Hits & Takes
By JLN Staff
Last week, the German Federal Ministry of Finance published its draft amendments to the national money laundering law to conform German laws to the most recent European Union anti-money laundering rules regarding cryptocurrencies, tokens, and digital assets. The draft is subject to further modifications based on input from other government ministries before being submitted to the Bundestag, the German parliament, for consideration. There are no laws in Germany specific to the issuance of or transactions in these instruments.~TT
The team at T3 Index introduced the www.spikesanalytics.com] website, which provides analysis and insights on the settlement auction for SPIKES volatility index options.~[[JJL
CME Group traded 43,588 Micro E-Mini Dow Jones Industrial Average Index Futures, 171,296 Micro E-Mini Nasdaq-100 Index Futures, 29,191 Micro E-Mini Russell 2000 Index Futures and 211,220 Micro E-Mini S&P 500 Index Futures yesterday.~JJL
You can earn a DePaul MBA two weekends a month in downtown Chicago. Click on the link to find out how long this takes.~JJL
Gary Flagler will be a moderator of a panel at the 11th Annual Profit & Loss Latin America 2019 by P&L Services Ltd. The panel is titled “Thinking Forward – A New Market Structure” with speakers Guillermo Camou (Director, Listed Derivatives, Scotiabank), Jose Cervantes (Head of Derivatives, Banca Mifel) and Otto Niño (SVP Head of Clearing & Settlement, Atlas Bank).~JJL
CME Group to Launch Next Generation of CME SPAN Margin Methodology
CME Group today announced it will launch the next generation of its industry-leading Standard Portfolio Analysis of Risk (SPAN) margin framework – CME SPAN 2. The new framework is slated for testing in the second half of 2019 and, pending regulatory review and approval, roll out in the first half of 2020.
****I can’t wait to see the CME advertisements for Next Generation SPAN with Patrick Stewart as the spokesman.~JJL
Elon Musk’s income is higher than 65 next highest paid CEOs
In 2018, Elon Musk, CEO and not-quite co-founder of Tesla, was paid an astonishing $2.3 billion dollars in compensation by the company. All of this income came in the form of stock options, which can only be exercised if certain targets related to company performance are met.
***** How many children have been named Elon recently? It appears to be a lucky name.~JJL
Venezuela crisis so bad that criminals cannot afford bullets
Beatrice Christofaro – Insider
Venezuela’s crippling economic spiral is having a negative impact on an unlikely group in society: criminals, who are struggling to afford bullets, and unable to find things to steal as the country’s wealth declines rapidly.
*****Back to the swords and knives it is then.~JJL
Tuesday’s Top Three
I suppose everyone wants to see if they, or their employees or peers, are indeed exceptional. The top read piece yesterday was Ten ways to spot a truly exceptional employee from Quartz. Second was Crain’s CME Group, Small Exchange court retail futures investors about the push into small futures contracts. Third was R.J. O’Brien’s announcement on its promotions R.J. O’Brien Promotes Staniford to Chief Sales Officer; Gilhooly to COO, North America; Northup to Global Solutions Officer
152,945,256 pages viewed; 23,743 pages; 219,409 edits
FCA bans ex-broker Terry Farr over Libor-rigging scandal; Financial watchdog says Farr ‘acted dishonestly and lacked integrity’
Myles McCormick – FT
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has banned Terry Farr from performing any regulated financial activity, saying the ex-broker had “acted dishonestly and lacked integrity” for his alleged role in the Libor rigging scandal.
U.S. Risks ‘Devastating’ Blow From China’s Rare Earths Monopoly
Beijing could wreak havoc by restricting exports of magnets; Even sole U.S. mine sends elements to China for processing
Beijing’s threat to use its dominance of rare earths in the trade war risks serious disruption to U.S. industry, by starving manufacturers of components commonplace in everything from cars to dishwashers and military equipment. And, it’s a stranglehold that might take years to break.
British and EU market watchdogs trade blows over market access after no-deal Brexit
Iain Withers – Reuters
A tussle between Britain and the European Union over where thousands of shares would be traded in the event of a no-deal Brexit escalated on Wednesday after Britain’s financial watchdog accused its EU counterpart of risking disruption by restricting market access.
