Divided U.S., Not Covid, Is the Biggest Risk to World in 2021, Survey Finds; EU share trading flees London on first day after full Brexit

Jan 4, 2021

First Read

$22,401/$300,000 (7.5%)
Steve Ivey and Robert Khoury


Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

I hope you enjoyed the four-day weekend and properly welcomed in the year 2021. We at JLN wish you a Happy New Year. We shall always remember last year best, or at least with 2020 vision.

While we were popping champagne and wearing silly hats to welcome in the new year, bitcoin continued its ascent to new highs, trading over $34,000 in the early hours of January 3. The number of COVID-19 cases has also been on a tear, with a new high of 291K cases on January 2 and now over 85 million cases worldwide and over 20 million in the U.S.

In other new year news, I wanted to share the new prices for JLN subscriptions for 2021. An individual subscription is going up for the first time in five years to $200 per reader from $175 per reader. Enterprise subscriptions are being raised from $125 to $145 per reader for firms with five or more subscribers. Additionally, the monthly subscription price is $17 per month per reader for those who want to be billed monthly.

The cost of a week of sponsored content is $1000 for 2021. Sponsors of MarketsWiki and John Lothian News get one week or more of sponsored content in their sponsorship package. The price of an email blast to the readership of JLN is also $1000. Contact me if you are interested in learning more about sponsorship or advertising in JLN.

In a first for JLN, we have a story from Casino.org about Eris Exchange pitching NFL futures contracts and targeting sportsbook hedging needs.

There are four disciplinary actions in Exchange News from the CME Group that are all related to shenanigans in the E-mini Nasdaq contract from 2018. All four did not answer the charges against them. All four were fined between $20K and $45K and banned for a period of one year from trading on CME-owned markets.

Congratulations to CME Group’s Jim Roper, who got engaged to Rev. Anna Ernst, a pastor at Epiphany Lutheran Church, which is two blocks from my home and where my son’s Cub Scout Pack was chartered and met.

There have been two new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign. Robert Khoury and Steve Ivey have contributed. Rob is a longtime reader of JLN, starting with his days at GETCO. He is a busy man, including being the CEO of Agile Rainmakers, which he bills as a high-impact business development consulting and advisory firm that fine tunes business ecosystems for growth + profit. Steve Ivey is chief risk officer & executive vice president at Rosenthal Collins Group, a division of Marex Spectron. Thank you to Rob and to Steve and all who have given and all who have yet to give. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by donating to our GoFundMe campaign.

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


Kelly Loeffler’s Trumpian lurch shocks ex-colleagues at ICE; The former executive has reinvented herself to fight a tough challenge for Senate seat in Georgia
Gregory Meyer, Lauren Fedor and Philip Stafford – FT
Intercontinental Exchange is a $65bn pillar of the US corporate world, listing blue-chip stocks on its New York Stock Exchange and running the market that helps set the price of global crude oil. But the 20-year-old Atlanta-based company has become better known in political circles as the launch pad for Georgia’s Republican senator Kelly Loeffler, a former executive who joined ICE in its infancy and is married to the exchange’s chief executive Jeffrey Sprecher.

*****Yes, there are shocked ex-colleagues both inside and out of ICE.~JJL


Stress test looms for financial system in 2021; Volatility rises as shadow banks become a bigger provider of liquidity to markets
John Plender – FT
Be warned. The global financial system in 2021 will face a gigantic stress test. This follows from one of the more important lessons that emerged from the coronavirus-induced market turmoil in March last year — a lesson that is worth revisiting.

*****I do not like the lead in this John Plender column at all. “Be warned.” If he really meant it, he would have used an exclamation point! Or, he should have made it a hashtag, #BeWarned. Or best of all, he should have put it in proactive language like, “Be prepared.” Be warned is just so sheep-like and passive. Let’s start 2021 by being proactive, not passive.~JJL


The Cost of Fighting the Count; Awkward questions for the companies that donated to senators planning to challenge the 2020 election results.
Andrew Ross Sorkin, Jason Karaian, Michael J. de la Merced, Lauren Hirsch and Ephrat Livni – NY Times
Any remaining notions that the presidential transition would go smoothly were shattered this weekend when 11 Republican senators announced that they would not certify Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory during a joint Congressional session on Wednesday. At the same time, President Trump pressured Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” enough votes to flip the state to him, on a Saturday phone call that was recorded. (That said, the prospect of a constitutional crisis hasn’t rattled markets: U.S. futures are up this morning.)

*****How much money from ICE employees is going to Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s campaign? And what is her stand on the challenge to the January 6 Electoral College reporting to Congress? Those are questions that are going to be asked for senators like her and others who are supporting this challenge to Joe Biden’s election as president. Supporting a former colleague is admirable. Supporting insurrection is not. That is how this could end up being defined.~JJL


The Mutated Virus Is a Ticking Time Bomb; There is much we don’t know about the new COVID-19 variant—but everything we know so far suggests a huge danger.
Zeynep Tufekci – The Atlantic
A new variant of the coronavirus is spreading across the globe. It was first identified in the United Kingdom, where it is rapidly spreading, and has been found in multiple countries. Viruses mutate all the time, often with no impact, but this one appears to be more transmissible than other variants—meaning it spreads more easily. Barely one day after officials announced that America’s first case of the variant had been found in the United States, in a Colorado man with no history of travel, an additional case was found in California.

*****New Year, big problems. Maybe bigger problems.~JJL


Thursday’s Top Three
Our top story on Thursday, December 31, 2020 was the Financial Times’ What did Silicon Valley’s crypto bubble create?, about the blockchain startup Filecoin and others. Second was Bloomberg’s Britain Budges on Derivatives in Last-Minute Brexit Relief, about the FCA altering its interest-rate swaps rules on a temporary basis for some European investment banks. Third was The Wall Street Journal’s HKEX’s New Big Boss Will Face Hong Kong’s Uncertain Future, as CEO Charles Li departs the exchange without a named successor.


MarketsWiki Stats
196,467,126 pages viewed; 25,023 pages; 228,135 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


CryptoMarketsWiki Website»
CryptoMarketsWiki, our archive of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, is going strong and keeping pace as this area of finance grows and evolves.Recently Updated Pages

Recently updated pages include
Valerie Szczepanik
World Economic Forum

CryptoMarketsWiki Stats

1,485 pages; 13,357 edits
CryptoMarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

Divided U.S., Not Covid, Is the Biggest Risk to World in 2021, Survey Finds
Alexandra Veroude – Bloomberg
With the global economy still in the teeth of the Covid-19 crisis, the Eurasia group sees a divided U.S. as a key risk this year for a world lacking leadership. “In decades past, the world would look to the U.S. to restore predictability in times of crisis. But the world’s preeminent superpower faces big challenges of its own,” said Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer and Chairman Cliff Kupchan in a report on the top risks for 2021.

