Cboe Exchange Puts Brakes on Bitcoin Futures Listing

Mar 15, 2019

First Read

Pardon our dust: Crypto markets still have some building to do
Jim Kharouf, JLN

The institutionalization of the crypto market is going to take some time – be patient.

Panelists on the cryptocurrency panel at FIA Boca said there is still infrastructure building that needs to be done before the asset class becomes mainstream. Key issues that persist include better price discovery in the cash markets, more efficient custody services that are more in sync with trading needs, not to mention more clarity from regulators.

To read the rest of this story, go here.


Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

The FIA Boca Raton International Conference is over and it was a big success for the FIA, the industry and John Lothian News. The retooled FIA team executed a well-oiled, dynamic and well designed conference.~JJL

The highlight for me was seeing so many senior executives and industry leaders I know and respect inducted into the FIA Futures Hall of Fame.~JJL

The John Lothian News team conducted a record number of video interviews at Boca. Chuck Mackie did his normal terrific job of reporting on the panels, and I liked Jim Kharouf‘s feature reporting and commentaries. As part of our video interviews, we also collected some footage (disk space?) for our history of financial futures documentary series.~JJL

Our Open Outcry Traders History Project was met with much enthusiasm as well and I connected with a leader of a NYMEX/COMEX group that had 65 former and current members/traders at a lunch on Monday in Boca Raton to promote the project.~JJL

Speaking at the FIA Boca cryptocurrency panel, Tim McCourt, global head of equity index and alternative investment products at CME Group, said about 30 percent of its bitcoin futures volume comes from outside the US. John Deters, chief strategy officer and head of multi-asset solutions at Cboe Global Markets, said that percentage was in line with its bitcoin futures as well.

Back in Chicago, Shane Stiles is participating in a panel discussion on March 21 at an event put on by Fintex. They will discuss how to market in the Fintech sector. The event is from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at TechNexus Chicago, 20 North Upper Wacker Dr. Here is the link to sign up.~JJL

NFA website notice: Due to maintenance, the following systems will be unavailable from 7:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. CT on Sunday, March 17, 2019: Online Registration System (ORS), BASIC Data Entry, Security Futures Products Training, Online Payments, Online Arbitration Claims, Arbitrator Profile, Arbitrator Training, Employment Application and Profile System, and all Electronic Filings Systems including EasyFile, Exemptions, Questionnaire, and Disclosure Documents.~JJL

U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) thinks that blockchain technology can improve how our government works. He is reportedly “advising the government” on how blockchain can improve legislative processes. He refers to how blockchain is “revolutionizing the security of the financial industry” to support his argument.~MR

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is launching a real-time cryptocurrency data feed. It includes 52 of the top-performing coins in the market except Binance Coin, which is odd, given how well it has performed lately. ICE also supports XRP, but mislabeled it as “Ripple.” (Ripple is the company, XRP is the product – it’s a common mistake.)~MR



Griffin mulled moving Citadel HQ out of Chicago
The billionaire acknowledged he was eyeing New York but said that’s a lot less likely since the city’s Amazon HQ2 loss. The question now: Is he still looking to make a move?
Billionaire Ken Griffin said he’s losing interest in bringing Citadel’s headquarters to New York City because of the political climate that spurred Amazon.com Inc. to abandon plans to build a mega-campus in Queens.


Enhancing our West Coast Footprint with the Opening of NYSE West
Ivan Brown – Via LinkedIn
Today NYSE ushered in a new era on the West Coast when we cut the ribbon on NYSE West – our new home base for the NYSE Arca Options trading floor in downtown San Francisco.


CryptoMarketsWiki Coin of the Week: Stellar Lumens (XLM)
It’s been a big week for the Stellar Foundation, which developed the Lumens, the native cryptocurrency of the Stellar Network. Stellar Lumens, a digital token that works similarly to Ripple’s XRP, was finally listed on Coinbase Pro, causing a healthy price spike for XLM. The foundation also announced a new logo, its partner SatoshiPay offered an XLM airdrop for its customers, and the former chief operating officer of Mozilla, Denelle Dixon, is taking over as CEO for Jed McCaleb, the founder of the Stellar Foundation and creator of both XRP and XLM.


