Ex-CFTC chair joins Citadel Securities 27 days after leaving regulator; How Vaccine Nationalism Could Extend the Pandemic’s Run

Apr 2, 2021

First Read

$32,626/$300,000 (10.9%)
Lynette Lim


Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

JLN Editor-in-Chief Sarah Rudolph continues to recover from her recent surgery, for which we are very grateful. She will be returning to work part-time on Monday, covering our MarketsWiki Page of the Day posts.

DRW has a post on their “Insights” blog titled “What to expect when interviewing and onboarding 100% remotely.”

Claire Niciforo is raising money for the Misericordia Candy Days Fundraiser. If you would like to help her reach her goal of $25,000, you can click HERE.

There is a post from Wharton FinTech written by Miguel Armaza titled “S&P Global CEO, Doug Peterson — The Future of Finance, Power of Data, and Global Business Trends.”

Co-CEO and director of Phillip Capital Inc., Lynnette Lim is the latest to give to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign. Lynnette is a friend, JLN subscriber and former CBOT Building neighbor of JLN’s who co-leads the Phillip Capital FCM in Chicago with her husband. Phillip Capital is also the home of NFA Board Chairwoman Maureen Downs. It has one of the most extensive exchange membership and clearing networks of any of the FCMs, especially in Asia. Thank you to Lynnette and all who have given and all who have yet to give. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by giving to our GoFundMe campaign.

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


There will be no JLN Options newsletter this afternoon. JLN Options will resume publication on Monday, April 5th.~MR


The Spread: Tiger Billionaire

This week on The Spread, the unregulated crypto exchange Deribit announces a bitcoin volatility index, the CME announces over 1 million micro options contracts have traded, and more.

Watch the video »



High-Frequency Traders Eye Satellites for Ultimate Speed Boost; Satellite networks could represent the next technological leap forward for a business where every millisecond counts
Alexander Osipovich – WSJ
In the relentless quest to speed up stock trades, space may be the final frontier. Today, high-frequency traders use microwaves, lasers and advanced kinds of fiber-optic cable to shave fractions of a second off the time it takes to execute trades. It’s a business that depends heavily on the ability to transmit data as quickly as possible between financial centers. Price moves in key markets drive fluctuations in other markets, and HFT firms must race from one exchange to another to adjust their trading activity in light of the latest data. Otherwise, they risk losing money to faster HFT firms with fresher information.

*****To infinity and beyond!!!~JJL


IEX is All-In on Data Revenues, Quote Fade and (Virtual) Rebates; Rather than make markets more efficient, regulators have added more free riding. Sliding prices based on price discovery from other exchanges are allowed.
Phil Mackintosh – Nasdaq
IEX has for years campaigned against phantom quotes (bids and offers that disappear right when investors want to trade) and exchanges earning SIP data revenues and “kickbacks” given to liquidity providers for posting lit quotes at the NBBO.

*****Nasdaq commenting on the competition is interesting. It is what challengers do.~JJL


A Leg To Stand On (ALTSO) Calls on Finance Industry For Critical Support; Industry charity offers corporate & personal philanthropy opportunities & prepares for Rocktoberfest 2021
Against all odds, the hedge fund and financial services industry helped industry charity A Leg To Stand On (ALTSO) deliver on their commitment to treating nearly 1,000 children through a historic 2020. The charity, known for its annual Rocktoberfest events in New York, Chicago, and London, was able to treat all registered 2020 patients without interruption and register over 1,000 new children for treatment in 2021.

*****Attention, your help is requested.~JJL


Thursday’s Top Three
The top-read story on Thursday was a press release from the South Australia Police that John Lothian referenced in his commentary, April Fools – New Dog Operations capability, a joke video about drones and dachshunds. The second most read was the JLN MarketsWiki page on the retiring manager of Ceres, Billy Assimos. And third was a profile of Assimos written by JLN’s Sarah Rudolph, Billy Assimos, the Face of Ceres.


CryptoMarketsWiki Coin of the Week: Tether (USDT)
This week the company behind Tether, the world’s first and most popular stablecoin, published an attestation saying the company had $35 billion in assets backing the USDT in circulation. The report, which was produced by Cayman Islands-based accounting firm Moore Cayman, found that as of Feb. 28, 2021, Tether had $35.28 billion in total assets against total liabilities of $35.15 million.


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

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Lead Stories

Ex-CFTC chair joins Citadel Securities 27 days after leaving regulator; Heath Tarbert appointed chief legal officer at Ken Griffin’s market making firm
Philip Stafford and Joe Rennison – FT
Citadel Securities, the US market maker owned by billionaire Ken Griffin, has snapped up Heath Tarbert, the former head of the main US derivatives regulator, to be its new chief legal officer. Tarbert left the Commodity Futures Trading Commission just 27 days ago, having resigned as its chair after an 18-month tenure.

How Vaccine Nationalism Could Extend the Pandemic’s Run
James Paton – Bloomberg
While early arrangements to secure supplies of Covid-19 vaccines are paying off for the likes of Israel, Britain and the U.S., much of the world is still waiting for anything beyond a trickle of the life-saving doses. Tempers have flared in the European Union over the bloc’s relatively slow vaccine rollout, though Covid inoculations have been much rarer in most other countries. Public health specialists warn that uneven access to the vaccines is likely to prolong the pandemic, bringing more suffering and economic pain in a way that exacerbates global inequality.

Inside Archegos’s Epic Meltdown; Banks enjoyed fees they earned from Bill Hwang, a former hedge-fund manager, then were stunned to learn the extent of his debt-fueled stock bets
Gregory Zuckerman, Juliet Chung and Maureen Farrell – WSJ
Bill Hwang was in trouble. On Thursday of last week, the firm managing the former hedge-fund trader’s wealth arranged a conference call with executives at some of the largest investment banks in the world. The urgent topic: mounting losses at Mr. Hwang’s family office, Archegos Capital Management, from a handful of large bets on major stocks.

Questions Linger Over Corporate Ownership Registry for Industry; Compliance officers at major financial institutions are questioning whether a new corporate ownership registry will prove useful to the industry
Dylan Tokar – WSJ
Compliance officers at major financial institutions are questioning whether a new corporate ownership registry will help their efforts to comply with customer due diligence regulations or simply impose new burdens and legal risks. The answer largely depends on how government officials implement a sweeping anti-money-laundering law passed in January. The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, is responsible for writing regulations and building a database mandated by the law, which is intended to help authorities track the flow of illicit money.

