Chinese Trading Apps Struggle as Millions of Investors Pile In During Rally; The World Can’t Take Much More Shale Gas

Jul 7, 2020

First Read

So Far, So Good – Updates from Cboe’s Options Trading Floor
By Matt Raebel – John Lothian News

Cboe Global Markets has been reopened for more than two weeks now. How have things been going? According to Cboe, it’s been a surprisingly smooth ride.
“After a tremendous lift involving nearly all departments across our company,” a Cboe spokesperson said in an email, “we accomplished what could only be described as an extremely successful reopening of the Cboe Options Exchange trading floor.”
To read the rest of this story, go here.


Hits & Takes
By JLN Staff

Tomorrow John Lothian News will be announcing the lineup of speakers for our July 22 MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity virtual event. This year’s event will be FREE and open to interns, college students, or anyone who wants to hear our speakers. It does not matter if you are in Chicago, New York or Sydney, you are welcome to sign up and watch our program.

The sponsors we have secured for the event to date are The OCC and Barchart. We are still seeking additional sponsors.

In past years we would hand out a high quality string backpack with swag from sponsors and friends in the industry. This year, we will be handing out Amazon gift cards between speakers.

The event will be held on July 22 from 1:30 to 3 PM on the Webex platform from Cisco. Registration will be required and tomorrow we will publish the link to do so. Video of the event will be available later for those who could not view it live.

It used to be getting your quotes on the Wall Street Journal price quote page was the criterion for a contract making it to the big time. Now, it is getting onto the CNBC scroll. The American Financial Exchange (AFX), announced that the CNBC worldwide network will now carry the AFX AMERIBOR Benchmark price quotes on their ticker scroll. Congrats to Doc Sandor and the team.

The Trump Administration’s plan to force international students to return home if their university’s classes are all online is a really bad idea. Educating international students is a way to bring the best and brightest of the world to the U.S and make friendships that will define their lives. Instead, by turning them out, we create the potential for less positive relationships and accompanying problems.

Rest in peace to musician Charlie Daniels, a country music star I first listened to back in the 1970s when he came out with his hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”

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


Just a reminder: If you missed IDX-V, recordings and expanded commentary are now available from the FIA. You can purchase the recordings and commentary; IDX-V registered attendees automatically have 30-day access. The cost per FIA member is £35; cost per non-FIA member is £75. Go here to purchase.~SR

Today is your last chance to register for the FIA’s webinar “Cross border clearing and market access:EMIR 2.2 and Brexit” taking place Wednesday, 8 July 2020 from 9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. BST. It is moderated by Bruce Savage, head of Europe at FIA. Speakers are: Andrea Beltramello, Member of Cabinet, European Commission; Robbert Booij, Chief Executive Officer, Europe, ABN AMRO; Emma Dwyer, Partner, Allen & Overy; Farida El-Gammal, Global Clearing Product Development, JP Morgan; and Julien Jardelot, Head of Europe Government Relations and Regulatory Strategy, LSEG. You can go here to register.~SR


Trading Technologies Contracts with BGC Partners for Global Implementation of TT OMS
Trading Technologies International, Inc.
Trading Technologies International, Inc. (TT), a global provider of high-performance professional trading software, infrastructure and data solutions, today announced they have signed up BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: BGCP) (BGC), a leading global brokerage and financial technology company, to utilize TT’s new Order Management System (OMS) solution when it is launched in September 2020. The arrangement will extend BGC’s usage of the TT execution management system (EMS) and for the first time make TT’s full-featured, full-service OMS product available to all BGC brokers worldwide. As a result, BGC’s brokers will use all the TT OMS advanced order handling and post-trade allocation features to optimize their order executions and reporting.

*****TT is rolling up the interdealer broker deals.~JJL


CFTC Orders Illinois Resident and Broker to Pay Over $1.1 Million for Fraud and Additional Violations
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued two orders today filing and resolving charges for fraud, unauthorized and fictitious trading, and failing to diligently supervise the handling of a customer account against Mark Miller and registered introducing broker Foremost Trading LLC, both of Illinois. Miller is a principal and associated person of Foremost.

*****Two of my former brokerage colleagues work for this firm and I had a family connection to the owner of the firm at one time (a long time ago). Sadly, these are some really bad actions for a company of market professionals who have been around for a long time. ~JJL


Trump donors among early recipients of coronavirus loans
Brian Slodysko, Angeliki Kastanis – AP
As much as $273 million in federal coronavirus aid was awarded to more than 100 companies that are owned or operated by major donors to President Donald Trump’s election efforts, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal data.

*****In other times this might be a political problem.~JJL


Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform Fdn. Got PPP Loan
Ben Brody – Bloomberg
The Americans for Tax Reform Foundation, a conservative-allied group headed by anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, took Covid-19 small business relief funds from the federal government, according to data released Monday. The nonprofit foundation — which advocates restraint in government spending and says it works to educate taxpayers on “costly government programs” — took a loan between $150,000 and $350,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program, according to the data disclosed by the Small Business Administration, which is overseeing approval of loans to address the economic devastation from the pandemic.