Thursday’s Top Three
Our top read piece of the day was Chuck Mackie’s Boca Bits? wrap up on FIA Boca from John Lothian News. Second was Jim Kharouf’s JLN article on the CFTC chairman’s tenure and farewell How Chris Giancarlo Helped The Futures Industry Get Its Groove Back. Third was ‘Billions,’ ‘Succession’ and the Making of Wealth Porn about the apartment for the show “Billions,” from the New York Times.


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CryptoMarketsWiki, our archive of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, is going strong and keeping pace as this area of finance grows and evolves.

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Lead Stories

Cboe Exchange Puts Brakes on Bitcoin Futures Listing
Marc Hochstein – Coindesk
Cboe Futures Exchange (CFE) is putting its bitcoin futures market on hold. The unit of Cboe Global Markets said Thursday that it would not add a new bitcoin futures market for March, citing a need to review how it approaches the space. “CFE is not adding a Cboe Bitcoin (USD) (“XBT”) futures contract for trading in March 2019,” the futures exchange said in a notice to traders Thursday afternoon.

Canada Moves to Regulate Crypto Trading Amid Quadriga Scandal
Kristine Owram – Bloomberg
Framework will address ‘novel features and risks’ of crypto; Canadian Securities Administrators ask for feedback by May 15
Canada is moving to overhaul its securities regulations to cover crypto trading platforms such as Quadriga Fintech Solutions Corp., a digital exchange that lost access to C$260 million ($195 million) of investor assets after the death of its founder.

The Era of Cheap Money Shows No One Knows How Monetary Policy Works
Ben Holland – Bloomberg
Low rates haven’t lured indebted households and businesses; Central banks face questions as divide from politics blurs
Monetary policy is supposed to work like this: cut interest rates, and you’ll encourage businesses and households to borrow, invest and spend. It’s not really playing out that way.

NYSE Move That Never Happened Leaves City Still Paying Debt
Danielle Moran – Bloomberg
Project scuttled amid budget shortfalls in wake of recession; NYC sells bonds Thursday to refinance debt left from deal
It was 1998. The Internet bubble was building, day-trading was in full swing and the New York Stock Exchange was given the biggest subsidy in the city’s history to stop it from leaving Wall Street for New Jersey — keeping the Y in the NYSE.

Brexit: Parliament votes to delay, rejects a second referendum for now
William Booth and Karla Adam – The Washington Post
British lawmakers voted Thursday to seek to delay Brexit — maybe for weeks, maybe for months — after Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans for leaving the European Union have been repeatedly rejected by a raucous Parliament trying to wrestle control of the exit from the government.

Where millennials turn for financial advice; Shunned by traditional advisers, younger investors use apps and digital platforms
Iona Bain – FT
Put yourself in the shoes of the average metropolitan millennial. You’re moving ahead in your career, getting closer to the day you’ll finally own your own home and perhaps considering whether to start a pension or investment Isa.

Japan court sentences Mt Gox chief executive Mark Karpelès; Conviction for falsifying records draws line under defining moment of first bitcoin boom
Robin Harding – FT
Mark Karpelès, chief executive of the defunct bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, has been found guilty of falsifying electronic records by a Japanese court and sentenced to two years and six months in prison.

China passes law in bid to ease overseas investor concerns; Foreign business community complains the original draft has been watered down
Lucy Hornby – FT
China has passed a new foreign investment law that it hopes will help smooth the way to a new trade deal with the US, granting foreign companies equal standing with state-owned businesses.

Ken Griffin Says Amazon Exit Damped His Interest in NYC Headquarters
Katia Porzecanski and Hema Parmar – Bloomberg
Hedge fund manager mulled moving his main office from Chicago; Political climate in city is changing his thinking on a move
Billionaire Ken Griffin said he’s losing interest in bringing Citadel’s headquarters to New York City because of the political climate that spurred Amazon.com Inc. to abandon plans to build a mega-campus in Queens.

