Hits & Takes
By JLN Staff
The Boy Scouts of America, the national organization, has declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This move does not include the numerous Councils around the country, including the Pathway to Adventure Council that covers most of Chicago. This step was taken in response to the legal pressure over accusations of childhood sexual abuse going back decades. This move has long been expected.~JJL
In the long-running case CFTC v. Kraft Foods, Judge John Blakely didn’t show the CFTC any love on Valentine’s Day when he quietly entered this statement into the court docket: “Moreover, given the egregious misconduct by Plaintiff, this Court grants in part Defendants’ motions 315 and 316, and this Court shall issue findings of fact and conclusions of law by separate order.” The two motions were made by Kraft after the CFTC seemingly violated the terms of a freshly inked settlement agreement in August. As noted last week, the two parties told the court on Thursday that they had agreed to a settlement in the government’s wheat futures manipulation case. Kraft’s motions were still pending, although an appeals court had earlier told Blakely that he could not consider civil contempt contempt personally against the CFTC Chairman, Commissioners, or staff members. “Given the egregious misconduct by [CFTC]” in the case, appetites for reading the upcoming findings of fact and law have been whetted. ~Thom Thompson
The Chicago Bar Association’s Futures & Derivatives and Media & Entertainment Law Committees on February 27 at noon at CBA headquarters is holding a discussion on the “CFTC v. Kraft: Administrative Enforcement and the Public’s Right to Know.” The discussion will highlight the CEA, APA, and constitutional issues involved in this evolving case. Speakers will include Neal Kumar from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP and Seth A. Stern from Funkhouser Vegosen Liebman & Dunn Ltd. Brad Rosen from Wolters Kluwer will serve as the moderator. RSVP to email@example.com.~JJL
The Russian Central Bank (RBC) recently published a new set of rules, including one that says all cryptocurrency transactions made are potential money-laundering risks. What’s Russian for “you don’t say?”~MR
Commission Statement on the Passing of Former Chairman David S. Ruder
On Feb. 15, our brilliant and much beloved former Chairman, Davis S. Ruder, passed away. Chairman Ruder left the Commission in 1989 yet his presence has remained tangible for over 30 years. Notably, those who served with him often remark on his intelligence, candor and love for the Commission. More importantly, as Chairman Ruder would have wanted, and as he so often did, they have focused on instilling those characteristics and values in others. David set a fair and effective path for future generations that has stood the test of time.
*****Born the year of the 1929 Crash, left the SEC the year of the mini-crash and lived to be 90 years old. He was resilient.~JJL
Why corporate schmoozing will survive the coronavirus crisis; Recent conference cancellations are unlikely to derail our desire to meet in person
Andrew Hill – FT
Coronavirus is dividing the world into those who decry scaremongering about the epidemic’s impact and those who would rather be safe than sorry. Europe’s largest telecom conference — the Mobile World Congress scheduled to take place in Barcelona — has put itself firmly in the second group.
Let Bernie Madoff, and Many More, Out of Prison; Compassionate release has to apply to unsympathetic prisoners, if we mean what we say about ending mass incarceration.
Colleen P. Eren – NY Times
Eleven years ago, in the wake of the financial crisis, Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme was revealed, leading to a crushing loss of $17 billion to investors. Philanthropies shuttered; people’s lifetime savings and college funds were wiped out; and two investors, and one of Mr. Madoff’s sons, committed suicide.
*****He has 18 months to live.~JJL
Monday’s Top Three
Our top story Monday was Crain’s’ For Citadel, it’s full speed ahead in China; With a nearly $100 million settlement behind it, the trading firm has set its sights on prying open the trillion-dollar financial markets in China. Second was The Trade’s ION Group takes stake in Broadway Technology. Third was The Financial Times’ US market data shake-up aims to narrow high-frequency advantage.
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Black Americans Who Broke Barriers on Wall Street — and Beyond; African American men and women influenced economics and business even in a society that oppressed them
Jordyn Holman, Marisa Gertz – Bloomberg
For Black History Month, we’d like to recognize African Americans who made significant contributions in finance, economics and business. These professionals helped move their industries forward, opening more opportunities for future generations.
HSBC to shed 35,000 jobs in radical move to downsize; Asia-focused lender to shrink investment bank with reductions in Europe and US
David Crow and George Hammond – FT
HSBC has said it plans to shed about 35,000 jobs as part of a radical downsizing of its operations in Europe and the US, as it warned of the threat to its business from social unrest in Hong Kong and the coronavirus outbreak.
