America is losing the stomach to fight Covid-19

Jun 11, 2020

First Read

“Nine Out of Ten Doctors Agree”* – Fidelity Cryptocurrency Study Raises Questions
By Thom Thompson – John Lothian News

Fidelity’s Digital Asset business dropped a four page press release on Tuesday about a survey it sponsored. Fidelity says that the survey shows growing interest in digital asset investing among institutional investors.

Based on responses from 774 “institutional investors” in the U.S. and Europe, the survey report unsurprisingly fed the cryptocurrency news cycle. Bloomberg’s headline about the survey said, “Fidelity Says a Third of Big Institutions Own Crypto Assets.” The BlockCrypto headline splashed, “Fidelity: Nearly 80% of institutional investors see the appeal of digital assets.” How true are these sensational findings?

Problems with the usefulness of the survey for generalizing about the industry begin with the pool of respondents. As is commonly done among cryptocurrency boosters, Fidelity adopts a very loose approach to its definition of institutional investors. It extends the term to financial advisors, family offices, digital and traditional hedge funds as well as high net worth investors, along with what are classically considered institutional investors – pensions, endowments and foundations.

To read the rest of this commentary, go HERE.


Hits & Takes
By JLN Staff

The shorthand name FIA is using for International Derivatives Week this year is IDX-V, for virtual. The site is

The virtual conference is June 23 to 25. They are offering three half-days of programming starting daily at 14:00 BST / 9:00 EDT. Industry experts and leaders will debate the importance and resilience of markets during a critical time globally and provide insight on lessons learned from the recent market volatility and in the current landscape. Each day features a keynote address or interview. On Tuesday, 23 June FIA President & CEO Walter Lukken will interview European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) executive director Verena Ross on the agency’s current regulatory agenda and how these priorities have changed due to #COVID19.
The cost is FIA Members: £35 / Non-Members: £75.

If you missed the Barchart 2020 Futures Market Survey: What Drives Futures Market Participants, HERE is the link. Thank you to all John Lothian News readers who participated in the survey.

Do you have summer interns? JLN is working on a potential program for this summer and wants to know how many firms have interns working virtually who may be interested in a virtual version of our MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity program. Let me know.

JLN is looking for sponsors for the Weekend Update. The exclusive sponsorship deal with RJ O’Brien is coming to an end and we are looking to expand the number of sponsors for the popular weekend email from John Lothian News. Email me at if you are interested.

We are pleased to announce that Barchart and RCG/Marex have agreed to sponsor our “The Path to Electronic Trading” series. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of this, please email me as well. We will produce a minimum of 10 videos in the next 12 months in this series. The sponsorship is for 12 months or 10 videos.

JLN Producer Mike Forrester is back in Chicago and will be occasionally shooting video in our office, so we are opening up our CBOT Building office studio to shoot video ourselves again. Before coming to our office, interviewees and any other visitors will be required to have their temperature taken and will be required to wear a mask when not being videoed.

Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL


Hot off the presses – or whatever the Internet equivalent of that is – Cboe is planning on re-launching mini VIX Futures (VXM futures), which are a smaller version of VIX Futures with a $100 contract multiplier. Cboe previously offered these between 2009 and 2014. According to a Cboe representative, they’re re-launching this product because of the success of other mini and micro futures products in the market, hoping that they’ll be able to attract a broader swathe of market participants to using the new VIX product.~MR


The World Federation Of Exchanges issues industry guidance on non-default losses
The World Federation of Exchanges
The World Federation of Exchanges (“WFE”), the global industry group for exchanges and CCPs, is today setting out how CCPs ensure that certain non-credit losses that might rarely occur in relation to central clearing are allocated in a transparent, predictable and equitable manner.

*****There is more than one way to lose money.~JJL


Eventus Systems names Jeff Gale Sales Director, EMEA in London; 30-Year Industry Veteran to Help Grow Adoption of Validus Platform in Region
Eventus Systems, Inc., a multi-award winning global trade surveillance and risk management software platform provider, today announced the appointment in London of Jeff Gale as Sales Director, EMEA, representing the newest addition to the team charged with growing and supporting the firm’s presence in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Gale has more than three decades of experience in finance and technology across multiple asset classes, in business development, strategic finance and other key roles. Most recently, he served as Co-Founder at Seismic Foundry, a capital markets fintech fund and consultancy focused on promising early-stage firms.

*****Jeff Gale is a JLN reader and good guy. Nice hire Eventus.~JJL


Twitter is trying out a new feature that gently suggests you actually read an article before sharing it
Aaron Holmes – Business Insider
Did you even click on the article?
If the answer is no — and you try to tweet the link to an article you haven’t opened — Twitter might gently suggest that you read the article before posting. Twitter is testing out a new feature that will show a warning message to anyone who tries to retweet an article without clicking on it as part of an effort to “help promote informed discussion,” the company announced Wednesday.

***What a great idea! I must admit to being guilty of doing that more than once. It would be better for everyone if we all actually read things.~SR


Paul Tudor Jones shares his economic, responsible investing views at JUST Capital event
Hedge-fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones joined Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman and Vista Equity Partners CEO Robert Smith in a virtual conversation with CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin Wednesday evening to discuss the economic recovery and responsible investing.