Big Oil Loses a Safe Space in Houston; The industry’s biggest confab finds everybody from Exxon to OPEC on edge.
Liam Denning – Bloomberg
CERAWeek has long been something of a safe space for the oil industry, where delegates trade gossip, do a little business and speculate over drinks and ballroom chicken where their beloved, if mercurial, market might be headed.

Dimon Says European Banks Need Cross-Border Mergers to Compete
Michelle Davis – Bloomberg
European banks need to look beyond their home countries for mergers in order to tap the region’s full economic power and become more competitive, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said.

Cryptocurrencies Pose Risks to Banks, Warns Basel Committee
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, a group of international banking authorities, has warned that the growth of cryptocurrencies poses a number of risks to banks and global financial stability.

Why Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank Are Limping to Altar
Steven Arons and Nicholas Comfort – Bloomberg
Germany’s two biggest publicly traded banks have both admitted that turnaround efforts for their sputtering operations aren’t going well. Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG could still try to plod on independently. But a more radical scenario is becoming more likely as concerns mount over the durability of these wounded giants: a government-brokered merger. While that might help the banks weather the next economic slump, it also raises the question of whether combining two weak companies can produce a single strong entity — or, as bankers have been saying, “two turkeys do not an eagle make.”

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

New CFE Products Being Added in March 2019-Update
CFE is not adding a Cboe Bitcoin (USD) (“XBT”) futures contract for trading in March 2019. CFE is assessing its approach with respect to how it plans to continue to offer digital asset derivatives for trading. While it considers its next steps, CFE does not currently intend to list additional XBT futures contracts for trading. Currently listed XBT futures contracts remain available for trading.

Update – Dividend/Distribution – ASX

Barclays Bank Ireland to trade on SIX Swiss Exchange; SIX Swiss Exchange has added Barclays Bank Ireland as its first new trading member in 2019.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
SIX Swiss Exchange has expanded its trading members with the addition of Barclays Bank Ireland, which joins 100 other trading participants currently trading on the stock exchange.

Thai Stock Exchange Building Digital Assets Platform for 2020 Launch
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has confirmed it’s building a digital assets platform that it expects to go live next year.

Spanish Stock Exchange to Go Live With Blockchain Collateral Pledge Certificates
Anna Baydakova – Coindesk
Bolsa de Madrid (BME), Spain’s largest stock exchange, said it expects to go live by year-end with a blockchain-based system for certifying collateral pledges after testing the technology.

CME Group Foundation – Cradle To Career Education |


ICE’s CEO says markets are ripe for disruption
Dan DeFrancesco – Business Insider
It’s never been a better time to be a newcomer with fresh ideas in the financial markets.
That’s the view of Jeff Sprecher, CEO of NYSE’s parent company Intercontinental Exchange, who said the markets are prime for disruption.

FinTech Companies Offer The Option Of Property Ownership Without The Management Headaches
Henry Yoshida – Forbes
Some people might argue that owning real estate is no longer a key aspect of the American dream. And while it’s true that younger Americans like millennials often eschew home ownership, I believe that real estate remains an excellent investment option, especially for long-term retirement investors.

Fintech Startup Tally to Offer No-Fee, Automatic Savings Account
Tally, a financial technology startup based in San Francisco, is debuting a service that it claims is “the only free automated savings service” for consumers.
The 4-year-old startup, known for automating people’s credit card debt payments, is expanding beyond its initial product, which debuted last year, into one that automatically transfers a pre-set amount of money from consumers’ checking accounts into a savings account each week. Tally will not pay customers interest on the new accounts, which are held by FDIC-insured bank partners, says Jason Brown, Tally’s cofounder and CEO.

