Cboe Europe, EuroCCP partner with Freetrade to give UK retail investors commission-free access to pan-European markets

Jan 14, 2022

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

What is going on at BOX OPTIONS? We noticed the BOX website no longer lists Ed Boyle and Lisa Fall as CEO and president respectively. JLN reached out to Boyle and he had no comment.

Lisa is still listed on the regulatory side as president, but she is gone from the exchange side where she also served as president. Anyone have any information on this they can share?

There are bills before Congress to restrict members of Congress from being able to trade stocks while they are in office. While this is well intentioned and I generally agree with the sentiment, as there are too many examples of gross abuse of information they have and trading of stocks, I have another solution.

I have an account with an app named Public. When I trade I am asked after the trade to post the trade to a public bulletin board on the app. Other traders can follow me or other traders they like and even copy their trades if they want. Congress should be forced to trade on a system where their trades are automatically posted to a public bulletin board in real time for all to see. They could trade at any firm they wanted, but the firm would have to write to an API that would post the trades to the bulletin board and have code forcing the trades to be posted.

You could call this CongressTwits, with a hat tip to Stocktwits and the fact that too many in Congress and the Senate are twits. Full public disclosure of their trades in real time. Nothing like some fresh air to cleanse a bit of dirty dealing.

It is always interesting to see how different papers report the news. Today JP Morgan reported earnings. The FT went with the positive, https://on.ft.com/3foNcAl”JPMorgan reports record annual profits on back of investment banking surge.” The Wall Street Journal went with the negative, “JP Morgan’s Quarterly Profit Drops 14%.” The WSJ did put in the sub-headline that the bank had reached record annual profits.

Bloomberg has a story that “Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. will start charging new customers for a bank passbook,” which is something I have not done since the 1970s. Mitsubishi is joining other Japanese financial groups ending the 150 year tradition of using passbooks to record savings.

Marex appointed Arthur Fan as head of Asia Pacific (APAC). He started today in this newly created role.

HKEX reported that its options on futures or OOF contracts hit a major milestone on January 12 with a notional open interest of #HSI & #HSCEI Futures Options surpassed US$10 billion for the first time.

3PTS Communications’ Drew Mauck reported he booked flights and rooms for him and Spencer Doar for the FIA’s Boca Raton Conference and he encourages us all to do the same and see him and Spencer there. I concur.

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 FIA is offering a free, one-hour online session on Tuesday, January 25 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. GMT called “Briefing on Updated FIA Clearing Documentation.” It will provide background on the recently updated FIA Terms of Business 2018, updated User Guide, Update Patch 2021 and new/updated FIA Indirect Clearing Terms that were published in November 2021. Speakers will explain the conceptual shift in the structure of the new FIA Indirect Clearing Terms that now cover longer chains arrangements and also touch on the ever-evolving regulatory landscape that requires constant monitoring and maintenance of client clearing terms. You can go here to register.~SR



Billionaire trader Paul Tudor Jones rings the bubble alarm, warns the Fed could tank the economy, and predicts pandemic winners will struggle
Theron Mohamed – Business Insider
Paul Tudor Jones sounded the alarm on a sprawling market bubble during a CNBC interview on Tuesday. The billionaire trader and founder of Tudor Investment Corporation warned asset prices could plunge, and the economy could suffer if the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates and tapers bond purchases as expected. He singled out the pandemic’s winners — a group that includes meme stocks and cryptocurrencies — and predicted they would be hit the hardest by tighter monetary policies.

*****Tudor Jones is famous for many reasons, including for calling the 1987 stock market crash, so he has some credibility on this issue. But then he could be talking his position too, which is natural.~JJL


Ex-CFTC Chair Chris Giancarlo Joins CoinFund as Policy Adviser
Cheyenne Ligon – Coindesk
Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo has joined crypto venture capital firm CoinFund as a strategic adviser. Affectionately called “Crypto Dad” by many in the cryptocurrency industry for his crypto-friendly stance as a regulator, Giancarlo’s role as adviser to the investment firm will focus on policy. Specifically, Giancarlo will help CoinFund traverse Web 3 regulation.

****** Web 3 regulation? Are we done with Dodd-Frank yet?~JJL


Billionaire Spencer Cut CME Stake as Stock Recouped From Slump
Benjamin Stupples – Bloomberg
His family office has cut holding in the U.S. bourse to 0.7%; IPGL had 1.1 billion pounds in assets at the end of March 2021
Michael Spencer, the billionaire behind one of the world’s biggest financial brokerage fortunes, cut his stake in CME Group Inc. as its shares rebounded following the global outbreak of Covid-19. Between early 2020 and 2021, the NEX Group Plc founder’s family office sold more than 410,000 CME shares that could have been worth about $90 million, a U.K. registry filing showed this month. The securities rose as much as 43% in that period, rebounding after an initial plunge when the virus crisis started.

