Electricity Derivatives Exchange Electronx Secures $15m Seed Investment

Jun 13, 2024

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

How is AI making its way into trading? Check out the news from Tradeweb. Tradeweb Markets Inc. announced today that it has introduced RFQ Edge, an enhanced request-for-quote (RFQ) functionality for U.S. Credit markets. This new feature integrates advanced portfolio trading analytics, offering real-time trading data, customized charting, and dealer performance breakdowns. It aims to increase transparency, efficiency, and customization in list trading for U.S. credit and ETF traders. RFQ Edge also uses Tradeweb’s Ai-Price, providing real-time prices for nearly 30,000 corporate bonds to help clients make more informed trading decisions.

In honor of Juneteenth, CFTC Commissioner Kristin N. Johnson will host a fireside chat with Erica Y. Williams, chair of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, to discuss the importance of representation in leadership positions. The event will take place on Friday, June 14, 2024, at 2:00 p.m. ET and will be livestreamed from the CFTC’s Washington, DC headquarters.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will host an event titled “Investors and the Markets First” on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, from 8:00 AM to 10:30 AM EST at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Lee Anderson Briefing Center in Washington, D.C. The event will feature the release of a whitepaper, “Investors and the Markets First: Reforms to Restore Confidence in the SEC,” in collaboration with industry partners. The discussion will address the Securities Exchange Commission’s (SEC) regulatory agenda and its implications. Key participants include Tom Quaadman and Bill Hulse from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Jay Clayton from Sullivan & Cromwell, Dorothy Donohue from the Investment Company Institute, Jennifer Han from the Managed Funds Association, and Brian Rabbitt and Matthew Schwartz from Jones Day. The agenda comprises a keynote discussion by Jay Clayton on the SEC’s recent trajectory, a moderated panel on regulatory policy reacting to the joint trade paper, and a panel on the SEC’s legal vulnerabilities. Credentialed media members are invited to register for the event. To sign up, go HERE.

Yesterday, representatives of the CME Group, led by Tim McCourt, rang the opening bell at Nasdaq, commemorating the 25th anniversary of E-mini Nasdaq-100 futures.

The IRS has issued a warning about increasing impersonation scams targeting seniors, where fraudsters pose as government officials to steal personal information and money. These scams often involve phone calls, emails, or text messages pretending to be from the IRS or other agencies. IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel emphasized the need for collaboration with other federal agencies and the tax community to protect seniors. This warning coincides with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, which highlights elder abuse and its contributing factors. The IRS’s efforts are part of a broader initiative, including the Security Summit partnership, to combat scams and identity theft.

The latest episode of the Odd Lots podcast by Bloomberg’s Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal is titled “How Indonesia and China Cornered the Nickel Market” with the subheadline “A sea change in the supply of an important metal.” Indonesia now dominates the global nickel market, supplying over 55% of the world’s nickel, much of which is directed to China through a rapid expansion partnership. This surge in low-grade, low-priced Indonesian nickel has disrupted the market, causing Western producers like BHP and Anglo American to close their operations and incur significant financial losses. In this episode, Michael Widmer, head of metals research at Bank of America, discusses the impact of these changes on the nickel market, the green energy transition, and the competition for other key metals, alongside insights into bullish copper predictions and general market volatility.

The Wall Street Journal reports that “U.S. Travelers Can Renew Their Passports Online Starting Today” and that “A limited number of slots will open each afternoon for applications, with plans for later expansion.”

Patrick Young‘s latest episode of his IPO-VID podcast features the former CEO of the Botswana Stock Exchange Limited, Thapelo Tsheole. Thapelo recently transitioned to a new role as the CEO of the Capital Market Authority in Rwanda.

The Associated Press via the NY Post is reporting that “U.S. reporter Evan Gershkovich, jailed in Russia on espionage charges, will stand trial in the city of Yekaterinburg, Russian authorities said Thursday.” FREE EVAN NOW!

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


Our most read stories from our previous edition of JLN Options were:
VIX drops after report shows inflation cooling from MarketWatch.
The role of the FCM: Futures Discovery EP 10 from John Lothian News.
Hedging against a stock-market selloff has almost never been cheaper from MarketWatch. ~JB

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


Sponsored Content
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Fintech Banker Sees Pockets of Progress Amid Uneven Recovery

Dushyant Shahrawat, a managing director at the boutique investment bank Rosenblatt Securities, sees an uneven recovery playing out in financial markets and technology hubs around the world.

In an interview at the FIA International Futures Industry Conference in Boca Raton, Fla., Shahrawat said the public markets have regained momentum, even as the Federal Reserve signals continued interest-rate increases. “The public market seems to be recovering very well,” he said.

Watch the video »


The role of the FCM: Futures Discovery EP 10

Today, we’re immersing ourselves in a detailed exploration of the pivotal Role of Futures Commission Merchants, commonly known as FCMs. These financial intermediaries play a crucial role in facilitating futures and options trading, serving as a linchpin in the complex web of derivative markets. Understanding the intricate responsibilities and functions of FCMs is essential for navigating the dynamic landscape of modern financial systems.

Watch the video »


Building the Future of Trade Surveillance: A Conversation with Eventus CEO Travis Schwab
A-Team Insight Blogs
Eventus, the trade surveillance and financial risk solutions vendor, is currently experiencing a strong growth phase, marked by nearly perfect customer retention rates, expansion across various asset classes and geographies, and consistently positive reviews of its platform. The company, which just reported a 25% increase in its client base over the past year, has recently onboarded several new clients, including three tier-1 banks utilising its Validus platform to achieve various compliance and regulatory objectives. With the recent signing of its first South African client, Eventus now operates across six continents, demonstrating its growing global influence. Recent accolades for the company include being named Best Trade Surveillance Solution at A-Team Group’s TradingTech Insight USA Awards 2024, following similar recognition in the Asia-Pacific region at the 2024 RegTech Insight Awards APAC.

***** It is worth a read to figure out how the Eventus team continues to grow this company and its offerings.~JJL


Florida Flooding Emergency Worsens as More Rain Lands on Miami; Record deluge closed highways, grounded flights across state; Damages will likely top $1 billion before the rains stop
Brian K Sullivan and Michelle Ma – Bloomberg
Florida is in a state of emergency after downpours flooded Miami streets, soaked Fort Lauderdale with its rainiest June day ever, grounded hundreds of flights and forced officials to issue rare emergency flood warnings. And on Thursday more rain is on the way, likely pushing losses over $1 billion. In the worst case as much as 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) of rain may fall on soaked ground across southern Florida, leading to more flooding, said Sammy Hadi, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Miami. There may be isolated spots that get even more.

****** I have a mobile home for sale in Sarasota. I may have a house boat for sale.~JJL


It’s a Miserable Time to Try and Land an Internship; Students are sending out hundreds of applications and getting very few responses.
Jo Constantz – Bloomberg
Companies are hiring fewer interns this summer, and that’s cranked up competition among college students and new graduates for a crucial entry point into the workforce. The total number of internships listed on Handshake, a job search platform for college students, fell more than 7% from last June through May compared with the same period a year earlier. And the average number of applications that each internship drew jumped to 93, up from 53 the previous year, according to an analysis by Handshake provided to Bloomberg exclusively.

***** This is why Robert Khoury’s books are so important for potential interns, interns, their families and the companies that hire them.


Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Wednesday was The World’s Biggest Companies Are Battling in Chess-And They Have Ringers, from The Wall Street Journal. Second was the CME Group’s page for the fourth annual MENA Derivatives Challenge, exclusively aimed at the Middle East region. Third was a tie between Bloomberg’s Barclays Warns Treasuries Overhaul Will Stunt Systematic Trading and US Weighs More Limits on China’s Access to Chips Needed for AI (also Bloomberg).



