Hits & Takes
By JLN Staff
Tomorrow or later today we will be publishing an extended video about the cannabis market and how the changes in the law in Illinois and elsewhere are opening up this sector for investment. The video is sponsored by our friends at TMX.~JJL
Ever wonder how the Wall Street Journal does a hedcut? Now they are using AI to replicate the process they have used for 40 years to produce this drawings. I once had a hedcut done when Peter McKay wrote a story about me in the Wall Street Journal back in 2002. I was rather handsome in the drawing, I was told.~JJL
Big Volatility, Risk, and Consolidation: Jim Nevotti of Sterling Trading Tech
At FIA Expo 2019, Jim Nevotti, the president of Sterling Trading Tech, talked with JLN about CAT reporting, the return of volatility to the markets and the hidden costs of commission free trading, and the launch of its new Sterling Entitlement Manager, which lets clients onboard all their traders in only one or two minutes each.
|Enjoy Greater Efficiency with your Nikkei 225 Options Trading and More.
Osaka Exchange, Inc. -JPX (OSE) has launched J-NET Portal on Dec. 16th, a new browser-based interface to input off-screen trades at OSE’s derivatives trading system. This free-of-charge platform enables Inter-dealer brokers matching results to be put in to trade at OSE market with just one click. Why not try this state of the art service?
The most powerful Chicagoans now; This ranking of the 25 most influential leaders in Chicago would have looked a lot different a year ago. Such is the fleeting nature of clout in these turbulent times.
A.D. Quig, Lynne Marek, John Pletz and Danny Eecker – Crain’s Chicago
Power is dynamic. The 2019 ranking of the 25 most powerful people in Chicago would have looked very different if Crain’s had published it last year—or even six months ago. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, for instance, would have been a natural for the top five not so long ago, but now he’s a private citizen, hitting the national punditry circuit. Senate President John Cullerton is retiring, closing a chapter on the storied Cullerton political clan in Chicago. Julia Stasch, longtime head of the MacArthur Foundation and a familiar face on boards across the city, retired from her role this fall. Lori Healy, a fixture in and around City Hall—most recently at the Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority—has exited for the private sector.
*****Citadel’s Ken Griffin is the sixth in the list and the first non-politician or government employee.~JJL
I Headed the F.B.I. and C.I.A. There’s a Dire Threat to the Country I Love; The rule of law is the principle that protects every American from the abuse of monarchs, despots and tyrants.
William Webster – NY Times
The privilege of being the only American in our history to serve as the director of both the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. gives me a unique perspective and a responsibility to speak out about a dire threat to the rule of law in the country I love. Order protects liberty, and liberty protects order. Today, the integrity of the institutions that protect our civil order is, tragically, under assault from too many people whose job it should be to protect them.
*****The right message written by the right man.~JJL
Monday’s Top Three
Our top story Monday was the mysterious story of Quadriga CEO Gerald Cotten’s demise in India, ‘Questionable’ Death Prompts Call to Exhume Quadriga CEO’s Body, from Bloomberg. Second was the equally mysterious story of missing cash, The World’s Cash Is Disappearing. Bankers Aren’t Sure Where It Went, from The New York Times. Third was TMX’s video and description of Life at TMX, about what it’s like to work at the company. Looks like TMX may be getting some new job applicants soon.
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|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
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Euroclear delays decision on sale; Shareholders wrangle over how to realise value of stakes in settlement house
Philip Stafford – FT
Euroclear has delayed a decision on a possible sale as shareholders wrangle over the fate of one of the world’s largest central securities depositories. The Belgian group, which is mutually owned, has been exploring options this year that would allow more of its shareholders to sell their stakes. A sale or listing has been under consideration by the board.
Eurex’s ESG segment exceeds half a million traded contracts
Eurex’s Environmental Social Government (ESG) derivatives reached half a million traded contracts on 12 December, with a nominal value of EUR 7 billion. This milestone, which further demonstrates Eurex’s leading role in this segment, was achieved shortly before the quarterly expiration date on which many traders have to roll their exposure.
ErisX to launch futures market tomorrow, according to notice
Frank Chaparro – The Block
ErisX, the Wall Street-backed cryptocurrency exchange operator, said in an alert to potential clients today that its market for cryptocurrency futures will kick-off Tuesday.
