Court deals blow to SEC in battle with exchanges over fees

Jun 17, 2020

First Read

Walt Lukken Invites you to Attend FIA IDX-V

FIA President and CEO Walt Lukken invites you to attend IDX-V on June 23 to 25 in this video shot in his home and edited by John Lothian News.

Watch the video »


Hits & Takes
By JLN Staff

Everyone but JLN joined the fun and wrote a story about how the SEC lost yet another legal battle against the country’s biggest stock exchanges in their fight with their regulator, blocking a proposed experiment involving trading fees. Here are the stories, MarketsMedia, Courthouse News Services, Pionline, Reuters, Bloomberg Law and WSJ. The FT version of the story is at the top of Leads.

I still have free tickets to IDX-V to give away to people who ask nicely. Shoot me an email. Don’t miss your chance to attend for free this virtual take on the popular IDX conference from FIA

HKEX has launched the HKEX Foundation on its 20th anniversary to further strengthen their engagement and connectivity with the communities they operate in.

Cboe Global Markets, Inc. reopened its Cboe Options Exchange trading floor in Chicago on Monday, June 15, 2020, and successfully resumed hybrid trading – which includes open outcry and electronic trading mechanisms.

The Boy Scouts of America will require Scouts to earn a new diversity merit badge in order to become an Eagle Scout. The new badge will draw on some existing badges’ materials like Citizenship in the Nation and American Cultures. It is nice to see the BSA’s leadership in trying to fight racism.

It is 60 days until the publication of Eileen Flaherty’s book “The Perilous Step,” which was featured in a video JLN did earlier this year.

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


Matt Wolfe, vice president of securities lending at OCC, has a column in Securities Lending Times’ Annual Tech guide about OCC’s role in the securities lending market and its partnership with the technology firm Axoni. You can find it on page 8 of the guide here. ~SR

Julie Lerner, founder and CEO of PanXchange, will be a featured speaker in a June 25 webinar titled, “Forward Selling Hemp in an Oversupplied Market.” Lerner says while the focus is on hemp, the session will serve as an introduction to pricing physical commodity contracts against a futures contract or benchmark for any commodity. Crop insurance and legal issues also will be discussed. You can go here to register.~SC


Sponsored Content


No travel required – IDX-V: virtual sessions examining the state of the cleared derivatives industryFIA has reimagined its International Derivatives Expo as a series of virtual sessions – IDX-V. FIA will broadcast three half-days of programming from 23-25 June starting at 14:00 BST / 9:00 EDT daily. Skip the hassle and expense of traveling and tune in from your home or office.

IDX-V programming features:

  • remarks from FIA President & CEO Walt Lukken,
  • keynote interview with ESMA Executive Director Verena Ross,
  • scene-setting discussion with European and global exchange leaders on coping in a crisis,
  • and interactive sessions and keynotes that explore the efficacy of systems along the trade cycle and the implications for global commodities markets in a post-COVID world.

Join from anywhere and hear from industry thought leaders virtually to gain insights that will help you and your team manage the current landscape and find opportunities. Session recordings will also be available for registered attendees for one month after the live broadcast. Registration starts at £35 for FIA members!

Register now for IDX-V!


HKEX Launches the HKEX Foundation on its 20th Anniversary
HKEX Foundation established to deepen HKEX’s commitment and long established connectivity with our communities; Formal launch marked with flagship $20 million Charity Partnership Programme
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) is pleased to announce today (Wednesday) the official launch of the HKEX Foundation and its first flagship charity partnership programme, in celebration of its 20th anniversary. “While HKEX’s heritage is rooted in the early 20th century, this year marks our 20th anniversary as a public company,” HKEX Chairman Laura M Cha said. “Over the past two decades, HKEX has rapidly evolved as a business and as a market. Over the same period, we have always played an active and important role in our community. Today therefore with the official launch of the HKEX Foundation, we are delighted to signal our commitment to further strengthening our engagement and connectivity with the communities we operate in.”

*****HKEX is stepping up. Who is next?~JJL


Exchange traded funds in volatile markets; Understanding the disconnect between price & net asset value
Mark Heckert, Chief Product Officer, ICE Data Services
The ETF industry has blown away the growth expectations of its creators in the 1990s. While equities were the initial beneficiaries of investor appetite, bond ETF assets have surged since the 2008 financial crisis. Now bond ETFs – which give broad exposure to fixed income via a single exchange listed instrument – have highlighted challenges within the bond market structure.

*****The latest paper from ICE, but with less bang than their WTI versus Brent one.~JJL


Fine wine investment ages well amid volatile markets; The Covid-19 crisis is bringing tensions to a head in the market for Bordeaux’s ‘en primeur’ wines
Alan Livsey – FT
Fine wine enthusiasts who found themselves with time to spare during the lockdown may have experienced a wave of oenophilia. The signs include drinking up those top bottles reserved for special occasions, creating spreadsheets with nerdy Excel formulas to tot up one’s holdings and lingering too long over emailed offerings from wine merchants.

