Big Business Backs Away From Trump’s Party But Longs for Old GOP

Jan 14, 2021

First Read

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A more perfect union; FIA President and CEO Walt Lukken shares a personal perspective on Washington riots
Walt Lukken – FIA

Normally, this column offers opinions on the global policies and trends of our industry, but last week’s insurrection at the US Capitol compels me to reflect in a more personal way about what I and many others are feeling in the wake of these events. While my viewpoint is American, I believe the lessons we learn are universal to the human condition.

The January after a US Presidential election is normally a time of celebration in our nation’s Capital. Every four years, Americans gather in Washington with pride to recognize and honor the peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next. This is a time when citizens from all fifty states of various beliefs and backgrounds come to celebrate the idea of America.

In my twenty-five years in Washington, I have participated in six inaugurations and the festivities that accompany them. This is always a bipartisan affair with Democrats and Republicans celebrating—not only the new administration—but more importantly, our Constitution and the noble institutions that embody this profound document. We honor our belief in the rule of law that has enabled such a peaceful transition to occur for the last 250 years.

As next week’s inauguration approaches, I am not feeling pride. I am not feeling hopeful. I am feeling ashamed and saddened. The tragic events of last week at the US Capitol and the ensuing loss of life have laid bare the deep divide in our country and the fragility of our democracy.

Capitol Hill is not just the seat of our government, but it is my home—where my kids go to school, where we go to church and where we socialize with our neighbors. I can see the Capitol rotunda from my home, and I have many friends that work there—from Hill staffers to Capitol Police to Members of Congress.

For the rest of this commentary, click HERE.


Ray Carmichael – The History of Financial Futures Part I

Carmichael Led Communications at the Chicago Board of Trade During a Decade of Incredible Growth in Financial Futures

Ray Carmichael joined the Chicago Board of Trade in 1980, hired by then-CBOT president Thomas Donovan to lead communications for the exchange. Carmichael had come from the nonprofit world, so he understood how committees work in organizations.

Watch the video »


Ray Carmichael – The History of Financial Futures – Part 2

Carmichael Led Communications at the Chicago Board of Trade During a Decade of Incredible Growth in Financial Futures.

Ray Carmichael was in the thick of the new markets, the early days of electronic trading and huge change in the futures industry globally as the head of corporate communications for the Chicago Board of Trade. He was there when financial futures grew dramatically at the CBOT, making it “the most exciting time in the world to be at the Board of Trade; it was the glory days.”

Watch the video »


Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

We would like to secure some additional responses to our demographic survey so we are adding to the benefits for filling it out. We had offered three $100 donations to a charity of your choice. We are now adding a $250 Amazon gift card to one person who fills out the survey and shares their contact information. So now we will draw for one person to get the $250 Amazon gift card and then pull three more names for the $100 donations to a charity of their choice.

Please fill out our survey by clicking HERE or on the image above.

President Donald Trump has been impeached for a second time by the U.S. House of Representatives in the most non-partisan vote in presidential impeachment history.

The New York Times reported “More than 10 percent of the U.S. Congress has tested positive” for COVID-19. It did not help that members were all trapped in a closed room during the insurrection of last week with other members of Congress who had the virus.

My apologies for not asking Nasdaq about their political giving plans, but they have issued a statement saying “the PAC will pause political donations for the next several months as the 117th Congress begins its work for the American people.”

Charles Schwab has taken the political giving issue a step further by announcing they would shut down their PAC, the New York Times reported.

Any other organizations have a statement about their political giving?

Harold N. Bornstein, Donald Trump’s former personal physician, has died at the age of 74. He was the doctor who called Trump the ‘healthiest president ever,’

We did not have any new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday. We have had 110 donations, including a couple of larger ones that were done outside of the GoFundMe platform. I wanted to add something too about Larry Arnowitz, my former colleague and competitor. He was truly an early successful electronic trading pioneer, developing GNI into a firm I looked up to when I was running the Electronic Trading Division of The Price Futures Group. His time in London in the late 1980s and early 1990s for GNI was pivotal to bringing the successes of Europe to the U.S. And then he helped sell the operation to Man Financial, ringing the register for GNI’s owners. Thank you to Larry and to all who have given and all who have yet to give. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by donating you our GoFundMe campaign.

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


JLN Exclusive: TransAct Futures Bought By Owner of NinjaTrader Brokerage, an Introducing Broker
John Lothian – John Lothian News

NinjaTrader Group, LLC purchased futures commission merchant TransAct Futures on the last tick of the clock on December 31, 2020, giving the owner of the fast growing technology and brokerage firm their own FCM to modernize their business. NinjaTrader’s goal with this deal and their growth plan is to become nothing short of the “number one destination for active futures traders.”

This deal represents a well worn path in the futures industry, following firms like TradeStation and Interactive Brokers, who transitioned from technology providers to brokers. NinjaTrader was founded in 2002-03 by Raymond Deux, a futures trader who wanted better tools to trade. His solution became a company when suddenly he had hundreds of fellow traders using his software.

To read the rest of this story, go here.


BNPP Asset Management Looks Forward to Continued Stock Price Appreciation
Thom Thompson – John Lothian News

Despite the current raging pandemic and Congress debating whether to impeach the same president twice, the portfolio managers that BNPP Asset Management’s new U.S. CEO, Johanna Lasker, assembled to talk to the press on Wednesday morning said they believe all of that will fade away gradually. They provided a rosy outlook for equity markets, exchange rates, and the U.S. economy over the next year. They said a strong consensus had formed among them that by the end of 2021 the major economies will have been vaccinated against the effects of the pandemic provided, of course, that the global vaccine program rolls out as well as is hoped.

It was very comforting.

To read the rest of this commentary, go here.


By impeaching Donald Trump, Congress upholds the law; Action against the US president should not stop at a symbolic censure
The Editorial Board – FT
To impeach a US president once is a grave enough business. To do it twice is unique in all history. And still the House of Representatives had no other choice on Wednesday. Donald Trump had neither resigned over the siege of Congress that he incited last week, nor unreservedly deplored it. His vice-president Mike Pence had not used the 25th amendment to oust him. A legislature that let him serve out his last week or so for the sake of convenience would have been derelict in its duty to the law.

***** It was the most non-partisan impeachment vote against a U.S. President ever.~JJL


F.B.I. Urges Police Chiefs Across U.S. to Be on High Alert for Threats; A joint intelligence bulletin warned that the deadly breach at the Capitol would be a “significant driver of violence” ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.
John Eligon, Frances Robles, Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Helene Cooper – WSJ
The F.B.I. on Wednesday urged police chiefs across the country to be on high alert for extremist activity and to share intelligence on any threats they encounter, as the U.S. government issued a dire intelligence bulletin warning of potential violence ahead of the inauguration.

