Boom in ‘sustainable’ debt fuels scrutiny of green labels

Sep 15, 2023

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

The ribbon-cutting, office unveiling party held by Trading Technologies yesterday was a big success, with a good turnout of industry participants, TT alumni and the 7Ridge team. In for a TT board meeting from 7Ridge were Carsten Kengeter, Veronica Augustsson and Jeff Maron. Keith Todd and Kengeter made comments at the event about the success, deals and growth TT has experienced since 7Ridge bought the company in 2021.

The privilege of cutting the ribbon to officially unveil the new office went to two TT employees, the longest tenured employee and one of the newest. Chris Wichira joined TT in 1999 when its offices were in Evanston. Yvonne Camejo was a temp who decided to join the firm full time in May of this year. Both spoke at the event about their positive experiences with the firm prior to jointly using a giant pair of scissors to cut a ribbon with an arc of balloons above it.

TT Video Producer Vince McAley produced a video for the event telling the story of its evolution over the years that was fun to watch. It included a cut from an interview we did with Keith Todd and Nick Garrow at FIA Boca this last March. All in all, TT has terrific new office space at 1 South Wacker, across the street from the CME’s 20 South Wacker headquarters, and it held a TT-worthy ribbon-cutting event.

The Wall Street Journal has an in-depth video interview titled “Can Robinhood Reinvent Investing Again? CEO Vlad Tenev Is Betting on It” with the subheading “Tenev says round-the-clock trading will become an ‘industry standard.'”

Today we published the latest episode of Options Discovery and the last that features the work of Alex Teng. In the episode, which is about Intro to Options and Earnings and the firm eToro, Asma Awass introduces the subject before handing off to Alex’s interview.

The next episode of Options Discovery is Asma’s first standalone complete interview. We broke her in gently by having her interview Britannica Personal Finance Editor and former JLN staffer Doug Ashburn

Remember to contact me if you want to set up a video or podcast interview for FIA EXPO 2023. We will have our team there again this year in full force.

It was 10 years yesterday that my son Tim passed his board of review for the rank of Eagle Scout and officially became an Eagle Scout.

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


Climate Week NYC “We Can. We Will.” is September 17-24 2023. Climate Week NYC features 400 events and activities in New York City as well as key streaming events. The Climate Week NYC Opening Ceremony takes place on Sunday, September 17, and will feature international leadership from business, government, and the climate community discussing three key themes:
– Climate action is not moving fast enough. Where must investment be channeled, and what vested interests need to be held accountable?
– How do we ensure solutions to the climate crisis are implemented?
– Where have the biggest wins been so far?
Finance’s role in solving climate change will be addressed at multiple events during the week, which is concurrent with the United Nations General Assembly, the Sustainable Development Goals Summit, and the Climate Ambition Summit. Search the full events calendar and register here. ~SAED

Our most read stories yesterday on JLN Options were:
Triple-Witching Day: Are Options Markets Being Manipulated?
First ETF zero-day options ETF launches in the US
First ETF to trade zero-day options makes its market debut. Two more are in the works. ~JB


Options Discovery Episode 20: Intro to Options and Earnings; Etoro Equity and Derivatives Investment Analyst, Callie Cox, Breaks Down Options and Earnings With Jln’s Alex Teng

In this episode of Options Discovery, Asma Awass introduces equity option price behavior around earnings announcements. Alex Teng dives deeper into this topic with Callie Cox, a seasoned investment analyst and content creator from the “social-based” brokerage firm eToro. Callie discusses her background in options, indicators to look at when close to earnings announcements, how implied volatility comes into play, hedging with options before an earnings announcement, and more. You can learn more about eToro here:

Watch the video »


Options And Earnings: Callie Cox, Investment Analyst At Etoro, Explains These Concepts And More In This Options Discovery Interview

In this Options Discovery full interview, Alex Teng sits down with Callie Cox, equity and derivatives analyst at eToro, for this week’s full interview. Callie breaks down indicators to look at when close to earnings announcements, how implied volatility comes into play, hedging with options before an earnings announcement, and more. Callie also discusses eToro, a “social-based” brokerage firm. You can learn more about eToro here:

Watch the video »


Fifteen years after Lehman, we still need to fix financial supervision; It must be made easier for regulators to act intelligently and independently
Gillian Tett – Financial TImes
Fifteen years ago, the financial world became obsessed with bank capital ratios. For after Lehman Brothers imploded, there was a race to tighten capital and liquidity standards. And this continues, even today. Right now, for example, the American government is trying to implement a new wave of Basel III rules, sparking a furious backlash from Wall Street figures such as David Solomon, head of Goldman Sachs, who snipes that the measures “have gone too far”.

****** Financial supervision is more of an art than a science. There are artists like Gary Gensler and then there are empty suits. Their contribution to science is to have found the formula for disappearing.~JJL


Why oil is back to $90 a barrel; Saudi Arabia and Russia have curtailed supplies in the face of record global demand
Jamie Smyth and Myles McCormick – Financial Times
Oil prices have climbed back above $90 a barrel in recent days to their highest levels in 10 months. The rise has sparked fears of resurgent inflation that could damage a global economy that has proven surprisingly resilient.

***** This is $90 oil with many people working from home, not commuting long hours to the office.~JJL


Uranium prices hit 12-year high as governments warm to nuclear power; Cost of ‘yellowcake’ jumps to levels not seen since before 2011 Fukushima disaster
Harry Dempsey and Arjun Neil Alim – Financial Times
Uranium prices have surged to their highest level in 12 years, underlining a global renaissance in nuclear power as utilities race to lock in fuel supplies. Prices for the commodity dubbed “yellowcake” have jumped about 12 per cent to $65.50 per pound over the past month, breaching last year’s peak to reach heights not seen since 2011, according to data from UxC, a pricing data provider.

