Cryptocurrency: rise of decentralised finance sparks ‘dirty money’ fears

Sep 15, 2021

First Read

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FIA: Monthly Exchange-Traded Volume Up More Than 42% in August; Options Trading Leads
Suzanne Cosgrove – John Lothian News

The Futures Industry Association Tuesday reported global exchange-traded volume volume was up 42.3% from the same period a year ago and 7.7% higher than in July 2021.

Once again, monthly gains were paced by an increase in options trading. The group said a total of 5.29 billion futures and options traded in August, with options making up 2.89 billion of the total and futures comprising 2.39 billion.

To read the rest of this report, go here.


Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Matt Zachowski, the business partner of public relations pro Martin Mosbacher, has died from cancer. Matt was a co-founder with Martin of Intermarket Communications, now part of Lansons International. Previously, he was the vice president of marketing for COMEX. Before joining COMEX he was a precious metals analyst for E.F. Hutton & Co., now part of Morgan Stanley. Condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Matt.

Do you know a student who is currently enrolled in college and would be a great fit for the Greenwood Project? Their college program application opens in just 17 days! — Greenwood Project

Also, the Greenwood Project is launching The Greenwood Project Scholars Fund, which celebrates the resilience of the prosperous Greenwood neighborhood in Tulsa, known in 1921 as “The Black Wall Street.” You can give to the fund by clicking HERE.

Ulf Carlsson is celebrating 25 years with OM, OMHEX, OMX, NASDAQ OMX, and Nasdaq. He even had his name on the big Nasdaq Times Square lights to help celebrate. — LinkedIn

Gonzalo Cuadra has been made a Category 7 (Honorary) Member of the LME, in recognition of his service to the Exchange. — LME

Finbarr Hutcheson updated his LinkedIn page to show he is now a strategic advisor at Coinbase and a non-executive director at Mash Up Group.

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


Peter Thiel Gamed Silicon Valley, Donald Trump, and Democracy to Make Billions, Tax-Free; In an exclusive excerpt from ‘The Contrarian,’ a new biography, the disruption-preaching power broker is revealed as just another rich guy desperate to keep his fortune from the IRS.
Max Chafkin – Bloomberg
The meeting started with a thank-you. President-elect Donald Trump was planted at a long table on the 25th floor of his Manhattan tower. Trump sat dead center, per custom, and, also per custom, looked deeply satisfied with himself. He was joined by his usual coterie of lackeys and advisers and, for a change, the heads of the largest technology companies in the world.

*****He was in it for the money. Just another libertarian “rent seeker.”~JJL


Business Schools Training Future Execs Have a Diversity Problem; Women and most minority groups are underrepresented in U.S. MBA programs.
Jeff Green – Bloomberg
The ranks of C-suite trainees enrolled in today’s MBA programs are a microcosm of the challenges playing out across America’s corporate landscape. By and large they are still too male and lack the diversity to reflect the demographics of future business culture. The historic national reckoning on race that was triggered by the killing of George Floyd has touched off a reexamination of corporate America from top to bottom. We created the Bloomberg Businessweek Best B-Schools Diversity Index to assess and rank B-Schools—which are developing the next generation of business leaders—based on the degree to which they are addressing the institutional racism and discrimination that have excluded certain minority groups and women from U.S. MBA programs.

***** How to solve this problem? You could help support the Greenwood Project~JJL


Dogecoin Copycats? Trademark Fight Erupts Over Joke Crypto Worth Billions; The digital currency meant to be worthless vaulted into stardom this year with Elon Musk’s help. Now there’s a battle over the name.
Caitlin Ostroff – WSJ
A dogfight is breaking out over who has claim to the dogecoin name. Dogecoin is a digital currency made famous for its satire of the cryptocurrency universe. Originally designed as a joke in a handful of hours, dogecoin pays homage to a 2013 viral internet meme of a Shiba Inu dog with bad spelling habits (thus doge instead of dog).

****You know who would have a great comment about this? Norm Macdonald. Unfortunately, the dry-witted comedian passed away yesterday at the age of 61.


Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story Tuesday was Corrupt Oil Trader Turns On Colleagues in Massive Africa Bribe Case from Bloomberg. Second was Biden to Nominate CFTC Picks to Fill Three Democratic Seats, also from Bloomberg. Third was DeFi Is Crypto’s Wall Street, Without a Safety Net, from The Wall Street Journal.


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Lead Stories

Cryptocurrency: rise of decentralised finance sparks ‘dirty money’ fears; ‘Know your customer’ rules for banks and brokers underpin anti-money laundering efforts but are at risk due to DeFi
Gary Silverman – FT
A few days after the July 4 holiday in the US, a 37-year-old entrepreneur in Denver named Erik Voorhees issued his own declaration of independence. He said the company he had founded seven years earlier to help people exchange cryptocurrencies without making their names available to the government or anyone else would disappear from the face of the Earth — even as its services remained available to those who wanted them.

