Financial System Makes Big Promises on Climate Change at COP26 Summit

Nov 3, 2021

First Read

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Hemp Harvest Rolls to a Close Amid Less Than Average Yields In Several Regions
-Texas regulators take a startling turn against delta-8
Suzanne Cosgrove – John Lothian News

At first glance, the October PanXchange Hemp: Benchmark & Analysis report looks like more of the same when compared with September’s, but a closer look shows several issues have intensified: price pressures in the hemp biomass sector from newly harvested supply, the continued controversy over (and demand for) for delta-8 and the use of hemp in animal feed.

Mid-point prices for hemp seed — both conventional seed and the organic variety — remained higher, as did prices for CBD smokable flower and hemp hurd, with the later two sectors unchanged from September levels.

Looking at spot prices for biomass, PanXchange pointed out that higher prices for certain categories of CBD “withered away as harvest progressed.” The need for quality product ahead of the harvest should be satiated now that it’s rolling in, the report said. But with demand for delta-8 removing supply for at least the past year, it predicted prices are likely to pick up again in the 2021/2022 crop year.

To read the rest of this story, go HERE.


Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

FIA EXPO kicked off last night with registration opening at the Hilton Chicago and an open bar with many Chicago area and out-of-town derivatives industry stalwarts showing up. The overworked 7RIDGE team that helped put together the deal with TT, SGX and Cboe were there and they looked good despite going without much sleep recently. Several smiling TT employees and former employees were there as well. Even the Most Interesting Man in the World, Pat Kenny, showed up.

JLN is set up on the EXPO Hall floor to shoot some video interviews. We will also be videoing the presentations from the Innovators Pavilion as part of a deal worked out with FIA, which will sponsor the videos. Our new intern Alex Perry will be running the video show, assisted by my daughter Katherine Lothian. Kat has been a video assistant for JLN at two Bocas and one IDX. Thank you to all the firms that have shown up and are participating in EXPO this year. I know the FIA appreciates it and so do we at JLN.

It was good to see so many people I have not seen for so long because of the pandemic. I think we all aged during the pandemic, which showed. I did get several compliments for my 50-pound weight loss, which was nice. More to go. If you see me at EXPO, please say hello.

CQG today announced the launch of a new comprehensive suite of execution technologies aimed at giving market participants new tools to achieve greater efficiencies, optimal trade execution, particularly on large or complex orders. Think of this as giving your order to be the best broker in the pit.

FairX today put out a press release titled “FairX Retail Futures Poised for Significant Growth as Volume Continues to Rise; Distribution Opens to Global Clients of Charles Schwab Futures and Forex LLC, E*TRADE; Hudson River Trading Commits as a Lead Market Maker.” FairX said it is seeing average daily volume growing 33% week-over-week since it launched in June.

ESMA reported that Verena Ross started in her new position as chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) today.

Goldman Sachs announced its 2021 class of new managing directors, some 643 individuals from 45 offices. This is the largest class in Goldman history and its most diverse, and they become managing directors as of January 1, 2022. The class includes 383 from the Americas, (60%), 151 from EMEA (23%), 5 from Bengaluru (5%) and 80 from Asia Pacific (12%).The new directors have averaged 11 years at Goldman, representing 380+ different schools and 43% earned advanced degrees. The new directors speak 56 different languages and come from 58 different countries of origin. There are 194 women (30%), 182 of Asian descent (28%), 29 who are black (5%), 31 who are Hispanic/Lantinx origin (5%) and 22 who are LGBTQ (5%). — Goldman Sachs

Recently, Katten launched Katten Quick Reads, a part of its website where authors such as Gary DeWaal and Dan Davis post timely content and thoughts about industry-related happenings. Here are some of the recent posts:
President’s Working Group Report Attacks Stablecoins As Well As CeFi Platforms and DeFi Protocols – Gary DeWaal
Material Influencers or Controllers of DeFi Applications May be Subject to Obligations of a Virtual Asset Service Provider Says the FATF – Gary DeWaal
Stablecoins Likely to Continue Under Sword of Damocles for the Interim Future – Gary DeWaal
CFTC Crypto Chess? – Dan Davis
BITO ETF Doesn’t Necessarily Pave Early Path for Spot ETFs or ETFs on Other Crypto Futures – Gary DeWaal

CME Group’s Julie Winkler, chief commercial officer at the exchange group, has a new commentary titled “Financial Markets and the Road to a More Sustainable Future.”

The AFME, the Association for Financial Markets in Europe, has a paper titled “Guiding Principles for Data Sharing – A Perspective for European Capital Markets.”

The CME Group is looking for a person to fill the position “Procurement Operations Lead – Contract Management” in Chicago.

The Greenwood Project is now accepting 2022 High School Summer Institute applications. To learn more email

BGC Partners is supporting the #10000 Black Interns program, a new initiative in the UK co-founded by Dawid Konotey-Ahulu and Jonathan Sorrell seeking to offer 10,000 internships over 5 years, across 24 sectors, involving more than 700 companies. BGC said on LinkedIn that
across financial and professional services, over 100 firms, including BGC Partners, will be taking part in a six-week internship program offering young Black African, Black Caribbean and Black British students paid work experience. The deadline for candidates to apply is 23:59 on Sunday, 7 November 2021. For further information, please visit the 10,000 Black Interns website.

Investigative journalists Bradley Hope and Tom Wright have produced a YouTube video titled “The Man Behind the World’s Biggest Financial Fraud | Investigators.”

Josh Inglis, the founder of the PR firm Propllr, has published a commentary titled “10 TIPS FOR QUOTES REPORTERS CAN’T RESIST.”