***** ‘Stay away from mass gatherings’ is a redundant message. But be alert!~JJL


The First Step Toward Unity Is Honesty; More Republicans need to be honest that the election wasn’t stolen. Law enforcement needs to be transparent about the threats facing the nation.
The Editorial Board – NY Times
It has come to this: Lawmakers are telling journalists that they were casting their impeachment votes in a climate of threats where they feared for their own and their families’ safety. “After freshman G.O.P. Rep. Nancy Mace announced she would be opposing President Donald Trump’s bid to overturn the election, the single mother of two feared so much for her life that she applied for a concealed carry permit and sent her kids hundreds of miles from D.C.,” Politico reported this week.

*****We need a lot of honesty. Too many have lost their compass about what is what.~JJL


Nasdaq Issues Statement on Political Action Committee Donations
The Board of Nasdaq’s Political Action Committee announces changes to its PAC program following the violent attack at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. The PAC will pause political donations for the next several months as the 117th Congress begins its work for the American people. The PAC Board will also halt for the foreseeable future any contributions to elected officials who voted to object to the Electoral College certification.

*****Thank you, Nasdaq.~JJL


NFA permanently bars Orland Park, Ill. introducing broker LTG Trading LLC and bars its former principal Gary Fullett from membership for five years
NFA has permanently barred LTG Trading LLC (LTG), a former NFA Member and current CFTC registered introducing broker located in Orland Park, Ill., from membership and from acting as a principal of an NFA Member. NFA also barred Gary Fullett, LTG’s former sole principal and associated person, from NFA membership and from acting as a principal of an NFA Member for five years.

*****I will have a column on this long overdue action later.~JJL


Legalizing marijuana boosts junk food sales
Theo Wayt – Academic Times
Legalizing recreational marijuana leads to increased sales of ice cream, cookies and chips, according to a first-of-its-kind study establishing a causal relationship between legal cannabis and junk food consumption.
“You think marijuana does no harm — that’s pretty much the consensus today,” said Georgia State University economist Alberto Chong in an interview with The Academic Times. “But there are unintended consequences, and one of them is the fact that you really get very hungry and you start eating crap.”

***** Surprising absolutely no one.~JB


Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Wednesday was the investor presentation filed with the SEC regarding Bakkt Holding going to market as a result of the merger of ICE’s bitcoin warehouse and VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings. The link was in a H&T from JLN’s Thom Thompson. Second was The Guardian’s Programmer has two guesses left to access £175m bitcoin wallet. Third was the CME Group’s CME Group Statement on the CME Group Political Action Committee, in which the company announced that it “will suspend all political contributions through CME Group’s Political Action Committee (PAC) for the foreseeable future.”


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Lead Stories

Big Business Backs Away From Trump’s Party But Longs for Old GOP; Democrats have an opportunity now that the business community is ditching the Republican Party, but a post-Trump pivot seems likely.
Peter Coy – Bloomberg
Big Business is in a tight spot. Rebellious Trump loyalists have amped up their influence over the Republican Party, which business has traditionally leaned on for support. Meanwhile, although President-elect Joe Biden is a moderate, the Democratic Party’s platform is the most left-leaning it’s been in decades. “From a business standpoint we’re concerned about the growing ranks of populist viewpoints in the Republican Party and the growing ranks of progressive and socialist viewpoints in the Democratic Party,” says Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Lagarde Blasts Bitcoin’s Role in Facilitating Money Laundering
Carolynn Look – Bloomberg
Digital coin steadied on Wednesday after volatile Asia session; The token’s anonymity has made it popular among criminals
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde took aim at Bitcoin’s role in facilitating criminal activity, saying the cryptocurrency has been enabling “funny business.” “For those who had assumed that it might turn into a currency — terribly sorry, but this is an asset and it’s a highly speculative asset which has conducted some funny business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money-laundering activity,” Lagarde said in an online event organized by Reuters.

From Goldman to SEC: Gensler’s Next Stop Worries Wall Street
Benjamin Bain – Bloomberg
Biden’s likely pick for SEC chair is a progressive favorite; Executives may face stiffer enforcement, fines for wrongdoing
The tale of Gary Gensler’s transformation has always been remarkable. He went from being one of the youngest partners in the history of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to becoming a favorite of progressive Democrats as a financial regulator during the Obama administration. Now, it’s about to add another chapter and Wall Street is very worried.

CFTC Approves NFA’s Swap Dealer Capital Model Review Program
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Market Participants Division through delegated authority has determined the National Futures Association’s (NFA) swap dealer capital model requirements and review program are comparable with the CFTC’s swap dealer capital model requirements and review program. Accordingly, a capital model approved by the NFA will be accepted as an alternative means of compliance with CFTC Regulation 23.102.

Winklevoss Twins Consider Taking Gemini Crypto Exchange Public
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
Digital asset firm introduces U.S. crypto-rewards credit card; They are Bitcoin ‘hodlers’ but not looking to add to position
Bitcoin billionaires Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss said they’re considering taking Gemini Trust Co. public amid the resurgence of interest in cryptocurrencies. “We are definitely considering it and making sure that we have that option,” Cameron Winklevoss, co-founder and president of the New York-based digital-asset firm, said in an interview. “We are watching the market and we are also having internal discussions on whether it makes sense for us at this point in time. We are certainly open to it.”

Charles Schwab shuts down its PAC, citing a ‘hyperpartisan’ environment.
Lauren Hirsch – NY Times
Charles Schwab will shut down its political action committee, perhaps the most significant move among companies rethinking their political donations after last week’s violence in the Capitol.

ByteDance’s Chief Rival Wins HKEX Nod for $5 Billion IPO
Julia Fioretti, Zheping Huang, and Vinicy Chan – Bloomberg
Kuaishou Technology set to be one of year’s biggest listings; Short video firm aims to go public before Lunar New Year
Kuaishou Technology, the main rival to ByteDance Ltd., has received approval from the Hong Kong stock exchange for an initial public offering of about $5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, paving the way for one of the city’s biggest listings of the year.

Amsterdam vies for IPO spotlight as Brexit dents London’s allure; InPost’s plans for Dutch listing underscore mounting competition to UK as trading hub
Katie Martin, Owen Walker and Philip Stafford – FT
The decision by Polish ecommerce group InPost to pick Amsterdam for its stock listing offers the latest sign that London risks losing its grip as a trading hub after Brexit.