*****Fine wine is like Patrick Thornton-Smith, they just keep getting better over time. And he can sell you some fine wine too from Cult Wines Ltd.~JJL



Tuesday’s Top Three
Once again our top clicked “story” was the picture of John Lothian in the new CNN-inspired “The World Needs Journalists” hoodie with the JLN logo. You can get in touch with John if you’d like to purchase one. Second was Vermiculus Financial Technology, The Road Ahead, from Mondovisione, about a new tech provider started by a group of former leaders from Cinnober Financial Technology. Third was the news from DB, Paul Hilgers appointed as Managing Director of Deutsche Börse’s cash market.


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Lead Stories

Court deals blow to SEC in battle with exchanges over fees; Regulator has been seeking to push down costs for investors in US markets
Kadhim Shubber and Philip Stafford – FT
A US appeals court on Tuesday handed another legal win to the country’s biggest stock exchanges in their fight with their regulator, blocking a proposed experiment involving trading fees. The decision was the second court loss in a fortnight for the Securities and Exchange Commission, which in recent years has toughened its scrutiny of major stock exchanges and sought to push down costs for traders.

Euronext launches suite of ESG products and services to empower sustainable growth
Introducing the new Euronext ESG 80 index and derivatives; Aligning Europe’s leading Low Carbon 100 index to the Paris Agreement; Expanding Euronext ESG bonds offering
Launching new ESG services and solutions for listed companies; Endorsing the UN Global Compact’s Ocean principles
Euronext today announced the launch of a new suite of ESG-focused products, services and initiatives, designed to provide a robust framework of tools for European capital markets to fuel sustainable growth. Today’s announcement represents a significant step forward in Euronext’s three-year strategic plan, “Let’s Grow Together 2022”, in which ESG was identified as a key strategic pillar.

Beware as Wall Street Goes Direct to Consumer; Companies are increasingly issuing stock directly into the market. Individual investors should be on guard.
Charley Grant – WSJ
An unconventional Wall Street financing tool is increasing in popularity. Investors should make sure they aren’t on the wrong side of the cash machine. Hertz Global Holdings, HTZ 3.72% which has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, on Monday said it plans to sell as much as $500 million in stock through an at-the-market financing. In this type of deal, Hertz can instruct its banker to sell stock on a rolling basis at prevailing market prices. That differs from a traditional offering, where an investment bank will sell shares to blocks of institutional investors in one shot at a fixed price.

Vanguard Seeks to Draw Younger Investors With New Robo Service; The company joins the growing trend in giving low-cost advice for retirement and brokerage accounts
Anne Tergesen – WSJ
Amid the disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis, a lot of people are looking for financial advice. Vanguard Group is hoping to capitalize on that, while also expanding the reach of the world’s second-largest money manager to a younger clientele.

Morgan Stanley’s former head of diversity alleges racial bias; Marilyn Booker claims she was fired after pushing a plan to assist minority employees
Laura Noonan – FT
Morgan Stanley and its chief executive James Gorman have been sued by the bank’s former head of diversity over claims of “race and gender discrimination, retaliation and unequal pay” in a lawsuit that comes as corporate America is grappling with the Black Lives Matter protests.

Physical Oil Swaps Point to a Market That’s Only Getting Tighter
Alex Longley – Bloomberg
Contracts for North Sea, Russian barrels strengthen sharply; Rally indicates tight supply for some of Europe’s main crudes
The physical supply of oil in northwest Europe is looking increasingly constrained as barrels from the North Sea get shipped out to Asia and Russia cuts the flow of cargoes dramatically.

For Black CEOs in Silicon Valley, Humiliation Is a Part of Doing Business; A questionable piece of advice often given to Black business leaders: Hire a White wingman.
Priya Anand and Sarah McBride – Bloomberg
Will Hayes has grown accustomed to an awkward start to business meetings. On numerous occasions, venture capitalists would confuse Hayes, the head of software company Lucidworks Inc., with another man on his executive team. The investor would introduce himself, extend a handshake to the other guy and say, “Good to meet you, Will.” It’s strange because they don’t look alike. Also, Hayes is Black, and his deputy is White.

Kerviel Case Leads to Fraud Probe Over SocGen Tax Credits
Bloomberg Tax
Investigators look at whether tax credit was illegally granted; Authorities seek any state officials responsible for action
French authorities stepped up a probe into whether the state unlawfully granted a 2.2 billion-euro ($2.5 billion) tax credit to Societe Generale SA after Jerome Kerviel caused a record trading loss.

When Bakers Demanded More Flour, King Arthur Went to the Mills; The 230-year-old company leaned on its partners to keep the pandemic loaves rising.
Elizabeth G Dunn – Bloomberg
On March 18, Bob Morando, the chief executive officer of a flour mill located in the pancake-flat wheat fields of central Kansas, received a short, cryptic text from Brad Heald, the director of mill relations for his biggest customer, King Arthur Flour Co. “Call me,” it read.

