Deepfake ‘menace’ hurting retail investors, warns head of India’s BSE bourse

May 7, 2024

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Robinhood has issued a response to its receipt of a Wells Notice from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. You can read the response HERE.

Here are the last two lines from Robinhood’s response:

“To our customers, this development will not affect your account or the services we provide.”

“Robinhood Crypto is here to stay and we’ll keep innovating, shipping products, and fighting for regulatory clarity for the good of the industry and our customers.”

Just like the Merry Men of Sherwood Forest, Robinhood is fighting the good fight.

CFTC Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero is scheduled to speak at the World Economic Forum’s Industry Strategy Meeting 2024 on Wednesday, May 8, from 8:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. EDT. The event will take place at the Deutsche Bank Center located at 1 Columbus Circle in New York.

Also, on May 13, 2024, Commissioner Goldsmith Romero is set to participate in a panel discussion on artificial intelligence at the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies’ (APAICS) 2024 Legislative Leadership Summit. The panel, entitled “How AI is Changing the World,” will take place from 11:15 am to 12:00 pm EDT at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

Today, May 7, 2024, CFTC Commissioner Caroline D. Pham is set to participate in a panel discussion hosted by the National Credit Union Administration in celebration of AANHPI Heritage Month. The virtual event, scheduled for 1:00 p.m. EDT, is titled “AANHPI Heritage Month: A Conversation with AANHPI Financial Regulatory Leaders on Their Inspirational Career Journey.”

Yesterday, SGX USD/CNH FX Futures set a record with 191,555 lots traded, totaling a notional value of US$19.15 billion. This peak in trading volume coincided with a post-Golden Week surge in the onshore Chinese Yuan, which hit a six-week high, reflected by a strong trading day of 182,000 lots, SGX shared on LinkedIn.

Neda (Nabavi) Parliaros is starting a new position as director of product development & member services at Crypto.com, she shared on LinkedIn. I met Neda when she was at NYSE.

Julie Kerr is starting a new position as managing director at HSBC, she reported on LinkedIn.

I am making plans for my next trip: to Edinburgh, Scotland, London and Amsterdam. I am coming over for FIA’s IDX conference and stopping in Edinburgh first to see some relatives and, I hope, Jeremy Grant. I will then take the train to London and attend the IDX conference.

I will be shooting video interviews at IDX and my video assistant will be Robby Lothian, the UK version. This Robby is the 18-year-old son of my third cousin, twice removed, Stuart Lothian. UK Robby helped my son Robby and Julie Ros last year at IDX and this year he will be working solo alongside me. He is headed to university to study film and videography. Of course, if you are interested in an interview at IDX, please contact me at my email address, johnlothian@johnlothian.com.

After the conference, I will be taking in a cricket game on Friday with Stuart and then heading to Amsterdam on the train on Sunday. My plans are to meet with some of the trading groups in Amsterdam to discuss collaboration in potential historical video projects. I will also meet with other friends and sponsors in Amsterdam.

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

*****

The April edition of the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSE) Newsletter highlights the news that four Arab exchanges have joined the Net Zero Financial Service Providers Alliance in Doha. Other reporting includes updates from participating exchanges, regulatory and standard-setting developments and news about ESG indices and products, gender equality initiatives, and executive appointments. Additionally, the newsletter includes a schedule of upcoming SSE Academy workshops hosted by SSE Partner Exchanges. The SSE is a UN Partnership Programme organized by UNCTAD, the UN Global Compact, the United Nations Environmental Program Finance (UNEP FI), and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Read the newsletter HERE.

The May report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), “Advancing Clean Technology Manufacturing,” found that current capacity for global solar photovoltaic manufacturing is aligned with net-zero goals for this decade, and battery capacity is nearly there. Global investment in key clean energy technologies hit $200 billion in 2023, a 70% increase from 2022, contributing around 4% to global GDP growth. Read the release and download the report HERE. ~SAED

Our most read stories from our previous edition of JLN Options were:
Zero-Day Options Boom Will Only Grow Even As Some Investors Fear Disaster from Bloomberg via Yahoo Finance.
Hedge Funds’ Options Bets Hand Green Investors a Path to Predicting Returns from Bloomberg.
Robinhood Crypto gets Wells notice from US SEC from Reuters. ~JB

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

++++

To Stop Climate Change, Use the Power of Price; The price of oil has driven immense human endeavor. A price on carbon emissions could do the same.
The Editorial Board – Bloomberg
A barrel of oil fetches about $80 on the global market. Consider the power of that price: It has driven extensive human endeavor, trillions of dollars in investment, technological breakthroughs, the creation of some of the world’s largest companies – all to extract fossil fuels from wherever in the world they can be found. The burning of those fuels, among other things, will put about 36 billion tons of carbon dioxide into Earth’s atmosphere this year. Policymakers would like to push that number to zero. But getting there requires a powerful incentive – which is why governments must put a price on carbon as soon as possible.
/jlne.ws/4dryBkz

***** This is a brilliant idea. The power of market-based solutions is what I have built a career around and believe in from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.~JJL

++++

How the US Drives Gun Exports and Fuels Violence Around the World; No company has benefited more from the federal government’s push to boost overseas sales than Sig Sauer Inc.
Michael Riley, David Kocieniewski and Eric Fan – Bloomberg
Last October, a recently fired police officer walked into his stepson’s nursery school in the remote northeast of Thailand and, in under 30 minutes, killed 23 children and two teachers. Panya Kamrab hacked some of his victims to death with a sugar-cane machete and shot others point blank with a pistol, including three local government employees eating lunch outside the school. The rampage, which left a total of 36 dead, ranks as the worst in Thai history and one of the worst in the world. The killer’s gun, a Sig Sauer P365 – touted by the company as small enough to easily conceal yet able to hold 13 rounds – had traveled more than 8,000 miles from a factory on New Hampshire’s rocky seacoast to Thailand’s lush Nong Bua Lamphu province. It was part of a growing number of semiautomatic handguns and rifles exported by American gunmakers and linked to violent crimes. With about 400 million civilian firearms owned in the US, companies like Sig are seeking new buyers abroad, and they’ve found an eager ally: The federal government has helped push international sales of rapid-fire guns to record levels.
/jlne.ws/4btmwcC

****** This is just MAD.~JJL

++++

How Serious Is Putin’s Threat to Use Nuclear Weapons?
Laurence Arnold – Bloomberg
A distinctive feature of Russian military policy is an express willingness to introduce nuclear weapons into an otherwise conventional war. That helps explain why President Vladimir Putin’s saber-rattling about his nuclear arsenal since launching war on Ukraine in February 2022 has been so worrisome. He’s explicitly warned that intervention by NATO troops could trigger a launch of strategic nuclear weapons by Russia on US and European territory. Also of concern is Russia’s distinctive posture on so-called tactical, or nonstrategic, nuclear weapons. In May, Putin ordered Russia’s military to carry out combat drills involving these lower-yield weapons, ramping up his confrontation with the West just a day before his inauguration for a fifth term.
/jlne.ws/3y6J6tk

****** This is just MAD, mutually assured destruction.~JJL

++++

Monday’s Top Three
Our top story Monday was CME Group CEO moves on from last year’s LPGA leadership misstep to elevate women’s sport even higher, from Golfweek. I’m pretty sure that’s the first time we’ve had a story from Golfweek in the top three, but I could be wrong. Second was IEX Strengthens Organization Through New Leadership Appointments, the IEX Group press release announcing the appointment of Bryan Harkins as group president. Third was the web page for My Block My Hood My City’s “Downtown Day,” which takes place on July 13, bringing 1,000 young people for an exploration of Chicago’s downtown.

