Cboe Plans to Launch Enhanced Block Trading Service in Canada

Jun 17, 2021

First Read

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Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Today JLN has a video interview with FIA President & CEO Walt Lukken and FIA Tech President & CEO Nick Solinger about the deal announced yesterday for 10 global banks to invest in FIA Tech to allow them to expand their work. Thank you to FIA’s Steve Adamske for setting this up.

There is some good news for crypto from the U.K’.s FCA. FCA research reveals an increase in cryptoasset ownership and greater awareness among U.K. adults. Research published by the FCA estimates that 2.3 million adults now hold cryptoassets (up from 1.9 million last year). 78% of adults have now heard of cryptoassets, up from 73% in a year. — UK FCA

Also, in U.S. politics, the Republican Congressional Committee has agreed to accept cryptocurrency for political donations. So now you can buy a congressman using your bitcoin. How many Satoshis do you think that would take? — Bloomberg

JPMorgan has spiced up its portfolio with Nutmeg. The bank agreed “to buy digital wealth manager Nutmeg Saving and Investment Ltd., part of a push to establish a retail banking presence in the U.K.,” the Wall Street Journal reported. — WSJ

My fireside chat with former CFTC Chairman Chris Giancarlo at the Chicago Bar Association Annual Seminar went well. I learned he has a book coming out this fall titled…wait for it…”Crypto Dad.”

It was five years ago today that IEX learned its exchange application was approved by the SEC. They captured the moment their team was informed of the approval in this Youtube video.

After the big donation from the American Financial Exchange yesterday, there were no new donations. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by giving to our GoFundMe campaign.

Today I am interviewing Meaghan Dugan of the NYSE for The Path to Electronic Trading video series. I interviewed Tim Brennan earlier this week, who had been Meaghan’s boss at one time.

I have lost 45 pounds and counting since the start of the pandemic. My strategy is intermittent fasting. The book that really helped me understand the science behind this is “The Obesity Code” by Jason Fung.

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


Walt Lukken and Nick Solinger Explain FIA Tech Investor Deal

FIA Tech announced yesterday a deal to take on 10 global banks as investors in the company in order to grow the for-profit FIA-affiliated firm. John Lothian interviewed FIA Chairman and CEO Walt Lukken and FIA Tech President and CEO Nick Solinger over Zoom about the deal.

Watch the video »


Feds sue to block Aon’s $30 billion Willis Towers deal; The combo to create the world’s largest insurance brokerage is anticompetitive, says the Justice Department.
The U.S. Justice Department sued to block Aon’s proposed $30 billion acquisition of Willis Towers Watson, saying the deal to create the world’s largest insurance brokerage is anticompetitive.

*****Chicago did not need another monopoly.~JJL


Two dark money groups shut down following CREW complaints
Matt Corley – Citizensforethics.com
Two dark money groups quietly filed paperwork terminating their corporate existence after CREW filed complaints against them with the Federal Election Commission related to political activity backed by undisclosed donors, continuing a pattern of groups shutting down in recent months. In late November 2020, CREW filed complaints against three nonprofits and a super PAC over their efforts to funnel money from anonymous sources into the 2018 elections. Since then, two of the nonprofits, the Government Integrity Fund and the Jobs and Progress Fund, terminated their operations, a move that could impact how the FEC rules on the complaints.

*****Of course former Senator Kelly Loeffler‘s picture is in this story and her campaign is mentioned.~JJL


‘Financial surrealism’: Lebanese opt for beer over banks
Davide Barbuscia – Reuters
Lebanese seek ways to use devalued money; Many use “trapped dollars” to repay outstanding debt; Central bank plans measures to reduce liabilities;Huge losses in financial system still not addressed
Faced with the choice of leaving their savings stuck in the bank or investing them at a huge loss, some Lebanese people are opting to take a punt. For them, it’s the only sensible option in a financial system warped by crisis.

*****Yes, beer over banks. Yes. That is the right choice.~JJL


Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Wednesday was our lead story, Ten global clearing firms make strategic investment in FIA Tech, a press release from the Futures Industry Association. Second was DeFi Identified as Potential Focus for CFTC Enforcement Action, from Jones Day. Third was The Trade’s version of the FIA Tech news, Clearing firms invest $44 million in FIA Tech to support derivatives market innovation.


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Lead Stories

Cboe Plans to Launch Enhanced Block Trading Service in Canada, Further Expanding BIDS Trading Globally
Cboe Global Markets, Inc.
Planned offering builds on success of Cboe LIS, one of the largest block trading platforms in Europe;Integrates capabilities from MATCHNow and BIDS Trading – two industry leaders in block trading;Adds to Cboe’s growing suite of products and services in geographies beyond the U.S.; Enables expansion of BIDS’ block trading platform into Canada
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), a market operator and global trading solutions provider, today announced plans to launch Cboe LIS powered by BIDS in Canada, bringing to the region an enhanced block trading service based on a successful model that it first introduced in Europe with BIDS Trading. Planned for launch on February 1, 2022, the new Canadian offering, which is subject to regulatory approval, will combine industry-leading block trading capabilities from MATCHNow and BIDS to create an enhanced market center for block-sized liquidity for buy-side and sell-side participants. With its expansion into the Canadian market, Cboe will also continue to extend its global equities block trading network to new geographies beyond the U.S. and Europe.

