Digital Asset partners with Nasdaq to bring Daml to the Nasdaq Marketplace Services Platform

Jun 24, 2021

First Read

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Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

The NFA has posted videos on their website from their member regulatory workshops held in May. NFA staff discussed a variety of topics, such as virtual exam tips and Coronavirus-related relief, cybersecurity, recent rulemaking and common exam findings, among others in these videos, which would be better described as online powerpoint presentations with a talking head in the upper right corner of the window. — NFA

The Federation of Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges elected 11 new board members during their 32nd Annual General Assembly meeting. The newly elected FEAS board members are: The Egyptian Exchange, Kazakhstan Stock Exchange, Amman Stock Exchange, Armenia Securities Exchange, Athens Stock Exchange, Iraq Stock Exchange, Muscat Stock Exchange, Sydney Stock Exchange, Tehran Stock Exchange, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Muscat Clearing & Depository. The new FEAS chairman is Dr. Mohamed Farid Saleh, The Egyptian Exchange and the vice chairman is Ms. Alina Aldambergen, Kazakhstan Stock Exchange. The new FEAS working committee chairman is Mr. Socrates Lazaridis, Athens Stock Exchange and the new vice chairman of the working group is Mr. Michael Go, Sydney Stock Exchange. — FEAS

Trish Foshee of The IFM reported on LinkedIn that the workshop, “Clearing 101: Exchanges, Clearinghouses and CCPs” being held this week is sold out! There will be another workshop in September if you missed this one.

The FIA is hiring. They are looking for a new database systems manager, working out of their posh Washington, D.C., headquarters. Contact for more information. The job description is HERE.

Jemima Kelly follows the cryptocurrency community for the Financial Times and has a great commentary about those who spout the increasingly popular “Have Fun Staying Poor.” jibe at bitcoin skeptics titled “Why we shouldn’t listen to crypto ‘experts’; Most are just insiders talking up their interests.” She points out that bitcoin enthusiasts’ thinking is just like those in a Ponzi scheme. She quotes Martin Walker, director of banking and finance at the Center For Evidence-Based Management saying, “The brilliance of the whole crypto scam is that you don’t actually have to generate any income to pay anyone, so you don’t run out of money because you’re making people believe in ‘number go up’.” I expect new highs in hate mail in her inbox. — FT

There were no new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday.

Today I am having a procedure done that is part of a test to see if an electric stimulator placed in my back will give me pain relief. I will have the stimulator ledes embedded in my epidural space and the stimulator on the outside. If this works, I will later have the stimulator placed under my skin. I was checking to see if there was a version with an Arc Reactor, but alas none were yet available.

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


Chuck Mackie is back with Shining a Light on Digital Asset Markets 2021 — Day Two and Final Thoughts – “Three takeaways from the latest and greatest in crypto from the Association for Digital Asset Markets (ADAM) and Eventus.” You can read it on Medium HERE. His Day One report was in our Top Three (see below) from yesterday.~SR


The Back Office Headaches from Big Volume and How to Manage Them

Daniel Carpenter is the head of sales at Meritsoft, a Cognizant company. John Lothian News interviewed Carpenter about the problems created by high-volume trading from banks, brokerages and other institutions, including how a company tracks the different fees it is paying or collecting from various trades. Whatever the problem was before, it is now three times harder in markets where volumes have exploded in recent years. Carpenter addresses the various issues these firms face and how a firm like Meritsoft can help them mitigate these problems and improve the processes so the end of the month is not an insurmountable obstacle.

John Lothian Interviewed Carpenter over Zoom and asked him about the problems high volumes have created for firms’ back offices, what digitization works and how much firms can save by digitizing. He also addressed the issue of digitized rate cards.

Watch the video »


Looking for ‘the Right Type of Disruption’ in the Wild West of Hemp

After a long career in exchange-traded derivatives, Jack Bouroudjian, chairman of the Global Smart Commodity Group, is doing an about-face, turning to blockchain technology and tokenized settlement to facilitate trading.

Listen to the podcast »


CME Group and Mayor Lightfoot Award Scholarships for Star Scholars to Continue Education at Four-Year Colleges and Universities
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot have awarded 25 Star Scholars with scholarships towards earning a degree at a four-year college or university. The award recipients recently graduated from City Colleges of Chicago with an associate degree and will receive a $5,000 scholarship from CME Group to continue their education, helping create more equitable opportunities for hardworking students in Chicago.

*****The CME Group is doing a lot for Chicago. It is great to see this civic leadership from the exchange group.~JJL


New SEC Public Service Campaign: Investing Regularly Really Adds Up
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) today unveiled a public service campaign (PSC) to educate investors on the benefits of investing and encourage them to use the free financial planning tools and information on the SEC’s online resource – More than 30 million users have accessed since it launched in October 2009. The SEC expanded its outreach program in 2016 to include PSCs to reach and educate more investors.

***** I think I will stick with multiplication.~JJL


Covid Delta strain risks spreading ‘like wildfire’ among unvaccinated in US; More contagious variant accounts for more than a third of new cases, raising fears of another surge
Nikou Asgari and John Burn-Murdoch – FT
The Delta variant of coronavirus that has swept across Europe is now gaining ground in the US, posing a particular threat to unvaccinated people and risking a surge in cases. The Delta strain, which was first identified in India, accounts for more than a third of new cases each day in the US, according to a Financial Times analysis of global genomic data from the virus tracking database Gisaid, up from 10 per cent at the end of May.

***** It ain’t over till it’s over. It ain’t over.~JJL


Why we shouldn’t listen to crypto ‘experts’; Most are just insiders talking up their interests
Jemima Kelly – FT
As someone who has written about crypto on and off for more than six years, I have become used to the endless armies of zealots and trolls who harangue me every time I write anything vaguely critical of bitcoin. I consider such goading annoying but part of the job, and I tend to ignore it. But recently I’ve been struck by one increasingly common jibe, because it inadvertently undermines the supposedly altruistic aims of the bitcoin brigade: “Have Fun Staying Poor.”

***** This was why I did not enjoy reporting from the trading floor about the markets back when I was a cub reporter. Sources were either lying or talking their positions in order to help the narrative towards their economic interests.~JJL


Baby bonds: The $60 billion plan to give every American baby $1,000
Andrea Miller – CNBC
The racial wealth divide between white and Black families in the U.S. is more of a chasm than a gap. In 2019, the median household wealth for white families was nearly $190,000, almost eight times higher than that of Black households, according to Federal Reserve data. “Baby bonds” are one proposal to help close the divide. Unlike regular bonds, they are not a debt instrument traded in the public markets. Instead, the proposal would create a federally funded trust fund account for every newborn baby in the U.S.