****An hour long program last night on COVID-19 and social justice.~JJL


CQG Licenses Software Assets from Blue Trading Systems (BTS) to Deploy Exclusive, Robust Suite of Custom Algorithms, Low-Latency Spreader Environment; Kevin Darby, BTS Co-Founder and Managing Partner, to Lead Integration, Implementation as CQG Product Manager
CQG, a leading global provider of high-performance technology solutions for traders, brokers, commercial hedgers, and exchanges, today announced that it has just completed a transaction to license certain software assets from Blue Trading Systems (BTS). The move will give CQG an exclusive, comprehensive suite of custom algorithmic strategies to offer clients, along with new low-latency spread routing for spread traders.

*****The Blue Trading Systems deal is good, but getting Kevin Darby is better.~JJL


A Tipping Point for Digital Assets
Kapil Rathi and Kristin Boggiano – Traders Magazine
The recent confluence of macroeconomic forces – a global pandemic and unprecedented experiments in monetary policy combined with the rise of stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (“CBDCs”) – is a tipping point for broader acceptance of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.

*****The founders of CrossTower weighing in on digital assets.~JJL


Can You Find Wellness in a Cup of Tea? A Soothing Guide; Venerable brands and upstarts alike are encouraging us to steep and sip our way to vitality, better sleep, even happiness. These delicious brews are the ones worth choosing.
Aleksandra Crapanzano – WSJ
TEA HAS long been considered something of a cure-all. Pick up most any classic British novel, for instance, and you can’t help but notice how many characters count on a cup to allay anything from a broken heart to a serious bout of illness.

*****Believe it or not, I am starting to drink tea. Buy tea futures and sell coffee futures.~JJL


Giving Back When the Going Gets Tough
Sutat Chew of SGX via LinkedIn
Much has been said about the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy. The International Monetary Fund has warned of the biggest slowdown since the Great Depression, a “crisis like no other.” With the pandemic still developing, the outlook is uncertain and many companies and businesses around the world have tightened their belts, bracing for the worst.

*****The people at SGX continue to inspire me.~JJL



Wednesday’s Top Three
Our most-read story Wednesday was Barstool Sports founder believes he’s a better investor than Warren Buffett and has determined day trading is ‘the easiest game’ there is, from MarketWatch. Second was JLN’s report, Barchart Survey Provides Customer Insights. Third was Charles Schwab takes big steps toward buying rival, moving HQ from California to Texas, from the Houston Business Journal.


MarketsWiki Stats
179,040,459 pages viewed; 24,153 pages; 224,485 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


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

Recently Updated Pages

Recently updated pages include
Fidelity Digital Assets
Crypto Rating Council
Monero (XMR)
XBTO Group

CryptoMarketsWiki Stats

1,394 pages; 12,372 edits
CryptoMarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

America is losing the stomach to fight Covid-19; The country is now on the verge of leaving the battlefield before the war is over
Edward Luce – FT
It is an odd moment to surrender to coronavirus. Right and left, conservative and liberal — all parts of the US spectrum embraced the language of war. The metaphor was clearly too glib. Downgrading the fight now would be like George Washington taking a vacation after crossing the Delaware.

Second U.S. Virus Wave Emerges as Cases Top 2 Million
Emma Court and David R Baker – Bloomberg
Rises in Texas, Arizona, Florida, California sound alarms; Experts say that surges can’t be linked directly to reopenings
A second wave of coronavirus cases is emerging in the U.S., raising alarms as new infections push the overall count past 2 million Americans.

Cboe Futures Exchange plans launch of mini VIX futures
April Joyner – Reuters
The Cboe Futures Exchange submitted a regulatory filing on Tuesday to launch mini futures on the Cboe Volatility Index as it looks to expand its array of products that allow investors to guard against equity market gyrations.

A casino or stock market? Retail buying frenzy goes wild
Thyagaraju Adinarayan, John McCrank – Reuters
A raft of small cap stocks has soared by hundreds of millions of dollars in value in recent weeks as frenzied retail traders piled in to a blistering stocks rally. Increased savings, stimulus checks from the government, and ultra-low interest rates due to the coronavirus pandemic have led to a flood of money into the markets from punters, leading to chaotic trades via mobile phone apps.

The World Reopens, Despite Skyrocketing Coronavirus Cases
Marc Santora – The New York Times
Two months ago, when there were roughly 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases and the primal politics of survival was sweeping the world, shutting down was the order of the day.

U.S. could reach 200,000 coronavirus deaths in September, expert says
Brad Brooks – Reuters
The United States may see 200,000 deaths because of the coronavirus at some point in September, a leading expert said, while total U.S. coronavirus cases surpassed 2 million on Wednesday as governments relax restrictions.

CFTC Assumes Key Role on IOSCO Board Leadership
On Tuesday, June 9, 2020, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) announced the election and immediate appointment of CFTC Chairman Heath P. Tarbert as IOSCO Board Vice Chair for the term 2020-2022. Chairman Tarbert is the first CFTC Chairman to be elected to join the leadership of the IOSCO Board since the international standard setting body was established in 1983.

WFE issues guidelines for CCPs on non-default losses; Clearing houses have been urged to consider how they can avoid and mitigate risks resulting in non-default losses.
Kiays Khalil – The Trade
The World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) has published a set of guidelines aimed at improving processes for central clearing counterparties (CCPs) handling potential non-default losses (NDL).
In a statement, the global industry association for exchanges and clearing houses said the new procedures will allow a more transparent and predictable process in how NDLs are allocated and handled in central clearing.