***** The last line of this story is the one that brings the biggest smile to the face of the best friend of the most interesting man in the world, “Since completing the NEX purchase, CME’s shares have increased about 20% through Thursday.” ~JJL


Face masks make people look more attractive, study finds
Steven Morris – The Guardian
There have been precious few positives during the Covid pandemic but British academics may have unearthed one: people look more attractive in protective masks. Researchers at Cardiff University were surprised to find that both men and women were judged to look better with a face covering obscuring the lower half of their faces.

*****This test is used in many bars after about 10 beers too.~JJL


Omicron optimist, pessimist or fatalist: which are you?; ‘The variant has demonstrated that Sars-Cov-2 can mutate more dramatically than we had hoped’
Tim Harford – FT
Is this the point at which we should shrug our shoulders and give up? Omicron has prompted three kinds of reaction: optimism, pessimism and fatalism. The optimists argue that the variant is “nature’s vaccine”, a mild and transmissible virus that will quickly infect billions, triggering an immune response that will provide protection against deadlier variants such as Delta. The pandemic is over, and we won.

******Yes, that is exactly what I am. All of the above.~JJL


Thursday’s Top Three
Our most-clicked story Thursday was The Scientific Reason It’s So Hard to Make Friends as an Adult (and What to Do About It), from Inc. Second was Coinbase Buys FairX to Launch Crypto Derivatives, from Coindesk. (Coinbase was also our MarketsWiki Page of the Day yesterday.) Third was When are you contagious if infected with omicron? Here’s what health experts say. from the Houston Chronicle, which appears to be paywalled.


MarketsWiki Stats
26,690 pages; 237,083 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

Cboe Europe, EuroCCP partner with Freetrade to give UK retail investors commission-free access to pan-European markets; Through the collaboration, UK retail investors can use Freetrade’s commission-free platform to invest in German and Finnish listed stocks and clear through EuroCCP.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Cboe Europe and EuroCCP have partnered with commission-free platform, Freetrade, to give retail investors in the UK access to the pan-European markets. Through direct memberships with the pan-European exchange and clearinghouse the platform has extended its user access, beginning with German and Finnish listed stocks and with plans to extend this remit further to include Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden.

Biden Will Nominate Sarah Bloom Raskin as Top Fed Banking Regulator
Former No. 2 Treasury official has called for more aggressive climate focus
Sarah Bloom Raskin would become the Federal Reserve’s vice chairwoman of supervision if confirmed by the Senate.
Nick Timiraos, Andrew Ackerman and Ken Thomas – WSJ
President Biden will nominate Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former top Treasury Department official, to serve as the Federal Reserve’s top banking regulator, the White House said.
If confirmed by the Senate, Ms. Raskin, a former Fed governor, would become the central bank’s vice chairwoman of supervision, the government’s most influential overseer of the American banking system.

BlackRock Assets Hit Record $10 Trillion, Powered by ETFs
Silla Brush and Alex Wittenberg – Bloomberg
Firm added a net $169 billion in long-term investment vehicles; Asset manager also benefited from rally in markets last year
BlackRock Inc. became the first public asset manager to hit $10 trillion in assets, propelled by a surge in fourth-quarter flows into its exchange-traded funds. Investors poured a net $104 billion into ETFs in the three months ended Dec. 31, the firm said Friday in a statement — a record for the company.

Europe Energy Crisis Worsens With War Risk Compounding Gas Woes
Rachel Morison and Jesper Starn – Bloomberg
Prospect of Ukraine military action grows as tensions increase; Power market also in turmoil with EDF reactor outages extended
Europe’s energy crisis intensified as the risk of war pushed up gas prices, power-plant halts were extended and the French government asked its biggest utility to take a $8.8 billion hit to protect consumers. Power and gas prices surged on Friday with the prospect of military action in Ukraine increasing as geopolitical tensions escalated. Meanwhile nuclear giant Electricite de France SA sank the most on record after the government said it must sell power at a steep discount, and several reactors faced long outages.

