Amazon Cloud Will Power Nasdaq U.S. Options Market Next Year

Dec 1, 2021

First Read

$54,406/$300,000 (18.1%)


Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

The future of trading became clearer yesterday as Nasdaq and AWS announced a partnership to move Nasdaq’s markets into the cloud and transform data centers into AWS hubs. This announcement follows the recent one from CME Group that it had struck a deal with Google for a 10-year partnership that accelerates the CME’s move to the cloud and also involves Google investing $1 billion in the exchange giant.

The 2022 Options Industry Conference registration is open for a return to the in-person confab to be held on May 10-12, 2022 at La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio, Texas.

After an initial issue with the registration system yesterday, I have been assured the issues are resolved and the portal is open and available for people to register.

Don’t forget to register for the NFA and NIBA joint webinar on December 7 at 3:40 PM CT titled “Supervision in a Hybrid Environment.”

Also, the NFA website reports that “due to updates to the Online Registration System (ORS), ORS will be unavailable from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, December 4, 2021. See Notice I-21-37 for more information.” And, NFA said, “due to updates to the Online Registration System (ORS), ORS will be unavailable from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, December 4, 2021. See Notice I-21-37 for more information.”

The Financial Markets Authority of New Zealand has issued an alert for a website that includes NYSE in its URL. The FMA is concerned that the operators of the website (‘NYSE’) may be operating a scam. The FMA said they have reports from investors that they are unable to withdraw their investments.

The FMA regulates New Zealand’s financial markets, and their role includes:

– Monitor the industry to ensure it complies with the law and treats customers fairly.
– Enforce the law, investigating misconduct and prosecuting companies and individuals for breaches.
– Provide independent information to help consumers make good investment and financial decisions.
– Provide information and guidance to set expectations for how industry should treat customers fairly and comply with the law.
– License firms and professionals to provide certain financial products and services.

I like the way the FMA defines their role and that fairness to customers is in the first line.

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 STA Foundation just announced the 2021 winners of its STA Women in Finance Awards. The recipients of the Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Award were Doug Cifu, CEO of Virtu Financial, and Christy Moccia, chief compliance officer at Clear Street. The Mentor of the Year Award had a trio of winners: Julie Bauer of OCC, Jennifer Fagenson of DASH Financial Technologies, and Lisa Utasi of ClearBridge Investments. In addition, the Ken Heath Award went to Todd Lopez at UBS, Michael Lynch of Bank of America Securities, and Joe Mecane at Citadel Securities. The recipients will be honored by the STA in a virtual event on Wednesday, December 8, from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET. Register to attend here.


London is becoming the Jurassic Park of stock exchanges; UK is falling behind as fund managers obsess on dividends over growth
Paul Marshall – FT
The UK stock market is becoming a global backwater as US and Chinese markets forge ahead. It has largely failed to take part in the global rally that began in 2015. Of course, both the US and Chinese stock markets benefit from more dynamic and expansive hinterlands, with leadership in so many of the new industries that are driving stock market performance, from fintech, renewables and mobility, to medtech, agritech and artificial intelligence. But beyond these natural advantages, the US in particular is now increasingly attracting companies from all over the world, including the UK, to list on its exchanges.

***** This story wins a spot here just for the headline. How reanimated dinosaurs and funds are related is still beyond me.~JJL


Goldman CEO Warns NYC Must ‘Keep Itself Attractive’ to Workers
Sridhar Natarajan – Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer David Solomon had a word of warning for New York, telling the city’s leadership to be mindful of the business environment or risk more companies sending workers elsewhere. “New York has to be aware that there are good choices, and it’s got to keep itself attractive,” Solomon said in comments released Tuesday from a Financial Times conference. “Incentives matter, taxes matter, cost of living matters.”

***** What New York needs is more Broadway shows and bright lights. Entertainment matters!~JJL


Tuesday’s Top Three
Our most-read story Tuesday was the Financial Times’ Moderna chief predicts existing vaccines will struggle with Omicron. Second was the Financial Times’ special report, What are non-fungible tokens and how do they work? Third was the Trading Technologies announcement, Trading Technologies Contracts with Yuanta Futures Taiwan for Distribution of the TT® Platform and Connectivity to the Taiwan Futures Exchange from Taiwan.


MarketsWiki Stats
26,667 pages; 236,403 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

Amazon Cloud Will Power Nasdaq U.S. Options Market Next Year
Dina Bass and Spencer Soper – Bloomberg Inc.’s cloud service will power Nasdaq’s first U.S. options market starting next year. The exchange will use Amazon’s technology for private corporate clouds, called Outposts, to set up a cloud system at its data center in Carteret, New Jersey. Nasdaq Inc. Chief Executive Officer Adena Friedman announced the deal Tuesday at Amazon’s annual cloud conference in Las Vegas.

UK will not engage in ‘tit for tat’ with EU over financial services; Senior Bank of England official says regulator will not seek to restrict access to British market
Laura Noonan and Stephen Morris – FT
Britain will not engage in “tit for tat” with the EU by restricting access to the City of London or trying to stop UK-based banking staff relocating to the continent, a senior Bank of England official said on Tuesday. Sam Woods, chief executive of the BoE’s Prudential Regulation Authority, said the UK was “absolutely not in a tit-for-tat game” on financial services market access and staffing.

