Looking Toward a Better Place
Suzanne Cosgrove – John Lothian News
The best word to describe environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing during the pandemic is resilience, said Societe Generale’s Isabelle Millat, head of the company’s sustainable solutions for global markets.
Why? ESG represents a “unique opportunity to come back better,” said Yannick Ouaknine, head of sustainability research at Societe Generale.
To read the rest of this story, go here.
Cannabinoids: A Brief Excursion into Neuropharmacology
Thom Thompson – John Lothian News
One of the first things to learn about cannabis is that nobody knows much for sure about it; not about its botany, chemistry or uses. This article brings you a quick overview of a few biochemical aspects of cannabis for human consumption and use.
Knowledge about the plant and understanding of its potential uses are rudimentary at best. Only with the enactment of the two U.S. Farm Acts in the last decade has there been meaningful funding of any kind of research into cannabis by the federal government. And that research focuses on industrial hemp – cannabis for non-psychoactive uses.
To read the rest of this story, go here.
Hits & Takes
By JLN Staff
Nasdaq has published a piece by Phil Mackintosh titled “An Intern’s Guide to the Market Structure Galaxy.” This piece helps explain some core concepts about how markets work.
There is a Q&A with Bryan Harkins of the Cboe about the re-opening of the trading floor in Traders Magazine.
The heat of the summer was supposed to make the coronavirus go away, but yet it is the south in the U.S. that is seeing the biggest surge right now in new cases. Florida set a new single day death record yesterday. So much for that theory.
This is normally the week when exchanges and other firms in Chicago hold rooftop baseball game outings at Chicago Cubs games. It is typically the best summer weather week of the year. There are no baseball games yet, but soon there will be. How long the season will go on before the coronavirus significantly impacts some teams is a good question. Normally a baseball team has a 25-man active roster. They have a 40-man overall roster, though more minor leaguers they don’t have to put on the 40-man roster yet. However, this year, they have a 60-man roster to help offset the risk of the coronavirus. Let that sink in for a minute.
Have a great weekend and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
On July 29 at 10:00 a.m. ET (15:00 BST), the FIA will host a members-only forum featuring Charlie Cook, editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report – an independent, non-partisan newsletter that analyzes American political trends. Cook will preview the 2020 US election season and how it may shape the political landscape in the coming years. After his virtual presentation, FIA President Walt Lukken will host a panel of Washington insiders to discuss the practical implications of the election on the markets. Each session will include a Q&A at the end. It is open to FIA members ONLY, and registration is complimentary. You can go here to register.~SR
In a panel of leading cryptocurrency trading platforms hosted by CryptoCompare, an online data service, on Thursday, representatives of Gemini, Coinbase and Bitstamp agreed that the industry is converging into a regulated format. They noted, for example, that customers increasingly seem to prefer trading on regulated platforms. CryptoCompare noted that, according to its exchange ranking report that covers a number of factors, the top rated exchanges have been consistently increasing their market share, with the top tier now accounting for 40% of global trading volume. ~Thom Thompson
Global Air Passenger Slump to Last Until 2023, Moody’s Says
Harry Suhartono – Bloomberg
Airline industry disproportionately affected by coronavirus; Effective vaccine for virus unlikely before well into 2021
Global airline passenger demand won’t recover to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels until the end of 2023, and only then if effective vaccines and medicines are available, according to Moody’s Investors Service.
*****My expectations are five years out. There is your over under.~JJL
Billionaire Ray Dalio warned that rising US-China tensions could escalate into a ‘shooting war’ – and drew comparisons with the years before WWII
Shalini Nagarajan – Business Insider
During times of great conflict, there exists a tendency to move to “more autocratic leadership” to bring stability to chaos, according to him. He said rival powers only enter into wars when they are roughly comparable.
*****Yes, that is what can happen when people don’t get along. Let’s hope it does not come to that. Give peace a chance!~JJL
5 Questions with Mexican Derivatives Exchange General Directorate/CEO José Miguel “Mak” De Dios
Brian Mehta, CMO – Trading Technologies Blog
When we announced last October our plans to offer connectivity to the Mexican Derivatives Exchange (MexDer) through the TT platform, our customers responded enthusiastically. MexDer is a subsidiary of the Mexican Stock Exchange (Bolsa Mexicana de Valores), one of the largest stock exchanges in Latin America, with widely followed futures and options contracts on the S&P/BMV IPC Mexican Equity Index, MXN/USD FX and Mexican Government Bond. MexDer is now available through TT, so we sat down with the exchange’s General Directorate/CEO José Miguel “Mak” De Dios to learn more about MexDer and the Latin American market. To learn more about MexDer, visit the exchange’s website here.
*****If you ask Gary Flagler about MexDer, make sure you have a cup of coffee to enjoy while he raves about the opportunities there.~JJL
Baseball-Starved Fans Turn Out To Watch Middle-Aged Men Play
Melanie Peeples – NPR
Walking into Regions Field, home of the Birmingham Barons, Michael Whitten stops to gaze out on the lush green grass, and sees two baseball teams warming up. Neither is the Barons. Its Minor League Baseball season had been cancelled due to the coronavirus. Instead, the teams on the field are part of a local amateur league for men age 35 and over. Which doesn’t matter to Whitten and his family.
*****People are starved for baseball. They are starved for sports. Have you watched marble racing yet?~JJL
CryptoMarketsWiki Coin of the Week: Bitcoin (BTC)
The Twitter accounts of several prominent public figures – including Barack Obama, Elon Musk, and Joe Biden – were hacked this week as part of an expansive bitcoin scam. The hacked accounts posted addresses to bitcoin wallets instructing Twitter users to send their bitcoins there, promising that all donations would be doubled and then returned to the users. The Twitter accounts of several cryptocurrency exchanges were hacked as well. Blockchain analytics firms Chainalysis and Ciphertrace, as well as the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, have begun investigating these attacks, and Twitter has made several changes to its platform to prevent further attacks.
