Thank you today’s backers:
Rama Pillai and Blake Brockway
Joe Sullivan’s Influence and Success, Part 2
John Lothian – JLN
Wayne Luthringshausen is another person whose career was influenced by the arc of Joseph Sullivan’s option exchange startup crusade to create the Chicago Board Options Exchange.
Luthringshausen was working for a brokerage firm in New Orleans that traded fifty percent stocks and fifty percent commodities futures. In 1970, the firm was being sold and Luthringshausen was looking for a better opportunity. He was an operations specialist in settling over the counter options for the firm.
He wanted to go to Chicago and find a bigger opportunity, and Joe Sullivan was one of the people Luthringshausen was introduced to by people in the Chicago office of the firm.
After the first meeting with Sullvan over lunch on a snowy February day at a Holiday Inn in the north shore suburbs of Chicago, Luthringshausen knew he had a job and he started in June.
Luthringshausen was a member of a six-person team of people who worked on the options exchange project for the Chicago Board of Trade. There was a lawyer, a couple of guys who would go to the floor and trade options after the launch, a woman who ran operations, Luthringshausen and Sullivan. Luthringshausen described his job title as “peon” when he started.
To read the rest of this commentary, go here.
Hits & Takes
The JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign attracted more donations, including its largest to date. Rama Pillai, the chief commercial officer of SGX, made that donation. Also donating was Blake Brockway, OCC’s executive principal and associate general counsel. And there was a donation from anonymous as well. Thank you to these kind donors, those who have given and those who have yet to give. Support our efforts to preserve industry history and our general operations by supporting the campaign.
The Wall Street Journal finally got around to covering the Joe Sullivan story, titled “Joseph Sullivan III Helped Create Chicago Options Exchange; Former journalist sold Wall Street on a new market and wore down stiff opposition from the SEC” by James R. Hagerty. There are some good tidbit facts in the story, so they have that going for it.
Eurex has a webinar in partnership with Quantitative Brokers on October 21, at 11:30 EST. The title of the webinar is “Eurex: Transaction Cost Model Market liquidity impacted across European Interest Rate Futures.” Sign up HERE.
ICE is hiring several new product, sales and commercial roles for its data business in Europe.
From HKEX: Three new futures now CFTC certified. HKEX has CFTC certification across 29 MSCI index futures contracts now eligible for trading in the US. HKEX newly listed MSCI Singapore Free (SGD) Index Futures, MSCI Japan (JPY) Index Futures & MSCI Japan Net Total Return (JPY) Index Futures are the latest contracts to be CFTC certified.
From Kapil Rathi: CrossTower is hosting a webinar: What Fund Managers Need to Know Before Investing in Cryptoassets: November 4, 2020 – 430 PM EST. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with name, company, title & email to receive the sign up page.
From Chuck Mackie: Please join us next Thursday as ALTSO Rocktoberfest goes virtual! In addition to getting an opportunity to support the amazing work that A Leg To Stand On does, you’ll have the chance to watch Matthew Scharpf, Mike Dennis and me perform as “No Direction.” Tune in, watch, and donate donate donate! Register (for free) HERE.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
The FIA confirmed that the keynote speakers for FIA Expo V, taking place virtually from November 10-12, will be Kathy Neuzil, head of the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for Vaccine Development; Sec Commissioner Hester Peirce; Silicon Valley journalist Kara Swisher; and CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert. Go here for more information and to register.~SR
Data analytics company BMLL Technologies has signed a distribution agreement with data delivery firm Crux Informatics, allowing BMLL’s data feed to become available to U.S. clients through Crux’s network. You can read the press release here.~MR
Joseph Sullivan III Helped Create Chicago Options Exchange; Former journalist sold Wall Street on a new market and wore down stiff opposition from the SEC
James R. Hagerty – WSJ
The Chicago Board of Trade was in a slump in 1968 when Joseph Sullivan III joined as an assistant to the president. Worried about sluggish trading in grain futures, exchange officials wanted to diversify. Mr. Sullivan, who was a Wall Street Journal reporter before moving to the Chicago exchange, was assigned to look into the feasibility of plywood futures. That idea flopped, but he embarked on a much more promising project: creating a new exchange to trade stock options, then an obscure corner of the financial markets.
*****Plywood futures did trade for a while. I remember taking a large order to the pit as a runner in 1981.~JJL
Citi names new co-heads of futures, clearing and FX prime brokerage business; Citi promotes internally to appoint co-heads of futures, OTC clearing, and FX prime brokerage (FCX).
Annabel Smith – The Trade
US investment bank Citi has promoted two of its executives to co-lead its futures, OTC clearing, and prime brokerage (FCX) department, according to an internal memo seen by The TRADE. Chris Perkins and Sabrina Wilson will be jointly responsible for growing Citi’s client franchise in FCX, articulating a new risk framework, focusing on increasing electronic distribution, and optimising Citi’s capital footprint.
*****Congratulations to both. I hope your tenure is long and productive.~JJL
Top World Bank Economist Says Financial Crisis Could Emerge From Pandemic
Michael Heath and Kathleen Hays – Bloomberg
Current quantitative easing scenario is not sustainable; Risk of looming debt crisis in world’s poorest countries
World Bank Chief Economist Carmen Reinhart said the coronavirus pandemic is turning into a major economic crisis and warned of the possibility of a financial crisis emerging. “This did not start as a financial crisis but it is morphing into a major economic crisis, with very serious financial consequences,” Reinhart said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “There’s a long road ahead.”
******I hope Carmen is wrong.~JJL
With Traders Far From Offices, Banks Bring Surveillance to Homes
Stefania Spezzati – Bloomberg
Lenders hang hopes on taped calls, machine learning technology; Remote working poses long-term challenge for compliance teams
In this open-ended era of working from home, the financial industry is taking unprecedented steps to police bankers and prevent wrongdoing. Traders at firms like Barclays Plc must certify they work in separate rooms to housemates. Morgan Stanley bankers are using laptops where every key stroke is recorded. Lenders including NatWest Group Plc are requiring daily location updates from traders and recording video calls.
******There are some good surveillance systems out there, including one that is implanted in your dog. Mine are always at my feet, so they have me covered.~JJL
Pilots swap the cockpit for trading screens; Flying an aircraft requires the same concise decision-making as betting on financial markets, so a London firm decided to experiment
Laura Noonan – FT
Take five underemployed pilots. Give them intense markets training, add in an investment portfolio to experiment with, pit them against a control group from other backgrounds, and see what happens. That is what a small London-based trading firm did in August, hoping to prove the “discipline, control, process and self-awareness” that pilots show in the cockpit would translate into above average pay-offs from the financial markets.