Steven Cohen’s Venture Firm Backs 24-Hour Stock-Trading Startup; 24 Exchange aims for round-the-clock stock trading; Mr. Cohen’s Point72 Ventures is leading a funding round
Alexander Osipovich – WSJ
Hedge-fund billionaire and New York Mets owner Steven A. Cohen is backing a startup that wants to let investors trade stocks 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Point72 Ventures, Mr. Cohen’s early-stage venture-capital fund, is leading a $14.25 million funding round for 24 Exchange. The companies announced the transaction Wednesday after it was reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal.

As Banks Face Omicron Risk, Their Size Could Become a Handicap; Bigger balance sheets could reduce lenders’ flexibility to deliver for shareholders during another bout of Covid-19-related volatility
Telis Demos – WSJ
Bank stocks have proven resilient during the pandemic. But as uncertainty over the Omicron Covid-19 variant coincides with a changing regulatory picture, that resilience is being tested anew. Big lenders were among the hardest-hit stocks in the market’s intense reaction to the Omicron variant last week, with S&P 500 banks dropping nearly 4% on Friday, much more than the overall index. In some respects, this doesn’t track: Things that hurt bank stocks as the pandemic and lockdowns gathered momentum last year included the suspension of buybacks, a plunge in rates and a surge of credit concern.

The Meme Stock; At the start of the year, traders added more than $150 billion to the market cap of GameStop, AMC, and 48 other businesses, stocks that Robinhood put on a restricted trading list because they’re volatile (and can be used as a proxy for the craze).
Matthew Levine – Bloomberg
What makes a stock valuable? In the olden days, the way stocks worked was that you gave some money to a corporation, which used the money to build a railroad and paid you a dividend as your reward. Maybe if times were good, the dividend would go up, and if times were bad, it would get cut, but if you bought the blue-chip stocks of good steam railroads, you expected to get your dividend. And then you could apply some straightforward math to figure out the present value of that perpetual stream of dividends, and that’s what you’d pay for the stock.

Bank of London launches with big ambitions as the UK’s sixth clearing bank; The bank enters the market with a $1.1 billion valuation, making history as the first pre-revenue bank to receive ‘unicorn’ status upon debut.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
The Bank of London has become the sixth principal clearing bank of the United Kingdom, boasting a $1.1 billion valuation and an objective to power the borderless economic infrastructure of the future. The company, which has been led by an executive team of industry pioneers and a board of global leaders, enters the market with the significant valuation, making history as the first pre-revenue bank to receive ‘unicorn’ status upon debut.

Next-Generation Correspondent Clearing Provider RQD* Launches, Delivering the Modern Technology, Solutions and Business Model Broker-Dealers Expect
RQD* Clearing
RQD* Clearing, a next-generation correspondent clearing provider, today announced its official launch, bringing to market an advanced suite of clearing, custody and execution services for broker-dealers servicing retail, institutional and active traders, as well as foreign financial institutions and proprietary trading firms. The firm offers the industry’s first platform built entirely on cloud-native, real-time technology, enabling RQD to introduce enhancements, mitigate emerging cybersecurity threats and implement and scale client solutions quickly and efficiently.

Robinhood, others win dismissal of meme stock ‘short squeeze’ lawsuit
Jonathan Stempel – Reuters
A U.S. judge dismissed a lawsuit accusing Robinhood Markets Inc and other brokerages of wrongly preventing retail investors from buying fast-rising “meme stocks,” triggering a sell-off.

Investors Are Piling Into Crypto Startups—Just Not in China
Lizette Chapman – Bloomberg
For the first time in four years, venture investors are backing more crypto and blockchain startups in the U.S. than they are in Asia—a sign that China’s crackdown on alternative currencies has chilled the country’s upstart industry. Though the country was once a crypto capital, China’s new restrictions on tech companies have driven down the number of cryptocurrency and blockchain startups getting funding, according to year-to-date data collected by research firm CB Insights. Beijing forbid crypto mining and banking operations this spring and then banned all transactions in September, forcing many founders to shutter operations or relocate.

Michael Sapir, Bitcoin’s ETF Front-Runner; ProShares introduced the first one in October, and investors piled more than $1 billion into it in two days, the fastest that any exchange-traded fund has reached the milestone.
Katherine Greifeld – Bloomberg
The first application for a Bitcoin ETF was filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2013 by the tech and crypto entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. But regulators had too many concerns about volatility, price manipulation, and liquidity to bless it, even as similar products traded in Europe and Canada in ensuing years.

China-Singapore ETF connectivity plan is ‘making good progress’, regulator says; Statement from the China Securities Regulatory Commission has not elaborate on timeline or other details
Fred Chan – FT
China and Singapore are “making good progress” in developing an exchange traded fund connectivity programme, according to a statement from China’s securities regulator. “Currently, there has been positive progress made in a joint programme between Shenzhen Stock Exchange and the Singapore Exchange, and both sides will actively push for early realisation of connecting the ETF markets,” according to a transcript of a speech made by Fang Xinghai, vice chair of the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

Hunt for the ‘Blood Diamond of Batteries’ Impedes Green Energy Push; Dangerous mining conditions plague Congo, home to the world’s largest supply of cobalt, a key ingredient in electric cars. A leadership battle threatens reforms.
Dionne Searcey and Eric Lipton – NY Times
KASULO, Democratic Republic of Congo — A man in a pinstripe suit with a red pocket square walked around the edge of a giant pit one April afternoon where hundreds of workers often toil in flip-flops, burrowing deep into the ground with shovels and pickaxes. His polished leather shoes crunched on dust the miners had spilled from nylon bags stuffed with cobalt-laden rocks.