Louis Dreyfus head of innovation to leave group
Agricultural commodities merchant Louis Dreyfus [LOUDR.UL] said that its head of innovation and downstream strategy, Kristen Eshak Weldon, is to leave group at the end of this month.

Ameribor takes centre stage in Libor debate
Wendy Lisney – FOW
Fed chair Powell’s endorsement has dramatically changed awareness of Ameribor, says AFX chief

UChicago pledges a deeper look at faculty diversity after econ prof’s Black Lives Matter remarks; Leaders at the Hyde Park university “have identified diversity of students and faculty in the field of economics as an area in serious need of improvement.”
Lynne Marek – Crain’s Chicago Business
The chair of University of Chicago’s world-renowned economics department acknowledged a “serious need” for improvement in diversity among its professors and students in the wake of allegations that one of his colleagues, Harald Uhlig, engaged in discriminatory conduct.

Liquidnet hires Goldman Sachs electronic equities trading engineering head; Goldman Sachs veteran Sujay Telang joins Liquidnet as head of equities techology after 16 years with the investment bank.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Liquidnet has hired the former electronic equities trading engineering head for the Americas at Goldman Sachs to lead its equities technology. Sujay Telang joins Liquidnet as head of equities trading technology after 16 years with Goldman Sachs, where he overhauled the investment bank’s equity algorithmic trading systems to produce growth in market participation and volumes.

Deutsche Börse extends tech partnership with Wiener Börse ahead of schedule; Trading technology and infrastructure from Deutsche Börse has been in operation on the Austrian cash market since 1999.
By Kiays Khalil – The Trade
German exchange group Deutsche Börse has extended a 20-year technology partnership with Austria’s Wiener Börse, five years ahead of schedule.


Is Trump Trying to Spread Covid-19? Does he start each day wondering what expert advice to ignore next?
Thomas L. Friedman – NY Times
When the full record of the coronavirus in America is written, historians may argue that President Trump’s biggest mistake was not what he failed to do in early 2020, when the right strategy for combating the virus was widely debated, unproven and hard. No, they will point to what Trump failed to do in June 2020, when the right strategy was clear, proven and relatively easy.

Cheap generic steroid significantly cuts Covid-19 mortality rates; Dexamethasone found to reduce deaths by one-third in ventilated patients
Anna Gross – FT
UK scientists have hailed the biggest Covid-19 drug breakthrough to date after an Oxford university trial found a cheap and widely available generic steroid significantly reduced the risk of dying from coronavirus.

Second Wave Virus Concerns Loom Large Over Crude Oil Market
Hailey Waller – Bloomberg
Beijing shuts schools and Florida cases hit highest level; Technical indicators suggest crude may be due for a retreat
Fears of a resurgence of coronavirus in China, the world’s biggest crude importer, are casting a shadow over the oil market once more. On Tuesday, Beijing said it was shutting down schools because of the risk of a new wave of infections. A renewed outbreak would jeopardize the recovery in oil prices over the last two months — spurred by record output cuts and signs that demand is slowly coming back as lockdowns are lifted. The news capped an early rally on economic optimism fueled by a record jump in U.S. retail sales.

One Cheap Drug Saves Covid-19 Patients’ Lives in U.K. Study
John Lauerman and Jason Gale – Bloomberg
Dexamethasone helps patients who need breathing assistance; Anti-inflammatories studied to fend off immune overreaction
A low-cost, widely used anti-inflammatory drug improved survival in patients with Covid-19, the first treatment to show life-saving promise months into the pandemic. Deaths among patients who needed breathing assistance were lower over a period of four weeks when they received the 60-year-old medicine dexamethasone, University of Oxford researchers said Tuesday. The study was stopped early because of its crucial findings.

Why Acting Fast Is the Key to Beating a Second Wave of Covid-19
Chloe Whiteaker, Adrian Leung and Jeremy Scott Diamond – Bloomberg
Many nations are emerging from lockdowns even as experts are predicting a second wave of Covid-19 infections. Based on the first wave, they can avoid the worst if they move deftly.

A wall of money outweighs virus fears — for now
Julia Horowitz, CNN Business
Concerns that a surge of coronavirus cases in parts of the United States and Beijing could derail the fledgling economic recovery were hanging over markets. Then the Federal Reserve stepped in. What happened: The central bank kickstarted a Main Street lending program that aims to encourage banks to lend to struggling small and medium-sized businesses. It also said Monday that it would begin scooping up corporate debt, including junk bonds. The central bank already began buying corporate debt ETFs last month.

