CME Group continues SOFR conversions as demand grows

Sep 8, 2022

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

The FIA Chicago baseball outing to see the Chicago White Sox play on September 14 has been canceled since Major League Baseball changed the game time from 7p.m. to 1p.m. If you bought a ticket you can contact the FIA about a refund. Our boss, John, was really looking forward to going to the game, but due to his hip surgery it was not likely he could make it (the stadium has a lot of stairs). It seems the universe is sympathetic to him and he will get his money back.

CME Group’s Global Head of Data Science James Boudreault has been elected to the board of directors of the CFA Society Chicago.

IG North America has appointed Catherine Davis chief marketing officer responsible for the success and growth for tastyworks, tastytrade and FX Trading Offerings. She will report to JJ Kinahan, regional CEO for IG, North America. I hope Davis likes what tastytrade has done with the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field. They are all over the place.

The Security Traders Association announced an initial list of panelists and speakers for the STAC2022 89th Annual Market Structure Conference to be held at the JW Marriott on October 12 to 14 in Washington, DC.

Also, the STA’s Women In Finance August newsletter features an Open Call with Joseph Holt, professor of business ethics at the University of Notre Dame, on the challenges & opportunities facing women in negotiations. The newsletter also includes details on the 7th Annual STA WIF Symposium.

A theme for HKEX for 2022 is “Building the Marketplace of the Future” and they have released a 2022 interim report under that title.

Jennifer Nayar, previously the CEO of Vela, was appointed president & chief executive officer of Sterling Trading Tech (STT), a provider of order management systems, risk and margin tools and trading platforms.

Abaxx Exchange tweeted that it has joined Women in Mining & Resources Singapore (WIMAR SG). Abaxx said, “Their commitment to the progression of women and their local community in the Singapore mining and natural resource sector is instinctively synergistic with our call for SmarterMarkets.™ Stay tuned for exciting updates later this month!”

FIA Tech is looking to fill a product designer position in New York. The details are available on LinkedIn for the Islip, NY-based position.

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


Women Corporate Directors is presenting its annual flagship event: The 2022 Global Institute & Visionary Awards Celebration. The Institute allows directors and C-suite executives from around the globe to convene over the course of two days with a focus on today’s most pressing corporate governance issues. ?This year’s Institute theme is, “Emerging Stronger: Achieving Growth Through People, Innovation, and Sustainability.” It will be held on Sept 11-13 at the JW Marriott Essex House in New York City. You can go here for more information and to register.~SR


MWE SHORT: Evelin Kaup – Is FinTech a Threat to Banks?
crypto lender
Evelin Kaup of Nordnet said the question of whether fintech is a threat to banks is being discussed at nearly every industry event these days. So far, the fintech companies have said yes while the banks have been saying no. But that may be changing.

Watch the video »


Can You Afford to Hoard? Toilet Paper Costs Are Spiraling; It’s getting expensive to make bathroom rolls, which means reduced production, shortages and even higher prices ahead. It’s the same story across Europe’s entire manufacturing sector.
Javier Blas – Bloomberg Opinion
Who would have thought? It turns out hoarding toilet paper in the early days of the pandemic was a wise financial decision. If your bathroom cupboard is still stockpiled with rolls, you don’t have to feel ashamed anymore. The toilet paper shortage of 2020 was an early warning sign of the large supply-chain disruptions that the global economy was about to suffer. Now wholesale tissue paper prices are surging to an all-time high — a new crisis that indicates inflationary pressures are still building up.

**** This again? ~JB


Musk cited possible “World War III” as reason to break Twitter deal, text shows
Jon Brodkin – Ars Technica
Two weeks after Elon Musk made a commitment to buy Twitter for $44 billion, he wrote in a May 8 text message to one of his Morgan Stanley bankers that he was thinking of exiting the merger agreement due to the possibility of World War III.

**** Really? I can’t get out of work for World War III. ~JB


BlackRock CEO Larry Fink: Return to office to boost productivity, lower inflation
Nicholas Gordon – Fortune
Like many bosses, Larry Fink wants to get his employees back to the office. But in a Tuesday interview with Fox Business, the BlackRock CEO offered a new argument as to why his company is pushing a return to the office: helping to bring down the U.S.’s record inflation.

**** Genius! If people have to spend money on commuting they have less money to spend on stuff. This is why he gets the big bucks. Also, productivity has not been hurt by work-from-home. ~JB


Royal family rushes to Queen’s side amid concerns for her health; Britain’s longest-serving monarch under medical supervision at Scottish residence Balmoral
George Parker and Henry Mance – Financial Times
Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-serving monarch, is under medical supervision and doctors are concerned for her health, Buckingham Palace has announced. Senior members of the royal family were on Thursday travelling to be with her at Balmoral, the Queen’s castle in the Scottish highlands, while at Westminster the mood among senior politicians was sombre.

**** She’s been with us through 15 prime ministers. If anyone can pull through it is her. ~JB


Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Wednesday was the AITP Chicago Chapter list of 2022 CISO of the year nominees. Second was Dream job: the Japanese man who gets paid to do nothing, from Reuters. (This story was in the news media at least as far back as January. I’m not sure why it’s popping up again now.) Third was the cheery America Is a Rich Death Trap, about the news that U.S. life expectancy fell from roughly 79 in 2019 to 76 in 2021 and that the U.S. fared worse in life expectancy than other high-income countries.


MarketsWiki Stats
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MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

CME Group continues SOFR conversions as demand grows; Following a strong August, CME Group will convert its Eurodollar futures and options open interest into SOFR contracts from 14 April 2023.
Laurie McAughtry – The Trade
CME Group plans to convert its Eurodollars open interest (OI) to SOFR contracts from April 2023, as client demand outpaces that for Eurodollars, with SOFR options also added to the group’s portfolio margining solution. “SOFR futures and options are now the leading liquidity pool, as open interest has reached approximately 19 million contracts and volume has significantly outpaced Eurodollars,” said Agha Mirza, global head of rates and OTC products at CME Group. “Our proposed conversion date will help our clients complete their operational work as early as possible in the transition process, while closely aligning with the recently published industry timelines for over-the-counter interest rate swaps.”

SEC’s Gensler Supports Commodities Regulator Having Bitcoin Oversight; Former CFTC chief says he could back giving agency oversight of nonsecurity tokens
Andrew Ackerman – The Wall Street Journal
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler signaled that he would support Congress handing more authority to the SEC’s sister markets regulator to oversee certain cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Mr. Gensler, speaking at an industry conference, said Thursday he looked forward to working with Congress to give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission added power, to the extent the agency needs greater authority to “oversee and regulate crypto nonsecurity tokens and related intermediaries.”