Defense Act Expands Scope of Foreign Bank Records U.S. Authorities Can Obtain; Annual defense-policy legislation gives U.S. investigators additional authority to subpoena records from foreign banks with U.S. correspondent accounts
Mengqi Sun – WSJ
U.S. authorities have more power to obtain documents from foreign banks with U.S. correspondent accounts under recently passed defense-policy legislation. A provision of the National Defense Authorization Act, approved Jan. 1, allows the U.S. Treasury secretary or attorney general to subpoena records related to any account at a foreign bank with correspondent accounts in the U.S. The law applies to records held in the U.S. or abroad that are subject to federal criminal investigations or civil forfeiture actions.

U.S. turmoil an ‘alarm’ for Western democracies, says France’s Le Maire
Reuters Staff
The political turmoil in the United States, where Donald Trump on Wednesday became the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice, has served as an alarm to Western democracies, France’s finance minister said on Thursday.

Wells Fargo CEO to unveil cost-cutting plan
Imani Moise – Reuters
Wells Fargo & Co Chief Executive Charlie Scharf will give investors more details on his long-awaited turnaround plan for the scandal-plagued bank this week.

Exclusive: Parler CEO says social media app, favored by Trump supporters, may not return
Elizabeth Culliford, Jeffrey Dastin – Reuters
Social media platform Parler, which has gone dark after being cut off by major service providers that accused the app of failing to police violent content, may never get back online, said its CEO John Matze.

Jamie Dimon Says JPMorgan Paused PAC Giving to Rethink Its Donations
Michelle F Davis and Shahien Nasiripour – Bloomberg
The company is ‘figuring out what we should change,’ CEO says; A Manhattan foundation urges bank to halt business with Trump
Jamie Dimon said the reason JPMorgan Chase & Co. paused donations from its political action committee is to give the biggest U.S. bank time to reevaluate how it contributes to campaigns following last week’s deadly siege on the Capitol.

Deutsche Bank’s Trump Links Will Prove Sticky; The German lender won’t find it as easy as some institutions to distance itself from the president it financed.
Elisa Martinuzzi – Bloomberg
From tech giants to sports organizations to academia, institutions in the U.S. are halting political donations and distancing themselves from Donald Trump after his supporters stormed the Capitol. Unfortunately for Deutsche Bank AG, a key lender to the twice-impeached president’s commercial activities, an association that attracts troublesome headlines is going to last for some time.

Barbara Novick, BlackRock’s Most Powerful Woman, Is Finally Retiring; Co-founder who led money manager’s lobbying efforts plans to transition from vice chairman to senior adviser role on Feb. 1
Dawn Lim – WSJ
One of BlackRock Inc.’s BLK -3.18% most well-known co-founders, Barbara Novick, is taking a stab at retirement for the second time. Ms. Novick led the firm’s public-policy efforts, building a lobbying machine that allowed BlackRock to avoid the same regulations as banks and fueling its rise into the world’s largest money manager with $7.8 trillion under management. She tried to leave last year but stayed on as the coronavirus pandemic unnerved markets. She says this time it’s for real.

Sagar Teotia to Conclude Tenure as SEC Chief Accountant
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Sagar Teotia, the Commission’s Chief Accountant, intends to leave the agency by the end of February after nearly six years of total public service.

The Federal Reserve’s New Framework: Context and Consequences
Vice Chair Richard H. Clarida – Federal Reserve
At the “The Road Ahead for Central Banks,” a seminar sponsored by the Hoover Economic Policy Working Group, Hoover Institution, Stanford, California (via webcast)
On August 27, 2020, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) unanimously approved a revised Statement on Longer-Run Goals and Monetary Policy Strategy, which represents a robust evolution of its monetary policy framework.1 At its September and December FOMC meetings, the Committee made material changes to its forward guidance to bring it into line with the new policy framework.2 Before I discuss the new framework in detail and the policy implications that flow from it, please allow me to provide some background on the reasons the Committee felt that our framework needed to evolve.

U.S. Bans Cotton, Tomato Imports From China’s Xinjiang Region; Move broadens administration effort to address allegations of forced labor
Eva Xiao – WSJ
The Trump administration on Wednesday banned imports of cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang, the broadest U.S. ban yet to target allegations of forced-labor practices in the northwest Chinese region.


Denmark’s Covid Vaccination Program Takes the Lead in EU
Nick Rigillo and Morten Buttler – Bloomberg
Denmark leads the way in Covid-19 inoculations in the European Union, having already given 2% of its population the shot. Health authorities expect all priority groups — health-care workers and the elderly — to be vaccinated by April, and to offer shots to the rest of the population soon thereafter.

U.S. Vaccine Shift Stirs New Unease as 128 Million Join Line
Angelica LaVito and John Tozzi – Bloomberg
States fear shortages amid expanded eligibility for shots; Change in strategy means new challenges in managing supplies
The U.S. government wants states to offer vaccines to millions more Americans as Covid-19 infections continue to soar, in a bid to bolster an immunization campaign that’s off to a rocky start. In recommending that states start immunizing all residents 65 and older, along with all those between 16 and 64 with medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to serious disease, U.S. health officials are clearing a path for about 128 million more Americans to be vaccinated.

London Gets Only 10% of England’s Vaccines, Mayor Complains
Tim Ross – Bloomberg
Londoners given 237,524 doses, out of 2.4 million in England; Khan: ‘hugely concerned’ as London at ‘critical’ point
Londoners have received one tenth of all vaccine shots administered in England, despite facing a crisis that’s pushing the capital’s hospitals to the brink of collapse. According to data from NHS England, 237,524 doses have been given to people in London, out of a total of 2.37 million across the country.

Covid infection shown to provide as much immunity as vaccines; Researchers ‘strongly encouraged’ by findings of reinfection study among UK health workers
Clive Cookson – FT
People who have already contracted coronavirus are as protected against reinfection as those who have received the best Covid-19 vaccines, according to a survey of 20,000 UK healthcare workers, the largest study in the world so far.

UK vaccine rollout constrained by manufacturing, say ministers; Johnson tells MPs the government is seeking to accelerate the production process
Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe and Donato Paolo Mancini – FT
Boris Johnson on Wednesday insisted he would accelerate the UK’s coronavirus vaccination programme after ministers suggested it was being held back by the capacity of the pharmaceutical companies making the jabs.

UK suffers record number of Covid deaths as Scotland tightens lockdown; Prime minister warns intensive care units in some hospitals could soon be overwhelmed
Jim Pickard and Mure Dickie – FT
The UK reported a daily record 1,564 deaths within 28 days of testing positive with coronavirus on Wednesday, as Boris Johnson warned that intensive care units in some hospitals could soon be overwhelmed.