****** I would love to see the marketing around a futures contract on uranium. Take delivery of our yellow cake, it’s a blast!~JJL


Goldman’s Pitch to Rich Clients: Hey, Buy a Piece of This Sports Team! Firm is creating a ‘sports franchise’ unit within investment banking
AnnaMaria Andriotis – The Wall Street Journal
Goldman Sachs is preparing to offer wealthy clients more access to a unique investment: the chance to own a piece of a private sports team. The bank is creating a “sports franchise” unit within its investment banking division that will combine sports M&A with sports financing. A top goal is to work with asset and wealth management to pitch wealthy clients on investing in teams, stadiums and other flashy deals.

****** Goldman Sachs is now pitching the Green Bay Packers style of investing.~JJL


Thursday’s Top Three
Our top read story Thursday was the Financial Times’ First ETF zero-day options ETF launches in the US. Second was TT’s press release, Trading Technologies Named to Crain’s Chicago Business Best Places to Work 2023. Third was our MarketsWiki page for Trading Technologies International.


Lead Stories

Boom in ‘sustainable’ debt fuels scrutiny of green labels; Many deals fund polluters or projects unrelated to climate goals as banks chase trillion-dollar environmental finance targets
Kenza Bryan – Financial Times
Trillion-dollar green finance targets set by leading investment banks are driving a boom in “sustainable” debt deals, many of which have attracted criticism for funding high-emitting companies or financing projects unrelated to environmental goals. Banks are still working out how to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions linked to their activity financing clients in polluting industries. They may be forced to start disclosing these emissions in California from 2027 and earlier in the EU and UK, which would increase pressure to cut ties with polluters.

PFOF and its discontents; Ugh fine, we’ll debunk the GameStop conspiracy theory
Alexandra Scaggs – Financial TImes
During the meme-stonk craze of 2021, everyone had one question: Is a working-class revolution happening in the stock market? The answer was self evident: No. Some people made money in a speculative bubble, which was nice for them! Some more people lost money, which was less nice for them, but they memed a hedge fund into oblivion, which was pretty funny. And in the process they started to fancy themselves the new sans-culottes, which was very dumb.

‘Dumb Money:’ The Movie vs. What Really Happened; The film captures the GameStop meme stock trading frenzy; but who’s really the dumb money?
Gunjan Banerji – The Wall Street Journal
The GameStop mania was supposed to be a chance for everyday investors to finally stick it to Wall Street. “Dumb Money,” a new movie distributed by Sony Pictures, offers a fictionalized-and entertaining-account of that brief stretch in 2021 when trading meme stocks became a cultural phenomenon, akin to playing Pokemon Go or swapping friendship bracelets with fellow Swifties.

‘One of the Most Hated People in the World’: Sam Bankman-Fried’s 250 Pages of Justifications; The FTX founder wrote hundreds of pages of reflections and self-justifications while under house arrest, shedding light on how he may defend himself at his criminal trial next month.
David Yaffe-Bellany – The New York Times
At the end of a 15,000-word Twitter thread he never posted, Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, offered a blunt assessment of his predicament. “I’m broke and wearing an ankle monitor and one of the most hated people in the world,” he wrote. “There will probably never be anything I can do to make my lifetime impact net positive.”

Billionaire Ray Dalio Pushes for Return to Hedge Fund in Succession Clash; Mr. Dalio retired from Bridgewater last year. But his successors at the world’s biggest hedge fund are discovering it’s not easy to operate with the firm’s founder looming over them.
Rob Copeland – The New York Times
Less than a year after retiring, Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, is threatening his former colleagues with the one thing they have worked hard to prevent: his return. Under the terms of his retirement contract, Mr. Dalio, who left the firm full time in October, has the option to retake control of Bridgewater if its financial performance flags, according to five people with knowledge of the agreement.

A ‘Crypto Rabbit Hole’ That Leads to Human Trafficking; Bloomberg reporter and Number Go Up author Zeke Faux started off looking at Tether, but ended up investigating modern slavery in Cambodia.
Michael P. Regan and Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
A few years ago, an editor asked Bloomberg investigative reporter Zeke Faux to take a look at the cryptocurrency Tether, a so-called stablecoin meant to precisely track the US dollar by backing it with real-world reserves. What followed was a tour through some of the most-colorful corners of the crypto world, from Mighty Ducks actor Brock Pierce’s yacht to FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s digs in the Bahamas.

Billionaire Ken Griffin freaking out ahead of ‘Dumb Money’ movie
Lydia Moynihan – NY Post
Ken Griffin has a few bones to pick when it comes to “Dumb Money” – among them the way the star-studded flick depicts his habits when it comes to expensive art. On the positive side, attorneys for the Miami-based hedge-fund titan said they “appreciate artistic endeavors.” They applauded the casting of “Parks & Recreation” star Nick Offerman to play Griffin as “inspired.”

Turmoil showed top level failures at banks, global watchdog says
Huw Jones – Bloomberg
This year’s bank turmoil showed some boards and senior management failed in their most basic responsibilities and more regulatory guidance may be needed, a global watchdog said. A handful of banks with more than $1 trillion in assets, including Credit Suisse and Silicon Valley Bank, either collapsed or were rescued between March and May of this year, sending shockwaves through global markets.

China Urges Brokers To Cut FX Trading In Support For Weak Yuan
Bloomberg News
China told some brokerage firms to reduce proprietary trading in the foreign-exchange market, according to people with knowledge of the matter, marking another step by the authorities to defend the beleaguered currency. The People’s Bank of China asked several brokers earlier this week to reduce currency proprietary desk trading, without giving specific guidance on the limit of trading volume, the people said, declining to be named discussing private matters. Some of these firms have almost halted their own trading since then, the people said.