SEC delays ruling on Bitcoin ETF; The agency is seeking more public comment on a proposal to list a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund on Cboe.
Bloomberg News
U.S. regulators have once again punted their decision on whether to approve a Bitcoin ETF. The Securities and Exchange Commission said in a Wednesday regulatory filing that it will seek more public comment on a proposal to list a product on Cboe Global Markets Inc. It’s not the first time this year that the SEC has delayed giving an answer to the legions of crypto advocates pushing for a way to trade the largest cryptocurrency in an exchange-traded fund format.

Covid-19 cases surge in England, driven by unvaccinated young
Amy O’Brien – City AM
The coronavirus pandemic grew “exponentially” at the beginning of the month, driven by younger age groups who had not yet received the vaccine, according to a study published today. Researchers for the Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT) study looked at data from the period 20 May to 7 June, which showed the prevalence of infection increased by 50 per cent since the last testing round, from 0.1 per cent to 0.15 per cent.

Cboe combines MATCHNow and BIDS for new block trading platform in Canada; Cboe LIS powered BIDS in Canada will combine MATCHNow and BIDS to create a market center for block-sized liquidity for buy-side and sell-side participants.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Exchange operator Cboe Global Markets has confirmed plans to combine MATCHNow and BIDS Trading and launch a block trading platform in Canada after recently acquiring both firms.

Broadridge names former Bloomberg Tradebook CEO Tierney president of Itiviti; Industry veteran and electronic trading expert Ray Tierney takes on the role of president at trading technology provider Itiviti after its takeover by Broadridge.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
The former CEO of Bloomberg Tradebook has been appointed president of trading technology provider Itiviti following its acquisition by Broadridge Financial Solutions. Ray Tierney joins Itiviti in the senior role one month after Broadridge completed its $2.5 billion takeover of the firm to expand its capital markets offering. Rob Mackay, who has been CEO of Itiviti since 2019, has been appointed senior advisor.

SEC Delays Ruling on Bitcoin ETF in Blow to Crypto Traders
Claire Ballentine and Benjamin Bain – Bloomberg
Agency says it’s seeking additional comment on Cboe proposal; Decision dashes investors’ hopes for quick SEC approval
U.S. regulators have once again punted their decision on whether to approve a Bitcoin ETF. The Securities and Exchange Commission said in a Wednesday regulatory filing that it will seek more public comment on a proposal to list a product on Cboe Global Markets Inc. It’s not the first time this year that the SEC has delayed giving an answer to the legions of crypto advocates pushing for a way to trade the largest cryptocurrency in an exchange-traded fund format.

The Commodities Boom Is Luring Criminals to Make Bigger and Bolder Scores
The pandemic, soaring prices, and economic pain have combined to create perfect conditions for thieves and fraudsters.
Agnieszka de Sousa, Marcy Nicholson, Tope Alake, Daniels Sirtori-Cortina – Bloomberg
Sergeant Tosha Ternes spends most of her time at the Saskatoon Police Service investigating cases of breaking and entering. In recent months her department has seen a “drastic” increase in one type of crime: lumber theft from construction sites. “Everything’s just lying there, kind of like a free-for-all,” Ternes says from the Saskatchewan city in Canada’s prairie region. “Some sites have been hit two, three, four times.”

JPMorgan Buys Nutmeg to Bolster Digital Banking Push in U.K.; Digital wealth manager Nutmeg has around 140,000 customers and $5 billion in assets
Simon Clark – WSJ
JPMorgan Chase JPM 0.70% & Co. agreed to buy digital wealth manager Nutmeg Saving and Investment Ltd., part of a push to establish a retail banking presence in the U.K. Nutmeg, founded in 2012, has more than 140,000 customers and £3.5 billion under management, the equivalent of around $5 billion. A price for the acquisition wasn’t disclosed but people familiar with the transaction said it was between £500 million and £1 billion.

U.S. financial executive dies by suicide as firm faces fraud claims
Lawrence Delevingne – Reuters
The co-founder of a Florida financial firm facing investor lawsuits alleging securities fraud has died by suicide, and a spokesperson on Monday denied wrongdoing, saying the death was not connected to a class action lawsuit filed last week.

Even 30% Pay Raises Can’t Stop Junior Banker Exodus in Asia
Cathy Chan and John Cheng – Bloomberg
Quitting rate of younger bankers almost doubles in Asia; Turnover poses challenge for global banks expanding in region
They’ve raised salaries and promised quicker promotions. But the world’s biggest securities firms and banks are still struggling to retain junior investment bankers in Asia, challenging their expansion plans for a region that’s growing faster than almost anywhere else.