US researchers say they have found new coronavirus variants; Early results from scientists in Ohio raise concerns about rapid mutations
Kiran Stacey – FT
Researchers in the US have discovered two new variants of coronavirus, one of which they say has became [sic] the dominant strain in the state of Ohio’s capital, Columbus, within just three weeks.

Russia struggles to distribute its vaccine to the regions; Putin calls for ‘mass’ inoculation as data suggest government is delivering fewer jabs than promised
Henry Foy – FT
In Bryansk, a small city 400km south of Moscow, hospitals and clinics would love to follow president Vladimir Putin’s order that Russia’s Covid-19 inoculation programme must now move from “large scale” to “mass” vaccination.

Hours on Hold, Website Crashes: Vaccine Sign-up Exasperates New Yorkers; A million city residents who are over 65 are now eligible to be vaccinated. But try making an appointment.
Sharon Otterman – NY Times
Laura Engle, 78, lives alone in an apartment in Midtown Manhattan. She uses a walker and has a chronic lung disease. She is exactly the kind of person who most needs a coronavirus vaccine. And yet, she has found it impossible to make an appointment and has become lost in the confusing system set up by the city and the state.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

LSE’s $15 Billion Refinitiv Deal Is Cleared by Key European Regulator; Decision follows probe into risks that deal would give LSE outsize influence over trading, clearing and data services
Ben Dummett and Valentina Pop – WSJ
Europe’s antitrust watchdog on Wednesday approved London Stock Exchange Group PLC’s $15 billion deal to acquire Refinitiv Holdings Ltd. with conditions, removing a key hurdle in the company’s bid to challenge Bloomberg LP, S&P Global Inc. and other industry heavyweights offering financial data.

*****See also: The Trade’s “European Commission approves LSEG’s $27 billion Refinitiv deal” by Annabel Smith.~MR

Nasdaq rolls out upgraded risk platform for sell-side and clearing brokers; Sucden Financial is the first institution to adopt the upgraded risk platform from Nasdaq.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
US exchange Nasdaq has unveiled an upgraded version of its cloud-based risk platform for banks, brokers, and clearing firms, with Sucden Financial being the first to adopt the system.

Euronext updates on the contemplated acquisition of the Borsa Italiana Group
Euronext today acknowledges that the European Commission has conditionally approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSEG) proposed acquisition of Refinitiv.

Frankfurt certificate exchange: Bitcoin certificate most traded product in 2020;Almost 4 million executed orders from private investors (+ 79%) / trading volume rises by 71 percent to 21.1 billion euros
Deutsche Börse Group
In 2020, a Bitcoin certificate was once again the most popular product on the Frankfurt Certificate Exchange with a turnover of 199 million euros. Overall, the trading volume rose in the past year by 71 percent to 21.1 billion euros.

ICE Provides Update on ICE Murban Futures Ahead of Launch of ICE Futures Abu Dhabi on March 29, 2021
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Approval granted from the Bank of England for ICE Clear Europe to clear IFAD markets; IFAD receives regulatory approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of mortgage technology, data and listings services, today provides an update on ICE Futures Abu Dhabi (IFAD).

Expansion of the 6.25 Basis Point Strike Price Listing Schedule of the Options on Three-Month Eurodollar and Three-Month SOFR Futures Contracts
CME Group
Effective Sunday, January 24, 2021 for trade date Monday, January 25, 2021, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. (“CME” or “Exchange”) will expand the 6.25 basis point strike price listing schedule for the Options on Three-Month Eurodollar Futures (Rulebook Chapter 452A) and Options on Three-Month SOFR Futures contracts (Rulebook Chapter 460A) (the “Contracts”) for trading on the CME trading floor, the CME Globex trading platform (“CME Globex”) and for submission of clearing via CME ClearPort as noted in the
tables below

EBS Market Integration onto CME Globex
CME Group
In Q4 2021, subject to applicable regulatory approvals, EBS Market’s Central Limit Order Book and eFix Matching Service will launch on CME Globex. You will receive subsequent notices with additional details and actions required to support the EBS Market integration onto CME Globex.

CME STP Notices: January 14, 2021
CME Group
CME STP Support of BrokerTec Markets – January 18
BrokerTec Stream on CME STP – February 1
Update – New Aggressor Indicator Flag on CME STP – February 21 UPDATE
Update – Enhancements for Exercise and Assignment Trades on CME STP – February 22 UPDATE
CME STP FIXML API Connectivity Documentation

CME Globex Notices: January 11, 2021
CME Group
Critical System Updates
New Resource for Critical Configuration Files
iLink 2 on MSGW Decommission – February 26
Update on Order Routing and Front-End Audit Trail Requirements for iLink 3
Update – iLink 3 SBE Schema Update – March 7 UPDATE
Update – CME FX Link Enhancements – March 28 UPDATE
Update – CME FX Link Enhancements: Drop Copy Impact – March 28 UPDATE


UBS Fund Pursues $400 Million Stake in SoftBank-Backed Paytm
Nishant Kumar and Dinesh Nair – Bloomberg
Fund run by UBS seeks slice of most valuable Indian startup; Swiss bank’s clients bet on booming digital payments market
UBS Group AG is in talks to invest $400 million in Paytm, the most valuable Indian startup, in a bet on the surging digital payments market in the world’s second-most populous country, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Saudi Arabia’s open banking plans mean big opportunities fintech
Natasha Turak – CNBC
Saudi Arabia’s central bank, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), is launching a framework for open banking in the kingdom, allowing a dramatically new direction for a sector known much more for its dedication to stability rather than for change and innovation.
“With the support of market participants, SAMA plans to go live with open banking during the first half of 2022,” the regulator announced earlier this week. The decision is set to present significant opportunities for fintech companies and Saudis themselves, locals and experts in the finance sector say.

Grab raises $300 million for fintech arm’s ambitious expansion
Anshuman Daga – Reuters
Southeast Asian ride-hailing and food delivery giant Grab has raised more than $300 million from investors led by South Korea’s Hanwha Asset Management Co. Ltd for its rapidly-expanding financial services business.

Goldman teams up with fintech startup Marqeta to build checking accounts
Goldman Sachs has partnered with card issuing startup Marqeta to build the U.S. bank’s Marcus checking accounts set to launch this year, the companies said on Thursday.
The bank, an investor in California-based Marqeta, hopes that the partnership will enable it to create more personalized and feature-rich digital banking services for its customers, it said.

Former head of electronic bond trading platform at Cantor Fitzgerald joins Refinitiv; Jon George joins Refinitiv as global head of FICC trading, its second major trading hire in months, after just over two years leading the Cantor Direct platform.
Kiays Khalil – The Trade
Refinitiv has hired the former global head of Cantor Fitzgerald’s electronic bond trading platform as global head of fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) trading.