Fed Alumni Fear Crisis Risk in Simultaneous Cuts to Rules, Rates
Rich Miller – Bloomberg
They worry about risky mix of easier credit, laxer regulation; Fed Vice Chair Quarles counters that banking system is sound
The Federal Reserve is running the risk of fomenting an eventual financial crisis by easing banking regulations at the same time that it’s cut interest rates.
How Has CME Group’s Acquisition Of NEX Changed Its Revenue Composition?
CME Group (NASDAQ: CME) operates futures and derivatives exchanges including the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the New York Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade, as well as the Dow Jones Index Services. Trefis highlights the trends in key components of CME Group’s Revenues in an interactive dashboard. In 2018, clearing and transaction fees contributed 85% of CME’s total revenues but we expect the share of this revenue stream to shrink 5 percentage points to 80% due to an increased contribution from NEX’s optimization business.
Bailing Out Bankers Is All the Rage Again; First Germany’s NordLB, then Italy’s Banca Popolare di Bari. Taxpayers are still very much on the hook for the failures of the finance system.
Ferdinando Giugliano – Bloomberg
After the financial crisis, Europe’s political leaders put together a complex set of rules to make it harder for future governments to bail out banks. That system is looking so full of holes that one wonders what the point of it is.
Negative Interest Rates Are Destroying Our Pensions; A new survey shows unorthodox monetary policies are eating away at our nest eggs. Relief may be at hand.
Mark Gilbert – Bloomberg
It’s becoming increasingly apparent that the negative interest rates introduced in several countries in the wake of the global financial crisis are trashing bank profitability. Less obvious, though perhaps more crucial for society as a whole, are their debilitating impact on pension plans. And that’s why the days of sub-zero borrowing costs may be drawing to a close.
Pot Firms’ Grim Reality: Cash Crunch, No U.S. Bankruptcy Access
Kristine Owram and Olivia Rockeman – Bloomberg
Some firms are said to be weeks away from running out of cash; If they go bust, cannabis companies can’t use U.S. Chapter 11
It was only a year ago that exuberance enveloped the marijuana industry. Legalization was spreading and the growth potential seemed boundless.
U.S. SEC settles with former Goldman banker over 1MDB scandal
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has settled foreign corruption charges against former Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) executive Tim Leissner for his involvement in Malaysia’s multibillion-dollar 1MDB corruption scandal, the agency said on Monday.
France’s AMF watchdog fines Bloomberg EUR5 million over Vinci hoax
France’s markets watchdog AMF said on Monday it had fined U.S. news agency Bloomberg News 5 million euros ($5.5 million) for publishing a hoax press release relating to construction group Vinci (SGEF.PA) in November 2016.
Credit Suisse Spying Cases Multiply after Khan Scandal
Patrick Winters and Marion Halftermeyer – Bloomberg
Swiss newspaper NZZ says former HR head Goerke was followed; Ex-employee in U.S. also says she was put under surveillance
Credit Suisse Group AG’s spying incident surrounding the departure of former wealth management head Iqbal Khan might not be an isolated case.
There’s a 250-Year Wait for the Economic Gender Gap to Close
Jill Ward – Bloomberg
WEF says it will take 257 years to close, up from 202 in 2018; Parity including politics, education is still a century away
If you’re a woman wondering how long you’ll have to wait for the same economic opportunities as your male counterparts, the answer could be more than two and half centuries, according to the World Economic Forum.
Three London Bankers Face Trial in Germany Over Tax Scandal
Karin Matussek – Bloomberg
Wiesbaden court paves way for another trial over tax strategy; Ex-bankers at UniCredit SpA’s HVB unit, attorney indicted
A German court paved the way for the trial of six people including three former London investment bankers for their role in the Cum-Ex tax scandal.
FCA levies first fine against claims management company over PPI; Professional Personal Claims is handed £70,000 penalty for misleading branding and flawed claims
Caroline Binham – FT
The UK’s financial watchdog has issued its first fine to a claims management company for shoddy practice around payment protection insurance since it took over regulating the sector eight months ago.