How Exactly Do You Catch Covid-19? There Is a Growing Consensus; Surface contamination and fleeting encounters are less of a worry than close-up, person-to-person interactions for extended periods
Daniela Hernandez, Sarah Toy and Betsy McKay – WSJ
Six months into the coronavirus crisis, there’s a growing consensus about a central question: How do people become infected? It’s not common to contract Covid-19 from a contaminated surface, scientists say. And fleeting encounters with people outdoors are unlikely to spread the coronavirus.

Texas Confronts Surge in Hospitalizations After Reopening
Joe Carroll and Jonathan Levin – Bloomberg
Heavily populated states see jump in cases, hospital demand; New cases in Florida reach highest yet; deaths rise 1.9%
An increasing number of people in Texas and Florida are being admitted to the hospital because of Covid-19, adding to concern that some of the most populous U.S. states are facing a new wave of illness after lifting lockdown orders.

U.S. airlines could ban travelers that refuse to wear masks on planes; Passengers wear face masks as they fly with United. (Courtesy of United Airlines)
Kareem Copeland and Hannah Sampson – Washington Post
U.S. airlines could ban travelers from flying in the future if they refuse to wear masks on planes, an industry group said Monday. Airlines for America, a trade organization, said a group of major American airlines will begin “vigorously” enforcing face-covering policies after reports of travelers not being held to the safety standard. Last month, several airlines acknowledged that they had told crew members to avoid escalating any confrontations in the air over mask violations and described various levels of enforcement.

Sweden Proves ‘Surprisingly Slow’ in Achieving Herd Immunity
Niclas Rolander, Charles Daly, and Rafaela Lindeberg – Bloomberg
Sweden has made less progress than expected in achieving immunity to the coronavirus, according to its state epidemiologist. After leaving schools, shops and restaurants open throughout the pandemic, contagion rates in Sweden are much higher than anywhere else in the Nordic region. Its Covid-19 mortality rate is among the worst in the world. Scientists have been eager to learn whether the flipside of widespread contagion is a higher level of immunity.

Anthony Fauci calls for action to prevent coronavirus ‘surge’; Uptick of cases in some states is cause for concern, says leading member of White House task force
Hannah Kuchler – FT
Anthony Fauci, a leading member of the White House coronavirus task force, has urged states including Arizona, Texas and Florida to move aggressively to prevent recent increases in cases from turning into “a real surge”.

China tightens restrictions as Beijing outbreak widens; Flights cancelled and schools closed as authorities try to prevent a second coronavirus wave
Don Weinland, Qianer Liu and Alice Woodhouse – FT
China has tightened coronavirus restrictions in Beijing, cancelling flights and closing schools in a bid to stem the outbreak in the capital.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Eurex Exchange Readiness Newsflash | Reminder regarding mandatory PIN procedure for Trading on Behalf (ToB) and other inquiries
With this Newsflash we would like to remind you that as of 3 August 2020, Eurex Market Supervision will enforce the mandatory PIN authentication procedure for ToB and further inquiries in order to improve the identification procedure of the requesting Exchange Participant.

Eurex clears first interest rate swap transaction from Japan; First Japanese financial institution clears OTC interest rate swap transaction at Eurex Clearing out of Japan; Further potential for Eurex Clearing to see increasing activity in euro clearing
Eurex Clearing has cleared the first OTC interest rate swap transaction for a Japanese securities house. This is an important step as client demand from one of the world’s largest fixed income markets will support the strong momentum of Eurex Clearing’s EU-based liquidity pool for euro swaps.

Wiener Börse and Deutsche Börse extend cooperation early
Deutsche Börse
Wiener Börse AG prematurely extends its technology partnership with Deutsche Börse AG by five years. Trading on the Vienna Stock Exchange and its partner exchanges in Budapest, Ljubljana, Prague and Zagreb will thus continue in the coming years via the established T7 system, which will also be used on Xetra and the Eurex derivatives exchange. Innovations in the trading system are always available on the Vienna Stock Exchange. This ensures that the Vienna Stock Exchange and the stock exchanges it manages keep up-to-date with their trading technology.

ICE Data Services Launches Real-Time Publication of Key Fixed Income Indices
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, today announced that ICE Data Services has launched real-time publication of several of its most popular fixed income indices. These indices will continue to be administered by ICE Data Indices, LLC (“IDI”).

IFC – World Bank Group and African Development Bank join Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network
The organizations are among world’s largest issuers of social bonds; 4,000+ bonds from 40+ issuers now part of platform designed to improve sustainable bond transparency
Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) today announced the addition of two of the world’s largest issuers of social bonds to Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network, a global and publicly available platform designed to improve transparency in the market for green, social and sustainability bonds. The bonds added by International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group focused on the private sector in emerging markets and the African Development Bank include bonds intended to raise funds to manage issues in developing countries following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Third Extension of Alternative Quoting Requirements for July 2020 in Certain CME, CBOT, NYMEX, and COMEX Market Maker Programs
CME Group

Performance Bond Requirements: Agriculture Margins – Effective June 17, 2020
CME Clearing
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below.