Happy Lehman Day to All Who Celebrate… Anyone? The echoes are still with us 15 years later, rippling now through Europe and China. If there’s something of an exception, it’s the US.
John Authers – Bloomberg
Happy Lehman Day Everyone!
Like many who work in finance, my life has come to have a fixed calendar: pre- and post-Lehman. When news broke 15 years ago today that Lehman Brothers had indeed gone bankrupt, with no willing buyer and no rescue from the government, things changed. We all knew that they would. The crisis had been brewing for at least 18 months at that point, and would not reach its nadir for another six months, but it was the collapse of Lehman that changed what was possible.

The financial replication crisis revisited; Academic aggro
Robin Wigglesworth – Financial Times
Is there a replication crisis in finance? Some prominent academics say yes, obvs, and it’s endemic. However, a high-powered, recently peer-reviewed paper argues this is bunkum. Perhaps the whole “replication crisis” thing needs explaining first though, for those lucky enough not to spend their time reading academic papers and following the weirdly intense debates around them.

Exclusive: Citigroup starts layoff talks after management overhaul -sources
Tatiana Bautzer – Reuters
Citigroup embarks on a sweeping reorganization, support staff in compliance and risk management are among the most likely to lose their jobs, say sources close to the situation. Technology staff working on overlapping functions are also at risk of being laid off, one of the people said.

Wall Street’s most powerful woman shakes up Citibank in bid to narrow gap with rivals: ‘We’ll be saying goodbye to some very talented and hard-working colleagues’
Christiaan Hetzner – Fortune
Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser has initiated sweeping changes to the bank to flatten hierarchies, speed up decision-making and drive greater accountability in a bid to reinvigorate the stock. Citi wouldn’t reveal the number of jobs that will be lost in the process, but Wall Street’s most powerful woman predicted employees would find many of the changes “very uncomfortable.”

Citi becomes first digital custodian on BondbloX Bond Exchange
Citigroup has become the first digital custodian participant of the BondbloX Bond Exchange (BBX), the securities solutions management unit of the global investment bank said on Friday. BBX, which was launched in 2020 to simplify bond investing, is the world’s first fractional bond exchange.

In unposted Twitter thread, Sam Bankman-Fried defends role in FTX collapse: ‘I did what I thought was right’; Across 250 pages of unpublished tweets written under house arrest, Bankman-Fried excused his role in FTX’s historic collapse.
Peter Chawag – The Street
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, shared some 250 pages of unpublished justifications, reflections and other ramblings while under house arrest awaiting trial for his role in mismanaging at least $1 billion of customer funds. Within the 15,000-word document, which was formatted like a Twitter thread, Bankman-Fried attempted to lay blame for the loss of customer funds on his former girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, who was the CEO of FTX’s trading partner Alameda Research at the time that the alleged fraud occurred.

Every CEO Talks Like Elon Musk Now; Meet the workforce-slashing, loyalty-demanding, “extremely hardcore” Great Men of Business.
Nitish Pahwa – Slate
On Monday, the Australian Financial Review posted a clip on X spotlighting a speaker at one of its conferences. It demonstrated how Tim Gurner, who runs a luxury real estate firm, diagnosed the strong post-pandemic labor market and the work-from-home status quo with which it coincided: “People decided that they didn’t really want to work so much anymore through COVID, and that has had a massive issue on productivity,” Gurner said.

IRS tax returns leak an ‘affront to all citizens,’ Citadel says as Ken Griffin subpoenas ProPublica for documents
David Voreacos and Bloomberg – Fortune
Hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin has subpoenaed ProPublica and five of its journalists for documents related to the publication of reports that detailed his secret tax return information. The Citadel founder requested the information last month as part of his lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service, according to a filing Tuesday in federal court in Miami.

UBS CEO committed to staying at the helm through 2026
Tatiana Bautzer and Lananh Nguyen – Reuters
UBS Group CEO Sergio Ermotti plans to stay at the helm through 2026 to integrate former rival Credit Suisse in a process he likened to a marathon.

Binance criticised for ‘cynical’ crypto donations after Morocco earthquake; Aid experts say donation of up to $100 of its BNB token is not what quake victims need
Scott Chipolina – Financial Times
Binance is facing criticism over donations of its in-house cryptocurrency to Moroccan customers after the country’s deadly earthquake, with humanitarian relief experts describing it as a stunt designed to improve the exchange’s image. The world’s largest crypto exchange this week said it would give up to $100 of its BNB token to about 70,000 existing customers, in a move worth up to $3mn.

TradeTechFX Europe 2023: Data and liquidity are key considerations when it comes to merging asset classes, panellists find; Panellists discussed the different approaches when it comes to merging asset classes, debating whether a single EMS does in fact make the most sense when it comes to multiple asset trading.
Claudia Preece – The Trade
Delving into the set-up of multiple asset trading desks, panellists highlighted the pros and cons of each methodology and the key considerations to bear in mind as the market develops – notably reflections as regards data and liquidity. The buy-side panellists discussed the different schools of thought employed by their institutions in terms of how their desks were organised, highlighting the key considerations from each standpoint.

Fireside Friday with… Standard Chartered’s Dan Burke; Dan Burke, managing director and global head of credit e-trading at Standard Chartered, sits down with The TRADE to discuss hiring processes during the market’s ongoing electronification, what to prioritise when looking to the future, and what trading desks could look like five years from now.
Claudia Preece – The Trade
How has the hiring process for a trading desk changed over the last five years?
The process itself when hiring an external candidate hasn’t changed too much, but ultimately it can be slow and expensive. Alongside the usual hiring route, we are also focusing on our early careers programs.

