Bank of England calls ‘last orders’ on Libor benchmark

Jun 5, 2019

First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

The JLN Staff is hard at work in London at IDX. Here is Spencer Doar conducting an interview outside The Brewery with DTCC’s Mark Wetjen

Exchange Analytics is offering an AML Awareness Training Course titled; “Death, Taxes and AML Training.” ~JJL

Here’s an actually funny bitcoin joke from reddit: A boy asked his Bitcoin-investing dad for $10.00 worth of Bitcoin currency. Dad: $9.67? What do you need $10.32 for? ~SR

Yesterday’s story about Justin Sun’s $4 million Buffett Buffet reminded me – many prominent figures in the crypto world have signed up for, a web service which, among other things, lets people contact celebrities or high-profile individuals for money. Some of these individuals include Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, Lightning Network CEO Elizabeth Stark, and Cameron Winklevoss. Most of these people can be contacted via for $5 or $20, but users can email bitcoin evangelist and Bitcoin Cash promoter Roger “Bitcoin Jesus” Ver for $100. What a steal!~MR

The SEC sued Kik Interactive Inc. for conducting an illegal $100 million securities offering of digital tokens. Steven Peikin, co-director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said, “Companies do not face a binary choice between innovation and compliance with the federal securities laws.” In 2017, after the Ontario Securities Commission opined that the offering was a securities issuance, Kik excluded Canadians and sold in the U.S. instead. ~Thom Thompson

According to the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, based on a mid-month survey of 400 agricultural producers across the U.S., farmer sentiment has hit its lowest level in more than two years, erasing all improvements recorded following the November 2016 election.~SR

MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity 2019 in Chicago is open for registration. Sign up your interns and newer employees today. The events are on July 16 and 17 and we have a great lineup of speakers.~JJL


Growing the MEMX Team: a Staffing Update; Go to the profile of Jonathan Kellner
Jonathan Kellner
In January, it was first announced that we were putting together a new equity exchange, one intended to increase competition, improve operational transparency, simplify execution, and further reduce fixed costs. After officially joining the company in February, I’m pleased to let you know that MEMX is making great headway in assembling a team that will help fulfill that mission.

***** People want to work for a new exchange that is not a crypto exchange?~JJL


Nasdaq Joins Microsoft to Increase Access to Real-Time U.S. Equity Market Data
Individual investors now have access to Nasdaq Last Sale through Microsoft Excel for Research & Investing Purposes
Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ) is collaborating with Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) to expand the use of real-time U.S. equity market data by individual investors. Through Excel, Bing, MSN, and other platforms and services owned by Microsoft, the general public, including individual investors and students, can now leverage real-time U.S. stock equity market data from Nasdaq Last Sale to inform research and trade ideas, while improving financial literacy.

***** It is as easy as 1,2,3.~JJL


WFE Chairman Dr Urs Rüegsegger calls for industry to work together to tackle issues of market fragmentation & market data pricing
Dr Urs Rüegsegger, Chairman of the World Federation of Exchanges (“WFE”), the global industry group for exchanges and CCPs, today delivered a speech at the FESE Convention in Dublin on two topics that are key strategic priorities for the WFE: international market fragmentation, and the debate around market data pricing.


Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story of the day Tuesday was Forbes’ Finance Billionaire Ken Griffin’s Citadel Securities Trading Firm Is On A Silicon Valley Hiring Binge. Second was Trading Technologies’ 5 Questions with Mark Phelps, G. H. Financials Group CEO. Third was Reuters’ Bond traders swap phones for new technology as market catches up


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Lead Stories

Bank of England calls ‘last orders’ on Libor benchmark; Central bank to ramp up scrutiny of lenders’ plans for shift to new interest rate measures
Cat Rutter Pooley – FT
The Bank of England has told banks it will intensify its scrutiny of their plans to switch away from the discredited Libor benchmark, insisting that the rate will be retired at the end of 2021.

