Crypto power struggle enters new stage with Binance settlement

Nov 24, 2023

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) is getting ready to launch China treasury bond futures in Hong Kong, if approved by the regulators, The Trade reported and HKEX and Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission announced.

It appears a contributing factor to Sam Altman’s firing as CEO of OpenAI by the previous board of directors was a letter from several staff “warning of a powerful artificial intelligence discovery that they said could threaten humanity,” Reuters reported in an exclusive story.

I decided to ask ChatGPT “How could AI lead to the end of civilization?”

Here is the answer I received from ChatGPT:

The idea that AI could lead to the end of civilization is a topic of much debate and speculation. Here are some theoretical ways in which AI could pose a risk:

Autonomy and Lack of Control: If AI systems become highly autonomous and surpass human intelligence, we might lose the ability to control or predict their actions.

Misalignment of Goals: An AI’s goals might not align with human values or intentions. If an AI is programmed with goals that are not perfectly aligned with human welfare, it could inadvertently cause harm on a massive scale.

Accelerated Weaponization: The use of AI in military applications could lead to the development of advanced, autonomous weapons systems, potentially escalating conflicts or enabling new forms of warfare.

Economic Disruption: AI could dramatically disrupt job markets and economies, leading to widespread unemployment and social unrest.

Dependence and Vulnerability: As society becomes more dependent on AI systems, a failure or manipulation of these systems could have catastrophic consequences.

Ethical and Moral Implications: AI might make decisions that are technically efficient but ethically or morally questionable, leading to societal conflicts.

AI-Driven Surveillance: The potential for AI-driven surveillance could lead to unprecedented invasions of privacy and totalitarian control if misused by governments or other organizations.

It’s important to note that these scenarios are speculative and depend on various factors, including the pace of AI development, regulatory frameworks, and the global socio-political environment. Addressing these risks requires careful consideration, ethical AI development, robust safety measures, and international cooperation.

It’s important to note that these scenarios are speculative and depend on various factors, including the pace of AI development, regulatory frameworks, and the global socio-political environment. Addressing these risks requires careful consideration, ethical AI development, robust safety measures, and international cooperation.

I would say that ChatGPT has a pretty good head on its shoulders when addressing this issue. I like that in my future autonomous technological overlord.

The Financial Times Unhedged Podcast latest episode is titled “Unhedged podcast. What the London Stock Exchange really trades” and the subheading is “The LSE has become a data merchant. Do its listings still matter?”

If you ever wondered how wine is really sold, the Financial Times has a story that explains it titled “Buy cheap and sell to rubes: a scientific guide to wine investing.”

Today is Black Friday and lots of people will be shopping for Christmas gifts for loved ones. Some children in Ukraine don’t have parents anymore to give them Christmas gifts and Uber-Good-Guy Thom Lant is revving up his GoFundMe fundraising to try to help them out. If you would like to support his efforts, you can do so with THIS LINK.

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday yesterday, today is a “given day” for the JLN staff. That means we publish JLN, but we will not be publishing JLN Options. Additionally, because of the shortened week and the given day, we will not be publishing the Weekend Update tomorrow.

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

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Our most read stories from our previous edition JLN Options were:
Nvidia Options Hand Rare Gains to Traders Betting on Calmness from Bloomberg via Yahoo Finance.
Hedge fund short sellers suffer $43bn of losses in market rally from the Financial Times.
Crypto Traders Load Up on Bitcoin Topside Option Plays After Binance’s Guilty Plea from CoinDesk. ~JB

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

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Sponsored Content
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The Science Behind Selecting a Strike: Jermal Chandler, Host of “Engineering The Trade” and Veteran Options Trader, Discusses Option Strike Price Selection in this Options Discovery Full Interview.
JohnLothianNews.com

In this Options Discovery full interview, Asma Awass speaks with Jermal Chandler, host of tastylive’s “Engineering The Trade.” Jermal addresses a variety of topics from his career, including his background in the sciences and discovering his passion for the derivatives space. Jermal also gives more insight into strike price selection, such as the “moneyness” of a strike, risk profiles, and more. You can view Engineering The Trade here: https://www.tastylive.com/shows/engineering-the-trade

Watch the video »

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Ramaswamy’s Crypto Deregulation Plan Is Scaring the Industry
Hadriana Lowenkron – Bloomberg
Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s call for mass deregulation of the cryptocurrency industry and drastic cuts to the Securities and Exchange Commission are the makings of crypto regulators’ nightmares, yet a version of that plan could be a reality if a Republican wins the White House. Ramaswamy – who is polling in the single digits – is unlikely to become the 2024 Republican presidential nominee, but he has echoed many policy positions of frontrunner Donald Trump, teeing himself up for a potential high-profile spot in a GOP administration that could have significant sway over crypto.
/jlne.ws/40R1L6y

****** Ramaswamy may not win, but his ideas may turn into policy for a Trump administration should the former president return to the White House. Where would Ramaswamy fit in a Trump administration? Head of FDA? Or head of the SEC?~JJL

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Ukraine’s Struggle for Arms and Attention Gives Putin an Opening
Natalia Drozdiak, Daryna Krasnolutska and Alberto Nardelli – Bloomberg
In late September, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg discussed visiting the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels to meet with the group of countries providing him with military support. The goal was to keep weapons flowing after a summer counteroffensive that hadn’t yielded a major breakthrough.
/jlne.ws/47shHim

****** Let’s not give Mr. Putin an opening. ~JJL

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Why You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney; The cases for and against putting a price on human organs go to the heart of the debate about capitalism
James Mackintosh – The Wall Street Journal
Javier Milei won the Argentine presidency with a promise to rip up the state, dynamite the central bank and ditch the peso for the dollar. All are controversial, but none so controversial as his belief that there should be a legal market in human organs. The yuck factor led him to play down his views as the election neared, but trading in organs is one of the most interesting libertarian ideas-and regarded with horror by critics, who see it as the purest form of dystopian capitalism. There are two compelling reasons to allow people to sell their organs, while the counterarguments tend to overlook the basic question of economics: What is the alternative? We shouldn’t expect to be trading kidney futures in Chicago any time soon, but the cases for and against putting a price on kidneys go to the heart of the debate about capitalism.
/tinyurl.com/2edrkbcv

****** How about a futures market for kidneys? That might be the most painful delivery ever. ~JJL

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Wednesday’s Top Three
Our most clicked story Wednesday was Black Friday 2023: The 150+ Best Deals of the Thousands We’ve Reviewed (So Far), from The New York Times Wirecutter. Second was Binance chief resigns as crypto exchange pays $4bn in fines, from the Financial Times. Third was a tie between the Financial Times’ Morgan Stanley co-president Andy Saperstein diagnosed with cancer and Sam Altman Is Reinstated as OpenAI’s Chief Executive, from The New York Times.

