CPO and CTA Registrations Drop Slightly in First Six Months of 2020
John Lothian – John Lothian News
Since the end of 2019, the number of Commodity Pool Operators, or CPOs, registered with the National Futures Association has dropped by almost 6% and the number of Commodity Trading Advisors, or CTAs, has dropped 5% during the same time frame. The number of registered Introducing Brokers, or IBs, has dropped less than 1%, according to data provided by the NFA.
To read the rest of this article, go HERE.
Hits & Takes
By John Lothian & JLN Staff
Former NYMEX Chairman Richard Schaeffer passed away on Sunday, according to David Greenberg, a close friend and former NYMEX board member. Schaeffer was the chairman of NYMEX at the time of its IPO and its sale to the CME Group. Here is a short obituary for him from the funeral home. Condolences to his family and friends.
(This is a picture of the board members of the NYMEX at their last board meeting before going public. Richard Schaeffer is in the front in the middle…click on the photo for a larger image.)
I am asking for close friends and colleagues of Mr. Schaeffer to send me remembrances so that JLN may aggregate them and share them with our readers. They should be emailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The FTSE Mondo Visione Exchanges Index sets a new closing all-time high of 68,056.41; the index was up 6.6% In July.
Tha executive orders and memorandum that President Trump signed for unemployment action has been tried before, on TV by the fictional President Frank Underwood of the show House of Cards. Life imitating art again and again.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
In this newsletter last Thursday, John Lothian said something that sounded so right: “Today would be a good day for the CFTC commissioners to announce they are dropping all changes against Jitesh Thakkar and his firm . . . ” While it is disappointing that this has not happened yet, I would like to share my reasons for optimism that the CFTC will drop its case. They are embodied in a series of filings with U.S. Federal District Judge Andrea Wood’s court stating that Thakkar and the CFTC had reached an agreement on settling the case. Beginning in March, the CFTC has told the court at least three times that the only thing remaining is formal approval of the settlement by the commission before the settlement is submitted to the court. Now, I am no attorney, but it seems that if the commission cannot agree on the proposed settlement because some of the commission want harsher terms, then they would have/should have disclosed that. Instead, filings with Judge Wood have not indicated that there are substantive issues with the proposed settlement, which probably was agreed to by the commission in the first place before it was presented to Thakkar. Since March, the commissioners have met together a number of times both at public meetings and hanging out at each others’ advisory committee meetings, so we know they can organize a meeting. I am optimistic that the commissioners are coming to understand, albeit slowly, that dismissal is the best resolution of this case, which should never have been brought. At any rate, as Lothian would say, this would also be a good day for the commissioners to drop all charges against Thakkar.~Thom Thompson
Alessandro Cocco: MarketsWiki World of Opportunity 2020
Alessandro Cocco is vice president of the Financial Markets Group at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Speaking at our MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity virtual event in July 2020, Cocco said the word that connects climate change and finance is “risk.” In the case of climate change, that risk can be physical, through property damage, and economic. He spoke about what the 2008 financial crisis and the current COVID-19 pandemic have taught us regarding risk and the interconnectedness of financial systems.
The Spread: ‘Tis The Season
This week on The Spread – the OCC gives back to the derivatives industry, the CME Group pays hefty fines to the CFTC, Cboe plans for the worst, and more.
MEMX Testing, Launch and Personnel Update
Jonathan Kellner – MEMX
As we approach our September launch, we want to update you on our progress as well as our plans for the next month. This past Saturday, we successfully completed our first User Acceptance Test (UAT) with several members participating, while we connected to the CTA, SIP, and FINRA. As with any test, we uncovered some minor issues that we’ve already addressed, and overall, we are very satisfied that the majority of the functionality that was tested is working.
*****Are you ready for a new equities exchange? It will be here in September.~JJL
97,000 children reportedly test positive for coronavirus in two weeks as schools gear up for instruction
Nearly 100,000 children tested positive for the coronavirus in the last two weeks of July, a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics finds. Just over 97,000 children tested positive for the coronavirus from July 16 to July 30, according to the association. Out of almost 5 million reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S., CBS News’ Michael George reports that the group found that more than 338,000 were children.
*****This is the wrong trend heading into when kids are supposed to go back to in-person school.~JJL
Hong Kong Publisher Jimmy Lai Arrested Under New National-Security Law; Leading media figure’s arrest is by far the most significant under new Beijing-imposed law
John Lyons – WSJ
Jimmy Lai, the outspoken publisher of Hong Kong’s popular pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily, was arrested on suspicion of foreign collusion under a new national-security law, widening Beijing’s crackdown on the former British colony. Police arrested Mr. Lai at his home Monday morning and informed him he faced national-security charges, according to Mark Simon, an executive at his company. His two sons and four employees from his publishing company were also arrested. Hong Kong police said at least nine people were arrested throughout the day on national-security and other charges, including fraud.