Why IMF Help for Poor Nations Will Benefit Rich Ones
Libby Cherry and Eric Martin – Bloomberg
The International Monetary Fund is preparing to give its member countries the biggest resource injection in its history, $650 billion, to boost global liquidity and help emerging and low-income nations deal with mounting debt and Covid-19. The choice of vehicle — reserves known as special drawing rights — has drawn some criticism. Under IMF rules, SDRs are distributed in proportion to each country’s share in the fund — roughly equal to their economic output. That means that 58% of the new SDRs go to advanced economies, with 42% for emerging and developing economies and just 3.2% to the smaller subset of low-income nations.

A $27 Trillion Challenge Looms as Clock Ticks on Yen Libor Shift
William Shaw, Ayai Tomisawa, and Taiga Uranaka – Bloomberg
Just fraction of derivatives have shifted to alternative rates; Process has ‘very little room for error,’ says Fitch Ratings
Japan is emerging as a key area of concern in the global migration away from the London interbank offered rate. With just nine months until yen Libor is phased out, only a fraction of the roughly 3 quadrillion yen ($27 trillion) in derivatives pegged to the discredited benchmark have switched to alternative reference rates. A further $150 billion in cash products such as loans and floating-rate notes — many of which can’t be easily shifted to new benchmarks — aren’t due to mature until after Libor expires, Fitch Ratings says.

A Fifth of Food-Output Growth Has Been Lost to Climate Change
Breanna T Bradham – Bloomberg
New study says world has lost seven years of production growth; Extreme weather is driving food inflation, hunger higher
Climate change has been holding back food production for decades, with a new study showing that about 21% of growth for agricultural output was lost since the 1960s. That’s equal to losing the last seven years of productivity growth, according to research led by Cornell University and published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The study was funded by a unit of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Leveraged Blowout: How Hwang’s Archegos Blindsided Global Banks
Erik Schatzker, Sridhar Natarajan, and Sonali Basak – Bloomberg
Bill Hwang’s firm built positions under the regulatory radar; Historic collapse may cost global banks as much as $10 billion
Shares of the “old media” company shot up almost 300% in weeks, and small investors were abuzz with theories: It’s undervalued, like GameStop! It’s a takeover target! Inside Wall Street’s top trading firms, however, some executives had an idea of what caused the move. A trading whale — Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management — was building a massive position in ViacomCBS Inc.

God and Man Collide in Bill Hwang’s Dueling Lives on Wall Street
Katherine Burton, Hema Parmar, and Sridhar Natarajan – Bloomberg
Bankers estimate Hwang had a fortune approaching $20 billion; SEC looking into the Archegos fiasco, which has stung banks
With the sun rising outside their conference room in Midtown Manhattan, the visitors to a secretive investment empire bent their heads in prayerful meditation. It was another Friday morning, 7 o’clock, and a familiar scene was unfolding again inside Archegos Capital Management, an obscure family office that would go on to shake the financial world.

Archegos Carries a Warning For Europe’s Financial Ambitions; The EU wants finance hubs in several locations, but last week’s investment bank debacle shows the perils of a splintered approach to a crisis.
Marcus Ashworth – Bloomberg
You can almost hear the relief in Brussels that the latest financial crisis, the blowup of Bill Hwang’s family office Archegos, has passed it by. That doesn’t mean the next one will. The European Union is eager to take work from the City of London after Brexit, but it needs to appreciate that greater exposure to the financial sector means bigger risks. Europe’s approach of setting up finance hubs in several locations will magnify the dangers rather than prevent them.

Archegos avalanche shows cracks are hidden under the surface; There are worrying pockets of bizarre price behaviour in the shadow banking world
Gillian Tett – FT
Financial markets experienced the equivalent of an avalanche last week. The trigger initially seemed innocuous: US media group ViacomCBS’s share price slid after the group decided (quite sensibly) to sell $3bn of stock, in response to a peculiar near-tripling of its share price in the past year.

The Covid generation is waking up to the predicament they find themselves in and sensing the need to do things differently
Iona Bain – FT
The demands placed on young people by the Covid-19 lockdown seem scarcely comparable with the historic crises that have hit the British population in war and peacetime. Serve your country by sitting at home, sipping a “quarantini” and watching Netflix? It sounds fair enough.

Citadel Securities Hires Ex-CFTC Chairman Tarbert as Legal Chief
Lananh Nguyen – Bloomberg
Citadel Securities hired Heath Tarbert, the former chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as its chief legal officer. Tarbert led the nation’s main derivatives regulator from 2019 until January, when he became a commissioner. He previously served as a senior official in the Treasury Department, and before that led the bank-regulatory practice at law firm Allen & Overy LLP. He’ll start at Citadel Securities on April 5 and be based in Chicago, according to a statement Thursday.

Covid has been a catastrophe. Can it also be an opportunity? ‘Without diminishing its terrible health and economic costs, there are also reasons to be cheerful’
Tim Harford – FT
“What does not kill me makes me stronger.” Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s aphorism is inspiring — although as anyone suffering from long Covid can tell you, it is not always true. Sometimes what does not kill you just makes you weaker. Does Nietzsche’s maxim apply to the economy? Will the catastrophic impact of the pandemic produce a great flourishing in response? Or is a disaster simply a disaster?

How AI Played a Role in Pfizer’s Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout; Pfizer developed dashboards to monitor the effect of Covid-19 on clinical trials in real time
Sara Castellanos – WSJ
Pfizer Inc. drew on digital technologies and artificial intelligence to roll out its Covid-19 vaccine to market in less than a year, said Lidia Fonseca, the pharmaceutical company’s chief digital and technology officer. Ms. Fonseca told the WSJ Pro AI Executive Forum on Wednesday that Pfizer sought to experiment with the technologies and focused its attention on good outcomes for patients, doctors and employees.

France reports 50,659 new COVID-19 cases over 24 hours
Reuters Staff
France reported 50,659 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, against 59,038 on Wednesday and 45,641 reported on Thursday a week ago, Health Ministry data showed. A total of 5,109 people were in intensive care units in France with COVID-19, up by 56 from a day earlier.