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Lead Stories

Crypto power struggle enters new stage with Binance settlement; Central authorities struck a blow against libertarian entrepreneurs this week
Gillian Tett – Financial Times
Almost the only topic that techies can talk about this week is the extraordinary drama at OpenAI. But a little further north, in a federal court in Seattle, another startling tale has unfolded, which has implications for another set of recently hot innovations. On Tuesday, the Department of Justice unveiled sweeping money laundering and fraud charges against Binance, the world’s biggest crypto-trading platform, prompting its leader, Changpeng Zhao (“CZ”), to resign and pay a $50mn fine. Binance also made a $4.3bn settlement, marking “one of the largest corporate penalties in US history”, as Merrick Garland, attorney-general, triumphantly declared.
/tinyurl.com/mux8buem

Binance Penalties Include a Number of Crypto Industry Firsts; The Treasury Department’s FinCEN is imposing its first-ever monitorship on the cryptocurrency exchange
Mengqi Sun – The Wall Street Journal
U.S. regulators’ settlement with the largest cryptocurrency exchange marked a new era in its enforcement efforts in the nascent sector. Some of the penalties imposed on Binance are a first for a cryptocurrency company, with regulators employing powerful measures typically used in the past to rein in major financial institutions. Binance’s penalties include record-breaking civil fines for the Treasury Department, the first monitorship imposed by the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the first personal liability charge against a chief compliance officer by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
/tinyurl.com/bdvzwjrk

HKEX reveals plans to launch China treasury bond futures; The move will help increase international participation in China’s equities and fixed-income markets and increase investment and risk management opportunities in Hong Kong.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) has announced plans to launch China treasury bond futures in Hong Kong, subject to regulatory approval. The addition of these treasury bond futures will help regional and global investors interested in accessing China manage their interest rate and investment risks more effectively, according to HKEX.
/tinyurl.com/2dxc6u43

Shorting Ban Drives South Korea Stock Bears to Futures Market
Youkyung Lee and Jaehyun Eom – Bloomberg
South Korea’s equity market may be heading for more turbulence as investors place bearish bets on single stock futures – an unintended consequence of last month’s short-selling ban. Futures of some Korean companies are trading at a discount of as much as 6% to their spot prices as investors try to hedge potential risks, according to exchange data. The move risks driving up volatility in the market, adding to challenges for investors seeking steady returns after the surprise crackdown on selling of borrowed shares.
/jlne.ws/3RcM5HB

Exclusive-OpenAI researchers warned board of AI breakthrough ahead of CEO ouster, sources say
Anna Tong, Jeffrey Dastin and Krystal Hu – Reuters
Ahead of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s four days in exile, several staff researchers wrote a letter to the board of directors warning of a powerful artificial intelligence discovery that they said could threaten humanity, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The previously unreported letter and AI algorithm were key developments before the board’s ouster of Altman, the poster child of generative AI, the two sources said. Prior to his triumphant return late Tuesday, more than 700 employees had threatened to quit and join backer Microsoft in solidarity with their fired leader.
/jlne.ws/3QPxq3X

World’s Biggest Bank ICBC Still Faces Trader Wariness After Cyberattack
Jordan Robertson and Katherine Doherty – Bloomberg
Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the world’s largest lender by assets, has been unable to convince some market participants that it’s safe to reconnect their computer networks to the bank’s US unit after a ransomware attack disrupted its systems, according to people familiar with the matter. The attack, which was claimed by the Russia-linked LockBit cybercrime and extortion gang earlier this month, impeded trading in the $26 billion Treasury market and, the people said, it has left users of the bank’s US arm skittish about trading with the bank.
/jlne.ws/3uvg6tq

CZ takes risk with his biggest deal; Plus, Kraken is also charged by the SEC
Scott Chipolina – Financial Times
It’s Changpeng Zhao against the US government: who will win? It seems a strange question only days after the US government’s pursuit of Binance over money laundering and breaching financial sanctions removed CZ from the position he loved. “Admittedly, it was not easy to let go emotionally. But I know it is the right thing to do,” he wrote on social media site X.
/tinyurl.com/4y4944aa

Why Stamping Out Crypto Bros Could Help Bitcoin; Binance’s landmark settlement with U.S. officials may clear the way for better exchange-traded funds based on the largest digital currency
Jon Sindreu – The Wall Street Journal
Such is the wackiness of the crypto world that a regulatory crackdown might actually revive investor optimism. Earlier this week, Binance Chief Executive Changpeng Zhao pleaded guilty to money-laundering violations and agreed to pay a criminal fine of $50 million. Then, his company will pay $4.3 billion to, among other things, settle civil allegations related to sanctions evasion.
/tinyurl.com/4abvu9au

OpenAI Got Its CEO Back. What Happens Next? As the company expands its board and explores governance changes, here are the key players with the most at stake
Berber Jin, Deepa Seetharaman and Tom Dotan – The Wall Street Journal
Sam Altman is back at the helm of OpenAI, days after the board abruptly ousted him. Almost everything else is still in flux. The deal struck Tuesday night to restore Altman as CEO is a long way from the ultimate goal he wanted to achieve heading into a weekend of intense negotiations. He had lobbied for an entirely new slate of directors-built on the ashes of the directors who fired him-and wanted to rejoin the board again himself, according to people familiar with the matter.
/tinyurl.com/y225zx6m

The Bank That’s Trying to Get Ahead of the Weather; Supercharged storms are bad for lending. Alabama-based Regions Financial is figuring out how to get ready.
Gina Heeb – The Wall Street Journal
Kyle Puchta is up well before dawn most days, poring over weather forecasts that Regions Financial purchases from a private contractor based in Norway. Whenever there is a hurricane, tornado or other disaster coming the bank’s way, he sends a 5 a.m. email to prep colleagues on how to get ready. The 59-year-old Puchta, a senior vice president in corporate security at Regions, is the point man for a unit of 75 employees known inside the bank as the “SWAT Team” or the “Weather Team.” The role wasn’t intended to focus on weather when Puchta started it in 2011, but he spends at least half of his time on it these days.
/tinyurl.com/3evysmzz

AI Startup Cohere’s CEO Slams Effective Altruism in Wake of OpenAI Drama
Ellen Huet and Rachel Metz – Bloomberg
The chief executive officer of artificial-intelligence startup Cohere criticized the “self righteousness” of the effective altruism movement and those overly concerned with the threat of an AI doomsday in a letter to his staff on Wednesday. The AI industry has been increasingly divided between those who urge caution and restraint in the development of the technology and those who want to barrel ahead quickly. That tension was on full display this past week amid the rupture between OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and the board members who fired him Friday-before the company rehired him five days later. The fear that AI might wipe out humanity is a key belief among many effective altruists and one that has grown increasingly influential in Silicon Valley and in the AI industry over the past decade. The OpenAI board included proponents of the philosophy.
/jlne.ws/46tmcrB

Trader Error Causes Huge Plunge in Finnish Power Prices
Lars Paulsson and Kati Pohjanpalo – Bloomberg
A power trader error sent shockwaves through the Finnish market as it mistakenly offered to sell the equivalent of at least half the country’s entire consumption at an hourly auction. Prices dived after the mistake by Kinect Energy AS, which said it was an “internal system error.” Grid manager Fingrid Oyj is planning to intervene to ensure system security and balancing capacities on Friday, and there will be no intraday trading from Finland toward Sweden that day.
/jlne.ws/3uumtxb

