Hits & Takes
The Cboe has announced management changes, with the biggest news being Cboe President and COO Chris Concannon is leaving the company to pursue a new opportunity. Chris Isaacson, executive vice president and chief information officer, is elevated to executive vice president and chief operating officer, and Eric Crampton, senior vice president and global head of software engineering, is elevated to senior vice president and chief technology officer.
This is a surprise move by Concannon, as many observers expected him to take the CEO job eventually from Executive Chairman and CEO Ed Tilly.~JJL
Women in Derivatives, or WIND, has an upcoming event in London titled “Artificial Intelligence in Derivatives” on January 30.~JJL
Pete Najarian’s daughter, Alexis Najarian, is the new Miss Nebraska for 2019.~JJL
After the first of the year, it is time to start thinking about the warm Boca Raton FIA meeting. Are you registered yet? There are just 64 days until Boca.~JJL
The Spread – A New Year – 1/4
It’s hard to believe 2018 is in the rear-view mirror, but markets stop for no one. So without further ado, enjoy the first episode of “The Spread” in 2019.
Watch the video and see the stories referenced here »
Cboe Global Markets Announces Changes to Management Team
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. today announced that Chris Isaacson, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, will become Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, reporting to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ed Tilly. Eric Crampton, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Software Engineering, will become Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, reporting to Chris Isaacson.
***** Concannon out for what new venture? Inquiring minds want to know.~JJL
Trump’s Long Shutdown Could Destabilize the World; Political dysfunction is about more than which party is winning. The international system is depending on Washington’s leadership.
Noah Feldman – Bloomberg
President Donald Trump in a meeting with congressional Democrats on Friday said he was prepared for the partial government shutdown to continue for months — or even years — if he doesn’t get the money he wants for a wall along the Mexican border. It’s not hard to see how that prediction comes true. Both sides have framed the issue such that a victory for one side on funding a border wall entails defeat for the other. Neither side has much incentive to compromise.
*****On the bright side, pitchers and catchers report to training camp in 5 weeks.~JJL
Examination Priorities; AML Fines; Effective Cybersecurity Practices
Gary DeWaal – Bridging the Week
Prior to having most of its routine work suspended because of the US government partial shutdown, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s inspection unit published its 2019 examination priorities. These included reviewing the offer and sale of digital assets by registrants, cybersecurity, and anti-money laundering programs. Separately, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority published a report of effective cybersecurity practices by members. As a result, the following matters are covered in this week’s edition of Bridging the Weeks:
Friday’s Top Three
Happy news was all around on Friday. Our top read story was the big news about The Small Exchange, in Crain’s Tastytrade, Peak6 invest $10 million in new exchange. The man tapped to run it, Donnie Roberts, was our third most clicked item. The second most read item for those curious about attaining joy in life was Quartz’s Yale professor Laurie Santos’s happiness class is now free on Coursera
139,034,669 pages viewed; 23,365 pages; 216,075 edits
Crypto Exchange Takes on Behemoths With Physical Bitcoin Futures
Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
CoinFLEX to offer contracts to Asian investors next month; Venture’s backers include Roger Ver, Trading Technologies
The contest is heating up to gain market share in one of the most closely watched products in the world of cryptocurrencies: physically delivered Bitcoin futures. While the owner of the New York Stock Exchange is expected to start offering such contracts shortly and Eris Exchange LLC plans to follow, the firm that says it was first to market has spun off from its previous owners and will provide the derivatives on some of the largest digital coins to Asian retail investors beginning next month.
Angst-ridden investors continue equities exodus; BlackRock survey of clients shows global institutions are shifting into illiquid assets
Jennifer Thompson – FT
Investors expect to continue to pile out of equities this year as they face a host of financial and geopolitical risks. More than half (51 per cent) of 230 institutional clients overseeing $7tn surveyed by BlackRock said they would reduce exposure to the sector. The proportion was 35 per cent last year and 29 per cent in 2017.
LCH achieves a record year for volumes in 2018
LCH, a leading global clearing house, today announced that 2018 was a record year for volumes across its clearing services at LCH Ltd and LCH SA. Equities, fixed income, and OTC derivatives clearing services all surpassed 2017’s clearing activity. Increased volumes across both clearing houses has been driven by the roll-out of new products, and growth of client clearing.
