Cocoa and Coffee Prices Have Surged. Climate Change Will Only Take Them Higher

Apr 12, 2024

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

The April edition of FT Wealth explores various aspects of wealth management and philanthropy. It examines how affluent individuals in Asia are increasing their philanthropic efforts while diverging from traditional Western models, and discusses a growing trend of wealthy individuals eager to “spend down” their fortunes quickly on social or ethical causes. Additionally, it introduces the concept of child-lens investing, aiming to nurture the next generation’s financial literacy and values, and explores how younger billionaires are adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. The report also highlights the role of wealthy donors in bolstering the assets of Hillsdale College to $1.7 billion and considers whether residing in affluent communities affects the happiness and perception of status among the wealthy.

Japan will donate 250 new cherry trees to the United States, with many planned for planting at Washington’s Tidal Basin near the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced the gift during a visit to the White House, intending to commemorate the U.S.’s upcoming 250th anniversary. President Biden praised the trees as emblematic of the enduring U.S.-Japan relationship. This initiative follows plans by the National Park Service to remove trees, including cherry trees, as part of a sea wall restoration project in the area. Kishida’s decision to donate new trees was influenced by learning about the replacements planned after construction. Three trees have already been planted on the White House lawn.

This is what JPX had to say about cherry blossoms, springtime and the markets in a recent post on LinkedIn: “Spring has come to Tokyo! The stunning cherry blossoms are in full bloom! It’s that magical time of the year when the country is adorned with delicate pink petals, creating a breathtaking spectacle. Alongside the beautiful flowers, the Japanese market has been blooming, catching the eyes of both domestic and overseas investors. JPX will continue to flourish in Japanese markets for all related stakeholders.”

Seven foot four inch Purdue basketball player Zack Edey, who won back-to-back player of the year awards, is prevented in the U.S. from earning money from NIL, or name, image and likeness, contracts due to U.S. law because he is here on a U.S. student visa. He did find a way around this during the summer when Purdue spent two days in Canada playing a game, but he lost out on millions of dollars in NIL deals during his Purdue years.

The NCAA says nearly 13 percent of all athletes in Division I are international, with 17 percent playing basketball. Just for comparison, Iowa star Caitlin Clark, who also won back-to-back player of the year awards, has $3.1 million in known NIL deals, including with State Farm. Hopefully she is replacing Aaron Rodgers. The number one student athlete NIL earner is Bronny James, the son of LeBron James. Bronny, who played one year at USC amid health issues, just declared for the NBA draft.

Evidently I have been brushing my teeth wrong all my life. I rinse after brushing to get the toothpaste out of my mouth. According to some TikTok videos (and four out of five dentists?), one is supposed to skip rinsing so the fluoride stays on the teeth. The Washington Post has the story titled “Why dentists say you shouldn’t rinse after brushing.”

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


Our most read stories from our previous edition of JLN Options were:
Market Volatility Is Back. These Stocks Can Provide Shelter and Returns from Barron’s.
Top Goldman Sachs executive quits for hedge fund Millennium from the Financial Times.
Bond Traders Are Preparing for a 5% Yield, No-Rate-Cut World from Bloomberg. ~JB

Subscribe to the JLN Options Newsletter HERE (it’s free).


Cboe’s David Howson Talks Product Innovation and International Expansion at FIA Boca Conference

David Howson, Global President of Cboe Global Markets, spoke with John Lothian News in a video from FIA Boca 2024 as part of our Industry Leaders series sponsored by Wedbush. He shared Cboe’s global vision for 2024, saying the exchange is at an “inflection point” in its growth and is building out its global securities and derivatives network. “Last year we migrated Australia and Japan on to Cboe’s uniform technology platform,” he said.

Watch the video »


Will Anyone “Own” the LLM World? I hope not because its actually pretty cool and I’d like to see it stay that way.
Joe Schroeter – Joe’s Garage Blog
I go to this wonderful tech community thing called the Rocky Mountain AI Interest Group in Boulder, CO when I am not traveling for work. First of all, it is run fantastically by Dan Murray who has been at the forefront of creating other communities in the past. Credit RMAIIG and Dan for the above image. I barely know anything about AI, I have realized as I have sunk… I mean dived deeper into it. Approaching AI with a beginner’s mind is simple. But I’ve created my first custom GPT- a project charter wizard. That is a not so fancy way of saying I added context and examples to GPT 4 around the way I think charters should be done and to encourage people to actually do them in a way that grounds projects in the manner intended.

***** Joe Schoeter is humbly learning about AI.~JJL


Apple Signal of AI Intent Unleashes $112 Billion Stock Surge
Subrat Patnaik and Ryan Vlastelica – Bloomberg
The stock market has punished Apple Inc. this year for failing to offer a vision of where its future growth will come from. The shares caught a bid Thursday after the tech giant took a step toward providing an answer. Apple’s decision to overhaul its Mac computer line to focus on artificial intelligence, as reported by Bloomberg, struck a chord with investors, sending the stock up 4.3% and adding $112 billion in value in its best performance in nearly a year.

***** Apple surged, but my Apple stock holdings did not earn me quite enough to buy a new computer.~JJL


Elon Musk and the privatisation of defence; Governments have abdicated responsibility as billionaires become geopolitical actors
The Editorial Board – Financial Times
“Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me,” F Scott Fitzgerald wrote nearly a century ago. Even Fitzgerald could not have imagined how far the rich are now able to exert a direct influence over the lives of the less rich, and extend their reach into vital questions of security. The scope of Elon Musk’s ambition, for example – as chronicled in Walter Isaacson’s biography published this week – is startling. It extends from transforming how we drive, via electric car company Tesla, or how we think, via his ownership of X, formerly Twitter, to ensuring the survival of the human race with his plans to colonise Mars (his SpaceX company makes rockets).

***** While capitalism rewards innovation, reliance on billionaires for critical decisions raises questions about governance and oversight. As governments navigate this landscape, maintaining a balance between private enterprise and public interest becomes paramount.~JJL


War or No War, Ukrainians Aren’t Giving Up Their Coffee; Coffee shops and kiosks are everywhere in Ukraine’s capital, their popularity both an act of wartime defiance and a symbol of closer ties to the rest of Europe.
Constant Meheut and Daria Mitiuk – The New York Times
When Russian tanks first rolled into Ukraine more than two years ago, Artem Vradii was sure his business was bound to suffer. “Who would think about coffee in this situation?” thought Mr. Vradii, the co-founder of a Kyiv coffee roastery named Mad Heads. “Nobody would care.” But over the next few days after the invasion’s start, he started receiving messages from Ukrainian soldiers. One asked for bags of ground coffee because he could not stand the energy drinks supplied by the army. Another simply requested beans: He had brought his own grinder to the front.