MarketAxess hires digital transformation lead from UBS as COO for EMEA and APAC; Raj Paranandi joins MarketAxess as chief operating officer for EMEA and APAC after ten years with UBS.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Fixed income platform provider MarketAxess?has appointed the global co-head of digital transformation for the global markets division at UBS to oversee its EMEA and Asia Pacific operations.


German Police Shut Down Darknet Marketplace That Traded Bitcoin
Stefan Nicola – Bloomberg
German police took down what they believe was the world’s largest illegal “Darknet” marketplace, shuttering a platform that about half a million people used to trade drugs and crypto currencies including Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Is Unlike Any Other Bubble We’ve Seen So Far
Ye Xie – Bloomberg
Man Group compares Bitcoin to Prometheus in Greek mythology; Volatility likely part of price-discovery process, firm says
While the jury is still out on whether Bitcoin is a bubble, one thing is certain: it’s unlike any other bubble we’ve seen. Previous speculative asset-inflation episodes were either a one-off, like tulip mania in the 17th century, or the boom-doom cycle took many years, like gold. Bitcoin, by comparison, has survived three peak-to-trough drawdowns of over 80% in less than 10 years. The cryptocurrency surged past $40,000 last week to set an all time high. It has fallen more than 15% since then.

Is Bitcoin Boom a ‘Better Gold’ or Just Another Bubble?
Olga Kharif and Edward Robinson – Bloomberg
Bitcoin investors are having a wild ride. The best-known cryptocurrency quadrupled in price in late 2020 – – a surge reminiscent of its heyday three years earlier, when it rocketed to nearly $20,000, then crashed and lost more than two-thirds of its value. Once seen as the province of nerds, libertarians and drug dealers, there’s still little sign it will evolve into a useful form of money for most transactions. Yet the latest bout of roller-coaster volatility comes as more big investors are speculating that Bitcoin will gain wider acceptance and shake up the financial world, maybe by filling the role of gold as a hedge against inflation better than gold can.

Trading App May Curb Bitcoin Buying This Weekend If Market Goes Wild; EToro warns clients that unprecedented demand for crypto coupled with limited liquidity may present challenges for supporting orders.
Edward Robinson – Bloomberg
Retail investing platform eToro Ltd. is fielding so much demand for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that it warned customers they may encounter “possible limitations” filling orders.

Bitcoin Mining Comes to the Arctic Circle
Yuliya Fedorinova – Bloomberg
The Siberian city of Norilsk is best known as the home of mining giant MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC. With a population of 180,000, it’s one of the biggest human settlements beyond the Polar Circle and only reachable by plane or boat. The city may soon be famous for a different type of mining though — it now hosts the Arctic’s first crypto farm for producing new Bitcoins. BitCluster, the facility’s Russian owner, is already planning an expansion after starting operations late last year.

Bitcoin faces regulatory scrutiny after rapid rally; UK financial watchdog and ECB president call for more stringent rules
Eva Szalay and Matthew Vincent, Martin Arnold – FT
Regulators are sharpening their focus on bitcoin and its use in the international financial system after the value of the digital currency raced higher in a volatile rally that fed concerns over its lack of robust oversight by financial watchdogs.

Gemini acquires Blockrize, launching a credit card with up to 3% rewards in bitcoin
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Crypto exchange and custodian Gemini has acquired fintech startup Blockrize to launch a credit card in the U.S. that would offer up to 3% rewards in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Gemini did not disclose the deal’s terms, but COO Noah Perlman told The Block in an interview that the company acquired Blockrize in the third quarter of 2020, and all four employees of the startup joined Gemini at the time. Both teams are working together to launch the credit card later this year, and users in all 50 U.S. states will be able to earn crypto rewards by spending U.S. dollars. “It’s a great way for customers to invest in crypto, get exposure to the asset class, and then be able to sort of get the gains almost like a passive investment,” Perlman told The Block. “And then to the extent that there’s an increase in the value of those assets, that will accrue to them.”

Japan’s FSA Says XRP Not a Security: Report
Danny Nelson – Coindesk
The top securities watchdog in Japan told The Block Wednesday that it does not consider XRP to be a security, siding against its U.S. counterpart in the debate roiling the token’s issuer, Ripple Labs. The Financial Services Agency said XRP (-1.1%) does not meet the definition of a security under Japanese law., The Block said. While FSA’s opinion has no bearing on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s current litigation against Ripple Labs, it highlights the lack of consensus on XRP’s status among securities regulators. Japanese financial company SBI Holdings has previously asserted that XRP is a crypto-asset under Japanese law. SBI is a strong supporter of Ripple and the XRP ecosystem.

Grayscale says it will dissolve XRP Trust, citing market reaction to SEC lawsuit
Michael McSweeney – The Block
Digital asset investment firm Grayscale is moving to dissolve the XRP Trust — a move that comes days after it announced the liquidation of XRP positions from its Digital Large Cap Fund. In a press statement circulated Wednesday, Grayscale cited the decision by the Securities and Exchange Commission to file suit against Ripple last month, in which it argued that the digital asset XRP is a security under U.S. law.

Anchorage Becomes First OCC-Approved National Crypto Bank
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
Crypto custodian Anchorage has secured conditional approval for a national trust charter from the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), making it the first national “digital asset bank” in the U.S. The safekeeping, management and trading of digital assets have been regulatory stumbling blocks for large financial institutions – but those obstacles are gradually being removed. The OCC, a part of the Treasury Department charged with keeping banks safe but also competitive, has now issued three interpretative letters that lay the groundwork for banks to custody crypto, participate in blockchain networks and become payment providers using the tech.

‘We are watching the market:’ Gemini considering public markets debut
Frank Chaparro – The Block
Tyler and Cameron Winkelvoss [sic] are exploring a stock market debut for crypto exchange Gemini, according to a report by Bloomberg News. In an interview with Bloomberg, the twins – who founded the exchange in 2013—said that going public is one option they are currently exploring for the firm. “We are watching the market and we are also having internal discussions on whether it makes sense for us at this point in time,” Cameron Winklevoss, co-founder of Gemini, said. Gemini would join a growing list of crypto firms with ambitions to tap into the public markets. Some firms—including Bakkt and Coinbase—are further along in their journey. Bakkt announced at the beginning of the week that it would go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition vehicle. Coinbase filed a confidential S-1 to go public at the end of last year.

eToro may limit bitcoin buying on weekends if demand and volatility continue
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Online brokerage eToro has warned customers that it may limit bitcoin and crypto buying over this weekend if demand and volatility continue. “The unprecedented demand for crypto, coupled with limited liquidity, presents challenges to our ability to support BUY orders over the weekend,” the company said in an email to customers. “In light of this, it may be necessary for us to place limitations on crypto BUY orders over the weekend.” While the notice relates to this coming weekend, it may also be applied to “the following weekends” if a similar situation continues, an eToro spokeswoman told The Block.