Jay Powell delivers dovish message to financial markets; US central bank predicts no rate increases until at least the end of 2022
James Politi and Colby Smith – FT
Jay Powell could have used this week’s meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers to project confidence that the US economy had turned a corner after the shock of the coronavirus pandemic, with the jobs market showing signs of early recovery and equity prices continuing to rally.

Jerome Powell Sees Long Road Ahead for Jobs Market
Rich Miller – Bloomberg
Fed holds rates near zero and officials see a prolonged pause; Fed chief bemoans loss of jobs by women, blacks and Latinos
President Donald Trump says the U.S. economy will be back and better than ever next year. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell begs to differ. In an almost hour-long virtual press conference Wednesday after the Fed left interest rates pinned near zero, Powell repeatedly played down the surprise, welcome news of a pick-up in jobs growth in May that Trump hailed last week as the “greatest comeback in American history.”

If the Fed Saved the Day, Why is There a Fear of ‘Zombies’?
Lisa Lee – Bloomberg
It might be the most successful central bank intervention in history: Without doing much more than issuing a press release, the U.S. Federal Reserve turned a pandemic-driven credit crisis into a record-breaking flood of lending. So why are so many investors worried? Some fear that the Fed has merely traded a liquidity crisis now for a solvency crisis later. Others think that the new debt boom, layered on top of a decade of hefty Fed-fueled borrowing, will produce so-called zombies — firms surviving on endless debt that are lifeless when it comes to economic growth.

Using the Tools of Climate Investing to Battle Injustice
Emily Chasan – Bloomberg
In the span of only a few months, systemic issues once considered exogenous to markets have become the financial world’s main focus. From public health to structural inequality and the long-term battle against climate change, solving broader problems has never been more central to moving the economy forward.

Europeans Are Hoarding Billions and Have Few Plans to Spend Them
Jana Randow and Piotr Skolimowski – Bloomberg
Households’ bank deposits have surged in hard-hit nations; ECB, commission predict savings rate will remain elevated
Europe’s economy risks losing out on a massive dose of stimulus from its consumers. Households have stashed away hundreds of billions of euros in their bank accounts under lockdown. And even though shops in many countries have reopened, surveys show little sign that people are ready to splurge just yet amid spiraling unemployment and the threat of a second wave of infections.

Esma calls for full audits of cloud providers; Regulator says firms must negotiate access rights to books and premises of providers
Josephine Gallagher –
Clients of cloud service providers (CSPs) such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure will have to negotiate contract terms that allow them to supervise the providers’ performance and carry out detailed audits under regulatory guidelines currently out for consultation.

EU urged to pass permanent market risk capital relief; Council agrees temporary changes, but ECB’s Enria wants legislators to trust supervisors
Samuel Wilkes – Risk. Net
Banks are expecting EU legislators to pass a legal amendment that will give supervisors the power to temporarily lower a multiplier used in the calculation of trading book capital requirements. But there is growing pressure to make this discretion for supervisors permanent.

A Scramble for Gold Is Redrawing the Map of the Market; More than 20 million troy ounces of gold have landed in New York vaults over the past three months
Joe Wallace and Anna Isaac – WSJ
New York faces a gold rush after the pandemic threw precious-metal markets into disarray, setting off a scramble by traders to cut their losses. Bullion vaults approved by the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange house a record 29.7 million troy ounces, according to FactSet data back to 2013. Almost three quarters of that gold—weighing as much as nine, fully loaded Boeing 737-700 airplanes—has arrived in the past three months.

EU urged to tackle insolvency laws for unified capital market; Banking system alone cannot pull region out of Covid crisis, expert group warns
Jim Brunsden and Philip Stafford in – FT
Brussels will need to tackle Europe’s fragmented insolvency laws and create more uniform shareholder rights if it wants to build deeper capital markets and speed up its economic recovery, an official expert group has warned.

Bad things happen when finance front-runs the economy; Governments need to ensure durable growth that benefits more than the well-off in society
Mohamed El-Erian – FT
For most of the last 15 years, the US economy has relied on a mix of public and private finance to liquefy financial markets, boost asset prices and drive economic growth.

Minority analysts get less time to probe management than white peers; Study of 95,000 conference calls finds companies took fewer questions from ethnic minorities
Robert Armstrong – FT
Financial analysts from minority racial groups enjoy less access to corporate management than their white peers, according to a new study that analyses transcripts from tens of thousands of company conference calls.

EQT opens Paris office and appoints head of France; The team of 10 investment advisory professionals will focus on thematic investments across all of EQT’s core sectors and strategies
Selin Bucak – Financial News
EQT has opened an office in Paris with partner Nicolas Brugère taking on the role of head of France at the firm. Brugère, a French native, joined the firm in January from PAI Partners and brings about 14 years’ experience in the European private equity industry. The Paris team, consisting initially of 10 investment advisory professionals, will…

Goldman Sachs to Start Restaffing Key U.S. Offices on June 22
David Scheer – Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. plans to start the long-awaited return of its U.S. workforce this month, following a strategy of incremental restaffing that it rolled out in locations abroad where the coronavirus pandemic has slowed.


Coronavirus fuels black America’s sense of injustice; African-Americans have been especially vulnerable during the pandemic, laying bare disparities in health and employment
David Crow – FT
For the past nine years, Jessica Tucker has earned $7.50 an hour working at a bulk laundry company in Greenville, Mississippi, which services several hospitals in the state as well as neighbouring Louisiana and Arkansas. Even at the best of times, it is gruelling work. The 100 or so employees, most of them African-American, wash and sort dirty linen in a damp, poorly-ventilated room that is prone to flooding.