Archegos is a mess—but it’s not going to tank the financial system
Valeri Sokolovski, Magnus Dahlquist, Erik Sverdrup – Fortune
Everyone is talking about the swift tumble of Archegos Capital Management and subsequent plummet of Credit Suisse and Nomura stock prices. There’s no doubt these prime brokers will eventually bounce back, so isn’t the ensuing panic of investors misplaced?

China Puts Limits on Foreign Banks, Worrying Businesses; New rules, aimed at taming big money flows and possibly controlling the Chinese currency, could give domestic rivals a competitive edge and make international firms more dependent on local lenders.
Keith Bradsher – NY Times
To defend against accusations by Washington and others that it doesn’t play fair on trade, Beijing could point to the banks. Chinese leaders have been steadily lowering the barriers they had erected around the country’s vast financial system, giving Wall Street and European lenders a greater shot at winning business in the world’s second-largest economy. Now the walls are going up again.

Archegos Stock Fallout: How Banks Went From Safe to Sorry; Banks underestimated risks of fund’s holdings and ability to exit trades
Ken Brown, Paul Davies and Julie Steinberg – WSJ
Until a few weeks ago, lenders thought Archegos Capital Management was safe. Last week, they were holding a financial fire sale for its assets. The simplest explanation is the banks didn’t hold enough collateral, and they wrongly assumed the shares they held could be easily sold.

15 CEOs Reflect on Their Pandemic Year and the Lessons They’ve Learned; Working from home or from deserted headquarters, bosses of companies from Moderna to Chipotle talk about their challenges and share lessons for the times ahead
Emily Glazer and Francesca Fontana – WSJ
Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. Chief Executive Chris Nassetta worked from home in Arlington, Va., with his wife, six daughters and two dogs for two weeks before returning to the hotel chain’s nearly empty headquarters for the rest of the past year. Sharmistha Dubey has been leading Match Group Inc. from her dining room table near Dallas. Herman Miller’s Andi Owen has her dog Finn to keep her company while working from her home office in Grand Rapids, Mich. Moderna Inc. MRNA 1.22% CEO Stéphane Bancel relishes twice-daily 30-minute walks between his home in Boston and the vaccine maker’s Cambridge offices, where he resumed working in August, so he can crystallize his priorities and reflect on the day. The Wall Street Journal photographed them and 11 other business leaders in their pandemic office spaces as they discussed the past year and what’s to come.

Why the Markets Need a Strong Government Hand; Individually rational actions often yield bad outcomes, an economist says. That incontestable fact is the central rationale for government involvement in economic life.
Robert H. Frank – NY Times
Milton Friedman, the Nobel laureate, is said to have joked that if the federal government were put in charge of the Sahara, in five years there would be a shortage of sand. That antigovernment attitude has been embraced by countless free-market enthusiasts. President Ronald Reagan expressed it clearly in his first Inaugural Address: “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” For decades, this perspective has gained influence in American political discourse.


Coronavirus: 3 reasons why confirmed cases are on the rise again
Adriana Belmonte – Yahoo Finance
Despite the U.S. vaccine rollout improving significantly, the daily number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is on the rise yet again after dropping precipitously from January highs.

U.K. Sees 25 New Blood-Clot Cases After AstraZeneca Shots
Reed Stevenson – Bloomberg
Fresh reports lift U.K. total cases to 30 after vaccination; Regulator says benefits of vaccine continue to outweigh risks
The U.K. reported 25 new cases of rare blood clots possibly linked to AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine, adding to the numbers that have caused some European countries to adopt precautionary measures. The fresh reports lift the total number of cases to 30 as of March 24, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said in a statement Thursday. The benefits of the shot continue to outweigh the risks, the regulator said.

UK reports 25 new cases of blood clots in recipients of AstraZeneca jab; Health officials have said insufficient evidence to change policy despite restrictions in Europe
Anna Gross – FT
The UK has received 30 reports of the rare blood clotting events that some scientists have linked to the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine and have caused precautionary restrictions to be placed on its use in many European countries.

Blood clots and the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine: is there a link? Regulators say shot is safe but UK records new cases and growing number of countries restrict its use
Donato Paolo Mancini and Anna Gross – FT
Two weeks after the European Medicines Agency first assured EU member states it had found no link between the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and earlier reports of rare blood clots, a growing number of countries have announced new restrictions on the use of the jab.

South Africa Concludes Sale of AstraZeneca Shots to African Union
Prinesha Naidoo – Bloomberg
Inoculations sold to 18 African Union member nations; South Africa has pivoted to using Johnson & Johnson vaccines
South Africa concluded the sale of 1 million Covid-19 vaccine doses that were developed by AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford to the African Union after they were found to have little impact on mild infections caused by a variant of the virus first identified in the country last year.

Vaccines Can Heal Europe’s Lockdown Blues; Stay-at-home curbs are back. But Europe’s supply of vaccines is ramping up, and that’s what really matters.
Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg
Lockdown restrictions are sweeping Europe again. France’s Emmanuel Macron is the latest leader to impose nationwide stay-at-home curbs, closing non-essential businesses, schools and daycare centers. A surge in Covid-19 infections has also forced neighboring Germany and Italy into Easter shutdowns, as vaccinations still aren’t where they need to be to keep pace with new and more contagious virus variants.

EU cuts Austria, Slovenia and Czech Republic from extra vaccine deal; Doses assigned to hard-hit states after bitter row over trio’s demand for larger shares
Mehreen Khan – FT
Austria, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic have been excluded from an EU move to provide millions of extra vaccines to hard-hit member countries, ending bitter negotiations over jab supply that have divided governments.

‘Where the magic happens’ — inside BioNTech’s innovative vaccine plant; Marburg facility in Germany is first to make approved coronavirus vaccine using mRNA technology
Erika Solomon – FT
Production of one of the world’s most innovative vaccines begins in a small room, empty but for a workbench, a bottle rack and a bioreactor. Yet within two days, the 50-litre batch of genetic material made will be enough for 8m coronavirus jabs.

How Covid Can Change Your Personality; Distancing and isolation shaped who we are.
David Brooks – NY Times
I don’t know about you, but I’ve found the latest stage of the pandemic hard in its own distinct way. The cumulative effect of a year of repetition, isolation and stress has induced a lassitude — a settling into the familiar, with feelings of vulnerability. The shock of a year ago has been replaced by a sluggish just-getting-to-the-end.

