Big tech is about to change the stock market forever

Feb 5, 2024

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Mike Gill has died, five days after being shot during a carjacking in Washington, DC. The former chief of staff to former CFTC Chairman Chris Giancarlo was waiting to pick up his wife on K Street NW in Washington on January 29 at 5:45 p.m. when a man entered his vehicle and shot him. The man 10 minutes later shot and killed another man and stole his car after having tried to carjack another car 10 minutes earlier. The shooter was later shot and killed by police, who described him as having a criminal record and experiencing a mental breakdown. This incident is reported here by the New York Post, the Daily Mail and The Washington Post.

More important than how Mike died was how he lived. Mike’s good friend and CFTC colleague Chris Giancarlo issued a statement on February 3, “Statement of Former CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, On the Death of Mike Gill” that spoke about how he lived.

I share with you the closing paragraph from former Chairman Giancarlo’s statement:

“Mike Gill was one of the most wonderful, honest, earnest and open hearted persons on this earth. His life reflects everything that is good and right and true. Words cannot express the tragedy of the loss of this fine man, colleague and cherished friend. He will be sorely missed and long remembered.”

I came to know Mike during his time as chief of staff to Chris and there is nothing in Chris’s statement that I would disagree with. Mike was all of that and more. Condolences from the JLN team to his family, friends and colleagues.

On Friday, Meta Platforms, Inc (META) surged $80.21 per share, up 20.32% on the day at $474.99, setting a record for a $197 billion gain on the day. However, META was not the biggest percentage gainer on the day, despite its big jump. The largest percentage gainer on Friday was NEXON Co., Ltd. (NEXOY), a company engaged in the production, development and operation of online games and virtual worlds. NEXOY was first listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in December 2011 and placed on the JPX400 in 2015. It was added to the Nikkei 300 in 2017 and in 2020 was added to the Nikkei 225.

The falling Chinese stock market has Chinese citizens concerned to the point they are expressing their economic and stock market frustrations by inundating the U.S. Embassy’s social media account in Beijing with unrelated comments and reposts, particularly on a post about protecting wild giraffes. There were 130,000 comments and 15,000 posts by Sunday, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that a Chinese academic called for a $1.4 trillion stock stabilization fund.

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) reported its January 2024 volume and open interest and it was impressive. Highlights included a 30% year-over-year increase in total average daily volume (ADV), with record options trading at 1.6 million lots and a 20% year-over-year rise in open interest (OI), reaching a record OI of 87.3 million lots on January 25. Energy trading experienced remarkable growth, with a 33% year-over-year increase in ADV and a 22% year-over-year surge in OI, including a record OI of 56.3 million lots on January 25. Other notable increases were observed in natural gas, financials, and interest rates trading. Additionally, record figures were achieved in cocoa and SONIA trading.

Cboe’s LiveVol tutorial video series helps Cboe LiveVol set the standard in U.S. options analytics, Cboe says.

Former CBOT member and director Harold Lavender has been given the Erna S. Fergusson Award, which recognizes exceptional accomplishments and/or commitment or distinguished service to The University of New Mexico.

University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Scott Irwin published a second book last year: “Speculation by Commodity Index Funds: The Impact on Food and Energy Prices.” This book is the academic research companion to his better known book “Back to the Futures,” also published last year.

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

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The February edition of Focus from the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) spotlights BME CEO Javier Hernani, who offers insights into the upcoming WFE Clear convention occurring in Madrid, Spain, March 19th to 21st, 2024. In addition, Stephen Dorrian, Cboe Head of Market Data & Access Services for Europe, and Juan Manuel Olivo Tirado, BMV’s Promotion and Issuers Director, reflect on what they learned from the WFE’s Market Infrastructure Certificate. Also, Exberry CEO Guy Melamed discusses the long-awaited tipping point in the transformation of market infrastructure, the next step in the evolution of financial exchanges and associated systems. There’s more to learn in the February issue of WFE Focus HERE. ~SAED

Our most read stories from our previous edition of JLN Options were:
Hedge funds are making big bets on these 20 companies in a ‘stock-pickers’ paradise’ – even though they’re skeptical about the market’s surge to record highs from Business Insider.
OCC January 2024 Monthly Volume Data from OCC.
Traders play defense in regional bank ETF’s options as shares sink from Reuters. ~JB

Subscribe to the JLN Options Newsletter HERE (it’s free).

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FIA Tech CEO Nick Solinger Discusses Partnership With eClerx to Boost Trade Data Network and Launch of Help Desk
JohnLothianNews.com

In a video interview with John Lothian News, FIA Tech CEO Nick Solinger discussed the recently announced partnership with eClerx to enhance its Trade Data Network (TDN) and the launch of a collaborative help desk.

Watch the video »

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Finance worker pays out $25 million after video call with deepfake ‘chief financial officer’
Heather Chen and Kathleen Magramo – CNN
A finance worker at a multinational firm was tricked into paying out $25 million to fraudsters using deepfake technology to pose as the company’s chief financial officer in a video conference call, according to Hong Kong police. The elaborate scam saw the worker duped into attending a video call with what he thought were several other members of staff, but all of whom were in fact deepfake recreations, Hong Kong police said at a briefing on Friday.
/jlne.ws/48SeAkp

***** Do you have a safe word so people know it is you? ~JJL

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Trading Up: How and Why A Team of International Artists Took Control of the Last Pit at the Chicago Board of Trade
Brian Hieggelke – New City
A beautiful Monday morning in late August and the financial district around the Chicago Board of Trade building is a ghost town, like something out of a post-apocalyptic zombie movie or perhaps just peak-COVID-shutdown Chicago. The infrastructure is present, security guards are at their stations, the coffee shop is open, but I see only a total of three traders in their signature colorful shirt-jackets with identification badges on their chests in my entire time walking around. This area used to swarm like an ant colony in a rainbow with traders in all their bright jackets and colorful swagger, but that swagger and color has all gone to gray. The landmark Chicago Board of Trade building, a bedrock colossus that anchors LaSalle Street with its majestic statue of Ceres standing sentry forty-five stories over a financial district where Bentleys once one-upped Porsches, is being reimagined, perhaps even as a low-income housing area. The streets around it are filled with eye-level vacancy signs, though some nearby businesses that have catered to a less-well-heeled crowd for more than a half century, like Boni Vino Ristorante & Pizzeria, Sky Ride Tap and Americana Submarine, seem poised to last forever.
/jlne.ws/42ruP5r

****** For years there were plenty of drunk traders and brokers sleeping it off under their desks, so I guess this is not much of a change in some ways.~JJL

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Friday’s Top Three
Our top clicked item on Friday was Nicole Oskin’s announcement on LinkedIn that she accepted a role as director, FinOps at CME Group. Second was a tie between The Mystery of the $400 Million FTX Heist May Have Been Solved, from Wired and LME clearing house reshuffles management, from Reuters. Third was Oil Profits Keep Flowing for Exxon and Chevron, from The Wall Street Journal.