***** Here is the Reuters version of this story.~JJL

The looming 100-year US-China conflict; Donald Trump’s unnecessary fight for domination is increasingly being framed as a zero-sum game
Martin Wolf – FT
The disappearance of the Soviet Union left a big hole. The “war on terror” was an inadequate replacement. But China ticks all boxes. For the US, it can be the ideological, military and economic enemy many need. Here at last is a worthwhile opponent. That was the main conclusion I drew from this year’s Bilderberg meetings. Across-the-board rivalry with China is becoming an organising principle of US economic, foreign and security policies.

EU urges London to reveal no-deal Brexit plans for share trading
Philip Stafford – FT
UK watchdogs need to give investors more advanced warning to prepare for a split in European share trading markets created by a no-deal Brexit, one of Europe’s most senior markets regulators has warned.

Global regulators’ net tightens around big tech; As US watchdogs join investigations, here are the issues already under the microscope
Richard Waters, Shannon Bond and Hannah Murphy – FT
US competition regulators have carved up responsibility for investigations into the power of the four biggest American technology companies, in a move that heralds significant new scrutiny of their business practices.

A $100m ICO being sued by the SEC wants more of your money
Jemima Kelly
Last week the “foundation” behind Kik, the company that raised almost $100m in an ICO in 2017 for the “Kin” token, set up a new website: Just the name itself, and the non-profit-flagging “.org” was enough to agitate us, but our agitation only got worse when we realised what this website had been set up to do.

NY Fed pushes banks to step up preparation for Libor’s demise; ‘Take the warnings seriously,’ says one of Fed’s top policymakers
Robin Wigglesworth – FT
One of the Federal Reserve’s top policymakers has urged the finance industry to ramp up preparations for the end of Libor, saying speculation that the world’s most influential interest rate benchmark might survive beyond 2021 is fanciful.

Fed Warns That the End of Libor Really Is Coming, So Be Prepared
By Alex Harris and Christopher Condon – Bloomberg
‘The transition should begin happening in earnest’: Quarles; Federal Reserve official delivers message to ARRC roundtable
The Federal Reserve says the London interbank offered rate is going to come to an end and markets need to take warnings about that “seriously.”

SEC Sues Kik Over $100 Million ICO, Sees Kin as a Security
Matt Robinson and Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
Agency says Kik illegally raised cash without disclosures; Kik recently started crowdfunding to defend against the SEC
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Kik Interactive Inc. for illegally raising $100 million through a 2017 digital-token sale, in one of its highest profile cases targeting a company for not registering an offering with the regulator.

Financial Conduct Authority forms Brexit alliance with Dutch regulator; Several major institutions have opted to establish Dutch entities as the UK prepares to leave the European Union.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Regulatory authorities in the UK and the Netherlands have agreed to formalise a partnership, as several key institutions prepare to operate in both countries in the aftermath of Brexit.

Farmers on Drenched Land Confront Tough Choice on Planting; The wettest 12 months on record in the continental U.S. are thwarting the spring corn crop and triggering insurance claims
Jacob Bunge and Kirk Maltais – WSJ
Millions of farm acres are set to go unplanted with corn this spring as persistent wet weather leaves U.S. farmers facing an agonizing choice: whether or not to risk trying to raise a crop.

Investors Price In Woodford Risk as Withdrawals Blocked
Nishant Kumar and Suzy Waite – Bloomberg
Woodford Patient Capital Trust is at record discount to NAV; Reversal from premium reflects ‘nervousness’ around the name
Call it the Neil Woodford discount. A listed investment trust run by the famed money manager is proving to be the perfect proxy for investor sentiment after the 59-year-old money manager halted withdrawals from his flagship LF Woodford Equity Income Fund.

ETF ‘Heartbeats’ Show Influence of Indexes; Rebalancing can trigger massive money shifts as portfolio managers realign their holdings with updated indexes
Asjylyn Loder – WSJ
A popular BlackRock Inc. BLK 3.51% exchange-traded fund that tracks companies with healthy balance sheets shed $1.5 billion on a single day last week, the largest outflow in its six-year history.