*****Irony has gone on vacation evidently.~JJL


In sign of the times, Ayn Rand Institute approved for PPP loan
Helen Coster – Reuters
The institute promoting the “laissez-faire capitalism” of writer Ayn Rand, who in the novels “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead” introduced her philosophy of “objectivism” to millions of readers, was approved for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan of up to $1 million, according to data released Monday by the Trump administration. The Ayn Rand Institute: The Center for the Advancement of Objectivism in Santa Ana, California, sought to preserve 35 jobs with the PPP funding, according to the data.

*****This is so wrong on so many different levels.~JJL


TheStreet, Founded by Jim Cramer, Taps Small-Business Loans
Matthew Townsend – Bloomberg
Parent company TheMaven borrowed funds in TheStreet’s name; Cramer has criticized the way virus-relief program was handled
The parent company of TheStreet Inc., a financial news website co-founded by media personality Jim Cramer, received a $5.7 million loan as part of a program aimed at helping U.S. small businesses weather the pandemic.

*****As reported before, John J. Lothian & Company, Inc. also received PPP money. And we borrowed from the EIDL program too.~JJL



Monday’s Top Three
Our top story Monday was our lead story, ‘So Unstable and So Volatile’: Oil Crash Crushes Individual Investors, Prompts Trading Overhaul from the Wall Street Journal. Second was the tweet of the Japanese Ambassador to the US, Yamanouchi Kanji, playing the Star Spangled Banner on guitar, in the style of Jimi Hendrix, from the Twitter handle “Aaron is on staycation.” Third was another tweet, of footage of Los Angeles from the sky for the Fourth of July from Philip Lewis.


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Lead Stories

Chinese Trading Apps Struggle as Millions of Investors Pile In During Rally
Bloomberg News
Trading volume surge propels Shanghai to two-year high; Broker sector leading the bull run on back of mega merger plan
Several trading apps of key Chinese brokers are struggling to keep up as millions of the country’s mom and pop traders race to seek a quick buck in a surging market. Users reported intermittent service connections and slowness at trading app of Huatai Securities Co. on Tuesday, while another leading broker Guotai Junan Securities Co. also had delays in real-time pricing and money transfer on Monday. Complaints also surfaced about other apps.

The World Can’t Take Much More Shale Gas; The international trade in liquefied natural gas, or LNG, has collapsed, squeezing an important outlet for U.S. shale gas
Ryan Dezember – WSJ
Natural-gas prices have bounced back from the 25-year low reached late last month, but analysts and traders don’t expect them to go much higher—at least until it is time to turn on the heat. As other assets recover from the coronavirus meltdown and even exceed prepandemic highs, natural gas has lagged behind. There is simply too much of it. Stockpiles of the power-generation and heating fuel are bloated world-wide. The international trade in liquefied natural gas, or LNG, has collapsed, squeezing an important outlet for U.S. shale gas. And with crude prices back up to around $40 a barrel, oil producers are reopening the spigots and, as a byproduct, putting a lot of cheap gas into the market.

Oil crash piles pressure on bloated refining sector; Overcapacity leaves operators facing dwindling profits, particularly in Europe
Derek Brower and David Sheppard – FT
Oil refineries are struggling as the worst demand-crash in decades cascades through the industry, leaving plants around the world at risk of closure.

Clearstream and LCH establish new post-trade connection; Exchange traded products and global depository receipts cleared through LCH can be settled on Clearstream from the third quarter onwards.
Jon Watkins – The Trade
LCH-cleared equities contracts will now be eligible for settlement within Clearstream Banking as part of a new connection between both organisations.

Deutsche Bank to sign major cloud deal with Google; Deutsche Bank and Google have confirmed plans to sign a multi-year agreement that will transform the bank’s IT infrastructure and deliver new technologies.
Kiays Khalil – The Trade
Deutsche Bank and Google intend to sign a major multi-year agreement to build technology-based financial products for clients and deliver cutting-edge cloud services.

Deutsche Börse launches A7 analytics platform; A7® complements 7 Market Technology series of Deutsche Börse / The new analytics platform offers direct access to high-quality market data from Eurex and Xetra via the cloud / Customers receive deep market insights through flexible analysis tools
Deutsche Börse
Deutsche Börse launched the A7 analytics platform. A7 offers access to historical order-by-order data from Xetra and Eurex within a user-friendly environment. The analyzes based on the highly granular market data give customers a deep insight into market situations and microstructures. This enables them to act more efficiently, generate more alpha and develop and test execution algorithms more easily.

Cboe Brings US Market Structure To European Derivatives
Cboe is bringing US-style market structure for equity futures and options to Europe by launching an exchange with a central order book to provide on-screen liquidity and a single point of access for trading and clearing across the region.