*****An excerpt: “Criminals of all types are increasingly using cryptocurrency to launder their illicit proceeds,” the US justice department’s cyber-digital task force said in a report last year. “Transnational criminal organisations, including drug cartels, may find cryptocurrency especially useful to hide financial activities and to move vast sums of money efficiently across borders without detection.”

Robinhood Is Going on a College Tour to Recruit New Customers; The app criticized for gamifying trading is kicking off a nationwide push to court students, including a shot at a $20,000 prize
Peter Rudegeair and Caitlin McCabe – WSJ
Robinhood Markets Inc., HOOD -1.43% the go-to trading app for young investors, wants its user base to get even younger. The digital brokerage is kicking off a nationwide marketing campaign Wednesday that is designed to turn more college students into Robinhood customers. Robinhood will give students who sign up for brokerage accounts using their school email address $15 to trade, and enter them into a $20,000 giveaway. Robinhood executives will tour campuses of community colleges and historically black colleges and universities this fall.

SGX and SET to advance partnership with launch of Thailand-Singapore DR Linkage
Thailand-Singapore DR Linkage to advance ASEAN securities market cooperation via Depository Receipts; Investors will enjoy ease of access to securities listed on either exchange, trading DRs through their usual broker arrangements and in their domestic currencies
Singapore Exchange (SGX) and The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) are advancing ASEAN’s securities market cooperation with the introduction of the Thailand-Singapore DR Linkage, the first exchange-level DR cooperation in ASEAN, bringing investors unparalleled access and efficiency to the region’s growth markets.

Gensler defends SEC crypto policy before Senate against charges of lack of ‘clarity’
Chris Matthews – MarketWatch
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler defended the agency’s approach to enforcing securities laws against companies that deal in cryptocurrencies and other digital assets during a hearing Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee.

Crypto’s brash approach to rules will do them no favours; Coinbase’s fight with the SEC could lead to more barriers to innovation, not fewer
Brooke Masters – FT
Coinbase is trying to bust through barriers again. After becoming the first major cryptocurrency exchange to secure a public listing, the US company is seeking to raise $1.5bn in long-dated debt in another watershed moment for the fledgling sector.

Bold Moves and Big Plans – Jump Capital Raises Most Ambitious Fund Yet
Sach Chitnis & Michael McMahon – Jump Capital
This week marks a major milestone for Jump Capital with the launch of our largest and most ambitious fund to date. We are very excited to announce the closing of our 7th venture fund with a total capital commitment of $350mm. Similar to our previous funds, this new fund will focus on early-stage investments in the fast evolving sectors of Fintech, IT/Data Infrastructure, Future of Commerce & Media, and B2B SaaS but will have an increased concentration on the evolving crypto ecosystem.

A 25-year old former intern will run a billion-dollar crypto unit at Jump Trading Group
Emily Graffeo – Business Insider
A 25-year old former intern of Jump Trading will lead the high-speed trading firm’s digital-asset division, according to a Tuesday announcement. Kanav Kariya’s promotion to president was announced alongside the company’s formal launch of Jump Crypto, the public-facing brand for its digital asset project that’s been six years in the making.

Gensler zeroes in on Citadel Securities as SEC considers payment for order flow ban
Brian Cheung – Yahoo Finance
Wall Street’s top cop said Tuesday that the dominance of Citadel Securities in the business of routing order flow may not be giving retail investors the best deal. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler told the Senate Banking Committee that he’s concerned about Citadel Securities’ 47% market share over all U.S.-listed retail volume. Virtu Financial (VIRT), another wholesaler, controls about 25% to 30%.

SEC Takes a Different Route Than Europe on Climate Disclosures; U.S. regulators seem to have chosen a company-focused approach when it comes to climate-risk transparency.
Tim Quinson – Bloomberg
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has decided to take a different tack on climate-risk disclosures than its counterparts in Europe. Instead of targeting investment managers, the SEC is focusing on the companies they invest in—and the executives who run them.

Elizabeth Warren’s Wrong Answer to the Wells Fargo Problem; The senator thinks America’s fourth largest bank by assets should be broken up. That’s going to be more trouble than it’s worth.
Paul J. Davies – Bloomberg
Elizabeth Warren wants the Federal Reserve to break up Wells Fargo & Co. That is sort of funny and silly in equal measure. The U.S. senator wrote to Fed Chair Jerome Powell to demand that Wells Fargo ditch its investment bank so management could focus solely on fixing the problems in its main street business. The latter is the division that’s led to more than $5 billion in fines and settlements over the past five years.

Deutsche Bank CEO Praised for Fixing ‘Pretty Screwed-Up Bank’
Steven Arons and Francine Lacqua – Bloomberg
Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing won praise from one of Germany’s top industry executives for fixing a lender once seen as the embodiment of corporate decline and financial wrongdoing.

ECB to Work Remotely Through January Amid Delta Disruption
Alexander Weber – Bloomberg
Lagarde sees part-time home office outlasting pandemic; ECB president comments in conversation with David Rubenstein
The European Central Bank will let its employees work remotely until early next year, the latest sign that the delta variant of the coronavirus is derailing the return to the office around the world.

