Business Schools Are Going All In on AI

Apr 3, 2024

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Attention parents of Chicago area students. The STAC Fund Scholarship program for the 2024 – 2025 academic year is now open for applications! This is an incredible opportunity for high school seniors and college students alike to receive financial assistance for their educational pursuits. What’s even better? The scholarship is available to all, regardless of STAC affiliation. Last year, STAC awarded over $54,000 in scholarships to 18 exceptional local students, and this year, it aims to make an even greater impact. Spread the word and encourage eligible candidates to apply online before the April 17th deadline. The Security Traders Association of Chicago has established this charitable fund to provide scholarship opportunities to deserving students. While STAC members, their spouses, and dependent children are eligible, relationship to a STAC member is not required. Scholarships are non-renewable, and the number and amount of scholarships awarded annually will be determined by the committee. Candidates must be enrolled as full-time students in a regionally accredited college, and high school seniors are encouraged to apply. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is recommended, and selection criteria include academic record, involvement in school and community activities, and/or work experience. Priority is given to applicants residing within the Chicago area. Apply now through the STAC website HERE.

Cboe Clear Europe has joined CCP Global, the global association of central counterparties, as an Observer Member. At the March 2024 monthly meeting of CCP Global, the executive committee accepted Cboe Clear Europe into its membership.

In a recent interview conducted by The Options Insider with Cboe Global Markets‘ Head of Global Derivatives Catherine Clay, topics explored included the future trajectory of 0 Days to Expiration (0DTE) options and the feasibility of introducing 1-day VIX trading. The conversation also touched on the necessity of launching cash-settled equity options prior to Tesla and Nvidia 0DTE options, the status of options on bitcoin ETFs, and the potential arrival of tradable dispersion products. Furthermore, Clay shed light on CBOE’s role in reintroducing variance to the market, hinting at forthcoming developments in the derivatives landscape.

Ben Kaplan has written a book titled “Pipeline to the Pros: How D3, Small-College Nobodies Rose to Rule the NBA.” Kaplan is a former Gelber Group trader and former account executive with Drew Mauck‘s 3Points Communications. He wrote the book with his longtime friend and Chicago radio host Danny Perkins. The book seeks “to uncover how a group of guys who could never play in the NBA still managed to infiltrate the best basketball league in the world,” Kaplan wrote on LinkedIn.

Speaking of basketball, The Wall Street Journal has a story about the remarkable run of NC State to get into the Final Four and the odds titled “This Final Four Team Isn’t a Long Shot. It’s a 23,512-to-1 Miracle” with the subheadline “Three weeks ago, N.C. State had next to no chance of making the NCAA tournament. Now they’re two wins away from a national title. The odds of that happening aren’t just small, they’re lower than the likelihood that you’ll be struck by lightning.” The story says, “According to DraftKings, if you’d put $100 on N.C. State to win its first ACC tournament game and rolled over your winnings to bet on the Wolfpack in every game since that $100 would now be $660,000.” NC State currently has an 18% chance of beating Purdue, which gives a chance of playing for the national title at around 1 in 130,000. That $100 bet would pay $3 million. Moral of the story: don’t bet against Zach Edey and the Purdue Boilermakers.

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


The April edition of Focus has been published by the World Federation of Exchanges replete with reporting from the WFEClear 2024 conference. Articles include BME CEO Javier Hernani‘s WFEClear keynote speech in which he explains the importance of financial markets working together and Richard Haynes, Deputy Director, Risk Surveillance at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Nancy Doyle, Senior Special Counsel, sharing their thoughts on the recent BIS-CPMI-IOSCO proposals. Other contributors include: Jose Manuel Ortiz-Repiso, head of clearing and repo operations at SIX; Gerard Smith, Nasdaq’s head of post-trade product strategy; Orly Grinfeld, head of clearing at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange; CFTC Summer Mersinger, and Brian Steele of DTCC. Topping off the issue, Sir Dermot Turing, visiting fellow at Kellogg College, University of Oxford, looks at the battles in the war for clearing of euro-denominated swaps. You can read and download Focus HERE.~ SAED

Our most read stories from our previous edition of JLN Options were:
Cboe eyes physically-delivered VIX options for US futures traders from FOW.
OCC March 2024 Monthly Volume Data from OCC.
Oil Options Markets Turn Bullish With Rising Geopolitical Risks from Bloomberg. ~JB

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


Missing the Big Point on FCM Concentration and Systemic Risk
Streetwise Professor
The increasing concentration of the futures commission merchant (FCM)/clearing broker business has been a pronounced feature of the world derivatives markets in recent years. This has raised concerns among at least some regulators, including CFTC commissioner Summer K. Mersinger. In a speech generally rah-rah-ing clearing mandates, Commissioner Mersinger did raise one discordant note. Specifically, implementation of the Basel III standards would contribute to further concentration in the FCM/CB space: Second, the Basel III Endgame Proposal would weaken the clearing system by exacerbating the downward trend in the number of entities offering client clearing services. In January 2004, there were 177 futures commission merchants (“FCMs”) registered with the CFTC. Twenty years later, as of January 2024, there are 62 FCMs registered with the CFTC, representing a 65% decline. But over the same period, there has been a dramatic increase in customer funds held at FCMs to support derivatives trading. In January 2004, FCMs held over $87 billion of customer funds. Today, that smaller number of FCMs is holding five-and-a-half times that amount of customer funds-$490 billion. And of that customer money, approximately 60% is concentrated in the top five FCMs. [Footnotes omitted.]

***** The always interesting Streetwise Professor with a good dose of “I told you so.”~JJL


A Hedge Fund That’s Also a Newspaper; Also Ajax insider trading, FDIC vs. index funds, SVE RIP and Costco Hot Dog (token).
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
Hunterbrook! We talked in November about Hunterbrook, a hedge fund that is also a newspaper. These are mostly tough economic times for the news industry, and Hunterbrook hit upon a differentiated media business model: They would start a newsroom (Hunterbrook Media) to publish general news and investigative journalism. There’s no paywall and no advertising. But before each investigative piece is published, the newsroom would send it to Hunterbrook’s affiliated hedge fund (Hunterbrook Capital), which could trade on the news. The hedge fund’s trading profits can – they hope! – pay the journalists’ salaries.

***** This is not the model I intended, but my original model included me running a CTA to help underwrite John Lothian News. Instead, JLN became all-encompassing and self-sustaining.~JJL


Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story Tuesday was Nigeria to Almost Triple Energy Prices, Keep Subsidy for Poor, from Bloomberg. Second was Regulating the Robots (subtitled “Current SEC proposal seen as overreaching, but industry watchers see benefits if changes are made”), by Debbie Carlson for Chief Investment Officer. Third was GE’s Final Split, a Breakup 130 Years in the Making, from The Wall Street Journal.