Central Bankers Talk Down Concerns Over Digital Currency Risks
Ott Ummelas and Frances Schwartzkopff – Bloomberg
Central bankers sought to play down concerns that their efforts to develop digital currencies will take business away from the financial industry. Benoit Coeure, the head of the Bank for International Settlement’s Innovation Hub, which was expanded to Stockholm on Wednesday, said commercial lenders should look at central bank digital money “as an opportunity that will enable them to offer new services to their customers, as part of a broader set of new technologies.”

Justice Department Sues to Block Aon Acquisition of Willis Towers Watson; Government antitrust lawsuit alleges merger of insurance brokers will suppress competition
Brent Kendall and Ben Dummett – WSJ
The Justice Department on Wednesday filed an antitrust lawsuit challenging insurance broker Aon PLC’s proposed $35 billion acquisition of rival Willis Towers Watson PLC, alleging the tie-up would lead to higher prices and reduced innovation for U.S. businesses, employers and unions that rely on their services.


Russians Don’t Want Their Covid Vaccine; A third wave could prove costly. It’s a warning to other governments hoping to ignore vaccine hesitancy or distrust in authority.
Clara Ferreira Marques – Bloomberg
Before thousands descended on St. Petersburg for Russia’s annual economic forum this month, the local governor boasted to radio listeners that no one had held a similar-scale event since the pandemic struck. A few days later, President Vladimir Putin told the audience that his country was in a better virus position than most and would quickly open to vaccine tourists.

Coronavirus Is Spreading Rapidly in England, Study Finds
Katharine Gemmell – Bloomberg
Young age groups driving growth, in line with vaccine rollout; Virus doubling every 11 days; R number is now at 1.44
The prevalence of Covid-19 in England is increasing exponentially, driven by younger age groups that haven’t been vaccinated, according to the latest round of results from the React-1 study. The research, led by Imperial College London, shows the national prevalence of the virus has increased by 50% in its latest round of analysis recorded between May 20 and June 7, compared with its last round from April 15 to May 3.

France Donates Covid-19 Vaccine Doses to Uganda as Cases Jump
Fred Ojambo – Bloomberg
Uganda received 175,200 AstraZenaca doses donated by France, shoring up depleting stocks as a spike in infections increases demand for inoculations. The vaccines manufactured in Italy were donated under the Covax initiative, according to Ministry of Health spokesman Emmanuel Ainebyoona. The delivery is the third since Uganda received 864,000 doses early March manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and a donation of 100,000 doses by the south Asian country.

CureVac’s mRNA Covid vaccine flunks clinical trial; Shares of German biotech plunge after interim results show jab is only 47% effective
Nikou Asgari – FT
The German pharmaceutical company CureVac revealed disappointing results from trials of its mRNA Covid-19 vaccine, damping hopes that the jab could help meet the global need for effective inoculations.

Covid Fades but Is Unlikely to Vanish; Health authorities try to turn a still-flaring infection into a disease we can live with
Jon Kamp – WSJ
The U.S. is entering a new phase of the Covid-19 pandemic as people settle back into normal life thanks to vaccines, but public-health authorities are preparing for Americans to live with the disease lurking in the background for the long run. Many health professionals believe that reaching herd immunity is a distant goal, due both to highly varied vaccination rates in the U.S. and uncertainty about just how much Covid-19 must be suppressed to effectively stop its spread.

CDC aligns with WHO on delta COVID variant; experts warn of higher risks of infection and serious illness
Ciara Linnane – MarketWatch
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reclassified the delta variant of COVID-19 as one “of concern,” underscoring how much more prevalent the B.1.617.2 variant first identified in India is becoming in the U.S.

Inside Pfizer’s race to produce the world’s biggest supply of covid vaccine; Pfizer engineers used a ‘bulldozer’ approach to go from ‘utter failure’ to 3 billion doses
Christopher Rowland – Washington Post
The first attempt to produce industrial-scale quantities of the experimental vaccine that has played a central role in arresting the coronavirus pandemic in the United States was a total failure.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

TheraVet lists on Euronext Growth Paris and Brussels; EUR7 million raised – market capitalisation of approx. EUR31 million
Euronext today congratulates TheraVet, a vet biotech company developing new treatments specifically adapted to pets, on its dual listing on Euronext Growth® Paris and Euronext Growth® Brussels (ticker code: ALVET).

Elopak lists on Oslo Børs; NOK 3.1 billion raised – market capitalisation of NOK 7.5 billion
Euronext today congratulates Elopak on its listing on Oslo Børs (ticker code: ELO). Elopak is a leading global supplier of carton packaging and filling equipment for liquid food, catering to both the fresh and aseptic segments. The company uses renewable, recyclable and sustainably sourced materials to provide innovative packaging solutions.