++++


++++

Lead Stories

Deepfake ‘menace’ hurting retail investors, warns head of India’s BSE bourse; Country’s two stock exchanges issue warnings after being targeted by scammers
Chris Kay – Financial Times
The head of India’s oldest stock exchange has warned of the growing danger of investment scams and deepfakes preying on the country’s large cohort of retail traders. Sundararaman Ramamurthy, the chief executive of the BSE bourse, said fraudsters had used his likeness to try to dupe the public and his own employees in recent months. “It’s going to be an ongoing menace, that much is sure,” Ramamurthy said about deepfakes in a Financial Times interview. “It’s getting very sophisticated.”
/jlne.ws/44vJ22h

Wall Street Is Turning Water into Wealth, Leaving Californians Out to Dry; Banks, pension funds and insurers have been turning California’s scarce water into enormous profits, leaving people with less to drink
Peter Waldman, Sinduja Rangarajan and Mark Chediak – Bloomberg
As storms battered California in March, the state’s inland breadbasket erupted with almond blossoms. It happens every year. The Central Valley-the source of 40% of America’s fruit and nuts-explodes in a riot of pink and white blooms. This year petals fluttered off branches into raging irrigation ditches that only a few months earlier had twisted across the dry dust like coils of snake molt. California has a temporary reprieve. At the Woodville Public Utility District, 60 miles southeast of Fresno, Ralph Gutierrez has watched these cycles of flood and drought for decades. Gutierrez, 65, who grew up picking tomatoes and grapes with his parents in the nearby fields, has spent the past 43 years operating water systems for some of the poorest communities in the state. He’s a well whisperer. Brawny, with a tattooed forearm, a silver belt buckle and Western boots, Gutierrez coaxes water from stone aquifers that have been hammered for years by agricultural pollution and overpumping.
/jlne.ws/3JRTibM

High-Tech Trading Firms Race to Grab Bond Market Turf; After conquering stocks, electronic market makers are finally gaining ground in fixed income.
Alice Atkins and Katherine Doherty – Bloomberg
They subdued stocks, claimed a chunk of foreign exchange and muscled into the commodity market. Now high-tech trading firms like Citadel Securities LLC and Jane Street are pushing deeper than ever into fixed income. Riding a wave of digitization and a boom in ETFs, electronic market makers – who keep securities moving by continuously buying and selling in lightning-fast transactions – are expanding their reach in government bond trading and finally gaining ground in the once-untouchable world of corporate debt.
/jlne.ws/3QAjBXJ

The SEC Can’t Stop Suing Crypto Companies
Daniel Kuhn – CoinDesk
Robinhood is the latest firm to draw the ire of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This weekend, it reported receiving a Wells notice – an announcement that the securities watchdog is building a case and intends to sue. In an 8-K filing, the fintech firm revealed it received the letter from the SEC’s enforcement division for alleged securities violations. At this point, it’s hard to be surprised by the SEC’s anti-crypto actions – shameless though they may be. Apparently, the agency sent the notice after Robinhood cooperated with the SEC’s investigative subpoenas about its crypto operations. A Wells notice is essentially the last chance the accused has to convince regulators that it didn’t break the law, which would be a sign of good faith except that the vast majority of these letters end up in a lawsuit.
/jlne.ws/4abn0mE

The SEC’s power grab on digital assets threatens US innovation; Government agency has a mandate to regulate securities, not technology
Joseph Lubin – Financial Times
Imagine a scenario in which the US government – suddenly, arbitrarily and without any justifiable authority – outlawed a commodity like petrol. Now imagine this occurred in the early 1900s, right as Henry Ford emerged on the scene, creating a model for the automotive industry that has endured for over a century. A ban on petrol would have equated to a ban on driving altogether, crippling the burgeoning auto industry, allowing the rest of the world to pursue game-changing innovations and creating a lasting, depressive impact on the way Americans live.
/jlne.ws/3y9uGso

Robinhood warns of SEC lawsuit threat over crypto business; Retail brokerage says ‘Wells notice’ comes after years of attempts to seek regulatory clarity
Will Schmitt – Financial Times
Robinhood has warned of an impending lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission over its cryptocurrency business, in a sign that a US regulatory crackdown on digital assets continues. The retail brokerage said in a filing on Monday that the SEC had over the weekend sent its crypto unit a so-called Wells notice, which warns a company that it faces legal action. The regulator’s staff have made a “preliminary determination” to recommend enforcement action against the company, which could lead to civil litigation, monetary penalties and limits on business activities.
/jlne.ws/3Uo996A

Singapore battles to revive struggling stock market; Hosting a regional exchange is one idea but critics say focus should be on improving corporate governance
Mercedes Ruehl – Financial Times
Singapore is studying proposals to shake up its struggling stock market as the gap between the financial hub’s performance and other regional exchanges widens. Singapore Exchange (SGX) is reviewing a document from the nation’s venture and private capital association, according to three people familiar with the discussions. The Singapore Venture & Private Capital Association (SVCA) includes state funds GIC and Temasek, local and global venture firms, and buyout groups including General Atlantic, Warburg Pincus and KKR.
/jlne.ws/3UJbhY5

Here, Have Some Extra Carbon Credits; Also Trump Media’s auditor, banking private companies, hedge fund business development and shale dinners.
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
BOGO carbon credits
There are two ways to think of a carbon credit: A carbon credit represents one ton of carbon that has been removed from the atmosphere. A carbon credit is a quasi-regulatory accounting quantity, where companies want to be able to tell certain audiences – shareholders, governments, activists, whoever – “we are carbon neutral,” and to get to carbon neutrality you add up your carbon emissions (measured in tons) and subtract the number of carbon credits you have bought. The first approach thinks of carbon credits as physical quantities, things in the real world. The second approach thinks of carbon credits as instruments of accounting, or public relations, or regulatory compliance, or whatever your carbon regime is about.
/jlne.ws/3WuFA6g

UBS Returns to Profit as CEO Ermotti Affirms Buyback Plans; Investment bank result better than forecast aided by US; Net income in first quarter was $1.8 billion after two losses
Myriam Balezou – Bloomberg
UBS Group AG returned to profit after two loss-making quarters, cementing sustained progress in the integration of Credit Suisse after its emergency rescue last year. The Zurich-based bank said net income in the first quarter was $1.8 billion, three times what analysts forecast. While accounting effects related to the takeover represented a large part of the beat, strong performance in managing wealth and investment banking aided the result.
/jlne.ws/44yZH51

Bank Bonus Rule Back in Play as Regulators Make Third Push; Plan is latest attempt by US officials to finalize pay rule; FDIC, others propose rule; Fed and SEC still need to act
Katanga Johnson – Bloomberg
Three US regulators took an initial step toward imposing long-delayed rules that would force lenders to claw back some pay from executives who take on too much risk. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency proposed mandatory clawbacks for certain incentive-based pay for bank executives. The Federal Reserve, Securities and Exchange Commission and National Credit Union Administration must also propose and finalize the plans for them to become effective.
/jlne.ws/3QBi6sa

‘To what end?’: the murky question of Bill Hwang’s motive in Archegos trial; Three years after his fund’s collapse shook Wall Street, a jury will decide whether the investor’s actions were criminal
Joe Miller – Financial Times
At the trial of Bill Hwang, which begins this week, prosecutors will portray him as a criminal who masterminded “deceitful and abusive” trades worth billions of dollars that sent tremors through the US stock market. But three years on from the dramatic collapse of Hwang’s Archegos fund, which left several banks nursing huge losses, the government is still struggling to pinpoint a criminal intent behind his alleged scheme.
/jlne.ws/4bjP1d2

American endowments’ complicated love affair with private equity; And venture capital and hedge funds, naturally
Robin Wigglesworth – Financial Times
The investment policies of university endowments are at the heart of the recent US student protests. There isn’t enough money in the world that would make FTAV want to wade into that hot mess, but it’s a decent excuse to look at the $839bn worth of investment funds with schools attached. This is partly because there was no time to dig into the latest NACUBO study of US university endowments when it first landed back in February. But this was the 50th edition, so it offers an interesting snapshot of some of the world’s most influential investors and how radically they’ve evolved.
/jlne.ws/3JSVhwk

Ukraine Invasion

Ukraine says it foiled Russian plot to kill Volodymyr Zelenskyy; Ukrainian security service claims to have uncovered network of FSB agents planning assassination
Isobel Koshiw – Financial Times
Ukraine has said it uncovered a network of Russian agents in the country that planned to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, including two colonels who worked for the agency in charge of his security. The Ukrainian domestic intelligence service (SBU) on Tuesday said the two were tasked by Moscow with finding people in Zelenskyy’s security detail who would take the president hostage and later kill him.
/jlne.ws/44wWXVW

