Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff
Congratulations to Dr. Richard Sandor, chairman and CEO of the American Financial Exchange and Father of Financial Futures, for receiving an honorary professorship at Fudan University In Shanghai, China in recognition of his contributions and achievements in the field of emissions trading. A ceremony in Shanghai, China, announcing Dr. Sandor’s appointment took place on June 15, 2021. — Mondovisione
Congratulations to Jennifer Peve, a fellow member of the CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee, who has been named head of strategy and business development at DTCC. — DTCC
Our friends at The Trade have published their Summer 2021 issue of The Trade Magazine. It features an interview with Head of EMEA equity trading at BlackRock, Paul Battams, who sat down with Hayley McDowell to discuss evolving market structure trends and his top priorities as a buy-side trading leader at the world’s largest asset manager. And there is lots more. — The Trade
Former U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler is working hard in the state of Georgia to register consrvative voters in an effort called “Greater Georgia.” It sounds like she won’t be Bakkt anytime soon.
Martin Wolf of the Financial Times has come out with this “Summer books of 2021: Economics.” These are his best midyear reads. — FT
Trading Technologies made its weekly match of donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign. Thank you to TT and all who have given and all who have yet to give. We have a bunch of interviews for all our series coming out very soon. Stay tuned. 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
James Vorley, a former precious metals trader at Deutsche Bank, was sentenced on Monday to 12 months and one day imprisonment for his role in spoofing CME futures. Vorley, along with co-defendant Cedric Chanu, also a former Deutsche Bank employee, was convicted of three counts of wire fraud in a pandemic-tainted jury trial last September for allegedly fraudulent trades spanning from 2008 to 2013. The conduct of the trial was controversial because, among other things, it was conducted in accordance with Federal and state COVID-19 guidelines that led to only 11 jurors eventually deliberating the verdicts after one juror fell ill. Federal Judge John Tharp, who presided over the trial and issued the sentence, said that the imposition of jail time was meant to signal the seriousness of the charges and that white collar crimes do result in incarceration. Vorley’s attorney, Richard Burlingame, indicated that the verdict was likely to be appealed. ~Thom Thompson
Ex-Deutsche Bank trader sentenced to prison in ‘spoofing’ case; Former London-based metals trader James Vorley jailed in US for a year and a day
Joshua Franklin – FT
A former Deutsche Bank commodities trader was sentenced to 12 months and a day in prison for “spoofing” the futures markets for gold and silver between 2008 and 2013. James Vorley, a British citizen who worked as a precious metals trader at Deutsche in London from 2007 until 2015, was sentenced on Monday by the Northern District of Illinois. He was found guilty in September along with Cedric Chanu, another ex-Deutsche trader. The pair had faced a maximum of 30 years in jail.
***** I don’t agree with this sentence. I would have testified on Vorley’s behalf about what spoofing is and when it was defined had I been given the chance.~JJL
Trading Technologies Launches Support for Cboe U.S. Options and Plans Day-One Connectivity to Cboe Europe Derivatives via the TT® Platform
Trading Technologies International, Inc.
Trading Technologies International, Inc. (TT), a global provider of high-performance professional trading software, infrastructure and data solutions, today announced it now supports trading of U.S. equity, index and ETF options on the Cboe Options Exchange (C1) through the TT platform. In addition, TT will offer day-one connectivity to Cboe Europe Derivatives, a new Amsterdam-based futures and options market that is set to launch on September 6, 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.
***** There is a reason TT is Trading Technologies International, Inc.~JJL
Blackstone Bets $6 Billion on Buying and Renting Homes; Deal for Home Partners of America, owner of over 17,000 houses in U.S., is latest sign Wall Street believes housing market will stay hot
Peter Grant – WSJ
Blackstone Group Inc. has agreed to buy a company that buys and rents single-family homes in a $6 billion deal that’s a sign Wall Street believes the U.S. housing market is going to stay hot. The giant investment firm has reached a deal to acquire Home Partners of America Inc., according to people familiar with the matter. Home Partners owns more than 17,000 houses throughout the U.S., which it bought, rents out and offers its tenants the chance to eventually buy.
