CFTC Charges 14 Entities for Failing to Register as FCMs or Falsely Claiming to be Registered; Global supply chains at risk of collapse, warn business leaders

Sep 30, 2021

First Read

$53,706/$300,000 (17.9%)

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Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Today’s lead story is a press release from the CFTC about 14 firms charged with failing to register as futures commission merchants. All the firms combined FX trading and cryptocurrency trading and claimed to be a leading platform for binary options. They also claimed their customer funds were regulated by the CFTC. These are three regulatory weak points combined into a single enticing offering. This and the several other enforcement actions announced yesterday and recently are part of the race to the end of the 2021 fiscal year.

Last night we published a video interview I did with two executives from Cushman & Wakefield about the Chicago real estate market conditions. Jack Keenan and Jack Deroche were interviewed over Zoom and spoke about the positives of the Chicago real estate market in light of the pandemic because of the diversity of corporate players in the Chicago market. John Lothian News wanted to see what the market looked like as we plan our future office needs. We figured many other Chicago market participants would be interested as well. You can watch the video HERE.

Also, Jack Keenan is a former chair of the LaSalle Street Dinner for the Boy Scouts, which I found out when I was interviewing him. Jack Deroche is a former intern at Cboe.

We are looking for the next raffle participant in our JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign video offer. Who will it be?

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

*****

In time for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26, which begins October 31 in Glasgow, ISDA today released a white paper on the “Role of Derivatives in Carbon Markets.” Not surprisingly, the group takes a decidedly pro stance on traded carbon derivatives, including futures, options and swaps, which the authors of the paper say help companies subject to carbon compliance programs meet their obligations and manage risk in a cost-effective way. You can access it here. ~SC

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The Question of Office Space: Chicago Commercial Real Estate Pros From Cushman & Wakefield Talk Trends

JohnLothianNews.com

A question on many business owners’ minds is what their real estate needs will be once the pandemic ends. John Lothian News is no exception, so we reached out to real estate professionals Jack Keenan and Jack Deroche to give us a rundown on what Chicago’s market looks like now and in the future.

Keenan is executive managing director at Cushman & Wakefield and Deroche is a director there. The firm bills itself as a “global leader in the commercial real estate industry,” so the two executives are well-positioned to speak about the trends they see across Chicago and the U.S.

Watch the video »

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City Moves: Who’s switching jobs in the Square Mile today?
City AM
Baton Systems
Baton Systems has hired a new president from Citi, who will be working closely with the fintech firm’s London-based team. Bringing more than three decades experience to the firm, Jerome Kemp moves from Citi where was the global head of futures, OTC clearing and FX prime brokerage. Founder and CEO Arjun Jayaram said:”Having a practitioner with Jerome’s exceptional calibre, wealth of experience and vision helping to drive Baton forward will prove invaluable as we scale to meet market needs.” Kemp, who is also chair of the Futures Industry Association, will lead Baton’s growth across markets, leveraging valuable international experience gained throughout his career in Paris, London and Tokyo.
/bit.ly/2ZDzFAh

**** Who will be the next chair of the FIA?~JJL

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CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight Director, Dorothy DeWitt, to Depart Agency
Acting Chairman Rostin Behnam Names Acting Director
CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that Division of Market Oversight (DMO) Director Dorothy DeWitt will step down from her role as Director today. Ms. DeWitt has led DMO since joining the agency in September 2019.
/bit.ly/3AXP1xj

*****Thank you to Dorothy DeWitt for her service.~JJL

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Diversity & Inclusion Initiative; Diversity encompasses a range of human differences. All areas of diversity, equity and inclusion deserve recognition in our industry.
FIA
FIA believes inclusion and diversity is both a business and moral imperative that builds trust, brings different skills and perspectives to an organization, and compels us to stand up for what is right. Our mission is to foster diversity and inclusion and encourage, support and celebrate the diverse voices both within the association and the industry at large.
/bit.ly/2XUZ8V3

*****The acronym you should know is DEI, which stands for diversity, equity and inclusion.~JJL

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Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Wednesday was, of course, ‘Most Americans Today Believe the Stock Market Is Rigged, and They’re Right’ from Bloomberg Businessweek. Second was Dimon says JPMorgan preparing for ‘potentially catastrophic’ US credit default, from The Hill. Third was Hidden Interests: Federal Judges With Financial Conflicts, from The Wall Street Journal.

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MarketsWiki Stats
26,622 pages; 235,928 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

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Lead Stories

CFTC Charges 14 Entities for Failing to Register as FCMs or Falsely Claiming to be Registered
CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today filed charges against 14 entities for either failing to register as futures commission merchants (FCMs) or else making false and misleading claims of having CFTC registration and National Futures Association (NFA) membership. Each complaint seeks orders directing the entities to cease and desist from committing violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations as charged. “Today’s actions reflect the CFTC’s dedicated efforts to aggressively root out bad actors falsely claiming to hold legitimate registrations and protect the trading public,” said Division of Enforcement Acting Director Vincent McGonagle.”
/bit.ly/2ZLvTVJ

Global supply chains at risk of collapse, warn business leaders; Governments urged to restore freedom of movement to transport workers to alleviate their ‘mistreatment’
Gill Plimmer – FT
Global supply chains are at risk of collapse unless governments worldwide restore freedom of movement to transport workers and give them priority over vaccines, a coalition of international business leaders has warned.
/on.ft.com/39PTXsb

City of London bosses call for short-term business visas; Surge in costs to secure talented employees threatens UK’s competitiveness, report suggests
Daniel Thomas – FT
Financial services firms in the City of London are facing spiralling costs to bring in talented employees that threaten the competitiveness of the Square Mile, according to a report by industry body TheCityUK.
/on.ft.com/3zVeoi2