Banks have learnt their lesson on risk management; Cultural changes mean lenders will stay cautious despite looser US rules
Alexander Dill – FT
In October, US banking agencies loosened restrictions on large banks that had been put in place after the 2008 financial crisis. The rules divide banks into tiers by size and risk, reserving the tightest regulation for the largest, systemically important banks.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
Tel Aviv Stock Exchange eyes measures to boost liquidity
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) said on Tuesday it is considering a new plan to try to enhance liquidity and improve transparency to try to attract more ordinary investors.
Coping with uncleared margin rules – the tricks, traps and tools; A unique insight on the evolving UMR strategies of 110 banks and buy-side firms
Global uncleared margin rules (UMR) require over-the-counter derivative counterparties to post initial margin against their bilateral trades, subject to certain notional thresholds. With many larger dealers already caught in the net, phases five and six of the rules are expected to pull in increasing numbers of buy-side firms, presenting significant challenges for market participants’ risk and collateral management operations and technological capabilities.
Cboe Global Markets Announces Date of Fourth-Quarter 2019 Earnings Release and Conference Call
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), one of the world’s largest exchange holding companies, today said it will announce its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2019 before the market opens on Friday, February 7, 2020. A conference call with remarks by the company’s senior management will begin at 7:30 a.m. Central Time (CT), 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time (ET).
BME’s Fixed Income Market Registers Issues Worth 7.8 Billion Euros In December
Financial institutions show increased interest in covered bonds and securitisations issues; Within the public sector, the Spanish regional administrations have once again tapped the market for financing
AIAF, BME’s Fixed Income market, registered issues to the value of 7.8 billion euros in the first half of December. This is the highest month-on-month figure so far this year and shows the dynamism of the Fixed Income market as the year 2019 draws to a close.
IG Group’s qtrly revenue falls 3.8 pct on UK, Ireland weakness
British online trading company IG Group Holdings Plc reported a 3.8 percent fall in quarterly revenue as it earned less per client, especially in the United Kingdom and Ireland – its largest market.
Instinet launches BlockCross platform in Europe; Instinet acquired BlockCross from State Street in 2017 and will roll out the block trading platform across Europe.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Agency broker Instinet has confirmed it will launch a block trading platform in Europe following its acquisition of US-based BlockCross from State Street two years ago.
Saxo Bank And Geely Holding Group To Establish FinTech Joint Venture Serving The China Market
Saxo Bank A/S (Saxo Bank) and Geely Sweden Holdings AB, a subsidiary of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd, (Geely), announced that the two parties have signed an agreement to establish a technological joint venture (JV) to provide financial and regulatory technology solutions to financial institutions such as banks and fintechs in China. The ownership structure of the new joint venture will be an equal fifty percent split between Saxo Bank and Geely.
XBourse Global Designs Market Infrastructure Of The Future With DAML – XBourse Will Pioneer Use Of Project:DABL, Digital Asset’s New Cloud-Based Environment For DAML Applications
Alternative markets innovator Tony Mackay announced today that his new markets venture, XBourse Global, will develop digital markets and market infrastructure products using DAML, the open smart contract language created by New York-based Digital Asset. XBourse’s products will be deployed on project:DABL, a new rapid cloud prototyping and production environment for DAML applications.
The year the markets stopped believing in unicorns; Of start-ups poised to go public, four flopped, one nearly collapsed and two are yet to take the plunge
Elaine Moore – FT
At the start of this year it seemed as if the most valuable tech start-ups in the US — Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Pinterest, Slack, WeWork and Palantir — were on the cusp of triumphant initial public offerings. In San Francisco, where many of these companies are based, a number of my friends became unhealthily fixated on the ways in which a new generation of IPO millionaires were about to ruin the city.
When is a blockchain startup not a blockchain startup?
Jemima Kelly – FT
It’s awkward when you set up a business around a technology that you reckon is going to disrupt global finance so you name your business after said technology, send your CEO on speaking tours to evangelise about said technology, but then decide that said technology isn’t going to do anything useful for you, isn’t it?
CoinFLEX snags Binance OTC exec as it looks to further gameify the crypto derivatives market
Frank Chaparro – The Block
Cryptocurrency derivatives platform CoinFLEX has snagged an executive from Binance as it looks to increase its volumes by offering competitive prizes to its trader base. Leslie Tam has joined the Hong Kong-based firm as its chief strategy officer. At Binance, Tam lead the exchange’s VIP coverage and over-the-counter trading operations. In his new position, Tam will have a broad mandate, leading the expansion of the firm into new territories as well as new products.