Former Barclays executives prepare to face fraud trial; John Varley, former chief, and 3 others pursued in SFO prosecution
Caroline Binham – FT
The UK Serious Fraud Office has made a last-minute personnel change to ensure its flagship case against four former Barclays top brass is properly overseen as one of the biggest tests in its 30-year history comes to trial.
The World Federation Of Exchanges Issues Statement Clarifying The Nature Of Stock Market Data
The World Federation of Exchanges (“WFE”), the global industry group for exchanges and CCPs, has today issued a statement on stock market data, as follows: The WFE has noted that the topic of stock market data – information on the price at which shares are trading – periodically attracts commentary. The key facts do not change over time but are not always kept in mind in such commentary. This statement highlights the most significant of these:
Jeff Bezos and Jamie Dimon: Best of Frenemies; The JPMorgan chief and Amazon founder have found their companies’ fortunes increasingly entwined, but the balance of power between their firms has shifted
Emily Glazer, Laura Stevens and AnnaMaria Andriotis – WSJ
JPMorgan JPM 3.69% Chase & Co. Chief Executive James Dimon assembled a team in 2017 to answer a question that had been nagging at him for a while: “How should we think about Amazon?”
These Are the 10 Biggest Risks in the World, According to Eurasia Group
David Tweed – Bloomberg
The global geopolitical environment is at its most dangerous in decades, according to Eurasia Group, the consultancy founded by Ian Bremmer. Here is a look at Eurasia’s top predictions for risks that could impact the world in 2019.
Hedge Funds That Returned 20% Show All Is Not Lost
Shelly Hagan and Melissa Karsh – Bloomberg
SoMa Equity, Cadian Capital won with wagers on tech firms; Some marquee managers posted biggest losses in many years
As the dust settles on a troubled year for hedge funds, some managers escaped the wreckage and even thrived. SoMa Equity Partners, a $1.2 billion long-short equity fund, rose about 20 percent in 2018, according to an investor document seen by Bloomberg. The $1.5 billion Cadian Capital Management notched a similar gain, according to a person familiar with the matter. And Luxor Capital Group, a $3.2 billion event-driven fund, posted a robust return as well, another person said.
A former TD Ameritrade exec wants to make futures trading more accessible to Main Street, and a dozen brokers have signed up
Dan DeFrancesco – Business Insider
It’s got a small name, but big hopes. The Small Exchange might sound like a humble venture, but the new trading venue has hefty goals. Mainly, that it wants to make the futures market, which historically has catered to big Wall Street traders, more available to mom-and-pop investors.
How the U.S. Can Navigate an Ever-Scarier World; A Q&A with former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig on China, “soft power” and endless war.
Tobin Harshaw – Bloomberg
Anybody who pays attention to the global security scene knows we are in a whole new world — one variously called the “post-post Cold War era,” the “return of great-power conflict” and the “struggle between liberalism and authoritarianism.”
Baby Boomers Will Be a Drag on Stock Market Rebound; Those who own the most equities don’t have a lot of time to recover before retirement, and are likely to sell into any rally.
David Ader – Bloomberg
There’s been an abundance of analysis on the recent swoon in stocks, but there’s one key variable that often gets overlooked when determining whether and how fast the market rebounds: demographics. On that basis, the outlook isn’t very good.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
MATCHNow Launches Conditional Orders in Canada; New Source of Block Liquidity for Broker-Dealers
TriAct Canada Marketplace LP, a subsidiary of ITG Canada Corporation, today announced the launch of conditional orders in MATCHNow®, Canada’s premier broker-neutral dark book. This conditional order functionality enables MATCHNow subscribers to electronically indicate block size liquidity in MATCHNow, providing a valuable source of additional liquidity. Conditional orders in MATCHNow have a minimum size of 51 standard trading units or C$100,000 notional value, and firmed-up orders are executed in accordance with existing MATCHNow logic, which includes mid-point execution on a pro rata basis, with broker preferencing.
TMX Group Consolidated Trading Statistics – December 2018
TMX Group Limited today announced December 2018 trading statistics for its marketplaces – Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange, TSX Alpha Exchange (Alpha) and Montréal Exchange (MX).
Intercontinental Exchange Reports Record Futures & Options Volumes In 2018; 4q’18 Adv +20% Y/Y
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, today reported December, fourth quarter and full year 2018 trading volume and related revenue statistics, which can be viewed on the company’s investor relations website at http://ir.theice.com/ir-resources/supplemental-information in the Monthly Statistics Tracking spreadsheet.