Crypto Firms Beef Up Compliance Hiring as Regulatory Scrutiny Mounts; Hiring pace has intensified in the past 15 months, according to recruiter Hamlyn Williams
Mengqi Sun – WSJ
Cryptocurrency companies are ramping up hiring in their compliance departments as they come under increasing regulatory scrutiny in the U.S. and world-wide. Hamlyn Williams Inc., a global recruiter that focuses on regulated industries, said it has conducted 18 chief-compliance-officer searches for financial technology and cryptocurrency businesses in 2021, up from seven searches for all of 2020.
/on.wsj.com/3inI9C7

The Pandemic Made the Finance Industry’s Toughest Test Tougher; This summer, a record low number of C.F.A. test takers passed the first level of the notoriously difficult exams, reviving an old debate about the merits of the qualification.
Lananh Nguyen – NY Times
When the pandemic hit, Irene Zhu decided to explore switching careers from tourism to finance. A lifelong math whiz, Ms. Zhu, 37, set her sights on becoming a chartered financial analyst, a highly coveted professional qualification in the investing world. But to do so, she would need to pass three notoriously difficult tests, the first of which she sat for in February — after staying up well past 1 a.m. on many nights studying. She failed.
/nyti.ms/3og5utk

An Obscure Chinese Mining Law Is Hobbling Global Energy Security
Alfred Cang – Bloomberg
China’s current energy crisis can be traced back in part to a legal amendment targeting miners that garnered little notice when it went into effect in March. Article 134 in China’s criminal law elevated penalties for a series of violations from fines to possible jail time in response to an increase in mining-related accidents. However, that law led to a newfound hesitancy among miners to boost production and intensified a supply deficit that could not come at a worse time for President Xi Jinping as the country faces a severe power crunch amid a surge in energy demand. The crisis also threatens to slow economic growth and snarl global supply chains.
/yhoo.it/3uqLSUa

Wall Street’s Ken Griffin fires back at those making #KenGriffinLied a trending topic on social media — and Reddit rejoices
Thornton McEnery – MarketWatch
Reddit’s merry band of retail traders now have something they have longed for almost as much the “mother of all short squeezes”: Ken Griffin’s attention. In an uncharacteristic move, the billionaire founder of Citadel and electronic trading firm Citadel Securities, has fired back publicly at meme-stock traders after they made #KenGriffinLied a trending topic on social media. The hashtag is in reference to allegations from retail investors that Griffin lied to Congress about his role in Robinhood’s HOOD, -3.34% decision earlier this year to halt trading of meme stocks such as GameStop Corp. GME, -1.50% and AMC Entertainment Holdings AMC, -3.92% at the height of January’s short squeeze.
/on.mktw.net/3AWuJV3

Crypto products offering returns cannot avoid regulation, says SEC boss; Gary Gensler warns ‘somebody is going to get hurt’ without safeguards
Gary Silverman and Stefania Palma – FT
Cryptocurrency trading and lending platforms that promise returns to investors are wrong to think that they can avoid regulation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the agency’s chair has said.
/on.ft.com/3AWh6Ft

Market Maker Virtu Backs Venture for Trading Private Stocks
Katherine Doherty – Bloomberg
Strategy is to increase investors’ access to private listings; ClearList also has backing from Tudor Jones investment firm
Market maker Virtu Financial Inc. is the latest backer of ClearList, a digital-trading venture that links investors to private companies before they go public. Virtu’s stake will help the trading platform expand as it brings its knowledge of public equities to the private market, ClearList Chief Executive Officer Bill White said in an interview. White’s firm, which was created last year, gives wealthy clients and large investors access to new types of investments in the capital markets, including primary offerings and secondary trading for private companies.
/bloom.bg/3B0ABwr

The Next Skill Shortfall for Brexit Britain Could Be Bankers
Harry Wilson. – Bloomberg
Report warns U.K. finance risks missing out on foreign talent; Brexit has pushed up the cost of immigration for EU nationals
First, the lorry drivers dried up. Now, lobbyists in post-Brexit Britain are warning of another looming skills shortage: bankers. International staff, mostly from the European Union, make up about a fifth of the 1.1 million people working in U.K. financial services. But Brexit is making it harder and more expensive to hire foreign staff, according to a report by TheCityUK, a lobby group, the City of London Corporation, and EY, the consultancy firm.
/bloom.bg/3CXnwEH

Exodus of Hong Kong Bankers Accelerates in Chase for China Deals
Cathy Chan – Bloomberg
UBS, Credit Suisse among lenders shifting bankers to mainland; China opens $54 trillion financial market to foreign banks
Global lenders are speeding up a relocation of bankers from Hong Kong to China to expand dealmaking in the world’s second-largest economy, partly spurred on further by tight quarantine restrictions.
/bloom.bg/3ma0iV1

Three More U.K. Power Suppliers Collapse as Energy Crisis Deepens
Rachel Morison and Todd Gillespie – Bloomberg
Companies have 233,000 customers that will need a new supplier; The current price shock was hard to predict, Igloo says
Three more U.K. energy companies were pushed out of business by sky-high natural gas prices, bringing to more than 1.7 million the number of customers who have lost their supplier and adding to pressure on the government to step in.
/bloom.bg/3F4q9GI

Derivatives Set for $15 Trillion Switch in Libor Test Run
William Shaw – Bloomberg
Global banks are about to get a comprehensive blueprint for how derivatives worth several hundred trillion dollars may be finally disentangled from the London Interbank Offered Rate.
/yhoo.it/3D1bF8S

Virtu Makes Strategic Investment in ClearList; Combines with GTS for Unprecedented Global Market Making Offering for Private Markets
ClearList Holdings
ClearList Holdings, today announced that Virtu Financial (NASDAQ: VIRT; “Virtu”) a leading provider of trading solutions and liquidity to the global markets, has become a strategic investor in ClearList.
/yhoo.it/3AUbag5

The UK’s female entrepreneurs battling for a fair share of funding; Thirty founders who built fast-growing businesses in spite of forbidding odds
Tim Bradshaw, Daniel Thomas and Madhumita Murgia – FT
Seeking funding for her fintech start-up Snoop, the former Virgin Money boss Jayne-Anne Gadhia received a blunt response from a venture capital partner of a big US firm: companies led by women just do not tend to attract the same funding as those run by men.
/on.ft.com/3uoi9eG