*****The pen is mightier than the sword, so arrest the journalists first. I hope the world takes this seriously.~JJL
Spare a Moment for the Unpaid Tech Heroes of 2020; Why call your company’s IT hotline for your problems with Wi-Fi when you can just ask your cousin for help?
Rachel Feintzeig – WSJ
When my computer screen abruptly faded to black a few weeks ago, then started flashing an ominous question mark, I did what I’ve done since I was 19: bugged my friend Evan. He’s not an engineer or an information technology specialist. But he’s been into gadgets since our college days and radiates confidence to my tech helplessness. Within minutes, he’d remoted into my East Coast personal desktop from his San Francisco one, run some sort of check on something and pronounced it fine.
*****My unpaid tech hero gets room and board, but he is heading back to college in a week. Robby will be a sophomore at the University of Missouri in Columbia studying IT. All of his fall classes are now online. I am expecting a surge in college town Covid-19 by the first week of October. Robby says it will be the first week of September. We shall see.~JJL
Friday’s Top Three
Our top story Friday was TT ORDER TYPES OVERVIEW, from Trading Technologies. Second was the Wall Street Journal’s Kicking Out Chinese Stocks and WeChat Is Another Nail in the Coffin of U.S.-China Links. Third was a top three repeat, Sen. Kelly Loeffler blasts players on her WNBA team for supporting challenger.
183,776,004 pages viewed; 24,395 pages; 225,690 edits
|CryptoMarketsWiki, our archive of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, is going strong and keeping pace as this area of finance grows and evolves.Recently Updated Pages
1,422 pages; 12,609 edits
Covid-19 Cases Among U.S. Children Jumped 40% in Late July
Jeff Sutherland – Bloomberg
Coronavirus infections among U.S. children grew 40% in the last half of July, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, bringing the total number of child infections to 8.8% of all U.S. cases. The report, which aggregates data from 49 states, comes amid heated debate over whether schools should re-open in the fall. While the surge of infections contradicts President Donald Trump’s assertion that kids are “virtually immune,” the data also show that child infections make up a disproportionately small share of the overall outbreak in the U.S.
Banks braced as pandemic poses biggest test since financial crisis; Provisions for loan losses are at the highest in a decade as lenders prepare for large-scale company bankruptcies
Stephen Morris and Owen Walker and Laura Noonan – FT
During the depths of the coronavirus crisis in Europe in late March, Sergio Ermotti remembers sitting in his home study in Lugano, reflecting on the latest financial meltdown to engulf his career as a banker.
Activists pile in to Next Digital stock following Jimmy Lai’s arrest; Shares in company owned by pro-democracy Hong Kong tycoon jump as much as 344%
Daniel Shane and Hudson Lockett – FT
Shares in the Hong Kong media group controlled by Jimmy Lai nearly tripled on Monday following the arrest of the pro-democracy tycoon, as activists piled in to the stock in a display of solidarity.
JPMorgan report reveals ‘dramatic’ Covid shift to electronic bond trading; Proportion of trades made electronically continued to rise even as markets calmed
Tommy Stubbington and Colby Smith – FT
The coronavirus crisis has ushered in a “dramatic” shift in the world’s largest bond market away from traditional trading by phone towards electronic execution, according to a report produced by JPMorgan Chase.
Robinhood app luring and robbing amateurs — like in the dot-com era; History may be repeating itself
Charlie Gasparino – New York Post
The 1990s were simpler times. The news was dominated by Bill Clinton’s various sexual escapades, but also a bubble in internet-related stocks that was partly fueled by the democratization of stock trading. The latter inflated the stock market generally, and if you’re old enough to remember, pretty much crashed it. Newbie investors took the brunt of the crash, with some losing their life savings, well after professional traders had sold their positions.
When Day Traders Do Well, It’s Probably Just Luck; Research suggests market gains for day traders in recent months owe more to chance than skill
Mark Hulbert – WSJ
There’s little doubt that day trading has mushroomed in popularity in recent months, or that some day traders have produced extraordinary profits. According to statisticians, however, there’s also little doubt that most of these day traders’ good performance is due to luck. They essentially would have just as good a chance of success going to the casino.
Why Is China Coming After Americans Like Me in the U.S.? China wants to swallow up Hong Kong’s remaining freedoms. But it can’t be allowed to arrest, on American soil, a U.S. citizen.
Samuel Chu – NY Times
On Thursday, July 30, I fell asleep watching reruns of “Law and Order.” The next morning, I woke up a fugitive. Chinese state television said that the Hong Kong authorities had issued arrest warrants for six activists who promote democracy for that supposedly semi-autonomous region.
Vela expands market data partnership with IPC; The low-latency market data feed from Vela, SuperFeed, is now accessible to IPC’s clients following market data partnership expansion.
Kiays Khalil – The Trade
Data and trading technology provider Vela has expanded its market data partnership with communications and networking solutions specialist IPC.
