Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff
Texas was roasted by record heat on Saturday, with San Antonio, the site of this week’s Options Industry Conference hitting a record 101 degrees on Saturday, matching the record temperature also set in Amarillo, Texas. I am declaring the 90/10 rule in effect for the options conference.
The 90/10 rule, as JJLCO employees past and present know, means that when it is above 90 or below 10 degrees, you dress for the weather. That means you will be seeing me in shorts in San Antonio. Like ties at Boca, leave the long pants for another more appropriate time.
The Options Industry Conference is normally pretty relaxed, but it is important to be smart about this kind of heat. The highs are expected in the high 90s.
HKEX’s derivatives holiday trading commenced today whereby investors can trade all of the MSCI futures and options contracts during Hong Kong holidays when the markets of their underlying securities may be open.
Tyler Steeds is starting a new position as Sales Manager at Trading Technologies. Congratulations to Tyler. Welcome aboard.
Former JJLCO employee Ryan Lothian has moved on from the Forest Preserves of Cook County after eight great years, which was where he went when he left us. He is now working at Christy Webber Farm & Garden (near Chicago & Grand) helping people get native plants into their gardens. He also mentioned that the Forest Preserve is looking to fill his position. They are looking for “a creative, technical person who wants to work for an organization that is making a meaningful difference in the world (heard of climate change?) then this is the job for them.”
At the last minute, Kat Lothian could not make the Options Conference due to demands on her time by her regular employer, the Boy Scouts of America and the Summit Bechtel Reserve. She has transitioned to assistant program director for this summer at the Summit, but in the weeks before the scouts start showing up there are lots of school field trips that arrive. She has been donned as “Field Trip Princess” in charge of logistics for these school children while at the BSA high adventure base. Robby Lothian and Alex Perry will handle things just fine.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
Cboe Completes Acquisition of ErisX; CME Group to Launch options on Micro WTI Crude Oil futures; Cboe FX Markets’ Trading Volume Drops
“Alex Perry’s Optionstopia” takes a look at this week’s options news highlights: Cboe Completes Acquisition of ErisX; CME Group to Launch options on Micro WTI Crude Oil futures; Cboe FX Markets’ Trading Volume Drops.
TERM OF THE WEEK: This week’s Term of the Week presented by Euronext Knowledge Centre is Exposure on the full underlying value.
FIA’s International Derivatives Expo is returning to The Brewery in London this coming 6-8 June. Standing still is not an option in today’s evolving cleared derivatives environment. Without adapting to new products, processes, technologies and regulations, your business won’t meet the needs of tomorrow’s industry. We’re bringing together industry leaders, vendors and policymakers to discuss what’s “now” in derivatives, and what lies ahead. Sign up here.
Refinitiv Ranks Vinson & Elkins as the Number One Shareholder Activism Practice for Sixth Year in a Row
Vinson & Elkins
Vinson & Elkins’ Shareholder Activism practice has been awarded the #1 ranking by Refinitiv for company and board representation for full-year rankings, credited with advising on 39 campaigns in 2021. This is the sixth consecutive year that Refinitiv has awarded Vinson & Elkins the top ranking.
****** And Vinson & Elkins has one of the best long distance runners, Allan Schoenberg. This firm goes the distance.~JJL
The Class of 2022 Is in Demand. What Do New Grads Want?; Money, flexibility and specific assignments are important to those starting their careers—but so is a chance to come into an office
Lindsay Ellis – WSJ
Meet the class of 2022. They are the most in-demand college graduates to enter the job market in years. They have the expectations to match. Grads are seeking more money and flexibility and more specifics about likely assignments than previous classes. Some want their employers to take stands on social issues. And after wrapping the last two years of their education under pandemic conditions, they are highly adaptable yet hungry for face-to-face work, training and mentorship.
****** Not unreasonable or unexpected demands. ~JJL
Boehly-Led Group Said to Have Reached Deal to Buy Chelsea F.C.; The sale attracted a host of U.S. bidders seeking to acquire the brand from Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich
Cara Lombardo and Ben Dummett – WSJ
A group led by Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly reached a deal to acquire Chelsea Football Club from Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich for almost £4.3 billion, equivalent to $5.2 billion, the team said late Friday, marking a record sale price for a professional sports team. The deal’s completion is expected later this month, assuming the deal wins regulator approvals, Chelsea said in a statement. It follows a roughly two-month auction process that attracted a who’s who of American bidders seeking to acquire the marquee sports brand.
****** This American influence on football is going to turn it into soccer.~JJL
Business Travel Rebounds as Execs Choose (Real) Face Time Over Zoom; Companies are reporting more trips, proving doomsayers from the pandemic’s darkest days wrong.
Angus Whitley and Danny Lee – Bloomberg
Since January, Jen Coleman has kicked her videoconferencing habit, flying from her home in London, first to Miami and later to Melbourne, to see clients in person—and win a renewed contract for her company. “I’ve spent two years on Zoom,” says Coleman, 33, who helps Australian phone company Optus manage its relationship with Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo. “It’s just not the same.”
****** Accurate story. I will be traveling more in the next two months than I have yet since the pandemic.~JJL
Steve Cohen’s Secret Weapon for the Mets: His Hedge Fund; Some employees from the billionaire’s firm, Point72 Asset Management, are moonlighting in crucial roles for his baseball team. Many are tasked with improving data analysis and technology.
Juliet Chung, Jared Diamond – WSJ
In the 18 months since billionaire hedge-fund manager Steve Cohen bought the New York Mets, the baseball world has wondered how the sport’s wealthiest owner would use his vast resources and financial acumen to fix a historically hapless organization. The answer was both simple and revolutionary: He brought his hedge fund to the Mets—literally. Some senior employees from Cohen’s firm, Point72 Asset Management, have been moonlighting as Mets employees in crucial roles, according to staffers’ LinkedIn pages, the Mets’ website and people familiar with the matter. Many are tasked with improving the team’s once-outdated infrastructure, data-analytics capabilities and technological prowess. Longtime Mets fan Mark Brubaker, who oversees a staff of hundreds as Point72’s chief technology officer, is listed on the Mets’ front-office roster as their CTO. Steve Canna, Point72’s head of tax, is the Mets’ CFO and treasurer. Point72’s heads of human resources, data solutions and data engineering also work for the Mets, and other employees have been temporarily loaned out to the team for specific projects.
****** Who on the coaching staff is in charge of insider (trading) pitches?
Friday’s Top Three
Our most clicked article on Friday was from Bloomberg Commodities Trader ED&F Man in Talks to Sell Brokerage Business. Second was coverage by The Wall Street Journal on the always vexing but today even more vexing issue of recovering time lost to meetings, How to Avoid Getting Dragged Into Meetings. Third most read was a New York Times opinion piece on life after crypto purchases, What Is Happening to the People Falling for Crypto and NFTs.
26,831 pages; 238,419 edits
Day Trader Army Loses All the Money It Made in Meme-Stock Era; ‘Diamond hands’ mentality fuels dip buying and now faces test; Capitulation from the crowd may help signal a market bottom
Lu Wang – Bloomberg
It’s ending as fast as it began for retail day traders, whose crowd-sourced daring was the pre-eminent story of pandemic equities. Nursing losses in 2022 that are worse than the rest of the market’s, amateur investors who jumped in when the lockdown began have now given back all of their once-prodigious gains, according to an estimate by Morgan Stanley. The calculation is based on trades placed by new entrants since the start of 2020 and uses exchange and public price-feed data to tally overall profits and losses.
It’s the Worst Bond Market Since 1842. That’s the Good News.; The four-decade-long bull market in bonds is over, but that doesn’t mean you should dump them
Jason Zweig – WSJ
How much more of a beating can bond investors take? So far in 2022, with inflation raging, bonds have lost 10%—among the worst returns in U.S. history. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.5 percentage point, the sharpest increase in 22 years. Yet, just as your body begins healing from an injury before you can feel any improvement, the worst for bond investors might already be ending. Those who dump bonds now might be making a mistake by selling low after buying high.