Yakob Peterseil – Bloomberg
VelocityShares could seek new issuer after delisting of TVIX; Demand remains robust; firm recreated an oil note in 2016
One of the world’s largest exchange-traded volatility products has barely exited the stage and already there’s talk of a comeback. After the delisting of the VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short Term ETN, ticker TVIX, strategists at JPMorgan Chase & Co. reckon the firm behind the $1 billion note could team up with a fresh issuer to launch a copycat.

OSTC Appoints Catherine Langlais As Non-Executive Director
OSTC, a leading global derivatives trading and education business, has today announced the appointment of Catherine Langlais as an independent non-executive Board member. Ms Langlais’ wealth of legal and regulatory experience in cross border corporate transactions makes her ideally placed to advise and guide OSTC’s ambitious growth and M&A expansion plans, as the company seeks to capture further upside from its global markets and educational activities.

History Is a Nightmare From Which Stock Pundits Refuse to Awake
Sarah Ponczek – Bloomberg
Strategists look to the past to prove baby bull still has legs; Similar prognostication models used in March fell flat
Nothing has been normal on Wall Street for a long time. So expecting what “normally happens” to guide the here-and-now is an especially fraught exercise. And yet that’s what a legion of strategists and analysts continue to do, as the pandemic and its economic pressures roll on. They’re reverting to their only playbook — the past. It’s a technique that showed its age in March, when the fastest plunge ever turned into the quickest 50-day advance in nine decades, a rally those with a historical bent said was doomed.

Volatility Traps Threaten Asia Currency Traders This Summer
Ruth Carson – Bloomberg
Indonesian rupiah and Indian rupee may be vulnerable to swings; Analysts warn of volatility complacency amid thin liquidity
Asia investors hunkering down for a lull in currency market volatility this summer may be in for a shock.Two of the region’s highest-yielding currencies — Indonesia’s rupiah and India’s rupee — look particularly vulnerable in July and August, when liquidity is traditionally thinner as traders take their holidays, according to analysts. Surging coronavirus infections, billion dollar stimulus measures and controversial debt monetization plans threaten to reignite volatility.


How America Lost the War on Covid-19; It wasn’t because of our culture, it was because of our leadership.
Paul Krugman – New York Times
When did America start losing its war against the coronavirus? How did we find ourselves international pariahs, not even allowed to travel to Europe? I’d suggest that the turning point was way back on April 17, the day that Donald Trump tweeted “LIBERATE MINNESOTA,” followed by “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” and “LIBERATE VIRGINIA.” In so doing, he effectively declared White House support for protesters demanding an end to the lockdowns governors had instituted to bring Covid-19 under control.

Trump Insists Schools Must Open, But Teachers Aren’t So Sure
Ayshatu Diallo, Rachel Adams-Heard, and Jonathan Levin – Bloomberg
Educators struggle to plan with no guarantee virus won’t spike; Balancing the need for in-person learning with risks to health
President Donald Trump has made his position clear: “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!” he tweeted Monday. As Covid-19 surges in parts of the U.S., many teachers aren’t convinced.

The Impact of Coronavirus on Foreign Workers; A Q&A with World Bank economist Dilip Ratha on the job losses and travel restrictions affecting migrants around the world.
Bobby Ghosh – Bloomberg
The coronavirus pandemic has been devastating for foreign workers. In many countries, the living conditions of migrant labor have made this cohort especially vulnerable to the pathogen: Even in famously fastidious Singapore, where authorities acted aggressively to contain the outbreak, new cases were emerging from dormitories for migrant workers long after the city-state had eased lockdown restrictions.

Virus Surges in Arizona, but the Rodeo Goes On; A former state official called what has happened in Arizona “a story of missed opportunities.” Hospital beds in the state are filling up.
Elizabeth Williamson – NY Times
As infections surged through Arizona’s desert landscape this week, word spread that the Round Valley Rodeo, a century-old tradition luring calf ropers, youth riders and big crowds to the mountain town of Springerville, might be called off. The fate of the Fourth of July parade in the nearby hamlet of Eagar seemed in doubt, too, as Gov. Doug Ducey prepared to issue new pandemic guidance.

Coronavirus antibody protection may only last weeks
Rhys Blakely, Alasdair Fotheringham – The Times
People who suffer mild Covid-19 symptoms may carry protective antibodies for only a matter of weeks, potentially complicating the search for a vaccine, a study suggests.

Bill Gates Says Facebook Helped Cause the Spread of Covid-19. Here’s How We Stop ItIn an interview, the philanthropist says that social media could do more to help slow the spread of the pandemic.
Jason Aten – INC
As large parts of the country are wrestling with how to reopen the economy without continuing the spread of Covid-19, Bill Gates has some ideas about how we got here, and what we should do next.