CME Group Announces 2019 Annual Meeting Date
CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CME), the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced that its 2019 Annual Meeting of Shareholders will be held at 10:00 a.m. Central Time on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, in the Auditorium at CME Group, located at 20 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois.
Cboe Global Markets Reports Several Trading Volume Records for Full Year 2018
Cboe reports ADV growth for 2018 across each business segment and several trading volume records; Cboe SPX options and VIX futures set new annual ADV records, among others
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), one of the world’s largest exchange holding companies, today reported December monthly and full-year 2018 trading volume and average revenue per contract (RPC)/net revenue capture data at www.cboe.com/monthlyvolrpc.
Will fintechs sink or swim when floats are regulated?
Izabella Kaminska – FT
Is fintech truly innovative? Or simply the revival of tried and tested (if not failed) practices, without the constraints of the regulation that has developed along with these practices?
Request for quote in equities: Under the hood; As two major trading venues launch request for quote (RFQ) models for equities trading
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Some of MiFID II’s consequences were widely anticipated, such as the rise of block trading and the migration of order flow towards systematic internalisers (SIs) or other venues, such as periodic auctions. But the rise of request for quote (RFQ) in equities trading was one of the trends admittedly unforeseen by the majority of market participants grappling with MiFID II compliance.
Bank/Fintech Partnerships Will Be A Huge Disappointment In 2019
Ron Shevlin – Forbes
Not too long ago the prevailing mindset among banking industry pundits was that fintech startups would disrupt and displace incumbent banks. That view has evolved to “banks and fintechs will partner.” A recent op-ed from the ICBA’s Kevin Tweddle in American Banker opined:
Digital Banking Market to surpass 9000 billion by 2024: Global Market Insights, Inc.
The digital banking market is set to grow from USD 7000 billion in 2017 to around USD 9000 billion by 2024, according to a latest Global Market Insights, Inc. report. The increasing venture capital investment in fintech sector is propelling the digital banking industry.
Over the past five years, fintech has emerged as the most lucrative sector and the venture capitalists are investing billions in the sector to make profits. In 2017, approximately USD 16.5 billion investment was witnessed in the fintech companies, increasing from USD 3.7 billion in 2013. Acknowledging the rise of fintech players, banks are looking to boost their investments in technology. While some banks are collaborating or investing in the fintech companies to develop more customer-centric products, others are acquiring the fintech players to acquire technical expertise and expand their product portfolio.
CoinfloorEX, World’s First Physically Delivered Crypto Futures Exchange, Announces Spin-off from Coinfloor Group
CoinfloorEX, the world’s first physically delivered bitcoin futures exchange, has been spun off from Coinfloor Group. The new entity will be known as CoinFLEX (Coin Futures and Lending Exchange) and will be owned by a consortium of high-profile technology companies, market makers and crypto investors. These backers include Trading Technologies, Roger Ver, Mike Komaransky, Dragonfly Capital Partners, Global Advisors, B2C2, Amber AI, Grapefruit Trading and Alameda Research. Together, they will provide CoinFLEX with the scale, credibility and capital to allow it to fulfill market demand for a global, scalable and secure crypto futures exchange.
New crypto exchange takes on behemoths with physical bitcoin futures
Crain’s Chicago Business
(Bloomberg) — The contest is heating up to gain marketshare in one of the most closely watched products in the world of cryptocurrencies: physically delivered Bitcoin futures. While the owner of the New York Stock Exchange is expected to start offering such contracts shortly and Chicago’s Eris Exchange LLC plans to follow, the firm that says it was first to market has spun off from its previous owners and will provide the derivatives on some of the largest digital coins to Asian retail investors beginning next month.
Winklevosses’ Cryptocurrency Exchange Says the ‘Revolution Needs Rules’; New ad campaign also positions Gemini as a trustworthy harbor
Nat Ives – WSJ
Gemini Trust Co., the cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2014 by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, argues in a new ad campaign that its chaotic sector should protect investors by adopting standard best practices and following regulations. At the same time, not incidentally, the campaign suggests that Gemini already provides shelter from the storm.