JP Morgan and LBBW clear first SOFR swaps at Eurex; Eurex has cleared the first USD SOFR swaps with JP Morgan and LBBW in latest development for the benchmark transition process.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Eurex has confirmed it has cleared its first SOFR swaps transactions with JP Morgan and LBBW submitting the initial trades. The central clearing counterparty (CCP) said the development underlines its clients’ increasing commitment to clearing over the counter (OTC) products with Eurex and marks an important addition to its liquidity pool.
Europe’s Biggest Pork Exporter Closes Slaughterhouse for a Week Due to Covid-19
Christian Wienberg – Bloomberg
Danish Crown, Europe’s biggest pork exporter, said it will close down a slaughterhouse for at least a week after a rise in the number of workers infected with Covid-19. The facility in Ringsted, southwest of Copenhagen, registered another 22 cases on Saturday, bringing the total to 142, Danish Crown said in a statement.
How to Prepare for Your Return to the Office; Nervous about the possibility of going back to the workplace? Here’s what to take into consideration.
Sara Aridi – NY Times
Since the coronavirus hit the United States in the spring, about 35 percent of American workers have switched to telecommuting, according to a recent survey by the National Bureau of Economic Research. And with the end of summer fast approaching, you may be wondering about your return to the office — should you return at all.
Gilead Inks Deal to Boost Production of Covid-19 Drug Remdesivir; The antiviral medication, approved for limited Covid-19 treatment, has been in short supply
Matt Grossman – WSJ
Gilead Sciences Inc. GILD 0.78% is expanding its manufacturing network to ramp up production of Covid-19 treatment remdesivir, and says it will be able to meet global demand in real time starting in October.
Microsoft Analyzed Data on Its Newly Remote Workforce
Natalie Singer-Velush, Kevin Sherman, Erik Anderson – Harvard Business Review
Teams that don’t communicate. Market disruption. Unidentified logjams. Employee burnout. Lost efficiency. As part of a group of data scientists, management consultants, and engineers at Microsoft, we help companies harness behavioral data to measure and solve these kinds of challenges — the kinds that firms feel but usually cannot see.
Bill Gates Says U.S. Virus Testing Has ‘Mind-Blowing’ Problems
Yueqi Yang – Bloomberg
Says early missteps, politicization led to testing failure; Microsoft founder says no other country has such ‘insanity’
Microsoft Corp. founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates said it’s “mind-blowing” that the U.S. government hasn’t improved Covid-19 testing that he described as slow and lacking fair access.
How New Zealand went 100 days with no community coronavirus transmission
Julia Hollingsworth – CNN
New Zealand has marked an enviable milestone — more than 100 days since its last coronavirus case was acquired locally from an unknown source. As of Monday, the country had reported 1,219 confirmed cases, including just 21 active infections, all in managed isolation facilities. No cases had emerged via community transmission in 100 days, authorities announced Sunday, with all new infections coming from abroad.
The Trauma of Caring for Coronavirus Patients; How do we as doctors and nurses decide we did a good job?
Sahan Hapangama, Louis Gelabert and Sarah Norris – NY Times
Once a global epicenter of the pandemic, New York City has — for now — brought things under control. But where does this reprieve leave front-line medical workers?
America Could Control the Pandemic by October. Let’s Get to It; The solutions to combating the coronavirus are no mystery. It’s time to do this right.
The Editorial Board – NY Times
Six to eight weeks. That’s how long some of the nation’s leading public health experts say it would take to finally get the United States’ coronavirus epidemic under control. If the country were to take the right steps, many thousands of people could be spared from the ravages of Covid-19. The economy could finally begin to repair itself, and Americans could start to enjoy something more like normal life.
Pandemic wrecks global Class of 2020’s hopes for first job
Kelvin Chan – Associated Press
British fashion school graduate Phoebe St. Leger’s dream of landing a job at a design label is on hold. Like many others in the global Class of 2020, the pandemic is clouding her career ambitions.
Schools mull outdoor classes amid virus, ventilation worries
Terry Spencer – AP
It has been seven years since the central air conditioning system worked at the New York City middle school where Lisa Fitzgerald O’Connor teaches. As a new school year approaches amid the coronavirus pandemic, she and her colleagues are threatening not to return unless it’s repaired.
U.S. Coronavirus Response Met With Alarm Abroad; Europeans are watching America’s bungled coronavirus response with astonishment.
Nicole Winfield and Lisa Marie Pane – AP
With confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. hitting 5 million Sunday, by far the highest of any country, the failure of the most powerful nation in the world to contain the scourge has been met with astonishment and alarm in Europe.
Pro Wrestling Legend Kamala The ‘Ugandan Giant’ Dies Of Coronavirus; The wrestler, whose real name was James Harris, was part of pro wrestling’s 1980s popularity boom.
