Hits & Takes
Simon Puleston Jones is leaving the FIA. See the press release below. Best of luck to Simon and thank you for all the great work on behalf of the industry. Simon gave a great presentation at the MarketsWiki Education event in London in 2014 called “In Pursuit of Happiness.” ~JJL
Yesterday was Will Mitting‘s last day at FOW. He is leaving for a yet to be disclosed new opportunity. Will is to be congratulated on restoring FOW’s presence in the markets. Best of luck with his new endeavor.~JJL
CAIA is holding an educational luncheon in Chicago on February 5 titled “2019 Outlook for Alternatives.” The event is being held at the Northern Trust Conference Center and features a panel discussion recapping 2018 and a look at the most attractive market segments for 2019, trends and areas of concern.~JJL
Boerse Stuttgart has unveiled a new look and a new website.~JJL
Nasdaq is now working with seven crypto exchanges, according to Forbes.~JJL
There were a lot of clicks on Ken Griffin’s recent real estate transactions. Our friends at the Chicago Tribune have put together a complete record of all his real estate deals over the years. Check it out HERE.~JJL
Sometime just after IDX, MarketsWiki should pass the 150 million pageview mark if the traffic trend continues.
Eyes on the House: STA’s Outlook
The midterm elections ushered in a new legislative balance of power. That means that the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services will have roughly 20 new members. Luckily, the Security Traders Association will have affiliates in some 13 to 15 of those new districts represented on the Committee.
In this video from 93rd Annual Midwinter Meeting, STA CEO and President Jim Toes talks about the STA’s focus and legislative outlook for 2019.
Watch the video »
Puleston Jones To Depart FIA
FIA’s President and CEO Walt Lukken today announced his acceptance of the resignation of Simon Puleston Jones, who is leaving the organization for other business pursuits. Mr. Puleston Jones has been the organization’s Head of Europe since 2016, when he helped oversee the merger between FIA’s global affiliates into a single organization. Mr. Puleston Jones also chairs the Joint Trade Association Group, a forum of over 20 financial services trade associations that advocate on issues such as Brexit and MiFID II.
*****Simon gave a great MarketsWiki Education presentation several years ago on the “Pursuit of Happiness.” I am glad to see him take his own advice.~JJL
NFA announces Regulatory Workshops for CPOs, CTAs, FCMs, FDMs and IBs in Chicago on February 25, 2019 and in New York on February 27, 2019
NFA will hold Member Regulatory Workshops for commodity pool operator (CPO), commodity trading advisor (CTA), futures commission merchant (FCM), forex dealer member (FDM) and introducing broker (IB) Members at Summit Chicago in Chicago, Ill. on February 25, 2019 and the New York Marriott Downtown in New York, N.Y. on February 27, 2019.
****** Good place to find new business with start up CTAs and CPOs. It worked for me back in the day and I was not even trying.~JJL
Deutsche Boerse Photography Foundation opens jubilee year with the exhibition “We love Photography!”; Exhibition curated by Martin Parr from 1 February to 24 May 2019 in The Cube, Eschborn / Start of the 20-year Art Collection Deutsche Boerse program
Deutsche Boerse Group
The Deutsche Boerse Photography Foundation opens the exhibition “We love Photography!” On Thursday. It shows around 130 works by 56 artists from the Art Collection Deutsche Boerse. The exhibition was curated by the British artist and collector Martin Parr and can be seen from 1 February to 24 May 2019 in The Cube, the headquarters of Deutsche Boerse, in Eschborn near Frankfurt.
***** Picture this!~JJL
Polar Vortex Sends Temperatures Plunging; States of Emergency Declared Across Midwest; Windchill temperatures fell to minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit across much of Chicago and near minus 70 across parts of the upper Midwest
Douglas Belkin and Erin Ailworth – WSJ
An Arctic air mass Wednesday plunged temperatures across the Midwest to their lowest levels in decades, sending a third of the country indoors.