The False Promise Blockchains Will Revolutionize Real-World Assets
Farzam Ehsani – Coindesk
In 2018, as cryptocurrency prices declined, the corporate-blockchain-marketing machine continued to hum unabated. Corporates continued to issue press releases about their “world-first” blockchain implementations that were going to solve the world’s greatest challenges.
Colorado Proposes Bill to Exempt Crypto from Securities Laws
Arnab Shome – Finance Magnates
In an attempt to ease the regulations on the blockchain companies, three lawmakers of the US state of Colorado, on Friday, has introduced a bill called the Colorado Digital Token Act. The bill provides some exemptions to the cryptocurrencies from the existing “state securities laws.”
What One Trader Learned By Riding The Bitcoin Boom All The Way Up Then All The Way Down
Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal – Bloomberg
The last two years have been an extraordinary ride for Bitcoin. It exploded in 2017, with the price nearing $20,000 per coin. Then in 2018 it totally collapsed. On this week’s episode, we speak with Peter McCormack, a bitcoin trader, who bought in at the bottom, rode the boom all the way to the top, and then proceeded to lose almost everything. He shared with us what he learned along the way.
Japan Explores Crypto ETFs After Snubbing Futures
Yuji Nakamura – Bloomberg
FSA is gauging industry interest in such funds, person says; Ruling party may submit proposed legislation by March: person
Japan’s financial watchdog has abandoned plans to allow listed derivatives based on cryptocurrencies but may yet approve exchange-traded funds that track the asset class, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Japan’s Financial Regulator May Approve Crypto ETFs: Report
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) is apparently open to approving crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs). A Bloomberg report on Monday, citing a person “familiar with the matter,” said that the FSA is currently ascertaining institutional interest in ETFs that track cryptocurrencies and could ultimately give them the go ahead.
Stories from Alternative Crypto Sources
Woops! Fortnite Merch Curbs Crypto Adoption, Drops Monero (XMR) Option
Nick Chong – Ethereum World News
On New Year’s Day, rumors began to circulate around the crypto industry’s social media channels that Fortnite, the world-renowned “Battle Royale” video game that raked in millions upon millions, had begun to accept Monero (XMR) payments on its official merchandise store. After this hearsay circulated, Riccardo Spagni, a leading South African crypto enthusiast and Monero core team member, took to Twitter to explain this industry occurrence.
Dow Eyes Shaky Monday as US-China Trade Talks Ramp up
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures mostly traded sideways on Monday morning, as the US stock market waited to see whether renewed negotiations between the world’s two largest economies would bring an end to the US-China trade war.
While federal workers go without pay, senior Trump administration officials are poised to get $10,000 raises
Peter Whoriskey and Lisa Rein – The Washington Post
While many federal workers go without pay and the government is partially shut down, hundreds of senior Trump political appointees are poised to receive annual raises of about $10,000 a year.
The pay raises for Cabinet secretaries, deputy secretaries, top administrators and even Vice President Pence are scheduled to go into effect beginning Jan. 5 without legislation to stop them, according to documents issued by the Office of Personnel Management and experts in federal pay.
Trade Tensions Take a Toll on China’s Economy; China’s manufacturing slowdown comes as the country gears up for new talks with the U.S.
Lingling Wei – WSJ
China’s economy is slowing faster than expected as Beijing this week heads into a crucial new round of negotiations with the U.S. over trade.
World unprepared for slowdown, says IMF’s Lipton; Fund official warns on trade tensions, policy flaws and weakness in China\
Colby Smith and Brendan Greeley – FT
The leaders of the world’s largest countries are dangerously unprepared for the consequences of a serious global slowdown, a senior executive at the International Monetary Fund has warned.
The Trump administration is weakening the global trading system; Multilateralism seems to be giving way to preferential trade deals
“Seeing possibilities in potatoes” is the upbeat slogan of Lamb Weston Potato Products, Inc., an American exporter. But new trade deals mean that its foreign competitors have fewer obstacles blocking their view. One is the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (cptpp), which came into effect on December 30th. Negotiated as the tpp between 12 countries and agreed between 11, after President Donald Trump pulled America out, the deal will phase out tariffs on frozen potato chips and mashed potato, benefiting Lamb Weston’s Canadian rivals. And another trade deal, between the European Union and Japan, to be implemented on February 1st, will do the same for its European ones.
The People vs. Donald J. Trump; He is demonstrably unfit for office. What are we waiting for?