Ed Mazza – Huff Post
James Harris, a former professional wrestler best known as Kamala, the “Ugandan Giant,” has died. He was 70. “Unfortunately, the rumors were correct,” Kenny Casanova, coauthor of Harris’ autobiography, Kamala Speaks, wrote on Facebook. “To make matters worse, it was Corona that took him; he was one of the good ones.”
Boris Johnson insists schools in England must reopen in September; ‘Morally indefensible’ to deprive children of education, argues prime minister
George Parker – FT
Boris Johnson has insisted that schools in England must reopen in September, saying that keeping them closed was “economically unsustainable and morally indefensible” despite fears of an autumn uptick in coronavirus.
During Covid-19 Pandemic, Biotech IPOs Already Surpass Record; Some investors are wary of run-up and warn of risks to chasing companies at early stages of development
Corrie Driebusch – WSJ
So far this year, U.S.-listed biotech companies have raised roughly $9.4 billion in initial public offerings, already beating the $6.5 billion raised in all of 2018, the biggest year on record, according to Dealogic data going back to 1995.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
EGX Chairman Participates In A Virtual Conference “Financial Institutions, Capital Markets & Private Sector: Rethinking A More Endogenous & Resilient Economy To Ensure African Autonomy”
Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) Announces The Joining Of Derivatives Exchange Members To Tadawul For New Market Launch
The Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) announces that the first group of Derivatives Exchange Members have completed all regulatory and technical requirements to become members of Tadawul’s Derivatives market. The pioneer members listed below have the right to conduct brokerage services for Derivatives trading and deal as a principal and as an agent in Saudi Stock Exchange:
Nasdaq and Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange Sign Landmark Technology Agreement
Today Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) and Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX) announced a major market technology agreement for Nasdaq to provide DGCX with a full suite of integrated marketplace solutions.
FTSE Mondo Visione Exchanges Index Sets New Closing All-Time High Of 68,056.41, Index Up 6.6% In July
HKEX ended July as the world’s largest exchange operator by market capitalisation. The top 5 exchanges by market capitalisation at end July were:
Pulse Online: Qontigo and Eurex introduce iSTOXX® Spread Ratio Indices
The 42 new indices track the relative value spread between two related securities and facilitate relative value trades in an innovative and efficient way. Eurex introduced futures on 22 of the indices at the end of June and plans to introduce eight additional contracts early next year.
Online and on-site: Deutsche Börse’s new investor seminars start at the end of August; Women’s and evening seminars for the first time in hybrid format / new seminar on private financial planning and capital investment
At the end of August, Deutsche Börse’s Capital Markets Academy will start with new investor seminars: These include the seminar “Financial Planning and Retirement Provision” specially designed for women, the evening seminars “Your Way to the Stock Exchange” and the new certificate course “Financial Planning and Capital Investment for Private Investors” “. For the first time, training courses will also take place in hybrid format – i.e. on-site at Deutsche Börse and online. Previous knowledge is not required for any seminar series.
Ion forced to ditch Broadway rates business; Remedy satisfies UK competition watchdog – but “a big defeat” for acquisitive tech giant
Luke Clancy – Risk.net
Trading systems giant Ion will split up Broadway Technology – the rival it acquired in February – to allay concerns the deal would erode competition in the market for fixed income trading software. An initial review by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority concluded on July 7 that a months-long probe was warranted. In a further report, published today, the CMA revealed Ion’s proposed remedy – an undertaking to keep only Broadway’s foreign exchange business and find a buyer for the firm’s
InvestHK Unveils Global Fast Track Programme To Boost Fintech Development With Hong Kong’s Proven Market Resilience And Fintech Opportunities
Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) today (August 10) unveiled the Global Fast Track Programme, a business-driven programme within Hong Kong Fintech Week (HKFW), Asia’s annual flagship fintech event, to help local and global fintech enterprises leverage Hong Kong’s proven resilience and fintech opportunities to scale business and accelerate innovation. The Fast Track programme plugs fintech enterprises directly into Hong Kong’s diverse ecosystem of world-class regulators, business leaders, corporates and investors to propel their ventures across Hong Kong and elsewhere in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Asia where digitisation and fintech adoption are surging.
Vela and IPC Expand Market Data Partnership; Vela’s SuperFeed normalized market data now available via IPC’s Connexus Cloud and Connexus Labs
IPC Systems, Inc.
Vela, a leading independent provider of trading and market access technology for global multi-asset electronic trading, today announced the expansion of its strategic partnership with IPC, a leading global provider of secure, compliant communications and networking solutions for the global financial markets.