***** Who had “We need more trust funds” in bingo?~JJL


McAfee Found Dead in Spanish Prison as Extradition Loomed; Autopsy Planned; The software magnate and crypto investor had been facing extradition to the U.S. on fraud charges.
Benjamin Powers – Coindesk
John McAfee, the controversial software magnate and crypto booster, has died by suicide in a prison in Barcelona. El Pais was first to report the news. Prison sources tell CoinDesk an autopsy is being planned. McAfee was awaiting extradition to the U.S. for tax fraud, which the Spanish High Court authorized just this morning.

****Other versions of this story can be found at the Financial Times, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal., and the NY Times


Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Wednesday was the NFA’s notice that it is seeking committee members and arbitrators. Second was the advisory note from Katten Muchin, Second Circuit Opinion Allows Market Manipulation Claims Based on Hedging Activity, about alleged market manipulation by Credit Suisse during “Volmageddon.” Third was Chuck Mackie’s report on Medium, Shining a Light on Digital Asset Markets 2021 — Day One.


MarketsWiki Stats
26,427 pages; 233,918 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

Digital Asset partners with Nasdaq to bring Daml to the Nasdaq Marketplace Services Platform; The integration of Daml with the Nasdaq Marketplace Services Platform creates new opportunities for clients looking to launch digital marketplaces where Daml-driven applications can seamlessly extend into the Marketplace Services Platform and easily explore new markets
Digital Asset
Digital Asset today announced a new partnership with Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) to enable Daml-driven applications on the Nasdaq Marketplace Services Platform. Nasdaq and Digital Asset customers will be able to leverage applications built in Daml, a multi-party application platform, and connect them seamlessly into the Nasdaq Marketplace Services Platform. Daml also presents an opportunity for Nasdaq and its customers to build application logic in Daml to manage new types of assets, such as ESG certificates, real estate, precious metals and more as part of Nasdaq’s Marketplace Services Platform, a DLT agnostic offering aimed at providing its clients with the ability to manage the full lifecycle of digital assets.

Drought Indicators in Western U.S. Flash Warnings of the ‘Big One’; Summer in the U.S. begins with widespread drought already at historic levels across 11 states. Experts warn of worsening conditions once wildfires start.
Brian K Sullivan and Elizabeth Elkin – Bloomberg
Sarah Brunner opened the irrigation spigots on her farm in March, three months early. The rain should have still been falling in California. Now that summer is taking hold, she and her husband are considering shifting their meager water supplies into pastures so their animals will have enough to eat.

BIS Says Bitcoin Has Few Redeeming Attributes
Sebastian Sinclair and Jamie Crawley – Coindesk
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the organization that represents most of the world’s central banks, panned bitcoin in its Annual Economic Report, saying the cryptocurrency has few redeeming qualities. The bank offered a stiff criticism of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general in a chapter from the report published Wednesday ahead of its full release on June 29. Cryptocurrencies are “speculative assets rather than money” and are used in many cases to facilitate financial crime such as money laundering and ransomware attacks.

BIS Says CBDCs Necessary to Keep Government Control of Money
Nicholas Pongratz – Be[in]Crypto
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) says central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are needed to ensure governments retain control of money. BIS’s remarks come amid the global fall in the use of physical cash. Cryptocurrencies are also gaining traction as both investments and legal tender. This has motivated Big Tech firms to begin developing their own digital currencies. For instance, in 2019 Facebook proposed its Libra digital currency could act as a universal currency. However, widespread condemnation caused it to scale back its intentions to the current

FCA Faces Reform Calls From Lawmakers After ‘Litany of Failures’
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
Treasury Committee concludes FCA needs sweeping changes; Watchdog failed to protect investors in mini-bond scandal
Britain’s financial markets regulator is under pressure from a U.K. parliamentary committee to overhaul its operations after failing to stop a scandal that exposed consumers to hundreds of millions of pounds in losses.

JPMorgan Warns Employees It May Require Them to Get Vaccinated
Hannah Levitt and Sridhar Natarajan – Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co. said it may require employees to be vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus, as Wall Street’s biggest banks ramp up efforts to keep thousands of personnel safe while reopening U.S. workplaces.

2nd Circuit upholds Tower Research win in Korean futures case
Jody Godoy – Reuters
Trades were not covered by the U.S. Commodity Exchange Act; Investors accused high-frequency trading firm of spoofing
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a judgment for high-frequency trading firm Tower Research Capital LLC, saying the firm’s trading in Korean futures was not subject to U.S. commodities law. U.S. Circuit Judge John Walker Jr wrote for a three-judge panel that the record in the case showed the firm’s trading on the Korea Exchange “night market” for futures contracts was not subject to the U.S. Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).

US Supreme Court deals blow to Fannie and Freddie shareholders; Biden replaces regulator following ruling that sent mortgage agencies’ shares plunging
Aime Williams and Kiran Stacey and Ortenca Aliaj – FT
Hedge funds that have spent more than five years suing the US government to try to wring some value from their investments in the nationalised mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were dealt a setback by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Finance’s myth of meritocracy rewards mediocre managers; Women working in financial services are being held back by a system that encourages cronyism
Grace Lordan – FT
The importance of improving inclusivity in financial services for all workers, regardless of gender, was the aim behind my Good Finance framework, released last week. The research stressed the importance of upskilling leaders, rather than relying on the glacial pace of change brought about by auditing, monitoring and quotas. It also pointed firmly to the problem of the mediocre manager. The response was immediate, polarised and depressing.

A Forgotten Chipmaker May be Key to Ending the Global Shortage; Well-placed bets on older technology could be crucial to building the semiconductor capacity the world actually needs.
Tim Culpan – Bloomberg
“Legacy” and “mature” are the words usually thrown at the semiconductors Tom Caulfield produces at factories in Singapore, the U.S. and Germany. He doesn’t like that. Instead, the chief executive officer of GlobalFoundries wants people to refer to his chips as “feature-rich,” a term he feels better describes their wide array of uses. His point is valid. While larger rivals Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Samsung Electronics Co. and Intel Corp. battle it out to make ever-more advanced chips, the world is suffering most from a lack of capacity in the very products that GlobalFoundries offers.

EC drafting proposal for derivatives consolidated tape; Commission official says beta version ready for testing in 2023 will also include equities, bonds and ETFs The European Commission building in Brussels
Luke Clancy –
The European Commission will draft in the next few months a proposal for a consolidated tape in Europe covering “certain strategic asset classes in the derivatives world” – as well as equities, bonds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) – with a beta version ready for testing in 2023.


