Bacon is Back: CME Group Launches New, Fresh Bacon Index

May 14, 2019

First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

The CME Group saw the first non-record day for volume on the Micro E-mini equities complex with 627,499 contracts traded, compared to Friday’s 671,526 record volume. Yesterday, the Micro E-mini S&P 500 traded 383,837 contracts compared to 396,109 contracts on Friday.~JJL

A new version of the Consolidated Audit Trail “Industry Member Reporting Scenarios” document and a new “Industry Member Technical Specifications” document were published by CAT NMS and FINRA CAT. Find them here.~SD

In CME Group disciplinary news, one Michael Vukmir was fined $15,000 and suspended for layering orders in multiple Class III Milk futures products. Vukmir neither admitted nor denied the rule violation.~SD

Reporter James Rundle, most recently of the family of publications, joined the Wall Street Journal as an enterprise technology reporter.~SD

Eventus Systems has a brief recap of some of the takeaways from the 2019 FIA Law & Compliance conference in Washington, D.C. last week. ~SR

At court of honor for my Scouts BSA girl Troop 117G last night, seven girls were recognized for earning the rank of Tenderfoot.. They are working hard and advancing.~JJL

Two girls in my troop are headed to National Youth Leadership Training camp in June, with their tuition paid for by the Fearless Girl National Youth Leadership Training Fund. Those funds were raised as part of the LaSalle Street Trading Tech Awards event.~JJL


Bakkt Sets July Test Date for Bitcoin Futures
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
Bitcoin futures exchange Bakkt announced Monday that it is moving forward with plans to launch physically-settled bitcoin futures products.

***** The following has been a test of the emergency bitcoin trading system. This is only a test.~JJL


Donald Trump’s Trade War Has Been Paid for Entirely by U.S. Businesses and Consumers, Says Goldman Sachs
Daniel Moritz-Rabson – Newsweek
While President Donald Trump continued to insist that China would pay for increased tariffs levied by the U.S., investment bank Goldman Sachs said the cost of tariffs imposed last year had “fallen entirely on U.S. businesses and households.”

***** OPM is addictive.~JJL


More tech than trading: Terrapinn’s Trading Show Chicago 2019
Chuck Mackie – Medium
Spring is a perverse season in Chicago. Not only does the weather engage in a schizophrenic zig-zag between nasty and nice, the business calendar is also comically crammed with too many events in too few weeks. There is little interest in holding an event in the window between Memorial Day and Labor Day and, as a result, hard choices have to be made.


Tower Battle Beside World’s Biggest Exchange Ends in Settlement
By Nick Baker – Bloomberg
Owner of CME’s data center had sued to block Scientel’s mast; Tower in Chicago suburb allegedly ruined data center’s plans
The court battle has ended over a controversial communications tower near the suburban Chicago data center that houses the world’s largest exchange.

***** Battle of the Titans resolved.~JJL


Monday’s Top Three
Our top read story on Monday was Crain’s Chicago Business’ Courtroom losses sting feds in futures enforcement campaign. Next was CNBC’s story on the new Long-Term Stock Exchange, SEC approves new Silicon Valley stock exchange backed by Marc Andreessen, other tech heavyweights. Third was a tie between Crain’s Chicago Business’ 20 in Their 20’s and the Independent’s Drinking two cups of coffee a day can help you live longer, research suggests


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Lead Stories

Bacon is Back: CME Group Launches New, Fresh Bacon Index
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced it has begun publishing a new CME Fresh Bacon Index to establish a transparent price reference for fresh pork bellies used to make bacon. This new index comes amid significant bacon price volatility driven by rapidly growing consumer demand, global trade disputes and disease. Prices for pork bellies are the most volatile of all the pork primal cuts, with volatility peaking at over 40% in 2018.

