Hits & Takes
By JLN Staff
JLN has released a video interview (see below) with former regulator Eileen T. Flaherty about her new autobiographical novel “The Perilous Step,” which is available for pre-order on Amazon. The picture that goes along with the video is from the back cover of her book, and it is of Flaherty with her two nephews.~SR
CME Group is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, February 12 called “Three Market Challenges for 2020,” with economists Blu Putnam and Erik Norland. They will share their economic outlook for 2020 regarding major geopolitical events in the coming months and their effect on oil, gold and equities. You can go here to register – you need to create an account to log in.~SR
The eighth episode of the CryptoMarketsWiki Podcast is up! I enjoyed Thom Thompson’s token brand of snark so much the first time, I invited him back into the studio. You can find a link to the episode below, or on our website at www.johnlothiannews.com. You can also follow the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Listen Notes.~MR
Eileen Flaherty’s Perilous Road to Success
Eileen T. Flaherty is a longtime legal and compliance professional who is currently managing director of The Global Capital Group Ltd., a legal and regulatory consulting firm. She is also the author of a forthcoming novel entitled The Perilous Step, which draws on her experience rising from humble beginnings to a top job on merit in Washington, D.C. and senior roles in the derivatives and securities industry. Flaherty sat down with John Lothian News in Chicago to talk about the inspiration for her book, which is a fictionalization of her own life story – with names changed to protect the not-so-innocent.
The CryptoMarketsWiki Podcast Episode 8: Krakpots
Matt and Thom take to the JLN studio once again to discuss 2020’s biggest stories in crypto (so far).
- 00:35 Bitcoin options are not, in fact, hot right now
- 02:58 Kraken CEO says cost of regulatory requests rising for the exchange
- 08:28 Japan puts limits on leverage for regulated cryptocurrency exchanges
- 09:05 Bitmain’s “questionable” need for layoffs
- 11:48 Bitwise Bitcoin ETF takes a knee
- 15:02 Libra creates a new committee
- 17:35 “Crypto Dad” gets two new gigs
Bitcoin Has Lost Steam. But Criminals Still Love It.; The police hoped that taking down online black markets would chase away criminals. But the amount of Bitcoin spent on illegal purposes has reached a new high.
By Nathaniel Popper – NY Times
The last few months have not been good for Bitcoin. The value of the digital tokens has steadily dropped. Bitcoin trading on cryptocurrency exchanges has slowed. And using Bitcoin to buy legal items? That has also dropped.
*****The NY Times decided to poke the bitcoin bear. Don’t poke the bear.~JJL
Euronext appoints Øivind Amundsen as CEO of Oslo Børs
Euronext announced today that the Boards of Oslo Børs VPS Holding ASA and Oslo Børs ASA have approved the appointment of Øivind Amundsen as CEO of Oslo Børs VPS Holding and Oslo Børs. This appointment follows Håvard S. Abrahamsen’s resignation from his position as President and CEO of Oslo Børs VPS Holding and Oslo Børs. Mr Abrahamsen will also step down from his position as member of the Managing Board of Euronext N.V.. The Supervisory Board of Euronext N.V. has subsequently nominated Mr Amundsen as member of the Managing Board of Euronext N.V., subject to formal appointment by an Annual Shareholders’ Meeting of Euronext N.V. and the usual regulatory non-objections.
******I had a neighbor who wore Amundsens.~JJL
NFA Compliance Regulatory Workshops Registration
NFA will hold compliance regulatory workshops at Convene at One Liberty Plaza in New York, N.Y. on February 25, 2020, Convene on West Monroe in Chicago, Ill. on February 27, 2020 and etc. venues Monument in London, U.K. on March 4, 2020. During the workshops, CFTC staff, NFA Board members and NFA staff will discuss recent initiatives at NFA and developments in cybersecurity, among other topics.
*****Get your regulation in shape at the NFA workshop.~JJL
Latin and Greek have no place in the investment world; The industry needs to mind its language and adopt plain English
Moira O’Neill – FT
Are you frequently frustrated and perplexed by the modus operandi of financial companies? Perhaps your friends and family have reached a consensus view that financial advisers, wealth managers et cetera are personae non gratae. You probably noticed the Latin references in that paragraph, but how many did you spot? In fact, there are four — consensus isn’t often thought of as a Latin term.
*****Hic est stultus!~JJL
Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Wednesday was the latest report on the Sarao case from JLN’s Thom Thompson, Sarao Sentenced to Home Detention, which may be the last we hear about Sarao for some time – maybe. Next was our lead story, Bloomberg’s Traders Set to Win in Trump-Era Redo of Oil Speculation Rule. And third was our MarketsWiki page on Michael Shore, who just joined OCC as vice president of public relations.