UPDATED: June 2020 Final Foreign Currency Settlement Prices
CME Clearing
Please find attached updated June 2020 Final Foreign Currency Settlement Prices.

SSI and SGX partner to enhance the financial literacy of Team Singapore athletes
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, our Team Singapore athletes have been adapting their training at home and exploring different ways to learn new skills to maintain their competitive edge and readiness, whether in sports or in life. As part of continuous learning for the athletes to build all-rounded competencies, Singapore Sport Institute (“SSI”) and Singapore Exchange (“SGX”) have jointly put together a Financial Literacy Webinar Series (“FLW”). The webinar series aims to equip athletes with the fundamental knowledge they need to better manage their personal finances and investments throughout their sporting careers and beyond. All athletes and their family members are invited to participate in this free webinar series.

Appointment of New Governor of Japan Exchange Regulation
We hereby announce that Japan Exchange Regulation has appointed a new Governor at its ordinary general meeting held today. Details are as follows: Japan Exchange Regulation Governor Fujinawa Kenichi

TNS adds SIX Swiss Exchange to market data network; TNS has been appointed a registered service provider for SIX Swiss Exchange as it expands network to provide access to trading and data.
By Kiays Khalil – The Trade
The Transaction Network Service (TNS) has expanded its portfolio to provide clients with access to market data and trading services from the SIX Swiss Exchange.

TRADE Calls: LMAX Group – Weekend FX Trading
By Kiays Khalil – The Trade
David Mercer, CEO of LMAX Group, which operates institutional exchanges for FX and cryptocurrencies, joins The TRADE from his office in London to discuss the launch of the Weekend FX trading service and his views on the industry debate about shorter market hours in European equity markets.

Eurex clears first interest rate swap from Japan with Citi and SMBC Nikko Securities; Citi acted as the clearing member for the transaction by SMBC Nikko Securities, following recent approval for Eurex to launch clearing services in Japan.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Eurex has cleared the first over the counter (OTC) interest rate swap trade for a Japanese broker, several months after gaining approval from authorities in Japan to launch OTC clearing services.

TP ICAP launches data tool to increase transparency in bond pricing; The Bond Evaluated Price data service from TP ICAP aims to provide more transparency around the price formation process.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Interdealer broker TP ICAP has launched a new bond pricing service within its data and analytics division in response to demand for more transparency around the pricing of fixed instruments.


Barchart Releases Commodity Data Mapping Technology within cmdtyView
Barchart, a leading provider of market data and technology services to the financial, media and commodity industries, has announced the release of new commodity data mapping technology within cmdtyView Pro. This suite of geospatial tools provides cmdtyView Pro users with powerful mapping tools to visually analyze any agricultural, energy, or advanced weather dataset in our data ecosystem. This includes local and regional grain prices, basis values, and fair value indexes along with fuel prices and advanced crop factors like NDVI.

Fintech Startup Synapse Lays Off Nearly 50% Of Full-Time Staff
Jeff Kauflin – Forbes
Fintech startup Synapse is laying off 63 people, or nearly 50% of its full-time staff, according to a former employee. The San Francisco company makes digital banking software for other fintechs, letting them quickly launch features like mobile checking and savings accounts. It counts fast-growing digital bank Dave and investment company YieldStreet among its customers.

New U.S. Regulator Races to Remake Banking in Fintech Image
Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks wants to transform the future of banking and he may not have much time to do it.
The fact that Election Day is only five months away may explain why Brooks, who took office May 29, quickly announced plans for new types of charters for fintech and payment companies and new rules on bank-fintech relationships.

Top Fintech Companies & Startups in 2020
Business Insider
The fintech industry is growing every year, and the market is starting to fill up with financial services providers and fintech startups trying to fulfill customers’ needs and shape the future of finance.
Throughout 2019, fintech startups globally scooped up $34.5 billion in funding. Several innovative financial services and fintech companies are driving that growth by attracting investors who are offering new financial products and services.

INTL FCStone Ltd. launches Non-Deliverable Forward (NDF) offering through Integral’s BankFX Platform; INTL FCStone’s offering to be supported by Integral’s new streaming NDF workflow and established Request for Stream functionality
Integral, a leading FX technology partner trusted by leading banks, brokers and asset managers, today announced that INTL FCStone Ltd has begun trading NDFs on Integral’s BankFX Platform.


Borrowing Dollars Against Bitcoin And Crypto Is About To Get A Lot Easier
Billy Bambrough – Forbes
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency heists are on the rise, with researchers finding more than $1.4 billion worth of digital assets have been stolen so far this year.
Fear of theft has held back institutional adoption of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, with access to capital based on crypto collateral hampered by security risks and operational challenges.

Revolut Bank To Give Clients ‘Legal’ Ownership Over Cryptos – With a Caveat
Danny Nelson – Coindesk
Fintech bank Revolut will give its users legal control of their cryptocurrencies on July 27, but the U.K.-based bank is tightening its hold on how they can actually wield it.

