Fate of London Metals Pit Hangs in Balance After Trader Pushback

Apr 21, 2021

First Read

$40,276/$300,000 (13.4%)


John Lothian News Converts Coronavirus Section of JLN to Wellness Exchange
John Lothian – John Lothian News

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a new risk to those addressed by this newsletter, namely the health and wellness of each of us, our families, colleagues, friends, communities and beyond. We are all at risk from the virus, whether we are in Chicago, New York, London, Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Singapore or Timbuktu.

John Lothian News addressed this new risk by creating the Coronavirus news section of the John Lothian Newsletter. However, the potential risks to manage from this pandemic for both employers and employees go far beyond just getting sick from the virus, or getting a vaccine.

For example, for us to return to having in-person conferences, there may be a need to test for the virus, and/or ascertain that someone is vaccinated. The debate about vaccine passports becomes another issue in the world of mutual regulatory recognition.

Read more HERE.


Cunningham Commodities to Tie Up With UK CFD Platform
Thom Thompson – John Lothian News

Cunningham Commodities, LLC, the registered futures commission merchant, and Cunningham Trading Systems, LLC have agreed to a combine with Plus500, according to a press release from Plus500, a British platform for trading contracts for difference (CFDs).

In a deal expected to close in the third quarter of this year, Plus 500 will acquire all of the membership interests of both companies. The approximately $30 million deal is intended to provide Plus500 immediate access to the growing U.S. retail futures trading business.

Cunningham and CTS founders Bill Cunningham, Andrew Busby and Nate Ostrye will stay on to lead the businesses following completion of the acquisition. Cunningham Commodities was formed in 1982 and has been a familiar presence at the Chicago Board of Trade, where it continues to be a member.

Read more HERE.


Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

Trading Technologies is holding a webinar titled “Cutting-Edge Trade Surveillance with TT Score” on April 22 at 10 a.m. CT (U.S. and Canada). It will be an in-depth look at TT Score and how you can keep your firm out of a regulator’s crosshairs, especially considering 2020 was a record year for fines and the CFTC is not slowing down. The webinar will be recorded and shared with all registrants, so feel free to register even if you can’t attend the live event. You can register HERE.

Deutsche Börse has signed a data partnership with Bolsa Mexicana de Valores Group that gives Deutsche Börse access to data from the second-largest exchange operator in Latin America. — Deutsche Börse

Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. announced a record 18,848 Murban Crude Oil Futures Contracts Traded on April 20 and that open interest is more than 42,000 contracts. — ICE

TMX Group announced the appointment of David Arnold as their new chief financial officer. He starts on June 1. — TMX

CME Group has a webinar on April 28 at 9 AM CT titled: “Getting Started with Micro Bitcoin Futures.” — CME Group

American Financial Exchange (AFX) Chairman and CEO Richard L. Sandor will be the keynote speaker during the Singapore Exchange (SGX) conference, “Front Seats: Conversations in Global Finance, When Finance and the Environment Converge,” on Thursday, April 22, at 10 a.m. in Singapore, and today, April 21, at 9 p.m. in Chicago. — Register here to attend.

The George Floyd killing in the U.S. had many repercussions around the world. Yesterday, City University of London decided to change the name of their business school from Cass to Bayes, reflecting a move away from a name tainted with a history of slavery towards one linked to mathematics and philosophy. — FT

The Greater Chicago Food Depository was awarded a new Chicago Medal of Honor for making an impact during the COVID-19 pandemic. — ABC Channel 7

Bakkt would like you to know how you can unlock the value of your digital assets using their app. — Bakkt

So much for the Super League in European football. The league collapsed as fans weighed in on the idea and did not go for it. — FT

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


President Biden plans to host 40 world leaders at a virtual Leaders Summit on Climate this Thursday and Friday, meetings that are viewed by some as a preview of the United Nations’ COP26 climate talks in November in Glasgow, Scotland. The White House says the summit intends to show the urgency and economic benefits of stronger climate action. Ahead of this week’s meetings, Henry Fernandez, MSCI CEO and chairman, called on capital market participants to become a “critical force” in the drive toward net zero, keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius. MSCI also published a new opinion piece, “The Role of Capital in the Net-Zero Revolution.” You can read it here to prep for the presidential summit. ~SC


The 5 Essential Shifts of Weight Loss Mastery
Jessica Hehmeyer – John Lothian News/Excerpted from Medium

“It takes 30 days to create a new habit.”

Or so we’ve been told…

But in the area of weight loss mastery there are hundreds of habits to master — most of which are never discussed.

This work of sustained + empowered weight mastery has been central to my work for over a decade. I know the imprisoned experience of struggling with weight — starting the day feeling defeated when getting dressed. Walking through your day experiencing shame and barriers to connecting wholeheartedly with others, without access to weight loss mastery born of self-love and empowerment.

Read more HERE.



Opinion | That Anxiety You’re Feeling? It’s a Habit You Can Unlearn.
The New York Times
This has been a bad year for the anxious among us — myself very much included. The pandemic was objectively terrifying. And many of us were trapped inside, with nothing we could do about it, severed from social connection and routine, with plenty of time to fret.

*****I am not sure if I am languishing or have anxiety. Or maybe I have anxiety that I am languishing.~JJL


HSBC Manager’s Heart Attack Prompts Viral Post About Overwork
Lananh Nguyen and Harry Wilson – Bloomberg
When Jonny Frostick realized he was having a heart attack this month, the first thing that occurred to the HSBC Holdings Plc contractor was: “I needed to meet with my manager tomorrow, this isn’t convenient.”
Then he thought about funding for a project, his will, and finally, his wife.

*****I once had a client who had a heart attack and as he was being wheeled out of his apartment he was on the phone with us to liquidate his futures positions. A man must have priorities. Risk management does not stop for a heart attack.~JJL


Tuesday’s Top Three
The most-read story on Tuesday was from The New York Times that had very graphic illustrations, How Safe Are You From Covid When You Fly? No. 2 was an analysis by the Wall Street Journal, Behind the Mysterious Demise of a $1.7 Billion Mutual Fund. And the third also was a story from the Wall Street Journal, Coca-Cola Sounds Alarm on Global Covid-19 Cases.


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Lead Stories

Fate of London Metals Pit Hangs in Balance After Trader Pushback
Mark Burton and Jack Farchy – Bloomberg
London Metal Exchange’s board meets Thursday for decision; The LME in January proposed closing ‘the Ring’ permanently
When the London Metal Exchange in January proposed closing its historic trading floor, many in the industry assumed it was a done deal. But after a backlash from major users, it’s looking a lot less certain. After months of consultations, the LME’s board will meet Thursday to decide the future of the open-outcry floor. One of the last of its kind in the world, “the Ring” was closed temporarily last March as the U.K. went into lockdown. Ever since, global prices for copper and other industrial metals have been set electronically — and so smoothly that the LME argued there was no need to reopen the floor at all.