Fauci Says Vaccines Likely to Offer Only ‘Finite’ Protection
Riley Griffin – Bloomberg
Any vaccine developed to ward off the novel coronavirus would likely be limited in how long it would shield against infection, top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said Monday.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Intercontinental Exchange Reports June & Q2 Statistics; Total Open Interest +5% y/y, Energy Open Interest +19% y/y
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, today reported June and second quarter 2020 trading volume and related revenue statistics, which can be viewed on the company’s investor relations website at in the Monthly Statistics Tracking spreadsheet.

NYSE Leads in IPO Proceeds for First Half of 2020 as New SPAC Listings Surge; Continues to provide access to capital during global health crisis; Exchange executes 10 of the 15 largest U.S. IPOs from January through June
The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), ranked as the leader in U.S. IPO proceeds for the first half of 2020, raising $19.0 billion in new offerings, including a surge of SPAC listings that are increasingly being chosen as an alternative path to the public markets. The NYSE executed 10 of the 15 largest IPOs during the period, including the recent debuts of Albertsons (NYSE: ACI) and Dun & Bradstreet Holdings (NYSE: DNB) on the public markets.

TMX Group Consolidated Trading Statistics – June 2020
TMX Group Limited today announced June 2020 trading statistics for its marketplaces – Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange, TSX Alpha Exchange and Montréal Exchange.

Clearstream and LCH EquityClear start new joint post-trade connection
Deutsche Börse
Stock contracts cleared by LCH Ltd available for processing via Clearstream; Focus on global depository receipts and exchange-traded products (ETPs)
Share contracts cleared by LCH Ltd will be available for processing through Clearstream Banking SA. All global depository receipts (including those from the Asia-Pacific region) listed in the international order book of the London Stock Exchange as well as the entire portfolio of internationally traded exchange-traded products (ETPs), such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs), exchange-traded notes ( ETNs) and Exchange-Traded Commodities (ETCs), which are listed for ETP trading on the London Stock Exchange, will be available for processing via Clearstream from the third quarter of 2020.

Liquidity Provisioning: Adjustment of performance requirements and ESU fees due to T7 incident
An incident occurred in Eurex’s T7 trading system on 1 July 2020 with the result that no trading and quoting activity could take place for an extended period of time. Therefore, the performance of Liquidity Providers was not measured correctly. Eurex will address this issue by granting coverage scores for Liquidity Providers for the day 1 July 2020.


‘There will be hundreds of fintech failures’
Penny Crosman – American Banker
Jane Gladstone — who was named president of Promontory Interfinancial Network on Monday — has been a leader in fintech investment banking since 1993, when she created a fintech merger and acquisition and advisory practice at Morgan Stanley.
In 2005, she left to build a similar practice at the investment bank Evercore. As senior managing director leading Evercore’s financial services corporate advisory business, she played a key role in several recent large deals, including the $27 billion sale of Refinitiv to the London Stock Exchange, the $40 billion sale of First Data to Fiserv and PNC Financial Services Group’s recent $14 billion sale of its stake in BlackRock.

First Derivatives appoints MD of managed services and consulting; David Collins joins First Derivatives from GFT Group to lead its managed services and consulting operations.
Kiays Khalil – The Trade
Trading technology provider First Derivatives has hired a derivatives trading specialist to lead its managed services and consultancy operations in its most recent senior appointment.

TP ICAP installs OMS from Trading Technologies in multi-year deal; TP ICAP will replace 85 trading systems in London, New York and Paris with Trading Technologies’ order management system.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Interdealer broker TP ICAP has confirmed it has entered into a multi-year agreement with Trading Technologies to implement its order management system (OMS).

UniCredit and ACTIAM sign up to Trad-X dealer-to-client CLOB platform; Trad-X launched its electronic D2C CLOB platform earlier this year and has expanded participants with UniCredit and ACTIAM.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
UniCredit and investment manager ACTIAM have signed up to the dealer-to-client electronic central limit order book for interest rate derivatives trading from Trad-X.

Google, Deutsche Bank Agree to 10-Year Cloud Partnership
Steven Arons and Mark Bergen – Bloomberg
Deal said to include joint technology investments, research; Bank expects 1 billion-euro return on investment in partnership
Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Deutsche Bank AG have agreed to form a long-term partnership that will see the U.S. technology company provide cloud computing capabilities to Germany’s largest lender.


Kraken-Owned Crypto Facilities Wins UK License to Offer Derivatives Trading
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk
A London-based subsidiary of cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has been approved to operate its derivatives platform by the U.K.’s financial regulator.

Binance completes acquisition of crypto debit card provider Swipe, lists its SXP token
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Crypto exchange Binance has completed the acquisition of Swipe, the London-based provider of Visa crypto debit cards, confirming The Block’s reporting from last week. Officially announcing the news on Tuesday, Binance said the acquisition would help bring crypto to the mainstream. The exchange did not disclose price details of the deal. “To achieve our mission of making crypto more accessible to the masses, off-ramps are a key component as well,” said Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao.