Binance Launching Crypto Exchange in the UK
Paddy Baker – Coindesk
Binance wants its new U.K. exchange platform to become a one-stop-shop for British and European institutions interested in investing in the digital asset class.
Per a report by Reuters on Wednesday, the firm said its new U.K. crypto exchange would offer a local fiat onramp into crypto, in both pound sterling and euros. Like its other fiat-to-crypto platforms, such as Binance Uganda, Binance Singapore, and Binance US, the new U.K. platform will launch with something like 65 digital assets listed.

China Reveals East Asia Crypto Scheme To Rival Bitcoin, Facebook’s Libra And The U.S. Dollar
Billy Bambrough – Forbes
China, poised to roll out its potentially game-changing digital yuan, is leading the way in development of bitcoin-like digital currencies.
Governments around the world are scrambling to keep up with the changing nature of money, kicked off bitcoin a little over a decade ago and turbo-charged by Facebook’s libra plans just last year.

Will India Ban Crypto? 5 Exchange Executives Shed Light on the Truth
Kevin Helms – Bitcoin News
There has been some confusion over whether India will ban cryptocurrency, including bitcoin, following recent reports of a note being circulated by the government. interviewed executives of five cryptocurrency exchange platforms in India to find out the truth about the news.

CME Bitcoin Options Market Grew 10x in the Past Month
Zack Voell – Coindesk
Over a recent 30-day period, the total open interest for CME bitcoin options increased more than tenfold, from $35 million on May 11 to $373 million on June 10. Moreover, open interest made a new all-time high on six consecutive days from June 5-10.

*****Watch out for the puffery and outright misinformation.

A leaked note that CZ sent to Binance staff says the exchange will defend itself against ‘desperate’ Chinese competitors
Celia Wan – The Block
In an internal note sent out today and obtained by The Block, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) lashed out at unnamed Chinese competitors, accused them of “trying to attack” the exchange, and told the company’s employees that Binance will defend itself.

Crypto Founder Admits He Cheated Investors Out of $25 Million
Chris Dolmetsch – Bloomberg
The founder of a cryptocurrency firm admitted to conspiring to dupe investors into committing more than $25 million to the enterprise by lying about an initial coin offering. Robert Farkas and two other founders of Centra Tech Inc., Sohrab Sharma and Raymond Trapani, were charged in 2018 with misleading investors by claiming to have developed a debit card allowing users to make purchases with digital currency at any business accepting Visa or Mastercard. Sharma and Trapani are scheduled to go to trial in November.

Bitcoin Failed As Money, And That Is Great News For Crypto
Sean Stein Smith – Forbes
The original use case for bitcoin might have fallen flat, but the innovation it unleashed continues to push blockchain implementation forward.

$300 ETH? Ethereum Looks to Be Next Major Crypto to Follow Cardano
Michaël van de Poppe – CoinTelegraph
Recently, several altcoins have been showing strength. A few good examples are Theta Token (THETA), Zilliqa (ZIL), and Elrond (ERD). However, the large caps are lagging heavily and the only large-cap performing well has been Cardano (ADA).
As smaller cap altcoins begin to lift off, some investors might be wondering exactly what is needed for a significant surge in the large caps? Does the market need confirmation from Bitcoin (BTC), the top-ranked digital asset on CoinMarketCap, or is the top altcoin Ether (ETH) the signal?


Trump’s Tulsa Rally Defies Public Health and Protest Concerns
Josh Wingrove – Bloomberg
President has said protests show he can safely resume rallies; Campaign to offer hand sanitizer while absolving its liability
Donald Trump’s resumption of his signature campaign rallies this week is intensifying criticism of his response to the biggest domestic crises of his presidency: The deadly coronavirus pandemic and widening protests over police brutality against Black Americans.

Tulsa Officials Plead for Trump to Cancel Rally as Virus Spikes in Oklahoma; President Trump will hold his first campaign rally in months on Saturday in Oklahoma, where infections are rising, and officials there are pleading with him to cancel or hold it outdoors.
Noah Weiland – NY Times
Officials in Tulsa, Okla., are warning that President Trump’s planned campaign rally on Saturday — his first in over three months — is likely to worsen an already troubling spike in coronavirus infections and could become a disastrous “super spreader.”

Russia-Based Influence Campaign Spanned Six Years
Alyza Sebenius and Michael Riley – Bloomberg
Secondary Infektion attributed false posts to Rubio and Pompeo; Group failed to go viral but has lessons for U.S. election
A Russia-based group has for the last six years peddled forged documents and used fake social-media accounts in an effort to influence elections and divide critics in the West, while mostly avoiding efforts to detect such activity, according to an exhaustive report on the operation released Tuesday.