Capturing liquidity at Jefferies; Ben Springett, European head of electronic and program trading at Jefferies, tells The TRADE about new algo strategies the bank has rolled out and the impact the market volatility in 2020 has had on the ELP SI landscape.
Buy-side traders ranked Jefferies the standout dealer in equity coverage during the most volatile period of 2020 as part of a US flash study from Coalition Greenwich that queried brokers’ performance in providing liquidity, hedging solutions and market insights.


Oxford Sees No Evidence Omicron Defeats Vaccines So Far
Suzi Ring – Bloomberg
There’s no evidence existing vaccines won’t provide some protection against the omicron variant, the University of Oxford said as scientists scramble to assess the new Covid-19 mutation.

China’s Latest Covid Outbreak Worsens Even as It Avoids Omicron
Bloomberg News
China reported 91 new local infections of Covid-19 in Inner Mongolia on Wednesday, as an outbreak in a border town continued to pick up steam. While most of the world is now focused on the potential damage from the novel omicron variant that was identified last week in southern Africa, China remains dedicated to the increasingly difficult task of containing the virus and restoring its Covid Zero status. It has been more than six weeks since there were no local daily infections reported.

WHO Members to Start Drafting Plan to Deal With New Pandemics
Thomas Mulier and Irina Anghel – Bloomberg
Goal is to vote on an international agreement in 2024; Countries still disagree on need for legally binding treaty
World Health Organization member countries voted to start drafting an international agreement to help avoid future pandemics as more cases of the new omicron strain of Covid-19 popped up around the world. The WHO’s members approved a proposal Wednesday that set a deadline of 2024 to try to implement such a measure. They didn’t resolve the biggest disagreement, however: whether the accord should be a legally-binding treaty.

Top Israeli Covid Officials Spar Over Mandatory Vaccination
Gwen Ackerman – Bloomberg
Top Israeli coronavirus officials took conflicting positions on the need to weigh mandatory inoculation in light of the omicron variant, with the unvaccinated accounting for a large percentage of the country’s serious Covid cases.

France to Demand Negative Covid Tests for Non-EU Visitors
Ania Nussbaum – Bloomberg
France is strengthening rules on travel to the country in a bid to contain the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday.

Will Covid vaccines have to be updated for Omicron? Drugmakers are stress-testing existing jabs while preparing new formulas
Sarah Neville and Oliver Barnes – FT
The warning from the head of Moderna, the pharmaceuticals group, that Covid-19 vaccines were likely to be less effective against the Omicron variant has provoked anxiety over the best weapon the world has to fight the pandemic.

Rich countries must divert Covid jabs to developing world, says Covax executive; Scientists have warned uneven vaccine coverage makes it more likely variants will emerge
Donato Paolo Mancini – FT
One of the main figures behind the Covax vaccine initiative has questioned why rich countries are ramping up their booster programmes in response to the Omicron coronavirus variant, and insisted that priority should be inoculating the large number of people worldwide who are still waiting for a first jab.

US examines stricter testing rules for international travel; White House races to block spread of new Omicron variant and contain potential Covid surge
James Politi and Kiran Stacey – FT
Joe Biden is considering imposing stricter testing rules for international travel as the White House develops a strategy to prevent the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant in the US.

Judge Temporarily Blocks Biden Vaccine Mandate; A ruling issued in Louisiana questions constitutionality of administration’s requirement
Laura Kusisto – WSJ
A federal judge issued a temporary nationwide block against a Biden administration mandate that millions of healthcare workers get vaccinated against Covid-19 starting next week. In a ruling issued Tuesday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Judge Terry Doughty said there was no question that mandating a vaccine for healthcare workers at facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid is something that should be done by Congress and not by a government agency. Even then the judge said it was unclear whether such a mandate would be constitutional.

The Next Challenge to Vaccinating Africa: Overcoming Skepticism; Vaccines are finally available in many African countries, but some people there, as well as in South Asia, are wary of taking them.
Lynsey Chutel and Max Fisher – NY Times
The detection of the Omicron variant in Africa signals the next stage of the battle against Covid-19: getting many more people inoculated in poorer nations where vaccines have been scarcest in order to deter new mutations from developing.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Nasdaq partners with AWS to migrate North American markets to the cloud; The phased process will begin with Nasdaq MRX, a US options market, and the pair will develop infrastructure for other participants and operators to make the same migration.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Nasdaq has partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to migrate its North American markets onto the cloud using a co-designed solution. Nasdaq’s US options market, Nasdaq MRX, will be the first market to be transferred onto AWS using AWS Outposts, a co-designed edge computing solution which was created specifically to develop infrastructure.

Nasdaq and AWS Partner to Transform Capital Markets
Founded 50 years ago, Nasdaq pioneered the electronification of markets that serve millions of global investors and support the largest corporate issuers in the world. Over the last decade, we have successfully migrated several operational systems and applications to the cloud; to benefit from the agility, scalability, resiliency, and operational efficiencies that it offers.

MIAX and SIG Index Licensing to Launch Capital Gains Tax Rate Futures on MGEX
New futures aim to help investors hedge potential changes in capital gains tax rates Capital Gains Tax Futures enhance suite of MIAX products for managing tax exposure
MIAX®, operator of high-performance securities exchanges and SIG Index Licensing, LLC (SIG Index Licensing) announced today the launch of cash-settled futures contracts on SIG Index Licensing’s U.S. Capital Gains Tax Rate Index (the Index). The new futures contracts will begin trading on Minneapolis Grain Exchange, LLC (MGEXTM) on December 6, 2021.
Capital Gains Tax Rate Futures are the second proprietary futures product developed by MIAX and SIG Index Licensing designed to provide capital market participants with a tool to manage potential changes in U.S. tax rates. U.S. Corporate Tax Rate Futures were listed on MGEX on May 24, 2021.