***** The last time it was this cold I was driving a 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass S and had to take the battery out, put it inside in my kitchen sink to warm it up, and reinstall it, so my car would start.~JJL
**** Here is a short video clip of Lake Michigan steaming in the cold in Chicago.~JB
Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top read stories of the day on Wednesday were led by Bloomberg’s piece Chicago Pit Traders Have Weathered Worse Than an Arctic Freeze. Second was www.globalfinancialdata.com’s 200-years-of-united-states-stock-market-in-one-graph. Third was a top 3 piece for the second day on Lauren Simmons, How This 24-Year-Old Former NYSE Equity Trader Made History, from Forbes.
141,373,038 pages viewed; 23,401 pages; 216,612 edits
Are the Stock Exchanges Really Gouging Traders?; Fee data make good headlines but miss the heart of the matter.
Stephen Gandel – Bloomberg
Brad Katsuyama, the hero of Michael Lewis’s high-frequency trading book “Flash Boys,” understands the stock market as well as anyone on Wall Street. He’s tossing around numbers, though, that aren’t helping his cause.
Stuttgart Stock Exchange becomes first regulated market with cryptocurrency trading
Felix Holtermann, Andreas Krˆner – Handelsblatt
The Stuttgart Stock Exchange is launching what it claims is the first trading platform for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies operated by a regulated exchange.
Dozens of Advisers Face Claims of Overcharging for Mutual Funds; More than 50 investment advisers are under pressure to settle federal claims they steered customers to mutual funds that charged excessive fees, according to people familiar with the matter
Dave Michaels and Gabriel T. Rubin – WSJ
More than 50 investment advisers are under pressure to settle federal claims they steered customers to mutual funds that charged excessive fees, according to people familiar with the matter.
The EU cannot rescue Britain from Brexit chaos; May’s government has shown it can no longer be counted as a trusted partner
Philip Stephens – FT
I had intended to address a slightly sheepish plea to Britain’s European partners. Even at this late hour, the EU27 should show forbearance with the Brexit shenanigans at Westminster. The prize of an amicable parting of the ways ó or, in the best case, a change of heart in a second referendum ó was worth it. My shaky resolve collapsed after Theresa May’s latest swerve. The EU could now be forgiven for simply throwing Britain overboard.
EU Ready to Push U.K. Near Point of No-Return on Brexit, Diplomats Say
Ian Wishart – Bloomberg
No plans to offer May anything on deal over next few weeks; Ireland digs in over need for backstop to protect peace
The European Union is prepared to take Brexit down to a last-minute, high-stakes summit rather than cave into U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s demands over the next few weeks, diplomats said.
Deutsche Bank Sees Merger by Mid-Year If All Else Fails
Steven Arons and Birgit Jennen – Bloomberg
Executives are said to worry bank is running out of time; CEO Christian Sewing has pleaded for patience with his plan
Deutsche Bank AG executives are worried that they’re down to the last 60 days to turn around their struggling franchise.
Fed could soon stop trimming $4.1 trillion portfolio, Powell says
Ann Saphir – Reuters
The Federal Reserve may wind down its gradual asset-shedding operation sooner than thought, leaving the U.S. central bank with a bigger balance sheet than earlier anticipated, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday.
Powell said no decision had been made on how big the Fed’s balance sheet, now down to $4.1 trillion from a peak of $4.5 trillion, would need to be. Indeed, the Fed has never said exactly how far it plans to shrink the balance sheet, though in the past Fed officials had suggested it would be to less than $3 trillion.
An Upstart FX Market Maker Is Looking to Ramp Up in U.S. Equities and Treasuries XTX wants to increase its footprint and change the rules of the game.
Lananh Nguyen – Bloomberg
The biggest traders in foreign exchange gathered last May in a converted Victorian bathhouse in London. They drank Champagne amid ornate tile mosaics, stained glass, and Oriental rugs. The results of the 2018 Foreign-Exchange Survey by Euromoney Institutional Investor Plc were being announced. A gasp and clapping echoed through the room.
MiFID II SI regime for derivatives delayed for a second time until 2020; ESMA cites bad data but gives no further details on when the regime will be implemented for derivatives, other than it will be in 2020 at the latest.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
The systematic internaliser (SI) regime for derivatives under MiFID II in Europe has been postponed by the EU markets regulator, marking the second delay to implementation since MiFID II came into force in January last year.