How to tackle your inner climate denier; Like many others, my instinctive response is to change the subject, but collectively that has to change
Simon Kuper – Financial Times
I was chatting with my teenage daughter the other day when she mentioned climate change. Inevitably, it causes her anxiety. She will probably live to see many coastal cities go under, countries become too hot to inhabit and rich havens shut out climate refugees. My instinctive response was to change the subject. I was exhibiting the new, mainstream form of climate denial: a refusal to think about climate change because it’s too painful. I understood the “new climate denial” only after hearing a talk about it by Wolfgang Blau, head of the global climate hub at the consultancy Brunswick. Most of us practise the new denial. We’ll activate it next week during the UN’s COP28 climate summit in Dubai, which will achieve almost nothing and be overshadowed by wars and nonsense. But saving my daughter’s generation will require ditching denial. Blau, speaking at the recent Faith Angle Europe conference, suggested how to do that.
/jlne.ws/49TuWKo

Treasury clearing 101; Everything you never wanted to know about central clearing in the world’s benchmark market
Alexandra Scaggs – Financial Times
It’s a bit odd that something as fundamental as clearing was hardly addressed at the New York Fed’s annual Treasury market-structure conference last week. It was especially strange because Treasury market plumbing has become – dare we say – exciting!
/tinyurl.com/45jnnncb

Fireside Friday with… StoneX’s Philip Smith; The TRADE sits down with chief executive for EMEA at StoneX, Philip Smith, to explore how various market structure and regulatory changes are impacting the provider landscape across liquidity provision, clearing and prime services.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
What are the regulation and market structure changes you’re keeping tabs on?
At the forefront are still the knock-on effects of Brexit. There was this unreasonable expectation that the UK was going to become the Singapore of Europe. We don’t have equivalence but there’s never been this bonfire of the regulations. Financial services were well and truly affected by Brexit and we’ve had to put in place duplicate infrastructure and presence, which is inefficient. We ran everything from London and passported services throughout the EU. Now we’ve got a physical presence in Europe, and we probably have 200 people who previously would have done jobs that operated out of London. We’re keeping on top of what benefits we can achieve out of new progress between the EU and the UK but we’re working on the assumption that we’re never going to get back what we had.
/tinyurl.com/bdh8dvhr

Ukraine Invasion

Ukraine Risks Being Forced Into Talks, Baltic Diplomat Says
Milda Seputyte – Bloomberg
Ukraine risks being pushed into peace negotiations with Russia involuntarily as allies fail to supply it with the weapons and ammunition it needs to win the war, according a top Baltic diplomat. The warning by Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, one of Ukraine’s most vocal supporters, underscores frustration among NATO allies with stalled deliveries and fading support. Kyiv’s lack of missile systems and ammunition – as well as the months-long decision-making process in the European Union – risk putting Ukraine in a position in which it has no option but to sue for peace, he said.
/jlne.ws/46tsMOD

Finland Warns Border to Be Sealed If Russia Keeps Up Pressure
Kati Pohjanpalo – Bloomberg
Finland’s government will close its one remaining crossing point with Russia if its neighbor continues with a hybrid operation to push asylum seekers across the demarcation, Interior Minister Mari Rantanen said. “If Russian authorities continue to transport” migrants “to or near the border, then the situation is that we will seal our entire eastern border,” Rantanen said on YLE TV1 on Thursday. “This has nothing to do with immigration policy, this is purely a question of national security.”
/jlne.ws/3RddU2D

Ukraine aims a major drone attack at Crimea as Russia tries to capture a destroyed eastern city
Illia Novikov – Associated Press
Ukraine launched one of the biggest drone attacks on the Moscow-annexed Crimean Peninsula since the full-scale war that started with Russia’s invasion 21 months ago, Russian officials said Friday. At the same time, Ukrainian officials reported that the Kremlin’s forces escalated their weekslong and costly attempt to storm Avdiivka, a strategically important city in eastern Ukraine.
/jlne.ws/3sMMTty

NVIDIA sued for stealing trade secrets after screensharing blunder showed rival company’s code; Valeo said NVIDIA saved millions of dollars by stealing its trade secrets.
Mariella Moon – Engadget
NVIDIA is facing a lawsuit filed by French automotive company Valeo after a screensharing blunder by one of its employees. According to Valeo’s complaint, Mohammad Moniruzzaman, an engineer for NVIDIA who used to work for its company, had mistakenly showed its source code files on his computer as he was sharing his screen during a meeting with both firms in 2022. Valeo’s employees quickly recognized the code and took screenshots before Moniruzzaman was notified of his mistake.
/jlne.ws/3sKJawB

Russia ‘Spits’ on EU Sanctions in Escalating Propaganda Battle
Alberto Nardelli, Jillian Deutsch and Stephanie Bodoni – Bloomberg
The European Union promised to shut down the flow of Vladimir Putin’s propaganda after Russia invaded Ukraine, slapping sanctions on state-backed media RT and Sputnik days after the attack. Nearly two years into the war, the Kremlin appears to have the last laugh. RT.com may be inaccessible in the EU, but a series of less popular mirror sites provides the same content, aimed at undermining the bloc’s support of Ukraine. One is swentr.site, or RT News in reverse.
/jlne.ws/3sMRdci

Israel/Palestine Conflict

Israel and Hamas begin cease-fire, setting stage for release of some hostages and more aid to Gaza
Wafaa Shurafa, Bassem Mroue And David Rising – Associated Press
A four-day cease-fire between Israel and Hamas began Friday, allowing sorely needed aid to start flowing into Gaza and setting the stage for the release of dozens of hostages held by militants and Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.
/jlne.ws/47Kxhph

Israel’s $48 Billion War Bill Leaves Its Fate With Bond Markets
Galit Altstein – Bloomberg
When a team of Israeli technocrats that calls itself the “government’s CFO” scans the battlefield with the war against Hamas almost seven weeks in, it sees an accounting ledger with billions of debits stacking up. Their job is to find the money to help pay for it all.
/jlne.ws/3SXGmqI

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Abaxx Closes CAD$30.7 Million Financing and Terminates ATM Program
Press Release
/jlne.ws/3sQym00

*****Don’t read this if you are in the U.S.

Spanish financial markets’ 2024 trading calendar
BME
BME, the operator the Spanish Equity, Fixed Income and Derivatives markets, has set the trading calendar for 2023. It has been agreed that the markets will be closed the following days: Monday, 1 January; Friday, 29 March; Monday, 1 April; Wednesday, 1 May; Wednesday, 25 December; Thursday, 26 December; On Tuesday, 24 December and Tuesday, 31 December, the market will be open until 2:00 pm.
/jlne.ws/40QagyV

DAX cap limit will be raised to 15 percent; New cap applies to DAX, MDAX, SDAX and TecDAX; Introduction with the March 2024 index review
Deutsche Boerse Group
STOXX Ltd. will raise the cap for the DAX index family from 10 to 15 percent. This was preceded by a broad market consultation that lasted from October 11th to November 8th, 2023 and was aimed at all market participants. The responses reflected a wide range of considerations from different market participants. A majority spoke in favor of raising the cap limit to 15 percent.
/jlne.ws/3Gfjv2g