EU share trading flees London on first day after full Brexit; Business rerouted to newly created European hubs and primary exchanges
Philip Stafford – FT
London’s financial sector started to feel the full effects of Brexit on the first trading day of 2021 as EU share trading shifted away from the City to facilities in European capitals. Trading in equities such as Santander, Deutsche Bank and Total moved back to primary exchanges such as the Madrid, Frankfurt and Paris stock exchanges, according to early data from Refinitiv — an abrupt change for investors in London, who have grown accustomed to trading shares in Europe across borders without restrictions.

‘It’s a Desperate Time’: Crush of Covid-19 Patients Strains U.S. Hospitals; The surge of coronavirus cases is crowding large metropolitan hospitals, putting pressure on smaller facilities
Melanie Evans, Ian Lovett and Christine Mai-Duc – WSJ
On New Year’s Day at Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center in Southern California, the overflowing emergency room spilled into the hallway. Doctors treated patients on oxygen in the waiting room after running out of beds. Some 80% of patients admitted in recent days have Covid-19.

Why Markets Boomed in a Year of Human Misery; It wasn’t just the Fed or the stimulus. The rise in savings among white-collar workers created a tide lifting nearly all financial assets.
Neil Irwin and Weiyi Cai – NY Times
The central, befuddling economic reality of the United States at the close of 2020 is that everything is terrible in the world, while everything is wonderful in the financial markets.

Brexit: ESMA withdraws the registrations of six UK-based credit rating agencies and four trade repositories
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the supervisor of European Union (EU) credit rating agencies (CRAs) and trade repositories (TRs), has withdrawn the registrations of the following United Kingdom (UK) based CRAs:

Top Stock Pickers Crush S&P While Failing to Stem Outflows
Michael McDonald and Annie Massa – Bloomberg
U.S. active equity mutual fund outflows are at record pace; Fidelity Contrafund returned 32% this year amid redemptions
Star mutual fund managers are beating the soaring stock market in 2020 — but customers are abandoning them for index-trackers anyway. Will Danoff’s $134 billion Fidelity Contrafund returned 32% this year through Wednesday, nearly 15 percentage points better than the S&P 500, yet investors yanked a net $23.4 billion, according to Bloomberg estimates. American Funds’ $255 billion Growth Fund of America jumped 37% but lost more than $10 billion to net outflows. Their struggles have been replicated across an industry that’s in danger of being overthrown by low-cost alternatives.

How Delusions About World War II Fed Brexit Mania; Even Churchill recognized that Britain was a small power made large through connections to Europe.
Max Hastings – Bloomberg
Three days ago, Britain completed the process of quitting the European Union, a major act of foreign policy that most of the world finds bewildering, and considers ill-advised. It brought to mind comments at an Anglo-German conference some 15 years ago made by the then-chairman of Mercedes-Benz: “I want to tell our British friends how much we hope they will remain partners in the EU. Should they decide to leave, however, I hope you will not consider it impolite if I suggest that, in an age of giant trading blocs, you may find it cold out there.”

250 million farmers in India are taking a stand against the government as part of the biggest protest in history. Here’s why the US and the world should pay attention.
Iris Kim – Business Insider
We are witnessing what may be the world’s largest organized strike in human history. Beginning in August, hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers gathered across the states of Punjab and Haryana. The protesters have continued their march to the outskirts of New Delhi, choking off traffic on the major highways leading to the nation’s capital. At its peak, an estimated 250 million protesters joined the cause, with many more marching in solidarity from around the world.

As Understanding of Russian Hacking Grows, So Does Alarm
David E. Sanger, Nicole Perlroth and Julian E. Barnes – NY Times
On Election Day, Gen. Paul Nakasone, the nation’s top cyberwarrior, reported that the battle against Russian interference in the presidential campaign had posted major successes and exposed the other side’s online weapons, tools and tradecraft.

Wall Street Eyes Billions in the Colorado’s Water; Investor interest in the river could redefine century-old rules for who controls one of the most valuable economic resources in the United States.
Ben Ryder Howe – NY Times
There is a myth about water in the Western United States, which is that there is not enough of it. But those who deal closely with water will tell you this is false. There is plenty. It is just in the wrong places.

Coronavirus Makes America Seem Like a Civilization in Decline; The Covid-19 crisis is another example of the nation’s inability to effectively respond to pressing challenges.
Noah Smith – Bloomberg
Crises such as wars, depressions, natural disasters and pandemics can reveal differences in how effectively a society organizes itself. In the 1600s and 1700s, for example, Britain’s more advanced tax system allowed it to outspend Spain and France, while Prussia’s efficient army let it overcome larger opponents such as Austria. In the Civil War, the Union’s industrial prowess allowed it to outlast and overwhelm the agrarian Confederacy.

China telco shares hit by NYSE delisting announcement
Reuters Staff
Shares in China’s three biggest telecoms companies fell as much as 5% in Hong Kong on Monday, the first trading session since the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) said it would delist the firms in a move China branded unwise and oppressive.

New York to Delist Chinese Telecom Firms in Symbolic Shift; The move follows an order from the Trump administration, which says the companies are tied to China’s military. But they don’t need Wall Street as much as they once did.
Paul Mozur – NY Times
The New York Stock Exchange said it would delist China’s three big state-run telecommunications companies following an executive order from the Trump administration, in a symbolic severing of longstanding ties between the Chinese business world and Wall Street.

Covid surges as UK rolls out mass vaccination programme; No region is escaping the escalating crisis as a new infectious coronavirus variant spreads across country
John Burn-Murdoch and Sarah Neville – FT
The UK is in a race to outpace a deadly coronavirus surge, data analysis by the Financial Times suggests, as it rushes to expand its mass Covid-19 vaccination programme.

How 2020 changed the way we use technology; From the Zoom revolution to the relentless rise of Amazon, a year of lockdowns has reshaped the internet
Aleksandra Wisniewska and Tim Bradshaw – FT
When the first coronavirus lockdowns were imposed outside China, billions of people around the world were forced to look online for communication, collaboration, entertainment and sustenance. But the story of tech’s role in the pandemic did not end there.


Johnson Faces Third Lockdown as Virus Cases Surge Across U.K.
Alex Morales and Brian Swint – Bloomberg
New cases are exceeding 50,000 a day as virus spreads faster; Opening of some schools delayed after Christmas holidays
Boris Johnson’s government is on the brink of another pandemic U-turn with a third national lockdown looking increasingly inevitable. A surge in infections threatens to overwhelm hospitals and throws his plan to get English children back into classrooms into disarray on a day the British prime minister had hoped to celebrate the delivery of the first shots of a Covid-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc.

Boris Johnson warns of tougher Covid-19 restrictions for England; Ministers review whether tier 4 measures will be enough to control spread of virus
George Parker, Bethan Staton and Sarah Neville – FT
Boris Johnson has put England on alert for tougher Covid-19 restrictions and possible further school closures as ministers raced to deploy a vaccine ahead of a chaotic return to the classroom.

U.K. Bolsters Vaccination With Oxford Shot as Covid Surges
Eric Pfanner – Bloomberg
More than 500,000 Oxford-Astra doses available as of Monday; Britain moves to speed up rollout as new virus strain spreads
The U.K. gave the first shots of a Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford, in a race against a faster-spreading coronavirus variant that’s prompted new lockdowns across much of the country.