171,504,528 pages viewed; 24,040 pages; 223,231 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
1,342 pages; 11,826 edits
Church of England joins passive push with climate index; Pension board will invest £600m in project it has developed with FTSE Russell
Peter Smith – FT
God is moving into the index business. The Church of England Pension Board, overseer of the £2.8bn retirement savings pot for the Anglican clergy, will on Thursday launch a passive index aligned with the Paris climate goals on the London Stock Exchange.
Virus in China Threatens Oil Market’s Biggest Source of Growth
Dan Murtaugh, James Herron, and Saket Sundria – Bloomberg
Epicenter of outbreak is also engine of global demand growth; Virus could significantly slow expansion in China’s fuel use
For the global oil market, the coronavirus epidemic couldn’t have hit a worse place. As the industry banks on strong demand growth to overcome abundant supply, China, the epicenter of the disease, has been cherished as the engine of that consumption. Last year, when it imported more oil crude than any country ever, the Asian giant accounted for two-thirds of all new oil demand globally.
Shanghai traders brace for return to work after coronavirus outbreak; Markets staff to reopen China’s financial centre while most businesses remain shut
Hudson Lockett and Sun Yu – FT
Traders in Shanghai are preparing to return to work next week, even though the worsening coronavirus outbreak could leave mainland China’s financial hub severely depleted. Local brokerages and asset managers said they expected to field reduced teams on Monday morning, when equity and bond markets in the world’s second-biggest economy resume trading after an extended lunar new year break. That is despite orders from the Shanghai government that most businesses stay shut until February 9.
Goldman Sachs Isn’t Done With Wall Street; The story for Goldman Sachs a decade from now might be about its shift into boring old banking businesses, but trading is still a big thing
Telis Demos – WSJ
Goldman Sachs Group GS -1.01% is making some eye-catching forays into new businesses. For the next couple years, at least, a big part of its fortunes will still be tied to what it long has been: a Wall Street trading house.
Euronext appoints new chief executive of Oslo Børs; Øivind Amundsen takes over as CEO following Håvard Abrahamsen’s resignation from the position.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Pan-European exchange group Euronext has named the new chief executive of Oslo Børs, after acquiring the Norwegian stock exchange in June.
The Robots Are Coming. Prepare for Trouble.; Artificial intelligence won’t eliminate every retail job, an economist says, but the future could be grim unless we start planning now.
David Deming – NY Times
Americans are worried that technology will soon replace much of the work done by humans, and they are right to be. Yet the danger we are facing isn’t really about technology. It’s about politics and economic fairness. Whether the pain and the benefits of artificial intelligence are equitably distributed — and whether the turmoil that is still to come will be viewed as an overall social good — will depend on our political will.
Flash Crash Trader’s 10-Year Spoofing Saga Gets Hollywood Ending
Liam Vaughan – Bloomberg
Sarao sentenced to confinement in home where he traded futures; Prosecutors say he helped them catch other market spoofers
In the end, the Navinder Sarao story got the Hollywood ending it deserved. Five years after the trader was arrested in his parents’ suburban London home for manipulating markets, the 41-year-old was ordered by a U.S. judge to go back there for a year of house arrest, holed up in the same bedroom where he had committed his crimes. The “Hound of Hounslow,” as he was dubbed in the British press, was grounded.
Brexit Won’t Solve Boris Johnson’s Europe Problem; The Prime Minister may still struggle to move on from the Tory civil war over Europe that cost his predecessors their jobs.
Robert Hutton – Bloomberg
After 47 years and one month, Britain will on Friday walk away from the European Union. It represents the triumph of one Conservative prime minister, and the trashing of the legacy of another.
RSRCHXchange co-founder to lead new analytics business at Liquidnet; Vicky Sanders will lead Liquidnet Investment Analytics, combining products and technologies from the firm’s multiple acquisitions.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Liquidnet has appointed the co-founder of institutional research marketplace RSRCHXchange as head of the firm’s new investment analytics business, after acquiring the FinTech firm last year.
US to set caps on commodities speculators; Federal rules have been a decade in the making and are weaker than first proposed
Gregory Meyer – FT
Hedge funds and other speculative traders will escape strict curbs on commodities bets under proposed US market rules more than a decade in the making. Federal position limits on raw materials such as oil and grain were mandated by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law of 2010. But the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s first attempt to impose them was thrown out in court after two banking trade groups sued.
Why asset managers cannot be passive on climate change; As active investors step up their engagement efforts on the climate crisis, discussions need to be at the CEO rather than board level
David Cumming – FT
Climate change is causing the most significant shift in the investment universe I have seen in my 35 years in the industry. But if asset managers are to play a critical role in response to the crisis, they must adopt a more radical approach.