Start-up finance is a closed shop for women; Venture capital industry remains heavily skewed towards male-founded businesses
Helen Thomas – FT
Could the problem possibly be, asked Caroline Criado Perez in her book Invisible Women, that we have “woman-blind tech, created by a woman-blind tech industry and funded by woman-blind investors”?
/on.ft.com/3uyzPEE

Coronavirus

China’s Vaccine Push Falters as Nations Switch to mRNA Shots
Iain Marlow and Randy Thanthong-Knight – Bloomberg
Sinovac was the first shot to reach many poorer countries; Places across Asia, Middle East are now choosing mRNA doses
In the early days of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, Chinese shots saved countless lives. They kick-started inoculation programs across Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, while richer countries hoarded scarce mRNA shots from Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc.
/bloom.bg/2ZNFtHL

More Than 55 Nations Have Yet to Hit 10% Covid Vaccine Target
James Paton – Bloomberg
More than a quarter of countries remain short of key goal; WHO had pushed for a ‘sprint to September’ to end pandemic
About nine months after the arrival of Covid-19 shots, dozens of countries have yet to vaccinate 10% of their populations, a milestone seen as crucial in narrowing a glaring gap in access. The head of the World Health Organization earlier this year called for an urgent push to hit that target by the end of September. But more than 55 countries remain short of the goal, illustrating the problems that the Covax distribution program has faced in its bid to roll out vaccines to every corner of the planet.
/bloom.bg/3AVe9VC

Why heading back to the office could bring us all ‘psychological richness’; Having a wide variety of experiences — even bad ones — is important for our wellbeing
Jemima Kelly – FT
Next week, I will slowly begin The Great Return to the office. After 18 months of working from home, I’m a little nervous — trying to concentrate in a bustling newsroom, having to look tidy, the messy business of dealing with other human beings. But what I fear most is something else entirely: losing the sense of wellbeing I’ve often felt during these months of isolation.
/on.ft.com/3B0gGOb

U.S. Frackers Fear Vaccine Mandate Will Worsen Worker Crunch; Oil executives say many workers in shale regions remain unvaccinated, hurting their ability to rebuild workforces as energy prices rise
Collin Eaton – WSJ
American frackers, already struggling to hire enough workers, are concerned that the coming U.S. vaccine mandate will worsen the situation at a time of rising oil and gas prices.
/on.wsj.com/3omJ3CS

In Well-Vaccinated Maine, Covid-19 Still Fills Hospitals With the Unvaccinated; Delta variant finds vulnerable pockets; ‘It doesn’t need much kindling to continue to burn.’
Jon Kamp and Brianna Abbott – WSJ
The Delta variant is finding clusters of unvaccinated people even in some of the best-vaccinated parts of the country, such as Maine. A Covid-19 surge in the New England state has filled hospitals and put dozens of mostly unvaccinated people on ventilators, setting records for the state.
/on.wsj.com/2ZAKgfi

How Asia, Once a Vaccination Laggard, Is Revving Up Inoculations; Several countries are now on track to surpass the United States in fully vaccinating their populations, lifting hopes of a more permanent return to normality.
Sui-Lee Wee, Damien Cave and Ben Dooley – NY Times
As the United States and Europe ramped up their Covid-19 vaccination programs, the Asia-Pacific region, once lauded for its pandemic response, struggled to get them off the ground. Now, many of those laggards are speeding ahead, lifting hopes of a return to normality in nations resigned to repeated lockdowns and onerous restrictions.
/nyti.ms/2Y579Y9

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Small Exchange Lowers Barrier To Crypto Innovation With New Index Future
Renato Capelj – Benzinga
The Small Exchange announced the launch of a new product, the Small Cryptocurrency Stock Index (SCCX), which begins trading on Oct. 4, 2021. What Happened: Launched last year, the Small Exchange was founded after CEO and President Donald Roberts, alongside Tom Sosnoff, founder and co-CEO of tastytrade, reflected on their experiences building thinkorswim, a brokerage acquired by TD Ameritrade in 2009 for $606 million.
/yhoo.it/3m9OiD8

MIAX Options Exchange – October 1, 2021 Non-Transaction Fee Changes
Mondovisione
Effective October 1, 2021, MIAX Options will reinstate fees for its Complex Top of Market (“cToM”) data feed and begin to charge a fee of $1,250 per month for internal distribution and $1,750 per month for external distribution (pending re-filing with the SEC).
/bit.ly/39S5E1I

ASX says DLT project on-track for 2023 as exchange gets ticking off over clearing and settlement issues; Reserve Bank of Australia points out that ASX had only “partly observed” operational risk standards across its clearing and settlement platforms, in a review of the exchange.
Jonathan Watkins – The Trade
The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has been told by the country’s central bank that it needs to fix aspects of its clearing and settlement system operations following a market outage on 16 November 2020, which the group said it will take into account as it prepares to shift to a new distributed ledger technology (DLT) based platform.
/bit.ly/3F6iFmv

Turquoise expands investor access to US share trading with new business segment; Through the US business segment, the Turquoise Lit Order Book will support the trading of US financial instruments during UK trading hours and be cleared through LCH.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSEG) Turquoise has launched a business segment aimed at expanding investors access to US share trading during UK market hours. As part of the expanded US remit, the Turquoise Lit Order Book will now support the trading of US financial instruments including cash equities, US listed exchange traded funds and American depository receipts, in a bid to expand the range of global investors able to access the market.
/bit.ly/3oiEcSX

Pyrum Innovations lists on Euronext Growth
Euronext
NOK 476.4 million raised;Market capitalisation of NOK 1.98 billion;153rd listing on Euronext in 2021
Euronext today congratulates Pyrum Innovations, a German recycling technology company, on its listing on Euronext Growth Oslo (ticker code: PYRUM).
/bit.ly/3F6fk6P

Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation is showing two new exhibitions: “Evelyn Hofer. Encounters with the Camera “and” Female Perspectives from Vivian Maier to Barbara Klemm “
Deutsche Börse
Both exhibitions can be seen from October 8, 2021 to January 21, 2022 in The Cube, Frankfurt / Eschborn; Exhibition
visit as part of guided tours and on “Open Saturday” on October 30, 2021 – Press tour on October 7, 2021 at 11 a.m.
With “Evelyn Hofer. Encounters with the Camera “, the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation is showing 67 works by the renowned photographer, which were created in the USA and Europe in the 1960s and 1970s. At the same time, works by nine artists from the Art Collection Deutsche Börse who were active at the same time as Hofer are presented in “Female Perspectives from Vivian Maier to Barbara Klemm”. Both exhibitions can be seen from October 8, 2021 to January 21, 2022 at the corporate headquarters of Deutsche Börse, The Cube, in Frankfurt / Eschborn.
/bit.ly/3otdk2C

NYSE – Decommissioning of Legacy Sessions – October 1, 2021
NYSE
As previously announced, firms and service bureaus routing to the NYSE must now use NYSE Pillar sessions to route to Floor Brokers. All legacy order entry sessions that had been operating in parallel will be decommissioned as of October 1, 2021. Please note, firms seeking drop copies of orders manually keyed into NYSE systems by floor brokers must retain their legacy FIX drop copy sessions after October 1, 2021.
/bit.ly/3CWbmvV

SGX wins two Exchange of the Year awards
SGX
Asia Risk and GlobalCapital awards underscore strength of client offering; SGX’s innovation and product leadership cited
Singapore Exchange (SGX) has been awarded two more Exchange of the Year 2021 accolades, underscoring the strength of its client offering in helping market participants manage risk in Asia amid the upheaval in global markets.
/bit.ly/2ZJXXJ4

SGX welcomes Audience Analytics Limited to Catalist
SGX
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today welcomed Audience Analytics Limited to its Catalist under the stock code “1AZ”.
/bit.ly/3CWa6ZC

— CME STP Notices: September 30, 2021 — CME
— EBS Market Integration Notice: New and Updated Content — CME
— NCME Globex Notices: September 27, 2021. — CME
— Modification of Residual Allocation Step in All Treasury Futures Calendar Spreads and Certain Butterfly Spreads CME Globex Matching Algorithms — CME

Fintech

Belvedere Trading Selects Rival Systems for Real-Time Portfolio Margin and Risk Based Haircuts
Rival Systems
Rival Systems (Rival), an award-winning provider of trading and risk management software, today announced Belvedere Trading is leveraging Rival’s enterprise risk platform for real-time Portfolio Margin and Risk Based Haircuts. Rival’s fully hosted and managed solution provides a cost-effective way to monitor the firm’s capital requirements across futures, equities, and options.
/bit.ly/3okxFr8

Euromoney TRADEDATA integrates EDI’s DerivActions to launch cutting-edge futures and options corporate actions service; ViewXone, Euromoney TRADEDATA’s online service, enhances reference data offering by integrating EDI’s DerivActions feed
Exchange Data International
Exchange Data International (EDI) is pleased to partner with Euromoney TRADEDATA, and announce the integration of EDI’s DerivActions feed for the futures and options industry.
/bit.ly/3F6ypG0

Fiserv Selects New Jersey As A Location For Future Growth – Berkeley Heights Becomes One Of The Largest Fintech Hubs On The East Coast
Mondovisione
Fiserv, a leading global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions, today announced a commitment to continue and expand its presence in New Jersey. The company will add approximately 2,000 jobs to its existing presence and invest in a new location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.
/bit.ly/3kR2YHR

Construction Fintech Startup Built Nabs $1.5 Billion Valuation
Gillian Tan – Bloomberg
Built Technologies, a construction industry-focused financial-technology startup, has more than tripled its valuation to $1.5 billion after raising $125 million in an equity funding round led by TCV.
/bloom.bg/3uowacq

FlexTRADER EMS streamlines buy-side workflows with IHS Markit pre-trade TCA data; IHS Markit pre-trade analytics are now embedded directly within FlexTRADER EMS order blotter to enhance trading decisions at the point of trade.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
FlexTrade Systems has integrated the pre-trade transaction cost analysis (TCA) data from IHS Markit into its FlexTRADER execution management system (EMS) to streamline buy-side workflows.
/bit.ly/3CXFYgu

HSBC launches new Google Cloud risk trading tool; Tool allows the bank’s traders and risk managers to run “what if” scenarios to identify the capital requirements to cover rating downgrades and default risk of credit products.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
HSBC has launched a new Risk Advisory tool that leverages Google Cloud technology to harvest data points to allow its traders and risk managers to mitigate potential risk.
/bit.ly/3CXSBIh

Cybersecurity

‘Stalkerware’ Apps Are Proliferating. Protect Yourself; These spyware apps record your conversations, location and everything you type, all while camouflaged as a calculator or calendar.
Brian X. Chen – NY Times
It looked like a calculator app. But it was actually spyware recording my every keystroke — the type of data that would give a stalker unfettered access to my private life.
/nyti.ms/3uCl3wJ

Cyber Hacks and WhatsApp Chats Heighten Risks for Remote Traders
Tom Metcalf – Bloomberg
Banks that allow traders to work remotely will need to continually rethink their approach to surveillance, cybersecurity and training to ensure employees are adequately supervised, according to an industry body. Risks include an increased use of unmonitored communications via services such as WhatsApp, while workers outside the office represent another avenue for cyber threats, a report Thursday by the London-based FICC Markets Standards Board said.
/bloom.bg/39TLtQK

Cryptocurrencies

New Zealand Exploring Possibility of Issuing a Digital Currency
Matthew Brockett – Bloomberg
New Zealand’s central bank is exploring the possibility of issuing a digital currency, saying the benefits it would bring include its potential use as a monetary policy tool.
/bloom.bg/3F77Ro7

First ETF combining bitcoin and ethereum launches in Canada
Jessy Bains – Yahoo Finance
Investors who want to buy a cryptocurrency ETF don’t have to choose between bitcoin (BTC) or ethereum (ETH) and its tokens called ether, because a new fund that holds both started trading today.
/yhoo.it/3D1cej0