Innovation, Communication Needed to Address Emerging Illicit Finance Threats, Say Regulators; Shifting regulatory obligations and new technologies that could aid in catching financial criminals were top of mind at an annual conference on financial crime
Dylan Tokar – WSJ
Top financial regulators are encouraging bankers to work closely with their agencies on ongoing efforts to modernize the nation’s financial crime safeguards, including by helping to implement a landmark anti-money-laundering reform bill. Himamauli “Him” Das, acting director of the U.S. Treasury Department’s anti-money-laundering bureau, said on Thursday that the agency was exploring the idea of creating a series of regulatory “sandboxes,” within which financial institutions can experiment with new technologies without the risk of a regulatory violation.

Washington’s Wall Street problem: should the powerful be allowed to trade? Outrage over unfair market opportunities spurs lawmakers to pursue bills banning active investing by public officials
James Politi and Lauren Fedor – FT
In mid-December, Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, brushed off calls for legislation to ban trading by members of Congress with a throwaway comment that has come back to haunt her. “We are a free-market economy,” she told reporters at the time. “They should be able to participate in that.”

Financial fatalism fuels a gambling gold rush; We have never had so many things to bet on, nor so many companies urging us to take a punt
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson – FT
The ads have been inescapable all week. From the giant screen at Times Square’s Nasdaq MarketSite to billboards on the subway, New Yorkers have been bombarded with reminders that their state just became the largest in the union to legalise online sports betting.

Oil Traders Plow Half a Billion Barrels Back Into Futures Market
Alex Longley – Bloomberg
Money is gushing back into oil. While total holdings in the main oil and fuel futures contracts collapsed late-last year, the first few days of 2022 have seen almost 500,000 contracts added to the oil market. That’s the equivalent of almost half a billion barrels, a sign that the new year has begun with a flurry of liquidity in the crude market.

IRS Targets Your Side Hustle in Crackdown on Transactions Over $600
Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg
Venmo, Etsy, other sites add forms for payments over $600; ‘It’s very easy to go after’ small businesses, attorney says
It just got harder to hide from the IRS. Starting this month, users selling goods and services through such popular sites as Venmo, Etsy and Airbnb will begin receiving tax forms if they take a payment of more than $600. One by one in recent months, tech giants have been warning users of the coming changes and asking them to provide tax information.

Demand For Extended Hours Trading Growing Fastest In Asia: Acuiti Study
Demand for trading on markets in extended hours trading sessions is growing fastest in Asia, a study by Acuiti has found.
For the report The Growing Internationalization of Derivatives Trading, which is released today and was commissioned by Montréal Exchange Inc (MX), the derivatives arm of TMX Group, Acuiti surveyed over 100 senior executives from proprietary trading firms, hedge funds, asset managers and the sell-side about demand and trends in trading in extended hours sessions.

Oil Producers Aren’t Keeping Up With Demand, Causing Prices to Stay High; OPEC Plus, the United States and others have been slow to ramp up output, lagging production goals.
Stanley Reed – NY Times
Nearly two years ago the world’s oil producers slammed on the brakes and drastically cut production as the pandemic gripped the world’s economies. The sharp pullback came with an implicit promise that as factories reopened and planes returned to the air, the oil industry would revive, too, gradually scaling up production to help economies return to prepandemic health.

Qontigo extends sustainability offering to portfolio construction and analytics tools; ISS ESG, Clarity AI and Sustainalytics data integration reflects Qontigo’s open architecture approach to sustainable investing
Qontigo, a leading provider of innovative risk, analytics and index solutions has made available ISS ESG, Clarity AI and Sustainalytics data within its financial optimizer, Axioma Portfolio Optimizer (APO). Sustainalytics will also be integrated into Axioma Portfolio Analytics (APA) for performance attribution and reporting as well as Axioma Risk Model Machine (RMM), which allows users to create custom risk models.

Gazprom Supply Squeeze Is ‘Rare Behavior,’ EU’s Vestager Says
Aoife White – Bloomberg
Gas supplier hasn’t yet responded to EU questions: Vestager; Energy price probe is a ‘very high priority’ for the EU
Gazprom PJSC’s restrictions on gas supply as European demand soars is “rare behaviour,” the European Union’s antitrust chief said as pressure grows on the bloc to investigate the Russian giant.


Omicron Slows in Early U.S. Hot Spots, Offering First Hopes of a Peak; Health officials are viewing the data cautiously and aren’t yet declaring victory, but the trend appears to follow similar trajectories elsewhere
Joe Barrett, Jon Kamp, Jimmy Vielkind – WSJ
The steep rise in new daily Covid-19 cases fueled by the Omicron variant is starting to slow in some early U.S. hot spots, including New York and Chicago, sparking some optimism that a record-breaking spike in cases may be plateauing. Public officials are viewing the data cautiously and aren’t yet declaring victory. Still, some are noting that the trend is appearing to follow similar trajectories that have played out in South Africa and the U.K., where Omicron hit earlier.