Binance Partners with Etana to Add 15 Fiat On-Ramps
Arnab Shome – Finance Magnates
Binance has announced on Tuesday its partnership with Etana Custody, a digital asset custodian platform, thus enabling a new fiat gateway with the deposit capabilities of 15 fiat currencies. With this, the leading crypto exchange can provide fiat-on ramp services across the European, Asian, North American, and Oceanian markets. The newly added fiats include UAE dirham, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, Swiss franc, Checz koruna, euro, British pound, HK dollar, Danish krone, Hungarian forint, Mexican peso, Norwegian krone, New Zealand dollar, Polish zloty, and Swedish krona.

Ethereum Activity Metric Hits Highest Level for 2 Years
Omkar Godbole – Coindesk
Levels of activity on Ethereum have peaked to their highest in two years, going by one metric. The seven-day moving average of the number of active ether addresses rose to 405,014 on Friday – a threshold not seen since May 2018, according to data provided by the blockchain analytics firm Glassnode. Active addresses are the number of unique addresses that are active in the network either as a sender or receiver. Glassnode takes into account only those addresses that were active in successful transaction

Bitcoin Investor Brock Pierce Announces 2020 Presidential Run, Promises Stimulus Check Overhaul
Billy Bambrough – Forbes
The U.S. is gearing up for the looming 2020 election amid a bleak economic backdrop blighted by the coronavirus pandemic. A crowded Democratic primary field has given way to former vice president Joe Biden, the presumptive nominee, who is set to take on Donald Trump for the White House in November. Now, following outspoken rapper Kanye West’s announcement he’ll be making a bid to become the 46th U.S. president, controversial former child actor-turned-bitcoin and cryptocurrency advocate Brock Pierce has thrown his hat into the ring, promising to use technology to “enhance institutions and improve lives.”

Binance Gives 27,000 COVID-19 Masks to UK National Health Service
Ian Allison – Coindesk
Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange by trading volume, has donated 27,000 KN95 masks worth over $60,000 to the U.K. National Health Service’s Pru Trust to aid the fight against COVID-19. The Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH) is one of London’s largest and busiest teaching hospitals. It’s part of the King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which employs more than 11,000 healthcare workers and delivers services to more than 326,000 Londoners. The COVID-19 outbreak has seen an unprecedented need for personal protection equipment (PPE) by the healthcare system and its workers. The timing is also auspicious, given Binance’s recently-revealed plans to open a crypto exchange and blockchain hub in the U.K.

LedgerX, ConsenSys, Tendermint among the crypto firms named in Trump admin’s payroll relief program data
Michael McSweeney – The Block
The Trump administration published new information about the recipients of the Payroll Protection Program on Monday. The data revealed a number of firms in the crypto and digital asset space. The PPP program formed part of a mammoth stimulus package intended to offset and combat the economic damage resulting from the national shutdown triggered by the coronavirus pandemic response. The goal of the program is to offer low-interest loans to businesses in the U.S. in an effort to prevent them from laying off employees. Depending on the circumstances, the loan principal will be partially or entirely forgiven.

Brazil regulators block Binance from offering derivatives in the country
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Brazil’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), locally known as CVM, has banned crypto exchange Binance from offering derivative products in the country. In an order published on Monday, CVM said derivative contracts are securities, regardless of the underlying assets, and Binance “does not hold authorization” to act as a securities intermediary in Brazil. The order was first reported by CoinTelegraph.

Telegram to Shut TON Testnet as the Blockchain Could Not Launch
Arnab Shome – Finance Magnates
Encrypted messaging platform Telegram is finally closing the test network of its earlier proposed blockchain called TON, putting an end to the highly ambitious project. In an update published on Monday at the website of TON, the team highlighted that it will end the support for the blockchain test network on August 1, 2020.

Germany Seeks to Expand Digital Efforts at FATF as It Takes On Watchdog’s Presidency
Jaspreet Kalra – Coindesk
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, said it would prioritize strengthening its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing efforts through digital transformation as new leadership gets under way.
/’s social media app Voice has launched
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Voice, the social media app built on the EOSIO blockchain network, has finally launched. Currently open in the read-only mode for the public, Voice allows only registered community members to publish content. The early-access registrations are also open, and beginning August 15, Voice plans to let those who registered invite their friends as well.


U.S. Virus Bailout: Trump Ties, Investors, Chinese Companies
Mark Niquette – Bloomberg
Report details almost 4.9 million ‘Paycheck Protection’ loans; Big loan values, small borrowers’ names withheld from release
Companies with ties to President Donald Trump surfaced in a list of virus relief recipients Monday, as did more than 88,000 loans for religious organizations, a number of investment firms and some U.S. units of Chinese companies. Recipients also included nonprofit groups that advocate against such massive government spending.