Crypto investors ‘should be thanking China for this,’ says Anthony Pompliano
David Hollerith – Yahoo Finance
Wasting no time, crypto bulls already see last week’s banishment of crypto trading by the Chinese government as a boon to the emerging sector. Speaking at Yahoo Finance’s Crypto Investing Summit this week, the investor and podcaster, Anthony Pompliano, echoed the sentiment of many longtime investors of the asset class.
/yhoo.it/3mfhfxx

HKEX, HSBC back ‘mBridge’ digital currency project involving central banks of Hong Kong, China, Thailand and UAE
Georgina Lee – South China Morning Post
Hong Kong’s financial community has given its backing to a sovereign digital currency project being tested by the central banks of Hong Kong and China, saying they are ready to test cross-border financial payments using the blockchain.
/yhoo.it/3ieWbWL

Male-Dominated Crypto World Needs More Women, Exchange Head Says
Andreea Papuc – Bloomberg
The male-dominated cryptocurrency industry could provide more employment opportunities for women, according to the head of Australia’s largest digital-asset exchange.
/yhoo.it/3CPy4ps

SEC chief Gary Gensler reiterates support for bitcoin futures ETFs as the regulator continues to mull approval for crypto funds
Natasha Dailey – Business Insider
Gary Gensler, the US Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, renewed his support for bitcoin futures Wednesday. In prepared remarks for the Financial Times’ “Future of Asset Management North America Conference,” Gensler noted a number of open-end mutual funds invested in bitcoin futures traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
/yhoo.it/3AWJSWe

El Salvador’s President Bukele says the first steps in the country’s bitcoin volcano project are underway
Camomile Shumba – Business Insider
El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele said the Central American country has taken the first steps towards getting its bitcoin volcano project underway, in an announcement on Twitter Tuesday. Bukele said in a few words that the project had begun, and released a video that captured the scene of an energy factory surrounded by a forest near a volcano.
/yhoo.it/39RSykQ

The Latest Boom in Cryptocurrencies Is Happening in Job Market
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
Kraken, Coinbase joined by JPMorgan, KPMG in growing teams; ‘It’s the strongest I’ve seen,’ says crypto jobs board founder
Even as regulators tighten their oversight of cryptocurrencies and related businesses, hiring in the industry is reaching a fever pitch. On many employment websites such as Indeed.com, crypto searches are more than double year-ago levels. On LinkedIn, paid U.S. job postings with keywords like “cryptocurrency” and “blockchain” were up more than 600% from the previous year as of Aug. 1 and almost 400% compared with the same date in 2019. One popular jobs board, CryptocurrencyJobs.co, saw nearly 1,500% growth in paid listings since last year.
/bloom.bg/3zVmabC

Politics

Pro-Crypto Senator Warns Stablecoins Need to Be Backed by Cash
Akayla Gardner – Bloomberg
Sen. Lummis suggests coins may need to be issued by banks; Call for more rules is latest sign of crypto crackdown in D.C.
Stablecoins should be backed by cash and may need to be issued by banks, according to U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis, who has become one of Capitol Hill’s most ardent supporters of cryptocurrencies.
/bloom.bg/3mbznIz

Joe Biden sends radically mixed signals over climate ambitions; Rejecting a higher carbon price means renouncing the most effective tool for cutting emissions
Edward Luce – FT
Everyone talks about the weather, goes the quip, but nobody does anything about it. Joe Biden billed himself as the long-awaited departure from the Democratic tendency to talk the talk on global warming yet fail to walk the walk. Biden would finally take serious action. In practice he is sending radically mixed signals. On Tuesday Jen Psaki, the White House spokesperson, said Biden was “looking at every means we have to lower gas [petrol] prices”, including pressing Opec to step up its oil production. Two weeks earlier, America’s president had described global warming as “code red — the nation and the world are in peril”. These statements cancel each other out.
/on.ft.com/3AWyV7f

Regulation

Bankers Charged With Helping Hedge Fund Manager Dodge Taxes
Christian Berthelsen – Bloomberg
Prosecutors say ‘Singapore Solution’ hid $60 million in assets; Unnamed hedge fund manager was allegedly main beneficiary
A Swiss firm and five bankers were charged with tax fraud conspiracy, with prosecutors in New York alleging they helped an unnamed hedge fund manager and two other U.S. taxpayers hide $60 million in assets by moving the money to other jurisdictions.
/bloom.bg/3m8xjB7

Former Goldman Compliance Analyst Accused of Insider Trading
Bob Van Voris – Bloomberg
Jose Luis Casero Sanchez worked in Goldman’s Warsaw office; His job was to try to prevent insider trading at the bank
A former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. compliance analyst whose job was to help the bank prevent insider trading was himself charged with insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
/bloom.bg/3mcOykB

Ex-Goldman Sachs compliance analyst accused of insider trading; SEC alleges employee in Warsaw office made $471,000 from illicit trades
Joshua Franklin and Stefania Palma – FT
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has accused a former Goldman Sachs compliance analyst of making hundreds of thousands of dollars using confidential information gleaned from his role at the bank.
/on.ft.com/2Y03jPp

SEC Charges Investment Bank Compliance Analyst with Insider Trading in Parents’ Accounts and Obtains Asset Freeze
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Jose Luis Casero Sanchez, a Spanish national and former Senior Compliance Analyst who worked in the Warsaw, Poland office of an international investment bank, with insider trading in advance of at least 45 corporate events involving the investment bank’s clients. The SEC has obtained an emergency court order to freeze Sanchez’s assets, including certain accounts he used to place the illicit trades.
/bit.ly/3l0epgB

Ontario Securities Commission Hosts Free Informative Events For Investor Education Month
Yahoo Finance
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) today announced several investor education and outreach events to help people make informed financial decisions as part of it
/yhoo.it/2XUZyuB