The massive, unregulated source of plastic pollution you’ve probably never heard of; “We’re making these nurdles and basically spilling oil, just in a different form.”
Neel Dhanesha – Vox
On an overcast day in April, on the edge of Chalmette Battlefield, a few miles outside the city, Liz Marchio examined a pile of broken twigs and tree branches on the bank of the Mississippi River. “Usually I try to look — oh, there’s one,” said Marchio, a research associate for the Vertebrate Museum at Southeastern Louisiana University. She bent down to pick up something with a pinch of her thumb and forefinger and placed it in her palm for me to see. The object in Marchio’s hand was small, round, and yellowish-white, about the size of a lentil. It looked like an egg, as if a fish or salamander or tadpole could come wriggling out of it. Marchio handed it to me and turned to flip over a tree branch floating in the water, where dozens more lay waiting underneath. She made a sound of disgust. We had come hunting, and we had quickly found our quarry: nurdles.
Less than a month until our #DerivativesForum #Frankfurt takes place! Secure your tickets now to join us on site or virtually from 24 to 25 May for keynotes, panels, and networking with speakers and the many participants already registered. Tickets, agenda and further details:
https://bit.ly/3MMHAQ5 We look forward to seeing you there!
Britain’s Biggest Bank Is Caught in the U.S.-China Crossfire; Insurer Ping An wants to break up HSBC, 20 years after the ‘global bank’ invested in its future. The tussle points to the difficulty of doing business in China
For years, HSBC Holdings Plc and Ping An Insurance Group Co. enjoyed a cozy relationship, from the turns they took financially backing each other to the easy rapport between their influential chairmen. That’s why shock rippled through the top ranks of the $3 trillion British bank when it emerged the firm’s biggest shareholder was pushing for the most dramatic split in banking history. Ping An, led by Peter Ma, is urging HSBC Chairman Mark Tucker to consider options including breaking the firm apart and listing its Asian operations separately on the stock market. In a recent private memo, the Chinese financial giant enumerated a litany of perceived management failures at HSBC, from underwhelming returns to swelling costs.
Singapore Exchange Targets Futures Trading for Carbon Offsets; AirCarbon to work with German bourse on futures contracts; Offsets exchange expects trading volume to triple this year
Sheryl Tian Tong Lee – Bloomberg
A Singapore carbon exchange is teaming up with Germany’s main bourse to launch futures trading for carbon offsets as early as this year to meet the growing demand from companies to hedge their risks from greenhouse gas emissions. The futures contracts would be created by Deutsche Boerse AG using carbon credits sourced by Singapore-based AirCarbon Pte. The plan would be to trade the contracts on the European Energy Exchange, according to AirCarbon co-founder and chief executive officer Thomas McMahon. The German exchange didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Nvidia Agrees to Pay $5.5 Million to Settle SEC Probe Over Cryptomining Disclosure; Chip maker was slow to inform investors that demand from cryptocurrency miners was boosting sales of gaming chips, agency says
Dave Michaels – WSJ
Nvidia Corp. has agreed to pay $5.5 million to settle a regulatory investigation that found it didn’t adequately reveal the impact of cryptomining on its sales of powerful chips designed for computer gaming. The Securities and Exchange Commission said Nvidia’s sales of its graphics processing units, or GPUs, were materially boosted in its 2018 fiscal year by consumers who bought them to mine new units of cryptocurrencies. Nvidia kept investors in the dark about that fact over two quarters, depriving shareholders of information they needed to understand its future financial performance, the SEC said Friday.
If everyone’s working from home, why is commercial office space booming?
Gene Marks – The Guardian
Many people loved working from home during the pandemic. They got to spend more time with their families, adopted more pets, enjoyed the magic of delivery services, binged Netflix, swapped their suits for sweats and even started an unprecedented number of businesses. All these reasons – and plenty of others – are behind why so many workers want to continue doing the same, even as we try to put Covid in the rearview mirror.
Office Building Owners Drown in Tide of Sublease Space; Office space is hitting the market as landlords grapple with low demand, lease expirations
Konrad Putzier – WSJ
Companies throughout the U.S. are flooding the market with office space they want to sublease, aggravating landlords already facing weak demand as more tenants embrace hybrid work. The amount of space listed for sublease surged in the first year of the pandemic to the highest level in decades in some cities. But it fell in the second half of 2021 as offices leased up and some companies took listings off the market. Now it is rising again. Sublease availability across the U.S. increased 3.6% in the first quarter to 159 million square feet, according to CBRE Group Inc. That is still below last year’s peak of 162 million square feet, but well above prepandemic levels.
Texas toast: Heat crushed records Saturday and will swell northward; Much of the central U.S. faces an extended May heat wave in the coming week
Jason Samenow – The Washington Post
Temperatures as high as 112 degrees shattered records in Texas on Saturday, setting off a prolonged heat wave that will expand through much of the central United States. Parts of Texas could see record-challenging heat in the next six days while record highs near 90 degrees could expand as far north as the Great Lakes by Thursday.
This Billion-Dollar Crypto Loan Is Easy to Get, but Gone in a Flash; Flash loan has become a potent tool for crypto hackers
Paul Vigna – WSJ
A hacker who robbed the decentralized stablecoin platform Beanstalk in April had a powerful tool: a $1 billion loan taken out with no collateral, no proof of income and no identity verification. The loan had to be repaid in less than a second, but that was all that was needed to steal tens of millions of dollars. The hacker used what is called a flash loan—a cheap, instant and anonymous form of financing based on cryptocurrencies.
Russian Blockade Prompts Ukraine to Find New Ways to Shift Vital Wheat Exports; Talks with Poland and Lithuania come as U.N. warns of worst global food crisis since World War II
Drew Hinshaw and Alistair MacDonald – WSJ
Poland and Lithuania are in talks with Ukraine to have the war-torn country export its summer grain harvest through their ports, circumventing Russia’s naval blockade in the Black Sea and helping relieve what the United Nations predicts to be the worst global food crisis since World War II. The plans, described in an interview by Poland’s President Andrzej Duda and several Polish, Lithuanian and Ukrainian officials and diplomats, are an attempt to bolster Ukraine’s struggling economy, which depends heavily on exports of wheat, mostly harvested in late summer. Russia’s military has besieged the now desolate port of Mariupol and its navy has blocked access to the Black Sea lanes to other ports, like Odessa.
A Fight Over America’s Energy Future Erupts on the Canadian Border; Power companies, conservationists, local residents and two U.S. states are mired in an acrimonious dispute about hydroelectricity from Quebec.
David Gelles – NY Times
Hundreds of feet below a remote forest near Hudson Bay, Serge Abergel inspected the spinning turbines at the heart of the biggest subterranean power plant in the world, a massive facility that converts the water of the La Grande River into a current of renewable electricity strong enough to power a midsize city. Mr. Abergel, a senior executive at Hydro Quebec, has for years been working on an ambitious effort to send electricity produced from the river down through the woods of northern Maine and on to Massachusetts, where it would help the state meet its climate goals. Yet today, work on the $1 billion project is at a standstill.
Schroders’ $32 Billion India Partner Faces Regulator Probe; Sebi looking into alleged front-running in stocks by managers; Axis Mutual Fund suspends two fund managers; internal probe on
Suvashree Ghosh, Nupur Acharya, and Ashutosh Joshi – Bloomberg
The Indian partner of global money manager Schroders Plc is under investigation by the country’s capital markets regulator for alleged front-running by two of its officials, according to people familiar with the matter. The Securities and Exchange Board of India is scrutinizing funds that Viresh Joshi and Deepak Agarwal managed at Axis Asset Management Co., the people said, declining to be named as they aren’t authorized to speak to the media. Axis AMC is India’s seventh-largest asset manager with 2.5 trillion rupees ($32 billion) in assets.