U.K. Reports Most New Coronavirus Cases Since Start of February
Charles Capel – Bloomberg
A surge in cases of the delta variant continued to push the U.K.’s coronavirus infection numbers to levels not seen since the winter, even with most of the adult population now fully vaccinated. With more than 60 percent of adults in the country having received two shots, there’s growing optimism among experts that the vaccine roll-out has broken the link between cases and deaths.

CDC panel finds ‘likely association’ between mRNA jabs and heart inflammation; US health agency says Covid-19 vaccine benefits still outweigh small risk of rare condition in adolescents
Nikou Asgari – FT
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel has found a “likely association” between a rare heart inflammation and mRNA Covid-19 vaccines in adolescents, although it said that the benefits of the jabs far outweigh their risks.

West risks retreating into Covid limbo; Vaccination rates are slowing as Americans in particular assume that the pandemic is over
Edward Luce – FT
One clear pattern from the first 18 months of coronavirus is that each apparent certainty is overtaken by events. The latest is that the west — chiefly, the US and western Europe — is moving to post-pandemic normality. That is far from assured. As vaccination rates taper off, the goal of reaching herd immunity is bumping up against the cultural resisters. Two steps forward are followed by one back. The concern is that new mutations will outpace the west’s ability to inoculate its laggards.

U.S. Confirms Removal of Wuhan Virus Sequences From Database
Rachel Chang and Robert Langreth – Bloomberg
Details of the genetic makeup of some of the earliest samples of coronavirus in China were removed from an American database where they were initially stored at the request of Chinese researchers, U.S. officials confirmed, adding to concerns over secrecy surrounding the outbreak and its origins.

Singapore to Speed Up Vaccination, Flags Reopening Prospects
Philip Heijmans and Kwan Wei Kevin Tan – Bloomberg
Travel rules will ease for vaccinated residents, minister says; Public health guidelines will be revised for those inoculated
Singapore said it plans to give a first Covid-19 vaccine shot to most of its population by the end of July after securing more supplies, flagging the prospect of looser travel and social-distancing rules for inoculated residents.

Easing India Lockdowns on Cases Rather Than Vaccines Seen Risky
Jaiveer Shekhawat – Bloomberg
Low share of fully vaccinated population presents biggest risk; India’s reopening may result in rise in new infections
The rush by India’s states to end lockdowns as new coronavirus infections drop, rather than waiting for vaccination rates to rise, risks triggering fresh restrictions and holding back the nation’s recovery, according to Oxford Economics.

Tamiflu-Like Drugs Face Long Odds Against Covid ‘Runaway Train’
Rebecca Torrence – Bloomberg
‘Dangerous choice’ as first line of defense, researcher says; Track record from 2009 swine flu pandemic shows pitfalls
The flu fighter Tamiflu is one of the most recognizable antiviral medications in the world — but its weaknesses suggest that devising a similarly simple treatment for Covid-19 will be challenging.

Beta Behind Surge in Most Vaccinated Nation, Seychelles
Antony Sguazzin – Bloomberg
Results of genetic sequencing show variant is dominant; Seychelles has fully vaccinated 70% of its population
Seychelles, which has vaccinated a greater proportion of its people than any other nation, said genetic sequencing of samples shows that the so-called Beta variant, first discovered in South Africa last year, is behind a surge in cases.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Micro E-mini Equity Options Surpass 1.5 Million Contracts Traded
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced that its Micro E-mini Equity options surpassed 1.5 million contracts traded on Friday, June 18. Options on Micro E-mini S&P 500 and Micro E-mini Nasdaq-100 futures were introduced in August 2020 to build on the strength and liquidity of CME Group’s suite of Micro E-mini Equity futures on the S&P 500, Nasdaq-100, Russell 2000 and Dow Jones Industrial Average indices. Since their May 2019 launch, more than 800 million combined Micro E-mini Equity futures contracts have traded across all four indices.

LeveL ATS Expands Offering with Volume Weighted Average Price (VWAP) Products; First Independently Operated ATS to Launch 3 VWAP Order Types
LeveL Alternative Trading System (ATS), a leading, independently operated US Equity Dark Pool trading venue, announced today the roll-out of three volume weighted average price (VWAP) order types. These fully automated trading measurement tools include VWAP Full Day, VWAP Block and VWAP Slice order types.

CME expands FX swaps pricing and liquidity with Bloomberg Terminal integration; Bloomberg Terminal users will be able to access pricing and trade FX swaps in G5 currency pairs on the central limit order book FX Link at CME Group.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
CME Group has integrated market data and order entry capabilities from its electronic trading platform with Bloomberg’s Terminal to expand FX swaps pricing and liquidity. The US derivatives exchange said the integration will increase the number of market participants that are able to view and execute on the liquidity pool provided through its central limit order book, FX Link.

CME Group Integrates FX Link with Bloomberg to Support Market Data Distribution and Execution and to Expand FX Swaps Pricing and Liquidity
CME Group press release
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced that market data and order entry functionality for FX Link are now available on the Bloomberg Terminal to enable market participants to electronically access pricing, liquidity and trading for FX swaps in G5 currency pairs.

LCH to offer clearing for Euronext Growth Oslo Market; Clearinghouse LCH will provide clearing for the Euronext Growth Oslo Market through its EquityClear service from 28 June.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The London Stock Exchange Group’s clearinghouse LCH has confirmed it will offer clearing services for the Euronext Growth Oslo Market later this month. In a statement to clearing members, LCH said it will roll out clearing for the Euronext segment from 28 June through EquityClear, providing market participants with further netting and settlement efficiencies.

SmartCraft lists on Oslo Børs
Euronext today congratulates SmartCraft on its listing on Oslo Børs (ticker code: SMCRT). SmartCraft is the leading Nordic provider of software solutions to small- and medium-sized enterprises in the construction sector. SmartCraft’s solutions help customers increase their productivity, margins and resource efficiency.

Next Generation ETD Contracts – Updated implementation approach
With this circular, Eurex announces the updated implementation approach for the Next Generation ETD Contracts initiative, originally announced in Eurex circular 027/21.

Amendments to and Delisting of Certain CME and CBOT Products in Connection with the Elimination of Most CME and All CBOT Open Outcry Trading Pits and Related Frequently Asked Questions for Members and Member Firms
CME Group
(SER 8788R supersedes SER 8788 dated June 11, 2021 to advise that the Exchange has determined to withdraw the action regarding the elimination of the open outcry trading venue for Options on One-Month SOFR Futures and Options on Three-Month SOFR Futures at this time. The related Frequently Asked Questions further below has been modified accordingly. No other changes have been made to the original SER or related FAQ.)