Covid Pandemic May Shift to Endemic in 2022, Moderna Chair Says
James Paton – Bloomberg
The pandemic could start moving into an endemic phase in 2022, though countries will need to stay vigilant as the omicron variant spreads, according to Moderna Inc. co-founder Noubar Afeyan.

Scientists Discover Gene That Increases Risk of Dying From Covid
Konrad Krasuski – Bloomberg
Polish scientists find gene doubling risk of strong symptoms; About 14% of Poles may have the gene, the researchers say
Polish scientists have discovered a gene that they say more than doubles the risk of falling severely ill with, or even dying from Covid-19. The Health Ministry in Warsaw expects the discovery to help identify people who are most at risk from the disease, which has already killed more than 100,000 people in Poland alone. It also plans to include genetic tests when it screens patients for potential Covid-19 infections as soon as the end of June.

Omicron’s Surge Gives Bosses a Reason to Order Shots Biden Can’t
Matthew Boyle – Bloomberg
Court’s ruling still lets businesses require Covid shots; Some industry groups cheer ruling against president’s plan
The U.S. Supreme Court may have rejected a federal rule mandating Covid-19 vaccinations or testing, but businesses threatened by omicron’s spread might be forced to implement one anyway to protect the workers they have and keep factories open.

Hong Kong Bans Transit Flights From Over 150 Countries
Hong Kong International Airport said it will ban transit passengers from 150 countries and territories starting Sunday, tightening stringent travel controls in an effort to stem the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant.

Norway Offers Covid Vaccine to Children as Young as 5 Years Old
Stephen Treloar – Bloomberg
Norway will offer shots to children as young as 5 years old on a voluntary basis, the Health and Care Services Ministry said on Friday. There is no general recommendation to vaccinate children under the age of 12, it said.

Vaccine Makers Pursue Omicron-Targeted Shots That Health Officials Say Might Not Be Needed; Industry executives foresee eventual demand for tailored doses, but U.S. officials say current evidence doesn’t support rolling them out and cite practical reasons not to
Joseph Walker, Peter Loftus – WSJ
As Covid-19 vaccine makers prepare Omicron-specific shots, federal health authorities say there are signs they might not be necessary. Research is continuing, however, and industry and global-health officials say doses targeting the highly transmissible new variant might be needed longer-term, especially if it winds up crowding out earlier strains globally.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Citi establishes clearing and settlement with new Beijing Stock Exchange; China’s third national stock exchange is aimed at innovation-oriented small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Jonathan Watkins – The Trade
Citi China has established the clearing and settlement route with China Securities Depository and Clearing Corp’s (CSDCC) for the new Beijing Stock Exchange and the National Equities Exchange and Quotation (NEEQ).

Boston Omaha Completes Listing Transfer to the New York Stock Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
The New York Stock Exchange, part of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology and market infrastructure, announced that Boston Omaha Corporation (NYSE: BOMN) has completed its listing transfer and will begin trading today as an NYSE-listed company.

Eurex Quarterly Equity News Q4/2021 | Equity Derivatives show strong volume growth in 2021
Eurex’s single stock segment showed robust volume development throughout 2021, with substantial growth across all our major product classes. Thanks to our members’ commitment to the market, we achieved double-digit growth rates in the country segments of France, the Netherlands, Finland, Spain and Italy. These growth rates underline Eurex’s position as the leading European derivatives exchange for single stock derivatives, offering the broadest choice of more than 800 underlyings and the benefits of portfolio margining across all country segments.

SGX RegCo issues Trade with Caution alert on shares of Memiontec Holdings Ltd.
Singapore Exchange Regulation (“SGX RegCo”) urges investors and potential investors to exercise caution when dealing in the shares of Memiontec Holdings Ltd (“Memiontec”). The share price of Memiontec rose from $0.24 on 3 August 2021 to $0.95 on 12 January 2022, a rise of $0.71 or 295.8%, despite a modest improvement in the broad market. During this period, the Straits Times Index gained 105.73 points or 3.4%.