Website notice from the NFA: Due to maintenance, the following systems will be unavailable from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. CT on Sunday, November 7, 2021: Online Registration System (ORS), BASIC Data Entry, Security Futures Products Training, Online Payments, Online Arbitration Claims, Arbitrator Profile, Arbitrator Training, Employment Application and Profile System, and all Electronic Filings Systems including EasyFile, Exemptions, Annual Questionnaire, and Disclosure Documents. During the maintenance window, access to NFA’s website may be unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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


SEC Chief Signals He Has Bond Trader Advantages in His Sights
Jesse Westbrook and Nick Baker – Bloomberg
Professionals get access to pre-trade price data, Gensler says; He questions whether data should be more broadly disseminated
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler signaled he’s interested in leveling the playing field in the corporate bond market by making key pricing information available to more investors. “Many professionals have access to some amount of pre-trade price information in the corporate bond market,” Gensler said in a Tuesday speech. “I wonder if broadening the dissemination of that type of information might make this market more accessible, competitive and liquid.”

**** There is so much to do in the bond market to make it more transparent and accessible. Look for coming innovation to make that happen.~JJL


BGC Partners Launches Fenics Markets Xchange (“FMX”); Signs Cross-Margining and Clearing Services Agreement with LCH
BGC Partners, Inc.
BGC Partners, Inc. (Nasdaq: BGCP) (“BGC Partners” or “BGC” or the “Company”), a leading global brokerage and financial technology company, announced today the launch of FMX, a comprehensive marketplace for fully electronic trading and execution across U.S. Rates Cash and Futures. BGC Partners also announced the execution of a Clearing Services Agreement with LCH Ltd, a leading global clearing house.

****For example.~JJL


The ‘Metaverse’ Prompts High-Stakes Race for Big Tech; Facebook’s recent name change is just one example of tech companies positioning to take their stakes in the virtual space
Wall Street Journal
A tech industry battle is taking shape over the “metaverse.” WSJ tech reporter Meghan Bobrowsky explains the concept and why tech companies like Facebook, Roblox and Epic Games are investing billions to develop this digital space.

***** Meghan Bobrowsky does us all a favor and explains what a metaverse is and what it means. Quite frankly, this reality world is weird enough for me.~JJL


Tuesday’s Top Three
Tuesday was another all-TT-deal day. Our top story Tuesday, by leaps and bounds, was John Lothian’s column for JLN, 7RIDGE Deal For Trading Technologies Completes Robust Auction Amid Industry Strategic Players. Second was Crain’s Chicago Business’s coverage of the deal, Trading Technologies sells to British private-equity firm. And third was The Financial Times’s Biggest derivative exchanges back ex-Deutsche Börse chief’s fintech buyout.


MarketsWiki Stats
26,637 pages; 236,138 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

Financial System Makes Big Promises on Climate Change at COP26 Summit; The global finance industry, its regulators and investors pledge trillions in funding to reduce carbon emissions
David Benoit – WSJ
Most of the world’s big banks, its major investors and insurers, and its financial regulators have for the first time signed up to a coordinated pledge that will incorporate carbon emissions into their most fundamental decisions. The lenders and investors say they will help fund a shift that will reduce carbon emissions by businesses and spur the growth of industries that can help limit climate change. Regulators are putting in place new rules to oversee the shift.

How the Financial Sector Is Addressing Climate Change — And Why it Matters; Banks and investors with $130 trillion in assets are pledging to shift their funding to help reduce carbon emissions
Jean Eaglesham and David Benoit – WSJ
The organizations that lend, invest and regulate the world’s money are taking on climate change. There was a flurry of announcements at the COP26 U.N. climate conference in Glasgow on Tuesday, where former central banker Mark Carney worked to reach global agreements with the financial sector to use their sway to reduce emissions. Here are some of the key points and what they mean.

What a Global Central Bank Digital Currency Network Might Do
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Corporates might save almost $100 billion a year, report says; JPMorgan, Oliver Wyman address possible disruptions in finance
A network among multiple central bank digital currencies could create efficiencies in the tens of billions of dollars and benefit all participants, according to a new report. A full-scale mCBDC network that facilitates 24/7 real-time, cross-border payments and FX payment-versus-payment settlements could save global corporates nearly $100 billion annually, the report from consulting firm Oliver Wyman and JPMorgan Chase & Co. said, noting numerous pain points in current systems such as trapped liquidity and delayed settlements.

Banks’ green pledges under scrutiny; Financial sector pressured to cut exposure to carbon-intensive industries
Camilla Hodgson, Stephen Morris and Owen Walker in London and Olaf Storbeck – FT
As global leaders gather in Glasgow to hammer out a new climate deal, the financial sector faces growing calls to scale back its business with carbon-intensive sectors and live up to some of the promises it has already made to tackle global warming.

Barclays Sheds Jeffrey Epstein Ties With New CEO, Keeps Wall Street Strategy; C.S. Venkatakrishnan, known as Venkat, replaces Jes Staley as CEO, but will continue betting big on investment banking
Simon Clark and David Benoit – WSJ
Jes Staley is gone from Barclays BCS -2.24% PLC, but his successor will carry on his signature strategy of betting big on the U.K.’s last major presence on Wall Street. Barclays appointed C.S. Venkatakrishnan as chief executive Monday after Mr. Staley unexpectedly stepped down under pressure from regulators about how he characterized his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

TT to Drive Growth and Expansion Under New Leadership
Anna Lyudvig – Traders Magazine
Trading Technologies International (TT), a global provider of high-performance professional trading software, infrastructure and data solutions, is planning to expand into other asset classes including equities and fixed income, according to forthcoming CEO Keith Todd.