Lead Stories

Business Schools Are Going All In on AI; American University, other top M.B.A. programs reorient courses around artificial intelligence; ‘It has eaten our world’
Lindsay Ellis – The Wall Street Journal
At the Wharton School this spring, professor Ethan Mollick assigned students the task of automating away part of their jobs. Mollick tells his students at the University of Pennsylvania to expect to feel insecure about their own capabilities once they understand what artificial intelligence can do. “You haven’t used AI until you’ve had an existential crisis,” he said. “You need three sleepless nights.”

Fed Blocks Tough Global Climate-Risk Rules for Wall Street Banks; ECB has been pushing Basel Committee to set requirements; US, European officials differ over approach for new standards
Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
US regulators, led by the Federal Reserve, have thwarted a push to make climate risk a focus of global financial rules, according to people familiar with the matter. European central bankers have been advocating for the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision to agree on requiring lenders to disclose their strategies for meeting green commitments. In closed-door meetings, US officials have cited their narrow mandate and concerns that the Basel Committee was overstepping its purpose, some of the people said.

A European FinTech Hub Prepares to Get Tough on Crypto Companies; Crypto sector ‘failed’ when lightly regulated, Krepsta says; Lithuania expects to issue full crypto licenses by June 2025
Nicholas Comfort and Milda Seputyte – Bloomberg
Lithuania, which established itself as a hub for financial-technology startups over the past decade, will weed out many of the crypto companies operating there when it starts awarding licenses next year. While some 580 cryptoasset firms are registered in Lithuania, the number expected pass the hurdle for obtaining full permits will be “much lower,” said Simonas Krepsta, a central bank board member. The process is set to wrap up by June 2025 and unsuccessful applicants will “leave the ecosystem,” he said in an interview on Tuesday.

Women Lost C-Suite Seats in Corporate America, S&P Says; Men gained share in top roles for first time in two decades; Gender parity in C-suite may not be reached until 2072
Simone Foxman – Bloomberg
Women’s representation in senior level positions at US companies faces an “alarming turning point,” with steady growth showing signs of fatigue for the first time in two decades, according to a new report. Women accounted for 11.8% of the approximately 15,000 C-suite roles in the S&P Global Total Market Index in 2023, researchers at the data provider said, down from 12.2% the previous year. That suggests women ceded about 55-60 positions with ‘chief’ in the title to men last year.

Regulator Probes BlackRock and Vanguard Over Huge Stakes in U.S. Banks; FDIC examines whether investment firms stick to passive-investing mandate
Andrew Ackerman – The Wall Street Journal
Banking regulators are scrutinizing whether index-fund giants BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street are sticking to passive roles when it comes to their investments in U.S. banks. The three firms manage more than $23 trillion in total, with much of it in funds that passively mimic indexes such as the S&P 500.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler signals that disclosure will be a key issue in the year ahead
Bob Pisani – CNBC
The annual two-day “SEC Speaks” event kicked off Tuesday, offering clues to what the priorities will be for the Securities and Exchange Commission in the coming year. Sponsored by the Practicing Law Institute, it is a forum where the SEC provides guidance to the legal community on rules, regulations, enforcement actions and lawsuits. The event allows the SEC to get its main messages across, and this year a key issue is “disclosure.”

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce denounces SAB 121 and criticizes her agency’s regulatory approach
Sarah Wynn – The Block
Securities and Exchange Commission’s Hester Peirce called a controversial crypto accounting guidance a “pernicious weed,” criticizing her agency’s approach to regulating the industry. During a two-day “SEC Speaks” event sponsored by the Practicing Law Institute, the Republican commissioner singled out Staff Accounting Bulletin 121, citing her past speech called the ‘SECret Garden,’ – a reference she said was to “the maze of staff guidance that serves to define practices across the securities industry in a way that may be inconsistent with a plain reading of the rulebook.”

Shell appeal against landmark climate ruling kicks off in Dutch court; Test case on power of courts as oil and gas companies push back over judgments on their role in global warming
Kenza Bryan – Financial Times
Shell will fight to convince judges in The Hague this week to repeal a landmark order to cut greenhouse gas emissions, in a closely watched test of polluters’ ability to keep climate change-related court action at bay. Lawyers from British firm Clifford Chance will argue that the ruling compelling the oil and gas company to slash its emissions by 45 per cent by 2030, relative to 2019, had no legal basis and overstepped the remit of the judiciary.

Clearwater Analytics to Partner with Wilshire and Acquire Sophisticated Risk and Performance Models; Partnership to Benefit Clients of Both Companies and Dramatically Enhance Offering for the Risk and Performance Needs of Front and Middle Office Clients
Clearwater Analytics
Clearwater Analytics (NYSE: CWAN), a leading provider of SaaS-based investment management, accounting, reporting, and analytics solutions, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire risk and performance analytics solutions from Wilshire Advisors LLC, a leading global financial services firm. Specifically, Clearwater will acquire Wilshire AxiomSM, Wilshire AtlasSM, Wilshire Abacus, and Wilshire iQComposite, which provide fixed income analytics, equity analytics and performance measurement, accounting, and GIPS® compliance support analytics, respectively, and will merge them with its own risk and performance analytics platform to create a powerful and compelling product for its customers.

Bank of England sets out conditions for ‘digital sandbox’
Britain’s financial regulators on Wednesday launched a public consultation on their new “sandbox” for trading digital securities in “real world situations” to keep up with rapid advances in technology. A “sandbox” allows the testing of new services in the market with real customers, but within a controlled regulatory environment. The Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority said in joint proposals, that within the sandbox, existing financial rules would be modified to enable companies to try out new technology, such as distributed ledger technology or blockchain that underpins cryptoassets, for trading and settling digitised bonds and stocks.

Venture capital reckons with the end of ‘megafund’ era; Data shows a ‘sustained slowdown’ has persisted in the first quarter of 2024 as a lack of exit options weighs on fundraising efforts
George Hammond – Financial Times
Venture capitalists are struggling to raise money, signalling the end of an era of “megafunds” and a slowdown in start-up dealmaking over the coming years. Globally, venture firms raised $30.4bn from university endowments, foundations and other institutional investors in the first three months of this year, a marked slowdown from 2023 – which itself was the worst year for fundraising since 2016, according to private markets data provider PitchBook.

Abolishing AT1s would be a serious mistake; Dutch government has floated idea of ditching capital instrument that is indispensable for issuers and investors
Jerry del Missier – Financial Times
The Dutch government has recently floated the idea of abolishing a capital instrument known as an AT1 in response to the turmoil created following the collapse of Credit Suisse one year ago. The argument is that investors still don’t fully understand the securities. Such a move would be a serious mistake. While AT1s – or Additional Tier 1 securities to give them their full name – remain a complex asset class, they perform a valuable function, absorbing losses when banks are stressed. They continue to be indispensable for issuers and investors.