Notice of Disciplinary Action
CME Group
MEMBER: Marquette Trading Partners LP
CME RULE VIOLATIONS: Rule 432. General Offenses
Q. to commit an act which is detrimental to the interest or welfare of the Exchange or to engage in any conduct which tends to impair the dignity or good name of the Exchange. W. for any party to fail to diligently supervise its employees and agents in the conduct of their business relating to the Exchange.
PENALTY: In accordance with the settlement offer, the Panel ordered Marquette to pay a fine of $35,000.

Notice of Disciplinary Action
CME Group
MEMBER: Mark Van Keirsbilck
CME RULE VIOLATIONS: Rule 575 (“Disruptive Practices Prohibited”) (in part)
A. No person shall enter or cause to be entered an order with the intent, at the time of order entry, to cancel the order before execution or to modify the order to avoid execution.
PENALTY: In accordance with the settlement offer, the Panel ordered Van Keirsbilck to pay a fine in the amount of $10,000 and suspended Van Keirsbilck from access to any trading floor owned or controlled by CME Group and from direct and indirect access to any designated contract market, derivatives clearing organization or swap execution facility owned or controlled by CME Group for 40 business days, beginning on the effective date below, and continuing through and including August 18, 2021.

Notice of Disciplinary Action
CME Group
NON-MEMBER: Christopher Betz
Rule 534 Wash Trades Prohibited
No person shall place or accept buy and sell orders in the same product and expiration month, and, for a put or call option, the same strike price, where the person knows or reasonably should know that the purpose of the orders is to avoid taking a bona fide market position exposed to market risk (transactions commonly known or referred to as wash trades or wash sales). Buy and sell orders for different accounts with common beneficial ownership that are entered with the intent to negate market risk or price competition shall also be deemed to violate the prohibition on wash trades. Additionally, no person shall knowingly execute or accommodate the execution of such orders by direct or indirect means.
PENALTY: In accordance with the settlement offer, the Panel ordered Betz to pay a fine of $20,000. The Panel also suspended Betz from access to any trading floor owned or controlled by CME Group and from direct and indirect access to any designated contract market, derivatives clearing organization or swap execution facility owned or controlled by CME Group for ten (10) business days, beginning on the effective date below and continuing through and including July 7, 2021.

CVF and Minimum Tick Increment Amendment for E-mini NASDAQ-100 Biotechnology Index Futures Contract – Effective August 16, 2021
CME Group
Subject to CFTC regulatory review, please be advised effective Monday August 16th 2021, CME Group will be amending the contract value factor and minimum tick increment of the E-mini NASDAQ-100 Biotechnology Index Futures contract, clearing code BQ. The contract value factor will be changing from $50 to $25 and the minimum tick increment will be changing from 0.10 to 0.50.

Performance Bond Requirements: Interest Rate Margins – Effective June 24, 2021
CME Group
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below.

Amendments to the Gulf Coast LNG Export Futures Contract
CME Group
Effective Sunday, July 11, 2021 for trade date Monday, July 12, 2021, and pending all relevant CFTC regulatory review periods, New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (“NYMEX” or “Exchange”) will implement various amendments to the Gulf Coast LNG Futures contract (Rulebook Chapter 240; Commodity Code LNG) (the “Contract”).

Position Limit and Large Trader Reporting Requirements in Connection with the Initial Listing of the Options on E-mini Standard and Poor’s 500 Stock Price Index Futures – Quarterly PM (European-Style) Contract
CME Group
In connection with the listing of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. (“CME”) Options on the E-mini Standard and Poor’s 500 Stock Price Index Futures – Quarterly PM (European-Style) contract (the “contract”) on trade date Monday, June 28, 2021 (see SER-8784 published on June 2, 2021), please note below and in Exhibit B of CME Submission No. 21-238 the corresponding all-month position limit (Rule 559), aggregation allocations (Rule 559.D) and reportable levels (Rule 561) for the contract.

Accountability Levels and Large Trader Reporting Requirements in Connection with the Initial Listing of Three (3) Micro Foreign Exchange (FX) Physically-Delivered Futures Contracts – Micro USD/JPY, Micro USD/CAD and Micro USD/CHF Futures Contracts
CME Group
In connection with the listing of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. (“CME”) three (3) micro foreign exchange (FX) physically-delivered futures contracts: Micro U.S. Dollar/Japanese Yen (USD/JPY) Futures, Micro U.S. Dollar/Canadian Dollar (USD/CAD) Futures and Micro U.S. Dollar/Swiss Franc (USD/CHF) Futures contracts (the “contracts”) on trade date Monday, June 28, 2021 (see SER-8774 published on June 1, 2021), please note below and in Appendix B of CME Submission No. 21-203 the corresponding accountability levels (Rule 560), aggregation allocations (Rule 559.D) and reportable levels (Rule 561) for the contracts.

Product Modification Summary: Amendments to the E-mini Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Futures Contract – Effective August 16, 2021
CME Group
Amendments to the E-mini Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Futures Contract.

SGX RegCo expands range of enforcement powers
Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) is expanding its range of enforcement powers and requiring issuers to have a whistleblowing policy. This follows a public consultation on changes to the Listing Rules that market participants broadly supported. The changes pave the way towards swifter enforcement outcomes. This will reinforce confidence in Singapore’s capital markets, act as a greater deterrent against malfeasance, and enhance the protection of investors.


Capitolis Appoints Industry Veteran and Market Structure Thought Leader Stuart Wexler as General Counsel Amid Continued Growth
Capitolis, the leading SaaS platform that drives financial resource optimization for capital markets, today announced the appointment of Stuart Wexler as its general counsel. In this role, Wexler will oversee legal matters, corporate governance, and regulatory affairs, and advise senior leadership and the board of directors.

Refinitiv Launches Platform for Wealth Management Firms and their Active Trader Customers; Platform allows wealth firms to offer a superior trading ecosystem for active self-directed investors powered by detailed, timely information and insights, making for an integrated digital experience.
Refinitiv today announced the launch of Refinitiv Active Investor for wealth managers and their customers. Active Investor provides advanced technology along with a fully customisable look and feel that enables wealth management firms to optimise their brand identity, while giving self-directed investors looking for a more comprehensive trading platform, the flexibility to seamlessly invest their way.

Visa buys Swedish fintech Tink in EUR1.8bn deal; Open banking specialist offers technology that allows bypassing of traditional card networks
Nicholas Megaw – FT
Visa has struck a EUR1.8bn deal to buy Swedish fintech Tink, less than six months after a previous attempt to buy its US rival Plaid was blocked by regulators.