Fidelity Digital Assets isn’t worried about 2019’s crypto fund closures, says Jessop
Aislinn Keely – The Block
A recent report indicated that dozens of crypto funds closed down in 2019, but the president of Fidelity Digital Asset’s thinks this isn’t a big concern.
State Street Teams up With Winklevoss-Founded Gemini Exchange for Digital Assets Trial
Daniel Palmer – Coindesk
One of America’s oldest banks is eyeing the latest technology in a bid to appeal to clients.
State Street And Gemini Launch Digital Asset Pilot
State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT) today announced a new digital asset pilot in collaboration with Gemini Trust Company, LLC (Gemini), a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian. The pilot builds on ongoing research and development in the digital asset space to combine Gemini CustodyTM with State Street’s back office reporting.
Chinese Crypto Scam Unwind Suggests Bitcoin Risks Extending Drop
Olga Kharif and Zheping Huang – Bloomberg
Chainalysis has been tracking PlusToken related sales; Pyramid scheme promised investor returns of as much as 600%
Bitcoin may have a tough time getting out from under the fallout from one of the biggest cryptocurrency scams ever, according to researcher Chainalysis Inc.
OKEx exchange to integrate Dai Savings Rate, allowing users to earn 4% return
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx is set to become the first major platform to integrate Dai Savings Rate (DSR), allowing holders of the stablecoin to earn a 4% return. MakerDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization behind the Dai stablecoin ecosystem, announced the news Tuesday, saying that OKEx will integrate the DSR on Dec. 23 for its “millions” of users. Once integrated, OKEx users will be able to directly deposit Dai and stake it in the DSR to earn the savings rate of 4%, as well as an additional reward from the exchange.
Chinese court freezes Bitmain’s ~$500K worth of stake in its subsidiary
Yogita Khatri – The Block Crypto
A local court in China’s Fujian province has frozen Bitmain’s 3.6 million yuan (~$514,000) worth of stake in its subsidiary Fujian Zhanhua Intelligent Technology Co. The freezing will last for three years – from Dec. 16, 2019 to Dec. 16, 2021, according to information from local business data and investigation platform Tianyancha.
Authoritarian Airdrop: Maduro ‘Gifts’ Petros to Venezuelans for Christmas
Nathaniel Whittemore – Coindesk
If 2019 saw bitcoin come together around the digital gold/digital SoV narrative, is 2020 poised for a resurgence of the idea of payments utility, thanks to Lightning powered applications? One beta test of a LN point-of-sale app suggests maybe.
UK’s Oldest Crypto Exchange to Delist Ethereum and Focus Solely on Bitcoin
Ian Allison – Coindesk
Coinfloor, the U.K.’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, plans to delist ethereum next month, citing an unclear future of hard forks and the need for onerous technical support for the second biggest coin by market capitalization.
Deribit exchange reports ‘unusual proportion’ of puts trading
Manu Naik – AMB Crypto
Recently on Twitter, Bitcoin and ETH derivatives data analytics firm, Skew, reported an unusual proportion of puts trading on the Deribit exchange over the last two days. Generally, put options become more valuable as the price of the underlying asset depreciates in value relative to the strike price set on the contract. An increase in put contracts likely means that more market participants are bearish on Bitcoin’s price action for the next term.
Elizabeth Warren has two big problems
Jennifer Rubin – Washington Post
In a genial but deceptively tough interview, CNBC’s John Harwood reveals a dilemma at the heart of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) recent fall in the national polls (from 27 percent in October to 13 percent presently in the IBD/TIPP Poll and, overall, from nearly 27 percent in early October to 16.1 percent today in the RealClearPolitics average):
EU lawmakers tweak proposed rules on sustainable investments
Jonas Ekblom – Reuters
European Union lawmakers agreed to support tweaked proposals governing which financial products can be called green and sustainable after EU member states rejected a deal last week.
Boris Johnson Comes Out Swinging With Brussels
Rosalind Mathieson – Bloomberg
In the days since Boris Johnson’s U.K. election win, there’s been much talk as to whether the blustery campaigning prime minister would be replaced by a slightly softer, cuddlier version — that having secured a large mandate, he would adopt a more centrist, collaborative stance.