When to trade bitcoin? When Saturn crosses Mercury, of course
Anna Irrera, Tom Wilson – Reuters
Bitcoin seems so flighty, some might argue you may as well consult a crystal ball, read the runes or stare at the stars to divine the direction of the capricious cryptocurrency.


Real Estate Brokerage Cushman Cuts Ties With Trump Organization
Natalie Wong and Patrick Clark – Bloomberg
The real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield will no longer work with the Trump Organization, the latest company to distance itself from the president after the riot at the U.S. Capitol. Chicago-based Cushman has worked with the Trump Organization for years, handling leasing at properties including 40 Wall Street.

McConnell Holds Trump’s Fate as Impeachment Heads to Senate
Steven T. Dennis and Laura Litvan – Bloomberg
Republican leader delays action but silent on how he’d vote; Trump’s final week could help determine ultimate outcome
President Donald Trump’s unprecedented second impeachment heads to the Senate, where his fate rests with Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who now has more leverage than ever over the president in his final week in office.

Trump at the Mercy of Financiers, Business Partners: Timothy O’Brien
President Donald Trump became the first U.S. president to be impeached for a second time, just days before his term in office ends. Bloomberg Opinion columnist Timothy O’Brien looks at some of the challenges Trump faces when he leaves office and the state of U.S. politics in the wake of the Trump administration on “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

D.C. Hotels, Bars Confront Whether to Close During Biden Inauguration; What is supposed to be one of D.C.’s best weeks for business is turning into a security and reputational hazard.
Jacqueline Davalos and Kate Krader – Bloomberg
It’s normally the biggest party Washington sees every four years. Inauguration day in the U.S. capital will be a lot different next week, with both the pandemic and security concerns keeping people out of the city as President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.

Donald Trump is impeached for second time; Bipartisan House vote charges president with ‘incitement to insurrection’ in deadly Capitol attack
Lauren Fedor – FT
Donald Trump became the first US president in history to be impeached for a second time as the House of Representatives charged him with “incitement to insurrection” for his role in stirring up a mob of supporters that stormed the Capitol last week.

America’s political crisis runs deeper than ideology; ‘Western elites tend to assume that their way of thinking is the only valid mode of thought’ Shonagh Rae
Gillian Tett – FT
It’s just two months since former US president Barack Obama solemnly told The Atlantic magazine that his country was “entering into an epistemological crisis”. “If we do not have the capacity to distinguish what’s true from what’s false, then by definition the marketplace of ideas doesn’t work,” he declared. “And by definition our democracy doesn’t work.”

A ‘first family’ that warped America; As the Trumps head to Florida, their influence is likely to continue in White House exile
Edward Luce – FT
As Donald Trump limbered up to give his infamous speech to last week’s “Save America march”, his son — Donald Jr — shot a video for the ages. It captured a festive first family — the president, Ivanka Trump, Eric and Lara Trump, and Donald Trump Jr’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle — swaying to Laura Branigan’s “Gloria” shortly before Capitol Hill was breached.

A nation teetering on the edge struggles through transfer of power; Normally peaceful transition marred by impeachment of Trump after assault on US Capitol
James Politi – FT
Troops from the National Guard were stationed throughout Congress on Wednesday, as its lower chamber prepared to make Donald Trump the first US president to be impeached not once, but twice.


CFTC Approves NFA’s Swap Dealer Capital Model Review Program
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Market Participants Division through delegated authority has determined the National Futures Association’s (NFA) swap dealer capital model requirements and review program are comparable with the CFTC’s swap dealer capital model requirements and review program. Accordingly, a capital model approved by the NFA will be accepted as an alternative means of compliance with CFTC Regulation 23.102.

Wall Street Fumes Over Last-Minute Rule From Trump Bank Watchdog
Robert Schmidt and Jesse Hamilton – Bloomberg
OCC chief wants to prohibit banks from shunning gun, oil firms; Brian Brooks is relishing fight with industry as he plans exit
Were history a guide, Brian Brooks would be spending the last days of the Trump administration enjoying the Washington view from his spacious government office and contemplating his next career move. Instead, the chief overseer of the largest U.S. banks is infuriating Wall Street.

Whistleblower Lawyer Sues the SEC Over Bounty Program Rule Changes; Jordan Thomas, a former SEC assistant director, says the agency didn’t have the authority to change the rules related to its whistleblower program
Mengqi Sun – WSJ
A lawyer who represents corporate whistleblowers has sued the Securities and Exchange Commission over recent amendments to rules governing the agency’s whistleblower award program.

Application for relief – Insurance Council of Australia
As a result of regulatory relief given to Australia Post by the Government, ASIC has issued a no-action position in relation to breaches of sections 941D and 1012G of the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act), and regulation 7.9.15C(5)(b)(i) of the Corporations Regulations 2001 (Corporations Regulations):

FCA warns consumers about unauthorised forex investment xchloesworld
On Tuesday 12 January we updated our consumer warning against an unauthorised online trader using Instagram, known as chloefxtrades / chloehenx, to include a further account xchloesworld.

Investing and Trading

What Investors Should Know Before Buying Surging Penny Stocks; Shares selling for less than $1 sound like an alluring investment. But they come with serious risks such as exposure to pump-and-dump schemes.
Charlie Wells and Katharine Gemmell – Bloomberg
Little stocks are having a big week. Six companies selling for less than $1 made up nearly a fifth of U.S. trading volume on Monday, according to data compiled by Joseph Saluzzi of Themis Trading LLC.

U.S. Decides Against Investing Ban on Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu
Nick Wadhams – Bloomberg
Officials debated but ultimately dropped the proposal; Decision removes cloud of doubt over Asia’s two biggest firms
U.S. officials deliberated but ultimately decided against banning American investment in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., a person familiar with the discussions said, removing a cloud of uncertainty over Asia’s two biggest corporations.

Bond Market’s Scariest Gauge Is Worse Than Ever; Corporate credit markets are more exposed to duration risk than at any other time in history.
Brian Chappatta – Bloomberg
Around this time a year ago, I ruffled a few feathers among bond traders with the headline “This Is the Scariest Gauge for the Bond Market.” The upshot was that when looking at the ratio of yields on corporate debt relative to its duration, investors were more susceptible to losses from a move higher in interest rates than at any time in history. Well, if that gauge was scary in January 2020, it’s downright terrifying now.