Singapore Neo & Partners Global Wins Best Electronic Trading Business Ecosystem 2020 At The APAC Insider South East Asia Business Awards 2020
Neo & Partners Global, a finance & technology group serving the capital markets sector buy-side community of commodity trading advisors, family offices, fund management companies and proprietary trading firms, announced today that its Trading-Atrium, has won Best Electronic Trading Business Ecosystem 2020 at the coveted APAC Insider 2020 South East Asia Business Awards alongside past Singapore-based luminaries as ARA Asset Management, Crossinvest, PSB Academy, SHATEC, Y3 Technologies and more in the other category of Singapore Business Awards. The APAC Insider South East Asia Business Awards recognize excellence in business performance, longevity, diversification, growth (either sustained or rapid), significant innovations and feedback from stakeholders, announced on August 7, 2020.
Start-Ups Braced for the Worst. The Worst Never Came; The doomsday warnings about tech start-ups failing in the pandemic have not yielded the shakeout that many expected a few months ago.
Erin Griffith – NY Times
Getaround, a car sharing start-up, started the year by laying off 150 employees and scaling back some operations after it spent too much on a rapid expansion.
Tech, Financial Firms Eye Ways to Save TikTok’s U.S. Operations From Ban; TikTok’s parent has been looking for a way to keep the video-sharing service alive in U.S. after Trump administration declared the app a national security threat
Georgia Wells, Rolfe Winkler and Cara Lombardo – WSJ
Several investment and technology firms are exploring a potential deal for the U.S. operations of TikTok, which is facing a Trump administration ban, but they each would have to surmount hurdles at least as high as the Chinese social-media platform’s main suitor, Microsoft Corp.
Flaws Could Have Exposed Cryptocurrency Exchanges to Hackers
Researchers found troubling bugs in open-source libraries used by financial institutions.
Most people use either an app, an online platform, or a small hardware device as a wallet to store their cryptocurrency safely. The exchanges through which cryptocurrency changes hands, though, and other high stakes operations need something more like a massive digital bank vault. At the Black Hat security conference on Thursday, researchers detailed potential weaknesses in these specially secured wallet schemes, including some that affected real exchanges that have now been fixed.
The Top 5 Trends Defining Crypto in Late 2020
Gregory Klumov – Cointelegraph
The cryptocurrency field is a place where everything changes in the blink of an eye. New technologies, key market players and trends shift much faster than in any other industry. From the current point of view, many exciting developments seem viable. Still, this chaotic industry can bring more opportunities within the upcoming months, and everything we’ve seen before will be surpassed by something truly outstanding. However, let’s quickly check in.
Bitcoin Halving and Ethereum 2.0 Bring Big Changes for Crypto Miners
Sarah Austin – Cointelegraph
Although over two months have passed since the halving happened on the Bitcoin network, the crypto mining industry is still heaving from the frantic pace of events that have followed suit. The rollercoaster of hash rates has left Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) prices soaring while provoking mixed feelings among crypto miners.
Researchers Claim Crypto Exchange Hacks Happen in Three Ways
Ting Peng – Cointelegraph
Researchers at the Black Hat security conference revealed that crypto exchanges might be vulnerable to hackers. Although crypto exchanges have high privacy and security to protect their funds, researchers still found three ways hackers can attack these crypto exchanges, according to Wired on August 9.
Fintechs are moving into bitcoin, but expect crypto startups to stay on their home turf
Frank Chaparro – The Block
Square, SoFi, and soon PayPal.
The list of financial technology companies that have jumped on the crypto bandwagon continues to grow. And it makes sense — fintechs stand to cash in on such offerings, which can be more profitable than stock trading offerings, in some instances. It also provides fintechs with a way to expand their client base. Square’s Cash App provides a great example of what a crypto offering can mean for a fintech company.
Binance, FTX and Poloniex are most active crypto exchanges for listing DeFi tokens
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Crypto exchanges Binance, FTX and Poloniex are most active when it comes to listing decentralized finance (DeFi) governance tokens, according to The Block Research.
Binance has already listed nine out of 13 DeFi tokens, including Maker and Compound. FTX follows next in Tier-1 category of exchanges with six listings, and Poloniex is at the top in Tier-2 category with 11 listings.
Bitcoin-crazy rich Indians falling prey to fake crypto wallets
With the Supreme Court striking down the curb on cryptocurrency trade in India in March this year, there has been a surge in Indians investing in Bitcoin and with this, cybercriminals have started mobile-based fake Blockchain-based crypto wallets to lure and con the rich and the wealthy in the country.
These Blockchain-based wallets offer handsome discounts, before conning people of their hard-earned Bitcoin/cash and then going incommunicado, according to industry watchers.
Cryptocurrency ‘fraud’ sues T-Mobile for letting him get hacked
Kathianne Boniello – New York Post
A fraudster who conned investors out of millions is really hacked off at T-Mobile — for allegedly letting scammers take over his accounts and steal $8.7 million in cryptocurrency, according to a lawsuit. Reginald Middleton, who was ordered to pay a $1 million fine by the US Securities and Exchange commission last year for allegedly misleading investors about his company Veritaseum, claims the phone company let a hacker take over his cell number.