Lead Stories

Electricity Derivatives Exchange Electronx Secures $15m Seed Investment; Led by Innovation Endeavors, seed round investors include DCVC, Amplo, BoxGroup and Lightning Capital; Energy market also welcomes new regulatory board members and advisors
ElectronX, a new energy exchange created to help accelerate the U.S. grid transition to renewable sources, today announced it has raised a $15 million seed investment round led by Innovation Endeavors. ElectronX is building a robust and modern power market for the clean energy transition, smoothing the financial path of renewables adoption for power providers, consumers and industry innovators that currently face volatile short-term price exposure to electricity.

Deadly and Wildly Profitable, Uranium Fever Breaks Out; The radioactive metal’s price is up 233%, revealing the speed at which the world is embracing nuclear power once again.
Geoffrey Morgan and Jacob Lorinc – Bloomberg
Along the western edge of Canada’s Saskatchewan province, by a bend in a lake ringed by endless stands of black spruce, a small outpost has been carved out of the forest to mark what just might be the hottest new mining project on Earth today. It is a desolate, unforgiving spot. Even in April, the snow is still caked hard to the ice that coats the lake. Bone-chilling winds howl day and night. And there are no towns or villages or, for that matter, signs of life at all – beyond the occasional black bear or wolf – within a 50-mile radius.

Why France’s far right is spooking markets; RN’s economic programme could be twice as costly as tax cuts by former UK premier Liz Truss
Sarah White, Adrienne Klasa and Leila Abboud – Financial Times
Marine Le Pen’s big-spending, populist plans to help poorer and working class voters with tax cuts and promises to lower the retirement age may have been easy to tout when her French far-right party was in opposition. Now the Rassemblement National is waking up to the reality that those economic pledges may be difficult to enact if it takes power following snap elections – and could turn into a “Liz Truss-style” liability on the campaign trail.

***** Here is the James Mackintosh take on this same story from The Wall Street Journal.~JJL

Chinese Trader’s $20 Million Pile of Russian Copper Goes Missing
Alfred Cang and Jessica Zhou – Bloomberg
A giant state-owned Chinese commodities trader is nursing losses after a shipment of copper from Russia worth nearly $20 million went missing, reigniting fears over fraud in the often secretive market for buying and selling raw materials. Wuchan Zhongda Group Co., which had sales of 580 billion yuan ($80 billion) in 2023, bought 2,000 tons of refined copper from a Russian smelter that should have been delivered last month. It never made it to port, according to people with knowledge of the incident.

Why Big US Banks Are Resisting Bigger ‘Capital Cushions’
Jennifer Surane and Katanga Johnson – Bloomberg
US regulators proposed new rules last summer requiring banks to add billions of dollars to their so-called capital cushions, which offer protection during downturns. The heaviest burdens would fall on the biggest banks, which would have to boost their capital levels by about 19%. The rules stem from the 2008 financial crisis and came out soon after the 2023 collapse of four midsize banks.

Microsoft’s Nadella Is Building an AI Empire. OpenAI Was Just the First Step; After landing the deal that launched his company to the front of the artificial-intelligence race, the tech chief is spreading his bets. Will it be enough?
Tom Dotan and Berber Jin – The Wall Street Journal
Chief Executive Satya Nadella bet the future of Microsoft on the potential of artificial intelligence when he forged a groundbreaking partnership with OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT. But Nadella is not content to simply rely on OpenAI to dominate in this new era. In recent months, he’s been spreading his bets, turning the world’s biggest company into the world’s most aggressive amasser of AI talent, tools and technology. He has hunted down new partners around the globe and invested in a range of AI startups, including pouring $1.5 billion into an Abu Dhabi-based firm in April.

Tradeweb Launches Enhanced RFQ Functionality for Credit Markets; RFQ Edge delivers innovative real-time analytics first developed for Portfolio Trading to the RFQ ticket
Tradeweb Markets Inc.
Tradeweb Markets Inc. (Nasdaq: TW), a leading, global operator of electronic marketplaces for rates, credit, equities and money markets, today announced it has launched an enhanced functionality for request-for-quote (RFQ) trading in U.S. Credit markets. Known as RFQ Edge, the new functionality deploys Tradeweb’s advanced portfolio trading analytics to its RFQ protocol to deliver a more powerful list trading experience for U.S. credit and ETF traders.

US Sanctions Force Moscow Exchange to Halt Dollar, Euro Trading
Russia’s main exchange said it’s halting trading in US dollars and the euro after President Joe Biden’s administration unveiled a raft of measures designed to further isolate Moscow from the international financial system over its war in Ukraine. The Moscow Exchange from Thursday halted trading on the foreign exchange, precious metals, stock, money and the standardized over-the-counter derivatives markets in instruments with settlement in dollars and the European single currency. The company, known as Moex, was targeted along with the country’s main settlement depository, by US restrictions announced late Wednesday.

***** Here are the Financial Times’ and The Wall Street Journal’s versions of this story.~JJL

Fed’s $1 trillion pile of paper losses are turning into actual losses – with more in sight
Joy Wiltermuth – MarketWatch
The Federal Reserve’s roughly $1 trillion pile of paper losses stemming from its underwater securities holdings have begun to turn into more than $100 billion in actual losses, with no relief in sight. Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday said that easing inflation still isn’t yet near enough to the central bank’s 2% yearly target for interest rates to be lowered from a two-decade high.

China Firms File for Dumping Probe of EU Pork, Global Times Says
Bloomberg News
Chinese industries filed a formal request to authorities for an anti-dumping investigation into pork imports from the European Union, the state-run Global Times said, citing information from a “business insider.” The move comes a day after the bloc announced new tariffs on Chinese electric cars, escalating tensions in one of the world’s key trading relationships. Beijing responded by vowing to “take all necessary measures” to safeguard the rights of the country’s businesses.

China’s Once-Mighty Credit Cycle Is a Fading Force on World Markets; PBOC disavows debt-led growth, seeks better use of old loans; Households, businesses shun credit anyway amid housing crash
Bloomberg News
Data for May due this week is forecast to show a resumption of loan growth after a shock contraction in April, the first for almost two decades. But nobody expects a return to the days when Beijing would engineer borrowing booms to speed up the world’s second-biggest economy. Especially since the 2008 crash, China has pumped out credit to build homes and infrastructure, which kept the economy humming. Now it’s stuck in a housing slump and already has plenty of roads and high-speed rail. Policymakers are seeking new ways to sustain growth – like high-tech manufacturing – that won’t rely so much on expanding debt.

South Korea Says ‘No Going Back’ Once FX Trade Reform Begins; Nation to extend trading hours for onshore won from July 1; Economic growth momentum intact in 2Q, senior official says
Sam Kim and Hooyeon Kim – Bloomberg
A senior South Korean official underscored the nation’s determination to ensure that its extension of trading hours for the onshore won will be permanent as it pushes for its biggest market reforms in decades in a bid to join a global government bond index. “There are concerns we may make a U-turn if market volatility grows huge, but that is not possible and we are very determined we will not do so,” Vice Finance Minister Kim Byoung-hwan said in an interview Thursday. “We’ll continue to take measures to assuage market concerns once the extension begins.”

Swiss Re admits it underestimated European natural disasters
Kenza Bryan – Financial Times
Swiss Re, one of the world’s biggest reinsurers, has admitted its models significantly underestimated the size of the fallout from natural disasters across Europe in the past year. “Whether it’s the Turkey quake…or the floods in Germany or the hailstorms in Italy, models were off by factors as opposed to 10 or 20 per cent,” said Gianfranco Lot, the group’s chief underwriting officer for property and casualty reinsurance, describing extreme weather events in the past year.

Private equity firms have amassed $1tn in ‘carry’ fees as taxation debate mounts; Oxford professor first to estimate magnitude of buyout managers’ incentive fees taxed at lower capital gains rate
Antoine Gara – Financial Times
The world’s largest private capital firms have avoided income taxes on more than $1tn in incentive fees since 2000 by structuring the payments in a way that subjected them to a much lower levy, according to new research from Oxford university. Ludovic Phalippou, a professor at Oxford’s Said School of Business, found fund groups dedicated to private investment strategies such as buyout firms, venture capital, infrastructure and distressed debt have earned more than $1tn in so-called carried interest pay since the turn of the century.

