“Super Proud” of Illinois’s Social Equity Cannabis Program
Thom Thompson – John Lothian News
“Everybody having what they need to succeed” defines “social equity,” according to Akele Parnell, an attorney with the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. With regard to the nascent Illinois cannabis industry, the question shouldn’t be “Is it working?” but rather “Will it work?” he said, speaking on a panel at the cannabis-focused Sparklist Summit on Sunday afternoon.
Among the many things upended by COVID-19 was the launch of important social equity initiatives. Illinois, which is the first state that has a legislature-driven recreational marijuana law, has a legislative mandate to provide opportunities for socially disadvantaged populations, particularly those who suffered the most under the federal government’s decades-old “war on drugs,” namely Black and Brown people.
To read the rest of this story, go here.
Hits & Takes
By JLN Staff
Competition is heating up between the HKEX MSCI Taiwan Index futures and the newly CFTC approved SGX FTSE Taiwan Index futures.
Last Friday, SGX’s SGX FTSE Taiwan Index futures received CFTC approval, which enabled broader distribution and more liquidity for the SGX product. The first week of trading saw $1.5 billion USD in total turnover, and open interest surpassed $191 million USD as participation expanded to 50 entities across 17 clearing members.
The bid-ask spread averaged 3.7 basis points, or 1.6 ticks, SGX claims. The average top of the book size was 20 lots from July 21 to 24, they said.
SGX claims the market impact of executing a $1 million USD order comes in 96% lower than similar order execution on HKEX MSCI Taiwan Index futures. And just to throw some fuel on this competition, SGX offers Asia’s longest trading hours with the market staying open on all the Taiwan trading days. And of course, fees are waived for the SGX FTSE Taiwan Index futures waived until end-December 2020.
Google has told its employees they may work from home until the summer of 2021.
A dozen baseball players on the Miami Marlins team, and a couple of team staff, tested positive for COVID-19. This could put the 60-game baseball season in jeopardy should it get worse and other teams experience large outbreaks. Additionally, more players may decide to opt out of playing this season as outbreaks spread.
Also, John Harwood of CNN reported “NFL’s Minnesota Vikings have announced that their Infection Control Officer has tested positive for coronavirus.”
Dorman Trading is looking for a new account specialist.
Clark Hutchison is celebrating his one year anniversary as the director of the Division of Clearing and Risk at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
For the record, Thom Thompson also worked over the weekend covering the cannabis event sponsored by SuperCritical. He also deserves a shout out for his hard work.
There are foods that can help you reduce stress during the pandemic. I am eating all of them. Olive oil, nuts and berries. The Wall Street Journal shared a story about this titled “Foods That Battle Stress During the Coronavirus Pandemic.” One of my tricks is that if I have a sandwich for lunch, rather than chips, I eat walnuts. And I don’t use butter or margarine anymore, just olive oil.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
Average daily volume for bitcoin futures recently spiked for multiple exchanges, the timing of which seemed to line up pretty closely with bitcoin’s recent price spike. Bakkt announced record-high trading volume for Bakkt Futures products yesterday evening, though no word on its options on those futures, which have had almost no volume since January.~MR
What is the impact of the coronavirus pandemic? Global experts answer the big questions
Bill Gates, UN Women and others share their views about the impact of Covid-19 and how policymakers should respond
Bill Gates – Microsoft Founder and Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
In the first interview of this series, Bill Gates assesses the global response to the crisis, the aid developing countries will need to fight the virus and how the world can avoid being caught off-guard by another pandemic.
******I bought my son Robby a t-shirt with a picture of a dumpster on fire with the numbers 2020 on the dumpster. That sums it up right there.~JJL
Disruptive Practices Prohibited
Effective on trade date Monday, August 10, 2020, and pending all relevant CFTC regulatory review periods, this Market Regulation Advisory Notice will supersede CME Group Market Regulation Advisory Notice RA1904-5 from April 11, 2019. It is being issued based on an amendment to Rule 575 to adopt a new provision that prohibits any market participant from intentionally or recklessly submitting or causing to be submitted an actionable or non-actionable message(s) that has the potential to disrupt the systems of the Exchange. In connection with the new provision, FAQ 12 has been modified and new FAQ 23 has been added. Two examples of the type of conduct prohibited by the new provision have also been added to the list at the end of the Advisory Notice.