ECB Raises Interest Rates by a Historic 0.75 Point as Europe Stares at Recession
Tom Fairless – The Wall Street Journal
The European Central Bank raised its key interest rate by 0.75 percentage point, moving aggressively to combat record inflation even as an energy crisis puts Europe on the brink of recession. The bank said in a statement that it would increase its key rate to 0.75% from zero—its second hike this year following a 50-basis-point rise in July—and signaled that further rises were likely this year.

EY to Announce Breakup Plan for Audit and Advisory Businesses; Split carries risks for Ernst & Young but could generate big payouts for partners
Jean Eaglesham – The Wall Street Journal
Ernst & Young’s leaders are expected Thursday to fire the starting gun on a monthslong plan to split its consulting and auditing businesses, according to people familiar with the matter. Carmine Di Sibio, EY’s global chairman and chief executive, is scheduled to tell the firm’s 13,000 partners today that a worldwide breakup plan has been approved by the company’s top leaders, people familiar with the matter said. The partners will be asked to vote later this year or early next on the plan, the people said.

Deloitte revenues hit record on back of tech consulting boom; Big Four firm rejects idea of splitting businesses and says combining audit and advisory work is ‘core’
Michael O’Dwyer in London and Stephen Foley – Financial Times
Deloitte lifted its global revenues by almost a fifth to a record last year, as a boom in tech consulting and corporate dealmaking helped cement its position as the largest of the Big Four professional services firms. The accounting and consulting group reported revenues of $59.3bn, with about $16bn coming from selling services as part of alliances with tech groups such as Amazon Web Services, Google, Salesforce and SAP.

Crypto Lender Celsius Misled Investors, Vermont Regulator Says; New court filing says Celsius hid financial trouble since 2021; Vermont regulator alleged lender manipulated price of tokens Muyao Shen – Bloomberg
Celsius Network Ltd., the bankrupt cryptocurrency lender, may have hidden its financial trouble from its investors and “engaged in the improper manipulation of the price” of the platform’s tokens to boost the company’s balance sheet and financials, according to a new court filing. The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation submitted the filing on Wednesday in support of the United States Trustee’s motion to appoint an independent examiner. The trustee handling Celsius’s bankruptcy case previously said that it is seeking an examiner to help get additional information and clear up “confusion and anxiety.”

New Gas Terminals Arrive to Ease Putin’s Grip on Europe
Cagan Koc and Anna Shiryaevskaya – Bloomberg
Two floating liquefied natural gas terminals are setting up in a Dutch port, the first in a wave of the specialist tankers that Europe is banking on to ease the worst energy crunch in decades. The Golar Igloo and the Eemshaven LNG are currently berthed together in the northern seaport of Eemshaven. Both are floating storage and regasification units, or FSRUs, designed to convert the super-chilled fuel transported on seagoing vessels into gas that can be pumped into onshore networks.

EU Set to Intervene to Ease Liquidity Strains in Energy Markets; Commission will talk to regulators to ease collateral squeeze; EU also proposes levy on profits of power and oil firms Ewa Krukowska – Bloomberg
The European Union is poised to take steps to ease the mounting stress in energy markets caused by surging collateral requirements, as companies cry out for government help. Amid growing signs of stress, and as energy firms “face difficulties financing those margin calls for lack of cash collateral,” the EU’s executive arm wants to take dramatic action as part of a broader package of measures to tame the crisis.

BlackRock could be Carlyle’s succession strategy
Lauren Silva Laughlin – Reuters
Carlyle (CG.O) co-founder David Rubenstein once sounded like he had asset management envy. Interviewing BlackRock (BLK.N) head Larry Fink in 2017, Rubenstein several times pointed out that Fink had created the world’s largest asset manager. BlackRock has only grown since, reaching over $10 trillion of assets under management at the end of last year and dwarfing Carlyle at around $380 billion. But now, Rubenstein’s firm has something that Fink may want.

Sterling Trading Tech Names FinTech & Capital Markets Industry Veteran Jennifer Nayar as President & Chief Executive Officer
Press release via Businesswire
Sterling Trading Tech (STT), a leading provider of order management systems, risk and margin tools and trading platforms to the capital markets worldwide, today announced that Jennifer Nayar has been appointed President & Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Nayar most recently served as Chief Executive Officer of Vela Trading Systems, a leading independent provider of data and execution technology for global multi-asset electronic trading. Prior to joining Vela, Nayar spent over a year at REDI Global Technologies as its technology chief of staff and over four years at NYSE Technologies as Global Head of Market Data and Business Operations. Farid Naib, STT’s former Chief Executive Officer, has stepped down from his role as CEO, but will remain involved as an advisor and shareholder.

Crypto Market Drops Below $1 Trillion, Bitcoin Nears 2022 Low; Largest cryptocurrency has retreated to the $18,000 range; Rising borrowing costs pressuring tokens, other risk assets Joanna Ossinger and Suvashree Ghosh – Bloomberg
Bitcoin is flirting with a test of this year’s lows following a cryptocurrency selloff that again pushed the sector’s overall market value below $1 trillion. The largest digital token has shed more than 6% so far this week and was trading at about $18,750 as of 7:02 a.m. in New York. Crypto market capitalization has fallen by a similar proportion in the past 24 hours, according to CoinGecko. Ether erased Tuesday’s gains, dropping about 4.4%.

Wall Street Seeks Clues on ECB Plans for $5 Trillion Bond Pile; ECB has been quiet over prospects for quantitative tightening; QT risks boosting spread between Italian and German yields
Alice Gledhill and Jana Randow – Bloomberg
Wall Street is looking for clues on any reduction in the European Central Bank’s bond reinvestments when officials gather this week. Strategists at Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup are on alert for hints over so-called quantitative tightening as policy makers prepare to increase borrowing costs for a second meeting.