Shut Out on Vaccines, Tiny San Marino Turns to Old Friend: Russia; A microstate surrounded by Italy, San Marino feared being left behind in Europe’s inoculation campaign. Now it has jumped ahead, with the Sputnik vaccine sent by an unlikely, faraway friend.
Jason Horowitz – NY Times
On the ground floor of the only hospital in San Marino, a tiny, independent republic perched high above the surrounding Italian countryside, nurses prepared Covid-19 vaccine doses from glass vials labeled in Cyrillic script, flicked needles and sought to put nervous residents at ease.

Can Vaccinated People Spread the Virus? We Don’t Know, Scientists Say; Researchers pushed back after the C.D.C. director asserted that vaccinated people “do not carry the virus.”
Apoorva Mandavilli – NY Times
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday walked back controversial comments made by its director, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, suggesting that people who are vaccinated against the coronavirus never become infected or transmit the virus to others. The assertion called into question the precautions that the agency had urged vaccinated people to take just last month, like wearing masks and gathering only under limited circumstances with unvaccinated people.

Variants v vaccinations: what the dueling trends mean for Covid in the US; As vaccine distribution picks up speed, dangerous variants are circulating widely. Here’s what we know
Jessica Glenza – The Guardian
The United States is once again seeing a rise in Covid-19 cases. The vaccination campaign under the Biden administration has picked up significant speed, but so has circulation of variants of concern. The B117 variant, discovered in the United Kingdom, is now circulating widely in the United States. It is thought to be more transmissible, and emerging evidence suggests it may be more fatal.

More than 11,000 cases of a troubling variant reported in the US. These states have the highest numbers
Christina Maxouris and Holly Yan, CNN
Thousands of cases of the B.1.1.7 strain have been reported across the United States, and experts fear the variant could drive another Covid-19 surge as states race to get ahead and vaccinate. The strain, first spotted in the United Kingdom, isn’t just more contagious than the original novel coronavirus. It appears to be deadlier as well. B.1.1.7 has been wreaking havoc in parts of Europe, and health experts the US could be next if Americans don’t take precautions.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

MGEX Announces Top 5 Day and Top 20 Month
MGEX, a Designated Contract Market (DCM) and Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO), welcomes March 2021 into the record book as the 18th best overall month in history with a total of 259,617 contracts. Furthermore, this past month is the second-best March in history just missing the first place spot by 6%. Electronically, 232,794 contracts were traded in the month of March, making it the 16th best electronic month in the MGEX record book. The Exchange had a total of 6,859 options traded, which is the highest in its history for March.

Rob Gordon Joins IncubEx as Chief Financial Officer
IncubEx, a developer for exchange traded environmental products, services, and technology solutions, is pleased to announce that Robert Gordon has joined as Chief Financial Officer. In his role, he will provide strategic financial and operational support for IncubEx. Gordon commented: “IncubEx is performing extraordinary work in bringing innovative exchange products to a wider audience of market participants. I am thrilled to join the team and to help IncubEx realize its full potential across more markets globally while strengthening its position as a leader in the environmental space.”

Cash market sales statistics for March
Deutsche Börse Group
A trading volume of EUR 206.4 billion was achieved on Deutsche Börse’s cash markets in March (previous year: EUR 300.7 billion). Of this, Xetra accounted for 169.2 billion euros (previous year: 259.6 billion euros), bringing the average daily Xetra turnover to 7.4 billion euros. Turnover on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange was EUR 5.5 billion (previous year: EUR 8.4 billion) and on the Tradegate Exchange EUR 31.7 billion (previous year: EUR 32.7 billion).

Performance Bond Requirement: Energy, Agriculture – Effective April 05, 2021
CME Group
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below.

Performance Bond Requirements: Agriculture and Energy Margins – Effective April 05, 2021
CME Group
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below.

SET Announces SET Awards 2021 Preliminary Round Qualifiers
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) together with Money & Banking magazine today revealed the list of SET Awards 2021 preliminary round qualifiers comprises of 653 listed companies. The award has been reclassified to broaden opportunities for high-potential small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to achieve this prestige accolade. The winners’ announcement and awards ceremony will be held in October 2021.

Vienna Stock Exchange: Austrian Stocks Rally To Global Top Performer With Strong Turnover
The Austrian stock market continues to pick up speed in the first quarter of 2021. The Austrian national index ATX ranks among the top indices in a global comparison (ATX TR: +13.88% DAX: +9.40%, Eurostoxx 50: +9.73%, S&P 500: +6.45%). The rally is accompanied by strong equity turnover (January-March 2021: EUR 20.5 billion). In the direct market plus, the Vienna Stock Exchange welcomed two companies (beaconsmind AG, XB Systems AG), Extrafin S.p.A. is new to the direct market. With more than 1,400 new listings, Q1 2021 was the historically best first quarter ever for bonds. This growth is spurred by international serial issuers on the Vienna MTF. Austrian companies are currently focusing on green bonds (new issues by S Immo AG, Vienna Insurance Group AG, Verbund AG).

London Stock Exchange faces investor backlash over chief’s 25% pay rise; A number of top City shareholders will oppose the company’s remuneration report later this month, Sky News learns.
Mark Kleinman, Sky News
The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) is facing an embarrassing shareholder backlash after deciding to hike its chief executive’s salary by more than £200,000 following its $27bn takeover of the data provider Refinitiv.

Ex-LSE boss Xavier Rolet on Deliveroo stumble: ‘Cynics make the worst investors’; Rolet said there is a ‘need for a deep pool of investors and analysts who do understand growth and know how to price it’ after Deliveroo stumbled in its trading debut
Trista Kelley – Financial News
The former head of the London Stock Exchange signalled media “cynics” are to blame for Deliveroo’s disappointing share debut and compared the company’s flop to Ocado’s stumbles when it listed about a decade ago. The highly-anticipated Deliveroo IPO, one of the largest in the UK for over a decade, was overshadowed by large institutional investors shying away from the food delivery firm, citing concerns over workers’ rights. The shares slumped more than 30% in early hours of London trading.


Rapper Ice Cube accuses Robinhood of trademark infringement in act of ‘transparent retribution’
Alexis Keenan – Yahoo Finance
Robinhood has a new legal opponent in rapper Ice Cube, who filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday accusing the stock trading platform of damaging his reputation by using his image to promote its products, without his consent.