*****Thou shall not disrupt orderly trading.~JJL
Biden Campaign Bans Staff From Trading Stocks Without Approval
Tyler Pager – Bloomberg
The Biden campaign is forbidding staff from trading individual stocks without approval from the campaign’s general counsel, according to an email sent by the Democratic nominee’s top lawyer to staff on Monday afternoon. Joe Biden’s general counsel, Dana Remus, wrote in an email to staff obtained by Bloomberg News that the campaign is updating its employee handbook to “ensure that staff do not even inadvertently trade on nonpublic information.” The rule says staff cannot trade stocks “without advance written approval of the General Counsel,” and it will remain in effect until Dec. 14, 2020, the date the Electoral College votes.
*****The Biden campaign staff can trade baseball cards, though.~JJL
Fauci Baseball Card Outsells Vladimir Guerrero in Record for TOPPS
Mike Freeman – Sportico
Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and one of the foremost experts on fighting diseases, now has another title: record holder for the most copies of TOPPS NOW cards ever sold.
*****I wonder if Dr. Fauci will go in for Tommy John surgery on his right arm now.~JJL
SIX Exchange Regulation Concludes Investigation Into ASMALLWORLD AG
SIX Exchange Regulation AG (SER) has imposed a fine of CHF 20,000 for violations of the rules concerning the disclosure of management transactions. SER has sanctioned ASMALLWORLD AG with a fine of CHF 20,000 within the framework of a sanction notice for violations of the rules concerning the disclosure of management transactions.
*****The investigation of ASMALLWORLD AG is over, but the regulators can’t get the firm name out of their heads.~JJL
Monday’s Top Three
Our top story Monday was Coronavirus turns the City into a ghost town, from the Financial Times, with some beautiful photos of an emptied-out London. Second was Companies Start to Think Remote Work Isn’t So Great After All, from the Wall Street Journal. Third was Reuters’ As bankers return to the office, industry body warns of new risks of bad conduct. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
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China’s newest equity market gets off to a stumbling start; Regulators hope nascent small-cap board will encourage issuers to price deals sensibly
Sun Yu – FT
The latest addition to China’s capital markets got off to a stumbling start this week, as shares dropped on their debut just days after traders raced to snap them up. Two-thirds of the 32 stocks listed on the so-called New Third Board Select, a Beijing-based trading venue for small firms, fell on Monday. That came as a blow to many investors, who have grown used to shares surging on their first day of trading — apparently regardless of fundamentals.
You’d think a volatility index would be doing great now, right? Wrong; For most of the 27 years since Cboe created VIX, the volatility index has been a cash cow. Now, the exchange may need a new cow.
Lynne Marek – Crain’s Chicago Business
The stock market was in wild flux this year in the wake of the coronavirus. So the company behind the volatility index known as the VIX fear gauge must be cashing in, right? Wrong. Cboe Global Markets, which invented the Cboe Volatility Index, witnessed an extraordinary second-quarter slump in the trading of its VIX-linked derivatives. That extended a two-year trend of “lackluster” trader interest in the VIX franchise, says a June 23 Goldman Sachs report.
Coronavirus ‘most severe health emergency’ WHO has faced
Covid-19 is easily the most severe global health emergency ever declared by the World Health Organization (WHO), its leader has said. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he would reconvene the WHO’s emergency committee this week for a review.
Hong Kong tech index fizzles on trading debut; City’s new benchmark of Chinese internet shares fails to impress investors on day one
Hudson Lockett – FT
A new index of Chinese technology stocks that trade in Hong Kong failed to impress investors on its debut, as the Asian finance hub seeks to drum up interest in a market that has become a global laggard. The Hang Seng Tech index closed 1.3 per cent lower on Monday, its first day of trading, compared with a fall of 0.4 per cent in Hong Kong’s broader Hang Seng index.
European banking needs a Big Bang; Creating new rules for cross-border lenders would speed economic recovery
Axel Weber – Chairman of UBS via FT
In a world desperate for growth, it is worth remembering that the EU is the second largest economic area and can play a vital role in the global economic recovery.
ECB tells eurozone banks not to pay dividends until January 2021; Central bank also restricts buybacks and calls on lenders to be ‘moderate’ in bonuses
Owen Walker – FT
The European Central Bank has called on lenders to continue to freeze dividend payments until at least January and urged them to be “extremely moderate” when setting staff bonuses during the coronavirus pandemic.
EU fund managers back fee changes to Mifid II trading rules; Exemption on bonds and small companies research aimed at boosting economic recovery
Philip Stafford – FT
European fund managers have welcomed plans from Brussels to exempt them from paying a fee for research on bonds and small companies. Brussels last week proposed a series of changes to its markets rules in an attempt to ease trading and help the region’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis. These tweaks include allowing banks to combine the research and trading fees they charge asset managers when it comes to debt and small-cap stocks.