EU bonds fall after MSCI declines to include them in sovereign debt indices; Decision by index provider hits Brussels’ efforts to widen pool of investors in its debt
Mary McDougall – Financial Times
Bonds issued by the EU weakened on Thursday after MSCI said it would not include them in its sovereign bond indices, marking a blow to Brussels’ efforts to establish itself as a mainstream government bond issuer. The index provider said EU debt would “remain ineligible” for its benchmarks following a “bifurcation of opinion” in a consultation proposing their inclusion. The yield on benchmark 10-year EU bonds, which moves inversely to prices, rose 0.06 percentage points.

European CLO issuance hits record rate as investors chase yields; Launches of vehicles that scoop up risky loans top EUR22bn in first five months of the year
Euan Healy – Financial Times
Investment vehicles that scoop up risky loans are being launched at a record rate in Europe this year, in response to demand from investors hunting for yields. More than EUR22.7bn of so-called collateralised loan obligations have been issued in the first five months of this year, according to Bank of America data, excluding deals that refinance existing CLOs at lower costs.

Leverage Shares files to launch single-stock ETFs in US; European specialist is planning seven 2x funds and six inverse funds focused on companies such as Apple and Meta
Brian Ponte – Financial Times
Leverage Shares, a pioneer in European leveraged and single-stock exchange traded products, has filed to launch 13 single-stock ETFs in the US, a regulatory filing shows. Seven 2x Long ETFs will double the daily return of Apple, AMD, Dutch semiconductor company ASML Holding, Boeing, Coinbase, Nvidia and Tesla, the filing shows. The remaining six ETFs will seek two times inverse exposure to British semiconductor company Arm Holdings, Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, and Tesla.

Voters to weigh in on whether tech billionaires can build new California city; California Forever hopes to build sustainable city in Solano county but company’s tactics have been controversial
The Guardian
Voters in northern California will get to weigh in on whether a contentious plan backed by Silicon Valley billionaires to build a new city north of San Francisco can go ahead. California Forever, the company behind the initiative to build a green city for up to 400,000 people in California farmland, submitted well over the 13,000 valid signatures required to put it on the 5 November ballot, elections officials said on Tuesday.

FASB Proposes Rule on How Companies Account for Environmental Credits; The standard setter wants to establish requirements around renewable-energy certificates and carbon offsets amid the emergence of compliance programs
Mark Maurer – The Wall Street Journal
The Financial Accounting Standards Board wants to set requirements on how companies account for environmental credits such as renewable energy certificates and carbon offsets, as more state governments set up mandatory programs in the U.S. The standard setter on Wednesday voted, 7-0, to propose that U.S. public and private companies apply one model to various credits that companies obtain for their compliance programs or voluntary use. Currently, there are no specific environmental accounting rules companies must follow when recording these transactions.

Ukraine Invasion

G-7 Agree to Tap Frozen Russian Assets for $50B to Ukraine; Structure of loans based on size of economies, people say; Money is expected to start flowing to Ukraine by end of year
Alberto Nardelli, Viktoria Dendrinou, and Annmarie Hordern – Bloomberg
Group of Seven nations have agreed on a loan structure based on the size of their economies to provide Ukraine with about $50 billion of fresh aid starting to flow by the end of the year, according to people familiar with the matter. After months of discussions on how to use the profits generated by frozen Russian sovereign assets, the plan is set to win the backing of leaders at a summit in Italy this week. G-7 nations would give out loans to Ukraine that will be repaid using the profits generated by the roughly $280 billion of blocked funds, most of which lie immobilized in Europe.

Ukrainian ATACMS Rockets Are Blowing Up Russia’s Best S-400 Air Defenses As Fast As The S-400s Can Deploy To Crimea – Forbes
David Axe – Forbes
In mid-May, the Ukrainian army launched a powerful barrage of 10 American-made Army Tactical Missile System rockets at a Russian base in Belbek outside Sevastopol in occupied Crimea. The raid inflicted as much damage as Ukrainian planners could have realistically hoped for. Photos from the ground confirmed the two-ton ATACMS, each scattering hundreds of grenade-sized bomblets, destroyed a radar and two launchers from an S-400 air-defense battery. There were reports the rockets also damaged four warplanes at a nearby military airfield.

Russians told to mobilise to inflict ‘maximum harm’ on West in response to sanctions
Andrew Osborn – Reuters
One of Russia’s top security officials called on Thursday for Russians to mobilise to inflict “maximum harm” on Western societies and infrastructure as payback for increasingly tough sanctions being imposed on Moscow by the U.S. and its allies. The statement by Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council and Vladimir Putin’s predecessor as president, came as the West sharply escalated sanctions on Moscow in efforts to degrade its ability to wage war in Ukraine.

Ukraine is finally getting to hit Russia hard with its ‘wonder-weapons,’ and that’s turning the tide of the war: military expert
Kwan Wei Kevin Tan – Insider
Letting Ukraine attack Russian military targets directly with its “wonder-weapons” is beginning to turn the tide of the war in Kyiv’s favor, says a retired UK colonel. “For too long, Ukraine has had to fight the invading Russians with one hand tied behind its back,” Hamish de Bretton-Gordon wrote in a commentary for The Telegraph that was published on Wednesday.

Opinion: Kyiv’s wonder-weapons are decimating the Russian army
Hamish de Bretton-Gordon – The Telegraph
For too long, Ukraine has had to fight the invading Russians with one hand tied behind its back. While Vladimir Putin’s forces could strike Ukraine from anywhere – and even launch its illegal invasion from the neighbouring country of Belarus, lest we forget – Kyiv was completely restricted from striking targets in Russia with Western weapons, including on the sites where many of the deadliest strikes were launched from.

EU Proposes to Sanction Shipping Giant Sovcomflot to Limit Russia’s Revenue
Alberto Nardelli – Bloomberg
The European Union is proposing to sanction Russia’s oil-shipping giant Sovcomflot PJSC in a move to limit the Kremlin’s ability to finance its war against Ukraine, according to a document seen by Bloomberg. State-owned Sovcomflot, the largest shipping company in Russia, has been one of the key companies helping to transport Russian oil amid western restrictions imposed on the country following its invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The company also provides offshore upstream services and seaborne transportation of liquefied natural gas.

UK Imposes First Sanctions on Russia’s Shadow Fleet Oil Tankers
Ellen Milligan and Alberto Nardelli – Bloomberg
The UK announced wide-ranging sanctions on Russia, including a first attempt to clamp down on a shadow-fleet of tankers transporting the Kremlin’s oil and a key Moscow-based insurance company. The measures target four oil tankers that are helping Russia to evade western sanctions, as well as Ingosstrakh Insurance Co., an important provider of cover against risks including oil spills and collisions. In total, 50 entities and individuals were identified in a statement from the UK government, which said it’s aiming to cut off funding for the war in Ukraine.

Russia’s war with Ukraine accelerating global climate emergency, report shows; Most comprehensive analysis ever of conflict-driven climate impacts shows emissions greater than those generated by 175 countries in a year
Nina Lakhani – Financial Times

Ukraine strikes deal for US gas in bid to clip Russian energy influence; US LNG exporter Venture Global will begin shipping transatlantic cargoes to Ukrainian company this year
Jamie Smyth, Myles McCormick in Houston and Shotaro Tani – Financial Times

Israel/Palestine Conflict

Senior Hamas leader says proposed amendments to Gaza ceasefire ‘not significant’
The changes that Hamas has requested to a ceasefire proposal by the United States are “not significant” and include the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip, a senior leader in the group told Reuters on Thursday. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that Hamas had proposed numerous changes, some unworkable, to the U.S.-backed proposal, but that mediators were determined to close the gaps.