Barclays’ new chief is India-born CS Venkatakrishnan
Ananya Bhattacharya – Quartz
Barclays new CEO is CS Venkatakrishnan, an Indian-American and the first person of color to hold that position. Venkatakrishnan, who was most recently Barclays’ co-president and head of global markets, is stepping in as CEO after Jes Staley resigned over his ties with late financier Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender who died by suicide in prison three years ago.

COP26: where does all the climate finance money go? Rich governments have pledged $100bn to help poorer countries reduce emissions. But there is no agreement on how to spend the funds
Leslie Hook and Joanna S Kao – FT
On the Caribbean island of Antigua, builders will soon put hurricane reinforcements on hospital roofs and strengthen the windows on police stations. As climate change makes tropical storms more intense and more devastating, Antiguans are getting prepared.

Energy transition: without a plan, disruption and price rises will recur; Private capital allocates itself efficiently in well-defined markets — it cannot bear vagueness
Everyone wants to save the planet but no one wants higher domestic fuel bills. The energy transition, as households have discovered this year, is coming too slowly. It is the biggest long-term infrastructure project in human history. Governments need to plan it, just as they plan motorways, airports and broadband rollouts.

Global sustainability disclosure standards for the financial markets
Erkki Liikanen – IFRS
Sustainability, and in particular climate, is the defining issue of our time. Mark Carney has spoken about the tragedy of the horizon. In his book [Value(s), 2021], he also defines three pillars for the solution: public policies, company transition plans and disclosures of climate-related risks and opportunities. To play their role effectively, financial markets need good quality, comparable information about the effects of sustainability-related risks and opportunities for making investment decisions.

A former CFTC commissioner will lead policy and regulatory strategy for FTX US, as crypto industry continues to hire former watchdogs
Carla Mozée – Business Insider
FTX.US, the US affiliate of crypto exchange FTX, has hired a former commissioner at the US agency that oversees the derivatives market, highlighting moves by crypto firms to bring abroad former regulators as they move to expand or secure the services they offer.

SEC punts on approving a spot bitcoin ETF again, pushing decision on Valkyrie’s fund to 2022
Carla Mozée – Business Insider
The SEC extended a deadline to rule on Valkyrie’s proposed ETF with spot bitcoin as its underlying asset; A decision on the Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund is now slated for January 7, 2022 Investors are still waiting for the US to greenlight the first spot bitcoin ETF.
The Securities and Exchange Commission will not make a decision on alternative asset management firm Valkyrie’s proposed exchange-traded fund for spot bitcoin until early next year, according to a filing by the government agency.

Hong Kong, BIS Develop Platforms for Green Bond Investing
Harry Suhartono – Bloomberg
Project Genesis intended to help simplify debt purchases; Users could track investments’ real-time environmental impact
Investing in Hong Kong’s government green bonds may soon be possible in just a few clicks.
The financial hub’s de facto central bank and the Bank of International Settlements have developed two prototype platforms intended to give retail investors easier access to such debt and allow them to track the environmental impact in real time.

Denmark Bans Public Investments in Foreign Fossil Fuel Projects
Christian Wienberg – Bloomberg
Denmark will ban from next year public investments and government subsidies for fossil fuel projects outside of its own borders. The Danish government will work with international partners to get other countries to follow suit, the climate and energy ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. A few projects, including some related to natural gas, will be exempted from the ban until 2025, the Copenhagen-based ministry said.


China’s Latest Delta Outbreak its Most Widespread Since Wuhan
Bloomberg News
Provinces in China are fighting Covid-19 than at any time since the deadly pathogen first emerged in Wuhan in 2019. The highly-infectious delta variant is hurtling across the country despite the increasingly aggressive measures that officials have enacted in a bid to thwart it. More than 600 locally-transmitted infections have been found in 19 of 31 provinces in the latest outbreak in the world’s second-largest economy.

Pfizer Raises Covid-19 Vaccine Forecast as Sales More Than Double; Shot’s $13 billion revenue provides the biggest contribution to drugmaker’s third-quarter sales
Jared S. Hopkins and Matt Grossman – WSJ
Pfizer Inc. PFE 4.15% increased its forecast for sales of its Covid-19 vaccine this year to about $36 billion, a roughly 7% boost that comes as the U.S. prepares to distribute the shot to 28 million children ages 5 to 11 years old.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

FIA releases blueprint to modernize trading processes
FIA today released a report calling on participants in the futures and options industry to work together on a major initiative to improve the efficiency of the trading and clearing process for exchange-traded derivatives.
The report, “Modernizing the Listed Derivatives Workflow: A Blueprint for Change”, addresses the challenge of achieving industry-wide improvements by establishing a framework for building consensus and collaboration among all segments of the industry, including clearing firms, executing brokers, exchanges, clearinghouses, customers and technology vendors.
“When Covid abruptly shut down the world economy in March 2020, the global futures and options markets experienced record trading activity and extreme volatility,” said Walt Lukken, FIA President and CEO. “This period of stress exposed several long-standing bottlenecks in the trading and clearing infrastructure that cause costly delays in the processing of trades.”

FairX Retail Futures Poised for Significant Growth as Volume Continues to Rise; Distribution Opens to Global Clients of Charles Schwab Futures and Forex LLC, E*TRADE; Hudson River Trading Commits as a Lead Market Maker
FairX, the new regulated futures exchange built for the active retail trader, today announced it is positioned for significant growth, as industry-leading firms including Charles Schwab Futures and Forex LLC as well as E*TRADE have completed certification, opening up distribution to the respective firms’ global clients. The new client access comes as FairX volume consistently reaches highs, with average daily volume growing 33% week-over-over week since launch in June.