****** I read this headline and I thought for a moment that Sarah Rudolph had some Ukrainian relatives. She would not give up her coffee amid war either.~JJL


Thursday’s Top Three
Our top clicked item on Thursday was our MarketsWiki page for Corties Draper, the host of JLN’s Futures Discovery video series, who just announced on LinkedIn that he has been accepted into the Master of Science in Management Science and Analytics program at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Second was Publication of JPX Working Paper, Vol.42 “Impact of optimization of the tick size for TOPIX Mid 400 constituents”, a press release from the Japan Exchange Group. Third was UN climate chief warns there are ‘two years to save the world’, from BusinessGreen.



Lead Stories

Cocoa and Coffee Prices Have Surged. Climate Change Will Only Take Them Higher; Some chocolatiers and coffee makers say they will have to pass on the extra cost to consumers
Joseph Hoppe and Giulia Petroni – The Wall Street Journal
Global prices for cocoa and coffee are surging as severe weather events hamper production in key regions, raising questions from farm to table over the long-term damage climate change could have on soft commodities. Cultivating cocoa and coffee requires very specific temperature, water and soil conditions. Now, more frequent heat waves, heavy rainfalls and droughts are damaging harvests and crippling supplies amid ever growing demand from customers worldwide. “Adverse weather conditions, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, have played an important role in sending several food commodities sharply higher,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.

Morgan Stanley’s Wealth Arm Probed by Multiple Federal Regulators; Focus is on whether firm sufficiently vets clients for money-laundering risk
AnnaMaria Andriotis – The Wall Street Journal
Multiple federal regulators are probing Morgan Stanley over how it vets clients who are at risk of laundering money through the bank’s sprawling wealth-management division. The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and other Treasury Department offices are involved, according to people familiar with the matter. That is in addition to the Federal Reserve, whose similar probe The Wall Street Journal reported in November. The Fed has told the bank that supervisory action is under consideration.

U.S. Foreign Investment Watchdog to Gain New Powers Under Administration Proposal; The plan would bulk up the enforcement authority of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. amid ongoing economic confrontation with China
Richard Vanderford – The Wall Street Journal
A panel that reviews foreign investments will get new powers to obtain information and levy higher fines under a proposal from the Treasury Department, a move that comes amid intense official scrutiny on U.S.-China investment flows. The proposal announced Thursday would allow Cfius, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., to more easily subpoena companies involved in corporate acquisitions and to expand the types of information it can require they turn over. Cfius would also be allowed to levy up to $5 million in fines for certain violations, up from $250,000.

More US regulators join Morgan Stanley wealth management probe; SEC, OCC and Treasury follow the Federal Reserve in looking into handling of potentially risky clients
Joshua Franklin – Financial Times
Three more US regulators have opened investigations into how Morgan Stanley’s wealth management division handles potentially risky clients, according to a person familiar with the matter. The business, which has been central to the bank’s growth in recent years, was already in the sights of the Federal Reserve over money laundering controls. Now the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Treasury are also involved, the person said.

Investment-Banking Fees Rise at JPMorgan, Citigroup
Charley Grant – The Wall Street Journal
Our long national nightmare is over: Investment bankers are once again raking in cash after a post-pandemic lull. JPMorgan booked just over $2 billion in first-quarter investment banking fees, up 21% from a year earlier. Revenue from underwriting bonds topped $1 billion in the quarter, up 51%, while stock underwriting fees grew by 58%. Fees from advising clients slipped by 21%. The picture was similarly bright at Citigroup: Dealmakers raked in a total of $977 million, up 32% year over year.

KKR co-CEOs predict revival in global IPO and takeover activity; Private equity pioneer looks to exit more investments as it pushes for goal of $1tn in assets
Antoine Gara – Financial Times
KKR, one of the pioneers of the $15tn private capital industry, is hastening plans to sell large investments or take them public after higher interest rates caused a two-year slowdown in takeovers and initial public offerings. Scott Nuttall and Joseph Bae, co-chief executives of the New York-based group, told the Financial Times they were seeing an improvement in activity to take portfolio companies public. KKR was also holding talks with large corporations and other private equity buyers about potential asset sales, they said.

IPO broker feels the need for speed; Introducing a UK market mixed motoring metaphor metric
Bryce Elder – Financial Times
Peel Hunt is continuing its mission to singlehandedly reanimate London’s equity capital markets. Today the City bank launches an “IPO speedometer” to give “a numerical score (0-60mph) for the health of the UK IPO market.” The speedometer indicates whether the window is open in increments between “closed” and “hot”, just like a car’s speedo doesn’t.

Prime money markets funds are in trouble; The SEC takes aim at institutional prime money market funds
FT Podcast
Three more US regulators have opened probes into Morgan Stanley, managers are planning to shut or convert US prime money market funds ahead of new regulations, and the European Central Bank held interest rates steady. Plus, sanctioned Russian oligarchs got a big win in a top EU court.

Trafigura’s Jeremy Weir: trader-in- chief seeks to draw a line under corruption scandals; The 59-year-old Australian has diversified the commodities house but has had to deal with a legacy of misconduct
Tom Wilson – Financial Times
The year Trafigura founder Claude Dauphin picked Jeremy Weir as his successor, the commodities trading house was still paying bribes to Brazilian officials for oil contracts. A decade later the payments have come back to haunt the company: it pleaded guilty in the US in March. But Weir said this is all in the past. “We have taken responsibility for the actions of those former employees,” Trafigura’s executive chair and chief executive said this week at the FT Commodities Global Summit in Lausanne. “To me it rules a line under this…and we are now moving forward.”

Bankman-Fried appeals FTX fraud conviction, 25-year sentence
Luc Cohen – Reuters
Sam Bankman-Fried, facing the prospect of spending much of his adult life behind bars, on Thursday appealed his conviction and 25-year prison sentence for stealing $8 billion from customers of the now-bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange he founded. Defense lawyer Marc Mukasey had announced plans for the appeal to the Manhattan-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals during Bankman-Fried’s March 28 sentencing hearing. The 32-year-old former billionaire crypto wunderkind was convicted in November on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy in what federal prosecutors have called one of the biggest financial frauds in U.S. history.