PPP Millions Went to Firm Identified in Ukraine Laundering Suit
Greg Farrell – Bloomberg
Federal loan list includes company that was tied to Kolomoisky; Billionaire is focus of civil suit alleging Privatbank looting
A company accused of helping launder millions of dollars from Ukraine a decade ago is among the apparent recipients of U.S. virus relief funds, according to federal disclosures.

US says foreign students must leave if classes go fully online; Trump administration makes its latest move to tighten immigration rules amid pandemic
Aime Williams – FT
Foreign students at US universities and schools will no longer be eligible to stay in the country if their courses move fully online due to coronavirus, US immigration authorities said on Monday.

TikTok to quit Hong Kong in response to national security law; Microsoft joins US tech peers in pushing back against China’s sweeping new regulations
Mercedes Ruehl and Primrose Riordan – FT
TikTok, the viral Chinese video app, has said it will quit Hong Kong following Beijing’s imposition of a sweeping national security law that has sparked fears over access to user data in the city.

Trump Pandemic Response Turns ‘America First’ Into America Last
Nick Wadhams – Bloomberg
EU travel guidelines allow Chinese visitors, but not Americans; U.S. strategy toward Iran, North Korea, Venezuela has stalled
Donald Trump’s first weeks as president were marked by a travel ban — one he imposed on seven Muslim-majority countries. Now with four months left until the next U.S. election and the coronavirus pandemic spiking at home, Americans are the ones barred from most overseas travel.

Paul Krugman Pinpoints The Day America Started Losing War Against Coronavirus
Lee Moran – HuffPost
Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman thinks he knows the exact date the United States began losing its war against the coronavirus. In his latest editorial for The New York Times published Monday, Krugman argued Apr. 17 was the critical moment ? when President Donald Trump “declared White House support for protesters demanding an end to the lockdowns governors had instituted to bring Covid-19 under control” with these tweets:

What’s happening in Xinjiang is genocide
Opinion by Editorial Board – Washington Post
WHAT HAS been known until now about China’s persecution of the Uighurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang province has focused on cultural genocide: concentration camps intended to eradicate their language, traditions and ways of life. This was cruel enough. But new evidence has surfaced that China has also imposed on the Uighurs a form of demographic genocide with forced sterilizations and other measures aimed at reducing the population.

Scaramucci: Trump is ‘doubling and tripling down on full-on racism’
Adriana Belmonte – Yahoo Finance
President Trump’s 4th of July remarks at Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, drew sharp criticism for what some deemed to be “divisive.” In his speech, Trump accused those demanding change of trying to wipe away history and criticized the media for labeling their opponents as “racist.”

Trump’s Support Is Withering in Areas Where Virus Cases Are Rising
Mike Dorning and Gregory Korte – Bloomberg
Sunbelt and other Republican areas are now getting hit hard; Older voters most vulnerable are no longer supporting Trump
Coronavirus is skyrocketing in Republican-leaning Sunbelt and interior states, where shifting attitudes about the virus and President Donald Trump’s handling of it could spell more trouble for his re-election effort. New cases have exploded in particular in Arizona and Florida, battlegrounds Trump must retain to win re-election. Jacksonville, Florida, where the president relocated the Republican National Convention, had the fastest-growing rate of coronavirus of any metropolitan area in the U.S. for the week ended July 4, according to Evercore ISI.

Market Focus Starts to Turn Toward Biden Victory, Analysts Say
By Felice Maranz – Bloomberg
Biden may not ‘be so bad,’ Vital Knowledge’s Crisafulli says; S&P 500 climbed for a fifth day, reaching highest in a month
A number of analysts are highlighting fresh investor interest in the implications of Joe Biden beating Donald Trump in November. Conversations with clients have begun to slowly shift toward what a Democratic sweep may mean, Compass Point’s managing director for policy research Isaac Boltansky wrote in a note. Market participants will probably feel compelled to consider the policy implications at the end of this month or early August at the latest, as company earnings reports ebb and investors increasingly assess second-half 2020 themes, he said.


ASIC issues no-action position to allow right-of-use lease assets to count in satisfying AFS licensee requirements
Today, ASIC issued a temporary no-action position for Australian financial services (AFS) licensees in relation to potential breaches of the financial resource requirements that arise from recent changes to the accounting treatment of lease assets. The no-action position will apply until further notice.

Focuses for financial reporting under COVID-19 conditions
ASIC today provided further information on focus areas for financial reporting in the COVID-19 environment for years ending 30 June 2020 following its guidance via the frequently asked questions already published on the ASIC website.

Wirecard Flourished in Regulatory Blind Spot That’s Growing
Nicholas Comfort and Natalia Drozdiak – Bloomberg
Wirecard AG’s collapse displayed a growing blind spot for the guardians of the world’s financial system: how do you regulate a firm that acts like bank, but isn’t really a bank? For years, Germany’s supposed fintech star escaped strict scrutiny because financial watchdog BaFin was focused on its banking unit rather than Wirecard as a whole. With the scandal undermining Germany’s reputation as a place to do business, the government is overhauling who regulates who, but it could also spark a regulatory rethink with consequences for the broader fintech industry.