IEX introduces new fees for real-time market data as a ‘fair and reasonable’ form of ‘cost recovery’; The Investors Exchange Group had previously offered its members an almost fee free connectivity to its market data.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
IEX Group had set out plans to introduce fees for its members to access its real-time market data, with the new structure due to be implemented on 3 January next year. Members will now be charged via a data subscriber agreement for IEX’s real-time depth-of-book (DEEP) feed for which members will have to pay $2,500 a month, and its real-time top-of-book (TOPS) and distribution feeds, both of which consumers will be charged $500 a month for.

Euronext and JA Europe expand the blue economy challenge to reach more young entrepreneurs
Two new countries are added to the pan-European entrepreneurship programme for this academic year. Building on a successful pilot during the last school year 2020-21, Euronext and JA Europe today announced the expansion of their entrepreneurship education programme, The Blue Challenge, to Denmark and Italy. Euronext and JA Europe will now be able to boost financial literacy and encourage innovation to limit climate change and to foster the Blue Economy amongst young entrepreneurs in nine countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

HKEX Joins Global Coalition to Support Low-Carbon Transition
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) is today (Wednesday) pleased to announce that it has joined the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) and the Net Zero Financial Service Providers Alliance (NZFSPA), part of its ongoing commitment to the long-term sustainable development of global financial markets. HKEX is joining leading financial institutions around the world to accelerate the transition to a net-zero global economy, supporting global efforts to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

MEFF launches derivatives on Fluidra shares and new monthly maturities on the dividend futures already listed
MEFF, the BME Spanish derivatives exchange, launches Futures and Options contracts on Fluidra shares. With this incorporation, BME’s derivatives market completes the list of shares that make up the IBEX 35®, following the latest review of its composition to make its tracking with derivatives easier for both institutional and retail investors.

ICE Connects to Adroit’s Execution Management System; Offers Access to ICE Bonds Liquidity
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology and market infrastructure, today announced that ICE Bonds has connected with Adroit Trading Technologies, a premier order and execution management system (OEMS) for sophisticated over-the-counter-focused buyside traders. ICE Bonds’ fixed income over the counter marketplace will provide Adroit users with deep liquidity and price discovery across multiple protocols, including portfolio trading, request for quote (RFQ) and click-to-trade.

Intercontinental Exchange Reports October 2021 Statistics; October ADV up 43% y/y; OI up 11% y/y
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology and market infrastructure, today reported October 2021 trading volume and related revenue statistics, which can be viewed on the company’s investor relations website at in the Monthly Statistics Tracking spreadsheet.

Tradeweb Reports Record Trading Volume for October 2021; Record Total Volume of $25.6 Trillion and Record Average Daily Volume of $1.26 Trillion
Tradeweb Markets Inc.
Tradeweb Markets Inc. (Nasdaq: TW), a leading, global operator of electronic marketplaces for rates, credit, equities and money markets, today reported record trading volume for October 2021. Total trading volume for October 2021 was a record $25.6 trillion (tn), and average daily volume (ADV) for the month was a record $1.26tn, an increase of 39.4 percent (%) year over year (YoY).

BGC Partners Reports Third Quarter 2021 Financial Results; BGC Declares Quarterly Dividend; Conference Call to Discuss Results Scheduled for 10:00 AM ET Today
BGC Partners, Inc.
BGC Partners, Inc. (Nasdaq: BGCP) (“BGC Partners” or “BGC” or the “Company”), a leading global brokerage and financial technology company, today reported its financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2021.

DTCC Exception Manager Provides Csdr Service And Link To CTM Trade Matching Data To Help Industry Prevent Settlement Fails; New features will provide market participants with additional tools to more effectively manage their trade activities and reduce failed trades
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the premier post-trade market infrastructure for the global financial services industry, today announced that DTCC Exception Manager, its platform to publish, manage and communicate trade exceptions, will now offer an optional Central Securities Depositories Regulation (CSDR) service to assist clients by calculating predicted fail penalties, prioritizing exceptions by size of predicted penalty and generating claim emails. Additionally, there will be a new linkage between Exception Manager and Central Trade Manager (CTM), DTCC’s service to centrally match cross-border and domestic transactions, providing clients with direct access to golden source trade information that only DTCC is able to provide.


MayStreet Further Enhances Cloud-Based Market Data Lake with the Addition of the High Performance Query (HPQ) API; Unique new solution allows clients to efficiently stream near real-time and historical complete order book data and pull down pre-configured analytics on-demand
MayStreet, the industry’s leading market data technology and content provider, today announced the launch of the High Performance Query (HPQ) API. The new API complements the web-based Analytics Workbench and the firm’s existing APIs as an additional access method for tapping into MayStreet’s Market Data Lake, a cloud-based repository of ultra-high-quality global, cross-asset exchange data.

Goldman Sachs to use Digital Asset’s technology to build open platform for tokenised assets; Agreement shows industry appetite for building end-to-end tokenisation capabilities and Digital Asset’s growing role in the capital markets as an underlying software provider.
Jonathan Watkins – The Trade
Goldman Sachs will work with Digital Asset’s core technology to develop its end-to-end tokenised asset infrastructure supporting the end-to-end digital life cycle across multiple asset classes on permissioned and public blockchains. The investment bank will use Daml – Digital Asset’s platform for building multi-party applications that run across new technologies and legacy infrastructure – to move its tokenisation plans forward, a concept the financial services community sees as creating efficiencies and opportunities in the future for both traditional and illiquid assets.