*****How hot is the housing market? My brother and his wife bid above the asking price of a house and included an escalation clause in their offer and still lost the house.~JJL
‘I regret any harm:’ Short seller compensates target in rare move
Lawrence Delevingne – Reuters
A small Texas investor who caused shares of a real estate investment trust to plunge 39 percent in a day has agreed to pay the company restitution to settle a lawsuit against him, a rare development that could embolden other companies to pursue such claims.
***** In related news, a man bit a dog.~JJL
Bagpipes and barbecues: incentives abound to lure staff back to the office; As lockdowns ease, the fine line between enticement and coercion will become a divisive issue in global workplaces
Andrew Hill – FT
If you enjoy the skirl of the bagpipes, Steelcase’s global headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is calling you back. The employee pipe band, a staff blues group and barbecues are part of the entertainment laid on by the US furniture maker in recent weeks to encourage its 1,400 staff to return to the office after more than a year of working mainly remotely.
*****Bagpipes will not get you back in the office, they will run you out of the office. They are an instrument of war, best heard out of doors.~JJL
A Truckload of Evidence: 42,000 Pounds of Pistachios Are Stolen in California; A man who worked for a trucking contractor was charged with stealing 21 tons of nuts from a pistachio grower, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office said.
Eduardo Medina – WSJ
A California pistachio company was conducting a routine audit when it noticed something suspicious: About 42,000 pounds of pistachios — nearly enough to fill a truck trailer — were missing. Officials of the company, Touchstone Pistachio, called the agricultural crimes unit of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. Within days, after checking surveillance footage, sheriff’s deputies arrested 34-year-old Alberto Montemayor, who had been working for Montemayor Trucking, a family-owned business that the pistachio company had hired this year as a contractor, according to the authorities.
*****This thief is just nuts.~JJL
Monday’s Top Three
Our top story Monday was, for the third time in the top three, U.S. financial executive dies by suicide as firm faces fraud claims, from Reuters via Yahoo News. Second was Newsweek’s Man Invests $20 in Obscure Cryptocurrency, Becomes Trillionaire Overnight, at Least Temporarily. Third was Jane Street, DRW Traders Made Billions as Virus Hit Markets, from Bloomberg.
26,418 pages; 233,853 edits
Former Deutsche Bank Commodities Trader Sentenced to Prison for Fraud Scheme
U.S. Department of Justice
A former commodities trader was sentenced today in the Northern District of Illinois to 12 months and a day in prison for a scheme to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution. James Vorley, 41, of the United Kingdom, was convicted by a federal jury on Sept. 25, 2020. Based on the evidence presented at trial, Vorley, who was employed as a precious metals trader at Deutsche Bank in London, engaged in a scheme to defraud other traders on the Commodity Exchange Inc., which was a public exchange. The defendant, together with Cedric Chanu and other Deutsche Bank traders, defrauded other market participants through a deceptive trading practice known as “spoofing.” Specifically, Vorley placed fraudulent orders that he did not intend to execute in order to create the false appearance of supply and demand and to induce other traders to transact at prices, quantities, and times that they otherwise would not have traded. Chanu is scheduled to be sentenced on June 28.
Inside monero, emerging crypto of choice for cybercriminals; Untraceable ‘privacy coin’ is rising in popularity among ransomware gangs, posing problems for law enforcement
Hannah Murphy – FT
For cybercriminals looking to launder illicit gains, bitcoin has long been the payment method of choice. But another cryptocurrency is coming to the fore, promising to help make dirty money disappear without a trace. While bitcoin leaves a visible trail of transactions on its underlying blockchain, the niche “privacy coin” monero was designed to obscure the sender and receiver, as well as the amount exchanged.
Trust comes before EU access for City of London – EU finance chief
Huw Jones – Reuters
The European Union is not intent on stealing business from the City of London, but future access for Britain to the bloc’s financial market will hinge on whether it can be trusted to keep its word, EU financial services chief Mairead McGuinness said on Tuesday.