Under Armour Receives Wells Notices From SEC; Founder Kevin Plank and finance chief David Bergman are warned of possible civil charges over ‘pull forward’ sales
Khadeeja Safdar – WSJ
Securities regulators have warned Under Armour Inc., UA 1.22% founder Kevin Plank and its chief financial officer that they could face civil-enforcement action related to the sportswear maker’s past accounting practices.
*****I am sure this is nothing to sweat about.~JJL
Mask Advocates Cite Plane Transmission Study in Call for Mandate
Alan Levin – Bloomberg
Study documents Chinese man who became infected on jet; Lawmakers, unions at odds with Trump administration on masks
The 44-year-old man was chatting with his wife and son on a flight from Singapore to China earlier this year when he let his guard down, allowing his face mask to slip below his nose. That lapse appears to have been how he became infected with Covid-19.
Hamptons Concert With Goldman CEO, Chainsmokers Faces Probe
Sridhar Natarajan and Amanda L Gordon – Bloomberg
Governor criticizes ‘egregious social distancing violations’; Some paid $25,000 for parking spots at drive-in charity event
New York health authorities will investigate a Hamptons charity concert opened by Goldman Sachs chief David Solomon and headlined by the Chainsmokers after footage showed crowds of partiers, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Johnson warns UK business to prepare for second wave; PM says pandemic could worsen again after summer but push continues for people to go back to workplaces
Daniel Thomas and Jim Pickard – FT
British businesses were warned by Boris Johnson on Monday of the risk of a second wave of the coronavirus in the autumn, just as companies were getting ready to encourage more workers back to offices from next week.
Spain’s prime minister calls UK quarantine policy ‘unjust’; Pedro Sánchez insists Spanish Canary and Balearic Islands are ‘safer’ than Britain
Jim Pickard – FT
Spain’s prime minister has condemned the UK’s decision to impose quarantine restrictions on British citizens returning from the country, criticising what he called an “unjust” policy.
China records biggest one-day rise in coronavirus cases since March; Xinjiang infections spark fears country faces fresh wave of Covid-19 pandemic
Christian Shepherd – FT
A record number of coronavirus infections in Xinjiang, the Chinese region where authorities have been accused of widespread human rights abuses, has prompted concerns the country faces another wave of the pandemic.
Australia gives ‘paid pandemic leave’ to casual care home staff; Authorities pinpoint role of insecure work in spreading Covid-19
Jamie Smyth – FT
Australia is introducing “paid pandemic leave” for casual staff working in aged care due to concerns a lack of basic employee entitlements is accelerating the spread of Covid-19.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
CC&G and CCP.RO BUCHAREST S.A. sign landmark CCP clearing agreement
London Stock Exchange Group
Cassa di Compensazione e Garanzia (CC&G), a leading provider of post trade services, and part of London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), today announces it has entered into an agreement to provide CCP.RO BUCHAREST S.A., part of Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) Group, with consultancy and technological support to clearing and risk management services that will be managed by CCP.RO BUCHAREST S.A. for all asset classes traded in the Romanian market. CCP RO BUCHAREST S.A. is establishing a central counterparty clearinghouse (CCP) for Romanian markets.
Performance Bond Requirements: Metals Margins – Effective July 28, 2020
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below. Please email any questions to Clearing.RiskManagement@cmegroup.com
Storage and Handling Rate Changes for Henry Bath Singapore
Henry Bath Singapore Pte Ltd, a COMEX Warehouse for the storage and delivery of aluminum, lead, and zinc deliverable against the Exchange’s Aluminum, Lead, and Zinc futures contracts, will implement new rates in connection with the storage and withdrawal of aluminum, lead, and zinc at its facilities located in Port Klang, Malaysia. The new rates, presented below, reflect the maximum amount of fees that can be charged.
Regularity Approvals for Gold and Silver Brands
The Commodity Exchange, Inc. (“COMEX” or “Exchange”) has approved certain London Bullion Market Association (“LBMA”) good delivery brands for delivery against the Exchange’s Gold Futures (GC) and Silver Futures (SI) contracts. The list of brands are located in the “Gold (GC) Brands” and “Silver (SI) Brands” tabs in the service providers table at the end of Chapter 7 of the COMEX Rulebook. These approvals will increase the brands of available material that can be used to satisfy delivery requirements of the Gold Futures (GC) and Silver Futures (SI) contracts and will afford market participants expanded delivery options.
Hong Kong Launches A-share L&I Products, New Tech Index
Manesh Samtani – Regulation Asia
The new L&I products will enable directional trading in China A-shares. Meanwhile, the new Hang Seng Tech Index will facilitate the introduction of ETFs to track the tech sector.