Rob Mackay appointed CEO of Regnology
With his background from executive positions in Itiviti, FIS, and SunGard, Rob Mackay has successfully built leading international companies in the financial software sector; Regnology’s founding CEO, Jürgen Lux, has decided to assume a more strategic role and will continue sharing his knowledge and experience as a senior advisor to the Board of Directors of Regnology and to its owner Nordic Capital
Regnology, a leading international provider of innovative regulatory, risk, and supervisory technology solutions (RegTech, RiskTech, and SupTech), announced the appointment of Rob Mackay as new CEO of the company. Regnology’s founding CEO, Jürgen Lux, has decided to assume a more strategic role as a senior advisor to the Board of Directors of Regnology and to its owner Nordic Capital.

CQG to launch new comprehensive suite of execution technologies
The new suite builds upon the infrastructure of software assets that CQG acquired from Blue Trading Systems in June last year as well as technology CQG has developed recently.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Technology solutions provider CQG has launched a comprehensive suite of execution technologies designed to give market participants new tools to improve upon efficiencies and to achieve optimal trade execution.
The new suite focuses particularly on large and complex order types and builds upon the infrastructure of software assets that CQG acquired from Blue Trading Systems (BTS) in June 2020.

CQG Launches New Comprehensive Suite of Execution Technologies
CQG, a leading global provider of high-performance technology solutions for traders, brokers, commercial hedgers, and exchanges, today announced the launch of a comprehensive suite of exclusive execution technologies designed to give market participants new tools to achieve greater efficiencies and optimal trade execution, particularly for large or complex order types.
The new initiative builds an entire suite of functionality off of the infrastructure of cutting-edge software assets CQG acquired from Blue Trading Systems (BTS) in June 2020.

CSG Appoints Technology Executive Greg Conley to Board of Directors
CSG® (NASDAQ: CSGS) is adding technology executive Greg Conley to its board of directors. Effective October 29, 2021, Conley’s appointment as a class I director and member of the compensation committee adds additional depth to the board to support the company’s refreshed growth ambitions. “Greg will make a fantastic addition to the CSG board,” said Don Reed, chair of the board of directors, CSG. “With more than 30 years of experience in global leadership roles in the technology and software industries, Greg will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to CSG’s well-balanced board of directors. We continue to take board refreshment seriously and strive to achieve a healthy balance of new, diverse and experienced board members who will provide excellent stewardship and leadership for CSG and its stakeholders.”

GlobalData predicts future sustainable technology unicorns
Given the push by the governments, regulators, investors and stakeholders towards sustainability, startups are in a rush to build capabilities and advanced tech driven solutions ranging from electric mobility, energy storage, biodiversity, renewable energy, emissions monitoring & reduction to circular economy. Against this backdrop, the Unicorn Prediction Model of GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, has released a list of ’30 Sustainable Technology Startups’ that have the potential to become unicorns (valuation > US$1bn).


CISA promotes election cybersecurity platform debunking misinformation
Jonathan Greig – ZDNet
CISA has published a trove of information about election cybersecurity and misinformation for Election Day. Voters in dozens of states are heading to the polls today, with crucial gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia as well as pivotal mayoral elections in Atlanta, New York City, Buffalo and Boston.
The cybersecurity body reiterated that there is “no specific, credible threat to election infrastructure” but noted that they are “ready to provide cyber incident response and expertise if needed.”

House passes bills to shore up small business cybersecurity
Maggie Miller – TheHill
The House on Tuesday approved two bills to strengthen the cybersecurity of small businesses, which have faced escalating threats during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) Cyber Awareness Act would require the SBA to issue a report on its cybersecurity capabilities and notify Congress in the event of a cybersecurity breach potentially compromising sensitive information.

Hybrid cloud adoption demands a holistic cybersecurity posture
Talal Alqinawi – MIT Technology Review
Security begins before an attack
Without exception, cybersecurity issues remain a high priority and represent a real threat to organizations. Recent mega-breaches of customer data from household-name companies only serve to underscore the importance of security. Hacked and breached data from workplace sources like mobile and Internet of things (IoT) devices, coupled with a newly disaggregated and remote workforce as a result of covid-19, have changed the threat landscape. In fact, new demands for security, specifically identity and access management to protect remote workers and critical corporate data, drove significant growth in HCI in the last year.

Biden Administration to Order Federal Agencies to Fix Hundreds of Cyber Flaws
Dustin Volz – WSJ
The Biden administration on Wednesday is expected to issue a sweeping new order mandating that nearly all federal agencies patch hundreds of cybersecurity vulnerabilities that are considered major risks for damaging intrusions into government computer systems, officials said.
The new requirement is one of the most wide-reaching cybersecurity mandates ever imposed on the federal government. It covers about 200 known security flaws identified by cybersecurity professionals between 2017 and 2020 and an additional 90 discovered in 2021 alone that have generally been observed being used by malicious hackers, according to a draft document detailing the order. Those flaws will be listed in a new federal catalog as carrying “significant risk to the federal enterprise.”


Crypto Exchange Becomes Unicorn, Coin Surges 200% After Banking Giant Buys Stake
Anuchit Nguyen – Bloomberg
Bitkub Online Co. became Thailand’s latest startup to notch up a valuation of more than $1 billion after it sold a majority stake to the nation’s biggest bank by market value. Bitkub’s coin tripled in value after the deal was announced. Siam Commercial Bank Pcl, in which the nation’s king is the largest shareholder, said late on Tuesday that it will acquire 51% of Bitkub for 17.85 billion baht ($535 million), valuing the country’s biggest crypto exchange operator at about 35 billion baht.