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Lead Stories

Big tech is about to change the stock market forever; Transformation of industry giants will be a watershed moment for global markets
Matthew Lynn – The Telegraph
The huge dividends announced last week by Meta, the company that controls Facebook and Whatsapp, will pay for a lot of hoodies, and will at least spin out enough cash to keep Sir Nick Clegg from contemplating a return to British politics. They will generate as much as $700m (£550m) annually for its founder Mark Zuckerberg, and plenty for the rest of his senior team. But it marks something far more significant than that. This is the moment when big tech starts its transformation into big cash. Over the next few years, all the giants of the internet will start to rival the oil and pharmaceutical conglomerates for the vast sums they generate for their shareholders – and all that cash will start to transform how the stock market works as well.
/jlne.ws/3Oy91j4

Former Trump official Mike Gill dies after being shot during Washington DC carjacking incident
Andrea Vacchiano – Fox News
Former President Trump administration member Mike Gill recently died from injuries he sustained after he was carjacked in Washington, D.C., Fox News has learned. Gill, who served as chief of staff at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), was sitting in his vehicle on Monday night, when a suspect entered his car and shot him. The incident happened in the 900 block of K Street NW at around 5:45 p.m.
/jlne.ws/42uhYPV

Ethiopia food crisis threatens ‘humanitarian catastrophe’; UK development minister says 3mn people face acute food shortage because of drought and civil war
David Pilling – Financial Times
Ethiopia is sliding into a “humanitarian catastrophe” with more than 3mn people facing acute hunger in the north of the country, the UK government has said in a warning that will invite comparisons with the 1984 famine in which half a million Ethiopians starved to death.
/jlne.ws/3upHLwb

Options Trading Is Going Gangbusters. The Market Now Has a Data ‘Superhighway’ to Match.
Alexander Osipovich – The Wall Street Journal
A key piece of infrastructure underpinning the options market is getting an upgrade, aimed at helping it cope with increased trading volume. When markets open this morning, traders will be using a new, higher-capacity version of the data feed that broadcasts price quotes and trades from U.S. options exchanges, according to the Options Price Reporting Authority, the industry group that oversees the data feed.
/jlne.ws/3wddfWL

Meta’s $197 Billion Surge Is Biggest in Stock-Market History
Subrat Patnaik – Bloomberg
Meta Platforms Inc. just became Wall Street’s top comeback kid. It was only a couple of years back the Facebook owner suffered the single biggest market value destruction in stock-market history. But the company has come a long way since then, on Thursday it dazzled shareholders with yet another impressive quarterly earnings report as the social media giant focuses on cutting back costs and shoring up billions in profits.
/jlne.ws/3w23yL3

China Tightens Some Trading Restrictions for Domestic and Offshore Investors
Bloomberg
China is tightening trading restrictions on domestic institutional investors as well as some offshore units as authorities fight to stem a deepening stock rout, according to people familiar with the matter. Officials this week imposed caps on some brokerages’ cross-border total return swaps with clients, limiting a channel that can be used by China-based investors to short Hong Kong stocks, said the people, asking not to be identified discussing a private matter. At the same time, some Chinese brokers that use the channel to buy mainland shares for their offshore units were told not to reduce their positions, the people said.
/jlne.ws/4832Ni6

‘Uninvestable’: China’s $2tn stock rout leaves investors scarred; Some global fund managers fear government efforts to stabilise the market are too little, too late
Hudson Lockett and Joseph Cotterill – Financial Times
Chinese authorities’ promise of “forceful” measures last week was their most vocal attempt yet to halt a stock market sell-off that has wiped out almost $2tn in value. For many investors at a Goldman Sachs conference in Hong Kong, that vow was too little, too late.
/jlne.ws/3w41IJp

Angry Chinese take to US Embassy’s social media account to vent about plunging stock market
Laura He – CNN
Tens of thousands of people in China are flocking to an unusual venue to vent their outrage about the continuing meltdown in the country’s stock market. They’ve been posting comments on a Chinese-language social media account of the US Embassy in Beijing expressing anger and frustration with the market rout.
/jlne.ws/3SurH4c

China Margin Debt Gets Unwound as Stock Selloff Deepens
Bloomberg
China stock traders are unwinding their margin debt rapidly, underscoring how a prolonged selloff may be leading to some forced share liquidation. The outstanding amount of margin debt balance in mainland bourses fell by 2% on Friday to 1.46 trillion yuan ($203 billion), its biggest decline since June 2018. That reverses the upward trajectory of margin trades that started in August when policies to boost markets were introduced.
/jlne.ws/4989wIY

China’s Small-Cap Crash Shows What Happens Without Market Rescue
Bloomberg
China’s smallest stocks are flashing a warning about the potential downside for the world’s second-largest equity market if Beijing fails to follow through on a highly anticipated rescue campaign. While the country’s large-cap CSI 300 Index eked out a 0.7% gain on Monday after a renewed pledge from regulators to support the market, a gauge of small-cap shares sank more than 6% to the lowest level since 2018. That took the CSI 1000 Index’s losses to 27% this year after the measure underperformed larger peers by the most in more than nine years in January.
/jlne.ws/3Uu0ZLM

Turkey Is Becoming Investible Again; The country’s finance ministry and central bank are regaining economic credibility.
Marcus Ashworth – Bloomberg
Whisper it quietly, but Turkey is on the verge of becoming investible again for foreign investors. After years of political interference in its monetary policy, a collapse in the Turkish lira’s value over the past five years and a soaring inflation rate, there are promising signs that orthodox financial policies are back in place. The central bank is confident enough to welcome foreigners back into lira bonds, and has signaled an end to the monetary tightening cycle that has seen eight consecutive increases in the official interest rate.
/jlne.ws/42rACbb

Coinbase exchange slashes fees for high-volume traders; US cryptocurrency venue in effort to grab market share from offshore rivals
Scott Chipolina – Financial Times
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is slashing its fees in an effort to draw more high-volume traders and boost its underperforming institutional business. The US group said on Thursday it would waive fees for 60 days for customers wanting to trade cryptocurrencies on its professional market, if they have traded more than $500,000 a month on a rival exchange. No-fee trading is typically only available to traders handling more than $250mn.
/jlne.ws/3HO1Uzg

Online Crypto Course Founder Scammed Students With Fake Hedge Fund, SEC Alleges
Allyson Versprille – Bloomberg
The founder of an online crypto trading course called the American Bitcoin Academy scammed students out of more than $1 million by persuading them to invest in a fake hedge fund, the Securities and Exchange Commission claimed Friday. From December 2017 through April 2018, Brian Sewell allegedly solicited investments for the Rockwell Fund, which would invest in digital assets using unique strategies and tools such as artificial intelligence.
/jlne.ws/3OsRQPV

Goldman Sachs shuffles management committee – WSJ
Reuters
Goldman Sachs is shuffling its management committee, in the latest indication of the power dynamics at the bank, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that company veterans Alison Mass and George Lee have left the group, which comprises the heads of the bank’s main divisions and other top executives.
/jlne.ws/42rokQn

Taming the systemic risk Hydra: 10 years of mandatory clearing; Regulators, clearers and market participants reflect on a decade of the clearing requirement
Rebekah Tunstead – Risk.net
It’s more than 15 years since the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy brought the global financial system to the brink of collapse – and just over a decade since the regulatory response first brought mandatory swap clearing to the US. By requiring central clearing of interest rate and index credit default swaps (CDSs) – a push which began in earnest on September 24, 2009, when G20 economic leaders convened in Pittsburgh, US – regulators were attempting to prevent another default on the scale of the US
/jlne.ws/3Sq1kwu