How Robinhood Made Trading Easy—and Maybe Even Too Hard to Resist; Is the app that brought zero-commission trades and a mobile-first design to millions of investors too good at what it does?
Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou, Annie Massa, and Anders Melin – Bloomberg
In Silicon Valley, Nir Eyal is the habits guy. Want to understand how to get app users to come back again and again? Then Eyal is your man. A former lecturer at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and an angel investor, he’s studied how companies such as Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. encourage users to spend time on their platforms. He didn’t invent the techniques, some of which were also being observed and taught by others on the Stanford campus by the 2010s. The place was a hotbed of behaviorally informed design. But Eyal summed up what he saw in a PowerPoint-friendly four-step model that showed how the smartest designers were turning their products into habits. In blog posts and articles in 2012, he called it “the desire engine.”

SEC Targets Greenwashers to Bring Law and Order to ESG; Regulators place emphasis on climate risk, and scrutiny of those who would exploit the global crisis for profit.
Tim Quinson – Bloomberg
Sign up to receive the Bloomberg Green newsletter in your inbox every weekday. Since late February, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has issued at least five public statements spelling out the wide variety of climate-related risks facing businesses and investors. It’s also warned the money-management industry about mislabeling ESG funds as being green when they really aren’t at all.

ICE Announces That a Record 18,848 Murban Crude Oil Futures Contracts Traded on April 20; 132,450 contracts traded in total on ICE Futures Abu Dhabi since launch
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc
Liquidity out to January 2022 contract; Record Open Interest of more than 42,000 contracts
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology, and market infrastructure, today announced that a record 18,848 ICE Murban Crude Oil Futures contracts traded on ICE Futures Abu Dhabi (“IFAD”) on April 20, marking its highest volume day since the contracts launched on March 29. Alongside ICE Murban Crude Oil Futures, IFAD launched trading in 18 Murban-related cash settled derivatives and inter-commodity spreads, offering the market the broadest range of ways to trade and hedge Murban crude oil.

HSBC Manager’s Heart Attack Prompts Viral Post About Overwork
Lananh Nguyen and Harry Wilson – Bloomberg
Lamenting 12-hour workdays, endless rounds of Zoom calls; Briton blames himself, hopes to inspire flexible work culture
When Jonny Frostick realized he was having a heart attack this month, the first thing that occurred to the HSBC Holdings Plc contractor was: “I needed to meet with my manager tomorrow, this isn’t convenient.” Then he thought about funding for a project, his will, and finally, his wife.

Should Wall Street Brace for a Tobin Tax?
Aaron Brown – Bloomberg
Uncertainty about federal economic policy is greater today than any time in the last 40 years. On one hand we have senior policy makers calling for increasing already massive budget deficits, locking in the loosest imaginable monetary policy for the foreseeable future.

Henry Kaufman, 93, Looks Back on ‘The Day the Markets Roared’; The former Salomon Brothers economist known as ‘Dr. Doom’ explains how his memo to portfolio managers ignited a huge rally on Aug. 17, 1982.
Peter Coy – Bloomberg
Henry Kaufman, nicknamed Dr. Doom by the press, moved markets in the 1970s and 1980s in a way that no economist or market strategist has the power to do today. He had a doctorate in economics and a string of senior titles at Salomon Brothers Inc., then the world’s leading bond trader. “Untutored laymen (or ‘lambs’) must regard with awe the power of Henry Kaufman, who looks like the corner druggist and sends the stock market soaring or plummeting at his whim,” the Buffalo Courier-Express wrote in a typically bedazzled editorial.

A Rare Corner of the Markets That Europe Still Controls; European banks have the biggest share of the green bond market. It might not last.
Mark Gilbert – Bloomberg
In recent years, Wall Street banks have dominated their European counterparts in most areas of global finance. But there’s one hot corner of the capital markets where European firms are staying ahead of their U.S. rivals: the soaring market for green bonds. Overall, Europe’s banks have been laggards, even in their own backyard. In European mergers and acquisitions, for example, the top four arrangers so far this year are all U.S. firms. JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley have a combined 65% of the market, more than twice that of Europe’s investment banks that make the top 10.

Hedge Fund Giant Warns of SPAC Blowup After Betting $1 Billion
Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg
Marshall Wace has built up long and short exposure to SPACs; It’s now increasing short bets as potential for trouble grows
Hedge fund giant Marshall Wace is ringing alarm bells about the booming SPAC market after building up long and short bets on blank-check companies that total more than $1 billion. The life cycle of SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies, is riddled with “perverse incentives” for investors, sponsors and the companies using the shortcut route to come to market, Paul Marshall, co-founder of the investment firm, told his investors in a newsletter. SPACs have delivered “awful returns” and most recent issuances will be no different, he said.

The new frontiers of hybrid work take shape; The post-pandemic ‘third way’ of working is going to be hard for businesses to navigate well
Emma Jacobs – FT
After more than a year of remote work, the future looks hybrid: a mix of office and home-based working. The hope in many companies is that this sort of working pattern will allow employees to do focused work at home, reduce commutes and enable them to better balance professional and personal lives. In turn, offices will become a destination for innovation, collaboration, networking, coaching and socialising.

Regulator Bars Former Goldman Analyst for Insider Trading; Finra says Brian Maguire bought shares in two companies after finding out about another analyst’s upgrade
Allison Prang – WSJ
A Goldman Sachs GS -1.24% & Co. analyst has been barred from the broker-dealer industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for insider trading, the regulator said Tuesday. Brian Maguire, formerly an analyst at Goldman, bought shares in two different companies—once last April and once last June—after finding out through internal emails that another analyst was upgrading his recommendation on those firms to “buy” from “neutral,” Finra said.

AQR has lost more than a third of its assets since the end of 2017, but Cliff Asness’ firm had a big first quarter
Bradley Saacks and Danielle Walker – Insider
Quants had a tough 2020, but Cliff Asness’ AQR has been struggling longer than that owing to a long drought for its value-focused strategies. But a person close to the firm said the money manager is turning things around this year.


Indian capital running out of medical oxygen as pandemic surges
Neha Arora, Anuron MitraAditi Shah, Rupam Jain – Reuters
Authorities said hospitals in the Indian capital of Delhi would start running out of medical oxygen by Wednesday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country faced a coronavirus “storm” overwhelming its health system.

Opinion: This is the most dangerous moment to be unvaccinated
Robert M. Wachter – Washington Post
If covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is straightforward. We know that people who are fully vaccinated are greatly protected against infection and serious illness and are far less likely to transmit Covid-19 to others. The vaccines truly are a miracle.