White House task force curtails meetings despite spread of virus; Move to weekly sessions sparks concern as western and southern states see jump in new cases
Kiran Stacey and Peter Wells – FT
The White House’s coronavirus task force has reduced its meetings to just one a week at a time US states across the west and Deep South are seeing a sudden jump in new cases, weeks after loosening lockdown restrictions.

How to avoid the virus as the world reopens; A guide to?where the biggest risks lie as lockdowns ease
Michael Peel and John Burn-Murdoch- FT
The lifting of lockdowns is posing an urgent question for people emerging warily back into society: where are they most at risk of contracting coronavirus? The dangers vary greatly with activity and it is not always clear that members of the public, or indeed the authorities, are gauging the hazards accurately, say experts.

Trying Out New Office Layouts for the Post-Pandemic Age; Cushman & Wakefield experiments with distant desks, one-way aisles, restricted conference rooms, and lots of signage.
Natalie Wong – Bloomberg
To get into Cushman & Wakefield Plc’s Amsterdam office, employees must first secure a work spot through an app that assigns them to a sanitized desk—which could be far from their pre-pandemic workspace.

Here’s what working in the Loop is like now that it’s slowly reopening; I’m here to give the roughly 600,000 people who worked downtown before COVID-19 and a spate of civil unrest a taste of what downtown is like.
Greg Hinz – Crain’s Chicago Business
So are the walls of your home beginning to close in after three long months of near quarantine? Tired of the spouse, your own cooking and even that loving pooch? Looking for a little more mental stimulation between Zoom calls and an hour of “Hogan’s Heroes” reruns?

Covid-19 will hit developing countries hard; The permanence of the losses caused by the pandemic depends on the size of the scars
Martin Wolf – FT
“Covid-19 is the most adverse peacetime shock to the global economy in a century.” Moreover, this recession “is the first since 1870 to be triggered solely by a pandemic”. Both observations come from the World Bank’s excellent new Global Economic Prospects. They illuminate the scale of the damage. Never can there have been a greater need for an ambitious and co-operative response. Alas, not for a long time have these qualities been so absent.

Prices on the Bread Aisle Plunge the Most in 80 Years
Katia Dmitrieva – Bloomberg
Months of quarantine have turned stay-at-home Americans into home bakers and lowered demand for any clothing that isn’t casual and comfortable, leading to a drop in prices. The price of white bread dropped the most since World War II in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dress prices and car insurance fell by the most on record, as people sought out leggings over more formal wear, and left the car in the garage.

California’s Solution for a Looming Covid-19 Budget Disaster; Proposition 13 created a huge loophole for big property owners. Voters may close it come November, funneling $12 billion to struggling schools.
Paul Tullis – Bloomberg
With 45 million children in 43 states already enjoying an extended summer vacation, school boards and legislators are trying to determine how the coronavirus recession will affect K-12 funding for the next academic year and beyond.

A World Wanting Payback Pulls Insurers Into Epicenter of Crisis; The pandemic threatens to be the costliest in history for the industry.
Lucca De Paoli, Katherine Chiglinsky, and Benjamin Robertson – Bloomberg
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal locked in spell-binding battle. Paul McCartney sharing a stage with Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift. The long-awaited 32nd Olympic Games. The list of canned crowd-thrillers that were planned for the coming weeks isn’t just bad news for event organizers, sports groups, entertainers and the like. The financial fallout has dealt a crippling blow to an industry that claimed to have averted the pandemic at its onset.

Businesses Need a Safe Harbor From Covid-19 Lawsuits; Republicans want a liability shield. Democrats don’t. But there’s a third way.
Ramesh Ponnuru – Bloomberg
A lot has changed over the last month. The country’s attention has turned to race relations and police brutality; unemployment has come down; more businesses are resuming normal operations; and polls have moved toward the Democrats. But on the key issue before policymakers in Washington — the next phase of coronavirus relief — nothing has changed.

Egypt Should Deal With the Pandemic’s Social Impact; A new deal with the IMF allows the government to ease up on its strict fiscal discipline, and fix flaws in recent economic policies.
Amr Adly – Bloomberg
Egypt has reached a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund over a standby loan of $5.2 billion. This comes after less than a month of the approval by the Fund’s executive board of a $2.8 billion emergency financial assistance to meet the country’s urgent balance of payments needs stemming from the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Starbucks forecasts over $2 billion drop in quarterly income as COVID-19 hits
Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) said on Wednesday it expects current-quarter operating income to plunge by up to $2.2 billion, and sales to decline for the rest of the year even as nearly all its cafes have reopened following easing of coronavirus lockdowns.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

SGX to share global fundraising expertise with Ucommune’s co-working community
Singapore Exchange (SGX) is partnering with Ucommune, China’s largest co-working community operator, to share its fundraising knowledge and insights with the community’s global members. The strategic partnership will allow SGX to support Ucommune’s members in understanding equity and debt capital raising as well as tapping international funding via Singapore’s capital markets.