Thursday’s Top Three
Our top story Thursday was JLN’s Unsung Heroes Series: Q&A With CME Group COO Julie Holzrichter, from Sarah Rudolph, the second installment in JLN’s Unsung Heroes series. Second was Virginia man trademarks dozens of possible new names for Washington NFL team, from CBS News. Third was Colombian cartels killing those who don’t obey their Covid-19 lockdowns, from The Guardian.
181,529,642 pages viewed; 24,342 pages; 225,383 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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China’s Attack On Its Biggest Stock Wipes Out Record $25 Billion
Jeanny Yu – Bloomberg
People’s Daily criticises liquor maker for high prices; Moutai had risen about 50% this year before Thursday’s plunge
Kweichow Moutai Co. fell the most in nearly two years after the influential People’s Daily took aim at the high price of the liquor it makes, saying the alcohol was often used in corruption cases.
Why Hackers Use Bitcoin and Why It Is So Difficult to Trace; Here’s what you need to know about digital currency that operates independently of third-party oversight
Paul Vigna and Caitlin Ostroff – WSJ
By now you have probably heard of bitcoin, even if you haven’t used it yourself. Launched 11 years ago, bitcoin is a digital currency that operates independently of third-party oversight from banks or governments. It allows two people anywhere in the world to exchange value across the internet in minutes.
SEC Urged to Help Diversify Asset-Management Industry; Investors recommended pushing for more disclosure of diversity policies and practices and investigating signs of discrimination
By Dave Michaels – WSJ
Regulators should find ways to make the asset-management industry more inclusive of minority- and women-owned firms, a diverse group of investors told the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.
How Germany’s SEC Dismissed a Decade of Warnings About Wirecard; The market watchdog BaFin played down allegations, kicked the ball to other agencies and went after the disgraced firm’s accusers
Tom Fairless, Patricia Kowsmann and Paul J. Davies – WSJ
Germany’s top financial supervisor received detailed warnings about deceptive financial practices at Wirecard AG starting in 2008 but repeatedly declined to investigate the allegations, turning instead against the accusers.
Reality punctures Britain’s Brexit balloon; Costly border plans undermine the economic case for leaving the EU
The editorial board – FT
A new prominent promotional film urges Britons to “get going” in the preparations for the sunny uplands of Brexit. With upbeat music and forward arrows, the film urges businesses and individuals to prepare for the nation’s new start, now less than six months away. And yet anyone looking into the details of the proclaimed economic advantages will see that what is most on offer are rising costs and extra bureaucracy.
A $35 Billion Bite From U.S. Bank Profits May Only Be the Start
Hannah Levitt and Shahien Nasiripour – Bloomberg
Things are about to get ugly. But nobody knows how ugly; ‘It’s just very peculiar times,’ says JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon
The six giant U.S. banks that just cut $35 billion from their profits to brace for a tsunami of souring loans also offered this confession: They don’t really know how bad it’s about to get.
Worst China Stocks Selloff Since February Caps Brutal Reversal
Jeanny Yu – Bloomberg
Crowd favorite Kweichow Moutai loses $25 billion in value; Headwinds including U.S.-China tensions are increasing
The rally in Chinese shares is unraveling almost as quickly as it began, with losses accelerating Thursday after state media criticized one of the country’s most popular stocks.
European Leaders Seek Historic Virus Bailout Deal at First Gathering in Months; Germany and France Push for EU to Issue Debt to Help South, but Dutch and Others Want Spending Limits
Laurence Norman – WSJ
European Union leaders are meeting in person for the first time in five months, hoping the human touch will allow them to seal a EUR1.8 trillion ($2 trillion) spending plan intended to lift the region out of the coronavirus crisis.
FCA to pilot digital sandbox for coronavirus recovery; New digital sandbox from the FCA and City of London Corporation will look to support firms that are key to the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Large financial institutions and start-ups that are playing a key role in the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will be supported through a new ‘digital sandbox’ initiative from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
From Deutsche Bank to CME, Google Cloud has nabbed a string of big financial clients. Here are 3 ways it’s making its pitch to win over Wall Street.
Dan DeFrancesco – Business Insider
Google Cloud has enjoyed a string of big wins recently, especially when it comes to nabbing clients in financial services as Wall Street has finally come around to using the public cloud.
UK probes lawyer linked to binary options scandal; Israeli lawyer under investigation for possible money laundering
Kadhim Shubber and Jane Croft – FT
An Israeli lawyer linked to a high-profile binary options fraud scheme is under investigation in the UK for possible money laundering and conspiracy to defraud, the Financial Times can reveal. Moshe Strugano, 50, had provided a legal opinion used by the operators of the websites BinaryBook and BigOption to underpin the sale to US investors of risky financial products called binary options, which have been the target of a global crackdown by regulators.
Goldman Sachs to shift hedge fund services onto digitalised Marquee platform; Marquee Connect project will see Goldman Sachs develop a virtual way for hedge funds to connect with prospective investors.
Joe Parsons – The Trade
Goldman Sachs is planning to move its prime services business onto its flagship electronic platform Marquee, in a move that will digitalise the capital raising process for new fund launches. The project, dubbed Marquee Connect, will include the development of an electronic capital introduction service, providing a new virtual way for hedge funds to connect with prospective institutional investors.
Beneath Bond Market’s Surface, Tumbling Real Yields Boost Other Assets; The ‘break-even’ inflation rate has climbed in recent months, suggesting investors expect an improved economic outlook
Sam Goldfarb – WSJ
U.S. Treasury yields have fallen close to record lows when adjusted for expected inflation, providing an extra boost to riskier assets in response to both better economic data and the promise of continued monetary stimulus.
Euphoric European Markets Look to Leaders to Strike a Deal
Michael Msika – Bloomberg
Leaders meet from Friday to discuss massive stimulus package; Failure to show progress may derail euro-area outperformance
As European Union leaders try to thrash out a deal for a 750 billion-euro ($854 billion) recovery fund over the next two and a bit days, the market rally will hang in the balance.
Court Ruling Leaves Companies Scrambling for New Ways to Move Data From Europe to the U.S.