ESMA updates list of trading venues temporarily exempted from open access under MiFIR
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has updated today the list of trading venues which have a temporary exemption from the open access provisions under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR). The updated list includes an extension of the exemption for five venues until 4 January 2023.

SEC Adopts Amendments to Exemptive Applications Procedures
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it has voted to adopt rule amendments to establish an expedited review procedure for exemptive and other applications under the Investment Company Act that are substantially identical to recent precedent, as well as a new informal internal procedure for applications that would not qualify for the new expedited process. These actions are intended to make the application process more efficient as well as to provide additional certainty and transparency regarding the process.

CFTC’s Market Risk Advisory Committee to Meet on July 21
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Market Risk Advisory Committee (MRAC) will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 via teleconference in accordance with the agency’s implementation of social distancing due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. CFTC Commissioner Rostin Behnam is the sponsor of the MRAC.

Investing and Trading

Palantir files for stock market listing; Data analytics group submits registration documents with SEC for long-awaited flotation
Miles Kruppa and Richard Waters – FT
Palantir has filed for a stock market listing, setting in motion the long-awaited flotation of the data analytics company known for its closely guarded work with government agencies.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Governments Eye a Green Economic Recovery. Some Industries Aren’t Convinced; The world’s top 50 economies are putting up $583 billion to boost green efforts
Sarah McFarlane – WSJ
Governments around the world are spending like never before to kick-start their economies in the wake of Covid-19 lockdowns, in many cases tying green initiatives to rescue packages, even as some industries say saving jobs should trump environmental concerns.

The One-Time Heart of Shale May Never Boom Again With Dakota Access Shut
Robert Tuttle and Sheela Tobben – Bloomberg
Court orders closure of major oil pipeline as production drops; Shutdown is latest blow to once-mighty Bakken, now struggling
It was once the center of America’s shale boom — a vast reservoir of crude unleashed by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, turning North Dakota into the second-largest oil producer in the U.S. and helping transform the nation into the world’s largest supplier.

Pandemic Set to Spark Biggest Retreat for Meat Eating in Decades
Bloomberg News
Per-capita consumption to fall by almost 3%, UN data show; Climate advocates have been calling for a shift away from meat
The pandemic is poised to usher in the biggest retreat for global meat eating in decades. Per-capita consumption is set to fall by almost 3% in 2020 to the lowest since 2011, according to data from the United Nations. Meanwhile, analysts across the globe are predicting declines not just per-capita, but also for overall demand in their regions.

Coconut Oil Confusion Reveals the Perils of Ethical Purchasing
Greg Ritchie – Bloomberg
Study suggests output process threatens tropical species; Consumers increasingly look to environmental impact of produce
Producing coconut oil could be more harmful for the environment than previously thought as it exacerbates already-high extinction rates of animals in unique, tropical areas.

Hundreds of Coal Companies Got $170 Million in U.S. Virus Aid
Chris Martin – Bloomberg
Coal companies received at least $170 million in small business loans under the U.S. government’s coronavirus relief program, according to data released Monday.

Keystone XL Pipeline Stays Blocked in U.S. Supreme Court Order
By Greg Stohr- Bloomberg
Trump administration rejected in bid to jump-start Keystone XL; Top court lifts order for other pipeline construction projects
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to let construction start on TC Energy Corp.’s Keystone XL oil-sands pipeline, rejecting a bid by President Donald Trump’s administration to jump-start the long-delayed project.


Plus500 benefits from surge in online trading; Group believes first-half revenues will be almost four times the level in same period last year
Antonia Cundy and Sarah Provan – FT
Online trading site Plus500 expects revenues in the first six months of 2020 to be almost four times what they were last year because of customers placing more bets to try to take advantage of market turmoil.

Lloyds proves merit of being sensible; A new chief at the high-street bank must look for growth in the UK
The editorial board – FT
António Horta-Osório, the outgoing chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, arrived in 2011 with one job to do. The bank was recovering from the traumatic events of the financial crisis, when it had been tempted into the disastrous acquisition of its UK rival, Halifax Bank of Scotland. The bank’s leadership had been so eager to grasp the long-cherished prize of domestic consolidation that they did not realise HBOS was, in fact, a poisoned chalice. Its losses eventually forced the British government to bail out Lloyds and take an equity stake in what was then — and still is — Britain’s biggest retail and small business lender.

Louis Bacon’s Moore Capital to seed equities hedge fund with $1bn; New start-up comes as fund launches in first quarter drops to lowest level since financial crisis
Ortenca Aliaj – FT
Louis Bacon, the billionaire founder of hedge fund manager Moore Capital who last year announced he would return money to outside investors, is investing $1bn in one of his own managers to strike out alone.