Portal and Ankr Announce Strategic Partnership to Boost DeFi Adoption
Coin Rivet
Portal, a true cross-chain DEX that makes atomic swaps between Bitcoin and other digital assets fast, secure, and private, is thrilled to announce a strategic partnership with the blockchain infrastructure platform

Crypto Comprehension Study: 98% of People Don’t Grasp Basics of Bitcoin, Stablecoins or NFTs
Dawn Allcot – BankingRates
How much do you know about cryptocurrency? If the answer is, “Not a lot,” you’re not alone. A recent survey of 1,000 people across the U.S., Mexico and Brazil showed that 98% of people don’t understand basic crypto concepts. For instance, 90% didn’t know that the Bitcoin supply is capped at 21 million. Equal numbers didn’t understand stablecoins, either.

SEC Chair Gensler likens crypto to ‘early seed investing,’ warns many coins will ‘fail’
Chris Matthews – MarketWatch
SEC Chair Gensler likens crypto to ‘early seed investing,’ warns many coins will ‘fail’
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman defended the tough stance he and other regulators have taken on cryptocurrencies, arguing that there is a lot of “hype” in the markets for digital assets, and that investors in these markets lack the protection they enjoy in markets for stocks and bonds, during an interview at the The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association annual meeting Tuesday.

Softbank leads a nearly $100 million funding round for a metaverse and NFT-focused startup also backed by Snoop Dogg
Natasha Dailey – Business Insider
A metaverse and NFT-focused startup scored nearly $100 million in a round led by a Softbank fund. The startup, known as Sandbox, is is an ethereum-based metaverse that allows gamers to create their own virtual world and monetize digital assets, such as non-fungible tokens. For example, players can purchase plots of land they can build on, Coindesk reported Tuesday.

Saudis, UAE roll out red carpet for crypto as US gives a cold shoulder
Lydia Moynihan – NY Post
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are rolling out a red carpet of light-touch digital currency regulation, according to US market players — setting up a contrast to the US, where officials are falling all over themselves to set crypto rules.


Biden says he will make Fed nomination announcements ‘fairly quickly’
President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that the White House will be making an announcement about his nominations to lead the U.S. Federal Reserve “fairly quickly.”

Climate Change Will Kill National Sovereignty As We Know It; A concept that came out of the Thirty Years War could become obsolete in the age of ecological apocalypse.
Andreas Kluth – Bloomberg
As we collectively hurtle into the era of climate change, international relations as we’ve known them for almost four centuries will change beyond recognition. This shift is probably inevitable, and possibly even necessary. But it will also cause new conflicts, and therefore war and suffering.

China Moves to Quash Online Rumors That Taiwan War Is Looming
Bloomberg News
State media dispute posts circulated as evidence of conflict; Episode shows Beijing’s challenge in managing heated rhetoric
Chinese state media have sought to quiet online speculation that a conflict with Taiwan may be imminent, in a sign of how heated rhetoric between Washington and Beijing was feeding public concern about the risk of war.

Republican Glenn Youngkin wins Virginia governor’s race; Crushing night for Democrats as former private equity CEO defeats opponent Terry McAuliffe
Lauren Fedor and James Politi – FT
Republican Glenn Youngkin has won the Virginia governor’s race in a crushing result for President Joe Biden and his Democratic party with just a year to go until the midterm elections.

Eric Adams Wins New York City Mayor Race; As the second Black mayor of the nation’s largest city, he plans to focus on public safety, expanding the economy and ending inequality
Jimmy Vielkind – WSJ
Democrat Eric Adams was elected mayor of New York on Tuesday as the nation’s largest city faces concerns about an uptick in violent crime and economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Mr. Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, was heavily favored over Republican Curtis Sliwa, a radio host and founder of the Guardian Angels anticrime group. Democrats outnumber Republicans in the city’s five boroughs by a six-to-one margin, and the Associated Press projected Mr. Adams as the winner shortly after polls closed.

Tariffs to Tackle Climate Change Gain Momentum. The Idea Could Reshape Industries; The proposals come with risks, including undermining world trade rules and triggering trade disputes
Yuka Hayashi and Jacob M. Schlesinger – WSJ
Governments in the U.S., Europe and other developed nations are embarking on a climate-change experiment: using tariffs on trade to cut carbon emissions. The idea has the potential to rewrite the rules of global commerce. Policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic are looking at targeting steel, chemicals and cement. The tariffs would give a competitive advantage to manufacturers in countries where emissions are relatively low.

Biden Picks Wall Street Critic Saule Omarova to Oversee Large Banks; Comptroller of the Currency nominee faces difficult path to Senate confirmation
Andrew Ackerman – WSJ
The Biden administration formally nominated Saule Omarova, a law professor and critic of big banks, to serve as a top banking regulator, a setback for Wall Street and other firms that had pushed to scuttle her nomination.


UK crypto derivatives ban fails to protect retail investors; Regulators need to take a more flexible approach
Ian Taylor – FT
The valuation of cryptocurrencies has increased dramatically in the past 12 months, as has their adoption by investors around the world — individuals as well as institutions.

ASIC sues timeshare company Ultiqa for poor financial advice outcomes
ASIC has commenced civil penalty proceedings against Ultiqa Lifestyle Promotions Ltd (Ultiqa) for failing to ensure that financial advice to consumers to buy timeshare products was in the consumers’ best interests.

PODCAST: FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Program: Assisting Service Members and Their Families
For service members, a missed credit card payment might do more than just ding their credit report, it could also jeopardize a hard-fought promotion. And for their spouses, move after move might be more than just a financial or logistical hardship; it might also be the biggest hurdle in their own career growth. These challenges are two sides of the same coin. The FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Program is just one program that is aiming to address both sides.