How China Is Cracking a Window for Its Bond Investors
Livia Yap and Alice Huang – Bloomberg
China is taking another step to loosen its capital controls and in the process is giving onshore investors greater access to a previously hard-to-reach bond market. The so-called southbound link of the Bond Connect program will help draw capital from the mainland to bonds available in Hong Kong, which are currently a challenge to buy due to regulatory restrictions. The new channel could serve to check excess strength in China’s currency by balancing money flowing from overseas funds into Chinese assets. It also could help buttress Hong Kong’s status as a financial hub.

Crypto bosses say Coinbase is ‘fighting the good fight’; As the exchange rails against rules, SEC’s Gensler says existing law and Supreme Court precedents are clear
Hannah Murphy and Joshua Oliver – FT
Some crypto exchange bosses looked on with horror last week as Coinbase’s chief executive decided to accuse the Securities and Exchange Commission of “sketchy behaviour”. Others, however, applauded. The Twitter salvo by Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong reflected rising anger among crypto entrepreneurs who argue regulators are holding back innovation, and have been too slow to offer clear rules for the nascent digital assets industry.

Currenex class action faces hurdles, say legal experts; Case could raise questions around statutes of limitations and damages calculations Lawsuit alleges secret priority agreements montage
Laura Matthews –
A proposed class-action lawsuit accusing foreign exchange trading platform Currenex of having secret priority agreements with several liquidity providers faces several hurdles to success, say legal experts. Currenex, its parent company State Street, Goldman Sachs, HC Technologies and several unnamed defendants were named as targets in an August 4 federal lawsuit that alleges antitrust violations, fraud and racketeering stemming from secret priority agreements the platform had with the LPs that


The Explanation for Seemingly Irrational Covid Behavior; One simple concept from economics can help you understand people’s decisions about vaccinations or mask-wearing.
Tyler Cowen – Bloomberg
Many reactions to Covid-19 can be explained by one simple concept: intertemporal substitution. Its awkward name notwithstanding, the idea helps to make sense of many behaviors that otherwise might appear irrational. At the most basic level, intertemporal substitution means shifting an action or event to a more appropriate or advantageous time. A classic example from economics is that people will shop more when there are sales.

Hungary Doesn’t Plan New Lockdowns as Covid Deaths Rise
Zoltan Simon – Bloomberg
Hungary doesn’t plan to re-introduce lockdown measures because of the Covid-19 pandemic as the majority of the population is now vaccinated, Cabinet Minister Gergely Gulyas said.

WHO Sees Africa’s Vaccine Supply Constraints Easing by Year-End
Matthew Hill – Bloomberg
Headway is being made in efforts to secure more coronavirus vaccines for Africa, where less than 3.5% of the population has been fully inoculated, according to the head of the World Health Organization.

Why the Delta Variant Is Giving More Children Covid
Jason Gale – Bloomberg
Covid-19 cases among children are surging across the world amid delta-fueled outbreaks, spurring hospitalizations and raising concern about the risk of severe illness and persistent “long hauler” symptoms. It’s also prompted questions about the safety of schools.

Kenya to Begin Manufacturing Covid-19 Vaccines to Ensure Supply
Eric Ombok – Bloomberg
Kenya is establishing a fill-and-finish facility for Covid-19 vaccines ahead of setting up a full-scale manufacturing plant to guarantee supply.

Pfizer to apply for US vaccine approval for younger children in November; Executive signals intention to secure authorisation for infants as young as six months old
Nikou Asgari and Kiran Stacey – FT
Pfizer said it expected to apply in November for US authorisation of its Covid-19 vaccine for children aged between six months and five years old as it races to expand eligibility for the jab.

Dip in suicide rates over lockdown may offer lessons for life after Covid; We should foster solidarity with our fellow humans at all times, not just during a global crisis
Jemima Kelly – FT
One of the key arguments made against lockdowns over the past 18 months has been the effect they would have on mental health, and the idea that the death toll from suicides could even rival deaths caused directly by Covid-19.

Few people medically exempt from getting COVID-19 vaccine: Experts
Ivan Pereira – GMA
As companies continue to ramp up vaccine mandates to combat the contagious delta variant, some institutions are giving employees a chance to opt-out of getting the vaccine if they have a medical exemption.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Equiduct latest exchange to implement big xyt Liquidity Cockpit; Aim is to help users gain better insight into the pan-European liquidity landscape and quality of execution.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Pan-European equities and exchange traded fund (ETFs) exchange, Equiduct, has selected market data provider big xyt’s flagship platform, Liquidity Cockpit, to provide its data analytics. Originally launched in 2017, big xyt’s Liquidity Cockpit offers a consolidated view of trading activity in the market, providing insights into liquidity, changing market structure, and other customised benchmarks.

Cboe FX expands into algo execution with XTX Markets; As part of the new hosted algorithmic execution service, Cboe FX participants will have access to XTX Markets’ Execution Algo via its electronic communication network (ECN).
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Cboe FX has launched a hosted algorithmic execution service in partnership with London-based market maker XTX Markets to meet rising demand for algo trading in the FX markets. The service will be supported via Cboe FX’s electronic communication network (ECN), giving users access to XTX Market’s Execution Algo, which aims to reduce slippage to arrival price.