Ukraine Invasion

Ukraine hits Russian naval vessels and an air defence system in Crimea strikes
Andrew Roth – The Guardian
A Ukrainian missile strike on a shipyard in occupied Crimea has severely damaged and possibly destroyed a Russian amphibious landing ship and a Kilo-class submarine, satellite footage shows. If confirmed, the direct hit to the vessels in Sevastopol on Wednesday would mark one of the most devastating strikes against the Russian navy in the war, and the largest since the sinking of the Moskva guided missile cruiser in 2022.

Ukrainian forces press on in east, inflict casualties in south, officials say
Ukraine on Thursday pressed on with a gruelling campaign to regain ground near the shattered Russian-held city of Bakhmut and inflicted heavy casualties on Russian forces on the southern front, senior military officials said. The Ukrainian accounts outlined fierce fighting in many parts of the eastern front, but no new breakthroughs in the three-month old counter offensive.

The hard lessons from Ukraine’s summer offensive; The country’s military is enjoying some success but it will be slow-going and requires allies to increase ammunition supplies
Christopher Miller and Ben Hall – Financial Times
“Yes, people tend to want [results] immediately. This is understandable,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told a conference in Kyiv last weekend, speaking about Ukraine’s summer counteroffensive. “But this is not like a feature movie, where everything happens in an hour and a half.”

Ukraine Closer to Acquiring ATACMS Long-Range Missiles From U.S. This Fall; Biden administration officials say they are taking a fresh look, but no presidential decision so far
Nancy A. Youssef, Michael R. Gordon and Vivian Salama – The Wall Street Journal
The U.S. is moving closer to providing Ukraine with a ground-based missile Kyiv has long sought to conduct longer-range strikes at Russian forces. President Biden has yet to approve the transfer. But administration officials said they are taking a fresh look at supplying the Army’s Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS, this fall to boost Ukraine’s counteroffensive as its forces make slow progress toward overcoming Russia’s extensive defenses in the south.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

ASX 2023 AGM – Notice Of Meeting
The Notice of Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2023 is attached. ASX will hold its AGM at 10am (Sydney time) on Thursday, 19 October 2023. The AGM will be conducted as a hybrid meeting with shareholders able to attend and participate in person or online. An archive of the webcast will be available on our website shortly after the meeting concludes.

Changes in the Composition of Hellenic Corporate Bond Indices
Athens Stock Exchange announces the changes in the composition of the «Hellenic Corporate Bond Indices» according to the Ground Rules for the management of the indices.

FIAB appoints Javier Hernani as FIAB president for the period 2023-2025
He was elected by the member exchanges during their 50th General Assembly and Annual Meeting held in Panama. Javier Hernani, CEO of BME and Head of SIX’s Securities Services business unit, has been appointed president of the Ibero-American Federation of Exchanges (FIAB) for the period 2023-2025. The appointment took place during the 50th General Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Federation held in Panama.

Public Quantitative Disclosure; CCP Global PQD Newsflash; 2023 Q2 Data
Data For 56 Ccps (34 Ccp Global Members) Are Included: Americas 17. APAC 22. EMEA 17. The CCP Global PQD Newsflash provides an overview of the risk management provided by CCPs across the globe and complements public statistics such as the BIS derivatives statistics. This PQD Newsflash offers an overview of the key statistics, scale and nature of financial market infrastructure risk management from a global perspective and allows market participants to gain a clearer view of the CCP ecosystem. The data is aggregated directly from the CCPs themselves according to the CCP Global standardized template, carrying information stipulated in global regulatory guidance. Further details for individual CCPs can be found in links provided on the CCP Global website.

Intercontinental Exchange Completes Sale of Optimal Blue and Empower LOS Businesses to Constellation Software Inc.
Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology, and market infrastructure, today announced that, in connection with its acquisition of Black Knight, it has completed the sale of Black Knight’s Optimal Blue and Empower loan origination system (LOS) businesses to subsidiaries of Constellation Software Inc. (TSX: CSU). As previously announced, the divestitures of the Black Knight assets helped to secure regulatory clearance from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for ICE’s acquisition of Black Knight. The terms of ICE’s agreement with the FTC required the sale of those assets within 20 days of the close of the Black Knight acquisition, which occurred on September 5.

Decision Notice On Proposals Relating To The LME Closing Price Methodology
London Metal Exchange
Summary. 1. This Notice (the “Decision Notice”) sets out the LME’s decisions in relation to the matters consulted on in LME Notice 23/091 (the “Consultation”). This includes the decision to apply the new Closing Price Methodology using additional VWAPs (“Additional VWAP Closing Price Methodology”) for aluminium, copper, lead, nickel and zinc, subject to certain amendments, and update the Last Price methodology in the form set out in the Consultation.

Regular Constituents Change in KRX Post IPO Index
There will be regular consituents change in KRX Post IPO Index effective from September 22nd, 2023.

The Moscow Exchange Group begins calculating the daily sugar index in the Central Federal District
On September 15, 2023, the National Commodity Exchange (NTB, part of the Moscow Exchange Group) begins calculating and daily publishing the sugar index for the Central Federal District (CFD), which reflects the cost of sugar in the Central Federal District. The index code is SUGAROTCCEN.

Replacements in indices
The Index Maintenance Sub-Committee (Equity) of NSE Indices Limited has decided to make replacement of stocks in various indices as listed hereunder. These changes shall become effective from September 29, 2023 (close of September 28, 2023).