The American Financial Exchange Chairman And CEO Receives Honorary Professorship At Fudan University In Shanghai, China In Advance Of The Launch Of China’s National Emissions Trading System
The American Financial Exchange (AFX) announced today that Dr. Richard L. Sandor, chairman and CEO of the AFX has received an honorary degree from Fudan University’s School of Economics, in Shanghai, China in recognition of his contributions and achievements in the field of emissions trading. A ceremony in Shanghai, China, announcing Dr. Sandor’s appointment took place on June 15, 2021.
Supreme Court Gives Goldman Sachs a Do-Over in Securities Fraud Suit; The justices said the bank may renew its arguments that its statements about honesty and integrity were too generic to support a class action for billions of dollars.
Adam Liptak – NY Times
The Supreme Court on Monday gave Goldman Sachs another chance to try to persuade an appeals court that it should not be liable to investors who said they had lost as much as $13 billion as a consequence of what they called false statements about the investment bank’s sales of complex debt instruments before the 2008 financial crisis.
The $213 Billion Meatpacking Industry Faces Stricter Oversight in Washington; New rules, legislation would revamp markets for livestock, poultry
Jacob Bunge – WSJ
The American meatpacking industry faces stricter oversight in Washington, as lawmakers and regulators push an overhaul of the $213 billion sector following complaints about meat companies’ alleged influence over markets and farmers.
JPMorgan Invests in Mortgage Clearinghouse; Electronic clearinghouse Maxex sells $1 billion in mortgages a month
Matt Wirz and Ben Eisen – WSJ
JPMorgan JPM 1.70% Chase & Co. is redoubling efforts to revive a type of mortgage that largely died out after the last financial crisis. The bank is reinvesting in an electronic clearinghouse for “private-label” mortgages, which are packaged and sold to investors without a guarantee from a government-backed firm like Fannie Mae. The market has been growing during this year’s hot housing market.
Covid outbreak at Chinese port exacerbates global supply chain delays; Weeks of disruption in Shenzhen help push container freight prices to record high
Harry Dempsey and Thomas Hale – FT
Weeks of disruption at one of the world’s largest container terminals in southern China have put a huge strain on the already-stretched global shipping industry, worsening supply chain delays for manufacturers and retailers around the world.
After China causes bitcoin to crater, threat of new U.S. regulations loom over crypto market, experts say
Chris Matthews – MarketWatch
The world’s most popular cryptocurrencies took it on the chin Monday after the Chinese government continued its regulatory crackdown on bitcoin miners and companies that provide payment services for crypto-related transactions. The People’s Bank of China said in a notice Monday that “virtual currency trading activities disrupt the normal economic and financial orders, breed the risks of illegal cross-border transfer of assets, money laundering and other illegal and criminal activities, and seriously infringe the people’s property safety.”
Your Boss Doesn’t Buy You’re More Productive WFH; European executives don’t buy the idea that remote working is as effective as being in the office. But employees still have leverage to push flexible working.
Chris Hughes – Bloomberg
Forget the recycling of the daily commute into more hours spent on the job at the kitchen table. White-collar workers appear to have failed to convince their bosses that they are at least as productive at home as they are in the office. In the minds of Europe’s bosses at least, work from home has peaked. Champions of workplace flexibility are going to have to deploy better arguments than A-B comparisons of output.
China orders banks to intensify anti-crypto campaign; Beijing wants to cut off all Bitcoin-related transactions
Ryan McMorrow and Yuan Yang – FT
China’s central bank warned several of its largest state-owned banks and Jack Ma’s Alipay to “investigate and identify” bank accounts facilitating cryptocurrency trading and block all corresponding transactions, in Beijing’s latest move against Bitcoin.
Could global regulators miss another Archegos whale? Spotting systemic risk from OTC swaps requires cross-border access to derivatives data
Sharon Thiruchelvam, Samuel Wilkes – Risk.net
When Archegos Capital Management collapsed, inflicting more than $10 billion in losses on prime brokers, the extent of its multi-billion-dollar portfolio of total return swaps (TRS) caught banks and regulators off-guard. And while the family office’s demise may not have threatened financial stability, it did expose holes in the supervisory net that purports to capture global derivatives markets – and sounded a warning that a repeat episode could inflict much greater damage.