Roche’s Covid Pill Tests Delayed by Shortage of Sick Britons
Naomi Kresge – Bloomberg
Roche Holding AG has run into a speed bump as it seeks to rush a pill for Covid-19 to the market: The U.K.’s aggressive vaccine drive has made it harder to find sick people to test it on. A trial of the pill for people with mild or moderate Covid begun in the U.K. earlier this year is delayed, Roche said. To speed things up, the Swiss pharma giant has started recruiting patients in a range of other places, from Texas to Bulgaria, Canada and Spain, the U.S. clinical trials registry shows.

Gen Z and Millennials Are the Next Vaccine Challenge; Younger people aren’t as scared of the virus, so they’re often more hesitant about getting vaccinated than their elders.
Lara Williams – Bloomberg
As the days grow longer, there’s a palpable feeling of hope in the air — at least in the more fortunate western countries. Thanks in part to vaccines, Covid-19 deaths are dropping in the U.K. and the U.S., enabling parts of normal life to resume. But, as we’re well aware, it’s not over yet. If we want to have a shot at halting transmission, everybody needs their jabs.

Europe Has Finally Turned a Corner on Covid-19 Vaccinations
Tim Loh – Bloomberg
Pace has picked up rapidly after an embarrassingly slow start; J&J to resume vaccine deliveries to EU after regulatory review
The European Union’s long-awaited Covid-19 shot surge is finally here, raising hopes the continent can bring the pandemic under control and reopen economies faster than expected. The inflection point came this month, with Germany nearly doubling the pace of vaccinations after an increase in supplies and the decision to let general practitioners administer doses in their regular offices. France, Italy and Spain are following a similar trajectory.

Homegrown Indian Covid Vaccine Already in Use Shows 78% Efficacy
Chris Kay – Bloomberg
Bharat Biotech vaccine shows 100% efficacy versus severe Covid; Indian medical agency says vaccine works against most variants
An Indian Covid-19 shot showed 78% efficacy from interim data at preventing mild, moderate and severe reactions to the disease and worked against most variants of the virus as the South Asian nation struggles to contain a record surge across the country.

Covid-19 test demand boosts Roche; Swiss pharmaceutical company reports 55% jump in diagnostic sales
Hannah Kuchler – FT
Roche reported a 55 per cent jump in diagnostic sales in the first quarter thanks to strong demand for Covid-19 tests, including a new product to track virus variants.

Vaccine patent gives US government ‘leverage’ over manufacturers; Washington can boost global access to Covid shots by compelling groups to share technology, says top scientist
Donato Paolo Mancini and Kiran Stacey – FT
The US government can use its ownership of a crucial vaccine patent to push companies to share their expertise with other manufacturers and boost global access to coronavirus jabs, according to a top scientific official.

Pfizer Identifies Fake Covid-19 Shots Abroad as Criminals Exploit Vaccine Demand; In Mexico, about 80 people received fraudulent doses, and in Poland authorities recovered vials likely containing an anti-wrinkle treatment
Jared S. Hopkins and José de Córdoba – WSJ
Pfizer Inc. PFE 0.26% says it has identified in Mexico and Poland the first confirmed instances of counterfeit versions of the Covid-19 vaccine it developed with BioNTech SE, BNTX 4.48% the latest attempt by criminals trying to exploit the world-wide vaccination campaign. Vials seized by authorities in separate investigations were tested by the company and confirmed to contain bogus vaccine. The vials recovered in Mexico also had fraudulent labeling, while a substance inside vials in Poland was likely an anti-wrinkle treatment, Pfizer said.

Sleeping Six Hours or Less Linked to Higher Dementia Risk, Study Finds; A study looking at the sleep habits of nearly 8,000 people in the U.K. over 25 years adds to research linking dementia and slumber patterns
Sarah Toy – WSJ
Middle-age adults who sleep six or fewer hours a night may be at higher risk of developing dementia in later life, a new study suggests. People age 50 or 60 who regularly slept six hours or less each night were more likely than those who slept seven hours to be diagnosed with dementia, according to the study published Tuesday in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

Handshakes? Hugs? How to Navigate the New Covid Etiquette After Vaccines; Vaccinations are rising, and that means shifting rules for social interactions; prepare yourself for ‘totally awkward’ encounters
Anne Marie Chaker – WSJ
After playing a softball game earlier this month, Kevin Carlson, a Washington, D.C., real-estate agent, was introduced to a teammate’s friend as they walked off the field. Moments after some introductory chitchat the unthinkable happened: “The guy reaches his hand out and says, ‘I’m John.’ ”

Cash-strapped Africa overwhelmed by COVID vaccine challenge
Edward McAllister – Reuters
When Ghana received 50,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses from India last month, it hit a frustrating roadblock: it had not trained enough staff to distribute them.

How a WHO push for global vaccines needled Europe
Francesco Guarascio, John Chalmers – Reuters
Last April, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen added Europe to a global effort to ensure equitable access to a vaccine, which she said would be deployed “to every single corner of the world.”

Why Covid-19 in India Is a Problem for the Whole World
Investors everywhere should pay close attention to the virus situation in India. It’s not just a humanitarian disaster. Global growth, international reopening plans, inflation, supply chains and geographic asset allocation decisions will all be impacted.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

LSTA Includes AMERIBOR as a Credit-Sensitive Replacement to LIBOR
As part of an advisory issued on April 8, 2021 the Loans Syndications & Trading Association (LSTA) included AMERIBOR as a fallback benchmark option following the discontinuation of Libor. A list of selected benchmarks and the full report is available in a market advisory for their membership titled the “‘Credit Sensitive Rate’ Slot-in Rider for Fallback Language.”

Guangzhou exchange kicks off, offering a hedge for carbon emissions trading in China’s 2060 climate change goal; CSRC head will guide Guangzhou Futures Exchange to develop green products including carbon emission futures; The scale of trading in the voluntary carbon offset market is currently around US$320 million, CME says
Enoch Yiu – South China Morning Post
The Guangzhou Futures Exchange has formally kicked off the process of developing emissions derivative products, putting a vital pricing mechanism into place to spur China to meet President Xi Jinping’s goal of attaining carbon neutrality by 2060.

CME Group Announces Launch of CME Term SOFR Reference Rates
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced it is publishing CME Term SOFR Reference Rates for 1-month, 3-month and 6-month tenors. These benchmarks are based on CME Group’s deep and liquid underlying SOFR futures, making them a robust and sustainable measure of forward-looking SOFR rates. They are aligned with the Alternative Reference Rates Committee’s (ARRC) principles for recommended forward term rates.