A European court declared a trans-Atlantic data-transferring agreement invalid because it could expose Europeans’ data to U.S. government surveillance
Catherine Stupp – WSJ
More than 5,000 companies that do business in the European Union and the U.S. will need to find a new legal footing to move data between the continents after a court ruled Thursday that a widely used agreement could violate European individuals’ right to privacy.
Trading risks lurched higher at top US dealers in Q2
Abdool Fawzee Bhollah, Louie Woodall – Risk.net
Top US banks’ trading loss estimates surged over the three months to end-June. Average trading value-at-risk more than doubled quarter-on-quarter at JP Morgan, to $128 million.
My Summer On Zoom: 2020’s Covid-19 Interns Bear The Professional Brunt Of Office Closures
Josie Cox – Forbes
Lured by the prospect of a buzzing cultural scene, stunning natural beauty and interesting colleagues, budding journalist Poppy Askham was looking forward to spending spring and summer 2020 in Reykjavik getting up close and personal with Icelandic politicians and rockstars.
The U.S. reports more than 75,600 new cases, shattering its daily record
New York Times
As clashes over face-covering mandates and school reopening plans intensified throughout the United States, the country shattered its single-day record for new cases on Thursday — more than 75,600, according to a New York Times database.
Georgia Massaged Virus Data to Reopen, Then Voided Mask Orders
Margaret Newkirk – Bloomberg
Even as surge becomes unignorable, Kemp stays the course; A model case for an aggressive reopening tumbles into crisis
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s edict expressly voiding coronavirus mask orders by local governments capped a week of turmoil in a state once touted as proof that reopening in a pandemic could work. For six weeks, Georgia had been a model, especially for those eager to end shutdowns. Among the last U.S. states to lock down, Georgia in April was first to widely reopen, after just three weeks. Critics said the state misrepresented its data to justify the move, and they predicted disaster.
Trump’s outrageous refusal to lead is making the pandemic worse
Stephen Collinson, CNN
The United States just recorded more than 77,000 new cases of Covid-19, the most ever in a single day. But President Donald Trump wants to talk about dishwasher reform. Trump’s refusal to use his full powers of his office and the government to confront the worst domestic threat since World War II is looking more negligent, callous and politically self-defeating with each virus ravaged day that passes.
Walmart, Kroger Grapple With Coin Shortage, Urge Cards Instead
Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg
Shortage, along with virus, contributes to cash’s decline; Federal Reserve forms U.S. Coin Task Force to deal with issue
First it was toilet paper and face masks, then it was meat. The latest shortage caused by the coronavirus pandemic? Pocket change. Retailers including Walmart Inc. and Kroger Co. are grappling with a nationwide shortfall of coins that’s left them posting signs at some checkout lines alerting customers about the problem and encouraging them to use credit or debit cards — or pay with exact change, if possible.
Mandatory Mask Use Could Have Saved 40,000 Lives, Study Says; Statistical analysis shows that personal choices alone don’t defeat Covid-19.
Peter Coy – Bloomberg
It’s clear by now that face masks save lives by hindering the spread of Covid-19. But some people continue to argue that mask mandates are intrusive and unnecessary because most people can be counted on to do the right thing for their own and their families’ safety.
A Vaccine Could Cure Airlines; Also bank earnings, the Twitter hack, lemonade stands and lunch valuation.
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
The most interesting correlation in the stock market right now is the one between (1) the prices of airline stocks and (2) the amount of antibodies produced by coronavirus vaccine candidates in clinical trials. So far the vaccines are experimental and uncertain. If you knew that they’d work really well—protect everyone perfectly, no side effects, easy to produce, etc.—then you’d know with a pretty high degree of certainty that airline stocks (and cruise ships, hotels, casinos, retailers, etc.) would go up. If you knew that they’d be a disaster then you’d probably be short airlines.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
IPO Edge to Host Summer SPAC Forum on July 23;
Virtual Event Participants include Sidley Austin LLP, Goldman Sachs, Nasdaq, ICR, and Flying Eagle Acquisition Corp.
Special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, have led the recovery on Wall Street in the months following the coronavirus pandemic. Looking ahead, IPO Edge will host a virtual forum with leading market participants and advisors to discuss the role of SPACs for investors and companies planning public listings. The approximately 90-minute event will be held Thursday, July 23, at 3:00 p.m. EDT. To register for the SPAC Forum please click here.
Eurex Exchange’s Quarterly Equity Derivatives Highlights – Q2/2020
After the extreme Q1 market volatility, equity derivatives market slowly calmed down following several monetary and fiscal measures by national banks and governments. Whereas the overall market saw a tremendous recovery rally in the second quarter, the situation on a single stock level is still driven by uncertainty on earnings, dividends and local shutdowns. Whereas volumes in single stock options have seen a slight decrease quarter on quarter, the overall trend in 2020 is still up with a plus of more than 6% for the first half-year vs. last year.
Euronext gains regulatory approval for Danish CSD takeover; Euronext confirmed in April plans to acquire Danish central securities depository VP Securities in the exchange group’s latest takeover.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Danish authorities have approved Euronext’s bid to acquire central securities depository (CSD), VP Securities, for EUR150 million as it looks to strengthen its post-trade business.
LSE Faces Potential Delay in EU Review of Refinitiv Deal
Aoife White – Bloomberg
EU suspended previous Oct. 27 deadline to rule on takeover; Approval during Brexit transition period gives legal certainty
London Stock Exchange Group Plc faces a potential delay to completing its $27 billion purchase of Refinitiv after European Union regulators suspended their Oct. 27 deadline to review the deal.
AxeTrading secures multi-million investment in latest funding round; Recent investment from funding round will be used to expand the global footprint of fixed income software provider AxeTrading.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Fixed income trading software provider AxeTrading has secured a multi-million investment in a Series A funding round led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). AxeTrading confirmed in a statement that the funds raised would enable it to expand and deepen its global footprint. The investment round was led by the IFC, part of the World Bank Group, alongside Sumscope and SixThirty.