HKEX To Launch China Treasury Bond Futures
HKEX
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) is pleased to announce today (Friday) its plans to launch China Treasury Bond Futures (Treasury Bond Futures) in Hong Kong, subject to regulatory approval. HKEX Chief Executive Officer, Nicolas Aguzin, said: “The launch of Treasury Bond Futures is an exciting new milestone that adds to HKEX’s expanding suite of China-related risk management tools, as well as our overall FIC offering, providing investors with even greater choice and opportunity. These unique new T-bond futures will help drive market liquidity and support the further development of Hong Kong’s RMB ecosystem, cementing the city’s role as the world’s leading offshore RMB hub. We look forward to working closely with the Securities and Futures Commission and all our partners to ensure the successful rollout of this exciting new risk management tool, as we connect China and the world.”
/jlne.ws/3uzcmaw

****Here is a press release about the launch from the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).

Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. Announces Amendments to Private Exchange Offer and Consent Solicitation for Black Knight InfoServ, LLC’s Outstanding 3.625% Senior Notes Due 2028
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE) (“ICE”) announced today amendments to its previously announced private exchange offer (the “Exchange Offer”) and related consent solicitation (the “Consent Solicitation”) with respect to the outstanding 3.625% Senior Notes due 2028 (the “BK Notes”) issued by Black Knight InfoServ, LLC (“BK”), a wholly owned subsidiary of ICE. ICE will not make any further amendments to the terms and conditions of, or the consideration offered in, or any extensions of, the Exchange Offer and Consent Solicitation. If the Requisite Consent (as defined below) is not obtained by the earlier of (i) the Expiration Date (as defined below) and (ii) the termination of the Exchange Offer and Consent Solicitation, the terms of the BK Notes will remain unchanged and BK will continue to be bound by the reporting covenant and the other covenants in the indenture under which the BK Notes were issued (the “Original BK Indenture”).
/tinyurl.com/p6dmectm

Regular Constituents Chagnes in KOSPI 200, KOSDAQ 150 and KRX 300
KRX Market
There will be regular constituents changes in KOSPI 200, KOSDAQ 150, and KRX 300, effective from December 15, 2023.
/jlne.ws/47OnChc

LMEClear EMIR (UK) REFIT – Member changes
London Metal Exchange
Summary. 1. ESMA published their Final Report “Technical standards on reporting, data quality, data access and registration of Trade Repositories under EMIR REFIT” on 17th December 2020 (Final Report). The go live date is 29th April 2024.
/jlne.ws/3vimcfa

Quantile and LCH ForexClear Deliver FX Smart Clearing
London Stock Exchange Group
FX Smart Clearing service enables participants to selectively clear FX Forwards via LCH ForexClear to significantly reduce capital requirements and counterparty risk. Quantile’s optimisation then ensures the risk reduction is achieved within the relevant IM and risk constraints.
Developed in response to customer demand for solutions which simultaneously manage counterparty risk, initial margin and capital.
Quantile and LCH ForexClear, both LSEG Post Trade businesses, today announced they have delivered the market’s first FX Smart Clearing service. The service, which went live on 15th November, enables participants to selectively clear FX Forwards via LCH ForexClear to significantly reduce capital requirements and counterparty risk.
/jlne.ws/3ReLu8A

Changes in Nifty Fixed Income indices
NSE
The Index Maintenance Sub-Committee (Debt) of NSE Indices Limited has decided to make changes as listed hereunder. These changes shall become effective from November 30, 2023.
/jlne.ws/3GdeGGv

SGX-listed issuers improve sustainability reporting; climate disclosures underdeveloped
SGX
A biennial study by Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) and the Centre for Governance and Sustainability (CGS) at the NUS Business School has found that listed issuers of all sizes have improved in terms of sustainability reporting since the first study conducted in 2019. The average 2023 score was 75 points out of a possible 100 versus 72 in 2021 and 61 in 2019. Climate-related disclosures being newly mandated, were however found to be relatively underdeveloped particularly among smaller issuers. Of the 535 SGX-listed issuers that published their sustainability reports, only 393 or 73% provided climate-related disclosures based on the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework. Large issuers, namely those whose market capitalisation is at least S$1 billion, were better able to meet the new SGX climate reporting requirements based on recommendations of the TCFD.
/jlne.ws/3TdTCHV

Fintech

HSBC UK Customers Suffer Digital Outage During Black Friday
Harry Wilson – Bloomberg
Some British customers of HSBC Holdings Plc are unable to use the lender’s mobile and digital banking services, causing disruption to shoppers during the Black Friday sales. HSBC UK customers reported problems with accessing online banking, while the London-based firm said it was investigating the problems as a “matter of urgency” in a message posted to its account on X, formerly known as Twitter. A spokeswoman for HSBC UK said in an emailed statement that the bank was aware of problems with its online systems, in particular the authorizing of card purchases via its mobile banking app. Customers are still able to opt to confirm purchases via a one-time code sent to them via text message.
/tinyurl.com/3hym3v7n

OpenAI turmoil exposes threat to Microsoft’s investment; Satya Nadella’s bet on AI start-up destabilised by shock sacking of Sam Altman
Richard Waters – Financial Times
Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella’s decision to throw his company’s lot in with OpenAI in 2019 has turned into one of the tech industry’s most successful partnerships, giving the software company a huge head-start in the booming market for generative artificial intelligence.
/tinyurl.com/2s38jd2y

The lessons of OpenAI’s soap for Europe; Crisis at US start-up demonstrates hyper-reliance on Big Tech
Anne-Sylvaine Chassany – Financial Times
A few hours before OpenAI’s board sacked its chief executive, starting a five-day soap opera that has gripped the global artificial intelligence community, Xavier Niel unveiled an attempt to create a French version of the Silicon Valley start-up in Paris’s 13th arrondissement. Kyutai resembles OpenAI in its original form, rather than its current dysfunctional state: a non-profit research lab designed to build and experiment on large language models – the algorithms that are predicting the end of our sentences and writing essays and code for us. In the hall of his start-up incubator Station F, Niel sat alongside fellow French billionaire Rodolphe Saadé, head of shipping group CMA CGM, and ex-Google chief Eric Schmidt, who will also help fund the EUR300mn initiative.
/tinyurl.com/4nmakkm8

Here’s Who Should Be on OpenAI’s Board; The most vocal critics of AI’s dangers have been women and people of color. They need a seat at the table.
Parmy Olson – Bloomberg
When OpenAI’s leaders return to work on Monday they’ll have one thing at the top of their to-do list: figure out what to do about the nonprofit board that nearly killed them. They’ve already begun setting up a governance structure that will guide them in a more commercial direction,1and though that’s great news for OpenAI’s investors, it does fly in the face of its founding principles of prioritizing humanity while building super-intelligent machines. OpenAI’s leadership can do something about that. They must think carefully about the remaining board members they add, and not just to look progressive. They need women, people of color and other diverse voices for whom biased language models are most likely to cause harm, and who will speak up about those risks.
/tinyurl.com/4xt83fdd

The Fight for the Soul of A.I.
David Brooks – The New York Times
One of the nice things about OpenAI is that it was built on distrust. It began as a nonprofit research lab because its founders didn’t think artificial intelligence should be pioneered by commercial firms, which are driven overwhelmingly by the profit motive. As it evolved, OpenAI turned into what you might call a fruitful contradiction: a for-profit company overseen by a nonprofit board with a corporate culture somewhere in between.
/tinyurl.com/5fn4xe53

