
Important Measures-Financial Supervisory Commission
1.Date the fine was imposed:September 20, 2022
2.Recipient of the fine: Taiwan Land Development Corporation
Investing and Trading
China approves six niche tech ETFs just days after application; Unusually rapid move follows US decision to place export ban on semiconductor technologies
Fred Chan – Financial Times
China’s top securities regulator has approved six niche technology-themed exchange traded funds just days after the applications were submitted, as the country rushes to attain self-sufficiency in strategic high-tech sectors.
European Interest in China Investments Wanes; Spending by European companies on new factories and other “greenfield” investments, long a key source of capital and technology for the Chinese economy, is falling steeply.
Keith Bradsher – The New York Times
European corporate investment in China, a key source of Western technology and capital since China began opening up its economy four decades ago, is falling steeply and now mostly limited to a handful of multinationals, three new reports show. The slackening in investment is the latest in a series of ominous signs for the Chinese economy. The real estate market is slumping, with prices declining in many Chinese cities as the volume of transactions plummets. Consumer spending is drying up because of stringent “Covid zero” policies that have led to lockdowns in many cities. And American investment in China is also faltering because of geopolitical tensions.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
States Hit Back at Anti-ESG Move; New York City’s comptroller among 14 signatories to letter urging uptake of ESG and impact investing
Banking Exchange staff
Democratic state treasurers and New York City’s comptroller have penned an open letter urging support for environmental, social and governance (ESG)-themed investment strategies and calling for recent bans to be scrapped. The letter follows several bans issued by states including West Virginia, Idaho, Oklahoma, Texas, and Florida forbidding state entities to do business with financial companies that have exclusionary ESG policies. These include policies to divest from fossil fuel companies. However, in an open letter published late last week, New York City comptroller Brad Lander and 13 state treasurers — from California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin — called the bans a “backlash response” linked to “political and corporate interests”.
SEC-Proposed Amendments Regarding ESG Disclosures: Considerations for Fintech-Oriented Investment Advisers
Newly proposed environmental, social, and governance (ESG)-related amendments to Form ADV under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Advisers Act) underscore the need for federally regulated investment advisers to fully disclose the material conflicts and risks associated with their investment management programs. In particular, advisers that manage assets based on a combination of financial technologies (fintech) and ESG-related factors should consider whether they are providing adequate disclosures regarding the potential features and outcomes of their advisory programs. Not only are these disclosures generally required under existing law and guidance, but it is possible that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will pursue ESG-based enforcement cases against investment advisers in light of the proposed changes, as it frequently does when it is pursuing new rulemaking and/or sees concerns in an area of focus.
Today’s Headlines: California could ban the sale of diesel big rigs by 2040; Regulators propose turning from big rigs to zero-emission trucks
Elvia Limón and Jason Sanchez – Los Angeles Times
California regulators could soon ban the sale of diesel big rigs by 2040, ending a long reliance on the polluting vehicles that are the backbone of the American economy. The California Air Resources Board is proposing regulations that would end the sale of new diesel-propelled big rigs and other trucks in the Golden State in the next 18 years. It would also require all state and local government fleets to be zero emission by 2027, and large fleet operators like Amazon, Walmart and other companies must convert all their trucks operating in the state to zero-emission vehicles by 2042.
Citigroup Boosts Diversity Targets After Surpassing Earlier Goals; Bank is one of the few to give detailed data on diversity gaps; CEO Jane Fraser calls the effort a long-term strategy
Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg
Citigroup Inc. is raising its targets for improving the diversity of its executive ranks after surpassing an earlier goal. By 2025, the Wall Street giant hopes to increase the percentage of Black employees in roles from assistant vice president to managing director to 11.5% in the US, Puerto Rico and Canada after it surpassed an 8% target for the US last year. Globally, it aims to increase the share of women in those roles to 43.5%, up from 40.6% at the end of last year.
Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance Progress Report demonstrates advance on decarbonisation targets; Growth in membership
UN Environmental Programme Finance Initiative
As New York Climate Week gathers momentum, the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance launches its second-ever Progress Report, showing significant membership growth matched by credible intermediate decarbonisation targets. On the Alliance’s third anniversary, the membership stands at six times what it was during its formation in 2019. Now counting 74 institutional investors, the Alliance represents over US$10.6 trillion in assets under management (AUM).
Time launches platform to help companies tackle climate change
Sara Fischer – Axios
Time is launching a sustainability division called “CO2 by Time” that will offer companies tools that go beyond just offsetting their carbon emissions. Why it matters: While the division does take a small servicing fee from clients, executives say the venture isn’t meant to drive revenue. Rather, the purpose of the division is to bring authority to Time’s editorial coverage around climate and to live up to its mission of driving global change.
R.J. O’Brien Establishes New London-Based Global Metals Team
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 its London-based affiliate, R.J. O’Brien Limited (RJO Limited), has hired a new, highly experienced five-person metals team. Co-led by metals market veterans Bradley Marchant and Steven Bingley, the team will provide institutional clients globally with trade execution and clearing services, specializing in the world’s leading metals markets – the London Metal Exchange (LME) and CME Group. Marchant, Bingley and their team have worked together for the past eight years, providing trade execution in the base metals markets. At RJO Limited, the team will offer services – including voice brokerage and direct market access (DMA) – in base, precious and non-ferrous metals to a wide range of clients, including physical metals traders, asset managers, hedgers, producers and high-frequency traders.
How cost cutting could impact Goldman Sachs’s massive transformation under CEO David Solomon
Goldman Sachs is going through a big transformation under David Solomon, the bank’s CEO since 2018, who famously moonlights as an electronic dance music DJ. The investment banking powerhouse is trying to diversify its revenue by pushing into new businesses like consumer banking, credit cards, and wealth management. Goldman is also diversifing its physical footprint, opening offices in locations far from the New York City skyline, including Dallas, Tex., and West Palm Beach, Fla. The effort is not without obstacles, however, and Solomon’s greatest challenge right now appears to balancing growth with declining revenues. The cost of running the bank’s money-losing consumer bank Marcus, for example, has become a lightening-rod issue internally, forcing Solomon to consider switching gears.
Nomura Trading Veteran Ashley Steps Down for Crypto Role; Wholesale boss Ashley to help run Nomura’s digital asset unit; Christopher Willcox will replace Ashley as wholesale unit boss
Donal Griffin – Bloomberg
Steve Ashley, Nomura Holdings Inc.’s head of trading and investment banking, is stepping down to take on a new role at the brokerage’s cryptocurrency business, marking the end of a lengthy tenure that was recently scarred by losses from Archegos Capital Management. Christopher Willcox will replace Ashley as head of Nomura’s wholesale division on Oct. 1, Japan’s largest brokerage said in a statement. Willcox joined Nomura last year as co-chief executive officer of its Americas unit when the firm installed fresh leadership following the Archegos collapse. He was previously head of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s asset-management business and worked at Citigroup Inc. for 15 years.
Supreme Court to consider New York’s vaccine mandate; NYPD Det. Anthony Marciano sued the city last year challenging a policy requiring municipal workers be inoculated against Covid-19.
Joe Anuta – Politico
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear an NYPD detective’s challenge to New York City’s vaccine requirement for municipal workers after all. Last month, liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor rejected a request by Det. Anthony Marciano to take up his legal challenge — the outcome of which could have significant implications for Mayor Eric Adams’ administration. But Marciano resubmitted the exact same request to conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, and the high court’s press office confirmed Tuesday the case will be deliberated at a conference Oct. 7.
Is COVID Over? Chicago Doctors Weigh in
NBC 5 Chicago
President Biden said the COVID pandemic was over, but his administration has been urging millions of people eligible to get the recently authorized bivalent booster shot. Is this a case of mixed messaging? NBC 5’s Lauren Petty has reaction from local doctors.