Wirecard Woe Spreads as Banks Struggle to Exit Loans; Lloyds Banking Group sells its debt at cents on the euro; another lender fails to complete a sale
Ben Dummett and Margot Patrick – WSJ
Wirecard AG WDI -6.85% ‘s insolvency is inflicting pain on some banks who lent to the once-highflying, now-insolvent German fintech. Some of Europe’s largest lenders anticipate recovering as little as 20% of the almost $2 billion they are owed, according to people familiar with the loans. Meanwhile some banks seeking an exit from their portion of the loan are challenged to find buyers at cents on the euro even as Wirecard’s insolvency administrator seeks to sell the company’s assets to pay off debt.
German Finance Minister Knew of Wirecard Issues a Year Before Collapse
Arne Delfs – Bloomberg
Report reveals early involvement of German finance minister; Scholz’s inaction is ‘highly problematic,’ Green lawmaker says
German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz was aware of potential market manipulation at Wirecard AG in February 2019, almost a year and a half before the company collapsed.
Bitcoin Enthusiasts Face Bigger Problems Than Twitter Scam
Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
GTI trend gauge triggers first Bitcoin sell signal since June; Bitcoin implicated in apparent effort to promote Twitter scam
A Twitter hack this week featured Bitcoin in one of its most high-profile scams. But technical indicators suggest that could be just the start of problems for investors in the largest cryptocurrency.
Twitter Hackers Leave Trail With Bitcoin Wallet Money Shifts
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
One account has used a U.S. exchange, payment processors; FinCEN asks crypto exchanges to report suspicious activities
Whoever is behind the security incident involving some of the most prominent business and political leaders on Twitter — a scam that raised about $120,000 worth of Bitcoin — is shifting the spoils around online accounts, creating the beginnings of a digital paper trail that investigators are scouring for clues. Hackers gained access to the Twitter accounts of executives including Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos and Tesla Inc. Founder Elon Musk, asking users to direct Bitcoin to one of three different accounts, said Tom Robinson, co-founder of Elliptic, which helps law-enforcement agencies track Bitcoin-related crime.
FBI Probing Twitter Hack Whose Victims Included Musk and Obama
Chris Strohm – Bloomberg
The FBI has opened an investigation into a hacking attack against Twitter on Wednesday that affected some of the world’s highest-profile accounts, including those of former President Barack Obama and Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk.
Twitter Hacker Is a BitMEX Trader, On-Chain Data Suggests
William Foxley – Coindesk
None of the roughly 13 bitcoin (BTC) acquired through Wednesday’s Twitter hack have been laundered, according to chain analysis conducted by Samourai Wallet. But whoever it was is deep into the cryptocurrency space, with the BitMEX receipts to prove it, according to preliminary analysis from Samourai Wallet’s research arm, OXT Research. (A pastebin can be found here.) “Confirmed, no signs of mixing. Majority of funds spent 1 or two hops and [are] now parked,” Samourai said in a Twitter DM to CoinDesk. “Really curious what their cash-out plan is.”
Twitter Hack: Chainalysis and CipherTrace Confirm FBI Investigation
Danny Nelson – Coindesk
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is looking into Wednesday’s massive Twitter hack, which saw dozens of accounts belonging to prominent figures and crypto exchanges compromised to shill a sketchy crypto scam. The takeover saw some $120,000 in bitcoin flow through the address in question, though it remains unclear if that is the total figure sent by victims or if the perpetrator(s) laundered funds through the address themselves. What is clear is that Twitter suffered an unprecedented security breach, one which impacted a former U.S. president, multiple billionaires and the foremost crypto news organization.
U.S. senator seeks answers from Jack Dorsey on Twitter account compromises
Michael McSweeney – The Block
U.S. Senator Josh Hawley sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey last night in what appears to be the first political response to Wednesday’s Twitter account attack. The letter, publicly shared by Hawley’s office, makes note that “Twitter seems to be experiencing a large-scale cyberattack, as illustrated by a number of posts inviting users to transfer Bitcoin under fraudulent pretenses. The accounts targeted include those for Apple, Uber, Jeff Bezos, former President Barack Obama, and even the Democratic nominee for President.”
Paypal Confirms Interest In Cryptocurrency, Says It’s Developing Crypto Capabilities
Vincent Mislos – International Business Times
Digital payments company PayPal has confirmed it is seeking to enter the cryptocurrency space. In a letter to the European Commission, the company said that in addition to monitoring cryptocurrency’s evolution, it is also developing cryptocurrency capabilities in its products. The company, however, did not specify what these initiatives are. It was recently revealed that the company is working on a feature to let its users directly buy Bitcoin on PayPal and its mobile payment app Venmo. The initiative is expected to expose PayPal’s 365 million customers to cryptocurrency.
Feds bust Texas man for using PPP loan of nearly $1 million on cryptocurrency
Jeff John Roberts – Fortune
Joshua Argires received nearly $1 million from the federal Paycheck Protection Program to help 51 employees at his “Texas Barbecue” to weather the COVID outbreak. But according to federal law enforcement, Texas Barbecue had no employees and only a website with nothing for sale. Meanwhile, Argiries allegedly sent the $956,250 he received to an account at the cryptocurrency company Coinbase via a series of five wire transfers. On Tuesday, the Department of Justice announced Argiries has been charged with wire fraud, bank fraud and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.
Canadian startup accuses ConsenSys of stealing code for recurring payments system
Saniya More – The Block
Canadian tech startup BlockCrushr Labs is taking ConsenSys to court over stolen trade secrets. In the filed lawsuit, BlockCrushr claims that the Ethereum-focused company stole their idea for a recurring payments solution powered by smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. According to the complaint, ConsenSys launched its platform, “Daisy Payments,” a day before BlockCrushr launched its own product.
$1.4 billion in Bitcoin was laundered via unwitting exchanges in 2020
Will Heasman – Decrypt
Over 147,000 Bitcoin, worth around $1.4 billion, has been laundered through unwitting crypto exchanges this year. Blockchain security firm Peckshield traced over 40,000 Bitcoin from “high-risk” addresses sent to Singapore-based exchange Huobi. A further $1.59 billion in high-risk funds may have been processed through coin mixers.