CME Group to Launch E-mini Russell 2000 Monday and Wednesday Weekly Options on October 4
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced it will launch E-mini Russell 2000 Monday and Wednesday Weekly options on October 4, pending regulatory review. These new options contracts will complement the existing Friday Weekly, End-of-Month and Quarterly options on Russell 2000 futures.
“As the demand for more short-dated options continues to grow, we are expanding our product suite to allow our clients to hedge or trade with enhanced flexibility around major market-moving events,” said Tim McCourt, CME Group Global Head of Equity Index and Alternative Investment Products.

Eurex MSCI roll update: total OI over EUR 171 Billion; MSCI Futures activity on Eurex this week (September 9-13, 2021); Over 700,000 contracts traded on 13 September (ca. EUR 30 Billion)
Open interest: Over EUR 171 Billion
Contracts traded: Over 1.4 Million

The Federation Of Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges Holds “Meet the Market With FEAS, Jordanian And Palestinian Capital Markets” Virtual Event
On September 15th, 2021, The Federation of Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges (FEAS), alongside with its members from Jordan and Palestine, held the “Meet the Market with FEAS | Jordanian and Palestinian Capital Markets” virtual event.


Refinitiv Announces the 2021 D&I Index Top 100 Most Diverse & Inclusive Organizations Globally; Refinitiv D&I Index measures relative performance against multiple factors that define diverse and inclusive workplaces.
Refinitiv today announced the 2021 Top 100 most diverse and inclusive organizations globally as ranked by the Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Index. The index ratings are informed by Refinitiv’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) data, designed to transparently and objectively measure the relative performance of close to 11,000 companies representing 80%+ of global market cap across 500+ ESG data points, and provide clients with critical and differentiated insight.

SmartNews App Raises $230 Million, Considers Possible IPO; Tokyo-based news-discovery company is valued at $2 billion in its latest funding round
Corrie Driebusch – WSJ
SmartNews Inc. has raised $230 million in its latest funding round, valuing the news-discovery app at roughly $2 billion and setting the stage for a potential listing of its shares.

Broadridge Named to IDC Fintech Rankings for Seventh Consecutive Year; Broadridge earns recognition as IDC Rising Star, moves up 3 places in ranking
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR), a global Fintech leader, today announced that it has placed 14 out of 100 on the 2021 IDC Fintech Rankings, rising three places from its 2020 ranking. The list features leading hardware, software, and service providers to the financial services industry around the world. This is the seventh consecutive year IDC’s prestigious annual rankings have acknowledged Broadridge as one of the top financial services providers, recognizing its steadfast commitment to delivering innovative solutions to financial institutions.

Fintech Startup Pagaya Nears $9 Billion SPAC Deal; Pagaya would combine with the SPAC EJF Acquisition and uses artificial intelligence to improve lending and other financial processes
Amrith Ramkumar – WSJ
Pagaya Technologies Ltd. is close to an agreement to go public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company that would value the financial-technology startup at about $9 billion, said people familiar with the matter.


Ex-U.S. Intelligence Officers Admit to Hacking Crimes in Work for Emiratis; They were among a trend of Americans working for foreign governments trying to build their cyberoperation abilities.
Mark Mazzetti and Adam Goldman – NY Times
Three former American intelligence officers hired by the United Arab Emirates to carry out sophisticated cyberoperations admitted to hacking crimes and to violating U.S. export laws that restrict the transfer of military technology to foreign governments, according to court documents made public on Tuesday.

Cyber Security Today, Sept. 15, 2021 – Huge database of fitness app information found unprotected, attack on Olympus and security patches released
Howard Solomon – IT World Canada
Another company has failed to ensure its employees properly secure the data they’re working on. This time it’s an American company called GetHealth. It makes an API that collects data from fitness wearables like Fitbit, Apple Healthkit, Google Fit and others. GetHealth apparently helps users collate that data on their computers. But security researchers found a non-password-protected database of GetHealth’s on the internet that held over 61 million unencrypted records of users around the world.

Securing Cyberspace with Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) & Jeanette Manfra
Washington Post
I’m Christina Passariello, the Washington Post’s Technology Editor. I’m delighted to be hosting this two-part series today about the future of cyber threats, an issue that both government agencies and private companies are trying to prepare for.

Zoom Introduces End-to-End Encrypted Phone Calls
Ionut Arghire – Security Week
Zoom this week revealed that its users will be getting the option to encrypt their one-on-one phone calls courtesy of end-to-end encryption (E2EE) being expanded to Zoom Phone. Starting last year, the video calling platform has been offering E2EE in Zoom Meetings, and it is now ready to make it available for one-on-one phone conversations made through the Zoom client as well.