Wall Street Gets Laser Eyes in Bid for Bitcoin ETF Bucks; Financial firms embrace the crypto subculture
Alexander Osipovich – The Wall Street Journal
Listen to firms on Wall Street these days, and you might think you’re knocking down beers with a gaggle of crypto bros. Larry Fink, chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, told CNBC last month that he was a big believer in bitcoin. A few days later, Howard Lutnick, the CEO of financial-services firm Cantor Fitzgerald, predicted that bitcoin would rally this year. He also praised Tether Holdings, the firm behind the widely used stablecoin tether.
/jlne.ws/3SJY28B

Ken Griffin and Ja Rule Converge in Miami as Power Meets Glamour; Annual hedge fund week showcases Miami’s money and influence; Florida single largest source of cash to GOP presidential runs
Michael Smith and Anna J Kaiser – Bloomberg
No one in New York or LA orders a Carlyle Fresco. But that’s what they were mixing the other night by the pool at the famed Fontainebleau Miami Beach – a sure sign the hedge fund set was back in town. The tequila and grapefruit spritz was named in honor of the Carlyle Group Inc., which was one of the sponsors of a conference in the hotel.
/jlne.ws/3vZLcKt

Ex-Clifford Chance lawyer acquitted in FCA insider trading trial; Judge instructed jury to return verdicts of not guilty against Suhail Zina
Suzi Ring – Financial Times
A former Clifford Chance lawyer has been acquitted of insider trading in a London trial after the judge ruled there was no case to answer. Suhail Zina was found not guilty by the jury on Friday after the panel was directed by the judge to return that verdict on all nine charges against him, his lawyer and the Financial Conduct Authority, which had brought the case, confirmed to the Financial Times.
/jlne.ws/4928e23

Y2K23’s Y2K moment: Blaming the internet for bank runs; The modern version of blaming short sellers?
Steven Kelly – Financial Times
Steven Kelly is associate director of research at the Yale Program on Financial Stability and publishes research notes at his Substack, Without Warning. Silicon Valley Bank’s former CEO Greg Becker went before Congress last May to tell the SVB story. When he got to the section about the run on SVB, it was clear from the title where he laid blame: Yet, he appeared to have a rock-solid citation: the Federal Reserve’s postmortem on SVB. The Fed report on SVB mentions social media three times, citing nothing.
/jlne.ws/3SvyCtQ

What’s wrong with the Shiller Cape benchmark for markets? The ratio is wheeled out to support bold claims about future returns. It cannot bear the weight of such expectations
Toby Nangle – Financial Times
Will the stock market go up over the next year or two? Your answer is likely to depend on any number of things, including whether you think today’s valuation is cheap or dear. According to Graham and Dodd’s 1934 investment bible, Security Analysis, analysts should average earnings of “no less than five years, preferably seven or ten years” when constructing valuation metrics. More than half a century later, in 1988, economists Robert Shiller and John Campbell investigated whether this approach could help predict aggregate stock market returns. They found that it could.
/jlne.ws/3ulrTL5

Ukraine Invasion

Ukraine Farm Exports From Odesa Seaports 14.3M Tons Since August
Volodymyr Verbianyi – Bloomberg
Ukraine’s agriculture exports from Odesa-region seaports have reached 14.3 million tons since August, when a new Black Sea shipping corridor was set up. The war-torn nation is pressing ahead with the shipment of commodities, mostly grains, after Russia last summer pulled out of a safe-transit agreement brokered a year earlier by Turkey and the United Nations.
/jlne.ws/42th7PN

Short on ammo, Ukrainian artillerymen can’t fire on a hunch anymore. They have to know the Russians are there.
Erin Snodgrass – Business Insider
Ukraine’s increasing ammunition struggles have hamstrung its war effort, forcing the country to sacrifice long-term strategy for short-term certainty. Russia has maintained an advantage in artillery ammunition since the war began nearly two years ago. That advantage has only increased in recent months as Ukraine struggles to gain an edge against Russia’s growing momentum.
/jlne.ws/3ucZo2n

Low on Ammo, Ukraine Tries to Build a Million Explosive Drones; Kyiv relying on small airborne weapons assembled in workshops across the country
Ian Lovett – The Wall Street Journal
At the end of a bare concrete hallway, in a building that sat empty until a few months ago, a dozen men hunched over desks assembling pieces of black carbon fiber and soldering on computer chips. A gyroscope whirred, testing the final product: an explosive attack drone. This workshop in western Ukraine is one of dozens of startups producing cheap weapons that are helping Ukrainian troops against the Russians. Short on ammunition with additional military aid from the U.S. stalled, Ukraine is trying to compensate by producing an army of a million explosive FPV, or first-person-view, drones.
/jlne.ws/483zP1l

In Ukraine, Feuds, Funding and Zelenskiy’s Frenemy; A rivalry in Kyiv threatens Ukrainian solidarity even as the Biden Administration tries to patch together an aid package.
Howard Chua-Eoan – Bloomberg Opinion
The War Turns on Feuding and Funding
This month will mark the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began with a terrifying thrust toward the capital, Kyiv, in the earliest moments of the war. While President Volodymyr Zelenskiy emerged as the face of Ukrainian resistance – inspiring much of the West to support his besieged nation – it was the country’s military chief, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, who devised the strategy that kept Russian troops at bay, bogging them down in winter mud as they attempted to take the capital. Indeed, Zaluzhnyi had advocated full-scale mobilization even before Putin sent in his forces – but Zelenskiy resisted the suggestion, not wanting to frighten Ukrainian civilians.
/jlne.ws/42sDR2f

G-7 Eye Russian Assets as Collateral to Raise Funds for Ukraine
Jorge Valero and Alberto Nardelli – Bloomberg
The Group of Seven and the European Union are discussing a plan to use more than $250 billion in frozen Russian central bank assets as collateral to help fund Ukraine’s reconstruction, according to people familiar with the matter. Under the proposal, Ukraine’s allies could sell debt to contribute to the war-torn country’s rebuilding, using the frozen assets as collateral. Proponents believe that any settlement to the conflict under international law would find Russia liable to pay for the damage it has caused its neighbor. Should Russia refuse, claims could be made on the frozen assets, the people said.
/jlne.ws/3ul3SUx

Greek Shipowners Are Stampeding Out of the Russian Oil Trade
Julian Lee – Bloomberg
/jlne.ws/3UwVSuf

Israel/Palestine Conflict

Hamas regroups in northern Gaza to prepare new offensive; Militant Palestinian group begins to rebuild system of governance in north after being driven out by Israeli forces
Jason Burke – The Guardian
Hamas militants have returned to northern Gaza, where they are mobilising against Israeli forces and rebuilding a system of governance, aid officials, Gaza residents, analysts and Israeli officials say. Elsewhere in Gaza, Hamas administrators and police maintain firm control of the south, where much of the population is concentrated, though civil order is breaking down in central regions.
/jlne.ws/3SKyfgv

U.S. Hits Back at Iran With More Than Just Airstrikes
Eileen Sullivan and David E. Sanger – The New York Times
In the hours before the United States carried out strikes against Iran-backed militants on Friday, the U.S. hit Iran with more familiar weapons: sanctions and criminal charges. The Biden administration imposed sanctions on officers and officials of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, the country’s premier military force, for threatening the integrity of water utilities and for helping manufacture Iranian drones. And it unsealed charges against nine people for selling oil to finance the militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah.
/jlne.ws/49hFlhO