David Leonhardt – NY Times
The presidential oath of office contains 35 words and one core promise: to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Since virtually the moment Donald J. Trump took that oath two years ago, he has been violating it.
Warren Bashes Banks and Billionaires in First 2020 Campaign Swing
Joshua Green and John McCormick – Bloomberg
She singles out Wells Fargo and Equifax for criticism; Massachusetts liberal drew big crowds on three-day Iowa swing
Senator Elizabeth Warren’s first trip to Iowa as a likely presidential candidate highlighted her fiery anti-Wall Street populism and could set the tone for the sprawling field of Democrats expected to jockey for the right to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020.
How Washington plans to regulate Big Tech; Lawmakers will have to balance ways companies can use data with people’s rights of privacy
Kiran Stacey – FT
Silicon Valley is steeling itself for 2019 to be the year when Washington takes action over how tech companies balance the way they use data against their customers’ right to privacy.
Investment banks muscle in on Europe’s ETF battle; Global lenders beef up staffing and technology to try to gain trading edge
Chris Flood – FT
Europe’s exchange traded fund market has become a global battleground, with some of the largest investment banks busily honing their ETF trading capabilities.
Trump Offers a ‘Steel Barrier,’ but Democrats Are Unmoved
Michael Tackett and Catie Edmondson – The New York Times
WASHINGTON — President Trump’s evolving definition of a border wall animated negotiations to end a partial government shutdown on Sunday, while House Democrats moved to increase pressure on the president by vowing to pass individual bills to reopen targeted departments that handle critical functions like tax refunds and food stamps.
Trial of Ex-UBS Employee Delayed by a Day After Court No-Show
Hugo Miller – Bloomberg
Accused charged with bank secrecy violations, money laundering; Case involved data allegedly sold to German tax authorities
The Swiss trial of an ex-employee of UBS Group AG charged with stealing data on the bank’s clients and allegedly selling it to German tax authorities was postponed by a day after the defendant failed to show up in court.
Ex-Goldman banker Ng denied bail due to ‘serious flight risk’
A Malaysian court denied bail for Roger Ng, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker who was charged in the country for his role in 1MDB deals while facing extradition to the U.S. for similar allegations.
Notification window for the temporary permissions regime now open
The temporary permissions regime will allow EEA-based firms currently passporting into the UK to continue new and existing regulated business within the scope of their current permissions in the UK for a limited period, while they seek full FCA authorisation, if the UK leaves the EU on exit day without an implementation period in place. It will also allow EEA-domiciled investment funds that market in the UK under a passport to continue temporarily marketing in the UK. Find out more about the regime.
Investing and Trading
History has some troubling lessons on bear markets; Investors are rightful to be wary of the view that equities will breezily bounce back
Michael Mackenzie – FT
Trying to predict markets is a perilous task at the best of times. That certainly appears the case now, given the hangover investment funds are nursing after the pain inflicted in 2018 across bonds and equities, the twin pillars of portfolios.
Opinion: Stock-market investors, it’s time to hear the ugly truth
Sven Henrich – MarketWatch
For years critics of U.S. central-bank policy have been dismissed as Negative Nellies, but the ugly truth is staring us in the face: Stock-market advances remain a game of artificial liquidity and central-bank jawboning, not organic growth. And now the jig is up.
It’s America First in Volatility Land With Anomalies Galore
Justina Lee – Bloomberg
U.S. stocks are becoming more volatile versus other markets; American political risks gaining attention as economy slows
As the world’s largest and deepest equity market, the U.S. tends to be the relatively steady hand among volatile peers. Not anymore.
Credit Investors Are Still Braced for a Blow-Out in Spreads
Tracy Alloway – Bloomberg
Options on CDX assign 9% probability to 40 basis-point surge; JPMorgan sees increased ‘market expectation of a tail event’
Underneath the surface of a burgeoning calm in credit markets lies a fat-tailed monster: Options traders preparing for a sell-off that would spark a surge in risk premiums to levels not seen in two years.
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink says within the next 5 years all investors will measure a company’s impact on society, government, and the environment to determine its worth
Richard Feloni – Business Insider
When BlackRock CEO Larry Fink proclaimed in his annual letter in January that, “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society,” he says he wasn’t doing it “to be en vogue,” or, as Wall Street Journal columnist Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. wrote, to “buy indulgences” with the public.