SIFMA, ICI and DTCC Lay Out Path to Shorten U.S. Securities Settlement Cycle to T+1 by First Half of 2024
SIFMA Press Release
New report details changes market participants need to consider and implement to move to T+1
Washington, DC/New York/London/Hong Kong/Singapore/Sydney, December 1, 2021 — The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the Investment Company Institute (ICI), and The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) today published a report targeting the first half of 2024 to shorten the U.S. securities settlement cycle from trade date plus 2 days (T+2) to trade date plus one day (T+1).

Intercontinental Exchange Chairman & CEO Jeffrey C. Sprecher to Present at the Goldman Sachs U.S. Financial Services Conference on December 7
Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology and market infrastructure, announced today that Jeffrey C. Sprecher, Chairman and CEO, will present at the Goldman Sachs U.S. Financial Services Conference. The presentation will take place on Tuesday, December 7 at 2:20 pm ET. The presentation will be available live and in replay via webcast and can be accessed in the investor relations and media section of ICE’s website at

Cash market trading volumes in November
Deutsche Börse
Deutsche Börse’s cash markets generated a turnover of EUR198.5 billion in November (previous year: EUR186.5 billion). EUR155.4 billion were attributable to Xetra (previous year: EUR150.7 billion), bringing the average daily Xetra trading volume to EUR7.1 billion (previous year: EUR7.2 billion). Trading volumes on Börse Frankfurt were EUR5.3 billion (previous year: EUR5.3 billion) and on Tradegate Exchange EUR37.9 billion (previous year: EUR30.6 billion).

Keynote address at Chartered Secretaries Institute of Singapore 2021 Conference by Tan Boon Gin, CEO of SGX RegCo
1. Before I plunge into my remarks today, I thought I should mention that I made similar comments at a closed-door event about two weeks ago. And during that meeting, the very first question posed to me in relation to my comments came from a Company Secretary. And she was very quick on the draw, posing her question literally seconds after I spoke.

SGX welcomes listing of first homegrown leveraged and inverse products
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today welcomed the listing of the Phillip MSCI Singapore Daily (2X) Leveraged and Phillip MSCI Singapore Daily (-1x) Inverse Products (L&I products), providing institutional and retail investors with capital-efficient solutions to leverage and hedge exposures in the Singapore market.

The Spanish stock market trades 39.4 billion euros in November; MONTHLY TRADING STATEMENTS FOR BME’S MARKETS
The volume of equity trades in November was up 11% from the previous month; Fixed Income trading increases 8.5% from October; Trading in Ibex 35 futures contracts is up 19.3%; The Spanish stock market traded 39.4 billion euros in Equities in November, 7.4% lower year-on-year and down 4.5% from the previous month. The number of trades was 4 million, up 11% from the preceding month and down 30.9% year-on-year.
BME’s market share in Spanish equities as of 29 November stood at 72.92%. The average spread in November was 5.61 basis points at the first price level (17% better than the next trading venue) and 7.77 basis points with order book depth of 25,000 euros (40.8% better), according to an independent report by LiquidMetrix, available here: All figures include both transparent order book (LIT) trading – including auctions – and non-transparent (dark) off-book trading.

MARF registers a commercial paper and a bond programme from La Sirena
La Sirena Alimentación Congelada has simultaneously registered a commercial paper (CP) and a bond programme with MARF, BME’s Fixed Income Market, with a value of 100 million euros each. With the registration of these two new programmes La Sirena aims to access qualified investors to diversify its financial resources and benefit from all the financing alternatives and maturities available in the Fixed Income markets. As usual, the commercial paper programme is authorised to issue CPs with maturities ranging between 3 days and 2 years, while the bond programme will allow the placement of medium and long-term securities with coupons that may be fixed or variable, depending on the conditions of each issue.

BME Growth welcomes Sngular; It is the fourteenth company to list on BME Growth so far this year
BME Growth today welcomed SNGULAR, during an event held in the Madrid stock exchange. The traditional bell ringing ceremony was led by Jose Luis Vallejo, president and founder of the company, who was accompanied by Jesús González Nieto-Márquez, General Manager of BME Growth.

BME launches the IBEX Gender Equality Index to promote gender equality
30 Spanish listed companies form part of the index, which will be updated annually based on the information published by the CNMV; To enter the index, eligible companies must have a female presence on their Boards of Directors between 25% and 75% and between 15% and 85% in senior management
Today, BME announced the launch of the Ibex Gender Equality Index. The index, which is the first to gauge the presence of women in senior management positions in Spanish companies, is based on information prepared annually by the CNMV. With this launch, BME and the SIX reinforce their ESG index family, as part of their commitment to sustainability.

New Name to be Listed on the OSE Securities Options Market
Osaka Exchange, Inc. (hereinafter “OSE”) today announced the following options to be listed on Jan. 4, 2022 (Tue.). OSE will continue satisfy investors’ needs by expanding product lineup and with new services.

Shinkin Securities Co.,Ltd. Newly Obtains TSE Trading Qualification and Newly Participates in CONNEQTOR
Today, Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) approved the obtaining of general trading participant by Shinkin Securities Co. Ltd. and as a result, they will become the 89th general trading participant in TSE to participate in the TSE market from December 13, 2021. Shinkin Securities Co., Ltd. will provide institutional investors with access to CONNEQTOR from December 13, the scheduled date of qualification.

