Chicago to Offer Most Generous Subsidies in U.S. to Save Its Downtown; The New York Stock Exchange Announces Collaboration with CoinDesk Indices to Launch Financial Products Tracking Spot Bitcoin Prices

May 29, 2024

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Women in Listed Derivatives (WILD), in partnership with CME Group’s Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) and Women in Technology (WIT) Employee Resource Groups, is holding an event open to WILD members and non-members, all CME Group employees, and all genders on June 13 at the CME Group headquarters on Wacker Dr. as part of the Take WILD to Work Tour. Join WILD from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM CDT for an engaging conversation with notable women leaders at CME Group, including Madeline Lindgren, Supreet Dhillon, Jing Jin, and Vanessa Walsh, moderated by Kelley Blakewood. They will discuss their career journeys, overcoming barriers, and the future of the derivatives industry. The panel discussion will be followed by a summer happy hour reception on the Rivers patio. For more information and to register, click HERE. Please check in at the CME Group security desk at 20 S. Wacker Drive the day of the event.

LPGA CME Group Tour Championship winner Lexi Thompson has decided to retire, announcing that the 2024 season will be her final one. She cited her mental health as one of the reasons for her decision. This news comes three days after the parents of PGA Tour golfer Grayson Murray announced he died by suicide.

Mental health is a very important issue in all fields. In a comment on a post by the Streetwise Professor, Craig Pirrong, titled “A Fascinating Flashback to the Halcyon Days of Floor Trading In Chicago” from May 23, former CME board member and trader Jeff Carter wrote about the after effects of the closing of the futures trading pits at the CME Group, “On a sadder note, when the floor closed I know at least 25 that have taken their own life. The amount of divorces when the money ran out is incredible. I know a lot of people that went broke after the floor closed.”

Carter, who participated in the Open Outcry Traders History Project in 2020 and who shared that grim story with me privately, put the number of divorces at 50 at the time we spoke about it five years ago. It is a good reminder of the stress that this business can put on anyone and that today is a good day to reach out to that friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Today, tomorrow and the next day are all good days to do that.

Jean-Paul Servais, chairman of the Financial Services and Markets Authority, was re-elected chairman of IOSCO’s board. CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam has been re-elected as the vice chairman of IOSCO at the election that took place at IOSCO’s 2024 Annual Meeting in Athens, Greece. At the annual meeting, IOSCO, representing financial market supervisors from 130 jurisdictions and over 95% of the world’s capital markets, reported notable progress in digital and sustainable finance priorities. Also, with 400 senior-level participants at the meeting, IOSCO introduced a new brand to emphasize its core objectives of investor protection, market integrity, and financial stability.

Today, The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) announced a collaboration with CoinDesk Indices to launch cash-settled index options tracking the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (XBX), pending regulatory approvals.

Consensus 2024 starts today in Austin, TX. Consensus by CoinDesk bills itself as the “world’s largest, longest-running and most influential gathering that brings together all sides of the cryptocurrency, blockchain and Web3 community.” Some of the highlights of panels and fireside chats are:

A panel titled “Town Hall: Kids in Danger, Privacy in Peril: How to Resolve a Major Internet Dilemma” will take place on today, May 29, from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM CDT at the ACC: The Town Square. The discussion will feature Joann Bogard, a parent advocate for social media reform at Fairplay; Jessica Darmoni, founder of The Title Connection; Alex Fowler, chief strategy officer at Nexus; Beatrice O’Carroll, principal at Emanon Digital; Maurine Molak, co-founder of David’s Legacy Foundation; Sebastian Rodriguez Cabrera, VP of product at Polygon ID, Polygon Labs; Cathy Yoon, general counsel at Wormhole Foundation; and Marc Hochstein, executive editor of CoinDesk. These experts will explore strategies to address the pressing issues of children’s safety and privacy online, aiming to find solutions for protecting kids and resolving privacy concerns in the digital age.

A panel titled “The Wall Street Journey: Bringing Financial Markets On-Chain” will be held at the ACC: Money Reimagined Stage. The discussion will feature Nadine Chakar, managing director and global head of DTCC Digital Assets at DTCC and Jonathan Steinberg, founder and CEO of WisdomTree; and it will be moderated by Nick Baker, deputy editor-in-chief at CoinDesk. This session will explore how traditional financial institutions (TradFi) aim to address inefficiencies in clearing systems by tokenizing real-world assets such as securities, repo transactions, and derivatives.

Today, May 29, from 1:15 PM to 1:45 PM CDT, the panel “Worlds Collide: Seeing TradFi Through a Crypto Lens and Vice Versa” will take place at the ACC: Mainstage. The discussion will feature Tom Farley, CEO of Bullish, and Lynn Martin, president of the New York Stock Exchange, with Jeff Roberts, finance and crypto editor at Fortune magazine, serving as moderator. Fifteen years after Bitcoin emerged to challenge the legacy financial system, this panel will explore the convergence of traditional finance (TradFi) and crypto. It will look into what the established institutions of TradFi and the innovative mavericks of crypto can learn from each other, offering insights from leaders of both worlds.

Today from 3:15 PM to 3:45 PM CDT, the panel “Fighting Illicit Crypto and Promoting Responsible Innovation” will be held at the ACC: Mainstage. The discussion will feature Brian Nelson, under secretary of the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, with Nikhilesh De, managing editor of global policy and regulation at CoinDesk, serving as moderator. This session will address the administration’s efforts to combat money laundering and terrorism financing in the digital asset space, including high-profile enforcement actions and a proposal on mixing services, while also promoting responsible innovation in the industry.

On Thursday, May 30, from 11:00 AM to 11:30 AM CDT, the “State of Crypto Policy Summit: SEC and CFTC Commissioners Speak” will take place at the ACC: Money Reimagined Stage. The panel will feature Summer Mersinger, commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and Hester M. Peirce, commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), with Nikhilesh De serving as moderator. They will discuss the top challenges their agencies face in overseeing digital assets, including jurisdictional boundaries, product definitions, enforcement actions, and the potential need for new legislation.

On Thursday, May 30, from 1:30 PM to 2:10 PM CDT, the “State of Crypto Policy Summit: Corporate Monitors Are Coming to Crypto: How the Industry Can Prepare” will be held at the ACC: Money Reimagined Stage. The panel will feature Dorothy D. DeWitt, founder & CEO of Tolt Strategies; Renato Mariotti, partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP; Ian McGinley, director of enforcement at the CFTC; and Kevin Mosley, deputy chief of the bank integrity unit at the US DOJ’s money laundering and asset recovery section. Jai Massari, co-founder and CLO of Lightspark, will moderate. This session will discuss the impact of recent enforcement actions requiring corporate monitors in the crypto industry, such you as those imposed on Binance, and the operational implications of these monitorships, including the selection process and constructive collaboration with monitors.

And on Thursday, May 30, from 3:45 PM to 4:05 PM CDT, “Prometheum’s Perspective” will take place at the ACC: Mainstage. The session will feature Aaron Kaplan, Co-CEO of Prometheum, with Leo Schwartz, reporter at Fortune, serving as moderator. The discussion will focus on Prometheum’s decision to embrace SEC registration to offer ether trading and custody, contrasting with other exchanges that claim compliance with U.S. securities laws is impossible. The session will explore whether Prometheum’s approach will succeed and its potential impact on ether classification.

Sequitor Engineering announced its close joint project with Deutsche Boerse Market Data + Services. Sequitor said the two firms successfully verified the behavior of its high-fidelity simulator against the actual exchange system, and the verification includes the interfaces / protocols as well as the market model functionality. As a result, Sequitor has created a replica, a digital twin, that’s almost indistinguishable from the real exchange, it shared on LinkedIn.

Dan Day-Robinson, the former head of the International Commodities & Derivatives Association (ICDA), which was once the Swiss Futures & Options Association (SFOA), just completed a Master’s Degree from the University of West England in Planning and Urban Leadership. He has started a new position as partner at East Lyn Limited, he shared on LinkedIn.

John Schaible has moved from chief strategy officer to executive chairman at AtlasClear Holdings, Inc., he shared in LinkedIn. I met John when he was the CEO of NexTrade.