Ice Cube accuses Robinhood of ‘retribution’ in photo flap
Noah Manskar – NY Post
Ice Cube has a message for Robinhood: “Check Yo Self.” The rapper-turned-actor filed a scorched-earth lawsuit this week accusing the stock-trading app of tarnishing his reputation in an act of “transparent retribution.” Robinhood incited Ice Cube’s rage by using what appears to be a photo from his 2007 comedy film “Are We Done Yet?” in the March 8 edition of its financial newsletter, “Robinhood Snacks.”

Duco adds no-code data preparation product to its platform
Leading data automation company Duco today announces the release of its new cloud-based data preparation product, giving non-technical users in mission-critical and regulated environments the ability to bring together data from disparate systems and sources without coding, and thereby accelerating their digital transformation journeys.

Uruguay’s DLocal Valued at $5 Billion After Alkeon and Tiger Invest
Gillian Tan – Bloomberg
D1 Capital, Bond are also investing in the payments unicorn; Ex-JPMorgan banker Sumita Pandit joins the startup as COO
DLocal, a payments startup, has seen its valuation more than quadruple to $5 billion after raising $150 million in an investment round led by Alkeon Capital. The Montevideo, Uruguay-based company also raised fresh capital from investment firms Bond, D1 Capital Partners and Tiger Global. DLocal, which processes cross-border payments, separately appointed Sumita Pandit, a former JPMorgan Chase & Co. banker, as chief operating officer, confirming an earlier Bloomberg News report. DLocal’s former COO, Jacobo Singer, has been named president.

Robinhood to build customer service center in North Carolina
Robinhood, the stock-trading app company, will build a customer service center in North Carolina, creating nearly 400 jobs by 2025, officials announced on Tuesday. The California-based company will hire analysts, customer service staff and operations personnel at a Charlote-area location, according to a news release from Gov. Roy Cooper’s office.

Robinhood Ditches Some Of Its Controversial Glitz
Robinhood, the investing platform that boasts about its attention to making trading fun — and has drawn fire from lawmakers and others for being good at it — is making its user experience a little more sober. The company stated on its blog Wednesday (March 31) that next week it will unveil new visuals to update what had been the scattering of digital confetti on device screens to “celebrate firsts with customers … first trades, their first steps with cash management and successful referrals of friends and family.”


Fed officials on the fence about adopting digital US dollar
Brian Cheung – Yahoo Finance
The Federal Reserve is continuing its research on the use of a central bank-issued digital currency (CBDC), but key officials are saying not to expect any Fed-issued digital dollars any time soon.

Don’t Get NFTs? Don’t Worry, Neither Do Most Americans; A new poll shows most people don’t understand non-fungible tokens and don’t value them all that highly.
Charlie Wells – Bloomberg
Wealthy investors are proving their willingness to drop millions of dollars on non-fungible tokens, the latest digital-art craze. But average Americans? Most say they wouldn’t spend more than $100. The median amount they say they’d spend is about as much as a gag gift or low-budget Secret Santa — $10.

Bitcoin Volatility Decline Paves Way for Banks, JPMorgan Says
Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
Three-month, six-month realized volatility for coin has fallen; Signs of Bitcoin volatility normalization are encouraging: JPM
The recent pullback in Bitcoin’s volatility is setting the stage for a trend that could encourage institutions to dive in, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. “These tentative signs of Bitcoin volatility normalization are encouraging,” strategists including Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou wrote in a report emailed Thursday. “In our opinion, a potential normalization of Bitcoin volatility from here would likely help to reinvigorate the institutional interest going forward.”

Crypto Firms Got More Funding Last Quarter Than In All of 2020
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
Startups raised $2.6 billion, according to CB Insights; First-quarter surge was fueled by several large rounds
Venture capitalists are pouring money into cryptocurrency-related companies at the fastest clip in years. In the first quarter, 129 startups focusing on the digital technology known as blockchain raised about $2.6 billion, according to CB Insights. That’s more than in all of 2020, when they attracted $2.3 billion in 341 deals, according to the data analysis company.

Crypto Exchange Coinbase Sets Direct Listing for April 14
Crystal Tse, Olga Kharif, and Katie Roof – Bloomberg
Coinbase had earlier pushed back plans for listing from March; Company last valued at about $90 billion in private trading
Coinbase Global Inc., the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, said it’s planning to make its trading debut on April 14. The company’s registration statement for the listing has been declared effective by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Coinbase said Thursday in a statement confirming a Bloomberg News report.

Coinbase Global Sets Direct Listing for April 14 to Go Public; Crypto exchange gives stock investors another way to play bitcoin’s swings
Paul Vigna – WSJ
Coinbase Global Inc. plans to go public in a highly anticipated direct listing on April 14, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange said Thursday. The company, founded in 2012, provides services for institutional and retail clients in the crypto markets. It has grown to about 1,200 employees and 43 million customers in more than 100 countries. In 2020, it brought in $1.3 billion in revenue and turned a profit of $322 million.

Crypto Investor Moves On to Picasso After $69 Million Beeple NFT Miss; Justin Sun, a Chinese tech investor, has transitioned from digital to IRL art.
James Tarmy – Bloomberg
Shortly after losing out on the auction for a $69.3 million digital artwork by Beeple, Justin Sun, a tech entrepreneur who founded the cryptocurrency platform Tron, contacted the Christie’s sales department looking for more NFT-connected artworks. “The team in China was clever enough to say that we don’t have NFTs to offer, but has he seen this wonderful sale that’s just been announced in London?” says Giovanna Bertazzoni, vice-chairman of Christie’s 20th and 21st centuries department.

Filecoin Surges 42%, Replaces Litecoin as 9th Largest Digital Asset
Omkar Godbole – Coindesk
Decentralized storage network Filecoin’s FIL token has entered the list of top 10 coins thanks to increased institutional demand. FIL is trading near $217 at press time with a market capitalization of $13.72 billion, having printed a record high of $220 early Thursday, as per data source Coingecko. The cryptocurrency has surged by 42% in the past 24 hours and 150% in seven days, replacing litecoin (LTC) as the ninth-largest digital asset by market capitalization. Inflows into the Grayscale Investments’ Filecoin Trust picked up the pace on Thursday, lifting the cryptocurrency higher.