Brenda Trenowden, banker and campaigner, 1967-2022; Under her leadership, 30 per cent female representation on FTSE 100 corporate boards was achieved
Sarah Gordon – Financial Times
As chair of the 30% Club and the City Women’s Network, Brenda Trenowden spearheaded efforts to improve diversity and gender balance in the workplace. Trenowden, who has died aged 55, held that her early experience in banking fed her desire for change. Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1967, she moved from Canada to the UK in 1991, and also worked in Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangladesh, as a broker, trader and in equities research. In a 2015 interview, she described the financial services working environment she entered 30 years ago:

It’s time to hit the accelerator on the energy transition; We have the technological knowhow to combat climate change — now we need to galvanise action to use it
John Thornhill – Financial Times
The terrifying floods in Pakistan in recent weeks that have killed 1,400 people and displaced 40mn others have been called the “climate catastrophe of the decade.” The fear is that such disasters will only become more frequent and more deadly as our planet warms. But some environmental experts are convinced the problem is fixable. We have the technological knowhow to combat the threat. So how do we galvanise collective action at the necessary speed and scale?

New Gas Terminals Arrive to Ease Putin’s Grip on Europe; Two specialist vessels will be in Eemshaven for five years; Floating LNG storage seen key to cutting Russian gas use
Cagan Koc and Anna Shiryaevskaya – Bloomberg
Two floating liquefied natural gas terminals are setting up in a Dutch port, the first in a wave of the specialist tankers that Europe is banking on to ease the worst energy crunch in decades. The Golar Igloo and the Eemshaven LNG are currently berthed together in the northern seaport of Eemshaven. Both are floating storage and regasification units, or FSRUs, designed to convert the super-chilled fuel transported on seagoing vessels into gas that can be pumped into onshore networks.

Pigs and Cows Need Better Shipping Conditions, EU Watchdog Says
Aine Quinn – Bloomberg
The European Union’s food watchdog called for better shipping conditions for live animals such as cattle and pigs as pressure mounts to ban controversial cross-border trade. About $22 billion of live animals are exported each year globally, and the EU is the biggest shipper. But there are growing calls to improve animal welfare and reduce the risks that diseased ones can pose to humans, especially after a series of high-profile accidents in recent years that led to thousands of animals being killed.

ICE data integrated into Murex platform to improve workflow efficiency; Integration will allow clients to access data which can be used to inform trading, risk management and profit and loss management.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Processing solutions provider Murex has integrated with ICE Data Services, part of Intercontinental Exchange, to improve access to ICE’s fixed income and derivatives data via the MX.3 platform.

Eurex launches Euro high yield index futures; New contracts will allow market participants to take advantage of the increased volatility of Euro-denominated sub-investment grade securities.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Starting from 17 October, Eurex will offer market participants the ability to hedge the Euro-denominated high-yield corporate bond market in Europe. Over the last few months, this segment has experienced increased volatility – mainly driven by rising inflation, higher interest rates and divergent market sentiment.

Broadway Technology partners with MarketAxess for US Treasury trading integration; The new integration, which includes a request for quote feature, will allow mutual dealer clients to respond to US Treasury inquiries from MarketAxess’ customer base.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Broadway Technology has extended its partnership with MarketAxess to build and support a US Treasury request for quote (RFQ) workflow feature in the latter’s US Treasuries marketplace. The workflow feature is currently live and can be accessed by all joint customers.

Ukraine Invasion

Ukrainian citizens seeking war reparations face uphill struggle
Joanna Plucinska, Stephanie van den Berg and Stefaniia Bern – Reuters
Vitalii Zhyvotovskyi, a 51-year old from the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, is trying to rebuild his house after it was heavily damaged during Russia’s occupation of the area earlier this year. The roof was destroyed, the inside gutted by fire and many of the windows blown out. Zhyvotovskyi says the repairs are more than he can afford, even on his engineer’s salary, so he’s seeking help in the form of war reparations. With the help of a lawyer, he has sent what they say is evidence of war crimes – which Zhyvotovskyi says he was either a victim of or witnessed – to both Ukrainian authorities and the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, with the hopes of prosecution and compensation.

Putin Threatens to Abandon Grain Deal, Further Squeeze Energy Supplies; Russian leader suggests Moscow could pull out of a U.N.-brokered agreement that has allowed for the large-scale export of Ukrainian grain
Jared Malsin – The Wall Street Journal
Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to curtail the export of grain from Ukraine and said Moscow was ready to extend its rationing of natural-gas exports and cut off oil and refined products if the West went ahead with a price-cap plan for Russian crude. The comments, made at an economic conference, represented some of the Russian leader’s starkest and broadest threats over his country’s prodigious commodities exports. He also characterized those threats more directly than in the past as an economic weapon he is willing to wield in response to Western sanctions levied after his invasion of Ukraine.

Russians set up method to convert wire currency into Chinese yuan, sparking fears of alliance
Michael Lee – Fox News
Russian state-controlled bank VTB announced that it has set up a system to send money transfers to China in yuan without using the SWIFT messaging system, bypassing international sanctions and sparking more fears of increased cooperation between China and Russia.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Why are Europe’s power producers running out of cash?
Despite selling electricity at record prices, the industry is sliding into a liquidity crisis
Tom Wilson and Philip Stafford – Financial Times
Record power prices driven by the soaring cost of gas as Russia chokes supply to Europe are presenting European utilities with an existential problem: despite selling electricity at record prices, they are running out of cash because of spiralling collateral requirements. Finland has warned that the energy sector faces a potential “Lehman Brothers” moment if governments do not step in to provide emergency funding. Others are calling for a complete overhaul of the way power is traded.

Forge to expand global private market platform into Europe with strategic partner Deutsche Börse
Deutsche Börse
Rapidly growing European private market fueling demand from investors, and interest in liquidity solutions from private growth companies. Forge Europe will establish a digital platform for private growth company shares, extending Forge’s global private market platform into Europe. Product offerings will include liquidity programs for companies, a digital marketplace that brings together buyers and sellers and exclusive private market data that enable investors to make informed investment decisions. Forge Global Holdings, Inc., a leading private securities marketplace, announced today its international expansion together with its strategic partner Deutsche Börse.

Cboe Global Markets to Present at the Barclays Global Financial Services Conference on September 12
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), a leading provider of global market infrastructure and tradable products, today announced that Ed Tilly, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Brian Schell, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, will present at the Barclays Global Financial Services Conference on Monday, September 12 at 12:00 p.m. ET. The webcast and replay of the presentation will be accessible at in the Investor Relations section, under Events and Presentations. The archived webcast is expected to be available within an hour of the presentation.

ErisX Announces Settlement Service for Over-The-Counter Crypto Transactions
ErisX, a Cboe Global Markets company, today announced it has introduced the ErisX Settlement Service, a new solution designed to help remove settlement risk for over-the-counter (OTC) crypto transactions. The new offering expands ErisX’s suite of tools for institutional investors, enabling them to settle OTC trades with other ErisX customers using a transparent U.S. licensed crypto spot market.