Walter Hendriks announced on LinkedIn that he has recently taken on the role of chief compliance officer at Euronext

The Washington Zoo is getting a new set of pandas from China by the end of the year, Bloomberg reported. My son Tim is a big panda fan and during his first trip to Washington, DC with me the panda was a must-see.

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


Our most read stories from our previous edition of JLN Options were:
Cboe’s Henry Schwartz Discusses Options Market Growth and Future Trends at Industry Conference, from John Lothian News.
Bullish Bitcoin options dominate May’s $6.5 billion expiry, from Cointelegraph.
CME Group Volatility Index (CVOL), from CME Group.~JB

Subscribe to the JLN Options Newsletter HERE (it’s free).


WFE 10th Annual Sustainability Survey finds exchanges focused on own governance; Green Equity Principles; and growth in sustainable investment products.

CHICAGO – Stock exchange leaders globally are leading by example by strengthening their own sustainability capabilities, while meeting increased demand for sustainability and ESG-related products.

Watch the video »


How Much Happiness Can Your Salary Buy? Researchers Can’t Agree; When it comes to income, there is no magic number
Joe Pinsker – The Wall Street Journal
Once your income hits $75,000, have you hit the peak salary for happiness? Not quite. The oft-cited $75,000 figure-now about $110,000 in today’s dollars-comes from a 2010 study by two Nobel laureates that made the crossover from academia to personal-finance meme. More recent research suggests that there may be no household income at which happiness peaks, and that our money might influence our emotions well beyond that threshold. There may be something like happiness tax brackets: Just as your take-home pay becomes a smaller and smaller share of your earnings as you move up the income ladder, so does your take-home joy.

***** Happiness is free. It is all around you. It is inside you. You don’t have to look too hard to find it.~JJL


Nvidia Stock Surge Fueled by Short-Dated Call Option Squeeze
Jan-Patrick Barnert – Bloomberg
Nvidia Corp. may not be a classic meme stock, yet when it comes to option trading during the latest leg of the rally, it certainly acts like one. Call option trading jumped on Tuesday to the fourth-highest notional level with Nvidia shares trading at a record north of $1,100 apiece. The elevated volume, which on an outright basis was almost double the 20-day average, is especially striking given it was outside of an earnings report for the artificial-intelligence leader. The trading frenzy added fuel to stock market gains in what appeared to be a so-called gamma squeeze.

***** If I told you once, I told you a thousand times, don’t squeeze my gamma!~JJL


DTCC, Clearstream and Euroclear develop framework to advance adoption of digital assets
Deutsche Boerse Group
Today, three of the world’s largest financial market infrastructures (FMIs) – DTCC, Clearstream and Euroclear – in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), unveiled a blueprint for establishing an industry-wide digital asset ecosystem to drive acceptance of tokenised assets. By 2030, the tokenisation of global illiquid assets is projected to be a US$16 trillion business opportunity. However, progress on institutional adoption has reached an inflection point as firms continue innovating in silos, with small-scale initiatives that fail to progress or prioritise broad ecosystem development. The paper, “Building the Digital Asset Ecosystem”, looks to shift the industry’s focus by defining six principles to promote the successful adoption of tokenisation and digital asset securities (excluding cryptocurrencies). It also details a comprehensive set of risk management controls to underpin the future of digital markets.

****** Bringing more order to the mysteries of DLT.~JJL


Tuesday’s Top Three
Our most read story on Tuesday was Insights From the Modern World of Trading, Clearing, and CSD Technology, from Vermiculus. Second was The effect of DLT settlement latency on market liquidity, from the World Federation of Exchanges. Third was Odd Lots: How a Pro Sports Bettor Really Makes Money, a podcast from Bloomberg.



Lead Stories

Chicago to Offer Most Generous Subsidies in U.S. to Save Its Downtown; Local politicians and developers struggle to revitalize the city’s office district
Peter Grant – The Wall Street Journal
Chicago gave birth to the skyscraper in the late 19th century. Now, local developers and politicians are trying to keep many of today’s office towers from dying off. The city is going beyond any other in providing public subsidies to convert obsolete office space into apartments and hotels, despite enormous budgetary challenges. Even Chicago’s politically progressive mayor signed on last month. The city’s office market has been hurt by weakening demand, higher interest rates and difficulties in refinancing. Big companies such as Citadel and Boeing have moved their headquarters elsewhere, and Chicago commercial-property values have plummeted.

The New York Stock Exchange Announces Collaboration with CoinDesk Indices to Launch Financial Products Tracking Spot Bitcoin Prices; Developing options contracts tied to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (XBX); Contracts would be subject to regulatory approvals
New York Stock Exchange
The New York Stock Exchange, part of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of technology and data, today announced it is collaborating with CoinDesk Indices to launch cash-settled index options tracking the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (XBX), the longest-operating spot bitcoin index. ICE and the NYSE intend to work with CoinDesk Indices and the relevant regulatory agencies to develop specific product offerings. Last year, ICE Futures Singapore collaborated with CoinDesk Indices to update its bitcoin futures contracts, CoinDesk Bitcoin Futures (BMC), to utilize XBX for its monthly contract settlement.

U.S. Issues Guidelines for the Voluntary Carbon Market; Carbon offsets have a trust problem. The Biden administration hopes new guidance will bolster their integrity.
H. Claire Brown – The Wall Street Journal
The Biden administration released a set of policies and principles aimed at bolstering trust in voluntary carbon markets. The nonbinding guidelines released Tuesday signal the government’s position that “high-integrity” voluntary carbon markets can play a role in reaching net-zero emissions globally. “These markets have the potential to support significant decarbonization-if we address some key challenges,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said. She added that corporate buyers should give priority to reducing their own emissions, and carbon credit purchase can complement these efforts.

Janet Yellen warns companies not to rely on carbon credits to save the climate; US Treasury secretary calls on business to prioritise emissions cuts as voluntary markets draw fire
Aime Williams – Financial Times
Companies should prioritise slashing their carbon emissions and not rely on buying carbon credits to save the climate, US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen will say on Tuesday. The remarks come as she unveils new guidelines for voluntary carbon credits, which are popular among companies looking to offset their emissions but have attracted criticism for failing to deliver the carbon removals they promise. Yellen will say the Joe Biden administration wants carbon credit markets “to succeed”, but will call for a “commitment to integrity” from developers selling the credits and from corporations buying them to offset their emissions.

DTCC, Clearstream and Euroclear expand digital asset partnership with establishment of control principles; The market infrastructure triumvirate calls for market-wide mobilisation of support for digital asset standards.
Chris Lemmon – The Trade
Building on the partnership formed last year to tackle the future of digital assets together, the Depositary Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), Clearstream and Euroclear have published a whitepaper to establish a set of risk management controls and guidelines for the future development of the technology. The principles, named the Digital Asset Securities Control Principles (DASCP), are intended to serve as a guide for firms navigating the challenges posed by distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Nobel Laureate Romer Says AI Hype Risks Repeat of Crypto Bubble; Nobel laureate economist warns about excess confidence in AI; AI is driving a wave of investment in semiconductors and cloud
Vlad Savov – Bloomberg
Runaway confidence in artificial intelligence risks repeating the mistakes of the crypto hype bubble of only two years ago, economics professor and Nobel laureate Paul Romer warned. “Right now, there’s way too much confidence about the future trajectory of AI,” Romer told Bloomberg TV at the UBS Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong on Wednesday. “When people project this forward, I think they’re at risk of making a very serious mistake.”

Orange juice crisis prompts search for alternative fruits; Bad weather and disease in Brazil have pushed futures prices to a record high
Susannah Savage – Financial Times
Orange juice prices have soared to record highs, driven by bad weather and disease in Brazil, the world’s largest exporter, prompting manufacturers to explore whether they can use mandarins instead to make the drink. Orange juice futures – which allow industry players to hedge against swings in prices – have been on a tear since the end of 2022 when a hurricane, then a cold snap, devastated acres of orange groves in Florida, the main growing region in the US, the world’s second-biggest producer. But the rally has accelerated sharply this month as the prospect of a dismal harvest in Brazil has panicked the market.