HKEX (Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing) has welcomed the launch of Hong Kong’s first A-share Leveraged and Inverse Products (L&I Products).
NSE introduces trading of T-bills, SDLs in capital market segment
Leading stock exchange NSE on Tuesday introduced trading in treasury bills (T-bills) and state development loans (SDLs) in its capital market segment. In line with equity trading, investors can now buy and sell T-bills and SDLs through NSE trading members, the National Stock Exchange (NSE) said in a statement.
Oslo Optiq Migration Derivatives – Front To Back Testing Update
Euronext would like to inform customers that Front-to-back testing in Derivatives Next EUA (pEUA) is available. Customers can start to test trade reconciliation between Euronext and LCH SA in the EUA environment to prepare for the Oslo Derivatives Optiq migration.
BSX Will Be Closed For Bermuda ‘Cup Match’ Public Holidays
The Bermuda Stock Exchange (“BSX”) advises that the BSX will be closed on Thursday 30th and Friday 31st July 2020, for the Emancipation Day and Somers Day (collectively known as “Cup Match”) public holidays in Bermuda. The BSX will reopen on Monday, August 3rd, 2020.
Top 10 Global Fintech Hubs | New York
Evelyn Howat – Fintech Magazine
According to Findexable, New York is a hub for cryptocurrency innovation, B2B fintechs, lending, wealth management and insurance technologies. Like London, New York is one of the world’s top financial centres, thus aspiring startups and businesses in their early stages have access to some of the world’s leading banks, insurance companies and hedge funds.
The Importance Of Humans In Fintech
Sean Harper – Forbes
Fintech startups are revolutionizing old industries with new technology. But the most successful brands in this category are and will continue to be those that recognize the importance of human-powered service. These brands will win customer trust for the long run by supplementing and enriching their tech solutions with knowledgeable human employees.
Let’s examine why humans are so important to the success of fintech, and I’ll offer tips for fintech brands hoping to succeed over the long haul.
TD hires Chase exec to drive fintech partnerships
Kate Fitzgerald – American Banker
TD Bank has hired Jyotsana “Jo” Jagadish to head commercial operating products and payment innovation, where she will oversee TD’s expanding fintech partnerships.
In the newly created role, Jagadish will manage TD’s mature commercial operating products and revenue management while developing new and existing relationships with fintechs.
NovaSparks Gets New Backer in MBO Deal, Eyes Options Data & FPGA Trading Capabilities; With the support of new majority owner Peninsular Capital, NovaSparks plans initiatives to expand the use cases for its FPGA market data technologies into the trading and risk sectors.
Max Bowie – Waters Technology
NovaSparks, has completed a management buy-out (MBO) from its former private equity owner, and found a new backer to help accelerate its expansion, while growing employees’ stake in the company.
Open interest in CME bitcoin futures hits an all-time high of $724 million
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Open interest in CME Group’s cash-settled bitcoin futures has hit an all-time high of $724 million amid bitcoin’s price rise.
Bitcoin Rides to Year High on Back of Gold Rally, Dollar Slump
Amena Saad and Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Bitcoin surged to the highest in almost a year as the slump in the dollar and rally in gold bolstered the notion that cryptocurrencies will emerge as a viable alternative to traditional monetary systems. The largest digital token climbed as much as 15% to $10,944, the highest price since August. The rally accelerated after the coin breached $10,500, a level that it had failed to sustain gains after surpassing in June and February.
Memories of London’s Devcon 1, Ethereum’s ‘Woodstock’ Moment
Ian Allison – Coindesk
Ethereum’s Devcon 1, held in London in November 2015, was like Woodstock, except perhaps with less nudity. Bankers and Big 4 consultants disguised in hoodies shared space with dreadlocked Ethereum coders, sitting cross-legged in the corners, their laptops open in front of them. Packed into a Victorian banking hall in the heart of the City of London, the audience listened as ConsenSys chief Joe Lubin predicted a new future for firms; cryptographer Nick Szabo talked about decentralization in the context of Francis Drake and the Aztecs; and chief scientist Vitalik Buterin assembled shards of the path that lay ahead.
Chainalysis launches new crypto market intelligence site that’s free to the public
Mike Orcutt – The Block
Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis has launched a new website, called Market Intel, that’s aimed at asset managers and financial regulators interested in monitoring the health of crypto markets. The website, a beta version of which is now free and open to the public, will provide daily metrics on trading, demand, supply, generation, risk, and insights about how cryptocurrency is flowing between various entities and regions. The site currently tracks Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.