ESMA adjusts share trading obligation plans for no-deal Brexit to ease industry concerns; European regulatory watchdog revises approach to STO for 14 UK stocks after FCA raises alarm over liquidity and market fragmentation under a no-deal scenario.
By John Brazier – The Trade
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has revised its proposal to the share trading obligation (STO) after numerous market participants expressed concerns that UK stocks would be traded on European venues.
Nomura Sinks to Crisis-Level Valuation as Bad News Keeps Coming
By Michael Patterson – Bloomberg
The relentless slide in shares of Nomura Holdings Ltd. is headed for unprecedented territory. Japan’s largest brokerage sank toward its lowest close since 2012 on Wednesday, sending the firm’s valuation to 0.43 times net assets. That’s within a hair’s breadth of an all-time low set during the European debt crisis in 2011 and leaves Nomura trading at a record discount versus global financial shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Mutual funds should alter prices during market stress, FCA paper says; Regulators worry how funds invested in illiquid assets cope with ‘fire sales’
Kate Beioley – FT
Mutual funds invested in assets like bonds and property should alter their pricing under stressed conditions in order to halt “fire sales” like those witnessed after the Brexit vote and protect long-term customers, according to a paper from the UK’s financial watchdog.
CLS taps senior ECB official as new chief executive; Marc Bayle de Jessé joins currency service after 22 years at European Central Bank
Philip Stafford – FT
CLS, the world’s largest currency settlement service, has appointed a senior official at the European Central Bank as its new chief executive as it aims to rebuild bridges with risk-conscious investment banks.
Why Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam Were Added to U.S. Currency Watchlist
By Michelle Jamrisko and Wes Goodman – Bloomberg
Treasury cites Singapore for current account, fx intervention; MAS says it doesn’t manipulate currency for export advantage
The U.S. Treasury added Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam to a watchlist for currency manipulation, putting their foreign-exchange policies under scrutiny.
Banks and regulators cast wary eye over Facebook’s crypto plans; Currency would reunite Zuckerberg with co-founders and sworn enemies the Winklevoss twins
Stephen Morris – FT
Facebook is finally making its move in the payments market in the most unlikely of fashions — a cryptocurrency that will reunite its boss Mark Zuckerberg with his co-founders and sworn enemies the Winklevoss twins.
Hedge Funds Pay Jefferies to Trade for Them in One-Stop Shopping
By Sonali Basak – Bloomberg
More funds are turning to outside firms for trade execution; Outsourcing lets funds stick to ‘No. 1 focus,’ Laub says
Jefferies Financial Group Inc. is luring dozens of clients to a trading venture for hedge funds, a business that some of its largest rivals exited a decade ago.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
CLS appoints new chief executive from European Central Bank; FX settlement system names new CEO following departure of David Puth in September 2018.
By Jonathan Watkins – The Trade
CLS has named long-serving European Central Bank (ECB) market infrastructure lead, Marc Bayle de Jesse, as its new CEO.
EU backtracks on post-Brexit share trading curbs; Esma exempts 14 key stocks from its no-deal plans after rules alarm investors
Philip Stafford and Philip Georgiadis – FT
EU regulators have backed away from plans to force EU investors to trade some of the UK’s biggest companies in the bloc rather than in London in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
STOXX expands its range of ESG-X indices
Deutsche Börse Group
STOXX Ltd., the operator of Deutsche Börse Group’s index business and global provider of innovative tradable index concepts, has launched a series of new benchmark ESG-X indices, including an ESG-X version of the established EURO STOXX 50 ® index.
Deutsche Börse Regulatory Reporting Hub offers SFTR services
Deutsche Börse Group
Deutsche Börse’s Regulatory Reporting Hub will add further regulation to the existing regulatory services offering through the Securities Financing Transactions Regulation (SFTR). The SFTR solution helps customers meet future reporting requirements under SFTR, improves data quality and increases reporting efficiency.