BP draws takeover interest from UAE oil giant
Alex Singleton – The Telegraph
The UAE’s state oil company has explored a multibillion pound takeover of BP in a sign that depressed stock market valuations in the UK have made even the biggest companies bid targets. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and BP spoke directly in recent months and Adnoc also sought advice from investment banks on a potential deal, sources told Reuters.

Swiss Women Open Litigation ‘Floodgates’ in New Era for Net Zero; ECHR ruling seen as template for action in nations like the UK; Countries need to show climate policies are based on science
Frances Schwartzkopff – Bloomberg
Lawyers have spent the past few days searching for superlatives strong enough to encapsulate what they say is a new world order surrounding climate litigation. The main takeaway, they all agree, is that the era of vague net zero pledges is over, and governments everywhere have just been put on notice. The trigger is a case heard by the European Court of Human Rights. In its April 9 ruling, the ECHR sided with a group of elderly Swiss women who said Switzerland violated their rights by contributing to climate change, which in turn exacerbated heat waves that ended up threatening their health.

How a Plan to Fix Fashion’s Waste Crisis Unraveled in Just 12 Months; The startup turned old clothes into pulp for new textiles. But its supply chain snags and lack of reliable customers are a warning sign for the industry.
Clara Hernanz Lizarraga – Bloomberg
When Renewcell AB opened its inaugural commercial factory in 2022, it was hailed as a beacon of hope for a more sustainable future in fashion. Launched in a repurposed paper mill in Sweden, the world’s first industrial-scale textile-to-textile recycling plant represented a project of unparalleled ambition that would pave the way for an entire new industry. Just over a year later, on Feb. 26, Renewcell filed for bankruptcy. The decision came four months after the public company issued a profit warning over slow sales of Circulose, the biodegradable pulp it makes from worn-out clothes and cotton waste, which can be turned into fresh textile fiber. While Renewcell had signed supply agreements with two major fiber manufacturers – and could produce up to 60,000 metric tons of Circulose per year – it only sold 18,000 tons of the material in 2023, less than half of what it needed to break even. Multiple fiber manufacturers told Renewcell the same thing: They would only buy more pulp if fashion brands put in more orders for materials made from it.

World coal capacity growth jeopardises peak emissions forecasts; Global fleet increases in 2023 as China brings on new plants and the pace of closures slows in EU and US
Jana Tauschinski and Aditi Bhandari – Financial Times
The global coal fleet grew by 2 per cent last year, mainly driven by new capacity additions in China and a slow down of closures in the EU and the US, the latest data shows. The new data found that coal capacity outside of China increased for the first time since 2019, according to the non-profit research group Global Energy Monitor, as less coal power was retired than in any single year of the past decade.

Private investors ramp up gilt purchases; UK government bond purchases soar on DIY platforms as expectations for faster rate cuts fade
Mary McDougall – Financial Times
Private investors have piled into UK government bonds this year to lock in attractive yields as the Bank of England has kept interest rates at a 16-year high. Hargreaves Lansdown, the UK’s largest do-it-yourself investment platform, said gilt purchases in the first three months of 2024 were three times higher than the same quarter last year, with gilts “by far and away” its most popular fixed-income product, according to Tom Lee, the company’s head of trading.

Dimon Warns of ‘Unsettling’ Pressures as JPMorgan Reports Earnings; Warnings from the chief executive of the nation’s largest bank have been consistently at odds with heady financial markets.
Rob Copeland – The New York Times
Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, on Friday warned of an “unsettling” global landscape, highlighting a cascade of pressures including war, rising geopolitical tensions and inflation that threaten the economy and could weigh on the performance of the nation’s largest bank. Mr. Dimon’s remarks, made concurrently with his bank’s quarterly earnings report – which showed weakness in some parts of the business – add to his litany of concerns about the U.S. economy as the Federal Reserve grapples with when or whether to lower interest rates, particularly in light of this week’s hotter-than-expected inflation data.

Fireside Friday with… S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Michael Richter; The TRADE speaks to Michael Richter, global head of trading analytics at S&P Global Market intelligence, about the evolving use of TCA, the value that can be derived from trade analytics, and key areas for growth among various asset classes.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
How has the use of TCA evolved over the years?
There is an incredible, unquenchable thirst for data and trading performance numbers that is growing and growing. Some of this has been regulatory driven of course but there remains the quest – and rightly so – to utilise TCA for actionable insight and additional alpha and the users are getting smarter and smarter in how they approach this.

Ukraine Invasion

Ukraine isn’t the only country Russia is trying to topple
Michael Peck – Business Insider
To Russia, the Ukraine war and the “gray zone” fights beyond it are two sides of the same coin. “Russia is using unconventional methods to expand its influence, evade containment, and destabilize and disrupt its adversaries – and is making progress in several directions,” a report by Britain’s Royal United Services Institute think tank warned. This includes covert operations in Europe, mercenaries operating across Africa, and establishing links with Muslim communities in Central Asia and Europe.

US proposes debt to fund Ukraine using profits from frozen Russian assets; Hope that Washington’s idea could generate tens of billions in cash for Kyiv
Isobel Koshiw, Guy Chazan and Paola Tamma and Laura Dubois – Financial Times
The US has proposed raising tens of billions of euros in debt for Ukraine secured against the future profits generated by Russian state assets that have been frozen by western countries. The G7 group of nations has been split on what to do with EUR260bn worth of Russian assets put on hold by the west since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Activists trigger referendum that could end Swiss sanctions on Russia; Campaign seeks to tighten terms of country’s long-held neutrality in era of geopolitical and trade tensions
Sam Jones – Financial Times
Activists in Switzerland have triggered a referendum on proposals that would end the country’s harsh economic sanctions on Russia and rule out any punitive restrictions on trade with China. A delegation for the “Neutrality Initiative” handed in a petition of 130,000 signatures to government officials in Bern on Thursday, making a national vote on a constitutional amendment proposed by the campaign group almost certain to go ahead in the next few months.

Israel/Palestine Conflict

Israel Wins Gaza Battles but Risks Losing the War; Tactical gains haven’t achieved Israel’s strategic goals, and many in Israel’s military blame Netanyahu for avoiding hard political decisions.
Marcus Walker and Shayndi Raice – The Wall Street Journal
For six months, Israel’s military has won battle after battle against Hamas. But as the fight loses momentum and postconflict plans fail to gel, Israel is facing the prospect of losing the war. The invasion of the Gaza Strip is stalling. Most Israeli troops have gone home. And Hamas is returning to areas that previously had been cleared of militants. International pressure and the challenges of taking on fighters burrowed into a civilian population have combined to impede efforts to root Hamas out of the enclave’s refugee-packed south.