Two Bad Years Leave Investors Wary of Catastrophe Bonds; Big storms and other disasters haven’t helped returns, while some funds remain trapped by claims processes
Paul J. Davies – WSJ
Two years of U.S. storms, floods and fires have racked up losses for insurers and led investors in catastrophe-risk markets to question their exposure for the first time in years.
UBS Is at Early Stage of CEO Succession Planning, Weber Says
Haidi Lun, Shery Ahn, and Patrick Winters – Bloomberg
Axel Weber declines to comment on Meissner speculation; Succession search is ‘not driven by the clock,’ he says
UBS Group AG is in the early stages of planning the succession of Sergio Ermotti, one of European banking’s longest-serving chief executive officers, according to Chairman Axel Weber.
UBS’s Woes Run Deeper Than Just One Leader; A strategy that had served the bank so well now needs freshening up.
Elisa Martinuzzi – Bloomberg
A year ago, all was set fair for Switzerland’s largest bank. The wealthy were getting richer and assets were appreciating, while many of UBS Group AG’s European competitors were still figuring out what they wanted to be.
Bridgewater’s Pure Alpha Fund Returned 14.6% Last Year
Hema Parmar and Erik Schatzker – Bloomberg
Bridgewater Associates’ flagship hedge fund rose 14.6 percent last year as stocks fell broadly, according to a document seen by Bloomberg.
Vanguard keeps title of fastest-growing fund manager; CEO Tim Buckley says zero-cost funds such as those offered by Fidelity are ‘a gimmick’
Chris Flood – FT
Vanguard has kept its title as the world’s fastest-growing fund manager for a seventh successive year despite a sharp fall in new business in 2018.
RBS admits misleading court to repossess customer’s home; Case highlights concerns that banks are struggling to change scandal-hit culture
Nicholas Megaw – FT
Lawyers representing Royal Bank of Scotland falsely denied the existence of a customer complaint in a court hearing to repossess a borrower’s home. The case will fuel concerns that banks continue to mistreat customers despite claiming to have transformed their culture after a series of scandals.
Banks cut US federal employees financial slack during shutdown; Groups commit to work with affected customers regarding missing payments and deferrals
Robert Armstrong – FT
Even as the White House and congressional leaders have failed to make progress towards a compromise that would end the partial shutdown of the US government, banks are offering affected borrowers forbearance on loan payments and fees.
Putin says Russia will supply soy beans, poultry meat to China
President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would supply soy beans and poultry meat to China and that the United States had effectively given up on that market.
Gabon coup attempt: Government says situation under control
All five of the rebels who tried to take charge have now been arrested by the authorities. The junior officers claimed they seized power “to restore democracy” in oil-rich Gabon, where the ailing leader’s family has ruled for 50 years. Tanks and armoured vehicles could be seen in the capital Libreville. One of the rebels was on the run for a brief period, before being found hiding under a bed, reports Radio France Internationale.
A U.S. General Walks Baghdad Streets For The First Time In Years
Jane Arraf – NPR
It’s been several years since a U.S. commander has stepped foot in downtown Baghdad. But this past week, one U.S. Marine general walked the city streets with his Iraqi counterparts.
U.K. Lawmakers Ratchet Up Campaign to Avert No-Deal Brexit
Alex Morales and Tim Ross – Bloomberg
Some 209 MPs write to May urging her to rule option out; May defends Brexit deal, warns of second referendum risk
Lawmakers called on Theresa May to rule out a no-deal Brexit, stepping up a campaign against an outcome they say threatens the livelihoods of voters.
UK financial services sector shifts £800bn in assets to Europe; EY study shows that uncertainty has driven operations abroad ahead of Brexit
Madison Darbyshire – FT
Financial services companies have moved almost £800bn in staff, operations and other assets to Europe since the Brexit referendum, according to a report from consultancy EY.
Brexit: Operation Brock lorry park A256 trial under way
A convoy of lorries has taken part in the first of two test runs aimed at tackling post-Brexit traffic queues. The group of 89 HGVs set off at 08:00 GMT from the disused Manston Airport, near Ramsgate in Kent, on a 20-mile route to the Port of Dover. At Dover, lorries were directed to the Eastern Docks roundabout where they did a loop and drove back to the airfield. Hauliers fear a no-deal Brexit will create additional border checks, leading to queues of up to 29 miles. The government said it had to “prepare for all eventualities, including a possible no deal”.