U.S. Internal Revenue Service inks deal with Coinbase for blockchain analytics software
Michael McSweeney – The Block
Public records show that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service has inked a deal with crypto exchange company Coinbase to use its Coinbase Analytics blockchain tracing software. The signing date is listed as July 15 on the Sam.gov database, which tracks contract offerings for U.S. agencies. The contract becomes effective on July 23 and lasts for a single year with an option to renew for a second year. Based on the contents of the public record, it appears that the IRS is paying Coinbase $124,950.00 for the single-year duration. The deal has yet to be added to USAspending.gov, a database that tracks completed contracts.
BlockFi Hires Former Deutsche Bank, Barclays Alum as General Counsel
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk
Crypto lending platform BlockFi has hired an experienced legal professional in a bid to stay ahead of the regulatory curve. Jonathan Mayers joins BlockFi as general counsel at a time governments and regulators are increasing regulatory pressure on companies working with cryptocurrencies. The company announced the news in a blog post Wednesday, with BlockFi CEO Zac Prince saying his company will “need a firm regulatory structure” moving forward.
Beijing government releases its blueprint for becoming a blockchain hub
Saniya More – The Block
Beijing’s municipal government released a 145-page blueprint today outlining a plan to become a hub for blockchain innovation over the next two years. The blueprint comes nearly a month after the city’s municipal government announced an initiative called the “Beijing Blockchain Innovation Development Action Plan (2020-2022),” which is aimed at making China’s capital one of the first cities in the country to integrate blockchain technology into the city’s economic development.
Trump Steps Up His Assault on Biden With Scattershot Attacks, Many False; As he searches for a way to turn around his struggling candidacy, President Trump has intensified a tear-down operation aimed at Joe Biden with a dizzying barrage of attacks.
Katie Glueck, Adam Nagourney and Maggie Haberman – NY Times
Over the course of 72 hours, President Trump’s campaign accused Joseph R. Biden Jr. of plagiarism. Mr. Trump warned that a Biden presidency would lead to a surge of crime in the streets. He tried to link his opponent to socialism and to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leader of the Democratic left. And he said that Mr. Biden would eliminate the suburbs — and windows.
US weighs ban on TikTok as friction with China rises; Options include putting video app’s parent ByteDance on blacklist or pushing for break-up
Demetri Sevastopulo and James Politi and Hannah Murphy – FT
The White House is considering putting TikTok on a blacklist that would effectively prevent Americans from using the popular video app, as one option to prevent China from obtaining personal data via the social media platform.
Johnson suffers ‘back to work’ blow from chief scientist; Patrick Vallance insists UK government advice on homeworking should remain in place
George Parker, Sarah Neville and Tanya Powley – FT
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s determination to get workers in England back into their offices suffered a setback on Thursday when his chief scientific adviser insisted that working from home remained “a perfectly good option”.
Trump’s Hong Kong Action Will Hurt U.S. Businesses, AmCham Says
Iain Marlow – Bloomberg
President Donald Trump’s move to end Hong Kong’s special status under U.S. law will hurt the country’s business interests and deepen pessimism about the Asian financial hub’s future, the American Chamber of Commerce’s local branch said.
The World Has Changed Too Much for Biden to Erase the Trump Effect; It isn’t just America that’s moved on.
Marc Champion, Nick Wadhams, and Arne Delfs – Bloomberg
At last year’s Munich Security Conference, an annual gathering of military chiefs and political leaders, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden made a promise to America’s allies: “This too shall pass,” he assured them, “we will be back.” There was little doubt as to what “this” referred to — Donald Trump’s America — or who would be coming back. Biden, now running for president and ahead in opinion polls for November’s vote, might just have the opportunity to make good his pledge.
Inequality Was Bad. The Pandemic Is Making It Worse
Rebecca Greenfield – Bloomberg
The gap between rich and poor had become a defining narrative of the 21st century long before the coronavirus pandemic put racial disparities and the struggles of low-paid workers in stark relief. Then the killing of George Floyd, a Black American, by a White Minneapolis police officer in May sparked renewed focus on the global debate about the causes of the world’s searing inequalities, why they’ve been tolerated for so long and what can be done to reduce them.
Barr Urges U.S. Companies to Resist Serving as ‘Pawns’ for China; The attorney general accused several companies by name of appeasing an authoritarian government to preserve access to a huge consumer market.
Charlie Savage – NY Times
Accusing American firms of engaging in “corporate appeasement” of the Chinese Communist Party, Attorney General William P. Barr called on the private sector on Thursday to get tougher in resisting what he portrayed as corrupting efforts by China to cheat and bully its way into taking over the global economy.
The War on Masks Is Another Lost Cause; For too many of the president’s supporters, masks represent capitulation to the liberal elite.
Francis Wilkinson – Bloomberg
When a man in a MAGA hat was asked to put on a mask last week at a suburban Kansas City restaurant, as state law requires, he said he had an exemption. Then he lifted his shirt to reveal a holstered firearm. A customer who refused to wear a mask at a convenience store in Michigan this week stabbed a fellow customer and was later shot dead by police.
Scaramucci Says He Wants to See Trump ‘Humiliated’
Josh Wingrove – Bloomberg
Former Trump communications chief seeks GOP votes for Democrat; Trump politicized coronavirus pandemic, Scaramucci says
Merely beating Donald Trump in November won’t be enough for Anthony Scaramucci, who briefly served as the president’s communications chief but is now seeking to oust his former boss and help elect Democrat Joe Biden. “He has a chance here to really get humiliated, which I hope he will,” Scaramucci said in an interview. “The economy’s in shambles as a direct result of his decision making and the politicization of a health-care crisis. And so for all those reasons, he’s obviously incompetent and so we’ve got to seek his removal.”
Mark Meadows Calls Fauci’s 1918 Flu Comparison ‘Irresponsible’
By Jordan Fabian – Bloomberg
White House has rebuked Navarro over his criticism of Fauci; Meadows says he does not see effort to ‘undercut’ virus expert
President Donald Trump’s chief of staff criticized Anthony Fauci for comparing the current coronavirus outbreak to the 1918 flu pandemic, after reprimanding another top White House adviser for publicly attacking Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.