Facebook’s Cox Departure Marks End to Complicated News Feed Era
Sarah Frier – Bloomberg
Facebook Inc. just lost its most senior product executive. His departure marks the end of an era for the news feed, the social network’s most iconic — and often most fraught — product.

Money keeps flowing to fintechs
Nathan DiCamillo – American Banker
Fintech funding reached a record high of $11.9 billion in 2018, and startups have continued to attract millions in investments from venture capital firms, private-equity players and banks this year.

Goldman Sachs’ internal idea factory hatched a plan for the Google of Wall Street, and it’s now looking for the next big thing to disrupt the bank
Dakin Campbell – Business Insider
When Goldman Sachs launched an internal idea factory last year, execs didn’t know what they would get. The guidelines were kept vague, in part to spur out-of-the-box thinking.


Tether’s U.S. Dollar Peg Is No Longer Credible
Frances Coppola – Forbes
USDT is the foremost stablecoin in the crypto world. Pegged one for one to the U.S. dollar, it is widely used as a vehicle for getting dollars in and out of crypto exchanges. Crypto enthusiasts will tell you that holding USDT (“Tethers”) is the same as holding dollars. But now, Tether, the issuer of USDT, has now admitted that Tethers are not 100% backed by actual dollars. The peg is no longer credible. And Tether itself has morphed into something all too familiar.

Spanish stock exchange tests blockchain technology on collateral pledges; BME Group proof of concept is the latest in a series of blockchain initiatives around collateral management, efficiency and mobilisation.
Jonathan Watkins – The Trade
Spanish stock exchange BME is testing the digitisation of the certification process of collateral pledges using blockchain technology, which it claims eliminates the need to exchange physical certificates.

Former Mt. Gox Bitcoin Bigwig Unlikely to Do More Jail Time After Beating Embezzlement Charges
Kosaku Narioka and Takashi Mochizuki – WSJ
The former chief of the collapsed Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange, once the world’s biggest, won a not-guilty verdict Friday on the more serious charges against him and was given a sentence that probably won’t include prison time.

Republican Leader McCarthy Proposes Blockchain Transparency in Government
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, has called for an exploration to see if blockchain can make the U.S. government more efficient and transparent.

Crypto Mogul Moshe Hogeg’s ICOs Have Unusual Patterns, Analysis Finds
Leigh Cuen – Coindesk
Best-known internationally as the chief executive of the blockchain smartphone startup Sirin Labs, Moshe Hogeg is becoming known for something else in Israel – mounting lawsuits. As reported extensively by regional news outlets, a lawsuit filed in January claims Hogeg misappropriated funds from the sale of new cryptocurrencies for both his own gain and to benefit his investment portfolio, including Sirin Labs. The judge has reportedly given Hogeg until March 15 to settle with the plaintiff, Chinese investor Zhewen Hu. (Update, March 14, 22:05 UTC: Israeli judge Judge Michal Amit-Anisman has given Hogeg and the plaintiff another two months to settle the conflict out of court, according to Globes newspaper.)

Hottest Crypto Coin’s Massive Rally Echoes Bitcoin’s Glory Days
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
Binance Coin has tripled in value in the past three months; Buyback renews questions of whether the token is a security
The cryptocurrency boom appears to be alive and well for Binance, the world’s largest digital-asset exchange by trading volume.

Canada Proposes Regulatory Framework for Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
Canadian financial regulatory authorities are considering putting in place rules for cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) published a consultation paper on Thursday, seeking input from the fintech community on how regulatory requirements can be developed for cryptocurrency platforms.

As Cryptocurrencies Continue To Be Legitimized How Open And Available To Taxation Are They?
Darryn Pollock – Forbes
The famous quote, usually attributed to Benjamin Franklin, about tax states: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Most people know the importance and requirements of taxes within society, having been well established for the ongoing economic climate for centuries.