Dark clouds gather over Brazilian soyabean farmers; China’s swine flu outbreak and possible trade detente with the US unsettle producers
Bryan Harris and Tom Hancock and Wang Xueqiao – FT
For Adriano Gomes, 2018 was a banner year in the Brazilian soyabean market. “We saw the brakes explode here in Brazil,” says the analyst at consultancy AgRural. He adds that exports rose from 72m tonnes in 2017 to more than 85m tonnes in 2018 and attracted the highest prices in local currency since 2007. “[It] was an exceptional year.”

Regulators cut banks some slack on shift away from Libor; Move from UK regulator signals more flexible approach to replacing tainted benchmark
Philip Stafford – FT
Global markets regulators are beginning to offer big concessions to help banks struggling to shift away from the Libor lending benchmark.

SEC gives green light to first ‘negative fee’ fund; Move highlights the ferocious war for clients waging among asset managers
Owen Walker – FT
The US markets regulator has backed a fund that pays customers to invest in it, highlighting a ferocious war for clients being waged among asset managers.

Dark pool trading volumes surge to pre-MiFID II levels; Analysis by TABB Group finds that dark pools volumes reached the largest share of on-exchange in April since before MiFID II was implemented.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Volumes on European dark pools in April reached the largest share of on-exchange trading in the post-MiFID II era, according to an analysis by TABB Group.

Refinitiv currency trading and data terminals face ‘major incident’; Products used by investors and news organisations suffer glitch ahead of London open
Adam Samson and Michael Hunter – FT
Refinitiv’s foreign currency trading platform and financial data terminal both suffered a serious incident on Tuesday morning, a day after volatility swept across worldwide asset markets.

Wealth Advisers Are Fleeing Big Banks For Smaller Firms
Sophie Alexander – Bloomberg
UBS team overseeing $530 million latest to go independent; Breakaway firms have parked $25 billion on Dynasty’s platform
Another day, another team of wealth advisers leaving a Wall Street bank. Four UBS Group AG private bankers overseeing $530 million in client assets are the latest to strike out on their own, creating a Portland, Maine-based firm called Great Diamond Partners, according to a statement Monday. Last week, five Bank of America Corp. advisers in Atlanta overseeing $450 million in client assets departed, while a $6 billion Texas team split from Morgan Stanley in April.

As Swine Fever Roils Asia, Hogs Are Culled and Dinner Plans Change
Mike Ives and Katherine Li – NY Times
A man in a white protective suit parked a dump truck at the edge of a dusty pit and unloaded a pile of pink carcasses. They tumbled to the ground just as a second truck arrived with another batch.

China’s New Nasdaq Pushes Back Against Firms Trying to List
Bloomberg News
The Shanghai exchange is grilling firms about their filings; There’s still no official start date for the technology board
Getting listed on China’s new technology board may not be as simple as companies had hoped, with many filings mired in scrutiny. The Shanghai Exchange has peppered 100 applicants with about 50 questions each on average, asking about everything from share structure to accounting and intellectual property rights, according to statements compiled by Bloomberg. Until the firms satisfy the exchange on all the points, they can’t proceed with their initial public offerings.

A Hedge Fund Offers to Share the Risk of Losses; Most funds take a cut of profits, but Steve Diggle says traders should bear the pain of declines as well.
Saijel Kishan, Bei Hu – Bloomberg
Steve Diggle got rich by trading other people’s money. Now he’s trying to upend the very business model that made him wealthy.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

T+2 Stock Settlement Cycle Go-live Date is Fixed
The Working Group on Shortening Stock Settlement Cycle (WG), for which JSDA (Japan Securities Dealers Association), TSE (Tokyo Stock Exchange) and JSCC (Japan Securities Clearing Corporation) act as its secretariat, has worked on realization of shortening stock settlement cycle in Japan (hereinafter “T+2 Implementation”), and targeted the T+2 Implementation at Tuesday, July 16, 2019 (trade date basis).