Colombia, Chile and Peru stock exchanges mull merger; All three stock exchanges are considering a merger after establishing the Latin America Integrated Market for exchange connectivity in 2011.
Charles Gubert – The Trade
The national stock exchanges of Colombia, Chile and Peru are conducting early-stage analysis looking into the viability of consolidating their infrastructures and/or services.
Biggest Swaps Trades Poised for Reporting Delay in Win for Banks
Benjamin Bain and Silla Brush – Bloomberg
CFTC plan would allow block trades to stay secret for 48 hours; Proposal is part of sweeping plan to improve derivatives’ data
A push to delay reporting of transactions in the $640 trillion global swaps market is gaining steam in Washington, signaling a possible win for Wall Street banks as regulators move to overhaul how they keep tabs on trading.
SEC looks to expand SIP with ‘depth of book’ data in major overhaul plans; Proposed changes in the US aim to expand the data distributed via SIPs and open the door to more producers of the consolidated data feeds.
Kiays Khalil – The Trade
The US financial watchdog has made moves to overhaul and expand key equity market data following years of fierce debate, in a play that could bring the costs of data down for market participants.
LIBOR Transition: If You’re in Neutral on SOFR, You’re Probably Falling Back
Chuck Brobst – via LInkedIn
Theodore Roosevelt is known to have said, “In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” On its surface, many of us subscribe to Roosevelt’s maxim, but we do so with an unspoken addendum — that is, Thomas Palmer’s “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” As it applies to the LIBOR transition, market participants must play their roles to reach a best, rather than a next best outcome, before LIBOR sunsets.
Bezos Says He’ll Commit $10 Billion to Fight Climate Change
Sarah Frier and Spencer Soper – Bloomberg
Climate fund marks Bezos’s biggest philanthropic investment; Amazon has been recently criticized for its fossil fuel usage
Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos announced he’s created the Bezos Earth Fund, his biggest-ever philanthropic investment to help counter the effects of climate change.
European Banks Have Another FX-Loan Ruling to Worry About
Jasmina Kuzmanovic – Bloomberg
Croatia’s Supreme Court to deliver landmark verdict by April; Banks face up to $2.9 billion in extra cost if ruling negative
Croatian banks, mostly units of Italian and Austrian parents, have started to feel the heat ahead of a landmark Supreme Court ruling connected to Swiss-franc loans.
Extinction Rebellion Targets Commodity Traders in Geneva
Andy Hoffman – Bloomberg
Group occupies office of biggest independent oil trader Vitol; Climate activists also target Gunvor and Cargill in protest
Scores of climate change protesters from a Swiss branch of the Extinction Rebellion campaign group staged protests against commodity houses in Geneva, occupying the office of Vitol Group, the biggest independent oil trader.
Lagarde Confronts Political Cost of ECB’s Subzero Rate Policy
Catherine Bosley and Craig Stirling – Bloomberg
Popular backlash may put limit on how low rates can go; Schnabel cites policy as ‘chief cause’ of German discontent
“Nobody trusts you,” lawmaker Joerg Meuthen told European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde, switching briefly to English during a tirade in his native German. “You should be aware of that.”
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
ICE And S&P Global Platts Expand Strategic Relationship in Global Oil Markets
ICE Press Release
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, today announced plans to launch a new version of its market data platform, ICE Connect, which will be designed specifically for participants in the global oil markets. The new service, which is expected to be available in the second quarter of 2020, will include access to leading oil market analytics from S&P Global Platts and other third parties.
Intercontinental Exchange Announced Record Open Interest in Multiple Global Energy Markets
ICE Press Release
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, announced record open interest in several of its energy markets on February 13 and 14, 2020. This included total oil, other crude and refined products, and TTF natural gas.
Deutsche Börse achieved 10 percent earnings growth in the 2019 financial year as planned
In 2019 as a whole, net revenue rose to EUR 2.9 billion (+6 percent) ./ Adjusted consolidated net profit for the year was EUR 1.1 billion (+10 percent) ./ Adjusted earnings per share were EUR 6.03 in Full year (+11 percent) ./ Net sales increased by 2 percent to EUR 757 million in Q4 / 2019. / Consolidated net profit for the period (adjusted) in Q4 / 2019 was EUR 242 million (+5 percent) ./ Increased dividend proposed by 7 percent to EUR 2.90 per share./ For 2020 further structural net sales growth of at least 5 percent and growth of the adjusted group profit to around EUR 1.20 billion are expected.