Russians Are Coming to Terms With Putin’s War in Ukraine
Bloomberg
Russians are learning to live with the war that Vladimir Putin has unleashed in Ukraine. As Putin prepares to be sworn in on Tuesday for another six years as president, the invasion has become part of everyday life for many Russians, confounding expectations that the pressure of international sanctions and deepening isolation would eventually turn them against him. Far from protesting, many are rallying around the flag.
/jlne.ws/4b3jHPK

Russia court allows seizure of $13 mln of JPMorgan and Commerzbank assets
Reuters
A Moscow court has authorized the seizure of some 12.4 million euros ($13.34 million) of assets held in Russia by a European subsidiary of JPMorgan and Germany’s Commerzbank, it said in a preliminary ruling. The court made the ruling on April 26 in favour of a case lodged by Russia’s Transkapitalbank, a lender that came under Western sanctions in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
/jlne.ws/3UP1Gz0

Russia’s military is so hard up for manpower that it now pays more than the oil and gas sector
Huileng Tan – Insider
Russia is facing a labor crisis as its war with Ukraine siphons manpower away from the country’s economy. The manpower crunch has gotten so bad that the Russian military is now offering sign-on bonuses and salaries that are so competitive that even the country’s lucrative oil and gas industry isn’t keeping up, Bloomberg reported on Monday.
/jlne.ws/4dwoCdS

Russia’s former president threatened nuclear attacks on Western capital cities if NATO sends any troops to Ukraine
Matthew Loh – Business Insider
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday threatened nuclear strikes on Western leaders who want to send their troops to Ukraine, doubling down on his increasingly hostile rhetoric toward the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. “The choir of irresponsible bastards from among Western elites calling for sending their troops to the nonexistent country is expanding,” Medvedev wrote in a message on social media.
/jlne.ws/3UNT2Rl

Ukraine’s pitch to new soldiers: ‘Choose your own adventure’; Kyiv hopes to replenish its forces by giving recruits the choice of where to serve
Ben Hall and Isobel Koshiw – Financial Times
/jlne.ws/44vUACI

Jake Sullivan says US military aid will help Ukraine mount counteroffensive in 2025; National security adviser says supplies and weapons approved by Congress could help stop Russian gains
James Politi and Isobel Koshiw – Financial Times
/jlne.ws/3y18XCP

Israel/Palestine Conflict

Israel sends troops into Rafah; Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet votes to continue operations hours after Hamas accepts hostage proposal
FT reporters
Israel sent ground troops into Rafah on Monday night, seizing the main border crossing between Gaza and Egypt as international mediators struggled to continue talks aimed at ending the conflict. The Israeli military said it had taken “operational control” of the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing, at Gaza’s southernmost point, with armour and infantry backed by heavy air strikes. “This is a precise and limited operation…within specific areas of eastern Rafah,” said an Israeli military official. The offensive came just hours after Hamas announced it had accepted a multiphase ceasefire-for-hostage deal brokered by Egypt, Qatar and the US. It would have brought an initial six-week pause in the fighting in return for the release of several dozen Israeli hostages held by the militant group.
/jlne.ws/4a9YlPi

Benjamin Netanyahu orders Rafah evacuation as hostage talks falter; Tens of thousands of Palestinians told by Israeli military to move out of city in southern Gaza
Mehul Srivastava and Neri Zilber, Felicia Schwartz, Mai Khaled and Heba Saleh – Financial Times
Benjamin Netanyahu defied his international allies on Monday by moving closer to an invasion of Rafah, the southern Gaza city that has become the last refuge of Palestinians fleeing Israel’s offensive against Hamas. The Israeli military dropped leaflets early on Monday telling at least 100,000 people on the eastern edge of Rafah to evacuate to a so-called humanitarian zone by the Mediterranean, spreading panic about an imminent military operation through the city.
/jlne.ws/44Efn7d

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Exchange operator Cboe launches push to attract retail investors in Europe
Huw Jones – Reuters
Cboe Global Markets said on Tuesday it has launched a tariff program to attract retail brokers, as bourses, asset managers and banks urge the European Union to improve retail access to the bloc’s capital market to catch up with Wall Street. The exchange operator said it launched the tariff program last Friday. Retail investors make up about 14% of on-exchange share trading in Europe, compared with roughly triple this in the United States, Natan Tiefenbrun, president of North American and European equities at Chicago-based Cboe, told reporters.
/jlne.ws/3UMWziW

CME Group to Expand Expiries for its Fastest Growing Energy Products
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading derivatives marketplace, today announced that it will expand its suite of short-term WTI Crude Oil options to include Tuesday and Thursday expiries, pending regulatory review. With the addition of these new contracts, which will begin trading on July 22, 2024, Weekly WTI Crude Oil option expiries will now be available every day of the business week, Monday through Friday.
/jlne.ws/3JQLDdL

Deutsche Boerse Photography Foundation presents the exhibitions “RAY Echoes. Memory” and “Deutsche Boerse Photography Foundation Prize 2024”
Deutsche Boerse Group
“RAY Echoes. Memory” will be shown from 30 May to 22 September 2024 in The Cube, Frankfurt/Eschborn. The exhibition of the “Deutsche Boerse Photography Foundation Prize 2024” will be on view from 13 June to 22 September 2024 in The Cube, Frankfurt/Eschborn. An opening event for both presentations will take place on Wednesday, 12 June 2024, at 6:30 p.m. in The Cube, Frankfurt/Eschborn. On Tuesday, 25 June 2024, there will be a curator’s tour of both exhibitions at 6:30 p.m. Visiting the exhibitions is possible as part of regular guided tours and on the “Open Saturday” on 14 September 2024. The exclusive press preview will take place on 12 June 2024 at 11 a.m. This summer, the Deutsche Boerse Photography Foundation presents two exhibitions at The Cube in Frankfurt/Eschborn: the group show “RAY Echoes. Memory”, which takes place as part of the RAY Triennial of Photography, and the presentation of the works of the four finalists of the Deutsche Boerse Photography Foundation Prize 2024.
/jlne.ws/3y1hxl1

Nodal Exchange achieves second-highest trading volume ever in both power and environmental markets in April
Nodal Exchange
Nodal Exchange today announced new records in power and environmental futures. In power, Nodal set a calendar month record for April with traded power futures volume of 345 million MWh, up 13% from 306 million MWh in April 2023. This is the second highest month ever for Nodal Exchange, only surpassed by the 379 million MWh in February 2024. Nodal continues to be the market leader in North American power futures with 55% share of open interest at the end of April with 1.374 billion MWh open interest representing $128 billion of notional value based on both sides. Nodal posted the second-highest monthly volume ever in environmental markets of 48,865 lots, topping the prior record of 43,883 lots in April 2023 by 11%. Open interest in environmental products on Nodal Exchange reached a record high of 341,194 lots in April, up 34% from 255,418 at the end of April 2023.
/jlne.ws/3QBroEy

Unveiling the Tax Challenge: The Hidden Risks of Mag 7 Dividends under Section 871(m)
SIX
The world is currently witnessing an unprecedented surge in technological disruption. The rapid advancement in the capabilities of generative Artificial Intelligence models such as those created by Microsoft’s OpenAI, Google’s Gemini, and Meta Platforms’ Bard, combined with the significant growth in revenues of Big Tech firms created a trading frenzy in trending US tech stocks. And who can forget the astonishing run of Nvidia, the chip behemoth that has captivated investors, achieving a market capitalisation of over $2 trillion? Known as the ‘Magnificent Seven’ or ‘Mag 7’, these high-performing tech companies have asserted themselves as clear leaders in the Big Tech boom. Included in the posse are Nvidia, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, Tesla, and Meta Platforms. Together, they account for half of the weighting of the Nasdaq index and have been driving the S&P 500. In 2023, the Bloomberg Magnificent 7 Total Return Index advanced 107%, versus the overall S&P 500 Index at 24%.
/jlne.ws/4dvOtSV