2022 Live Cattle Futures Delivery Fees (Standard Freight Rate for Carcass Graded Deliveries and Grading Fee for Live Graded Deliveries)
Performance Bond Requirements: Interest Rate Margins – Effective January 14, 2022


Startups From Chime to Robinhood Race to Build a Money Super App; For decades, Wall Street has failed to create a financial supermarket. Can fintech find the one app to rule them all?
Julie Chariell and Mark Glassman – Bloomberg
Space on your phone’s home screen may be the most coveted virtual real estate on Earth, especially for companies that want a piece of your financial life. One way to claim it is to build a single app that handles most of your everyday transactions, including shopping, saving, and sending money. Below is a look at services that selected apps are offering, plan to offer, or are said to be exploring. The adoption of super apps is set to grow and will likely consolidate around fewer players. Peer-to-peer payment platforms PayPal and Venmo (both owned by PayPal Inc.) and Block Inc.’s Cash App have gone a long way toward building one big app. But banking and investing apps are rolling out features, too, and even buy now, pay later (BNPL) businesses want to move beyond extending short-term installment loans to shoppers.

As Fintech Eats Into Profits, Big Banks Fight Back in Washington; Traditional finance and digital upstarts alike claim the other side has an unfair advantage.
Hannah Levitt – Bloomberg
Deep in Jamie Dimon’s 66-page letter to JPMorgan Chase & Co. shareholders last year lies a chart: 11 ways being a bank is costlier than being a fintech, from deposit insurance to higher capital and liquidity requirements. The longtime chief executive officer tallied tens of billions of dollars that he says such rules cost the bank over the past decade.

Traditional institutions turning to events-based trading to outperform passive, says Cowen; Amid rising cost pressures active managers must use events-based strategies to defend their patch against the growing passive market segment, said Cowen’s Mark Kelly.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
An increasing number of traditional financial institutions are turning to events-based investment strategies to outperform low-cost passive index tracking funds. According to Cowen’s global head of alternative equity strategies, Mark Kelly, traditional active managers are showing more interest in events-based investment strategies as a means to tackling continued fee pressure caused by the rise in the booming passive index tracker and exchange traded fund (ETFs) segments.

DAS Trader revs up data provision with new partnership; The firm has partnered with Jersey-based QUODD Financial Information Services for OPRA and corporate actions data.
Laurie McAughtry – The Trade
Everyone knows that data is the new gold, but even as access gets easier, the market for it gets ever more competitive. DAS Trader, a direct access trading technology firm providing electronic trading solutions to private online broker dealers, clearing firms and financial firms, has teamed up with financial market data provider QUODD to access its real-time offering of Options Price Reporting Authority (OPRA) data.

Eurex Quarterly Equity News Q4/2021 | Equity Derivatives show strong volume growth in 2021
Eurex’s single stock segment showed robust volume development throughout 2021, with substantial growth across all our major product classes. Thanks to our members’ commitment to the market, we achieved double-digit growth rates in the country segments of France, the Netherlands, Finland, Spain and Italy. These growth rates underline Eurex’s position as the leading European derivatives exchange for single stock derivatives, offering the broadest choice of more than 800 underlyings and the benefits of portfolio margining across all country segments.


The ransomware unicorn
Alex Iftimie and Brandon Van Grack – TheHill
When the final numbers are tallied for 2021, ransomware will pass a grim milestone: Reported payments to ransomware groups last year will top $1 billion, making ransomware the most unwelcome unicorn enterprise. This exponential growth is explained in part by the rise of ransomware groups operating like enterprises — offering ransomware-as-a-service, a business model through which ransomware groups lease their malware to affiliated groups for a fee or a share of the profits.

Top 28 cybersecurity conferences of 2022
Madeline Lauver – Security Magazine
The cyber threat landscape has rapidly evolved over the past year, and the industry need for collaboration and intelligence sharing has increased with the national uptick in cyber vulnerabilities.
Security magazine compiles the top 28 cybersecurity conferences of 2022, where cyber professionals can connect with peers, recruit new talent and interface with government officials and technology partners to better secure their enterprise organizations. With themes from ethical hacking to cybersecurity training and education, security leaders are sure to gain actionable intelligence from these in-person and virtual events.

The ‘Shift Left’ Is A Growing Theme For Cloud Cybersecurity In 2022
R. Scott Raynovich – Forbes
Never heard of the “shift left”? It hasn’t been in my vocabulary until recently, either. The shift left is a term used by information technology (IT) developers and DevOps types to describe the drive to push more operational testing and cybersecurity technologies further up in the development cycle – or to the left if you imagine a chart showing the development cycle over time, progressing from left to right.

Why You Need A ‘Zero Trust’ Cybersecurity Plan
Abdul Subhani – Forbes
Zero trust is a security architecture that ensures all users, whether inside or outside the organization’s network, are verified, approved and constantly checked for security configuration.
The zero-trust architecture was first introduced by John Kindervag, a research analyst at Forrester. It simply means, “never trust, always verify.” Zero trust is one of the favored frameworks for protecting infrastructure and data. It is designed to protect digital environments by using network segmentation and providing threat prevention.