Societe Generale and LBBW execute electronic Eurex/LCH basis swap trade with Wematch; Matching and negotiation platform Wematch said the transaction is the first to be negotiated on an electronic basis.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Web-based matching and negotiation platform Wematch has facilitated a Eurex/LCH basis swap transaction, marking the first electronic execution for this type of derivatives trade.
Moscow Exchange trading schedule for 2020 holidays
Moscow Exchange announces its trading schedule for public holidays in 2020. 22-24 February and 7-9 March 2020 are non-trading days on all MOEX markets
Euroclear says to push ahead with strategic review
Euroclear has completed its study on a “structured initiative” to improve liquidity in its shares, the European settlement house’s chairman Marc Antoine Autheman said on Tuesday.
HKEX’s Laura Cha Does Not See Added Pressure Being First Woman Chairman
HKEX Chairman Laura Cha talks about her transition to the top position of the stock exchange at the Asia financial hub after spending six years as a full-time housewife, taking care of her kids. “One doesn’t have to make one priority clear,” Cha told Bloomberg’s Haslinda Amin at the WEF in Davos,
Ripple and Coinbase Are Among 10 Biggest Fintech Companies in 2020
Daria Rand – Coinspeaker
Every year, the American business magazine Forbes makes up a list of 10 biggest fintech companies in the U.S. It may seem that the list is predictable, as big companies get bigger, improving their performance and reinforcing their standing. However, the list for 2020 has brought some surprises.
Notably, among the 10 biggest fintech companies in the U.S. in 2020, there are three firms that focus on crypto-related activity. They are Ripple, Coinbase, and Robinhood that take 2nd, 3rd, and 4th positions correspondingly.
Securities and Exchange Board of India Launches Regulatory Sandbox for Fintech Firms
Omar Faridi – Crowd Fund Insider
India’s financial technology sector is expanding rapidly, which has led to SEBI, the nation’s financial market regulator, to launch a regulatory sandbox. The sandbox program will assist local Fintech firms with testing out new products and services with a small group of users before introducing them to the general public.
Speculation Undermines Crypto Prices and Utility, Says Bank of England Senior Economist
Paddy Baker – Coindesk
Speculation creates congestion on the blockchain that harms a cryptocurrency’s utility and overall value, a senior economist at the Bank of England (BoE) has said. Peter Zimmerman, who has been a senior economist at the U.K. central bank since 2007, argued in a working paper published Friday that speculation undermines the effectiveness of cryptocurrencies to function as a means of payment.
Crypto Giant Binance Launches Cloud Service in Revenue Shift
Zheping Huang – Bloomberg
CEO sees cloud as a lucrative business for firm to enter; New division furthers exchange’s strategy to get fiat money
Binance Holdings Ltd., one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency-trading platforms, has made its first foray into business services by lending its technology and liquidity to those who want to start their own exchanges.
Derivatives Exchange Deribit Launches Daily Ether Options
Omkar Godbole – Coindesk
Panama-based cryptocurrency derivatives exchange Deribit has listed daily options on ether (ETH). The platform announced the news on Twitter on Monday. The new product will have strike price intervals of $5 and can be traded in the 24 hours preceding the expiry at 08:00 UTC every day. They will have a lifetime of two trading days at the time of introduction.
Craig Wright Doubles Down on Satoshi Claim, Says Bitcoin Core Infringes His ‘Database Rights’
Daniel Palmer – Coindesk
The Australian entrepreneur who claims to be the inventor of bitcoin has suggested he might take legal action against the cryptocurrency’s developer team over claimed infringement of his intellectual property. In a blog post published last Thursday, Craig Wright said while forks of bitcoin would be allowed under the open-source MIT license under which bitcoin was released, copying the database would not. “As the sole creator of Bitcoin, I own full rights to the Bitcoin registry. People can fork my software and make alternative versions. But, they have no rights to change the protocol using the underlying database,” Wright wrote.
Cryptocurrency exchange Fcoin expects to default on as much as $125M of users’ bitcoin
Celia Wan – The Block
Chinese cryptocurrency exchange FCoin may not be able to pay back around 7,000 to 13,000 BTC (around $67 million to $125 million) to its users as the platform went default. In a tell-all blog post titled “FCoin Truth,” the exchange founder and the former Huobi CTO Jian Zhang said the default was triggered neither by external hack nor scam, but a “data error” and a “decision error.”
bZx attacked again, $645K in ETH estimated to be lost
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Decentralized finance (DeFi) lending protocol bZx has just been exploited – again. The estimated loss is 2,388 ether (ETH) this time, i.e. nearly $645,000. “This attack appears to be an oracle manipulation attack,” said bZx co-founder Kyle Kistner in the firm’s official Telegram channel. Market observers are referring to this transaction as suspicious for the latest attack. “We can neutralize this like we did last time,” said Kistner.