New York State Surpasses 1 Million Cases in Holiday Surge
Stacie Sherman -Bloomberg
Early center of outbreak is fourth state to reach milestone; Spring success in containing virus falters on key fronts
New York state passed 1 million Covid-19 cases, after a somber year in which more than 30,000 of its residents died from the virus. More than a third of the state’s total cases were reported in December as cold weather nudged people indoors, holidays increased social gatherings and residents tired of restrictions. On the first day of 2021, the U.S. surpassed 20 million Covid-19 cases — twice as many as the second-ranking nation, India.

Suga warns Tokyo faces state of emergency as Covid cases soar; Japan unlikely to roll out vaccinations until end of February, says prime minister
Robin Harding – FT
Japan does not expect to start Covid-19 vaccinations until the end of February, said Yoshihide Suga, as he warned that a state of emergency could soon be declared in Tokyo.

US health officials deny Trump claim Covid death toll ‘exaggerated’; Experts forced to contradict president’s allegation that rising fatality count is ‘fake news’
Patrick Temple-West – FT
Leading US medical officials on Sunday contradicted outgoing President Donald Trump’s claims that the country’s escalating Covid-19 death figures had been grossly exaggerated.

Covid-19 Vaccines Are in High Demand, but Thousands More Workers Are Needed to Make Them; Companies mass producing shots for Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca are racing to find staff: ‘We are truly in unprecedented territory’
Elizabeth Koh – WSJ
Contract-manufacturing companies working to accelerate the global availability of Covid-19 vaccines are struggling with a shortage of their own: There aren’t enough workers to meet this year’s big production push.

Pope criticizes people going on holiday to avoid Covid-19 lockdowns
Livia Borghese and Sharon Braithwaite, CNN
Pope Francis has condemned people who traveled abroad for a vacation and avoid Covid-19 lockdowns, adding that holidaymakers were not considering the effect of their actions on others.

Covid-19 Shipping Problems Squeeze China’s Exporters; Surging demand in the West and port delays drive up costs for companies that have fueled the country’s economic recovery
Stella Yifan Xie – WSJ
A logjam in the global shipping industry is testing the resilience of China’s exporters, who have driven the country’s economic recovery by churning out goods to meet surging global demand during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Scotland to enter another effective national lockdown – The Times
Reuters Staff
Scotland will on Monday enter another effective national lockdown, likely to last until spring, The Times newspaper reported.

South Korea expands ban on social gatherings nationwide
Sangmi Cha – Reuters
South Korea expanded a ban on private gatherings larger than four people to the whole country, and extended unprecedented social distancing rules in greater Seoul as the number of daily cases bounced back to more than 1,000 in four days.

Australia’s most populous state reports zero COVID cases, urges thousands to get tested
Renju Jose – Reuters
Australia’s most populous state New South Wales (NSW) on Monday reported zero local coronavirus cases for the first time in nearly three weeks, as Sydney battled multiple outbreaks and authorities urged tens of thousands of people to get tested.

Fauci Says U.S. Covid Vaccine Pace Rising After Slow Start
Todd Shields, Yueqi Yang, and Ana Monteiro – Bloomberg
Trump questions U.S. cases, deaths, criticizes CDC approach; Surgeon general: vaccine drive met strained health-care system
The U.S. government’s top infectious-disease doctor said the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines is picking up speed and could be fully on track within a week or so.

Tokyo reports 816 new COVID-19 cases as governors push for state of emergency
Tokyo reported 816 new daily coronavirus cases on Sunday, a day after governors from the capital and neighboring prefectures called on the Japanese government to announce a state of emergency to combat a recent surge in cases.

Covid-19 Vaccine’s Slow Rollout Could Portend More Problems; Far fewer people have gotten shots than expected due to disorganization and conflicting priorities among states, counties and hospitals
Jared S. Hopkins and Arian Campo-Flores – WSJ
Three weeks into the most ambitious vaccination campaign in modern U.S. history, far fewer people than expected are being immunized against Covid-19, as the process moves slower than officials had projected and has been beset by confusion and disorganization in many states.

New coronavirus variant may have been in US since October
Linda Geddes and Amanda Holpuch – The Guardian
A coronavirus variant carrying some of the same mutations as the highly contagious British variant may have been in the US since October and already be widespread, a re-analysis of more than 2m tests suggests.

32 More Countries Have Found the New Covid-19 Variant First Seen in Britain
NY Times
The U.S. vaccination campaign is plagued by delays, mistakes and, in one Wisconsin hospital, deliberate sabotage. France and New York City report illegal New Year’s parties, including a rave that drew 2,500 people.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

New Year’s Message from Group CEO Kiyota
Greetings to everyone for the New Year. As JPX Group CEO, I wish everyone health and prosperity for the year ahead. I would like to begin my New Year’s message by taking a look back over the stock markets in the past year.

Cboe Global Markets Completes Acquisition of BIDS Trading, the Largest Independent Block Trading ATS in the U.S.
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), a market operator and global trading solutions provider, today announced it has completed its acquisition of BIDS Trading, a registered broker-dealer and the operator of the BIDS Alternative Trading System (ATS), the largest block-trading ATS by volume1 in the U.S.
Through ownership of BIDS Trading, Cboe gains a competitive foothold in the off-exchange segment of the U.S. equities market, which now accounts for more than 40 percent of overall U.S. equities trading volume. The acquisition of BIDS Trading also provides Cboe with the opportunity to expand its global footprint and diversify its product and service offerings in markets beyond U.S. equities and options.

Eris Exchange Pitching NFL Futures Contracts, Targeting Sportsbook Hedging Needs
Todd Shriber – Casino.org
Eris Exchange, LLC (ErisX), the operator of a digital currency exchange and clearinghouse, is asking the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to permit futures contracts tied to NFL games on its bourse.

NYSE begins delisting China’s three largest state-run telecoms groups; Exchange is dropping companies to comply with Trump administration executive order
Ryan McMorrow and Katrina Manson – FT
The New York Stock Exchange has begun delisting China’s three largest state-run telecom groups to comply with a Trump administration executive order barring US investors from holding stakes in companies suspected of having ties to the Chinese military. The move by the US’s largest exchange follows similar restrictions from index providers and will restrict the Chinese companies’ access to capital from American investors.

REGIS-TR UK begins reporting following Brexit; The UK sister company within the pan-European trade repository was launched in March 2019 to maintain a continuous reporting service for clients in the UK following Brexit.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
REGIS-TR UK, the UK branch of the European trade repository, has begun reporting following the UK’s departure from the European Union on 31 December. The UK arm of REGIS-TR was launched on 11 March 2019 to maintain a continuous reporting service for clients in the UK following its decision to leave the European Union.

REGIS-TR UK LTD starts reporting after Brexit; REGIS-TR UK LTD, REGIS-TR S.A.’s UK sister company within the pan-European trade repository’s franchise, has started reporting after Brexit.
Deutsche Börse Group
Following the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union (EU), REGIS-TR UK was incorporated on 11 March 2019 in London in order to maintain a continuous reporting service for the UK client base. REGIS-TR UK is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and is based in the London offices of Clearstream, one of REGIS-TR’s parent companies. The operational infrastructure of REGIS-TR UK LTD has been developed over the last year and is ready to provide full reporting services for UK EMIR immediately.