Trading Overview in November 2021; Japan Exchange Group released Trading Overview in November 2021.
Cash Equity Market; In November 2021, the daily average trading value for the TSE 1st Section (domestic common stocks) was JPY 3. 3883 trillion; In November 2021, the daily average trading value of ETF market was JPY 275. 2 billion.
Derivatives Market; In November 2021, total derivatives trading volume was 24,388,265 contracts.; In November 2021, total derivatives trading value was JPY 209 trillion.; In November 2021, trading volume for the night session was 8,527,322 contracts and the ratio of the night session was 35.0%.

— Initial Listing of Two (2) Freight (Baltic) Futures Contracts — CME
— Cessation of Listing of Additional Contract Months and Subsequent Delisting of the Micro Japanese Yen/U.S. Dollar (JPY/USD) Futures Contract — CME


Fintel Forms Partnership with Capital IQ to Gain Institutional-Grade Accounting Data; Fintel licensing accounting data from Capital IQ for 75,000 companies listed worldwide, a leading global provider of advanced research tools for data-driven investors, today announced a partnership with Capital IQ to increase the value of a subscription by providing financial analysis and metrics in addition to the ownership, insider, and short sale data it currently provides.

PBOC Exec Says NFT, Metaverse Could Become Money-Laundering Tools
Hassan Maishera – FX Empire
The Chinese government has clamped down on various cryptocurrency activities over the past few years. As a result, China has lost its place as the number one cryptocurrency country in the world. The government is looking to introduce tougher regulations in a new and exciting field.

Horizon Brings Market Making and Agency Trading Together on One Platform
Horizon Software, a global leading vendor in Market Making and Algo Trading Technology, announced today the expansion of its Electronic Trading platform to include market making and agency trading functions in one single platform, powered by its algo framework. Initially designed for Market Making and Algo Trading services, Horizon is now bringing Agency trading to the next level, by leveraging its expertise in latency, scalability and sophisticated algo and execution strategies to banks and brokers.

Refinitiv Launches USD IBOR Institutional Cash Fallbacks in Production to Facilitate Industry Transition from USD LIBOR
Refinitiv today announces that USD IBOR Institutional Cash Fallbacks are now production benchmarks, and it will launch USD IBOR Consumer Cash Fallbacks 1-week and 2-month settings on January 3, 2022 – pending Refinitiv Benchmark Services (UK) Limited (“RBSL”) board approval. This follows the Alternative Reference Rates Committee’s (ARRC) March 2021 announcement that it had selected Refinitiv to publish its recommended spread adjustments and spread adjusted rates for cash products and Refinitiv’s August 2021 announcement that it had released prototype rates.

Revolut chief hopes for UK banking licence by start of 2022; Nik Storonsky says lack of liquidity remains hurdle for London listings
Siddharth Venkataramakrishnan and Jyoti Mann and Stephen Morris – FT
Nik Storonsky, chief executive of London-based digital banking app Revolut, said he hoped to secure a UK banking licence early in 2022 as he warned that liquidity remained the biggest headwind to companies listing in Britain.

Quant Insight and Symphony partner to provide macro analytics insights; RETINA, a trade BOT built by Qi, will compress millions of publicly available data points into essential daily insights for users.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Quant Insight (Qi) has partnered with Symphony to offer macro-based insights to Symphony’s global financial community. RETINA (Real time Notifications and Alerts), a trade BOT built by Qi, will exist on the Symphony platform and push succinct macro-based insights into its chat rooms.


These researchers wanted to test cloud security. They were shocked by what they found
Cybersecurity researchers set up a tempting cloud honeypot to examine how cyber attackers work.
Danny Palmer – ZDNet
Insecure cloud-computing services can be a huge risk for organisations because they’re a regular target for cyber criminals. Researchers have demonstrated how vulnerable or misconfigured cloud services can be, after deploying hundreds of honeypots designed to look like insecure infrastructure, some of which lasted just minutes before being compromised by hackers.

Cybersecurity threat at Davis-Besse results in NRC demand for information
Tom Henry – The Blade
A cybersecurity threat at the Davis-Besse nuclear plant is the topic of a regulatory conference that has been scheduled for Monday at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s regional headquarters southwest of Chicago.
Energy Harbor executives were given the choice of providing the federal regulator with the information it wants in writing or in person at the agency’s headquarters in Lisle, Ill. The company chose the latter, Prema Chandrathil, an NRC spokesman, said.

Understanding cybersecurity management for FinTech: cybersecurity vulnerabilities and risk in FinTech (Article 4)
Gurdip Kaur and Arash Habibi Lashkari – IT World Canada
FinTech revolves around technologies such as cloud, blockchain, AI, and mobile devices that are used for financial transaction payments, cryptocurrencies, money transfers, trading, and regulatory compliance. With so much monetary value associated with all these technologies, perpetrators are always lured to breach security by exploiting vulnerabilities that exist in these technologies, and posing risks to FinTech.

IIJA on Cybersecurity: Broadband Internet Access, Cyber Defenses
Kenji M. Price, Scott Ferber and Theodore Alexander – National Law Review
On November 15, 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), unleashing over $1 trillion of federal money to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure and fund other key programs and initiatives. In addition to appropriating billions of dollars to improving transportation networks, expanding broadband internet accessibility and promoting clean energy projects, the bill allocates $2 billion to strengthening the nation’s cyber defenses. As we explain below, this is part of a broad whole-of-government approach on cybersecurity—implicating both public and private entities.