Stellar Foundation Hires Mozilla Exec as Its New CEO
Leigh Cuen – Coindesk
Longtime Mozilla Chief Operating Officer Denelle Dixon has officially joined the crypto ecosystem. Dixon has joined the Stellar Development Foundation as CEO of the nonprofit organization, which promotes the top-1o cryptocurrency Lumens (XLM). She succeeded the project’s creator, Jed McCaleb, who has moved to the role of chief architect, in which he’ll focus on protocol growth and adoption strategies. In a statement to CoinDesk, Dixon said her goal “will be to listen, learn, support and do. I want to help move Stellar to the place it seeks to be, and that’s how it starts. More to come once I start.”

Exchange Announces It Can Now Trade The Untradeable
Gina Clarke – Forbes
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘bank the unbanked’ but today DX.Exchange, a digital asset exchange, unveiled that they are now open to trade security tokens, allowing millions across the world access to the trade market.


Tech Firm in Steele Dossier May Have Been Used by Russian Spies
Matthew Rosenberg – NY Times
Aleksej Gubarev is a Russian technology entrepreneur who runs companies in Europe and the United States that provide cut-rate internet service. But he is best known for his appearance in 2016 in a dossier that purported to detail Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election — and the Trump campaign’s complicity. Mr. Gubarev’s companies, the dossier claimed, used “botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data and conduct ‘altering operations’ against the Democratic Party leadership.”

Cohn Says He Tried to Sell Trump on Prospects of Solar Over Coal
Brian Eckhouse – Bloomberg
Solar is a growth industry, Cohn says on Freakonomics podcast; Cohn stressed growth in solar jobs to Trump compared with coal
Gary Cohn, the former head of President Donald Trump’s National Economic Council who left after losing a battle over steel tariffs, said he tried to sell Trump on solar jobs — and seemingly failed as the administration eventually imposed tariffs on the industry.

Trump Is Actually Making the Trade Deficit Bigger; If you don’t understand what causes the trade deficit, you can’t fix it.
Justin Fox – Bloomberg
There were a few headlines last week to the effect that the 2018 U.S. trade deficit was an all-time record. That’s a dubious assertion. Yes, the reported $891 billion trade deficit in goods did top 2006’s $837 billion, but when making historical comparisons, it’s more informative to express these things as a percentage of gross domestic product, and 2018’s deficit of 4.3 percent of GDP was well short of 2006’s 6.1 percent:

Mnuchin Says Treasury Concluded He’s Complying With Ethics Rules
Saleha Mohsin – Bloomberg
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he’s been told by ethics officials in his department that he’s in compliance with government ethics requirements even though his forms haven’t been certified by the top federal watchdog.

2 Days in Congress, 3 Trump Rejections
Lisa Lerer – The New York Times
O.K., brace yourself. We might just be having a moment in politics this week. No, I’m not talking about Beto O’Rourke, the telegenic former Texas congressman whose newly launched presidential campaign prompted wall-to-wall media coverage today. I’m talking about what’s been happening in Congress.

Committee Probe Of Trump Organization Could Derail Infrastructure Talks
Tim Mak – NPR
Nowhere else in the House of Representatives is the tension between legislation and investigation more present than on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where a bipartisan infrastructure deal could be in the making — even as the Democrats on the committee launch a reinvigorated investigation into the D.C. Trump Hotel.

Trump tried to make the GOP border emergency fight about him. He lost anyway.
Seung Min Kim and Seung Min Kim – The Washington Post
President Trump tried to marshal his most potent weapon — himself — to stave off what eventually became an embarrassing rejection from his own party over his declared national emergency on the border.


FCA puts the spotlight on debt management firms
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today published its second thematic review of the debt management sector, looking at commercial and not-for-profit firms that provide debt advice and administer debt management plans to help customers deal with their debts.

RegTech and SupTech – change for markets and regulators
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has carried out an analysis of the regulatory and supervisory technologies currently being developed in response to various demand and supply drivers. The results of this analysis are presented in an article in the latest Trends, Risks and Vulnerabilities (TRV) Report.