CME Group Integrates FX Link with Refinitiv Trade Notification (RTN) and IHS Markit’s MarkitSERV to Enhance Access to Cleared FX Swap Liquidity
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced it has integrated its FX Link platform with the Refinitiv Trade Notification (RTN) and IHS Markit’s MarkitSERV messaging services. By connecting with Refinitiv and IHS Markit, FX Link customers can now receive OTC spot FX messages directly via RTN or MarkitSERV which will streamline onboarding and meet their Straight Through Processing (STP) requirements.

CME adds Refinitiv and IHS Markit messaging to FX swaps platform; Clients of the CME FX Link platform, including Goldman Sachs, can receive OTC spot FX messages directly via Refinitiv Trade Notification and IHS Markit’s MarkitSERV.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
CME Group has expanded its central limit order book for trading spreads between OTC FX spot and CME FX futures with messaging services from Refinitiv and IHS Markit. Traders using CME’s FX Link platform can now receive OTC spot FX messages directly through Refinitiv Trade Notification and IHS Markit’s MarkitSERV system as part of the integration.

During Bitcoin’s Latest Price Crash, ‘Tether Premium’ Shows Where Money Went
Muyao Shen – Coindesk
Tether (USDT), the oldest and most popular stablecoin, diverged significantly from its peg to the U.S. dollar during bitcoin’s most-recent price drop. But rather than seeing the move as a defect of the $52 billion stablecoin, some analysts and exchange executives say the “tether premium” shows the token’s growing use as a safe-haven asset in almost-anything-can-happen-at-anytime cryptocurrency markets. “During a crash, traders will race to sell their bitcoin in exchange for tether, which is similar to the U.S. dollar in that it is recognized as a temporary safe haven amidst extreme price volatility,” Kaiko, a blockchain data analytics firm, wrote in an April 19 newsletter. “A sudden increase in buying pressure for tether often has the effect of causing positive drift from the stablecoin’s one-to-one peg.”

Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Said to Be in Talks to Buy Crypto Custodian BitGo
Ian Allison – Coindesk
Galaxy Digital, the cryptocurrency-focused financial services firm run by Michael Novogratz, is in advanced discussions to buy BitGo, the U.S.-regulated crypto custody specialist, according to four people familiar with the situation. Both Galaxy and BitGo declined to comment. Silicon Valley’s BitGo was last year reported to have been in acquisition talks with fintech giant PayPal. No deal was reached, but PayPal offered as much as $750 million in cash for the custody company, CoinDesk reported last month, citing two sources familiar with the matter. PayPal later agreed to acquire Curv, another cryptocurrency custody firm.

Deutsche Börse signs data partnership with Bolsa Mexicana de Valores Group
Deutsche Börse
The partnership gives Deutsche Börse access to data from the second largest exchange operator in Latin America; Deutsche Börse customers benefit from access to the entire portfolio of data products via just one license agreement; BMV Group’s market data offering includes real-time and delayed data for stock and derivatives markets; Cooperation expands global sales presence of the BMV Group
Frankfurt, Mexico City. A new cooperation with the Mexican exchange operator Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (BMV Group) gives Deutsche Börse and its customers access to the market data of the second largest exchange operator in Latin America.

TMX Group Appoints David Arnold as Chief Financial Officer
TMX Group today announced that David Arnold, a financial services industry leader and 20-year veteran of CIBC has been named as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Mr. Arnold will join TMX Group effective June 1, 2021.

Performance Bond Requirements: Energy and Interest Rate Margins – Effective April 21, 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.

SGX launches new handysize and capesize FFA and futures contracts
Singapore Exchange (SGX), the largest clearing venue for dry bulk freight globally with over 60% market share, has added four new forward freight agreement (FFA) and futures contracts in the capesize and handysize segments, offering participants more precise hedging tools as a recovery in global industrial production and robust steel demand in China continue to drive demand for both iron ore and minor bulks.

Nasdaq Beats Expectations for 1Q Amid Trading, Listings Gains
Micah Maidenberg – WSJ
Nasdaq Inc. reported stronger earnings and revenue for the first quarter in part due to stronger trading and listing activity. The exchange operator on Wednesday said it earned net income attributable to the company of $298 million, up from $203 million in the year-earlier period.


BornTec Grows Global Sales Reach Through Strategic Partnership With CapitalMarkets.Technology and Expansion of Sales Team
BornTec, a software solutions provider for trade data analysis and reporting, today announced the signing of a reciprocal distribution agreement with CapitalMarkets.Technology, whereby CM.T will resell BornTec’s products in Germany, France, Switzerland, and the Benelux and Nordic regions, and BornTec will resell CM.T’s products and services in the Americas region. The partnership will provide both firms a broader geographic reach to transcend their primary markets, with boots on the ground and the ability to sell to and support the nuances of local markets in their respective languages.

FlexTrade Enhances FlexONE OEMS With QuantHouse’s QuantFEED Solutions for Market Data; Alternative investment firm Magnetar Capital first to adopt new QuantFEED Solutions in FlexONE OEMS, optimizing executions and data consumption via integrated interface
FlexTrade Systems (@FlexTrade), a global leader in multi-asset execution and order management systems, and QuantHouse, the global provider of end-to-end systematic trading solutions including innovative market data services, an algo trading platform, and infrastructure products, today announced the integration of QuantHouse’s QuantFEED Solutions for market data into the FlexONE OEMS.

Symphony suspends Sparc pending registration talks with CFTC; The comms provider may have to register its RFQ workflow and messaging tool as a Sef, or perhaps permanently shut down the business line.
Rebecca Natale, Joanna Wright – Waters Technology
Communications and workflows platform provider Symphony has suspended its Sparc offering indefinitely, as the vendor is engaged in ongoing talks with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) about the service’s registration status, WatersTechnology has learned.

Artificial Intelligence, Facial Recognition Face Curbs in New EU Proposal; EU is proposing one of the first laws globally to regulate the use of artificial intelligence for applications like hiring and policing
Sam Schechner and Parmy Olson – WSJ
The European Union’s executive arm proposed a bill that would limit police use of facial-recognition software in public and ban the marketing or use of certain kinds of AI systems, in one of the broadest efforts yet to regulate high-stakes applications of artificial intelligence.

Cloud9 and Glue42 to deliver remote voice trading to institutional investors; Partnership between technology providers Cloud9 and Glue42 will give institutional investors remote access to connectivity typically found on the trading floor.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Cloud9 Technologies has partnered with desktop infrastructure provider Glue42 to deliver remote voice trading to institutional investors. Under the partnership, institutional traders will gain. remote access to all the methods of communication and connectivity that they would usually find if they were present on the trading floor.