Boerse Stuttgart Subsidiary Launching Institutional Crypto Custody Services
Daniel Palmer – Coindesk
Blocknox, a subsidiary of the second largest German stock exchange Boerse Stuttgart, is expanding its cryptocurrency custody service to institutional players. According to an announcement from the bourse on Tuesday, Blocknox already provides custody for crypto assets on an “escrow basis,” and has made the service available to users of Boerse Stuttgart’s BISON app and its digital assets exchange, BSDEX. The firm is now aiming to expand its services outside the group’s own offerings, planning to safeguard cryptocurrencies and “other digital assets” for institutional clients such as banks and asset managers.
Enjin Launches Game Development Platform on Ethereum
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk
Enjin has announced the launch of its game development platform on ethereum, enabling potentially millions of developers to integrate crypto assets into games and apps with no knowledge of writing blockchain code. The company announced the news Tuesday, saying the Enjin Platform allows game engineers to take advantage of decentralized inventory, to integrate blockchain-based gaming and non-gaming assets, and to manage economic game play mechanics.
Russia’s Central Bank Proposes New Token Framework, But Labels Crypto Transactions ‘Suspicious’
Paddy Baker – Coindesk
The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has formally proposed a legal framework for tokenization, but also plans to label cryptocurrency transactions as suspicious activity, it said in a press release Monday. The CBR announced it had successfully piloted a platform that allows users to tokenize assets, including equities and currencies, and issue them to investors.
The problems with President Trump’s latest stock market idea
John Crudele – NY Post
President Trump loves the stock market — especially when it is going up.But there’s really no way of guaranteeing that stock prices will continue to climb between now and the presidential election in November — unless, of course, the rig is in.
Michael Bloomberg Surges in Poll and Qualifies for Democratic Debate in Las Vegas; After garnering 19 percent support in a national poll, the billionaire will be on the debate stage, where he is certain to be a target of onstage criticism.
Reid J. Epstein – NY Times
Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York has qualified for Wednesday’s debate in Las Vegas, the first time the billionaire will appear onstage alongside his Democratic presidential rivals.
Exclusive Details on Michael Bloomberg’s Plan to Rein in Wall Street
Bloomberg leans left and takes aim at Wall Street
Exclusive: We’re the first to report Mike Bloomberg’s proposals for changing how the financial industry is regulated, which he is planning to announce this morning. The plan features ideas that wouldn’t be out of place for Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Michael Bloomberg was America’s No.1 philanthropist last year — and some see that as a big problem
Leslie Albrecht – MarketWatch
He’s the first presidential candidate to top the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s Philanthropy 50 list, with $3.3 billion in donations in 2019
Trump’s Policy on New York’s ‘Trusted Travelers’ Is Unconstitutional; People should never be punished for things they haven’t done.
Laurence H. Tribe – NY Times
The Department of Homeland Security recently decided to bar New York residents from federal programs that allow “trusted travelers” expedited transit through airports and border checkpoints. The Trump administration is defending the decision as a rational response to New York’s enactment of a law denying federal immigration authorities free access to the state’s motor vehicle records. In truth, the department’s decision is spiteful retaliation against people who reside in a state that declines to bend to the administration’s immigration priorities. Whatever its other virtues or vices, the decision offends constitutional norms that are neither liberal nor conservative but simply American.
FCA highlights its areas of concern in financial services markets
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today published its annual Sector Views, an assessment of the risks and potential harm to consumers across financial services markets.
Fluor says U.S. SEC probing certain financial reports
Fluor Corp said on Tuesday the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating the engineering and construction firm’s past accounting and financial reports for possible errors.
ESMA updates Q&AS on MiFID II and MiFIR investor protection topics
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today updated its Questions and Answers on the implementation of investor protection topics under the Market in Financial Instruments Directive and Regulation (MiFID II/ MiFIR).
ESMA Updates its Q&AS Relating to the Prospectus Regulation.
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today updated its Questions and Answers on the Prospectus Regulation with two new Q&As.