Rival Systems Announces Support for Spot FX Markets in its Award-Winning Risk Solution, Rival Risk
Rival Systems
Rival Systems (Rival), a leading provider of trading and risk management software, has announced support for Spot FX markets in its enterprise risk management solution, Rival Risk. This latest initiative is part of Rival’s ongoing commitment to broaden functionality and support across all asset classes. Rival Risk is renowned for its multi-asset support, encompassing equities, futures, options, bonds, and cryptocurrencies.

EU fines TikTok euro345mn for breaching children’s data rules; Probe finds Chinese social media app infringed regulations for users under 17
Jude Webber – Financial Times
TikTok has been hit with a euro345mn EU fine over the way it processes the personal data of children and teenaged users, the first handed out by the bloc to the Chinese-owned social media platform.

Digital cash and culture wars; ECB raises interest rates to all-time high
FT Podcast
Shares in chip designer Arm jumped by 25 per cent as it began trading on the Nasdaq exchange yesterday, and the European Central Bank has raised interest rates to an all-time high. Plus, the FT’s Siddharth Venkataramakrishnan explains how digital cash got caught up in the culture wars.

Bloomberg expands portfolio of thematic indices with new MVP index and pricing power index; New indices will help capture individual factors and attributes that propel top-performing companies, said Bloomberg.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Bloomberg has launched the new MVP index and pricing power index, adding to Bloomberg Index Services (BISL) suite of thematic equities indices. According to Bloomberg, the new indices are an evolution of traditional factor indices, positioned to capture the individual factors and attributes that propel top-performing companies.

Broadridge to combat reconciliation and data integrity challenges with new solution BRx Match; Cloud-based reconciliation and matching offering will help solve complex and simple reconciliations, improve efficiency and reduce risk and total cost of ownership.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Broadridge Financial Solutions has launched BRx Match, a cloud-based reconciliation and matching solution which aims to tackle reconciliation and data integrity challenges. The all-in-one reconciliation platform was developed to solve complex and simple reconciliations, allowing users to leverage the power of an enterprise reconciliation solution.


Casino Hacks Could Revive Interest in Cybersecurity ETFs
Todd Shriber – Nasdaq
As has been the case for years, headlines are foisting cybersecurity investing back into the spotlight. This time around, hackers targeted one of the bastions of American indulgence and travel – the Las Vegas Strip.

MGM ransomware attack shuts down Resorts systems in Vegas, across US
Amaris Encinas – USA Today
Over a dozen MGM Hotels & Casinos have had to shut down operations after a cyberattack on its computer systems Sunday left the resort chain vulnerable. Computer systems at all MGM properties have been shut down for the immediate future until the issue is resolved.

MGM and Caesars employees’ logins ‘hacked and traded’ on cybercriminal forums; Weak passwords linked to IT staff at both casino operators were sold recently to other hackers, security company says
Mehul Srivastava – Financial Times
As MGM Resorts International and the FBI investigate a crippling hack at one of the world’s largest casino operators, a tantalising clue has appeared on an underground forum for buying and selling stolen credentials. On September 1, operators of a Telegram channel called Spider Logs, run by cybercriminals who harvest and resell logins, passwords and other information from compromised computers, sold a data set that contained the credentials of a mid-level IT engineer at MGM, according to London-based Dynarisk, a cyber security company.

Shell says its Australian BG Group business hit by MOVEit breach
Roushni Nair and Navya Mittal – Reuters
Shell (SHEL.L) said on Friday that it had identified a cybersecurity incident involving some employees at BG Group in Australia, the latest company to be hit by the MOVEit hack. Several businesses globally have reported cybersecurity breaches involving the MOVEit software tool, which is typically used to transfer large amounts of often sensitive data, including pension information and social security numbers.

McAfee CEO Greg Johnson on the Cybersecurity Threat From Generative AI
Tim Paradis – Business Insider
Greg Johnson sees a battle of the bots unfolding. The CEO of McAfee, the online security company known for its antivirus software, is embracing generative artificial intelligence as a way to boost his employees’ productivity and help them keep up with online threats. But Johnson also sees GenAI’s dark side.


Deutsche Bank to hold crypto for institutional clients
Elizabeth Howcroft – Reuters
Deutsche Bank has partnered with Swiss crypto firm Taurus to provide custody services for institutional clients’ cryptocurrencies and tokenised assets, Taurus said in a statement on Thursday.

Deutsche Bank to Delve Into Crypto Custody, Tokenization With Taurus
Ian Allison – CoinDesk
Deutsche Bank is working with Taurus, a Swiss startup specializing in cryptocurrency safekeeping, to establish digital asset custody and tokenization services, the companies said on Thursday.

DCG floats 110% recovery for Gemini Earn clients-an offer that may be hard for the Winklevii to refuse
Jeff John Roberts – Fortune
There’s a new twist in the bitter feud between crypto baron Barry Silbert and the Winklevoss twins. The sides have been beefing over how to help more than 300,000 Gemini Earn customers who have had their funds frozen since January. Now, Silbert’s conglomerate DCG claims those customers will get back 95% to 110% of their funds if enough people sign on to its plan.

Hong Kong’s crypto adoption ranking drops one spot in Chainalysis report as city tries to woo virtual asset exchanges
South China Morning Post
Hong Kong saw a modest slip in its global cryptocurrency adoption ranking from blockchain research firm Chainalysis, despite the city’s plans to turn itself into a virtual asset hub. Hong Kong ranks 47th in Chainalysis’ upcoming 2023 Global Crypto Adoption Index, down one spot from the 46th place in 2022, the firm told the Post on Thursday.