Gemini Acquires BITRIA, Unlocking the Digital Asset Ecosystem for Wealth and Asset Managers
Gemini announced the acquisition of BITRIA, formerly Blockchange Inc., a digital asset portfolio management platform with a rich feature set designed for wealth and asset managers. The integration of BITRIA’s technology with Gemini’s custody and exchange capabilities provides advisors with access to the entire crypto ecosystem and the ability to manage their clients’ portfolios from one interface.

Banks Are an Odd Place to Keep Your Crypto; There’s no clear advantage to choosing a traditional financial institution to manage your digital currency.
Alexis Leondis – Bloomberg
One of cryptocurrencies’ biggest selling points is that they allow people to break away from traditional banking systems. Now banks are hoping to convince you otherwise. As U.S. regulators look more closely at the world of crypto, it’s likely that American banks will soon be following their big foreign counterparts in offering retail customers the ability to trade and store digital coins. But why would someone choose to invest through a bank instead of through one of the big crypto exchanges, such as Coinbase? I can’t find a lot of reasons why.

Crypto Firms Explore Venturing Into Equities Trading
Blockchain Association Executive Director Kristin Smith joins “Quicktake Stock” to discuss new potential regulation for cryptocurrency markets, politicians’ understanding of crypto, and plans for some firms to expand their offerings into the equities market. (Source: Bloomberg)

Former CFTC chair Giancarlo takes on new CoinFund role; He joins the crypto-focused investment fund as a strategic advisor after previously leading the CFTC as chairman and commissioner for five years.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Former commissioner and chairperson of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and industry veteran Christopher Giancarlo has joined New York-based crypto-focused investment fund CoinFund as a strategic advisor. The renowned crypto advocate and enthusiast previously headed up the CFTC for five years.


Bill banning stock trading by lawmakers is ‘fair for everyday people’: Retail trader
Ines Ferré – Yahoo Finance
Momentum is growing to restrict stock trading by members of Congress and their spouses, as retail traders have been tracking politician trades and their performance. On Wednesday, Senators Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) introduced a bill, barring members of Congress and their immediate families from trading while in office. On the same day, Senator Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) announced he is introducing a similar measure.

Senate Blocks Sanctions Aimed at Nord Stream 2
Daniel Flatley – Bloomberg
Biden administration said measure undercuts unity on Ukraine; McConnell says ‘pipeline itself is the wedge’ dividing Europe
The Senate blocked a measure to impose new sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany after the Biden administration warned it could disrupt allied unity in the confrontation over Ukraine.

Will Sterling Markets See a Silver Lining If Boris Leaves? The prime minister could remain in office but U.K. assets could respond to his departure with a premium.
Marcus Ashworth – Bloomberg
Boris Johnson could withstand the latest concerted attempt to remove him from office — he is not known as the greased piglet for nothing — but it is wise to consider what may happen if his tenure does end up being even shorter than that of his ill-fated predecessor Theresa May. Markets as a rule hate uncertainty, but a premature defenestration of Johnson as prime minister, though a shock, would not qualify as a major surprise. Sterling may take an initial dip, as might U.K. equities, but likely only fleetingly. It would be akin to an embattled chief executive officer leaving a company. There could well be a premium for new management.

Jan. 6 Panel Subpoenas Reddit, Twitter and Parent Companies of Google and Facebook; Committee says that the social-media companies’ responses to prior requests for information were inadequate
Alexa Corse – WSJ
The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol issued subpoenas to four social-media companies as part of its investigation into the riot and its causes. The committee issued subpoenas to Google parent company Alphabet Inc., Meta Platforms Inc., Reddit Inc. and Twitter Inc. after receiving what the committee called inadequate responses to its prior requests for information. The committee is demanding records related to the spread of misinformation, efforts to overturn the 2020 election, domestic extremism and foreign influence in the 2020 election.


Remarks of Commissioner Dawn D. Stump: We Can Do Hard Things; As Prepared for Delivery at the Chamber of Digital Commerce
I want to thank the Chamber of Digital Commerce for inviting me to speak today. Before beginning, I want to provide the standard disclaimer that the views I express today are my own and not necessarily those of the Commission I am proud to serve upon.