A.I. Belongs to the Capitalists Now; The fight over OpenAI was at least partly about dueling visions of artificial intelligence. One side clearly won out.
Kevin Roose – The New York Times
What happened at OpenAI over the past five days could be described in many ways: A juicy boardroom drama, a tug of war over one of America’s biggest start-ups, a clash between those who want A.I. to progress faster and those who want to slow it down. But it was, most importantly, a fight between two dueling visions of artificial intelligence.
/tinyurl.com/4jzxpk3p

Alibaba Begins Overhaul to Revive Cloud Arm After Nixing Spinoff
Jane Zhang – Bloomberg
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is taking the first steps toward revamping its cloud business by overhauling its leadership, aiming to revive growth and ride an AI boom after canceling a much-anticipated spinoff of the $11 billion unit.
/jlne.ws/49KtqdH

Cybersecurity

EU mulls wider scope for cybersecurity certification scheme – paper
Foo Yun Chee – Reuters
The European Union is considering broadening the scope of proposed cybersecurity labelling rules that would affect not just Amazon (AMZN.O), Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google and Microsoft (MSFT.O) but also banks and airlines, according to the latest draft of the rules.
The EU move to set up such a system comes as Big Tech looks to the government cloud market to drive growth in the coming years while a potential boom in artificial intelligence after the viral success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT could also boost demand for cloud services.
/jlne.ws/47E0qT0

Russian-made Ukraine-targeting malware has infested systems worldwide, spreading via USB stick
Roshan Shaikh – tom’sHARDWARE
A worm originally made for espionage against Ukraine has now been identified as a nuisance worldwide as it branching out globally, collecting and transmitting user’s data without their knowledge. The worm, called ‘LitterDrifter’, was made by Russian hackers known under multiple names (one of which is Gamaredon), whose cyber attacks typically use malware and have gained a reputation for it. In 2014, Ukraine’s security service claimed this was done by Russia’s Federal Security Service, the Kremlin. Despite this identification, the threat wasn’t contained on time and has since been found to be infecting systems globally. It’s been found to have collected information from users in the United States, Chile, Poland, Germany, Vietnam, and Hong Kong, as well as in Ukraine.
/jlne.ws/46wYKtv

China Rounds Up 31,000 Suspects in Sweeping ‘Pig-Butchering’ Crackdown; Beijing is trying to stamp out online scams run from lawless enclaves across its border
Feliz Solomon – Bloomberg
For months, China has tried to break up cybercrime syndicates that operate from shadowy compounds across the border in neighboring countries and swindle people around the world. The scammers call the fraud “pig-butchering”: They “fatten” victims by gaining their trust online, convince them to transfer large sums of money and then “butcher” them by absconding with the loot.
/tinyurl.com/44rr8tas

Cryptocurrencies

A $200,000 Pet-Rock NFT Shows How Crypto Is Relapsing Into FOMO
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
Earlier this month, an image of a pet rock sold for the equivalent of more than $200,000 in the non-fungible token market. Meanwhile, the market capitalization of a cryptocurrency called Pepe – a meme coin based on a cartoon frog – doubled in just a few weeks. And even the price of the FTT token, which was created by the FTX exchange and currently has no real utility, has tripled in the past month on hopes that Sam Bankman-Fried’s exchange will return from the dead.
/jlne.ws/46pr0hv

ECB chief Lagarde admits her son lost crypto cash
Reuters
No one is a prophet in their own land, including European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, who admitted on Friday that her son lost “almost all” of his investments in crypto assets, despite copious warnings. Lagarde has long railed against cryptocurrencies, calling them speculative, worthless and a tool often used by criminals for illicit activity.
/jlne.ws/40QOriA

Bankrupt Genesis Sues Crypto Firm Gemini to Recover $690 Million
Jonathan Randles – Bloomberg
Bankrupt crypto lender Genesis Global Holdco LLC is suing Gemini Trust Co. to recover nearly $690 million that Genesis says the crypto platform withdrew from Genesis in the months before the company’s Chapter 11 filing in January. Genesis said in a Tuesday complaint in New York bankruptcy court that the withdrawals made by Gemini were unprecedented and amounted to a run-on-the-bank that came at the expense of the crypto lender’s other creditors.
/jlne.ws/3SV2Vw8

Binance’s crypto dominance under threat after loss of founder Changpeng Zhao; US compliance squeeze means new chief executive Richard Teng will be hard-pressed to keep exchange competitive
Scott Chipolina and Nikou Asgari – Financial Times
Binance’s position at the top of the cryptocurrency market is under threat as it reels from the US’s landmark punishment of the exchange, which exacted a $4.3bn settlement, tougher scrutiny and the loss of its talismanic founder. Under the leadership of Changpeng Zhao, Binance grew from nothing in 2017 to almost 60 per cent of the global market less than a year ago.
/tinyurl.com/2uha2rpv

Is this the major blunder that brought CZ down?????
Louis Ashworth – Financial Times
“Binance forgot to stick to CZ’s principles – now it owes billions”. So runs a headline this afternoon from Protos, a website that promises “informed crypto news”. It alleges, in the light of the SEC charges against Changpeng Zhao – the former Binance chief executive who believes he lives in a simulation – that the exchange violated several of the tenets laid out in CZ’s Principles, laid out in a blog post last year.
/tinyurl.com/3defmhcw

Politics

Donald Trump would gut Joe Biden’s landmark IRA climate law if elected; Former president plans to scrap clean energy rules and expand drilling to boost fossil fuels, say advisers
Jamie Smyth and Aime Williams – Financial Times
Donald Trump is planning to gut US President Joe Biden’s landmark climate law, increase investment in fossil fuels and roll back regulations aimed at accelerating the transition to electric vehicles if he is elected next year.
/tinyurl.com/487n922j

Canada’s Dairy Quotas Don’t Limit US Access, Panel Finds; US had requested dispute panel under North American trade pact; Panel ruled Canada’s measures don’t breach trade agreement
Laura Dhillon Kane – Bloomberg
Canada’s dairy import quotas don’t unfairly limit access for US producers, according to a panel ruling under North America’s trade pact, marking a major victory for a Canadian sector long accused of protectionism. A majority of the dispute-settlement panel members found that the quotas aren’t inconsistent with the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, ruling against all of the American arguments against Canada’s restrictive system.
/tinyurl.com/2cf5veyb

Putin says West cannot have monopoly on AI, calls for boost to Russian efforts
Reuters
President Vladimir Putin on Friday warned that the West should not be allowed to develop a monopoly in the sphere of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and said that a much more ambitious Russian strategy for the development of AI would be approved shortly. China and the United States are leading the development of AI, which many researchers and global leaders think will transform the world and revolutionise society in a way similar to the introduction of computers in the late 20th century.
/tinyurl.com/5e4fmpda

Tennessee Zinc Smelter Is at the Center of U.S.-China Trade Fight; Planned expansion aims to prevent shortage of minerals recently restricted for export by Beijing
Asa Fitch – The Wall Street Journal
An obscure zinc smelter in Tennessee is sitting on two minerals vital to producing chips for smartphones and radar systems, landing it in the middle of a global trade war. The plant’s Dutch owner and local officials are looking to fund an expansion so the smelter can process the sought-after materials, germanium and gallium, which are supplied to the rest of the world primarily by China.
/tinyurl.com/tr8wpanp