NYU Center For Cybersecurity And DTCC Partner To Create Comprehensive Cybersecurity And Resiliency Program
The NYU Tandon School of Engineering, a global leader in engineering research and education, and The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the premier post-trade market infrastructure for the global financial services industry, today announced a new partnership to advance the capabilities of the NYU Center for Cybersecurity (CCS). The collaboration will leverage DTCC’s nearly five decades of technology, resiliency and cybersecurity expertise to support the new program. The school’s five-year vision of the partnership with DTCC includes proposals to expand the Center for Cybersecurity to include a major area of expertise in resiliency to enhance the center’s reputation as a hub of thought leadership, attracting world-class researchers, and producing a new generation of cybersecurity and resiliency experts, with a special focus on designs, solutions, and technologies for making systems more resilient to ever-evolving threats.

Eurex launches the first futures on a Euro High Yield Index
New futures contract on the Bloomberg High Yield Credit Index to be launched on 17 October 2022; Flexible tool to hedge the euro corporate bonds market through a standardized, cost effective and centrally cleared solution. As of 17 October, Eurex will offer market participants the opportunity to hedge the euro-denominated high-yield corporate bond market in Europe. For some months now, this segment has been subject to higher volatility, primarily driven by rising inflation, higher interest rates and a divergent market sentiment. Funding conditions for corporate issuers have become less favorable, which naturally leads to wider credit spreads for Euro denominated corporate bonds.

Data Spotlight – Wheat options trading surges at Euronext; Physical holders turn to options in face of higher margin requirements
Kirsten Hyde – FIA
Euronext’s milling wheat derivatives market, the benchmark for the pricing of wheat in Europe, has seen a surge of activity in its options contracts this year, according to data on trading volume and open interest. The rise comes as war disrupts production in Ukraine, one of the largest wheat producers in Europe, and physical hedgers adjust to higher margin requirements. The number of milling wheat options traded on Euronext has exploded this year. In July, the volume of trading reached 273,405 contracts, a rise of 82.6% from 149,735 contracts in July 2021 and the highest monthly total in at least four years. For the first seven months of the year, volume jumped by 68% to 1.62 million contracts, up from 965,049 contracts during the same period a year ago.

Tradeweb Reports Total August Trading Volume Of $23.4 Trillion With 13.0% YOY Increase In Average Daily Volume
Average daily volume (ADV) for the month was $1.02tn, an increase of 13.0 percent (%) year-over-year (YoY). Average daily trades for the month totaled 93,860. Tradeweb’s diversified offering across products, geographies and client sectors supported double-digit growth, amidst a complex macroeconomic background driven by evolving central bank policy, sustained elevated volatility, economic concerns and a stronger dollar.

Initial Listing of Tuesday Weekly Options and Thursday Weekly Options on E-mini Nasdaq-100 Index Futures Contracts
CME Group
Effective Sunday, October 2, 2022 for trade date Monday, October 3, 2022, and pending all relevant CFTC regulatory review periods, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. (“CME” or “Exchange”) will list Tuesday Weekly Options and Thursday Weekly Options on E-mini Nasdaq-100 Index Futures contracts (the “Contracts”) for trading on the CME Globex electronic trading platform (“CME Globex”) and for submission for clearing via CME ClearPort as more specifically described below.

Euronext announces quarterly review results of the PSI®
Euronext today announced the results of the quarterly review for the PSI®, which will take place after markets close on Friday 16 September 2022, and be effective from Monday 19 September 2022.

Miami International Holdings Reports August 2022 Trading Results; MIAX Options, MIAX Pearl Equities and SPIKES Futures Set Year-to-Date Volume Records
Miami International Holdings, Inc. (MIH) today reported August 2022 trading results for its U.S. exchange subsidiaries – MIAX®, MIAX Pearl® and MIAX Emerald® (together, the MIAX Exchange Group™), and Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX™). August 2022 Trading Volume Highlights. Total U.S. multi-listed options market share for the MIAX Exchange Group reached 12.79%, representing a 16.0% year-over-year (YoY) decrease. A total of 108.1 million multi-listed options contracts were executed on the MIAX Exchange Group, representing a 6.8% decrease YoY and an average daily volume (ADV) of 4,699,129 contracts. Total year-to-date (YTD) volume reached 863.8 million contracts, a decrease of 1.7% from the same period in 2021.

1nvest lists ETF that invests in US government bonds
Shares in the 1nvest ICE U.S. Treasury Short Bond Index Feeder Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) began trading on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) today, giving South African investors exposure to liquid, short-term United States (U.S.) government bonds. According to 1nvest, a specialist index fund manager, the ETFUSD tracks the performance of the ICE U.S. Treasury Short Bond Index which measures the performance of U.S. dollar-denominated short-term government bonds issued by the U.S. Treasury.

JPX Monthly Headlines – August 2022
JPX group companies undertake various initiatives and disseminate information with the aim of providing the most attractive markets to all users. Every month, we showcase the highlights of these efforts in short and concise summaries just for you.

Shanghai International Energy Exchange Has Released Its Circular on the Release of Mean of Prices for TSR 20 Futures
To all market participants: The Shanghai International Energy Exchange (“INE”) releases mean of settlement price and mean of close price for TSR 20 futures starting from September 8th, 2022. This information will also be disclosed on SHFE’s official site.

EBS Market on CME Globex Notice
CME Group
EBS Market on CME Globex Notice. Topics in this issue include: Critical Information; Announcements and Additional Resources.


U.S. bank regulator warns of crisis risk from fintech proliferation
Lananh Nguyen and Saeed Azhar – Reuters
The rise of fintech services and digital banking could spur financial risks and potentially a crisis over the long term, Michael Hsu, Acting Comptroller of the Currency, a major U.S. bank regulator, warned on Wednesday. “I believe fintechs and big techs are having a large impact and warrant much more of our attention,” Hsu told a New York conference, noting the encroachment of fintech companies into the traditional financial sector, including via partnerships with banks, was creating more complexity and “de-integration” across the banking sector.

Unfettered Fintech, Crypto Taking Banks’ Turf, Ex-Comptroller Says; Former OCC head warns digital asset firms are threat to banks Banks should be more aggressive in crypto, Eugene Ludwig says
Katherine Doherty & Yueqi Yang – Bloomberg
Fintech and cryptocurrency firms competing with banks but subject to fewer regulations are “getting away with murder,” said Eugene Ludwig, a former Comptroller under the Bill Clinton administration. These new types of companies that take deposits and provide lending without proper oversight could be the reason for the next recession, Ludwig said during a Tuesday panel at the Clearing House and Bank Policy Institute’s annual conference in New York.