Nasdaq Announces Results from 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders; Ten Directors Re-elected; Nasdaq Board Re-elects Michael R. Splinter as Chairman of the Board
Nasdaq, Inc. (Nasdaq: NDAQ) shareholders elected all nominated directors at the company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. All directors will serve one-year terms. The elected board members are:

CME Globex Notices: June 14, 2021
CME Group
Critical System Updates
CME Globex Performance Enhancements – June 27
Update – CME FX Link Enhancements: New Zealand Dollar/US Dollar Spot FX Impact – June 27 UPDATE
Product Launches
Update – Micro USD/JPY, USD/CAD and USD/CHF Futures with OTC Quoting Convention – June 27 UPDATE
E-mini S&P 500 Quarterly PM European Style Options – June 27
New – Financially Settled TTF Futures and Options – July 11 NEW
Micro WTI Crude Oil Futures – July 11

Security-Based Swap Data Repositories; ICE Trade Vault, LLC; Order Approving Application for Registration as a Security-Based Swap Data Repository
On February 11, 2021, ICE Trade Vault, LLC (“ICE Trade Vault”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) an application on Form SDR to register as a security-based swap data repository (“SDR”) pursuant to Section 13(n)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) and 17 CFR 240.13n-1 (“Rule 13n-1”) thereunder,1 and as a securities information processor (“SIP”) under Section 11A(b) of the Exchange Act.2 ICE Trade Vault amended its application on March 10, March 11, and April 14, 2021 (collectively, the “ITV Application”). ICE Trade Vault intends to operate as a registered SDR for security based swap (“SBS”) transactions in the credit derivatives asset class.

SGX welcomes OTS Holdings Limited to Catalist
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today welcomed OTS Holdings Limited to its Catalist under the stock code “OTS”. OTS Holdings is a food manufacturing group in Singapore that produces non-halal and halal products across six house brands. Established in 1993, the company has built a strong niche in ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook meat products with key markets in Singapore and Malaysia, and its flagship brands include “Golden Bridge” and “Kelly’s”.


Barchart and Oakland Corporation Announce Grain Accounting Integration
Barchart, leading provider of data, tools, and software to America’s agribusinesses, and Oakland Corporation, a trusted provider of software and IT solutions within the agricultural industry, jointly announce a partnership to streamline client workflows.

Here’s how AWS, Google Cloud, IBM, and Microsoft Azure are pitching themselves to finance firms in their fight to win Wall Street’s business
Bianca Chan – Insider
Not all public clouds are created equal. And the distinctions between the providers’ offerings are magnified as the race to win over Wall Street, and its money, heats up.

U.K. Fintech Wise to Go Public in London Direct Listing; Money-transfer service, formerly known as TransferWise, has boomed during pandemic
Simon Clark and Ben Dummett – WSJ
Wise, an online money-transfer service, kicked off plans to list on the London Stock Exchange, taking advantage of surging investor interest in financial technology companies. The U.K.-based startup, formerly known as TransferWise, didn’t disclose a target valuation for the initial public offering, but it could reach between $6 billion and $7 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Over half of sell-side firms to decrease vendor use to simplify post-trade workflows, report finds; Acuti report has found that cost, interoperability and workflow complexities are all encouraging firms to decrease the number of post-trade vendors they use.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
More than half of sell-side firms plan to decrease the number of third-party vendors they use to simplify their post-trade workflows, a report by Acuti and FIS has found.

BlackRock expands Aladdin Climate application with Baringa Partners acquisition; Under a long-term partnership, BlackRock will acquire and integrate Baringa Partners’ Climate Change Scenario Model into its Aladdin Climate technology.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
BlackRock has expanded the capabilities of its recently launched Aladdin Climate application with the acquisition and integration of a climate change scenario model by Baringa Partners.

The State of Finance App Marketing – 2021 Edition
Finance apps have been in high demand across the globe with COVID-19 playing a key role shaping the trends in a surging FinTech industry. According to AppsFlyer’s data, Finance apps spent $3 billion on user acquisition in 2020, and no less than $1.2 billion in Q1 2021 alone.

Blockchain is most impactful technology since internet: Financial adviser
Ihsaan Fanusie – Yahoo Finance
Blockchain technology has revolutionary potential for the world of international commerce, according to a financial advisor. Ric Edelman, founder of Edelman Financial Engines, joined Yahoo Finance Live to discuss new developments in the crypto market, as well as the broader implications of blockchain technology in financial markets.


Cybersecurity: Senators draft bill that would require many entities to report breaches within 24 hours
Brian Fung and Alex Marquardt – CNN
US lawmakers are preparing legislation that would require a vast range of public and private entities to alert the government within 24 hours of a cybersecurity breach, following a wave of ransomware attacks that have threatened the nation’s economic and national security.
The bipartisan draft by Sens. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat; Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican; and Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, reflects a renewed effort by Congress to pass long-awaited federal rules surrounding cybersecurity breach notifications. There is currently no single federal standard, which critics have said for years is a hindrance to protecting the nation from cyberattacks.

Cybersecurity vulnerability discovered in Peloton products
Celine Castronuovo – The Hill
A cybersecurity vulnerability in some Peloton bike products may have enabled hackers to install malware and potentially spy on riders, according to software security company McAfee.
Members of McAfee’s advanced threat research team said in a consumer blog post that the malware was able to be installed through a USB port from an Android attachment for the Peloton Bike+, through which hackers could install fake versions of apps like Netflix and Spotify to gather personal information from users.