Clive Palmer charged over breaches of directors’ duties and fraud
Following an ASIC investigation, Mr Clive Frederick Palmer, 66 of Broadbeach Waters in Queensland, has been charged with two counts of contravening section 184(2)(a) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Act) – dishonest use of position as a director and two counts of contravening section 408C(1)(d) of the Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld) – fraud by dishonestly gaining a benefit or advantage.
Federal Court upholds ASIC’s appeal on Robert Hutchison
On 13 July 2020, following an appeal by ASIC, the Federal Court set aside a decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) not to ban financial adviser Mr Robert Hutchison from providing any financial services.
ASIC sues Forex Capital Trading Pty Ltd for unconscionable conduct and conflicted remuneration
ASIC has commenced civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Forex Capital Trading Pty Ltd (Forex CT) and its sole director, Shlomo Yoshai.
ESMA tells market participants to continue preparations for the end of the UK transition period
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, urges financial market participants to finalise preparations and implement suitable contingency plans in advance of the end of the United Kingdom’s (UK) transition period on 31 December 2020. ESMA also confirms that previously agreed Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) on cooperation and information exchange concluded with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) remain valid and will come into effect at the end of the transition period.
ESMA Provides Guidance on Waivers from Pre-Trade Transparency
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, published today an opinion providing guidance on pre-trade transparency waivers for equity and non-equity instruments. The document replaces the guidance of the Committee of European Securities Regulators and ESMA’s opinions on waivers from pre-trade transparency under the Market in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) I.
FINRA OTCE and OTC Transparency Data Websites Availability
FINRA will be performing scheduled maintenance to the OTCE.FINRA.org and OTCTransparency.FINRA.org websites on Saturday, July 18, 2020, from approximately 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET. During this time, these websites will be unavailable to users.
FINRA Requests Comment on Proposed Changes to TRACE Reporting Relating to Delayed Treasury Spot and Portfolio Trades
FINRA requests comment on two proposed changes to the TRACE reporting rules that were recommended by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee. The proposed changes would require firms to: (1) identify corporate bond trades where the price of the trade is based on a spread to a benchmark Treasury security that was agreed upon earlier in the day (i.e., a “delayed Treasury spot trade”) and report the time at which the spread was agreed upon; and (2) identify corporate bond trades that are a part of a larger portfolio trade.
SEC, MSRB and FINRA to Hold Compliance Outreach Program for Municipal Advisors
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB), and FINRA today announced the opening of registration for a virtual Compliance Outreach Program for Municipal Advisors. The webcast program will be held Thursday, August 13, 2020, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET. Additional information, including the agenda, is available on SEC.gov.
CFTC’s Market Risk Advisory Committee Announces Agenda for July 21 Public Meeting
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced the agenda for the upcoming Market Risk Advisory Committee (MRAC) public meeting that will be held on July 21, 2020 via teleconference in accordance with the agency’s implementation of social distancing due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. [See CFTC Press Release No. 8193-20 for listening instructions]
CFTC Charges Georgia Company and Florida Residents with Precious Metals Fraud and Misappropriation of Nearly $900,000; CFTC also Charges Defendants with Engaging in Illegal, Off-Exchange Precious Metals Transactions
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida against The Alista Group, LLC (Alista), owner Marvin W. Courson III, and company employees Christopher A. Kertatos and Luis M. Pineda Palacios a/k/a Luis Pineda, for fraud, engaging in illegal, off-exchange transactions in precious metals, and misappropriating $890,500 of customer funds.
CFTC Encourages Standardized Approaches to Assessing Cybersecurity Preparedness, Including the FSSCC Cybersecurity Profile
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission recognizes the benefits provided when private sector financial institutions regulated by CFTC use a standardized approach to assess and improve their cybersecurity preparedness. Firms adopting a standardized approach are better able to track their progress over time, and to share information and best practices with their peers and with the CFTC.
Opening Statement of Commissioner Brian Quintenz before the CFTC Technology Advisory Committee
Good morning and welcome to our sixth meeting of the Technology Advisory Committee (TAC or Committee). Before we begin, I would like to express my gratitude to all of the Committee and subcommittee members for so generously giving their time to participate today – especially in light of the additional challenges presented by preparing and holding this meeting remotely.
Opening Statement of Chairman Heath P. Tarbert Before the Technology Advisory Committee Meeting
Good morning, and thank you all for attending this Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting via teleconference. I would especially like to thank Commissioner Quintenz and his staff for convening this meeting. I am also grateful to Meghan Tente, the Designated Federal Officer for the TAC, for organizing the meeting. And of course, I must thank Richard Gorelick for serving as the TAC Chair, and all the TAC members for taking the time to share your valuable perspectives.
FCA seeks views on extending the implementation deadlines for the Certification Regime and Conduct Rules
The FCA has today published a consultation paper on making changes to its rules following the extension to the deadline by which FCA solo-regulated firms need to have implemented the Certification Regime.
FCA confirms MoUs with ESMA and EU securities regulators
On 1 February 2019, we announced the agreement of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and EU regulators covering cooperation and exchange of information in the event the UK left the EU without a withdrawal agreement.
Ontario Securities Commission Seeks Applications For Seniors Expert Advisory Committee http://
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking members for its Seniors Expert Advisory Committee (SEAC or the Committee).
British Columbia Securities Commission Panel Orders More Than $6 Million In Sanctions Against Richmond Residents And B.C. Companies For Ponzi Fraud And Other Wrongdoing
The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) ordered two B.C. residents and two companies to pay a total of $6.3 million for committing fraud through a Ponzi scheme. Todd Norman John Bezzasso raised approximately $5 million from 85 investors through his companies, Bezzaz Holdings Group Ltd. (Bezzaz) and Nexus Global Trading Ltd. (Nexus). During this time, Bezzasso engaged fellow Richmond resident Wei Kai (a.k.a. Kevin) Liao to find investors on his behalf.