Data Privacy Forces a Tradeoff with Cybersecurity
Jenn Fulmer – ITBE
Consumers know that companies track their internet interactions, and they can often identify when it’s happening. According to Pew Research, 83 percent of consumers frequently or occasionally saw ads that appeared to be targeted based on their browsing history. While some customers are demanding better data privacy protections, organizations are finding out the hard way that increased data privacy forces a tradeoff with cybersecurity.

Twitter bans posting photos, videos of people without their consent
Will Feuer – Bloomberg
Twitter’s new boss has made his first move. The social-media giant — under the leadership of new CEO Parag Agrawal — announced Tuesday that it is revising its privacy policy to block the sharing of photos and videos of people without their consent. “Sharing personal media, such as images or videos, can potentially violate a person’s privacy, and may lead to emotional or physical harm,” Twitter said in a blog post on Tuesday.


How do I bank my crypto so I can spend it? Here are the benefits and barriers of some new services for digital currency.
Chanelle Bessette – MarketWatch
There are new services on the horizon that could help people use bitcoin and other digital coins in more mainstream ways for their day-to-day finances.

Analysis-Japan keen to speed up digital yen launch as China adds geopolitical twist
Leika Kihara – Reuters
Japan’s new political leadership is calling on the country’s financial bureaucrats to ramp up efforts toward issuing a digital currency, pointing to China’s far quicker progress as a potential challenge to the global economic order.

Digital assets face ‘bumps in the road’ amid China-like growth, metaverse investor Yat Siu says
Elizabeth Howcroft – Reuters
Demand for digital assets is set to grow as online virtual worlds become more popular but investors face some short-term risks, Animoca Brands’ chairman and co-founder Yat Siu said in a Reuters panel on Wednesday.

Thai Crypto Unicorn Plots Expansion in Bid to Be Asia’s Coinbase
Randy Thanthong-Knight – Bloomberg
Crypto bourse Bitkub plans to enter Philippines, Malaysia; Digital currency wallets set for ‘exponential growth:’ CEO
A Thai crypto exchange that notched up a valuation of more than $1 billion in less than four years is planning to offer a range of digital currencies and services in more countries “to become the Coinbase of Southeast Asia,” according to its chief executive officer.

He Paid $69.3 Million for an NFT So You Can Download It for Free
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Vignesh ‘MetaKovan’ Sundaresan talks about NFT property rights; Says the idea is to support artists and allow everyone access
Vignesh Sundaresan, also known as MetaKovan, spent $69.3 million on a Beeple non-fungible token earlier this year, but he’s not very possessive about it. The beauty of an NFT is that everyone gets to enjoy it, the Indian cryptocurrency entrepreneur and investor said in an interview with Bloomberg News. In fact, he’d be happy if everyone downloaded a copy of “Everydays: the First 5000 Days.”


White House Considering Richard Cordray as Top Fed Banking Regulator
Ohio attorney served as the first confirmed director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Nick Timiraos, Andrew Ackerman and Ken Thomas – The Wall Street Journal
President Biden is considering Richard Cordray, the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to serve as the Federal Reserve’s top banking regulator, according to people familiar with the matter.
If nominated and confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Cordray would become the government’s most influential overseer of the American banking system, succeeding Randal Quarles as the Fed’s vice chairman of banking supervision.

UK shelves proposals to raise capital gains tax rates and cut allowance; Treasury also rejects ideas from Office of Tax Simplification to reform inheritance tax
Emma Agyemang and Daniel Thomas – FT
The UK has shelved proposals to raise capital gains tax rates to align them with income tax and slash the levy’s annual allowance, moves that would have hit the wealthy. In the past year, the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS), a statutory body, has published two reports into CGT at the behest of chancellor Rishi Sunak and concluded that the government should consider reforming it.

Capitalism vs. Liberty; All that we liberals cherish—socially, economically, and politically—is being undermined by toxic capitalism. What might lie beyond it, and how might we get there?
Robert Kuttner – The American Prospect
All of my adult life, I’ve considered myself a left-liberal, tending toward social democrat. Much of that sensibility reflects the era of my early adulthood, a time when reformed capitalism seemed plausible and practical. The New Deal had created a fundamental shift of power and ideology. Free-market ideologues and Wall Street moguls were discredited and disgraced by the Great Crash. Financial markets were tightly regulated. Labor unions were empowered. Government demonstrated the value of public investment and social insurance. The mixed economy had arrived, seemingly for keeps, well defended by grateful voters.


Texas Regulator Closes Draft Gas-Winterization Loophole
Sergio Chapa and Mark Chediak – Bloomberg
Texas’s top oil and gas regulator voted Tuesday to more clearly define who’ll be at the top of the list to keep receiving electricity during severe winter weather, closing an earlier draft loophole that critics said would’ve let any operator pay just $150 to opt-out of expensive upgrades.

Additional Help for Phase Six IM: BNYM Docs Added to ISDA Create
It may seem premature to be thinking about September 2022, the point the final phase of the initial margin (IM) rules for non-cleared derivatives will come into effect. It’s not. Phase five in September this year underlined the challenges in-scope firms will face and the need to start preparing early, particularly when it comes to custodian onboarding. Fortunately, the recent publication of key custodial documents on the ISDA Create online negotiation platform points to a path forward that will make the compliance process simpler and more efficient and save phase-six firms time…

UK regulator scraps payments for research on small caps and best ex reporting in MiFID II scale back; Financial Conduct Authority removes the requirement to submit RTS 27 and RTS 28 reports and exempts companies with a market cap of less than £200m from research payment rules.
Jonathan Watkins – The Trade
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has moved to scale back MiFID II requirements by removing the need for firms to prepare RTS 27 and RTS 28 best execution reports and exempting research on small firms from unbundling rules. The action comes as the FCA seeks to remove unnecessary regulation and make MiFID II requirements “less complex”. The changes follow a consultation from April where the alterations were proposed.