Binance and Its Detained American Staffer Face More Charges in Nigeria
Patricia Kowsmann and Caitlin Ostroff – The Wall Street Journal
Nigeria has introduced more charges against Binance, and a U.S. company executive that it is holding in detention. Binance and Nigeria have been at odds since February, when authorities there blamed the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange for helping crash its currency and lacking money-laundering controls. Binance flew two employees to Nigeria to help fix the issue, its head of financial-crime compliance Tigran Gambaryan and Africa regional manager Nadeem Anjarwalla. But Nigeria later detained the duo and kept them under house arrest without charge.

How to Build From Strength
Richard Haynes and Nancy Doyle, Deputy Director, Risk Surveillance, and Senior Special Counsel, respectively, CFTC
Within the context of the recent BIS-CPMI-IOSCO consultative reports, Richard Haynes, Deputy Director, Risk Surveillance at the CFTC, and Nancy Doyle, Senior Special Counsel, share their thoughts on the proposals and why they are best framed as an enhancement of current transparency levels, which to a larger or smaller degree can build from an already strong base.

Clearing What’s Next?
Jose Manuel Ortiz-Repiso, Head of Clearing & Repo Ops., SIX
Jose Manuel Ortiz-Repiso, Head of Clearing & Repo Operations at SIX, reflects on how CCPs are responding to evolving market trends, changes in regulation and the emergence of digital assets.

The Wrong War
Sir Dermot Turing, Visiting Fellow, Kellogg College, Oxford
It has proved very difficult to shift clearing out of LCH. Clearing members will tell you how hard it is to transfer a portfolio of business, much of which belongs to clients.

DTCC: Delivering for the Industry
Brian Steele, Managing Director, President, Clearing & Securities Services, Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation
At its heart, DTCC is an industry-owned, industry-driven risk management organisation, and given our 50+ year track record we are proud to be recognised as battle-tested in protecting market stability and certainty.

Six Trends Financial Market Infrastructures Need to Know
Gerard Smith, Head of Post Trade Product Strategy, Nasdaq
As the landscape continues to shift, financial market infrastructures will need to find the capacity to keep pace. Modernisation provides the best path forward for FMIs, delivering solutions for now while futureproofing for tomorrow.

The Clear Outcome
Summer K. Mersinger, Commissioner, CFTC
CFTC Commissioner Summer Mersinger explains why the Basel III Endgame proposals to increase risk-based capital requirements for banks providing client clearing services would have a significant – and negative – impact on derivatives markets.

Project Eden: Revolutionising Government Debt-Raising and Settlement at TASE – Paving the Way for Financial Innovation
Orly Grinfeld, EVP, Head of Clearing, Tel Aviv Stock Exchange
The Israeli bond market stands out globally for its unique characteristics. Unlike most bond markets that operate exclusively as over-the-counter trading venues for primary dealers, government bonds in Israel are traded similarly to equities through continuous trading on the primary exchange.

Ukraine Invasion

Ukraine’s allies not giving enough air defence, minister says
Andrew Gray – Reuters
Ukraine’s partners are not providing enough air defence to protect against Russian missile attacks even though they have more than 100 Patriot systems in their own arsenals, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Wednesday. In an interview with Reuters, Kuleba said he would raise the issue of Patriot missile defence systems in every one of a series of meetings with NATO counterparts over the next two days in Brussels. In recent weeks, Russia has unleashed an increased barrage of attacks on Ukrainian cities and energy infrastructure, underscoring Kyiv’s urgent need for protection.

Moscow Is Outpacing Ukraine’s Allies in the Race for Ammunition; Zelenskiy’s allies face delays in sourcing critical supplies; Russia is now outgunning Ukraine seven-to-one on battlefield
Natalia Drozdiak and Alberto Nardelli – Bloomberg
Ukraine and its allies are losing the race to secure the ammunition Kyiv needs to hold off Russian attacks. The flow of western military aid into Ukraine has tailed off dramatically, according to officials from allied nations familiar with the latest on the front line, and some Ukrainian guns are firing just a single round a day in order to preserve their dwindling stocks. That’s set allies scrambling to try to maintain the flow of supplies to Ukraine by scouring for shells around the world. But with these initiatives slow to get off the ground, it’s unclear whether they will yield enough in the short-term to keep Ukraine’s front line stable.

U.S. Intelligence Warning to Moscow Named Specific Target of Attack; The C.I.A. told Russia that Islamic State terrorists were plotting an attack on Crocus City Hall, a concert venue.
Julian E. Barnes – The New York Times
The U.S. warning to Russia ahead of a terrorist attack near Moscow was highly specific: Crocus City Hall was a potential target of the Islamic State, according to U.S. officials. The warning had the right venue but imprecise timing, suggesting that the attack could come within days. Indeed, the public warning by the United States Embassy on March 7 warned of potential terrorist attacks in the next two days.

Why Russian intelligence dismissed US warnings of terror threat; Alerts of looming Isis threat downplayed by security services distrustful of west
Courtney Weaver and Polina Ivanova – Financial Times
During the last US administration, the CIA sent a team of analysts to Moscow armed with credible information about the Islamist threat posed to Russia by citizens of Central Asian states who had joined Isis in Iraq and Syria. Instead of heeding their calls, the Russian side accused the US of itself supporting Isis. They offered the CIA a list of names of terror suspects – all of whom were Russian political dissidents living in exile in Europe.

Nato plans $100bn ‘Trump-proof’ fund for Ukraine; Proposed five-year military aid package would shield Kyiv from ‘winds of political change’
Henry Foy – Financial Times
Nato is drawing up plans to secure a five-year military aid package of up to $100bn, in an attempt to shield Ukraine from “winds of political change” that could usher in a second Trump presidency. The so-called Mission for Ukraine proposal, which will be discussed by Nato foreign ministers on Wednesday, is being put forward by the secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg.

Biden Warns Xi on Aiding Russia’s War in Ukraine; The call is the first between the U.S. and Chinese leaders since last year’s summit
Michael R. Gordon and Andrew Duehren – The Wall Street Journal
In his first call with Chinese President Xi Jinping since their November summit, President Biden raised mounting concerns over Beijing’s substantial support for Russia’s defense industry, the White House said Tuesday. China has refrained from sending lethal weapons for Russia’s war in Ukraine following repeated U.S. warnings that such a move would present a major challenge for relations between Washington and Beijing. But China has found other ways to strengthen Russia’s defense capability and indirectly help Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine, U.S. officials say.

Zelensky Lowers Draft Age to Shore Up Ukraine’s Depleted Army; The idea of requiring more men to join the fight against Russia’s invasion has become toxic politically, but Russia is not relenting in its assault.
Andrew E. Kramer – The New York Times
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has signed into law three measures aimed at replenishing the ranks of his country’s exhausted and battered army, including lowering to 25 the age when men become eligible for conscription and eliminating some medical exemptions. While Mr. Zelensky did not say why he had decided to move ahead on at least some changes, Russia’s forces have been on the offensive along the front line and the ongoing fighting has shrunk Ukraine’s supplies of soldiers and weapons.