Nadex Reverts Settlement Procedure For Crude Oil And Natural Gas Contracts
On April 26, 2019 Nadex submitted a self-certification to the CFTC providing notice that it planned to amend its expiration value calculation procedures beginning on May 13, 2019 for its Crude Oil and Natural Gas Binary and Variable Payout contracts, whereby a different calculation method would apply depending on whether the underlying market conditions were “normal” or “highly active”.

Shanghai Futures Exchange: Notice On Investigation And Penalties For Violations Of Relevant Rules And Regulations In 2019
To strengthen risk management and frontline regulation of the futures market, well regulate futures trading behaviors and protect the legitimate interests of the market participants, Shanghai Futures Exchange(hereinafter referred to as “The Exchange”) has made continuous efforts to investigate and penalize violations of relevant rules and regulations.The enforcement against such violations in April 2019 is listed as follows:

EuroCCP Appoints David Hatton As Chief Technology Officer – Leading Post-Trade Technologist Joins Europe’s Largest Equities CCP
EuroCCP, Europe’s leading equities clearinghouse, today announces the appointment of David Hatton as Chief Technology Officer. Mr Hatton will take over from Albert-Jan Huizing, who has decided to step down at the end of June 2019 having worked at EuroCCP since its formation in 2007.

PanXchange adds S&P Global Platts veteran to Board of Advisers
PanXchange, an OTC physical commodity exchange and price discovery platform for products including industrial hemp and frac sand, has added senior industry executive Andy Bose to its board of advisers.

SGX to launch securities market “Trade at Close” session on 3 June
Singapore Exchange (SGX) is introducing the “Trade at Close” (TAC) session for the securities market on 3 June 2019. The 10-minute-long TAC session will immediately follow the closing auction routine and allows participants to execute orders at the closing auction price set during the closing auction routine. The TAC session will occur at 5.06pm to 5.16pm on a regular trading day and from 12.06pm to 12.16pm if the market is trading for half a day.

TMX Group Announces Election of Directors
TMX Group today announced that the nominees listed in the management proxy circular for the 2019 Annual and Special Meeting of Shareholders were elected as directors of TMX Group Limited. Detailed results of the vote for the election of directors held at the Annual and Special Meeting on Friday, May 10, 2019 in Toronto are set out below.

The Listing Committee censures GT Group Holdings Limited (Stock Code: 263) and a number of its current and former directors for breaching the Listing Rules and/or the Director’s Undertaking
THIS DISCIPLINARY ACTION concerns the Company’s failure to cooperate with the Listing Department’s investigation by failing to provide the percentage ratios with respect to the subject transaction under investigation. A listed company is required to provide to the Exchange as soon as possible any information or explanation that the Exchange may reasonably require for the purpose of investigating a suspected breach of the Exchange Listing Rules.

Frequentis AG new at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange; Provider of communication and information systems listed in the General Standard / Dual Listing in Frankfurt and Vienna
Deutsche Börse Group
Frequentis AG (ISIN: ATFREQUENT09 ) has been listed in the General Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since today . The shares of the company listed at the start of trading at 18.00 euros, the issue price was 18.00 euros.

Xetra EnLight: New clearing fees as of 28 May 2019
With T7 Release 7.1, the price request functionality Xetra EnLight for on-exchange off-book trading will be launched for cash equity products.


WhatsApp informs Irish regulator of ‘serious security vulnerability’
Facebook’s WhatsApp has informed its lead regulator in the European Union, Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), of a serious security vulnerability on its platform, the DPC said on Tuesday.

This government agency wants to partner with fintech firms. But a gift rule is blocking it
U.S. is falling behind in fintech innovation, regulators warn
Peter Feltman – Roll Call
If government employees need new software to test how a financial technology project might work — software they lack expertise to write themselves — they can’t get it from the industry because rules deem such software as a gift and block the government from receiving it.