FCA acts to help investors make more informed ESG investment decisions
The FCA is committed to helping investors put environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters at the heart of their investment decisions.

Investing and Trading

Wall Street Legend Perelman’s Family Trust Tied to Mystery Loans; He was once America’s richest man, friend to supermodels and a fixture in tabloids. Now he’s selling his empire, and his family foundation has made mysterious loans.
Tom Maloney – Bloomberg
After achieving magazine-cover status as the richest U.S. businessman in 1989, Ronald Perelman began making a name for himself as one of the country’s top philanthropists too.

Just When You Think the YOLO Trade Is Done, Another Meme Comes Along; The gains on faddish investments may not last, but the urge to speculate never dies.
Annie Massa, Elena Popina – Bloomberg
Although they may not age as well as a bottle of Bordeaux, you can think of the “meme” investments embraced by individual traders as coming in vintages. Each one gives you a flavor of a moment in 2021’s very weird market psychology.

One Trader Calls All the Shots in the Treasury Bond Market; The Fed is so dominant that ‘vigilantes’ have lost their power as a check on government excess.
Liz McCormick, Ye Zie – Bloomberg
At 10:10 a.m. most work days on Wall Street, officials at the Federal Reserve wade into the Treasury bond market. For the next 20 minutes, they proceed to snap up bonds of all shapes and sizes. They’re impervious to price moves, and they never sell. An indiscriminate bond-buying machine, they’ve now amassed a $5.5 trillion stockpile of the debt.

Federal Reserve expected to announce plan to taper asset purchases; US central bank likely to keep interest rates unchanged in face of growing inflationary pressures
Colby Smith – FT
The Federal Reserve is expected to announce that it will start phasing out its $120bn monthly bond-buying programme as it confronts more pronounced price pressures and predictions that interest rates will be lifted next year.

The ‘Dow 36,000’ authors weren’t just 17 years late. Here’s the key mistake they made.
Steve Goldstein – MarketWatch
It’s tapering day, not just at the Federal Reserve but also at the Treasury, which is likely to announce auction size cuts. More on that later. The book “Dow 36,000” this week attracted headlines 22 years after its publication, when the leading stock market benchmark DJIA, +0.39% finally crossed that level.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Bankers Committing to ‘Net Zero’ Don’t Agree on What It Means; Science Based Targets initiative aims to find a consensus on developing an industry standard.
Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
“Net zero” has quickly become part of the lexicon on Wall Street and in the City of London, but there’s no consensus on what it means, laying the foundation for misrepresentation and confusion.

Carney Unveils $130 Trillion in Climate Finance Commitments
Tom Metcalf and Alex Morales – Bloomberg
U.K. Treasury says GFANZ now backed by more than 450 firms; Wednesday is designated as finance day at the COP26 summit
Banks and asset managers representing 40% of the world’s financial assets have now pledged to meet the goals set out in the Paris climate agreement, as an alliance championed by former central banker Mark Carney swells under the gaze of a world increasingly alarmed by planetary warming.

Carney-led finance coalition has up to $130tn funding committed to hitting net zero; Ex-BoE governor rallies capital to tackle climate change but fossil fuels remain a problem
Owen Walker and Camilla Hodgson – FT
The Mark Carney-led coalition of international financial companies signed up to tackle climate change has up to $130tn of private capital committed to hitting net zero emissions targets by 2050.

Biden’s Carbon-Capture Plan Hands Lifeline to Coal Plants
Ari Natter – Bloomberg
Proposal to increase tax credit for carbon capture decried; Possible to see $6 billion in payments to a single plant
Coal-fired power plants would be eligible for billions of dollars in extra tax breaks under President Joe Biden’s economic legislation if they install carbon-capture systems, an incentive that environmental groups say may delay the retirement of dozens of facilities.

Honeywell Is Turning Low-Grade Plastic Waste Into High-Quality Oil
Thomas Black – Bloomberg
Honeywell International Inc. says it developed a commercially viable method to melt down low-grade plastic waste and turn it back into oil that’s good enough to feed into a refinery.

Methane Rules Would Cost U.S. Producers Over $1 Billion a Year
Gerson Freitas Jr – Bloomberg
EPA forecasts an impact of less than 2% on natural gas prices; Estimated costs represent a tiny fraction of industry’s gains
U.S. oil and natural gas producers would have to spend a negligible fraction of profits to comply with tougher methane rules proposed by the Biden administration.

South Africa Could Be a Coal Transition Model, Climate Fund Says
Antony Sguazzin – Bloomberg
Funds’ chief says the nation is in advanced coal-exit talks; CIF says nation can apply for $500 million in transition cash
South Africa’s aging coal plants, the political priority given to exiting the dirtiest fossil fuel and its power-supply crisis mean it could be a model for other nations transitioning to cleaner energy, according to the head of an $8.5-billion group of climate funds.

Renewable energy industry faces ‘challenging’ times, say Vestas and Orsted; Projects have had to deal with low wind speeds, supply chain blockages and rising energy prices
Nathalie Thomas – FT
Danish power group Orsted and wind turbine maker Vestas have warned of difficult conditions for the renewable energy industry as projects in Europe have had to contend with low wind speeds while supply chain hold-ups, rising energy prices and raw materials costs have hit manufacturers.

Third Point blasts Shell’s efforts to walk the green tightrope; Lumbering oil companies have never seemed like ideal hotbeds of innovation
Brooke Masters – FT
Trust us to ride two horses at once, say the big western energy companies. We will drill enough oil and natural gas to keep the lights on while shovelling the profits into renewables and electric vehicle charging stations to save the planet at the same time.