ConocoPhillips to Acquire Marathon Oil in $17.1 Billion All-Stock Deal; Transaction marks the latest major consolidation in the energy sector
Dean Seal – The Wall Street Journal
ConocoPhillips has agreed to acquire Marathon Oil in an all-stock deal valued at $17.1 billion that would combine two of America’s most recognizable energy companies. The transaction comes after five consecutive quarters of falling profits at Marathon Oil and marks the latest major consolidation in an energy sector that has seen a flurry of merger and acquisition activity this year. Hess shareholders recently voted to sell the company to Chevron for $53 billion.

Chevron deal clears hurdle as Hess investors back $53bn takeover; Acquisition remains subject to an FTC investigation and arbitration process launched by Exxon
Myles McCormick – Financial Times
Hess shareholders have approved a $53bn takeover by Chevron, advancing a controversial acquisition at the heart of a high-profile brawl between the US’s leading oil companies. Investors on Tuesday voted to accept Chevron’s offer despite concerns over an arbitration process launched by rival ExxonMobil, which argues it has a right of first refusal over any sale of Hess’s stake in a prize oil find off the coast of Guyana.

OPEC+ Is Confusing the Market With Tangled Production Cuts; Skepticism about the true level of output cuts threatens to undermine the cartel’s efforts to keep crude near $100 a barrel.
Javier Blas – Bloomberg
In trying to impress the oil market by adding several rounds of cumulative production cuts, the OPEC+ cartel has tied itself in knots. The result is market confusion that’s undermining its unstated goal of keeping oil prices near $100 a barrel. Its next policy meeting, scheduled for June 2 via videoconference, looks likely to avoid addressing the issue, however, leaving the ambiguity to persist until later this year – if not longer.

Ukraine Invasion

Russia Raises Income Tax on Rich to Pay for Ukraine War; Military expenditure is running at over 6% of GDP, approaching levels reached by the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War
Georgi Kantchev and Chelsey Dulaney – The Wall Street Journal
Russia launched plans to sharply raise taxes on high earners and companies to fill state coffers and fund what it sees as a long war in Ukraine. A government commission on Wednesday approved a Finance Ministry plan to introduce a new progressive income tax as well as raise corporate tax rates. The proposed amendments, which would come into force from next year, are expected to bring an additional 2.6 trillion rubles, or around $29 billion.

Macron Allows Ukraine to Use French Missiles to Strike Inside Russia; French leader said Ukrainian forces could only use French Scalp missiles to target military sites within Russia that fire on Ukraine
Stacy Meichtry and Bertrand Benoit – The Wall Street Journal
French President Emmanuel Macron said Ukrainian forces are allowed to use powerful cruise missiles supplied by France to strike inside Russia on the condition the weapons are only used to take out military sites that have fired on Ukraine. The comments, made during a news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, came as Ukraine and its European allies have begun to press the Biden administration to ease restrictions on the use of Western weapons to target Russian territory.

Ukraine Sees Russia Land-Grab Attempt Before More Weapons Arrive; Zelenskiy aide Podolyak says Russia currently has advantage; Ukraine needs permission to hit Russian bases, aide says
Daryna Krasnolutska and Stephanie Baker – Bloomberg
Russian forces are trying to seize as much Ukrainian territory as possible in an effort to force Kyiv’s allies to agree to a freeze in fighting before weapons deliveries fill a crucial gap, a top aide to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said. As the European Union considers letting Ukraine strike targets inside Russia with weapons sent by member states, Kremlin forces have been exploiting their advantage in weaponry and manpower as they opened a new front with an incursion into the northeastern Kharkiv region this month.

Russia sanctions are ineffective, says Dubai trade hub chief; Measures imposed on Moscow do not halt business but simply redirect it, DMCC chair says
Malcolm Moore and Chloe Cornish – Financial Times
Sanctions on Russia are having no impact outside the west and attempts to halt the flow of business merely redirect it elsewhere, the chair of Dubai’s main trading hub has said. “Sanctions slow the economy, never stop it,” said Hamad Buamim, chair of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, a leading United Arab Emirates free trade zone that says it hosts more than 24,000 businesses. He is also the former president of Dubai’s chamber of commerce. “Trade continues flowing, it just flows in a different way,” he told the Financial Times in an interview.

Israel/Palestine Conflict

How Israel Has Avoided U.S. Red Lines in Rafah; Washington has warned against a major ground operation in the southern city to limit civilian casualties
Dov Lieber – The Wall Street Journal
Israel has avoided crossing the red lines set by President Biden for a Rafah offensive by deploying limited numbers of troops gradually, forcing a rapid evacuation of the city and refraining from a full-scale ground assault, Israeli officials and analysts said. The tactics have inoculated Israel from deeper criticism from the Biden administration so far, even as it faces crescendoing international condemnation, especially after an Israeli airstrike resulted in dozens of civilian deaths in a Rafah tent encampment on Sunday.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Cboe confirms plans for credit futures product expansion; Subject to regulatory approval, the exchange operator is set to list Cboe iBoxx $ Emerging Market Bond Index futures for trading on Cboe Futures Exchange on 17 June.
Editors – The Trade
Cboe Global Markets has set out plans to expand its credit futures product universe with the listing of new index futures on Cboe Futures Exchange. Cboe iBoxx $ Emerging Market Bond Index futures will be listed for trading on 17 June. The new futures will be based on the S&P Dow Jones Indices’ iBoxx USD Liquid Emerging Market Sovereigns and Sub-Sovereigns Index.

CCP Global Publishes 2023 Annual Markets Review: 2023 Annual Markets Review In Central Counterparty Clearing
CCP Global
Message From The Chairman: 2023 Was Another Busy Year For Ccp Global As The association continued to expand its engagement with the industry. As I noted last year, the association has come a long way since it was founded in 2001 by twelve major central counterparty (“CCP”) organizations located in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Today, CCP Global has more than tripled its membership to include 42 members who operate over 60 individual CCPs globally across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (“EMEA”), Asia-Pacific (“APAC”), and Americas.

Post-Libor Transition, There Remain Refinements to Be Made and Risks to Be Aware of
In a report last November, the Alternative Reference Rates Committee declared success as it closed the book on supplanting the Libor benchmark in the U.S. with the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR). But it did not say that all work is complete. ARRC’s website remained open though deactivated, as the committee said that its closing report highlighted “key areas that the ARRC believes firms should focus on going forward to preserve the robust system of reference rates achieved through the decade-long transition effort.”

BME submits entries from Greening, Revenga Smart Solutions, Seresco and Cox Energy for the European Small & Mid-Cap Awards
The awards, organised by the European Commission, EuropeanIssuers and FESE, aim to increase the visibility of small and medium-sized listed companies. BME announced yesterday on the first day of the Medcap Forum the four Spanish listed companies that will compete for the European Small & Mid-Cap Awards. The nominees for the different categories of the awards will be Greening, Revenga Smart Solutions, Seresco and Cox Energy, all from BME Growth. The awards, organised by the European Commission, EuropeanIssuers and the Federation of European Stock Exchanges (FESE), were created in 2013 and have been promoting good practices of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and encouraging them to take the leap into the financial markets for a decade. More than 98% of companies in the EU are small and medium-sized, accounting for two-thirds of employment and around 60% of GDP in the region.

Cboe Global Markets Plans to Expand Credit Futures Offering with Launch of Cboe iBoxx $ Emerging Market Bond Index Futures
Cboe Global Markets
Cboe iBoxx $ Emerging Market Bond Index (IEMD) futures to provide exposure to emerging market debt; Futures expected to begin trading on June 17, subject to regulatory review; Offering expands Cboe’s current credit toolkit, which includes U.S. corporate bond futures and options on futures. Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), the world’s leading derivatives and securities exchange network, announced plans to list Cboe® iBoxx® $ Emerging Market Bond Index futures (ticker: IEMD) for trading on Cboe Futures Exchange, LLC (CFE) beginning on June 17, subject to regulatory review. The IEMD futures will be based on the S&P Dow Jones Indices’ iBoxx® USD Liquid Emerging Market Sovereigns & Sub-Sovereigns Index (ticker: IBXXEMLQ).

CME Group Inc. Announces Second-Quarter 2024 Earnings Release, Conference Call
CME Group
CME Group Inc. will announce earnings for the second quarter of 2024 before the markets open on Wednesday, July 24, 2024. Written highlights for the quarter will be posted on the company’s website at 6:00 a.m. Central Time, the same time it provides its earnings press release. The company will also hold an investor conference call that day at 7:30 a.m. Central Time, at which time company executives will take analysts’ questions.