LocalBitcoins further tightens compliance via Elliptic’s blockchain monitoring tools
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto exchange LocalBitcoins has further tightened its compliance by adopting Elliptic’s blockchain monitoring solutions. The Finland-based exchange now uses Elliptic’s software to prevent the illicit use of its platform and comply with the EU’s fifth anti-money laundering directive (AMLD5). LocalBitcoins is the “go-to” platform for receiving criminal funds, according to a recent analysis from CipherTrace. LocalBitcoins has now essentially automated its compliance process with Elliptic tools as it doesn’t have to manually perform customer due diligence and report suspicious transactions.
Staking on Ethereum 2.0 Takes First Step With Test System for Validators
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk
The transition to Ethereum 2.0 and its proof-of-stake consensus mechanism is finally underway. Announced Monday, Ethereum developers have released a “validator launchpad” on the Medalla testnet to educate and prepare future validators as part of a multi-year, multi-stage roll out of the Ethereum network’s most important upgrade to date. Eth 2 will radically transform the world’s largest smart contract platform as it shifts from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS).
Crypto hedge fund Tetras Capital known for shorting ETH is shutting down – report
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Tetras Capital, a crypto hedge fund known for shorting ether (ETH), is reportedly shutting down. A CoinDesk report, citing “a person with direct knowledge of the matter,” said Tetras Capital suffered a loss of about 75% since its launch in 2017 and is returning money to investors. Tetras Capital was launched to make trades in altcoins, but later became known for their short ETH thesis. In May 2018, the fund shorted ETH when the cryptocurrency was trading around $700. Today, ETH trades at around $320.
‘It’s a great time to be a bitcoin banker’ says Silvergate CEO during earnings call
Aislinn Keely – The Block
“It’s a great time to be a bitcoin banker.” That’s Silvergate Bank CEO Alan Lane, who believes the future is bright amid a strong second quarter he spoke to during an earnings call on Monday. Indeed, the crypto banking scene has revved up considerably in the span of a few months, with major acquisitions and raises tied to the race to build out crypto’s first full prime broker. While some announcements could have had the potential to take a piece out of Silvergate’s pie, it seems growth in the industry has translated to continued growth for the bank.
CoinDesk Live Recap: Ethereum Culture, Explained
Zack Seward – Coindesk
What makes Ethereum culture click? Maker Foundation board member Tonya Evans and former ConsenSys chief marketing officer Amanda Cassatt joined CoinDesk senior reporter Leigh Cuen on Monday to discuss Ethereum’s ethos in an hourlong conversation streamed to the CoinDesk homepage.
Israel’s Stock Exchange Launches Blockchain Platform for Securities Lending
Paddy Baker – Coindesk
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) has launched a new blockchain platform that it claims will become the “one-stop-shop” for lending securities in the country. TASE said Monday the Central Blockchain Securities Lending Platform will provide a single national market where Israeli institutions can lend securities directly to one another Based in the northern city of Tel Aviv, TASE is the only public stock exchange in Israel. Blockchain facilitates peer-to-peer trading and escrow all with near-guaranteed immutability, the exchange said in a statement.
Blockchain project Polkadot raises $43 million in a private token sale
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Blockchain project Polkadot, a challenger to Ethereum, has raised $43.3 million in a private token sale. The sale, which lasted for three days from July 24 to July 27, saw participation from several investors. They all contributed nearly 3,982 bitcoins via 1,059 transactions, according to an address associated with Polkadot. Through the sale, investors grabbed Polkadot’s native DOT tokens, which were reportedly available for $125 apiece. Residents of the U.S., Japan and some other countries were restricted from participating in the sale.
Digital Bank Revolut Adds Stellar to List of Supported Cryptocurrencies
Jaspreet Kalra – Coindesk
U.K.-based fintech firm Revolut announced Tuesday it has added Stellar lumens (XLM) to its list of supported cryptocurrencies. In a press statement emailed to Coindesk, Revolut said customers will now be able to trade and hold XLM on its platform. According to the statement, Stellar’s addition was in response to “overwhelming demand” from users. Revolut currently supports a total of six cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether, XRP and bitcoin cash.
Bitcoin Capital Launches Very First Actively Managed Cryptocurreny ETP At SIX
Today, Bitcoin Capital, a new ETP issuer on the Swiss stock exchange, launches the very first actively-managed Crypto ETP tradable on a regulated marketplace. The ETP provides additional opportunities for retail and institutional investors to diversify their portfolios by incorporating an actively-managed basket of cryptocurrencies. This takes the number of ETP providers available at SIX to 5, and the number of ETPs to a record of 31 – further strengthening the position of the Swiss Stock Exchange as the world’s leading market place for regulated crypto products.