EU health regulator says COVID pandemic not over
An official at the European Union’s drugs regulator said on Tuesday the COVID-19 pandemic was not over, contradicting U.S. President Joe Biden, and that a planned vaccination campaign in the region during the cold season was key to fighting it. “We in Europe still consider the pandemic as ongoing and it’s important that member states prepare for rollout of the vaccines and especially the adaptive vaccines to prevent further spread of this disease in Europe,” the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Chief Medical Officer Steffen Thirstrup told a media briefing, referring to vaccines targeting specific strains of the virus.
EU drugs agency to Biden: The pandemic is not over ‘I cannot honestly answer why President Biden came to that conclusion,’ says chief medical officer of European Medicines Agency.
Helen Collis – Politico
The European Medicines Agency’s top scientist stated Tuesday that the pandemic is “ongoing” after U.S. President Joe Biden declared that the health crisis was over. “I cannot honestly answer why President Biden came to that conclusion,” the regulator’s chief medical officer, Steffen Thirstrup, told journalists during a briefing. “What is clear to me … is that we in Europe still consider the pandemic as ongoing, that it’s important that member states prepare for rollout of the vaccines, and especially the adaptive vaccines to prevent further spread of this disease in Europe,” Thirstrup added.
We Have Reached Peak ‘Mental Health’
Huw Green – The New York Times Opinion
A few months ago I received a referral for a new patient with a history of depression who’d made a serious suicide attempt. Perhaps unsure how to describe these episodes, the referring clinician wrote vaguely that the person had a “history of mental health.” Ordinarily, the word “health” implies an absence of illness. That is no longer how the term “mental health” gets used. The idea of mental illness, or mental disorder — both terms that have been subjected to their own intractable debates — has come to be supplanted by a broader umbrella notion, “mental health,” which somehow, confusingly, gets used to refer to states of both wellness and distress. Some awareness campaigners have even adopted the slogan “We all have mental health,” which seems on the face of it to be a stigma-busting, solidarity-building mantra. On closer examination, however, it manages a double exclusion.
U.S. Treasury official criticizes China’s ‘unconventional’ debt practices
Andrea Shalal – Reuters
A top adviser to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned on Tuesday that China’s foot-dragging on debt relief could burden dozens of low- and middle-income countries with years of debt servicing problems, lower growth and underinvestment.
China Has Enough Coal Reserves to Last Another Five Decades
China has enough coal for the next five decades and sufficient oil to last at least 18 years at current rates of production, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources. The latest annual tally of reserves released on Wednesday shows an endowment of fossil fuels that stretches well beyond China’s 2030 deadline to peak its carbon emissions. In the case of coal, the worst fuel for global heating, there’s enough in the ground to take China past even its 2060 ambition to achieve carbon neutrality.
Germany to Nationalize Gas Giant Uniper in Historic Bailout
Eyk Henning and Petra Sorge – Bloomberg
The German government is planning to inject about 8 billion euros ($8 billion) into Uniper SE as part of a historic agreement to nationalize the gas giant and stave off a collapse of the country’s energy sector. Uniper confirmed on Tuesday it is in final discussions with the government over a package that would include an 8 billion-euro capital increase, subscribed entirely by the government. Berlin will also buy the shares of its main shareholder, Finland’s Fortum Oyj.
Millennials Are Finally Building Wealth and Hiring Financial Advisers; Finding a planner isn’t always easy if you haven’t done it before. Here are the questions to ask to find the right person for you.
Suzanne Woolley and Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou – Bloomberg
Millennials are self-centered and allergic to commitment. They switch jobs every six months and will never buy homes. And don’t get them started on marriage and kids. So go the cliches about the generation whose oldest members were born in the early 1980s. But as more and more millennials enter their 40s, they’re proving that they’re not so different from the generations before them: Raising families, buying homes, moving up in their careers and building wealth.