Hamas terrorists are playing the West for fools
Con Coughlin – The Telegraph (opinion)
Ending the suffering endured by ordinary Palestinians in the eight months since Hamas terrorists launched their devastating attack against Israel on October 7 has been the driving motivation behind Western efforts to resolve the conflict. While securing the release of the estimated 120 or so Israeli hostages still being held captive by Hamas is another important consideration, trying to prevent Palestinian civilians from experiencing further bloodshed seems to have been foremost in the minds of those seeking to implement a ceasefire in Gaza.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Cboe Expands Partnership with FTSE Russell
Anna Lyudvig – Traders Magazine
Cboe Global Markets has expanded its collaboration with FTSE Russell to drive product innovation in the digital assets space, potentially beginning with cash-settled index options tied to the FTSE Bitcoin Index and the FTSE Ethereum Index. Catherine Clay, Global Head of Derivatives at Cboe, said that for many years, Cboe and FTSE Russell have worked together to offer index options based on FTSE Russell indices.

Notification Of Automatic Penalty Charge
London Metal Exchange
Summary 1. Notice is hereby given that the LME has found R.J. O’Brien Limited (“RJO”) to be in breach of LME Notice 24/137 and has imposed an automatic penalty charge of £5,000.00. Background 2. On 2 April 2024, the LME issued Notice 24/137, which sets out automatic penalty charges for any Member who fails to submit Commodity Position Report (“CPR”) files and/or manage Warrant holdings in LMEsword in a timely and accurate manner. 3. Any Member that fails to report CPR in a timely and accurate manner on five or more days in a calendar month will be subject to an automatic penalty charge. 4. Due to late CPR submissions on seven business days in the month of April 2024, the LME imposed an automatic penalty charge of £5,000.00, which has been paid by RJO. 5. The LME reminds Members of the importance of timely and accurate CPR submissions.

HKEX Signs Cooperation Agreement With SZSE To Support Integrated Fund Platform Development
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) is today (Thursday) pleased to announce that it has signed a cooperation agreement with a unit of Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE), to support the development of HKEX’s Integrated Fund Platform (IFP). This cooperation will see Shenzhen Securities Communication Co. Ltd (SSCC) establish the Financial Data Exchange Platform (FDEP) Network in Hong Kong. The network will serve as a foundation for the IFP’s Communications Network, which will allow users of the IFP to communicate effectively and support key processes such as subscriptions, redemptions and notifications.

Market Release; ASX continues momentum on strategy, outlines technology roadmap and provides FY25 financial guidance
Today’s Investor Forum marks one year since ASX announced its new five year strategy and Managing Director and CEO Helen Lofthouse will detail the progress made on strategic outcomes including the key focus areas of technology modernisation and regulatory commitments. The briefing today will also deliver further detail on the indicative technology roadmap and outline growth opportunities ASX is pursuing while maintaining its focus on executing Horizon 1 strategic outcomes.

Investor Forum Presentation Slides
Attached is a copy of the slides that will be presented at ASX’s Investor Forum briefing being held today. The briefing will commence at 10am (Australian Eastern Standard Time) and will be webcast live. Register to view the briefing here. The webcast will be available on ASX’s website for viewing after the live event.

Laura Bayley, Head Clearing Services, SIX, appointed SWIFT Board Member
Laura Bayley, Head Clearing Services, SIX, has been appointed today as new SWIFT Board Member, the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services. SWIFT’s Board composition is designed to ensure SWIFT’s global relevance, support its international reach and uphold its strict neutrality. Laura Bayley is Head Clearing Services, SIX. Laura is originally a lawyer and has extensive experience in regulatory topics and projects related to financial market infrastructures. She has worked at SIX since 2016 and at SIX x-clear since 2020. As responsible for regulatory and strategic topics within SIX x-clear she has gained insights into the functioning of the clearing market and has been heavily involved in various integration projects between SIX x-clear and BME Clearing.

DTCC’s FICC Launches CCLF Public Calculator to Support Expansion of U.S. Treasury Clearing; In anticipation of the new SEC requirements for expanded U.S. Treasury Clearing, this new tool simulates estimated CCLF obligations associated with FICC GSD membership
DTCC, the premier post-trade market infrastructure for the global financial services industry, today announced the launch of FICC’s interactive, public-facing Capped Contingency Liquidity Facility (CCLF) Calculator. With the expansion of central clearing in U.S. Treasuries on the horizon and given the size of transactions in the U.S. Treasury market – now exceeding USD $7 trillion daily – CCLF is a critical risk management tool used for managing DTCC’s Fixed Income Clearing Corporation’s (FICC) liquidity risk arising from settlement activity. Market participants can input their current unique settlement activity into the calculator to estimate and understand the CCLF-related liquidity obligations that could arise from membership.

Buy-side desks find favour in credit futures
The expansion of Eurex’s credit futures offering into dollar and multicurrency products promises broader and deeper opportunities for investors. A keen buy-side appetite for credit index futures in the US and European markets is accelerating demand for product development. Lee Bartholomew, global head of derivatives product R&D for FX and fixed income at Eurex, discusses this rapid change and the expectations for further growth.

Euronext announces quarterly review results of the PSI
Euronext today announced the results of the quarterly review for the PSI®, which will take place after markets close on Friday 21 June 2024 and be effective from Monday 24 June 2023. Results of the Quarterly Review PSI® No changes in the composition of the index.

Interactive Brokers expands European trading through Cboe Europe Derivatives; Development builds on Interactive Brokers’ existing European equity derivatives offering through Eurex and Euronext, providing an added route to manage European investments.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Global electronic broker Interactive Brokers has added European stock options and European index futures and options through Cboe Europe Derivatives (CEDX). The move will offer Interactive Brokers’ clients another means to trade European equity derivatives alongside a wide range of global financial instruments, including stocks, options, futures, etc., from a single unified platform.


ION becomes approved vendor for equities trading on BSE
ION Group
ION, a global leader in trading, analytics, treasury, and risk management solutions for capital markets, commodities, and treasury management, announces that it is registered as an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) with BSE (formerly Bombay Stock Exchange). ION’s Fidessa trading platform is now certified for cash equities trading on BSE. Following the completion of the audit process, BSE certified Fidessa as compliant with all relevant exchange rules and regulatory standards, enabling exchange members to use the platform for equities trading on BSE. With a majority of the top Indian brokers already using Fidessa for trading or connectivity outside India, the empanelment with BSE will support the continued growth and development of Indian capital markets.

Kepler Cheuvreux’s KCx goes live on A2X Markets; Development expands KCx’s presense in South Africa while improving the platform’s ability to source liquidity in hard-to-find securities.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Kepler Cheuvreux’s execution division KCx has connected to South African exchange A2X Markets, through a partnership with Peresec. The exchange was developed using technology from Aquis, with plans in place to utilise additional features such as periodic auctions, Market-on-Close (MOC) cross and Large-in-Scale (LIS).

TS Imagine adds 7 Chord’s artificial intelligence pricing to fixed income EMS; Move will enable TradeSmart users to access BondDroid AI’s streaming prices and analytics before and after US market hours each trading day.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
TS Imagine has made 7 Chord’s BondDroid AI available within its TradeSmart fixed income execution management system (EMS). BondDroid AI applies real-time continuous learning technology to provide pricing and analytics for thinly traded financial instruments.

Revolut expands in Canary Wharf despite regulatory limbo; Fintech will occupy top four floors of the newly refurbished and prominent YY building, former home of Thomson Reuters
Akila Quinio – Financial Times
UK fintech Revolut will move its headquarters to one of Canary Wharf’s most prominent buildings as it presses ahead with expansion plans despite its failure so far to win a full banking licence. The new global HQ will open in the former Thomson Reuters building in May 2025, the company confirmed on Thursday, increasing its office space by 40 per cent to 113,000 sq ft.