EEX HYDRIX anniversary: index established as reference for green hydrogen pricing
EEX Group
One year after the launch, the first-of-its-kind green hydrogen index by the European Energy Exchange (EEX), HYDRIX, is considered as an important price signal for the green hydrogen industry. More than 40 companies already subscribed for receiving HYDRIX data. At the same time, the number of contributors who provide data for the calculation of the index, including utilities, trading houses, engineering firms and industrial consumers is increasing. Peter Reitz, CEO of EEX says: “In the year since the launch of HYDRIX, feedback from the hydrogen industry has been very positive. The price transparency it creates is an important prerequisite for facilitating investment decisions in the field of hydrogen. In this context, we believe that HYDRIX can also serve as a price reference for private and governmental initiatives in the future. We are delighted to see the growing interest and that our contribution to facilitating the development of this new emerging industry, and on a wider scale the energy transition, is both significant and meaningful.”

HKEX Signs Cooperation Agreement With Shandong Government
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) is pleased to announce today (Wednesday) it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the People’s Government of Shandong Province (Shandong Government) to strengthen cooperation and to support listings of companies from Shandong on Hong Kong’s equities market. Under the MOU, HKEX and the Shandong Government will exchange information on the latest developments in the capital markets of Hong Kong and Shandong, as well as to jointly host seminars for Shandong-based organisations on capital raising opportunities in the region.

First Anniversary of the Listing of Six New Derivatives Products
Nikkei 225 micro Futures. Nikkei 225 mini Options. 3-Month TONA Futures. S&P/JPX 500 ESG Score Tilted Index Futures. FTSE JPX Net Zero Japan 500 Index Futures. Nikkei 225 Climate Change 1.5°C Target Index Futures. Comment from Yokoyama Ryusuke, President & CEO, Osaka Exchange, Inc. May 29, 2023 marks one year since the listing of six new products on Osaka Exchange. Nikkei 225 micro Futures, Nikkei 225 mini Options, and 3-Month TONA Futures have steadily expanded in trading volume since the second half of last year in response to market fluctuations based on a variety of factors.

Regular Constituents Change in KRX CSI Sub-indices.
There will be regular constituents change in KRX Bluechip 25, KRX Electric Vehicle Top 15, KRX Semiconductor Top 15, effective from June 17th, 2024.

NASDAQ and FIA TECH Partner To Reduce Complexity And Increase Resiliency Of Post Trade Infrastructure; Nasdaq and FIA Tech will catapult efficient data sharing across the global post-trade industry
Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) and FIA Tech today announced they will partner to help reduce the complexity of post trade data processing across the exchange traded derivative market. Nasdaq will integrate its strategic clearing platform, Nasdaq Real-Time Clearing, into FIA Tech’s Trade Data Network. The Trade Data Network combines trade data from buyside, brokers, clearing houses and clearing members into a common framework, creating a shared golden source of clearing activity for participating firms. Integrating Nasdaq’s clearing platform will reduce friction and significantly enhance the volume and quality of post trade data available to FIA Tech’s 8,000+ members, while empowering central counterparty clearinghouses (CCPs) using Nasdaq’s clearing platform and end-users with the ability to conduct more reliable risk analysis, operate with greater capital efficiency, and lower overall risk exposure. Ultimately, the industry-leading functionality will help to substantially reduce systemic inefficiency across the global post trade network.

The development of exchange-based decarbonization instruments was discussed at the Moscow Exchange
On May 28, 2024, the Moscow Exchange held a conference “Exchange Decarbonization Instruments” . The event was attended by representatives of regulators, Russian public and private companies implementing environmental projects, carbon market infrastructure and the Moscow Exchange Group. The main topics of discussion were the prospects for the development of exchange trading in carbon units and certificates of origin of electricity on the National Commodity Exchange (NTB, part of the Moscow Exchange Group), as well as the regulatory framework necessary for the full functioning of the market and stimulating its further development.


France Envisions AI Tent Big Enough for US, China and French Startups
Mark Bergen – Bloomberg
When Maurice Levy assembled a group to visit the French presidential palace last week to discuss AI, he intentionally included tech luminaries from both America and China. US and China, sans tensions. “Something which you hardly do in the US,” Levy said in an interview, about bringing tech leaders from the world’s two biggest economies together. He’s the co-founder and president of VivaTech, an organization that runs an eponymous French business confab that’s grown into a proper tech global gala since its start in 2016.

OpenAI Leaders Address Staff Concerns Over Equity, Johansson; Sam Altman spoke about recent controversies at the startup in a companywide meeting.
Shirin Ghaffary – Bloomberg
OpenAI Chief Executive Officer Sam Altman and several other executives answered questions about a nondisparagement contract for outgoing employees at a meeting Wednesday, following a series of controversies involving the startup in recent weeks. The company has apologized for sections of a contract that tied outgoing employees’ equity to an agreement not to disparage OpenAI. On Thursday, it confirmed it had removed the wording from its standard exit contract and that it was releasing the majority of former employees from nondisparagement agreements.

Mistral AI, France’s Startup Darling, Takes Aim at the US Market; The company’s first US manager says businesses are looking for alternatives to Big Tech.
Mark Bergen – Bloomberg
France’s Mistral AI launched in early 2023 as a European rival to OpenAI, building generative artificial intelligence tools tailored for the continent. Now Mistral is going after OpenAI’s home turf. In May, the Parisian startup hired Marjorie Janiewicz, the former chief revenue officer of Foursquare, as its first US general manager. In an interview, she said the startup is “gaining momentum” with its US business and plans to hire more staff. According to Janiewicz, some traction is coming from businesses looking for alternatives to the AI models and services from large providers like OpenAI and Google. “They do not want to be forced into an AI stack,” she said. “They want choices.”

Cooling for AI Is a Hot Stock Market Trade-for Now; Companies like Vertiv that can help artificial-intelligence data centers dissipate heat have had gains of more than 600%
Jacky Wong – The Wall Street Journal
Artificial intelligence is hot. Literally. The explosive growth in AI has generated soaring energy demand in data centers, and lots of unwanted heat. That has cooked up opportunities for companies providing cooling systems for servers. Electricity consumption for data centers in the U.S. is expected to grow around 30% from 2022 to 2026 to 260 terawatt-hours, according to the International Energy Agency. That is around 6% of total electricity demand in the country or enough to power 24 million American homes for a year. And most of that energy will dissipate as heat, which means a higher need for cooling systems.

The next wave of AI hype will be geopolitical. You’re paying; The wealth of hallucinations
Bryce Elder – Financial Times
A popular view of generative AI is that it’s unjustifiably expensive, chronically wasteful, rarely useful, and is being foisted on the general public for ideological reasons even though it makes the services they rely on worse. Governments are sure to be all over it.

How A.I. Made Mark Zuckerberg Popular Again in Silicon Valley; After some trying years during which Mr. Zuckerberg could do little right, many developers and technologists have embraced the Meta chief as their champion of “open-source” artificial intelligence.
Mike Isaac – The New York Times
When Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Meta, announced last year that his company would release an artificial intelligence system, Jeffrey Emanuel had reservations. Mr. Emanuel, a part-time hacker and full-time A.I. enthusiast, had tinkered with “closed” A.I. models, including OpenAI’s, meaning the systems’ underlying code could not be accessed or modified. When Mr. Zuckerberg introduced Meta’s A.I. system by invitation only to a handful of academics, Mr. Emanuel was concerned that the technology would remain limited to just a small circle of people.

Archax Integrates Fireblocks to Expand its Digital Asset Custody Service
Archax, the first FCA-regulated digital asset exchange, broker and custodian, today announced it has expanded its custody service by integrating Fireblocks, an enterprise platform for building blockchain applications and managing digital asset operations, and is using the Fireblocks Network, an enterprise-grade digital asset transfer platform for rapid digital asset transactions and dynamic payment workflows.