A Big Jump to the Digital Age
Derivatives market participants have been enthusiastic advocates for the use of technology, but various pockets of the business – including the documentation and definitions that form the backbone of this market – have proved trickier to shift from a primarily paper-based way of working. We’ve been striving to change that, and last week saw a major step in that journey with the launch of ISDA’s first fully digital definitional booklet.
Supreme Court Orders More Proceedings in Goldman Sachs Shareholder Suit; Court rejects Wall Street bank’s plea to alter the standards for misrepresentations
Jess Bravin and Brent Kendall – WSJ
The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a plea from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to raise the bar for shareholder lawsuits alleging fraud, but returned a class-action lawsuit against the company to a lower court for further proceedings.
What Investors Can Learn From the History of Inflation; Price spikes post-World War II and the 1970s show how inflation can dominate stock market returns
Paul J. Davies – WSJ
Inflation is on the rise, hitting some of the highest levels seen since the early 1980s. Back then, the Federal Reserve’s Paul Volcker killed off rampant price rises, hitting the economy hard initially, but ushering in decades of repeated rallies in stocks and bonds. If today’s post Covid-19 pandemic inflation proves sticky, will it be like the years before Volcker, or could it be more like the happier growth that followed World War II? These periods hold lessons about how financial markets might perform.
The TRADE Magazine, Summer 2021l; The latest edition of The TRADE Magazine is now available to read online.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
The Summer 2021 issue of The TRADE magazine is now available to read online. Delve into the very best content from the latest issue: Buy-side cover interview – Head of EMEA equity trading at BlackRock, Paul Battams, sits down with Hayley McDowell to discuss evolving market structure trends and his top priorities as a buy-side trading leader at the world’s largest asset manager.
Explainer: Beijing doubles down on rooting out crypto in China
China’s central bank said on Monday it had urged some banks and payment firms to crack down harder on cryptocurrency trading, in the latest move by Chinese authorities to stem the use of digital coins.
Vaccine ‘Honor System’ in U.S. Leaves False Sense of Security for Businesses; Proof of vaccination can get you into concerts, sporting events, even keep you employed. But the program using paper cards is easily circumvented and open to outright fraud
Sarah Kopit – Bloomberg
All it takes to make your own vaccination card is a few minutes of online searching, a printer and some card-stock paper. That’s not good news for businesses across the U.S. which are — under guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — relaxing restrictions and allowing vaccinated people to take off their masks and move about more freely. Where proof of vaccination is required, companies are relying on a program that’s easily circumvented and open to outright fraud, making it little better than the honor system.
Denmark Makes AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine Donation to Kenya
Bella Genga – Bloomberg
African nation received 358,700 vaccines for second-dose round; About 0.7% of Kenya’s adult population fully inoculated
Kenya received 358,700 AstraZeneca vaccines to boost its second-dose round of Covid-19 inoculations that was threatened by a shortage when India halted exports of Covishield, the brand mostly used in African nations through the Covax initiative.
Abu Dhabi Offers Pfizer, Sinopharm Covid Vaccines for Tourists
Farah Elbahrawy – Bloomberg
Abu Dhabi is offering coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer Inc. and China’s Sinopharm to tourists, a move that may help attract visitors from countries that have supply constrains. The vaccines are only available for holders of a visa issued by Abu Dhabi or holders of passports eligible for visa on arrival, according to the sheikhdom’s health care provider Seha’s phone application.
China to Keep Covid-19 Border Restrictions for Another Year; Beijing worries about variants as it stages the Olympics and a power transition
Keith Zhai and Sha Hua – WSJ
Beijing is planning to keep its pandemic border restrictions in place for at least another year as officials fret over the emergence of new variants and a calendar of sensitive events, according to people familiar with the matter, despite a coronavirus vaccination campaign that has topped one billion doses.
Covid-19 Worsens Troubles in an Investor Visa Program; Fraud plagues EB-5 real-estate investors seeking permanent U.S. status, and the pandemic hurts revenues at their developments
Konrad Putzier – WSJ
Tens of thousands of foreigners have bought their way to U.S. permanent residency through a federal investor visa program. But this popular shortcut to the American dream is now turning into a nightmare for some amid a rise in lawsuits and fraud cases. The Covid-19 pandemic has made matters worse.