IG North America Appoints Catherine Davis CMO; Marketing Leader With 30-Year Track Record of Success to Support and Expand Growth for tastyworks, tastytrade and FX Trading Offerings
TastyTrade and IG Group via Businesswire
IG Group (LON:IGG), a leading, global fintech company at the forefront of online trading, today announced the appointment of Catherine Davis as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for IG, North America. Davis will report to JJ Kinahan, Regional CEO for IG, North America. She will be a member of the global Senior Marketing Leadership Team for IG Group, led by Katherine Whitton, IG Group CMO.

OOC’s Hsu says bank-fintech relationships may be a systemic risk
Claire Williams – American Banker
Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu warned that widespread and increasingly complex relationships between banks and fintechs could set the stage for a financial crisis.
At a conference of bankers in New York hosted by the Bank Policy Institute and the Clearing House Association, Hsu said that he’s concerned with the increase in complexity in business models that facilitate things like mobile payments, online lending and deposit-taking activities.


A Seat At The Table: How CISOs Can Communicate Cybersecurity Investments In Financial Terms To The Board
Gidi Cohen – Forbes
Digital transformation done well delivers business growth and enterprise-wide competitive advantages. Yet, inadvertently, digital transformation introduces new vulnerabilities. In fact, according to a 2022 study from my company, 27% of executives say new technologies are their largest cybersecurity worry. While business growth is always a top priority, accelerated digital transformation means cybersecurity leaders are under pressure to accommodate countless forms of digital transformation—including new public cloud services and operational technology (OT).

Why Companies Need to Think About Cyber Resilience, Not Just Cybersecurity
Pat Muoio – The Wall Street Journal
It goes without saying that organizations want to keep their networks and computers up and running safely. But too often, the goal is to stop all attacks—what is often referred to as cybersecurity. Instead, a better goal might be to keep operating despite an attack.
That is what is known as cyber resilience. It is different from cybersecurity in that it is about anticipating, withstanding, recovering from and adapting to adverse conditions, stresses, attacks or any other system compromise. It is about standing up and carrying on. By contrast, security considers defense and protection from attack. It is about locking up and hunkering down.

Cybersecurity Salary And Job Outlook – Forbes Advisor
Nneoma Uche – Forbes
Demand for cybersecurity specialists has soared in the last decade due to increasing rates of cybercrime. As a result, careers in cybersecurity bring numerous benefits, including job security and a relatively high income.

Department of State Cybersecurity Training Series Boosts Global Resilience Against Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Malware
US Department of State
The Department of State’s Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy (CDP) is strengthening international capacity to counter Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) malware by sponsoring a training series for allies and partners around the world. CDP sponsored development of the nine-day training program, titled “Unhiding Hidden Cobra,” which it provided to cybersecurity professionals from six partner nations in the Western Hemisphere, Africa, and Asia. (The U.S. government refers to malicious cyber activity by the DPRK government as “Hidden Cobra.”) Courses will continue to be offered to partner nations on a rotational basis through 2022 and 2023. The program includes practical, hands-on exercises to equip participants to prevent, detect, and mitigate malicious cyber activity using cybersecurity information released by U.S. government agencies.


Crypto Startup Mysten Labs Raises $300 Million in FTX-Led Round; Year-to-date venture investment in crypto companies has already outpaced last year’s total
Vicky Ge Huang – The Wall Street Journal
Mysten Labs, a startup founded by former executives of Meta Platforms crypto unit, said it has raised $300 million in a funding round that values the company at more than $2 billion. Mysten Chief Executive Evan Cheng said the cash infusion will help the company build out its Sui blockchain, hire more staff and expand into the Asia-Pacific region.

London hedge fund Winton hunts for crypto hire; A job advert posted by Winton seeks an analyst to support development of its crypto systematic trading strategies
David Ricketts – Financial News
Winton Group, the London hedge fund set up by billionaire quant investor David Harding, is on the hunt for specialist crypto expertise, in a hint it will join other heavyweight investors looking to gain a foothold in the fast-growing digital assets market. The firm, which was founded by Harding in 2007, posted a job advert on LinkedIn in August for a crypto quant researcher to “support the development of our crypto systematic trading strategies”.

Bitcoin Mining Firm Poolin Halts Withdrawals in Liquidity Crunch; Mining pools aggregate miners’ computing power to earn Bitcoin; Poolin, a major crypto mining pool, also mines tokens David Pan – Bloomberg
Poolin, one of the largest providers of Bitcoin mining-pool services, has suspended all withdrawals, flash trades and internal transfers within the Beijing-based firm’s system, citing the need to preserve liquidity. Bitcoin mining pools are essentially the software that aggregates computing power from miners to increase the probability of winning the token rewards by securing the Bitcoin network. They charge miners a fee for providing the services. The mining process involves millions of powerful computers that compete to be the first to come up with a solution to validate transaction data encrypted by the blockchain and win the Bitcoin rewards for solving the equation.

Crypto lender Celsius looked a lot like a Ponzi, says state regulator; ‘Deeply insolvent’ and ready to yield
Bryce Elder – Financial Times
For at least two years before its collapse, cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network operated what could resemble a Ponzi scheme, the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation alleged in a court filing. The state securities regulator wrote in support of a motion lodged by the US Trustee’s Office that asks the judge overseeing Celsius’s bankruptcy to appoint an independent examiner. The Trustee Office, a branch of the Department of Justice in charge of bankruptcies, wants an independent investigation into what it calls “significant transparency issues” around the case. But Vermont’s latest filing adds some big claims to the debacle.

Getting Regulated Stablecoins to Institutions Seamlessly – Paxos Partners with Floating Point Group
Austin Campbell – Paxos
Stablecoins have been one of the hottest news topics of 2022. With all of the coverage the asset class receives, it’s hard to remember that stablecoins are still a novel technology and not always easy to acquire. That is especially true for asset managers and other regulated financial institutions. Significant infrastructure exists for retail users, but the mature financial plumbing to facilitate the seamless transfer of millions or billions or trillions of dollars in regulated stablecoins is not yet there. Paxos is working to change that.

Billionaire Mark Cuban Is No longer Excited About Crypto; The successful entrepreneur has invested and continues to invest in crypto projects. But he’s unpleased about a particular development.
Luc Olinga – The Street
In November 2021, the cryptocurrency space was in full madness mode. Call it cryptomania. Retail investors, especially millennials and Gen Z, were investing heavily in cryptocurrencies and other crypto projects driven by FOMO, Fear of Missing Out. Institutional investors were investing in crypto projects like those related to decentralized finance, which means financial services with no middleman.