ASIC announces changes to members of the Markets Disciplinary Panel
ASIC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members of the Markets Disciplinary Panel (MDP), and farewells and thanks the seven retiring members. The MDP is a peer-review panel that makes decisions about whether infringement notices should be given for alleged contraventions of the market integrity rules.

ASIC releases guidance and examples on limited advice
ASIC has today released an information sheet on limited advice and an example statement of advice (SOA) to assist financial advisers and advice licensees comply with their obligations when providing limited personal advice to retail clients. INFO 267: Tips for giving limited advice provides tips and summarises the relevant guidance from Regulatory Guide 175 Licensing: Financial product advisers-Conduct and disclosure (RG 175) and Regulatory Guide 244: Giving information, general advice and scaled advice (RG 244).

ASIC brings criminal charges against former Courtenay House director and contractor for alleged Ponzi scheme
Tony Iervasi of Tweed Heads and Athan Papoulias of Brighton Le Sands, NSW, have today appeared in the Downing Centre Local Court charged with criminal offences for their actions relating to an alleged Ponzi scheme. Mr Iervasi is facing nine criminal charges of dishonest conduct and one charge of carrying on a financial services business without a licence.

ESMA announces upcoming publication aimed at CSDs
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s Securities Markets Regulator, today announces that it will start publishing information on trading venues with the highest turnover for bonds. This information is needed by CSDs in order to apply cash penalties under the Central Securities Depositories Regulation (CSDR).

The ESAs renew their Board of Appeal
The three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) – the EBA, EIOPA and ESMA announced today the new composition of their Board of Appeal. The new members and alternates take up their positions as of today, 1 December 2021.

PODCAST; The Cornerstone of FINRA’s Market Surveillance Program: A Historical Commitment to Market Transparency
Transparency plays a central role in promoting the fairness and efficiency of U.S. markets, lowering transaction costs, leveling the playing field and enhancing public trust in our markets. And the data market transparency provides serves as the lifeblood of FINRA’s surveillance program.

Reminder – Participant Data Management (PDM) System
As a reminder, FINRA is introducing a new system, Participant Data Management (PDM), for FINRA member firms to submit the FINRA Participant Agreement and FINRA Order Form. Starting on December 1, 2021, member firms may test the new PDM system in the customer test environment with the same login credentials used to access the FINRA Participant Agreement or FINRA Order Form today in production. The test environment is available at

Consumer warning on Grosvenor Associates Ltd
We have removed Grosvenor Associate Ltd’s permissions. It is therefore no longer authorised to carry out any regulated activities. Any investments with Grosvenor may not be protected.

FCA announces plans for stronger nudge towards pension guidance
The FCA has today published final rules requiring firms to implement the stronger nudge to Pension Wise guidance. From 1 June 2022 pension providers will have to give customers a stronger nudge to Pension Wise when they decide to access their savings. The changes will make it easier for consumers to book a free Pension Wise appointment.

NYSE Website – Warning for Investors
FMA New Zealand
We are concerned the operators of the website (‘NYSE’) may be operating a scam. We have received a report of investors in the company being unable to withdraw their investments.

International regulator warning:
FMA New Zealand
FMA are concerned that the website, (the website), is using the name and contract address of a New Zealand entity, Skywin Int’l Corporation Limited, who were deregistered from the New Zealand Companies Register in 2012.

Investing and Trading

Global Inflation Set to Be Higher for Longer, Says OECD; Paris-based research group raises inflation forecasts, but warns of possible fall in prices if Omicron impact is severe
Paul Hannon – WSJ
The pickup in inflation rates around the world will be longer-lasting and sharper than previously anticipated, with a growing risk that households and businesses grow accustomed to faster price rises, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in its latest forecasts for the global economy.

Exxon’s plans have been months in the making and aren’t an immediate reaction to the new Omicron variant.
Christopher M. Matthews – WSJ
Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM -2.84% said Wednesday it will maintain a conservative budget for the next five years as the outlook for oil and gas demand remains murky while coronavirus-led economic risks persist and some countries attempt to wean themselves off fossil fuels.

Powell Weighs Earlier End to Bond Tapering Amid Hot Inflation
Craig Torres, Matthew Boesler, and Christopher Condon – Bloomberg
Fed chair says could wrap up purchases a few months earlier
Says it’s time to retire word ‘transitory’ for price increases
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said officials should weigh removing pandemic support at a faster pace and he retired the word “transitory” to describe stubbornly high inflation, though a new Covid-19 strain remains a risk.
His comments Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee, where both Democrats and Republicans expressed concerns about high prices, were taken as a hawkish pivot by financial markets that could deliver sooner-than-expected increases in interest rates next year.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

The ESG Market Is Controlled by a Few Big Investors; How to attract a larger swath of individual participants is the sector’s next big hurdle.
Tim Quinson – Bloomberg
The market for ESG-focused exchange-traded funds has been among the world’s hottest investment areas for more than two years now. About $120 billion flowed into these funds in 2021 as investors increase their bets on companies deemed to have the highest environmental, social and governance credentials.

Rise of ESG adds to pressure on European defence companies; Executives stress role in national security following fears sector could become investment pariah
Sylvia Pfeifer – FT
Defence executives are used to being targeted by antiwar demonstrators, who regularly try to gatecrash shareholder meetings and trade fairs. But now, the industry faces a different kind of adversary: socially conscious investors.