TAIFEX Newsletter
Taiwan Futures Exchange
News and Events. TAIFEX Advances Towards Carbon Neutrality Through Voluntary Carbon Credit Initiatives. The Taiwan Futures Exchange (TAIFEX) has been making progress towards sustainable developments. Following the purchase of renewable energy in 2023, which covered approximately 60% to 100% of the electricity consumption in its office area, TAIFEX procured 1,350 metric tons of international carbon credits from the Taiwan Carbon Exchange on April 25 of this year. These carbon credits encompass projects involving clean water sources and solar power generation, with sites distributed in Mozambique and Vietnam, aligning with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The carbon credits purchased by TAIFEX this time cover the years of 2022 and 2020 and are expected to be offset and declared after TAIFEX completes its greenhouse gas emission inventory verification in 2023. All of these actions demonstrate TAIFEX’s commitment to pursuing carbon neutrality goals.
/jlne.ws/4a7iHJ7

Unscheduled component change in SDAX
Deutsche Boerse Group
STOXX Ltd. has announced an unscheduled component change in the SDAX index. Varta AG will leave the SDAX because it did not meet the requirement “timely publication of the audited annual financial report” (rulebook, section 5.4.2 Breaches of basic criteria).
/jlne.ws/3WBw2qd

JPX Monthly Headlines – April 2024
Japan Exchange Group
JPX group companies undertake various initiatives and disseminate information with the aim of providing the most attractive markets to all users.
/jlne.ws/3wnMsaU

List Of Deliverable Canadian Government Bond Issues For The LGB, CGB, CGF and CGZ Futures Contracts
TMX
For your information, please find enclosed the list of deliverable Canadian Government Bond issues with respect to the LGB, CGB, CGF and CGZ futures contracts delivery months. This list is produced in accordance with the Rules of Bourse de Montreal Inc. and Canadian Derivatives Clearing Corporation (CDCC) relating to delivery standards. This list replaces the one that was distributed on April 5, 2024 (circular no. 036-24).
/jlne.ws/4bvUUDX

TMX Group Consolidated Trading Statistics – April 2024
TMX Group
TMX Group Limited today announced April 2024 trading statistics for its marketplaces РToronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange, TSX Alpha Exchange (Alpha), including Alpha-X & Alpha DRK, and Montr̩al Exchange (MX).
/jlne.ws/3JPaChy

Fintech

Jane Street gets into mobile gaming; Could Figgie be Pit the younger?
Robin Wigglesworth – Financial Times
Look, we know we write a lot about Jane Street, but it’s a fascinating place, and people seem interested in it. So it was hard to resist writing about the trading shop entering the mobile phone game space (kinda). Back in 2013 Jane Street developed a card game called “Figgie”, which it made to simulate open outcry trading, teach trading nous, and generally burnish its reputation for quirkiness – de rigueur in the industry.
/jlne.ws/3wrM8b3

Quantum computing breakthroughs draw investment back to sector; Australia’s $620mn deal with US start-up signals new hope for building commercially viable quantum computer
Richard Waters – Financial Times
A new wave of confidence – and capital – is sweeping through the quantum computing industry. The governments of Australia and the state of Queensland this week committed A$940mn (US$620mn) between them to back the construction of a full-scale quantum computer near Brisbane by US start-up PsiQuantum. The deal was just the latest sign that a decades-old dream of a new form of computing that takes advantage of the unusual properties of quantum mechanics may finally be coming to fruition.
/jlne.ws/44yre6X

Greater Bay Area: Hong Kong, Shenzhen begin cross-border credit checks in pilot trial for data transfer; The first phase of the pilot trial will focus on the cross-border verification of credit reports by credit reference agencies and commercial banks
Iris Deng – South China Morning Post
Hong Kong and Shenzhen have begun to test cross-border information verification between the two cities, as they take early steps in enabling the exchange of business data across the Greater Bay Area (GBA), starting with the financial industry. The first phase of the pilot trial will focus on the cross-border verification of credit reports by credit reference agencies and commercial banks, according to a statement published on Monday by WeBank, the Shenzhen-based virtual lender providing the technology underpinning the data-flow platform.
/jlne.ws/44zr0fS

SoftBank leads $1bn funding for UK artificial intelligence group Wayve; Investment in start-up that makes self-driving software represents Europe’s largest AI funding deal to date
Peter Campbell and Tim Bradshaw and David Keohane – Financial Times
Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is leading an investment of more than $1bn into UK self-driving car start-up Wayve, marking Europe’s largest artificial intelligence deal to date. The funding round, which also includes Nvidia and existing investor Microsoft, will allow the London-based company to deploy its autonomous systems in cars in the coming years.
/jlne.ws/4dsfgzE

Goldman Sachs CEO: AI Deployment Requires ‘Enormous Financing’
Matt Milano – WebProNews
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon sat down with CNBC’s David Faber to discuss AI, saying there are “enormous financing needs” involved in AI development and deployment. In response to Faber’s question observation about how much time Solomon spent discussing AI in the company’s recent conference call with analysts, the CEO pointed out that Goldman Sachs has been using AI, in some form or another, for the last 20 years. Solomon then talked about how much more powerful the technology is today, leading to significant new opportunities.
/jlne.ws/4dog0WB

7 Everyday Work Problems AI Helps Me Solve; It’s hard to get your head around all the things artificial intelligence will do, someday. So instead focus on how it can make your life better right now.
Alexandra Samuel – The Wall Street Journal
/jlne.ws/3UyImVz

OpenAI Says It Can Now Detect Images Spawned by Its Software-Most of the Time; Startup’s new tool detects 98% of pictures generated by its DALL-E 3 system, but success drops if the images are altered
Deepa Seetharaman – The Wall Street Journal
/jlne.ws/3JOpaxM

Australia’s Tax Office Tells Crypto Exchanges to Hand Over Transaction Details of 1.2 Million Accounts: Reuters; The ATO said the data will help identify traders who failed to report their cryptocurrency-related activities.
Amitoj Singh – CoinDesk
/jlne.ws/4dvEb5l

As generative AI arrives on Instagram and WhatsApp, will chatbots improve social media, or do they pose a threat? Mark Zuckerberg’s recent Meta AI unveiling ushered in an era of artificial-intelligence-powered chatbots on social media. TikTok is jumping on the bandwagon; Tribune News Service via South China Morning Post
/jlne.ws/3UPsZta

Cybersecurity

7 common banking scams (and how to avoid becoming a victim)
Kat Tretina – Yahoo Finance
You check your email and see an update about a new bank account in your name. Or perhaps you view your checking account statement and find unauthorized debit card transactions listed. Whatever the case, being the victim of a banking scam is a terrible feeling. Bank scams are common, and with increased use of technology and digital-savvy fraudsters, the problem is getting worse. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported that consumers lost more than $10 billion to fraud in 2023.
/jlne.ws/3yiJsNp

UK suspects China behind cyber attack on military personnel data; Defence secretary Grant Shapps set to accuse hostile state of hack but is not expected to name Beijing
Lucy Fisher – Financial Times
The UK government suspects that China is behind a cyber attack targeting the names and bank details of up to 270,000 current and former British military personnel, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. The hack, which accessed a UK Ministry of Defence contractor’s IT system that was not linked to the MoD’s central network, was discovered in recent days.
/jlne.ws/44v4Hry

INE Wins Four Cybersecurity Awards in 12th Annual Global InfoSec Awards at #RSAC 2024
Globe Newswire
INE, a leading provider of cybersecurity certifications and training, is proud to announce it has won four Global InfoSec Awards during RSAC 2024. The awards are presented by Cyber Defense Magazine, the industry’s leading electronic information security magazine.
/jlne.ws/3UuVY46

New FBI Warning As Hackers Strike: Email Senders Must Do This 1 Thing
Davey Winder – Forbes
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of State have issued a joint cybersecurity advisory warning of state-sponsored email hack attacks that evade authentication security measures. The attackers have been identified as APT43, a hacking group linked to the North Korean military intelligence agency. APT43, also known as Kimsuky, has been using email authentication bypass as a means to impersonate journalists, researchers and other academics as part of coordinated spear-phishing campaigns designed to “provide stolen data and valuable geopolitical insight to the North Korean regime by compromising policy analysts and other experts.”
/jlne.ws/3JSl6wQ