Oil Demand Recovery Set to Fall Short of Pre-Pandemic Levels This Year; OPEC says rising infection rates and government restrictions continue to stifle demand
David Hodari – WSJ
Global appetite for oil will remain subdued in the first quarter of 2021 due to coronavirus lockdown measures and rising infection rates, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said Thursday.

Fracking Pioneer Chesapeake Energy Cleared to Exit Bankruptcy; The Oklahoma City-based oil-and-gas producer is authorized for a restructuring that cuts about $7 billion in debt and includes a $600 million equity offering
Jonathan Randles – WSJ
A judge authorized Chesapeake Energy Corp. to exit bankruptcy and cut $7 billion in debt through a financial restructuring that transfers control of the company to investment firms that own the oil-and-gas producer’s high-ranking debt.

Shrinking Grain Supplies Send Prices Soaring; Weaker-than-expected harvest of U.S. row crops and strong demand for U.S. exports have driven futures to multiyear highs
Kirk Maltais – WSJ
Dwindling stockpiles of U.S. grains have sent prices for corn, soybeans and wheat skyrocketing. Corn futures closed trading Wednesday up 1.4% after rising Tuesday by the maximum allowed by the Chicago Board of Trade to more than $5.17 per bushel. The move followed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s monthly supply and demand report showing corn production falling short of expectations.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Swiss Set to Toughen Financial Disclosure Rules on Climate
Catherine Bosley – Bloomberg
Switzerland is preparing to draw up a law that could toughen the rules for companies’ financial disclosures in regards to climate change.

ETF Built Around Paris Climate Accord to Tackle Greenwashing
Tasos Vossos – Bloomberg
Fund tracks low polluters that keep reducing carbon emissions; Targeting assets of at least 200 million euros in first year
A new exchange-traded fund will link to bonds issued by companies meeting emissions targets outlined by the Paris climate agreement.

The Sustainable Debt Market Is All Grown Up; While social bonds set new records, other types of debt are settling nicely into maturity.
Nathaniel Bullard – Bloomberg
Another year, another record for the sustainable debt market. Companies and governments raised nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars of sustainable debt in 2020, beating the previous record, set a year earlier, by more than $160 billion.

Oil and gas contracts should drive climate gains; Emissions abatement must become standard component for new gasfields development
Havard Halland and Tony Zhang – FT
The French government’s decision to block the import of US liquefied natural gas, produced with high CO2 emissions, offered producing nations and energy companies a glimpse of what is to come.

Barclays appoints global head of ESG research from Sanford Bernstein; Marie Freier will lead ESG research at Barclays after 14 years at Sanford Bernstein where she previously held a similar role.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
UK investment bank Barclays has appointed a new global head of environmental, social, governance (ESG) research after confirming plans to expand its ESG research capabilities last year

Buddhist Monks Are Snapping Up ESG Bonds in Japan
Ayai Tomisawa – Bloomberg
Nomura says more temples and shrines interested in ESG bonds; Japan’s sustainable note sales jumped 68% last year to record
ESG investing is so popular in Japan that even Buddhist monks are getting into it. One of the new investors is Tokuunin, a Zen Buddhist temple in central Tokyo. The religious group wanted to make more money for building repairs and maintenance over the coming decades, so it bought 40-year social bonds sold by the University of Tokyo, according to Yuzan Yamamoto, its chief priest.

ETF Built Around Paris Climate Accord to Tackle Greenwashing
Tasos Vossos – Bloomberg
Fund tracks low polluters that keep reducing carbon emissions; Targeting assets of at least 200 million euros in first year
A new exchange-traded fund will link to bonds issued by companies meeting emissions targets outlined by the Paris climate agreement.


Cathie Wood’s Vision for Space ETF Sends Whole Industry Soaring
Sam Potter – Bloomberg
UFO, ROKT rally in pre-market as Ark plots a similar offering; New York-based Ark was one of the hottest managers of 2020
Cathie Wood’s magic touch is so powerful these days she can trigger gains for funds she doesn’t even run. News on Wednesday that Ark Investment Management has filed to launch the ARK Space Exploration ETF (ticker ARKX) sparked a rally for similar funds as well as for companies linked to everything from intergalactic travel to out-of-this-world broadband.

Nomura, Sparx to Form Company to Invest in Unlisted Firms
Takashi Nakamichi – Bloomberg
Nomura Holdings Inc. is teaming up with Japanese asset manager Sparx Group Co. to form a company that will invest in unlisted companies. The move is part of Nomura’s efforts to do more business in private markets, where it sees potential for growth. It will also give individuals more opportunities to invest in unlisted firms, Nomura said in a statement on Thursday.

Hasenstab suffers largest outflow among bond managers in 2020; Emerging markets specialist’s run of underperformance continued last year as assets shrank
Michael Mackenzie – Ft
Michael Hasenstab, the manager who runs the Templeton Global Bond fund, suffered the largest outflow among US fixed-income funds in 2020 as he lost money in a disastrous bet that bond prices would fall.

BlackRock assets surge to record $8.68tn; World’s largest fund manager boosted by run in equities that helped it beat forecasts
Michael Mackenzie – FT
BlackRock’s assets under management swelled to a peak of $8.68tn in the fourth quarter as robust financial markets led by a record run in equities helped the world’s biggest fund manager eclipse revenue and profit forecasts.

Annual inflows drive ETF industry assets to all-time high of $8tn; Investors allocated $762.9bn in new cash to exchange traded funds in 2020
Chris Flood – FT
Visit our ETF Hub for investor news and education, market updates and analysis and easy-to-use tools to help you select the right ETFs.

Florida’s Covid-19 Vaccines Draw Foreigners, Snowbirds; The state allows vaccinating nonresidents, which rankles some; ‘it lowers the numbers of vaccines available to people here’
Arian Campo-Flores and José de Córdoba – WSJ
MIAMI—Visitors from Toronto to New York to Buenos Aires have long flocked to Florida for sun, surf and shopping. Now they are coming for the Covid-19 vaccine.

Bank Earnings: Expect a Messy Quarter and a Peek at 2021; Lenders last year faced some of their most daunting challenges since the financial crisis
Orla McCaffrey – WSJ
2020 was a whiplash kind of year for U.S. banks. When the firms start reporting fourth-quarter earnings this week, investors will want to know if they should expect another.

BlackRock’s Fourth-Quarter Profit Rises on ETF, Bond Fund Inflows; Assets under management by the world’s largest money manager hit a new high of $8.68 trillion
Dawn Lim – WSJ
BlackRock Inc.’s BLK 0.26% quarterly profit rose 19% as investors turned to the money-management giant’s funds through November’s election uncertainty, vaccine breakthroughs and a year-end rally.