Israel/Palestine Conflict

World Central Kitchen identifies 7 workers killed by Israeli airstrike
Alex Portee and Samantha Kubota – Today
Chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen organization identified seven of its members they say were killed in an airstrike carried out by the Israel Defense Forces in Gaza. In a statement shared on April 2, WCK identified the seven workers as Saifeddin Issam Avad Abutaha, 25, of Palestine; Lalzawmi “Zomi” Frankcom, 43, of Australia; Damian Sobol, 35, of Poland; Jacob Flickinger, 33, of the United States and Canada; John Chapman, 57, of the United Kingdom; James ‘Jim’ Henderson, 33, of the U.K.; and James Kirby, 47, of the U.K.

Israel’s Strike Shows Iran Its Proxy Wars Have a Cost; Tehran was waging war from the shadows, but there were always going to be consequences.
Marc Champion – Bloomberg
Whatever your view of Israel’s war in Gaza, Monday’s targeted killing of senior Iranian military commanders in Damascus wasn’t just more evidence that, in the words of Iran’s foreign minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has lost his mind. The attack, attributed to Israel, was dangerous and will bring a response. But that’s because it brought into the open a shadow war that was already escalating, while at the same time exposing the constraints on Washington’s ability to control its ally, let alone Tehran or events in the Middle East.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

CME Group to launch EURSTR options next month; Development builds upon CME Group’s launch of EURSTR futures in October 2022 as a complement to SOFR futures.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
CME Group is set to launch options on Euro short-term rate (EURSTR) futures on 20 May 2024, which will be listed and subject to the rules of CME. The derivatives marketplace initially launched the first EURSTR futures on 31 October 2022, as a complement to SOFR futures. Order book depth was recently increased by CME Group by 79%, alongside reducing bid-ask spreads by 31% and facilitating the final settlement of the EURSTR market’s largest ever futures expiration totalling over 14,000 contracts last month.

CCP Global – The Global Association of Central Counterparties welcomes Cboe Clear Europe as a CCP Global Observer Member
CCP Global
At the monthly CCP Global Executive Committee Meeting in March 2024, the Executive Committee accepted Cboe Clear Europe as an Observer Member of CCP Global. Cboe Clear Europe is a leading pan-European central counterparty (CCP) that provides safe and efficient clearing and settlement services throughout Europe. “We are delighted to welcome our newest member, Cboe Clear Europe. Over the years, Cboe Clear Europe has increased its footprint and business mix in an impressive manner, including their growing CCP activities. Our membership warmly welcomes this important institution to our community, and we look forward to great collaboration with them. ” said Teo Floor, CEO of CCP Global.

April 2024 Stock, ETF, and Corporate Bond Acceptability List – Effective April 02, 2024
CME Group
The April 2024 Stock, ETF, and Corporate Bond acceptability lists are now available on CME DataMine. CME Clearing accepts corporate bonds, ETFs and stocks for Base and IRS performance bond requirements. The April 2024 acceptable CUSIPs are now available
via CME DataMine. Please refer to CME’s website for further details regarding acceptable collateral criteria, haircuts, and limits.

CTM Debuts New Tri-Party Matching Workflow for Prime Brokers with Societe Generale as First to Go Live, Bringing Greater Post-Trade Process Automation as Industry Prepares for Global Accelerated Settlement
DTCC, the premier post-trade market infrastructure for the global financial services industry, today announced that Societe Generale is the first Prime Broker to leverage CTM’s new automated tri-party trade matching workflow as the industry prepares for the increased focus on global accelerated settlement requirements. CTM’s new capability streamlines trade communications between Hedge Funds, Prime Brokers and Executing Brokers. Initially launched to support EMEA securities markets, the firm plans to expand access to the new functionally to other markets in the future.

Successful completion of the migration of Borsa Italiana to the Optiq trading platform
Euronext, the leading pan-European market infrastructure, today announced the successful completion of the migration of Italian derivatives trading to Optiq®, the third and final phase in the migration process of Borsa Italiana’s markets onto Euronext’s state-of-the-art, proprietary trading platform Optiq®. This migration is the last in the ambitious integration plan of Italian markets onto the Euronext single trading platform, and was completed less than three years after the acquisition of the Borsa Italiana Group.

Intercontinental Exchange Reports March and First Quarter 2024 Statistics
Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading global provider of technology and data, today reported March 2024 trading volume and related revenue statistics, which can be viewed on the company’s investor relations website at in the Monthly Statistics Tracking spreadsheet. “For over two decades, ICE has been building a global network of products across commodities and financial markets to deliver comprehensive risk management solutions for our customers as well as round the clock price transparency and capital efficiencies,” said Benjamin Jackson, President, at ICE.

LME Data Highlights Q1 2024
In Q1 2024, LME volumes surged with overall average daily volume (ADV) up 31% year-on-year, and market open interest (MOI) up 21%. Particularly strong growth was seen in LME Lead, with ADV at a record high of 83,431 lots in March 2024 – and up in Q1 by 48% year-on-year. LME Nickel ADV increased 75%, with MOI up 47% compared to the same period in 2023.

Code Of Conduct For Access To LME Premises
London Metal Exchange
Summary. 1. This Notice supersedes Notice 16/120 : R004 and, pursuant to Notice 23/235 and Notice 24/134, contains the revised Code of Conduct of Access to LME Premises which is effective as at the date of this Notice.

Amendments To The Proprietary Trader Program Of Bourse De Montreal Inc.
The Montreal Exchange
(Effective May 1St, 2024) Bourse de Montreal Inc. (the “Bourse”) hereby announces amendments to its Proprietary Trader Program (“PTP”) effective May 1st, 2024 (the “Effective Date”). The terms and conditions of the PTP will be amended in order to streamline account management and improve the user experience. As of the Effective Date, the new terms and conditions will remove the dependence on subaccounts and will instead adopt the MX client account number as the principal identifier. These updated terms will also incorporate clauses permitting access to data for the purpose of improving user experience and monitoring client performance within the program.

Listing Ceremony of Routes 2 Roots on Social Stock Exchange of NSE
National Stock Exchange of India
The NSE-Social Stock Exchange (SSE) listed its 6th Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) – Routes 2 Roots. This notable event took place at the National Stock Exchange’s (NSE) headquarters in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Mumbai, commemorating a significant step forward in impact-driven finance. This listing has successfully raised fund of approx. INR 1 crore which will enable Routes 2 Roots to implement a free digital teaching program on Arts, Culture and Heritage in one hundred schools in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand by providing Smart Classroom Equipment, Musical Instruments, Training to teachers and maintenance.

Call for Research Proposals: European public capital markets; SIX has launched a call for research proposals on the subject of the competitiveness of European public capital markets. Submissions can be made until 27 June 2024 at the link below.
The objective of this call for research proposals is to assess the current status and factors affecting the competitiveness of European public capital markets compared to competing capital markets. SIX is looking for research papers that assess and propose concrete measures based on rigorous academic research findings to strengthen the attractiveness and role of public capital markets in enhancing the growth potential of the European economy and its productivity. The research proposal shall clarify and provide detailed academic evidence on the causes that explain the current situation and the patterns including necessarily a comparative analysis with other capital markets. The research shall further include solid actions to be taken by European markets and authorities to become more competitive.