ESMA Includes MIFID II/ MIFIR In Its Interactive Single Rulebook
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has updated today its Interactive Single Rulebook, an online tool allowing a comprehensive overview of and an easy access to all level 2 and level 3 measures adopted in relation to a given level 1 text.

CFTC to Hold an Open Commission Meeting on March 25
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo announced today that the CFTC will hold an open meeting on Monday, March 25, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. to consider the following:

ASIC reports on corporate finance regulation – July to December 2018
ASIC has published its tenth report on the regulation of corporate finance issues. The latest report covers the period from July to December 2018 and provides an update on specific focus areas for the next six months.

VW May Face SEC Suit Over Failing to Disclose Diesel Breach
Karin Matussek – Bloomberg
Carmaker disclosed potential enforcement action in filing; Agency probe relates to sale of bonds, asset-backed securities
Volkswagen AG may face a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit over the carmaker’s failure to disclose to investors that its diesel vehicles didn’t comply with emission standards, according to a regulatory filing.

Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles Gets Suspended Jail Term
Yuki Furukawa – Bloomberg
Japan court found Karpeles guilty of tampering with records; Case has attracted increased attention after Ghosn arrest
Mark Karpeles, a central figure in the early days of Bitcoin who presided over the dramatic 2014 collapse of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, was found guilty of tampering with financial records but will likely avoid jail time after receiving a suspended sentence.

Investing and Trading

As Fed’s QE Era Ends, a New Trillion-Dollar Bond Dilemma Emerges
Liz McCormick and Alex Harris – Bloomberg
Size of Fed’s balance sheet is ‘trivial’ vis-à-vis composition; Outright MBS sales, open-market bill purchases seen as options
More than a decade after it all began, the Federal Reserve is finally nearing the end of its grand experiment in monetary policy.

As U.S. Veers Toward ‘MMT-Lite,’ Deutsche Bank Says Watch FX
Katherine Greifeld – Bloomberg
Currencies will act as ‘canary’ flagging unsustainable debt; Dollar’s reserve status may cause U.S. ‘complacency’: Ruskin
As the debate about modern monetary theory rages on amid swelling U.S. deficits, Deutsche Bank AG’s Alan Ruskin says to keep an eye on currencies.

JPMorgan’s Kolanovic Says Time to Get Over Your Fear of Stocks
Lu Wang – Bloomberg
Investors who have shunned risky assets since Christmas better start embracing them, according to JPMorgan Chase strategists led by Marko Kolanovic.

Liquidity is the scary absentee in stocks’ rebound; Bounce in equities has masked worries over the structure of the market
Robin Wigglesworth – FT
Earlier this week, Paul Britton chaired an informal meeting of fellow hedge fund managers and asked them why trading conditions have deteriorated so significantly lately. The lack of clear explanations unnerved him.


Citi outlines plans to launch its electronic currency trading platform in Singapore; Citi joins UBS in setting up its eFX trading hub in Singapore with support from the Monetary Authority in Singapore.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
US investment bank Citi is taking its FX pricing and trading engine to Singapore with backing from the country’s regulator, the institution recently confirmed.

JPMorgan bets on ‘latecomer advantage’ in passive investing push; US bank’s fund management division plays catch-up in competitive world of low-cost investing
Richard Henderson – FT
JPMorgan Chase insists that there is a “latecomer advantage,” as its $1.7tn fund management business tries to muscle in on the boom in passive investing dominated by BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street.

Neil Woodford races to boost performance as investors flee funds; High-profile UK fund manager comes out fighting as criticism mounts
Peter Smith and Kate Beioley – FT
The knives are out for Neil Woodford. Investors are angry about the shockingly bad performance of his flagship fund, short sellers are spying opportunities to move against his positions, rival City of London fund managers are relishing his fall and corporate governance purists are questioning his approach.

Swedbank Laundering Case Grows as $10 Billion Found in Review
Niklas Magnusson – Bloomberg
New report reveals a bigger number than previously reported; Bank says questionable transactions were reported to police
Sweden’s oldest bank may have handled considerably more in suspicious transactions tied to an Estonian money laundering scandal than first reported.