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Reddit Picks New York Stock Exchange for IPO in Win Over Nasdaq
Amy Or – Bloomberg
Reddit Inc. has picked the New York Stock Exchange for its initial public offering, according to a person familiar with the matter. The San Francisco-based social media company, which said it confidentially filed offering paperwork in 2021, is expected to unveil the filing later this month, the person said, asking not to be identified discussing information that’s not public. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported on the choice of NYSE. It’s a win for the NYSE in its competition with Nasdaq for high-profile IPOs.
/jlne.ws/3HKGRgJ

Leveling a Slice of the Playing Field
Phil Mackintosh – Nasdaq
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently proposed banning volume discounts for agency orders on U.S. exchanges. Apart from the fact that setting prices seems anti-competitive and eliminating economies of scale is bad economics (especially in stock markets), there are a number of other things this proposal ignores. The main justification for this proposal seems to be to level the playing field for brokers. It aims to do this by forcing all agency orders to pay and receive the same rates to trade on a single exchange – with the expected result that broker routing conflicts of interest will be solved.
/jlne.ws/484bys9

Tradeweb Reports January 2024 Total Trading Volume of $42.6 Trillion and Record Average Daily Volume of $2.00 Trillion; January 2024 ADV up 74.6% YoY
Tradeweb Markets
Tradeweb Markets Inc. (Nasdaq: TW), a leading, global operator of electronic marketplaces for rates, credit, equities and money markets, today reported total trading volume for the month of January 2024 of $42.6 trillion (tn)[1]. Average daily volume (ADV) for the month was a record $2.00tn, an increase of 74.6 percent (%) year-over-year (YoY).
/jlne.ws/3OvnyvS

MarketAxess Announces Monthly Volume Statistics for January 2024; Record Total Credit Trading ADV of $15.0 billionDriven by Record U.S. High-Grade ADV of $7.5 Billion and Record Emerging MarketsADV of $3.7Billion
MarketAxess Holdings Inc.
MarketAxess Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: MKTX), the operator of a leading electronic trading platform for fixed-income securities, today announced monthly trading volume and preliminary variable transaction fees per million (“FPM”) for January 2024.
/jlne.ws/3w5wYry

Cboe Carrying Out Strategic Review
Shanny Basar – MarketsMedia
Fredric Tomczyk, chief executive of Cboe Global Markets, said the group is carrying out a strategic review as it reported record revenue in 2023 and record trading volumes for options. Tomczyk said on the results call on 2 February that Cboe’s outstanding results were driven by record derivatives trading volumes, growth of the data and access solutions business and disciplined expense management.
/jlne.ws/47YBYLL

January 2024 figures at Eurex
Eurex
Total Eurex volume up 6 percent in January year-on-year; Eurex Repo grows by 57 percent in GC Pooling; Notional outstanding in OTC Clearing up 8 percent year-on-year in January. Eurex, Europe’s leading derivatives exchange, reports a 6 percent increase in traded contracts for January compared to the previous year, rising from 144.6 million to 152.7 million contracts. Robust growth of 34 percent was observed in interest rate derivatives, with the number of contracts traded in January climbing from 54.7 million to 73.6 million. Conversely, equity derivatives experienced a 17 percent decrease, dropping from 20.9 million contracts in January of the previous year to 17.4 million contracts. Index derivatives turnover also saw an 11 percent year-on-year decline in January, decreasing from 68.7 million to 61.4 million traded contracts.
/jlne.ws/3SLp2V6

Eurex launches Mid-Curve Options on EURO STOXX 50 Index Dividend Futures
Eurex
Eurex is expanding its dividend derivatives offering with the introduction of Mid-Curve Options on EURO STOXX 50 Index Dividend Futures as of 5 February 2024. Mid-Curve Options on index dividend futures, currently only available as an OTC product, can now be traded at Eurex. Mid-Curve Options (Eurex), or Swaptions (OTC terminology), are listed options that expire on an underlying future with a longer expiry date than the next settling future. These options focus on the next five years of dividends, allowing participants to fine-tune risk management or anticipate changes in dividend expectations.
/jlne.ws/42q3EYU

ICE Bonds Broadens Its Fixed Income Liquidity Network with Connectivity to TS Imagine; TS Imagine customers gain seamless access to ICE Bonds’ municipal and corporate bond liquidity
Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of technology and data, today announced that TS Imagine has connected to ICE Bonds to offer clients seamless access to its fixed income execution protocols and liquidity. TS Imagine customers using the TS One and TradeSmart OEMS can now access ICE Bonds’ trading protocols for Municipals and Corporates, across the ICE TMC and ICE BondPoint platforms. “TS Imagine’s cross-asset platform has become a leading tool for investors around the world and we’re pleased to be delivering ICE Bonds’ streaming municipal and corporate bond data and liquidity to their customers,” said Peter Borstelmann, President of ICE Bonds. “With seamless access over TS Imagine’s OEMS, this integration builds on our effort to expand the distribution of our markets to a broader network of investors across institutional, retail and wealth manager customer bases.”
/jlne.ws/3w8jv2k

Intercontinental Exchange Reports January 2024 Statistics; Record ADV across commodities, energy and total options
Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading global provider of technology and data, today reported January 2024 trading volume and related revenue statistics, which can be viewed on the company’s investor relations website at https://ir.theice.com/ir-resources/supplemental-information in the Monthly Statistics Tracking spreadsheet.
/jlne.ws/4bniHqh

Notice of Disciplinary Action
CME Group
Tower Research Capital Investments LLC – CBOT 21-1520-BC. Read Full Notice. CBOT Rule Violation: Rule 432. (General Offenses) (in part). It shall be an offense: W. for any party to fail to diligently supervise its employees and agents in the conduct of their business relating to the Exchange. Rule 575. Disruptive Practices Prohibited (in part) D. No Person shall enter or cause to be entered an actionable or non-actionable message with intent to disrupt, or with reckless disregard for the adverse impact on, the orderly conduct of trading or the fair execution of transactions.
/jlne.ws/3Up9asE

Notice of Disciplinary Action
CME Group
David Hall – CME 21-1529-BC. Read Full Notice. Non-Member: David Hall. CME Rule Violations: Rule 575. Disruptive Practices Prohibited (In Part) All orders must be entered for the purpose of executing bona fide transactions. Additionally, all non-actionable messages must be entered in good faith for legitimate purposes.
/jlne.ws/3ujiP9D

Notice of Disciplinary Action
CME Group
G.H. Financials, LLC. – CME 21-1450-BC. Read Full Notice Rule 432. General Offenses (in part). It shall be an offense: Q. to commit an act which is detrimental to the interest or welfare of the Exchange or to engage in any conduct which tends to impair the dignity or good name of the Exchange. Rule 576. Identification of Globex Terminal Operators
/jlne.ws/3Ovn0WR

The number of private investors on the Moscow Exchange exceeded 30 million
MOEX
The number of individuals with brokerage accounts on the Moscow Exchange (MOEX) reached 30.2 million at the end of January 2024, and they opened 53.3 million accounts. Transactions on the Moscow Exchange were concluded by 3.7 million private investors in January. The share of individuals in the volume of trading in shares was 76%, in the volume of trading in bonds – 32%, in the spot currency market – 13%, in the derivatives market – 67%.
/jlne.ws/3wbLspD