Singapore Turned Conservative on Crypto After FTX, Zhao Says
Suvashree Ghosh – Bloomberg
Singapore’s approach to crypto became more conservative after the collapse of FTX but the island remains crypto friendly overall, said Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, chief executive of the Binance digital-asset exchange. The Hong Kong crypto regime that took effect mid-year only allows a limited number of tokens for trading by retail investors, he said Thursday via video link at the Token2049 conference in Singapore.

How Sam Bankman-Fried’s Elite Parents Enabled His Crypto Empire
Max Chafkin and Hannah Miller – Bloomberg


Social media firms ‘not ready to tackle misinformation’ during global elections; Experts urge big tech companies to ensure their platforms are equipped to protect democracy in 2024 votes
Hibaq Farah – The Guardian
Social media companies are not ready to tackle misinformation during elections due to take place around the world in 2024 because of language barriers, experts warn. Global Coalition for Tech Justice, a movement of civil society leaders and survivors of tech harms, is calling on leading big tech companies, including Google, TikTok, Meta and X, to ensure that their platforms are equipped to protect democracy and safety during votes next year.

Socially Awkward Outsider Is Surprise Contender to Lead Taiwan
Betty Hou and Stephen Engle – Bloomberg
If it weren’t for the bodyguards swarming him, it’d be easy to mistake Ko Wen-je for someone’s socially awkward uncle and not a man who could soon be managing one of the world’s most dangerous geopolitical flash points as Taiwan’s next president.

China’s Property Market Crisis Is Trouble for the Whole World; Home prices are falling, developers are defaulting and people are angry. Can China reverse a growing economic calamity that could go global?
John Liu – Bloomberg
China’s property market is in crisis. Real estate prices that skyrocketed over the past few decades have begun to fall back to Earth. Now the danger is that collapsing home values will also bring the world’s second-biggest economy down along with them. In the Bloomberg Originals mini-documentary China’s Property Meltdown, we explore how this upheaval started and look at what the implications could be for the global economy.

China May Get Caught in an Oil-Price Crossfire; Russia and Saudi Arabia’s oil output cuts will only accelerate the energy transition in a key market.
David Fickling – Bloomberg Opinion
In the new Cold War building between authoritarian states and democracies, petroleum appears to be the most potent weapon. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last week celebrated their recent output cuts, which have pushed up crude by 23% since the end of June. Costlier oil means more money for Moscow’s war machine and Riyadh’s construction boom, but higher gas prices for US consumers.

Musk Calls for AI ‘Regulatory Structure,’ Warns Congress of Risk; He cautioned on ‘deeper AI,’ according to a person in the room; Lawmakers hold a closed session with top technology leaders
Anna Edgerton and Erik Wasson – Bloomberg
Elon Musk called for a “regulatory structure” for artificial intelligence after warning US senators about risks to civilization posed by the nascent technology. The billionaire owner of X, formerly known as Twitter, was among more than 20 tech and civil society leaders attending a closed-door Senate summit Wednesday focused on AI. He later met privately with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.


Crypto exchange JPEX is misleading investors, Hong Kong securities regulator says, warning online promoters
South China Morning Post
The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a warning on Wednesday against the use of the cryptocurrency exchange JPEX, accusing it of “suspicious features” and promoting misleading information about its licensing.

Latest CFTC Enforcement Actions Challenge Core Tenets of DeFi
Owen Fernau – The Defiant
Last Thursday, an enforcement action by the U.S. Commodities Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC) against three DeFi protocols was the latest event in an ongoing saga of legislative battles, rulings by district courts, and scuffles over rulemaking. As the CFTC has now ordered Opyn, 0x and Deridex to cease operations that violate the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations, some of crypto’s prominent advocates are again questioning whether the regulatory landscape is conducive for entrepreneurs looking to operate in the space.

SEC Charges Connecticut Advisory Firm GlennCap and its Owner with Cherry-Picking
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced settled fraud charges against GlennCap LLC, a Connecticut-based investment advisory firm, and its owner, Jonathan Vincent Glenn, for allocating profitable securities trades to favored accounts, including GlennCap’s own accounts and client accounts that paid GlennCap a higher percentage of positive returns in fees, while allocating a disproportionate amount of unprofitable trades to disfavored clients, a practice known as cherry-picking.

SEC Charges Nuclear Battery Startup Company and Its CEO with Fraudulently Raising Over $1.2 Million from Investors
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged NDB, Inc. (“NDB”), a private startup company formerly based in San Francisco, California that is purportedly developing a nuclear-based battery, and its CEO, Nima Golsharifi, with defrauding investors by making materially false and misleading statements in a company press release.

ASIC remakes three ‘sunsetting’ class orders for managed funds
ASIC has remade three class orders that were due to expire (‘sunset’) on 1 October 2023 under the Legislation Act 2003. The class orders are:
[CO 13/655] – Provisions about the amount of consideration to acquire interests and withdrawal amounts not covered by ASIC Corporations (Managed investment product consideration) Instrument 2015/847;
[CO 13/656] – Equality of treatment impacting on the acquisition of interests; and
[CO 13/657] – Discretions affecting the amount of consideration to acquire interests and withdrawal amounts.
The new legislative instruments that replace these class orders will sunset on 1 October 2028. A summary of our consultation process is outlined below.

Investing and Trading

Ray Dalio Says He Doesn’t Want to Hold Bonds, Cash ‘Is Good’
Bridgewater Associates LP founder Ray Dalio said he doesn’t want to own bonds and prefers cash, highlighting difficulties investors face as global central banks try to manage inflation. “I don’t want to own debt, you know, bonds and those kinds of things,” the billionaire said Thursday at the 10th Milken Institute Asia Summit in Singapore, when asked to don the hat of a fresh macro investor in the current landscape. “Temporarily right now, cash I think is good.”