Aegon Asset Management streamlines data and reporting operations with Clearwater Analytics; Clearwater’s cloud native investment accounting, reporting, and analytics platform will streamline operations at Aegon Asset Management.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Active global investor Aegon Asset Management has overhauled its data, reporting and investment accounting operations with a cloud native platform from Clearwater Analytics. The $475 billion asset manager said it has adopted the Clearwater solution to streamline its operations with a single platform across its accounting, reporting and analytics.

Startups Crack Records as More Money Flows to Silicon Valley; Chase for next big social-media app drives funding frenzy
Heather Somerville – WSJ
Years into a boom for venture capital fueled by low interest rates and the prospect of a lucrative hit in tech, deal flow and valuations are reaching new peaks. Among the biggest beneficiaries are the companies vying to become the next big social-media platform.

Duff & Phelps, A Kroll Business, Hires Andy Marsden To Lead The Firm’s Business Modelling And Analytics Team In London
Duff & Phelps, A Kroll Business, the world’s premier provider of services and digital products related to governance, risk and transparency, today announced that Andy Marsden has joined the firm as a managing director to lead its Business Modelling and Analytics team in London.

The Bank Of England And FinTech: Public Support For Private Innovation – Speech By Dave Ramsden, Deputy Governor, Markets And Banking, Given At UK FinTech Week 2021
Dave Ramsden talks about how we support the safe development of fintech services in the UK.


Follow the Money: The Rise and Rise of Crypto and FinTech FinTechRising April 17, 2021
Canright Communications
One of the most famous scenes in one of the best movies ever made, All the President’s Men, shows a close-up of the late Hal Holbrook telling a journalist how to unravel the puzzle of the burglary at the Watergate Hotel. Hidden in the dark shadows of a deserted parking garage in the middle of the night, Holbrook, playing the secret source Deep Throat, intensely whispers, “Follow the money.” It startles Robert Redford, playing Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward. The trail of money into cryptocurrency and FinTech is no less startling.

‘Crypto Dad’ Giancarlo Joins Board of Bitcoin Lender BlockFi
Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
Giancarlo headed CFTC in 2017 when Bitcoin futures debuted; BlockFi lends against crypto collateral, offers Bitcoin Trust
Christopher Giancarlo, the former chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission who’s known as “Crypto Dad” for his early embrace of digital assets, joined the board of cryptocurrency lender BlockFi.

Remarks of Commissioner Dawn D. Stump Before Texas A&M’s Bitcoin Conference
“Innovation and Regulation”
Thank you to Professor Korok Ray and Texas A&M University for the kind invitation to participate in this conference. I am happy to be here with you today, even if only virtually. I would much prefer to be back in my home state of Texas to join you in person, but I am nonetheless grateful for the technology that allows me to participate remotely.

Dogecoin Barks But Britcoin Would Bite; Dogecoin mania fits the pandemic present, but governments have their own ideas about the future of digital cash. They need to make them a reality.
Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg
Every dog has its day. For Dogecoin, it’s April 20. The dog-themed digital currency that was started as a joke in 2013 jumped more than 200% in five days as part of a meme-driven mass trade to mark International Weed Day. It has already fallen back by 24%.

Why Dogecoin Is the Meme Stock of the Cryptocurrency Universe; Should investors consider backing a joke?
Charlie Wells and Katharine Gemmell – Bloomberg
Ever heard the one about the joke that’s worth $50 billion? In 2013, two friends created Dogecoin — a parody of a cryptocurrency that was meant to be worthless. Its mascot is a meme-worthy Shiba-Inu that can’t quite spell or get its grammar right.

Blockchain Company Digital Asset Holdings Raises $120 Million
Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
Investment in crypto firms in 2021 is breaking records; CEO Rooz says half of new customers only want help with data
Digital Asset Holdings LLC, the blockchain software developer that caters to corporate applications, raised more than $120 million from investors 7Ridge and Eldridge. The company will use the funds to expand its global workforce by 50% this year and add to its mix of products, according to a statement. The latest round follows a $45 million fundraising last year that included investments from Salesforce.com Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.

Baillie Gifford Backs Crypto With $100 Million in Blockchain.com
Anchalee Worrachate – Bloomberg
Baillie Gifford makes biggest outside investment in start-up; Edinburgh-based firm is known for bets on technology names
Baillie Gifford & Co., a money manager known for early bets on technology stocks like Tesla Inc., has invested $100 million in one of the U.K.’s biggest cryptocurrency start-ups. The Edinburgh-based firm participated in the latest funding round for Blockchain.com, according to a post on Tuesday from Peter Smith, co-founder and CEO of the crypto wallet provider. The company allows users to buy and store digital tokens such as Bitcoin.

JPMorgan Warns of Bitcoin Weakness as Futures Get Liquidated
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Key level for largest cryptocurrency is around $60,000; Weaker flows into Bitcoin funds can hurt, Panigirtzoglou says
The last few times Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou witnessed such negative price action in Bitcoin, buyers returned in time to prevent deeper slumps. This time, the JPMorgan Chase & Co. strategist is worried. If the largest cryptocurrency isn’t able to break back above $60,000 soon, momentum signals will collapse, strategists led by Panigirtzoglou wrote in a note Tuesday. It’s likely traders including Commodity Trading Advisers (CTAs) and crypto funds were at least partly behind the buildup of long Bitcoin futures in recent weeks, as well as the unwind in past days, they said.

The eurozone is taking the lead in testing the digital currency waters; Public consultation by the European Central Bank is one step ahead of counterparts but it may face a more sceptical audience
Martin Sandbu – FT
Only a few years ago, central bank digital currency (CBDC) was seen as something exotic. Sweden’s Riksbank was alone among high-income countries in exploring it, a fact attributed to its population’s uniquely low use of cash.

More News

Crypto exchange Archax appoints new head of institutional sales ahead of launch; Malcolm Ford joins Archax as head of institutional sales after previous roles at CMC Markets, Instinet, KCG, Morgan Stanley and Credit Agricole Cheuvreux.The Trade

Winklevoss-backed crypto platform Gemini has more than doubled the assets it stores so far this year Insider

More than 50% of young UK investors now trade crypto, raising concerns about risk-taking Insider


A dozen mega-donors gave $1 of every $13 in political contributions since ’09; A new study shows the role of wealth in politics since the Supreme Court loosened restrictions on political spending more than a decade ago. And four big Chicago names turn up in the analysis.
A dozen major donors are responsible for $1 of every $13 contributed to federal candidates and committees since the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling that allowed for unlimited independent spending to influence elections, according to a new report from a campaign finance watchdog group. (See below.) The donors and their spouses gave $3.4 billion since the 2010 election cycle, accounting for 7.5% of the $45 billion given to all federal candidates since the 2010 election cycle, according to Issue One, a nonpartisan group that advocates for reducing the role of money in politics.