Regulation

Australia’s Perth Mint Avoids Fine as Anti-Money Laundering Efforts Continue
Sybilla Gross – Bloomberg
The Perth Mint has entered into an agreement with Australian authorities to improve its compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws. Australian financial crimes regulator Austrac has accepted an enforceable undertaking from the refinery that will require it to commit sufficient resources to complete a remediation program by April 2025, it said in a statement. The arrangements didn’t include a fine, but failure to complete the program will risk further enforcement action. The agreement comes after Austrac ordered an independent external audit of Gold Corporation, trading as Perth Mint, in August 2022. The findings reflected the regulator’s concerns with the company’s monitoring systems and controls, it said.
/jlne.ws/3SZbw0H

Montenegro court clears crypto chief Do Kwon for extradition; Justice ministry to decide whether developer behind TerraUSD token will be sent to US or South Korea
Scott Chipolina and Marton Dunai – Financial Times
Do Kwon, the entrepreneur behind the $40bn collapse of crypto token TerraUSD, can be extradited to either the US or South Korea to answer fraud charges following a court ruling in Montenegro. The Balkan country has held the South Korean cryptocurrency executive since June after he tried to leave the country on a forged passport.
/tinyurl.com/5bdeeyv7

SEC Small Business Advisory Committee to Discuss the Accredited Investor Definition and the Role of Diversity in the Investment Process
SEC
Washington D.C., Nov. 22, 2023 –
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee today released the agenda for its meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 29, which will include a discussion of the accredited investor definition and diversity and the investment process. Members of the public can watch the live meeting via webcast on www.sec.gov.
/jlne.ws/49RJhXH

Remarks Upon the 20th Anniversary of the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF)
Chair Gary Gensler – SEC
Bonjour. My thanks to Chair Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani for the opportunity to congratulate the AMF upon your 20th anniversary. You know, coming together as a securities regulator, you have an important mission. And while it’s not exactly the same as ours here in the U.S. at the SEC, it captures so much of what we both do. Looking out for investors, ensuring that issuers can access the markets, and-I understand from your mission-it’s about ensuring that material information is put out there to investors. It’s about ensuring for the fair and orderly markets that bring those issuers and investors together.
/jlne.ws/47PSI8v

SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Former Executive For His Role in $100 Million Accounting Fraud
SEC
On November 15, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered the final judgment against Brian A. Beatty for his role in a multi-year accounting fraud that occurred while he was CEO and COO of Houston-based seismic data company SAExploration Holdings, Inc. (SAE). The SEC’s amended complaint alleges that Beatty and three other former SAE executives falsely inflated the revenue of SAE by approximately $100 million and concealed their theft of millions of dollars from the company.
/jlne.ws/49OpvMR

FMA finds continuous improvements to audit quality and warns against complacency
Financial Markets Authority
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) – Te Mana Tātai Hokohoko – has found audit firms continue to improve the quality of their audits of FMC reporting entities. The FMA’s Audit Quality Monitoring Report for 2022/23, released today, says audit firms have implemented improvement measures since prior reviews but audit quality remains mixed and inconsistent between firms, and in some instances between audits within the same audit firm.
/jlne.ws/3SX2WzI

Investing and Trading

Treasuries Feel Impact of European Sell-Off on Supply Concerns
Garfield Reynolds – Bloomberg
Treasuries fell as they reopened after Thanksgiving, following a slide in European bonds that was caused by concerns of a burgeoning supply and the potential that central banks will keep rates higher for longer.
/jlne.ws/3T2HZmG

Market Melt-Up Lures Biggest Inflows to Stocks Since Early 2022
Sagarika Jaisinghani – Bloomberg
Investors flocked into equities at the fastest pace in almost two years, according to Bank of America Corp.’s Michael Hartnett, as wagers of peak interest rates grow. Global stock funds have seen inflows of about $40 billion in the two weeks through Nov. 21 – the most since February 2022, Hartnett wrote in a note, citing EPFR Global data. Still, cash funds remain the winner with additions of nearly $1.2 trillion so far in 2023, compared with $143 billion into equities, while bond funds broadly registered outflows.
/jlne.ws/3GfWJaA

Bearish Oil Options Hit Record Volumes as OPEC+ Delays Meeting
Alex Longley – Bloomberg
Oil options trading took a sharply bearish turn as the OPEC+ producer group postponed a pivotal output-policy meeting to next week. About 211,000 Brent crude put options traded on Wednesday, the biggest volume on record, according to ICE Futures Europe data. They also outpaced the trading of bullish contracts by the most since 2020.
/jlne.ws/3uvigJy

Annuities Are Back in Fashion, But Are They Safe? Rising interest rates have spurred a boom in demand, but investors should take note of recent changes in the insurance industry.
Aaron Brown – Bloomberg
Get The Weekly Fix for the latest fixed income news, charts and analysis from the Bloomberg Markets team. Sent every Friday.
Every time interest rates go up there is a flurry of demand for a product that has been around at least since the Roman Empire – annuities. The insurance industry has already seen rapid growth in annuity sales since 2021 and if rates remain at or move above current levels, demand seems poised to explode.
/tinyurl.com/24xaz5rm

Economists May Have Been Flying Blind All Along; Declining response rates to official surveys raise the possibility that government and central bank officials have been making decisions based on flawed data.
Claudia Sahm – Bloomberg
The pandemic upended many of the things we thought we knew about the economy. Even now, economists struggle to answer such fundamental questions as whether Americans are better off financially. Answers vary significantly depending on the data source, sowing confusion. The end result is that business and households seem to be losing trust in the data and have become increasingly unwilling to participate in the surveys that underlie official statistics such as unemployment and inflation that, in turn, help inform decisions made by government officials and central bankers.
/tinyurl.com/c96npv48

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Taylor Swift Concert Tragedy Highlights Dangers of Climate Change; The extreme heat that baked the crowd was a direct consequence of rising temperatures caused by carbon emissions.
Laura Millan, Beatriz Amat, and Kendra Pierre-Louis – Bloomberg
The death of a Taylor Swift fan in the midst of a heat wave in Brazil is another sign that we’re not doing enough to adapt to a rapidly changing climate. Scientific models have accurately predicted for years that global warming leads to more extreme and frequent heat waves, says Paulo Artaxo, a Brazilian atmospheric physicist and a member of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “There’s no reason for any surprise when one of these events happens,” he said. “Yet all countries, not only Brazil, are very late in implementing an adaptation strategy to minimize the impact on populations.”
/jlne.ws/3R1dyLo

Oil producers face ‘moment of truth’ over green investment, IEA warns; Sector’s clean energy spending is far below that needed to hit Paris climate goals, agency says
Rachel Millard – Financial Times
Oil and gas producers should be spending about half of their annual investment on clean energy projects by 2030 to be aligned with global climate goals, the International Energy Agency has said. The west’s energy watchdog also warned oil and gas companies that are investing in new carbon capture projects that the technology would be no substitute for cutting emissions and “cannot be used to maintain the status quo”. Oil and gas producers account for just 1 per cent of global green energy investment and last year committed 2.5 per cent, or $20bn, of their capital to the sector, the IEA said, meaning they would need to execute a massive strategic shift by 2030.
/jlne.ws/46wDaoO