HKEX Hosts Biotech Week 2019
HKEX welcomes over 1,000 delegates to its Biotech Week 2019, including Nobel, Turing and Fields Medal winners; Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam delivered opening remarks
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) this week is welcoming over 1,000 world renowned scientists, biotech entrepreneurs, investors, technology experts and policymakers to share insights on the biotech industry’s latest developments at its second ever Biotech Summit.
Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman to Present at Sandler O’Neill 2019 Global Exchange and Brokerage Conference
BME Reshuffles Its Management Team
The new appointments are aligned with the objectives set by the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan
The Board of Directors of BME has approved – as part of a global overhaul – a series of changes in the company’s management team, which are aligned with the objectives set by the Strategic Plan while also advancing towards a more appropriate distribution of tasks among business units and corporate areas.
Revised Lists Of The Moscow Exchange Indices Announced
Today Moscow Exchange announced the results of the quarterly review for MOEX indices. All changes were made upon recommendations from the Index Committee and will be implemented from 21 June 2019. The Exchange has also set free floats for a number of companies.
Refinitiv expands coverage of fixed income, derivatives markets with Yieldbroker deal; Price data and analytics for Australian and New Zealand fixed income and interest rate derivatives to be provided through Elektron and Eikon platforms.
By John Brazier – The Trade
Refinitiv has announced a new deal to expand its coverage of Australian and New Zealand fixed income and interest rate derivatives markets.
IQ-EQ Appoints Chief Commercial Director To Drive Growth In Luxembourg
IQ-EQ, a leading investor services group, has appointed Fèmy Mouftaou to the role of Chief Commercial Director to spearhead business development in Luxembourg.
Exchange Data International (EDI) Launches Real Time and Historical FX Feed Service
Exchange Data International (EDI), a leading provider of global security corporate actions, pricing and reference data services, officially announces the launch of the Real Time and Historical FX Feed service in partnership with TraderMade Systems.
Dark pool and OTC crypto trading growing as market begins to resemble traditional asset classes; Aite Group report finds OTC market accounted for 60% of all cryptocurrency trades in 2018, expected share to grow to 65% in 2019.
By Jonathan Watkins – The Trade
New research has shown a growing percentage of crypto trades being executed via the OTC market and dark pools in a sign of the asset class maturing as it continues to evolve.
G20 Countries Start Implementing Unified Cryptocurrency Standards
Kevin Helms – Bitcoin.com News
As the G20 summit approaches, member countries have been discussing how to implement the standards set by intergovernmental organizations such as the Financial Action Task Force. While there may be some challenges in complying with the standards, the European Central Bank says the risks crypto assets pose to the euro area’s financial stability are manageable.
Virtual Racing Car in Blockchain Game Sells for Over $110,000
Max Boddy – Cointelegraph
An unknown user bought a virtual racing car for upcoming blockchain-based game F1 Delta Time for 415.9 ether (ETH) or $110,600 at the time of sale, according to information on the game’s website. The virtual racing car — the “1-1-1” — is the first model to be issued and is also one-of-a-kind, with the auction page promising to never release more. The company behind the game, Animoca Brands, ran an auction for the limited edition model in ether for four days, before selling the crypto collectible to user “09E282” after received 31 bids.
Cryptocurrency Visa card could open a back door for dirty money; Regulators must stand firm on anti-money laundering requirements
Izabella Kaminska – FT
In the battle against international money laundering, cryptocurrency remains the weakest link. Users can receive payments from unknown sources from around the world, which makes it hard for the network to keep out the proceeds of crime — ransom cyber attacks, drug trafficking, or worse. An extensive network of dealers also buy or sell crypto against cash.
Tezos Is About to Enact Its First-Ever On-Chain Blockchain Update
Christine Kim – Coindesk
After nearly three months of voting by token holders, the Tezos blockchain will undertake a series of backwards-incompatible changes to the network on Wednesday. Called Athens A, the upgrade proposal was the first to undergo the network’s “self-amendment” process in which bakers on Tezos – equivalent to miners on bitcoin or ethereum – stake tokens bundled into “rolls” to show their support for or against competing upgrade proposals. Tezos is a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain with an estimated valuation of over $1 billion.