CFTC Charges Unregistered Commodity Trading Advisor, its Manager and a Managed Fund with Misappropriation and Fraud
CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today filed a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey against defendants Tradewale LLC, of Illinois, and Tradewale Managed Fund, of the United Kingdom, (collectively, Tradewale), and Valdas Dapkus, also of Illinois, charging the defendants with misappropriation fraud and Tradewale with solicitation fraud for trading off-exchange retail foreign currency (forex) and acting as a Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA) without CFTC registration.
/bit.ly/3upMcT9

CFTC Orders Société Générale S.A. to Pay $1.5 Million for Mid-Market Mark, Swap Valuation Data and Supervision Failures
CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today filed and settled charges against Société Générale S.A., a provisionally registered swap dealer, for failing to comply with certain swap dealer requirements for disclosing mid-market marks to counterparties, reporting inaccurate swap valuation data to a swaps data repository (SDR), and related supervision failures.
/bit.ly/39OKWiW

CFTC Orders California Company to Pay $100,000 for Failing to Register as a Swap Execution Facility
CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today issued an order filing and simultaneously settling charges against Symphony Communication Services, LLC for failing to register as a swap execution facility (SEF). The order requires Symphony to pay a $100,000 civil monetary penalty and to cease and desist from any further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations, as charged.
/bit.ly/3AUeA2d

CFTC Staff Issues Advisory to Clarify Activities that May Trigger the SEF Registration Requirement
CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Market Oversight (DMO) today issued a staff advisory clarifying certain trading activities may trigger compliance with the swap execution facility (SEF) registration requirement in the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations.
/bit.ly/3kVkdaM

Wall Street Links to Pennsylvania Pension Fund Probed by SEC
Neil Weinberg – Bloomberg
A $66 billion Pennsylvania state pension fund under scrutiny for errors in calculating investment returns has been asked by securities regulators to turn over records related to possible gifts exchanges with dozens of Wall Street firms, according to a subpoena reviewed by Bloomberg.
/yhoo.it/3kUmWBk

U.S. and Chinese Regulators Are in a Bind Over a Three-Letter Acronym; Variable interest entities, or VIEs, that enabled many Chinese companies to raise money in the U.S. are facing increasing scrutiny
Jing Yang – WSJ
An arcane accounting term has become a focal point of securities regulators in Washington and Beijing, whose goals are, oddly, aligned when it comes to U.S. listings of Chinese companies. Buried in the fine print of stock-offering prospectuses and annual reports of many U.S.-listed Chinese companies are references to variable interest entities, or VIEs. They are, in essence, companies that are controlled via a series of contracts to effect ownership in their assets.
/on.wsj.com/3F6hGmj

SEC Proposes to Enhance Proxy Voting Disclosure by Investment Funds and Require Disclosure of “Say-on-Pay” Votes for Institutional Investment Managers
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today proposed amendments to Form N-PX to enhance the information mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and certain other funds report about their proxy votes. The proposed rulemaking would require funds to tie the description of each voting matter to the issuer’s form of proxy and to categorize each matter by type to help investors identify votes of interest and compare voting records. The proposal also would prescribe how funds organize their reports and require them to use a structured data language to make the filings easier to analyze. Funds would also be required to disclose how their securities lending activity impacted their voting.
/bit.ly/2ZANXSc

SEC Charges Investment Bank Compliance Analyst with Insider Trading in Parents’ Accounts and Obtains Asset Freeze
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Jose Luis Casero Sanchez, a Spanish national and former Senior Compliance Analyst who worked in the Warsaw, Poland office of an international investment bank, with insider trading in advance of at least 45 corporate events involving the investment bank’s clients. The SEC has obtained an emergency court order to freeze Sanchez’s assets, including certain accounts he used to place the illicit trades.
/bit.ly/3l0epgB

New Q&AS Available
ESMA
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has today updated the following Questions and Answers:
EMIR implementation
SFTR data reporting
MiFID II and MiFIR transparency topics
/bit.ly/3ARUCFo

ESMA calls for legislative changes to improve access to and use of credit ratings
ESMA
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has published an Opinion on how access to and use of credit ratings can be improved in the EU. In the Opinion ESMA highlights the difficulties experienced by users of credit ratings and recommends that the legislators amend the CRA Regulation or take alternative legislative action to address these.
/bit.ly/3AVoHnG

Report from FINRA Board of Governors Meeting – September 2021
FINRA
Board Approves New Maintaining Qualifications Fee;; eaffirms FINRA’s Financial Guiding Principles
FINRA’s Board of Governors met on Sept. 23-24 and approved a proposal to establish a modest fee for individuals who choose to complete continuing education (CE) to remain qualified for up to five years following the termination of the individual’s registration.
/bit.ly/3otfqzw

September 2021 Board Update
FINRA
FINRA’s Board of Governors met on September 23 and 24, and approved a proposal to establish a modest fee for individuals who choose to complete continuing education (CE) to remain qualified for up to five years following the termination of the individual’s registration. The Board also approved two rulemaking items and reaffirmed FINRA’s Financial Guiding Principles.
/bit.ly/3uoUtXL

Investing and Trading

Retail Traders Stick to Dip-Buying Ways While Hinting at Fatigue
Bailey Lipschultz – Bloomberg
Retail investors bought into the biggest selloff of technology shares since May on Tuesday, targeting heavyweights like Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp.
/yhoo.it/3ogDyWc

The $52 Trillion Shadow Banks That Supercharged The Commodity Boom
OilPrice.com
After years in the dog house, the commodity markets are sizzling hot once again. Copper, lithium, tin, nickel, iron ore, manganese, corn, coffee, and lumber prices have all hit all-time highs. Meanwhile, those of aluminum, molybdenum, oil, natural gas, and even the world’s least-liked commodity, coal, are trading at multi-year highs.
/yhoo.it/3AVACSt