You can’t spell FinTech without FTC
Edith Ramirez, Meghan Rissmiller and Olga Fleysh – Lexology
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is not the only consumer watchdog keeping a close eye on the financial sector and certainly not the only agency focused on FinTech. This is also a key area for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
FinTech provides an exciting array of financial products and services that benefit consumers. From online lending to payment apps, these technologies offer consumers fast and convenient access to financial services. But companies providing new and innovative digital products cannot take shortcuts when it comes to complying with traditional consumer protection principles without risking catching the attention of the FTC.


Crypto-Miners: Are They Broker-Dealers or Math Geeks?
Chris Kentouris – FinOps
If it quacks like a duck, it’s a duck, right. But does it quack?
That’s the question broker-dealer Templum Markets has raised to the US Securities and Exchange Commission about crypto-miners which has polarized the crypto-community into deciding whether they should be regulated as broker-dealers. Fueling the debate are conflicting interpretations of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 which defines a broker-dealer as a person or entity engaged in the business of effecting transactions for the account of others. Crypto-miners and their afficionados say that the definition, taken at face value, precludes crypto-miners while in its April letter to the SEC,

***I missed this last week. Good stuff.~SD

Bitcoin is the 10-year Treasury of our time
Jemima Kelly – FT
Well this is embarrassing. Just weeks after we were forced to admit there was a cracking use-case for bitcoin, we’ve once again been left red-faced. Bitcoin has risen while other risky things have fallen, and in so doing has proven, once and for all, that it is a safe-haven asset.

New York Blockchain Week Begins With Fewer Lamborghinis
Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
More subdued atmosphere after bubble excesses of prior years; Blockchain advocates gather in New York as Bitcoin surges
Even with the resurgence in the price of Bitcoin, there likely won’t be any Lamborghinis on display at this week’s crypto and blockchain conferences. Attendees can instead expect sound baths, meditation and lunch from food trucks paid via digital coins.

ECB Official Considers Stable Coins More Promising Than Bitcoins
Carolynn Look and William Horobin – Bloomberg
European Central Bank policy maker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said not all cryptocurrencies are created equal.

Crypto Hedge Fund Survivors Lost 46% in 2018, PwC Analysis Shows
Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
The cryptocurrency hedge funds that survived the 2018 market collapse lost almost half their assets, according to the most comprehensive accounting of its impact on the industry.

Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has launched trading support for XRP for New York state residents.

Microsoft Launches Decentralized Identity Tool on Bitcoin Blockchain
Leigh Cuen – Coindesk
Microsoft is launching the first decentralized infrastructure implementation by a major tech company that is built directly on the bitcoin blockchain.

Ex-Tron CTO Denies Justin Sun’s Accusations of Embezzlement, Bribery
Wolfie Zhao – Coindesk
The former CTO of Tron, who left the project to launch a competing blockchain, has denied accusations of embezzlement, bribery and infringement that were levied by Tron founder Justin Sun.

Exchange-Traded Notes for XRP, Litecoin Launch on Boerse Stuttgart
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
Germany’s second-largest stock exchange, Boerse Stuttgart, has launched trading for exchange-traded notes (ETNs) based on two cryptocurrencies – XRP and litecoin (LTC).

Bitcoin Comes to Whole Foods, Major Retailers in Coup for Digital Currency
Jeff John Roberts – Fortune
Since its arrival ten years ago, cryptocurrency has struggled to enter mainstream commerce. This could soon change thanks to a new initiative, announced on Monday, that will reportedly see big name retailers—including Crate and Barrel, Nordstrom, and Amazon-owned Whole Foods—now accept Bitcoin and three other types of digital money.

PAX can now be redeemed instantly, stoking up competition in stablecoin market
Celia Wan – The Block Crypto
Paxos noted that since the Tether-NYAG dispute, the company’s market cap surged by 80% to $193 million
As Tether tumbled, Paxos is revamping its platform to solve one of the biggest headaches in stablecoins – redemptions.