SEC Official Who Oversaw Crypto Cases Leaves for Law Firm Jones Day
Anna Baydakova – Coindesk
Shamoil T. Shipchandler, a former regional director at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) who oversaw several high-profile crypto cases, has left the agency for the global law firm Jones Day.
Crypto Exchange Gemini Passes Security Audit Conducted by Deloitte
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
Cryptocurrency exchange and custodian Gemini has said it has passed a security compliance review conducted by “Big Four” auditing firm Deloitte.
Family Offices Increasing Hedge Fund Allocations in 2019
Family Office Networks reported today that hedge fund allocations from the fast-growing family office sector are set to increase during 2019.
Hedge Funds Are Behaving Like We Just Had a Financial Crisis
Luke Kawa – Bloomberg
Implied equity exposure, options trends point to risk aversion; Macro Risk Advisors says beta to stocks is lowest since 2013
Hedge funds haven’t been chasing the January rebound in U.S. equities on the heels of their worst year since 2011.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
Trading Volumes In 2018: PEGAS Sets A Record Volume On Its Spot Segment In 2018
PEGAS, the pan-European gas trading platform operated by Powernext, achieved its best trading results on its spot segment in 2018 by reaching 1,111.2 TWh, improving its previous record (826.2 TWh in 2017) by over 34%. The total traded in 2018 amounted to 1,962,9 TWh , including 846.2 TWh on the futures and 5.5 TWh on the options segments, which was fairly stable compared to 2017 (1,977.3 TWh).
India’s NSE wants to democratize capital market trading with fintech
India’s biggest bourse, the National Stock Exchange (NSE) is looking for fintechs to help develop a simpler interface for traders, hoping to attract wider retail participation.
SET Announces 2019-2021 Strategic Plan To Become Nation’s One-Stop Capital Market Platform
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) sets out the three-year strategic plan (2019-2021) under a theme of “Creating Partnership Platform to Drive Inclusive Growth” via four main strategies 1) Expand business activities; 2) Explore new opportunities with technology; 3) Reform regulations and streamline processes; and 4) Restructure business portfolio to slim down costs and broadening business opportunities for the entire capital market industry, aiming to boost efficiency and become Thailand’s one-stop capital market platform that enables for the country’s growth.
ICE Endex Announces Results Of European Gas Storage Auction For Gasterra
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, today announced the results of the ICE Endex gas storage auction held on January 30, 2019, on behalf of GasTerra.
Cross-border testing pilot for innovative firms open to applications
The Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) – a group of 29 international organisations including the Financial Conduct Authority – is inviting applications from firms wishing to test innovative financial products, services or business models across more than one country or jurisdiction.
Luminex Announces Platform Upgrade with Launch of “Luminex 2.0” Interface; Buy side-only venue greatly improves user experience and upgrades its UI architecture with OpenFin technology to streamline workflows and speed implementation of future enhancements
Luminex Trading & Analytics LLC, a buy side-owned trading venue delivering efficient, low-cost block executions, today announced the launch and rollout of “Luminex 2.0”, a new user interface for its unique buy side-only trading venue.
Buy-side backed Luminex unveils upgraded platform with OpenFin; Luminex has upgraded its buy-side only block trading platform using technology from OpenFin.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
US-based Luminex Trading & Analytics has rolled out a new interface for its buy-side only block trading venue following an upgrade with OpenFin.
BSC Americas launches global equity algo trading platform; The equity trading platform will provide institutional investors with execution and settlement as BCS Global Markets looks to develop its international presence.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
The US subsidiary of Russian-based broker BCS Global Markets has launched a new trading platform for global equity trading and settlement for institutional investors.
Brexit latest: Impact on fintech and banks
Elizabeth Schulze – CNBC
Europe’s fintech companies are getting serious about the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.
As uncertainty looms over the U.K.’s split from the EU, the industry gathered this week at the Paris Fintech Forum. Payments providers, cryptocurrency exchanges and digital banks all said they were taking steps to prepare for the worst-case scenario.