SGX Cares launches Financial Literacy Training Camp for Singapore Premier League and Women’s Premier League footballers
Singapore Exchange Group
Collaboration with the Football Association of Singapore aims to empower professional footballers with fundamental investing knowledge and concepts. Close to 500 footballers from the Singapore Premier League (SPL) and Women’s Premier League (WPL) will head to a different form of training camp later this month – to learn how to manage their personal finances and investments during their football careers and beyond. In partnership with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and as part of SGX Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, SGX Cares, where financial literacy is one of the key pillars, the training camp is curated to equip the footballers with the fundamentals of financial management and investing which are essential building blocks to financial resilience.

Appendix 3G – Performance Rights (several releases)
Notification of issue, conversion or payment up of unquoted equity securities
Announcement Summary. Entity name. ASX LIMITED. Date of this announcement. Wednesday April 03, 2024
Appendix 3Y – Change Of Director’s Interest Notice – Dr Heather Smith
Attached is an Appendix 3Y Change of Director’s Interest Notice for Dr Heather Smith.
Appendix 3Y – Change Of Director’s Interest Notice – David Curran
Attached is an Appendix 3Y Change of Director’s Interest Notice for David Curran.
Appendix 3Y – Change Of Director’s Interest Notice – Damian Roche
Attached is an Appendix 3Y Change of Director’s Interest Notice for Damian Roche.
Appendix 2A – Application for quotation of securities. Part 1 – Entity and announcement details. 1.1 Name of entity ASX LIMITED. We (the entity named above) apply for +quotation of the following +securities and agree to the matters set out in Appendix. 2A of the ASX Listing Rules.

The Moscow Exchange is implementing new projects in the field of financial and investment literacy
During the first quarter of 2024, the Moscow Exchange implemented several educational and outreach projects in different formats. To improve financial and investment literacy, as well as the quality of training of managerial and economic personnel, the exchange actively interacts with the country’s leading universities, the regulator and specialized associations. Specialists from the Moscow Exchange and experts from the Moscow Exchange School began teaching a course of lectures “Personal Investments” at the Faculty of International Business of MGIMO in order to improve the level of theoretical and practical training of students.


IBI Investment House Selects ViewTrade’s NextGen Platform to Fuel New Retail Trading Capabilities
ViewTrade Holding Corporation
ViewTrade Holding Corporation (“ViewTrade”) and IBI Investment House (“IBI”) today announced a strategic partnership to provide IBI clients with unprecedented access to international trading markets through a new retail trading experience powered by ViewTrade’s NextGen platform. By tapping into NextGen’s suite of front- and back-end capabilities, IBI’s trading and wealth management customers will benefit from a refreshed, modern user experience providing seamless functionality for trade execution.

Scrut Automation raises $10 Million in growth capital from Lightspeed and MassMutual Ventures to accelerate growth in North America
Scrut Automation
GRC platform Scrut Automation announced today that it has raised $10 million in growth capital from existing investors Lightspeed , MassMutual Ventures and Endiya Partners. The Scrut Automation team will use the funding to enhance their platform capabilities, incorporate generative AI use cases to reduce the manual effort for risk and compliance teams and expand to North American and European markets.

TradeStation Securities Collaborates with OptionsPlay to Enhance User Experience with Cross-Platform Integration; Integration allows TradeStation Securities brokerage clients to trade options directly from the OptionsPlay platform
TradeStation Securities, Inc.
TradeStation Securities, Inc. (“TradeStation Securities”), an award-winning,* self-clearing online brokerage for trading stocks, ETFs, options and futures, today announced it is the first broker integration by OptionsPlay, an options analysis suite for investors and traders.

ECB taps Tradeweb, Bloomberg for electronic trading platforms
Alex Pugh –
Tradeweb and Bloomberg have been tapped by the European Central Bank (ECB) to provide electronic trading platforms for the central bank and other Eurosystem National Central Banks (NCBs) Tradeweb has been awarded two framework agreements covering the provision of ETPs for trading: EUR-denominated bonds, including European government bonds, covered bonds, corporate bonds, repo, deposits and certificates of deposits; US Treasuries; Japanese government bonds; USD- and EUR-denominated SSA (supranationals, sovereign and agency) bonds; and USD- and JPY-denominated interest rate swaps. The term of the contracts is four years with the option to extend twice for an additional two years.

Is this AI? See if you can spot the technology in your everyday life; Tell us what is AI and see how your answers compare to the experts
Kevin Schaul – The Washington Post
Artificial intelligence is suddenly everywhere. Fueled by huge technological advances in recent years and gobs of venture capitalist money, AI has become one of the hottest corporate buzzwords. Roughly 1 in 7 public companies mentioned “artificial intelligence” in their annual filings last year, according to a Washington Post analysis. But the term is fuzzy.

AI platform SiftHub raises $5.5m as it rescues sales & presales teams from repetitive tasks

An AI-Rally for Software Makers Will Demand Investor Patience; Adobe and Salesforce results failed to show big AI lift; Investors say a looming AI impact is a matter of time
Ryan Vlastelica – Bloomberg


Open source foundations unite on common standards for EU’s Cyber Resilience Act; Adopted last month, the new legislation will come into force starting 2027
Paul Sawers – TechCrunch
Seven open source foundations are coming together to create common specifications and standards for Europe’s Cyber Resilience Act (CRA), regulation adopted by the European Parliament last month. The Apache Software Foundation, Blender Foundation, Eclipse Foundation, OpenSSL Software Foundation, PHP Foundation, Python Software Foundation, and Rust Foundation revealed their intentions to pool their collective resources and connect the dots between existing security best practices in open source software development – and ensure that the much-maligned software supply chain is up to the task when the new legislation comes into force in three years.

Why the FCC’s cybersecurity labeling program benefits IoT systems
Callie Guenther – SC Media
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) recent decision to greenlight a voluntary cybersecurity labeling program signifies a significant stride forward in enhancing consumer awareness and protection. This initiative, mirroring the familiar concept of nutritional labels on food products, aims to provide consumers with clear, accessible information about the cybersecurity features of IoT devices like smart speakers and doorbells. By offering a U.S. Cyber Trust Mark alongside a QR code linking to a comprehensive product registry, the FCC set a new standard in IoT device certification, highlighting a commitment to transparency and security.

5 Cybersecurity Questions Boards Can’t Afford To Ignore
David DeWalt – Forbes
As board directors head into their next round of quarterly meetings, there’s one topic that should be on the agenda: cybersecurity. The rise in cyberattacks in the past few years has been clear, with ransomware attacking businesses across industries, bot attacks disrupting important systems, sophisticated attackers targeting critical infrastructure and more. No industry or organization is immune to these attacks, the damages from which are stretching into the trillions of dollars worldwide.