Tesla Fields a Fresh SEC Inquiry After Another Probe Ends
Gabrielle Coppola and Dana Hull – Bloomberg
Regulator sent a subpoena on Dec. 4, according to filing; On same day, agency closed investigation of Model 3 statements
Tesla Inc. isn’t yet in the clear with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. On Dec. 4, the same day the agency closed its second investigation into the electric-car maker in as many years, the SEC sent a subpoena seeking information on a fresh set of matters, Tesla disclosed in a regulatory filing Thursday. The regulator is looking into “certain financial data and contracts including Tesla’s regular financing arrangements,” according to the company.
Investing and Trading
Glencore Swings to Loss Amid Lower Commodity Prices; Anglo-Swiss commodity giant booked $2.8 billion in impairments, driven by the steep decline in thermal-coal prices
Joe Wallace and Adria Calatayud – WSJ
Glencore GLNCY -1.14% PLC swung to a loss in 2019 as subdued prices for commodities—including coal—weighed on earnings in its industrial unit and prompted the miner to write down the value of key assets.
Coronavirus creates oil ‘contango’ as supertanker rates dive; China’s shutdown has cut price of oil and the tankers that carry it
Harry Dempsey – FT
The coronavirus outbreak has stunned commodity markets, sending oil prices lower and disrupting the global shipping industry. Weaker demand for raw materials in China has caused Brent crude, the international benchmark, to fall more than 10 per cent in less than a month to about $57 a barrel. It has also pushed rates for oil-carrying supertankers down by three-quarters to about $23,000 a day.
Glencore to shake up its top tier with younger leaders; ‘Senior changes coming’ at commodities trader, says chief Glasenberg
Neil Hume – FT
Glencore boss Ivan Glasenberg has said several more leadership changes are on the way as the miner and commodities trader makes the transition towards a new, younger generation of leaders in 2020.
US’s passive investing juggernauts break new ground in Britain; Approach pioneered by BlackRock and peers threatens UK’s personality-led investment culture
Siobhan Riding and Chris Flood i- FT
BlackRock is already the world’s largest asset manager, but it is in touching distance of another crown: becoming Britain’s biggest. One of the strongest bastions of stockpicking, the UK is now following the US by embracing the low-cost, index-tracking approach pioneered by BlackRock and its American rivals Vanguard and State Street Global Investors.
Fed Doesn’t Want Another Repo Crisis, But Treasury Isn’t Helping
Liz McCormick and Saleha Mohsin – Bloomberg
The Federal Reserve has doled out tens of billions to calm the short-term lending markets after they went haywire in September.
The Fed’s Cure for Money Markets Complicates Betting on the Fed
Stephen Spratt – Bloomberg
T-Bill/OIS spread tightens on Fed’s buying, dwindling supply; Narrowing gap may complicate pricing for Eurodollar traders
The Federal Reserve’s mass purchases of Treasury bills are creating distortions in money markets and that may make it harder for Eurodollar traders who bet on the interest-rate outlook.
Microsoft stock is the biggest winner from environmental and socially responsible investing
John Detrixhe – Quartz
Microsoft has been the biggest winner from stock market investment into environmental, social, and governance-oriented (ESG) funds, according to financial data company EPFR. The Windows creator is among the tech giants benefitting as savers increasingly prioritize climate and social concerns when investing.
HSBC cuts bonuses and senior managers in strategy overhaul
Lawrence White, Sumeet Chatterjee – Reuters
HSBC’s (HSBA.L) management ranks face uncertainty over jobs and pay in the lender’s most radical overhaul in years, as it seeks to slash nearly $5 billion in costs and prune its underperforming investment bank.
HSBC eyes $600 million in losses if Coronavirus persists
HSBC could be forced to take $600 million in additional provisions against loan losses if the Coronavirus outbreak persists into the second half of this year, Chief Financial Officer Ewan Stevenson said on Tuesday.
StanChart commits $75 billion toward sustainable development goals
Standard Chartered on Tuesday said it will provide $75 billion in financing by 2024 toward sustainable development and clean energy projects, as it expands on its aspirations to support the Paris Agreement on climate change.
HSBC Plans to Cut 35,000 Jobs in Tucker’s Sweeping Overhaul
Harry Wilson and Alfred Liu – Bloomberg
Investment bank in Europe and U.S. targeted; buyback suspended; Shares fall most in three years; no update on CEO succession
HSBC Holdings Plc is set to slash about 35,000 staff from its workforce and is taking $7.3 billion of charges in its most dramatic overhaul under Chairman Mark Tucker.