Trump says U.S. farmers to get $15 billion in aid amid China trade war
President Donald Trump said on Monday that his administration was planning to provide about $15 billion in aid to help U.S. farmers whose products may be targeted with tariffs by China in a deepening trade war.

‘No End in Sight’ for Farmers Feeling Pain of Trump’s Trade War
Mike Dorning – Bloomberg
Republican senators warn of waning patience in the Heartland; Soybean futures plunge to lowest prices in more than a decade
American farmers, among Donald Trump’s most loyal supporters, face mounting financial pain from the president’s trade war with China and the growing risk that the damage will outlast the conflict.

Trade War Doesn’t Faze Goldman Sachs Asset Buying Chinese Stocks
Justina Lee – Bloomberg
Asset manager is long Chinese stocks, underweight bonds; Tariffs won’t be destabilizing to global growth: Copsey
What trade war? So optimistic is Goldman Sachs Asset Management about a deal between the world’s two biggest economies that it recently bought more Chinese stocks. While headlines on the U.S.-China trade tariffs have roiled markets this month, the bank’s investment management unit — which oversees about $1.4 trillion — has reinstated its long position on China’s onshore shares, according to executive director David Copsey.

If China Sells Its U.S. Bonds, Trump Will Benefit; A selloff would result in a weaker dollar, which would help reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China.
Karl W. Smith – Bloomberg
U.S. business and political leaders have long worried that China’s large holdings of U.S. Treasuries might be a strategic vulnerability for America. Those fears were stoked this morning when the editor-in-chief of an English-language organ of the state media, the Global Times, tweeted that Chinese scholars were looking into ways to sell off Treasuries:

Trump Tower Is Now One of NYC’s Least-Desirable Luxury Buildings
Shahien Nasiripour – Bloomberg
Most condo owners who sold since 2016 have recorded a loss; ‘No one wants in that building,’ says one former owner
Trump Tower, once the crown jewel in Donald Trump’s property empire, now ranks as one of the least desirable luxury properties in Manhattan.


SEC gives green light to first ‘negative fee’ fund
Owen Walker – Financial Times
The US markets regulator has backed a fund that pays customers to invest in it, highlighting a ferocious war for clients being waged among asset managers.
The arrival of so-called “negative fees” is a sign of the difficulties for new players trying to break into a market dominated by a handful of large index fund managers that have the economies of scale to offer ever-cheaper funds.

ADR case will test reach of investors on overseas firms
Hazel Bradford – Pensions and Investments
Institutional investors in the U.S. may have lost their ability to sue foreign stock issuers in U.S. courts after a pivotal 2010 Supreme Court decision, but they are finding some success with American depository receipts, and a case now up for Supreme Court review could potentially expand their legal recovery options well beyond ADRs.

Andrew Bailey sets out his vision for future in first ‘Inside FCA’ podcast
FCA Chief Executive Andrew Bailey discusses key areas of the recently released Business Plan and his thoughts on the future of financial regulation.

ESMA issues two positive opinions on national product intervention measures
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today issued two positive opinions on proposed product intervention measures taken by Finanzmarktaufsicht (FMA) of Austria. ESMA’s opinion finds that the proposed measures are justified and proportionate and that it is necessary for NCAs of other Member States to take product intervention measures that are at least as stringent as ESMA’s measures.

Keynote speech by Evert van Walsum at the Swedish Investment Fund Association
Evert van Walsum, Head of ESMA’s Investors and Issuers Department, delivered a keynote speech today at the Swedish Investment Fund Association’s Annual Conference 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden

ASIC moves to appoint provisional liquidator to Merlin Diamonds Ltd
ASIC has applied to the Federal Court of Australia to wind up ASX-listed public company Merlin Diamonds Limited (ACN 009 153 119) (Merlin Diamonds) and for the appointment of provisional liquidators to report to the court pending hearing of its application for final relief.