Australian Bank Teams Up With JPMorgan on Anti-Scam Payment Security Tech; Commonwealth Bank of Australia is set to pilot technology with JPMorgan that checks the accuracy of payments and transfer
Alice Uribe – The Wall Street Journal
The biggest bank in the U.S. will test anti-scam and mistaken payment technology created by Australia’s largest retail lender in an effort to make international transactions more secure. Fraudulent payments are an increasing threat for financial institutions, as criminals shift their attention to perpetrating scams offshore. The speed of direct electronic payments raises the chances of fraud, with authorities and banks themselves looking for ways to stop more consumers from becoming victims of online scams or errors associated with mistaken payments.

Europe’s cybersecurity chief says disruptive attacks have doubled in 2024, sees Russia behind many Disruptive digital attacks – many traced to Russia-backed groups – have doubled in the European Union in 2024 and are also targeting election-related services, according to the EU’s top cybersecurity official.
Derek Gatopoulos – AP
Disruptive digital attacks, many linked to Russian-backed groups, have doubled in the European Union in recent months and are also targeting election-related services, according to the EU’s top cybersecurity official. Juhan Lepassaar, head of the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity, or ENISA, told The Associated Press in an interview that attacks with geopolitical motives have steadily risen since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. “The number of hacktivist attacks (against) European infrastructure – threat actors whose main aim is to cause disruption – has doubled from the fourth quarter of 2023 to the first quarter of 2024,” Lepassaar said late Tuesday at the agency’s headquarters in Athens. “It’s quite a significant increase,” he said.


BlackRock’s $20 Billion ETF Is Now the World’s Largest Bitcoin Fund
Katie Greifeld and Sidhartha Shukla – Bloomberg
BlackRock Inc.’s iShares Bitcoin Trust has become the world’s largest fund for the original cryptocurrency, amassing almost $20 billion in total assets since listing in the US at the start of the year. The exchange-traded fund held $19.68 billion of the token Tuesday, dethroning the $19.65 billion Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The third largest is the $11.1 billion offering from Fidelity Investments. The BlackRock and Fidelity Bitcoin ETFs were among nine that debuted Jan. 11, the same day the more than decade-old Grayscale vehicle converted into an ETF. The launches were a watershed for crypto, making Bitcoin more accessible to investors and spurring a rally in the token to a record $73,798 in March.

Riot Platforms Pursues Takeover of Rival Bitcoin Miner Bitfarms; Colorado company offers $2.30 a share in cash and stock; Riot has stake in target, plans to call vote to add directors Matthew Monks and David Pan – Bloomberg
Riot Platforms Inc. made an unsolicited, $950 million offer to buy Bitfarms Ltd. after the smaller Bitcoin miner rebuffed its takeover approach last month. Riot offered $2.30 a share in cash and stock for Bitfarms, according to a statement Tuesday that confirmed an earlier Bloomberg News report. The price is about 20% above where Bitfarms traded before Riot’s offer in April, made privately to the board. Riot has now built a 9.25% stake in Bitfarms, making it the largest shareholder in the company, the bidder said.


US Presses TikTok, Meta, X to Crack Down on Antisemitic Posts
Jordan Fabian – Bloomberg
Swing-State Voters in 2024 A monthly poll by Bloomberg News and Morning Consult on the issues at stake in the US presidential election. The Biden administration is urging big technology companies to ramp up efforts to curb antisemitic content on social media and gaming platforms, which has surged in recent years. Representatives from Alphabet Inc., Meta Platforms Inc., Microsoft Corp., TikTok Inc. and X, formerly Twitter, met last Thursday with US special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, Deborah Lipstadt. She requested they designate a policy team member at each company to address the issue, train key personnel to identify antisemitism and publicly report trends in anti-Jewish content.

Rishi Sunak’s big net zero UK election gamble; If rowing back on climate action changes the political weather for the Tories, the consequences will be far-reaching
Pilita Clark – Financial Times
Any British voter who believes in climate change should not vote Conservative in the July 4 general election. That’s because, in its current state, the Conservative party is endangering people’s lives, jobs and opportunities for economic growth by taking a negative approach to climate action and rowing back on the energy transition. If all that sounds overly dramatic, don’t blame me. It is almost word for word what a former minister in the Conservative government, Chris Skidmore, told a Bloomberg podcast earlier this month, just before Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called the election.

How the far right is winning over young Europeans; Rightwing populist parties are making inroads into a demographic fed up with economic insecurity and immigration policy
Guy Chazan – Financial Times
Eric Liebegut, an 18-year-old printer’s apprentice, already knows who he’ll vote for in next week’s European election – the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), a party he says offers a clean break with a gloomy present and a bright vision of the future. “All the others have been calling the shots for long enough,” he says. “Now it’s our turn.”

Blacklisted Chinese Companies Rebrand as American to Dodge Crackdown; Firms tagged as military entities use new names and licensing deals to try to keep their businesses going in U.S.
Heather Somerville – The Wall Street Journal
In December, a new company registered in Michigan: American Lidar. Its planned home would be an easy drive from the big three U.S. automakers. The company behind American Lidar, and not mentioned in its registration, is China-based lidar maker Hesai Group, which the U.S. has labeled a security concern. It is a familiar playbook: A company facing regulatory or reputational problems sets up a subsidiary or affiliate with a different name.

Expulsions of Chinese Students Spread Confusion From Yale to UVA; Customs agents at US airports have barred entry to at least 20 students and scholars with valid visas since November in ‘more insidious’ version of disbanded China Initiative.
Sheridan Prasso – Bloomberg
The questions from the US Customs and Border Patrol agent in a windowless room at Dulles International Airport seemed relentless: Was she a member of the Chinese Communist Party? Did she receive scholarship funding from the Chinese government? Who sent her here? Susan, a second-year Ph.D. student in biomedical imaging at the University of Virginia returning to the US after visiting her parents in China, said she had nothing to do with the Chinese government or its ruling party. But her answers on this exam didn’t matter: Her student visa was canceled, and she was forced to buy a $1,400 one-way ticket back to Beijing. Seventeen hours later, on the last day of last year, she was escorted onto an airplane by armed guards and barred for five years.


Private-Equity Giants Near Settlements With SEC Over Texting Violations; Blackstone, TPG and Carlyle Group disclosed they have been cooperating with the SEC
Mengqi Sun – The Wall Street Journal
Some of Wall Street’s biggest private-equity firms said they are negotiating settlements with the U.S. markets regulator over their employees’ use of banned communication channels. Blackstone, TPG and Carlyle Group disclosed in their latest quarterly filings that they have been cooperating with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s record-keeping investigations and have begun discussions with the agency’s enforcement staff about potential resolutions.

FTX’s Ryan Salame, One of Sam Bankman-Fried’s Associates, Is Sentenced to 7½ Years
Sentence is harsher than prosecutors recommended
Caitlin Ostroff – The Wall Street Journal
A federal judge sentenced former FTX executive Ryan Salame to 7½ years in prison, saying his crimes and efforts to undermine transparency in the 2022 election merited a substantial penalty to deter others. Salame pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to make illegal political contributions and conspiring to operate an unlicensed money-transmission business. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan’s decision was harsher than the five to seven years that prosecutors had sought.

Former FTX executive Ryan Salame sentenced to more than 7 years in prison; Manager had pleaded guilty to election fraud charges in donation scheme linked to Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange
Joe Miller – Financial Times
Former FTX executive Ryan Salame has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison after pleading guilty last year to election fraud charges and conspiring to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business while working at Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency exchange.

Ex-Pioneer CEO says he was ‘scapegoated’ in Opec collusion case; Scott Sheffield slams ‘personal attack’ by US regulators who barred him from Exxon’s board
Myles McCormick – Financial Times
Scott Sheffield, the former chief executive of Pioneer Natural Resources accused of colluding with Opec to restrict oil production, hit out at the US Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday and said he had been “unjustly smeared”. Pioneer, the biggest oil producer in Texas, was acquired by ExxonMobil in a $60bn deal that closed this month. But in giving the green light to the transaction, the antitrust regulator took the unusual step of banning Sheffield from serving on the supermajor’s board, arguing it would give him a platform to engage in “collusive activity”.

IOSCO Board Re-Elects CFTC Chairman Behnam as Vice Chair
The Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has re-elected CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam as a Vice Chair for the term 2024-2026, a role to which he was originally elected in October 2022. This year’s election took place at IOSCO’s 2024 Annual Meeting in Athens, Greece. As a member of the IOSCO Board’s Management Team, Chairman Behnam helps guide IOSCO’s policy development and overall management.