Iranian Attack Expected on Israel in Next Two Days; Israel is preparing for an imminent direct attack from Iran; Tehran yet to decide, says person briefed on the matter
Dov Lieber, Benoit Faucon and Warren P. Strobel – The Wall Street Journal
Israel is preparing for a direct attack from Iran on southern or northern Israel as soon as Friday or Saturday, according to a person familiar with the matter. A person briefed by the Iranian leadership, however, said that while plans to attack are being discussed, no final decision has been made. Iran has publicly threatened to retaliate for an attack last week in Damascus, Syria, that Tehran said was an Israeli airstrike on a diplomatic building. The strike killed top Iranian military officials, including a senior member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force.

War by algorithm raises new moral dangers; Israel’s use of an AI-enabled targeting system in Gaza has fed the debate about military technology
John Thornhill – Financial Times (opinion)
One of our worst nightmares about artificial intelligence is that it will enable killer robots to stalk the battlefield dispensing algorithmically-determined death and destruction. But the real world is a lot messier than the comic books. As Israel’s bombardment of Gaza shows, we may be moving towards more invisible and insidious forms of automated decision-making in warfare. A chilling report published last week by the Israeli online magazine +972 highlighted the heavy reliance of the Israel Defence Forces early in the war on an AI-enabled mass target-generation system known as Lavender, which flagged 37,000 Gazans as suspected Hamas militants. As a result, many were bombed in their homes, often killing their families too.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

SGX total securities market turnover value down 15% y-o-y to $23.79 bil in March
Jovi Ho – The Edge Singapore
The Singapore Exchange (SGX) Group has reported a total securities market turnover value of $23.79 billion in March, down 15% y-o-y and down 5% m-o-m, with the same 20 trading days as February. Securities daily average value (DAV) on SGX Securities shrank 4.9% m-o-m in March to $1.19 billion. Growth was driven by active trading around earnings releases and rebalancing of indices during the quarter, while retail net buying increased across all stock segments, says SGX on April 12.

Fixed Income market briefing April 2024
Lee Bartholomew – Eurex
Double-digit growth in the first quarter for Fixed Income and Currencies at Eurex. In this update, I’ll provide an overview of the key topics and focus areas for the FIC derivatives business. As outlined at the beginning of the year, we have three key focus areas: STIR, Credit and FX. These are markets we believe will help develop and further strengthen our portfolio.

Forfeiture of Unclaimed Final Dividend for 2017
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
As provided in the Articles of Association of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited(“HKEX”), any dividend unclaimed after a period of six years from the date for payment of such dividend shall be forfeited and shall revert to HKEX. Accordingly, HKEX’s final dividend for 2017 of HK$2.85 per share, payable on 1 June 2018 and remaining unclaimed on 1 June 2024, will be forfeited and will revert to HKEX. Members entitled to but yet to receive the dividend payments or cash in their dividend warrants in respect of the dividends payable by HKEX since 2018 are advised to contact HKEX’s registrar, Hong Kong Registrars Limited, at 17M Floor, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong as soon as possible.

Caution for Investors
It has been brought to the notice of the Exchange that entity named “Praveen Gupta” is operating through mobile numbers 9520707107 and with the help of website: and mobile application: for providing illegal dabba trading platform and misusing the Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd. (MCX) Brand name. It may be noted that MCX is in no way connected to such illegal dabba trading platform. A police complaint is filed in this regard. It may be further noted that “Praveen Gupta”, is neither a member nor an Authorized Person of any of the Member of the Exchange.

Nasdaq March 2024 Volumes and 1Q24 Statistics
Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) today reported monthly volumes for March 2024, as well as quarterly volumes, estimated revenue capture, number of listings, and index statistics for the quarter ended March 31, 2024 on its investor relations website. A data sheet showing this information can be found at:

SGX Group reports market statistics for March 2024
SGX Group
Record commodity, FX derivatives activity in March caps strong first quarter; Retail net buying increases across all stock segments. Singapore Exchange (SGX Group) today released its market statistics for March 2024. Record trading activity in commodity and foreign exchange (FX) derivatives during the month drove volumes for the quarter, while retail net buying increased across all stock segments. Derivatives traded volume rose 10% month-on-month (m-o-m) in March to 24 million contracts. For the January-to-March quarter, volume climbed to 70.4 million contracts, 12% higher over the same period last year. Daily average volume (DAV) for the quarter gained 14% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 1.2 million contracts. The average fee per contract for equity, currency and commodity derivatives for January-to-March was S$1.54.

National Stock Exchange and Pahle India Foundation unveil a comprehensive compendium of financial sector policy briefs
National Stock Exchange of India
A selection of relevant policy suggestions in the field of ESG; National Stock Exchange of India (NSE), in collaboration with Pahle India Foundation (PIF), announced the launch of an exclusive compendium summarizing the insights and discussions from a series of 11 seminars focused on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG). This landmark publication was unveiled at a special event, at NSE headquarters, attended by industry leaders, policymakers, and sustainability advocates.

Status of Proof of Concept Testing for HTML Disclosure of Earnings Reports (Kessan Tanshin) (as of the end of February 2024)
JPX Market Innovation & Research, Inc.(JPXI)hereby announces the status of Proof of Concept testing for HTML disclosure of earnings reports*1 (hereinafter referred to as “the PoC testing”) promoted by JPXI as of the end of February 2024. As we have recently announced*2, that submission of HTML files of earnings reports and quarterly earnings reports for accounting periods from April 1, 2024 will be “mandatory” for listed companies*3. Accordingly, the PoC testing will end with the transition to the new system in July 2024.


Energy-Guzzling AI Is Also the Future of Energy Savings Data centers need more power because of artificial intelligence-but other buildings can use the technology to conserve
Carol Ryan – The Wall Street Journal
Artificial intelligence data centers are becoming so ravenous for power that they threaten to max out electricity grids. Yet one of the technology’s least glamorous uses-finding ways to pinch pennies on energy bills in homes and commercial buildings-could ease the crunch.

Fine porcelain maker Maruwa becomes the hottest bet for cooling AI data centres; Japanese ceramics manufacturer’s two centuries of pottery experience help it take the heat out of the latest technology
Leo Lewis – Financial Times
A Japanese company with more than two centuries of history in ceramic art and fine porcelain tableware has emerged as a surprise beneficiary of the rise of generative AI, electric vehicles and the technology sector’s intensifying war against heat. Shares of Maruwa, which dominates globally in a range of specialist ceramics, have almost doubled over the past year and leapt to an all-time high since the start of April.