Wind is blowing towards renewable energy in oil-rich Gulf of Mexico; Supermajors show interest in Biden’s projects for region that produces 15% of US crude
Justin Jacobs – FT
The Gulf of Mexico has for decades been a sea of hulking oil platforms. The Biden administration now wants to plant wind turbines there. This week the US interior department called on companies to express interest in leasing in a 30m-acre area in waters off Louisiana and Texas, part of a push to build 30 gigawatts of carbon-free offshore wind power up and down the US coastline by 2030.


Credit Suisse Loses Bid to Keep Rogue-Banker Reports Under Wraps
Hugo Miller – Bloomberg
$400 million invested in Bermuda unit lost, Ivanishvili claims; Credit Suisse is ‘controlling’ discovery process, says judge
Credit Suisse Group AG lost a court fight to keep the lid on confidential reports about a deceased rogue-banker convicted of defrauding his rich clients including a Georgian billionaire.

New York hedge fund stands to make over $5bn on Avis Budget share surge; SRS Investment Management holds 27.7 per cent stake in car rental company
Antoine Gara, Ortenca Aliaj and Nicholas Megaw – FT
A New York hedge fund stands to make billions of dollars on a sudden leap in the shares of Avis Budget, the once ailing rental car company that catapulted like a meme stock after executives discussed adding electric vehicles to their fleet.

Goldman Sachs Announces Managing Director Class of 2021
Goldman Sachs
The following email was sent to all Goldman Sachs employees globally today: Today, we are pleased to announce that 643 individuals across 45 offices have been invited to become managing directors as of January 1, 2022. The Managing Director Class of 2021 comprises an exceptional group of individuals from across the firm who have made meaningful contributions to our business and culture and embody our core values of partnership, client service, integrity and excellence.

Fifth Third Announces Neighborhood Investment Program to Transform Historic West End in Charlotte, North Carolina
Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third Bank and Enterprise Community Partners today announced the establishment of a neighborhood program to support and revitalize the Historic West End community. The Neighborhood Investment Program spans over three years with a focus on the Historic West End Community, LISC Charlotte and cross-sector collaborations.

Old Mission Grows ETF Team with Addition of Lee Williams
Old Mission
Old Mission, a global, multi-asset market-making firm, today announced that Lee Williams has joined the firm as the European Head of Fixed Income. In this role, he is responsible for continuing the growth of the firm’s direct-to-institutional customer ETF business in Europe, with an added focus on fixed income. He is based in Old Mission’s London office.


$9.5 billion spent using Chinese central bank’s digital currency – official
Some 140 million people had opened “wallets” for China’s new digital yuan as of October and used it for transactions totalling around 62 billion yuan ($9.7 billion), a senior Chinese central bank official said on Wednesday.

Cai Xiangyang, the investment star who beat China’s stock market with his bets on baijiu distillers, dies suddenly at 41
Zhang Shidong in Shanghai – South China Morning News
A well-known veteran money manager at China Asset Management, one of the country’s biggest mutual-fund firms, has died at the age of 41. Cai Xiangyang, who managed 10 funds with a combined US$7.8 billion in assets, died on Monday in Beijing, China Asset said in a statement, without giving more details. Cai won six industry awards for stock investments during his 14-year stint at the firm, and the dividends issued by his funds totalled 14.2 billion yuan (US$2.2 billion), it said.

French Startups Are Pulling in Record Funds—And Catching Up the U.K.
Benoit Berthelot – Bloomberg
Fledging French companies are finally pulling in record funds; France is inching toward an ecosystem that’s long been elusive
In 2017, when newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron said, “I want France to be a startup nation,” his detractors used his phrase to mock him.

Nord Stream 2 Is Still Months From Easing Europe’s Gas Woes
Patrick Donahue – Bloomberg
Russia to Germany pipeline may not get approval until May 8; German Greens reiterate project must conform with EU rules
Russia’s Nord Stream 2 may need a few more months to clear remaining red tape before the controversial pipeline begins pumping natural gas to Germany to help ease Europe’s energy crunch.

Taliban Ban U.S. Dollars in Afghan Economy Amid Cash Crunch
Eltaf Najafizada – Bloomberg
‘Violators will be dealt with legally,’ group’s spokesman says; Unclear how Taliban will enforce foreign currency ban
The Taliban government has banned the use of foreign currencies in Afghanistan in a surprise move that could weigh on an economy struggling with a cash crunch and further isolate the country.

The RBA’s Defeat Down Under Should Worry Central Bankers; A sudden surge in Australian government bond yields should have other monetary authorities watching their backs
Jacky Wong – WSJ
The bond market has just notched a win in its tussle with the central bank of the land Down Under. As inflationary expectations intensify globally, that could be a preview of things to come for many other central banks world-wide.


Boy Scouts Sex-Abuse Victims Hear Settlement Pitches as Voting Deadline Looms; Lawyers for different plaintiff groups have given conflicting information on what victims could receive
Soma Biswas and Becky Yerak – WSJ
The Boy Scouts of America’s push to settle sex-abuse claims from 82,200 men has touched off lobbying campaigns by plaintiffs’ lawyers who disagree on whether victims should back a compensation plan that could be the organization’s ticket out of bankruptcy. Abuse victims across the country are debating whether the $1.9 billion settlement offer is fair compensation for lives affected by childhood trauma, as lawyers on different sides of the issue have given conflicting information on what they can expect to receive. One group of lawyers told victims they could receive as much as $2.7 million for the worst abuses, while another estimated the highest payout would be no more than $58,000.

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