Change in Chief Executive and Directorate
Reference is made to the announcement of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (“HKEX”) dated 29 September 2020 (“Announcement”) in relation to the appointment of Mr Tai Chi Kin, Calvin (“Mr Tai”) as Interim Chief Executive of HKEX to succeed Mr Li Xiaojia, Charles (“Mr Li”) effective 1 January 2021.

Approved Application for Spot Call Nonfat Dry Milk and Spot Call Dry Whey Regularity
CME Group
The Exchange has approved the application of Sprinter Services, Inc. DBA Columbian Logistics Network located in Grandville, MI to be designated as an Approved Warehouse for delivery of Spot Call Nonfat Dry Milk and Spot Call Dry Whey.

Approved Application for Spot Call Butter Regularity
CME Group
The Exchange has approved the application of Cedar Grove Warehouse, Inc. located in Buhl, ID to be designated as an Approved Warehouse for delivery of Spot Call Butter.

Notice of Disciplinary Action
CME Group
NON-MEMBER: Myung Hee Park
CME RULE VIOLATIONS: 539.A. General Prohibition
No person shall prearrange or pre-negotiate any purchase or sale or noncompetitively execute any transaction, except in accordance with Sections B. and C. below.
PENALTY: Based on the record and the Panel’s findings and conclusions, the Panel ordered that Hee pay a fine in the amount of $45,000. The Panel further suspended Hee’s 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 a period of one year, beginning on the effective date below and continuing for one year from the date that the ordered fine is paid.

Notice of Disciplinary Action
CME Group
NON-MEMBER: Deok Yeon La
CME RULE VIOLATIONS: 539.A. General Prohibition
No person shall prearrange or pre-negotiate any purchase or sale or noncompetitively execute any transaction, except in accordance with Sections B. and C. below.
PENALTY: Based on the record and the Panel’s findings and conclusions, the Panel ordered that La pay a fine in the amount of $35,000. The Panel further suspended La’s 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 a period of one year, beginning on the effective date below and continuing for one year from the date that the ordered fine is paid.

Notice of Disciplinary Action
CME Group
NON-MEMBER: Hyun Chil Cho
CME RULE VIOLATIONS: 539.A. General Prohibition
No person shall prearrange or pre-negotiate any purchase or sale or noncompetitively execute any transaction, except in accordance with Sections B. and C. below.
PENALTY: Based on the record and the Panel’s findings and conclusions, the Panel ordered that Cho pay a fine in the amount of $20,000. The Panel further suspended Cho’s 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 a period of one year, beginning on the effective date below and continuing for one year from the date that the ordered fine is paid.

Notice of Disciplinary Action
CME Group
CME RULE VIOLATIONS: 539.A. General Prohibition
No person shall prearrange or pre-negotiate any purchase or sale or noncompetitively execute any transaction, except in accordance with Sections B. and C. below.
PENALTY: Based on the record and the Panel’s findings and conclusions, the Panel ordered that Jae pay a fine in the amount of $35,000. The Panel further suspended Jae’s 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 a period of one year, beginning on the effective date below and continuing for one year from the date that the ordered fine is paid.

Boerse Stuttgart Generates 2020 Turnover Of Around EUR 111.3 Billion – Trading Volume Increases In All Asset Classes – Equities And Exchange-Traded Products Generate Record Turnovers
Based on the order book statistics, turnover from all trading activities at Boerse Stuttgart amounted to around EUR 111.3 billion in 2020 – around 62 percent more than in the previous year.

Tehran’s Bourse Releases 2020 Results
Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) secured record high figures in 2020.

New Year Message For 2021 From Shenzhen Stock Exchange
2020 will go down in the Chinese history as an extremely extraordinary year. In the face of complicated and severe situations at home and abroad, the CPC Central Committee with President Xi Jinping as the core taking a panoramic view, led the people of the whole nation united in mind and heart, fought its way with painstaking efforts and achieved spectacular success to the people’s satisfaction, deserving the world’s attention and worthy of chronicling in history.


Wirecard is a scar on Germany’s corporate landscape; The scandal shows why shareholders must have more rights
Robert Peres – FT
The Wirecard affair, the latest in a series of corporate scandals in Germany, raises an important question. Why does Germany find it so difficult to protect investors?

Forbes Fintech Awards 2020: Jack Dorsey Gives Banks A Wake-Up Call
Jeff Kauflin and Eliza Haverstock – Forbes
This past year was a whirlwind for fintech. The pandemic hit many businesses like a hurricane, with lenders suffering the most damage. But as government stimulus checks hit bank accounts and consumers began buying everything online, some of the most popular personal finance apps and payments companies thrived. Digital banking startup Chime tripled its valuation in six months, reaching $14.5 billion in September.

Billionaire investor Chris Sacca mocks ‘Robinhood bros’ for being reckless: ‘Stonks never go down!’
Theron Mohamed – Business Insider
Newbie traders who scored massive windfalls in 2020 simply got lucky, billionaire investor Chris Sacca said in a recent tweet. “To everyone who got into trading stocks this year, I have a little hard truth for you: You’re not actually that good at it,” the former “Shark Tank” star and founder of venture-capital firm Lowercase Capital said. “You just caught a wild bull market. Take some money off the table.”

Fintech Startups Rush to Get Stimulus Payments Out; Banking apps Current and Chime credited customer accounts right away, ahead of some larger banking institutions
Yuliya Chernova – WSJ
The new federal stimulus is giving digital bank startups a chance to demonstrate their consumer-friendly chops. Banking startups Current and Chime said they began making stimulus payments available to customers on Tuesday, as soon as the government began sending payments to banks and earlier than some other banking institutions.

China orders Alibaba founder Jack Ma to pare down fintech empire
Rupert Neate – The Guardian
China has escalated its campaign to rein in the vast tech empire controlled by Jack Ma, the co-founder of Alibaba and one of the country’s richest people. Authorities in Beijing, who had on Christmas Eve ordered an investigation into allegations of “monopolistic practices” by Ma’s online retail giant, have now ordered his financial technology company Ant Group to scale back its operations. Pan Gongsheng, a deputy governor of China’s central bank, said Ant’s corporate governance was “not sound” and ordered it to “return to its origins” as a payment services provider.


New Year brings glad tidings of the Bitcoin ‘stimmy’ trade; Today, in totally normal markets.
Jamie Powell – FT
For many people around the world, Christmas is about giving. The receiving part, however, isn’t bad. And, while many welcomed tree-sheltered presents containing all sorts of consumer goodies on the 25th, in many corners of the US a more important gift arrived just over a week later.