Nasdaq Basic Canada Launches on the Cloud;
Cost-saving product available via Nasdaq Cloud Data Service; free trial available through Q3 2020
Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) today announced it launched Nasdaq Basic Canada—a feed that provides investors around the globe with access to real-time quote and trade data for the full range of Canadian listed equities—on Nasdaq Cloud Data Services (NCDS), which provides clients access to real-time equities, options, news, index, and fund data through cloud-based technology.

HKEX Enhances Product Offering with JD Debut
JD Futures and Options to be introduced on 18 June; HKEX informed issuers they can list derivative warrants on JD shares when the shares debut on HKEX’s securities market; JD shares to be included in Designated Securities Eligible for Short Selling on 18 June
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) is pleased to announce today (Thursday) that it will offer investors more options on, Inc. (JD, stock code: 9618) shares on the debut date (18 June 2020).

ETF options: Change of capacity group for the products IGLN and ISLN
Following the issuer’s announcement to change to International Central Securities Depository model of settlement (from currently CREST settlement), the Management Board of Eurex Deutschland took the following decision with effect from 11 June 2020:

Cboe Global Markets Announces Additional $250 Million in Share Repurchase Authorization
Cboe Global Markets, Inc.
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), one of the world’s largest exchange holding companies, today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the company to repurchase up to an additional $250 million of its outstanding common stock, effective immediately.

Cboe to Launch New Protective Trading Tool Against Quote Depletion
Cboe Global Markets, Inc.
Quote Depletion Protection designed to mitigate adverse selection risk and enhance trading outcomes; Enhancement to Cboe’s Midpoint Discretionary Order type; Planned for launch in mid – June 2020
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), one of the world’s largest exchange holding companies, today announced it will introduce enhancements – including a new Quote Depletion Protection (“QDP”) feature – that would offer new protective capabilities and increase the efficacy of its Midpoint Discretionary Order (“MDO”).


Barchart Releases 2020 Futures Market Survey: What Drives Futures Market Participants
Barchart, a leading provider of data and technology services to the financial, media and commodity industries, has released the results of a new survey on the futures market: What Drives Futures Market Participants. This 37-page comprehensive report provides brokerage, financial media firms and other market participants with a detailed look into the data and tools driving engagement among futures traders and investors.

Colorado Judge Rejects Bank Ability to Assign Loans to Fintech
Federal preemptions for banks on state interest rate caps don’t extend to transactions involving fintech lenders and other non-banks, a Colorado judge ruled.
The state court ruling is a potential headache for the fintech industry and is at odds with a new rule from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency that takes the opposite view.

Neptune raises $15 million from existing major bank shareholders; Fixed income data provider Neptune has secured funding from its existing shareholders which includes major investment banks.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Bond axes data specialist Neptune Networks has raised more than $15 million in capital from its existing shareholders, which includes major institutions such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

SimCorp merges markets divisions to form integrated EMEA business; SimCorp veteran Hans Otto Engkilde will head the new EMEA markets unit following the merger of its European markets divisions.
Kiays Khalil – The Trade
Trading and investment software provider SimCorp has merged its markets divisions in Europe to form a single integrated business in a bid to reduce complexity for its buy-side clients.

Vanguard’s New Robo Service Offers Low-Cost Financial and Retirement Advice; Digital Advisor is aimed at younger investors and cuts out human financial advisers entirely
Anne Tergesen – WSJ
Amid the disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis, a lot of people are looking for financial advice. Vanguard Group is hoping to capitalize on that, while also expanding the reach of the world’s second-largest money manager to a younger clientele.

BlackRock Invests in Swedish Payments Fintech Trustly
Julia Bahr – Finance Magnates
BlackRock Private Equity Partners, the firm’s private equity division, and a group of institutional investors are becoming minority shareholders in Swedish online account-to-account payments provider Trustly, according to market sources. Terms were not disclosed.


Crypto Exchange Binance to Launch Quarterly Bitcoin Futures
Eric Lam – Bloomberg
Binance Holdings Ltd., the top spot cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, is adding to its suite of derivatives products with quarterly Bitcoin futures. The new contracts will be settled in Bitcoin and expire on the last Friday of each three-month period, and are part of a broader strategy to introduce futures with fixed settlement dates, Binance CEO Zhao “CZ” Changpeng said in a interview. The new product is available on the firm’s web trading interface and will be accessible on the mobile version at a later date, Binance said in a release.

Why A Mysterious Ethereum User Paid $2.6 Million To Send $130 Of Crypto
Joseph Young – Forbes
An unknown user or company sent $130 in Ethereum (ETH) on June 10. The transaction shocked the crypto community.The transaction contained a fee of more than 10,000 ETH, equivalent to $2.6 million.

EU Nation at Center of Dirty-Cash Storm Cracks Down on Crypto
Ott Ummelas – Bloomberg
The country in the spotlight of Europe’s biggest-ever dirty-money scandal is turning its attention from banks to crypto-currency firms.
Estonia, a digital trailblazer that’s a European Union and euro-area member, has been clamping down to prevent financial crime after allegations that billions of dollars of illicit cash flowed through the local unit of Denmark’s largest lender Danske Bank A/S.

Novogratz’s Galaxy, Bakkt Start ‘White-Glove’ Bitcoin Service
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
Partnership plans to target traditional asset managers; Venture comes amid surge in crypto prime brokerage services
Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd. is partnering with Intercontinental Exchange Inc.’s Bakkt unit to offer “white-glove” service for large asset managers looking to buy and store Bitcoin.