Up to 86% of total reported cryptocurrency trading volume is likely fake, according to analysis of exchange website visits
Larry Cermak – The Block
The Block analyzed 48 cryptocurrency exchanges, focusing on monthly traffic over the past six months (ranging from November 2018 to April 2019). There were nearly 800 million cryptocurrency exchange website visits in that time period. The Block compared the number of website visits to trading volume across exchanges to identify suspects that participate in faking trading volume, as indicated by disproportionately high volume relative to website visits.
Blockchain Settlement Was Slow, Costly in Trial, Weidmann Says
By Carolynn Look – Bloomberg
A trial project using blockchain to transfer and settle securities and cash proved more costly and less speedy than the traditional way, Germany’s central bank president said.
Rakuten Brings in Compliance Partner for New Crypto Exchange
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, has partnered with blockchain analytics firm CipherTrace to help ensure compliance for its soon-to-go-live cryptocurrency exchange.
Bitcoin’s ‘Toxic’ Twitter ‘Culture War’ Explained
Alyssa Hertig – Coindesk
“What the heck! It’s a food fight on here. [Bitcoin developer] Matt Corallo is mad at Blockstream. Ragnar and Giacomo Zucco clubbing people left and right. Wat is going on!?”
Bitbond Plans to Raise $3.9 Million in Germany’s ‘First’ Regulated STO
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
Blockchain-based lending platform Bitbond is launching a security token offering (STO) that it says is the first to be approved by a regulator in Germany.
U.S.’s Pompeo says Huawei is an ‘instrument of Chinese government’
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo kept up U.S. pressure on Huawei Technologies Co Ltd on Wednesday, saying the Chinese tech giant takes orders from Beijing.
DealBook Briefing: Could the Trade War Spread to Wall Street?;The next trade battle: China’s access to Wall Street?
Both inside and outside the White House, there are growing calls for a weakening of China’s links to U.S. financial markets, Keith Bradsher and Ana Swanson of the NYT report.
Further inaction on climate change is simply not an option; Leaders must come to the UN summit in September armed with solutions as well as speeches
António Guterres – FT
“Save Tuvalu; save the world.” This is the rallying cry I heard on my recent visit to Tuvalu, a stop on my Pacific tour to the frontlines of the global climate emergency. I was there to show solidarity with those suffering the worst impacts of climate change and to draw attention to the innovative climate action underway in the region.
ECB Offers Scholarship for Women in Economics in Diversity Push
By Piotr Skolimowski – Bloomberg
The European Central Bank is launching a scholarship program for female students who want to pursue a masters degree in economics in Europe as the institution seeks to boost female representation in the field.
U.S. Spares China Currency Manipulator Label, Expands Watchlist
By Saleha Mohsin – Bloomberg
Treasury expands currency watch list to nine, from six nations; Ireland, Italy, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia added to list
The Trump administration again refrained from labeling China a currency manipulator on Tuesday, a decision that leaves one of the president’s campaign promises unfulfilled but avoids further escalation in the trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
Swiss Open Criminal Probe After Glencore Complaint by Non-Profit
By Hugo Miller and Andy Hoffman – Bloomberg
Prosecutors says Glencore isn’t focus of investigation; Probe against ‘unknown perpetrators’ suspected of bribery
Switzerland’s top prosecutor opened a criminal probe against “unknown perpetrators” suspected of bribing foreign officials after a public interest group filed a complaint in 2017 against Glencore Plc, adding to international scrutiny of the world’s biggest commodity trader.
SEC Charges Investment Adviser With Fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged investment adviser Stephen Brandon Anderson with defrauding clients by overcharging advisory fees of at least $367,000.
FCA update on share trading obligations
ESMA has today published a statement on the revised scope of the EU’s share trading obligation (STO) under a no-deal scenario, following their initial announcement on 19 March 2019.
FCA bans Terry Farr
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has prohibited former Martins Brokers (UK) Ltd (‘Martins’) broker Terry Farr from performing any function in relation to any regulated financial activity, on the basis that he acted dishonestly and lacked integrity, and as a result is not fit and proper to perform any function in relation to any regulated activity.