******Who else would be a good trader who has time on their hands?~JJL
CryptoMarketsWiki Coin of the Week: Litecoin (LTC)
Litecoin creator Charlie Lee said in an interview with Coindesk this week that he and the other developers of Litecoin are working on adopting privacy-enhancing features for the coin, similar to popular “privacy coins” like Zcash and Monero. Litecoin has been among the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap for years and remains a popular choice for investors.
Thursday’s Top Three
Our top story Thursday was the Financial Times’ Water futures meet cool reception. Second was the notice for the funeral details for Edward Netter, the longtime SG/Newedge technology executive. Third was When spoofers are sidelined, we all win, from Crain’s Chicago Business.
190,226,496 pages viewed; 24,466 pages; 226,346 edits
|CryptoMarketsWiki, our archive of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, is going strong and keeping pace as this area of finance grows and evolves.Recently Updated Pages
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CFTC Votes to Pass Final Rule on Position Limits; Move is intended to prevent speculators from causing price swings; agricultural, metal and energy commodities affected
Paul Kiernan – WSJ
The nation’s top derivatives regulator voted Thursday to establish limits on the size of speculators’ bets in markets for commodities including gold, cattle and crude oil, completing a long-delayed effort to enact a provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission established so-called position limits for the first time on 16 agricultural, metal and energy commodities, while updating federal caps on nine agricultural products that were already subject to them. By limiting the number of contracts that a single participant can amass, the rule aims to prevent speculators—as opposed to users or producers of the commodities—from causing price swings that don’t reflect underlying supply-and-demand dynamics.
Cboe agrees to acquire BIDS Trading; The exchange said the planned acquisition of BIDS Trading will allow it to diversify its US equities offering beyond traditional exchange products and services.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Exchange operator Cboe Global Markets has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire broker dealer BIDS Trading. Cboe said in a statement that it plans to fund the transaction with debt and that the purchase price is not material from a financial perspective. The transaction is expected to close in early 2021 and is subject to customary closing conditions.
Individual-Investing Boom Fuels Trading in Low-Price Stocks; Zero-commission apps and online brokerages have driven a boost in volume for sub-$5 stocks
Alexander Osipovich – WSJ
On one Thursday in August, more than 10% of all U.S. stock-market trading volume was in shares of Gevo Inc., a little-known renewable-fuels company. The stock popped to $1.82 from 55 cents that day after the company announced a big contract, triggering a surge in volume. Much of it was at off-exchange venues where retail brokerages route orders—a sign that hordes of individual investors were trading the stock, according to Rosenblatt Securities.
A wave of new investors who have little concept of the risks; Faced with the strong possibility of ongoing paranoia-driven economic stagnation, we are upping our savings accordingly
Merryn Somerset Webb – FT
Back in 2016 I suggested that you consider buying a small stake in the Iranian stock market. I don’t suppose anyone did. It wasn’t exactly easy to get in at the time and my optimism about the economy was pretty misplaced. But if you found a way, you would have bought in with the index on about 50,000. You could then have sold on August 8 with it at 2,000,000.
Crypto exchange OKEx halts withdrawals in China probe; Group says it has lost touch with employee who holds the exchange’s crucial ‘private keys’
Adam Samson – FT
One of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges has halted withdrawals after revealing it has lost contact with an employee who is “co-operating” in a Chinese government investigation. OKEx, an exchange that does business globally, said on Friday that it was “out of touch” with the employee, who was co-operating in the inquiry launched by a “public security bureau” in China.
America’s Money Men Could Save Us. But They’re Stuck in the Seventies. (And, unfortunately, yes, they mostly are men).
Claudia Sahm – NY Times
Let’s face reality: It is likely that no further economic relief is coming from Congress before the election. For months, negotiations between Democrats and Republicans over a follow-up package have alternated between stopping, starting and stalling.
Morgan Stanley Powers Through Coronavirus Recession With Higher Profit, Revenue; Wall Street firm rounded out third-quarter earnings reports from nation’s big banks
Liz Hoffman – NY Times
Morgan Stanley MS 1.34% on Thursday said its quarterly profit rose 25% from a year ago, another big U.S. bank to skate unscathed through the rockiest economy in years. Profit of $2.72 billion, or $1.66 a share, was higher than a year ago and beat analysts’ forecasts. Revenue rose 16% to $11.66 billion.
Interview with Mr. Paul Constantinou | Association of Futures Markets
Schwab-TD deal was a decade in the making: CEO
Jessica Mathews – FinancialPlanning.com
Charles Schwab’s landmark $22 billion acquisition of TD Ameritrade was the fruition of the company’s years-long efforts to reposition itself within the marketplace, according to CEO Walt Bettinger. “It was the culmination of something that we had talked about internally and tried to position our firm for the better part of the last 10 or 15 years,” Bettinger said at the Money Management Institute’s virtual conference this week.
Robinhood Internal Probe Finds Hackers Hit Almost 2,000 Accounts
Sophie Alexander – Bloomberg
A fake Arizona ID offers clue on how a hacker accessed funds; Some clients dispute assertion that email accounts to blame
Almost 2,000 Robinhood Markets accounts were compromised in a recent hacking spree that siphoned off customer funds, a sign that the attacks were more widespread than was previously known.
Covid-19 Battle to Intensify as Winter Sets In; U.S., Europe face the risk that coronavirus cases multiply at the same time as other illnesses, overwhelming hospitals
Jason Douglas – WSJ
Health authorities in North America and Europe are bracing for another intensive phase in the battle against Covid-19 as winter begins. Respiratory viruses tend to spread more easily during the cold winter months, which in a typical year bring coughs and sneezes to the schoolyard and pneumonia and death to the most vulnerable elderly people. The risk for the U.S. and Europe this year is that Covid-19 cases multiply at the same time as other winter illnesses, overwhelming hospitals with sick patients.
From peak city to ghost town: the urban centres hit hardest by Covid-19; FT research shows London and New York have suffered the most from the pandemic, but more substantial change lies ahead
Valentina Romei and John Burn-Murdoch – Ft
The few people on the streets of the City of London or lower Manhattan have got used to a familiar sight in recent months: empty shops, boarded up storefronts and cafés struggling for survival in once bustling financial districts.