Enterprises in France Seek Cybersecurity Services to Protect Information and Identity
Yahoo! Finance
Enterprises in France are investing in cybersecurity to comply with privacy regulations, prevent breaches and avoid audit failures, with top executives taking a stronger interest in security, according to a new report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

US DOT launches new cybersecurity website for intelligent transportation systems
Helen Norman – TTI
The new ITS Cybersecurity Research Program site offers resources, information, and tools for stakeholder communities, including state, tribal, and local transportation agencies, to support secure and cyber-resilient ITS implementations. The website also includes information on cybersecurity workforce development and information on how to report a cyber incident.


Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson says the crypto world needs ‘that wi-fi moment’ – where users can work with any blockchain seamlessly – more than it needs a dominant network
Camomile Shumba – Business Insider
The cardano network took a step closer this past weekend to competing more fiercely with the larger ethereum network, after a key upgrade meant it could host decentralized finance applications.

Steve Cohen Throws Himself Into Crypto After Early Doubts
Annie Massa and Katherine Burton – Bloomberg
The billionaire hedge fund manager invested in Radkl, Recur; Cohen discussed the Mets, social media in talk with Scaramucci
Hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen was until recently a bit of a skeptic when it came to cryptocurrencies. Then his son — a “cryptomaniac” — helped change his mind.

Australian Crypto Exchange Head Welcomes Industry Regulation
Georgina McKay – Bloomberg
BTC Markets CEO Bowler praises regulatory framework in EU; Bowler says local market needs similar ‘progressive’ approach
Australia risks being left behind if regulation of the local cryptocurrency industry doesn’t support innovation, according to the head of the nation’s largest digital asset exchange. It would be a “real shame for Australia if we don’t take this bull by the horns,” BTC Markets Chief Executive Officer Caroline Bowler said in a Bloomberg Television interview Wednesday.

Fidelity Pushed for Bitcoin ETF Approval in Private SEC Meeting
Annie Massa and Miles Weiss – Bloomberg
Presentation cites maturing crypto market, increased adoption; Several firms vying for regulatory blessing on Bitcoin ETFs
Fidelity Investments urged the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to approve its Bitcoin exchange-traded fund in a private meeting, listing the virtues of an idea that the regulator has been slow to embrace.

Hong Kong Central’s Biggest Landlord Signs Crypto Firm as Tenant
Shawna Kwan – Bloomberg
HashKey will be the first crypto tenant for Hongkong Land; Lease comes as demand from traditional finance companies drops
Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd., the biggest landlord in the heart of the Asian financial hub, signed a lease with a crypto asset firm for the first time as the century-old company moves to embrace the emerging sector.

Hedge funds riding crypto wave post bumper returns; Latest gains lift 2021 returns to 145% while traditional equity and currency markets remain quiet
Eva Szalay – FT
Cryptocurrency hedge funds gained nearly 24 per cent in August as large price swings in digital asset prices helped them outperform investors in sleepy equities and currencies markets.

Jump Trading Group names president of new crypto division as part of official launch; The now formally launched division, Jump Crypto, will be headed up by Jump Trading’s former director of strategic initiatives for digital assets.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Quantitative trading firm Jump Trading Group has appointed a new president of its now formally launched cryptocurrencies and blockchain business division, Jump Crypto. Kanav Kariya has been appointed president of Jump Crypto after most recently serving as Jump Trading’s director of strategic initiatives for digital assets for the last year.

Brevan Howard appoints new crypto lead alongside launch of digital asset division; New crypto lead formerly founded the crypto asset trading division at CMT Capital Markets Trading, CMT Digital.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Alternative investment management platform, Brevan Howard Asset Management, has appointed a former CMT Capital Markets Trading executive to lead its crypto investment activities as it launches a new digital assets division.

China’s bitcoin mining crackdown reaches northern province surrounding Beijing; The cyberspace watchdog of Hebei province announces a clampdown on cryptocurrency mining and trading
Chinese authorities have intensified their scrutiny into cryptocurrency mining this year, after the country vowed to reach carbon neutrality by 2060
Coco Feng – South China Morning Post
The local cyberspace administration of the northern Chinese province of Hebei said it has started a special campaign against cryptocurrency mining and trading because of environmental, financial and national security concerns – a fresh sign of Beijing’s determination to clamp down on this market.

Are regulators starting to embrace digital assets?
Jonny Fry – City AM
Historically, cryptocurrencies have either been ignored by regulators or banned, possibly in a belief that cryptos had no long-term role or that they were only being used for questionable activities. However, digital assets (including cryptocurrencies) are increasingly being used by governments and multinational corporations as well as millions of investors for a wide range of totally legitimate purposes. Regulators are responding by introducing regulation and guidance, which is sorely needed to keep the ‘bad actors’ at bay.


US envoy Kerry rejects calls for new delay to COP26 climate conference; Green group warns of ‘stitch-up’ if developing world not fairly represented in Glasgow due to Covid-19 restrictions
Amy Kazmin and Leslie Hook – FT
US climate envoy John Kerry has rejected calls to postpone November’s COP26 climate conference in the UK, despite fierce objections from many of the world’s biggest green groups who say the Glasgow summit should be pushed back.