Without specifics, Putin says U.S.-Russia reached an agreement to consult on cybersecurity
Martin Matishak – Politico
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said his country and the United States had agreed to enter into “consultations” on cybersecurity following his summit with President Joe Biden.
“As far as cybersecurity is concerned, we agreed that we would begin consultations on that issue, and I believe that’s extraordinarily important. And obviously both sides have to assume certain obligations there,” Putin told reporters after the meeting with Biden in Geneva.

The New Cybersecurity Danger Lurking In The Mist: Collaboration Security
John Case – Forbes
For most IT teams, cybersecurity probably ranks somewhere in their top three priority areas year-over-year. Over this past year, we’ve seen a new, extremely large and highly risky security spin-off emerge and rise to prominence with the popularity of collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack: collaboration security and governance (CSG). We found through our customer interactions that over 60% of companies don’t have specific CSG policies in place or aren’t following a collaboration-specific governance model.

Ukraine arrests ransomware gang in global cyber criminal crackdown
Hannah Murphy – FT
Ukrainian police have arrested members of a notorious ransomware gang that recently targeted American universities, as pressure mounts on global law enforcement to crack down on cyber criminals.
The Ukraine National Police said in a statement on Wednesday that it had worked with Interpol and the US and South Korean authorities to charge six members of the Ukraine-based Cl0p hacker group, which it claimed had inflicted half a billion dollars in damages on victims based in the US and South Korea.


Ice Cube’s trademark infringement lawsuit against Robinhood dismissed by federal judge
Alexis Keenan – Yahoo Finance
A California judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit brought by rapper Ice Cube against trading platform Robinhood claiming it used his image to promote its products, without his consent.

Crypto Price Mayhem: Data Reveals Bitcoin Is Braced For A ‘Short Squeeze’
Billy Bambrough – Forbes
Bitcoin traders and investors are still reeling from a steep sell-off that’s wiped around $1 trillion from the combined cryptocurrency market.
The bitcoin price has crashed from almost $65,000 per bitcoin to under $40,000 despite a flood of positive bitcoin news in recent weeks—including Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey teasing a bitcoin payments plan.

SEC Delays VanEck Bitcoin ETF Decision Yet Again, Deadline Pushed to July
Rahul N. – be[in]Crypto
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed its decision on the VanEck bitcoin ETF again, saying in a filing that it wanted public commentary.

Kraken CEO Says Crypto Exchange Could Go Public in 12-18 Months
Yakob Peterseil – Bloomberg
Company recently said to be valued at more than $10 billion; Founder Jesse Powell says Kraken signups this year at record
Kraken, one of the world’s largest exchanges for trading cryptocurrencies, could go public in 12 to 18 months, according to its chief executive officer. Jesse Powell, who founded the San Francisco-based exchange in 2011, told Bloomberg TV the firm is “doing all the prep work” to become a public company, though he declined to give a target valuation.

Exchange to Boost Crypto Derivatives Access With Fundraising
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
SynFutures allows arbitrary trading pairs, any maturity date; Oversubscribed round led by Polychain raises $14 million
Decentralized derivatives exchange SynFutures announced the close of an oversubscribed round of financing as it seeks to make cryptocurrency futures more accessible. The $14 million Series A round of financing led by Polychain Capital LLC included participation from Framework, Pantera Capital, Bybit, Wintermute, CMS, Kronos, and IOSG Ventures.

Index publisher MSCI looking at launch of crypto indexes
Aaron Saldanha – Reuters via WTVB
Global securities index publisher MSCI is looking at launching indexes for cryptocurrency assets, according to Chief Executive Henry Fernandez, in what would be another step towards mainstream acceptance for digital currencies and the companies trading in them.
Fernandez, speaking at a Clubhouse event organized by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz earlier this week, said MSCI has been talking to experts and is aiming to launch crypto indexes.

More people view crypto assets as acceptable investment, says UK watchdog
Huw Jones – Reuters via WTVB
More people see crypto assets as a mainstream investment rather than a “gamble” as ownership of bitcoin and similar crypto currencies has risen to 2.3 millon adults in Britain this year, the Financial Conduct Authority said on Thursday.
Regulators have repeatedly warned consumers about the “speculative” nature of largely unregulated crypto assets, with bitcoin hitting a high of around $64,899 in April before a sharp drop left it trading around at $39,344 on Thursday morning.

‘I have nothing’: Imprisoned John McAfee claims his crypto fortune is gone
Brian Quarmby – CoinTelegraph
Software antivirus pioneer John McAfee has told his one million Twitter followers that his entire crypto fortune is gone — although he concedes not everyone will believe he’s telling the truth.
The McAfee antivirus founder has been behind bars in Spain since October 2020 — when he was arrested for tax evasion — but that hasn’t stopped him from posting on Twitter on a near-daily basis.

Trading platform Futu restricts crypto futures pricing information in mainland China
Online broker Futu Holdings (FUTU.O) said on Thursday it has restricted services linked to CME cryptocurrency futures contracts in mainland China due to the regulatory environment, the latest result of an ongoing efforts to crackdown the sector.