Morgan Stanley files to add bitcoin exposure across a dozen institutional funds
Michael McSweeney – The Block
Wall Street investment bank Morgan Stanley said in a Thursday regulatory filing that a number of its institutional funds may gain exposure to bitcoin in the form of cash-settled futures or a Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust. The filing names twelve funds, including Counterpoint Global, which Bloomberg News reported was considering some kind of bitcoin investment or exposure strategy.

UK financial watchdog adds bitcoin ATMs to unregistered crypto business list as part of AML push
Kollen Post – The Block
A leader at the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority spotlighted the country’s recent anti-money laundering work (AML) in a recent speech. In a speech delivered on March 24 but publicized on April 1, Mark Steward cited cryptocurrency as a key emerging risk to AML controls. Steward heads the FCA’s Enforcement and Market Oversight division. In January, the FCA formally took charge of AML in crypto businesses. Part of the FCA’s response has been to create a new version of its Warning List specifically for crypto businesses. The “Unregistered Cryptoasset Businesses” list, which began on March 9, has grown in size since its inception.

Court authorizes IRS to seek customer records from crypto firm Circle
Aislinn Keely – The Block
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is seeking customer records from crypto firm Circle to check U.S. residents are meeting their tax obligations. According to a Thursday statement from the Department of Justice, the tax watchdog plans to serve a John Doe summons to circle and its affiliates. The statement explicitly named Poloniex, which Circle acquired in 2018 and spun out the following year. Per the statement, the IRS is “seeking information about U.S. taxpayers who conducted at least the equivalent of $20,000 in transactions in cryptocurrency during the years 2016 to 2020. The IRS is seeking the records of Americans who engaged in business with or through Circle, a digital currency exchanger headquartered in Boston.”

Bitcoin Daily: Morgan Stanley To Add Bitcoin Exposure To 12 Mutual Funds; Blockchain-Based eCommerce Firm Future FinTech Group To Raise $35 Million In Direct Offering
Morgan Stanley has registered to add bitcoin exposure to a dozen investment funds, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The filing stated that certain funds might have been exposed to bitcoin “indirectly,” through cash settled futures or investments with Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, which has investments in bitcoin.


A New Financial Transaction Tax And Glass-Steagall Act: Two Equally Misguided Ideas
Norbert Michel – Forbes
Progressives have never let go of the notion that the 1933 Glass – Steagall Act outlawed the problems that caused the Great Depression. They have also consistently sought to tax every activity known to man because they feel that profit and wealth accumulation – by people other than themselves – are unjust.

Boris Johnson faces rebellion over domestic Covid passports; Cross-party group of more than 70 MPs joins forces to oppose plans
Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe, George Parker and Anna Gross – FT
Boris Johnson is facing a Conservative rebellion over plans to introduce coronavirus “passports” for domestic use, with more than 40 Tory MPs warning that the measure would be “divisive and discriminatory”. Johnson will on Monday deliver an update on planning for the Covid-19 certificates — which would record vaccinations, testing and immunity using an NHS app — but he has come under growing pressure to abandon the idea.

For Republicans, the Time Is Never Quite Right to Tax the Rich
Jonathan Chait – NY Magazine
Job Creators need all their hard-earned money. Photo: Appian Way/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock
Earlier this week, Axios sagely explained that Joe Biden’s plans to raise taxes on corporations would have to rely solely on Democratic votes, because “Republicans are unlikely to raise taxes in the middle of a pandemic.” If you had read that passage and taken it at face value, it might have seemed like a hopeful omen. After all, we’re not “in the middle of a pandemic.” We’re at the end of a pandemic. Any Republicans who might be confused or pessimistic about this will surely see within a month or two that their grounds for objection have disappeared.

Should Congress or the SEC ‘Do Something’ About Stock Buybacks?
Stuart J. Kaswell – BusinessLawToday.org
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) should not heed the advice of some critics who urge it to repeal its safe harbor for stock buybacks.[1] Repealing the SEC’s Issuer Repurchase Safe Harbor only will reintroduce legal uncertainty for issuers and will not address the critics’ concerns about pay disparities. Additional disclosure is a better answer. Critics of Rule 10b-18 (17 CFR § 240.10b-18) believe it is bad for the country because they claim that:


CFTC Oversight of Family Offices Must be Strengthened
The collapse of Archegos Capital Management[1] and the billions of dollars in losses to investors and other market participants is a vivid demonstration of the havoc that errant large investment vehicles called “family offices” can wreak on our financial markets.[2] Family offices can be active in both securities and commodities markets. Unfortunately, in the last two years the CFTC has loosened its oversight of family offices. In 2019, and again in 2020, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approved rules that exempted family offices from some of our most basic requirements. I objected to these exemptions at the time, warning in 2019 that “[t]he approval of [these rules] without any checks and balances on exempt family office CPOs [commodity pool operators] will increase risks to our markets and market participants.”[3] The Archegos failure highlights the importance of strengthening the CFTC’s oversight of these large funds and preventing bad actors from trading in our markets.

NFA orders Toronto, Canada retail foreign exchange dealer and futures commission merchant OANDA Corporation to pay a $200,000 fine
NFA has ordered OANDA Corporation (OANDA), an NFA Member retail foreign exchange dealer and futures commission merchant headquartered in Toronto, Canada, to pay a $200,000 fine.

We will reopen on Tuesday 6 April.

FINRA Production Test
As previously announced FINRA plans to replace digital certificates with Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) for access to the TRAQS website in April of 2021. A final FINRA production User Acceptance Test (UAT) will occur on Saturday, April 10, 2021. Firms must register with FINRA Market Operations of their intent to participate in the UAT via an email to FINRAOperations@finra.org. Please include the firm name, MPID(s) used, names of testers and web usernames, if applicable, no later than noon on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 to register for the test.

Proposed Rule Change to Extend the Expiration Date of the Temporary Amendments Set Forth in SR-FINRA-2020-015 and SR-FINRA-2020-027
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) is filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) a proposed rule change to extend the expiration date of the temporary amendments set forth in SR-FINRA-2020-015 and SR-FINRA-2020-027 from April 30, 2021, to August 31, 2021. The proposed rule change would not make any changes to the text of FINRA rules.

The Canadian Securities Administrators Renew Terms Of Chair And Vice-Chair To 2022
The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) today announced the renewal of the terms of both the CSA Chair Louis Morisset, President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers, and the CSA Vice-Chair Kevin Hoyt, CEO of New Brunswick’s Financial and Consumer Services Commission.