Singapore-based Hontop Energy accused of suspicious trades; CIMB allegations involving oil deals are latest scandal to hit city-state’s commodities hub
Neil Hume and Stefania Palma – FT
Collapsed oil trader Hontop Energy has been accused by its biggest lender of “suspicious transactions” in the latest scandal to rock Singapore’s commodity sector.

Turkey bans six banks from betting against local stocks; Barclays, Credit Suisse and BofA face three-month exclusion as other trio are banned for a month
Laura Pitel and Eva Szalay – FT
Turkey has banned six international banks from betting against its stock market in the latest in a series of moves against foreign investors engaged in short selling.

China’s stock market surge is fuelled by liquidity not fundamentals; Remember 2015? A rally not accompanied by climbing industrial profits can end in tears
James Kynge – FT
Beware a sudden sentiment-fuelled Chinese stock market rally. While China’s state-backed media celebrates the country’s biggest stock market rally in more than a year, investors with longer memories may recall a painful lesson from 2015: stock price surges that are not accompanied by climbing industrial profits can end in tears.

Hong Kong’s Richest Man Is Losing Friends in China and the West;Li Ka-shing’s business empire has become an important test case for whether international companies can keep both sides happy.
Shirley Zhao, Sheridan Prasso – Bloomberg
To some he is the “Cockroach King,” accused of being a closet supporter of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement and a traitor to China. To others — namely the Trump administration and its allies — he is a Chinese Communist Party loyalist who can’t be trusted with critical infrastructure.

China Tries to Cool Down an Easy-Money Financial Trade; Companies borrowing to put money into a hot financial product called structured deposits may be holding back a recovery.
Tian Chen and Sofia Horta e Costa – Bloomberg
With the global economy reeling from the novel coronavirus crisis, Chinese policymakers want to encourage lending so companies can stay alive and grow. The People’s Bank of China injected a net 1.4 trillion yuan ($198 billion) into the financial system during the first quarter of 2020. But recently it’s ratcheted some of those efforts back with moves that helped send corporations’ costs of funding to a five-month high.

All Eyes on China’s Unstoppable Stocks After $460 Billion Rally
Bloomberg News
Monday’s surge added most market value in five years; State media urge nation’s retail investors to be rational
China’s equity market is firmly in the spotlight after an almost unprecedented rally that helped lift global stocks to a one-month high. The speed of the past week’s gains in China is in many ways unseen since the stock bubble that burst five years ago. Monday’s surge alone added more than $460 billion to Chinese stock values, behind just one day in July 2015 as the biggest increase in shareholder wealth since the global financial crisis.

WHO doesn’t see bubonic plague in China as high risk – spokeswoman
An apparent outbreak of bubonic plague in China is being “well managed” and is not considered to represent a high risk, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Tuesday.


All hope for a Brexit deal is not lost, but for how long would it buoy Britain?
David Brown – South China Morning Post
Are financial markets underestimating the chances of a last-minute deal on Brexit? Time is fast running out
to strike a mutually acceptable trade agreement before Britain quits the European Union at the end of the year, and nobody could be blamed for thinking it’s all going to end in tears.
Emotions are running high and negotiators from both sides look so far apart that the prospect of Britain crashing out of Europe on bad terms looks very likely. But could the impossible still happen?

Brexit: What Now And What Next? International
Amongst the furore over the COVID 19 crisis, the series of crises that flowed from the referendum in 2016 and our departure from the EU in January 2020 have been quietly forgotten.

Brexit and Covid-19 combination set to disrupt markets, lobby group warns
Bérengère Sim – Financial News
The uncertainty over Brexit combined with the Covid-19 pandemic challenges could further increase disruptions to clients and markets, the Association for Financial Markets in Europe has warned.

U.K. Chooses Fights as It Seeks Its Place in a Post-Brexit World
Thomas Penny and Kitty Donaldson – Bloomberg
The U.K. has stepped up its criticism of Beijing and Moscow as it seeks to establish a place for itself in the world after Brexit. China’s ambassador to London warned of “consequences” if Britain treats his country as a “hostile” power in its dealings over Hong Kong and Huawei Technologies Co., while Russian officials topped the list of people sanctioned for human rights abuses, sparking a threat of retaliation from the Kremlin.

Brexit Backer’s Land Rover Tribute May Get Built in France
Siddharth Vikram Philip – Bloomberg
Brexit-backing billionaire Jim Ratcliffe is in talks to build his Grenadier off-road vehicle, a paean to Britain’s adventurous spirit, in France. Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group on Tuesday said it’s in detailed discussions with Daimler AG to take over the plant in Moselle, near the German border, the automaker has been making Smart compact cars.


Lessons for Companies With Workers Combating Survivor’s Guilt; Redefine expectations and boundaries and maintain transparency, say experts.
Molly O’Brien – Bloomberg
Throughout the pandemic, the mental well-being of employees has been an important part of maintaining organizational success. But the survivor’s guilt felt by workers who make it through layoffs and furloughs can be hard on them and detrimental to productivity.

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