Russia Should End Block on Durov’s Telegram App, Lawmakers Say
Ilya Khrennikov and Stepan Kravchenko – Bloomberg
Government uses app to inform public on Covid-19, deputies say; Russia has tried unsuccessfully to block service for two years
Russian lawmakers say officials should abandon attempts to block Pavel Durov’s Telegram Group Inc., arguing that government efforts to prevent use of the messenger service have failed.

Pressure Builds on Trump Administration to Name PPP Borrowers; SBA faces demands from government auditors, media companies and Democratic and GOP lawmakers
Ryan Tracy – WSJ
Pressure is building on the Trump administration to disclose the names of borrowers that received loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, and a key senator signaled that the names of larger loan recipients could be released.


Commerzbank fined £38m for London money laundering failures; Second-largest levy imposed by City regulator for failings to combat potentially illegal transactions
Matthew Vincent and Olaf Storbeck – FT
Commerzbank’s London branch has been fined £38m by the Financial Conduct Authority for failing to make adequate money laundering checks over a five-year period, the second-largest fine to be imposed by the City regulator for deficiencies in combating potentially illegal transactions.

Former Bumble Bee C.E.O. Is Sentenced in Tuna Price-Fixing Scheme; Christopher Lischewski was ordered to serve 40 months in prison for his lead role in a yearslong conspiracy to fix the price of canned tuna.
Sandra E. Garcia – NY Times
The former president and chief executive of Bumble Bee Foods was sentenced to 40 months in jail and a $100,000 fine on Tuesday for his role in a yearslong conspiracy to fix prices of canned tuna, the Department of Justice said.

ASIC releases guidance on the administration of its product intervention power
Following consultation, ASIC has released a new regulatory guide on the administration of its product intervention power (RG 272).

ESMA appoints a new Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has published the new list of members of its Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group (SMSG) following approval by its Board of Supervisors. The selected individuals begin a four-year term on 1 July 2020. The SMSG will provide ESMA with advice on its policy work and must be consulted on technical standards, guidelines and recommendations.

SEC Announces Speakers for June 18 Small Business Forum: “Access to Capital: More Critical Now than Ever”
The Securities and Exchange Commission today released the program with agenda and speakers for the June 18, 2020, virtual Small Business Forum. The event will begin at 12 p.m. ET and, as always, will be free and open to the public. The full program, with the complete agenda and bios of speakers, is available on the Forum webpage.

Amendments to NFA Interpretive Notice 9045—Compliance Rule 2-9: FCM and IB Anti-Money Laundering Program now effective
NFA Compliance Rule 2-9(c) and Interpretive Notice 9045—FCM and IB Anti-Money Laundering Program require all futures commission merchants (FCM) and introducing brokers (IB) to develop and implement an anti-money laundering (AML) program reasonably designed to achieve compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and its implementing regulations. This includes obligations related to the Customer Identification Program (CIP) and Beneficial Ownership (BO). NFA recently amended its Interpretive Notice to incorporate guidance set forth by the CFTC in consultation with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in CFTC Interpretative Letter No. 19-18. This guidance grants relief from the CIP and BO requirements to IBs that do not introduce an account to an FCM and do not have customers for purposes of the CIP rule (voice broker IBs).

FCA fines Commerzbank London £37,805,400 over anti-money laundering failures
The FCA has today fined Commerzbank AG (London Branch) £37,805,400 for failing to put adequate anti-money laundering (AML) systems and controls in place between October 2012 and September 2017.

Firms must do more to ensure that they are always giving appropriate equity release advice, FCA review finds
Firms must do more to ensure they are always giving appropriate advice to equity release consumers, an FCA review has found.

Investing and Trading

Carry Trades Are Back in Focus, Especially for Indonesia’s Rupiah
Masaki Kondo, Chester Yung, and Kartik Goyal – Bloomberg
Indonesian currency has highest carry-to-risk ratio globally; Drop in market volatility boosts allure of high yielders
Carry trades are back in focus, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s pledge to keep interest rates near zero, and the Indonesian rupiah is emerging as the most attractive currency.

Visa predicts ‘permanent’ shift in consumer spending habits; Charlotte Hogg says debit cards are being used more and cash transactions tumbling
Nicholas Megaw – FT
The pandemic is heralding a “permanent” shift in consumer spending, with increases in debit card and domestic transactions here to stay, according to Visa’s European chief executive.

PG&E Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter in Fires as It Nears Bankruptcy Exit; California utility, which buckled under the weight of wildfire liabilities, is a rare U.S. company to be convicted of homicide-related charges
Katherine Blunt and Peg Brickley – WSJ
PG&E Corp. PCG -0.27% pleaded guilty to 84 counts of manslaughter for its role in sparking California’s deadliest wildfire, on the same day that a separate judge said he would clear the way for the company to exit bankruptcy.