Philippines’ Duterte threatens to jail those who refuse COVID-19 vaccine
President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to jail people who refuse to be vaccinated against the coronavirus as the Philippines battles one of Asia’s worst outbreaks, with over 1.3 million cases and more than 23,000 deaths.
Mandatory mask rules extended in Sydney as COVID-19 cluster grows
Renju Jose – Reuters
Australia’s most populous state on Tuesday reported its biggest daily increase in COVID-19 cases in nearly a week and extended the wearing of masks inside buildings, while New Zealand paused quarantine-free travel with the state.
Moscow to impose tough new restrictions amid surge in COVID-19 cases
Moscow’s mayor said on Tuesday residents would only be allowed to visit cafes and restaurants in the city if they could show they had been vaccinated against COVID-19, recently tested negative or had the coronavirus in the last half year.
India’s vaccinations hit record with free COVID shots
Neha Arora, Shilpa Jamkhandikar – Reuters
India gave out a record 7.5 million vaccine doses on Monday under a federal campaign to inoculate all adults for free after weeks of criticism that a chaotic rollout had worsened a second wave that killed hundreds of thousands.
South America Is Now Covid-19 Hot Spot, With Eight Times the World’s Death Rate; Driving the surge are more infectious variants, low vaccination rates, weak healthcare systems and, in some cases, governments that gave up on controlling the virus
Samantha Pearson and Luciana Magalhaes – WSJ
While Covid-19 is receding in much of the world, the pandemic is raging in South America, which has just 5% of the world’s population but now accounts for a quarter of the global death toll.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
Crystal Peak Acquisition lists on Euronext Amsterdam
Euronext today congratulates Crystal Peak Acquisition, a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) focusing on Tech, with its listing on Euronext Amsterdam (ticker code: CPA1).
Cloudberry lists on Oslo Børs
Euronext today congratulates Cloudberry Clean Energy on its transfer from Euronext Growth to Oslo Børs (ticker code: CLOUD). Cloudberry is a Nordic renewable energy company that owns, develops and operates hydropower plants and wind farms in Norway and Sweden.
TMX Group pledges support to Anishnawbe Health Foundation; Toronto Stock Exchange welcomes foundation for virtual market open event in celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day
In honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day, TMX Group today announced that it has donated $50,000 to Anishnawbe Health Foundation towards the development of a new Indigenous Community Health Centre in Toronto. The building will be the first project completed on the site of a new Indigenous Community Hub in the city.
ServisFirst Bancshares Completes Listing Transfer to the New York Stock Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
The New York Stock Exchange, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology and market infrastructure, announced that ServisFirst Bancshares, Inc. (NYSE: SFBS) has completed its listing transfer and will begin trading today as an NYSE-listed company.
Notice of Summary Fine
MEMBER FIRM: Third Coast Options, LLC
CME RULE VIOLATION: 526.F. BLOCK TRADES
Unless otherwise agreed to by the principal counterparties to the block trade, the seller, or, in the case of a brokered transaction, the broker handling the block trade, must ensure that each block trade is reported to the Exchange within the time period and in the manner specified by the Exchange. The report must include the contract, contract month, price, quantity of the transaction, the respective clearing members, the time of execution, and, for options, strike price, put or call and expiration month. The Exchange shall promptly publish such information separately from the reports of transactions in the regular market.
PENALTY: On May 25, 2021, pursuant to Rule 512, a fine in the amount of $5,000 was assessed against Third Coast Options, LLC for its violation of CME Rule 526, and CME Rule 526.F.
DTCC Appoints Jennifer Peve As Head Of Strategy & Business Development – Peve Will Join The Organization’s Management Committee And Have Responsibility For The Firm’s Global Strategy, Digital Product Development And Strategic Partnerships And Alliances
DGCX Signs MoU With Financial Markets Regulatory In Sudan To Strengthen The Gold Market Across Africa
The Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX) today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Financial Markets Regulatory Authority (FMA) in Sudan to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the trading of gold between the UAE and Sudan through the exchange of experiences. The agreement will see the DGCX and FMA collaborate on areas of mutual benefit, foster collaboration, and exchange knowledge around gold trading.