Fund That Thrived With Founder in Russian Jail Can’t Escape War; Baring Vostok’s clients are left stuck after Ukraine conflict; Calpers, UTIMCO among Baring Vostok investors unable to exit
Will Louch, Janet Lorin and Benjamin Robertson – Bloomberg
Michael Calvey spent decades believing in Russia. He made successful bets on technology and consumer firms as the country emerged from the breakup of Soviet Union, and stayed invested after the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Even his arrest and incarceration in 2019 didn’t put him off. It helped that funds managed by Calvey’s Baring Vostok Capital Partners exploded in value from $2.6 billion to $9 billion during the 2 1/2 years he battled charges he said were baseless from jail and, later, house arrest, according to a person with knowledge of the firm’s operations, who asked not to be named discussing results.
Virtu starts trading on SIX Swiss Exchange; The addition brings the total number of trading participants on the equities exchange to 95.
Laurie McAughtry – The Trade
SIX Swiss Exchange, a liquid reference market for Swiss equities, has seen its ranks swell to 95 with the addition of Virtu ITG Europe (a subsidiary of the New York-based market maker Virtu Financial) as its latest trading partner. Agency broker ITG was acquired by Virtu Financial for $1 billion back in 2019, in a move that merged Virtu’s technology, risk management and operations with ITG’s agency services.
People Moves Monday: Trading places; The past week saw appointments from HKEX, Citi and the SEC.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Following the announcement of HKEX’s president and chief operating officer, Calvin Tai’s retirement, which will see him depart the firm at the end of the month, John Buckley and Wilfred Yiu have been appointed as operating co-chiefs. Tai originally joined HKEX in 1998 and during his tenure, he served in a variety of senior positions including head of clearing, co-head of equities and FIC division and as head of its trading division.
The stars are aligned for a significant increase in algorithmic trading; Combined with the evolution of electronic trading in non-equities and ongoing improvement in tools, Aite-Novarica Group is looking to see step changes in how buy-side traders are accessing liquidity in the next two years.
Aite-Novarica – The Trade
Last year offered another wild year for the global markets, punctuated by disparate returns across asset classes and volatility. The volatility in the market combined with ongoing remote working situations and volume spikes from individual investors added to the complexities of optimising trading alpha and created new challenges for traders and solutions providers alike.
US intelligence told to keep quiet over role in Ukraine military triumphs; CIA veterans advise successors against ‘unwise’ intelligence boasts that could trigger escalation from Russia
Julian Borger – The Guardian
Former US intelligence officers are advising their successors currently in office to shut up and stop boasting about their role in Ukraine’s military successes. Two stories surfaced in as many days in the American press this week, citing unnamed officials as saying that US intelligence was instrumental in the targeting of Russian generals on the battlefield and in the sinking of the Moskva flagship cruiser on the Black Sea.
Ukrainian Fighters Trapped in Mariupol’s Azovstal Plant Say Kyiv Abandoned Them; Azov regiment vows to fight until the end. ‘We are basically dead men,’ one says.
Bojan Pancevski – WSJ
Ukrainian forces making a last-ditch stand in the destroyed city of Mariupol accused the Kyiv government Sunday of abandoning them, but vowed to fight till the end unless they are rescued by international evacuation efforts. Two commanders of Ukraine’s Azov Regiment who are trapped in a steel plant near the coastal city said thousands of civilians have perished after weeks of heavy Russian bombardment. They called on the international community and organizations to mediate and organize an evacuation.
Why Russia has suffered the loss of an ‘extraordinary’ number of generals; Ukraine claimed 12 Russian generals have been killed since the invasion began.
Meredith Deliso – ABC News
During its war in Ukraine, Russia’s top military leadership has proven to be particularly vulnerable, experts say. Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense has claimed that 12 Russian generals have been killed since the invasion began in late February. Russian officials have not confirmed that number. U.S. officials — who last week pushed back on a New York Times report that said the U.S. provided Ukraine intelligence that helped it target and kill Russian generals and other senior officers — also have not confirmed the number of Russian generals killed.
Ukrainian Holocaust Survivors Flee to Germany From Russian Bombs; An evacuation supported by the German government is rescuing frail Jews from the Kremlin’s invasion
Bojan Pancevski – WSJ
As children, they fled to Russia to escape the Nazi killing machine that devastated their country, murdered six million Jews and left 27 million dead in the Soviet Union. Now, Russia’s invasion is seeing Ukrainian Holocaust survivors evacuating to Germany in a tragic twist of history that has uprooted them again in the twilight of their lives. After Russia attacked Ukraine, Jewish organizations supported by the German government launched a complex rescue operation to evacuate the last remaining members of one of the largest communities of Holocaust survivors in the world. Germany has emerged as a prime destination because its government offered help and access to a support network including care homes with Russian-speaking staff.
Putin to send ‘doomsday’ warning to West at Russia’s WW2 victory parade
Guy Faulconbridge – Reuters
President Vladimir Putin will send a “doomsday” warning to the West when he leads celebrations on Monday marking the 77th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany, brandishing Russia’s vast firepower while its forces fight on in Ukraine. Defiant in the face of deep Western isolation since he ordered the invasion of Russia’s neighbour, Putin will speak on Red Square before a parade of troops, tanks, rockets and intercontinental ballistic missiles.
EU Drops Plan to Stop Tankers Moving Russian Oil Anywhere; Important ban on oil-tanker insurance remains on the table
Ban on vessels needs international coordination, documents say
Nikos Chrysoloras, Alberto Nardelli, and Ewa Krukowska – Bloomberg
The European Union is set to soften its sanctions package on Russian oil exports after a weekend of wrangling, though it aims to keep a key shipping provision that will hinder Moscow’s ability to export its crude.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
Aquis collaborates with BMLL to provide members with market structure insights; Collaboration will allow Aquis to offer its members with third-party verification of passive liquidity’s availability on Aquis compared to other European exchanges.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
BMLL will collaborate with Pan-European equity trading exchanges operator Acquis Exchange to provide insights into market structure dynamics, including venue quality and liquidity analytics, to its members. Through the collaboration and use of BMLL’s Level 3 Data and analytics, Aquis will be able to monitor and evidence liquidity dynamics, and offer its members third-party, independent verification of passive liquidity’s availability on its own venues compared to other European exchange.
ABAXX Updates Q1 2022 Development Activities and Upcoming Business Milestones
Abaxx Technologies Inc., (NEO:ABXX)(OTCQX:ABXXF) (“Abaxx” or the “Company”), a financial software company, majority shareholder of Abaxx Singapore Pte. Ltd., the Abaxx Commodity Exchange (ACX), and producer of the SmarterMarkets™ Podcast, summarizes activities from Q1 2022 and the progress of the Company’s business plans for the remainder of Q2 2022.
Notice of Summary Action: Member: Mark T. Stafford (Msf)
Rule Violation: The BK process must be used by all IMM and IOM members who execute an options/futures spread trade via open outcry in an options pit where the futures leg of the spread is a product outside of the IMM or IOM member’s division.
Notice of Summary Action: EOX Holdings LLC
NYMEX Rule Violation: 526.F. Block Trades
Notice of Summary Action: Sweet Futures 1, LLC
NYMEX Rule Violation: 526.F. Block Trades
Euronext announces volumes for April 2022
Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Lisbon, Milan, Oslo and Paris – 6 May 2022 – Euronext, the leading pan-European market infrastructure, today announced trading volumes for April 2022.
Monthly and historical volume tables are available at this address:
Changes of Designated Securities for Short Selling
Exchange Participants are advised that with effect from 13 May 2022, 31 securities will be added to the list of Designated Securities for short selling while 55 existing Designated Securities will be removed from the list. The securities to be added to and those to be removed from such list are shown in the Attachment for your information. The revised list of all Designated Securities is also available on the Exchange’s website.
Scheduled Dates for Annual General Shareholders Meetings of TSE listed companies
We are pleased to announce the results of the survey for listed companies whose fiscal year ended in March regarding the scheduled dates for Annual General Shareholders Meetings and the disclosure dates of AGM documents.
LME and LME Clear Systems Data Centre Failover Test and Site Changeover Schedule
1. This notice (the “Notice”) advises members and other market participants of the planned Data Centre (“DC”) Failover test and site changeover of LME and LMEClear production services, scheduled for 18 June 2022. 2. The LMEselect, LMEselectMD and LMEsource production services will be switched from primary data centre (“DC 1”) to secondary data centre (“DC 2”) on Saturday 11 June 2022 as part of planned maintenance at Interxion data centre (LME’s primary data centre).