UK regulator bans former broker over Libor ‘wash’ trades
Kirstin Ridley – Reuters
Britain’s markets regulator has banned Terry Farr, one of six former brokers unanimously acquitted by a London jury over their role in the Libor scandal, for dishonesty and lacking integrity over so-called “wash” trades.
FCA protests no-deal trading rules despite Esma climbdown; European regulator softens stance on where UK stocks should trade in the event of a no-deal Brexit, but UK regulator wants it to go further
By Samuel Agini – Financial News
A spat between European and British regulators over where shares should trade in the event of a no-deal Brexit has flared up after the UK Financial Conduct Authority accused its Paris-based counterpart of risking disruption to liquid markets.
21 Charges Filed By New Zealand Financial Markets Authority Against Man Who Convinced Members Of The Public To ‘Invest’ With Him
The Financial Markets Authority has charged a man with offences under the Crimes Act and the FMA Act at the Manukau District Court.
Investing and Trading
ECB warns trade row could hit financial stability if it causes recession; Central bank also reiterated concern about the low profitability of European banks
Olaf Storbeck – FT
The European Central Bank has warned that trade tensions pose the greatest risk of knocking global growth, something that could destabilise the eurozone’s financial system.
Corn prices jump to 3-year high amid extreme wet weather; Poor conditions have severely delayed plantings in US midwest
Emiko Terazono – FT
Corn prices popped to a 3-year high after a severe delay in plantings in the US midwest due to extreme wet weather.
Gold groups eye consolidation to revive fortunes; Miners’ shares lose their shine as investors turn to cannabis stocks
Henry Sanderson – FT
Gold groups should be enjoying a boom. Geopolitical tensions such as trade wars or Iranian sabre-rattling usually send investors flocking to the yellow metal. But in Canada, the traditional centre for the gold-mining industry, cannabis has instead caught investors’ eyes.
Pork prices set to soar on China swine fever outbreak; Farms swamp market with culled carcasses as disease threatens one-third of country’s 400m pigs
Hudson Locket, Lucy Hornby and Archie Zhang – FT
African swine fever took a while to arrive in the green hills of Guangdong, in southern China. But when it did it came with a vengeance.
U.S. Duration Trades at Risk of Getting ‘Unglued’ on Stagflation
By Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Tariff hikes could feed through to inflation: McElligott; Fed language on inflation at June 20 meeting will be key
Investors may be underestimating the chance of stagflation in the U.S. as higher tariffs push up inflation even amid a sluggish economy, according to Nomura Securities International Inc.
Rare Earth Stocks Give Abundant Returns as Investors Pile In
State media suggested materials may be used in trade war; Share moves aren’t near rational levels, analyst says
Returns for investors in Chinese rare earths stocks are looking anything but scarce. Investors are piling into the sector on speculation the materials may be weaponized in China’s tit-for-tat trade war with the U.S. President Xi Jinping’s visit to a rare earth facility in Jiangxi last week fueled an initial rally, with shares surging again on Wednesday after a slew of Chinese media reports advocated the threat of using rare earths as retaliation against the U.S.
Bond Traders Start Panic Buying in New Yield Order; After a decline of 100 basis points, there’s little doubt that yields will be lower for a lot longer.
By Brian Chappatta – Bloomberg
Why are U.S. Treasury yields so low? This is probably the single most pressing question facing Wall Street after the benchmark 10-year yield touched 2.26% on Tuesday, down about 100 basis points from October. Because of that rally, a key portion of the U.S. curve inverted further. Yes, there’s a U.S.-China trade war going on. But those levels still boggle the mind when considering the S&P 500 Index remains close to a record, the Federal Reserve has said it’ll be patient with interest rates and Americans feel as good about current economic conditions as they have in 18 years.
Eike Batista Plots His Comeback and Offers Advice to Elon Musk
By Peter Millard and David Biller – Bloomberg
Walking down a busy street in Rio de Janeiro one recent afternoon, we bumped into the Brazilian who is best known for losing $35 billion in a single year. After initially trying to deflect questions, he begrudgingly invited us along for a lunch that lasted two hours.