Insurers Hit Brakes on Investments Designed to Make Risky Loans Safe; CLOs—popular investments tied to pools of corporate loans—are proving riskier than many insurance firms expected
Cezary Podkul and Paul J. Davies – WSJ
Insurance companies helped fuel the boom in a corner of the debt market that sliced and diced risky corporate loans. Those bets are now starting to hurt, crimping a key source of financing for Wall Street’s deal-making machine.


US banks paid nearly twice as much in dividends as they earned; FDIC says it is monitoring payouts after loan loss provisions ballooned in first quarter
Laura Noonan – FT
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said it is monitoring US banks’ dividend policies after they declared payouts totalling almost twice their earnings in the first quarter, eroding capital cushions as the coronavirus crisis took hold.

Europe’s Big Banks Back to Cutting Jobs After Coronavirus Pause
Patrick Winters and Steven Arons – Bloomberg
HSBC, Deutsche Bank plan to resume reductions to cut costs; Credit Suisse opened the door to future cuts after halt
Europe’s largest banks are resuming plans to cut thousands of jobs after putting dismissals on hold to show support for employees after the coronavirus outbreak spread across the continent.

HSBC revives plan to cut 35,000 jobs after coronavirus pause; Chief cites fall in profits and grim outlook for decision to press ahead with overhaul
Primrose Riordan and Nicolle Liu – FT
HSBC is reviving a programme of job cuts it put on hold three months ago as the bank grappled with the coronavirus crisis, pressing ahead with a broad overhaul that will include 35,000 job losses.


Saudi Oil Exports to U.S. Plunge To Lowest Level in 35 Years
Brian Wingfield and Javier Blas – Bloomberg
Just one Saudi crude cargo has sailed for America this month; Kingdom officials say oil exports to the U.S. to remain low
After flooding the U.S. with crude earlier this year, Saudi Arabia has all but cut off the taps to the American oil market. The kingdom has exported just one cargo to the U.S. so far in June, equivalent to about 133,000 barrels a day, tanker-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s about one-tenth of the 1.3 million barrels a day it shipped in April, when Riyadh flooded the global market during a brief price war against Russia.

Europe’s Wage Subsidies May Not Prevent 9 Million Job Losses
Carolynn Look – Bloomberg
Allianz economists expect unemployment to rise in some sectors; Short-work programs might be merely postponing dismissals
One in five furloughed workers in Europe might lose their jobs despite generous support measures designed to prevent that, according to research by Allianz economists.

Mexico Keeps Migrant Workers Home as Virus Rises on Canada Farms
Jen Skerritt and Nacha Cattan – Bloomberg
Move comes after hundreds of farm workers fall ill from virus; Fewer workers could be ‘huge problem’ for Canadian produce
Mexico plans to keep migrant workers from traveling to Canada amid a wave of coronavirus outbreaks on farms, threatening a labor squeeze in the northern nation’s fruit and vegetable industry as harvests start to ramp up.

Germany Sells Largest Amount of 10-Year Bonds Since 2014
James Hirai – Bloomberg
Germany allots 4.14 billion euros of the benchmark bonds; Sale was oversubscribed by less than twice the amount offered
Germany is ramping up its debt issuance, raising the most out of a sale of its benchmark bond in about six years. It sold 4.14 billion euros ($4.6 billion) of debt that mature in 10 years, even though demand for the securities declined, with the offering seeing an oversubscription of just under twice the amount offered. That’s the least since April.

UBS Drops From Chinese LGBTQ Dating App Blued IPO
Julia Fioretti – Bloomberg
UBS Bank AG is no longer working on the U.S. initial public offering of the owner of Blued, China’s biggest LGBTQ dating app, after gauging the market, joining a number of other banks in curbing work on some U.S. listings by Chinese firms.


A bad UK-EU trade deal is better than no deal; Chances of a breakdown have receded, but any accord this year will be thin
It is a sign of how low expectations have fallen that UK and EU officials privately flagged it as positive that Boris Johnson did not stage a walkout from Monday’s talks on a new trade relationship. That the prime minister and his counterparts publicly agreed “new momentum” was needed in negotiations is a step forward — even if Mr Johnson’s July 31 deadline is fanciful. The chances of no deal by the year-end have receded, a little. That should not obscure the fact that any accord achieved is set to be a pale shadow of the “comprehensive agreement” the government touted after Britain’s 2016 In-Out referendum.

British farmers worry US trade deal will stop them bringing home the bacon; Ministers face big challenges balancing Brexit promises with protection for UK agriculture and consumers
Peter Foster in Swannington – FT
The pink clutches of piglets on Rob Mutimer’s outdoor pig farm in Norfolk will soon be repackaged as back bacon on Britain’s breakfast tables, but in the five months left to them before slaughter they do enjoy a pretty good life.


Boy Scouts of America will require diversity merit badge to become Eagle Scout
David Aaro, Fox News
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced Monday it will implement a specific “diversity and inclusion merit badge” in support of the Black Lives Matter movement that will be required to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout going forward.

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