Request For Comments
Amendments to the rules of Bourse de Montreal Inc. to introduce cybersecurity incident reporting requirements.
Request For Comments
Amendments to the rules of Bourse de Montreal Inc. relating to the introduction of a marker at order entry for prearranged transactions.
Request For Comments
Amendments to the rules of Bourse de Montreal Inc. for position limits of narrow based
Index futures contracts.
NSE Indices Fixed Income Index Dashboard For The Month Ended April 2022
Click here to download the ‘ Fixed Income Index Dashboard’ for the month ended April 2022.
Shanghai International Energy Exchange has released its Circular on the Release of Monthly Average Settlement Prices for the Shanghai Crude Oil Futures
Shanghai Futures Exchange
Starting from May 10, 2022, the Shanghai International Energy Exchange (“INE”) will release the Monthly Average Settlement Price (MASP) for the calendar month contracts and the active month contracts on crude oil futures. The details are as follows.
Refinitiv report on fixed income trading finds strong appetite for automation
Dan Barnes – The Desk
Refinitiv, part of the London Stock Exchange Group, and analyst firm Coalition Greenwich, have released a report on the evolution of trading in fixed income as one of a three-part series, which also includes reports on equity trading and FX trading. It found that in the bond market, a new phase of market automation is coming which is expected to expand the focus from the point of execution to the full, end-to-end workflow:
Some 60% of surveyed fixed-income professionals said they would be spending more time “working to automate processes and workflows,” in the next one to three years, while 37% cited automation / electronic trading a key way to cut costs, followed by vendor consolidation (35%).
VR Mars metaverse built by Fortnite maker will let you experience life on Red Planet
Jona Jaupi – The Sun
NASA has partnered up with Epic Games to create a virtual reality Mars metaverse. The joint project hopes to become a helpful tool for space agencies when planning the first human expedition on the Red Planet. To get the ball rolling, Nasa has partnered with HeroX to launch the MarsXR challenge. This test tasks developers with creating scenarios that cosmonauts may face while on Mars. Challenges are divided into five categories: Set Up Camp, Scientific Research, Maintenance, Exploration, and ‘Blow Our Minds’.
Block Needs to Keep Stacking on Solid Foundation; Shares of the fintech company aren’t quite as hard hit as many peers, but continuing expansion of Cash App will be critical
Telis Demos – WSJ
With so many fintech stocks tumbling, Block may be among the sturdier ones. Financial-technology and digital-commerce companies’ shares have been hit hard by the market’s turn against growth stocks. Among them is Block, formerly known as Square. Its shares are down more than 40% so far in 2022. But it isn’t quite as downtrodden as some others that play in those realms, with companies such as Affirm and Shopify both down more than 70%. Block is also trading around the same multiple of enterprise value to forward earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization it was at the end of 2019; multiples for stocks such as Adyen, PayPal and Shopify are all now lower than they were at that point in time.
Colonial Pipeline was cyber wake-up call; Ukraine war is escalator
Ines Kagubare – The Hill
One year ago, the Colonial Pipeline was hit by a disruptive ransomware attack forcing it to shut down operations for nearly a week. The incident, which caused gas shortages in several states as fuel prices spiked, was a major wake-up call for critical industries to start taking cyber threats seriously and invest more in cybersecurity. However, experts say that the war in Ukraine has put even more pressure on companies to expedite the investments they had begun a year ago as cybersecurity became front and center – both domestically and globally.
How to spot ‘spear phishing’, an insidious cybercrime trend
Karen Cicero – Yahoo! Life
True story: At a company I once worked for, employees received an email about an unexpected bonus. In private Slack channels, we wondered whether it was a well-played phishing attempt. Turns out, the bonus was legit, but so was our inclination to question it. Phishing—when cybercriminals pose as legitimate institutions to get info or money from you—is the origin of up to 90 percent of breaches and hacking incidents, says Frank Cilluffo, director of Auburn University’s McCrary Institute for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security in Alabama.
Avoid falling for online scams — cybersecurity experts weigh in on best practices
Korin Miller – Yahoo! Life
No matter how tech savvy you are, online scams and phishing schemes are out there just waiting to trick you and plenty of others into giving away your personal information. Unfortunately some of these scams are pretty good — the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says they often appear to be coming from companies and businesses you trust. They also happen a lot. The FTC received more than 2.1 million fraud reports from people in 2020 alone, with online scams being the most common type of fraud they saw.
Protecting against cyber threats during the Russia-Ukraine conflict
Brooke Watson – Security Magazine
On March 21, 2022, the Biden administration released a statement emphasizing a prior warning “about the potential that Russia could conduct malicious cyber activity against the United States, including as a response to the unprecedented economic costs [the United States has] imposed on Russia” and “reiterating those warnings based on evolving intelligence that the Russian Government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks.”
Muggers grab phones to steal cryptocurrency
Nadeem Badshah – The Times
Criminals are snatching mobile phones to steal money from digital currency accounts, police say. Victims have reported having thousands of pounds swindled from their cryptocurrency accounts after their device was taken. Experts say that cryptocurrency transfers are irreversible, unlike a bank transfer. Anonymised crime reports provided to The Guardian by City of London police as part of a freedom of information request highlighted the wave of “crypto-muggings”.
Mining Capital Coin CEO indicted for allegedly running a cryptocurrency pyramid scheme
Ramishah Maruf – CNN Business
The Justice Department indicted Mining Capital Coin CEO Luiz Capuci Jr. for “allegedly orchestrating a $62 million global investment fraud scheme,” the agency said Friday. Mining Capital Coin, or MCC, is a cryptocurrency mining and investment platform. Capuci, who is from Port St. Lucie, Florida, allegedly misled investors by selling “Mining Packages,” promising substantial returns from mining new cryptocurrencies in what MCC described as their international network of crypto mining machines, according to the DOJ press release.
Crypto Just Became Real Estate’s Hottest New Thing. Here’s What That Means For Buyers, Sellers, And Developers
Peter Lane Taylor – Forbes
Adaptation from an evolutionary perspective is by nature a glacially unhurried process. It pans out even slower and more painfully when it comes to fundamental changes to the rules by which the real estate industry plays—many of which remain so outdated that they are analogously as irrelevant and inefficient as phones still attached to the wall.
Crypto investor and founder Jill Gunter on the increasingly heated competition between blockchains — and what it’ll take to win
Anita Ramaswamy – TechCrunch
Jill Gunter is no stranger to crypto — she’s seen the market through its ups and downs, conducting research on blockchain protocols, working at multiple crypto startups and co-founding her own, and investing as a crypto VC at Slow Ventures. Gunter first started following the crypto space in 2011, when she was working in the traditional finance world as a derivatives trader at Goldman Sachs and when Bitcoin was the only major layer-one blockchain.
‘Zero chance’ of US approving spot bitcoin ETF in 2022 – VanEck; Issuer that had crypto ETF rejected by SEC says nothing will happen until regulators finish turf war
Bernard Goyder – Risk.net
There is “probably zero chance” of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) allowing an asset manager to issue an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that tracks the price of bitcoin this year, according to one of the companies that has had an application to run a crypto fund rejected by the regulator.
Bitcoin Breaches Key Level; Do Kwon-Backed Stablecoin Slips; Cryptocurrency ATMs as Bitcoin Mirrors Stock Rebound
Sidhartha Shukla and Stacy-Marie Ishmael – Bloomberg
A swift selloff over the weekend in two tokens associated with Do Kwon highlighted weakness in the broader crypto market, as Bitcoin slid through a key support level Sunday to almost a four-month low. The value of TerraUSD or UST, an algorithmic stablecoin that aims to maintain a one-to-one peg to the dollar, dropped below $1 to its lowest level in almost a year, pricing from CoinMarketCap showed.
Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Posts Quarterly Loss on Crypto Price Slide; Net comprehensive income fell mainly due to unrealized losses; Investment banking and mining units made record contributions
Yueqi Yang – Bloomberg
Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd., the cryptocurrency firm controlled by billionaire Michael Novogratz, posted a loss in the first quarter against a backdrop of large digital asset price declines. The net comprehensive loss was $111.7 million, compared to a gain of $858.2 million in the year-ago period, primarily due to unrealized losses on digital assets and investments in its trading and principal investment businesses. That was partially offset by profitability in investment banking and mining units. The company had warned of a loss of $110 million to $130 million in the first quarter through March 28, citing market volatility.
Crypto Critic Nouriel Roubini Is Working on a Tokenized Dollar Replacement; Nouriel Roubini, chief executive officer of Roubini Macro Associates Inc.; Nouriel Roubini, chief executive officer of Roubini Macro Associates Inc.Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg
ByTracy Alloway – Bloomberg
Nouriel Roubini, a blockchain basher who famously called Bitcoin “the mother of all bubbles,” is working to develop a suite of financial products including a tokenized asset intended to act as a “more resilient dollar” in the face of higher inflation, climate change and civil unrest. Roubini, nicknamed “Dr. Doom” for his bearish views, sees room for an asset-backed digital coin that could help protect against higher prices and benefit from soaring demand for land and commodities, as well as a loss of confidence in fiat currencies. He’s working with Dubai-based Atlas Capital Team LP, which he joined two years ago as co-founder and chief economist, to create the new products.
Crypto Exchange Bitstamp Names JB Graftieaux as CEO
Emily Nicolle – Bloomberg
Bitstamp Ltd., the world’s fourth-largest cryptocurrency exchange, appointed JB Graftieaux as chief executive officer, replacing Julian Sawyer. Graftieaux joined Bitstamp in May 2021 as CEO of its European business, the firm said in a statement on Monday. He started in his new role on May 7. Graftieaux previously worked as Bitstamp’s chief compliance officer between 2014 and 2016, before leaving for a senior role at eBay’s European unit.
How are NFTs disrupting the art market? Beeple’s Everydays and CrytoPunk collectibles made millions at auction while Bored Ape Yacht Club drew celebs including Justin Bieber and Snoop Dogg; Sales of NFT art and collectibles are booming on Ethereum, Flow and Ronin with Christie’s hosting its first blockchain auction on NFT platform OpenSea; Meanwhile, LaCollection partnered with The British Museum in NFT sales of well-known works by William Turner and Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa
Joyce Yip – South China Morning Post
The world was shocked when, in March 2021, American digital artist Beeple sold his Everydays: The First 5000 Days at a Christie’s auction for an astronomical US$69.4 million. The sum, and the fact it was the first piece of NFT art to be auctioned by a major auction house, rattled not only the traditional art industry, but also questioned the way we all collect and consume digital assets.
A 16-year-old whose NFT collection is worth $1 million shares the steps he took to create and upload his art, the software he used, and how the bidding war for his work took off
Laila Maidan – Insider
Jaiden Stipp, publicly known as Jasti, is only 16 years old. But the teenager already has a million-dollar art collection to his name. You won’t find his artworks in any galleries near Tacoma, Washington, where he lives. Instead, they exist as nonfungible tokens — unique digital assets that verify ownership and are tied to a blockchain. He minted his works last year, when a surge in crypto interest grew the NFT market to almost the size of traditional art.
Trump’s trade war looms over soybean farmers 4 years later
Katie Lobosco – CNN
It’s been nearly four years since China put tariffs on American-grown soybeans during a tit-for-tat trade war with then-President Donald Trump — and they remain in place despite the change in administrations. President Joe Biden has chosen to leave US tariffs imposed by his predecessor in 2018 in place on $350 billion in Chinese goods. In turn, Beijing has left its retaliatory tariffs on some agricultural products, including soybeans, and some American-made goods.
Biden Reaps Record Tax Haul on Meme Stocks’ Once-and-Done Frenzy; Treasury plans to scale back debt sales surprised Wall Street; Revenue surge more likely to prove a ‘one-off,’ Goldman says
Laura Davison – Bloomberg
The surge in individual stock trading by Americans last year contributed to a record tax haul for the federal government this spring — shrinking the budget deficit and surprising Wall Street, but likely leaving President Joe Biden in no stronger shape as he battles for his fiscal agenda in Congress. Tax collections since the start of the fiscal year in October are running at a record high — up some 43% over the same period in 2019, the most recent comparison not disturbed by the pandemic, Treasury Department data through Thursday show.
The Biden Loyalty Machine; Administration insiders play by one rule: Never criticize other insiders.
Andy Kessler – WSJ
In her 2014 book, “A Fighting Chance,” Elizabeth Warren describes advice she received from Lawrence Summers when he was Harvard’s president: “I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don’t listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People—powerful people—listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don’t criticize other insiders.”
Supreme Court Leak Inquiry Exposes Gray Area of Press Protections; No law or written code of conduct prescribes how an investigation into the leak of a draft opinion should proceed, or whether journalists will be swept into it.
Jeremy W. Peters – NY Times
There is a well-established but uneven pattern in American law that applies to government secrets and the journalists who uncover them. The First Amendment generally protects the publication of a leak, but not the leaker. An authority no less than the Supreme Court has made it this way. In 1971, as the justices prepared to rule that the government could not prevent The New York Times from publishing the Pentagon Papers — one of the biggest leak cases in history — the source of that leak, Daniel Ellsberg, was indicted by a federal grand jury for theft.
Companies Are Stuck Between Their Workers and Politicians; When Florida revoked Disney’s tax privileges, business leaders were shocked. Now, a Supreme Court leak has made some of them terrified of speaking out. More than a decade after the rise of the employee activist movement, corporate America faces tougher decisions.
Joe Nocera – NY Times
A little more than a decade ago, workers started increasingly raising their hands and voices against company policies. Since then, employee activism has been a cultural phenomenon that has demanded that business leaders not only take a strong, public stand on a political issue — something companies assiduously avoided in previous decades — but also take real action.
Trudeau: Canada to be good energy partner with Europe but won’t compromise climate goals
Tom Balmforth – Reuters
Canada wants to be a good energy partner to Europe but will not abandon its climate goals and planned transition to cleaner fuels, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said late on Sunday. Trudeau, in an unannounced visit to Ukraine, also said he trusts the Bank of Canada as it attempts to tame three-decade high inflation. Earlier, Trudeau said Canada will provide new weapons and equipment for Ukraine and reopen its embassy in Kyiv, the country’s capital.
EU Considers Insurance Ban for Ships Carrying Russian Oil; Shipowners say they won’t carry crude if they can’t insure vessels against environmental damage
Julie Steinberg, Laurence Norman and Joe Wallace – WSJ
Insurance could be the next financial weapon deployed by the European Union against Russia. EU officials have proposed a ban on insuring ships that carry Russian oil, a move aimed at blocking Russia’s access to global oil markets and the revenue that has fueled its military invasion of Ukraine. “In effect, it would be a very strong hindrance to export Russian crude,” said Lars Barstad, chief executive of Frontline Ltd. , which owns one of the world’s biggest tanker fleets.
Putin’s Pariah Status Isn’t Slowing His Copycats in Europe; From Spain to Italy, the ranks of far-right personalities and parties continue to expand, posing a risk to the current unity over the war in Ukraine.
Pankaj Mishra – Bloomberg
Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine has focused Europe’s attention on external threats to its security. A potentially more insidious danger exists within, in Europe’s swelling ranks of Putinist far-right personalities and parties. Even though she lost the French elections, Marine Le Pen demonstrated with her unprecedented vote count the growing potency of one of Putin’s chief allies in Europe. Another of his admirers, Hungarian Prime Minister Víktor Orban, recently won re-election in a landslide.
Heirs of Hitler’s Billionaires Need to Reckon With the Past; A Q&A with David de Jong, author of a recent book on wealthy German families with fortunes launched by industrialists complicit in the Holocaust.