WHO May Be Forced Into Action With Virus Spread, Expert Says
Jason Gale – Bloomberg
Developments over the past week may push the World Health Organization to issue a global alert over the coronavirus, after the agency last week stopped short of calling it a health emergency, according to a public health specialist.
Lira Hedging Costs Nosedive as Traders Embrace Lower Volatility
Constantine Courcoulas – Bloomberg
It hasn’t been this cheap to hedge against losses in the Turkish lira in almost two years. The premium traders pay for options to sell the local currency over those to buy it over a one-month period fell to 1.5 percentage points on Thursday, matching a low last seen in April 2018.
Global Temperatures Are Poised to Break Another Heat Record
Jeremy Hodges – Bloomberg
Four year old peak temperature is likely to be beaten by 2024;Report from U.K. Met Office adds urgency for climate efforts
As nations struggle to agree on how to limit the carbon emissions that warm the planet, another year with record heat is firmly on the horizon.
Global Agriculture Has a Planting Problem; Annual seeding cycles have a host of negative side effects, from over fertilization to soil runoff. Perennial crops could help fix all that.
Ashley Robinson and Lydia Mulvany – Bloomberg
Climate-friendly crops are getting more attention from farmers and food companies as pressure mounts to find sustainable forms of agriculture. Enter Kernza, a new grain that’s already got powerful backers like General Mills Inc. and the support of academia.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
SIX Wins Award for ‘Best Structured Products and Derivatives Exchange’
The Swiss Stock Exchange proud winner at the prestigious SRP Europe 2020 awards in London.
The Swiss Stock Exchange wins prestigious award for ‘Best Structured Products and Derivatives Exchange’ at the SRP Europe 2020 awards as part of a formal ceremony yesterday in London. Sébastien Neukom, Senior Sales Manager Structured Products at SIX, accepted the award as part of a formal ceremony yesterday in London.
Boerse Stuttgart Group – One Year On With BISON: Simple Trading And New Features – Plans For Desktop Version And Trading In Bitcoin Cash
Uncomplicated and secure trading in cryptocurrencies on the smartphone: this is possible with BISON, Boerse Stuttgart Group’s crypto app. One year since its launch, BISON now has around 81,000 active users. “We are very satisfied with the level of take-up for BISON. Our approach has been to make trading in cryptocurrencies as simple as possible, and the response has been excellent. Over the past twelve months, we have received a great deal of valuable feedback from users that we incorporate into the further development of BISON,” said Dr Ulli Spankowski, CEO of Sowa Labs GmbH, the subsidiary of Boerse Stuttgart Digital Ventures GmbH which developed the BISON app.
Eurex takes ESG derivatives to a global level
Zubin Ramdarshan, head of equity and index product design, and Christine Heyde, product manager for environmental, social and governance (ESG) derivatives, Eurex, explore the firm’s decision to expand its range of ESG futures on European and global indexes to meet growing demand, and why driving a change of behaviour is top of its priority list
Overview of Earnings for Q3 FY2019
Japan Exchange Group, Inc.
Japan Exchange Group, Inc. and Consolidated Subsidiaries; Consolidated financial results for the nine months ended December 31, 2019
Action Program for Strengthening the Functions of the Cash Equity Market
As the environment surrounding the market changes and evolves, Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc.(TSE) has compiled an “Action Program for Strengthening the Functions of the Cash Equity Market” While some of these measures will henceforth be deliberated in detail, there may also be other measures that are desirable. TSE will consider them together with market users as needed and work to continually develop the environment for implementing such measures with a view to providing a highly convenient market infrastructure for all investors to use with confidence.
MarketAxess Reports Fourth Quarter 2019 Revenues of $129.8 Million, Operating Income of $60.9 Million and Diluted EPS of $1.32 | MarketAxess Holdings, Inc.
MarketAxess Holdings Inc.
MarketAxess Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: MKTX), the operator of a leading electronic trading platform for fixed-income securities, and the provider of market data and post-trade services for the global fixed-income markets, today announced results for the quarter ended December 31, 2019.
ICE Endex Announces Results of European Gas Storage Auction for GasTerra
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, today announced the results of the ICE Endex gas storage auction held on January 29, 2020, on behalf of GasTerra.
Renewi lists on Euronext Amsterdam; Secondary listing in Amsterdam underlines Renewi’s strong presence in the Benelux
Euronext congratulates Renewi (ticker: RWI), the leading waste-to-product company, on its listing on Euronext’s regulated market in Amsterdam (Compartment A). Based on the reference price of EUR 0.4268, Renewi’s total market capitalisation stands at EUR 341.5 million.