Larry Ellison’s Fortune Passes Brin and Ballmer as AI Boosts Oracle; Oracle co-founder is now seventh-richest person in the world; Company is focused on expanding cloud unit to meet AI demand
Vernal Galpotthawela – Bloomberg
Larry Ellison passed Sergey Brin and Steve Ballmer to become the seventh-richest person in the world Wednesday after Oracle Corp. reported “enormous” AI-related demand for its cloud infrastructure, sending shares to a record high. Ellison’s fortune, roughly three-quarters of which is derived from Oracle, jumped $14 billion to $152 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That’s his biggest one-day increase ever and pushes him ahead of both Google co-founder Brin and former Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Ballmer for the first time since December.

Databricks Launches AI Graphics Competitor to Salesforce, Microsoft; New business tool integrates generative AI for faster results; Company last year acquired a maker of large language models
Brody Ford – Bloomberg
Databricks Inc., a data software provider listed among the 10 most-valuable closely held companies, is launching a visualization tool to compete with products from Salesforce Inc. and Microsoft Corp. The feature, dubbed AI/BI, will integrate artificial intelligence and let users type questions about their data that will automatically build different charts and graphs to display the answers, the company said Wednesday in a statement.

Apple to ‘Pay’ OpenAI for ChatGPT Through Distribution, Not Cash; The iPhone maker isn’t paying OpenAI to use the chatbot; Apple announced OpenAI agreement as part of AI push this week
Mark Gurman – Bloomberg
When Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and his top deputies this week unveiled a landmark arrangement with OpenAI to integrate ChatGPT into the iPhone, iPad and Mac, they were mum on the financial terms. Left unanswered on Monday: which company is paying the other as part of a tight collaboration that has potentially lasting monetary benefits for both. But, according to people briefed on the matter, the partnership isn’t expected to generate meaningful revenue for either party – at least at the outset.

OpenAI Doubles Annualized Revenue to $3.4 Billion, The Information Reports; Altman disclosed the financials during an all-hands meeting. The startup is working to boost sales to enterprise customers.
Shirin Ghaffary – Bloomberg

Patent lawyers warn of AI’s ‘double-edged sword’; New technology is set to radically change role of specialist practitioners
Charlotte Middlehurst – Financial Times


Microsoft president to Congress: ‘We accept responsibility’ for cybersecurity failures
Sean Lyngaas – CNN
Microsoft “accepts responsibility for each and every one” of the issues cited in a scathing US government-backed report on the tech giant’s cybersecurity failings, Microsoft President Brad Smith will tell US lawmakers Thursday, according to his prepared testimony. “We acknowledge that we can and must do better, and we apologize and express our deepest regrets to those who have been impacted,” reads Smith’s testimony to the House Homeland Security Committee. He is set to testify before the panel Thursday afternoon in a hearing the committee says will assess the impact of Microsoft’s “cybersecurity shortfalls” on homeland security.

Whistleblower tells ProPublica about Microsoft’s cybersecurity lapses
Steve Inskeep – NPR
A Whistleblower told ProPublica that Microsoft chose profit over security and left the U.S. government vulnerable to a Russian hack.

Cybersecurity Crunch: Building Strong Data Security Programs with Limited Resources – Insights from Tech and Financial Services Sectors
Theodore F. Claypoole – The National Law Review
In today’s digital age, cybersecurity has become a paramount concern for executives navigating the complexities of their corporate ecosystems. With resources often limited and the ever-present threat of cyberattacks, establishing clear priorities is essential to safeguarding company assets.


Bitcoin Miners Are Starting to Dump Their Coins; More than $200 million in BTC were sold by miners on Sunday, a three-month high, according to CryptoQuant.
Andrew Throuvalas – Decrypt
Bitcoin miners are starting to dump their coin reserves following almost two months of strained revenue in the aftermath of the network’s fourth ‘halving’ event. In a Wednesday report, crypto market intelligence firm CryptoQuant said miners have been sending their BTC to exchanges in droves, reaching a two-month high of 3,000 BTC-worth approximately $207 million-on June 9. What followed was a 3% correction in Bitcoin’s price down to $66,000 on Tuesday, although the asset recovered fairly quickly this morning.

$4M Bitcoin fraud leads to Atlanta attorney’s disbarment; Diana McDonald started spending an investor’s money the day it went into her escrow account
Rosie Manins – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
An Atlanta attorney who siphoned more than $1.5 million of investor funds as part of a $4 million Bitcoin fraud scheme has been disbarred by the Georgia Supreme Court. Diana McDonald, who operated her own law firm, asked the court to accept her retirement in lieu of disbarment, but that request was rejected Tuesday when the court issued a 42-page opinion outlining her multiple violations of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct. “We cannot fathom a punishment less than disbarment,” the court said. “McDonald’s complete disregard for her role as a fiduciary in this transaction (and apparently other transactions) is staggering.”

What ETF Approval Could Mean for Ethereum
Ilan Solot – CoinDesk
The SEC recent approval of ETH ETFs might eventually prove a more important event for Ethereum than it was for Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s dominance, niche, and value proposition as a store of value are well-established and unlikely to be challenged in the near term. Ethereum, however, faces far stiffer competition, sometimes struggling to distinguish itself among narratives of smart contract platforms – until recently.

Terraform Labs to pay $4.5bn in SEC fraud case; Crypto company will be put ‘out of business for good,’ agency tells court in proposed resolution
Stefania Palma in Washington and Nikou Asgari in New York – Financial Times
Terraform Labs, the company behind the $40bn collapse of TerraUSD digital tokens in 2022, has agreed to pay $4.47bn in a case brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, making it the latest major cryptocurrency company to pay a hefty US penalty. The collapsed stablecoin operator and its chief executive, Do Kwon, were found liable by a New York jury in April in a civil case brought by the SEC, which accused them of arranging a cryptocurrency fraud that led to billions of dollars in losses.

***** Here is The Wall Street Journal’s version of this story.~JJL


France Is Getting Weaker, and Markets Know It; The risk of a victory for Le Pen in parliamentary elections feels different this time.
Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg
As the UK struggles with the unending crisis that began with the Brexit vote eight years ago, France looks set to dive headfirst into its own. Looming snap parliamentary elections mean France faces the uncharted combination of a pro-Europe president on the way out and a hard-right nationalist government on the way up. Sure, polls should be taken with a pinch of salt and a euro exit isn’t in the cards; Emmanuel Macron will remain head of state. But no single party looks like it will win an absolute majority, threatening chaos as French political forces continue to unravel. The center-right Republicains are at each other’s throats over whether to ally with Marine Le Pen; the left is divided; Macron’s party, once the chief beneficiary of a system designed to keep out extremes, is now set to finish third. Everyone’s eyeing presidential elections in 2027, but unlike 2017, Le Pen will be the candidate to beat.

OpenAI expands lobbying team to influence regulation; ChatGPT maker beefs up global affairs unit as politicians push for new laws that could constrain powerful AI models
Cristina Criddle and Javier Espinoza – Financial Times
OpenAI is building an international team of lobbyists as it seeks to influence politicians and regulators who are increasing their scrutiny over powerful artificial intelligence. The San Francisco-based start-up told the Financial Times it has expanded the number of staff on its global affairs team from three at the start of 2023 to 35. The company aims to build that up to 50 by the end of 2024.

Trump enlists bitcoin to save fossil fuels; The former president said the power-hungry cryptocurrency could drive U.S. energy generation. Some Republicans disagree.
Scott Waldman – Politico
Former President Donald Trump embraced cryptocurrency Tuesday for its ability, in his words, to help make the U.S. “energy dominant.” His comments, which come six years after he declared cryptocurrency a “scam,” mark a new argument for slowing a wave of coal plant retirements and expanding the growth of natural gas as he runs for office against President Joe Biden, who has made tackling climate change a centerpiece of his first term.

Largest US oil trade group to sue to block Biden’s EV push
Jarrett Renshaw – Reuters
The nation’s largest oil trade group, which includes Exxon Mobil and Chevron , will file a federal lawsuit on Thursday seeking to block the Biden administration’s efforts to reduce planet-warming emissions from cars and light trucks and encourage electric vehicle manufacturing, the group said. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued new tailpipe emission rules in March that will force the nation’s automakers to produce and sell more electric vehicles to meet the new standards. Under the rule, the administration projects up to 56% of all car sales will be electric between 2030 and 2032.