Mania Over Bond Film ‘No Time to Die’ Gives Beaten-Down Stock a Boost
Lisa Pham – Bloomberg
Cineworld shares are on track for best month since February; Cinema industry has been hurt by pandemic, streaming services
The release of the latest James Bond film “No Time to Die” in U.K. theaters on Thursday is breathing life into Cineworld Group Plc. Shares in the London-based cinema chain have rallied in recent days in anticipation of increased box office sales from the movie starring Daniel Craig, and are on course for their biggest monthly gain since February. Still, Cineworld’s market capitalization of 1.1 billion pounds ($1.5 billion) is well below its pre-Covid peak of 4.4 billion pounds in 2018.
/bloom.bg/3AZFvcY

The World’s Deadliest Pig Virus Creeps Closer to the U.S.; The Coast Guard is scrambling to keep the malady from washing ashore in Puerto Rico and potentially shutting down America’s pork exports.
Jim Wyss – Bloomberg
Shortly after officials detained six migrants from the Dominican Republic who had landed on the western coast of Puerto Rico on Sept. 24, a team of investigators in white protective gear descended on the beach. They weren’t searching for drugs or contraband but another threat: pork.
/bloom.bg/39W65ru

Duration Danger Is Making Europe’s Ultra-Long Bonds a Hard Sell
Priscila Azevedo Rocha – Bloomberg
Region’s safest bonds suffer worst losses since at least 2013; Issuers seized on demand to extend maturities to next century
After seizing on the lowest rates in history to extend debt maturities into the next century, Europe’s safest issuers have hit an impasse. Ultra-long debt is on pace for its steepest declines in more than seven years, as rebounding growth and inflation prompt investors to dump the safest debt that’s most sensitive to interest-rate risk.
/bloom.bg/3zWgy11

Big investors plan to cut exposure to Chinese assets on regulatory worries; Pension funds and insurers among those becoming more cautious, Invesco says
Tabby Kinder – FT
A growing number of asset allocators plan to reduce their exposure to China as regulatory turmoil has hit foreign investors in the country, according to a new survey by Invesco.
/on.ft.com/39TQeK6

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Futures Industry Association report examines climate change policy
Douglas Clark – Financial Regulation News
FIA’s 2021 Sustainable Finance Report serves as an update and supplements the FIA’s September 2020 policy paper, focusing on environmental futures while featuring industry resources and case studies highlighting industry contributions.
/bit.ly/2ZKLuor

The U.K.’s Energy Crisis Is an Opportunity for Batteries; Paying today for the insurance of storage and redundancy would mitigate the volatility of tomorrow.
Liam Denning – Bloomberg
Hoarding is how we maintain civilization and also how we end it. A good example of the latter is on display in the U.K., where the keep-calm-and-carry-on brigade have devolved into filling plastic water bottles with flammable fuel. Similar to the more daredevil plastic-bag fillers who sprung up stateside during the Colonial Pipeline hack, Brits pre-emptively topping up tanks on reports of fuel shortages help to foster the very thing they fear most.
/bloom.bg/2Wocvwx

Big Oil Splits On Oil’s Future; Decades of research supports a vision of an energy transition driven by technological and policy advances.
Nathaniel Bullard – Bloomberg
Two of Big Oil’s biggest players dropped their long-term energy outlooks this week: French energy company TotalEnergies and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. They offer quite different visions of the world 25 years from now. The European energy major sees a future driven by technology and policy; the cartel presents a vision that looks much like today.
/bloom.bg/3AXMtPV

Calpers, Carlyle Ignite ESG Data Push for $4 Trillion of Funds
Sonali Basak – Bloomberg
Investors pool information, seek transparency on private firms; Blackstone, Canadian pension plan also part of effort
Investors overseeing more than $4 trillion are banding together to standardize data on environmental, social and governance performance of portfolio companies, in an effort led by the largest pension and one of the largest private-equity funds in the U.S.
/bloom.bg/3zVB8OM

Institutions

Deutsche Bank Hiring Spree Marks Its Return to Junk Credit Swaps
Laura Benitez and Tasos Vossos – Bloomberg
Deutsche Bank AG is returning to trade credit-default swaps as it seeks to gain an edge over competitors in Europe and the U.S. in one of the hottest asset classes in credit markets.
/yhoo.it/3ooxOJZ

Wall Street firms dust off plans as debt limit talks go to the wire
Pete Schroeder and Michelle Price – Reuters
Wall Street firms are sounding alarm bells and dusting off contingency plans as fears grow that Congress may fail to reach a deal to raise the country’s debt limit in time, executives said.
/yhoo.it/2Y3Ptfv

Stifel Financial to acquire Memphis-based institutional brokerage Vining Sparks
Diana Barr – Yahoo Finance
Stifel Chairman and CEO Ron Kruszewski said the cultural and strategic fits between his company and the Memphis-based institutional brokerage it’s buying are “substantial.”
/yhoo.it/3F3XUYx

Komansky, CEO Who Led Merrill’s Global Growth, Dies at 82
Laurence Arnold and Katherine Doherty – Bloomberg
David Komansky, a college dropout who joined Merrill Lynch & Co. as a stockbroker and expanded the firm around the globe as chairman and chief executive officer during the bull markets of the 1990s, has died.
/yhoo.it/3CVGfR6

Odey’s Flagship Hedge Fund Surges More Than 100% in Epic Rebound
Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg
His Odey European Inc. fund rose this year through Sept. 29; The rebound follows five annual losses in the past six years
Crispin Odey is having a banner year, a much needed rebound for his flagship hedge fund that’s recovering from years of decline. His Odey European Inc. fund surged more than 100% through Sept. 29 this year, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The fund extended this year’s winning streak with one of its best months of performance on record, the person said.
/bloom.bg/39P739h

Goldman Names Tai to Head Southeast Asia Investment Banking
Cathy Chan – Bloomberg
Andy Tai replaces Naysmith who resigned to join Citigroup; Tai returns to Singapore to ‘elevate’ Southeast Asia footprint
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. appointed Andy Tai head of its investment banking division in Southeast Asia, filling a void left by Harry Naysmith who resigned this month.
/bloom.bg/3uotR9f