Investing and Trading
A Bad Year for Art Is Looking Like a Good Year for Art-Backed Loans; Bankers are standing by to lend the world’s billionaires some cash, using their art collections for collateral
Carol Ryan – WSJ
It isn’t shaping up to be a great year for the art world. The picture is brighter for banks that loan money to art collectors, though. Since the onset of the coronavirus crisis, sales at the world’s three biggest auction houses—Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips—have had to happen remotely for the first time. Christie’s said that 80,000 people watched its main auction this month. And at Sotheby’s, a bidder on a Francis Bacon triptych set a $73 million record for the highest offer ever made for a painting online (though it eventually sold to a telephone buyer with a higher bid).
Bullish US options trading suggests caution ‘thrown aside’; Data show rising volumes of rights to buy stocks, rather than sell
Eric Platt in New York – FT
Traders are betting that US stocks will continue to climb, in a sign that the euphoria that has lifted the benchmark S&P 500 more than 40 per cent from its March low has not fully abated.
Stockpicking tips from FT readers; Three readers who entered our annual stockpicking contest are up by more than 200 per cent
Robert Smith – FT
If the past is a foreign country, as British author LP Hartley memorably observed, then January 2020 might as well be a different universe. Back then, I was freely roaming around the busy Financial Times newsroom, cajoling colleagues to submit their entries for our annual charity stockpicking contest. I was, of course, blissfully unaware that we were weeks away from a global pandemic being declared, and bustling offices becoming a thing of the past.
Inheritance disputes rise as families go to war over estates; Number of contested wills at an all-time high as rising house prices and complex family structures drive competing claims
Lucy Warwick-Ching – FT
Disputes over inheritance are rising as more people in England and Wales take legal action to try to claim a bigger share of estates. The number of contested wills being heard at the High Court reached an all-time high in 2019, at 188 cases — an increase of 47 per cent on 2018, according to figures released by the Ministry of Justice.
Warren Buffett Sees Natural Gas Sticking Around for a Long Time; While Joe Biden pushes 100% clean electricity by 2035, the billionaire’s latest investment shows he’s far from abandoning fossil fuels
Katherine Chiglinsky, Brian Eckhouse, Naureen S Malik, and Dave Merrill – Bloomberg
Warren Buffett’s $9.7 billion bet on natural gas looks even more contrarian today. As Democrat Joe Biden unveils a staggering $2 trillion clean-energy plan—the most ambitious climate package ever offered by a presumptive presidential nominee—Buffett’s recent deal to buy Dominion Energy Inc.’s natural gas assets is a stark sign he’s expecting that the market’s shift away from fossil fuels won’t happen overnight.
The Fed Is Setting the Stage for a Major Policy Change; Policy makers have begun talking about letting the inflation rate rise above its 2% target. Look for a formal statement soon.
Tim Duy – Bloomberg
For the Federal Reserve, this time really is different. Having learned a hard lesson in the last recovery – don’t tighten monetary policy too early – the central bank is leaning in the opposite direction. In practice, that means the Fed will not just emphasize actual inflation over forecasted inflation, but will also attempt to push the inflate rate above its 2% target. It’s a whole new ballgame.
30-Year Mortgage Rate Reaches Lowest Level Ever: 2.98%; Coronavirus has upended markets around the world. Its effect on the 30-year mortgage is especially significant.
Orla McCaffrey – WSJ
In a year of financial firsts, this one stands out: Mortgage rates have fallen below the 3% mark. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 2.98%, mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac FMCC -1.40% said Thursday, its lowest level in almost 50 years of record keeping. It is the third consecutive week and the seventh time this year that rates on America’s most popular home loan have hit a fresh low.
Blank Check Firm Scraps $1.1 Billion Merger With Gateway Casinos
Paula Samb – Bloomberg
Leisure terminates pact after Covid-19 pandemic shuts casinos; Gateway had pursued merger after pulling back on IPO plans
Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Ltd., one of Canada’s largest casino operators, failed in its bid to merge with Leisure Acquisition Corp. when the U.S. firm decided to scrap the deal.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
The ESG concept has been overhyped and oversold; Companies and investors should recognise there are costs to being good in many situations
Brad Cornell – FT
The environmental, social and governance bandwagon is rolling. Companies are becoming ESG advocates, tempted by promises that they will become more profitable and valuable if they follow the ESG script, say the right things and spend money improving their ESG ratings. Meantime, institutional investors, drawn by the allure of earning higher returns while keeping their consciences clean, are directing tens of billions of dollars to “good” companies with high ESG ratings.
Trading Powers Morgan Stanley to 45% Profit Jump; Bank reports record quarterly profit; trading revenue rises 68%
Liz Hoffman – WSJ
Morgan Stanley’s MS 2.51% second-quarter earnings rose 45% as the coronavirus ripped through the U.S. economy and financial markets. The bank reported revenue of $13.4 billion and profit of $3.2 billion, or $1.96 per share, on Thursday. Both were quarterly records for the firm and well above the expectations of Wall Street analysts, who had predicted profit of $1.77 billion, or $1.12 per share.
Abraaj Liquidators Sue Fund Backed by Gates Foundation; Liquidators of the bankrupt private-equity firm are suing to reclaim $109 million transferred to its health-care fund before the firm went under
Simon Clark and William Louch – WSJ
Liquidators of bankrupt private-equity firm Abraaj Group are suing to claw back money from a health-care fund backed by investors including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. A legal document filed June 30 in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands demanded that the fund return $109 million to benefit Abraaj creditors. Abraaj’s holding company sent the money to the health-care fund in December 2017 and January 2018, less than six months before the firm filed for insolvency with more than $1 billion of debt.
Bank of America Sees Reasons for Optimism in a Coronavirus Economy; Profit fell 52% as the bank set aside billions for soured loans. But executives say they see early signs of a rebound.
Ben Eisen – WSJ
Bank of America Corp. BAC -2.72% struck an optimistic tone Thursday, saying it is seeing early signs of a rebound amid an economy racked by the coronavirus. JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. played a somber note when they reported earnings earlier this week, warning that they expect the current recession to be worse than initially expected.