Why Biden Is Escalating Trump’s China Tariffs
Brendan Murray – Bloomberg
US President Joe Biden is stepping up tariffs on products from China in response to what American officials call unfair trade practices. After a review of the increased tariffs his predecessor, Donald Trump, imposed on Chinese imports, the Biden administration said in May that it would maintain those and add more of its own. Both administrations have justified the moves by saying China’s industrial and trade policies put US competitors at a disadvantage.

Opinion: Germany is descending into chaos – and it will take the rest of the eurozone down with it
Matthew Lynn – The Telegraph
It is now little more than a “developing country”. Its stock market is a “junk shop” selling old tat. And its reputation as a place to do business has “never been so bad’. In the middle of the UK’s dismal election campaign, it would be easy to imagine that Britain was the country under discussion. But Theodor Weimer, the head of the once mighty Deutsche Bourse, was describing his native Germany. And he was absolutely right. After a series of catastrophic policy mistakes by centrist leaders, there is no way back for Germany – and its decline is only going to accelerate from here.

Surge in French Bond Positions Shows Mounting Angst About Le Pen; Open interest in French bond futures up almost 20% this week; Marine Le Pen’s far-right party leads by wide margin in polls
James Hirai – Bloomberg

China’s dominant drone industry is a step ahead of Congress
Brad Dress – The Hill


A EUR20 Million Insider-Trading Case Kept Alive in France as Privacy Bid Flops; French cops used telecoms data to wiretap secret burner phones; Traders, ex-SocGen, Merrill bankers have been charged in case
Gaspard Sebag – Bloomberg
A French investigation into two traders suspected of making EUR20 million ($21.6 million) from insider tips was kept alive by a Paris court as their long-running privacy bid collapsed. The investigation – France’s biggest insider-dealing case – had been hanging on a thread ever since traders Alexis Kuperfis and Lucien Selce won a key European Union ruling that threatened to undermine the validity of crucial evidence.

Private Finance Could Become Systemically-Relevant, ESRB Says
Nicholas Comfort – Bloomberg
Direct lenders and buyout firms may grow to such an extent that they have the potential to impact the stability of the wider financial system, according to a European watchdog. “If the rapid growth in private finance observed in recent years were to continue, the sector could become systemically relevant,” the European Systemic Risk Board said in a report on Thursday in Frankfurt. “More transparency is needed to better understand how private finance could create and/or transmit risks to financial stability.”

Thailand Cracks Down on Financial Fraud After Bank Customers Lose $1.6 Billion; Bank of Thailand to clamp down on so-called mule accounts; About 300,000 financial fraud cases reported in past two years
Suttinee Yuvejwattana – Bloomberg
Thailand’s central bank is stepping up a crackdown on the so-called mule accounts used in online financial fraud after bank customers lost more than 60 billion baht ($1.6 billion) to such scams in the past two years. The Bank of Thailand and other enforcement agencies have frozen almost 200,000 mule accounts – operated by people who facilitate the transfer of illegal funds on behalf of someone else – between March 2023 and April this year, Assistant Governor Daranee Saeju tells a news briefing on Thursday.

SEC Charges JAG Capital Advisors and its Founder Joshua Goltry with Defrauding Investors
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Joshua Goltry and his investment management firm, JAG Capital Advisors LLC (JAG Advisors), in connection with a three-year scheme to defraud investors of at least $3 million.

Investment Research, Revisited: Remarks to the International Bar Association’s Asset Management Industry Conference
Commissioner Mark T. Uyeda – SEC
I understand that this particular IBA committee focuses on the global fund industry. It is no small feat to navigate the maze of laws and regulations and to counsel clients on complex issues that cross jurisdictions. Despite our differences around the world, one constant is that the effectiveness of capital markets depends on the quality of the information environment. Today, I will discuss investment research provided by sell-side firms to asset managers and the rules governing such research. I have followed with much interest the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority’s (“UK FCA”) recent consultation on modifying certain research unbundling rules required by the UK Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (“UK MiFID”), which were derived from the European Union’s MiFID II.[2] I commend the UK FCA for taking up this important issue and believe it is past time to review how investment research is regulated, including in the United States.

SEC Obtains Final Judgments Against Former Executives of HF Foods Group
On June 10, 2024, the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained final judgments against Zhou Min Ni and Jian Ming (Jonathan) Ni, former executives of Nevada-based restaurant food distribution company HF Foods Group, Inc., who agreed to settle SEC charges for their roles in a fraudulent scheme to hide millions of dollars of HF Foods’s liabilities, misappropriate investor funds, and mislead the company’s auditors.

SEC Charges Former StraightPath and Legend Boiler Room Operators with Defrauding Retail Investors
On June 7, 2024, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges against New York residents Mario Gogliormella, Steven Lacaj, and Karim Ibrahim with fraud for selling unregistered membership interests in LLCs that purported to invest in shares of pre-IPO companies, first on behalf of StraightPath Venture Partners LLC, the subject of the Commission’s emergency action in May 2022, and, later, on behalf of Legend Venture Partners LLC, the subject of the Commission’s emergency action in June 2023. Both StraightPath and Legend are now under court-ordered receiverships.

SEC Obtains Court Order to Enforce Investigative Subpoena to Issuer of Purported Crypto Asset
On May 23, 2024, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted the Securities and Exchange Commission’s application to enforce a subpoena for the production of documents to James L. Koutoulas (“Koutoulas “), and denied Koutoulas’s petition to quash that subpoena. If a person or entity refuses to comply with a subpoena issued by SEC enforcement staff pursuant to a formal order of investigation, the Commission may file asubpoena enforcement action in federal district court seeking an order compelling compliance.

The IFRS Foundation Monitoring Board welcomes the progress of standard-setting activities and underscores the importance of the oversight by the IFRS Foundation Trustees
During last week’s meeting of the IFRS Foundation Monitoring Board in Singapore, the Monitoring Board discussed the activities of the Trustees of the IFRS Foundation, including their oversight responsibilities in respect of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). The meeting was joined by the members of the Trustees of the IFRS Foundation under the leadership of Erkki Liikanen, Chair of the Trustees, as well as Andreas Barckow, Chair of the IASB, and Emmanuel Faber, Chair of the ISSB.

ASIC suspends AFS licence of Responsible Entity Services Limited
ASIC has suspended the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of Responsible Entity Services Limited (Responsible Entity Services) until 11 June 2025. The AFS licence was suspended because Responsible Entity Services is under external administration.

ASIC cancels licence of Haywards Audit Pty Ltd
ASIC has cancelled the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of Haywards Audit Pty Ltd (489231). The licence cancellation took effect on 7 June 2024. The licence was cancelled because Haywards Audit Pty Ltd is no longer carrying on a financial services business.

ASIC issues first crowd-sourced funding regime stop order
ASIC has issued an interim stop order preventing Hirehood Pty Ltd (Hirehood) from offering securities under its crowd-sourced funding (CSF) offer document published on the VentureCrowd Pty Ltd intermediary platform. ASIC has made this interim order in the public interest to protect retail investors looking to invest in this offer. This is ASIC’s first use of its stop order powers in relation to a CSF offer under the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act).

Investing and Trading

GameStop Calls ‘Roaring Kitty’ Claimed to Own See Trading Flurry as Shares Dive
Carly Wanna – Bloomberg
The GameStop Corp. calls that Keith Gill – known online as ‘Roaring Kitty’ – purported to own traded huge volumes late Wednesday as the firm’s shares dove in the final stretch of trading. GameStop $20 calls expiring June 21 traded 93,266 times, with most of that happening after 3:30 p.m. While the average trade on the day was 21 contracts, trades in the last period of the day were almost twice as big.