Goldman Sachs was poised to triumph in China. What happened? Wall Street bank is close to taking control of its Chinese subsidiary but new challenges have emerged
Tabby Kinder – FT
For Goldman Sachs, taking control of its Chinese joint venture was meant to be the culmination of 30 years of work and a ticket to future riches. “One hundred per cent ownership of our franchise on the mainland represents a significant commitment to and investment in China,” the Wall Street bank said in a December 2020 memo, signed by chief executive David Solomon, which pointed to “ongoing reforms under way in China’s capital markets, continued robust economic growth and the expanding needs of increasingly sophisticated clients”.
/on.ft.com/3zWVkA3

European banks narrow gap on meeting Basel III capital rules; Restrictions on dividend payouts during pandemic boost lenders’ balance sheets
Laura Noonan – FT
Europe’s banks have dramatically closed the gap on reaching new global capital standards that come fully into force in 2028, after pandemic restrictions on dividend payouts boosted balance sheets last year despite a choppy economy.
/on.ft.com/39RO4L8

H2O clients seek court expert to probe investments tied to Lars Windhorst; Group representing wealthy individuals and insurers will ask a French court to appoint an independent expert
Cynthia O’Murchu – FT
H2O Asset Management is facing legal action from investors over its backing of German financier Lars Windhorst’s business empire, which plunged the once high-flying fund manager into crisis two years ago.
/on.ft.com/3F7xULW

Citigroup urges appeals court to hit ‘rewind’ after Revlon blunder
Reuters
Citigroup on Wednesday pressed a federal appeals court to let it recoup about $504 million of its own money that it accidentally wired Revlon lenders, saying its mistake did not entitle them to a huge windfall.
/bit.ly/3immUR5

Regions

Japan Plans to Sell $8.9 Billion Postal Giant Stake in October
Taro Fuse and Emi Urabe – Bloomberg
Announcement will be made at the start of next month; The third sale comes 6 years after Japan Post Holdings’ IPO
The Japanese government plans to sell about 1 trillion yen ($8.9 billion) shares in Japan Post Holdings Co. as soon as next month, marking the state’s ongoing privatization of the postal and financial-services giant six years after its initial public offering.
/bloom.bg/3CXxCFx

China Stock Traders Tired of Bad News Seek ‘Golden Week’ Boost
Bloomberg News
Seven-day holiday watched as a measure of consumption strength; Stocks hit by regulatory clampdown, Evergrande, power curbs
China equity traders tormented by months of market turbulence are looking for fresh catalysts as the country heads into one of its peak seasons for consumer spending. The nation’s stock benchmark CSI 300 is poised for its worst quarter since March last year, as Beijing’s crackdown on private enterprise, China Evergrande Group’s debt crisis and a nationwide power crunch took a toll on stocks. Sluggish consumption has been another major concern, with health care and consumer staples leading the 7.5% plunge in the benchmark.
/bloom.bg/3F77bPB

Xi’s New China; From Cathie Wood to Mark Mobius, here’s what experts are saying about Beijing’s regulatory crackdown.
Bloomberg News
Behind President Xi Jinping’s regulatory blitzkrieg on China’s private sector is a commitment to narrowing the wealth gap after years of breakneck economic growth. Under the banner of “common prosperity,” the government is demanding that companies perform a useful social purpose instead of just enriching founders and shareholders. The sudden shift by the Communist Party has shocked investors across the world. Some now consider Chinese shares too risky; others see industries that will still prove profitable over time. Both bulls and bears concede that the investing landscape has been altered, and it will require greater agility and insight into government priorities to safely navigate.
/bloom.bg/3F3rnSz

Think Italian Banks Are Bad? Look at Germany!; If a new government can’t reform the financial system, Europe won’t be able to punch its weight globally.
Paul J. Davies – Bloomberg
A Deutsche Bank analyst got himself in trouble just before Germany’s elections for writing something few ever say out loud: The country’s banking sector needs serious reform. The sclerotic industry was mostly ignored for 16 years by Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will be caretaker until a new government is formed — a process that might take months. The country could use a fresh opportunity to kick-start long overdue structural changes to the system.
/bloom.bg/3kU4NUo

China’s Boozy Work Culture Fuels #MeToo Outcry at Alibaba, Didi; Companies are updating employee guidelines to tackle excessive drinking and sexual harassment.
Zheping Huang, Bruce Einhorn – Bloomberg
Erine joined the Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Global Inc. in 2020, she says, attracted by the opportunity to work for one of the world’s hottest tech companies. That July she had one of her first assignments in a small town—a client meeting that ended with a banquet, the food washed down with many bottles of red wine and the Chinese liquor called baijiu.
/bloom.bg/39R5DLl

Billionaires Get Help From China Move to Contain Evergrande
Blake Schmidt – Bloomberg
State entity buys stake in Shengjing Bank for $1.55 billion; Shengjing’s backers include Hui Ka Yan’s wealthy poker pals
China’s purchase of a stake in a struggling regional bank from China Evergrande Group aimed at preventing contagion is also benefiting Shengjing Bank Co.’s investors, including some poker pals of Evergrande founder Hui Ka Yan.
/bloom.bg/3kSNNh7

Hong Kong faces worst quarter for stock listings since pandemic; IPO freeze underscores city’s vulnerability to Beijing crackdown on tech sector
Hudson Lockett – FT
Hong Kong’s stock market is on track for its worst quarter for new listings since the earliest days of the Covid-19 pandemic, after a regulatory crackdown on Chinese technology groups stifled the flow of lucrative share sales vital to the city’s exchange.
/on.ft.com/3zTCc60

Miscellaneous

When it comes to trading, sports cards are in another league; How the 5-cent childhood trophy became a multimillion-dollar hit
Jonathan Manning – FT
The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card is the Mona Lisa of sports cards.” Entrepreneur and actor Rob Gough fizzes with excitement as he describes the card featuring the baseball legend glancing backwards, bat resting on his shoulder. The card was originally sold in bubble-gum packs for five cents, but in January, Gough paid $5.2m for it through PWCC, a major trading cards marketplace.
/on.ft.com/3kWOLcc

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