TPG Fires McGlashan, Lets Investors Pull Money From Social Fund
Sabrina Willmer and Gillian Tan – Bloomberg
Unit founder McGlashan charged this week in college scandal; Rise Fund II still aiming to close this year with $3 billion
TPG said it fired Bill McGlashan, founder of the firm’s social-impact funds, after he was charged this week in a wide-ranging college-admissions scandal.

Investor who allegedly bribed his son into USC could lose hundreds of millions
Josh Kosman – NY Post
Not only does his kid risk being expelled, but a rich dad caught up in a nationwide bribery scandal risks losing hundreds of millions of dollars for his alleged role, The Post has learned.

Deutsche Bank’s Prized Hedge Fund Unit in Downward Spiral
Sonali Basak and Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg
Prime services revenue said to fall for third straight year; Business has lost share it gained after financial crisis
A once-lucrative business within Deutsche Bank AG catering to hedge funds is on its way to becoming yet another casualty of the German lender’s chronic turmoil.

I’ve talked to loads of hedge funds about their performance woes and there’s one thing they have in common. Here’s why Excel doesn’t work anymore for picking stocks.
Junta Nakai, Databricks
Most investors are equipped for megabytes. Winners are equipped for terabytes. The vast majority of institutional investors today use Microsoft Excel as the primary tool for picking stocks.

Goldman Sachs Says in New York Filing It’s Cutting 65 Jobs
Steve Dickson – Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a filing it planned to eliminate 65 jobs from its New York operations. The firm filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification with the New York Department of Labor describing the planned workforce reduction, which it blamed on “economic” factors. The filing was dated Feb. 27 and publicly released this week.

UBS boosts French tax evasion provisions to $516m; Swiss bank’s litigation top-up trims $400m from 2018 annual profit
Stephen Morris – FT
UBS has boosted its litigation provisions by $382m following last month’s record EUR4.5bn French penalty for helping rich clients evade paying tax last month.


Goldman cites government guarantees to defend itself in Malaysia; Country’s securities regulator has asked US bank why it should not be hit by sanctions
Laura Noonan and Stefania Palma – FT
Goldman Sachs has invoked Malaysian government guarantees for fundraisings at state investment vehicle 1MDB as a key part of the US bank’s defence against potential regulatory sanctions over the fund’s multibillion-dollar corruption scandal.

IEA warns Venezuela chaos may ‘challenge’ global oil market; Group says other Opec members have potential to provide ‘supply cushion’
David Sheppard – FT
The International Energy Agency has warned that crude supplies from Venezuela are at risk of falling sharply and becoming a “challenge” for the global the oil market, indicating it hopes other Opec members will be prepared to help cover any shortfall should the situation deteriorate.

Chinese stock rebound has fingerprints of retail investors; The role of overseas institutions is dwarfed by that of local shareholders
Hudson Lockett – FT
The world’s most powerful asset managers may be establishing a foothold in Chinese stocks, but retail investors still hold considerable sway over this year’s best-performing major equity market.

MSCI denies politics swayed inclusion of more Chinese shares; Index provider insists move to increase weighting of equities came down to investors
Philip Stafford – FT
The head of MSCI has said there was “zero politics” in the index provider’s controversial decision to add more Chinese shares to an influential equity benchmark tracked by investments worth $1.9tn.

Swedish Krona, Worst Major Currency, Spurs Talk of Intervention
Love Liman – Bloomberg
Riksbank has expressed surprise about currency’s declines; Policy makers seen maybe verbally intervening near 11 per euro
Sweden’s krona is so weak that some of the biggest Nordic banks say policy makers may take action to prop it up.

Goldman Sachs cuts CEO job in Brazil – statement
Goldman Sachs Group is changing its management in Brazil and getting rid of the post of local chief executive officer, the bank said in a statement on Thursday.