GAM fined by Swiss exchange after accounting misstatement; SFr500,000 penalty a further blow for asset manager after profit warnings
Attracta Mooney – FT
GAM has agreed to pay a fine to the Swiss stock exchange and will include a financial liability in its accounts following an accounting misstatement linked to the ill-fated purchase of a UK hedge fund. The Swiss asset manager will pay a SFr500,000 ($515,164) penalty and recognise a financial liability of SFr35m in its full-year accounts.
HSBC Securities Arm ‘Strangles’ Legacy Tech with API Wrapper; The securities services business has embarked on an API strategy to offload its legacy tech and produce better connected products.
Josephine Gallagher – Waters Technology
HSBC Securities Services (HSS) is using a technique called the “strangler pattern” to modernize its technology stack and unravel some of its legacy estate.
PayPal’s Profit Falls on Acquisition Costs; Shares fall in after-hours trading as company’s 2020 profit guidance is less robust than some expected
Allison Prang – WSJ
PayPal PYPL 0.12% Holdings Inc. reported higher revenue, but lower profit as the company recorded a tax hit from buying iZettle.The company also said it is expecting 2020 adjusted earnings that are below Wall Street guidance. Shares fell about 3% in after-hours trading.
Liquidnet Appoints Global Head Of Investment Analytics – Vicky Sanders To Lead Liquidnet’s New Business And Launch Offering Combining Recent OTAS, Prattle, And RSRCHXchange Acquisitions
Liquidnet, the global institutional investment network, announced today the appointment of Vicky Sanders as Global Head of Investment Analytics.
Facebook to Pay $550 Million in Biometric Privacy Accord
Daniel Stoller – Bloomberg
Company averts trial with billions in damages at stake; Deal resolves class action over face-scanning technology
Facebook Inc. agreed to pay $550 million to resolve claims it collected user biometric data without consent in one of the largest consumer privacy settlements in U.S. history.
IHS Markit and Yieldbroker Collaborate to Enhance AUD/NZD Trade Cost Analysis
IHS Markit (NYSE: INFO), a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions, today announced it is enhancing fixed income analytics in its Trade Cost Analysis (TCA) service in collaboration with Yieldbroker, a leading Tier 1 licensed electronic trading platform for Australian and New Zealand debt securities and derivatives.
Crypto exec Michael Novogratz says the Schwab-TD Ameritrade deal may have derailed wider adoption of financial advisers trading bitcoin
Bradley Saacks and Rebecca Ungarino – Business Insider
Galaxy Digital founder Michael Novogratz told attendees at a conference predicted that registered investment advisers (RIAs) using platforms like Fidelity, which allow advisers to trade bitcoin, will be the next wave of investors to embrace the digital currency. But “plumbing is needed” for bitcoin to become more institutional, he said. Pensions “have been slow to move,” he said at the Miami conference on Wednesday. While big-name endowments have invested in crypto-linked ventures, he said only 5% of endowments hold any bitcoin.
Zcash community votes to allocate 20% of network mining rewards to support development
Yogita Khatri – The Block
The Zcash community has voted on a new methodology for distributing network mining rewards to support the development of the privacy-oriented cryptocurrency. Per the voting decision, 20% of the Zcash mining rewards will be allocated to a development fund, while miners will get 80% as of block 1,046,400. The development funds will be distributed among different parties. Electric Coin Company will get 7% of mining rewards, the Zcash Foundation will get 5% and the rest 8% will be used for grants to third-party developers.
IRS Intensifies Hunt For Crypto Tax Cheats
Robert W. Wood – Forbes
The IRS is taking steps to build cases against taxpayers who fail to report cryptocurrency. Despite more awareness of tax rules today, the IRS appears to believe that millions of transactions may be unreported. Taxpayers may think they will not be caught, but the risks are growing, and the best way to avoid penalties is to disclose and report as accurately as you can. Taxpayers may think that the IRS may penalize them, but might assume that they do not need to worry about criminal exposure. Yet violators can face large penalties or even criminal investigation. Anyone convicted of tax evasion can face up to 5 years in prison and fines as high as $250,000.
Former Coinbase COO joins blockchain financial services firm Figure as president
Celia Wan – The Block
Figure, a blockchain-powered financial services startup founded by ex-SoFi CEO Mike Cagney, has hired former Coinbase COO Asiff Hirji as president. The San Francisco-based firm announced the news in a Wednesday press release, stating that Hirji “is already in place at the company’s headquarters.” In the statement, Cagney said Hirji has been “a critical advisor” to him “on how we manage the growth of Figure in order to drive the transformation of financial services across categories and around the world.”