Google investing $1 billion to boost connectivity to Japan via two subsea cables
Granth Vanaik – Reuters
Google will invest $1 billion to improve digital connectivity between the U.S. and Japan through two new subsea cables, the Alphabet-owned firm said on Wednesday amid a visit by the Japanese prime minister to boost ties between the countries. The two subsea cables, Proa and Taihei, will improve connectivity between the U.S., Japan and multiple Pacific island countries and territories, Google said in a blog post.


US cyber agency says Russian hackers used Microsoft access to steal government emails
Raphael Satter – Reuters
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said Russian government-backed hackers have used their access to Microsoft’s email system to steal correspondence between officials and the tech giant, an emergency directive by the U.S. watchdog released on Thursday showed. In the directive dated April 2, the agency warned that hackers were exploiting authentication details shared by email to try to break into Microsoft’s customer systems, including those of an unspecified number of government agencies.

Report finds that only 5% of businesses have a cyber expert
Security Magazine
A report by Bitsight and Diligent, which includes contributions from 4,000 medium to large-sized companies across the globe, has found that only 5% of businesses have a cyber expert as a member of staff. At the same time, a correlation was found between strong cybersecurity measures and higher financial performance. In fact, cybersecure companies typically produce a financial performance that is four times higher than those that do not.


Crypto Derivatives Exchange Stream Trading Raises $1.5M in Seed Funding
Danny Nelson – Bloomberg
The company building Stream Finance, one of the Ethereum blockchain’s newest crypto derivatives platforms, has raised $1.5 million from Polychain and a handful of angel investors. Stream Trading raised its seed round at a $20 million valuation, founder Diogenes Casares said in an interview with CoinDesk. He and co-founder Solal Afota built the team quickly to capitalize on this year’s crypto bull market, which is paying fat dividends for trading platforms across decentralized finance (DeFi).

Hong Kong digital assets exchange warns over viability of city’s new crypto rules; Licensed trading facility looks overseas as 24 companies vie for regulatory approval
William Langley and Chan Ho-him – Financial Times
The chief executive of one of Hong Kong’s two licensed cryptocurrency exchanges has hit out at the city’s new approach to trading digital assets, saying it could restrict access to global clients. Hong Kong’s new regime for crypto exchanges, which is part of its push to become a hub for the industry, required exchanges operating in the city to apply for regulatory approval by February this year, with 24 companies making bids for the highly prized licences.

Welcome to crypto archipelago; One tiny, lightly regulated African nation plays an oversized role in global token trade
Bryce Elder – Financial Times
The IMF last week published a working paper on cross-border bitcoin flows. Its main conclusion is interesting, but not that surprising: when there’s dollar volatility or a change in risk appetite, flows logged on the official blockchain (used mostly by whale traders/crypto exchanges) move inversely to regular assets’. Off-chain transactions, bitcoin’s equivalent of over-the-counter trading, carry on as usual. For a full discussion of how and why, the PDF is here.

Should UK investors have easier access to crypto? Despite government pledges to make Britain a leader in digital assets, retail investors remain without regulated options
Scott Chipolina – Financial Times
Cryptocurrency investors and firms in the UK are expressing frustration at being left behind their US counterparts, after US regulators approved several mainstream products that have made it easier than ever for the investing public to buy bitcoin.

Grayscale Bitcoin ETF Sees Record Lowest Daily Outflow of $18M
Shaurya Malwa – CoinDesk
Grayscale’s bitcoin {{BTC}} exchange-traded fund (ETF) logged about $18 million in outflows on Wednesday, a record-low figure since it first went live in January, Bitmex Research and Farside Investors said in posts on X. The figures come a day after Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein said he sees outflows from the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) reaching an “equilibrium” as selling activity connected to settlements of bankrupt crypto companies like FTX was “largely behind us.”

Hong Kong’s Incoming Spot Bitcoin ETFs Could Be ‘Big Deal.’ Here’s What Analysts Say
Krisztian Sandor – Bloomberg


A drone factory in Utah is at the epicenter of anti-China fervor; After struggling for years for survival, U.S. small drone manufacturers are getting a second shot, despite prices many times higher than China’s DJI
Eva Dou – The Washington Post
When George Matus was in high school in Salt Lake City, he had a vision of small drones flitting at people’s shoulders to help them explore. At 17, he founded Teal Drones, named after a speedy breed of duck. “At the beginning, it was more focused on the joy of flight,” Matus said. But after launching Teal Drones in 2015, Matus was soon struggling to keep it afloat. A drone-maker in China called DJI had dominated the global market with sleek, easy-to-use consumer drones at prices that were simply impossible for a U.S.-based company to match.

U.S. and Russia Pursue Secret Prisoner Swap Talks, Russian Diplomat Says; Discussion could include the potential release of jailed Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich
Ann M. Simmons – The Wall Street Journal
The U.S. and Russia are using a confidential channel to discuss the issue of exchanging prisoners that could include the release of jailed Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, a senior Russian diplomat said Thursday. mRussian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters that “dialogue on this topic is being conducted through a specialized closed channel,” but said he wasn’t authorized to comment on the exchange of information or “the signals that pass through this channel,” Russia’s state news agency TASS reported.

Europe’s farmers are in revolt and the far right is trying to make hay
Emily Rauhala and Virgile Demoustier – The Washington Post
The farmers standing with their arms crossed outside a sheep barn in rural Brittany were absolutely furious, completely en colère. For a visiting centrist politician, that made for an earful. For Europe’s far right, it has provided an opening. In recent months, angry agricultural workers have rolled their tractors into Paris and other cities across Europe, blocking roads, spraying manure and setting things on fire. Farmers are mad about high costs and low prices, about the prospect of free trade deals, about the constraints of climate regulations, about what they say is a failure of political elites to understand what it means to grow wheat or raise sheep.

Belgium Opens Probe Into Alleged Political Meddling by Russia
Lyubov Pronina – Bloomberg
Belgium may prosecute people for interfering in European-wide elections as part of an effort to combat Russian disinformation, its prime minister said Friday. “Our federal prosecutor has started an investigation which is based on the declassified report that our intelligence services have brought out,” Alexander De Croo told reporters in Brussels. “Our judicial authorities have now confirmed that this interference is subject to a prosecution.”