Visa Buys Swedish Fintech Tink for More Than $2 Billion; Tink would give Visa a foothold in open banking, which connects consumers to multiple financial institutions
Simon Clark – WSJ
Visa Inc. V -0.53% agreed to pay more than $2 billion for Tink, a Swedish startup whose digital services connect more than 3,400 banks and financial institutions in Europe.

Ivno and CloudMargin announce strategic partnership combining blockchain technology with collateral management
CloudMargin; Ivno
Ivno, the London-based financial markets Tokenization company, and CloudMargin, creator of the world’s first and only collateral and margin management solution native to the cloud, today announced a new strategic partnership that leverages Ivno’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) and CloudMargin’s collateral management capabilities. The first-of-its-kind partnership will enable market participants to benefit from minimising transfer costs, settlement failures and cash trapped in transit whilst optimising liquidity via a wide range of Tokenization solutions. It will also deliver significantly improved operational and treasury efficiencies.

Fiserv Announces Executive Leadership Appointments
Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), a leading global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions, today announced executive appointments to further the company’s goals of creating value for clients and generating strong, sustainable growth.

Broadway Technology 2.0: Post-Ion split, the vendor reimagines its future; Broadway will look to build out its fixed income trading workflows, grow its as-a-service offering, lean into the low-code movement, while considering new asset classes to expand into—all while once again competing with Ion.
Anthony Malakian – Waters Technology
The cracks started to show soon after it was announced that Ion Group was acquiring Broadway Technology on February 14, 2020—Valentine’s Day. But little did they know at that point that a break-up would soon be in their future. The deal had removed Ion’s main competitor in fixed income trading technology. “This deal makes things even more complicated for banks that want to evade the Ion stranglehold. Alternatives with critical mass are very few,” noted one industry consultant.

Wirecard: a record of deception, disarray and mismanagement; Documents reveal that the German payments processing company was a chaotic, byzantine and often ineffective organisation
Olaf Storbeck – FT
Jan Marsalek’s man in Manila was so shocked that, for a split second, he let down his guard. It was mid-May last year and within a few weeks payment processor Wirecard would crash spectacularly into insolvency and Marsalek, its chief operating officer, was on the run.


The Cybersecurity 202: Chris Krebs sees a big future for CISA
Joseph Marks – The Washington Post
Chris Krebs, the ex-director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, envisions far broader responsibilities for his former agency in the coming years.
As cyberattacks rise against U.S. industries and increasingly threaten economic security and public safety, Krebs sees a greater role for CISA helping industries protect themselves from hackers and possibly policing minimum cybersecurity requirements in highly critical sectors.

The Role of 5G in Defining Cybersecurity Strategies
Nathan Eddy – Security Boulevard
Organizations should be doing all of the same things they do for data security over other wireless and cabled networks, as well as planning for the increased bandwidth and ensuring their networks are capable of handling the increased load.
“5G networks, especially the ability to slice a network, offers the option for some interesting applications, especially from an IT security perspective,” said Dirk Schrader, global vice president of security research at New Net Technologies (NNT), a provider of cybersecurity and compliance software.

The Role of 5G in Defining Cybersecurity Strategies
Charlie Osborne – ZDNet
A cohort of cybersecurity companies has signed an open letter asking for reforms to existing DMCA rules in order to protect researchers. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), signed into US law decades ago, aims to protect intellectual property rights.
However, IP laws can be abused by vendors to suppress research going public that could be damaging or embarrassing for a brand — and one area, in particular, Section 1201, has long caused cybersecurity professionals issues when it comes to research and disclosure.

Lawsuits Allege Colonial Pipeline Had Inadequate Cybersecurity
Scott Ferguson – Bank Info Security
Colonial Pipeline Co. now faces at least two lawsuits seeking class action status in the aftermath of a ransomware attack in May that led the firm to shut down the operations of a 5,500-mile pipeline for nearly a week.
The latest lawsuit, filed Monday, claims the company lacked a cybersecurity program encompassing ransomware issues at the time of the attack, which led it to shut down pipeline operations serving much of the East Coast. It claims the company ignored warnings about cyber risks to interstate pipeline systems.

SEC Issues First-Ever Penalties for Deficient Cybersecurity Risk Controls
Holland & Knight LLP – JD Supra
The warning bells and the grace periods appear to be over as the SEC and NYSDFS are now using their enforcement powers to ensure that companies implement robust cybersecurity risk management systems.


Bitcoin Millionaires Aren’t What They Used to Be; After a 50% slump, the cryptocurrency’s speculative investment story won’t be so contagious.
Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg
“Psst, I’m buying Bitcoin” sounded like a hot tip during lockdown, but not anymore. In the (almost) six months it’s taken for the cryptocurrency to soar past $30,000 to $63,000 and back again — it’s now hovering around $33,000 — a lot has changed in the real and virtual world. And, despite the insistence of the laser-eyed crowd who claim they’re holding on no matter what, not all of it is good for cryptocurrency.

Ant Group Says NFTs Are Not Cryptocurrencies After Digital Artwork Sells Out; Ant Group highlighted the differences between NFTs and cryptocurrency after its successful sales of digital art.
David Pan – Coindesk
16,000 copies of NFT-backed app images sold out on Ant Group’s payment platform Alipay within hours on Wednesday. The sale, however, prompted the Jack Ma-controlled Ant Group to clarify that non-fungible tokens are not cryptocurrencies, Reuters reported. Ant’s swift response appears to be related to China’s intensifying crackdowns on crypto trading and mining.

Brazil Stock Exchange Lists First Bitcoin ETF in Latin America; QR Capital’s bitcoin ETF started trading on the Sao Paulo-based B3 exchange under the ticker QBTC11.
Tanzeel Akhtar – Coindesk
Blockchain investment firm QR Capital’s bitcoin (BTC, +3.39%) exchange-traded fund (ETF) started trading on the Brazil stock exchange today. In March, the Brazil Securities and Exchange Commission approved QR Capital’s bitcoin ETF to trade on the Sao Paulo-based B3 exchange under the ticker QBTC11.

How One Ether Options Trader Lost $3M in a Trade Gone Bad; Selling options, be it put or call, is better suited for institutions with ample capital and a high-risk tolerance.
Omkar Godbole – Coindesk
A trader just learned the hard way that it’s pretty easy to lose $3 million in the volatile world of the crypto options market. The ether put options seller took a large bet against a sharp drop in the cryptocurrency and ended up booking a massive loss on Tuesday as the token powering Ethereum’s blockchain tanked to a three-month low of $1,700. “The market moved just enough to force the trader to take a loss by buying back 5,000 contracts of the December expiry $2,560 put option sold earlier this quarter,” Gregoire Magadini, CEO of options analytics platform Genesis Volatility, told CoinDesk in a Telegram chat. “The trade looks to have yielded a loss of over $3 million.”