Former JPMorgan Exec Joins Binance as Latin American, European Director
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
Former Huobi counsel and regional director Josh Goodbody is shifting to a similar role at Binance, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges by trading volume. Goodbody comes aboard as the exchange’s new director of European and Latin American Growth and Institutional Business, Binance announced Thursday. He was most recently head of Europe and the Americas at Huobi, and previously served as general counsel to State Street and vice president at JPMorgan Chase’s asset management division.
Coinbase Launches International Cryptocurrency Custody Arm
Adrian Zmudzinski – Cointelegraph
Major United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has established an entity in Ireland to expand its crypto custody services to European institutions. According to a Coinbase announcement published on Jan. 30, the new entity is called Coinbase Custody International and is based out of Dublin. The firm’s services will be the same as those provided by Coinbase Custody in addition to taking over all the staking activities performed by the exchange.
Most of MakerDAO’s Asset Value Is in Only a Few Addresses
Omkar Godbole – Coindesk
The decentralized finance (DeFi) market saw a massive upswing in 2019 and its growth is expected to continue in 2020. Yet, only a handful of accounts are responsible for much of the industry’s value. DeFi is the movement to transform old financial products into trustless and transparent protocols that run on decentralized applications built using smart contract platforms like ethereum. The most popular DeFi protocol right now is MakerDAO’s multi-collateral Dai system, where users create “collateralized debt positions” (CDP) by putting up ether or other ERC-20 tokens as collateral to generate DAI tokens up to two-thirds of the value of the ether.
Bittrex exchange gets $300M worth of insurance cover for its cold storage system
Yogita Khatri – The Block
U.S.-based crypto exchange Bittrex has secured insurance coverage of up to $300 million. The coverage will help protect crypto assets held in Bittrex’s cold storage system, according to an announcement Wednesday. Cold storage refers to keeping private keys on a hardware device, disconnected from the internet. Bittrex’s policy was placed through insurance brokerage giant Marsh and was led by Lloyd’s Arch Syndicate 2012, per the announcement. Bittrex said it was approved for the coverage “after successfully demonstrating the exchange’s extensive internal security and compliance protocols.”
Google Shopping product executive leaves for cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase
Paresh Dave – Reuters
Google Shopping product leader Surojit Chatterjee is leaving Alphabet Inc for the chief product officer role at cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Inc, the San Francisco-based startup announced on Wednesday. Chatterjee, a vice president at Google, last year oversaw the launch of a major redesign of Google Shopping, a service that has long struggled to catch up to Amazon.com Inc’s dominance in e-commerce. Google Shopping offers items from many brands and retailers in an online storefront.
Swiss Ski Resort Zermatt Now Accepts Bitcoin to Pay Taxes
Leonard Kehnscherper – Bloomberg
The Swiss ski resort of Zermatt is now accepting tax receipts in Bitcoin. The town’s 5,400 residents will be able to settle bills for taxes and other government services such as work permits using the cryptocurrency, Mayor Romy Biner-Hauser said. Payments can be made via a tablet computer from broker Bitcoin Suisse AG, who converts the digital currency into francs and transfers the amount to the municipality.
Binance hires former Huobi exec for European expansion
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Crypto exchange Binance has hired former Huobi executive Josh Goodbody for leading growth in Europe and Latin America. Goodbody joins Binance as director of European and Latin American growth and institutional business, according to an announcement Thursday. At Huobi, Goodbody was head of Europe and the Americas, leading over-the-counter and institutional business. “Europe and Latin America are key growth markets for Binance,” said Yi He, co-founder of Binance. “Josh will further establish our local footprint in these markets.”
Andrew Yang: US Has to Fix Its ‘Hodgepodge’ Crypto Regulation
Paddy Baker – Coindesk
Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang said the US needs a consistent legal framework for cryptocurrencies if it is to be a market leader. Speaking to Bloomberg on Thursday, Yang said the current regulatory situation was confusing and potentially harmful to individuals and businesses working in the space. “Right now we’re stuck with this hodgepodge of state-by-state treatments and it’s bad for everybody. It’s bad for innovators who want to invest in the space,” he said.
Crypto derivatives exchange FTX won’t list new futures if they aren’t sufficiently liquid, says CEO
Yilun Cheng – The Block
Cryptocurrency derivatives exchange FTX is slowing down on its efforts to list new futures and will focus instead on other products like options, according to CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. Launched in May 2019, FTX offerers trading for futures tied to more than 25 cryptocurrencies including BTC, ETH, USDT, and PAXG. On Jan. 13, following the lead of firms like Bakkt and OKEx, FTX launched cash-settled bitcoin options. At the time, Bankman-Fried tweeted that the new product hit $1 million in volume within the first two hours of the launch and traded around 2,000 contracts within 12 hours.