Vermont Regulators Didn’t Use the Word, but I Will: Celsius Was a Ponzi
David Z. Morris – CoinDesk
A bombshell new filing by the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation in the Chapter 11 proceedings of the collapsed Celsius Network makes the case that the crypto lender was effectively insolvent, not just after the crypto market declines of early 2022 but as early as 2019. Celsius itself admitted to investigators “that the company had never earned enough revenue to support the yields being paid to investors.” The filing further claims that its financial analysis “suggests that at least at some points in time, yields to existing [Celsius] investors were probably being paid with the assets of new investors.”

How Mega Lawsuit Against MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor Could Affect Bitcoin
Ya?l Bizouati-Kennedy – GoBankingRates
District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine is suing mega Bitcoin bull Michael Saylor, co-founder and executive chairman of MicroStrategy, for allegedly avoiding more than $25 million in district taxes. The lawsuit also names MicroStrategy as a defendant, alleging that it conspired to help him evade taxes he owes.

Binance Seeks to Rev Up Its BNB Blockchain With Tech That Got Traction on Ethereum
Elizabeth Napolitano – CoinDesk
Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange by volume, is seeking to speed up transaction times and reduce fees for its BNB blockchain, becoming one of the largest players yet to embrace a technology known as a zero-knowledge (ZK) rollup.


America’s indifference to its death crisis; The enduring drivers of the country’s morbid trajectory — rising obesity, the opioid epidemic and Covid — are hard to confront
Edward Luce – Financial Times
Falling life expectancy is the last thing you would expect on a worry list about US national security. Yet when it is dropping as fast as it is in the US — Americans live almost five years less than the wealthy country average — even the Pentagon has to sit up. At 76, Americans now live shorter lives than their peers in China and only a year longer than the citizens of supposedly benighted Mexico. People in Japan, Italy and Spain, on the other hand, can expect to live until around 84. Your people’s longevity is the ultimate test of a system’s ability to deliver. Yet neither Democrats nor Republicans, presidents or legislators, seem too bothered.

Trump ally wants details of wealth excluded from foreign agent trial
Luc Cohen – Reuters
Tom Barrack, a former private equity executive and fundraiser for Donald Trump, wants evidence of his wealth, spending and lifestyle excluded from his upcoming trial on charges he acted as an illegal foreign agent, his lawyers said on Tuesday. Prosecutors have charged Barrack, 75, with using his influence between 2016 and 2018 to advance United Arab Emirates foreign policy goals without notifying the U.S. attorney general of his involvement as required by law.

Liz Truss’s cabinet is Britain’s first without white man in top jobs
Andrew Macaskill and Humza Jilani – Reuters
The new British Prime Minister Liz Truss has selected a cabinet where for the first time a white man will not hold one of the country’s four most important ministerial positions. Truss appointed Kwasi Kwarteng – whose parents came from Ghana in the 1960s – as Britain’s first Black finance minister while James Cleverly is the first Black foreign minister.

UN deal gives Russia no say in destination of grain – Ukraine presidential adviser
Russian complaints about a landmark deal allowing Ukraine to export grain from ports in the Black Sea are “flabbergasting” as the deal gives Moscow no role in determining where the grain goes, a Ukrainian presidential adviser said on Wednesday. “The agreements signed in Istanbul … concern only one issue, and that is the transfer of cargo ships through the Black Sea,” Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, told Reuters.

On Climate Change, Republicans Need a Crash Course in Capitalism; Red-state lawmakers are increasingly trying to interfere in private firms’ decision-making. They’re making a terrible mistake.
Michael R. Bloomberg – Bloomberg Opinion
Republican elected officials seem to think they’ve found three new evil letters to pair with their favorite bugaboo, CRT, or critical race theory. This one is called ESG, which refers to investment strategies that consider environmental, social and governance issues. Critics call it “woke capitalism.” There’s just one problem: They don’t seem to understand capitalism. And flogging ESG is not only a terrible economic mistake. It will be a political loser, too.


Natixis fined for mismarking US rates and equities positions Former rates trader overstated P&L by $25m, while equities traders smoothed profits after 2018 windfall
Lukas Becker –
Natixis and its former head of US dollar interest rate derivatives trading have been fined by a US regulator for deliberately mismarking positions to disguise losses and inflate gains between 2015 and 2018. The trader, Blaise Brochard, was fined $250,000 and hit with a three-year trading ban on September 6 by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for his role in the scheme, which at its peak overstated the profit and loss (P&L) of the desk by around $25 million.

Public Statements & Remarks Statement of Commissioner Kristin N. Johnson Regarding Trader’s Misconduct and Financial Intermediary’s Failure to Supervise
Yesterday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) entered two orders relating to the mismarking of swap positions, one for fraudulent conduct and another for supervision failures that allowed for mismarking to occur. Companies around the country and across the globe use swaps, which comprise a global market with a notional value in the hundreds of trillions of dollars, to manage risk. As evidenced by the events that precipitated the onset of the 2008 financial crisis, however, swaps—an unregulated sector of financial markets at that time—concentrated risk, obscured risk management failures, and contributed to one of the most pernicious financial market crashes in recent history.

SEC Charges Former Vice President of Medical Device Company with Insider Trading
The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday filed insider trading charges against a former vice president of an Arizona medical device company for insider trading in advance of the company’s earnings announcements.

Managed funds amend their marketing following ASIC surveillance
A recent ASIC surveillance found that some fund managers must do more to ensure the investment performance representations in their fund’s marketing materials are appropriate. Thirteen responsible entities or trustees of investment funds have voluntarily amended, or arranged for the investment manager to amend, their marketing materials and/or practices across 18 funds as a result of ASIC’s ongoing surveillance into the marketing of managed fund performance and risks. The amendments are outlined in the attached summary table.

Crypto Crash Gives U.S. Bank Regulators ‘Breathing Space,’ Official Says; Acting comptroller of the currency says regulators have been able to slow down what had been a ‘sprint’ to create policy on digital assets
Richard Vanderford – The Wall Street Journal
A rush to put out new crypto regulatory guidance has slowed down as a drop in asset values has made the task less urgent, a senior banking regulator said. Federal agencies have in recent months seen a less pressing need to publish planned interagency guidance on how banks should treat digital assets, Michael Hsu, acting comptroller of the currency, said Wednesday at a banking industry conference in New York.