Ryan Williams, 30, Started A Revolutionary $800M Fintech. But Can He Escape His Kushner-Trump Connection?
Nathan Vardi – Forbes
ust before Christmas, the Associated Press published an article on the ways Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, might personally profit from the generous new “opportunity zone” tax breaks they had championed as advisors to their father/father-in-law, who happens to be the president of the United States. The very first path cited in the widely read story: Kushner’s investment in the real estate startup Cadre, a stake worth up to $50 million, according to his most recent federal financial disclosures.
Europe’s fintech companies are preparing for a no-deal Brexit
Elizabeth Schulze – CNBC
Europe’s fintech companies are getting serious about the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.As uncertainty looms over the U.K.’s split from the EU, the industry gathered this week at the Paris Fintech Forum. Payments providers, cryptocurrency exchanges and digital banks all said they were taking steps to prepare for the worst-case scenario.
Uber-Like Solution for Farm Shipments Connects Grains to Empty Trucks
Lydia Mulvany – Bloomberg
Indigo Ag Inc. is looking to shake up the world of agricultural freight with a platform that could energize the thousands of unused trucks sitting on farms.
Hackers Stole $1.7B Worth Of Crypto Last Year
Donna Fuscaldo – Forbes
The decline in the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies didn’t stop bad actors from making money last year to the tune of $1.7 billion. And those scams aren’t expected to decline in 2019, despite efforts to clamp down on the industry.
Crypto brokers ignore market collapse to woo pro investors; Product launches come after big falls in prices and mounting regulatory scrutiny
Philip Stafford and Eva Szalay – FT
New ways for institutional investors to punt on cryptocurrencies are still springing up, despite a collapse in prices and signs that hedge funds are abandoning the once-promising new asset class.
Should the central bank issue e-money?
Charles Kahn, Francisco Rivadeneyra, and Tsz-Nga Wong – St. Louis Fed
Should a central bank take over the provision of e-money, a circulable electronic liability? We discuss how e-money technology changes the tradeoff between public and private provision, and the tradeoff between e-money and a central bank’s existing liabilities like bank notes and reserves. The tradeoffs depend on i) the technological setup of the e-money system (as a token or an account; centralized or decentralized); ii) the potential improvement in the implementation and transmission of monetary policy; iii) the risks to safety and privacy from cyber attacks; and iv) the uncertain impact on banks’ efficiency and financial stability. The most compelling argument for central banks to issue e-money is to address competition problems in the banking sector.
Cryptocurrency Liquidity Provider B2C2 OTC Receives FCA Authorisation
B2C2, one of the largest cryptocurrency liquidity providers and the leader in electronic OTC trading, today announced that its UK subsidiary, B2C2 OTC Ltd., is now authorised and regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority to arrange and deal in Contracts for Difference (CFDs) with eligible counterparties and professional clients. The FCA authorisation will allow these clients of B2C2 OTC Ltd. to gain exposure to cryptocurrency markets via the firm’s CFDs.
Crypto Funds Morph Into Venture Capitalists Shunned in ICO Boom
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
Polychain’s $175 million fund includes 7-year lockup provision; More digital asset venture funds are opening than hedge funds
As cryptocurrency prices continue to languish, hedge funds investing in digital assets are increasingly starting to look more like venture capitalists.
Binance Users Can Now Pay for Crypto With Credit Cards
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by adjusted trading volume, has just made it easier for users to buy cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain Capital Leads $1.7 Million Round for Crypto Compliance Startup
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
Venture capital firm Blockchain Capital has led a $1.7 million seed round for San Francisco-based crypto compliance startup TRM Labs.
IOTA: Almost All Tokens From $11 Million Hack Have Been Found
Daniel Palmer – Coindesk
Almost all of roughly $11 million-worth of iota tokens alleged to have been stolen by an individual from Oxford, UK, have been found. IOTA co-founder and board co-chairman Dominik Schiener told Reuters that the funds are currently being held as evidence in a police investigation.