Brexit has become an exercise in quiet damage limitation; London and Brussels have arrived at an uneasy equilibrium that is in everybody’s interest to maintain
Chris Giles – FT
For the first time in the five years since the Brexit referendum, acrimony in the relationship between the EU and the UK shows tentative signs of thawing. Rhetorical hostilities are as fierce as ever of course, but actions speak louder than words and on the ground both sides are quietly moving into damage limitation mode.

From Crypto to Meme Stocks, GOP Senators Blast Gensler’s Agenda
Ben Bain and Akayla Gardner – Bloomberg
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler’s ambitious plans to rein in everything from cryptocurrencies to the meme-stock frenzy are drawing fire from Republicans. During a Tuesday appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, GOP lawmakers denounced Gensler’s agenda for stifling innovation, increasing costs for investors and veering into social issues like climate change and workforce diversity that have nothing to do with the SEC’s core mission.

President Biden Nominates Elaine Trevino As Chief Agricultural Negotiator At USTR
President Biden announced on Monday that he has nominated Elaine Trevino as Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the United State Trade Representative. Trevino currently serves as President and CEO of the Almond Alliance of California, a member-based trade association that advocates on regulatory and legislative issues in areas of international trade, food safety, water quality and availability, crop protection, air quality, worker safety, supply chain and feed quality.

C Street Advisory Group Launches to Advise CEOs, C-suites, and Boards on the convergence of Business, Law, and Finance with Politics, Social Justice, and Diversity
C Street Advisory Group
Jon Henes, one of the country’s leading restructuring, crisis management, and corporate governance legal advisors, launched C Street Advisory Group, a strategic advisory firm that will guide CEOs, C-suites, and Boards of Directors on maximizing value while ensuring alignment between the expectations of key stakeholders and calls for diversity, equity, and inclusion. The firm is launching with an investment from Antara Capital, a multi-billion dollar investment fund founded by Himanshu Gulati.


U.S. SEC will publish GameStop post-mortem ‘shortly,’ Gensler says
Katanga Johnson – Reuters
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is close to publishing a post-mortem of the GameStop trading saga in which retail investors on the Reddit social media site banded together to push up the video game retailer’s shares, SEC Chair Gary Gensler said on Tuesday.

ASIC brings criminal charges against ME Bank for alleged misconduct against home loan clients
Members Equity Bank Limited (ME Bank) has appeared before the Federal Court, facing criminal charges for allegedly making false and misleading representations in letters to its home loan customers and allegedly failing to provide written notice about annual interest rate and repayment amount changes.

Licensing and professional registration activities: 2021 update
ASIC’s Licensing and professional registration activities: 2021 update (Report 700) outlines key issues, new and proposed changes to our licensing processes, and other work we have undertaken that affects licensees.

SEC Charges App Annie and its Founder with Securities Fraud
Company Will Pay $10 Million to Settle First Enforcement Action Against Alternative Data Provider
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that App Annie Inc., a leading alternative data provider for the mobile app industry, and its co-founder and former CEO and Chairman Bertrand Schmitt, have agreed to settle securities fraud charges for engaging in deceptive practices and making material misrepresentations about how App Annie’s alternative data was derived. App Annie and Schmitt have agreed to pay more than $10 million to settle the matter, which is the SEC’s first enforcement action charging an alternative data provider with securities fraud.

FINRA Requests Comment on Its Policy Relating to the Assignment of OTC Symbols to Unlisted Equity Securities; Comment Period Expires: November 15, 2021
FINRA requests comment on a proposed change to its current policy relating to the assignment of OTC symbols to unlisted equity securities. Specifically, FINRA is considering whether it should begin assigning OTC symbols to unlisted equity securities that do not have a valid CUSIP identifier, in the limited circumstance where a member firm demonstrates its best efforts to obtain a CUSIP identifier and provides documentation to identify the security.

CFTC Charges Texas Resident and Six U.S. and Costa Rican Companies with Engaging in Two Fraudulent Schemes Totaling $6 Million
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced the filing of an enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, charging defendants Rudy Avila and six U.S. and Costa Rican companies with fraudulent solicitation to trade in commodity futures, options on commodity futures, and retail off-exchange foreign currency (derivatives and forex), misappropriation of funds, and issuing false statements.

FCA sets out plan to tackle investment harm
The consumer investments market accounts for £1.6 trillion held or invested by consumers through the services of over 6,000 wealth managers, advisors and investment platforms. While most of this market meets consumers’ needs, there are some areas where harm is occurring.

FCA sets out plan to tackle investment harm
Rebecca Tomes – IFA
The consumer investments market accounts for £1.6 trillion held or invested by consumers through the services of over 6,000 wealth managers, advisors and investment platforms. While most of this market meets consumers’ needs, there are some areas where harm is occurring.

Investing and Trading

More U.K. Energy Suppliers Go Out of Business As Prices Jump
Will Mathis – Bloomberg
Utility Point and People’s Energy will both cease trading; Volatile gas and power prices put pressure on small suppliers
Two U.K. energy suppliers with more than half a million customers have gone out of business after a surge in energy prices that’s set to hit British households with higher bills this winter.