Ethereum Users Giving the DAO Another Try After Digital Stickup
Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
LAO wants to fund Ethereum startups that are chosen by users; LAO ‘is the marriage of the legacy world and the crypto world’
Four years after the $55 million hack on the DAO threatened the future of a new blockchain system known as Ethereum, the crypto community is giving it a second try. It’s known as the LAO this time, which stands for Limited Liability Autonomous Organization. If that sounds like some kind of cyber law firm, that’s the point. Unlike the DAO, or decentralized autonomous organization, project where anyone with an Ether wallet could join in an effort to provide funding to startup projects, the LAO is limiting the number of participants as well as the amount of cryptocurrency they can contribute. So far, the LAO has raised 3,600 Ether, worth about $878,000, and awarded its first funding to a startup.

Russia’s Economy Ministry Calls for ‘Controllable Market’ Rather Than Crypto Ban
Anna Baydakova – Coindesk
In a letter to the country’s parliament, the nation’s Ministry of Economic Development criticized a package of draft bills recently introduced by lawmakers. If passed, Russia would at last have its first regulatory regime for crypto and digital assets – but would also effectively ban any businesses facilitating crypto transactions.

‘Blockchain Heroes’ Collectibles Are Based on Real Crypto Personalities
Joshua Mapperson – CoinTelegraph
A new digital trading card series on the WAX blockchain — Blockchain Heroes — will feature 50 unique superheroes inspired by top influencers, inventors and content creators throughout the blockchain community.
The series, developed by co-hosts of The Bad Crypto Podcast, Joel Comm and Travis Wright, is a comedic parody of crypto-world personalities presented as superheroes.


U.K. Scientists Defy Johnson to Speak Out on Virus Failures
Joe Mayes and Alex Morales – Bloomberg
Chief Medical Officer cites ‘long list’ of potential mistakes; Expert Ferguson says earlier lockdown would have cut deaths
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is battling to contain a public split with his own top scientific advisers, after they warned the government must learn from the catalog of failures it made during the coronavirus crisis.

Trump’s Slipping Polls Make GOP Holding Senate More Daunting
Laura Litvan and Steven T. Dennis – Bloomberg
Republican incumbents have hard time separating from president; Democrats see expanded opportunities to seize Senate majority
An already close battle for control of the U.S. Senate is growing more daunting for Republicans. Fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and mass protests against police brutality has driven down President Donald Trump’s poll numbers and threatens to bring down GOP incumbents with him, as Democrats look to expand a political map already tilted in their favor.

What Is Black Lives Matter? The World Rushes to Find Out; Wikipedia offers some illuminating data on interest in the Black Lives Matter movement.
Ben Schott – Bloomberg
For those who fear that the wave of outrage following George Floyd’s death may be ?eeting — and for those who argue that the protests against his killing are merely preaching to the converted — Wikipedia offers some illuminating data.

Brexit Britain Is Forced to Confront Its Inglorious Past; Leaving the EU was supposed to revive British glory as a global trading nation. Now the country is looking at its history through a different lens.
Alan Crawford – Bloomberg
Had he been alive, Edward Colston would surely have recognized the rage of the crowd that pulled down his statue in his home city of Bristol and dumped it into the harbor.

Putin’s Fury Over Diesel Spill May Force Green Reform in Russia
Yuliya Fedorinova, Ilya Arkhipov, and Olga Tanas – Bloomberg
Environmental bill stalled since 2018 may finally pass;; Investigators have opened a criminal case over the spill
The mishandling of the biggest Arctic oil spill ever infuriated Russian President Vladimir Putin and could give a boost to the country’s environmental regulation.

Statue of scout founder Baden-Powell to be taken down in Britain
A local authority in southern England said it would remove a statue of Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the worldwide scouting movement, the latest memorial to be taken down in the wake of anti-racism protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.


Cboe Futures Exchange, LLC Product and Rule Certification for Mini Cboe Volatility Index Futures Submission Number CFE-2020-018
Dear Mr. Kirkpatrick: Pursuant to Section 5c(c)(1) of the Commodity Exchange Act, as amended (“Act”), and § 40.2 and § 40.6 of the regulations promulgated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”) under the Act, Cboe Futures Exchange, LLC (“CFE” or “Exchange”) hereby submits terms and conditions for Mini Cboe Volatility Index futures (“VXM futures” or “Product”) to be traded on CFE and accompanying rule amendments to incorporate the Product into CFE’s rules (“Amendment”).

ESMA renews its Decision requiring net short position holders to report positions of 0.1% and above
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has renewed its decision to temporarily require the holders of net short positions in shares traded on a European Union (EU) regulated market to notify the relevant national competent authority (NCA) if the position exceeds 0.1% of the issued share capital.

ESMA responds to European Commission consultation on revision of NFRD
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has submitted a response to the European Commission’s (EC) consultation on a revision of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). The response recommends standardising disclosure requirements, widening the range of companies required to report and ensuring consistency between legislative initiatives on sustainable finance.

ESMA publishes statement on MiFIR open access and COVID-19
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, is issuing a public statement to clarify the application of the MiFIR open access provisions (OAP) for trading venues (TVs) and central counterparties (CCPs) in light of the recent adverse developments related to COVID-19.