Japan’s central bank ‘must be prepared’ to issue digital currency, says deputy governor
Yogita Khatri – The Block
The Bank of Japan, the country’s central bank, must be ready to issue a digital currency if situations warrant, according to its deputy governor Masayoshi Amamiya. “The speed of technical innovation is very fast. Depending on how things unfold in the world of settlement systems, public demand for CBDCs [central bank digital currencies] could soar in Japan. We must be prepared to respond if that happens,” Amamiya said in a seminar on Thursday, as reported by Reuters.
The Ugliest Part of Trump’s Impeachment Defense
It’s bad enough to pretend that facts aren’t facts. What’s worse is claiming that a president can’t be removed for abuse of power.
Jonathan Bernstein – Bloomberg Opinion
President Donald Trump’s legal team wrapped up its three-day defense presentation in the Senate impeachment trial on Tuesday. The president’s lawyers wound up taking up less than half of their allotted time, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything — after all, the House managers who played the prosecutorial role took up all 24 hours in part by making many of their points multiple times. Keeping the defense short might be thought of as a strategy, rather than an indication of a lack of anything useful to say.
Trump’s first presidential portfolio lags job, stock market growth
Tim McLaughlin – Reuters
In his first address to the U.S. Congress, President Donald Trump hailed General Motors Co , Harley-Davidson Inc , Intel Corp and seven other companies as innovators and job creators, predicting they would be among those producing “tens of thousands of new American jobs” and investing “billions and billions of dollars.”
Donald Trump’s lawyer makes stark claim of executive authority; Alan Dershowitz says nothing US president does to be re-elected can be impeachable
Kadhim Shubber, Courtney Weaver and James Politi – FT
A lawyer for Donald Trump claimed the US president could not be impeached for actions taken to win re-election, as the White House rushed to secure crucial votes to block new witnesses in the Senate trial to remove him from office.
It’s Kochs vs. Mercers in the Right’s Big Tech Brawl; Conservative Republicans and their backers think libertarian groups and right-wing nonprofits are shielding tech companies from regulation.
Naomi Nix, Joe Light – Bloomberg
Tucker Carlson, the Fox News commentator and Donald Trump whisperer, shocked the conservative ecosystem when he devoted a segment of his show last month to vilifying right-wing nonprofits.
Mike Bloomberg really gets under Trump’s skin — and that’s good for Bloomberg
Albert Hunt- The Hill
Michael Bloomberg, still a long shot to win the Democratic presidential nomination, has an important booster: Donald J. Trump. The billionaire former New York City mayor is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on his effort and attacking the president.
FCA reassures industry in final hours of EU membership
Rachel Mortimer – FT Adviser
The Financial Conduct Authority has sought to reassure the industry ahead of the UK’s departure from the European Union tomorrow. In a statement today (January 30) outgoing chief executive Andrew Bailey said the financial services sector was “one of the best prepared industries for any possible Brexit outcomes”.
Information for firms during the Brexit implementation period
On 31 January 2020 at 11pm the UK will leave the European Union (EU) and enter an implementation period, which is due to last until 31 December 2020. During the implementation period, EU law will continue to apply. Firms and funds will continue to benefit from passporting between the UK and EEA. Consumer rights and protections derived from EU law will also remain in place.
FCA achieves 59th place in Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers 2020 rankings; The FCA has been recognised as one of the top 100 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) friendly places to work.
The Stonewall Top 100 Employers are the best performing employers on Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index 2020, an annual audit of lesbian, gay, bi and trans inclusion by employers across workplaces, services and communities.
ESMA appoints chairs to its Standing Committees
The Board of Supervisors of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has appointed the following individuals to serve as chairs of its standing committees:
ASIC imposes additional licence conditions on BGC Securities Australia
ASIC has imposed additional conditions on the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of BGC Securities (Australia) (BGC) to ensure that BGC had adequate arrangements in place to comply with obligations related to its fixed income solutions business (the Business).
Investing and Trading
Traders see scarce FICC liquidity as biggest daily challenge in 2020; The latest e-trading survey from JP Morgan reveals that liquidity availability is considered the most challenging daily issue for traders this year.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Sourcing liquidity has topped a list of daily issues that traders will face this year, according to an annual survey on electronic trading from JP Morgan.
Tea Giant Weighs Giving Up on Tea; Unilever—the world’s largest tea maker—has tried to pivot away from black tea in the developed world
Saabira Chaudhuri – WSJ
The world’s largest tea maker is considering getting out of the tea business. Unilever UL -2.14% PLC is exploring the sale of its tea operations after years of weak consumption, in a sign of how changing consumer tastes are roiling some of the world’s oldest and best-known food and drink brands.