Russia paid pro-Kremlin lawmakers to influence EU elections, says Belgium; Authorities investigating cash payments to MEPs ahead of June vote, says PM Alexander De Croo
Andy Bounds – Financial Times
Russia has paid members of the European parliament to peddle Kremlin propaganda and help more pro-Russian politicians get elected in June, according to the Belgian prime minister. Alexander De Croo told journalists on Friday that Belgian prosecutors have launched a probe into a cash payment scheme targeting politicians across Europe, including in the Brussels-based EU parliament.

Opinion: Russia killed Ukrainian athletes. The Olympics should ban it entirely.
Lee Hockstader – The Washington Post


Federal Reserve Board announces approval of application by Provident Financial Services, Inc.
Board of Governors of Federal Reserve System
The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday announced its approval of the application by Provident Financial Services, Inc., of Jersey City, New Jersey, to merge with Lakeland Bancorp, Inc., of Oak Ridge, New Jersey, and thereby indirectly acquire its subsidiary bank, Lakeland Bank, of Newfoundland, New Jersey.

Gag orders are still hampering federal whistleblowers, agency warns
Joe Davidson – The Washington Post
Donald Trump is no longer president, but Washington’s problems with nondisclosure agreements remain. The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is forcefully instructing federal agencies and employees that NDAs do not supersede whistleblower rights. But first, when writing about the OSC, an agency with a confusing name that’s led by special counsel Hampton Dellinger, it’s important to note that this is not a Justice Department special counsel, like Jack Smith, who is prosecuting Trump’s classified documents case. OSC says its “primary mission is to safeguard the merit system by protecting federal employees and applicants from prohibited personnel practices … especially reprisal for whistleblowing.”

U.K.’s antitrust watchdog sounds the alarm over Big Tech AI grip as it uncovers an ‘interconnected web’
Tiffany Tsoi, Shona Ghosh and Bloomberg – Fortune
Britain’s antitrust watchdog warned that investments in artificial intelligence by the likes of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Apple Inc., and Microsoft Corp. warrant deeper scrutiny over concerns they are being leveraged to further entrench their market power.

Opening Remarks of Chairman Rostin Behnam at the CFTC and the Center for Risk Management Education and Research (CRMER) at Kansas State University AgCon 2024
Good afternoon and welcome back to AgCon. Traveling to Kansas City, leaving Washington, engaging in person, listening, answering the hard questions, and working toward finding solutions for America’s farmers and ranchers-this is an always has been my number one priority. I couldn’t be prouder to lead the return of this conference.

Opening Statement of Commissioner Kristin N. Johnson: The State of Access to Credit and the Benefits and Challenges of AI and Automation in Farming
Good morning. I am very pleased to join everyone for this Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC) meeting. I thank Chair Behnam and Swati Shah, Designated Federal Officer for the AAC, as well as Scott Herndon, President, Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, for their efforts to organize today’s meeting. I look forward to hearing and learning about liquidity, interest margin, access to credit through farm lending, interest rate risk, and land values in farming communities as well as options growth in the farming community.

Keynote Address of Ian McGinley Before the New York City Bar Association Futures and Derivatives Committee Conference
Thank you for that kind introduction. It is an honor to deliver today’s keynote address, particularly to so many sophisticated members of the derivatives bar. I always appreciate this audience-I can drop “contango” and “backwardation” into speeches without any explanation or anyone looking at me funny. But I promise not to focus on those concepts today.

Federal Court Sanctions Nevada Metals Trader for Spoofing in Gold and Silver Markets
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada entered a consent order on April 9, resolving CFTC charges that Daniel Shak of Las Vegas, Nevada engaged in spoofing and in a manipulative and deceptive scheme in the gold and silver futures markets in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations.

SEC Charges Five Investment Advisers for Marketing Rule Violations
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced settled charges against five registered investment advisers for Marketing Rule violations. All five firms have agreed to settle the SEC’s charges and to pay $200,000 in combined penalties.

SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Justin Robert King for an Offering Fraud
On March 27, 2024, the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a final judgment against Justin Robert King, an unregistered investment adviser the SEC charged with carrying out an offering fraud.

SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Zachary Horwitz in Connection With a $690 Million Ponzi Scheme
On February 14, 2024, the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a final judgment against Zachary Horwitz, who the SEC charged with an alleged Ponzi scheme that raised over $690 million.

NFA orders Princeton, N.J. commodity pool operator Investments LLC not to reapply for NFA membership
April 11, Chicago-NFA has ordered Investments LLC ( Investments), a former NFA Member commodity pool operator and forex firm located in Princeton, N.J., not to reapply for membership or act as a principal of an NFA Member at any time in the future.

MAS Monetary Policy Statement – April 2024
1. In the January 2024 Monetary Policy Statement (MPS), MAS maintained the rate of appreciation of the Singapore dollar nominal effective exchange rate (S$NEER) policy band, with no change to the width of the band or level at which it was centred. Since then, the S$NEER has continued to strengthen in the upper half of the appreciating policy band.

Investing and Trading

Vitol’s Millionaire Traders Aren’t Motivated by Money, CEO Says
Jack Farchy and Archie Hunter – Bloomberg
The next chief executive officer of Vitol Group should be someone who enjoys the business of trading commodities and is not just motivated by money, the current boss of the energy giant said in an interview. Succession is one of the key issues facing the commodity trading world, which is also enjoying its most profitable period ever – leading to questions about whether companies will be able to retain already exceptionally wealthy traders. Vitol and its biggest rivals, most of which are privately owned, have minted a number of new billionaires and $100 millionaires across their top ranks in recent years.

Gold Futures Hit New Record on Central Bank Buying, Safe-Haven Demand
Joseph Hoppe – The Wall Street Journal
Gold futures have set another record high, with the rally driven by central bank purchases, safe-haven demand and geopolitical tensions. June futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange were recently up 1.7% at $2,413.5 a troy ounce, having hit a fresh all-time high of $2,416.5 earlier in the session. They have gained 4.6% over the last week and over 14% in the year to date.

More Companies Are Defaulting Over and Over Again, S&P Says
Jill R. Shah – Bloomberg
The percentage of companies that have defaulted on their debt more than once has reached its second highest level since 2008, according to a new report from S&P Global Ratings. Around 35% of total global defaults in 2023 were by issuers that are “re-defaulters,” a trend that’s also dampening recoveries, Nicole Serino, director of credit research and insights at the ratings company, said in a report. That’s in part because of an increase in the number of issuers with ratings of B- or below, which have high levels of debt.