ASIC disqualifies director from managing companies after engaging in phoenix activity
ASIC has disqualified Mr Abdoul Rahim Fatrouni of Meadow Heights, Victoria, from managing corporations for 3 years and 6 months following his involvement in the failure of three companies.

Investing and Trading

A Flight from Safety
Verdad Research
Money managers at endowed institutions have made a massive shift in asset allocation over the last 25 years. They have moved about 20% of their portfolios from fixed income into alternative asset classes. As yields fell, investors took money from ever-less-attractive bonds and put the money into strategies that offered higher returns at similar volatility.

Pimco and TCW funds whacked in Morningstar ratings revamp; Famous bond funds lose top-tier star rating
Joe Rennison – FT
Several of the world’s largest bond funds, including products from investment powerhouses Pimco and TCW, have been stripped of coveted four- and five-star ratings after Morningstar rejigged its ranking system for $1.5tn of fixed income funds.

Investors Are Counting on This Hedge. They Might Be Disappointed.
Christine Idzelis – Institutional Investor
Investors seeking safe haven in catastrophe bonds may want to think twice.
“Institutional investors have embraced CAT bonds as a new asset class,” viewing them as “zero-beta” investments that shield them from market-related risk, according to recent research from professors Wolfgang Drobetz and Henning Schröder at the University of Hamburg and professor Lars Tegtmeier at the University of Applied Sciences Merseburg. But “CAT bonds cannot act as a safe haven in phases of extreme market declines,” the professors wrote in a paper evaluating the role of these insurance-linked securities in a global multi-asset portfolio.

Hedge Fund ETFs: Better Than The Originals
As Amazon has been decimating large parts of the retail industry over the last two decades, ETFs have done the equivalent to the mutual fund industry in the financial world. Today ETFs are covering nearly all areas of the markets, no matter how small the niche. Innovative strategies range from biblically responsible to marijuana ETFs.


Bankers Find New Reasons to Keep Lending to SoftBank; ‘Decisions come down to game theory,’ one banker says, where a loan decision hinges on what each bank thinks other banks will do
Mayumi Negishi – WSJ
TOKYO—With more than $140 billion in debt and a junk-level credit rating, SoftBank Group Corp. 9984 -5.44% might not look like an obvious candidate for more borrowing. Yet bankers say they are still eager to lend to the world’s largest technology investor.

New CDS nearly halves Deutsche Bank default protection costs
Christopher Whittall, IFR News – Reuters
The cost of default protection on Deutsche Bank nearly halved on Monday following the introduction of new derivatives contracts used to insure against German bank debt defaults.

Deutsche Bank, UBS Asset Management Deal Talks Said to Stall
Jan-Henrik Foerster, Eyk Henning, and Steven Arons – Bloomberg
Deutsche Bank AG and UBS Group AG’s talks on combining their asset management businesses to create a European powerhouse have stalled, according to people familiar with the matter.

MSCI adds Saudi Arabia, Argentina indexes to emerging markets index
MSCI Inc said on Monday it would include the MSCI Saudi Arabia and MSCI Argentina indexes to its closely watched and widely duplicated emerging-markets index.

Goldman Sachs bought Commerzbank’s claim in Saudi’s biggest debt saga: sources
Davide Barbuscia, Saeed Azhar – Reuters
Goldman Sachs has bought a claim against The International Bank Corporation (TIBC), a Bahraini bank whose default 10 years ago triggered the biggest financial crisis in Saudi Arabia, three sources familiar with the matter said.

Uber Blame Game Focuses on Morgan Stanley After Shares Drop
Eric Newcomer, Sonali Basak, and Sridhar Natarajan – Bloomberg
Across Wall Street, questions arise over offering’s mechanics; One investor says banks hinted at chance for quick gain in IPO
Morgan Stanley nabbed the biggest U.S. initial public offering of the past five years. Now it gets to field the second-guessing after Uber Technologies Inc. tumbled 18% in its first two days of trading.