What the Semiconductor Shortage Has to Do With Corporate Bonds
Tracy Alloway – Bloomberg
At first glance, the business of selling chips doesn’t have much in common with the business of selling the debt of blue-chip companies. But as the semiconductor industry contends with a massive shortage of components while customers clamor for supply, it’s beginning to more closely resemble the market for U.S. corporate bonds in terms of how these much-desired assets are allocated.

Supply-Chain Strains Hit Prices, Inventories of Artificial Christmas Trees; High shipping costs, delivery delays have merchants raising list prices and warning of shortfalls in holiday decorations
Paul Berger – WSJ
Supply-chain disruptions will make decking the halls more expensive than ever for consumers looking for artificial trees this Christmas. Some U.S. retailers are raising prices by 20% to 25% to keep pace with skyrocketing shipping costs and they are warning that certain trees could sell out early because deliveries from overseas producers have been hit by the congestion that has tied up distribution networks from ports in China to freight yards in Chicago.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Commodity merchant Louis Dreyfus to create carbon solutions unit
Agricultural commodity merchant Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) on Monday announced the creation of a carbon solutions platform to support its decarbonisation efforts. The platform “will be an active participant in both compliance and voluntary carbon credits markets”, LDC said in a statement.

Fed Chair Fight Amps Up Debate Over Bank’s Role in Climate War
Katia Dmitrieva and Christopher Condon – Bloomberg
Experts say climate poses risk to financial, economic systems; Others say Congress must lead, give other regulators guideline
The fight over who should lead the Federal Reserve for the next four years has intensified questions about whether the central bank is doing enough to help combat climate change.

Flash Flood Submerges Southern French Villages, Fields
Emergency workers rescued or evacuated hundreds of people in southern France as flash flooding abruptly turned roads and fields into rivers and lakes. No casualties have been reported, but new heavy rainfall threatened the area Wednesday. Local authorities said the rains caused significant damage to homes and infrastructure across towns and villages between Nimes and Montpellier.

Global Warming Set to Pass 1.5° C as Pollution Plans Fall Short
Jess Shankleman – Bloomberg
Gambia is only country with ambitious-enough policies: Report; China, U.S., U.K. must do better: Climate Action Tracker
Almost every government in the world isn’t doing enough to cut greenhouse gas emissions, making it likely global temperatures will rise beyond the tipping point of 1.5 degrees Celsius in coming years, a new report said Wednesday.

Deutsche Bank CEO Points to Analysts’ Backing in Greenwash Fight
Steven Arons, Nicholas Comfort, and Francine Lacqua – Bloomberg
Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing defended his asset management arm DWS Group against greenwashing allegations, pointing out that equity analysts seemed unfazed by the claims.

Working from home won’t save the planet; Studies indicate that remote working offers modest emissions savings at best — and at worst is a carbon enhancer
Pilita Clark – FT
If we stick with the pandemic habit of working from home, it should mean cleaner air, less time wasted in traffic jams and lower carbon emissions. This inviting thought is pretty much what Professor Mike Berners-Lee wrote last year in a new edition of How Bad Are Bananas?, his excellent 2010 guide to the carbon footprint of almost everything, from a leg of lamb to a volcano.

Widespread lapses in climate risk reporting found in company accounts; Review of over 100 groups in carbon-intensive sectors identifies more than 70% not including impact
Camilla Hodgson – FT
Companies frequently omit information about critical climate-related risks from their financial statements and there are often “considerable” inconsistencies in disclosures reported elsewhere by the same organisation, according to new independent research.

UN calls for reform of $540bn farming subsidies to help climate; Most polluting sectors such as dairy receive most state support, while health and environment costs total $12tn a year
Emiko Terazono – FT
The UN is calling for reform of the world’s $540bn in farming subsidies to help the climate and promote better nutrition. Livestock and food production are among the biggest emitters of carbon but also enjoy the most state support, it says in a new report.

Asset managers chase returns in tree carbon storage; JPMorgan among investors looking to capitalise on the need to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions
Camilla Hodgson – FT
Asset managers that own forests logged for timber are expecting a jump in returns through a boom in the sale of units linked to the carbon stored in trees that are used to meet climate change targets.


Goldman Sachs appoints Denis Coleman as chief financial officer; Bank names Stephen Scherr’s replacement as it diversifies from volatile to lower-risk businesses
Joshua Franklin – FT
Goldman Sachs has appointed Denis Coleman as its chief financial officer, giving David Solomon a new lieutenant three years into his tenure as chief executive. It is the latest in a series of C-suite changes on Wall Street this year, and a sign of how banks are gradually promoting a new generation of executives.

Deutsche Bank CEO Pushes Merkel Successor for Growth Plan
Nicholas Comfort and Francine Lacqua – Bloomberg
Business leaders call for a comprehensive plan for next decade; Europe’s biggest economy will elect new government on Sept. 26
Top German executives urged the country’s next government to lay out a plan to keep Europe’s largest economy competitive in the face of an array of technological and political challenges.