NEM Foundation, on Brink of Bankruptcy, Plans Layoffs and Pivot
Leigh Cuen – Coindesk
The NEM Foundation, a community-funded nonprofit established to promote the NEM blockchain, is planning layoffs across its entire 150-person staff in the wake of severe budget cuts and ahead of an imminent restructuring, CoinDesk has learned. The newly elected president of the NEM Foundation, Alex Tinsman, told CoinDesk Wednesday the Singapore-based NEM Foundation now intends to submit a funding request to the NEM community fund for 160 million tokens (worth roughly $7.5 million), money that would be used to rescue the organization from the verge of bankruptcy.
BitGo launches “Wrapped Bitcoin” as it eyes new tokenization opportunities
Frank Chaparro – The Block Crypto
BitGo celebrated the launch of a new crypto hybrid this week, Wrapped Bitcoin ó and it could point to a new opportunity for the firm known for its sleepy custody business.
Cryptopia hacker who pulled off a $16M heist still going
The Block Crypto
Cryptopia has still not located its security gap, as the hacker who stole $16 million in ethereum earlier this month has since taken another 1,675 ETH (worth about $180,000) from 17,000 Cryptopia wallets, blockchain analysis firm Elementus reports.
Big Business Plans All-Out Blitz on Washington to End Trade War
By Matthew Townsend – Bloomberg
Farmers, business owners, executives descend on Capitol Hill; Campaign features charity saying Trump’s tariffs hurt infants
Corporate America is taking the gloves off in its campaign to end President Trump’s trade war.
Warren Faults ‘Capitalism Without Rules’ in Pushing Wealth Tax
Sahil Kapur and Joe Weisenthal – Bloomberg
Democratic candidate says everyone needs ‘chance to play’; Senator says there are many paths to Medicare for all
Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren said “capitalism without rules is theft” and defended her wealth-tax proposal as a way to raise revenue and bolster opportunity for ordinary Americans.
Loss of newspapers contributes to political polarization
David Bauder – AP
The steady loss of local newspapers and journalists across the country contributes to the nation’s political polarization, a new study has found.
Europe Protects Itself From Trump’s Caprice; The ‘special purpose vehicle’ for Iran is a strike for greater economic sovereignty.
Esfandyar Batmanghelidj – Bloomberg
It’s been a surprisingly short time in coming. It was only last September that Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs, announced that the European parties to the Iranian nuclear dealóformally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actionówould establish an a special purpose vehicle to “assist and reassure economic operators pursuing legitimate business with Iran,” giving them a route around secondary sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.
Jamie Dimon on Tax-Hike Proposals: The Rich ‘Can Afford to Pay More’
Michelle Davis – Bloomberg
Billionaire CEO Jamie Dimon is OK with tax hikes on the rich, as long as the revenue goes where he thinks it’ll do the most good.
High-risk bond marketer changes tack after FCA halts scheme
Jim Armitage – Evening Standard
The sophisticated sales operation marketing high risk bonds from London Capital & Finance to the public has put its firepower behind another risky investment scheme since LCF had its activities suspended by City regulators.
Regulator called on to weed out bad guys
Rachel Addison – FT Adviser
Advisers have voiced their anger over the latest regulatory fees announcement, calling on regulatory bodies to do more to target the ‘bad guys’.
ESMA issues statement to address upcoming EMIR Refit implementation issues
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published today a statement addressing EMIR Refit implementation. The public statement addresses issues around the clearing and trading obligations for small financial counterparties and the backloading requirement for reporting entities, ahead of upcoming deadlines, which would represent challenges for the above mention entities in the context of the ongoing EMIR Refit negotiations.
ASIC reports on 2018 annual general meeting season
ASIC today published its overview of the 2018 annual general meeting (AGM) season for ASX 200 listed companies.
ASIC cancels AFS licence of Jade Capital Partners and bans one director
ASIC has cancelled the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of Sydney-based Jade Capital Partners Pty Ltd (Jade Capital), which provided managed discretionary account (MDA) services, and banned one of its directors, James Clinnick, from providing financial services.