Short sellers must wait to take a stab at SoftBank’s Arm Holdings soaring shares
Saqib Iqbal Ahmed – Reuters
Investors looking to bet against the soaring shares of newly-listed Arm Holdings may have to wait at least a day before the stock becomes available for shorting, analysts said. Shares in SoftBank’s Arm Holdings opened 18% above their offer price in their Nasdaq debut on Thursday, valuing the British chip designer at nearly $60 billion in its return to the public markets after seven years.

‘Defending the portfolio’: buyout firms borrow to prop up holdings; Loans secured against private equity funds being used to support struggling businesses amid surge in interest rates
Antoine Gara and Eric Platt – Financial Times
Private equity firms have started to borrow against their funds to backstop overly indebted portfolio companies, a new financial engineering tactic meant to cope with higher interest rates and a slowdown in dealmaking. The manoeuvres, which lenders have dubbed “defending the portfolio”, have cropped up as many older private equity funds run low on cash just as the companies they own struggle with their own debt loads.

Why investors needn’t worry about oil prices; Sometimes they matter, sometimes they don’t – the evidence doesn’t give us a clue
Stuart Kirk – Financial TImes
There’s an old joke that Saudis have a lot of money not because of oil, but because they don’t let their wives spend it. With prices making 2023 highs this week, saying no must be getting harder, even if first-half oil revenues for the kingdom were a quarter down on last year.

St James’s Place/wealth management fees: new rules bring needed self- reflection; Could lower fees win more customers in the long term?
Financial TImes
Private investors cannot influence gyrations in stock markets and interest rates. They should, though, have a say in how much they pay to access investment advice for their savings. The power of compounding means that over the long term high fees can make a huge difference to savers’ returns.

Riding the Chinese dragon gets a lot harder for investors; The economic downturn has driven away many retail savers but brave souls still search for value
Arjun Neil Alim – Financial TImes

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Extreme Weather Is Forcing Redesign of World’s Busiest Airports; From New York to Nice, airports are altering the way they operate to adapt to ever-wilder climate swings.
Kate Duffy – Bloomberg
Airports around the world are relocating sensitive electrical equipment to rooftops to protect it from flooding, reinforcing runways to handle extreme temperature swings and revving up air conditioning as climate change complicates operations. In New York, the $19 billion redevelopment of John F. Kennedy International Airport includes preparing for more extreme weather events such as storm surges and coastal floodings. Up north in Alaska, melting permafrost is forcing fortification of runways, while in Europe, contractors are studying building materials that allow runways to handle bigger temperatures swings or redesigning buildings for sweltering summers.

Norway’s $1.4 Trillion Fund Steps Up Urgency on Climate Planning; Norway’s wealth fund views climate change as a financial risk.
Kari Lundgren – Bloomberg
Norway’s wealth fund said companies should move from “target setting to transition planning,” as the $1.4 trillion fund aims for a net zero emissions portfolio by 2050. Company boards should integrate climate risks into strategies and develop transition plans to deliver on emissions reduction targets, Norges Bank Investment Management said Friday. They should also assess how global warming will affect their operations, value chains and demand for their products.

Brazil Economy Must ‘Live Off’ More Than Commodities, Silva Says; The country is an agricultural behemoth, but the environment minister warns the farming sector cannot keep growing if it requires destroying valuable forests.
Simone Preissler Iglesias and Siobhan Wagner – Bloomberg
Brazil Environment Minister Marina Silva knows her country is an agricultural powerhouse, but she worries about the risks the influential sector’s growth poses to the Amazon rainforest. Farming has traditionally served as a key driver of deforestation in Brazil, due to activities like clearing forest for cattle pasture to feed the nation’s massive beef industry. It’s estimated that around 20% of Amazon forest cover has vanished in the last 50 years because of deforestation and landscape degradation.

Many Boards Are Playing Catch-Up on ESG and Green Issues; Company board directors say ESG efforts have brought about real benefits, but the political backlash has had an impact
Thomas R. Lechleiter – The Wall Street Journal
Many corporate board directors aren’t confident about their ability-or their board’s-to oversee sustainability and social impact issues, even as companies pursue such goals and regulators want more disclosures on environmental, social and governance impact. Eighty-three percent of directors surveyed said ESG topics were critical knowledge for directors, but less than half considered themselves to have “advanced” or “expert” level knowledge, according to a survey of board directors conducted in July by WSJ Pro in collaboration with the National Association of Corporate Directors.

Global Carbon Credit Investment Report
Trove Report

Five amazing ocean sites to make the first protected high seas areas; From the Sargasso Sea to the Costa Rica thermal dome, scientists are identifying key diversity hotspots to safeguard under a new UN treaty
Yvonne Gordon – The Guardian

Lessons From California’s Carbon Dioxide Removal Policies
Katie Lebling and Danielle Riedl – World Resources Institute

MSCI Opens Multi-disciplinary Sustainability Institute
Vibeka Mair – ESG investor

Share divestment isn’t the answer to greener investment; Selling up means giving up a seat at the table
Alice Ross – Financial TImes

Biden’s offshore wind target slipping out of reach as projects struggle
Nichola Groom – Reuters

August ocean, air temperatures shatter all-time records


Texas Moved to Protect its Fragile Grid. Then Prices Skyrocketed
Naureen Malik, Eric Fan and Rachel Adams-Heard – Bloomberg
On the afternoon of June 20, demand for electricity climbed as temperatures across Texas hovered around triple digits. To run smoothly in such moments the grid typically relies on power plants like Lamar, a gas-fired station northeast of Dallas that offers some of the state’s cheapest and most efficient electricity. But Lamar held back some of its supply. So did more than 50 other gas and coal units.