Remdesivir has little effect on Covid-19 mortality, WHO study says; Results of highly anticipated Solidarity trial strike blow to hopes for coronavirus treatments
Donato Paolo Mancini and Clive Cookson – FT
The Covid-19 treatment remdesivir has no substantial effect on a patient’s chances of survival, a clinical trial by the World Health Organization has found, delivering a significant blow to hopes of identifying existing medicines to treat the disease.
Sweden: why the ‘moral superpower’ dissented over Covid-19; As it did over the migration crisis in 2015, the Scandinavian country took a position distinct from its European neighbours
Richard Milne – FT
A global crisis breaks with a particular focus on Europe. Nearly all countries act in unison except for Sweden. The solo approach of the Scandinavian country sparks international headlines asking why it stands out from the crowd.
European Cases Surge; Poland Reports Record Deaths: Virus Update
European nations including Germany continued to report record Covid-19 cases, while Poland and Hungary registered unprecedented daily deaths. The outbreaks have prompted tougher curbs on London and a curfew in Paris, while Belgium readies stricter measures. The U.S. reported the most daily cases in two months as total infections approached 8 million, with Midwest states seeing the biggest surges. Joe Biden faulted Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus in a televised town hall while the U.S. president continued to question the effectiveness of masks in another forum.
What Does ‘Negative’ on a Coronavirus Test Really Mean? President Trump’s recent tests are a reminder that although many products exist, none test for infectiousness.
Katherine J. Wu – NY Times
In a flurry of memos released this week and last, the White House physician, Dr. Sean Conley, stated that President Trump no longer posed a transmission risk to others — an assessment, he noted, that was largely precipitated by the results of a bevy of “advanced diagnostics.” The declarations have helped clear Mr. Trump to return to the campaign trail, including a town-hall-style event hosted by NBC News on Thursday evening.
After 700 Students Test Positive, a College President Resigns; The State University of New York at Oneonta had the worst coronavirus outbreak of any public university in the state.
Amanda Rosa – NY Times
The State University of New York at Oneonta on Thursday announced the abrupt resignation of its president only weeks after it experienced the most severe coronavirus outbreak of any public university in the state.
White House Agrees to Democrats’ National Coronavirus-Testing Strategy; Move opens way for possible larger economic-relief deal with Democrats, as President Trump signals openness to a package greater than $1.88 trillion
White House and Democratic negotiators agreed Thursday on including a national coronavirus-testing strategy in broader economic-relief legislation, as President Trump again signaled his desire for an aid package approaching $2 trillion despite opposition from Senate Republicans.
A Demoralized CDC Grapples With White House Meddling and Its Own Mistakes; Trump advisers made line-by-line edits to official health guidance, altering language written by scientists on church choirs and social distancing
Rebecca Ballhaus, Stephanie Armour and Betsy McKay – WSJ
President Trump and his advisers have taken a more hands-on role than previously known in shaping Covid-19 recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helping create a crisis of confidence in the nation’s top public-health agency.
Pfizer Could Apply for Emergency Use of Covid-19 Vaccine by Late November; Application with FDA would come if trial data, due this month, is positive
Bojan Pancevski – WSJ
Pfizer Inc. PFE -0.84% said it could be ready to apply for emergency-use authorization of its Covid-19 vaccine by late November, assuming it receives positive efficacy and safety data from late-stage human trials, the first time it or any other leading Western vaccine developer provided such a specific timeline.
Sweden’s Covid Policy Is Still a Moral Cliffhanger; The case for herd immunity remains unproven.
John Authers – Bloomberg
Last weekend, I hit everyone with my latest essay on the morals of the coronavirus, this time on the issue of whether it is morally justified to aim for herd immunity via infections, using the system of “focused protection” advocated by a group of epidemiologists in the “Great Barrington Declaration.” It provoked more than the usual feedback, which isn’t surprising. After all, this personally affects all of us. So here are some of the main points of discussion that have emerged.
Boris Johnson Is Right About Covid Circuit Breaker; Short-term lockdowns may help reduce transmission and pressure on hospitals, but there’s no evidence they will stop the virus spreading.
Therese Raphael – Bloomberg
Manchester was in full revolt this week after Boris Johnson’s government tried to move the northern English city to the strictest “Tier 3” Covid-19 restrictions, closing pubs and banning households from meeting even in private gardens. Mayor Andy Burnham lashed out at ministers for treating those in the region as “sacrificial lambs” and derided Johnson’s lockdown strategy as “experimental.”
A Rapid Test Offers Hope for Community Screening; In a small study in San Francisco, Abbott’s BinaxNOW identified infectious people nearly as accurately as a P.C.R. test.
Apoorva Mandavilli – NY Times
A $5 rapid test for the coronavirus may be nearly as effective as the slower, more complex polymerase chain reaction test for identifying people who may spread the coronavirus, a novel experiment has found.
Madison Avenue Rent Plunges With Manhattan Retail Taking a Hit
Natalie Wong – Bloomberg
Retail rents on Madison Avenue are plunging as the pandemic hammers Manhattan’s most popular shopping districts. The high-end shopping shopping corridor, home to luxury brands and swanky boutiques, saw a 17% decline in rent in the third quarter. At an average of $779 a square foot, the price is down 52% from the peak over the past five years, according to the brokerage Cushman & Wakefield.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below. Please email any questions to Clearing.RiskManagement@cmegroup.com.
Correction – Pork Cutout Futures and Options
The CME Globex Notice published this morning included an incorrect launch date for the Pork Cutout Futures and Options. The correct notice is available below: Pork Cutout Futures and Options; Effective Sunday, November 8 (trade date Monday, November 9), pending completion of all regulatory review periods, Pork Cutout futures and options will be listed for trading on CME Globex and for submission for clearing via CME ClearPort.
Performance Bond Requirements: Agriculture, Energy, and Metals Margins – Effective October 16, 2020
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below.
CME Globex Notices: October 12, 2020
Critical System Updates
iLink 2 on MSGW Decommission – February 26, 2021
New – iLink 3 – IP Address Change for BrokerTec Order Entry Service Gateways – October 30 NEW
Update on Order Routing and Front-End Audit Trail Requirements for iLink 3
iLink Enhancements for Location ID and Displayed Quantity – November 15
iLink 3 SBE Schema Update – January 24, 2021
Phase 1 CME FX Link Enhancements – February 21, 2021
Phase 1 CME FX Link Enhancements: Drop Copy Impact – February 21, 2021
CME STP Notices: October 15, 2020
BrokerTec Stream on CME STP – December 7
Update – CME STP Support of BrokerTec Markets – November 16 UPDATE
Dealpath Announces Strategic Investment From Nasdaq Ventures; New relationship to fuel growth of cloud-based real estate deal management platform
Dealpath announced a strategic investment today from Nasdaq’s (Nasdaq: NDAQ) investment arm, Nasdaq Ventures, as it continues to rapidly expand its modern, cloud-based real estate deal management platform. Nasdaq’s strategic investment in Dealpath initiates a developing partnership to further enhance real estate investment workflows and supports Dealpath’s vision of creating an efficient, digital, global marketplace for the built world.