Ontario Securities Commission Charges Stephan Katmarian With Securities Act Offences
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced that Stephan Katmarian, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Peblik Inc. (Peblik), and resident of Mississauga, Ontario, has been charged with offences under the Securities Act (Ontario).

Response to HM Treasury Consultation on the Implementation of Basel III Standards
On April 1, 2021, ISDA and the Association for Financial Markets in Europe submitted a joint response to HM Treasury (HMT) on its consultation on implementing the Basel III standards. The UK Financial Services Bill allows HMT to revoke provisions from the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) so the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) can introduce updated prudential rules for credit institutions and PRA-designated investment firms equivalent to the EU’s CRR2.

Investing and Trading

Investors hit back at dual-class reforms after Deliveroo IPO flop; Advisers hope companies will reconsider structure after delivery platform’s debut this week
Attracta Mooney – FT
Investors and advisers have hit back at planned reforms to UK listing rules that will make it easier for company founders to control their businesses, after Deliveroo’s ill-fated initial public offering this week.

Milk alternative Oatly on a quest to become a $10bn brand; Changing consumer tastes and marketing savvy have propelled the Swedish company towards an IPO
Emiko Terazono and Judith Evans – FT
The Swedish brand Oatly surprised Americans in February with an eccentric Super Bowl ad in which its chief executive lustily sang “wow, no cow” while playing an electric piano in a field.

US retail trading cools as hot stocks fade and lockdowns ease; Stimulus cheques fail to ignite new surge with consumers saving for holidays and goods
Madison Darbyshire – FT
Trading by amateur US investors has ebbed as popular bets stumble and vaccine programmes prompt consumers to focus on holidays and big purchases rather than have-a-go market speculation. The 21-day moving average of US retail trading flows has fallen almost 20 per cent from a February peak to $1.2bn a day, according to data from Vanda Research, clashing with widespread expectations that new fiscal stimulus cheques would immediately ignite a new surge.

Deliveroo’s drop shows risk of asking retail investors to the IPO party; Losses suffered by 70,000 individual traders come as UK seeks to ease access to market
Daniel Thomas, Madison Darbyshire, and Nikou Asgari – FT
It was touted as a new opportunity for retail investors in the red-hot London IPO market — but Deliveroo failed to deliver. Individual investors who picked up shares in the food delivery service had their fingers burnt, locked in to their holdings as shares dropped by almost a third on the opening day.

CFOs Zero In on Shareholders as Stock Volatility Soars; ‘The market doesn’t always get things right minute by minute or day by day,’ Chipotle’s finance chiefs says
Nina Trentmann – WSJ
Last quarter’s extreme stock-price moves resurfaced an age-old quandary for company executives: Can they exert any influence over their share price? Some company and investor-relations executives are attempting to steer a more stable course for their stock, and hope educating shareholders on the prospects of their company will help their cause. But their options are limited by what they don’t know, including who holds certain shares, as well as the dominance of passive investing.

California Wine Companies See Opportunity in IPO Boom
WSJ Video
Two California wine companies are going public this spring, the first major wineries to do so since the late 1990s. Wine makers explain the lessons of past stock offerings from wineries like Mondavi and Ravenswood and why they think the time is now right to join the IPO fray. P

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

California Reservoirs Are Half-Empty, Recalling Historic Drought
Brian K Sullivan – Bloomberg
This year’s dryness matches that of 2014, 2015 drought; State only recieved about half of a normal year’s rain
California’s reservoirs are half-empty and dryness has reached levels similar to 2014 and 2015, when the state suffered an historic drought. The state, known for its water-intense almond production, is facing its third driest year on record, according to a report issued by the Department of Water Resources Thursday. The last time California was this dry, the state imposed widespread water-use restrictions, some of which have since become law.

Why are fossil fuel investors in the green for 2021?; The clean energy trade seems overcrowded for now
John Dizard – FT
So we have a consensus that there has to be a global transition to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, if not sooner. Supranational bodies, national governments, major corporations, NGOs and financial institutions have their differences in timing or the mix of solutions.

Record Green Bond Sales Greet BlackRock, Vanguard’s Climate Push
David Caleb Mutua – Bloomberg
Debt sales to fund environmentally friendly projects set a monthly record in March, just as BlackRock Inc., Vanguard Group Inc. and other asset-management giants signaled a greater focus on battling climate change through their investments. Issuers raised $73.4 billion from green bonds globally, beating the previous monthly all-time high of $62.3 billion set in September, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. First-quarter issuance amounted to $149.9 billion, up 186% from the same period in 2020. Large investors are getting more vocal about supporting environmental, social and governance causes, meaning issuers have an increasingly receptive audience when raising money.


Goldman promotes a flurry of female partners to executive roles
Elizabeth Dilts Marshall – Reuters
Goldman Sachs Group Inc on Thursday promoted four female partners to senior leadership roles at the firm, according to memos seen by Reuters. Among them, Goldman’s head of investor relations, Heather Kennedy Miner, was given the No. 2 job in the bank’s asset management business, and Jacqueline Arthur was named deputy chief of staff for the executive office.

Deutsche Bank Bond Drives $1.1 Million in Fees to Diverse Shops
Molly Smith – Bloomberg
German lender worked with minority-owned banks in recent sale; ‘We’re graduating past these ancillary roles,’ Navy vet says
Deutsche Bank AG paid one of the largest fee shares ever to banks managed by women, minorities and veterans for helping oversee its recent bond sale, as diverse firms take on more significant roles in debt offerings.

Commerzbank Will Record $550 Million Charge for Job Cuts
Steven Arons – Bloomberg
German lender to book costs for job cuts in first quarter; Several new members to be nominated for the supervisory board
Commerzbank AG will post a restructuring charge of 470 million euros ($550 million) in the first quarter for its job-cuts program, adding to about a billion euros of related costs booked previously.
The German lender is taking the charge to account for 1,700 job cuts agreed with the works council, it said in a statement on Thursday. New Chief Executive Officer Manfred Knof has vowed to eliminate 10,000 positions in total in Commerzbank’s home market to improve profitability in a restructuring that will cost about 1.8 billion euros.