China May Get Caught in an Oil-Price Crossfire; Russia and Saudi Arabia’s oil output cuts will only accelerate the energy transition in a key market.
David Fickling – Bloomberg Opinion
In the new Cold War building between authoritarian states and democracies, petroleum appears to be the most potent weapon. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last week celebrated their recent output cuts, which have pushed up crude by 23% since the end of June. Costlier oil means more money for Moscow’s war machine and Riyadh’s construction boom, but higher gas prices for US consumers.

BlackRock China funds named in US lawmaker probe suffer outflows; But analysts say the decision to sell out was mainly prompted by their long-term poor performance
Chloe Leung – Financial Times
Accusations by the US House Select Committee that BlackRock was profiting from investments that help the Chinese military were followed by significant outflows in four of the named funds, Morningstar data for August shows.

Schwab Says Ameritrade Integration Dragged Down Client Inflows
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
Charles Schwab Corp. said it has been temporarily affected by attrition from clients as it integrates TD Ameritrade, leading to a decline in net new money for the firm last month. The company had $4.9 billion of total core net new assets in August, a 64% decline from July and 89% from a year earlier, the company said in a statement Friday. Core net new assets excluding Ameritrade brokerage clients equaled $28.1 billion for the month.

Work & Management

What’s the Future of College in the Age of AI?
Eve Geroulis – TEDx Talks
Revered academic, Eve Geroulis, discusses what she’s long referred to as Generation WTF: Generation What’s The Future, and their future in this new age of AI. Eve tells us that the jobs of the future haven’t even been created yet and demand graduates are resilient, able to learn and relearn. Through her new approach to STEM, she teaches us to focus on what distinguishes humans, namely, our ability to unleash – not institutionalize – imaginations.

Sam Altman Sees AI as a Tool to Combat Inequality; On this episode of the Exponentially podcast, Azeem Azhar speaks to Altman about the technology’s capacity for positive change.
David Rovella – Bloomberg
Though formerly the head of Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator and backer of iconic startups such as Airbnb and Stripe, Sam Altman is arguably famous thanks to his current role as co-founder and chief executive of OpenAI, maker of the ChatGPT chatbot. The company’s technology has revolutionized the expectations for AI-and how quickly it may sow radical change throughout the business world and society at large.

Wellness Exchange

The new COVID boosters are coming: Here’s what you need to know
Maria Godoy, Rob Stein and Jane Greenhalgh – NPR
The new COVID boosters are coming: Here’s what you need to know. If it feels like everyone you know has COVID, you’re not alone. Cases are on the rise, and so are hospitalizations and deaths. So the federal government’s release of new, updated COVID boosters feels like good timing. On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration approved the new shots; on Tuesday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention weighed in with recommendations for who should get them. Short answer: Everyone ages six months and up.


China tells brokerages to reduce proprietary FX trading amid yuan weakness – sources
China’s central bank told some brokerage companies this week to scale back their proprietary foreign exchange trading, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Friday. The directive follows a slew of recent steps by authorities to stem rapid declines in the Chinese yuan, which has lost more than 5% year-to-date against the dollar to become one of Asia’s worst-performing currencies for 2023.

Cayman Islands to open Singapore office to lure Asia’s wealthy; Caribbean territory lays out ‘red carpet’ to attract hedge funds and family offices from region
Mercedes Ruehl – Financial Times
The Cayman Islands will open an office in Singapore by the end of the year, as the Caribbean offshore financial services centre seeks to capture more business from Asia’s hedge funds and wealthy families. An office in Singapore would allow the Caribbean territory to “better capitalise on the many new business opportunities that the Asian region has to offer”, said Andre Ebanks, Cayman Islands financial services minister, on Friday.

Russia Raises Oil Export Duty Again on Back of Surging Prices; Finance Ministry sets the levy at $23.90 a ton for October; Russia’s Urals crude has been trading above G-7 price cap
Bloomberg News
Russia will again raise an oil-export levy the country’s producers pay, bringing more money into its coffers as surging prices compensate for smaller shipments. The government will increase the duty to $23.90 per ton in October, the highest level this year, following a rally in the price of Russia’s key export blend Urals, the Finance Ministry said Friday. That’s up 12% from September and equates to about $3.26 a barrel.

Cocaine Is Set to Overtake Oil to Become Colombia’s Main Export; Bloomberg Economics estimates 2022 exports of $18.2 billion; Cocaine could overtake oil exports as soon as this year
Oscar Medina – Bloomberg
Cocaine is set to become Colombia’s main export, overtaking oil, as production of the narcotic continues to expand as the government take a more lenient policy regarding drugs, according to estimates by Bloomberg Economics. Oil exports posted a drop of 30% in the first half and the trend of cocaine trade has consistently risen, meaning the latter could be Colombia’s No. 1 export as soon as this year, according to Bloomberg economist Felipe Hernandez.

Texas Moved to Protect its Fragile Grid. Then Prices Skyrocketed
Naureen Malik, Eric Fan and Rachel Adams-Heard – Bloomberg
On the afternoon of June 20, demand for electricity climbed as temperatures across Texas hovered around triple digits. To run smoothly in such moments the grid typically relies on power plants like Lamar, a gas-fired station northeast of Dallas that offers some of the state’s cheapest and most efficient electricity. But Lamar held back some of its supply. So did more than 50 other gas and coal units.

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The Spread

OCC liquidity risk doubles to all-time high in Q2

Lead Stories OCC liquidity risk doubles to all-time high in Q2; Concentration of activity around June expiration responsible for record rise Joshua Walker - The estimated largest payment obligation Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) could have faced had a...

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