Malaysia’s Securities Commission Fines Deloitte Over Breaches Tied to 1MDB; The penalties mark the first action against an audit firm over the fund in Malaysia
Yantoultra Ngui and Samuel Rubenfeld – WSJ
Malaysia’s securities regulator imposed penalties on Deloitte PLT for four breaches related to an Islamic bond program issued by a unit of state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB.
Executive at Wirecard suspected of using forged contracts; Internal presentation pointed to possible ‘falsification of accounts’
Dan McCrum and Stefania Palma – FT
A senior Wirecard executive was last year suspected of using forged and backdated contracts in a string of suspicious transactions that raise questions about the integrity of the accounting at one of Europe’s rare technology success stories.
Investing and Trading
University investments fare well in 2018, but worries linger
Collin Binkley – AP
Hundreds of U.S. universities made strong returns on their financial investments last year, but experts worry the gains could be jeopardized by increased spending at many schools.
The Hot Topic in Markets Right Now: ‘Quantitative Tightening’; It’s not China. It’s not the shutdown’s aftermath. The latest obsession occupying the minds of investors is the Fed’s plan to reduce the stockpile of bonds it bought during and after the Great Recession.
Matt Phillips – NY Times
Anyone paying attention to financial markets in recent months knew that the Federal Reserve’s management of the economy was perhaps the single most important question on the minds of investors.
Central bank gold-buying reaches half-century high; Russia leads countries shifting reserves from the US dollar
Henry Sanderson – FT
Central bank buying of gold reached its highest levels for almost half a century last year as Russia, Turkey and Kazakhstan boosted purchases to shift their reserves away from the US dollar.
Fidelity’s average retirement account balances dropped ó the reason why may surprise you
Alessandra Malito – MarketWatch
Retirement account balances at Fidelity Investments dipped in the last three months of 2018, but investors weren’t to blame.
UBS bets on investment banking, wealth tie-up in bid for growth
Angelika Gruber, Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi – Reuters
UBS, the world’s biggest wealth manager, has appointed corporate banking veteran Christian Rosset to lead a new wealth management team tasked with strengthening corporate offerings for entrepreneur clients, the bank told employees this week.
Deutsche Bank focused on sustainable profitability: source
Deutsche Bank is focused on getting the German lender on a path to sustainable profitability, a well-informed Deutsche Bank source told Reuters on Thursday.
RBS sued by payments company for freezing its accounts; Lawyer for the cross-border payments company says bank caused it to suffer losses
Barney Thompson – FT
A British payments company is suing Royal Bank of Scotland for freezing its accounts after the lender flagged up concerns to the UK authorities about possible fraudulent activity by the business’s clients.
Fixed income funds fail to push companies on climate change; Bondholders are not using groups’ need to refinance to press for action on global warming, report says
Jennifer Thompson – FT
Bond investors fail to push companies to tackle climate change despite a high level of awareness about the risks, a report has found.
Bloomberg to add Chinese government bonds to flagship index
Emma Dunkley – FT
Bloomberg has confirmed that Chinese renminbi government bonds will be added to the $54tn Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate index from April 2019.
Barclays trial judge says SFO claims implicate Qatar; Entities linked to Qatar must be as dishonest as Barclays bankers if SFO case correct, jury told
Caroline Binham – FT
Entities connected to Qatar must be just as dishonest as Barclays bankers now on trial for fraud, if the prosecution’s case is correct, a judge has told a London jury hearing a landmark criminal trial.
Co-CEO of Bridgewater Hails ‘Radical Transparency’ at World’s Largest Hedge Fund
Mary Childs – Barron’s
“We aspire to be the best investment fund in the world,” Eileen Murray, Bridgewater Associates’ co-chief executive officer, told the packed ballroom in the opening panel of Context Summits Miami, a gathering of allocators and hedge funds here.
Four things to watch: Deutsche Bank’s year-end earnings; Sewing’s turnround story dogged by questions over low profitability and low share price
Olaf Storbeck – FT
Christian Sewing has been in his job for 10 months and by some measures Deutsche Bank’s apprentice-turned-chief executive has done a decent job.