Bitcoin’s Rally Comes to a Halt as Prices Fall Most Since March
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Bitcoin held near a record a day after breaching $34,000 for the first time while Ether, another digital currency, also surged as the crypto rally continues. Ether climbed as much as 22% to about $1,163 following a 30% advance on Sunday. Bitcoin held onto most of its weekend gains, dipping about 1.6% to $33,060 as of 6:53 a.m. on Monday in London, according to a composite of prices compiled by Bloomberg. “What we’re seeing is the standard moving of the crypto markets from Bitcoin to the Altcoin market led by Ether,” said Vijay Ayyar, head of business development with crypto exchange Luno in Singapore. “This rotation happens usually when Bitcoin has a large rally and investors rotate profits” into other digital coins, he said.

2020: An interactive year in review
The Block
The Block presents 2020 Year in Review – an interactive look at the 10 developments that solidified the future of digital assets.

Bitcoin’s Bulls Should Fear Its Other Scarcity Problem
David Fickling – Bloomberg
In the eyes of many Bitcoin advocates, scarcity is a key advantage over more conventional assets. Unlike fiat money, which can be created from nothing on a bank’s balance sheet, or gold, which can be mined from the ground in quantities still far from being exhausted, the supply of Bitcoins was set from the start at 21 million. That means, in the words of its pseudonymous founder Satoshi Nakamoto, it should ultimately be “completely inflation free” — making it a far better store of wealth than assets whose real value declines over time.

Shenzhen to Double Digital Yuan Giveaway in China’s Latest Lottery Test
Tanzeel Akhtar – Coindesk
Shenzhen, a major Chinese city, is giving residents the chance to win 20 million digital yuan (worth over $3 million) in its latest “red envelope” giveaway. On Jan. 1, 2021 the lottery officially opened, allowing the city’s residents to register through the “i Shenzhen” platform to be included in the draw. The lottery is aimed to test China’s in-development central bank digital currency in the hands of the public. A total of 100,000 red envelopes will be distributed, with winners to be awarded 200 digital yuan each to spend from Jan. 7 until Jan. 17 at around 10,000 physical merchants.

Bitcoin Options on Deribit Now Go to $200K After Recent Surge
Kevin Reynolds – Coindesk
The folks over at Deribit apparently think the recent explosion in the price of bitcoin (BTC) from $20,000 to around $32,000 in just over a month, including a 10% rise in the last 24 hours, merits offering traders the ability to bet on a rally to $200,000 by late December. That supersedes the $160,000 option as the most traders can bet the leading cryptocurrency will rise to. Even with today’s wild ride, there’s been no takers at any strike north of $80,000.

Hackers stole $120 million via 15 DeFi hacks in 2020
MK Manoylov – The Block
DeFi exploded in popularity in 2020 — and so did stealing from DeFi platforms. In all, there were 15 hacks of DeFi platforms amounting to $120 million funds being stolen. Hackers nabbed bounties ranging from $135,000 and $25 million, according to The Block Research. Only $45.6 million was recovered. One protocol — bZx — was exploited twice in February via a contract bug that let the hacker execute a flash loan attack that netted around 1,200 ETH.

Average crypto venture funding size grew about 33% in 2020
MK Manoylov – The Block
Crypto venture funding increased by a third in 2020 compared with 2019, according to The Block Research. In total, the average venture capital funding size in 2020 grew 32.5% to $5.7 million and the funding median was $1.8 million. Nearly all size categories of venture funding in the cryptocurrency space grew in terms of the number of deals as well, with funding rounds ranging from $1 million to 5 million leading the way, according to The Block Research’s 2021 Outlook Report. Finally, compared with 2019, there were two additional deals in 2020 worth at least $100 million.

Privacy coins slide following Bittrex delisting
The Block
Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC), and Dash (DASH) are all down double-digit percentages following an announcement that U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex will be delisting the privacy coins on January 15. According to Bittrex, while the exchange “generally seeks to provide users up to 30 days to withdraw any delisted tokens… in certain instances the withdrawal period may be shortened.”

Citizens to Disclose Offshore Crypto Holdings of $10K+
Danny Nelson, Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the U.S. Treasury Department wing tasked with monitoring potential legal violations of domestic financial laws, wants Americans to report if they have more than $10,000 in cryptocurrencies with foreign financial or virtual asset service providers.


Judy Shelton for Fed Is Among Trump Nominations Sent to Senate
Ana Monteiro – Bloomberg
The Trump administration again nominated Judy Shelton to be a member of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve, almost two months after previous efforts to hold a Senate vote on the matter were derailed. Shelton’s nomination was among 30 submitted to the Senate by the White House on Sunday for consideration in a move that’s standard when a new Congress is sworn in.

China warns of retaliation for NYSE’s delisting of companies
China said Saturday that it would take necessary countermeasures in response to the New York Stock Exchange’s announcement that it would delist three major Chinese telecoms, in the latest flare-up of tensions between Beijing and Washington.

Kelly Loeffler’s extensive ties to the energy sector suggest major conflict of interest
Loeffler was named to Georgia Power board of directors two months before she had to leave for the Senate
Roger Sollenberger – Salon
In August 2019, just weeks before Sen. Johnny Isakson, a third-term Georgia Republican, announced his surprise retirement following a kidney cancer diagnosis, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp shared the head table at a 4H fundraiser gala with two titans of Atlanta’s finance scene: Jeffrey Sprecher, whose company, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), owns the New York Stock Exchange; and Sprecher’s wife, Kelly Loeffler, at the time the CEO of a cryptocurrency joint venture between ICE, Microsoft and Starbucks.

EU lobbying by fund groups fuels fears over vested interest; BlackRock’s controversial contract heightens concerns about influence of large asset managers on rulemaking
Siobhan Riding – FT
When BlackRock was awarded prestigious consulting work by the US Federal Reserve and the European Commission last year, the win represented much more than a financial coup for the world’s largest asset manager.

Kelly Loeffler says ‘everything’s on the table’ with Electoral College vote
Mark Moore – NY Post
GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler sidestepped a question on Sunday over whether she would join some Republican colleagues to contest the Electoral College vote during a joint session of Congress this week if she wins her runoff election in Georgia.

In scathing statement, former GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan said Republican attempts to reject Electoral College vote were ‘antidemocratic and anti-conservative’
Connor Perrett – Business Insider
Paul Ryan, the Republican former House speaker, on Sunday spoke out against members of his party who had hatched a plan to object to the certification of the Electoral College’s December vote that affirmed Trump’s reelection defeat.

Two Biden aides will recuse on BlackRock issues as past ties pose questions; The world’s largest asset manager has much at stake as the new president’s team takes office
Yeganeh Torbati – Washington Post
In 2013, the asset management firm BlackRock unleashed a lobbying blitz to carpet-bomb a new Treasury Department agency, pushing federal regulators away from tightening requirements on its massive business lines.