Equity Derivatives: Introduction of Single Stock Futures and equity options; Equity Derivatives: Introduction of Single Stock Futures and equity options
The Management Board of Eurex Deutschland took the following decisions with effect from 26 October 2020:
Elliptic Laboratories admitted to trading
The smart sensor company Elliptic Labs has today been admitted to trading on Merkur Market (ticker code: ELABS-ME). Elliptic Labs creates software-only sensors that are sustainable, eco-friendly, and already deployed in over 100 million devices.
Moscow exchange changes the tick size from the 2nd of November 2020
To increase the effectiveness of equity market microstructure, MOEX establishes the new tick size and Decimals parameter for the following stocks starting 2nd November 2020 in the following trading modes:
SIX Exchange Regulation Concludes Investigation Concerning Addex Therapeutics Ltd
On 16 October 2020, SIX Exchange Regulation AG (SER) concluded the investigation concerning Addex Therapeutics Ltd in connection with possible violations of the rules on ad hoc publicity and regular reporting obligations.
GPW Donates Profit from Trade in Allegro Shares towards Combatting COVID-19; The Warsaw Stock Exchange (GPW) is making a second donation towards combatting the coronavirus pandemic
The Warsaw Stock Exchange (GPW) is making a second donation towards combatting the coronavirus pandemic; GPW is donating PLN 680 thousand, i.e., its entire record-breaking profit from trade in Allegro shares on the first day of trading, to support the fight with the COVID-19 contagion
The GPW Management Board has decided to donate the entire profit of the Exchange from trade in Allegro shares on the first day of trading (12 October 2020) towards combatting the coronavirus pandemic. The donation amounts to PLN 680 thousand. The decision has been approved by the Exchange Supervisory Board.
Shenzhen Stock Exchange Launches CNI Blue 100 Index To Assist High-Quality Development Of Maritime Economy
On October 14, SZSE and the Ministry of Natural Resources of the People’s Republic of China jointly held the Launch Ceremony of the CNI Blue 100 Index & the Roadshow for Investment in and Financing for Small and Medium-sized Maritime Enterprises and Major Scientific and Technological Achievements. The Index was compiled by SZSE’s wholly-owned subsidiary Shenzhen Securities Information Co., Ltd. in cooperation with National Marine Data and Information Service under the Ministry of Natural Resources. The event, one of series activities at China Marine Economy Expo 2020, is a specific measure to conscientiously carry out the decision and deployment of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council to push for the building of a maritime power, and advance the implementation of the Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement on Promoting High-quality Development of the Maritime Economy between SZSE and the Ministry of Natural Resources. Wang Hong, Vice Minister of Natural Resources and Director of the State Oceanic Administration, Sha Yan, President & CEO of SZSE and other relevant leaderships attended the event.
US participants to access BMLL data and analytics via Crux Informatics; The partnership will allow BMLL to deliver data and analytics to its US client base, leveraging Crux’s network of data consumers and analytics platforms.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Data engineering and analytics firm BMLL Technologies has partnered with data science specialist Crux Informatics to offer its data feed to US participants. The agreement between the two entities will allow BMLL to deliver data and analytics to its US client base, leveraging Crux’s network of data consumers and analytics platforms.
Kazakhstan Fintech Firm Kaspi Surprises With Huge London IPO
Kenneth Rapoza – Forbes
You didn’t know Kazakhstan, a basically landlocked country (it borders the Caspian Sea, which is landlocked), in the middle of Central Asia had a fintech company like this one.
But they do. It’s called Kaspi.kz (KSPI). They listed on the London Stock Exchange on Thursday. It was, being considered a tech company now and not just a bank, totally oversubscribed. Kaspi brought in over $1 billion.
Ten Fintech Startups Showcase Innovations at 2020 FIS Accelerator Demo Day
Ten startup companies showcased their technology innovations to a virtual room of potential investors as well as business and community leaders yesterday at FIS Demo Day, concluding the fifth year of the FIS® (NYSE: FIS) Fintech Accelerator program.
Ten Fintech Startups Showcase Innovations at 2020 FIS Accelerator Demo Day
Presentations by the 10 startup participants conclude this year’s program;TrustStamp named “Audience Choice” for its secure authentication solution;State of Arkansas and FIS announce extension of program for 2021.
Ten startup companies showcased their technology innovations to a virtual room of potential investors as well as business and community leaders yesterday at FIS Demo Day, concluding the fifth year of the FIS® (NYSE: FIS) Fintech Accelerator program.
Confluence Partners With Sweden’s Limina To Offer Reporting And Investment Management Solutions To $1B Wealth Manager; Market-leading Nordic private bank chooses Limina and Confluence Delta for reporting and investment management services solutions
Confluence Technologies, Inc. (“Confluence”), a global technology solutions provider delivering innovative products to the worldwide money management industry, in partnership with Limina AB (“Limina”), a provider of SaaS solutions to asset managers globally, has secured a three-year contract with a $1B wealth manager headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.
Institutional crypto exchange Archax raises $8 million in funding ahead of launch; Archax originally targeted $5 million but the seed round was extended allowing it to exceed this and reach a total of $8 million funding raised to date.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Institutional digital asset exchange operator Archax has raised a total of $8 million in funding to provide its capital ahead of its launch. The crypto venue said it has raised a total of $8 million to date after a recent funding round, with the most recent venture capitalist firms to invest including Alameda Research, Amnis Ventures, Bridgetower Capital, CoinFund, Edge196, Hudson Capital, QBN Capital, and 7percent Ventures.
Cryptocurrency ETFs under active consideration, says SEC chair; ‘Tokenisation’ would allow a crypto asset to represent single securities like ETFs
Jackie Noblett – FT
The Securities and Exchange Commission is actively working on regulations that might one day permit crypto versions of ETFs, chairman Jay Clayton has said.