Robusta Coffee Hits Fresh Record High as Shortage Fears Mount
Mumbi Gitau – Bloomberg
Robusta coffee climbed to a fresh record in London on worries that poorer output will fuel bean shortages. The arabica variety also rallied and cocoa neared its recent all-time high. Futures for robusta, the cheaper coffee type used in instant drinks, rose as much as 2.4% to the highest in data going back to 2008. Prices are up 5.4% this week and have been driven higher by less output in top robusta grower Vietnam and low inventories.

What eight centuries of data tell us about interest rates; Research suggests that these have long been in steady decline
Gillian Tett – Financial Times (opinion)
These are treacherous times for bond traders. A couple of months ago, the market consensus was that the US Federal Reserve would cut interest rates six times this year, starting imminently. By Wednesday, however, investors had slashed their expectations so dramatically that many now expect cuts to be delayed to November. Indeed, a slew of higher-than-expected inflation data prompted Lawrence Summers, former Treasury secretary, to warn that the next move might even be up – not down.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Climate targets group under fire over Bezos-backed carbon offsets decision; Staff revolt at Science Based Targets initiative policy on how companies can claim net zero emissions
Kenza Bryan – Financial Times
The world’s leading arbiter of corporate climate targets is under fire from staff after a decision to allow controversial carbon credits in dealing with emissions, an approach backed by its key financial supporter, the Bezos Earth Fund, according to people familiar with the matter. The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a verification body backed by a coalition of non-profit groups, has faced a staff revolt since its board pronounced this week that the companies it assesses would be allowed to use carbon offsets at scale to meet their climate pledges.

SBTi: Board accused of ‘damaging trust’ as row over role of carbon offsets escalates
James Murray – BusinessGreen
SBTi: Board accused of ‘damaging trust’ as row over role of carbon offsets escalates. ‘Overwhelming majority’ of SBTi staff accuse board of trustees of ‘undermining our Standard Operating Procedures and governance processes’
The row at the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) over the role of carbon offsets in counting towards corporate net zero targets is showing no signs of resolution, after an ‘overwhelming majority’ of staff at the non-profit accused the board of trustees of having run roughshod over the organisation’s governance procedures.

Comment: The new U.S. federal disclosure rule is an important step towards a water-secure future
Kirsten James – Reuters
As companies, and their lawyers, dive into analyzing what the new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s climate disclosure rule means for them, they should be sure to take a good look at the requirements around water risks. In a notable step forward, the SEC integrated water-related financial risks into the first-ever federal rule that requires all U.S. public companies to disclose material climate risks. This is historic for the U.S. and, while not perfect in scope, it is part of the strong global momentum – both regulatory and voluntary – behind increased transparency around water risk.

Trouble in the Water: Hawaii’s Climate Crisis
CBS News
Long before there was a crisis in Hawaii involving flames, there was a crisis involving water: water that climate change was drying up, scarce water going to tourist activities instead of locals, and then tainted water that poisoned thousands with jet fuel from Red Hill. Months before the Maui wildfires, CBS News traveled to O’ahu to see what experts call an immense and existential threat to life on the island.

The Airline Industry’s Biggest Climate Challenge: A Lack of Clean Fuel; Tallow, sugarcane and even carbon dioxide can be used to make sustainable aviation fuel. But there’s not nearly enough to meet airlines’ goals.
Ben Elgin – Bloomberg
In a glimmer of progress for the daunting task of reducing air travel’s climate impact, a newly built plant in rural Georgia is expected to begin pumping out the world’s first commercial quantities of a new type of cleaner jet fuel this month. The $200 million plant from LanzaJet Inc. will be the first to turn ethanol into a fuel compatible with jet engines. The facility is one of many efforts around the globe attempting to crack one of the biggest problems facing greener air travel: finding and developing cleaner feedstocks that can generate enormous quantities of fuel without triggering ripple effects that end up worsening the climate and biodiversity crises.

Apple loses bid to throw out UK lawsuit over App Store fees
Sam Tobin and Martin Coulter- Reuters

‘We’re like Noah’s ark’ says animal shelter in flooded Russian city

How to Reach Net Zero Within a Capitalist System; On this episode of Merryn Talks Money, we discuss how business and government can work together to fight global warming.
Merryn Somerset Webb – Bloomberg


Morgan Stanley Drops on Report of US Probes Into Wealth Unit
Sridhar Natarajan – Bloomberg
Morgan Stanley shares fell the most in five months after a report that a cadre of US regulators are scrutinizing the firm’s efforts to prevent potential money laundering by wealthy clients. The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and other Treasury Department offices are digging into whether the New York-based bank has done enough to investigate the identities of risky clients, the Wall Street Journal wrote, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. The Federal Reserve was already known to be looking into those controls last year.

Citi profit drops as costs rise for employee severance, deposit insurance
Manya Saini and Tatiana Bautzer – Reuters
Citigroup’s profit fell in the first quarter as it spent more on severance payments for laid-off employees and set aside money to refill a government deposit insurance fund. Net income fell to $3.4 billion, or $1.58 per share, in the three months ended March 31, the bank said on Friday. That compares with $4.6 billion, or $2.19 per share, a year earlier.

JPMorgan profits rose 6% in 1Q but Dimon warns of ‘persistent inflationary pressures’
David Hollerith – Yahoo Finance
Profits for JPMorgan Chase (JPM) rose 6% in the first quarter to $13.4 billion, beating Wall Street expectations, even as its boss offered some warnings about the road ahead for the US economy. “Many economic indicators continue to be favorable,” JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said. “However, looking ahead, we remain alert to a number of significant uncertain forces.”

Wells Fargo NII Misses Estimates as Depositor Pressure Grows
Hannah Levitt and Jenny Surane – Bloomberg
Wells Fargo & Co. missed estimates for net interest income in the first quarter, a sign that muted loan growth and increased pressure to pay out more for deposits are eating into the benefit of higher rates. The firm earned $12.2 billion in NII in the first three months of the year, according to a statement Friday, down 8.3% from a year earlier and slightly less than the $12.3 billion analysts expected. Still, overall revenue topped estimates, aided by an increase in investment advisory fees and brokerage commissions.

Top Goldman Sachs executive quits for hedge fund Millennium; Izzy Englander poaches latest partner from Wall Street bank, where David Solomon faces fresh unrest
Harriet Agnew in London and Joshua Franklin and Ortenca Aliaj in New York – Financial Times
Goldman Sachs’ global treasurer, Philip Berlinski, is leaving the bank after 24 years for New York-based hedge fund Millennium Management, according to two people familiar with the situation. Goldman has proved fertile hunting ground for Millennium founder Izzy Englander, who has tapped several of the bank’s partners for roles at his $62.2bn hedge fund as he moves to build out the management ranks of the 35-year-old firm.