English legal system must keep pace with crypto and AI, say lawyers; Proposed institute would highlight areas of law that have failed to accommodate tech innovation
Jane Croft – FT
A top technology adviser to the judiciary has proposed the creation of a new institute of legal innovation that would spot gaps in the law thrown up by technologies such as crypto assets and AI, and promote the greater use of English law in global business contracts. Professor Richard Susskind, technology adviser to the Lord Chief Justice and a director of think-tank LegalUK, believes an independent body, along the lines of the Alan Turing Institute, which pioneers research into artificial intelligence, would highlight areas of law that had failed to keep up with innovation. The institute would also promote English law to global companies as the law of choice to govern transactions in new areas such as blockchain.

When the rubber hits the road – making insurance claims under the new reforms
From 1 January 2022, persons providing claims handling and settling services are required to hold an Australian financial services (AFS) licence under the Corporations Act 2001; Insurance claimants are entitled to ask whether those who are providing assistance to them in handling claims are licensed; ASIC will work with industry to address any challenges they may face in the course of implementing these significant reforms.
A new chapter in the history of insurance in Australia began on 1 January 2022 when the claims handling and settling service reforms came into full force. Persons who provide claims handling and settling services are now required to hold an AFS licence. This means that they must comply with the obligations owed by a person licensed to provide financial services. This includes ensuring those financial services are provided in an efficient, honest and fair manner.

fileX transition from Basic Auth to OAuth 2.0 Deadline Extension
The deadline for transitioning from Basic Auth to OAuth 2.0 for fileX APIs has now been extended to Feb 28, 2022. The transition from Basic Auth to OAuth 2.0 method for authentication is necessary because Basic Auth is a less secure authentication mechanism, which could potentially expose long-lasting credentials. OAuth 2.0 replaces these long-lasting credentials with limited life span tokens, resulting in an improved security and control of FINRA applications.

Testimony Before the Senate Special Committee on Aging
Gerri Walsh, FINRA’s Senior Vice President of Investor Education and President of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, testified in front of the Senate Special Committee on Aging.

FINRA System Status Page
The FINRA.org website includes a “System Status” page that reports current system conditions for FINRA-based products and applications. FINRA will continue to deliver direct emails and post technical notices regarding ADF, ORF, TRACE and TRAQS products; additionally, the System Status page will provide a general view of the current status of all FINRA systems.

Educational resources, common deficiencies and other important regulatory information for SD Members
NFA is committed to providing its Members with the resources they need to meet their regulatory obligations as efficiently as possible. This Notice covers educational resources, common deficiencies and links to Notices to Members regarding recent amendments to NFA Rules and Interpretive Notices.

Press Conference by SUZUKI Shunichi, Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Financial Services
Japan FSA
It was revealed that Aichi Bank and Chukyo Bank are considering integrating their management. What is your thought on this?

Investing and Trading

Corporate CUSIP Request Volumes Rise in December, Topping 2020 Volume; Municipal Volumes End Year 5.8% Lower than 2020 Totals
CUSIP Global Services
CUSIP Global Services (CGS) today announced the release of its CUSIP Issuance Trends Report for December 2021. The report, which tracks the issuance of new security identifiers as an early indicator of debt and capital markets activity over the next quarter, found a monthly increase in request volume for new corporate identifiers and a decrease in volume for municipal identifier requests.

Private markets are a hot topic for 2022; Asset managers are increasingly looking beyond listed investments in search of decent returns
Katie Martin – FT
Worn down by pricey equities and super-skinny bond yields, asset managers are increasingly looking beyond public markets in search of decent returns. This has been building up for several years. Already, Schroders points out that private markets are worth something like $8tn.

Negative-yielding debt total tumbles to $10tn as bond prices drop; Investors position for central banks tackling inflation with interest rate rises and an end to large-scale asset purchases
Kate Duguid and Tommy Stubbington – FT
The wind down of pandemic-era monetary policy has pushed global levels of negative-yielding debt down to $10tn for the first time since April 2020. Government bond prices around the world have fallen since the start of this year, as investors position for central banks to lift interest rates and end large-scale asset purchases in a bid to contain surging inflation.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Big business should talk more about people; The idea that companies don’t say enough about what they do for employees is a challenge to the business and ESG worlds alike
Helen Thomas – FT
It is news to no one that UK business — big business at least — has had a difficult few years in terms of the zeitgeist. You can argue whether the vote to leave the EU — when business almost universally pointed in one direction and the decision went the other — was symptom or cause. In all likelihood both.


New CEO at William Blair; Brent Gledhill replaces John Ettelson, who becomes chairman of the Chicago-based investment bank and wealth management firm
Christine Williamson – Crain’s Chicago Business
Brent Gledhill was named CEO of William Blair, replacing John Ettelson, who was appointed the Chicago-based investment bank and wealth management firm’s chairman. Gledhill becomes the sixth CEO of the firm and will retain his previous role as president. He joined William Blair in 1997 and has primarily worked on the investment banking side of the firm. Ettelson was named the firm’s first chairman after serving as CEO since 2004.