Bitfinex hackers move more than $27 million tied to 2016 attack
Michael McSweeney – The Block
Whale Alert, a Twitter-based tracker of large cryptocurrency transactions, reported nine transfers of funds tied to the 2016 hack of cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex.
The US-China rift is now about values; What started as a tariff war is becoming ideological
The editorial board – FT
In this year of dashed hopes, few have been more significant than a US-China rapprochement. The two countries signed a Phase One trade agreement in January. President Donald Trump also praised Xi Jinping’s handling of the then-nascent coronavirus. The way seemed open for what cynics in Washington suggested was Mr Trump’s plan all along. He would claim eventual “victory” on trade, however spuriously, credit his tough line against Beijing and ride a grateful stock market to re-election.
Facebook deleted a viral video full of false coronavirus claims. Then Trump shared it on Twitter.
Katie Shepherd – Washington Post
On Monday evening, Facebook scrubbed from its site a viral video showing a group of doctors making misleading and false claims about the coronavirus pandemic after more than 14 million people had watched it. Hours later, President Trump tweeted out multiple clips of the same video to his 84.2 million followers.
Twitter removes tweet highlighted by Trump falsely claiming COVID ‘cure’; It is the social media platform’s latest action against the president.
Image: Donald Trump
Rebecca Shabad – NBC
Twitter has removed a tweet that had been retweeted by President Donald Trump that falsely said that there was a cure for the coronavirus.
Two Republican Senators Will Oppose Shelton’s Fed Candidacy; Susan Collins joins Mitt Romney in signaling plans to vote against Trump’s Fed pick
Nick Timiraos – WSJ
Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine) said Monday she would join Sen. Mitt Romney (R., Utah) in opposing the nomination of economist Judy Shelton to the Federal Reserve’s board of governors.
Economist: Kudlow is a clown, hasn’t been right in 6 months
Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, both professors of economics and public policy at the University of Michigan, discuss White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow’s claim that the economy will bounce back on it’s own.
Sinclair drops segment featuring conspiracy theory about Fauci
Oliver Darcy – CNN Business
The Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI) said Monday it will not move forward with airing a segment featuring a conspiracy theory that suggested Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, was responsible for the creation of the coronavirus. Over the weekend, Sinclair announced it would postpone and “rework” the segment featuring discredited “Plandemic” researcher Judy Mikovits which was set to air during the program “America This Week” hosted by Eric Bolling.
Trump Renews Fight to Block New York Subpoena for His Tax Returns
Bob Van Voris – Bloomberg
President calls N.Y.’s grand jury subpoena ‘wildly overbroad’; Supreme Court rejected Trump’s earlier appeal of immunity
President Donald Trump renewed his fight to prevent a New York grand jury from reviewing his tax filings, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled he doesn’t have absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.
Biden Campaign Bans Staff From Trading Stocks Without Approval
Tyler Pager – Bloomberg
Policy aims to prevent trading on nonpublic information; Stock trading ban is unusual for presidential campaigns
The Biden campaign is forbidding staff from trading individual stocks without approval from the campaign’s general counsel, according to an email sent by the Democratic nominee’s top lawyer to staff on Monday afternoon.
Biden Urges Vaccine Process Free from ‘Political Pressure’
Jennifer Epstein – Bloomberg
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden warned Monday about the potential politicization of coronavirus vaccines by the Trump administration as development work and clinical trials speed up.
CFTC Awards Approximately $9 Million to Whistleblower
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced an award of approximately $9 million to a whistleblower whose specific, credible, and timely tip led the Commission to open an investigation and ultimately bring a successful enforcement action. This award is one of the five largest granted in the history of the CFTC Whistleblower Program.
Malaysia Ex-PM Najib Razak Sentenced to 12 Years in Jail in 1MDB Unit Case
Hadi Azmi and Anisah Shukry – Bloomberg
A Malaysia court has sentenced former leader Najib Razak to 12 years imprisonment after ruling him guilty of all charges in the first of a series of trials linked to 1MDB. Najib received his guilty verdict on Tuesday in the case involving 42 million ringgit ($10 million) of funds deposited in his personal accounts from a former unit of 1MDB. His lawyer has said an appeal against the ruling is a certainty, while seeking to keep him out of jail during the appeal process.