Republic Announces Acquisition of GoldenChain, the Digital Asset Arm of GoldenTree Asset Management; Joe Naggar, a longtime GoldenTree Partner, will become Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Republic Digital
Republic, a leading investment firm, today announced the acquisition of GoldenChain, a wholly owned subsidiary of GoldenTree Asset Management, which manages the firm’s digital assets funds. With this acquisition, Joe Naggar, a Partner at GoldenTree with a focus on Digital Assets, will transition from his role at GoldenTree into the next phase of his career to fully concentrate his efforts in the digital asset class as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Republic Digital.

Goldman Sachs Clients Not Interested in Crypto, Says Chief Investment Officer: WSJ: Even after the recent surge in prices and involvement from other TradFi giants, the bank maintains its belief that crypto is worthless.
Helene Braun – CoinDesk
Goldman Sachs, nowadays one of the few Wall Street banks to do so, isn’t backing away from its negative stance against crypto, as it doesn’t see any value in the asset. Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani, chief investment officer of the bank’s Wealth Management unit, has long been known for her skepticism of bitcoin and other digital assets, and her opinion hasn’t changed, according to a recent interview. “We do not think it is an investment asset class,” she told the Wall Street Journal, “We’re not believers in crypto.”

Owner of Crypto Platform CoinSwitch Launches Stock Trading App
Sidhartha Shukla – Bloomberg
The owner of Indian cryptocurrency exchange CoinSwitch is launching a stock trading app as digital-asset volumes languish following a punitive tax regime introduced two years ago. PeepalCo on Tuesday announced the launch of Lemonn, which will initially offer equities trading and over time be expanded into product areas like mutual funds and derivatives.

New ETFs Target Double the Daily Return of Bitcoin
Jack Pitcher – The Wall Street Journal
Investors can now use exchange-traded funds to magnify their exposure to bitcoin prices. The ProShares Ultra Bitcoin ETF (ticker: BITU) and ProShares UltraShort Bitcoin ETF (SBIT) began trading Tuesday. They aim to produce double the daily return of bitcoin-or, in the case of the short fund, double the inverse return.

US Government Preparing To Sell 30,000 Silk Road Bitcoin, On-chain Data Shows; US government prepares to sell bitcoin related to Silk Road for the first time since March 2023.
Nik Hoffman – Bitcoin Magazine
Today, the US government sent a transaction that appears to indicate it may be on the verge of liquidating the remaining Bitcoin it confiscated from the online marketplace Silk Road. According to on-chain data, a 0.001 BTC test transaction, part of a larger stash of approximately 30,174 BTC worth $2 billion linked to the infamous Silk Road marketplace, were moved by the US government.


US local news swamped by ‘pink slime’ as political influence ramps up; Dark money-funded outlets that mimic regional news sites are becoming more sophisticated ahead of November election
Hannah Murphy – Financial Times
The number of partisan news outlets in the US masquerading as legitimate journalism now equals genuine local newspaper sites, researchers say, as so-called pink slime operators gear up ahead of November’s presidential election. Pink slime sites mimic local news providers but are highly partisan and tend to bury their deep ties to dark money, lobbying groups and special interests.

Is Giving Farmers Millions to Kill Millions of Chickens the Way to Curb Bird Flu? Big poultry farms have received millions of dollars for their losses. Animal welfare groups contend that aid reinforces inhumane cullings of birds exposed to the virus.
Andrew Jacobs – The New York Times
The highly lethal form of avian influenza circulating the globe since 2021 has killed tens of millions of birds, forced poultry farmers in the United States to slaughter entire flocks and prompted a brief but alarming spike in the price of eggs. Most recently, it has infected dairy cows in several states and at least one person in Texas who had close contact with the animals, officials said this week.

Lawmakers propose sanctions on US index funds investing in China; Act aims to impose penalties on funds that track indices that include Chinese companies
Julienne Raven Lingat – Financial Times
US lawmakers are intensifying efforts to prohibit funds from investing in Chinese companies, in an effort to address the strategic, commercial and national security risks Beijing poses to the US economy and financial markets. Bipartisan representatives of the US Congress’s certified public accountant caucus have unveiled a bill entitled the No China in Index Funds Act, which includes civil penalties for violations of the proposed legislation.

Senators urge White House to investigate Nippon Steel ties to China; Japanese company’s bid for US Steel further complicated by industrial state politicians
Demetri Sevastopulo and Kana Inagaki – Financial Times
Three US senators have voiced concern about Nippon Steel’s business ties in China, opening a new front in a political effort to stop the Japanese group from completing its proposed $14.9bn acquisition of US Steel. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat who chairs the Senate banking committee, on Monday asked US President Joe Biden to investigate Nippon’s business relationships in China, according to a letter obtained by the Financial Times.

Divided by Politics, Israelis Unite to Defy Global Isolation; Some Israelis see foreign disdain as new form of anti-Semitism; Isolation and frustration felt across the political spectrum
Ethan Bronner – Bloomberg
As 100,000 protesters shouted outside for early elections, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a press conference Sunday to defend his conduct of the Gaza war. He was asked why the world is increasingly against Israel. “The virus of antisemitism,” he replied. That’s why the state of Israel was created, to provide physical security to Jews, he added. Of all the things he said, that remark was probably the one that resonated most strongly with the furious citizens outside.


CFTC Orders Australian Swap Dealer to Pay $500,000 for Supervision Failures
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today issued an order simultaneously filing and settling charges against Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ), a financial services firm provisionally registered as a swap dealer for violating its supervision obligations for failing to ensure its spoofing surveillance tool was operating effectively. ANZ admitted the facts in the order.

The SEC’s Shot Across the Bow on ‘AI Washing’ The agency is right to go after fraudsters seeking to take advantage of investor enthusiasm in novel tech like machine learning and crypto, CryptoWhistleBlower founder Daren Firestone writes.
Daren Firestone – Consensus Magazine (opinion)
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has trained its sights on “AI washing:” when companies lie about using artificial intelligence. Last week, SEC Chair Gary Gensler posted a video to X warning that investment advisors might falsely claim to use AI models to get their clients a better return, and that public companies might falsely tout their AI technology to boost stock prices.

SEC Encourages Investors to Plan for Their Financial Future During Financial Capability Month
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) today announced that its theme for April’s National Financial Capability Month is, “What does your financial future look like? Having a plan can help answer the question.” During the month of April, SEC leadership and staff will highlight the importance of creating a saving and investing plan to help investors meet their financial goals, and will encourage them to take advantage of the free tools and resources available on Investor education events will take place across the U.S. with various audiences, including students, underrepresented communities, older investors, and the military.

Court Enters Final Judgment Against Operator of Websites That Fraudulently Offered Securities Involving Crypto Assets
On April 1, 2024, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts entered a final judgment against GA Investors, the operator of dozens of fraudulent websites, including Among other things, the judgment orders the defendant to pay over $1.1 million.