State Street’s SSGA cuts European ETF listings to boost liquidity; Listings with low trading volumes suffer from ‘reduced liquidity at a higher price’, manager says
Alf Wilkinson – Financial Times

State Street posts record Q1 AUM, profit falls on higher expenses

Risk of 1987-Style Meltdown Sparks Ruffer’s Record Cash Bet
Greg Ritchie and Michael Mackenzie – Bloomberg

Cathie Wood Muscles Into ChatGPT Boom With New OpenAI Stake
Ed Ludlow and Isabelle Lee – Bloomberg

BlackRock Now Manages Nearly $10.5 Trillion in Assets
Hannah Miao – The Wall Street Journal

Work & Management

Exxon chief earns four times as much as bosses at Shell and BP; The $40mn pay packet for Darren Woods comes amid debate in London about transatlantic valuation gap
Myles McCormick – Financial Times
ExxonMobil’s chief executive collected a pay packet last year worth almost four times that of bosses at rivals BP and Shell, underlining the vast disparity between European and US remuneration in the booming oil sector. Darren Woods received salary, stock options and a bonus amounting to $36.9mn in 2023, the US’s biggest oil company reported in a securities filing on Thursday. That was $1mn more than the previous year.

Workplace wellbeing programs don’t work; here’s what actually helps
Dara Flynn – The Hill
Nobody needs to be reminded that you spend the majority of your waking life at work. Your job has the capacity to impact your mental health (and by extension, your physical health) as much as – if not more than – any other aspect of your world. This puts your employer in a unique position. The company culture they adopt has the ability to directly influence your health. In order to attract top talent, many firms have been engaging (intentionally or otherwise) in wellbeing washing, with well signposted positivity initiatives, glossy mindfulness portals and other ‘mental health buffet’ items.

Wellness Exchange

A history of hypochondria wonders why we worry; In ‘A Body Made of Glass,’ Caroline Crampton writes about the ways in which society has thought about diagnosis and delusion
Becca Rothfeld – The Washington Post
In the late 14th century, a spate of patients scattered across Europe developed an unusual delusion: They came to believe that their bodies were made of glass. Those suffering from this bizarre affliction were terrified of shattering – at least one of them insisted on sleeping in heaps of straw so as to prevent any mishaps. But to modern-day hypochondriacs, this archaic phobia might represent both a fear and a perverse fantasy. A glass person would be perilously breakable, but her condition would also be blissfully transparent.

How Climate Change Is Intensifying Dangerous Diseases
Jason Gale – Bloomberg
As greenhouse gas emissions collect in the atmosphere and the Earth becomes a hotter place to live, it’s expected to become more disease-stricken, too. Biting insects and waterborne bugs that spread dreaded illnesses such as malaria and cholera thrive in the warm, damp conditions often created by climate change. Episodes of extreme weather are likely to make things worse. There’s already some evidence of climate change impacting disease. Candida auris, a new type of yeast first seen in 2009, has spread globally in association with increasing temperatures, prompting some researchers to speculate that it’s the first example of a new disease-causing fungus emerging from human-induced global warming.


The $2bn dirty-money case that rocked Singapore
Kelly Ng – BBC News
A Singaporean court has begun handing out sentences in a sensational case, which saw 10 Chinese nationals charged for laundering $2.2bn (£1.8bn) earned from criminal activities abroad. The scandal embroiled multiple banks, property agents, precious metal traders and a top golf club. It led to extensive raids in some of the most affluent neighbourhoods, where police seized billions in cash and assets. The lurid details have gripped Singaporeans – among the seized assets were 152 properties, 62 vehicles, shelves of luxury bags and watches, hundreds of pieces of jewellery and thousands of bottles of alcohol.

Japan to collaborate on Chinese payment services with joint QR code; Industry aims to start mutual use in Southeast Asia, India by Osaka 2025 Expo
Efforts are underway between Japan and other Asian countries to allow mutual access and use of QR code payment services that are popular in their own countries. Japan has started talks with Southeast Asian countries and India to enable joint use of the digital payment services by 2025. Yoshio Fukuda, general director of the Payments Japan Association, which operates the country’s standardized QR code payment system called JPQR, said Japan will also collaborate with individual Chinese digital payment services, in a recent interview with Nikkei.

Historic BOJ Move Lifts Short-Term Costs for Japanese Firms
Ayai Tomisawa – Bloomberg
Many Japanese companies are paying more to raise money from shorter-tenor notes as the Bank of Japan prepares to wind down corporate bond purchases as part of its historic move away from ultra-accommodative policy. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Panasonic Finance Co. on Friday sold three-year yen notes at a much higher premium than corporate bonds offered before the central bank scrapped the world’s last negative interest rate on March 19. Top-rated Toyota Finance Corp. last week priced a three-year note at a significantly wider spread than lower-rated Sony Group Corp.’s deal in March.

Norway says ‘nei’ to private equity; For now at least
Robin Wigglesworth – Financial Times
Woe, thy name is private equity. The Norwegian government has once again nixed the $1.6tn sovereign wealth fund’s desire to add LBOs to its investment mandate. This wasn’t entirely unexpected, given that every CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management has at some point asked if they can invest in private equity, but been turned down by various governments. Perhaps this is just a rite of passage that NBIM’s podcaster-in-chief Nicolai Tangen had to go through.

High-speed trader XTX Markets to build vast data centre in Finland
Nikou Asgari – Financial Times
UK high-speed trader XTX Markets is building a vast data centre in Finland to handle the information for the $250bn worth of deals that it makes every day, bucking the trend among financial services groups to offload IT to Silicon Valley’s biggest technology groups. The London-based market maker, which uses complex algorithms to buy and sell, is building a site with a 250 megawatt capacity in the Kajaani district in central Finland. The first building will manage computing power of 22.5MW, according to figures seen by the Financial Times.

EU pledges Egypt 1 billion euros in financial aid

Sweden will miss its climate goals without policy changes, environment agency says
Greta Rosen Fondahn – Reuters

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Past JLN Newsletters

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SEC Charges Intercontinental Exchange and Nine Affiliates Including the New York Stock Exchange with Failing to Inform the Commission of a Cyber Intrusion; The crypto Congress: Momentum builds for ‘most significant’ digital-asset law in history

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