Ahead of COP28, a Call for a ‘Tangible Phase-Out of Fossil Fuels as Soon as Possible’Bob Berwyn – Inside Climate News
A decades-long push by small island nations and other developing countries to put fossil fuels squarely at the center of United Nations climate talks got a boost this week as the European Union Parliament passed a resolution calling for a “tangible phase-out of fossil fuels as soon as possible.” The resolution outlines the position of elected European Union lawmakers going into COP28 and could help ensure that negotiators focus on a phaseout at the negotiations beginning Nov. 30 in Dubai, where climate finance, and a global stocktake of climate actions since the Paris Agreement, are also key agenda items.
/jlne.ws/3SZgDxV

Explainer: Global fossil fuel subsidies on the rise despite calls for phase-out
Sarah Mcfarlane – Reuters
World governments agreed at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow two years ago to phase out “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies to help fight global warming. Since then, however, global fossil fuel subsidies have risen $2 trillion to $7 trillion, according to the International Monetary Fund, as governments around the world moved to protect consumers from rising energy prices. At this year’s climate gathering in Dubai, EU countries will be looking to harden the COP26 deal to phase out the subsidies by pushing for a deadline of 2030 to get it done, but it is unclear how much support the proposal will gain.
/jlne.ws/3QUtfUp

What Happened to the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Boom? Offshore wind projects cropped up all over the Great Lakes region in the early 2010s. By the end of the decade, all but one were gone. Developers, though still drawn to the lakes’ powerful winds, have been reluctant to return.
Nicole Pollack – Inside Climate News
At the tail end of the aughts, as it became clear that the United States would need to create much more renewable energy, fast, many believed the transition would be bolstered by the proliferation of offshore wind. But not off the coasts of states like Massachusetts and California, where it’s best positioned today. They thought the industry would emerge, and then take hold, in the Great Lakes. Things looked promising for a while. Glimmers of an offshore wind boom arose from the depths of the Great Recession, as developers offered up proposals on both the U.S. and Canadian sides of the lakes. In 2010, the Cleveland-based Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation, better known as LEEDCo, announced plans to install its first 20 megawatts by 2012 and scale up to 1,000 megawatts by 2020. Two years later, the Obama administration and five states-though not Ohio-formed the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Consortium to help streamline the permitting process.
/jlne.ws/3SV7pCI

Germany, Chile to launch club to help developing nations cut industry emissions
Kate Abnett – Reuters
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Economic models buckle under strain of climate reality; Critics say economic models not fit for purpose; Economists urged to take broader, cross-discipline view.
Mark John – Reuters
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Oil-and-Gas Companies Account for Only 1% of Clean-Energy Investment Globally, IEA Says
Giulia Petroni – The Wall Street Journal
/tinyurl.com/2s46fadx

Jeremy Hunt criticised for downgrading climate change in Bank of England guidance; UK chancellor heightens focus on economic growth in list of four priorities for Financial Policy Committee
Jim Pickard, Attracta Mooney and Michael O’Dwyer – Financial Times
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Brazil to propose financing plan to protect tropical forests at COP28; Brasília will use climate summit to urge creation of fund to reward preservation of areas such as the Amazon
Bryan Harris – Financial Times
/tinyurl.com/3f8n6nms

Oil producers face ‘moment of truth’ over green investment, IEA warns; Sector’s clean energy spending is far below that needed to hit Paris climate goals, agency says
Rachel Millard – Financial Times
/tinyurl.com/y4w2kpz9

Institutions

Asset Managers Quietly Add ‘ESG’ to Portfolios of Defense Stocks; Defense holdings rise in an ESG fund class worth $5 trillion, and NATO’s boss says there’s nothing unethical about such investments
Frances Schwartzkopff, Natasha White, and Natalia Drozdiak – Bloomberg
In the world’s biggest ESG fund class, portfolio managers are getting more comfortable with holding military assets against a backdrop of mounting political pressure and industry profits. At the end of the third quarter, 1,238 funds claiming to “promote” environmental, social and good governance goals held stocks in the industry classification code Aerospace & Defense, according to Morningstar Inc. data. That’s roughly 25% more than in March last year, right after Russia invaded Ukraine. A large portion of those funds converted to “ESG” during the period, Morningstar said.
/tinyurl.com/4eh87vjm

DAX capping will be adjusted to 15 per cent
Qontigo
STOXX Ltd. will adjust the capping in the DAX index family from 10 to 15 per cent. This was preceded by a broad market consultation which lasted from 11 October to 8 November 2023. The responses reflected a wide range of considerations from different stakeholders. A majority of participants were in favour of raising the capping limit to 15 percent.
/jlne.ws/3QS9psU

Russia’s sanctioned Sovcombank requests US licence to make UN climate payments
Elena Fabrichnaya – Reuters
Russian private lender Sovcombank has applied to the U.S. Treasury for a licence to make membership payments to a United Nations climate funding programme while its activities are blocked by U.S. sanctions, a senior bank executive told Reuters.
/jlne.ws/47tA1aD

JPMorgan Says Unsecured Loans to China Developers a ‘Risky Move’
John Cheng – Bloomberg
Any step by China to allow banks to provide unsecured loans to qualified developers “would be a risky move” for the lenders, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Such a measure “would be negative for banks as it would raise concerns about national service risk and credit risk in the medium term,” analysts including Katherine Lei and Karl Chan wrote in a note. What’s more, implementation “would be challenging, as banks could circumvent such guidance due to credit risk concerns.”
/jlne.ws/3uvhDzG

Barclays working on $1.25 billion cost cuts, could shed up to 2,000 jobs: source
Sinead Cruise and Lawrence White – Reuters
Barclays is working on plans to save as much as 1 billion pounds ($1.25 billion), which could involve cutting as many as 2,000 jobs, mainly in the British bank’s back office, a person with direct knowledge of the proposals told Reuters. Managers at Barclays, led by Chief Executive C.S. Venkatakrishnan who is known within the bank as Venkat, are reviewing proposals to bolster its profitability. As part of these 1,500 to 2,000 jobs could be cut if implemented in full, the person said.
/tinyurl.com/2p7tatrj

TCI joins hedge fund race to open UAE office; Christopher Hohn sets up Abu Dhabi base as group expands beyond traditional financial hubs of London and New York
Costas Mourselas – Financial Times
/tinyurl.com/bpam9ad2

UBS chief Sergio Ermotti calls for tougher sanctions on negligent bankers; Banker urges greater power for Swiss regulators in wake of Credit Suisse collapse
Owen Walker – Financial Times
/tinyurl.com/3y658xt7

Work & Management

Citigroup asks employees to speak up about inappropriate behavior
Tatiana Bautzer – Reuters
A top Citigroup executive asked employees to speak up if they see inappropriate behavior after a managing director sued the company this week, alleging she was sexually harassed by a manager in equities. “No colleague should ever be discriminated against or harassed,” Andy Morton, Citigroup’s global head of markets, wrote in the memo sent on Tuesday, which referenced a recently filed lawsuit. “We will take decisive action when we determine unacceptable behavior has taken place.”
/jlne.ws/3QPxdOd