BlackRock’s Profit Jumps on ETF, Technology Services; The world’s largest asset manager ended the quarter with $7.3 trillion it manages for clients
Dawn Lim – WSJ
Money management giant BlackRock Inc.’s BLK -0.29% quarterly profit rose 21% as investors leaned on its bond funds to make new bets in volatile markets roiled by the coronavirus pandemic. The investment firm posted second-quarter profit of $1.2 billion, or $7.85 a share, up from the year-prior period of $1 billion, or $6.41 a share. Its revenue rose 4% to $3.6 billion.
BlackRock assets jump in second quarter, driven by ebullient markets; Profits exceed estimates as world’s biggest fund manager generates higher fee income
Richard Henderson – FT
BlackRock surpassed profit estimates in the second quarter after the bumper stock market rally boosted its assets under management, increasing the group’s fee revenue.
Profits are racing but it is still hard to really back the banks; Fund managers had hoped that lenders would become more solid investments post-Lehman
Robert Armstrong- FT
In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, bank bulls argued that, if the lenders were to weather the storm, their shares could come out the other side with higher valuations.
Active ETF Launches Are Outstripping Passive for First Time
Claire Ballentine – Bloomberg
Record 68 active funds started in 2020 versus 63 passive ones; Outperformance, new semi-transparent format increasing profile
The debuts of actively-managed ETFs are outnumbering those of traditional funds at a record pace as issuers bet on investor demand for stock picking.
Stolen Kuwaiti Money in Beverly Hills ‘Mountain,’ U.S. Says
Edvard Pettersson – Bloomberg
Former Kuwaiti defense minister allegedly took state funds; Khaled al-Sabah sued ex-partners last year for $163 million
U.S. prosecutors said money misappropriated from the Kuwaiti Ministry of Defense was used to invest in a Beverly Hills, California, property once on the market for $1 billion.
China Stocks’ Quickest Reversal Since 2015 Blindsides Investors
Jeanny Yu – Bloomberg
CSI 300 Index lost 4.4% this week, reversing last week’s gain; Beijing has actively sought to cool the market run-up
After the worst weekly drop for China’s stock benchmark in four months, traders are now asking whether the once sizzling rally is over. The CSI 300 Index capped a 4.4% loss this week, after surging 7.6% the week before. That’s the fastest reversal since the yuan devaluation in August 2015. The plunge came after the government adopted a series of measures to slow the pace of gains in what had suddenly become the world’s hottest equity market.
ANZ Trader Stirs Controversy After Online Criticism of China
Emily Cadman and Stephen Spratt – Bloomberg
Bogac Ozdemir says ANZ offered him a separation agreement; Banker received invitation to hear Trump speech at White House
A senior interest-rate trader at one of Australia’s biggest banks is embroiled in a controversy after he blamed China for the coronavirus pandemic and criticized the state of U.S. society and politics.
Norwegian Billionaire Reshapes Oil Empire for Renewable-Energy Future
Mikael Holter and Lars Erik Taraldsen – Bloomberg
Aker Solutions, Kvaerner stocks surge on combination plans; Rokke’s Aker to form new renewable-energy holdings group
Billionaire Kjell Inge Rokke is transforming the structure of his business empire as he seeks to revive struggling oil-service firms and seize on opportunities in renewable energy.
Burnt Banks Claim Fraud, Fabrications in Asian Oil-Trading Web
By Serene Cheong and Alfred Cang – Bloomberg
CIMB and Natixis have filed claims in a Singapore court; Lenders claim losses of $192 million on oil deals gone wrong
Fabricated documents, suspicious transactions and $192 million in the hole. That’s the predicament two banks claim they’ve found themselves in after funding crude oil deals in the midst of Singapore’s commodities trading meltdown.
Reality punctures Britain’s Brexit balloon
FT Editorial Board
Costly border plans undermine the economic case for leaving the EU
A new UK government promotional film urges Britons to “get going” in the preparations for the sunny uplands of Brexit. With upbeat music and forward arrows, the film urges businesses and individuals to prepare for the nation’s new start, now less than six months away. And yet anyone looking into the details of the proclaimed economic advantages will see that what is most on offer are rising costs and extra bureaucracy.
Welsh and UK governments clash in row over trade rules post-Brexit
The Welsh and UK governments have clashed in a new row over how trade rules will operate post-Brexit. UK government plans ask all four nations to accept rules and standards set by each other to ensure trade remains seamless across the UK. The Welsh Government said it had not seen the plans and any system forced on Wales would be “deeply damaging”. UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma said the plans continued “hundreds of years” of a “seamless internal UK market”.
European Regulator Budges on Equity Trading Rule Ahead of Brexit
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
European Union-based investors should be given an easier time trading some of the world’s most popular equities on foreign markets, including possibly in the U.K. after Brexit, according to recommendations from the bloc’s top markets regulator. The Paris-based European Securities and Markets Authority said Thursday that current EU restrictions go too far and should be scaled back to help investors access the most liquid markets and get the best prices for their trades.
The Brexit-Watcher’s Guide to a Green Corner of Kent
Edward Evans – Bloomberg
Boris Johnson meant it when he vowed that newts would not be allowed to thwart his government’s ambitions to build. As diggers rolled in to start work on a giant Brexit-era truck park south of Ashford, Kent on Thursday, workers on the other side of the 27-acre site were scrambling to carry out a reptile survey.
Rich Americans Are Donating More From Huge Charity Stockpiles
Ben Steverman – Bloomberg
Wealthy donors urged to open wallets for desperate nonprofits; More than $121 billion has accumulated in donor-advised funds
Rich Americans for years have been stockpiling charitable dollars in donor-advised funds, or DAFs. Now the money is starting to flow to nonprofits at a time they desperately need the money.
Bacteria that eats metal accidentally discovered by scientists
Amy Woodyatt – CNN
(CNN)Scientists have discovered a type of bacteria that eats and gets its calories from metal, after suspecting they exist for more than a hundred years but never proving it.
Vox Media Lays Off 6% of Workforce; Cuts affecting about 70 employees will primarily involve those on furlough
Lukas I. Alpert – WSJ
Vox Media, the publisher of New York magazine, the Verge and SB Nation, is laying off about 6% of its workforce—or some 70 people—as a result of the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the company said Thursday.