Tobin Harshaw – Bloomberg
America has in recent years undergone a reckoning with its original sin of slavery. From toppling statues of Confederate generals to adding the 1619 Project to school curriculums to erasing the legacy of a former president (of both the Republic and my alma mater, Princeton University), attempts to at least acknowledge if not right the wrongs of past centuries is one of the most potent social movements of our times. Germany, on the other hand, has since the beginning of its post-World War II iteration made contrition central to its national identity. Given the horrors of the Nazi regime, this effort seems both laudable and impossible. Collective guilt can go only so far.
SEC Issues Nearly $3.5 Million Award to Four Whistleblowers
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced a total award of nearly $3.5 million to four whistleblowers who provided information and assistance in a single covered action. Three joint whistleblowers provided Commission staff with information that caused the staff to open a new investigation that led to the successful enforcement action. These joint whistleblowers’ information also caused another agency to open an investigation which led to a separate successful action. Another whistleblower provided insights based on an analysis of publicly available information that focused the staff’s attention on new allegations that advanced the investigation.
SEC Halts Fraudulent Cryptomining and Trading Scheme; Founders allegedly promised big returns, instead used investments to fund lavish lifestyles
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges against MCC International Corp. (MCC), which does business as Mining Capital Coin Corp., its founders Luiz Carlos Capuci, Jr. (aka Junior Caputti or Capuci) and Emerson Souza Pires (Pires), and two other entities controlled by Capuci, CPTLCoin Corp. (CPTLCoin) and Bitchain Exchanges (Bitchain), in connection with the unregistered offerings and fraudulent sales of investment plans called mining packages to thousands of investors. According to the SEC’s complaint, Defendants MCC, Capuci, and Pires allegedly netted at least $8.1 million from the sale of the mining packages and $3.2 million in initiation fees. On April 21, 2022, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida issued a temporary restraining order against all of the defendants and an order freezing defendants’ assets, among other relief.
Remarks at SEC Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee Meeting
Commissioner Hester Peirce – SEC
Thank you, Carla [Garrett], the rest of the Committee, and to today’s guest speakers for sharing your thoughts on the potential effects of the Commission’s proposed rules relating to climate change-related disclosures and SPACs on small businesses. Welcome to the Committee, Donnel [Baird]. I look forward to your contributions in the months to come.
SEC Obtains Judgment Requiring Disbarred Attorney to Pay Nearly $1 Million for Violating His Suspension from Appearing or Practicing as an Attorney Before the Commission
On April 29, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a judgment against Shawn Hackman, who was previously disbarred by the State of Nevada and suspended by the SEC, ordering him to comply with the SEC’s suspension order and to pay nearly $1 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest for money he earned in violation of the suspension order.
Investing and Trading
One Amazing Stat That Captures Warren Buffett’s Investing Career
Andrew Bary – Barron’s
Warren Buffett, at 91, presided last week over Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting, a gathering popularly known as “Woodstock for Capitalists.” If you’re undecided about whether Buffett deserves his reputation as one of history’s greatest investors, consider this amazing statistic: Given the gains in Berkshire Hathaway Class A shares since he took over in 1965, the stock could drop 99% and still beat the S&P 500 index.
Proposed IRS Rule Could Penalize Some Heirs of Retirement Accounts; The new regulation would affect accounts inherited after 2019
Leonard Sloane – WSJ
Proposed new regulations from the Internal Revenue Service for inherited retirement accounts would require many heirs to make minimum annual withdrawals from the accounts—leaving less room for the savings to grow tax-deferred over the years. The new rules would provide guidance to the Secure Act of 2019, which made several changes to laws governing retirement accounts.
Why It’s Harder to Reduce Volatility in a Stock Portfolio; Adding more stocks can get you a reduction. But not to the level that it used to.
Mark Hulbert – WSJ
Reducing your stock portfolio’s volatility is getting increasingly difficult. That’s the conclusion of researchers who—at the top of the internet-stock bubble around 22 years ago—calculated that a stock portfolio needed to own at least 50 stocks to ensure that its volatility was no greater than that of the market as a whole. That was a much greater number than in previous decades, when as few as 15 stocks would have done the trick. But a 50-stock portfolio would still have had about the same level of volatility, since the overall market’s volatility hadn’t changed much from earlier decades at the turn of the century.
Market’s 2022 Slide Has Already Changed Investor Behavior; Once-popular trades fall out of favor as investors brace for further volatility
Akane Otani, Karen Langley and Gunjan Banerji – WSJ
The 2022 pullback in U.S. stocks intensified last week, with stocks on Thursday staging their largest single-day decline since the onset of the pandemic. The plunge came just a day after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell appeared to clear the way for a stock rally by casting interest-rate increases larger than a half-percentage point as unlikely.
Is Your Wealth Adviser Independent? Sometimes, It Isn’t Easy to Tell; Investors might not be aware when their advisers have ties to insurance companies
Randall Smith – WSJ
Since the 2008 financial crisis tarnished big Wall Street banks and brokers, the ranks of independent wealth advisers have grown faster than other categories. Enhancing their appeal has been a standard known as the fiduciary rule, which legally requires such advisers to put client interests first at all times and generally avoid conflicts of interest. Investors, however, should be aware that some financial professionals may appear more independent than they really are. They may have ties to insurance companies that aren’t readily visible without taking a deeper dive into their websites and disclosures. This could matter for investors who prefer advisers who aren’t affiliated with insurers and their financial products.
The Tech Industry’s Epic Two-Year Run Sputters; Investors are divided about whether technology companies are set for a deep retrenchment or if growth is simply slowing from pandemic highs
Sebastian Herrera and Akane Otani – WSJ
The technology industry, which powered the U.S. economy during the pandemic and grew at tremendous scale during a decade of ultralow interest rates, is confronting one of the most punishing stretches in years. Global powerhouses and fledgling startups are feeling pain from a variety of economic, industry and market factors, spawning postpandemic turbulence in e-commerce, digital advertising, electric vehicles, ride-hailing and other segments.
An Underappreciated Investing Tip: Check the Trademark Filings; A new study suggests that companies with relatively high trademark filings earn higher future profits
Daisy Maxey – WSJ
Trademark filings can serve as valuable indicators for investors, according to a new study. When comparing companies based on how many trademarks they register in a year—relative to their total assets—it is the shares of the companies that register more trademarks that do better the next year, outperforming shares of companies that register fewer, according to the study, which was recently published in Management Science.
Saving for Your Future Self While Freelancing; There may be years when you have to drum up your own work — and create your own retirement plan.
Margie Zable Fisher – NY Times
Cecile Corral had been feeling optimistic about her retirement savings. For a decade, she was making good use of an employer-sponsored 401(k), contributing 6 percent of her salary and receiving a match of as much as 6 percent. Before she had children, she had been saving nearly 10 percent of her paycheck. “My retirement savings plan was basically on autopilot, and I didn’t worry about it,” said Ms. Corral, of Miami. That came to a screeching halt in May 2020. A casualty of the pandemic, she was laid off after 20 years as the senior editor of a family of trade magazines. It was a shock to her system — and her finances.
Gold’s Strange Behavior Shows It’s No Haven; Lately the precious metal is adding to portfolio volatility, moving with the broader markets instead of against them.
Jared Dillian – Bloomberg
When I went to business school at the University of San Francisco, our class was instructed to build a portfolio that we believed consisted of 10 stocks that had the best ratio of reward to risk, or in other words, the highest Sharpe ratio. I chose gold mining company Placer Dome as one of my stocks. At the time, Placer Dome (which has since been acquired) had a slight negative correlation to the rest of the market, which means that by adding it, I was reducing the overall risk in the portfolio. My professor was impressed, but he wouldn’t be now.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
Electricity Shortage Warnings Grow Across U.S.; Power-grid operators caution that electricity supplies aren’t keeping up with demand amid transition to cleaner forms of energy
Katherine Blunt – WSJ
From California to Texas to Indiana, electric-grid operators are warning that power-generating capacity is struggling to keep up with demand, a gap that could lead to rolling blackouts during heat waves or other peak periods as soon as this year. California’s grid operator said Friday that it anticipates a shortfall in supplies this summer, especially if extreme heat, wildfires or delays in bringing new power sources online exacerbate the constraints. The Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO, which oversees a large regional grid spanning much of the Midwest, said late last month that capacity shortages may force it to take emergency measures to meet summer demand and flagged the risk of outages. In Texas, where a number of power plants lately went offline for maintenance, the grid operator warned of tight conditions during a heat wave expected to last into the next week.