Roaring Kitty may have cut GameStop options position, strategists say
Saqib Iqbal Ahmed – Reuters
A surge of trading in some short-dated GameStop options contracts on Wednesday suggested to some market participants that Keith Gill, the stock influencer known as Roaring Kitty, may have sold some of his recently-disclosed options position in the company. Gill, who helped launch the meme-stock phenomenon in 2021, recently disclosed a sizeable GameStop stock and options position in a screen shot posted on Reddit on June 2. The screen shot showed he held 120,000 GameStop June 21 call options at a strike price of $20, bought at $5.6754 per contract or $68.1 million in all. The screen shot also showed he owned 5 million GameStop shares worth $115.7 million on June 2.

Is Roaring Kitty Selling His GameStop Options?
Gunjan Banerji – The Wall Street Journal
Traders are speculating that Roaring Kitty is selling his mammoth GameStop options position. In his last screenshot on Reddit, posted Monday, he showed a position of 120,000 contracts tied to GameStop options expiring this June. At the time, there were 166,405 contracts outstanding tied to that specific trade, Cboe Global Markets data show. This specific call option has a so-called strike price of $20, the level at which it could be exercised.

Dollar doomsters have got it all wrong; Global demand for the US currency remains extremely robust while appetite for the renminbi has soured
Katie Martin – Financial Times (opinion)
As every connoisseur of the more excitable bits of the financial blogosphere can tell you, the dollar is on an unstoppable trajectory to disaster. One recent post argued that the US has, like the Roman empire before it, weakened itself relative to other world powers. The dollar’s central role in the global financial system is in decline as “the people in charge never seem to miss an opportunity to dismantle capitalism brick by brick”.

Jim Chanos Says It’s Hard to Raise Cash in the ‘Golden Age of Fraud’; He sees short opportunities in data centers and solar stocks; Short sellers like him still struggle to raise capital
Denitsa Tsekova and Scarlet Fu – Bloomberg
From solar stocks to data centers, legendary investor Jim Chanos sees plenty of opportunities for short sellers. The problem: Bearish money managers like him are still struggling to raise capital. Chanos, renowned for calling Enron Corp.’s demise, restated his lament that now is “the golden age of fraud” as a relentless bull market has left many companies with bloated valuations. He points to how residential solar stocks are “burning millions of dollars per quarter,” while legacy data centers are at risk being big losers in the artificial intelligence revolution as their infrastructure may not be compatible with newer technologies.

401(k) Matches on Student Loan Payments Gain Foothold in Corporate America; Roughly 100 clients of Fidelity Investments are rolling out expanded benefits to help employees struggling to pay down debts and save for retirement.
Ella Ceron – Bloomberg
For James Bryant, it’s been difficult balancing student loans with life and saving for retirement. His employer, Verizon Communications Inc. offers a 401(k) match, worth up to 6% of his salary. But between his loans, living expenses and the money he sends his parents, the 37 year old hasn’t always saved enough to get the full match since he started in 2016. “There have been times I didn’t take full advantage of the match,” said Bryant, a senior call-center manager, who graduated from Hartwick College in 2008 with about $75,000 in debt. “My parents probably didn’t save the way they should’ve throughout their lives, and I worry I’m kind of repeating that same cycle.”

Don’t Chase Social Security’s Maximum Benefit. Do This to Retire a Millionaire Instead
Maurie Backman – The Motley Fool

Private Lenders Storm Public Bond Markets at Record-Setting Pace; BDCs have already raised nearly double the debt sold in 2023; Cheaper rates in unsecured corporate bonds vs secured market
Caleb Mutua and Ellen Schneider – Bloomberg

MSCI Rejects Plan to Add EU Debt to Government Bond Indexes; Company says investment community is divided on EU’s status; Bloc is classified as a supranational rather than a sovereign
Greg Ritchie – Bloomberg

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Some Kind of Carbon Tax Is Coming to America, Like It or Not; Fifty countries now have national systems for pricing global warming emissions, and they may soon drag the US into joining them.
Mark Gongloff – Bloomberg
The late economist Milton Friedman, the patron saint of conservative capitalism, didn’t have much use for government involvement in business. But he made an exception for pollution. If an industry spoils the environment, he often said, then the government should tax it until it cleans up its act. Because if polluters can pollute for free, then they are essentially stealing wealth and well-being from everybody else.

White House Announces Strategy to Keep Edible Food Out of Landfills; The government will look at ways to extend the shelf life of foods and to create more composting and other facilities, as well as urge companies to donate more food.
Somini Sengupta – The New York Times
The Biden administration on Wednesday issued, for the first time, a national strategy to combat a major national problem: food waste. Roughly 30 percent of the country’s food supply isn’t eaten, but thrown away or otherwise wasted. In fact, food is the single largest volume of material sent to landfills and incinerators in the United States. When uneaten food goes into landfills, it breaks down and produces as much greenhouse gas emissions annually as dozens of coal-burning power plants, according to the federal government.

Steelmakers look to hydrogen to green heavily polluting sector; Production of the metal is responsible for up to 9 per cent of global CO2 emissions
Michael Kavanagh – Financial Times
Close to the Arctic Circle in northern Sweden, work is under way to complete a Euro 6.5bn project that aims to cut the carbon emissions from traditional steelmaking by 95 per cent. H2 Green Steel expects to begin production of the metal by mid-2026 at its greenfield site in Boden, with ambitions to ramp up supply to the European market initially to 2.5mn tonnes a year, growing to 5mn tonnes annually by 2030.

Drought Parches Mexico
Beginning in summer 2023, one of the most severe droughts that Mexico has faced in more than a decade began to bake the North American country. Over the following year, the drought intensified and spread widely. “Extreme” and “exceptional” drought, as classified by the North American Drought Monitor, now afflicts several states in Mexico. States experiencing these categories of drought include Sonora, Chihuahua, Sinaloa, and Durango in northern Mexico, as well as Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Guanajuato, Querétaro, and Hidalgo farther south.

Montana Has More Cows Than People. Why Are Locals Eating Beef From Brazil? Cole Mannix, of Old Salt Co-op, is trying to change local appetites and upend an industry controlled by multibillion-dollar meatpackers.
Susan Shain – The New York Times
While many people can conjure up romantic visions of a Montana ranch – vast valleys, cold streams, snow-capped mountains – few understand what happens when the cattle leave those pastures. Most of them, it turns out, don’t stay in Montana. Even here, in a state with nearly twice as many cows as people, only around 1 percent of the beef purchased by Montana households is raised and processed locally, according to estimates from Highland Economics, a consulting firm. As is true in the rest of the country, many Montanans instead eat beef from as far away as Brazil.

Floods leave Brazilians with a grim choice: rebuild or leave? Towns weigh up their future after climate-fuelled disaster strikes agricultural powerhouse of Rio Grande do Sul
Michael Pooler – Financial Times

Climate Dealmakers Brace for China Showdown Over Money at COP29; This year’s United Nations summit will center on how to raise trillions in finance for vulnerable countries, and what role the second-biggest economy should play.
John Ainger – Bloomberg

Climate change funding talks stuck ahead of COP29 summit
Kate Abnett – Reuters

Bangladesh Can Boost Growth and Climate Resilience by Investing in Women; Sizable gaps in women’s economic empowerment undermine growth and exacerbate climate vulnerability
Jayendu De and Genet Zinabou – IMF


Exclusive-Goldman Sachs aims to double lending to wealthy private bank clients
Saeed Azhar – Reuters
Goldman Sachs aims to double its lending over the next five years to ultra-wealthy private bank clients with account sizes exceeding $10 million, as it gathers more deposits to supercharge lending, the bank’s private banking chief told Reuters. The plans, previously unreported, were disclosed to Reuters by Nishi Somaiya, Goldman’s global head of private banking, lending and deposits. The Wall Street giant wants to make more loans to wealthy individuals and families for big purchases, ranging from luxury homes to sports teams, as part of its strategy to bolster its wealth management operations.