Ethereum is outperforming bitcoin. Morgan Stanley thinks it knows why
Sam Shead – CNBC
Cryptocurrency ethereum has outperformed bitcoin so far this year, and Morgan Stanley has given a number of reasons why.
The “alternative” crypto coin is up around 240% this year, while the world’s best-known cryptocurrency is up less than 38%.


Republican Congressional Committee To Accept Cryptocurrency
Magan Crane – WSJ
The National Republican Congressional Committee will begin accepting campaign contributions via cryptocurrency, the party announced Thursday. The NRCC, House Republicans’ campaign arm, said the move would allow it to use new technology to support the party’s House candidates.


Fraud chief warns of ‘big risk’ in policing EUR800bn EU recovery funds
Brussels agency’s head fears difficulties in accessing bloc-wide data on transactions
Sam Fleming and Michael Peel – FT
The EU faces a “big risk” of abuses in its EUR800bn post-pandemic recovery fund because some countries refuse to sign up to a common transactions database, the bloc’s anti-fraud chief has warned.

Will we ever win the war on bank fraud? Victims of scams face a lengthy battle to get any money back
Claer Barrett – FT
So says Mark Steward, the UK financial watchdog’s director of enforcement, who was grilled by MPs this week about soaring levels of online fraud. Whenever I write about this topic, the comments section fills up with remarks like “I’d never fall for this” or “How stupid would you have to be?” But the sad truth is that regulators have been fighting a losing battle against fraudsters during the pandemic as they find new and inventive ways to con millions out of unsuspecting consumers.

Almost all firms incorrectly reporting transactions under MiFIR, report finds; ACA report found that almost all firms surveyed were reporting their transactions incorrectly under MiFIR/EMIR with 87% of them unaware they are doing so.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Close to 100% of firms are incorrectly reporting trades and transactions as required under MiFIR and are unaware of the errors, according to research from financial services advisor ACA Group.

FCA research reveals increase in cryptoasset ownership
Research published by the FCA estimates that 2.3 million adults now hold cryptoassets (up from 1.9 million last year). 78% of adults have now heard of cryptoassets, up from 73% in a year.

EXCLUSIVE China’s IPO-bound Didi probed for antitrust violations – sources
Julie Zhu, Pei Li – Reuters
China’s market regulator has begun an antitrust probe into Didi Chuxing, three people with knowledge of the matter said, just as the ride-hailing giant is pushing ahead with what could be the largest initial public offering in the United States this year.

Investing and Trading

‘Big Short’ investor Michael Burry is back on Twitter – and warning of the biggest market bubble in history
Theron Mohamed – Insider
Michael Burry said markets were in a bubble of unprecedented scale; The “Big Short” investor tweeted his dire warning after a 10-week break from Twitter; Burry has flagged reckless speculation on Tesla stock, bitcoin, and other assets.
Michael Burry on Tuesday warned of the biggest market bubble in history, suggesting that his concerns about rampant speculation only grew during his 10-week hiatus from Twitter. “People always ask me what is going on in the markets,” the investor tweeted. “It is simple. Greatest Speculative Bubble of All Time in All Things. By two orders of magnitude. #FlyingPigs360.”

Tycoon Adani Loses $9 Billion in Three Days in Worst Wealth Rout
Alexander Sazonov – Bloomberg
Questions around three Mauritius funds spark stock slide; These funds have put over 90% of their assets in Adani stocks
Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s dream run up the global wealth rankings is faltering after a media report raising questions about some offshore investors triggered a rout in his conglomerate’s six listed stocks.

‘The beginning of the transition phase’: investors react to a less dovish Fed; By forecasting rate rises in 2023, the US central bank has shifted tone and jolted markets
James Politi and Colby Smith – FT
The Federal Reserve has for months been wary of signalling that an end to its pandemic-induced, ultra-loose monetary regime, was in sight: the virus was still lurking, the recovery was too fragile, and uncertainty was rampant.

Spac pitfalls illuminated by family feud at Velodyne; Brothers-in-law wage war at US maker of sensors for self-driving vehicles
Miles Kruppa – FT
David Hall and Brad Culkin are inventors, longtime colleagues and brothers-in-law. But after a Spac deal and a boardroom bust-up at their company, Velodyne Lidar, they are now, in the words of Hall, locked in a “fight to the death”.

Tesla and Other Bubble Stocks Have Deflated Just Like 2000; Fashionable areas of clean energy, electric cars, cannabis stocks and SPACs have dropped sharply this year, in an echo of the dot-com era
James Mackintosh – WSJ
Is the dot-com bust happening again right under our noses? It might seem an odd claim, but there is a remarkable resemblance between the speculative boom-to-bust of late 1999 and the first half of 2000 and what’s happened over the past nine months in the fashionable areas of clean energy, electric cars, cannabis stocks and SPACs.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

The Climate Culture Shock Is Coming; In the corporate world, big change starts at the top—which means companies will have to shake up their leadership to fulfill their environmental agendas.
Nathaniel Bullard – Bloomberg
My newsfeed—and probably your newsfeed too—is chockablock with stories about professional workers returning to their offices this summer. What the pandemic’s grand, unwitting experiment has shown is that the structure of work isn’t just habit, it’s culture.