DeFi Boom Makes Uniswap Most Sought-After Crypto Exchange
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
Ethereum-based trading platform doesn’t check user identities; Firm forms liquidity pools rather than serving as market maker
Uniswap may seem like just another cryptocurrency buzzword, but for those in the know, it’s the latest gateway to quick riches. The so-called decentralized exchange, or dex, has become the hottest trading platform in the niche sector of digital assets known as decentralized finance, or DeFi. In less than two years since its launch, Uniswap’s average daily trading volume has jumped to about $220 million, according to data tracker CoinMarketCap.com. Researcher Messari estimates that makes it the largest DeFi exchange and the fourth-biggest overall in the crypto world, behind industry behemoths Binance, OKEx and Huobi.
Chinese Police Investigation Halts Withdrawals at Cryptoexchange OKEx
Zheping Huang – Bloomberg
Chinese police have launched an investigation linked to cryptocurrency exchange giant OKEx, forcing one of the world’s largest Bitcoin trading platforms to block users globally from withdrawing money. An unidentified staffer responsible for users’ private keys — accounts where crypto assets are stored — has been “out of touch” while cooperating with a police investigation, the Malta-based exchange said in a statement Friday. As a result, the company has halted all cryptocurrency withdrawals, without saying when they will resume. OKEx founder Star Xu was the staffer taken away, Caixin reported, citing two unidentified sources at the firm.
Atari Seeks New Cachet With Crypto — And a Return to Hardware
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
As Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. prepare to launch their new video-game consoles, another legendary player, Atari, is readying its first new hardware in more than 20 years. The Atari VCS will come with a twist — a way for gamers to spend a cryptocurrency while they play. First teased several years ago and expected to ship in November, the Atari VCS is being called a mini-console or a gaming computer. The product will offer access to more than 100 Atari arcade games and home classics, like Pong, plus new titles. It will have internet connectivity and let consumers buy products using Atari Tokens, which will go on sale in late October.
Fed Chairman Powell to Speak About Digital Currencies Next Week at IMF
Kevin Reynolds – Coindesk
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will speak next week as part of a panel on the future of cross-border payments at the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) annual meeting. Panelists will discuss “the benefits and risks of cross-border” digital currencies as well as their policy implications, IMF said. The panel, which will be webcast, will start at 8 a.m. Eastern time on Monday.
OKEx Founder ‘Star’ Xu Named as Key Holder in Police Custody: Report
Daniel Palmer – Coindesk
A founder of the OKEx cryptocurrency exchange is being held by police, according to Chinese news source Caixin. In a report on Friday, Caixin said it spoke to two individuals close to OKEx who indicated that Mingxing “Star” Xu, had been taken by police at least a week ago and hasn’t been seen since. The report isn’t clear exactly where this occurred, however OKEx has a headquarters in Hong Kong, while being officially based in Malta. The report also doesn’t indicate why police are holding Xu.
Coinbase to sponsor Bitcoin core developers for first time
Frank Chaparro – The Block
Crypto exchange operator Coinbase is set to sponsor two bitcoin developers for the first time, the firm announced Thursday. The firm has drawn criticism from the community for not backing the developers whose coding work helps secure the Bitcoin network. In recent months, the practice has become more popular among crypto companies. BitMEX, OKCoin, Square, and even investment firm Paradigm have all announced their own grants to Bitcoin developers. Coinbase said in blog post that it is looking for developer who can contribute tooling to the network, improve testing, and contribute code. Grant recipients can apply for the new grants, here.
Coinbase’s Global Marketing Head Latest to Join Mass Exit
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk
Coinbase Global Marketing Head John Russ is leaving the U.S. cryptocurrency exchange – the latest in a host of departures over recent weeks. Russ said in a tweet Wednesday that the decision came in response to Coinbase employees being asked to choose between accepting CEO Brian Armstrong’s recently announced “apolitical” policy and leaving the firm.
Decentralized storage project Filecoin launches long-anticipated mainnet
Saniya More – The Block
Decentralized information storage project Filecoin has finally launched its mainnet at block 148,888. The launch comes three years after Filecoin’s initial coin offering, which raised over $205 million in 2017 and was one of the largest token sales that year. The process towards Filecoin’s launch has been marked by numerous delays and a recent investor revolt against Protocol Labs, the network’s parent company. The platform, which is built on top of the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), is meant to allow users to buy and sell unused storage using the network’s native cryptocurrency, filecoin (FIL). Filecoin users can hire miners to store or distribute data, and miners can earn rewards for completing their requests.
Stellar blockchain will support USDC stablecoin starting next year
MK Manoylov – The Block
USDC, the stablecoin developed by Centre, will launch on the Stellar blockchain in the first quarter of 2021, according to the firm. Today, USDC is supported by Ethereum and Algorand, the latter, in September, became the second blockchain to support the stablecoin. “We value the increased interoperability and wide range of developers that the Stellar network brings to the table, and look forward to seeing how adding a strong and stable USD anchor to Stellar grows its ecosystem,” Circle CEO Jeremey Allaire said in a statement. Circle and Coinbase are the two firms behind Centre.
Around 100 Italian Banks Are Officially on a Blockchain
Sandali Handagama – Coindesk
After the latest addition of 42 banks, about 100 Italian banks are officially operating on the country’s banking blockchain network, Spunta, built on R3’s Corda, the Italian Banking Association (ABI) announced Tuesday.
50,000 Shoppers Give China’s Digital Yuan Its Biggest Test Yet
Zheping Huang – Bloomberg
Shenzhen gives away $1.5 million in digital money to citizens; State-sanctioned system threatens Alibaba, Tencent wallet apps
Tens of thousands of Chinese this week spent digital yuan at Walmart, gas stations and convenience stores across the southern tech hub of Shenzhen. The experiment — unprecedented in scope and size — went off without a hitch, catapulting the world’s No. 2 economy to the forefront of a race to develop virtual money.
Nigel Farage is shilling gold and silver on the internet
Jemima Kelly – FT
Nigel Farage really likes being the underdog. You could say he actually needs to be the underdog. The thing is, an underdog has to have a fight on its hands in order to have any purpose. Once it wins its defining battle, the underdog can become irrelevant or, worse, actually accountable for stuff. Highly unpleasant.
The “game theory” in the Qanon conspiracy theory
Izabella Kaminska – FT
A couple of months ago we asked if Qanon, the online conspiracy that claims Trump is saving the world from corrupt pedophiles, is actually a LARP (i.e. a live-action role-playing game). The whole structure of the conspiracy, especially its puzzle-solving elements, seemed to us to emulate the constructs of a purposefully planned alternative reality game. It wasn’t long before we were put in touch with a number of voices who seemed to corroborate the theory.