Huobi’s Stricter Derivatives Rules Leave Chinese Traders Scrambling for Alternatives; Binance may gain customers because of Huobi’s new restrictions.
Muyao Shen – Coindesk
Some Chinese traders and investors are seeking other trading venues after crypto exchange giant Huobi ramped up derivatives restrictions amid China’s crypto crackdown.

Iranian Police Seize 7,000 Mining Rigs In Latest Raid
Savannah Fortis – Be[in]Crypto
On Tuesday, authorities conducted their largest raid to curb nationwide mining. The confiscated computers were found in an abandoned factory outside the Iranian capital of Tehran.

A blueprint for central bank digital currencies; Threats to privacy come from the state as well as technology companies
The editorial board – FT
Britain’s choice of world war two codebreaker Alan Turing to feature on its new plastic £50 note is ironically apt, and for several reasons. His work on cryptography speaks to the new front in monetary debates — how best to protect personal data in an age of digital payments. At the same time, the discrimination the war hero faced for his sexuality shows why privacy is important, including from the government.

A $1.5 Trillion Milestone Beckons for Second-Biggest ETF Market
Anchalee Worrachate – Bloomberg
Forecasts for growth of industry in Europe look ‘conservative’; Strong demand is expected for ESG investing and saving plans
The first $500 billion in assets took the European ETF market about 16 years to grow. The second $500 billion took more than three years. Eighteen months later, the next milestone is already in sight. A deluge of inflows has swelled assets in the region’s exchange-traded product industry to $1.475 trillion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

JPMorgan Says Grayscale Share Sales Extra Headwind for Bitcoin
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Recent declines continuation of weak flow, price dynamics: JPM; DoubleLine’s Gundlach flags $30,000 level for cryptocurrency
Anticipated selling of shares in a major Bitcoin fund between June and July will likely become a fresh source of pressure on the world’s top cryptocurrency, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.


Brexit ‘Sausage War’ Moves Closer to Resolution
Alberto Nardelli and Tim Ross – Bloomberg
Sefcovic says envoys should back extra N. Ireland grace period; Bloc agrees in principle to U.K. request for more time
European governments have agreed in principle to extend the grace period for British firms selling chilled meats to Northern Ireland, bringing the so-called “sausage war” Brexit dispute a step closer to resolution. The European Commission’s vice president Maros Sefcovic has advised diplomats from the bloc’s 27 member states to agree to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s request for extra time to work on the fraught question of trade rules for Northern Ireland, according to officials familiar with the talks.

US says Chinese scientists asked for removal of virus records from database; Deletion of early Wuhan cases evidence of ‘deliberate obfuscation’ of Covid’s origins, expert says
Kiran Stacey and George Steer – FT
Records of early Covid-19 cases in Wuhan were deleted from a US database at the request of Chinese scientists, American officials have confirmed. A team of academics from Wuhan, where the first documented cases of Covid-19 appeared, submitted sequences of the virus that causes the disease to a US-based archive in March 2020.

Berlin and Paris propose reset for EU relations with Moscow; Surprise initiative follows Biden summit with Putin but catches allies unawares
Sam Fleming, Valentina Pop, Mehreen Khan and Michael Peel, Henry Foy and Victor Mallet – FT
Germany and France have called for a new EU strategy of closer engagement with Russia to build on discussions with Moscow in the wake of US president Joe Biden’s Geneva summit with Vladimir Putin.

Boris Johnson Told Lack of Climate Action Puts COP26 in Jeopardy
Jess Shankleman – Bloomberg
U.K. climate change strategies fall short, watchdog says; U.K. hosts United Nations talks in Glasgow later this year
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson risks failure when he hosts key climate change talks this year, unless he delivers on promises to eliminate greenhouse gas pollution, an independent government watchdog said.

Biden Administration Removes Fannie, Freddie Overseer After Court Ruling; Supreme Court decision on Wednesday is a blow to investors who bet the mortgage giants would be returned to private hands from government control
Andrew Ackerman and Brent Kendall – WSJ
WASHINGTON—The Biden administration ousted the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency after the Supreme Court ruled it was structured unconstitutionally, dealing the latest blow to investors betting that mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be returned to private hands after more than 12 years of government control.

Top U.S. Officials Consulted With BlackRock as Markets Melted Down; The world’s largest asset manager was central to the pandemic crisis response. Emails and calendar records underscore that critical role.
Jeanna Smialek – NY Times
As Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin scrambled to save faltering markets at the start of the pandemic last year, America’s top economic officials were in near-constant contact with a Wall Street executive whose firm stood to benefit financially from the rescue.


CFTC Charges Texas Man and His Company with Forex Fraud
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced today that it has filed a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas against Troy Mason of Houston, Texas and his Texas-based company, ZTegrity, Inc., charging them with fraudulent solicitation and failing to register with the CFTC as required by the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).

Regulators close ranks on crypto; Taiwan’s migrant lock-up, Toshiba’s dirty tricks, the ‘Amazon effect’
Chris Nuttall – FT
Regulators are continuing to step up their scrutiny of cryptocurrencies, with central banks and South Korea’s tax authorities demonstrating fresh concerns. In a report published on Wednesday, the Bank for International Settlements, the global body for central banks, argues that digital tokens such as bitcoin have few redeeming features and “work against the public good”. It also dismissed stablecoins — a link between crypto and conventional assets — as an “appendage” to traditional money.

Guggenheim censured for prohibiting employees from contacting regulators; SEC said investment bank’s policy was a violation of rules to protect whistleblowers
James Fontanella-Khan and Sujeet Indap – FT
Guggenheim Securities has been censured by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for prohibiting employees from contacting regulators without approval.

Societe Generale Securities Australia Pty Ltd fulfils additional licence conditions
Additional Australian financial services (AFS) licence conditions imposed on Societe Generale Securities Australia Pty Ltd (SGSAPL) in June 2020 have been removed from 3 June 2021.

Farm debt banking advocate charged with managing a corporation while disqualified
Geoffrey Anthony Shannon, of Port Macquarie, NSW, has been charged with managing a corporation while disqualified. Mr Shannon was an undischarged bankrupt from 16 December 2013 to 20 February 2017, and as a result he was automatically disqualified from managing corporations during this period.