ESMA Publishes latest edition of its newsletter
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has today published its latest edition of its Spotlight on Markets Newsletter.

Court Convicts Five Former Remisiers for False Trading
Five former remisiers have been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment terms and fines for false trading in the shares of 55 securities listed on the Mainboard and Catalist of the Singapore Exchange, over 85 occasions between 9 March 2015 and 12 April 2016. On 4 May 2022, Mr Lim Ming Chit, a former remisier with Phillip Securities Pte Ltd (PSPL), pleaded guilty to and was convicted of 10 charges under section 197(1)(a) of the Securities and Futures Act (SFA). 12 remaining charges under the same section were taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing. On 18 May 2022, Mr Lim was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment and a fine of $260,000. On 18 August 2022, four other individuals were convicted of charges under section 197(1)(a) of the SFA and sentenced on 30 August 2022.

Court sets pre-trial review date for unlicensed activities prosecution
The Eastern Magistrates’ Court today fixed the pre-trial review date for prosecutions against Mr Tony Choi Yick Man and Mr Ma Yau Tim after they pleaded not guilty to charges by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) for unlicensed activities. The SFC commenced criminal proceedings on 30 June 2022 against Choi for carrying on a business in asset management without a SFC licence between 2010 and 2019 and Ma for aiding and abetting Choi’s unlicensed activity (Note 1). The pre-trial review is scheduled for 27 October 2022.

Statistics of Credit Card, Cash Card & Electronic Payment Institutions Business Operation as of July 2022
As of July 2022, thirty-three credit card issuing institutions were in operation in Taiwan. The number of effective cards totaled 54.17 million (53.9 million at the end of June 2022) among which the total active cards numbered in 34.37 million (34.25 million at the end of June 2022). The balance of revolving credit was NT$100.4 billion (NT$99.4 billion at the end of June 2022). The amount of undue balance of installment was approximately NT$192.4 billion (NT$140.2 billion at the end of June 2022). The amount of monthly retail sales was approximately NT$407.9 billion (NT$264.4 billion for June 2022). The amount of monthly write-off was approximately NT$0.36 billion (NT$0.31 billion for June 2022). Average ratio of delinquency credit (pass-due over three months) against account receivables (including non-accrual amounts) was 0.14% (0.18% at the end of June 2022) (Please see Attachment 1).

NPL Ratio for Domestic Banks as of the End of July 2022
The Financial Supervisory Commission (the FSC) has released that total outstanding loans extended by the current 39 domestic banks increased by NT$225.6billion (US$7.54billion) as compared to the figure of previous month and amounted to NT$35.64trillion (US$1,190.5billion) at the end of July 2022. Meanwhile, the NPLs of these banks totaled at NT$56.72billion (US$1.89billion) which increased by NT0.4$billion (US$0.01billion) from NT$56.32billion (US$1.88billion) as of the end of the previous month.

Investing and Trading

Legendary China Bets Unwind as Buffett, SoftBank, Naspers Sell; Tencent shares worth $7.6 billion are likely up for sale; SoftBank sold off about $17 billion of its Alibaba stake
Zheping Huang and Charlotte Yang – Bloomberg
For early backers, they’ve been some of the most profitable Chinese stock investments of all time: Tencent Holdings Ltd., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and BYD Co. But now big-name investors who’ve made billions from these shares are taking money off the table, underscoring growing angst over the prospects for China’s biggest companies as President Xi Jinping tightens the government’s grip on the private sector and the economy falters under persistent Covid lockdowns.

Banks try to offload $15bn of Citrix buyout debt to ‘gun-shy’ investors; Wall Street lenders expected to generate significant losses after agreeing to fund deal before economic slowdown
Eric Platt – Financial Times
Bankers on Wall Street have embarked on a high-stakes attempt to offload a $15bn financing package to investors in a significant test of whether creditors are willing to lend to risky businesses as the economy slows and interest rates rise.

Emerge to Launch 10 Sustainable ETFs That Are All Run by Women; ‘They’re just wicked smart and they work so hard’: Langley; Five different ESG strategies offered in both US and Canada
Peyton Forte – Bloomberg
Even as flows into environmental, social and governance ETFs are slowing, Emerge is introducing its first set of active sustainable ETFs with a twist — each fund will be overseen by women. On Sept. 8, the investment management firm will launch five different ESG exchange-traded funds, with versions listed on both the Cboe BZX Exchange in the US and the NEO Exchange in Canada. The funds will invest in equity securities that exclude certain categories, according to prospectus documents, such as gambling, adult entertainment and chemical weapons.

Vanguard trounces iShares’ August US ETF inflows; The $24.2bn to Vanguard ETFs was nearly four times the iShares total
Joe Morris – Financial Times
Vanguard led the US industry in ETF flows last month, lifted by strong sales for both stock and bond products. The firm took in $24.2bn in August, nearly four times as much as iShares, its closest competitor, which attracted just $6.2bn, according to data from Morningstar.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Climate change: Europe’s warm summer shatters records
Matt McGrath – BBC News
This summer was the hottest on record in Europe, according to data from EU satellite monitoring. A series of extreme heatwaves and a long running drought saw June, July and August shatter the previous high mark for temperature. The Copernicus Climate Change Service said the data showed August in Europe was the warmest on record by “a substantial margin.” Globally, the researchers say August was the third warmest yet recorded.

Profit From ESG? A Turkish Company Shows How It’s Done; A leading appliance manufacturer is minting shareholder gold by meeting consumer demand, particularly from the emerging world’s rising middle class, for greener white goods. And they make ventilators, too.
Adrian Wooldridge – Bloomberg Opinion
During the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow last November, Prince Charles announced the creation of a new green award — the Terra Carta Seal — and handed it out to 45 companies that had demonstrated their commitment to creating sustainable markets. Many of the companies honored were already familiar: HSBC Holdings Plc, Banco Santander SA, Inc., Unilever Plc, International Business Machines Corp., Ericsson, Bank of America Corp., Inditex SA and Salesforce Inc.

Australia’s First Climate Law Since 2011 Seals Green Comeback; Policy makes 43% emissions cuts by 2030 legally binding; Nation still lags behind US, EU and UK on climate goals
Ben Westcott – Bloomberg
Australia passed its first major climate legislation in more than a decade to set legally-binding targets to deepen emissions curbs, sealing the key polluter’s return as a force in global action on planetary warming. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Climate Change Bill, which legislates a 43% cut to carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels by 2030, finally passed the Australian Senate on Thursday, though only after his government accepted it’ll need to continue to accelerate the scale of its ambition.