Climate Change Is Straining California’s Energy System, Officials Say; Officials warned that extreme weather events could cause outages and that power bills would increase as providers covered rising energy costs.
Benjamin Mullin – NY Times
Torrid heat, raging wildfires and prolonged drought are putting California residents at increased risk of power outages, officials said Friday, as extreme weather driven by climate change puts additional stress on the state’s already-taxed energy grid. Officials said in an online briefing that they were preparing for a scenario in 2022 that would see California fall short of energy demands by about 1,700 megawatts. The shortfall is likeliest to occur in the summer after the sun sets, depriving energy providers of solar energy.
How Roe Shaped the World of Work for Women; Many factors drove women into the work force in greater numbers in the 1970s. Scholars argue that abortion access was an important one.
Emma Goldberg – NY Times
When Barbara Schwartz looks back at her younger days working as a Broadway stagehand, she remembers the electricity of it: the harried dancers slipping into their costumes backstage, the props people shoving past with flashlights between their teeth. She was able to throw herself into that high-pressure career, she said, because of a choice she made in 1976. She got an abortion at a clinic she found in the Yellow Pages. It was three years after the Roe v. Wade ruling established the constitutional right to an abortion; to Ms. Schwartz, the world seemed full of new professional opportunities for women. She got a credit card in her own name, became one of the first women to make it into the local stagehand union and joined the throngs backstage at shows including “Cats” and “Miss Saigon.”
Soaring Demand for Palm Oil Puts Rainforests at Risk Again; So far, high prices haven’t dented years of progress against deforestation
Jon Emont – WSJ
Pressure from businesses and environmental groups has slowed the destruction of rainforests to produce palm oil in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest country. Rising demand for the commodity has tested those efforts, but so far further deforestation has been kept in check. Palm oil prices have tripled over the past two years to record levels and are likely to remain high. Along with other more costly commodities, palm oil is feeding global inflation.
Redefining ‘Sustainable Fashion’; At its heart, the term, which can leave us feeling as if we’re chasing an impossible ideal, is a contradiction.
Vanessa Friedman – NY Times
In 2009, the Danish Fashion Institute held one of the first sustainable fashion summits in Copenhagen, just around the time of the U.N.’s COP15. This was back when everyone thought it was funny to make jokes about green being the new black, and most people thought “eco” and “vegan” and “organic” all meant kind of the same thing, and if any major fashion companies even had chief sustainability officers, they were based in tiny rooms many floors and winding corridors away from the heart of the C-suite. How things have changed.
Billionaire George Kaiser’s Bank Drills Deeper Into the Oil Patch; While other lenders edge back from oil-and-gas lending, BOK Financial is snatching market share
Vipal Monga – WSJ
Banks all over the U.S. and around the world have curtailed lending to the U.S. oil-and-gas sector. BOK Financial Corp. has doubled down. The Tulsa, Okla.-based bank holding company for the Bank of Albuquerque, Bank of Oklahoma and Bank of Texas, along with other financial-services companies, is majority-owned by billionaire oilman George Kaiser. It has been snatching market share from big European banks and local rivals that retreated from the industry even as oil prices leapt from historic lows to near-historic highs in less than two years.
Sorry, But for You, Oil Trades at $250 a Barrel; The culprit is the refinery margin and the consequences are huge for global inflation.
Javier Blas – Bloomberg
If you are the owner of an oil refinery, then crude is trading happily just a little above $110 a barrel — expensive, but not extortionate. If you aren’t an oil baron, I have bad news: it’s as if oil is trading somewhere between $150 and $275 a barrel. The oil market is projecting a false sense of stability when it comes to energy inflation. Instead, the real economy is suffering a much stronger price shock than it appears, because fuel prices are rising much faster than crude, and that matters for monetary policy.
Citadel founder and CEO Ken Griffin talks about why his hedge fund has been so successful, the types of people he likes to hire and common mistakes investors make. He’s on “Bloomberg Wealth with David Rubenstein.”
David Rubenstein – Bloomberg
“Firms that solve problems are firms that are successful.” Citadel founder and CEO Ken Griffin speaks about how adaptability and communication are essential skills for building a successful business.
JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are monitoring how often employees are coming into the office—but experts say that approach could backfire
Jane Thier – Fortune
You probably don’t think twice when you swipe your ID badge to get into your office in the morning, but your employer might be paying attention. JPMorgan Chase made headlines in April when Business Insider reported that the financial institution is gathering data from ID badge swipes to ascertain how often employees are coming into the office, in accordance with its return-to-office policies. That data is then compiled in reports that managers can use to enforce in-person work quotas. JPMorgan declined to respond to Fortune’s request for comment.
This little-known Vanguard fund has been crushing it — yes, even in this market
Brett Arends – MarketWatch
What would Jack Bogle think? The legendary Vanguard founder, who died three years ago at 89, famously advised investors to avoid anything fancy in their retirement portfolios, 401(k) plans and IRAs. Bogle’s usual advice to an ordinary investor was to stick to a low-cost U.S. stock-market index fund for long-term growth, like the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares VTSAX, -0.81% fund.
IIA’s Rick Redding: ‘Indices continue to evolve; their core benefits remain’
As the Index Industry Association (IIA) celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, we caught up with CEO Rick Redding to find out what the organization is working on and what he sees as the key trends ahead for index providers. The IIA is the trade group representing index providers worldwide and serving as an advocate for investor use of indices globally. We first talked to Rick in 2018, when he described the work of the IIA and discussed the state of the evolving global indexing market. The IIA currently counts 16 members, which oversee more than 3 million indices. The Association works with market participants, regulators and other representative bodies to promote competition and sound practices in the index industry as a means to strengthen financial markets.
Dimon Pay Should Be Rejected by JPMorgan Investors, Adviser Says; Glass Lewis recommends voting against non-binding resolution; JPMorgan says pay is to ensure Dimon’s continued leadership
Scott Carpenter and Hannah Levitt – Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co. shareholders should vote against Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon’s pay package, proxy advisory firm Glass, Lewis & Co. recommended, citing a “disconnect” between his compensation and the bank’s performance. Of particular concern is $52.6 million in option awards granted to Dimon, “nearly double the size of his regular equity grant for 2021” and representing much of his $84.4 million in annual pay, Glass Lewis said in a report. The firm also criticized the $53.3 million in total compensation for President and Chief Operating Officer Daniel Pinto, which included almost $27.9 million in option awards.
Why a Covid-19 audit must be a priority for Hong Kong and the world; A new book by Bill Gates argues that if governments had acted more quickly to contain the outbreak, millions of lives could have been saved; While Hong Kong needs to reevaluate the zero-Covid strategy that served it well in 2021, globally governments must rethink ‘go-it-alone’ approaches
David Dodwell – South China Morning Post
As John Lee Ka-chiu prepares to take the helm as Hong Kong’s fifth chief executive, the time is ripe for an audit or two. Most important will be what was done right, and what wrong, during the Covid-19 pandemic, and what to do going forward. Our own audit needs to coincide with an audit worldwide. Avoiding a repeat of the tragedy of the past two years must be a global priority. It may take years to assess the harm done to lives and livelihoods, but we already know the cost has been stupendous – 517 million Covid-19 cases worldwide, and a new estimate from the World Health Organization of 14.9 million deaths.
If China abandons zero-Covid, it could prove it’s more rational and pragmatic than the paralysed West; By performing a massive U-turn and reopening to the world, China would undoubtedly earn immeasurable admiration and respect for saving the global economy; All it would take is a few billion dollars to give the entire population mRNA booster shots. That’s what worked for Singapore – it can work for China too
Kishore Mahbubani – South China Morning Post
Our world is beginning to drown in pessimism. Dark clouds, both geopolitical and geoeconomic, bear down upon us – some unleashing great pain and suffering on the people below. Energy prices are spiking. Inflation is accelerating. Governments, as in Sri Lanka, are falling. The burning question our world now faces is a simple one: can we turn things around?