ASIC’s Interim Corporate Plan for 2020-21
ASIC has today published its Interim Corporate Plan, which sets out five priorities to tackle the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic:
protecting consumers from harm at a time of heightened vulnerability; maintaining financial system resilience and stability; supporting Australian businesses to respond to the effects of COVID-19;continuing to identify, disrupt and take enforcement action against the most harmful conduct, and continuing to build our organisational capacity in challenging times.
The Interim Corporate Plan is a result of ASIC’s modified strategic planning process for the 2020-21 year, in response to the impact of COVID-19 on the financial system. Our immediate focus has been on assessing the key vulnerabilities in our regulated sectors in the current environment and developing targeted strategic priorities.

Former CFO charged with market manipulation and fraud offences
Mr Zhonghan Wu (also known as John Wu), former Chief Financial Officer of Traditional Therapy Clinics Limited (TTC), has been charged with 19 counts of market manipulation, eight counts of attempted market manipulation, six counts of forgery and three counts of fraud following an ASIC investigation.

Lloyds fined £64m for handling of mortgage arrears; UK’s financial regulator imposes biggest penalty on a high street bank in five years
Matthew Vincent – FT
Lloyds Banking Group has been fined £64m by the UK’s financial regulator for failing to support customers in mortgage arrears — the biggest penalty imposed on a UK high street bank in the past five years.

CFTC Extends No-Action Relief to Market Participants in Response to COVID-19
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced it has extended through September 30, 2020, certain elements of the no-action relief issued in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic that was set to expire on June 30, 2020. On March 17, 2020, the CFTC’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) and Division of Market Oversight (DMO) granted targeted, temporary relief to a broad spectrum of market participants to support orderly trading and liquidity as they implemented social distancing measures.

Open access regime for the trading and clearing of exchange-traded derivatives
From 4 July 2020 trading venues and central counterparties (CCPs) offering the trading and clearing of exchange-traded derivatives will be subject to the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR) open access regime as set out in articles 35 and 36 of that Regulation. Under those provisions, trading venues and CCPs may only deny access where the operational risk and complexity arising from granting access would cause undue risk. The specific factors trading venues and CCPs should consider when evaluating access requests are set out in Commission Delegated Regulation 2017/587.

Investing and Trading

Hertz share rally fizzles as it vows to fight delisting; Car rental group is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, potentially breaching exchange rules
Matthew Rocco – FT
Traders slammed the brakes on a rally in shares of Hertz on Wednesday, after the company notified investors of a dispute over its listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

Crude market volatility boosts profits at Trafigura; Coronavirus pandemic helps energy trader post record performance for oil unit
David Sheppard and Neil Hume- FT
Trafigura, one of the world’s largest commodity traders, has emerged as a winner from the sharp decline in crude prices caused by the coronavirus pandemic, reporting a record half-year for its oil and refined fuels division.

Record demand for 30-year Bunds shows hunger for safe assets; Sale of EUR6bn is 4 times bigger than any previous reopening of ultra-long German bonds
Philip Stafford – FT
Germany drew record demand for new 30-year debt on Wednesday, demonstrating that despite a sparkling recovery in stock markets, investors still have a strong urge to hold safe assets.

Why You Can’t Blame the Fed for Ultra-Low Interest Rates and Soaring Asset Prices
Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal – Bloomberg
One of the characteristics of the pre-crisis (and perhaps also the post-crisis) economy is the presence of very low interest rates, and financial asset prices that are expensive by historical standards. Of course, a lot of people are inclined to blame the Fed for this. But the real issue precedes the Fed, and in fact the Fed (and other central banks) are only responding to political decisions that depress consumption, investment and inflation. On this episode, we speak with Jon Turek, the author of the Cheap Convexity Blog, about how policies all around the world that suppress consumption and encourage exports are the real policy choices that lead to low rates and expensive financial assets.

Pessimistic Pros Missed the Big Rally, and So Did Many Americans; Those with no jobs and no money to invest are left out of Wall Street’s good times.
Peter Coy – Bloomberg
The U.S. stock market’s rally since late March has been hard to take for many people—including those professional investors who stayed pessimistic too long and missed out on much of it.

Milk and Seafood Pile Up as Coronavirus Upends Sales, FAO Says
Megan Durisin – Bloomberg
Food markets likely to face many more months of uncertainty; Overall, agriculture markets have proved resilient in pandemic
Global meat and seafood markets have been upended by the coronavirus pandemic as stockpiles surge and sales slump. This year’s dairy exports may post the steepest decline in three decades, and fish demand has been “severely” dampened by the pandemic, the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization said Thursday in a 2020 outlook report. Growth in global meat trade will also slow as shuttered restaurants and weakening economies spur consumer cutbacks.

Zero-Premium Mergers Becoming the New Normal Among Gold Miners
Aoyon Ashraf – Bloomberg
Barrick stock has gained 128% since tie-up with Randgold; More industry mergers of equals are likely, banker says
Gone are the days of paying high premiums to acquire mining companies or assets. After going through a prolonged bear market since 2013, miners have become more composed, and in this new bullish gold cycle paying a zero premium to merge two companies may become the new normal.

Copper’s Raging Bull Needs More Than China; A further leg for the rally may depend on coronavirus-related supply disruptions in Latin America and Indonesia.
Clara Ferreira Marques – Bloombeerg
Copper has been on a steady upward trend, charging into a bull market and toward $6,000 per metric ton. That’s going to be tough to sustain. China’s stimulus efforts are being felt most strongly in infrastructure and construction. They have been less marked in other metal-intensive corners of the market: consumer goods and exports, which are still waiting for Europe and the U.S. to rally.