Australia passes landmark legislation to cut carbon emissions; Decision follows years of pushing back against similar efforts by previous governments
William Langley – Financial Times
Australia passed a landmark climate bill on Thursday, bringing the resource-rich country back in line with the global push to cut carbon emissions after years of pushing back against such efforts. The climate change bill mandates that the country reduce carbon emissions by 43 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050.


Billionaire Defends Bonus He Paid Convicted Credit Suisse Banker; Ivanishvili is suing Credit Suisse trust for $800 million; He defended his $1.5 million payment to convicted fraudster
Hugo Miller and Low De Wei – Bloomberg
The billionaire fraud victim suing a Credit Suisse Group AG trust for $800 million said he’d paid a $1.5 million bonus to the rogue banker at the heart of the scandal because at the time he’d seemingly been delivering a good performance. Georgian tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili told a Singapore court that while transfers to Patrice Lescaudron from 2008 went to private accounts without Credit Suisse’s knowledge, he was too busy to be involved in the logistics of how and where the money was paid. “Probably he wanted it for his own personal benefit, and he wanted to justify it by calling it something else under some different names,” Ivanishvili said Wednesday. Ivanishvili acknowledged that the arrangement looked strange “as I look at it now,” but “unfortunately, I didn’t pay attention at the time.”

Asset Manager Brevan Howard Reveals Details About Its Record-Setting $1B Crypto Hedge Fund
Brandy Betz – CoinDesk
Last month, media reports suggested that global asset management giant Brevan Howard had raised more than $1 billion from institutional investors to create the largest crypto-focused hedge fund to date. Now the structure of that fund has come into further focus with a new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.

Wellness Exchange

A Key to Long Covid Is Virus Lingering in the Body, Scientists Say; Virus remaining in some people’s bodies for a long time may be causing longer-term complications, recent research suggests
Sumathi Reddy – The Wall Street Journal
The virus that causes Covid-19 can remain in some people’s bodies for a long time. A growing number of scientists think that lingering virus is a root cause of long Covid. New research has found the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the blood of long Covid patients up to a year after infection but not in people who have fully recovered from Covid. Virus has also been found in tissues including the brain, lungs, and lining of the gut, according to scientists and studies

On COVID alert, more Chinese cities advise residents to stay put for holiday
More Chinese cities advised residents on Wednesday to avoid unnecessary trips for the upcoming holiday long weekend, adding to COVID policies that are keeping tens of millions of people under lockdown and exacting a growing economic toll. Nanjing and Wuxi, major cities in eastern China’s Jiangsu province, recommended residents not leave town during the Saturday-Monday mid-autumn festival, echoing similar advisories made by other cities this month.

EU secures more doses of Bavarian monkeypox vaccine
The European Union said on Wednesday it had secured an additional 170,920 doses of the monkeypox vaccine developed by biotech firm Bavarian Nordic (BAVA.CO) amid concerns about the outbreak of the disease. The new order more than doubles the EU’s supply of the vaccine, bringing the total number of doses directly purchased by the EU to nearly 335,000.

U.S. eyes annual shots as updated COVID vaccines roll out
Ahmed Aboulenein and Susan Heavey – Reuters
The United States is likely to start recommending COVID-19 vaccines annually, health officials said on Tuesday, as new boosters designed to fight currently circulating variants of the coronavirus roll out. By the end of this week, 90% of Americans will live within five miles (8 km) of sites carrying updated vaccines, U.S. health secretary Xavier Becerra said at a White House briefing.


Liz Truss Announces Cap on Energy Bills for Households and Businesses; Liz Truss seeks to head off tightening squeeze on living costs; Treasury will set out impact on bond sales later this month
Kitty Donaldson and Emily Ashton – Bloomberg
Liz Truss’s UK government announced a sweeping package of measures to contain spiraling energy bills, seeking to ease a historic squeeze on the cost of living that’s likely to define her premiership. Truss’s plan would cap the average cost of energy for households at £2,500 a year from October, well below the £3,548 they would have paid without the intervention. Consumers also get a £400 subsidy that’s already been announced. The program will last for two years, and businesses will get what the government described as an equivalent intervention lasting an initial six months.

Beijing will regulate ‘digital humans’ in the metaverse and beyond; China’s capital is looking to set standards for digital assistants, virtual influencers and gaming avatars.
Meaghan Tobin –
In early August, the Beijing municipal government laid out a four-year action plan, a way that authorities in China often communicate their priorities, giving a not-so-subtle nudge to businesses about the direction they should head in. The new plan began, like many others, with standard language: in order to “thoroughly implement” the instructions of President Xi Jinping and “the strategic deployment” of the 14th Five-Year Plan for Digital Economy Development, the government would promote growth in key areas of the tech sector. But that’s where this plan was different: this one aims to boost investment in digital humans.

China’s top energy firms are sending natural gas to European nations struggling with Russia’s supply cuts
Phil Rosen – Business Insider
China’s largest energy firms are sending liquefied natural to European nations as an energy crisis sweeps the continent, according to a Bloomberg report. Traders told Bloomberg that major shippers including Sinopec and PetroChina Co have sold shipments of liquefied natural gas to to struggling European nations throughout the year.

Uganda Corn Industry Demands Ban on Exports After Poor Season
Fred Ojambo – Bloomberg
Uganda’s corn growers and processors want the government to restrict shipment of unprocessed grains so they can retain husks for animal feed. Following poor rainfall, the East African nation will produce about 2.5 million tons of corn this crop year, about 50% of the previous year’s output, according to agriculture ministry estimates. Authorities will study the impact of such a ban on production and demand, Agriculture Minister Frank Tumwebaze said Wednesday from the capital, Kampala, without giving details.


NFT Game Consultant Says Poor People Could Be NPCs
Kate Irwin – Decrypt
Players in developing countries could work as NPCs in wealthier players’ worlds, according to one game consultant. “With the cheap labor of a developing country, you could use people in the Philippines as NPCs (non-playable characters), real-life NPCs in your game,” said Mikhai Kossar, who is a chartered accountant and member of WolvesDAO.

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China commodity trader woe a setback for Glencore

First Read Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff Congratulations to Larry Tabb. STA announced Larry as the 2022 Dictum Meum Pactum (DMP) Award recipient. Here is a success story for you. The Greenwood Project placed four interns at Goldman Sachs this summer...

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