This is what happens when the liberal WNBA and a Republican senator collide
Harry Enten, CNN
The WNBA took the political center stage this week. Players from the Atlanta Dream wore shirts endorsing a political opponent (Raphael Warnock) of team co-owner and Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Loeffler had been critical of Black Lives Matter; many of the players endorse the movement.
Trump’s Go-It-Alone Stimulus Won’t Do Much to Lift the Recovery; A series of executive actions will provoke lawsuits but is unlikely to stoke faster growth in an economy that has cooled this summer.
Jim Tankersley – NY Times
The executive actions President Trump took on Saturday were pitched as a unilateral jolt for an ailing economy. But there is only one group of workers that seems guaranteed to benefit from them, at least right away: lawyers.
The Wallets of Wall Street Are With Joe Biden, if Not the Hearts; Through donations, finance executives played a critical role in helping Joe Biden turn his campaign around. They’ve mostly grown to like him, if not love him.
Kate Kelly, Shane Goldmacher and Thomas Kaplan – WSJ
As Wall Street donors arrived at a fund-raiser for Joseph R. Biden Jr. at a Midtown Manhattan restaurant earlier this year, campaign staff members asked if they wanted to sign up for pictures with the candidate. More than a few of the bankers and private-equity investors politely declined, opting to mingle over glasses of wine instead.
Trump attempts to wrest tax and spending powers from Congress with new executive actions; The actions aim to temporarily extend unemployment aid and eviction protections
Jeff Stein, Erica Werner and Renae Merle – Washington Post
President Trump on Saturday attempted to bypass Congress and make dramatic changes to tax and spending policy, signing executive actions that challenge the boundaries of power that separate the White House and Capitol Hill.
Biden Needs Fed’s Powell on Board to Fix Racial Wealth Gap
Saleha Mohsin and Catarina Saraiva – Bloomberg
Next presidential term to see three top Fed roles expire; Powell says he doesn’t have tools to address racial disparity
Joe Biden’s promise to bridge the racial economic gap needs buy-in from one powerful person — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell — and he doesn’t sound convinced.
Trump’s Orders on Coronavirus Relief Create Confusion; Businesses and the unemployed faced uncertainty as administration officials defended the president’s directives and Democrats criticized them.
Emily Cochrane, Alan Rappeport and Luke Broadwater – NY Times
President Trump’s attempt to circumvent Congress to provide coronavirus relief in the absence of a broad agreement resulted in confusion and uncertainty on Sunday for tens of millions of unemployed Americans and countless businesses seeking aid after critical benefits lapsed.
China To Sanction Rubio, Cruz, And Others Over U.S. Action On Hong Kong; The U.S. on Friday imposed sanctions on 11 Hong Kong and Chinese officials whom it accused of curtailing political freedoms in the city.
China imposed sanctions on 11 U.S. citizens including legislators on Monday in response to the U.S. imposition of sanctions on 11 Hong Kong and Chinese officials accused of curtailing political freedoms in the former British colony.
Paul Krugman: Trump’s Executive Orders Are The Hydroxychloroquine Of Economic Policy; “This is something that was thrown together by somebody who has paid no attention to how these things actually work.”
Mary Papenfuss – Huff Post
Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman is so unimpressed with President Donald Trump’s latest efforts to boost the economy amid the coronavirus crisis that he has declared it to be the hydroxychloroquine of economic policy.
‘The Lord’ Created Executive Orders, Proclaims White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro; The creator stepped in “because of partisan bickering and divided government,” Navarro said on “Meet the Press.”
Mary Papenfuss – Huff Post
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Sunday that “the Lord” created executive orders to trump partisan bickering. That probably wouldn’t hold up against a court challenge to controversial executive actions President Donald Trump signed Saturday. House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the orders “absurdly unconstitutional.”
Trump Aims Next U.S. Tariff Barrage at European Distillers
Bryce Baschuk – Bloomberg
This week, America’s top trade official, Robert Lighthizer, is considering fresh tariffs that could increase prices on a range of European goods like British gin and German beer.
China Avoids Top Trump Aides in Hong Kong Retaliatory Sanctions
Bloomberg News – Bloomberg
Rubio, Cruz, HRW executive director among 11 to be sanctioned; U.S. has sanctioned Hong Kong officials including Carrie Lam
China said it will sanction 11 Americans in retaliation for similar measures imposed by the U.S. on Friday, but the list doesn’t include any members of the Trump administration.
Singapore charges Wirecard agent with falsification of accounts; Local businessman accused of playing role of trustee for fake bank accounts linked to German payments group
Stefania Palma, Olaf Storbeck, Dan McCrum – FT
A Singaporean businessman with multiple ties to Wirecard has been charged with falsification of accounts, marking the first set of charges issued by the city-state since it kicked off an investigation into the collapsed German payments company last year.