Elect Joe Biden to save the Republican party; The only future for the GOP is a return to moderate principles backed by a broad coalition of Americans
Christine Todd Whitman – FT
The US Republican party is in trouble. In 2005 I wrote a book, It’s My Party Too, that warned it was being overtaken by its most conservative elements. I predicted that this conservative takeover would lead to its ultimate marginalisation.
Trump refuses to disavow QAnon conspiracy theory; President stands by controversial retweet as candidates take part in duelling town-hall broadcasts
Lauren Fedor and Courtney Weaver – FT
Donald Trump refused to denounce a conspiracy theory peddled by far-right group QAnon as the president and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden participated in separate televised town halls on Thursday night with less than three weeks until the election.
Will New York Go for Another Wall Streeter as Mayor?
The veteran deal-maker Ray McGuire announced Thursday that he was stepping down as Citigroup’s vice chairman to join the crowded race for New York City mayor. His fellow finance executives sing his praises, but it’s unclear whether that helps or hurts his bid to run a city whose voters have shifted away from the centrist politics of leaders like Mike Bloomberg toward the progressive views of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Citi executive Ray McGuire to enter New York City mayor’s race; One of Wall Street’s most prominent black bankers will leave to join growing field of candidates
Joshua Chaffin and Laura Noonan – FT
Ray McGuire, a longtime Citigroup executive and one of Wall Street’s most prominent black bankers, will leave the bank to join a crowded field vying to become New York City’s next mayor.
‘Please like me’: Donald Trump loses ground with suburban women; President seeks to boost support among key voting bloc in final weeks of campaign
Courtney Weaver – FT
In 2016, Michelle Fitting, a 50-year-old registered Republican in the Philadelphia suburbs, decided not to vote for either candidate because she strongly disliked Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Business Groups Urge Trump to Withdraw Order on Diversity Training; More than 150 business and nonprofit groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, seek withdrawal of executive move
Khadeeja Safdar and Lauren Weber – WSJ
More than 150 business and nonprofit groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are asking President Trump to withdraw his executive order that puts a limit on some diversity training.
C-Span Suspends Anchor Steve Scully for Lying About Twitter Post; Scully, who was to moderate the second presidential debate before it was canceled, apologized for ‘errors in judgement’
Benjamin Mullin – WSJ
C-Span anchor Steve Scully, who was set to moderate the second presidential debate before it was canceled, was suspended indefinitely by the outlet for falsely claiming that his Twitter account had been hacked.
Twitter Suffered Widespread Service Disruption, Says There Is No Evidence of Security Breach or Hack
Service was largely restored later Thursday
Sarah E. Needleman – WSJ
Twitter Inc. TWTR 0.11% suffered more than two hours of widespread disrupted services Thursday with some users unable to send tweets or see them. The social-media company said it had experienced a problem with its application programming interfaces, pieces of code that allows different pieces of software to connect with its service. “We had some trouble with our internal systems and don’t have any evidence of a security breach or hack,” Twitter said.
Twitter’s Partisan Censors; Senators have a chance to explain why an open society matters.
The Editorial Board – WSJ
Republicans are voting to subpoena Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee next Friday to explain the company’s unprecedented speech blackout against a New York Post story that could embarrass the Joe Biden campaign.
ASIC letter to insurers, Lloyd’s coverholders and brokers
ASIC has written to insurers, Lloyd’s coverholders and brokers about handling business interruption insurance claims arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pilgrim’s Pride receive chicken feed fine from the DoJ
Jamie Powell – FT
Clucking hell! Won’t you look at this: Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (NASDAQ: PPC) today announced that it has entered into a plea agreement with the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division in respect to its investigation into the sales of broiler chicken products in the United States.
FINRA Requests Comment on a Concept Proposal Regarding the Application of FINRA Rules to Security-Based Swaps
FINRA requests comment on a concept proposal regarding the application of FINRA rules to security-based swaps (SBS) following the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) completion of its rulemaking regarding SBS dealers and major SBS participants. Current FINRA Rule 0180, which will expire in September 2021, provides a temporary exception from the application of FINRA rules to SBS, with certain limited exceptions. FINRA is considering revising Rule 0180 to replace the general exception from FINRA rules for members engaging in SBS activities with limited, targeted exceptions from certain FINRA rules where FINRA believes application of the rules to SBS activity is infeasible or inappropriate, particularly where members’ activities are subject to parallel SEC requirements. FINRA is also considering proposing certain modifications to its financial responsibility and operational rules to conform to the SEC’s amended net capital rule and take into account members’ SBS activities, as well as a new margin rule specifically applicable to SBS.
Cybersecurity Background: Authentication Methods
A key element in any firm’s cybersecurity program is a robust authentication process, i.e., the method that confirms that an authorized user seeking access to a firm’s information technology systems is who they say they are.1 This process typically relies on one or more “factors,” such as a password or personal identification number (PIN) code, to provide the authentication. The importance of sound authentication techniques to protect investors’ and firms’ confidential information has increased in light of 1) escalating threats to the most commonly used form of authentication (single factor or password-based authentication) and 2) firms responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with work arrangements that typically require registered representatives to log in to their networks from a remote location.
Proposed Rule Change to Modify TRACE Dissemination Protocols Regarding Agency Pass-Through MBS or SBA-Backed ABS Traded in Specified Pool Transactions
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) is filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) a proposed rule change to modify Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (“TRACE”) dissemination protocols regarding Agency Pass-Through Mortgage-Backed Securities or Small Business Administration (SBA)-Backed Asset-Backed Securities traded in Specified Pool Transactions.
SEC and CFTC to Hold a Joint Open Meeting on October 22
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced their agencies will hold a joint open meeting on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). The meeting will be held virtually.
SEC Charges Andeavor for Inadequate Controls Around Authorization of Stock Buyback Plan
Company to Pay $20 Million Penalty
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced settled charges against Andeavor LLC for controls violations relating to a stock buyback plan it implemented while it was in discussions to be acquired by Marathon Petroleum Corp. in 2018. Andeavor agreed to pay a $20 million penalty to settle the charges.
Board Member James G. Kaiser to Retire From the PCAOB; Contributed Substantially to PCAOB Strategic Plan and the Use of Technology to Enhance Audit Quality
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that James (Jim) G. Kaiser will leave the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) after completing his term as a Board member. Mr. Kaiser was appointed to the Board in December 2017 and his term expires in October 2020. Mr. Kaiser was eligible for reappointment to the 2020-2025 term but elected not to stand for reappointment. Mr. Kaiser has agreed to continue his service as a member of the PCAOB Board past the expiration of his term on October 24, 2020, until such time as Megan Zietsman is able to transition into her new role as a Board member later this year.