RBI Said to Assure Bond Investors Over Its Easy Monetary Stance
Subhadip Sircar and Suvashree Ghosh – Bloomberg
RBI says it’s just acting to modulate excess liquidity; Interbank rates need to be within rate corridor, RBI says
The Reserve Bank of India told bond market participants a recent measure to mop up excess liquidity isn’t a step toward changing its accommodative policy, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

China Hitting the Accelerator Will Fire Markets; Beijing looks to be easing liquidity. That’s great news for emerging stocks and commodity prices.
John Authers – Bloomberg
While many of us find it impossible to avert our gaze from the political drama in Washington, D.C., the most significant market events may be happening far to the east. Back in 2007, Chinese mainland stocks suffered a burst bubble for the ages, as the authorities’ attempts to micro-manage a stronger equity market backfired badly. There was another slightly smaller bubble in 2015, which ended when the indexing group MSCI disappointed expectations that it would start to include Chinese A-shares in its benchmark emerging market indexes (a process that has since started). And now the CSI-300 has at last exceeded that 2015 bubble, to hit a 12-year high:

City of London sets out five year post-pandemic recovery plan; Governing corporation of UK capital keen to push green policies
Daniel Thomas – FT
The City of London wants to foster growth in sectors such as green finance, fintech and the creative industries, according to a post-pandemic recovery plan for the financial district.

Chinese Investors Pour Billions Into Stocks on U.S. Blacklist; Buyers using the Stock Connect trading link have snapped up the equivalent of a net $15.8 billion in Hong Kong shares this year
Chong Koh Ping and Joanne Chiu – WSJ
Investors from mainland China have spent billions of dollars buying beaten-down shares in Hong Kong-listed companies subject to a U.S. government blacklist.

State Street launches FX sales and trading desk in Brazil under emerging markets expansion; With the Brazil FX trading desk, State Street now has 13 FX sales and trading desks in operation globally as it targets emerging markets.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Boston-based investment bank State Street has rolled out FX trading and sales operations through its Brazilian bank subsidiary to boost its services in emerging markets.


Northern Ireland’s Rocky Start to Brexit Stirs Local Tensions
Dara Doyle and Joe Mayes – Bloomberg
‘Bedlam’ of Brexit’s first week eases as more shelves fill up; Border in the Irish Sea will remain deeply divisive issue
Northern Irish haulier Stephen McAneney quips that Brexit came close to giving him a heart attack last week. At McAneney’s Allied Fleet Services, the phone was “ringing off the hook” as customers grappled with a new economic border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K.

Barnier warns post-Brexit border friction is the new normal; In frank interview, EU chief negotiator tells Britain that any lowering of regulatory standards will be punished
Sam Fleming and Jim Brunsden – FT
Michel Barnier has warned that many of the new regulatory frictions hampering cross-Channel trade will be impossible to smooth over, as the inevitable consequences of Brexit begin to manifest themselves for businesses across Europe.

EU warns banks against dodging post-Brexit trading rules; Bloc’s financial watchdog says it has observed ‘some questionable practices’
Philip Stafford and Nikou Asgari – FT
Europe’s markets regulator has warned EU banks and fund managers not to bypass new post-Brexit rules on cross-border dealing after it found “some questionable practices” used by the industry to trade with London.

How some British businesses view Brexit now that it’s done
Stephen Beard –
Four and a half years after the British voted for it, after two Prime Ministers fell from office because of it, and after families, friends and colleagues fought over it, Brexit has finally, fully happened. The U.K. left the European Union on Dec. 31, 2020, ending a turbulent 47 – years long relationship between the blocs. Opponents of Brexit have long predicted economic disaster. But against the odds, the U.K. and the EU struck a new free trade deal just before Christmas, ensuring there would be no tariffs or quotas on trade between the two. So how does Brexit look today, in the cold light of the New Year? Marketplace checked back with three U.K. business owners about how they’re feeling now that split is final.

What will Brexit change for travelers? Here’s what to know.
Shannon McMahon – The Washington Post
Brexit, the long-awaited split of the United Kingdom from the European Union, became official in its final form on Jan. 1. Although the U.K. left the E.U. on ‘Exit Day’ in early 2020, nothing really happened. It was not until this month that the move’s transition period ended and many newly reached terms of the split were implemented on the ground. While the crux of the changes are mainly going to affect Europeans and U.K. citizens, not North Americans, an expert group in U.K.-E.U. travel says there are a few minor logistical tweaks that could potentially have an impact on third-party travelers on their transit to or through the two regions.

Eastern Europeans Were Leaving U.K. in Months Before Brexit
Lucy Meakin – Bloomberg
The number of eastern Europeans living in the U.K. last year slumped to levels last seen in 2015 ahead of the end of the Brexit transition and as the coronavirus lockdowns closed huge parts of the economy. The non-British resident population declined in the year through June, with the biggest decrease among citizens of the so-called EU8 countries that joined the European Union in 2004, according to Office for National Statistics estimates published Thursday. Those include Poland, Estonia and Slovenia. The latest in global politics Get insight from reporters around the world in the Balance of Power newsletter.

UK says it can overcome post-Brexit fishing “teething” woes, minister says
Britain believes it can resolve the post-Brexit “teething issues” that have prevented Scottish fishermen from exporting goods to the European Union because of customs delays, food and environment minister George Eustice said. Some EU importers have rejected truck loads of Scottish fish since Jan. 1 after the need for catch certificates, health checks and export declarations meant they had taken too long to arrive, angering fishermen who are facing financial ruin if the trade cannot be resumed.

Brexit problems halt some Scottish seafood exports to EU
Julia Kollewe – The Guardian
Deliveries of Scottish seafood to the EU from smaller companies have been halted until Monday, 18 January, after post-Brexit problems with health checks, IT systems and customs documents caused a huge backlog. Scottish fishing has been plunged into crisis, as lorry-loads of live seafood and some fish destined for shops and restaurants in France, Spain and other countries have been rejected because they are taking too long to arrive. The industry’s biggest logistics provider, DFDS, a Danish company, pointed to delays regarding health certificates, issues with the IT system interface between the group and local authorities, and incorrect or missing customs documentation from customers.


Can you succeed without being a terrible person? There are other, better ways to manage people without resorting to ruthlessness
David Bodanis – FT
People often think they have to be ruthless to succeed: as the old saying has it: “Nice guys finish last.” But I’ve spent several years looking at that in practice, and it turns out the real world is more nuanced. Although individuals who are too soft will indeed finish last?.?.?.?this doesn’t mean individuals at the opposite extreme, arrogant or constantly Machiavellian — or encouraging mobs to attack their own nation’s seat of government — are always going to have much lasting success either.

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