Barclays being probed by UK privacy watchdog on accusations of spying on staff
Kanishka Singh – Reuters
Barclays Plc (BARC.L) is being probed by the United Kingdom’s privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), over allegations that the British bank spied on its staff, the agency said on Sunday.
Barclays Probed by U.K. Privacy Agency for Snooping on Staff
Aoife White – Bloomberg
Use of software to check on employees sparked complaints; Bank says it listened to staff feedback about pilot project
Barclays Plc faces a U.K. privacy investigation over software that checks on what staff are doing, the Information Commissioner’s Office said Monday. “We have an ongoing investigation relating to Barclays’ alleged use of employee monitoring tools,” the ICO said in an emailed statement.
China ex-regulator warns on bank funding risk as NCD issues boom
The former head of China’s securities regulator has raised concern about banks addressing funding shortages by ramping up issues of short-term interbank debt instruments that have in the past attracted regulatory scrutiny.
Fines for anti-money laundering failures rise as companies repeat mistakes; Review shows penalties were imposed for the same shortcomings regulators have been highlighting since 2015
Matthew Vincent – FT
Regulators imposed bigger fines for anti-money laundering failures in the first half of this year than they did in the whole of 2019, according to new data, as companies repeated their previous mistakes in trying to combat financial crime.
Investing and Trading
5 Myths About Stock Diversification; No. 1: You don’t really get much benefit going beyond 12 to 18 stocks. Wrong.
Meir Statman – WSJ
Diversification is often described as the only free lunch in investing—reducing a portfolio’s risk without reducing expected return. This idea of spreading money across different kinds of investments is so accepted and so straightforward that it is a fundamental principle that even the most unsophisticated investors know about it.
Savvy Investors Look to Job Postings to Predict a Company’s Performance; New research suggests that changes in a company’s demand for new hires is a valuable leading indicator
Daisy Maxey – WSJ
Some investors are taking advantage of a once-obscure indicator of a company’s financial prospects: job postings. According to research published in the July issue of the journal Management Science, changes in the number of a company’s online job postings are a leading indicator of changes in that company’s future performance. The relationship is stronger when the job postings likely represent the addition of new employees rather than the replacement of people leaving the company, the researchers found.
Saudi Aramco Says Profit Fell 73 Percent as Demand for Oil Shrank; The coronavirus pandemic took a major toll on the oil giant’s earnings, but Aramco will maintain its hefty dividend for shareholders.
Stanley Reed – NY Times
Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, said on Sunday that its quarterly earnings plunged more than 73 percent compared to a year ago, as lockdowns imposed to curb the coronavirus pandemic drastically cut the demand for oil and slammed prices.
To Some Investors, 10-Year Treasury Note Isn’t What It Was; It was once every investor’s touchstone. Now, the 10-year yield ‘has apparently lost any heartbeat.’
Julia-Ambra Verlaine – WSJ
For years, the 10-year U.S. Treasury note has been every investor’s touchstone. Now some people are saying they can’t trust its signals the way they once did. The yield on the benchmark U.S. government security, long a key economic barometer for financial markets around the world, barely budged in response to Friday’s better-than-expected jobs report. It now enters the week parked near record lows around 0.55%, with investors preparing to parse stimulus talks, data on inflation and new tensions between the U.S. and China.
‘Long-Short’ Funds Missed Their Moment; The stock-market volatility in the first half was a fertile environment for long-short funds. Yet most of these investments lost money.
Simon Constable – WSJ
The stock-market volatility in the first half of 2020 should have been a near-perfect period for “long-short” mutual funds and exchange-traded funds to make a killing. Unfortunately, less than one in three such funds made money for investors during this tumultuous period.
Millennials Slammed by Second Financial Crisis Fall Even Further Behind; The economic fallout of the Covid pandemic has been harder on millennials, who are already indebted and a step behind on the career ladder from the last financial crisis. This second pummeling could keep them from accruing the wealth of older generations.
Janet Adamy – WSJ
The economic hit of the coronavirus pandemic is emerging as particularly bad for millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, who as a group hadn’t recovered from the experience of entering the workforce during the previous financial crisis.
Barrick basks in glow of record gold prices; Toronto-based miner’s second-quarter profit more than doubles as metal prices shine
Henry Sanderson – FT
Barrick Gold’s second-quarter profit beat forecasts to more than double, in the wake of a record rally in the yellow metal’s prices.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
Interested in Social-Impact Investing? Here’s How to Start; Investments that support racial justice and help community development are becoming more accessible
Cheryl Winokur Munk – WSJ
The pandemic and other recent events that point to racial injustice have made many investors think about how they can make a difference with their pocketbooks. Certainly, large corporations and wealthy individuals have long been able to influence change through foundations and charitable gifts. For the average person, investment options to directly support social goals are more limited. But this could change as demand for such opportunities grows.