W.N.B.A. Players Escalate Protest of Anti-B.L.M. Team Owner; Led by the members of the Atlanta Dream, players have begun wearing T-shirts supporting a political opponent of Senator Kelly Loeffler, who co-owns the Dream and has spoken against the Black Lives Matter movement.
Sopan Deb – NY Times
Players for the Atlanta Dream and other teams across the W.N.B.A. have begun a public show of defiance by wearing T-shirts endorsing the Democratic opponent of the Dream’s co-owner Senator Kelly Loeffler, Republican of Georgia, who is in a tightly contested race for her seat and has spoken disparagingly of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Trump Administration Extends Ban on H-1B and Other Work Visas, Green Cards; Renewal of a policy criticized by businesses leaves incoming Biden administration with another immigration dilemma
Michelle Hackman – WSJ
The White House extended a ban on immigrants coming to the U.S. on work-based visas and green cards through the end of March, setting up another immigration policy decision for the incoming Biden administration to grapple with.

Extraordinary warning to Trump by 10 former Pentagon chiefs
Robert Burns – AP News
In an extraordinary rebuke of President Donald Trump, all 10 living former secretaries of defense are cautioning against any move to involve the military in pursuing claims of election fraud, arguing that it would take the country into “dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory.” The 10 men, both Democrats and Republicans, signed on to an opinion article published Sunday in The Washington Post that implicitly questioned Trump’s willingness to follow his Constitutional duty to peacefully relinquish power on Jan. 20. Following the Nov. 3 election and subsequent recounts in some states, as well as unsuccessful court challenges, the outcome is clear, they wrote, while not specifying Trump in the article.

French wine exporters say U.S. wine taxes a “sledgehammer” to sector
Reuters Staff
The U.S. decision to impose additional tariffs on French wines and cognac, which come in addition to a first set of tariffs late last year, will cost the sector a total of over 1 billion euros ($1.23 billion), the French wine exporters’ federation said on Thursday.

Biden’s Treasury nominee Yellen discloses paid speaking gigs for financial firms
Reuters Staff
President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, earned at least $7 million from speaking engagements over the past two years, according to disclosures posted on Thursday.


Ana Botín: Banking regulation needs a reset; Rules should be amended to remove Big Tech’s advantages and promote green finance
Ana Botín, executive chairman of Santander – FT
As the new year begins, and we try to rebuild our economies, we need to rethink the way we regulate finance. That is because the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic are different from those caused by the 2008 financial crisis.

FCA conduct rules lead to unfair treatment, warn lawyers; Concerns rise that UK regulator is outsourcing action on employee misconduct to companies
Matthew Vincent – FT
The UK financial regulator has pursued only a handful of investigations under its flagship scheme for holding executives to account and is leaving City companies to make potentially unfair calls on employee misconduct, lawyers have warned.

Short-selling bans take their toll on securities finance revenues in 2020; Short-selling bans, lower market volumes, and depressed fees result in an 11% drop in securities finance revenues during 2020.
Jonathan Watkins – The Trade
The global securities finance industry generated $7.66 billion in revenue for lenders in 2020, representing an 11.6% decrease from the previous year as the fallout from the pandemic hit the sector.

FINRA Orders Worden Capital Management LLC to Pay More than $1.2 Million in Restitution to Customers Whose Accounts Were Excessively Traded; Firm Also Fined $350,000 for Failing to Reasonably Supervise Recommended Securities Transactions and Other Violations
FINRA announced today that it sanctioned Worden Capital Management LLC (WCM) more than $1.5 million, including approximately $1.2 million in restitution to customers whose accounts were excessively traded by the firm’s representatives, and a $350,000 fine for supervisory and other violations. As part of the settlement, WCM must also retain an independent consultant to conduct a comprehensive review of the relevant portions of the firm’s supervisory systems and procedures.

MoUs with European authorities in the areas of securities, insurance and pensions, and banking
On 1 February 2019, we announced the agreement of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and EU regulators covering cooperation and exchange of information.

Anonymous shell companies have undermined America’s economy and national security for years. Congress finally made sure this shady practice is banned.
David M. Luna – Business Insider
On Friday, the US Senate overrode President Donald Trump’s veto on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The US House of Representatives had similarly voted earlier to override his veto. As such, this historic anti-corruption legislation ending anonymous companies in the United States passed by both Chambers of Congress is now law.

Investing and Trading

Dizzying Valuations, IPO Craze Tick Boxes on Bubble Checklist
Vildana Hajric and Elena Popina – Bloomberg
Nasdaq 100 has doubled in two years; SPAC growth explodes; There are areas of the market ‘clearly’ in a bubble: Cecchini
The IPO market is manic. Stocks haven’t been this expensive since the dot-com era. The Nasdaq 100 has doubled in two years, leaving its valuation bloated — all while volatility remains stubbornly high. It’s a setup that’s left investors sitting on fat returns from 2020, a year that defied easy explanation. It’s also one that has a growing cohort of experts warning about a bubble.

America’s dangerous reliance on the Fed; Easy money and fiscal gridlock in Washington lead to populism
Edward Luce – FT
For bitcoin speculators, last year was a bonanza. The cryptocurrency started January 2020 at $7,194 and on Sunday surged above $34,000 — a more than 360 per cent annual return.

Default warning as US energy sector’s financial woes persist; Fitch says the industry could account for one-third of junk bond defaults in 2021
Myles McCormick – FT
Defaults by US oil and gas producers are set to outstrip all other sectors again in 2021 as an industry battered by this year’s price crash faces yet more pain, according to a forecast from a rating agency.

How the American Mortgage Machine Works; A lot has to happen to make 30-year mortgages at super-low interest rates possible. Investors should understand what each player in the process does, and what risks they take.
Telis Demos – WSJ
Every family needs a home, and so do the many risks created by the 30-year mortgage that is standard in America. Finding an investor to take each of those risks is a job of the Rube Goldberg contraption that is the U.S. housing-finance industry. Investors who don’t understand how it all fits together might one day find themselves scrambling for shelter.

From Stocks to Bitcoin, Investors Bet the ‘Everything Rally’ Will Continue; A historic nine-month advance is raising expectations that coronavirus vaccines and stimulus programs will keep markets surging in 2021
Amrith Ramkumar – WSJ
Investors ended one of Wall Street’s wildest years on record by piling into everything from bitcoin to emerging markets, raising expectations that a powerful economic comeback will fuel even more gains.

Safe and relatively sound; Despite the market turmoil in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic does not appear to have strained prime broker and hedge fund relationships.
Editors – The Trade
The 2020 edition of the Prime Brokerage Survey from The TRADE’s sister publication, Global Custodian, was conducted in what might be described as unusual circumstances. Both providers and respondents were working remotely as the COVID-19 pandemic gathered pace and the survey was launched.

Risk Takers Bet Asset-Backed Bonds Will Catch Up; Securities that have recovered only haltingly from last spring’s rout are getting fresh attention
Matt Wirz and Sam Goldfarb – WSJ
Bargains on Wall Street are hard to find after the fierce 2020 rally that swept through stock and bond markets. Some investors are sifting through complex securities that were among the hardest hit during the panic of this past spring.

Startups Going Public Via SPACs Face Fewer Limits on Promoting Stock; Companies can dazzle investors by appearing on YouTube and other media outlets in ways those doing traditional IPOs can’t
Eliot Brown – WSJ
In the run-up to an initial public offering, startups typically hunker down in a quiet period, keeping their executives out of the media to avoid running afoul of regulatory requirements.