SEC Charges Additional Defendant for Role in Lucrative “Free-Riding” Scheme
On February 11, 2024, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Travis Treusch, a Long Island, New York resident, in connection with his role in a multi-year “free-riding” scheme. Treusch consented to a partial resolution of the charges. The SEC previously charged Eduardo Hernandez, Christopher Flagg, Daquan Lloyd, and Corey Ortiz, also all currently or formerly of Long Island, New York, for their roles in the scheme that generated more than $2 million in illicit profits.

The FBI Put a Former Financial Advisor on Its Most Wanted List. Here’s Why.
Kenneth Corbin – Barron’s
The FBI is searching for a former registered investment advisor in Iowa accused of a $1.5 million fraud that targeted more than a dozen clients. William Jack Berg is facing wire fraud and money laundering charges in connection with an alleged scheme in which he solicited money from former clients with promises to invest in legitimate companies but instead pocketed the funds for personal expenses.

The FSA publishes the status of loans held by all banks as of the end of September 2023, based on the Financial Reconstruction Act
The total amount of loans held by all banks as of the end of September 2023, based on the definition in the FRA (Act No. 132 of 1998), is 8.8 trillion yen. The figure decreased by 13 billion yen from 8.8 trillion yen as of the end of March 2023.

Investing and Trading

How to Lower Your Tax Bill With the Charitable-Donation Deduction; Getting a tax break for contributions to charity often requires careful planning
Laura Saunders – The Wall Street Journal
If you aren’t taking the standard deduction, you’ll likely qualify for tax breaks for charitable donations and strategies that maximize them. Many seniors can also take a tax break for donations, even if they take the standard deduction. What qualifies as a charitable donation? Charitable donations can be of cash; property such as furniture, art, or used clothing; or financial assets like stocks, among other things.

An Empire Divided; The inside story of how GE CEO Larry Culp dismantled a 131-year-old American giant.
Brooke Sutherland and Ryan Beene – Bloomberg
Big sheets of white paper line the perimeter of a meeting room at the General Electric Co. factory in Beavercreek, Ohio. Each sheet is scribbled on with markers and covered with neon Post-it notes outlining the steps needed to produce the tubes and ducts that will eventually be assembled into a jet engine.

EV Tax Credits: How to Claim the Biggest Tax Break; A guide on the changing rules for federal tax credits for buying electric vehicles and home chargers
Ashlea Ebeling – The Wall Street Journal
The toughest roads to navigate in an electric vehicle may be the forking paths of the tax code. Electric vehicle buyers can get up to $7,500 in tax savings right at the dealership, under changes to the law that went into effect Jan. 1. By contrast those who drove an EV off the lot last year have to claim the tax credit on their 2023 tax return, which is due April 15 for most taxpayers.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Biden’s $7.5 billion investment in EV charging has only produced 7 stations in two years; The network of fast chargers promised by the Biden administration has had a painfully slow rollout
Shannon Osaka – The Washington Post
President Biden has long vowed to build 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations in the United States by 2030. Those stations, the White House said, would help Americans feel confident purchasing and driving electric cars, and help the country cut carbon pollution. But now, more than two years after Congress allocated $7.5 billion to help build out those stations, only 7 EV charging stations are operational across four states. And as the Biden administration rolls out its new rules for emissions from cars and trucks – which will require a lot more electric cars and hybrids on the road – the sluggish build-out could slow the transition to electric cars.

Green Finance Initiatives Aid New Orleans’ Sustainable Infrastructure
Iwona Majkowska – Ytech News
Summary: As cities strive to tackle climate change and develop sustainable solutions, New Orleans stands out with its innovative funding approach for environmental projects. The city’s housing finance agency has evolved into a green bank, which is now instrumental in financing projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gases and enhancing community utilities. New Orleans has made a significant stride in environmental conservation by transforming its housing finance agency into a green bank. This financial institution has been pivotal in championing a variety of Eco-conscious initiatives. Their efforts stretch from the promotion of community solar power installations to the advancement of water treatment facilities and the establishment of resilience hubs.

The EU’s great green retreat benefits the far right. For the rest of us, it’s a looming disaster
Arthur Neslen – The Guardian (opinion)
Environmental pledges are being shredded to please agribusiness and appease extremists. It’s a terrible mistake. The EU’s great green deal cave-in has been nothing less than spectacular. As aggressive lobbying and violent farmers protests ramped up in the last year, Brussels has killed plans to cut pesticide use by half, to green farming practices, to ban toxic “forever” chemicals, to rein in livestock emissions and, last week, to restore nature to 20% of Europe’s land and seas. The aim may have been to create breathing space. Predictably, that hasn’t worked.

Polestar’s Head of Sustainability Has a Plan to Make EVs Even Cleaner; The EV maker and its dynamo sustainability czar are on a mission to change how the auto industry accounts for – and discloses – its carbon footprint.
Kyle Stock – Bloomberg
Fredrika Klaren isn’t a huge fan of Hamburg, Germany. Her personal climate constitution affords one international flight a year, so most of her travel from her home in Gothenburg, Sweden, is by train. Hamburg is the hub where she often misses a connection to Brussels or London or Paris or any number of places across the continent. Klaren, however, is head of sustainability at Polestar, a Gothenburg-based electric vehicle maker; she has to walk the climate walk, no matter how irksome and inconvenient.

U.S. Steel union rejects Nippon Steel’s appeal for takeover support
The union representing employees of United States Steel on Tuesday said it would not support Japanese firm Nippon Steel’s draft agreement to gain support for its takeover of the U.S. company. In December, Nippon agreed to buy U.S. Steel for roughly $15 billion but the deal faces an uphill battle to approval amid bipartisan opposition in a U.S. election year. The United Steelworkers (USW) union said that it received a letter along with a draft agreement from Nippon Steel on March 27.

Hunger grips southern Africa as Zimbabwe declares drought a disaster
Nyasha Chingono – Reuters

The Other Side of the North Dakota Oil Boom: Evictions; Research into Williams County’s fracking industry shows how a commodity boom can accelerate the number of people losing their homes.
Sarah Holder – Bloomberg

Reindeer herders battle power line needed for Norway’s climate goal
Lisi Niesner (video) and Gwladys Fouche – Reuters

Europe’s restless farmers are forcing policymakers to act
Kate Abnett – Reuters

Exclusive: EU investigates Chinese bidders over Romania solar tender
Foo Yun Chee – Reuters

South Africa Coal-Plant Closure Delays Risks Thousands of Deaths; Energy department proposes postponing closures in energy plan; CREA says they will cause deaths, heart attacks, health costs
Antony Sguazzin – Bloomberg

Faltering Tesla Faces a New Front – Is It an ESG Stock? The debate over whether Elon Musk’s company deserves the green label is back just as the company’s stock tanks on bad sales figures.
Tim Quinson – Bloomberg


Stifel appoints ex-Morgan Stanley equity sales trader as director of global low touch execution services; Incoming individual has more than ten years’ experience in the space; most recently served as executive director – equity sales trading.
Claudia Preece – The Trade
Marc Wanner has been named director, global low touch execution services at US investment bank Stifel, following nine years at Morgan Stanley. Zurich-based Wanner most recently served as executive director – equity sales trading at Morgan Stanley.