Mizuho Financial to promote Seiji Imai to chairman
The Japan Times
Mizuho Financial Group Inc. is planning to appoint Deputy President Seiji Imai as its new chairman to replace Yasuhiro Sato in April following a series of technical disruptions, corporate sources said Thursday.n The appointment of Imai, 59, who is 10 years younger than the current chairman, is seen as part of the banking group’s efforts to transform its corporate culture and restore public confidence by elevating younger executives. The move is set to be officially approved by the group’s board on Monday.

JPMorgan reports record annual profits on back of investment banking surge; Wall Street lender cautions on higher expenses and loan revenues below pre-pandemic levels
Joshua Franklin – FT
JPMorgan Chase reported record full-year profits for 2021, boosted by booming deal activity, but cautioned that expenses would continue to rise this year and that loan revenues would remain below pre-pandemic levels.

JPMorgan’s Quarterly Profit Drops 14%; The bank still notched a record for annual profit, powered by investment banking
David Benoit – WSJ
JPMorgan Chase JPM -0.12% & Co.’s fourth-quarter profit fell 14%, the bank said Friday. The slowdown in the fourth quarter didn’t stop the bank from setting a record for annual profit. The nation’s biggest bank earned $48.3 billion in 2021, compared with the pre-pandemic high of $36.4 billion in 2019. The recovering economy, raucous markets and frantic merger volumes drove fees to new highs.

BlackRock surges past $10tn in assets under management; World’s biggest money manager buoyed by inflows to exchange traded funds and active strategies
Robin Wigglesworth and Harriet Agnew – FT
BlackRock’s assets under management have surged past the $10tn mark for the first time, as the shift into cheap passive investment funds and buoyant markets expanded the heft of the world’s largest money manager.

Citigroup ditches global consumer banking division after 20 years; Pullback comes as fourth-quarter earnings comfortably beat expectations
Imani Moise – FT
Citigroup is scrapping its global consumer banking division, overhauling its business structure to reflect chief executive Jane Fraser’s retreat from international retail banking. Starting this year, Citigroup will report results from personal banking in the US and global wealth management, dropping the global consumer bank line that has featured in its earnings releases in every quarter since 1999.

Bridgewater’s return to co-CEO model rekindles management concerns; Ray Dalio’s hedge fund has cycled through top executives in recent years as performance stagnates
Robin Wigglesworth – FT
Two years ago the gregarious former army ranger David McCormick finally emerged victorious from a messy, decade-long process to find a new chief executive for Bridgewater.

H2O writes down Windhorst bonds further after bankruptcy near-miss; Asset manager warns investors that estimated value of frozen funds has fallen as much as 44%
Robert Smith and Cynthia O’Murchu – FT
H2O Asset Management has incurred more steep writedowns on its holdings of bonds linked to Lars Windhorst, after agreeing to help the German financier avert a bankruptcy. Once a star of European asset management, H2O was plunged into crisis in 2019 when the Financial Times revealed it had substantial exposure to illiquid securities tied to Windhorst, a flamboyant entrepreneur with a history of legal trouble.

HSBC investment bank co-head to take 6-month sabbatical; Georges Elhedery will take break from running global trading arm for ‘personal development and growth’
Stephen Morris and Tabby Kinder – FT
HSBC has internally announced that its co-head of investment banking, Greg Guyett, will assume sole oversight of the bank’s entire advisory and trading division during the six-month sabbatical of his counterpart, Georges Elhedery.

Asset manager Pimco joins song copyright investment frenzy; US fund group with $2.2tn under management teams up with BMG to acquire music catalogues
Anna Nicolaou – FT
The US asset manager Pimco has teamed up with BMG to acquire music catalogues, according to people familiar with the matter, the latest large investor to wade into the frenzy for song copyrights.


In a Sea of Red, Two Emerging Markets Stand Out as Vulnerable
Davison Santana and Maria Elena Vizcaino – Bloomberg
Colombian, Brazilian bonds underperform Latam-market peers; Both countries face divisive elections, widening fiscal gaps
As the spike in U.S. Treasury yields turns bond trading screens red worldwide, two countries in particular face a stormy year ahead — Brazil and Colombia. Bonds in the two South American nations tumbled this month and are set to remain underperformers amid divisive elections, mounting fiscal debts and in the case of Colombia, a widening current account deficit.

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