Thumping win for Conservatives fuels profits for hedge funds
Algebris, Marshall Wace and Odey among fund managers well positioned for a UK bounce
Laurence Fletcher – FT
Hedge funds have enjoyed a bumper payday after a resounding victory for Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party touched off a big rally in UK assets.
We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated; The president and his enablers have replaced conservatism with an empty faith led by a bogus prophet.
George T. Conway III, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver and Rick Wilson – NY Times
Patriotism and the survival of our nation in the face of the crimes, corruption and corrosive nature of Donald Trump are a higher calling than mere politics. As Americans, we must stem the damage he and his followers are doing to the rule of law, the Constitution and the American character.
Ex-Goldman Banker Leissner Barred by SEC Over 1MDB Fund Scandal
Matt Robinson – Bloomberg
Bar follows Leissner’s guilty plea in foreign bribery scheme; Justice Department and regulators are probing Goldman Sachs
Ex-Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Tim Leissner was permanently barred from the securities industry by U.S. regulators for paying bribes as part of scandal that allegedly led to billions of dollars being pilfered from the Malaysian state fund 1MDB.
SEC Charges Former Goldman Sachs Executive With FCPA Violations
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive Tim Leissner for engaging in a corruption scheme, by which he obtained millions of dollars by paying unlawful bribes to various government officials to secure lucrative contracts for Goldman Sachs. Leissner has agreed to a settlement of the alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) that includes a permanent bar from the securities industry.
Royal Mail text scam offering free iPhone 11 Pro could let fraudsters rinse your bank account ahead of Christmas
Harry Pettit – The Sun
BRITS are reporting that they’ve been the target of a convincing scam message purporting to be from Royal Mail.
FCA fines PPC for misleading consumers and banks in first CMC case closed by the regulator
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Professional Personal Claims Limited (PPC) £70,000 for misleading consumers through its websites and printed materials.
FCA asks for proposals on how open finance could transform financial services
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today launched a Call for Input (CfI) on the opportunities presented by so-called ‘open finance’. Open finance builds on the principles of open banking – the sharing of data which provides new ways for customers and businesses to make the most of their money. Open finance would extend those principles to a wider range of products.
Australian regulator investigates Westpac directors, executives after scandal
Scott Murdoch – Reuters
Australia’s banking regulator will use its increased investigative powers for the first time to examine whether Westpac Banking Corp (WBC.AX) directors and executives broke the law as part of the bank’s money laundering scandal.
ASIC takes court action against NAB for fees for no service and fee disclosure statement failures
ASIC has commenced civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court against National Australia Bank Limited (NAB) and seeks findings of several thousand contraventions of the ASIC Act and the Corporations Act.
ASIC approves an updated Banking Code of Practice
ASIC has considered and approved an updated version of the Australian Banking Association’s (ABA’s) Banking Code of Practice, which will commence on 1 March 2020.
Investing and Trading
An Educated Investor Is an Adviser’s Best Customer; Creative Planning’s chief says that preparing clients for market ups and downs is why the firm grew during the financial crisis.
Barry Ritholtz – Bloomberg
How do you take a little-known money management firm in the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri, with $150 million in assets and build it into a $45 billion powerhouse? To find out, Masters in Business sat down with Peter Mallouk, chief executive officer of Creative Planning Inc. and the author of “The 5 Mistakes Every Investor Makes and How to Avoid Them.”
Hard Times for a Hot Commodity, the Prized New Mexico Chile; Years of drought, erratic weather and other stresses are taking their toll on the peppers that are central to the state’s economy and identity.
Amelia Nierenberg – NY Times
In all her eight decades of farming in southeastern New Mexico, June Rutherford has never seen a chile season this bad.
PwC Clients More Likely to Revise Financial Statements; Firm has had streak of accounting problems surface recently at U.S. companies it audits
Jean Eaglesham – WSJ
Public companies are less likely these days to have to restate their earnings or other financial figures. Clients of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP are bucking this trend recently, new data show.
Hong Kong stock wipeouts highlight governance gaps; Investors are stung by margin calls and left exposed to directors’ dealings
Daniel Shane and Hudson Lockett – FT
For a fleeting moment last month, a cramped office on the 13th floor of Hong Kong’s Golden Centre was home to the world’s best-performing major stock.