The European Commission, ECB Banking Supervision, EBA and ESMA encourage market participants to cease all LIBOR settings
The European Commission, the European Central Bank in its banking supervisory capacity (ECB Banking Supervision), the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) today issued a joint statement in which they strongly encourage market participants to use the time remaining until the cessation or loss of representativeness of USD LIBOR, GBP LIBOR, JPY LIBOR, CHF LIBOR and EUR LIBOR to substantially reduce their exposures to these rates.

FINRA OTCE and OTC Transparency Data Websites Availability
FINRA will be performing scheduled maintenance to the and websites on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET. During this time, these websites will be unavailable to users.

FINRA Reminds Member Firms of Requirements Concerning Best Execution and Payment for Order Flow
FINRA is issuing this Notice to remind member firms of longstanding Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FINRA rules and guidance concerning best execution and payment for order flow, which the SEC has defined very broadly to refer to a wide range of practices including monetary payments and discounts, rebates, or other fee reductions or credits. Under these rules and guidance, member firms may not let payment for order flow interfere with their duty of best execution.

FCA consults on proposed decision to require synthetic LIBOR for 6 sterling and Japanese yen settings
We have published a consultation on our proposed decision to use one of our powers under the Benchmarks Regulation (BMR) that will be introduced by the Financial Services Act 2021. This power will enable us to require the LIBOR administrator, IBA, to change the benchmark’s methodology. The consultation is a key step in ensuring an orderly wind down of LIBOR.

Investing and Trading

America’s rich have another reason to quit mutual funds; ‘A flight from mutual funds is a trend it pays to be ahead of, and the reason is those taxable distributions’
Stephen Foley – FT
America’s 40-year love affair with the mutual fund looks to be over. Since Fidelity popularised them in the 1980s, they have been a staple of investment portfolios, with more than 100m Americans owning mutual funds in their retirement or brokerage accounts.

There is nothing ‘super’ about this commodities cycle; Prices set to remain high for years but for less than a decade, as pace of demand eases
Jumana Saleheen and Lavan Mahadeva – FT
Commodity prices have surged to very high levels this year. Iron ore and copper prices hit all-time highs before falling back after Beijing moved to curb prices. Aluminium prices are elevated and oil prices are fluctuating at about $75 a barrel. So are we at the start of a new commodities supercycle?

Top commodity traders pile into the energy transition; Groups reaping bumper rewards from oil volatility sink cash into renewables and carbon trading
Neil Hume – FT
Having traded commodities since the 1990s, Bill Reed was starting to worry he had seen it all and that things would start to get a “little bit boring”. But that was before governments, consumers and banks started to throw their weight behind the energy transition.

Want to Be a Better Investor? Watch the Euros; Goalkeepers have valuable lessons in controlling activity bias.
John Authers – Bloomberg
On Goalkeepers, Activity Bias and Embarrassment
You never know what will interest the readership. Summer is here, the markets appear already to be becalmed again after a brief spurt of excitement over the Federal Reserve, and the European soccer championships have finished their opening stage. And goalkeepers are in the news.

Millennials, the Wealthiest Generation? Believe It; The world has changed since boomers were young adults, and so has the value of housing, education and a steady job.
Allison Schrager – Bloomberg
Millennials spent their early adulthood dogged by two large recessions, rising housing prices and exploding student debt. It’s no wonder they’re less likely, even as they approach 40, to have many of the traditional trappings of adulthood, including marriage and homeownership. But a closer look at the data and a more inclusive definition of wealth reveals this often-maligned group is doing quite well. In fact, most are doing better than previous generations.

BuzzFeed Nears Deal to Go Public Via SPAC, Eyeing Digital-Media Rollup; Company hopes scale will make it easier to compete for ad dollars with Google, Facebook and Amazon
Benjamin Mullin – WSJ
BuzzFeed Inc. is close to a deal to go public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company, according to people familiar with the situation, part of a plan to consolidate with other players in digital media.

No End to Whiplash in Meme Stocks, Crypto and More; With the pandemic starting to ease in the United States, many had expected a year of wild investments to slow. It hasn’t. Yet.
Erin Griffith – NY Times
All year, amateur investors, propelled by a social media frenzy and a bit of boredom, have poured money into risky forms of investments like meme stocks, SPACs and Bitcoin.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Lego makes breakthrough in quest for greener bricks; World’s largest toymaker says it can make pieces from recycled drinks bottles
Richard Milne – FT
The world’s largest toymaker Lego has made a big breakthrough in its attempt to move away from oil-based plastics, unveiling the prototype for its iconic brick made from recycled drinks bottles.

Winklevoss Buy Offsets to Cut Carbon Footprint of Bitcoin Cache
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
Gemini exchange spent around $4 million for carbon permits; The move could appeal to institutions worried about ESG
Gemini Trust, the cryptocurrency exchange run by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, purchased about $4 million in credits to help offset the carbon emissions footprint of the Bitcoin it holds in custody.

India’s Coal-Dominated Power Market Is Tilting Toward Solar; A major new investment in renewables by the country’s largest power company may signal the beginning of the end for thermal energy.
Nathaniel Bullard – Bloomberg
India’s largest power generator, NTPC Ltd., has long been a major player in coal-fired electricity. It’s right there in the name: Until 2005, it was known by its longform moniker, National Thermal Power Company.

Concerned About Water Sustainability? Here Are Some Funds for You; There are investments that focus on water themes and related risks
Cheryl Winokur Munk – WSJ
Though not as widely talked about as climate change, water sustainability is a growing concern for many environmentally focused investors. Shortages and consumption issues have caused global reverberations, including higher water prices in California, rationing in South Africa and boycotts against global bottled drink brands—and more investors are paying attention. Many are directing a portion of their investments to funds that focus on themes such as water risks associated with pollution and climate change, and other issues that can jeopardize access to fresh water and the ability to meet human and ecological water demand.

Building New Renewables Is Cheaper Than Burning Fossil Fuels
Will Mathis – Bloomberg
Rising commodity prices limiting green power’s cost decline; New wind or solar farms are often cheaper than existing coal
It’s now cheaper to build and operate new large-scale wind or solar plants in nearly half the world than it would be to run an existing coal or gas-fired power plant.


Goldman Sachs begins trading on JPMorgan repurchase blockchain network
Business Times
Goldman Sachs Group has joined the blockchain-based network created by JPMorgan Chase & Co for repurchase agreements that use smart contracts and a digitized version of the US dollar.

Does your fund manager have skin in the game? Investors are demanding transparency on personal investments
Moira O’Neill – FT
In 1956, Warren Buffett raised $105,000 from 11 investors — most of whom were family — for his first fund, himself placing a token sum of $100 as his “skin in the game”.