Stifel Names David Rubulotta and Brant McDuffie Deputy Co-Heads of Fixed Income Capital Markets
Stifel Financial Corp.
Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE: SF) today announced the hiring of David Rubulotta and the promotion of Brant McDuffie as Deputy Co-Heads of Fixed Income Capital Markets. They will report to Eric Needleman, Global Head of Fixed Income Capital Markets.
David Rubulotta joins Stifel from Citigroup, where he most recently headed business development within Citigroup Global Markets’ fixed income division and also led leveraged finance sales. Prior to his time at Citigroup, he held senior roles with Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs. Mr. Rubulotta began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He received an undergraduate degree from Villanova University and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Goldman Is Buying GreenSky in a $2.2 Billion Bid to Finance Your Child’s Braces; Specialty lender helps consumers with big one-time purchases like cosmetic surgery and home improvements
Liz Hoffman and Peter Rudegeair – WSJ
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS -1.36% is buying specialty lender GreenSky Inc. GSKY -12.20% for $2.2 billion, striking a deal it hopes will further its reinvention from Wall Street powerhouse to Main Street player.


Macau Casinos See $18 Billion Wipeout as China Tightens Grip
Shirley Zhao and Christopher Palmeri – Bloomberg
Revised gambling laws include more local ownership in casinos; Chinese enclave is the world’s largest gambling market
Macau’s top gaming stocks lost a record $18.4 billion in combined market value on Wednesday after officials said they would change casino regulations to tighten restrictions on operators, including appointing government representatives to “supervise” companies in the world’s biggest gaming hub.

Philippines Sells $866 Million of Maiden Retail Dollar Bonds
Karl Lester M Yap and Ditas B Lopez – Bloomberg
Ten-year debt priced at 2.25%, five-year notes at 1.375%; Nation seeks to diversify funding sources amid rising costs
The Philippines raised $866 million from its debut sale of dollar bonds targeted at individuals as it seeks to expand funding from that lucrative investor pool. In a two-part offering, 10-year retail notes were priced at 2.25% and five-year bonds at 1.375%, according to the Bureau of the Treasury. While the debt sale is small compared with the $3 billion of overseas notes sold by the government in June, individual investors are becoming a stalwart source of funding for the Philippines. The sovereign raised about $9 billion from a sale of peso-denominated retail bonds in March.

Switzerland signals intent to move forward after Covid with airport; Efficiency of newly-expanded hub at Zurich contrasts with Heathrow
Sam Jones – FT
In the time before the pandemic, airports were regarded as the great barometers of economic change: symbols and engines of globalisation. Despite their diminished status, they still are. And as such, perhaps they are also indicators of which countries are ready — and planning — to move forward from Covid, and which are still mired in the policy panic that the health crisis has paralysed many governments with.

Why Europe fears a gas crunch even before winter demand begins; Tight supplies have created record prices ahead of heating demand increases in colder months
David Sheppard – FT
Natural gas prices in the UK and continental Europe have soared to record highs because of tight supplies ahead of winter, raising fears of a severe economic hit to industry and weather-induced shortages.

A China Survey Finds Investors Lack Basic Financial Knowledge. How That Can Jolt Chinese Stocks.
Tanner Brown – Barron’s
Chinese consumers lack adequate “literacy” of basic financial concepts, such as interest and loans, insurance, and diversified investments, according to a new government report. “Irrational behavior” due to uninformed investors runs the risk of increasing financial market volatility, the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, said in a recent annual survey.


Ex-Venture Capitalist Accused of Murder Sued for Lost Cash
Benjamin Robertson – Bloomberg
U.K. suit alleges millions used for Harvey Boulter’s own use; Entrepreneur Boulter sued alongside law firm DLA Piper
A former venture capital tycoon and his lawyers were sued in the U.K. over the disappearance of some 64 million pounds ($88.5 million) of investor money. The liquidators of medical technology firm Enigma Diagnostics Ltd. allege that British entrepreneur Harvey Boulter used its money for his own benefit, including a payment to a British super car manufacturer. The funds moved through law firm DLA Piper’s bank accounts, the liquidators’ lawyers said in documents filed at the U.K. High Court.

Rise of sports betting fuels demand for data gatekeepers; Sportradar follows Genius Sports to public markets as wagers add up to billions of dollars
Sara Germano – FT
The legalisation of US sports betting is driving new demand for statistics on players, games, teams and performance. A pair of sports data companies have installed themselves as the gatekeepers to this information trove.

George Will Went From Flinging Newspapers to Writing Pulitzer Prize-Winning Pieces; The Washington Post columnist first got into journalism after picking up a New York Post at Grand Central Terminal
Marc Myers – WSJ
If a miserable childhood is the fertilizer of creativity, I’m cursed by having had a wonderful time growing up. I was guided into cheerfulness. I’ve always been averse to loudmouths and bullies, probably because my father, a philosophy professor at the University of Illinois, was mild, rational and measured in his judgments. He was my model of manliness.

Hartford Says It Has $787 Million Deal in Boy Scouts Abuse Case
Max Reyes – Bloomberg
Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. agreed to pay $787 million to settle claims related to the sexual-abuse scandal that has forced the Boy Scouts of America into bankruptcy.

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