For Wall Street, a Year of Hunting Bargains While Taking Refuge
Sonali Basak and Melissa Karsh – Bloomberg
Five finance professionals share stories of the 2020 pandemic; One ended up in New Zealand, another on a farm in Michigan
Trading from kitchen tables. Chasing takeovers alone by mobile phone. Tracking down N-95 masks for the local hospital. This was a singular year on Wall Street, an industry where flurries of buying and selling usually happen on tight clusters of desks — not in isolation from homes — and where deals are traditionally sealed with handshakes that now are taboo. For many, the challenges were unexpected and terrifying, but also a chance to prosper.

Double Stock-Market Bubble Brings Toil and (Perhaps) Trouble; Investment choices previously viewed as overpriced showed big gains in 2020. Can they prove doubters wrong again?
James Mackintosh – WSJ
It is easy to spot bubbles. Too easy: They seem to be almost everywhere, almost all the time. Worse still for those of us who try to spot excess, much of the stuff that was labeled frothy in recent years went on to make big money in 2020 for those who bought into it anyway.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Will Covid Stimulus Be the Breakthrough Carbon Capture Has Been Waiting For? The new bill provides a crucial extension and more money to a key innovation incentive.
Leslie Kaufman – Bloomberg
When the U.S. Congress passed its omnibus spending and Covid relief bill last month, plenty of people noted that it had a surprising amount for environmentalists to celebrate. Among the topline climate provisions: significant limits on a potent greenhouse gas found in refrigerants, new funds for wind and solar development, and—the focus of our attention today—an extension of the 45Q tax credit, which gives companies a tax break for capturing carbon.

Danske Becomes Nordic ESG Debt Leader After $4 Billion in Deals
Leo Laikola – Bloomberg
In one of the world’s busiest regions for green debt issuance, Danske Bank A/S has taken a clear lead. After arranging $4.3 billion of sustainable bond sales for Nordic borrowers in 2020, more than any other bank, Danske now expects the primary market to expand by 25% over the coming 12 months, which would be the most ever.

Macquarie confirms £3bn financing of UK green projects; Australian infrastructure investor says it has reached targets demanded by ministers as part of 2017 acquisition of Green Investment Group
Gill Plimmer – FT
Infrastructure investor Macquarie has written to UK ministers to confirm it has financed billions of pounds of environmentally friendly projects as part of an agreement in its purchase of the Green Investment Group from the government three years ago.

Christine Lagarde expected to make ECB a climate change pioneer; Economists surveyed by FT anticipate reduction in purchases of bonds issued by big carbon emitters
Martin Arnold and Alexander Vladkov – FT
Christine Lagarde is expected to make the European Central Bank a pioneer in fighting climate change by slashing its purchases of bonds issued by fossil fuel companies and other heavy carbon emitters, according to a Financial Times poll of economists.

UK banks to launch wave of green products; Britain’s biggest lenders under fire for slow response to global warming
Nicholas Megaw – FT
British banks are launching a wave of climate-change products and tightening lending standards amid criticism over their slow response to global warming.

A Monster Wind Turbine Is Upending an Industry; G.E.’s giant machine, which can light up a small town, is stoking a renewable-energy arms race.
Stanley Reed – NY Times
Twirling above a strip of land at the mouth of Rotterdam’s harbor is a wind turbine so large it is difficult to photograph. The turning diameter of its rotor is longer than two American football fields end to end. Later models will be taller than any building on the mainland of Western Europe.


Natixis to Sell H2O Stake to Investment Firm’s Management
Lucca De Paoli and Alexandre Rajbhandari. – Bloomberg
Deal is subject to regulatory approval, says Natixis IM CEO; French lender had agreed to part with affiliate last year
Natixis SA has agreed to sell its majority stake in H2O Asset Management back to the investment firm’s management team, ending a decade-long relationship that’s recently been marred by controversy.

Fidelity’s Challenge Is to Turn Day Traders Into Longtime Clients; Firm hopes new investors will graduate to more lucrative offerings such as financial advice
Justin Baer – WSJ
Individual investors’ fascination with the markets produced its share of bold new winners in 2020. Few had more to gain than one of the more traditional money managers, Fidelity Investments.

BlackRock Scales Back Private-Equity Fund Ambitions; After struggling to meet a $12 billion fundraising goal, firm has set sights on growing the fund to $4 billion to $6 billion in assets over time
Dawn Lim – WSJ
BlackRock Inc. BLK 1.78% planned to shake up the private-equity world with a $12 billion fund. Now the asset-management giant is setting its sights lower.


Slave Labor at Brazilian Cattle Farms Focus of New Report; More than a dozen instances of severe worker rights violations were found in a small part of top producers’ supply chains.
Jessica Brice – Bloomberg
A few feeder farms to some of Brazil’s top beef producers have used slave labor, according to a new report, adding urgency to government and corporate promises to clean up the meat supply chain.

Hong Kong Extends School Closures Until Lunar New Year
Chloe Lo – Bloomberg
In-person classes to be stopped until at least lunar new year; City reports 53 new cases, six of which were untraceable
Hong Kong pushed back the re-opening of classrooms for more than a month as part of government measures to stamp out the spread of the coronavirus. The suspension of in-person classes at kindergartens through high school, a restriction originally scheduled to expire Jan. 10, will be extended until the lunar new year holidays, which begin on Feb. 12, Education Secretary Kevin Yeung said during a briefing on Monday. The city reported 53 new cases for the day, 43 of which were local.

Iraq, Struggling to Pay Debts and Salaries, Plunges Into Economic Crisis; Oil-rich Iraq, its economy hobbled by neglect and corruption, has devalued its currency and had its imported electricity cut off for nonpayment.
Jane Arraf – NNY Times
In a stall off a narrow, winding alley of Baghdad’s oldest market, Ahmed Khalaf sells the smallest luxuries: nail polish, plastic hair barrettes, colored pencils.

Europe’s Covid-19 Bond Issuance Addressed Fiscal Shortcomings; In 2020, EU took step toward permanent taxation and spending role when it sold debt on behalf of member countries to cope with pandemic
Paul J. Davies – WSJ
The eurozone has always had a fundamental weakness compared with the U.S. when dealing with financial and economic crises: While its 19 countries share a currency and interest-rate policy, they have no common tax-raising or spending power.


Johnson Says U.K. Can Use Tax to Drive Investment Outside EU
Brian Swint and Tim Ross – Bloomberg
Leaving the European Union is an opportunity for the U.K. to use taxes and subsidies to encourage companies to step up spending, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. In addition to regulatory change, “you can use tax systems and subsidies to drive investment,” he said in an interview with BBC television.

Brexit Britain Can’t Escape Its History and Geography; Relations with its continental neighbors are destined to shape the U.K. for many years to come.
Alan Crawford – Bloomberg
The memorial to the Gatow air disaster of 1948 is easy to overlook in a city with more than its fair share of 20th century ghosts. A simple plaque in Berlin’s Westend district commemorates the mid-air crash that claimed the lives of 15 people during the early days of the Cold War.