Negative-yielding debt sends investors scurrying into gold; Analysts say ultra-low returns mean yellow metal has become a necessity in portfolios
Henry Sanderson – FT
Investors around the world are hurrying back to bullion. Holdings in gold-backed exchange traded funds have risen to their highest levels in seven years, following $19.2bn in inflows last year. Analysts say interest has picked up for a variety of reasons, including fears over slowdowns in big economies, rising geopolitical risks and an apparent loss of faith in traditional “haven” assets such as Japan’s yen.
Analysts wonder when palladium’s record run will be exhausted; Silver-white metal has soared as supply has failed to match demand from carmakers
Neil Hume – FT
When thousands of top mining executives and investors gather in Cape Town next week for one of the industry’s biggest annual jamborees, the hot topic will be the runaway performance of palladium.
Analysts fear market hooked on Fed support; Chairman Jay Powell stresses central bank plans to taper liquidity interventions
Colby Smith – FT
In the months since short-term borrowing costs spiked last September and the US Federal Reserve stepped in to pump tens of billions of dollars into the financial system, officials at the central bank have sought to prepare markets for the day they stop pumping.
Elon Musk Adds $2.3 Billion to His Fortune in 60 Minutes
Sophie Alexander – Bloomberg
Elon Musk’s fortune swelled by $2.3 billion in the span of an hour Wednesday after shares of Tesla Inc. soared in extended trading on stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and an accelerated timetable for the new Model Y crossover SUV.
Deutsche Bank’s Top Management Forfeits Part of Their Bonuses
Steven Arons – Bloomberg
The management board of Deutsche Bank AG has offered to forfeit part of their 2019 bonus as the lender is set to post a multibillion-euro loss.
Prime brokerage revenues to top $30 billion in 2020 as report shows how banks can capitalise; Data from The TRADE’s sister publication Global Custodian predicts prime brokerage revenues to soar in 2020, as banks face up to challenges in their service provision and business models.
Joe Parsons – The Trade
Prime brokers are expected to reap over $30 billion in revenues from their hedge fund clients, according to new estimates, in spite of new business model challenges.
Goldman Sachs investor day has few women presenters amid diversity push
Thornton McEnery – NY Post
A week after declaring it may no longer IPO companies with all-male boards, Goldman Sachs held its first-ever investor day — with barely a female executive in sight.
Goldman Sachs Opens Up to Its Critics, Hoping to Convert Them; Bank sets new targets for profitability, costs at its first-ever investor day
Liz Hoffman – WSJ
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS -1.01% on Wednesday gave shareholders an unprecedented look under the hood at its first-ever investor day, aiming to turn skeptics into believers in Chief Executive David Solomon’s turnaround plan.
Private-Equity Firm Apollo Returns to Profit; The firm’s private-equity funds appreciated 4%, trailing the S&P 500’s 8.5% gain in the quarter
Allison Prang – WSJ
Apollo Global Management Inc. APO 0.81% reported a profit in the latest quarter, compared with a loss a year earlier when results were dragged down by investments.
Deutsche Bank Posts Big Loss as Overhaul Bites; German lender’s efforts to reorganize its operations weighed heavily on its results last year
Patricia Kowsmann – WSJ
Deutsche Bank AG swung to a EUR5.3 billion ($5.8 billion) loss in 2019, highlighting the size of its challenge in making itself leaner and more profitable through a sweeping overhaul.
Hedge funds bet against airline stocks as coronavirus spreads; Carriers’ shares fall as they cancel flights to mainland China
Myles McCormick – FT
Hedge funds including Citadel and Marshall Wace have ramped up their short positions against airlines disrupted by the spread of a deadly coronavirus in China, as carriers cancel flights to the country.
Neil Woodford’s investors face fresh blow as winding-up costs rise; Equity Income fund administrators will also have to meet pledges made by fund manager
Peter Smith and Owen Walker – FT
Investors in Neil Woodford’s defunct Equity Income fund will be hit by winding up costs of at least £10m, according to the fund’s administrator, with a further £22.5m needed to honour funding promises made to young companies backed by the former star manager.
Deutsche’s investment bank shows signs of recovery; German lender reports sharp rise in revenue from bond trading and advising on debt sales
Olaf Storbeck – FT
Deutsche Bank’s struggling investment bank exceeded expectations for the fourth quarter, as Germany’s biggest bank reported a sharp rise in revenues from bond trading and advising on the sale of debt.
Goldman Sachs investors ask: where was the wow factor? Long-awaited strategy day had a lot of PowerPoint slides but little to thrill shareholders
Laura Noonan- FT
When Goldman Sachs flung open its doors and welcomed hundreds of investors to its long-awaited strategy day, it was the culmination of months of meticulous planning and an expression of what chief executive David Solomon has promised will be a new era of transparency.