NFA orders London, United Kingdom introducing broker Sigma Broking Limited to pay a $150,000 fine
NFA has ordered Sigma Broking Limited (Sigma Broking) to pay a $150,000 fine. Sigma Broking is an introducing broker Member of NFA located in London, United Kingdom. The Decision, issued by an NFA Hearing Panel, is based on a Complaint issued by NFA’s Business Conduct Committee and a settlement offer submitted by Sigma Broking, in which the firm neither admitted nor denied the allegations in the Complaint.

Auditor and audit firm admit to independence failures
ASIC has accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from registered company auditor Robert Johnson and audit firm Hardwickes, based in Canberra. Following an ASIC investigation, Mr Johnson admitted he failed to ensure the audit of property development company, Consolidated Builders Limited, was conducted in accordance with ethical requirements outlined in the APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including Independence Standards).

ASIC suspends AFS licence of Aurora Funds Management Limited
ASIC has suspended the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of Aurora Funds Management Limited (Aurora) (AFSL 222110) until 20 September2024. Aurora is the responsible entity of 6 registered managed investment schemes, the Aurora Absolute Return Fund (ARSN 110 303 430); HHY Fund (ARSN 112 579 129); Aurora Property Buy-Write Income Trust (ARSN 125 153 648); Aurora Global Income Trust (ARSN 127 692 406); Aurora Fortitude Absolute Return Fund (ARSN 145 894 800); and Aurora Dividend Income Trust (ARSN 151 947 732) (collectively referred to as ‘the Schemes’).

ASIC disqualifies NSW director for five years
ASIC has disqualified Andrew Liam Parry of Wentworth Falls, NSW, from managing corporations for the maximum period of five years due to his involvement in the failure of four companies.

ESMA reminds on rules for sharing information during pre-close calls
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued today a statement reminding issuers about the applicable legislative framework to “pre-close calls” and encouraging them to follow good practices when engaging in such calls, with the goal of contributing to maintain fair, orderly, and effective markets. Following some recent news in the media suggesting a connection between episodes of high volatility in share prices and “pre-close calls”, ESMA reminds issuers that any disclosure of inside information should only take place in accordance with the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR). Consequently, issuers should only share non-inside information during these “pre-close calls”.

Direction of remaining issues on economic value-based solvency regulation
FSA Japan
In preparation for the introduction of an economic value-based solvency regulation in fiscal year 2025, today the Financial Services Agency published “Remaining Issues and Responses on Economic Value-based Solvency Regulations”.

IOSCO concludes its 49th Annual Meeting
Notable progress on priorities around digital and sustainable finance and cooperation between financial market supervisors; 400 participants at most senior level from 130 member
jurisdictions involved in the regulation of more than 95% of the world’s capital markets; New brand to embody IOSCO’s re-energised focus on its three core objectives of investor protection, market integrity and financial stability

Singapore Issues Environmental Crimes Money Laundering National Risk Assessment
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Singapore published today an Environmental Crimes Money Laundering (ML) National Risk Assessment (NRA) which identifies the key threats and vulnerabilities in environmental crimes ML that Singapore is exposed to, and outlines mitigation measures which government agencies, financial institutions (“FIs”) and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professionals (“DNFBPs”) can develop to address the risks.

Market manipulators convicted in landmark High Court jury trial
SFC – Hong Kong
The Court of First Instance today convicted three individuals, Ms Sit Yi Ki, Ms Lam Wing Ki and Mr Tam Cheuk Hang of conspiracy to carry out false trading in the shares of Ching Lee Holdings Limited (Ching Lee) following an historic 22-day market manipulation trial by jury. This is a highly sophisticated and complex market manipulation case and the criminal prosecution was brought by the Department of Justice following extensive investigations by the SFC. This also marks the first time that an offence under the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO) has been tried at the Court of First Instance.

Investing and Trading

State Street Is Working to Insert ETFs Into the 401(k) System; SSGA working with regulators, investors and sponsors: Paglia; US retirement structure is currently built around mutual funds
Katie Greifeld – Bloomberg
State Street Global Advisors is looking for ways to fit exchange-traded funds into the American retirement system – one of the $9 trillion industry’s final frontiers. While ETFs have infiltrated nearly every part of the investment landscape over the past decade, they’re shut out from the 401(k) system, which instead relies on structures such as mutual funds and separately managed accounts. Newly installed SSGA executive vice president and chief business officer Anna Paglia is helping to lead an effort to change that.

Anglo Won’t Extend BHP Deadline, Threatening $49 Billion Bid; BHP has until 5 pm on Wednesday to commit to an offer; Larger miner earlier published last-minute plea for extension
Thomas Biesheuvel – Bloomberg
Anglo American Plc said it won’t give BHP Group any further time to commit to a takeover offer, threatening to end a $49 billion pursuit by the world’s biggest mining company. The decision sets up a dramatic climax to the five-week battle between two of mining’s biggest names, just hours before a 5 p.m. deadline. Anglo has repeatedly rebuffed proposals from BHP to partly break up and then acquire the 107-year-old company, but last week agreed to a one-week extension to a UK deadline in order to extend talks. BHP must now decide whether to make a firm offer without the support of Anglo’s board in the coming hours, or walk away for six months.

Manulife Offers Market Hedge with $16 Billion Bet on Trees
Christine Dobby – Bloomberg
At Manulife Financial Corp.’s asset-management business, a slow and steady investment with some novel revenue sources is proving lucrative for the Canadian insurer: timber. The firm has amassed more than $16 billion of timberland and agricultural assets under management in countries including the US, New Zealand, Australia and Brazil as it sought alternative investments to help diversify both its own portfolio and those of its clients. When held over decades, the investments help Manulife match the longer-duration liabilities of its life-insurance policies and offer opportunities for extra revenue, its executives said.

Low volatility shows investors are underpricing risk; Policy mistakes and economic vulnerabilities could disrupt markets.
Gerard Lyons – Financial Times
Are financial markets pricing sufficiently for future risks? Measures of financial market volatility suggest not. There are different measures of market volatility. Occasionally, they move the same way. This is often countercyclical, when the economic environment is stable and the political and policy outlook is clear and predictable. Shocks, likewise, can have a similar effect, usually triggering rising volatility. Then the policy response may lead asset classes to behave differently, both in direction and volatility.

What’s a Carry Trade Again? And When Is It Not a Moneymaker?
Natasha Doff, Marton Eder, and Anchalee Worrachate – Bloomberg
Here’s what sounds like a surefire way to improve an asset’s returns: Use cheaper money to buy it. That’s the core of what’s known as a foreign-currency carry trade. Investors take advantage of a difference in interest rates between two countries to borrow where the rate is low and invest where it’s high. Carry trades are especially popular when central banks in different parts of the world pursue diverging monetary policies, as one country might fight inflation while another seeks to boost growth. But be warned. The trades can also be a good way to lose large sums, given that exchange rates are prone to unpredictable corrections.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Lawyers to Plastics Makers: Prepare for ‘Astronomical’ PFAS Lawsuits; At an industry presentation about dangerous “forever chemicals,” lawyers predicted a wave of lawsuits that could dwarf asbestos litigation, audio from the event revealed.
Hiroko Tabuchi – The New York Times
The defense lawyer minced no words as he addressed a room full of plastic-industry executives. Prepare for a wave of lawsuitsâEUR‹ withâEUR‹ potentially “astronomical” costsâEUR‹. Speaking at a conference earlier this year, the lawyer, Brian Gross, said the coming litigation could “dwarf anything related to asbestos,” one of the most sprawling corporate-liability battles in United States history. Mr. Gross was referring to PFAS, the “forever chemicals” that have emerged as one of the major pollution issues of our time. Used for decades in countless everyday objects – cosmetics, takeout containers, frying pans – PFAS have been linked to serious health risks including cancer. Last month the federal government said several types of PFAS must be removed from the drinking water of hundreds of millions of Americans.