‘He never struck me as a big risk-taker’: Bill Hwang’s big bet blows up; Fund manager’s comeback ends with fire sale of tens of billions of dollars in stock
Ortenca Aliaj and Eric Platt and Song Jung-a and Edward White – FT
In early 2013, Bill Hwang was barred from the US investment business. Authorities alleged that, as part of an insider-trading scheme, his Tiger Asia Management hedge fund had violated promises it made to some of the world’s most powerful investment banks.

BlackRock’s Larry Fink Gets 18% Pay Raise; CEO earned $29.85 million last year as asset manager gained ground during Covid-19 pandemic
Dawn Lim – WSJ
BlackRock Inc. BLK 1.71% Chief Executive Larry Fink earned $29.85 million last year, a 18% pay increase for one of the most influential people on Wall Street. Mr. Fink’s raise caps a year in which the world’s largest asset manager took in $391 billion in new money and gained ground over rivals as markets were rattled by the Covid-19 pandemic and as a fee war roiled the investment industry. During the turmoil, the Federal Reserve tapped BlackRock for help in buying bonds and funds as part of a series of interventions to prop up markets.

Goldman Sachs insider trader seeks to leave the United States
Maria Nikolova – FXNewsGroup.com
Goldman Sachs insider trader seeks to leave the United States
Former Goldman Sachs investment banker Bryan Cohen is seeking to leave the United States, according to documents filed with the New York Southern District Court earlier today. Mr Cohen, who was sentenced for insider trading last year, sent a letter to Judge Pauley, stating that he has now completed the 1,500 hours of community service required as part of his sentence.


Russian March Oil Output Grew Amid More Generous OPEC+ Quota
Olga Tanas and Dina Khrennikova – Bloomberg
Crude and condensate production at 10.249 million barrels/day; Russia can keep pumping more in April-July amid OPEC+ deal
Russia increased its oil production in March amid a more generous OPEC+ quota, even as rising coronavirus cases threaten oil demand in the short-term. The nation pumped 43.34 million tons of crude and condensate last month, according to preliminary data from the Energy Ministry’s CDU-TEK unit. That equates to 10.249 million barrels a day, based on 7.33 barrel-per-ton conversion ratio, or 1.3% more than in February.

China Drafts Tougher Capital Rules for Too-Big-to-Fail Banks
Bloomberg News
Most important lenders face additional capital surcharge; Banks will need to plan for crisis recovery, make living wills
China’s financial regulators plan to impose additional capital requirements on the nation’s systemically important banks, seeking to curb risks and safeguard stability of the $49 trillion industry. Banks considered too big to fail will be put into five categories and face a surcharge of between 0.25% and 1.5% on top of the mandatory capital adequacy ratios, the People’s Bank of China and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said in a draft rule on Friday.

China’s Bonds Only One to Gain Among Biggest Markets in Rout
Masaki Kondo – Bloomberg
Chinese securities rose last quarter even as global bonds slid; China, Japan debt markets were two least volatile in the world
China’s government bonds outpaced their competitors in the first quarter as their haven status helped them stand out as a bulwark amid the global slump. Japan’s securities led developed nations, though still handing investors a narrow loss. The two north Asian markets helped investors preserve value as signs of a burgeoning global recovery amid the rollout of vaccines pushed up debt yields around the world. A Bloomberg Barclays index of global bonds slid 5.5% in the first three months of the year, the worst quarter in four years. China and Japan had another thing in their favor too: they had the lowest volatility among 44 debt markets tracked by Bloomberg.

OPEC+ Caution Comes at a Cost; Helping to build consensus in the cartel today could come at the cost of lost market share
Jinjoo Lee – WSJ
Helping to build consensus in OPEC+ today could come at the cost of lost market share tomorrow. On Thursday, the cartel—the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers, led by Russia—agreed to ease its cuts gradually, planning to add back roughly 1 million barrels a day through July, starting with 350,000 barrels a day in May. That still leaves output some 6.55 million barrels a day below the group’s baseline output before the pandemic. Saudi Arabia also said it would gradually undo its unilateral 1 million barrel a day cut.

Investors Dumped £1 Billion of U.K. Stocks in a Month. These Regions Led the Way.
Callum Keown – Barron’s
Investors sold down £1 billion ($1.38 billion) of U.K. equity funds in February, favoring global and Asian funds instead, data published by the Investment Association (IA) on Thursday revealed. U.K. equity funds saw net retail outflows of £1 billion in February, the IA said, the largest outflows in any region, despite the country’s rapid COVID-19 vaccine rollout and recovery hopes. Global was the bestselling equity fund region among U.K. investors over the month, with net retail sales of £969 million, followed by Asia funds with inflows of £638 million. However, all other regions, including Japan, North America and Europe saw net outflows, the IA said. Fixed income was the most popular asset class with £1.4 billion in net retail sales. The worst-selling sector was global bonds, with an outflow of £987 million amid a bond selloff.


Government pledges £250m in extra funding for academic research
Andrew Jack – FT
The UK government has pledged £250m in additional funding to academic research over the coming year, in a move aimed at easing concern among universities over financial support for science. In an announcement on Thursday, the government also said for the first time that £400m previously earmarked for research would be used to “help to pay for” the UK’s continued association with the EU’s flagship Horizon science programme. The figures mark a clear public commitment to help underwrite Horizon, after weeks of uncertainty, which left academics concerned that there would be no assistance to cover an estimated £1bn in annual fees required for the UK to remain part of the programme after Brexit.

Analysis: Deliveroo’s IPO slump casts doubt over London’s post-Brexit ambitions
Abhinav Ramnarayan, Anna Irrera – Reuters
Deliveroo’s share price plunge on its London stock market debut has put a question mark over Britain’s ambitions to become a home for fast-growing tech companies following its departure from the European Union, investors and analysts say. Shares in the food delivery company slumped as much as 30% on Wednesday in one of the biggest first day falls for a stock in London. They were down another 2.2% on Thursday. Many of the reasons for the brutal decline are likely to be company-specific, according to a dozen interviews by Reuters of venture capital (VC) investors, bankers, analysts and tech executives.


The Ghosts of Brooks Brothers; After the retailer filed for bankruptcy one couple was left with a warehouse full of abandoned mannequins and a price tag of nearly $250,000 to dispose of it.
Sapna Maheshwari and Vanessa Friedman – NY Times
The bones of Brooks Brothers stores are scattered across 100,000 square feet here in a warehouse near the Massachusetts border, mixed in with a sea of cardboard boxes and junk.

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