India Mulls Green Hydrogen Obligation for Refiners, Fertilizers
Rajesh Kumar Singh – Bloomberg
Oil refiners, fertilizer makers may be obliged to use hydrogen; Measures would take effect for seven years from April 2023
India is considering forcing fertilizer makers and oil refiners to include green hydrogen in their energy baskets.

Lenders Ramp Up Sales of Riskier Bonds in European Green Market
Alice Gledhill – Bloomberg
BayernLB joins growing list of banks to issue green Tier 2; Green bank capital is “important part of the ESG puzzle”: BoA
The explosion of green finance has reached the market for riskier bank debt. German lender Bayerische Landesbank sold a bond on Wednesday that took this year’s supply of so-called green Tier 2 bonds to 4 billion euros ($4.8 billion), according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares to just 1.5 billion euros over the whole of last year.

Investors should prepare for impact of green stress tests on banks; Central bankers look at powerful tool to nudge financial system to address climate risks
Huw van Steenis – FT
The world’s central banks are going green. At a recent “Green Swan” conference for regulators, the world’s top central bankers agreed they had a clear role to play in tackling climate change. But which measures are the most important? And how much would their actions shift the cost of capital for high and low carbon companies? I suspect that climate stress tests may prove the most powerful tool to nudge the financial system.

Brussels aims to tighten rules on burning wood pellets as green fuel; European Commission proposal to stiffen criteria on biomass for energy use, according to leaked document
Mehreen Khan – FT
Brussels wants to tighten rules to prevent some forms of wood-burning energy from counting towards the EU’s green energy targets after rising pressure from environmental groups and scientists.

South Korea’s SK accused of greenwashing after LNG U-turn; South Korean conglomerate earlier pledged to abandon all new fossil fuel investments
Edward White and Song Jung-a – FT
One of South Korea’s biggest conglomerates is facing a backlash from activist groups after finalising a large Australian liquefied natural gas deal months after promising to end new overseas oil and gas investments.

Green SPACs Struggle After Years of Success; Investors are souring on blank-check companies in general
Justin Scheck – WSJ
SPACs and green companies were two of the hottest pandemic investments. Combining the two—green SPACs—has been even more profitable, but there is evidence this is changing. Special-purpose acquisition companies that pledge to merge with renewable-energy, electric-vehicle and other sustainable businesses raised more than $120 billion since March 2020. SPACs, known as blank-check companies, raise cash from investors with the goal of buying a private company.

Renewable Energy SmartPod; Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance CEO Miranda Ballentine
Despite the pandemic, the amount of renewable energy deals announced by large-scale buyers set a record in 2020. Miranda Ballentine, CEO of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), join the show to talk about how corporations are reshaping the large-scale energy procurement market. Ballentine talks about the new kinds of corporate buyers that are entering the market (9:02), how firms have shifted their goal from merely investing in renewable energy to decarbonizing the power system (12:20) and shares her reaction to the renewable energy proposals coming from the Biden administration (20:20). In light of the Colonial pipeline attack, Ballentine also highlights the importance of grid cybersecurity and resiliency (26:13). Ballentine also outlines the types of energy deals that are trending in the market and reveals some of the leadership tactics she uses (49:38) to guide an organization that is full of so many big-name brands.


Credit Suisse fights to stem exodus as top US dealmaker quits
Greg Weinberger is latest departure after series of mishaps at Swiss bank
James Fontanella-Khan and Stephen Morris and Arash Massoudi – FT
Credit Suisse’s top dealmaker in the US has quit, the latest senior employee to defect from the Swiss bank, which is battling to retain top talent following a series of scandals that have shattered employee morale.

Banker Who Quit Over Bonus Owes More as $1.6 Million Melts
Gaspard Sebag – Bloomberg
Azout must pay Messier Maris for not working his notice period; Paris appeals court puts spotlight on quirk in French law
A Paris banker who quit Mediobanca SpA’s Messier Maris & Associes won a 1.3 million euros ($1.6 million) payout after convincing judges he’d been unfairly treated by the M&A boutique. But that was 2018. Last week, a Paris court put the finishing touches on a costly turnaround that left Laurent Azout losing all but a fraction of his award and even owing the company thousands of euros for not working his three-month notice period.

Pimco Parent Allianz to Join Rush for Asset Management Deals
Stephan Kahl – Bloomberg
Board member Hunt sees industry consolidation picking up; Allianz is looking at targets with particular interest in Asia
Allianz SE’s board member overseeing bond giant Pacific Investment Management said the German insurance company plans to play an active role in asset management consolidation as mergers and acquisitions in the fragmented industry speed up.

BNP Paribas Asia Institutional Clients Head Okazawa Is Leaving
Takahiko Hyuga and Cathy Chan – Bloomberg
BNP Paribas SA’s head of institutional and corporate clients for Asia, Kyoya Okazawa, is leaving after 10 years at the French bank, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Lloyd’s of London takes out cover to protect emergency fund; Move aims to guard against extreme losses such as future pandemic or financial crisis
Ian Smith -FT
Lloyd’s of London, the specialist market for insuring large and esoteric risks, has for the first time in two decades taken out cover to protect its emergency fund against extreme losses stemming from another pandemic or financial crisis.