London must not become offshore center post Brexit: CFTC chair
Huw Jones – Reuters
Policymakers should “tether” London to the European Union to avoid isolating the region’s largest financial hub, harming the euro zone economy and spawning an offshore financial center, the head of the U.S. derivatives watchdog said.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Barclays, Goldman Sachs And J.P. Morgan To Use DTCC’s Global Trade Repository In Support Of SFTR Obligations
DTCC’s Global Trade Repository (GTR) service offers a SFTR solution for the global securities finance industry
FIA International Derivatives Expo (FIA-IDX), London, June 4, 2019 ? The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the premier post-trade market infrastructure for the global financial services industry, today announced that Barclays, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan will use DTCC’s multi-award winning Global Trade Repository (GTR) service, offered by its Repository and Derivatives (RDS) division, in order to meet their regulatory obligations under the European Securities Financing Transactions Regulation (SFTR), which are anticipated to take effect in April 2020.

Euronext controls 61.4% of Oslo Børs VPS capital; UNCONDITIONAL OFFER FOR REMAINING SHARES OPEN UNTIL 28 JUNE 2019
Euronext, the leading pan-European exchange, announces today that it now controls, through direct ownership, irrevocable commitments and acceptances of the offer launched on 14 January 2019 and declared unconditional on 31 May 2019, 61.4% of the total issued and outstanding share capital of Oslo Børs VPS. Settlement of Shares tendered under the offer and agreed to be acquired is expected to occur by 14 June 2019.

May sees mixed trading figures for Eurex
Despite a slight decrease in total trading volume, Eurex, Europe’s largest derivatives exchange and part of Deutsche Börse Group, saw increases in equity and equity index derivatives trading and a number of new trading records.

Learning to grow: a new training program for start-ups; Date: 05. Jun 2019 | Deutsche Börse Cash Market
Deutsche Börse
Deutsche Börse Venture Network and UnternehmerTUM have significantly expanded their joint training program for growth companies. In addition to new content, the two partners have extended the duration of the training to create more space for exchange. The next round starts on 18 June. The trainings take place in Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt.

Nasdaq May 2019 Volumes
Nasdaq today reported monthly volumes for May 2019, on its investor relations website.

Intercontinental Exchange Reports May Statistics
Press Release
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, today reported May trading volume and related revenue statistics, which can be viewed on the company’s investor relations website at in the Monthly Statistics Tracking spreadsheet.

Euronext successfully launches a EUR500 million bond issue, listed on Euronext Dublin
Today Euronext, the leading pan-European exchange in the Eurozone with more than 1,300 listed issuers, launched a EUR500 million, 10-year bond issue, rated by S&P “A-“, with an annual coupon of 1.125% and listed on Euronext Dublin. Euronext N.V. is rated “A-, stable outlook” by S&P since 31 May 20191.


Data control could drive 40% new business growth at institutions, research says; Research from Gresham Technologies and Adox Research predicts data quality and
control could drive 40% new business growth at firms over the next two years.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Better data quality and control at asset management and sell-side firms could see new business growth of up to 40% in the next two years, according to new research.

SoFi Loses Three Top Executives; Online lenders continue to face tough environment
Peter Rudegeair – WSJ
Three top executives of Social Finance Inc. are leaving the financial-tech startup in the coming weeks, adding to the challenges the company faces as it moves through a tough environment for online lenders.

Microsoft, Oracle team up on cloud services in jab at Amazon
Stephen Nellis – Reuters
Microsoft Corp and Oracle Corp on Wednesday said they reached an agreement to make their two cloud computing services work together with high-speed links between their data centers, targeting big business users and uniting against cloud computing leader’s Amazon Web Services.

SEC poised to adopt rules aimed at preventing broker conflicts, boosting disclosure
Katanga Johnson – Reuters
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday will vote to adopt a package of rules mandating brokerage firms disclose potential conflicts in the fees investors pay and the commission brokers earn when giving financial advice.