Johnson prepares ‘global Britain’ relaunch in wake of Brexit; PM wants to use G7 and UN climate summit to burnish his reputation on world stage
George Parker – FT
Boris Johnson has called 2021 a “hugely important year for global Britain”, as he attempts to move on from the bitter introspection of Brexit to an expansive new agenda as host of both the G7 and UN COP26 climate change summit.

Companies get ready for reality of new post-Brexit trade deal
Daniel Thomas and Peter Foster – FT
With the new year holiday weekend easing the initial impact from the UK’s exit from the EU customs union and single market, many British businesses are still working out what the new post-Brexit trade deal will mean for their operations in the coming weeks. Here, the Financial Times talks to three companies at the sharp end of the UK’s £689bn export industry about their Brexit preparations. Over the course of the next few months the FT will track their experiences as they come to terms with the biggest upheaval in trading relations between the UK and Europe in nearly five decades.

EU share trading flees London on first day after full Brexit
Philip Stafford – FT
London’s financial sector started to feel the full effects of Brexit on the first trading day of 2021 as EU share trading shifted away from the City to facilities in European capitals. Trading in equities such as Santander, Deutsche Bank and Total moved back to primary exchanges such as the Madrid, Frankfurt and Paris stock exchanges, according to early data from Refinitiv — an abrupt change for investors in London, who have grown accustomed to trading shares in Europe across borders without restrictions. Hubs for euro-denominated share trading in London, including Cboe Europe, Turquoise and Aquis Exchange, all rapidly shifted business to their new EU marketplaces set up late last year to cater for the end of the Brexit transition.

Tony Blair: I would have voted for Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit trade deal
Simon Murphy – The Guardian
Tony Blair, who was one of the most prominent campaigners for a second referendum on EU membership, has said he would have backed Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit trade deal with Brussels in the Commons. The former prime minister revealed he would have supported the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, who whipped his MPs to vote in favour of the prime minister’s agreement with the EU last week before the end of the transition period. Starmer – who also backed remain during the 2016 vote as well as calling for a second referendum in 2019 while serving as the shadow Brexit secretary – faced pressure from his own party ranks over his decision to support the deal, despite criticising it as “thin”.

Brexit Britain Can’t Escape Its History and Geography
Alan Crawford – Bloomberg
The memorial to the Gatow air disaster of 1948 is easy to overlook in a city with more than its fair share of 20th century ghosts. A simple plaque in Berlin’s Westend district commemorates the mid-air crash that claimed the lives of 15 people during the early days of the Cold War. The stone inscription may be inconspicuous, but its location in St. George’s Anglican Church reflects a long-standing British presence in the German capital, and the events it marks are a window onto the U.K.’s pivotal role in shaping the postwar European order.

Brexit: Boris Johnson’s claims about its benefits fact-checked
BBC News
Boris Johnson was asked on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show how “ordinary voters” in a place such as Leigh in Greater Manchester (which voted Conservative in the 2019 election) would benefit from Brexit. The prime minister gave several examples, which we will look at in turn. “They’ve already got substantial amounts of money coming back into this country, as a result of leaving the EU” We’re not sure which money he’s referring to here (we asked the government but it did not clarify this).

Emmanuel Macron uses new year’s message to say Brexit was born of ‘many lies and false promises’
Danielle Sheridan The Telegraph
Emmanuel Macron used his new year’s message to accuse Brexit of having been born of a European malaise and “many lies and false promises”.

Netherlands refuses entry to UK nationals for non-essential travel
Jon Henley – The Guardian
More than a dozen UK nationals have been refused entry to the Netherlands since 1 January because Britain is no longer exempt from Covid-related restrictions on non-essential travel from outside the EU since it left the bloc. A Dutch border force spokesman confirmed on Monday that up to 13 British citizens had been turned away at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport since Friday because their trips were not necessary and third-country coronavirus regulations now applied. Only a handful of countries with low coronavirus rates are exempt from EU rules barring non-essential visitors from outside the bloc and European Economic Area. The UK was removed from the list at the end of the Brexit transition period.


The Future of Offices When Workers Have a Choice; Some work spaces in central employment districts may become housing, and some housing in residential areas may become work spaces.
Dror Poleg – NY Times
Coronavirus will not kill the office. If anything, it figures to be more dynamic than ever. The ability to work remotely will not drive most people away from cities and offices, but it will enable many to live and work in new ways and places — while causing its fair share of disruption.

Is a Home Office Actually More Productive? Some Workers Think So; Surveys of employees suggest that plenty of workers are adjusting to remote work—and in no hurry to return to the office
Stephanie Stamm – WSJ
Some Americans have a new outlook on remote working: They prefer it. In June and July, a group of 1,388 people working from home were asked for their impressions of the experience by workplace consulting firm Global Workplace Analytics and video technology company Owl Labs.

Hotel Owners Continue to Reel From the Pandemic; Tourism may bounce back this year, but business travel faces a slower recovery
Konrad Putzier – WSJ
Hotel owners are bracing for a difficult 2021, as the sector continues to reel from a historic drop in bookings caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though the industry’s worst year in living memory ended with a glimmer of hope, many in the industry expect the celebrations to be short lived.

‘A Slap in the Face’: The Pandemic Disrupts Young Oil Careers; Students and recent graduates struggle to get hired as the oil industry cuts tens of thousands of jobs, some of which may never come back.
Clifford Krauss – NY Times
Sabrina Burns, a senior at the University of Texas at Austin, had thought she would be launching a lucrative career in the oil and gas industry when she graduated in a few months.

Wall Street Executive Reinvented Himself as Broadway Producer; Roger Berlind switched careers after a personal tragedy and won 25 Tony Awards; he has died at age 90
James R. Hagerty – WSJ
Landing in a thunderstorm, an Eastern Air Lines Boeing 727 crashed and exploded on the fringes of New York’s Kennedy International Airport on June 24, 1975. Among the 113 people killed were Roger Berlind’s wife, Helen, and three of their four children.

Office Landlords Will Be Squeezed by Secondhand Market; Companies are subletting space they no longer need from London to San Francisco. The trend could force property owners to lower rents.
Carol Ryan – WSJ
Office landlords have fared better than shopping-mall owners during the pandemic so far. However, they may soon be competing with their own tenants as companies sublet space they no longer need.

John Lothian Newsletter

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

“John Lothian and Company… our industry intelligence.”

Rick Lane

CEO, Trading Technologies

Past JLN Newsletters

CME to permanently close most trading pits

CME to permanently close most trading pits

First Read $40,626/$300,000 (13.5%) Anonymous ++++ Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff Without fanfare or amplification from its executives, the CME Group shut the books on most -- but not all -- of its floor trading history Tuesday afternoon with the...

Americans Can’t Get Enough of the Stock Market

Americans Can’t Get Enough of the Stock Market

First Read $40,526/$300,000 (13.5%) ++++ Hemp Farming Looking For Credit; Carbon Credit, That Is Thom Thompson - John Lothian News Well, it is now May, and in most of the United States it is high time to get the field crops planted. Among them is hemp, industrial...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This Story