With a rise in coronavirus cases, what precautions should you take for Mother’s Day, graduations and other festivities?
Katia Hetter – CNN
Cases of Covid-19 are rising again. Infections have increased by more than 50% compared with the previous week in at least eight US states. Parts of New York have moved into the “high” designation of Covid-19 community level, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention metrics. The surge in the United States appears to be driven by the new BA.2.12.1 variant, an offshoot of the Omicron subvariant BA.2. In the meantime, South Africa is facing its own Covid-19 wave, driven by two more Omicron variants, BA.4 and BA.5.
The lucky few to never get coronavirus could teach us more about it; Scientists turn their attention to finding the rare individuals who have not yet contracted the virus
Katie Shepherd and Joe Heim – The Washington Post
When her partner tested positive for the coronavirus two days before Christmas, Michelle Green worried she, too, would become ill. She was two months pregnant with their second child. He was a bartender at the time, and some of his co-workers were infected with the virus. “I told him to get in the guest bedroom and don’t leave,” said Green, a 40-year-old project manager at a retail technology start-up in the District. The couple, who were both vaccinated, and their toddler postponed their Christmas celebration. Somehow, Green never tested positive.
More Than 100 Hepatitis Cases Reported in U.S.; CDC is investigating cause of infections that have killed five children nationally
Renée Onque – WSJ
Dozens of additional hepatitis cases among children are under investigation in the U.S., officials said, widening the scope of a mysterious illness that has led to hospitalizations and organ transplants world-wide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that it had received reports of 100 additional cases of children with symptoms similar to those of nine children with acute hepatitis in Alabama. The CDC said cases have been detected since October in 25 states and territories including New York, California, Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico.
War in Europe and China’s Battle With Covid Boost U.S.’s Business Appeal; For European companies, America offers political stability and sustained growth in an increasingly risky and turbulent world
William Boston and Tom Fairless – WSJ
European businesses are stepping up U.S. investment as executives search for growth and stability amid turbulence caused by the war in Ukraine and tough Covid-19 lockdowns in China. The U.S. economy has emerged strong from the pandemic, while Europe’s recovery prospects have been cast into doubt by the Ukraine war. Plus Beijing’s stringent zero-Covid policy and regulatory crackdowns on technology companies and debt problems at large real estate businesses have raised questions about its commitment to economic growth. Exposure to the Chinese market has provided enormous growth and profits for European companies over the past decades.
Moderna Seeks to Dismiss Covid-19 Vaccine Patent Lawsuit; Vaccine maker says federal patent law protects it as a government contractor
Peter Loftus – WSJ
Moderna Inc. is trying to fend off rival companies’ claims that its Covid-19 vaccine infringes their patents, arguing that the companies may only pursue their claims seeking royalties from the federal government. Moderna on Friday filed a motion to dismiss some of the patent-infringement claims in the lawsuit, which was filed in February by two small biotechnology companies, Arbutus Biopharma Corp. and Genevant Sciences GmbH, in federal court in Delaware. It is the latest move in the high-stakes legal battles that are breaking out among companies and the government over patents surrounding Covid-19 vaccines.
White House documents detail a looming squeeze on Covid-19 boosters
Rachel Cohrs – STAT News
The White House could run out of Covid-19 vaccines if it moves forward with plans to encourage all adults to get a second Covid-19 vaccine booster dose by roughly Sept. 1, according to a tranche of budget documents sent to Congress that have not previously been made public. Although Food and Drug Administration officials have hinted that all American adults may be encouraged to get second boosters this fall, right now, second booster doses are only available to people over the age of 50. The budget documents make it clear that if the administration does want to push second boosters, it will need more money to make it happen: it needs at least 87 million more vaccines for adult boosters, and another 5 million more for first boosters for kids.
China market loses its shine for private equity investors as nation’s economy slows, zero-Covid-19 policy remains in force; Venture capitalists are biding their time on new investments in China amid increased uncertainty in the market; Investors see challenges posed by Beijing’s strict zero-Covid-19 policy, tensions in US-China relations and Russia’s war with Ukraine
Tracy Qu and Yaling Jiang – South China Morning Post
For a long time, China was a gold mine for venture capitalists. Many investors reaped the rewards from solid bets on internet titans such as Alibaba Group Holding in e-commerce, Tencent Holdings in video gaming and social media, Meituan for on-demand delivery, and ByteDance for global hit short video app TikTok. The past two years, however, has been challenging for the world’s second-largest economy, following the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, a sweeping regulatory crackdown on Big Tech firms and more recently, Beijing’s strict implementation of its zero-Covid-19 policy to counter the latest outbreak in the country.
3 experts break down why Russia is set to lose its status as a top global oil power under an EU embargo: ‘It could surely cripple the Russian oil and gas industry’
Phil Rosen – Markets Insider
A European Union embargo on Russian oil would devastate production and topple Moscow as a top global oil power, experts told Insider. Due to Russia’s limited ability to store unsold oil, an embargo would force cutbacks to production. But even before the EU proposed a ban Wednesday, the Kremlin had already warned last month oil output could fall as much as 17% this year.
Jared Kushner’s New Fund Plans to Invest Saudi Money in Israel; Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund committed $2 billion to Mr. Kushner’s Affinity Partners, agreeing to allow investment in Israeli firms for the first time
Dion Nissenbaum and Rory Jones – WSJ
Jared Kushner’s new private-equity fund plans to invest millions of dollars of Saudi Arabia’s money in Israeli startups, according to people familiar with the investment plan, in a sign of warming ties between two historic rivals. Affinity Partners, which has raised more than $3 billion, including a $2 billion commitment from the kingdom’s sovereign-wealth fund, has already selected the first two Israeli firms to invest in, these people said.
Zimbabwe Central Bank Data Shows Local Currency Devalued 40%
Ray Ndlovu and Antony Sguazzin – Bloomberg
The Zimbabwe dollar’s exchange rate was quoted 40% weaker against the U.S. dollar on Monday, according to data on the website of the central bank. The currency was priced at 275.79 per dollar on the website of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe compared with 165.99 on Friday. No further detail was given.
Zimbabwe Bankers to Meet Authorities After Order to Halt Lending; Bank unions fear job losses if suspension lasts for long; Agricultural sector is the largest beneficiary of bank loans
Ray Ndlovu and Godfrey Marawanyika – Bloomberg
Banks in Zimbabwe will meet with authorities on Monday to get clarity on a weekend order given by President Emmerson Mnangagwa that they must halt lending that he blamed for fueling a currency crisis. Mnangagwa imposed capital controls and ordered banks to suspend lending to government and the private sector with immediate effect, in a televised address on Saturday. It’s not clear if the order also applies to individuals.
Vanishing Value Trade Puts Emerging Markets at Risk of Fed Shock; Stock rotation stalls in developing nations amid rate hikes; Commodity, finance among worst performers in value universe
Srinivasan Sivabalan, Amelia Pollard, and Emily Graffeo – Bloomberg
The Federal Reserve’s most aggressive policy tightening in two decades is sucking emerging markets into a “sell everything” slump, not even sparing assets that should do well when interest rates rise. Take value stocks. Shares of mature companies with high dividends and cheap valuations are finding a bid in the U.S. and Europe, where investors are switching to them from more expensive equities in fast-expanding sectors like technology. But this so-called growth-to-value rotation is failing to happen in developing nations, where both types of stocks are falling in tandem.
George Pérez, Who Gave New Life to Wonder Woman, Dies at 67; Working for both Marvel and DC, he created comic book series that brought superheroes together, and was co-creator of The New Teen Titans.
George Gene Gustines – NY Times
George Pérez, a celebrated comic book artist and writer who gave new life to Wonder Woman in the 1980s and helped create series for DC Comics and Marvel Comics that brought together some of the biggest heroes of the comics world, including The New Teen Titans, died on Friday at his home in Sanford, Fla. He was 67. The cause was complications of pancreatic cancer, said Constance Katsafanas-Eza, a friend of the family.