PayPal backs Swedish financial tech startup Tink
Anna Irrera – Reuters
PayPal Holdings Inc has invested 10 million euros ($11.2 million) in Tink, a Swedish company that enables banks and financial technology startups to access financial data more easily, the companies said on Tuesday.


FBI Joins Probe Into Quadriga’s $195 Million Crypto Collapse
Doug Alexander and Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
U.S. seeking to identify crime victims, provide assistance; Agencies examining level of information customers provided
The collapse of Canada’s QuadrigaCX cryptocurrency exchange has sparked an investigation by U.S. agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Former Mt Gox CEO Karpeles Launches Startup to Build a Blockchain OS
Daniel Palmer – Coindesk
Mark Karpeles has revealed he’s “starting from zero” with a new blockchain project soon after escaping most charges in a court case over the collapse of bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox.

Litecoin Hashrate reaches another all time high with new L5 ASIC miners rumoured.
Franklyn Richards –
It has been an astonishingly bullish last few months for Litecoin and the crypto ecosystem, which has seen not only prices rise as a result, but network security in the form of hashrate with it.

Retail Giant Carrefour Saw Sales Boost From Blockchain Tracking
Benedict Alibasa – Coindesk
French retail giant Carrefour has attributed a recent increase in sales to its use of blockchain tracking. Carrefour’s blockchain project manager Emmanuel Delerm told Reuters on Monday that the use of blockchain ledger technology to track meat, milk and fruit from farm to supermarket has increased sales of these products. According to Delerm, blockchain tracking has been particularly successful in China, where shoppers are more used to scanning QR codes. The initiative likewise proved to be popular in Italy and France, where buyers reportedly spend as long as 90 seconds reading merchandise information.

The FBI Is Looking for QuadrigaCX Victims
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
Multiple criminal investigative agencies within the U.S. are looking into the circumstances of the now-defunct Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX. According to a press release published Monday, the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation division (IRS-CI), the U.S. Attorney General’s office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section are investigating the exchange, which filed for bankruptcy following the death of its founder and a months-long civil rehabilitation process.

BCH Businesses Launch Development Fund for Bitcoin Cash
Jamie Redman – News
On May 30, the FVNI Development Society in collaboration with,, Electron Cash, and a multitude of individuals and businesses in China launched a new fundraiser to support the software engineers who maintain the technical development of the Bitcoin Cash network. The goal for Phase One is to raise 800 BCH by August 1, 2019, and BCH supporters can help fund development by visiting, the front page of and a number of other websites.

Report: Polish Exchange Shuts Down and Disappears With Customers Funds
Ana Alexandre – Cointelegraph
Polish cryptocurrency exchange Coinroom has reportedly shut down its operations and disappeared with customer funds, local business news outlet reported on May 31. received an email from one of its readers, who stated that Coinroom — which was registered in 2016 — ceased operations overnight and disappeared with customers’ money in April. Some users say they had up to 60,000 zloty (around $15,790) in their accounts.

SEC sues messaging app Kik for its $100 million cryptocurrency offering
Kate Rooney – CNBC
The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a $100 million lawsuit against Kik Interactive, which launched a cryptocurrency to be traded within its messaging app, for allegedly conducting an illegal securities offering. “Companies do not face a binary choice between innovation and compliance with the federal securities laws,” Steven Peikin, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said in a release. “This is the first time that we’re finally on a path to getting the clarity we so desperately need as an industry to be able to continue to innovate and build,” Kik founder and CEO Ted Livingston said in a statement to CNBC.

HSBC rolls out digital wallet to lure start-ups; Bank seeks to fend off competition from Tencent and Alibaba in its most lucrative market, two of China’s biggest companies
Mercedes Ruehl and David Crow – FT
HSBC has quietly launched its first digital wallet targeting start-ups and other small businesses in Hong Kong in an effort to fend off intensifying competition from Tencent and Alibaba in its most lucrative market.

Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Slams Bitcoin SV: ‘Obviously a Complete Scam’
Greg Thomson – CCN
Ethereum wunderkind Vitalik Buterin maintained his hardline stance on Bitcoin SV in a recent interview, calling Craig Wright’s cryptocurrency a “complete scam.”

The SEC Case Against Kik’s ICO Appears Strong, Experts Say
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has sued messenger app maker Kik for its $100 million ICO – which the agency contends was an unregistered securities sale – and the regulator appears to have built up a strong case in its initial court move.

Dutch Crypto Exchange Blockport Shuts Down, Vows to Return
Daniel Palmer – Coindesk
Blockport, a cryptocurrency exchange based in the Netherlands, has been been forced to close due to lack of operating capital, but it’s vowed to return.


The bond market may be signaling something worse than a recession: Distrust in America
Pedro Nicolaci da Costa for CNN
Pedro Nicolaci da Costa is director of communications at the Economic Policy Institute and a former fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He has been writing about economics and financial markets since 2001. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own.

Study: Russia’s manipulation of Twitter was far vaster than believed
Tim Starks – Politico
Russia’s infamous troll farm conducted a campaign on Twitter before the 2016 elections that was larger, more coordinated and more effective than previously known, research from cybersecurity firm Symantec out Wednesday concluded.

Trump’s Top Economist Makes a Timely Exit
John Cassidy – The New Yorker
Last Thursday, Donald Trump ignored the advice of some of his senior advisers—including the Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, and the U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer—and threatened to impose tariffs of up to twenty-five per cent on imports from Mexico. The very next day, Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, who has long been an advocate of free trade, sent Trump a resignation letter that said, “I am looking forward to spending more time with my family and hope to continue to be a resource to you from the outside.”


SEC’s Broker Rule to Require Bias Disclosures; Effect on Pay Practices Unclear; Regulation Best Interest says brokers can’t put their own paychecks ahead of a customer’s needs
Dave Michaels – WSJ
Investors will soon learn more about conflicts of interest that can bias investment advice under a regulatory action that is expected to be completed on Wednesday. Less clear is whether it would disrupt how brokers are paid.

SEC Sues Kik Over $100 Million Token Sale; Canadian social-media company most prominent business targeted by U.S. regulators over cryptocurrency sale
Paul Vigna and Dave Michaels – WSJ
Canadian social-media company Kik Interactive Inc. has become the most prominent business sued by U.S. regulators over claims it illegally raised capital by selling its own cryptocurrency.

SEC sues messaging app Kik over $100m ICO
Mamta Badkar – FT
The Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday said it sued Canada-based messaging app Kik for conducting a $100m initial coin offering without registering the offering with the US regulator.

ESMA publishes translations for Guidelines on the application of C6 and C7 of Annex 1 of MiFID II
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued today the official translations of its Guidelines on the application of C6 and C7 of Annex 1 of MiFID II.

SEC Charges Issuer With Conducting $100 Million Unregistered ICO
The Securities and Exchange Commission today sued Kik Interactive Inc. for conducting an illegal $100 million securities offering of digital tokens. The SEC charges that Kik sold the tokens to U.S. investors without registering their offer and sale as required by the U.S. securities laws.

Remarks of Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo at the Futures Industry Association 12th Annual International Derivatives Expo, London, United Kingdom; “Recalibrating the CFTC’s Cross-Border Regulation: Current Status and Next Steps”
Good morning. Thank you for your kind welcome. It is great to be here at the FIA’s International Derivatives Expo in London, at what will be my final speech to the FIA. I expect to be stepping down as Chairman in mid-July and handing the baton to Heath Tarbert.

The Financial Conduct Authority and the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) agree on closer partnership
UK and Dutch financial regulators agreed to work more closely together to protect and enhance the integrity and stability of both countries financial systems.