Cryptocurrencies

Revolut Launches UK Crypto Exchange as Digital Assets Recover
Aisha S Gani – Bloomberg
British banking app Revolut Ltd. launched its UK crypto exchange, expanding in the digital-assets space after prices recovered in the past year. The new platform, called Revolut X, will allow “experienced traders” to buy and sell over 100 different tokens, according to a statement on Tuesday. Fees will range from zero to 0.09%, and investors must have a Revolut retail account to trade on the venue.
/jlne.ws/44yn2nJ

Robinhood warns feds could penalize firm over crypto tokens traded on platform
Reuters via NY Post
Retail trading platform Robinhood Markets said Monday it received an enforcement action notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 4 over crypto tokens traded on its platform. The company said it received a so-called “Wells notice,” which the SEC issues when it is planning to bring enforcement action against them. Such notices do not necessarily mean the company has engaged in wrongdoing. “We firmly believe that the assets listed on our platform are not securities and we look forward to engaging with the SEC to make clear just how weak any case against Robinhood Crypto would be,” Dan Gallagher, chief legal, compliance and corporate affairs officer at Robinhood, said.
/jlne.ws/3UE4M7U

Binance CEO Teng Says Nigeria Must Release Gambaryan, Detention Sets ‘Dangerous New Precedent’; In January the company refused to pay a demand from “unknown persons” to settle allegations.
Amitoj Singh, Sheldon Reback – CoinDesk
Binance CEO Richard Teng called on the Nigerian government to release Tigran Gambaryan, head of the crypto exchange’s Financial Crime Compliance team, who flew to the country in February for talks on regulatory supervision. “As you may be aware, one of our beloved colleagues, Tigran Gambaryan, continues to be held by the government in Nigeria for more than 70 days,” Teng wrote in a blog post. “I also feel that it’s time to speak out about this issue on behalf of the global business community. To invite a company’s mid-level employees for collaborative policy meetings, only to detain them, has set a dangerous new precedent for all companies worldwide.”
/jlne.ws/3wt7ODJ

Politics

America must continue to make the moral case for democracy; The war in Ukraine has led the US to accept the flaws of autocratic allies such as Turkey
Gonul Tol – Financial Times
President Joe Biden has repeatedly framed the war in Ukraine as a battle between democracy and autocracy. His early efforts to rally the support of democratic allies behind the embattled nation generated copious commentary about the growing importance of liberal democratic norms in shaping world affairs. Pundits and policymakers alike rushed to argue that Washington had bent the arc of history away from realpolitik and towards high-minded principles.
/jlne.ws/3JQMc7i

The Office-Market Meltdown Comes for Trump’s Prized Wall Street Building; The Manhattan office tower has lost tenants and has a big mortgage bill coming due next year
Peter Grant – The Wall Street Journal
Donald Trump’s prized Manhattan office tower at 40 Wall St. is getting swept up by the worst storm to hit the office market since the global financial crisis. His investment in the landmark 63-story tower, less than a block away from the New York Stock Exchange, has long been considered one of his shrewdest deals. Trump paid less than $5 million for a long-term lease on the tower in 1995, when New York’s commercial-property market was struggling. Within a few years, the property soared many times in value as the market rebounded. It is possibly his most valuable single piece of property.
/jlne.ws/3QvB1Vy

Social Security Funds Are Running Dry. Don’t Panic; Congress faces tough decisions about the program’s finances, but there may be an easier political path
Andrew Duehren – The Wall Street Journal
Social Security’s finances are in dire straits. An aging population is pushing up the cost of the program as a smaller share of Americans directly pay into it. That imbalance means that Social Security could become unable to provide full retirement and disability benefits to Americans in 2035, the program’s trustees warned on Monday. At that point, without congressional action, elderly and disabled Americans who rely on Social Security could see their payments cut by 17%. Congress could avoid the crisis by raising payroll taxes, trimming benefits or some combination of the two. Those options carry extreme political risks, though, and policymakers have put off embracing an overhaul of the program.
/jlne.ws/4acPuwi

Nearly 75 Democratic lawmakers support Biden’s LNG pause
Reuters
Nearly 75 U.S. lawmakers from President Joe Biden’s Democratic party on Tuesday praised his pause on approvals of exports of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, saying it would protect Americans from pollution and potential higher prices. Senators Jeffrey Merkley, Edward Markey and Representative Jared Huffman spearheaded a letter to Biden saying the pause allows the government to study whether the additional exports could saddle U.S. households and businesses with higher natural gas bills, boost climate changing emissions and lead to greater pollution in communities near LNG export plants.
/jlne.ws/3wdNdU0

Germany partly to blame for Brexit, says CDU leader; Friedrich Merz tells FT that continental Europe left UK ’empty-handed’ ahead of EU referendum
Guy Chazan – Financial Times
Germany’s main opposition party leader has said Berlin and Brussels are partly to blame for Brexit because they were unwilling to offer the UK real concessions before its pivotal EU referendum in 2016. Friedrich Merz, head of the centre-right Christian Democrats, stopped short of naming Angela Merkel but implied the former chancellor could have done more to help Britain’s then prime minister win the vote – a widely held view in Westminster.
/jlne.ws/3wwbc0w

Scholz in the Baltics: Germany will defend ‘every inch’ of NATO
DPA
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz assured NATO partners in the Baltic Sea region of Germany’s reliable military defence support during a visit to the region on Monday. In Riga, Scholz also responded to Russian plans to hold tactical nuclear exercises, which has been seen in the West as an attempt at intimidation by the Kremlin.
/jlne.ws/3y9x6r4

EU Says Ready to Use All Trade Tools to Defend Against China
William Horobin, Samy Adghirni and Li Liu – Bloomberg
The European Union is prepared to deploy all the tools available to defend its economies if China fails to offer fair access to its markets, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said after talks with Xi Jinping in Paris. She added that heavily subsidized Chinese products such as electric vehicles and steel are flooding Europe, and said the world cannot absorb China’s surplus production.
/jlne.ws/4bc0mvR

Xi Urges Macron to Help China to Avoid a ‘New Cold War’
William Horobin, Samy Adghirni and Li Liu – Bloomberg
Chinese President Xi Jinping called on France to help fend off a “new Cold War” as the European Union increasingly aligns with US concerns over security risks and trade tensions. He told French President Emmanuel Macron the two nations should uphold mutual benefits, and jointly oppose decoupling and the disruption of supply chains, the official Xinhua News Agency said, citing comments made during talks between the two leaders on Monday.
/jlne.ws/44AKMHB

Putin Sworn In for New Term Amid Growing Conflict With West
Henry Meyer – Bloomberg
/jlne.ws/4bvYXjH

Russia to hold nuclear drills following ‘threats’ from West
Laura Gozzi – BBC News
/jlne.ws/44zkAgM

Russia arrests US soldier on theft charges; American national detained in Vladivostok allegedly after his Russian girlfriend reported him to police
Polina Ivanova – Financial Times
/jlne.ws/4b9XYWC

Xi Jinping lashes out at Nato over 1999 Belgrade bombing ahead of Serbia visit; Chinese president cites ties ‘forged with blood’ as he looks for allies during first European trip in 5 years
Joe Leahy and Marton Dunai – Financial Times
/jlne.ws/3JSD42e

Regulation

PwC and EY hit with multimillion-pound fines over LCF audit failures; UK watchdog imposes penalties during review of group at centre of retail savings scandal
Simon Foy – Financial Times
The UK accounting watchdog has imposed multimillion-pound fines on PwC and EY for failures in their audits of London Capital & Finance, the defunct investment group at the centre of one of the biggest retail savings scandals in recent years. The Financial Reporting Council said on Tuesday that it had handed out penalties of £4.9mn and £4.4mn against PwC and EY respectively, for “multiple breaches” during their reviews of LCF’s accounts in 2016 and 2017.
/jlne.ws/3Qz7V7C