Fintech

ION Unit Pulls $1.7 Billion Loan Deal Amid Investor Concern
Paula Seligson and Giulia Morpurgo – Bloomberg
ION Markets, a unit of Andrea Pignataro’s fintech empire, abandoned efforts to lower the interest rate on a $1.7 billion loan after concerns over the group’s overall indebtedness caused the market value of its debt to fall, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The group amassed about $3 billion of private loans in recent years to back a series of acquisitions, the bulk of it from New-York based private lender HPS Investment Partners, Bloomberg News reported on Jan. 24. That adds to about $12 billion of debt issued by ION’s subsidiaries. The Italian government is looking into ION’s planned purchase of Milan-based Prelios SpA, as it seeks reassurances about the future debt levels of the asset manager.
/jlne.ws/3SEZN6V

The digital age hasn’t gone far enough; The fuss about AI obscures how many of life’s inconveniences have survived technology
Janan Ganesh – Financial Times
A tax refund from Uncle Sam. Obliged, sir. See you at Cycene. But the cheque doesn’t sweeten all that much the annual ordeal of filling out the return. Nor is the process a lot shorter or less jargon-rich with His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs. How hasn’t it been reduced, in all rich countries, to a five-minute online portal or even an automated pay-as-you-earn thing in banking apps? Other than not having to mail it, is a tax return intrinsically different than it was in 1980? How to explain the ongoing need for accountants in cases as simple as mine?
/jlne.ws/3usm9iD

France Is Having an AI Moment
Mark Bergen – Bloomberg
Once upon a poolside
A decade ago, Hugo Mercier struggled to find investors for his Dreem, a headband designed to improve sleep. Investors in his native France found it “too sci-fi.” Californians found it, well, too French. Mercier recalled one American’s concern: “‘You guys always go on strike.'” With his new company, Twin Labs, he’s had less trouble. It helps that he’s now working on generative artificial intelligence.
/jlne.ws/42um36E

Sergey Brin-Backed Startup Leverages Data Centers to Capture Carbon; 280 Earth spun out of Alphabet’s X lab with a unique plan to use waste heat to power machines that remove carbon from thin air.
Michelle Ma and Biz Carson – Bloomberg
Google’s co-founder and Alphabet Inc.’s moonshot lab X are making a bet on a technology that has struggled to break through: carbon removal. Sergey Brin and San Francisco 49ers co-owner Gideon Yu are among the backers of 280 Earth, an under-the-radar startup that uses industrial waste heat to power machines that suck carbon out of the air. The company received $15 million from Catalyst4, a half-billion-dollar nonprofit that Brin recently launched, largely using proceeds from the sale of Tesla shares.
/jlne.ws/3OvbLgW

TS Imagine boosts fixed income offering through connection to ICE Bonds; Through the connectivity, TS Imagine customers have access to diverse pools of fixed income liquidity, including click-to-trade and request for quote (RFQ).
Claudia Preece – The Trade
TS Imagine has connected to Intercontinental Exchange’s ICE Bonds, enabling clients using TS ONE and TradeSmart OEMS to access ICE Bonds’ fixed income execution protocols and liquidity. Peter Borstelmann, president of ICE Bonds, said: “TS Imagine’s cross-asset platform has become a leading tool for investors around the world and we’re pleased to be delivering ICE Bonds’ streaming municipal and corporate bond data and liquidity to their customers.
/jlne.ws/3w1VxFM

Cybersecurity

China’s 1% Is Watching the Other 99%; Technology has supercharged the country’s surveillance capabilities. But its spying prowess depends on more old-fashioned tools.
Minxin Pei – Bloomberg
Over the past decade, the introduction of advanced surveillance technologies in China has given the Chinese Communist Party more power to spy on citizens than any regime in history. Western governments fear this techno-authoritarian model could spread as China sells its gear to developing countries around the world. The US has imposed a slew of restrictions on Chinese companies in part to slow the development and export of such technologies.
/jlne.ws/3Spbr4I

Preparing Cybersecurity for the Super Bowl
Katrina Thompson – Fortra
The 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs aren’t the only ones with a big game to play on February 11th; this year, cybercriminals and cyber defenders will be facing off behind the scenes in a Super Bowl-sized bout of their own. While the game will be in Vegas, attacks could be pouring in from all over the world; jamming the airwaves, taking advantage of ticket hopefuls, and grabbing every opportunity to use the event’s name and fame to cheat fans out of sensitive information.
/jlne.ws/4bBn2X8

Enhancing Cybersecurity: Network Segregation and Access Controls Explained
Medium
In the world of cybersecurity, where digital threats loom large, two essential concepts play a pivotal role in fortifying the defenses of IT infrastructures: Network Segregation and Access Controls. Imagine a bustling mall of information, and these principles act as the architects, defining the layout and securing the different zones. Let’s delve into the realm of cybersecurity architecture and understand how Network Segregation and Access Controls work hand-in-hand to safeguard valuable digital assets.
/jlne.ws/3w4IzXN

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin ETFs launch promotional blitz after Google allows ads; Search group now accepts advertising for crypto funds but still bans marketing of initial coin offerings
Will Schmitt – Financial Times
Asset managers from BlackRock to Grayscale have launched an online advertising blitz for their bitcoin exchange traded funds, taking advantage of a change to Google’s marketing rules on promoting cryptocurrency instruments. Google’s new marketing rules allow ads touting “cryptocurrency coin trusts” to appear alongside search results for queries such as “bitcoin ETF”. They took effect on January 29, weeks after 10 asset managers launched bitcoin ETFs on January 11.
/jlne.ws/42u4kMS

Brazil’s MB says awaiting right crypto scenario for IPO
Paula Laier – Reuters
Brazilian digital assets platform MB is ready to launch an initial public offering (IPO), but wants to wait for a more bullish crypto asset market first, the CEO of MB’s parent company said in an interview. “We are ready (for an IPO)”, 2TM CEO Roberto Dagnoni said on Thursday, while noting that a flotation would only make sense in a market such as that of 2021.
/jlne.ws/3ug8xqR

End of An Era: Grayscale’s Once Double-Digit Bitcoin Fund Discount Evaporates
Katie Greifeld – Bloomberg
The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust’s long-awaited conversion into an exchange-traded fund has eliminated the fund’s discount, turning the page on an arbitrage trade that over the years has been both a slam-dunk and a heartbreaker. The roughly $21 billion fund, known as GBTC, saw its price close at a 0.02% premium to its net asset value as of Thursday, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Before its conversion to an ETF last month, GBTC’s structure left it vulnerable to eye-popping premiums to its underlying holdings which then flipped to double-digit discounts.
/jlne.ws/49jEDkb

LPL’s $1.4 Trillion Gatekeeper Avoids Bitcoin-ETF Hype, for Now; LPL says it needs three months to evaluate the new spot ETFs; ‘Time is going to tell,’ the firm’s Rob Pettman says
Emily Graffeo – Bloomberg
Securing Gary Gensler’s ETF approval was just the first step toward bringing crypto investing to the masses. Now people like Rob Pettman at LPL Financial – a gatekeeper of more than a trillion dollars in capital – need to be convinced that the new spot-Bitcoin exchange-traded funds are worthy additions to their massive trading platforms.
/jlne.ws/42orm7P

FTX Says It Expects to Repay Customers in Full. Some Are Suing for More; The skyrocketing value of cryptocurrency is the center of a disagreement over the FTX bankruptcy.
Joel Khalili – Wired
A group of former customers of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX are rebelling against a proposed plan that would return the entirety of the money they lost. In a lawsuit filed this week, the customers argue they are due a whole lot more. The plan laid out by FTX in December to return customer funds does not reflect the full scope of the firm’s obligation to customers, claims Pat Rabbitte, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit-particularly given an upswing in the price of crypto since the bankruptcy. “We’ve filed a lawsuit seeking fair recovery. This is a key piece of the puzzle that should have been resolved a long, long time ago,” says Rabbitte.
/jlne.ws/3Usm5Kj