ASIC takes action to wind up illegal investment scheme MyWealth Manager
The Federal Court has made orders to wind up MyWealth Manager, an unregistered managed investment scheme (the Scheme). The Court found the Scheme had been operated by Mustafa Mohammed, Mahek Mustafa, Mubashir Mohammed and included related companies, MyWealth Manager Financial Services Pty Ltd (trading as MyWealth Manager) and 3M Financial Planning Pty Ltd (trading as MCube Planners) (collectively, the Defendants).
ESMA is preparing a new RTS to further postpone CSDR settlement discipline
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, is working on a proposal to possibly delay the entry into force of the CSDR settlement discipline regime until 1 February 2022. This is due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the implementation of regulatory projects and IT deliveries by CSDs and came as a request from the European Commission.
Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and Inclusion lets us develop better ideas, respond to the needs of clients, and helps ensure that people can work at their maximum potential. During this session, Rainia L. Washington, FINRA Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Marcia E. Asquith FINRA Executive Vice President, Board and External Relations, and Audria Pendergrass Lee FINRA Senior Director of Inclusion and Recruitment discuss their perspectives and insights on the importance of ensuring that diversity and inclusion remain a key commitment to firms in the financial services industry.
SEC Charges Valic Financial Advisors with Failing to Disclose Payments to Promote Services to Florida Educators; SEC also Charges Valic Financial Advisors in Separate Action for Mutual Fund Selection Violations
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Houston-based VALIC Financial Advisors Inc. (VFA) in a pair of actions for failing to disclose to teachers and other investors practices that generated millions of dollars in fees and other financial benefits for VFA.
FCA to ban motor finance discretionary commission models
The FCA has today confirmed it will introduce a ban on discretionary commission models. This followed a consultation in October 2019.
Investing and Trading
Oil Kept Afloat by Weak Dollar With Physical Market Stuttering
Low De Wei and Alex Longley – Bloomberg
Urals, North Sea crudes have been retreating in recent days; WTI futures fall 0.5%, remain in narrow trading range
Oil edged lower on signs that market fundamentals are getting shakier, though there was broader support from the recent slide in the dollar. Futures in New York declined toward $41 a barrel. The market’s structure tumbled on Monday in London and the Middle East, and the value of physical crude barrels in key regions has weakened. Russia’s Urals oil is being offered at three-month lows, and key swaps tied to the North Sea crude that prices much of the world’s oil have also slipped.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
Apple’s Climate Plan Is Even More Interesting Than It Appears; A peek at the company’s sustainability report shows that it’s planning to zero out emissions equal to the entire output of Sri Lanka by the end of the decade
Akshat Rathi – Bloomberg
Apple Inc. captured headlines last week for declaring it would be carbon neutral by 2030. The effusive global press coverage rightly pointed out the level of ambition on display from the company in pledging to hit such a target by the end of this decade. But all the stories I read missed some key numbers published in Apple’s sustainability report that make the plan a lot more interesting.
Europe’s Coal Heartland Starts Talks on Phasing Out the Fuel
Maciej Martewicz – Bloomberg
Deputy Premier starts discussions with utilities and unions; Thermal coal production in the country could end in 2036
Poland’s government is starting discussions with utilities and powerful mining unions about speeding up the country’s green transformation. The European Union’s most coal-dependent country has kept quiet about the details of its plans, which local newspapers reported include a target to stop thermal coal production by 2036, the idling of two mines this year and 6.75 billion zloty ($1.8 billion) in state aid and subsidies. The initial reaction of trade unions signals the government is in for a fight.
Satellite technology employed to track huge methane plumes; Identifying major leaks of powerful greenhouse gas could aid fight against climate change
Anjli Raval – FT
Huge plumes of methane spewed from energy infrastructure and coal mines at least 790 times last year, according to satellite-based technology that for the first time allows the tracking of major leaks of the gas that is a powerful contributor to climate change.
Journalist Zaid Jilani blasts Chevron for using diversity as a ‘way to spin layoffs’
Journalist Zaid Jilani on Monday criticized Chevron for saying mass layoffs improved the diversity of its leadership.
“Obviously, the oil industry has been in really rough straits this year,” Jilani told Hill.TV, also noting the decline of the U.S. economy in general.
Boaz Weinstein Piles Up 90% Gain in Hamptons, Bets on More Chaos
Katherine Burton and Sridhar Natarajan – Bloomberg
Hedge fund manager beats peers after waiting years for turmoil; Markets are in ‘unstable place’ with big dislocations, he says
It’s a hedge-fund summer idyll: Chickens strut, tomatoes grow ripe and the Atlantic breeze floats over this Hamptons refuge like a sweet balm. Here, in socially distanced splendor, Boaz Weinstein is printing money.