ESG funds attract record inflows during crisis; Fast-growing segment is rare bright spot for active managers hit by investor shift into passive funds
Siobhan Riding n – FT
Investors have injected record sums into sustainable investment funds during the coronavirus pandemic, providing a glimmer of hope to active managers battered by the relentless flight of capital into passive products. Funds that invest according to environmental, social and governance principles attracted net inflows of $71.1bn globally between April and June this year, pushing assets under management in the products to a new high of just over $1tn, according to Morningstar.
Former fund executive pushes green agenda in Westminster; Conservative MP Gareth Davies on ESG, funding the sustainable recovery and being a hawk on China
Siobhan Riding – FT
Gareth Davies still remembers the excitement he felt walking through the City of London in 2006 on his first day in the investment industry. The former Columbia Threadneedle executive experienced a similar thrill when he arrived at the palace of Westminster last year to become a member of parliament.
Meet the Fund Manager Who Misses Crazy Golf and Is Turned Off by Netflix; Stephen Yiu’s Blue Whale is among the best-performing U.K. funds, with a 16% increase so far this year.
Tom Metcalf – Bloomberg
Stephen Yiu misses playing crazy golf at the London offices of Blue Whale Capital LLP, the firm he founded with British billionaire Peter Hargreaves in 2016. Not just because the pre-pandemic daily ritual was a way to briefly relax with colleagues during lunchtime, but because it was something “you need to win,” according to Yiu. The sentiment is reflected in his other interests, too.
Invesco Reduces Fee On Its Physical Gold ETC As Record Flows Take It To More Than $14 Billion Of Assets
Gold has been one of the year’s best-performing assets, with a return of 34% for the year to 5 August 2020, the day the gold price broke through the $2,000/ounce mark1. Analysis by Invesco shows that gold exchange-traded products listed in Europe raised more than $10 billion of net new assets in the first seven months of 2020, including $1.4 billion in July. The Invesco Physical Gold ETC accounted for more than 50% of the flows during the latest month and is now over $14 billion of assets2.
Pandemic seals dominance of UK’s biggest banks; Investors and regulators worry the crisis will hold back push for more competition
Nicholas Megaw – FT
The first Metro Bank branch opened 10 years ago with the aim of making UK banking more like the US. A decade on, the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the gulf that still remains between the two.
Buying TikTok Is One Challenge for Microsoft. Making It Work Is Another; Decoupling the social-media platform from China to address Washington’s concerns could be expensive and technically complex
Aaron Tilley and Euirim Choi – WSJ
For Microsoft Corp., MSFT -1.79% navigating the political and strategic hurdles in its pursuit of TikTok’s U.S. business is a challenge—figuring out how to carve out a chunk of a global app and adopt its code and data may prove equally tough.
‘Like gold’: Canadian canola prices spike as shippers find back door to China
Rod Nickel, Hallie Gu – Reuters
Canadian canola prices have soared to the highest in nearly two years, despite a diplomatic dispute between Ottawa and Beijing, as exporters find roundabout ways to reach top oilseed buyer China.
Norway’s Deep Cuts to Oil Loadings to Curb Atlantic Basin Crude
Adeola Eribake and Sherry Su – Bloomberg
Loading plans released so far indicate drop in September flow; Russia, Kazakhstan shipments net yet released for next month
Norway may not officially be part of the OPEC+ alliance to curb oil supply in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, but next month it looks like the Scandinavian country will do its bit toward helping the producer alliance to avert a global glut of crude.
Lebanon’s Biggest Stock Rallies From Drop as Trading Resumes
Filipe Pacheco – Bloomberg
Solidere fell as much as 13% during Monday’s session in Beirut; The stock is seen as a hedge against local currency’s decline
Shares in Lebanese real-estate company Solidere rebounded from a 13% drop to close slightly higher as they traded for the first time since the deadly blast in Beirut’s port that killed more than 150 people.
Norway’s central bank accused of breaking law over oil fund appointment
Norges Bank broke ‘guidelines, rules and laws’ with appointment of Nicolai Tangen, says supervisory board
Richard Milne – FT
Norway’s central bank broke “guidelines, rules and laws” when it appointed Nicolai Tangen as the next head of its $1tn oil fund and failed to eliminate conflicts of interest from the former hedge fund manager, according to the main supervisor of Norges Bank.
In Post-Brexit Britain, Conservative Lawmakers Start to Focus on China; Growing group in Parliament seeks to sway Boris Johnson’s government, claims success over Huawei
Max Colchester – WSJ
After helping to secure the U.K.’s departure from the European Union, lawmakers from Britain’s ruling Conservative Party are coalescing around a new target: China. The China Research Group, a loosely defined caucus of Conservative lawmakers, has emerged in the past six months as a new force in British politics, helping push Britain’s government to take a harder line on China. The group has held just a couple of events and is in the process of hiring its first researcher but already it claimed its first win when the government last month banned the purchase of advanced telecommunications equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies Co.