Behind Nigeria’s Arrest of Binance Employee, Claims of a Bribe Request; A compliance officer for the cryptocurrency exchange told senior executives and Nigerian contacts that the company had been asked to pay $150 million in crypto.
David Yaffe-Bellany and Emily Flitter – The New York Times
On a trip to Nigeria in January, Tigran Gambaryan, a compliance officer for the giant cryptocurrency exchange Binance, received an unsettling message: The company had 48 hours to make a payment of roughly $150 million in crypto.
/jlne.ws/3JQ1usZ

Robinhood Would Likely Win Crypto Court Case With the SEC: KBW; The platform being issued a Wells Notice by the SEC is surprising given the company’s conservative approach to digital assets listings, the report said.
Will Canny – CoinDesk
Robinhood (HOOD) being issued a Wells Notice by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is surprising given the company’s very conservative approach to digital asset listings, KBW said in a research report on Monday. KBW notes that Robinhood only offers fifteen cryptocurrencies on its U.S. platform, while some of its peers offer more than two hundred digital assets.
/jlne.ws/4b3M5l1

Prepared Remarks before the Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee
Chair Gary Gensler – SEC
Good morning. I’m pleased to speak with the Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee. As is customary, I’d like to note that my views are my own as Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and I am not speaking on behalf of my fellow Commissioners or the staff. Today, I understand the Committee will discuss alternative methods of capital raising in our markets, particularly crowdfunding and angel investing. The Committee will hear about crowdfunding from Dr. Melody Chang, Assistant Professor at the USC Marshall School of Business.
/jlne.ws/4a8iIwg

A Crowd of Angels: Remarks before the Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee
Hester Peirce – SEC
Thank you, Erica. Thank you all for your continued willingness to serve. I look forward to today’s discussions on crowd funding and angel investing, both of which are invaluable to capital formation at early-stage companies. I also look forward to hearing your discussion with Val Szczepanik, head of our Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (“FinHub”).
/jlne.ws/3QElbb1

Petroteq Energy, Inc., Aleksandr Blyumkin, and Mark Korb; SEC Announces Remedies Obtained Against Former Executives for Fraud at Tar Sands Mining Company
SEC
In the Matter of Petroteq Energy, Inc. and Aleksandr Blyumkin, Administrative Proceeding File No. 3-20898; Securities and Exchange Commission v. Mark Korb, No. 2:22-cv-04031-CAS-AS (C.D. Cal. filed June 13, 2022)
In the Matter of Mark Korb, CA, Administrative Proceeding File No. 3-21920
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the conclusion of litigation against two former executives of Petroteq Energy, Inc. (“Petroteq”), executive chairman Aleksandr Blyumkin and chief financial officer Mark Korb. On June 13, 2022, the SEC filed partially settled cease-and-desist proceedings against Blyumkin and Petroteq, and a litigated civil action against Korb.
/jlne.ws/3Uya7NF

ASIC issues warning over dodgy cold calling operators and online baiting tactics
ASIC
ASIC is warning consumers to be wary after an ASIC review identified some cold calling operators using high-pressure sales tactics and online click-bait advertisements to lure consumers into receiving inappropriate superannuation switching advice. These cold calling operators – which make unsolicited calls to consumers after obtaining their personal information from third-party data brokers or by using online click-bait – have lead generation and referral arrangements with a small subset of financial advisers, who typically recommend consumers switch into super products incurring significant fees.
/jlne.ws/3UoeHxW

Exposing high-pressure cold calling tactics and social media click-bait leading to superannuation switching
ASIC
For many Australians, retirement planning is a critical step toward securing their financial future. Australians often look to financial services professionals for support when forging a superannuation strategy that helps ensure they can retire with dignity and reap the benefits of a lifetime of hard work. Australians should be confident these professionals are exercising the same diligence and working in their interests to help achieve good retirement outcomes. This includes ensuring superannuation savings are not eroded by unnecessary or inappropriate fees and charges, and that the products in which they are investing are designed to maximise retirement outcomes and sufficiently balance risk.
/jlne.ws/3QvFMOU

FCA bans and fines James Lewis £120,300 for putting investors at risk; The former CEO of Shard Capital Partners has been fined £120,300 and banned by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
UK FCA
James Lewis, the former CEO of Shard Capital Partners, has been fined £120,300 and banned by the FCA following two separate instances of providing incorrect information about clients’ cash purportedly held by Shard.
/jlne.ws/4a5110V

The second meeting of the Working Group on Disclosure and Assurance of Sustainability-related Financial Information (of the Financial System Council)
FSA Japan
The Working Group on Disclosure and Assurance of Sustainability-related Financial Information (of the Financial System Council) will hold its second meeting on May 14, 2024 as follows.
/jlne.ws/4acAlLJ

IOSCO announces Tajinder Singh as acting Secretary General
IOSCO
The long standing IOSCO Deputy Secretary General Tajinder Singh has been named as acting Secretary General as of today to replace Martin Moloney, who has found another position outside IOSCO. Tajinder has been with IOSCO since 2010 and has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills on countless occasions. Tajinder is best placed to lead the Secretariat and to ensure continuity, also given his deep understanding of IOSCO’s objectives and his broad knowledge of and experience with international standard setting.
/jlne.ws/4a9r7ja

MAS Imposes Composition Penalty of S$2.5 million on Swiss-Asia Financial; Services Pte. Ltd. for AML/CFT Breaches, Reprimands its CEO and COO
Monetary Authority of Singapore
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has imposed a composition penalty of S$2.5 million on Swiss-Asia Financial Services Pte. Ltd. (SAFS) for breaches of MAS’ anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) requirements. MAS has also issued a reprimand to SAFS’ chief executive officer (CEO), Mr Olivier Pascal Mivelaz, and its chief operating officer (COO), Mr Steve Knabl, for failing to discharge their duties and functions of ensuring that SAFS complied with MAS’ AML/CFT requirements.
/jlne.ws/4dobQ0Z

SFC obtains interlocutory asset freezing order against Leung Anita Fung Yee Maria
SFC – Hong Kong
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has obtained an interim injunction order at the Court of First Instance against Ms Leung Anita Fung Yee Maria, former chief executive officer and executive director of SMI Culture & Travel Group Holdings Limited (SMI Culture & Travel Group), following the hearing of a Mareva injunction application on 6 February 2024 (Note 1). This is the first time where the SFC has obtained injunction orders of this kind in relation to an ongoing legal action under section 214 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO) (Note 2).
/jlne.ws/44z8SlW

NPL Ratio for Domestic Banks as of the End of March 2024
FSC – Taiwan
The total outstanding loans extended by the current 38 domestic banks increased by NT$463.4billion (US$14.49billion) as compared to the figure of previous month and amounted to NT$39.59trillion (US$1,238billion) at the end of March 2024. Meanwhile, the NPLs of these banks totaled at NT$65.06billion (US$2.03billion) which increased by NT$1.89billion (US$59.27million) from NT$63.17billion (US$1.97billion) as of the end of the previous month. The average NPL ratio of the 38 banks remained at 0.16%, the same as the one of the previous month, and rose by 0.01 percentage points compared to the same month last year.
/jlne.ws/3y5QlBU

Investing and Trading

A Stock Trader’s Guide to Xi’s Europe Visit Amid Trade Tensions
Ishika Mookerjee – Bloomberg
Chinese businesses from electric vehicles to infrastructure have much at stake from President Xi Jinping’s visit to Europe this week as trade tensions simmer. The trip comes as the European Union joins the US to turn up its protectionist rhetoric and challenge China’s excess capacity, widening its probe into various industries. However, Europe faces a more complex battle as it also seeks to lure Chinese investment, with Hungary planning to sign agreements on expanding Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative in the country.
/jlne.ws/3Uw0ijp

TotalEnergies Has Plenty of Reasons to Say ‘Au Revoir, Paris’; Valuation discount cuts oil giant’s market value by billions; ESG pressure on fund managers weighs on stock, CEO says
Julien Ponthus, Francois De Beaupuy, and Michael Msika – Bloomberg
TotalEnergies SE’s chief executive officer has plenty of reasons to antagonize the French government with the possibility of moving its stock listing to Wall Street. Measured in dollars, there are tens of billions of them. Investors typically are willing to pay much less for European stocks than those in the US, and that valuation discount is especially notable in Big Oil: European companies in the industry are 40% cheaper than those across the Atlantic.
/jlne.ws/44v0Tqg