Nomura Can Finally Focus on a Bigger Prize; Shedding the legacy of its foreign mishaps leaves the Japanese brokerage clear to concentrate on China.
Nisha Gopalan – Bloomberg
Nomura Holdings Inc.’s overseas operations are at last solidly in the black after years of flip-flopping between expansion and retrenchment. After a fourth straight quarterly profit, the Japanese brokerage is primed for its biggest international test: building a wealth management business in China. This time, it has a real chance of success.
Citi Struck a Deal to Offer Hedge Fund-Like Investments to the Masses
Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg
YieldStreet partnership seeks a ‘mainstream buying force’; Platform has funded bets on real estate, marine, litigation
Citigroup Inc. is teaming up with an online platform to make credit investments normally reserved for hedge funds and billionaires available in small slices to legions of individual investors.
Ken Griffin’s Citadel Beats Steve Cohen’s Point72 With 19% Gain in 2019
Hema Parmar – Bloomberg
Point72 posted an increase of about 16% for last year; Millennium, Balyasny among multistrategy funds that rose
Ken Griffin’s $30 billion Citadel saw its main multistrategy hedge fund soar 19.4% last year, topping rivals including Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management. Citadel’s Wellington fund gained across all five of the firm’s strategies after besting peers for most of the year, a person familiar with the returns said. Its Tactical Trading fund, a separate multistrategy fund that uses equity and quantitative approaches, rose about 20%. Point72 advanced about 16%, people said.
US banks placed on Hong Kong ‘list of shame’ over IPO date error; Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan named in rejection of biotech group’s listing after application gaffe
Mercedes Ruehl and Hudson Lockett – FT
A mix-up over a date has landed a biotech group and two global banks on Hong Kong’s “name and shame” list for sloppy initial public offering filings.
China’s currency breaches key level on mounting coronavirus fears; Stocks and commodities fall again as impact of illness on economy and companies spreads
Philip Georgiadis and Alice Woodhouse and Hudson Lockett – FT
China’s currency weakened past a key level with global stocks under pressure as fresh concerns over the coronavirus outbreak rippled through markets on Thursday. The offshore renminbi, which trades in major hubs outside mainland China, dropped below Rmb7 to the US dollar for the first time this year. It has tumbled more than 2 per cent since January 20.
Oil Traders Brace for Asian Refining Cuts as Virus Bites
Serene Cheong and Sharon Cho – Bloomberg
Main hit will be to refined product demand: Morgan Stanley; Teapots hardest hit as they’re more exposed to local market
Oil traders in Asia are expecting refineries to cut operating rates and extend shutdowns as the spread of coronavirus stops people from flying or traveling by road.
Post-Brexit Britain cannot rely on a special relationship; Boris Johnson stood up to Washington over Huawei, but he badly needs a US trade deal
Philip Stephens – FT
The timing could have been better. Three-and-a-half years after Britain voted to leave the EU, Brexit is about to become a legal reality. This week’s falling out with the Americans about China was a striking reminder that “taking back control” from Brussels does not confer the power to act as an independent player. The world has returned to great power politics. Britain will have to choose its side.
Brexit Britain trapped between superpowers; No matter who occupies the White House, it is likely US allies will be expected to align themselves with Washington
Tony Barber – FT
The name of Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican who sits on the US Senate’s armed services committee, is not familiar to the British public. But he is the sort of US politician the Brits will soon hear more and more about.
Britain after Brexit will not be alone, but it will be lonelier; The UK is entering a new world, going its own way while superpowers dominate
Martin Wolf – FT
“At last we are alone.” My father told me he heard these words from an elderly gentleman sitting beside him on the London Underground in June 1940, just after the fall of France. The same insularity animates Brexit. It was an illusion then — it was not the UK alone, but an alliance with greater powers that won the second world war. It is an illusion now. The UK will not be alone, but it will be lonelier.
Brexit: will Boris Johnson reverse Thatcherism? After promising to revive ‘left behind’ areas, the prime minister is questioning the Tory party’s economic orthodoxy
George Parker and Andy Bounds – FT
Boris Johnson wants to banish the “B word” from British politics at 11pm on Friday. From that point onwards Mr Johnson, the architect of the UK’s departure from the EU, hopes the Brexit trauma of the past four years can be replaced by a new unifying national mission: “levelling up” a country whose jagged contours of inequality were exposed in the 2016 EU referendum.
A ‘Billions’ cocreator explains how he cracked into the secretive world of hedge funds to make the show realistic
Dan DeFrancesco – Business Insider
When investigating someone or something, it’s often said your best bet is to follow the money. But for Brian Koppelman, a cocreator of Showtime’s “Billions,” the key to learning more about hedge funds was to follow the private planes.