Trafigura starts financial year strongly, to focus on Nyrstar: CFO
Julia Payne, Dmitry Zhdannikov – Reuters
Trafigura expects another strong trading performance in its financial year that began on Oct. 1 and one of the global commodities trader’s main aims will be to make newly acquired zinc firm Nyrstar profitable, the chief financial officer said.
Woodford leaves industry in tatters as it enters 2020
Kristen McGachey – Portfolio Adviser
As 2019 draws to a close, the biggest name the UK fund management industry has seen for decades, Neil Woodford, is weeks away from beginning the process of officially winding down the first fund he launched after setting out on his own.
Investors pull record amounts out of US stock funds; Outflows come amid anxiety over trade and the health of the American economy
Anna Gross – FT
US stocks have hit all-time highs this year, but not everyone in the market will be celebrating. Investors have pulled more money out of US-focused equity funds than in any year on record.
How to Make Money Out of Misery; Mike Ashley’s strategy of taking advantage of rivals’ agony to make acquisitions was a risky one. It may finally be paying off.
Andrea Felsted – Bloomberg
Billionaire Mike Ashley has unpacked a haul of good news from his giant Sports Direct bag, the first investors in the sportswear-to-statement jacket empire have enjoyed for a while.
Morgan Stanley restarts its base metals business: sources
U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley is building up its base metals trading business after abandoning it four years ago, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
ECB’s Enria Says Deutsche Bank Had Issue with Business Model
Steven Arons and Nicholas Comfort – Bloomberg
Banking supervisor clarifies remarks in subsequent statement; ECB views troubled German lender’s restructuring ‘positively’
Deutsche Bank AG has had an issue with its business model but it is now getting a handle on its problems, according to Europe’s top regulator.
Goldman Sachs says it will support ‘green’ initiatives more forcefully
Elizabeth Dilts Marshall – Reuters
Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) outlined plans on Monday to put money and advice toward projects that fight climate change or help financially disadvantaged people, with executives arguing it is not only the right thing to do but can generate income.
Goldman unveils Blackstone-like investments group; More details of alternative investments platform will be provided at January investor day
Laura Noonan – FT
Goldman Sachs has unveiled a Blackstone-like alternative investments group, previewing a key element of the strategic plan to be presented at the company’s much-anticipated investor day next month.
UBS to wind down unit for the super-rich; Iqbal Khan makes mark with overhaul just months after joining the Swiss bank
Sam Jones and Stephen Morris – FT
The new co-head of global wealth management at UBS plans to break up the Swiss bank’s dedicated unit for the ultra wealthy, in an overhaul designed to increase higher-margin lending to some of the world’s biggest family offices.
Citi targets larger client share for revamped equities and prime brokerage business; Citi aims to capture increased business from existing and prospective hedge fund clients by offering a full coverage of pre- and post-trade services.
Joe Parsons – The Trade
Citi has set its sights on capturing greater market share among equities and prime brokerage clients, following the US bank’s decision to combine the two units earlier this summer.
Credit Suisse investigates report of surveillance on second executive
Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) is looking into a report by a Swiss newspaper that its then-human resources boss was followed by private detectives in February, reviving concerns about its practices after a similar surveillance operation was uncovered in September.
China May Buy Ethanol, Divert Hong Kong Trade to Hit U.S. Pledge
Beijing plans to lift trade war tariffs on ethanol, people say; Re-routing trade from Hong Kong could add around $10 billion
Further details are emerging on how China would increase imports from the U.S. by as much as $200 billion over the next two years in order to meet its commitments under the phase one trade deal signed last week.
Defaults in One of China’s Richest Provinces Spook Investors
Web of cross-guarantees threatens good credit alongside bad; China’s third richest province saw $1.6b defaults this year
Six privately owned companies in one of China’s wealthiest provinces have defaulted on their debt or come perilously close in the last three months. With 68.1 billion yuan ($9.7 billion) in outstanding debt among those six companies alone, the distress in Shandong has rattled even seasoned investors.
Gatekeeper of a Brazilian Fortune Isn’t Letting Unicorns Inside; Flavia Almeida, the first woman to run a major family office in South America’s biggest country, doesn’t want to put a billionaire’s dynasty at risk.