Cut Your Stock Market Risk by Investing in Farming
By Al Root – Barron’s
In the movie adapted from Pearl Buck’s novel “The Good Earth,” the self-made male lead Wang warns his village he will be ruined if an approaching swarm of locusts eat his crops. Incredulous bystanders wonder how that could be. After all, he has become the richest man in town. He cries out that all his capital is in the fields before running out to battle the bugs.
Jamie Dimon rips Wells Fargo over lengthy CEO search
By Kevin Dugan – NY Post
JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon on Tuesday slammed rival Wells Fargo as “irresponsible” for not having a permanent replacement after losing its top executive in March.
Goldman Sachs names executives in Asia, New York to top committee
Elizabeth Dilts – Reuters
Goldman Sachs Group Inc named three new executives to its management committee, the co-presidents of the bank’s Asia Pacific region and its global treasurer, according to a memo sent by bank leaders on Tuesday.
Female Hedge-Fund Veteran Has Contemplated a Comeback; Anne Dias managed money from billionaire Julian Robertson and her then-husband, Ken Griffin
By Rachael Levy – WSJ
Anne Dias, once one of the few women to run her own hedge fund, has been considering a return to money management.
Piper Jaffray Companies: Piper Jaffray Companies Announces Sale of Advisory Research, Inc.
Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE: PJC), a leading investment bank, today announced the sale of Advisory Research, Inc. through two separate transactions which will result in the firm exiting its traditional asset management business. It has signed a definitive agreement to sell the midstream energy business of Advisory Research, Inc. to Tortoise Capital Advisors.
Morgan Stanley cuts about half a dozen Asian equities jobs: sources
Anshuman Daga, Sumeet Chatterjee – Reuters
Morgan Stanley has cut about half a dozen equity sales, trading and research jobs across Asia as part of a global cost-cutting move, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.
China Gears Up to Weaponize Rare Earths in Trade War
By Jason Rogers, David Stringer, and Martin Ritchie – Bloomberg
Beijing is gearing up to use its dominance of rare earths to hit back in its deepening trade war with Washington. A flurry of Chinese media reports on Wednesday, including an editorial in the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party, raised the prospect of Beijing cutting exports of the commodities that are critical in defense, energy, electronics and automobile sectors. The world’s biggest producer, China supplies about 80% of U.S. imports of rare earths, which are used in a host of applications from smartphones to electric vehicles and wind turbines.
Abraaj founder released from custody after $19 million bail payment
Arif Naqvi, the Pakistani founder of collapsed private equity firm Abraaj Group, has been released from custody after meeting bail conditions including the payment of a 15 million pound ($19 million) security, a court official said.
Chinese pharma group admits using false documents; Shares fall 5% after Kangmei says $4.4bn cash overstatement linked to faked paperwork
Don Weinland – FT
A Chinese pharmaceutical company that overstated its cash balance by Rmb30bn ($4.4bn) said on Wednesday that it did so by using false documents — an admission that sent it shares down 5 per cent.
China regulator urges banks to check ties to Baoshang Bank – sources
China’s banking regulator has urged lenders to conduct thorough checks and report their business ties with troubled Baoshang Bank, as the authorities seek to head off potential financial risks, four sources told Reuters on Wednesday.
Tusk says Brexit a ‘vaccine’ on continent against anti-EU parties; Brussels insists the Brexit deal will not be renegotiated
Alex Barker, Rochelle Toplensky and Jim Brunsden – FT
One of the EU’s top policymakers said the UK’s crisis over Brexit had acted like a “vaccine” across the continent against populist claims in the European Parliament election campaign, as leaders reiterated that Britain’s exit deal was not up for renegotiation.
Boris Johnson Must Attend Court on Brexit Claims, Judge Says
By Jonathan Browning – Bloomberg
Private prosecution against Tory frontrunner can proceed; Campaigner alleges that Johnson engaged in criminal behavior
U.K. Conservative Party leadership contender Boris Johnson must attend a court hearing to face allegations of misconduct in public office, a London judge ruled.
El-Erian to become president of Queens’ College Cambridge; Allianz’s chief economic adviser to assume role at Cambridge university in 2020
Philip Georgiadis – FT
Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz and a former investment chief of bond giant Pimco, has been named as the next president of Cambridge university’s Queens’ College.