US bill on SOFR is ‘anti-choice’ – Giancarlo
Wendy Lisney – FOW
The US risks favouring Wall Street over Main Street if it removes choice by introducing legislation that only protects parties that transition from Libor to SOFR, the Secured Overnight Financing Rate. That is the view of Christopher Giancarlo, former chair of US derivatives regulator the CFTC and an independent director of the American Financial Exchange (AFX), which developed the American Interbank Offered Rate (Ameribor) benchmark as a Libor alternative that targets small and regional banks.

Digital Yuan Gives China a New Tool to Strike Back at Critics
Bloomberg News
Beijing could have clear picture of financial transactions; ‘That currency can be turned off like a light switch’
Even as China grows in economic and military power, perhaps nothing reveals Beijing’s weaknesses more than the U.S.’s control of the global financial system. China has recently sought ways to counteract U.S. sanctions after the Trump administration targeted Chinese officials and companies over policies from the South China Sea to Xinjiang. Hong Kong’s leader can’t access a bank account and a top executive at Huawei Technologies Co. is detained in Canada. Even China’s state-run banks are complying with U.S. sanctions.

Putin threatens ‘asymmetric’ and ‘tough’ response to US sanctions; Russian president slams western interference, as Nalvany supporters begin nationwide protests
Max Seddon and Henry Foy – FT
President Vladimir Putin has promised an “asymmetric” and “tough” response to what he claimed were western attempts to contain Russia. Hours before supporters of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny were set to stage what they hoped would be the largest ever protests against his rule, Putin on Wednesday warned western countries against crossing a “red line” set by Moscow.

Brussels faces backlash over delay to decision on whether gas is green; Experts threaten to walk out of talks over classifying fuel as partially sustainable
Mehreen Khan – FT
The European Commission is facing a political and scientific backlash over its decision to delay part of its landmark classification system for investors in an attempt to resolve a dispute about how to classify energy sources such as natural gas and nuclear power.

More Businesses Are Standing for Justice; The corporate response to civil rights has changed over the years.
Andrew Ross Sorkin, Jason Karaian, Sarah Kessler, Michael J. de la Merced, Lauren Hirsch and Ephrat Livni – NY Times
Andrew here. Yesterday’s guilty verdict against George Floyd’s murderer, a former Minneapolis police officer, was a symbol of something profound: a demonstrable shift in the way this country, increasingly supported by business, has strived for civil rights. As we ponder the meaning of this decision, it is worth recalling a moment in 1965, in the middle of that era’s civil rights movement.

SIFMA: Senior Security Act Would Enhance Efforts to Protect Senior Investors
SIFMA today released the following statement from Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr., SIFMA president and CEO, lauding House passage of H.R. 1565, the Senior Security Act of 2021, which would direct the GAO to study the economic costs of the financial exploitation of senior citizens:


CFTC Orders Florida Man and His Company to Pay Over $397,000 in Connection with a Digital Assets Solicitation Scheme
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced today that it has issued an order filing and settling charges against Jozef Gherman of Florida and J Squared LLC, a Florida limited liability company, for making misleading statements or omitting material facts in connection with soliciting more than $300,000 from over 40 individuals to invest in digital assets. Gherman was an employee and one of the founders of J Squared and was its principal owner and CEO.

Former Victorian financial adviser pleads guilty to obtaining financial advantage by deception
On 21 April 2021, Mr Ahmed Saad, of Glenroy, Victoria, pleaded guilty to one count of obtaining financial advantage by deception and one count of attempting to obtain financial advantage by deception.

At, By or Through: Fraud in the Broker-Dealer Industry
The brokerage industry has an important role to play when it comes to detecting, preventing and reporting fraud. It’s not just a regulatory concern, but an important reputational concern for individual firms and the industry as a whole.

FINRA Bars Research Analyst for Insider Trading
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that it has barred former Goldman Sachs & Co. research analyst Brian Maguire for twice purchasing securities after he learned a fellow analyst was upgrading his recommendation in impending research reports and for lying to FINRA staff about his trading.

Treasury Announces Key Staff Appointments
United States Department of the Treasury
Today, the United States Department of the Treasury announced the appointments of staff members who will serve in key roles. This distinguished and dedicated group of individuals will deliver results for the American people by addressing the current public health and economic crises, advancing racial equity, and tackling climate change.

Financial Services Support Digital ID, With 81% Of Firms Agreeing It Would Improve Financial Crime Prevention Across The Industry, Survey From Duff & Phelps, A Kroll Business Reveals
Survey results released today by Duff & Phelps, A Kroll Business, the world’s premier provider of governance, risk and transparency solutions, reveal that 81% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed the concept of Digital ID would improve the effectiveness of financial crime prevention across the FS industry.

Meeting Varied People – Speech By Andrew Bailey, Governor, Bank Of England – Given At Diversity In Market Intelligence: Launching Our Meeting Varied People Initiative
It’s important we engage with a more diverse range of people and institutions within the financial sector. This helps us better understand global financial markets, and their impact on the UK economy.

Investing and Trading

All-to-all corporate bond trading on the rise, report finds; Coalition Greenwich report found that all-to-all anonymous trading accounted for 12% of investment grade corporate bond trading in 2020, up from 8% the year prior.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Anonymous all-to-all trading in corporate bond trading has become increasingly among investors as volumes increased throughout last year, a recent report from Coalition Greenwich has found.

Executives Wonder if Their Stock Selloffs Were Linked to Archegos; It can be difficult for a company to know who owns its stock
Michael Wursthorn and Peter Rudegeair – WSJ
The collapse of Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management in late March took many investors and several banks by surprise when ViacomCBS Inc. VIAC -1.25% and Discovery Inc.’s DISCB -1.37% share prices tumbled. It turns out that some companies were also left wondering why their share prices whipsawed.

A Bond Tantrum Is Better Than a Lehman Moment; The Fed’s window to take away the punch bowl is narrowing, in the view of one inflation luminary. The longer it waits, the worse the pain may be.
John Authers – Bloomberg
After today, I will try to write the next five newsletters without mentioning the word “inflation.” It will be difficult but I’ll give it a try. If you weren’t able to join my liveblogged conversation with Mohamed El-Erian, Bloomberg Opinion columnist and president of Queens’ College, Cambridge, you can find the transcript here. Given El-Erian’s past role as co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., his views on inflation and the bond market command a lot of attention, and I’d like to thank him again for taking part.