Fabiola Moura, Cristiane Lucchesi, and Felipe Marques – Bloomberg
When Brazilian billionaire retail magnate Abilio Diniz first asked Flavia Almeida to join one of his companies about 15 years ago, she said no.
Finland’s Millennial PM Warned of Baby Boomer Threat to Finances
Kati Pohjanpalo – Bloomberg
The world’s youngest prime minister needs to act quickly to tackle one of Europe’s fastest-aging populations. Finland’s central bank said on Tuesday that the burden on public finances, as more people head for retirement, is unsustainable and requires a political response. The warning comes just days after 34-year-old Prime Minister Sanna Marin took office.
Hong Kong protests spark $5bn fund outflow, BoE says; Amount equals 1.25% of city’s GDP but is modest in context of overall financial system
George Hammond – FT
Anti-government protests have prompted investors to pull some $5bn out of Hong Kong since April, according to the Bank of England.
Brexit to spark Mifid III, warns former MEP Swinburne; Rules governing financial markets in Europe face overhaul when the UK leaves the EU, says architect of Mifid II
David Ricketts and Samuel Agini – Financial News
Get ready for Mifid III. City companies have barely got to grips with a significant overhaul of Europe’s trading and investor protection framework, known as Mifid II, but the next iteration of the rules could now land sooner than most are expecting, courtesy of Brexit, said one of the architects of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive.
Boris Johnson to shut door on extending Brexit transition; Pound drops as tougher withdrawal bill opens prospect of new ‘cliff edge’ at end of 2020
George Parker, James Blitz and Sebastian Payne and Jim Brunsden – FTR
Boris Johnson will this week publish Brexit legislation that would legally prohibit him from extending the standstill transition period covering relations with the EU beyond December 2020, creating a new “cliff-edge” at the end of next year if no trade deal is in place.
Brexit bill to rule out extension to transition period
The government is to add a new clause to the Brexit bill to rule out any extension to the transition period beyond the end of next year. The post-Brexit transition period – due to conclude in December 2020 – can currently be extended by mutual agreement for up to two years. But an amended Withdrawal Agreement Bill the Commons is set to vote on this week would rule out any extension.
So Boris Johnson is going to ‘do’ Brexit – but what are the actual options?
Jonathan Portes – The Guardian
Brexit is “oven ready” and will be “done” on 31 January of next year. True enough. Except, of course, virtually nothing will actually change – except that we lose our voice and vote, and what remains of our influence on the future course of the EU. We’ll still be in the single market, free movement will continue, as will our financial contributions, and there will be no tariffs or customs checks, either between Dublin and Calais or in the Irish Sea.
Mormon Church has misled members on $100 billion tax-exempt investment fund, whistleblower alleges
Jon Swaine, Douglas MacMillan and Michelle Boorstein – Washington Post
A former investment manager alleges in a whistleblower complaint to the Internal Revenue Service that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has amassed about $100 billion in accounts intended for charitable purposes, according to a copy of the complaint obtained by The Washington Post.
Bankers-Turned-Winemakers Are Transforming England Into Wine Country; Former London financiers are changing a product that was once considered a joke into a serious business.
Thomas Buckley and Eric Pfanner – Bloomberg
Nicholas Coates doesn’t miss the commute. In the latter years of his investment banking career, which he left at the age of 47 after working at Royal Bank of Scotland and ING Barings, he’d catch the 5:41 a.m. train to London and arrive back at his manor house in the Hampshire countryside around 10:30 p.m. Now Coates, 60, just walks through the rose garden between his home and the bucolic headquarters of Coates & Seely, a maker of English sparkling wine that he co-founded to take on Champagne at its own game.
Money, trolls, timewasting: the impact of social media on work; Online forums can help or hinder professionals and should be utilised with care
Emma Jacobs – FT
Social media transformed the working life of midwife Clemmie Hooper, known on Instagram as Mother of Daughters. Then it proved her undoing. Ms Hooper received brand endorsements through her work as a parenting lifestyle blogger. But after admitting to leaving anonymous abusive messages on rival Instagram accounts, she closed hers and demands were made to the UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council that she stop practising. The NMC has only said that it has “passed all messages on to the relevant teams”.