NatWest Markets appoints permanent chief executive; Robert Begbie has been named permanent CEO of NatWest Markets in latest senior management changes from RBS chief Alison Rose.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
NatWest Markets has confirmed that Robert Begbie will assume the role of CEO permanently, after leading the business on an interim basis since December.

One-Man Hedge Fund Surged 27% This Year, Crushing Market Returns
Aoyon Ashraf – Bloomberg
Lynwood Opportunities Fund rose 22% in May vs TSX’s 2.8% gain; Fund gained from trades including silver equities, Lightspeed
Lynwood Capital Management Inc.’s Lynwood Opportunities Fund has advanced about 27% this year, outperforming most peers and beating broader markets hit by pandemic related volatility by nearly tenfold last month alone.

Goldman Sachs forms fund to address racial injustice
Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) said on Wednesday it had launched a $10 million fund to support the work of organizations addressing racial injustice, structural inequity and economic disparity.


Hong Kong’s Bid for Chinese Tech Listings Gets $6.6 Billion Endorsement; NetEase shares jump on debut in the city, while fixes price for $3.9 billion offering
Joanne Chiu – WSJ
Hong Kong’s status as a venue for major Chinese technology companies got a boost Thursday, as shares in mobile-games group NetEase Inc. jumped on their debut in the city, while e-commerce company Inc. fixed a price for its own US$3.9 billion offering.

South African Mining Output Drops Most in 39 Years on Lockdown
Prinesha Naidoo – Bloomberg
Total production fell 47.3% in April from year earlier; Output of gold down 59.6%, platinum-group metals fall 62%
South African mining output dropped the most since at least 1981 in April, when the first full month of restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic brought almost all economic activity to a halt.

China Is Killing Its Bond Bull to Save Main Street; The PBOC knows the pitfalls of loose monetary policy all too well.
Shuli Ren – Bloomberg
You’ve got to feel for central bankers. Their hearts are in the right place, with all these efforts to help Main Street businesses weather a bad economy. But their largesse often ends up on Wall Street, in the pockets of traders and big corporate treasurers.

Oil Crisis Shows Richest Nordic Country Remains a Crude Addict
Lars Erik Taraldsen and Mikael Holter – Bloomberg
Norway has been talking for years about weaning itself off oil, but the Covid-19 crisis has revealed how far it has left to go. Norwegian politicians this week sweetened a package that will delay more than $10 billion in taxes for oil companies and make projects more profitable after even the country’s industry-friendly prime minister implored lawmakers to show some “spine.” Critics say that could lead to loss-making ventures and slow down the necessary shift to a greener economy.

Expats Leaving Dubai Is Bad News for the Economy; The population could shrink by 10%, hitting the Gulf’s business and shopping capital.
Zainab Fattah and Abeer Abu Omar – Bloomberg
It took Sarah Sissons less than a month to call an end to 25 years in Dubai. The 39-year-old moved back to Australia in May with her husband and daughter. She first came to the Gulf business hub as a teenager, when her father was a pilot for Emirates, and never really left.

China’s Carbon Market Exchange Completes Trading Platform Test
Bloomberg News
The electronic platform that will be used for China’s national carbon trading program has completed testing, according to people with knowledge of the situation, a significant step for efforts by the world’s top polluter to rein in emissions.

The Ticking Debt Bomb in Africa Threatens a Global Explosion; Loan payments were manageable—barely—when growth was strong, but fallout from the outbreak threatens to unravel years of progress.
Alonso Soto – Bloomberg
The new airport serving the Angolan capital of Luanda was intended to be a bright and welcoming symbol of the former Portuguese colony’s renaissance—a counterpoint to the three-decade civil war that ended in 2002. Two parallel runways were to accommodate even the biggest jets, a new 40-kilometer (25-mile) rail line would whisk passengers to the city center, and a shimmering glass terminal bigger than the Pentagon was designed with dozens of restaurants, bars, and shops for the 15 million visitors the government expected to pass through annually.


Brexit no-deal concerns grow as lockdown lifts
Holly Ellyatt – CNBC
Brexit is back on the agenda in the U.K. as the country starts to emerge from a three-month coronavirus lockdown.
Trade talks with the EU have made little to no progress in recent months and there are growing fears that the U.K. could be heading back toward a “no-deal” scenario at the end of the year, compounding the economic uncertainty posed by the coronavirus crisis.

Firms can’t cope with no deal and virus – CBI boss
Simon Jack – BBC
Carolyn Fairbairn said a CBI member had likened a no-deal to “setting the shed on fire” while the house was in flames.
Brexit trade negotiations have not been going well between the UK and the EU.
A government spokesperson said the UK wanted to reach an agreement with the EU this year.


Swiss police investigate boy, 8, over toy banknotes
The Guardian
Swiss police have investigated an eight-year-old boy after he allegedly asked whether he could use a toy banknote in a village shop. The fake euro note was Chinese joss paper “spirit money” – used as symbolic burnt offerings at funerals to ensure the dead have a happy afterlife, according to the Basler Zeitung (BaZ) newspaper. The unnamed boy was not charged with any offence but his name will reportedly be on police records until May 2032.

John Lothian Newsletter

We visit more than 100 websites daily for financial news (Would YOU do that?)

“John Lothian and Company… our industry intelligence.”

Rick Lane

CEO, Trading Technologies

Past JLN Newsletters

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This Story