Coronavirus Surge Spills Over Into World’s Financial Markets
Cormac Mullen and Abhishek Vishnoi – Bloomberg
Traders balk at growth in infections in India and Japan; Asian equities underperform, investors seek out haven assets
Financial markets around the world are waking up to the risks of another coronavirus flare-up. Asian markets, blighted by rising cases from Japan to India, have underperformed their global peers since the start of March, just when they looked set to benefit from an acceleration in the global recovery. Currencies of nations stung by the virus have been underperforming those where vaccinations are surging ahead. And now the angst is starting to spread, with recovery trades under pressure and U.S. stocks sliding for two successive days.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

India Is Showing Developing Countries How to Quickly Transition to Solar; The rise of Sumant Sinha’s ReNew Power has come in spite of the country’s corruption, bureaucracy and high capital costs.
Akshat Rathi – Bloomberg
Ten years ago, solar power barely existed in India. Now the country is adding more generation capacity from solar than coal. It’s showing other sun-soaked developing countries how to rapidly deploy cleaner energy even in the face of corruption, red tape, and weak finances.

How can Boris Johnson hit his ambitious new carbon-cutting target? Campaigners complain of slow progress on existing climate change goals as UK vows to accelerate green transition
Jim Pickard and Camilla Hodgson – FT
Boris Johnson was once seen as a borderline climate sceptic, publishing magazine covers — when he edited The Spectator — attacking “big green bullies”.

Recent Announcements by the SEC and DOL Highlight Emphasis on ESG Investing
National Law Review
Recognizing increased investor focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing and reliance on ESG-related disclosure, the SEC has taken multiple steps recently that demonstrate a clear emphasis on climate and ESG-related investing. In addition, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a non-enforcement policy relating to its recently finalized rules for investment duties and proxy voting for ESG investments.

Former President of The Giving Keys Joins ESG Impact Investing Firm, Aneuvia
PR Newswire
Brit Moore Gilmore has joined ESG Impact Investing firm, Aneuvia, as Director of Business Development. Brit has focused on social impact with an emphasis on workforce development and diversity, equity, and inclusion for more than a decade. She is the former President of a social enterprise called The Giving Keys, where she helped build the company for seven years, doubling revenue for four consecutive years while creating employment opportunities for more than 130 people transitioning out of homelessness.

Debt Issuers Who Should Know Better Are Unsure What ESG Is
Love Liman – Bloomberg
In one of the world’s most advanced regions for sustainable investing, the acronym ESG still has some debt issuers drawing blanks. Environmental, social and governance standards aren’t yet on the radar of many smaller bond issuers in the Nordic region, according to Cecilia Bevik-Cronqvist, the head of sustainable investing at Stockholm-based Nordic Credit Partners, which manages about 1.8 billion kronor ($213 million) in mostly high-yield debt. Equally concerning, she said in an interview, is the number of issuers who pay lip service to the idea of ESG, but show “no signs of real integration into the company’s core business.”

Q&A: The Fossil-Fuel Investors Swimming Against the Tide
David Hodari – WSJ
For all the talk of a transition away from fossil fuels, there are still players in the energy sector betting there’s money to be made in oil and coal. While oil-and-mining giants are backing away from billions of dollars of fossil-fuel assets, a group of smaller players is buying them up and betting that their larger counterparts’ underinvestment will fuel commodity prices and that fossil fuels will remain the world’s main energy source for years to come.

Energy Giants Ditch Oil and Coal Projects. Smaller Rivals Want Them; BP, Rio Tinto and others sell assets for financial and environmental reasons, in possible boon for those who still embrace fossil fuels
David Hodari – WSJ
For all the talk of a transition away from fossil fuels, players in the energy sector are still willing to bet there is more money to be made in oil and coal. Major oil companies such as BP BP -2.09% PLC and Royal Dutch Shell RDS.A -2.82% PLC are selling billions of dollars of assets to bolster their finances and reduce carbon emissions, while mining companies including Anglo American NGLOY -3.83% PLC and Rio Tinto RIO -1.83% PLC have exited coal projects.

BNP Paribas Asset Management Appoints Global Head Of Sustainability Research
BNP Paribas Asset Management (‘BNPP AM’) announces the appointment of Alex Bernhardt as Global Head of Sustainability Research within its Sustainability Centre. Alex joined on 21 April and reports to Jane Ambachtsheer, Global Head of Sustainability.


HSBC chief vows not to ‘flip-flop’ on China strategy; Noel Quinn refuses to redraw bank’s core business plan on basis of geopolitical tensions
Stephen Morris – FT
HSBC will not “flip-flop” on strategy every time there is a flare-up in tensions between Beijing and the west, according to chief executive Noel Quinn, rebuffing criticism of the bank for moving closer to China as it cracks down on Hong Kong.

HSBC Pivot Stokes Tension Between Hong Kong, London Bankers
Ambereen Choudhury and Cathy Chan – Bloomberg
Bank moving executives to Asia to reinforce turnaround plan; Heads of wealth, investment and commercial banking to relocate
HSBC Holdings Plc is shipping senior executives from its London headquarters to Hong Kong to seal a pivot by Europe’s largest lender to Asia. The moves are also stoking some discontent. Already smarting from a cut to the bonus pool after losses in Europe, some senior executives in Greater China worry their push into the world’s second-largest economy could be slowed by added bureaucracy and blurred reporting lines, according to people familiar with the discussions who asked to remain anonymous discussing a sensitive issue.

After Archegos, Credit Suisse clients tap rivals for clearing; Swiss bank is said to have lost clearing business amid uncertainty over its future
Costas Mourselas – Risk.net
Buy-side firms are shifting clearing business away from Credit Suisse in the aftermath of the Archegos Capital Management blow-up, according to sources at five rival banks. Clearing banks in the US and Europe tell Risk.net they have picked up business from clients of Credit Suisse in recent weeks. A source at one of the banks says clients began leaving after the Swiss bank told them to find new clearers to handle their business. Others say clients may be turning elsewhere because of

Out of 1,548 Goldman Sachs US executives, 49 are Black
Kate Duffy – Insider
Goldman Sachs said on Tuesday that out of its 1,548 senior executives in the US, 49 were Black. Out of those 49 Black executives, 25 were Black women and 24 were Black men, according to its 2020 sustainability report.

Credit Suisse Pain Isn’t Likely to End With First-Quarter Woes
Patrick Winters – Bloomberg
Firm has already signaled pre-tax loss of 900 million francs; Analysts watching for measures to de-risk prime brokerage
Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here. Credit Suisse Group AG is set to report the biggest pretax quarterly loss in more than four years following a string of costly errors. Investors want to know how much more pain is to come.


Paris Club Seizes Pandemic Opportunity to Reclaim Lost Influence; The informal group of creditor nations has been pushed aside by China; post-crisis loan workouts offer a chance to increase its relevance.
Alonso Soto, William Horobin – Bloomberg
Like clockwork through the 1990s, Sufian Beker trekked to Paris to plead for cuts in Ethiopia’s soaring debt. As the war-torn country’s finance minister from 1996 to 2015, Beker had few options other than what’s known as the Paris Club, an informal group of wealthy nations that has bailed out governments from Argentina to Zambia. In 2004 he found himself again in the monumental French Treasury building towering over the Seine—where supplicants typically sought forgiveness for their loans—and walked away with a pledge for $1.3 billion in debt relief. It was the last time Beker made such a trip.