Partners unit reaches deal that values investment firm at more than $1bn
James Fontanella-Khan, Eric Platt and Brooke Masters – Financial Times
Goldman Sachs’ asset management arm has bought a stake in private credit specialist Kennedy Lewis Investment Management, as it looks to expand its reach in a fast-growing corner of markets. The bank’s Petershill Partners private equity unit on Tuesday agreed to buy more than 20 per cent of Kennedy Lewis, valuing the firm at more than $1bn, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

French Funds Beat Rivals By Looking Beyond ‘Magnificent Seven’; Prevoir Gestion Actions fund has returned 17% this year; Funds bought shares in Builders Firstsource, United Rentals
Julien Ponthus – Bloomberg
You can beat the crowd without the Magnificent Seven. That’s the view of a pair of pint-sized French funds, which have outclassed 99% of their peers this year. The Europe-focused EUR400 million Prevoir Gestion Actions fund has returned 17% year-to-date, while the EUR50 million Prevoir Pangea, which invests globally, is up 25%. Both funds do have some exposure to Big Tech, including Nvidia Corp. and ASML Holding NV, but say smaller names such as Super Micro Computer Inc. which rose 250% last year, burnished their returns.

Calpers taps former New Zealand sovereign fund executive as investment chief; Stephen Gilmore’s appointment ends a seven-month vacancy at the largest US public pension plan
Sun Yu – Financial Times
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has named a former top executive at the New Zealand sovereign wealth fund to direct the largest US public pension plan’s investments following the abrupt departure of two of his predecessors. In a statement on Tuesday, the $494bn pension fund said Stephen Gilmore, the former chief investment officer of the NZ$73bn (US$43.5bn) New Zealand Superannuation Fund, would become its new CIO in July, ending a seven-month vacancy in the top position.

The worst job in investing has finally been filled (for now); Happy Gilmore
Robin Wigglesworth – Financial Times
One day after April Fools’, the $495bn California Public Employees’ Retirement System has announced that another sucker has decided to subject themselves to what might be the worst job in the entire global investment industry. Willingly. SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has selected Stephen Gilmore, a senior investment leader with extensive experience in public and private financial institutions and across cultures and geographies, as the pension fund’s chief investment officer.

Work & Management

How Gig Work Pits Customers Against Workers
Lindsey D. Cameron and Kalie M. Mayberry – Harvard Business Review
From Uber’s 137 million monthly customers to Upwork’s network of 18 million freelancers and 5 million clients, the global gig economy is bigger than ever. These gig work platforms create substantial value, from workers’ increased flexibility to set their own schedules to customers’ access to convenient food deliveries, rides, and other services at the push of a button to companies’ ability to avoid the costs of professional development, management, and other expenses associated with traditional employment.

New bills aims to give Californians better work-life balance
Velena Jones – NBC Bay Area
A new bill is aiming to give Californians more work-life balance by restricting when employers can contact you during your off hours. So-called “right to disconnect” laws have already made headlines overseas, but if passed here, California would be the first state in America to try it. “We are so attached to our phones all the time that we don’t have a lot of ‘me time’ or to prioritize other things,” said Christabelle Trinh of Walnut Creek.

The New College Financial-Aid Form Miscalculated 20% of Applications; Inaccurate tax data could cost some students aid, though others might benefit from the error
Oyin Adedoyin – The Wall Street Journal
Up to 20% of those who applied for college financial aid using the federal government’s new online form received incorrect results that could reduce aid packages. The revamped Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which had already been plagued by delays, didn’t have the right tax information on more than one million forms out of the 6.5 million submitted, the Education Department said Monday.

Wellness Exchange

As obesity rises, Big Food and dietitians push ‘anti-diet’ advice; General Mills warns of ‘food shaming’; dietitian influencers promote junk foods and discourage weight loss efforts
Sasha Chavkin, Caitlin Gilbert, Anjali Tsui and Anahad O’Connor – The Washington Post
Jaye Rochon struggled to lose weight for years. But she felt as if a burden had lifted when she discovered YouTube influencers advocating “health at every size” – urging her to stop dieting and start listening to her “mental hunger.” She stopped avoiding favorite foods such as cupcakes and Nutella. “They made me feel like I was safe eating whatever the hell I wanted,” said Rochon, 51, a video editor in Wausau, Wisc. In two months, she regained 50 pounds. As her weight neared 300 pounds, she began to worry about her health.


Can Africa one day help feed the world’s growing population? The continent is a big net importer of food but optimists say better seed varieties and greater use of fertilisers are potentially transformational
Susannah Savage – Financial Times
An hour away from the medina of Marrakech and its throngs of tourists, plains of semi-desert stretch across the horizon. Here, at the Benguerir mine, huge diggers bore into the ochre earth to reach the phosphate rock beneath, a resource that could help shape Africa’s future. OCP, a state-owned Moroccan company, digs 44mn tonnes of phosphate rock out of Benguerir and three other mines each year for processing into fertiliser. By 2027, that will reach 70mn tonnes. While most of its output is currently shipped outside the continent, it is on Africa that the company is pinning its future.

Lack of immunity raises risk of bird flu pandemic, EFSA says
Sybille de La Hamaide – Reuters
The EU’s Food Safety Agency (EFSA) warned on Wednesday of a large-scale bird flu pandemic if the virus becomes transmissible between people as humans lack immunity against the virus. This comes a day after Texas reported that the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, had been detected in a person who had contact with dairy cows presumed to be infected with the virus.

Russia’s Oil and Gas Budget Proceeds Almost Doubled in March; Tax revenue from oil, gas increased to 1.31 trillion rubles; Rise in revenue follows higher Urals prices on annual basis
Bloomberg News
Russia’s oil and gas tax revenue almost doubled in March from a year earlier as global prices of the nation’s crude jumped and its producers adapt to sanctions. Budget proceeds from oil and gas levies rose by 90% last month from a year ago to almost 1.31 trillion rubles ($14.1 billion), the Finance Ministry said Wednesday. Taxes on crude and petroleum products – which accounted for more than 86% of total hydrocarbon revenue last month – contributed the most of the increase, according to Bloomberg News calculations based on data.


DraftKings, MGM Target Brazil’s Booming Online Gambling Market; Sports betting titans weigh entry thanks to new regulations; 10th-largest gaming market projected to triple in five years
Guilherme Bento – Bloomberg
Sports betting heavyweights like DraftKings Inc. and MGM Resorts International are exploring entry into Brazil’s new regulated online gambling market, as Latin America’s largest economy emerges as one of the world’s fastest-growing gaming frontiers. Brazil is leading a regional gambling boom that has followed numerous legalizations. Since it first began loosening online gambling laws in 2018, the country of roughly 200 million people has blossomed into one of the planet’s top-10 betting markets, with gross gaming revenues that rival totals from Spain and the Netherlands.

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