Goldman Sachs sued over work on $2.9bn grocery deal; Bank accused of manipulating credit default swaps market and taking excessive fees
Laura Noonan – FT
Goldman Sachs was accused on Wednesday of taking $50m in unauthorised fees and structuring a complex financing deal to its own advantage and that of its hedge fund clients, in a dispute over its work on a $2.9bn takeover deal. Goldman vigorously denies all the allegations.
Santander Gives Investors the Run Around; A decision by the Spanish bank not to redeem a 1.5 billion euro perpetual bond would damage trust. Investors deserve more assurances.
Marcus Ashworth – Bloomberg
Banco Santander SA missed an opportunity to win over its bondholders on its earnings call this week.
Nomura’s Still Bloated. It’s Time to Cut Deep; Japan’s biggest brokerage needs to scale back more aggressively in Europe and focus on trading.
Nisha Gopalan – Bloomberg
Japanese companies, after years in the low-growth doghouse, have gained a reputation for being ambitious acquirers. Nomura Holdings Inc. should be equally aggressive – in scaling back.
World’s Largest Money Market Fund Is Shrinking as It Battles Rival on Yields; Flagship fund Tianhong Yu’e Bao shrank by more than a third last year
Stella Yifan Xie – WSJ
China’s Ant Financial Services Group created the world’s largest money-market fund in just a few years before being forced to scale it back. Now, it is worried about losing too many investors.
China to rush through new foreign investment law; Beijing hopes move to ban ‘forced’ technology transfers will help smooth trade talks
Tom Mitchell – FT
The Chinese government will rush a new foreign investment law through its rubber-stamp parliament in March, in a move that Beijing hopes will help smooth over trade talks scheduled to open later today in Washington.
China Has Too Many Investment Bankers. That Means Fees of Just 0.001%
Price war between firms helped cut underwriting fees in half; Analyst says 20 full service firms ‘more than enough’
It’s not quite working for free, but it’s pretty close. Competition among Chinese investment banks has become so intense that five firms recently agreed to split a 0.001 percent fee for arranging a private share placement. That compares with the more than 5 percent that’s usual for follow-on stock offerings on Wall Street, data compiled by Bloomberg show. It’s the latest example of a price war in China that helped cut average equity underwriting fees in half last year and prompted a trade group to call for measures to prevent “vicious competition.”
Foreign Secretary: Brexit may have to be delayed
Danica Kirka – AP
A key member of Prime Minister Theresa May’s government acknowledged Thursday that Britain’s exit from the European Union may have to be delayed if negotiations on a divorce deal drag on.
As Chances of No-Deal Brexit Rise, British Companies Scramble to Prepare; A lack of clarity over the terms of Britain’s looming departure from the European Union has British businesses stockpiling products and components, and delaying new investments.
Peter S. Goodman – NY Times
Filtermist, a company flush with business across Europe, is scrambling to fix a problem whose contours are maddeningly unknown. In less than 60 days, absent a sudden outbreak of amity in British politics, the country will crash out of the European Union without a deal spelling out what happens next.
Barclays May Transfer 5,000 Clients to Ireland in $217 Billion Brexit Move
Harry Wilson, Stefania Spezzati , and Alexander Weber – Bloomberg
Judge says no-deal concern meant pre-emptive approval needed; While assets not moved yet, McFarlane cites Brexit uncertainty
Barclays Plc won permission to transfer large parts of its business from Britain to its Dublin-based subsidiary if needed, with a judge disclosing that the Brexit-driven move could affect thousands of the bank’s corporate clients.
Merchants of Truth by Jill Abramson ó when news goes viral; A study of the disruption of journalism reveals how traditional lines are being crossed
John Lloyd – FT
When Jill Abramson was fired from the executive editorship of The New York Times in May 2014, she took a pay-off of “nothing like the millions” conferred on Howell Raines, a predecessor ó but one that offered “enough freedom to figure out what I wanted to do”. A project to start a long-form journalism site failed. Instead, she used her freedom to report what the news media are doing to society ó and produced a masterwork.