Traders Look to Bitcoin ETFs to Patch ‘Alameda Gap’ in Crypto Market; Digital-asset market makers expect improving liquidity in 2024; Value of tokens changing hands hit a 19-month high in January
Suvashree Ghosh – Bloomberg
/jlne.ws/47Z34m4

A Bitcoin ETF Will Never Be Your Bitcoin
Pascal Gauthier – CoinDesk
/jlne.ws/3w22O8w

Spot Bitcoin ETFs rank among largest commodity ETFs by assets held; GBTC and IBIT are among the top ten ETFs in that category.
Mike Dalton – Cryptoslate
/jlne.ws/42tiiPd

Politics

Wall Street Billionaires Shower McCormick With Cash for Pennsylvania Senate; Ex-hedge fund chief aims to unseat Democrat in Pennsylvania; Top Goldman Sachs executives also contributed to Senate race
Bill Allison – Bloomberg
Republican billionaires are split on who they want to be their presidential nominee, but there’s a clear favorite down ballot: Dave McCormick, who is running for a Pennsylvania Senate seat. McCormick, the former chief executive officer at hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, has a donor list chock-full of billionaires that would make any Republican candidate envious: Citadel’s Ken Griffin, Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman, Interactive Brokers’ Thomas Peterffy and Elliott Management’s Paul Singer, according to recent disclosures with the Federal Election Commission. Paul Tudor Jones hosted McCormick for a fundraiser at his house in Palm Beach in December.
/jlne.ws/3Su5bZc

Trump suggests he would consider a tariff upward of 60% on all Chinese imports if reelected
Kate Sullivan – CNN
Former President Donald Trump said Sunday he would consider imposing a tariff upward of 60% on all Chinese imports if he regains the presidency. His remarks come at a time of high economic and other tensions between the US and China. “No, I would say maybe it’s going to be more than that,” Trump said when asked by Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures” whether he would consider imposing a 60% tariff, as The Washington Post has reported.
/jlne.ws/47YUR1j

Trump’s betrayal of Ukraine; The Republicans refusal to supply arms is sabotaging Kyiv’s war effort
Gideon Rachman – Financial Times
There are still many months to go before the US presidential election. But Donald Trump is already having a deeply malign effect on American foreign policy. At Trump’s behest, Republicans in Congress are blocking military aid for Ukraine. Although the US Senate may agree an aid package this week, Republicans in the House of Representatives remain completely intransigent. As a result, it seems increasingly unlikely that military aid for Ukraine will get through Congress in the coming months – or even this year.
/jlne.ws/3UrRk8m

Dr. Cornel West Is Running to Become President of the United States. What Are His Views on Climate Change and the Environment?
Lee Hedgepeth – Inside Climate News
Dr. Cornel West is running to become U.S. President, and he wants your vote. In October 2023, West, a high-profile academic and thought leader, announced he would no longer run for the nation’s highest office under the Green Party banner, instead choosing to campaign as an independent. Then, on Wednesday, West shifted courses, announcing in a press release that he would form a new third party, the Justice for All Party, to facilitate what the campaign characterized as a 50-state strategy “for the expansion of voter choice and proportional representation.”
/jlne.ws/49pqrWP

The wild probe into investors of DWAC, Trump Media’s proposed merger ally
Drew Harwell – The Washington Post
In October 2021, former president Donald Trump announced that his media company, the owner of the platform Truth Social, had sealed an incredible deal: a merger with a “special purpose acquisition company” that would deliver to his firm $300 million toward his promise of giving “a voice to all.”
/jlne.ws/3uoZDr1

Wasteful Britain needs to buy a new arsenal for war with Russia; Doubts over Nato and threats on multiple fronts leave UK with no choice but to rearm
Lewis Page – The Telegraph
/jlne.ws/3Oy912y

We must rise to the challenge of a ‘pre-war world’ – and quickly; Warnings of a possible Russian offensive against Nato are a wake-up call
Sir Jeremy Quin – The Telegraph
/jlne.ws/3OuR04V

Our enemies are prepared for the fight. It’s time to rearm to avoid World War Three; We could be on the brink of global conflict. We need to get serious if we are to have any chance of defending ourselves
Daniel Hainan – The Telegraph
/jlne.ws/49lE4qd

Trump 2.0 Tops Chinese Investors’ Concerns, Goldman Sachs Says; Former US president reported to mull new trade war with China; Investors also question next trigger for more policy easing
Jacob Gu – Bloomberg
/jlne.ws/4bou94S

Regulation

Hong Kong to Consult on Regulation for OTC Crypto Venues ‘Very Soon’
Camomile Shumba – CoinDesk
Hong Kong said it plans to consult on a framework for over-the-counter (OTC) crypto venues and will start the process “very soon.” The consultation will cover virtual-asset (VA) outlets such as shops and online platforms, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) said in a blog post on Friday.
/jlne.ws/3w5OtIo

Chicago-area man charged in $400 million FTX crypto hack released on bond; Robert Powell charged with wire fraud and identity theft.
Jaons Meisner – Chicago Tribune
A Chicago-area man charged in the $400 million hack of the failed crypto currency exchange FTX was released to home confinement Friday with orders to avoid non-essential internet use and any online gambling. Robert Powell, 26, of Highland Park, was charged in a federal indictment unsealed this week in Washington with participating in a sophisticated “SIM swap” scheme that allegedly siphoned $400 million in virtual currency from a single company and millions more from other individual victims.
/jlne.ws/3OsguQw

CFTC, Kansas State University Announce Featured Panels for AgCon2024
CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Center for Risk Management Education and Research at Kansas State University (KSU) today announced featured panels for the third Agricultural Commodity Futures Conference (AgCon2024). The conference is scheduled for April 11-12 in Overland Park, Kansas and will be the first AgCon cohosted by the CFTC and KSU since 2019. Register here for AgCon2024.
/jlne.ws/3ui743k

CFTC Extends Public Comment Period on Proposed Rule on Protection of Clearing Member Funds
CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is extending the deadline for the public comment period on a proposed rule to address protecting clearing member funds held by derivatives clearing organizations. The deadline is being extended to March 18, 2024. The proposed rule was published on the CFTC website on December 18, 2023, with a 60-day comment period scheduled to close on February 16, 2024.
/jlne.ws/4byQSvo

SEC Charges Founder of American Bitcoin Academy Online Crypto Course with Fraud Targeting Students
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Brian Sewell and his company, Rockwell Capital Management, agreed to settle fraud charges in connection with a scheme that targeted students taking Sewell’s online crypto trading course known as the American Bitcoin Academy. The SEC alleges that the fraudulent scheme cost 15 students $1.2 million.
/jlne.ws/3Oroj8X

SEC to Host Law School Summit Highlighting Need for Investor Access to Legal Counsel
SEC
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the date of its 2024 Investor Advocacy Clinic Summit, where law students and their professors will engage with SEC staff and invited guests about issues addressed and lessons learned while providing free legal services to underrepresented investors.
/jlne.ws/3UvGu1c