Cyclical rally exposes flaws in some factor ETFs; As the market shifts, investors should be asking if their funds are still serving their purpose
Dave Baxter – FT
The cyclical rally of the past half year may have reignited the debate about value stocks, but it has also had a knock-on effect on other investment styles. Having already fed into associate editor Algy Hall’s blue-chip momentum stock screen, a value tilt in momentum strategies has now become evident among funds such as iShares Edge MSCI USA Momentum Factor Ucits ETF (IUMO).

Market-Beating China Fund Manager Favors Scooters and Spicy Sauce Over Tech; Despite years of outperformance, Michelle Leung of Xingtai Capital says she’s still asked about who is in charge
Jing Yang and Quentin Webb – WSJ
Michelle Leung is used to standing out, as a China-focused stock picker who doesn’t follow the crowd and as a top female professional in the male-dominated fund-management industry.

Deutsche Bank reportedly poised to reap windfall on risky cargo bet
Lydia Moynihan – NY Post
Deutsche Bank’s risky investment in a distressed cargo-shipping company is poised to reap a $1 billion windfall for the scandal-ridden financial giant, according to a report. The fat profit – equal to a quarter of the bank’s 2020 investment banking earnings – is a marked turnaround for a bank that suffered five years of losses and numerous run-ins with regulators that forced it to fire 18,000 people as part of a massive restructuring effort.


Major banks, airlines hit in new global online outage; Many of Australia’s major financial firms reported customers could not access websites and mobile apps for a period on Thursday
Major banks and airlines were among businesses hit by a fresh global online outage Thursday, with the problem traced to US-based tech provider Akamai. An hour-long blackout hit a number of US airlines and several Australian financial firms as well as other companies dotted around the world, with angry customers unable to access websites and mobile apps.

Hong Kong Approves Plan to Ease City’s Strict Travel Quarantine
Felix Tam – Bloomberg
Quarantine cut to 7 days for some vaccinated travelers; City facing pushback to strict virus and quarantine rules
Hong Kong will shorten hotel quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers from most places to seven days as long as they pass an antibody test, people familiar with the matter said, easing a border policy which has been criticized by residents and the city’s powerful finance industry for being among the strictest in the world.

MSCI Cuts China Huarong From Indexes After 50-Day Trading Halt
Jeanny Yu – Bloomberg
Deletions for bad-debt manager take into effect June 22; Others may also drop Huarong from benchmarks if halt persists
MSCI Inc. plans to delete troubled Chinese bad-debt manager China Huarong Asset Management Co. from its stock indexes effective June 22, due to the continued suspension of the company’s shares.

Saudi Arabia to Form Entity With $29 Billion in Equity Holdings
Matthew Martin – Bloomberg
Cabinet approves combination of Public Pension Agency, GOSI; PPA, GOSI also own other assets including bonds, real estate
Saudi Arabia will combine two state-run pension and unemployment insurance funds into an entity with almost $29 billion of local and foreign stocks. The cabinet approved the combination of the Public Pension Agency and the General Organization of Social Insurance, also known as GOSI. It’ll boost investment returns, reduce costs and help with their diversification, Finance Minister and GOSI Chairman Mohammed Al Jadaan said in a statement.

Americans Welcomed Back to Europe as Covid-19 Restrictions Ease; European Union opens up in time for the critical summer travel season
Eric Sylvers in Milan and Laurence Norman – WSJ
The European Union agreed to open the door to American tourists for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, giving a boost to the continent’s crucial tourism industry and Americans’ summer travel options.


Older Americans Are on the Front Line of the Student Debt Crisis
Alexandre Tanzi and Madison Paglia – Bloomberg
It’s hard enough to pay off college loans out of a salary. It doesn’t get any easier when you retire.
The fastest-growing chunk of the U.S.’s $1.7 trillion student-loan pile is the one held by the oldest borrowers. There are now about 8.7 million Americans aged over 50 who are still paying off college loans, and their debt has increased by about half since 2017.

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Past JLN Newsletters

The Spread – July 30, 2021

The Spread – July 30, 2021

Earnings season in full bloom; Options lead year-to-date derivatives volume; Robinhood’s IPO; John gets real with Get Real VR: Conflicting factors underpin volatility; Cboe cleared for fall European competition; and the Cboe Options Institute’s Kevin Davitt talks about vega in this week’s “Term of the Week.”

The Four Biggest Ways That Robinhood Changed Investing

The Four Biggest Ways That Robinhood Changed Investing

First Read $51,906/$300,000 (17.3%) ++++ Options Continue to Lead Derivatives Volume Uptrend, but Q2 Lags, FIA Data Show Suzanne Cosgrove - John Lothian News Global futures and options volumes continued to trend higher in the first half of 2021 compared to both 2020...

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