HSBC Says Virus Outbreak May Expand Loan Losses, Lower Revenue
Alfred Liu – Bloomberg
HSBC Holdings Plc said the full impact of the coronavirus outbreak hasn’t fully been accounted for in its report, signaling it may need to raise its expected loan losses further.
Making The World A Better Place By Creating Markets
Rajshree Agarwal – Forbes
Enterprising leaders who tackle big problems like world hunger can learn from Alexis Mejía and Kurt Schneider, two pioneers inspired by the same vision to reduce postharvest loss with metal silos in Honduras. Building the airtight cylinders started as a part-time business for Mejía. During the planting and harvest seasons in Nacaome, a rural town near the Pacific coast of Honduras, he managed a family farm. But as demand grew for the grain storage units, his small workshop expanded.
‘Small Is Beautiful’ Can Work in Developing Africa; Solar and mobile technology offer ways to work around the continent’s shaky infrastructure.
Noah Smith – Bloomberg
Backyard industrialization has been tried; it was a miserable failure. During the so-called Great Leap Forward in China under Mao Zedong, peasants were encouraged to erect steel furnaces in their back yards. Predictably, most people had no idea how to build a mini steel plant much less make steel, and there was no market for their wares. The result was economic disaster.
EU rejects Facebook’s proposals for online regulation; Social media company warned that it will have to accept more responsibility for illegal content
Javier Espinoza and Sam Fleming i- FT
The EU immediately rejected Facebook’s latest vision of how online content should be regulated, warning that the social media company will have to assume more responsibility for illegal material on its platforms.
Japan’s Economy Shrinks 6.3% as Sales-Tax Increase Cools Consumption
In Germany, central bank said it sees no sign of improvement in the first-quarter growth outlook
Megumi Fujikawa – The Wall Street Journal
TOKYO—Following a dismal final quarter of 2019, Japan’s economy is facing the risk of a recession because the coronavirus outbreak is hurting tourism and production, while Germany’s central bank called on the government in Berlin to use its surplus to support growth as a broader danger of a slowdown builds.
UK Brexit chief rejects EU’s ‘level playing field’ approach; Negotiator David Frost says Britain will never agree to oversight in exchange for a trade deal
Jim Brunsden, Sebastian Payne and Victor Mallet – FT
Britain’s top negotiator with Brussels insisted last night the UK would never agree to EU oversight of its rulemaking in exchange for a post-Brexit trade deal, even as France sought to toughen the bloc’s stance in the talks.
Brexit negotiator says UK must be able to set its own laws
The UK “must have the ability to set laws that suit us,” the PM’s chief Brexit negotiator has said in a speech in Brussels. David Frost has set out the UK’s stance ahead of post-Brexit trade negotiations, due to start next month. He dismissed the idea an EU court would have a role in future trade disputes, saying: “We only want what other independent countries have.” It comes as France warns Britain to expect a bruising battle during talks.
U.K. Fires Broadside at EU Before Start of Post-Brexit Talks
Ian Wishart – Bloomberg
The U.K. launched a stinging attack on the European Union’s conditions for a post-Brexit trade deal, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s envoy warning the bloc’s demand that Britain be bound by its rules after its departure risked undermining democracy.
Portugal considers subsidising UK tourists’ post-Brexit healthcare
Lisa O’Carroll – The Guardian
Portugal is considering offering British tourists subsidised post-Brexit healthcare in an effort to retain their custom in the Algarve, Lisbon and beyond. It is one of several novel measures being considered by the Portuguese government in an effort to minimise the disruption of Brexit to its economy. Rita Marques, the tourism minister, said the country was examining a unilateral offer to ensure cover offered by the European health insurance card (Ehic), the EU reciprocal system, can continue if a deal is not struck on it during this year’s trade talks.
Boy Scouts Seek Chapter 11 Protection From Sex-Abuse Lawsuits; The 110-year-old youth organization filed for bankruptcy to cope with financial pressures from sex-abuse lawsuits and declining membership
Andrew Scurria, Joseph De Avila, and Peg Brickley – WSJ
The Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday filed for bankruptcy protection, as one of the country’s largest youth organizations tries to endure intensifying legal pressure over accusations of childhood sexual abuse going back decades.
All the reasons your boss should let you work from anywhere
Richard Eisenberg – MarketWatch
Imagine this: Your employer says not only can you work from home, you can work from anywhere in the world. Hmm…Maybe you’d move near your grown kids in another part of the country and work from there. Or maybe you’d relocate to a less expensive, warmer spot and cut your daily living costs.