Clean energy ETFs start to outperform key oil & gas ETF
Gavin Maguire – Reuters
After a rough couple of years, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tied to clean energy generation and distribution are starting to outperform investor vehicles centred on oil and gas exploration and production. Since the start of 2022, most major ETFs tied to renewable energy generation have lost between 20% and 70% of their value as rising interest rates, supply chain disruptions and a slowdown in clean energy installations cut consumer demand and hit the earnings and stock prices of clean energy companies.
/jlne.ws/4b4w3r2

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

J.B. Pritzker, et al.: Clean water is our moonshot moment for Midwest climate leadership
J. B. Pritzker, Tony Evers And Alaina Harkness – Chicago Tribune (opinion)
Clean water has unlocked health and wealth since the beginning of time, and now it is in peril. As the risks posed by a warming planet accelerate and the world’s population grows, the need for clean water and better ways to manage it intensifies. One-fifth of the planet’s surface freshwater sits in our Great Lakes. Demand for it will only grow, which gives us both an opportunity and a responsibility to speed the pace of water innovation. We must manage and conserve our finite fresh water as if it were a sea of diamonds.
/jlne.ws/44s9V7t

US must support critical mineral projects in risky nations, White House adviser says
Reuters
The United States and its allies must encourage mining projects in countries where Western corporations are reticent to do business to guarantee a reliable and sustainable global supply of the critical minerals needed to combat climate change, a senior White House official said on Monday. In a stark warning, White House senior adviser for energy and investment, Amos Hochstein, said mineral resources in nations like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia were essential to meeting enormous global demand for clean energy components and power infrastructure to support the growth of artificial intelligence. They also offered an alternative to the world’s current dependence on China.
/jlne.ws/3UwjE8f

Shift Cattle Subsidies to Help Climate Fight, World Bank Says; Global lender publishes a comprehensive climate plan for food; Subsidy changes would aid shift to lower-emissions diets
Agnieszka de Sousa – Bloomberg
Wealthy nations reducing financial support for livestock farming would help tackle pollution caused by consuming red meat and dairy, according to the World Bank. Ensuring that environmental and health costs are fully priced into emissions-intensive foods made from animals would curb consumer demand for those products. That would mean shifting subsidies from the livestock sector toward lower-emissions foods like poultry, fruit and vegetables, the World Bank said in a major report on how to reduce food’s climate footprint.
/jlne.ws/3Wr1nvB

A New Kind of Power Company Will Put a Battery in Every Home; Base Power, run by Michael Dell’s son, is seeking to capitalize on the fragility of Texas’ electrical grid.
Ashlee Vance – Bloomberg
Texas is an obvious place to start a power company. The state began deregulating its energy industry more than 25 years ago and has since emerged as a leader in wind and solar power, as well as in new economic models for selling electricity. At the same time, population growth, industrial expansion and climate change have recently pushed Texas’ grid to-and sometimes past-its limit. None of these trends are likely to ease up anytime soon. The stress on Texas’ grid will almost certainly worsen with every new electric car that hits the road, every artificial intelligence data center built and every manufacturing hub that gets constructed.
/jlne.ws/3yd0htq

China’s Solar Panel Giants Say Prices Are Near the Bottom; Jinko says it’s increasing production schedule this quarter; There’s limited room for further declines, says Trina chairman
Bloomberg News
Plunging prices for solar panels that have slashed profits across the sector don’t have much room fall any further, according to the chairmen of two of the industry’s biggest firms. The current slump is “irrational” and there’s only a small probability it will continue, Jinko Solar Co. Chairman Li Xiande said in a joint presentation hosted by the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Li answered written questions from investors at the event on Tuesday along with executives from other firms, including Trina Solar Co. and CSI Solar Co.
/jlne.ws/4duBOzB

Vestas CEO Says $217 Billion Wind Industry Has Yet to Reach ‘Maturity’; Wind power currently makes up less than 10% of the global electricity mix, and the industry will continue to face difficulties as it fights to scale.
Will Mathis and Akshat Rathi – Bloomberg
/jlne.ws/3y3vQWe

Governments slap taxes on EVs as $110bn fuel duty shortfall looms; New levies and fees worldwide add cost to electric-car buyers as sales growth cools
Jamie Smyth and Amanda Chu – Financial Times
/jlne.ws/4dw6rF6

Institutions

Robinhood gets new legal threat from SEC as crypto crackdown continues
David Hollerith – Yahoo Finance
Robinhood (HOOD) said it received a Securities and Exchange Commission warning that the trading platform could face an enforcement action related to its US crypto business. The so-called Wells notice that Robinhood got May 4 stated that the SEC’s staff made a “preliminary determination” to recommend the action due to violations of registrations as a securities broker and transfer agent.
/jlne.ws/3WtnaCM

What India’s Addition to JPMorgan’s Bond Index Means: QuickTake
Ronojoy Mazumdar – Bloomberg
Global funds are piling into India’s $1 trillion sovereign-bond market ahead of the country’s addition to global debt indexes. JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced last year it will add Indian government debt to its benchmark emerging-market index starting in June, a milestone for Asia’s third-largest economy. That gave overseas investors a compelling reason to put money into rupee-denominated Indian government debt, which has been offering some of the highest returns in emerging markets. The move also means JPMorgan will be able to tout greater diversification following the exclusion of Russia, and as concerns over US-China geopolitical tensions persist.
/jlne.ws/4do3CG9

Goldman Sachs criminal case over 1MDB formally ends
Reuters
A U.S. judge on Monday formally ended the U.S. government’s criminal case against Goldman Sachs related to the Wall Street bank’s work for the Malaysian fund 1MDB after it met its obligations and paid $2.9 billion in penalties. Chief Judge Margo Brodie of the federal court in Brooklyn dismissed a bribery conspiracy charge against Goldman, after the bank successfully completed a three-year deferred prosecution agreement that expired in October. Goldman did not oppose the dropping of the criminal charge.
/jlne.ws/3Uw50h5

JPMorgan Sees Gain of About $8 Billion From Visa Exchange Offer
David Scheer – Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co. said it expects to book an $8 billion accounting gain after completing its part of a deal with Visa Inc. letting big banks restructure their stakes in the payments giant. The plan, announced last year, allowed JPMorgan to tender 37.2 million shares of Class B-1 common stock in Visa in exchange for a combination of Class B-2 common stock and Class C common stock, the bank said Monday in a filing.
/jlne.ws/3wp6G3V

UniCredit Jumps Past EUR60 Billion Market Cap to Join Elite Club
Macarena Munoz – Bloomberg
UniCredit SpA’s market capitalization rose above EUR60 billion ($64.6 billion) on Tuesday, making it one of four euro area banks to exceed that threshold. The bank’s shares jumped as much as 3.5% to the highest level in almost 13 years after it reported first-quarter profit that topped analyst estimates. The resulting increase in valuation made it a member of the bloc’s exclusive club of banks with market capitalizations above that level, which also includes BNP Paribas SA, Banco Santander SA and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA.
/jlne.ws/4abo3TC

UBS shares soar as profit smashes forecasts, share buyback plans affirmed
Noele Illien – Reuters
/jlne.ws/4bnbplw

BlackRock Cuts Jobs in Muni Business Under New Leadership
Martin Z. Braun – Bloomberg
/jlne.ws/3JQMKdj

Asia ESG fund flows plummet in first quarter; Strong inflows to Taiwan’s sustainable vehicles help offset heavy outflows from Hong Kong and Singapore
Julienne Raven Lingat – Financial Times
/jlne.ws/3WCQI0G

Work & Management

FDIC’s Workplace Probe Concludes With Call for Major Changes
Katanga Johnson and Lydia Beyoud – Bloomberg
A probe into the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s workplace found credible allegations of a toxic environment for bank examiners and that the agency’s culture needs an overhaul, according to four people with direct knowledge of the findings. The report by law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton says the FDIC needs a “structural and cultural transformation” to restore confidence in its examiner ranks and agency-wide, said three of the people, who asked not to be identified discussing an unpublished review. It stretches more than 200 pages and includes accounts of problematic behavior by FDIC employees.
/jlne.ws/3wzPRmV