Sustainability reporting most sought-after skill in corporate finance departments, poll finds; As companies scramble to prepare for forthcoming sustainability disclosure rules, many are struggling to recruit professionals with relevant data collection and reporting schemes.
Sarah George – edie
This is the warning from Persefoni and the Financial Education & Research Foundation (FERF), following a poll of more than 50 chief accounting officers and controllers at listed firms in the US. The US market was chosen for this study in recognition of the forthcoming climate disclosure mandates from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC is proposing to mandate standardised emissions disclosures across Scopes 1 (direct), 2 (power-related) and 3 (indirect) sources, with an initial focus on the largest firms for Scope 3 disclosures. Also on the table are mandatory corporate disclosures on climate risk, with the SEC warning that emissions goals or existing transition plans may not be sufficient. A finalised set of changes is expected in 2024.
/jlne.ws/49OiYSl

Wellness Exchange

China Provides Data to WHO on Wave of Pneumonia Cases Among Children; Release of information comes after unusual public request by U.N. agency
Chun Han Wong and Yoko Kubota – The Wall Street Journal
China provided the World Health Organization with data on a pneumonia outbreak among children in the country after the agency made an unusual public request for the information-a gesture that renewed questions about Beijing’s transparency on public health. In a statement issued Wednesday, the WHO said it asked Beijing for detailed information on reported “clusters of undiagnosed pneumonia in children in northern China,” including “additional epidemiologic and clinical information, as well as laboratory results” related to the infections.
/tinyurl.com/musu63sh

Why We’re Still Breathing Dirty Indoor Air; The pandemic and recent wildfires have shown how unhealthy indoor air can be. But scientific and governmental inertia have slowed the necessary remedies.
Apoorva Mandavilli – The New York Times (opinion)
Nov. 20, 2023 In early 2020, the world scrubbed down surfaces, washed hands and sneezed into elbows, desperate to avoid infection with a new coronavirus. But the threat was not really lying on countertops and doorknobs. The virus was wafting through the air, set adrift in coughs and conversation, even in song. The pandemic raged for six months before global health authorities acknowledged that it was driven by an airborne pathogen. With that revelation came another: Had indoor air quality ever been a priority, the pandemic would have exacted a far lighter toll in the United States.
/jlne.ws/3GhC71z

How Viral Infections Cause Long-Term Health Problems; In a few patients, the immune system becomes misdirected, attacking the body instead of the virus.
Apoorva Mandavilli – The New York Times
Every day, Davida Wynn sets herself one task: Take a bath. Or wash the dishes. Or make an elaborate meal. By the end of the chore, she is exhausted and has to sit or lie down, sometimes falling asleep wherever she happens to be. “Anything beyond that is truly excruciating,” Ms. Wynn, 42, said. Her heart races even during small tasks, and she often gets dizzy. At least once a month, she falls at her home outside Atlanta. Once she badly bruised her face, and another time she banged up her knee.
/jlne.ws/46JW3VL

Regions

Chinese shadow bank says it has ‘huge’ debt and can’t pay its bills
Diksha Madhok and Juliana Liu – CNN
A major wealth management company in China has told investors it can’t pay all its bills, reigniting fears that the country’s long-running real estate slump may be spilling over into the $3 trillion shadow banking sector. Zhongzhi Enterprise Group (ZEG) wrote to investors on Wednesday, disclosing that it was “severely insolvent,” according to a report in Chinese state-owned news outlet lanjinger.com, citing a letter from the shadow bank, which it also published.
/jlne.ws/485MvWb

China’s Rice Exports to Ivory Coast Top 2022 After India Curbs
Ben Sharples – Bloomberg
China exported more rice to the Ivory Coast in the three months through October than in the whole of 2022 after India restricted shipments of the grain, with those curbs likely to extend into next year.
/jlne.ws/3GaxEhb

China’s Belt and Road Eyes Smaller Projects, More Use of Yuan
Bloomberg News
China said it would prioritize small projects and push for greater use of the Chinese currency through its Belt and Road Initiative, as President Xi Jinping looks to inject new life into his flagship investment program amid a slowing domestic economy and global skepticism over the project’s benefits.
/jlne.ws/40QOXx2

Australian Barley Makes Big Comeback in China After Tariffs End
Hallie Gu – Bloomberg
Australian barley is making a big return to the Chinese market after Beijing lifted punishing tariffs that halted trade for three years. China imported almost 314,000 tons of the grain from Australia last month, the first purchases from the country since late 2020 and the most since May of that year, according to customs data. China’s imports of barley from Russia and Kazakstan also boomed amid efforts to diversify suppliers.
/jlne.ws/47Kiafq

Germany to End Inflation-Linked Bond Sales Beginning Next Year
Iain Rogers – Bloomberg
Germany will cease sales of inflation-linked bonds starting next year, the country’s Federal Finance Agency said Wednesday in an emailed statement. “From 2024, no further inflation-linked federal securities will be issued, nor will already outstanding securities be reopened,” according to the statement. The nation’s outstanding inflation-linked securities will continue to be tradable on the open market.
/jlne.ws/47sWDYT

Nigeria Wants to Be Part of BRICS Bloc in Two Years, Join G-20
Ruth Olurounbi – Bloomberg
/jlne.ws/47NAmoA

Exclusive-Greek shippers exit Russian oil trade as U.S. tightens price cap scrutiny
Reuters
/jlne.ws/49NBqKX

Mideast Wealth Funds Draw Greater US Scrutiny Over China Ties; Gulf funds facing greater scrutiny from CFIUS on US deals; More than half a dozen deals are currently being reviewed
Ben Bartenstein – Bloomberg
/tinyurl.com/5n8khsr4

Argentine Banks Flee to One-Day Notes Amid Government Transition
Ignacio Olivera Doll and Kevin Simauchi – Bloomberg
/jlne.ws/3sNmuf0

Cocoa Farming Lures New Money as Brazil Is Set to Revive Exports
Dayanne Sousa – Bloomberg
/tinyurl.com/4we5s8xn

Miscellaneous

Sam Bankman-Fried Discovers New, Powerful Currency in Jail: Mackerel
Tim Teeman – The Daily Beast
Sam Bankman-Fried, convicted of seven counts of fraud and conspiracy in the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has discovered that, when it comes to a powerful currency in jail, crypto is no match for fish. The Wall Street Journal reports that Bankman-Fried, incarcerated at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center while he awaits his sentencing next year, has traded pouches of “macks” to a fellow inmate for a haircut, according to a source. “Mackerel has replaced cigarettes as a favored federal jailhouse currency after officials banned smoking, and inmates sometimes use pouches of the preserved fish purchased in a commissary to pay for services from one another,” the paper said. Former Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández, awaiting trial on federal drug-trafficking and firearms charges, is also resident at the unit.
/jlne.ws/3SVTEUl

Your Local Newspaper Might Not Have a Single Reporter; Rise of ‘ghost newsrooms’ spawns effort by local news startups to fill the void
Alexandra Bruell – The Wall Street Journal
The Gleaner, the local newspaper in Henderson, Ky., has sections focused on features, sports, news and opinion. What it doesn’t have: a single reporter on staff. The publication is one of the “ghost newsrooms” that increasingly dot the American media landscape-newspapers that have little to no on-the-ground presence in the localities whose name they bear. It is a sobering development in an industry that has been brought to its knees by the rise of digital media and large technology companies.
/tinyurl.com/2pr7hp6y

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