SEC Appoints PCAOB Chief Auditor Megan Zietsman to PCAOB Board
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the appointment of Megan Zietsman as a Board member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) for a term ending in October 2025. Ms. Zietsman has been the Chief Auditor and Director of Professional Standards of the PCAOB since February 2019.
SEC Awards $800,000 to Whistleblower
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an award of more than $800,000 to a whistleblower whose information caused the staff to open an investigation that led to two successful SEC enforcement actions.
CFTC Finalizes Position Limits Rule at October 15 Open Meeting; Commission Also Approves Final Rules on Margin Requirements for Uncleared Swaps and Registration Exemptions for Foreign Commodity Pools
At its open meeting today, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission approved three final rules, including one regarding position limits for derivatives, completing the Commission’s major rulemakings related to implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
Opening Statement of Chairman Heath P. Tarbert in Support of Final Rule on Position Limits
I am very proud to bring to a final vote the Commission’s rule on speculative position limits. Like my fellow Commissioners and so many who have held these seats before us, I promised during my confirmation hearing that I would work to finalize this rule. So to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, to the market participants who rely on futures markets, and to the American people, I am pleased to say—promise made, promise kept.
Opening Statement of Commissioner Rostin Behnam before the Meeting of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
The last time we gathered as a Commission to discuss position limits I used some of my time to speak a bit about the award winning movie, Ford v Ferrari. At that point, we were nearing the airing of the 92nd Academy Awards and this action-packed drama had earned four nominations—not to mention the distinction of being one of the few films I actually saw in a theater. For those of you who have not found it in one of your quarantine movie queues, Ford v Ferrari tells the true story of American car designer Carroll Shelby and British-born driver Ken Miles who built a race car for Ford Motor Company—the GT40—and competed with Enzo Ferrari’s dominating, iconic red racing cars at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. I used the film and racing metaphors throughout my speaking and written statements to highlight serious concerns that the proposed amendments to the CFTC rules addressing position limits (the Proposal) signified yet one more instance where the Commission seemed to be comfortable with deferring core, congressionally mandated duties to others and calling it a victory.[
Supporting Statement of Commissioner Brian Quintenz Regarding Final Rule Further Extending the Compliance Schedule for Initial Margin Requirements for Firms with Smaller Swap Portfolios
I support today’s final rule that extends the last phase of compliance for initial margin requirements to September 1, 2022. In light of the unprecedented economic and social impacts of COVID-19 and the potential market disruption that could result from a large number of entities coming into scope on September 1, 2021, I strongly support an additional one year deferral for these firms. As I have noted previously, given the large number of firms covered by the final compliance phases, the estimated 7,000 initial margin relationships that need to be negotiated, and the small overall percentage of swap activity these firms represent, a one year delay for these firms is appropriate in order to facilitate an efficient, orderly transition for the market into the uncleared margin regime. In addition, today’s final rule also ensures the Commission is consistent with the BCBS-IOSCO recommended margin framework and with actions taken by U.S. prudential regulators to extend the margin compliance schedule.
FCA proposes additional measures to help insurance customers in financial difficulty because of coronavirus
The FCA has published proposals on how firms should continue to seek to help customers who hold insurance and premium finance products and may be in financial difficulty because of coronavirus (Covid-19), after 31 October 2020
Pomp Podcast #408: CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert on Crypto Regulation
Fed Signals Prime Money Market Funds Need Stiffer Rules
Jesse Hamilton – Bloomberg
Quarles calls March run on funds ‘particularly disappointing’; He says FSB examining whether post-crisis reforms fell short
The Federal Reserve is signaling that the coronavirus disruptions that hit financial markets in March indicate prime money market funds and other sources of short-term funding may need tougher rules.
Investing and Trading
Ligado tests limits of bond markets with highest rate in 9 years; US wireless communications group prepares to pay 17.5% interest rate
Joe Rennison – FT
Wireless communication company Ligado Networks is preparing to pay a whopping 17.5 per cent interest rate in the US bond market this week, the most any company has shelled out to investors since coronavirus struck and the highest rate on any US corporate bond since 2011.
A Biden Win Would Transform How the Wealthy Invest Their Money; A Democratic administration could scrap techniques used for decades to shrink taxes on their investment gains.
Ben Steverman and Laura Davison – Bloomberg
Wealthy investors are getting ready to overhaul their portfolios and revamp long-standing strategies if former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Democrats win big in November. While Biden has rejected the wealth tax pushed by Democratic primary rivals Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, his proposals could seriously disrupt the many ways that rich Americans minimize — or altogether avoid — taxes on their investment gains.
Equity Traders are Preparing for Prolonged Volatility. Here’s Why.
Jim Iuorio – CME Group
Since 1950, September has tended to be the stock market’s worst month of the year with an average loss of .57% for the S&P 500. The only other month that has posted negative returns is August with an average loss of .26%.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
Top Fund’s Blacklist Shows ESG Coming for Emerging Markets
Natasha Doff and Selcuk Gokoluk – Bloomberg
Candriam bond fund excludes Russia, China, Saudi Arabia; Government borrowing costs don’t currently reflect ESG ratings
A top-performing emerging-market bond fund is avoiding investments in Russia, China and Saudi Arabia as the three countries score too low in its ratings for environmental, social and governance risks.
A Greater Push Toward Standardizing ESG Criteria
As interest in sustainable investing gains momentum, experts warn that the budding industry will require greater transparency if it aims to do good for the world.
ESG or environmental, social and governance investments have resonated with investors whom try to contribute to a better environment, society or workplace. According to Deloitte data, the percentage of global investors that have applied ESG criteria to at least a quarter of their investments has increased to 75% in 2019 from 48% in 2017, CNBC reports.
ESG and Compliance – An Action Plan
Thomas Fox – JDSupra
George Serafeim recently explored multiple issues relating to environmental, social and governance (ESG) in a Harvard Business Review (HBR) article, entitled “Social-Impact Efforts That Create Real Value”. Yesterday, I considered why ESG is something that every Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) and compliance professional needs to be aware of and move towards. Today, I want to lay out an action plan for ESG and one that compliance professionals should consider for their compliance regimes as well.
ABI says pension charge cap must be lifted for ESG
Imogen Tew – FT Adviser
The charge cap on workplace pension fees will have to be lifted for the industry to transition to a low carbon economy, MPs have been told.