Norway Wealth Fund’s Giant Stock Portfolio Beats Benchmark Index
Lars Erik Taraldsen and Ott Ummelas – Bloomberg
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, which holds the world’s biggest stock portfolio, said it beat its benchmark index in the first quarter as it focuses more on the U.S. market and brings in additional external managers. Norges Bank Investment Management returned 6.6% on its equity holdings, which made up just over 73% of the total $1.32 trillion portfolio, it said on Wednesday.

China Considers Supporting Huarong With Central Bank Funds
Bloomberg News
Central bank unit may assume assets from Huarong, people say; Selloff in company’s debt has stoked fears of market contagion
China is considering a plan that would see the central bank assume more than 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) of assets from China Huarong Asset Management Co., helping the state-owned company clean up its balance sheet and refocus on its core business of managing distressed debt, people familiar with the matter said.

China Huarong Is a Test for Beijing’s Financial Reform Drive; Someone has to take big losses. Will it be foreign or domestic investors?
Shuli Ren – Bloomberg
The Chinese government controls valuable assets in strategic areas through state-owned enterprises. But SOEs are also inefficient, prone to corruption, and heavily indebted. As of 2019, the latest year for which data are available, SOEs had 126 trillion yuan ($19.4 trillion) of debt, or about 40% of the nation’s total government, corporate, and household debt, helping to make China one of the most heavily indebted countries in the world.

Cass Business School to be renamed after statistician Thomas Bayes; Move by City, University of London, follows concerns about philanthropist’s slavery links
Jonathan Moules – FT
City, University of London, is to rename its business school after the 18th century statistician, philosopher and Presbyterian minister Thomas Bayes, ending a 20-year association with slavery-tainted Sir John Cass.

Scotland faces up to life after oil; In 50 years, the industry has transformed the country’s politics and economy. Can renewable energy replace it?
David Sheppard and Nathalie Thomas – FT
When the UK was preparing to bring the first barrels of North Sea oil ashore almost 50 years ago, Gavin McCrone was quietly drawing up what would turn out to be an incendiary warning for government ministers. The Ayr-born civil servant, who served as chief economic adviser to successive secretaries of state for Scotland for more than 20 years, thought they had failed to appreciate the sheer scale of the tax revenues that would be available from this newfound industry that was starting off the coast of Aberdeen.


Northern Ireland Split Over Brexit Trading Deal, Poll Shows
Peter Flanagan – Bloomberg
Northern Ireland is divided on the region’s post-Brexit trading arrangements, a poll suggested. As part of the Brexit deal, Northern Ireland effectively stayed in the European Union’s customs area and much of the single market, while the rest of the U.K. exited. Some 43% of people agreed the protocol is good for Northern Ireland, while 44% disagree, according to the survey for Queen’s University Belfast. On the wider question of Irish unity, 49% want to remain part of the U.K., while 43% want To exit, a poll for the BBC showed.

Brexit lands English exporter in supply chain quagmire
Chris Tighe – FT
On an industrial estate in the northern English county of Durham, a vet is poring over paperwork at Prima Cheese, one of the UK’s biggest producers of shredded cheese for pizzas. Before Brexit, when Prima’s trucks were ready to deliver to its EU customers, all the company had to do was print off an invoice and complete a carriage of goods document, and hand both to the driver. Then off the truck went. On New Year’s Day, all that changed.

Top JPMorgan Traders Talk Robots, Brexit Impact and Remote Work
Ksenia Galouchko – Bloomberg
The next generation of traders will need quant, data and coding expertise to keep up with the needs of clients, two of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s top electronic traders say. “The trader of the future isn’t a person who’s pressing buttons to trade, it’s somebody who understands more of a macro view through the use of data and technology,” Sarah Heffron, global co-head of electronic client solutions and program trading for equities, said in a video interview. Over the past 12 months the 22-year JPMorgan veteran, and Joanna Martin, head of global liquidity solutions and co-head of EMEA execution services, have been balancing the challenges of remote work and childcare, while also managing the post-Brexit transition and examining how automation can make trading more efficient.

‘Peter Grimes’ Sails on Choppy Seas of Brexit and the Pandemic
Raphael Minder – The New York Times
In a new production of “Peter Grimes” that premiered at the Teatro Real opera house here on Monday, the people of an English seaside town wave the British flag, and pack into a pub seeking shelter from a sudden downpour. Benjamin Britten’s 1945 opera about an ill-fated fisherman is one of the most quintessentially English works in the opera repertoire, but Britain’s recent exit from the European Union, coupled with a travel ban and other restrictions triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, has made staging it in Madrid a journey across choppy and uncharted waters. “Having to deal with Brexit and the pandemic at the same time was diabolical,” Joan Matabosch, the artistic director of the Teatro Real, said in an interview.

U.K. Targets Ivy League for Post-Brexit Student Exchange Plan
Alex Morales – Bloomberg
Boris Johnson’s government wants to send more British students to Ivy League universities, as it seeks to strengthen U.S. ties in the wake of Brexit. The U.K.’s new Turing Scheme aims to send about 35,000 students at high schools and universities to work or study abroad from this fall, with applications due to close on Wednesday for participating institutions. It is designed to be wider-reaching than the European Union’s Erasmus program, which the U.K. opted out of as it left the bloc. That sent only 3% of participants outside Europe, according to Universities Minister Michelle Donelan.


Europe’s Rebel Soccer League Collapses After Fans Force Exit
David Hellier and Rodrigo Orihuela – Bloomberg
English clubs withdraw from the controversial plan within days; Proposed league met huge opposition from politicians and fans
Europe’s rebel soccer league crumbled just days after its launch as teams pulled out amid fury from the sport’s authorities, politicians and fans. Juventus Chairman Andrea Agnelli, one of the leading architects of the European Super League, said the project will no longer go ahead, according to a spokesman. Earlier the league had said it was considering “appropriate steps to reshape the project.”

‘Gifting-as-a-Service’ Companies Want to Rid the World of Unused Corporate Swag; Goodbye, oversized branded T-shirts? Businesses like Alyce and Snappy raise cash as the reinventors of corporate gifting
Katie Deighton – WSJ
Startups are offering corporate clients a personalized alternative to homogenous corporate swag, hoping that if recipients choose their own gifts, they will like them more. The nascent “gifting-as-a-service” sector is gathering pace as companies are unable to dish out merchandise at in-person events, and consumers turn away from the cycle of amassing, then ditching, freebies they don’t need.

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