How One Economic Principle Is Helping JPMorgan And Others Tap $3.1 Trillion In Blockchain Value
Michael del Castillo – Forbes
In October 2017, the largest bank in the United States, JPMorgan Chase, quietly revealed that a small network of competitors had been secretly testing a way to send payments to each other using blockchain, the technology first popularized by bitcoin. Emma Loftus, the bank’s head of global payments, said the blockchain platform, which promises to simplify the process of complying with global regulations by moving the transactions to a shared ledger, could reduce the time required using the current payment rails from “weeks to hours.”


UK lawmakers square up to regulator over duty of care for banks; Lawmakers tell FCA to spell out consumer protection steps; Warn banks over branch closures
Huw Jones – Reuters
A legal duty for banks to act in the best interests of their customers may be needed, British lawmakers said on Monday, piling pressure on regulators to step up protection of consumers after a string of mis-selling scandals spanning decades.

Chinese boom for hedge funds at risk from US trade dispute; Managers concerned that strong performances will be spoiled by tensions with Washington
Laurence Fletcher and Nikou Asgari – FT
Hedge funds betting on a China rebound have been delivering the kind of double-digit returns this year that most investors can only dream of.

Brazilian cattle industry fights to prove its green credentials; Brazil wants to export fresh beef to the US, but investors are concerned about deforestation
Anna Gross – FT
When Brazilian meat companies were investigated for selling rotten goods at home and abroad, many wondered if their international reputations would ever be repaired.

Austrian Post Bets on the Future of Bricks-and-Mortar Banking
Boris Groendahl – Bloomberg
Mail operator bought bank to keep post-office branches busy; Amazon’s own delivery service will eat into Austrian market
Austria’s state-controlled mail operator is starting a lender with something that most finance startups are proud to shun in the age of fintech: bricks-and-mortar branches.

Oil-Rich Norway to Stress Test Its Finances Amid Climate Risk
Mikael Holter – Bloomberg
Norway, western Europe’s biggest oil and gas producer, plans to stress-test its public finances with different price scenarios to better understand risks related to climate change.

Stanford Dad Accused of $6.5 Million Payment in College Scandal Has a New Problem
Daniela Wei – Bloomberg
The Chinese father who allegedly paid $6.5 million to get his daughter into Stanford University has another reason to worry: his pharmaceutical company is under scrutiny by the Shanghai stock exchange regulator over the level of its sales expenses.

China’s Junk Property Bonds Are Safer Than They Look; Surging defaults are less of a risk than the stretched valuations of Asia’s investment-grade dollar debt.
Shuli Ren – Bloomberg
China’s surging bond defaults are making debt of the nation’s risky developers look like a buy


Brexit: PM’s negotiator to explore changes to future EU relations
BBC News
Theresa May’s Brexit negotiator has gone to Brussels to explore the scope for changes to the agreement on the UK’s future relations with the EU.
Olly Robbins is looking to see whether a key demand being made by Labour in cross-party talks can be satisfied.
But as cabinet discussed the state of the talks, Theresa May faced calls from senior Conservative MPs not to agree a compromise with Jeremy Corbyn.

Voters Prepare to Punish U.K. Leader in European Vote Over Brexit Delay
Polls show Theresa May’s Conservative Party is being deserted in favor of a hard-line Brexit party
By Jason Douglas and Stephen Fidler – The Wall Street Journal
LONDON—British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party is bracing for a historic drubbing in European Parliament elections this month that will likely undermine her perilous grip of her party and country.

Latest Brexit Barometer: Labour 9 points ahead of Conservatives
Luke Taylor – Kantar UK Insights
Almost half of the UK public is in favour of a referendum on any final Brexit deal.
When asked how likely they would be to vote for a candidate from The Brexit Party if they stood in their constituency, 24% of people said very / somewhat likely (+1), including 49% of those that voted for the Conservatives in 2017. One in five (20%) would consider Change UK (-7 vs Apr 2019), including 28% of 2017 Labour voters.

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