Russian businessmen call for release of detained U.S. investor
Vladimir Soldatkin, Darya Korsunskaya – Reuters
Several prominent Russian businessmen on Thursday called for detained U.S. investor Michael Calvey to be released from a pre-trial detention facility on bail, saying his treatment at the hands of the authorities over fraud charges looked too harsh.

Hong Kong Seen Spending Billions More to Defend Currency Peg
Tian Chen – Bloomberg
Authorities intervene as local dollar hits weak end of band; Aggregate balance will fall to HK$10 billion by year-end: BAML
This round of currency intervention in Hong Kong is far from over. That’s according to analysts, who’re watching the interplay between the amount of money in the city’s financial system and local borrowing costs. Shorting the Hong Kong dollar will remain profitable until the latter starts to go up sharply, and the monetary authority will spend at least another HK$50 billion ($6.4 billion) defending the peg before that happens, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch and OCBC Wing Hang Bank Ltd.


UK parliament votes overwhelmingly to seek Brexit delay
MPs aim to push back Britain’s departure from EU to at least June 30
George Parker, Laura Hughes and Sebastian Payne – FT
Theresa May has won House of Commons backing for her “third time lucky” plan to push through her Brexit deal next week, amid signs that Eurosceptic opposition is starting to crumble under the threat of a long delay to Britain’s exit from the EU.

Germany Passes Brexit Law to Make It Easier to Fire Top Bankers
Iain Rogers – Bloomberg
Germany’s upper house approved a law making it easier for lenders such as Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to fire top earners, adding flexibility for Frankfurt to lure financial companies unsettled by Brexit.

Theresa May Wins U.K. Parliament’s Backing for Her Plan to Delay Brexit
Tim Ross and Jessica Shankleman – Bloomberg
U.K. prime minister survives series of votes on Brexit options; Proposal for Parliament to take control of process is defeated
Prime Minister Theresa May kept her deal with the European Union on life support by winning the backing of British politicians to seek a delay to Brexit just 48 hours after her plan looked dead and buried.

Brexit delay: What just happened?
BBC News
British MPs have voted for a delay in the Brexit process for three months or more, after struggling to agree on what terms the UK should leave the European Union on 29 March. You might think, after months of division, infighting and uncertainty that surely, surely, this means everything will go smoothly from here. Well… no.


Bribing your way to college? Check your math, it may not pay
Ann Saphir, Howard Schneider – Reuters
More than two dozen wealthy families charged with allegedly cheating or bribing their kids’ way into elite schools are learning the hard way that crime doesn’t pay, even when higher education is the prize.

Big Coffee Has Problem as Craft Roasters Cut Out a Middleman
Isis Almeida and Aviel Brown – Bloomberg
Hipster demand for premium brew is hitting old-guard suppliers; U.S. cafes roasting green beans in-house as machines get cheap
Jeff Bezos isn’t coming to Long Island City anymore, but the future of small-batch coffee roasting may already be taking root there.

John Lothian Newsletter

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Past Newsletters

CME to permanently close most trading pits

CME to permanently close most trading pits

First Read $40,626/$300,000 (13.5%) Anonymous ++++ Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff Without fanfare or amplification from its executives, the CME Group shut the books on most -- but not all -- of its floor trading history Tuesday afternoon with the...

NYSE Says More Staff Can Return to Trading Floor If Vaccinated

NYSE Says More Staff Can Return to Trading Floor If Vaccinated

First Read $40,526/$300,000 (13.5%) ++++ Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff Welcome to Star Wars Day. May the 4th be with you! -- Google Environmental derivative firm IncubEx has raised $11.7 million in its latest fundraising round (FT). But what was more...

Americans Can’t Get Enough of the Stock Market

Americans Can’t Get Enough of the Stock Market

First Read $40,526/$300,000 (13.5%) ++++ Hemp Farming Looking For Credit; Carbon Credit, That Is Thom Thompson - John Lothian News Well, it is now May, and in most of the United States it is high time to get the field crops planted. Among them is hemp, industrial...

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