From Innovation Hub to Innovation Culture
Nick Cook, Director of Innovation at the FCA, delivered at the 6th Central Bank Executive Summit
Today I want to talk about innovation and a change in financial services. Specifically, I want to talk about how data and technology have and are, changing the way we regulate, the ways we at the FCA have reacted to and embraced that change and how this approach has evolved over time.

FCA appoints new Chair at the Financial Ombudsman Service
Baroness Zahida Manzoor CBE has been appointed Chair of the Financial Ombudsman Service. The appointment was made by the FCA Board with the approval of HM Treasury.

SEC uncovers Ponzi Scheme through fictitious hedge fund at frat house in Georgia
A recent college graduate at the University of Georgia has been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with orchestrating a Ponzi scheme through a fictitious hedge fund over the last year. He has testified and agreed to have his assets frozen. However, the SEC is still trying to identify all the victims.

Investing and Trading

Short-Seller Pain That Began Monday Just Became a Bloodbath
Sarah Ponczek and Lu Wang – Bloomberg
Stocks with highest short interest surged more than 3% Tuesday; Long-short equity hedge funds struggle after sturdy May
A drubbing for short sellers that went under the radar Monday snowballed as dovish indications from the Federal Reserve handed bearish traders their worst back-to-back losses in five months.

Farmer sentiment hits lowest level in over two years
CME Group
Ag producer sentiment dropped to its lowest level since October 2016, erasing all improvements recorded following the November 2016 election. The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, based on a mid-month survey of 400 agricultural producers across the U.S., declined 14 points in May to a reading of 101, down from 115 in April.


Barclays hires JP Morgan veteran to lead global equities division; JP Morgan’s Fater Belbachir has been appointed global head of equities at Barclays in London, the bank has confirmed.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
UK investment bank Barclays has recruited a 12-year JP Morgan trading veteran to lead its global equities franchise amid major investment in the business.

Bank of New York Mellon quietly canned five from bond team
Kevin Dugan – NY Post
Bank of New York Mellon left this banker at the altar. The New York bank quietly cut five members of its bond sales team last month amid a broader slump in trading — including one 14-year veteran who was just days from his Bahamas wedding, The Post has learned.

Ex-Soros trader leaves hedge fund Key Square to go solo; Top industry figures are morphing from money managers into consultants
Laurence Fletcher – FT
A commodities trader who previously worked under George Soros has left New York-based hedge fund Key Square Capital to set up his own advisory venture, in the latest sign that senior industry figures are morphing from money managers into consultants.

New exchange-traded fund promises to offer refuge from trade war; TWAR fund tracks companies selected on the basis of ‘government patronage’
Joe Rennison – FT
A small Virginia-based entrant to the exchange-traded fund market has raised eyebrows among industry veterans as it attempts to answer one of the most pressing questions for investors: how do you protect your money from the fallout of a trade war?

Glencore’s new guard puts accent on managing, not trading, assets; The exit of the head of oil underlines how mining, not trading, has become the core business
Neil Hume and David Sheppard – FT
The departure of Glencore’s top oil executive is not simply about a generational shift, but points to a bigger transformation at the company from swashbuckling trader to more prosaic miner.

DE Shaw staff get ultimatum over non-compete contracts; Hedge fund demands employees sign restrictive agreements or face dismissal in September
Lindsay Fortado and Robin Wigglesworth – FT
DE Shaw has issued an ultimatum to its investment staff, telling them to sign a non-compete agreement that will hamper their ability to jump ship to a rival hedge fund or face being fired.

‘Bad bank’ repays £50bn bailout loan
The ‘bad bank’ which runs loans granted by Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley before their financial crisis bailouts has repaid its £48.7bn taxpayer loan. UK Asset Resolution had not expected to repay the crisis-era loan until the mid-2020s but has been able to do so more quickly by selling off packages of loans to private equity buyers.