EPA accused of ‘egregious’ misconduct in PFAS testing of pesticides; US agency found PFOS and other types of PFAS in pesticides but failed to disclose those results, watchdog group alleges
Carey Gillam – The Guardian
Documents obtained from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicate the agency may have presented false information to the public about testing for harmful contaminants in pesticides, according to allegations being made by a watchdog group and a former EPA research fellow. The claims come almost a year to the day after the EPA issued a May 2023 press release that stated the agency found no per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in testing of samples of certain insecticide products. The press release contradicted a published study by the former EPA researcher that had reported finding PFAS in the same pesticide products.

Biden administration expands tax credits beyond wind, solar
Valerie Volcovici – Reuters
The Biden administration on Wednesday proposed expanding tax credits that have for years boosted U.S. solar and wind energy projects to cover a wider range of clean energy technologies including nuclear fission and fusion. The Treasury Department announced its guidance for Clean Electricity Production Credits and Clean Electricity Investment Credits, created under the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, that will be available in 2025 as the previously available wind and solar production and investment tax credits sunset.

Janet Yellen warns companies not to rely on carbon credits to save the climate; US Treasury secretary calls on business to prioritise emissions cuts as voluntary markets draw fire
Aime Williams – Financial Times
Companies should prioritise slashing their carbon emissions and not rely on buying carbon credits to save the climate, US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen will say on Tuesday. The remarks come as she unveils new guidelines for voluntary carbon credits, which are popular among companies looking to offset their emissions but have attracted criticism for failing to deliver the carbon removals they promise.

World’s Largest Nuclear Plant Sits Idle While Energy Needs Soar; Japan had big plans for nuclear power before the 2011 tsunami. Now a debate over restarting its biggest facility will test if it can turn away from costly imported fuels.
Shoko Oda – Bloomberg
On Japan’s windy western coast, in a region known for heavy snowfall and sake brewing, the world’s largest nuclear plant sits idle. The Kashiwazaki Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant, a sprawling 4.2-million square meter complex by the sea, was once the crown jewel in Japan’s strategy to boost atomic power to 50% of the country’s energy mix by 2030. Inside, a framed certificate from Guinness World Records acknowledges the facility’s potential output of 8.2 gigawatts as the most globally.

Pennsylvania’s Fracking Wastewater Contains a ‘Shocking’ Amount of the Critical Clean Energy Mineral Lithium; A new study estimated there is enough lithium in the state’s wastewater to meet up to 40 percent of domestic needs. But experts are concerned the discovery will be used to justify more fracking.
Kiley Bense – Inside Climate News
In 2007, a geoscientist at Penn State named Terry Engelder calculated that Pennsylvania could be sitting on more than 50 trillion cubic feet of accessible natural gas deposits. Engelder later revised his calculation upward, to 489 trillion cubic feet, enough to meet U.S. natural gas demand for 18 years. These massive numbers set off the fracking boom in Pennsylvania, leading to drilling across the state. Since the rush began, there have been 13,000 unconventional wells drilled in Pennsylvania. Now, a new “astounding” calculation has caught the attention of the gas industry:

Climate court cases that could set precedents around the world
Jake Spring – Reuters
Courts around the world are hearing an ever-growing number of climate-change lawsuits with some of the largest cases in history being decided in 2024 and 2025.
Here are the key cases to watch: International Court Of Justice (ICJ) The world’s highest court Is expected to issue a decision next year that will lay out U.N. member states’ obligations in addressing climate change. The U.N. General Assembly asked the court last year to come up with an advisory opinion, following a four-year campaign by Vanuatu, a small Pacific island nation where a group of law students initially dreamed up the ICJ petition.

Texas Storm Leaves Thousands of Homes Without Power: Weather Watch; Outages across the state and canceled flights are on Bloomberg Green’s radar today.
Brian K Sullivan – Bloomberg

ConocoPhillips to Acquire Marathon Oil in $17 Billion Deal
Mitchell Ferman – Bloomberg

Glencore to Consult Investors on Coal Spinoff After Teck Deal; Firm won’t hold vote if most shareholders back keeping coal; Consultations to start when Teck deal closes, CEO Nagle says
Thomas Biesheuvel – Bloomberg

Chevron’s $53 Billion Oil Deal Is Backed by Hess Shareholders; Hurdles remain as Chevron and Exxon Mobil wage a legal battle over Hess’s stake in a lucrative oil project in Guyana.
Rebecca Elliott – The New York Times


Robinhood Stock Rises on $1 Billion Buyback Plan
WSJ Staff
Robinhood (HOOD) shares gained, after the online brokerage said it planned to buy back $1 billion of stock in the next few years. Shares rose more than 3% to top $21 in recent premarket action. That put the stock on pace for a multiyear high-it hasn’t closed above $21 a share since late 2021. The buyback compares with a market value for Robinhood of about $18 billion as of Tuesday’s close, according to FactSet. Late Tuesday, Robinhood said its board had approved the repurchase program. It expects to buy back stock over two to three years, beginning in the third quarter of this year.

HSBC completes sale of Russian unit to Expobank
HSBC has transferred ownership of its Russian unit to Expobank for an undisclosed fee, the two lenders said on Wednesday, ending around two years of negotiations and uncertainty. HSBC’s exit from Russia has been on the cards since February, when Russian President Vladimir Putin gave approval for the asset sale to privately owned Expobank to go ahead. Expobank said it had successfully completed the deal. HSBC later confirmed that it had transferred ownership of the business to the Russian lender. “Economic ownership of HSBC Russia has been transferred to Expobank,” HSBC said in a statement. “The transaction will formally complete once the legal title transfer has been registered in the State Corporate Register.” HSBC first announced in June 2022 that it had agreed to sell a 100% stake in the unit, HSBC Bank (RR) LLC, to Expobank.

Bank of Japan Reports Record Stock Gains for Last Financial Year; Solid earnings from companies and hopes for better corporate governance have boosted Japanese equities
Megumi Fujikawa – The Wall Street Journal
The Bank of Japan reported record unrealized gains on its stockholdings in the financial year that ended March, reflecting historic rises in Tokyo shares. The central bank reported unrealized gains of 37.312 trillion yen ($237.39 billion) on its holdings of exchange-traded funds in the year ended March 31, compared with an unrealized profit of Y16.036 trillion in the previous year.

Invesco launches fixed maturity bond ETFs in Europe; Move follows unveiling of similar products by rivals including BlackRock, DWS and Amundi
Sandra Heistruvers – Financial Times
Invesco has rolled out its first fixed maturity bond exchange traded funds for European investors, joining firms including BlackRock, DWS and Amundi in offering similar products. The US asset manager’s initial Ucits offering of this type consists of five strategies providing exposure to dollar-denominated investment grade corporate bonds.

Goldman Racks Up $21 Billion for Its Largest Private Credit Pool; Popular asset class is helping the pivot from proprietary bets; Firm targets $300 billion of such credit assets within 5 years
Sridhar Natarajan – Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has put together $21 billion for private credit wagers, its biggest war chest yet for Wall Street’s buzziest asset class. The firm just closed the latest iteration of its direct-lending fund, drumming up firepower that includes fresh capital, borrowed funds and co-investments. That along with separately managed accounts will be put to use making more directly negotiated senior loans.

Work & Management

Want to work from home? A hefty paycheck may be out of reach as high-wage remote jobs fade
Medora Lee – USA TODAY
Higher pay requires higher commitment, and that includes showing up at the office every day, according to high-paying jobs site Ladders. After looking at more than a half-million jobs posted over the past year, Ladders found remote and hybrid jobs paying at least $250,000 annually plummeted by 95% and 60%, respectively. Only about 4% of these quarter-million-dollar jobs are fully remote, down from 10% a year ago. Less than 1% are now hybrid, down from 6% last year.

‘I was vulnerable’: Artificial intelligence work-from-home job scams targeting victims
Work-from-home job scams have grown by more than 500% thanks in part to artificial intelligence targeting those who are most vulnerable. Indeed, LinkedIn and Facebook are just some sites scammers use to target people like Jessica Brown. THE JOB OFFER “They obviously looked at my resume,” Brown said. She received an email from what she thought was Synterex, a well-known clinical and regulatory consulting firm specializing in agile methodology, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI)-driven technologies. It stated, “We reviewed your resume for the Junior Recruiter at Synterex. We think you could be a good fit for the opportunity.” After filling out a few screening questions, she received an offer of $30 per hour and health benefits to work from home. Brown needed the money; she has a child and her husband had just suffered a severe stroke. “I was vulnerable at that time. It was hard for me. I was looking for a job,” Brown said.