SEC Charges Founder of American Bitcoin Academy Online Crypo Course with Fraud Targeting Students
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Brian Sewell and his company, Rockwell Capital Management agreed to settle fraud charges in connection with a scheme that targeted students taking Sewell’s online crypto trading course known as the American Bitcoin Academy. The SEC alleges that the fraudulent scheme cost 15 students $1.2 million.
/jlne.ws/49kdDRG

Investing and Trading

Japan’s Aozora Loses 33% of Value in Two-Day Stock Meltdown
Winnie Hsu and Taiga Uranaka – Bloomberg
Japanese lender Aozora Bank Ltd. plunged for a second straight day after saying it would have its first loss in 15 years because of bad loans tied to US property. The company’s two-day tumble wiped out 33% of its value, equivalent to 128 billion yen ($870 million) in market capitalization. “The situation in US commercial real estate is terrible,” said Yasuo Sakuma, president of Libra Investments. “Aozora really surprised the market. Once you do something like that, you’re going to have a tough time.”
/jlne.ws/49i2XTv

Meta stock jumps 20% after earnings in biggest market-cap jump in stock market history
Daniel Howley – Yahoo Finance
Meta Platforms (META) stock rocketed higher on Friday, climbing more than 20% after the company posted better-than-expected earnings and guidance and announced new shareholder return initiatives. With Friday’s rally, the company added nearly $200 billion to its market cap, a stock market record, according to Bloomberg data. Meta shares were trading around $475 on Friday; at its lows in 2022, the stock fell to as low as $90.
/jlne.ws/3w5NGao

Blinded by the Light of Big Tech Earnings; With stocks on a tear, the bet is that US banks are not going to bring down the economy. The latest Magnificent Seven results strengthen that view.
John Authers – Bloomberg
Constructive Ambiguity
Sometimes there’s no room for financial ambiguity. That seems to be true of the latest wave of results from Big Tech, with the first-quarter earnings of both Meta Platforms Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. received rapturously after Thursday’s market close. It’s not true of the broader fate of the global economy, where the latest data leaves much to interpretation.
/jlne.ws/49lClB9

Magnificent Seven’s grip on markets slips as investors look past AI hype; Gaps emerge between the largest tech groups as the focus shifts to concrete results
Nicholas Megaw – Financial Times
The grip of the so-called “Magnificent Seven” tech companies on US stock markets has loosened as investors focus on concrete results rather than solely on artificial intelligence’s potential. The seven largest tech groups – Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Meta, Tesla and Nvidia – drove most of last year’s stock market gains as traders bet that they would be winners from the growth of AI. But gaps between them have widened as all but one reported financial results over the past few weeks.
/jlne.ws/42tEzMv

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

These Are the Climate Grannies. They’ll Do Whatever It Takes to Protect Their Grandchildren; They have the generational wisdom, environmental activism experience, free time-and they’re not afraid of getting arrested.
Jessica Kutz – The 19th via Inside Climate News
Hazel Chandler was at home taking care of her son when she began flipping through a document that detailed how burning fossil fuels would soon jeopardize the planet. She can’t quite remember who gave her the report – this was in 1969 – but the moment stands out to her vividly: After reading a list of extreme climate events that would materialize in the coming decades, she looked down at the baby she was nursing, filled with dread. “‘Oh my God, I’ve got to do something,'” she remembered thinking.
/jlne.ws/3wbfxpk

The Investment Firm That Keeps Raising Giant Climate Funds; A new Brookfield fund raises $10 billion despite recent challenges for clean-energy projects
Amrith Ramkumar – The Wall Street Journal
The biggest clean-energy investor in private markets is widening its lead, tapping into rising demand for wind and solar power and a push by big companies to reduce emissions. Infrastructure investing giant Brookfield Asset Management said it hopes to raise more than $25 billion for two new private funds investing in clean energy. The firm said Monday it has taken in $10 billion for its latest energy transition fund and will continue fundraising for it. Brookfield expects to raise billions more in an emerging-markets-focused fund.
/jlne.ws/49hz06N

Climate graphic of the week: Swaths of South America struggle with fires; Nasa data shows two-thirds of the continent has much drier soil conditions than usual
Attracta Mooney, Jana Tauschinski, Steven Bernard and Joe Daniels – Financial Times
Countries across South America are experiencing drought conditions and the spread of wildfires across regions, as the continent grapples with a double whammy of high temperatures and low rainfall. Data from Nasa shows two-thirds of South America has much drier soil conditions than usual, as global warming and the El Nino weather phenomenon take their toll.
/jlne.ws/42oYufL

Deutsche Bank Fund Arm Says New ESG Rules to Trigger Divestments; EU markets watchdog is set to roll out new fund-naming rules; Fund managers are preparing to adjust portfolios in response
Frances Schwartzkopff – Bloomberg
The investment unit of Deutsche Bank AG will have to divest more than 5% of holdings in some ESG funds in response to new European Union rules set to be implemented this year.
/jlne.ws/3w0t1Et

Biden decision will ‘erode confidence’ in LNG industry, Shell CEO says; Oil executives hit out at administration’s move to pause approvals for LNG export terminals
Tom Wilson and Myles McCormick – Financial Times
Top oil industry executives have hit out at US President Joe Biden’s decision to pause approvals for new liquefied natural gas export terminals, with Shell’s CEO warning it will “erode confidence” in an industry that has become a pillar of the global energy system. The European energy major, the biggest shipper of LNG after state-owned Qatar Energy, has bet heavily on demand for the gas, which it expects to continue to grow even if consumption of other fossil fuels starts to decline.
/jlne.ws/484d1hZ

Policy Experts Say the UN Climate Talks Need Reform, but Change Would be Difficult in the Current Political Landscape
Bob Berwyn – Inside Climate News
/jlne.ws/3OxukB5

Big Oil’s Optimism Faces Reality Check in Tech-Obsessed Market; Exxon, Chevron return $58 billion but trade at low multiples; US is world’s top oil producer but energy is 3.7% of S&P 500
Kevin Crowley – Bloomberg
/jlne.ws/49pq131

Hedge Funds’ Mega Returns Set Off Demand Spiral for Catastrophe Bonds; Mainstream investors drawn to market dominated by hedge funds; Swiss Re cat bond index soared 20% last year, marking a record
Sheryl Tian Tong Lee and Gautam Naik – Bloomberg
/jlne.ws/3Uwj1gn

Bike-friendly Paris votes to triple parking fees for SUVs
Michel Rose – Reuters
/jlne.ws/3uonOpG

Investors pull ExxonMobil climate motion after oil supermajor sues; Follow This and Arjuna Capital had called on US company to set more ambitious climate targets
Myles McCormick and Tom Wilson – Financial Times
/jlne.ws/3Ovsoch

Musk Took Drugs With Some Tesla Board Members, WSJ Says; Some directors felt pressured to consume drugs with Musk: WSJ; Judge cited board’s conflict of interest in pay package trial
Virginia Van Natta – Bloomberg
/jlne.ws/3UnRIoz

Institutions

UK Bank Close Brothers Loses Third of Value Amid Market Probe
Ellie Harmsworth and Joe Easton – Bloomberg
Close Brothers Group Plc extended a share price rout that has wiped out a third of its value this year, amid ongoing reviews by the Financial Conduct Authority of two markets in which the 145-year-old British bank operates in. The stock fell as much as 5% on Friday, as RBC Capital downgraded its rating due to the regulator’s separate reviews of both motor financing and insurance taken out on credit, known as premium finance. Close Brothers, which also owns City of London stockbroker Winterflood Securities Ltd, has seen £424 million ($537 million) erased from its market capitalization amid this year’s 35% stock plunge, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
/jlne.ws/3HQMEBn