Speaking at a Treasury Select Committee hearing this week (October 14), Huw Evans, director general of the Association of British Insurers, said one of the key issues facing the financial world in terms of green finance was the 0.75 per cent charge cap on auto-enrolment pensions.
Five Surprising ETF Facts
Phil Mackintosh – Nasdaq
ETFs have been one of the success stories of modern markets. Trading around $100 billion per day with a weighted average spread of just 1.7 cents or 2.1 basis points (bps) at the start of the year. Overall, ETFs track their net asset value (NAV) extremely well, allowing investors and traders cheap access to diversified baskets and thematic exposures.
The Deutsche Bank whistleblower who gave up $8m is going broke; Seven years of court battles have left Eric Ben-Artzi with no money but a new crusade
Tom Braithwaite – FT
Four years ago, Eric Ben-Artzi was awarded $8.25m by the Securities and Exchange Commission for helping to uncover false accounting at Deutsche Bank. Now the 48-year-old former risk manager, a nephew of the wife of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is going broke.
Man Group FUM jumps 4% on inflows to alternative funds; Long-only see outflows but strong performance
David Brenchley – InvestmentWeek
Man Group saw funds under management rise by 4% to $113.3bn in the three months to 30 September, thanks largely to $1.7bn each of net inflows and positive investment performance.
Citi promotes Perkins and Wilson to top clearing post; US bank creates clearing co-head role in wake of Kemp’s retirement
Robert Mackenzie Smith – Risk.net
Chris Perkins and Sabrina Wilson have been appointed global co-heads of Citi’s futures, over-the-counter clearing and foreign exchange prime brokerage businesses. The announcement comes several months after the long-time head of those businesses, Jerome Kemp, retired after a decade at the bank. Perkins previously ran Citi’s global OTC clearing and FXPB businesses. He assumed responsibility for FXPB in 2018 after it suffered a $180 million loss, resulting in the departure of the previous head
Some TD Ameritrade Integrations to Be Cut From Schwab’s Platform; Executives are still sorting out which third-party integrations will make the grade and which will be dropped from the final advisor platform.
Samuel Steinberger – Wealthmanagement.com
Charles Schwab is still sorting out which third-party integrations currently used by advisors at TD Ameritrade will be incorporated into the combined single offering the firm eventually provides to advisors. But it is certain that not all of TD Ameritrade’s current third-party integrations will make their way over to the amalgamated platform.
Turkey’s Answer to Robinhood Aims to Tap Local Retail Stock Buzz
Tugce Ozsoy – Bloomberg
Midas brokerage founded by two 28-year-old high school friends; Firm will offer trading in Turkish, U.S. shares through an app
Turkey’s first commission-free trading platform intends to be ready to start operating early next year, tapping into burgeoning demand among locals to invest in the stock market. Midas Menkul Degerler AS, founded by 28-year-old high-school friends Egem Eraslan and Umut Bozkurt, aims to be the most-digitalized trading venue among Turkish stock brokers. The company will test its software with a “limited group” of customers over coming months before the full launch of a service that’s drawn comparisons with U.S. no-fee brokerage app Robinhood.
City of London Firms Quietly Start to Rent Large Offices Again
Jack Sidders – Bloomberg
Shortage of new development encouraging corporates to sign; Demand for space is also helping property sales bounce back
London’s pandemic-struck office market is crawling back to life. A slew of large companies, from Netflix Inc. to Morgan Stanley, are in the process of undertaking big office moves that show demand for the biggest and best buildings is recovering from lockdown lows. In two of the largest potential deals since the virus struck, law firms Travers Smith and Latham & Watkins are close to leasing new City of London headquarters.
Storms, Covid Raise Fear of Worst North Korea Famine Since 1990s
Heesu Lee – Bloomberg
Three typhoons destroyed crops as virus disrupted food supply; UN report says this year’s harvest could be lowest since 1994
Three destructive typhoons, U.S.-backed sanctions and the global pandemic are fueling concern that North Korea’s 26 million people could slip back into the devastating food shortages the country faced during the rule of Kim Jong Un’s father in the 1990s.
Nearly Half of the U.S. Is in Drought. It May Get Worse; The most widespread drought in the continental United States since 2013 covers more than 45 percent of the Lower 48 states, federal scientists said.
Henry Fountain – NY TImes
Nearly half of the continental United States is gripped by drought, government forecasters said Thursday, and conditions are expected to worsen this winter across much of the Southwest and South.
Johnson Says U.K. Is Now Preparing for No-Deal: Brexit Update
Tim Ross – Bloomberg
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the U.K. will now get ready to leave the European Union’s single market and customs union without a new free trade deal in place, blaming the bloc for refusing to offer good enough terms.
As Virus Surges and Brexit Bears Down, Boris Johnson Stalls for Time
Mark Landler and Stephen Castle – New York Times
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reached a moment of truth on the two issues that have dominated Britain this year: the pandemic and Brexit negotiations with the European Union. But he is still playing for time — a strategy that could put lives or livelihoods at risk if he waits too long.
Merkel urges Johnson not to abandon Brexit negotiations
Daniel Boffey – The Guardian
Angela Merkel has called on Boris Johnson to keep negotiating over Brexit, saying the EU will need to compromise, ahead of a statement by the prime minister on whether he will walk out of the trade and security talks. In comments designed to cool the temperature of the troubled talks, the German chancellor said both sides needed to find common ground. Johnson had threatened in September to abandon negotiations if an agreement was not in place by this weekend.
Brexit: UK ‘must not lose jobs over fish in trade talks’
Ione Wells – BBC
Thousands of jobs must not be “sacrificed” for the sake of fishing quotas in UK trade negotiations with the EU, a Welsh minister has warned. Jeremy Miles has urged UK ministers to “back down” from “ill-advised positions on state aid and fisheries” to get a trade deal with the European Union. State aid, or government support for firms, and fisheries are two of the main sticking points in the talks. The UK government said that it “will not compromise UK sovereignty”.
If You Can’t Find a Spouse Who Supports Your Career, Stay Single
Avivah Wittenberg-Cox – Harvard Business Review
I was at a dinner with eight highly successful professional women recently, ranging in age from 35 to 74. Their stories were typical of research I have been conducting on dual-career couples. One had just been given a huge promotion opportunity in another country, but had struggled for several months to get her spouse to agree to join her. Another had decided that to save her marriage, she would take a yearlong sabbatical and go back to school, giving the family some balance and a breather from two high-powered jobs. A third had tried to work part-time for her law firm but quickly realized she was being professionally sidelined. She opted for a doctorate instead. Her husband continued his career.