Gen Z really are the hardest to work with-even managers of their own generation say they’re difficult. Instead bosses plan to hire more of their millennial counterparts
Orianna Rosa Royle – Fortune
It’s no secret that Gen Z often gets flak for, in the words of the Sister Act star Whoopi Goldberg, not “busting their behinds” at work quite like previous generations did. Earlier this year, the Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster complained that Gen Zers don’t show up to work until 10:30 a.m., and an MIT interviewer blasted the generation for always “being late.” Just last month, one CEO vented his gripe with Gen Z when a young job candidate refused to do a 90-minute task because it “looked like a lot of work.” But it’s not just Gen Xers and baby boomers who have taken stock of how different (or rather, difficult) the youngest generation of workers are. Now even Gen Z hiring managers are complaining about their own generation’s work style.

Wellness Exchange

Should AI Have Access to Your Medical Records? What if It Can Save Many Lives? We asked readers: Is it worth giving up some potential privacy if the public benefit could be great? Here’s what they said.
Demetria Gallegos – The Wall Street Journal
We’re constantly told that one of the potentially biggest benefits of artificial intelligence is in the area of health. By collecting large amounts of data, AI can create all sorts of drugs for diseases that have been resistant to treatment. But the price of that could be that we have to share more of our medical information. After all, researchers can’t collect large amounts of data if people aren’t willing to part with that data.

Cancer Is Capsizing Americans’ Finances. ‘I Was Losing Everything’; Higher drug prices, rising out-of-pocket costs and reduced incomes create economic strain for many patients
Brianna Abbott and Peter Loftus – The Wall Street Journal
Gwendolyn Jackson was financially sound before her cervical cancer diagnosis-she was gainfully employed, insured and secure in a home of her own. But now, the 53-year-old has tens of thousands of dollars of medical debt. Chemotherapy drained her energy and she suffered other health problems, including a stroke. She lost her housing-coordinator job because of the physical toll. An eviction notice showed up on Jackson’s door, and her truck was repossessed.

As avian flu hops to cows and at least two humans, migrant farm workers are at risk
Officials are now incentivizing testing, but experts say workers need protective equipment and paid sick leave to prevent further spread
Thomas Graham – The Guardian
On a US dairy farm, working in the milking parlor can mean seven-day weeks, 12-hour shifts and intimate contact with cows and everything they expel. “When you disconnect the machine from the udder, it can shoot milk in your face,” said José Martínez, a former dairy worker and United Farm Workers advocate based in Washington state. “And there’s no time or place to eat. So we ate our tacos in spare moments with cow shit on our hands.” Conditions on US dairy farms are in the spotlight since the H5N1 influenza virus, which has decimated bird populations around the world, jumped species and adapted to spread between cows. That makes dairy farm workers the frontline for spillover infections into humans.


China Financial Firms Are Unusually Cash-Rich as Savers Pile In; Funding cost for non-bank firms steady even toward month-end; Investors pour savings into wealth products for better returns
Bloomberg News
Cash is so abundant in China’s financial markets that even traditionally liquidity-starved firms are swimming with money. Non-bank institutions like asset managers are sailing through the last few days of May, as their short-term borrowing costs remain stable after climbing at the end of 10 out of the last 12 months. That’s because Chinese residents, unimpressed with falling deposit rates at banks, started pouring their savings into higher-yielding wealth and money-market funds offered by these firms.

The Forgotten UK-China Stock Connect Program Now Needs a Reboot; Trading has dried up on link between UK, Chinese markets
Lisa Pham – Bloomberg
For years, the London Stock Exchange touted a link with China’s equity markets as an initiative that would give global investors access to the Asian nation’s growth through the UK. Yet almost five years since the mechanism was introduced, it has dropped off the radar. Just six Chinese companies have listed in London since the Shanghai-London stock connect began, and trading has been muted. Meanwhile, no European companies have listed in China. In the London Stock Exchange Group Plc’s last three annual reports, the cross-border program garnered zero mentions despite its expansion to Shenzhen.

Taiwan ETF Boom Cools as Performance, Regulation Deter Investors; Subscription sales of stock funds show big slump from March ETFs pick dividend stocks, miss ‘full benefit’ of Taiex rally
Betty Hou and Sangmi Cha – Bloomberg
Demand for Taiwanese exchange-traded funds, which was booming just a couple of months ago, is falling fast as their performance lags and regulators tighten up on the asset class. Taiwanese stock ETFs that started trading this month – touting high dividends – received NT$7 billion ($220 million) in subscription funds, according to Bloomberg’s calculations. Contrast that with the market craze earlier this year, when the Yuanta Taiwan Value High Dividend ETF alone attracted NT$175.2 billion of cash before listing, making it the biggest ETF debut in the world.

Egypt Raises Subsidized Bread Price for First Time in Decades
Abdel Latif Wahba and Tarek El-Tablawy – Bloomberg
Egypt’s government raised the price of subsidized bread for the first time in decades, taking aim at key public support measure which previous governments had shied away from for fear of stoking unrest. The price of a subsidized loaf of bread will rise to 20 piasters per loaf (0.42 US cents) starting June 1, climbing from 5 piasters, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said Wednesday in a televised press conference. Madbouly said the government was also looking at a shift to a cash payment program instead of the current subsidy program. The premier said while the cost of the loaf will remain subsidized, the move was necessary for the government to continue to be able to provide a support network on which the overwhelming majority of the nation’s 105 million people relies.

Europe’s Bond Sales Are Set to Top EUR1 Trillion in Record Time
Hannah Benjamin-Cook and Ronan Martin – Bloomberg
European bond issuance this year is set to hit the EUR1 trillion ($1.1 trillion) mark more than a week before a previous record. Issuance in the region’s publicly-syndicated debt market is on track to reach the milestone on Wednesday, boosted by an expected EUR10 billion sale from Spain, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It beats a record set on June 9, 2020, when governments were beefing up their budgets in the early months of the pandemic. Just under half of the debt sold this year has come from supranationals, sovereigns and agencies making the most of buoyant investor demand for their debt. But there’s also been a rush of US firms looking to take advantage of a growing gap in yields as the European Central Bank gears up for monetary easing as soon as next month, while the Federal Reserve is expected to hold interest rates steady.


A Connecticut Town Confronts the ‘Aporkalypse’; A battle over roaming pigs is roiling neighbors in an area long proud of its rural character. Even the feds have stuck their snouts in.
Jimmy Vielkind – The Wall Street Journal
At first it was errant cows. Now, residents of this rural town say they have a big beef with stray pigs that are tearing up fields and lawns because a newcomer hasn’t properly fenced them in. The animals of Radical Roots Farm have wreaked havoc, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damages, emotional distress and lost sleep, according to dozens of citations and a lawsuit filed by neighbors. Owners Ryan and Alycia Salvas have said they practice regenerative farming and are being unfairly dragged through the mud.

London Evening Standard Cuts Daily Paper for Weekly Publication to Stem Losses
Jamie Nimmo and Sabah Meddings – Bloomberg
London’s nearly 200-year-old Evening Standard newspaper plans to abandon its daily print publication, switching to a weekly edition, according to a memo sent to staff, following a tough period for free UK newspapers. The company blamed home working and widespread WiFi on London trains for reduced readership and said it has to look for ways to stem unsustainable losses, according to an email to staff on Wednesday, which was seen by Bloomberg. The memo didn’t map out job losses, and said it would go through a consultation period with staff.

Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky agrees to buy Royal Mail owner in £5.2bn deal; International Distribution Services board recommends bid from its largest shareholder
Ivan Levingston, Oliver Telling and Emma Dunkley – Financial Times
Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky has reached an agreement to buy the owner of Royal Mail in a deal valuing the group at £5.2bn, as he pledged to revive the fortunes of the former UK postal monopoly away from the glare of public markets. Kretinsky’s EP Group said on Wednesday it had agreed a takeover price of 370 pence per share for London-listed International Distribution Services, which owns Royal Mail and the international parcel business GLS, setting the path for intense political scrutiny of the proposal during a UK election year.

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