Bank of America Cuts CEO Moynihan’s Pay 3% to $29 Million for 2023
Katherine Doherty – Bloomberg
Brian Moynihan’s total compensation as chief executive officer of Bank of America Corp. declined 3% to $29 million for 2023, a year in which profit fell and the firm’s shares performed the worst among its biggest rivals. The board granted Moynihan $1.5 million in salary and $27.5 million in stock-based incentive awards, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender said Friday in a filing. A year ago, Moynihan’s compensation was cut 6.3% to $30 million after earnings tumbled and the shares sank.
/jlne.ws/48hvVlT

SocGen to Cut 900 Head Office Jobs as Krupa Targets Costs; Redundancies represent about 5% of SocGen’s head office staff; Global banks are reducing headcount to boost shares, returns
Alexandre Rajbhandari – Bloomberg
Societe Generale SA plans to cut about 900 jobs at its French head office as part of Chief Executive Officer Slawomir Krupa’s plan to cut costs and strengthen capital. The reductions represent about 5% of the head office staff at the Paris-based lender, SocGen said in a statement Monday that confirmed an earlier report by Bloomberg News. The plan will avoid forced departures and consultations with unions are expected to be completed in the second quarter.
/jlne.ws/3SpZf3r

Work & Management

More Americans are working remotely for international companies-here’s where they live Jennifer Liu – CNBC
The hiring game is getting globally competitive: The number of American workers hired by international companies grew 62% last year, according to the State of Global Hiring Report from Deel, an HR platform that specializes in global hiring. Most of those roles allow Americans to work remotely, and workers in some U.S. cities are more likely to take on the arrangement.
/jlne.ws/49dNnbI

Sitting all day at work boosts risk of early death by 16 percent; But there is a relatively easy way to reduce that risk
Linda Searing – The Washington Post
People who spend most of their work time sitting were found to be at least 16 percent more likely to die earlier than normal, for any reason, than were those who do not sit much while on the job, according to research published in the journal JAMA Network Open. For those who predominantly sit at work, however, the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease (CVD) was 34 percent higher than for non-sitters. The study, conducted in Taiwan, involved 481,688 participating workers, 20 and older (average age 39), who were tracked for about 13 years. None of the participants had a CVD diagnosis when they joined the study group.
/jlne.ws/3UmCWhQ

Wellness Exchange

Are Seed Oils Bad for You? What to Know About the Oils You Cook With; From olive oil to canola oil, the options seem endless-and are stirring debate
Andrea Petersen – The Wall Street Journal
A simple question is tripping up home cooks everywhere: What oil are you supposed to use when cooking for yourself or your family? The options seem endless-olive oil, canola oil, corn oil and coconut oil, just to name a few. And there is a debate over one category, seed oils, so-called because many are made from seeds.
/jlne.ws/49mJbX7

A Growing Climate Threat Is Putting Californians’ Health at Risk; Hospitalizations across the state are higher on days when extreme heat and wildfire smoke coincide, according to a new study.
Todd Woody – Bloomberg
Californians exposed to both extreme heat and wildfire smoke on the same day run a greater risk of hospitalization for cardiorespiratory illness than from either threat alone, according to a new study. High temperatures can trigger heart attacks and strokes, while particulate matter in wildfire smoke is linked to cancer and lung disease. Low-income communities of color are particularly vulnerable to this double-barreled threat driven by climate change, according to the paper published Friday in the journal Science Advances.
/jlne.ws/491v1L8

Regions

China Academic Calls for $1.4 Trillion Stock Stabilization Fund
Felix Tam – Bloomberg
China should set up a stocks stabilization fund as soon as possible to boost market confidence, with an aim to get its size to 10 trillion yuan ($1.4 trillion) or more, according to an academic at a government think tank. The size of the fund should be around $300 billion to $500 billion in the short term, the 21st Century Business Herald reported, citing Liu Yuhui of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. It should then be increased based on the value of the country’s capital market, Liu told the paper in an interview.
/jlne.ws/485ARKr

From Green Hype to Bailouts, the Nickel Industry Has Imploded; Many mines risk closing after flood of Indonesian supply; Market prices have crashed over 40% from previous year
Thomas Biesheuvel – Bloomberg
Just 18 months ago, the world’s biggest mining company was in a nickel frenzy. BHP Group, to much fanfare, had struck a deal with Tesla Inc. to supply it with the crucial ingredient for electric vehicles. It was about to go toe-to-toe with Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest for control of one of the globe’s most prospective mines. For BHP, nickel offered a bright spot. Its management had earmarked the material as a key pillar of growth, a future-facing commodity that would help offset its exit from fossil fuels and let it tap into new demand driven by the world’s race to decarbonize.
/jlne.ws/42HK22J

Korea Extends Won Trading Hours With Eye on Inflows: QuickTake
Hooyeon Kim and Daedo Kim – Bloomberg
South Korea will kick off a test run to extend the trading hours of its currency on Feb. 6 to improve the market’s accessibility and ultimately attract more inflows. The initiative is a step toward enabling investors to trade the won around the clock, and may eventually boost the case for the nation’s stocks and bonds to be added to global indexes. By lengthening the hours, Seoul is also signaling an increased openness to the capital flows and volatility that it had tried to shield its economy from in the aftermath of the Asian Financial Crisis.
/jlne.ws/3SKkQox

Red Sea Danger Is Spurring Global Oil Buyers to Go Local; Attacks in waterway leading to major changes in energy flows; Pivot toward logistically easier cargoes makes sense: Kpler
Sharon Cho – Bloomberg
The global oil market is looking increasingly local as militant attacks in the Red Sea and surging freight rates make supplies from closer to home more attractive. A slump in tanker traffic through the Suez Canal is spurring the beginnings of a split, with one trading region centered around the Atlantic Basin and including the North Sea and the Mediterranean, and another encompassing the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean and East Asia. There’s still crude moving between these areas – via the longer and costlier journey around the southern tip of Africa – but recent buying patterns point to disconnection.
/jlne.ws/3SIPyyA

Lots More on Why Farmers Across Europe Are Furious; A squeeze across the continent.
Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal – Bloomberg
In France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Poland, we’ve seen a wave of protests recently from angry farmers. So what’s driving the activity? On this episode of Lots More, we speak with Lorcan Roche Kelly, a former cattle farmer in Western Ireland who is now the business editor at the Irish Farmers Journal. He explains how a combination of factors from climate obligations, economic conditions, government regulation, and free trade deals have put the squeeze on many farms, causing this public revolt. He explains the unique conditions facing each country, as well as broader political and economic ramifications.
/jlne.ws/3UsPF2t

Bill Gates-backed mining company discovers vast Zambian copper deposit; KoBold Metals’ discovery comes as US steps up African metals push to rival China’s dominance
Harry Dempsey – Financial Times
/jlne.ws/3OyAMYF

Miscellaneous

Wall Street Journal shakes up D.C. bureau with big layoffs
Will Sommer – The Washington Post
The Wall Street Journal took a hatchet to its Washington bureau on Thursday, laying off roughly 20 staffers in a restructuring that adds to a brutal start to 2024 for the journalism industry. The cuts focused on the bureau’s economics reporters in Washington, who will be folded into the newspaper’s New York-based business team. The bureau’s team covering U.S.-China news will be shuttered.
/jlne.ws/3OsnqgB

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