Citi’s new wealth boss Sieg reshuffles leadership, pledges higher returns
Tatiana Bautzer and Manya Saini – Reuters
Citigroup’s new head of wealth, Andy Sieg, further reshuffled his leadership team on Wednesday and reiterated financial targets as the bank seeks to attract more of its clients’ investment assets. During his first public investor conference since joining Citi in September, Sieg acknowledged the wealth unit’s lackluster returns and restated profit targets set by CEO Jane Fraser.

Work & Management

Latinas Hold Just 1% Of C-Suite Jobs-Despite Wanting Promotions More Than Any Group; The group suffers a bigger drop-off in representation between entry-level jobs and top management ranks than other workers-and faces over $1 million in missed lifetime earnings due to pay gaps, a new report from LeanIn shows.
Maria Gracia Santillana Linares – Forbes
Nellie Borrero wasn’t a typical entry-level hire when she started her job at Accenture in 1986. The daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants was still attending night classes at Lehman College to finish her bachelors degree when she was hired to the professional services firm’s college relations department.

Young Employees Are Increasingly Struggling at Work, While Older Workers Fare Better; Disgruntled employees cost US companies an estimated $1.9 trillion in lost productivity. A new report from Gallup shows a growing divide between younger and older workers.
Lily Meier – Bloomberg
Younger employees are reporting more struggles at work while older colleagues are doing better, according to a recent study. Only 31% of workers younger than 35 said they were thriving at work last year, according to a new annual report on the global workforce from Gallup Inc. That’s down from 35% the previous year, the data show. In contrast, 36% of workers 35 and older said they’re thriving, an increase of 1 percentage point from the previous year. The 5 percentage-point gap between the age groups is the biggest since at least 2009.

Studies highlight gender and race-based gaps in patent applications; Disparities contribute to income inequalities and influence who receives funding for invention, researchers say
Miriam Rozen – Financial Times
Identifying the extent, and causes, of gender- and race-based disparities among patent recipients in the US may help to provide ways to narrow these gaps, researchers say. Data from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) shows that, in 2020, fewer than 13 per cent of patent recipients in the US were women. And Black American inventors – less easily tracked, since race is not identified on patent applications – are three times less likely to be patent holders than their white counterparts, according to a December 2023 Science magazine article.

Wellness Exchange

Rapid tests take aim at antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’; Innovation prize targeting urinary tract infections boosts effort to tackle pathogens that develop immunity to drugs
Michael Peel – Financial Times
A 10-year challenge to find ways to combat the growing scourge of antibiotic resistant “superbugs” has yielded a new generation of diagnostic tests that offer rapid identification of infections. The £8mn Longitude Prize was awarded on Wednesday to Sysmex Astrego, a Swedish company whose method cuts the analysis time for urinary tract infection patient samples from two or three days to less than an hour. The prize is a response to the increasing threat posed by antimicrobial resistance (AMR), or the evolution of pathogens to beat existing essential drugs. Countries are due to hold talks on tackling AMR on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly in September.

Finland Offers Bird Flu Vaccines to Citizens Exposed to Poultry
Christian Wienberg – Bloomberg
Finland will offer vaccines to citizens, including poultry-farm workers and veterinarians, who are at risk from avian influenza, as the virus spreads across the world. The Nordic nation will receive the shots as part of the European Union’s joint procurement program, in which 15 countries are taking part, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health said in a statement on Thursday. So far, no avian influenza infections have been detected in humans in Finland, it said.

JPMorgan to Wager on Weight-Loss Boom With $500 Million Fund
Hannah Levitt – Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s asset-management arm raised more than $500 million for a biotech venture-capital fund that will bet on the hottest corner of health care: weight-loss drugs. The fund closed this month, and “the top three choices are obesity, obesity and obesity,” Steve Squinto, the chief investment officer of the unit’s life-sciences team, said in an interview.


Pakistan Proposes 15% Fixed Capital Gains Tax on Stock Trading
Ismail Dilawar – Bloomberg Tax
The government proposes 15% fixed capital gains tax on sale of shares for tax filers regardless of holding period, Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb says in his budget speech.
Proposes up to 45% tax on shares held by non-tax filers; Suggests 15% capital tax on immovable property for all holding periods; up to 45% for non-tax filers; Move to help government document economy, end speculation from housing sector and make houses affordable

Chinese firms reserve right to request investigations into EU pork, dairy
Joe Cash – Reuters
Chinese firms reserve the right to request anti-subsidy and anti-dumping investigations into European dairy and pork imports, the country’s commerce ministry said on Thursday, when asked whether industry groups were lobbying it to do so. Following the European Commission’s announcement on Wednesday that it would impose extra duties of up to 38.1% on imported Chinese electric cars from July, global food companies are on high alert for potential retaliatory tariffs from China as are companies in other sectors.

The First Casino Near Dubai Sparks a New Gold Rush; Four artificial islands in the Persian Gulf sat mostly empty for the past decade. Now, every lot is sold and cranes are everywhere.
Zainab Fattah – Bloomberg
Barely a year after Las Vegas casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd. announced plans for a $4 billion resort in the United Arab Emirates, the area is crawling with construction workers erecting five-star resorts, shops and $7 million villas in what developers expect will become a major tourist hotspot.

Zambia Takes First Step to Start Trader Competing With Glencore; Africa’s second-biggest copper producer wants to create value; Government will move to a production-sharing model for mines
Matthew Hill and Taonga Mitimingi – Bloomberg
Zambia made its first move in implementing plans to set up a state company to trade in the minerals that Africa’s second-biggest copper producer exports. The cabinet approved the creation of a special purpose vehicle that will invest and trade in the southern African nation’s mineral resources, Information and Media Minister Cornelius Mweetwa said in a statement Wednesday.

Zimbabwe’s ZiG Prompts Scrapping of Vesting Rules on Stock Market; Treasury sets capital gains tax at 2%, says Guvamatanga
Ray Ndlovu – Bloomberg
The stability of Zimbabwe’s new currency, the ZiG, has prompted authorities to scrap a rule in place since 2022 that requires investors on its main bourse to hold onto stocks for a period of 180 days or risk paying a higher capital gains tax. The rule was introduced to dissuade speculation on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. At the time, the Harare-based bourse was one of the few investment options in the southern African nation for investors to hedge against exchange-rate volatility and inflation. The Zimbabwean dollar, which the ZiG replaced in April, regularly crashed against the dollar.

Bank of Mexico says it could act to restore ‘order’ in markets
Anthony Esposito and Brendan O’Boyle – Reuters
The Bank of Mexico is monitoring recent volatility in domestic financial markets, including foreign exchange markets, and could act to restore order in the event of “atypical” or “extreme” behavior, the bank’s governor Victoria Rodriguez said on Wednesday. Mexico’s central bank “will be very attentive to the development of our markets, and if they show atypical behavior or extreme volatility, and if warranted, it could take the necessary measures to restore their orderly behavior,” Rodriguez said during a presentation of the bank’s biannual financial stability report.

Farm Startups Bent on Shaking Up Cargill, ADM Are Stumbling; Newcomers with high-tech platforms have seen funding dry up; Silicon Valley playbook doesn’t easily translate to farm world
Kim Chipman and Michael Hirtzer – Bloomberg
Bold startups that once threatened to shake up the $1.5 trillion agriculture sector and disrupt the likes of crop trading giants such as Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. and Cargill Inc. are stumbling. Indigo Ag Inc., once a marketplace for trading and shipping grain, has cut jobs and shrunk its business. Farmers Edge Inc. was taken private at a tiny fraction of its initial public offering. Gro Intelligence, named by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Companies, is shutting down, according to a person familiar with the matter. The mistake for many of these newcomers: thinking they could easily apply the Silicon Valley playbook to the world of farming.

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The Spread

Traders Betting on China Easing Boost Bearish Options on Banks

Observations & Insight Miami International Holdings, Inc. (MIH) announced that the SEC has approved MIAX Sapphire LLC's application to become a national securities exchange. MIAX Sapphire, MIH's fourth national securities exchange for U.S. multi-listed options,...

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