Rising Number of Men Don’t Want to Work
Suzanne Blake – Newsweek
American men are opting out of the workforce at unforeseen rates. For many, it’s not an issue of not being able to find a job. They have simply opted out altogether. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found only 89 percent of working age men have a job or are actively looking for work. In 1950, that number was at 97 percent. While the early 1950s saw around 96 percent of working age American men between the ages of 25 and 54 working full or part-time jobs, that proportion has now moved to just 86 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And as fewer men financially support themselves, there are long-reaching economic and societal implications, experts say.
/jlne.ws/3UyU0ja

Who’s Happiest at Work? Hint: It’s Not Women; Overall job satisfaction ticked up, but worker contentment dropped for wages, work-life balance, survey shows
Anne Marie Chaker – The Wall Street Journal
Americans say they are happy at work. Are they really? When asked how they feel overall about their jobs, most U.S. workers are positive, with 62.7% saying they are satisfied, according to new survey data from the Conference Board, a business-research group. That is the highest job-satisfaction rating since the survey began in 1987. Dig deeper, though, and that figure might have plateaued, the researchers said, along with a widening gap in job satisfaction between men and women. Nearly 65% of men say they are happy with their jobs compared with 60% of women. The largest gaps in satisfaction between men and women were related to financial benefits of work, such as wages, benefits and bonuses.
/jlne.ws/3JOv0iG

Wellness Exchange

How quantum physics could ‘revolutionise everything’
Phil Mercer – BBC News
Liam Hall’s career has taken him from diesel mechanic to quantum biotechnology Growing up on a farm in Australia, Liam Hall was a mechanic “getting greasy, scraped knuckles”, but in recent years his career has taken a more technical turn. He’s now the head of quantum biotechnology at CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency. “I’ve got a bit of a weird background. I always wanted to be a diesel mechanic. Doing that for a while led to wanting to do engineering at university. That introduced me to the physics, and then to the quantum physics. A rollercoaster ride is a good way to describe it,” he says. His team has been developing diagnostic technologies, experimenting with micro sensors crafted from tiny slivers of diamonds about 50 nanometers in size (about 1,000 times finer than human hair) to test patients’ iron levels.
/jlne.ws/3UL9QIF

15 Wellness-Inspired Mother’s Day Gifts For Her Home
Jamie Gold – Forbes
Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday again and if you haven’t yet, it’s worth considering a gift to make her – or their, for the givers with multiple moms on their list – home space more comfortable, enjoyable, healthy or (if you dare!) functional. Here are 15 wellness-inspired home-centric gift ideas for 2024.
/jlne.ws/4a5IGR7

Regions

World prefers U.S. over China for leadership when a Democrat is president, Gallup analysis shows
Dylan Butts – CNBC
Most countries prefer alignment with the U.S. over China when the White House is occupied by a Democrat, according to Gallup poll data going back to 2007. “Significantly more countries seem to prefer U.S. leadership over Chinese leadership, at least under Democratic administrations,” Gallup said in a report released Monday, adding that a Republican executive comes with a “net approval disadvantage.”
/jlne.ws/3wsV4gr

Fear Gauge for India Jumps as Stock Traders Mull Modi Win Margin
Chiranjivi Chakraborty and Ashutosh Joshi – Bloomberg
Sign up for the India Edition newsletter by Menaka Doshi – an insider’s guide to the emerging economic powerhouse, and the billionaires and businesses behind its rise, delivered weekly. A period of relative calm in India’s $4.6 trillion stock market has been shaken by speculation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party may win fewer seats than initially expected in the ongoing national elections, which could affect its ability to carry out policy reforms.
/jlne.ws/3UQmztQ

Dubai’s Financial Center Expects ‘Busiest Year’ as Firms Rush In
Abeer Abu Omar – Bloomberg
Dubai’s financial center is expecting a record number of firms to set up in the Middle East business hub this year after attracting hedge fund heavyweights such as Millennium Management and asset managers like State Street. “This year is going to be our busiest year ever,” Ian Johnston, the chief executive officer of the Dubai Financial Services Authority, said in an interview. The regulator of the Dubai International Financial Center issued 117 new financial services licenses in 2023, and this year “we are already about 50% ahead of where we were this time last year,” he said.
/jlne.ws/3wfY67N

Russian Oil-Product Stranded at Sea as Korea Cracks Down
Sharon Cho and Elizabeth Low – Bloomberg
Cargoes of an oil product from Russia are building up at sea as South Korean buyers turn cautious, highlighting how the invasion of Ukraine is still impacting flows more than two years later. More than 2 million barrels of Russian naphtha, a building block for plastics, have been held in 10 tankers for more than a week, with some in the waters near Oman and Malta, as of May 7, according to market intelligence firm Kpler. That’s up from a weekly average of about 790,000 barrels in January and February.
/jlne.ws/3Wv5E0Q

Perpetual to be broken up with name being sold to KKR in nearly $1 bln deal, AFR reports
Reuters
Australia’s Perpetual will be broken up, with its name sold to global investment firm KKR & Co, in a deal worth over A$1.5 billion ($990 million), the Australian Financial Review reported on Tuesday. The transaction will represent the biggest overhaul in the fund manager’s 138-year-old history and will give KKR the Perpetual name, AFR reported, citing people who were familiar with the process.
/jlne.ws/3Uy5QtB

Iran’s capacity to move oil reliant on Malaysian providers, US official says
Xinghui Kok – Reuters
The United States sees Iran’s capacity to move its oil as reliant on service providers based in Malaysia, with oil being transferred near Singapore and throughout the region, a senior U.S. Treasury official said on Tuesday. The U.S. Treasury is increasing its focus on financing for militant groups routed through Southeast Asia, including through fundraising efforts and illicit sales of Iranian oil.
/jlne.ws/44vMZ77

Amazon Commits $9 Billion to Double Singapore Cloud Push; Cloud operator is latest global tech company to target region; Firms grow in Southeast Asia as they diversify away from China
Olivia Poh – Bloomberg
Amazon.com Inc. plans to spend $9 billion expanding its cloud computing infrastructure in Singapore, the latest global tech company to boost investment in Southeast Asia. The outlay, to be done over the next four years, doubles Amazon Web Services’ investment in Singapore and helps it meet growing customer demand for cloud services and accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence, the company said Tuesday.
/jlne.ws/3WrgHs4

Australia’s central bank says higher inflation could push rate cuts to 2025; RBA raises forecast for price growth in hawkish shift as global central banks pivot to higher-for-longer rates
Nic Fildes – Financial Times
The Reserve Bank of Australia has raised its short-term inflation forecast and all but ruled out an interest rate cut this year, joining other central banks in warning that persistent price growth will keep rates higher for longer. Some economists had expected the RBA to begin cutting rates by the end of the year after the central bank in February noted “encouraging” signs that inflation had started to ease.
/jlne.ws/4a4VMON

Exclusive: Paraguay pushes rival bid for $1.5 billion Argentina-Brazil gas connector
Lucinda Elliott – Reuters
Paraguay is advancing talks with energy firms and high-ranking government officials from Argentina and Brazil over a potential $1.5 billion gas pipeline to connect the three countries, senior government officials for Paraguay and Brazil told Reuters. The plan being drawn up by Paraguay, reported in detail for the first time, aims to compete with a rival Bolivian bid to repurpose existing pipelines to transport Argentine gas to Brazil. If either project is realized it would mark a major potential shift in regional energy flows.
/jlne.ws/4drSDvb

[et_social_follow icon_style="slide" icon_shape="circle" icons_location="top" col_number="4" counts="true" counts_num="0" total="true" outer_color="dark"]

We visit more than 100 financial news websites daily (Would YOU do that?)

The Spread

The Stock Market Has Rarely Been This Sleepy

Lead Stories The Stock Market Has Rarely Been This Sleepy Gunjan Banerji - The Wall Street Journal It's eerily calm out there in the stock market. The Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, dropped below 12 last week, a nearly five-year low. The gauge, based on options prices...

Past JLN Newsletters