Goldman has done it again with its Malaysia deal; In negotiations over the 1MDB scandal, the Wall Street bank has pulled off another audacious feat
Brooke Masters – FT
Only Goldman Sachs. Last week, after months of public sparring and days of tough in-person negotiations, the Wall Street bank finally reached a deal with Malaysia over allegations that it had helped a former prime minister loot billions of dollars from the state investment fund, 1MDB.
Chinese Hedge Funds Shine in Volatile Year; Agile investors responding to cues in China and the U.S. have seen significant returns
Xie Yu – WSJ
Chinese hedge-fund managers are having a banner year, outperforming rivals elsewhere. That is partly because Chinese stocks are also among the world’s best performers in 2020, as confidence grows that the country is moving past the coronavirus pandemic. A volatile year has also benefited investors who can be fast and flexible, while some portfolio managers say their grounding in China helped them quickly grasp the risks posed by Covid-19.
MUFG expands flow products team with hires from Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank; Mitchell Nadel and Steven Feinberg join MUFG as co-heads of flow products as the broker expands its fixed income trading platform.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Broker-dealer MUFG has made moves to expand its fixed income trading platform and hired two veteran trading heads from Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank.
JP Morgan Asset Management joins ICE ETF Hub committee as development partner; As it becomes a member of the ICE ETF Hub advisory committee, JP Morgan Asset Management will be a key development partner for the platform.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
US exchange group ICE has confirmed that JP Morgan Asset Management will become a key development partner for its ecosystem for exchange traded funds (ETF).
Ethiopia Plans New Key Rate, Floating Currency to Boost Economy
Samuel Gebre – Bloomberg
Central bank sees benchmark interest rate after three years; Horn of Africa nation rolling out reforms to boost investment
Ethiopia plans to start setting a central bank benchmark interest rate and to introduce a floating exchange rate, according to National Bank of Ethiopia Governor Yinager Dessie.
Kuwait Investment Office hit by stay order in case against ex-employees; London High Court rules two fired staff at sovereign wealth fund can first go to employment tribunal
Peter Smith – FT
The Kuwait Investment Authority’s London arm suffered a setback in the High Court on Monday when a “stay” application was granted to sacked former employees who faced allegations of a conspiracy to award unlawful pay increases.
Rapeseed decline raises post-Brexit fears for UK farmers; EU pesticide ban points to potential flashpoint in trade talks over food import standards
Judith Evans – FT
The UK’s production of oilseed rape has dropped to its lowest level in 15 years after an EU insecticide ban, and is set to fall further, leaving the UK increasingly reliant on imports from countries such as Ukraine where the pesticides are still allowed.
Cummings leads push for light-touch UK state-aid regime after Brexit; Approach would add to concerns in Brussels over Britain’s position on subsidies for business
Peter Foster and Jim Pickard – FT
Leading members of the UK government are pushing for a minimal, light-touch regime for state aid for British business after Brexit — a stumbling block for talks between London and Brussels over an EU-UK trade deal.
Queen’s Banker Halts New EU Mortgages as Hard Brexit Looms
Alice Gledhill and Jack Sidders – Bloomberg
Coutts & Co., the private U.K. bank that counts Queen Elizabeth II among its clients, has warned customers within the European Economic Area that it can no longer offer them mortgages due to Brexit. The lender, owned by Natwest Group Plc, will lose so-called passporting rights that allow it to operate freely within the EEA if the current Brexit transition period expires on Dec. 31 with no formal agreement between the European Union and the U.K., according to an email to clients seen by Bloomberg.
EU’s Barnier believes deal with post-Brexit Britain is possible – sources
Francesco Guarascio, Gabriela Baczynska – Reuters
The European Union’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier expressed confidence at a closed-door meeting with member state envoys to the bloc last Friday that a new deal with Britain was possible, diplomatic sources have told Reuters. His comments after the latest round of EU-UK negotiations contrast with his downbeat public assessment that London’s rigid positions on fisheries and the “level playing field” guarantees of fair competition meant a deal was unlikely for now.
Brexit will deliver double shock to UK economy, study finds
Lisa O’Carroll – The Guardian
A Brexit hit is looming for sectors that have emerged relatively unscathed from the Covid-19 pandemic, analysis by the London School of Economics suggests. The LSE report says Brexit will deliver a double shock to the economy – with business conditions worsening for those sectors that have survived the impact of coronavirus and lockdown measures – whether Boris Johnson secures a deal with the EU or not. The analysis, seen by the Guardian before its publication on Wednesday, includes information from a monthly survey of Confederation of British Industry members.