Vanguard steps up push into financial advice; World’s second-largest asset manager expects lower fees will help expand the market
Michael Mackenzie and Chris Flood – FT
Vanguard is betting that demand for financial advice will explode over the next decade, as the world’s second-largest asset manager steps up its push into the fragmented market.

Credit Suisse’s New Chairman Sends Chill Through Investment Bank
Ambereen Choudhury, Marion Halftermeyer, and Jan-Henrik Foerster – Bloomberg
Horta-Osorio speaks of other units as ‘ancillary’ to wealth; Bankers are parsing his language for clues on strategy review
Credit Suisse Group AG investment bankers expecting new Chairman Antonio Horta-Osorio to boost their spirits after an exodus of top talent were left disappointed during a recent meeting in London. The former Lloyds Banking Group Plc chief executive officer, in response to questions, told bankers who’d gathered in person and virtually for the event that the firm had a great wealth management business “with ancillary services,” according to several people who heard the remarks.

Citi merges electronic and portfolio trading teams in US under flow credit restructure; Electronic and portfolio trading will be combined for spread products at Citi as the investment bank reorganises its North America flow credit trading team.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Investment bank Citi has combined its electronic and portfolio trading teams in the US as it looks to centralise its risk taking across global spread products (GSP), according to an internal memo seen by The TRADE.


Coking coal defies China bid to keep control of commodity costs, Ban on Australian imports and fall in domestic production lead to price surge for steel mills
Neil Hume – FT
The price of a key raw material for China’s vast steel making industry has soared even as Beijing tries to rein in runaway commodity prices. Premium quality coking coal delivered to China has risen above $300 a tonne for the first time since 2017, up almost 150 per cent since October, due to a supply squeeze that has left steel mills scrambling and paying a much higher price than international rivals.

Russian supply curbs exacerbate squeeze on European gas market; ‘Opportunistic’ moves have poured fuel on rally that has pushed prices to 13-year high, analysts say
David Sheppard, Nastassia Astrasheuskaya and Guy Chazan – FT
Russia has exacerbated a shortage of European natural gas supplies that has driven prices to a 13-year high by quietly limiting top-up sales to customers, according to executives and analysts.

EU Hits Belarus With Sanctions Targeting Potash, Petroleum Goods
Alberto Nardelli, Aliaksandr Kudrytski, and Yuliya Fedorinova – Bloomberg
The European Union imposed a sweeping set of sanctions against Belarus, targeting key economic sectors in its strongest response yet to last month’s forced landing of a Ryanair flight and the arrest of a journalist in Minsk. The EU sanctions will restrict the trade of petroleum goods, tobacco-related products and potash, according to a Thursday statement. Exports of the soil nutrient potash and petroleum products are some of the main sources of foreign currency revenue for Belarus.

Russia Plans Export Tax on Aluminum, Nickel to Fight Inflation
Yuliya Fedorinova – Bloomberg
Russia plans to impose temporary export taxes on steel, nickel, aluminum and copper as part of efforts to target domestic inflation after metal prices surged as part of a broad-based commodities rally.

China Boosts Short-Term Cash Injection to Ease Liquidity Worries
Tian Chen and Livia Yap – Bloomberg
PBOC injects 30 billion yuan with reverse repurchase contracts; Move ends Beijing’s practice of adding 10 billion yuan per day
China’s central bank increased its short-term cash injection for the first time since March as it moved to soothe market concerns about liquidity conditions ahead of the quarter-end.

China’s Debt Reckoning Hammers ‘Too Big to Fail’ Borrowers
Sofia Horta e Costa and Rebecca Choong Wilkins – Bloomberg
Evergrande hasn’t sold dollar bonds since January 2020; Huarong is under pressure after failing to release results
China’s campaign to cut leverage and instill corporate discipline is reshaping the nation’s $12 trillion credit market. One of China’s most prolific debt issuers hasn’t sold a single dollar bond in 17 months, the longest dry spell since 2013. An investment grade-rated conglomerate mostly owned by the government is facing a cash crunch in a test of state support. Analysts at UBS Group AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now say the notion of ‘too big to fail’ no longer applies in China as defaults this year exceed $23 billion, a record pace.

Swedish fund sets sights on venture capital ‘blind spots’; BackingMinds seeks out early-stage start-ups involving overlooked founders, sectors or target customers
Richard Milne – FT
The founders of Spotify, Supercell and King Digital as well as the families behind H&M and Stena are backing a Swedish fund that aims to invest in venture capital “blind spots”, such as start-ups run by women and immigrants.


The tyranny of spreadsheets; How one of our most powerful tools became one of the most misused
Tim Harford – FT
Early last October my phone rang. On the line was a researcher calling from Today, the BBC’s agenda-setting morning radio programme. She told me that something strange had happened, and she hoped I might be able to explain it.

NFL Hires Goldman Sachs to Seek Investors for Media Businesses
Christopher Palmeri – Bloomberg
Properties include the NFL Network and the league’s website; Negotiations could last through the upcoming football season
The National Football League has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to seek potential investors in its media businesses, which include the NFL Network cable channel. The process of finding a strategic partner could last through the end of the upcoming season, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday in a statement to employees. The league’s media operations include Red Zone, which is a subscription-based channel, the website and additional content rights.

JPMorgan Buys Stake in Robert Kraft’s Sports-Data Company; The bank hopes its investment in the Kraft Analytics Group, or KAGR, will help it advise and lend to team owners
Andrew Beaton and David Benoit – WSJ
JPMorgan Chase JPM 0.61% & Co. has bought a stake in the analytics company that helped make New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft a sports mogul. The unusual partnership signals the growth potential JPMorgan JPM 0.61% sees in sports ownership for its wealthiest clients. The idea is to use the heaps of data that flows from legal sports betting, mobile ticketing and concession sales, among other things, to advise clients looking to buy and owners trying to wring more profit out of their teams.

John Lothian Newsletter

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Past JLN Newsletters

The Spread – July 30, 2021

The Spread – July 30, 2021

Earnings season in full bloom; Options lead year-to-date derivatives volume; Robinhood’s IPO; John gets real with Get Real VR: Conflicting factors underpin volatility; Cboe cleared for fall European competition; and the Cboe Options Institute’s Kevin Davitt talks about vega in this week’s “Term of the Week.”

The Four Biggest Ways That Robinhood Changed Investing

The Four Biggest Ways That Robinhood Changed Investing

First Read $51,906/$300,000 (17.3%) ++++ Options Continue to Lead Derivatives Volume Uptrend, but Q2 Lags, FIA Data Show Suzanne Cosgrove - John Lothian News Global futures and options volumes continued to trend higher in the first half of 2021 compared to both 2020...

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