DWS to play active role in asset management consolidation in Europe: CEO
Deutsche Bank’s asset manager DWS is aiming to play an active role in the consolidation in Europe, Chief Executive Asoka Woehrmann said.


Emerging markets are the victims of a retreat from multilateralism; Donald Trump has destroyed much of the institutional underpinning of globalisation
John Plender – FT
In recent weeks bond and equity markets have been telling stories that were essentially irreconcilable. While stocks exuded relentless optimism, bond yields plummeted in a recession-obsessed nervous swoon. By last week 10-year US Treasuries were offering yields well below that of three-month bills — an inversion of the normal yield curve that has historically been a good guide to the risk of a recession. Then equity investors finally twigged, with a little help from Donald Trump’s decision to extend the trade war from China to Mexico. Risk appetite vanished, the debt and equity stories converged and the S&P 500 index ended down more than 6 per cent on the month.

U.S.-China Financial Breakup Scenarios Are War-Gamed at BofA
Eric Lam – Bloomberg
With U.S.-China trade tensions deepening, analysts at Bank of America Corp. have war-gamed some potential implications for financial markets.

Rare Earths Battle Looms as U.S. Aims to Counter China Export Threat
Bloomberg News
China’s NDRC studying proposal to control rare earths exports; U.S. Commerce Department warns of possible significant shocks
The U.S. and China are heading for a stand-off over critical minerals used in everything from washing machines to military hardware.

Japan’s Mizuho bank to allow employees to take side jobs by next March
Japan Times
Mizuho Financial Group Inc. plans to change its personnel policy to allow employees to hold side jobs by the end of next March, the first such move by a mega-bank.


As Trump Dangles Post-Brexit Trade Deal, Some Britons See Opportunism
Mark Landler and Maggie Haberman – NY Times
President Trump on Tuesday urged Britain to forge ahead with plans to quit the European Union, dangling the prospect of a “phenomenal” trade deal with the United States as the British grapple with a polarizing political crisis.
Mr. Trump said that “everything will be on the table” in negotiations for such a deal, including opening Britain’s public health system to American competitors — an assertion that caused an uproar and which he later walked back.

Donald Trump plays Brexit kingmaker
Gabby Orr and Charlie CooperPolitico
Donald Trump is using his U.K. state visit to anoint Brexit winners and losers.
The president on Tuesday fully cast his lot with political leaders pushing for Britain to crash out of the European Union — and in the process trampled on diplomatic norms that foreign leaders generally avoid meddling in domestic politics.

UK economy near stagnation due to Brexit, weak global demand – PMI
David Milliken – Reuters
British economic growth almost ground to a halt last month, as modest expansion among services firms barely offset weakness in manufacturing and construction caused by the Brexit crisis and weaker global growth, a business survey showed on Wednesday.

PM and President Set Up Future U.K.-US Clashes: Trump Update
Thomas Penny , Alyza Sebenius , and Tim Ross – Bloomberg
Donald Trump waded deeper into Britain’s fraught political arena, predicting a “phenomenal” trade deal with the U.K. that puts the country’s free health-care on the table, praising leadership candidates Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, and revealing that he refused to meet with the opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn.

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Past Newsletters

FIA Expo, Asia conferences go virtual for 2020

FIA Expo, Asia conferences go virtual for 2020

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Cboe Proposes Plan That Could Curb Advantages of Fast Traders

Cboe Proposes Plan That Could Curb Advantages of Fast Traders

First Read Hits & Takes By John Lothian & JLN Staff Yesterday I interviewed Chris Hehmeyer for the MarketsWiki Education Open Outcry Traders HIstory Project. He was in our offices with Mike Forrester behind the cameras and I was Zoomed in via an iPod on a...

China’s newest equity market gets off to a stumbling start

China’s newest equity market gets off to a stumbling start

First Read "Super Proud" of Illinois's Social Equity Cannabis Program Thom Thompson - John Lothian News "Everybody having what they need to succeed" defines "social equity," according to Akele Parnell, an attorney with the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights....

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