ExxonMobil declares new goals for carbon emissions per barrel; US oil supermajor seeks 20%-30% lower greenhouse gas intensity by 2030 but stops short of hard limit
Justin Jacobs – FT
ExxonMobil has broadened goals to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released with each barrel of oil it pumps, applying them across company operations but avoiding deeper emissions cuts endorsed by rivals in Europe.

Morrisons ditches soya for insects in chicken feed to hatch carbon neutral eggs; Automated farms in shipping containers will produce the insects fed on supermarket waste
Emiko Terazono – FT
Supermarket chain Wm Morrison is replacing soya-based chicken feed with insects to produce “carbon neutral” free range eggs, as part of efforts to reduce CO2 emissions from its agricultural supply chains. Cambridge start-up Better Origin will provide insect mini farms for feed to 10 egg suppliers to the UK’s fourth-largest grocer, the retailer said on Wednesday.

Renewable energy pace must double to limit global warming, IEA says; Record capacity gains in 2021 remain far off track to reach target of net zero emissions by 2050
Camilla Hodgson – FT
A record amount of renewable electricity was added to energy systems globally in 2021 but it remains about half of what is needed annually to be on track to reach net zero emissions by 2050, according to the International Energy Agency.


Opinion: Fidelity just made an oopsie on the worst possible stock
Thornton McEnery – MarketWatch
Listen, mistakes happen all the time, even in the highest echelons of finance. Someone fat-fingers a keystroke and few zeroes get added to a buy or sell order, or a trading-floor intern drops coffee on a disgruntled VP who then calls out for a move on the wrong stock, or a bank executive goes to a picnic with a mysterious client on his private Caribbean island, or that one time Standard & Poor’s mistakenly downgraded France…the country.

John Rolle, the Bahamian Banking Pioneer; Since starting the world’s first central bank digital currency in late 2020, the Bahamas now has 300,000-plus “sand dollars” in circulation, and seven mobile payment providers began using the e-money earlier this year.
Jim Wyss – Bloomberg
Unlike cryptocurrencies, which are valued for their anonymity and independence from monetary authorities, central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, are digital fiat—the sand dollar is simply the Bahamian dollar, exchangeable online. They also allow traditional payment service providers, which usually transact in proprietary digital tokens, to trade in a common currency, making various Bahamian PSPs interoperable.

UBS raids JPMorgan for new finance chief Sarah Youngwood; Hire completes overhaul of Swiss bank’s top management
Owen Walker – FT
UBS has poached a top executive from JPMorgan Chase to be its chief financial officer, completing an overhaul of the senior management at Switzerland’s biggest bank since Ralph Hamers started as chief executive just over a year ago.

UBS Taps JPMorgan Executive Sarah Youngwood as CFO; Her appointment is the Swiss bank’s second high-profile hire of a Wall Street veteran in recent weeks
Margot Patrick – WSJ
UBS Group AG named JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive Sarah Youngwood as its next chief financial officer, another high-profile hire of an American banking veteran as the Swiss bank takes on wealth-management rivals in the U.S.

Wall Street execs ‘pleading’ for JPMorgan to cancel event in crime-ridden San Francisco
Lydia Moynihan – NY Post
JPMorgan insists it’s going ahead with an in-person conference in San Francisco in January, but alarm bells ringing among some attendees could force the meeting online — and it’s not because of Covid worries. It’s because of crime. Some would-be attendees say they’re concerned about out-of-control crime in the city by the bay, which is set to play host to the JP Morgan 40th Annual Healthcare Conference from Jan. 10-13.


Turkey intervenes in currency markets in attempt to stem lira plunge; Rally from historic low follows central bank’s vow to halt ‘unhealthy price formations’
Laura Pitel and Adam Samson – FT
Turkey has announced a return to a contentious policy of intervening in the currency markets in an attempt to steady the tumbling lira, despite a previous commitment not to do so and limited foreign exchange reserves. The country’s central bank said on Wednesday that “unhealthy price formations” had prompted the decision to sell hard currency such as US dollars in an effort to support the lira.

Beijing Goes Full Nanny State on Internet Tech; A new set of rules on ride-sharing and online advertising shows just how intrusive Beijing is willing to be in its regulatory push
Jacky Wong – WSJ
The Wild West days of China’s consumer internet are now well and truly over. Instead, the sheriffs from Beijing seem determined to micromanage industries like ride-hailing and online advertising for the benefit of the little guy—or at the very least be seen to be doing so, as regulators rally behind President Xi Jinping’s new policy of “common prosperity.”

Singapore and UK ink digital trade agreements at Future Tech Forum in London; Such memorandums of understanding are all the rage
Laura Dobberstein – The Register
Singapore and the UK signed three memorandums of understanding (MoUs) this week, hoping to strengthen digital connectivity between the two island nations. In a canned statement, Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information, Josephine Teo, said the agreement would “further strengthen the links between Singapore and the UK in digital trade facilitation, digital identities and cybersecurity.”


Why Does Coffee Make Me Poop? It’s not clear why coffee can stimulate a bowel movement, but the speed of this effect suggests it’s mediated by the brain.
Alice Callahan – NY Times
Like opening the blinds and stepping into the shower, a cup of coffee gets people moving in the morning — in more ways than one. This satisfying brew revs energy levels with a dose of caffeine and, for many people, quickly and reliably jump-starts gut activity and an urgent need to poop. But given coffee’s popularity, it’s surprising that we know so little about how it affects the gastrointestinal tract, said Dr. Robert Martindale, a professor of surgery and the medical director for hospital nutrition services at Oregon Health and Science University.

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