Tradefeedr launches FX trading database; FX trading database allows buy- and sell-side firms, regional banks, hedge funds, brokers and central banks to analyse their trading data and collaborate with one another.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Tradefeedr has launched a foreign exchange trading database platform that aims to connect the buy-side with brokers and banks to analyse execution analytics. The community-based unified framework allows participants to analyse and collaborate on trading data to create a more transparent picture of the FX market.
Fintech listings surge on Wall Street as smartphones proliferate
Mark Stricherz – Roll Call
The rate of financial technology companies going public, once a trickle, is now a steady stream as mobile payment apps and online lenders become the norm.
Some say consumers’ home confinement during the pandemic accelerated the growth of these firms and nudged them toward initial public offerings, which are considered the signal that a company has matured. The firms, in regulatory filings, indicate that the rise of smartphones made the ascent inevitable.
Payments startup Mollie now third-biggest fintech in Europe
Ryan Browne – CNBC
Mollie was a relatively little-known company before Covid-19. Now, it’s one of Europe’s biggest fintechs.
The Amsterdam-based online payments processor finally became a “unicorn” valued at more than $1 billion in September, more than a decade after it was founded by Dutch entrepreneur Adriaan Mol in 2004.
Fintech veteran Jitendra Gupta is ready for his new inning — now he is going after banks in India
Manish Singh – TechCrunch
For most people in India, having to engage with banks doesn’t instill a sense of joy. Banks in the South Asian market are notorious for making unannounced spam calls to upsell customers loans and credit cards, even when they have been explicitly asked not to do so.
Moreover, when a customer does reach out to a bank with a query, it can take forever to get the job done. Take ICICI Bank, India’s third largest bank and until recently my only banking partner for over six years, for an example.
Wise sprinkles fintech marketing magic ahead of City debut
Emily Nicolle – Financial News
Since the early days of the sector, fintech brands have always showcased a little extra something when it comes to marketing for new investors and customers.
Startups from London’s Silicon Roundabout have become known for branded socks and T-shirts, flashy bright-coloured cards and eye-catching marketing campaigns that spark a discussion. Even if it produced a negative reaction such as with Revolut’s ill-fated Valentine’s Day campaign in 2019, at least someone’s talking about them.
Transmit Security Raises $543 Million for Password-Free Future
Monica Greig – Bloomberg
In an era of rising incidents of hacking, cybersecurity startup Transmit Security has raised $543 million to expand its business providing companies with biometric authentication systems instead of user passwords.
The cash injection brings the seven-year-old company’s valuation to $2.2 billion, Transmit Security announced Tuesday. Investment in its first funding round was led by New York-based firms Insight Partners and General Atlantic.
Biden’s executive order on cybersecurity should include behavior transparency
Ben Higgins – TechCrunch
The Biden administration this spring announced an executive order designed to strengthen government cybersecurity defenses in the wake of several major recent hacks, including the SolarWinds, Microsoft Exchange Server and Pulse Secure incidents, which impacted numerous federal agencies and private companies. The order’s importance was underscored by the DarkSide ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline just a few weeks later.
Biden is worried about cybersecurity. Japan says watch cartoons
Chris Matyszczyk – ZDNet
It’s easy to admire those with lofty dreams.
As long as they don’t express them with depressingly egotistical certainty, that is. Which does rule out one or two tech CEOs and three or four tech PR people.
Still, I was moved when a Japanese company contacted me and claimed its aim is “to create a secure cyberspace that people around the world can use safely.”
EU to launch rapid response cybersecurity team
Laurens Cerulus – Politico
The European Union wants to launch a new cyber unit to respond to cyberattacks, according to a draft of the plan seen by POLITICO.
The European Commission will present its plan on Wednesday to set up what it calls the “Joint Cyber Unit,” which would allow national capitals hit by cyberattacks to ask for help from other countries and the EU, including through rapid response teams that can swoop in and fight off hackers in real time, according to the draft.
Average time to fix critical cybersecurity vulnerabilities is 205 days: report
Jonathan Greig – ZDNet
A new report from WhiteHat Security has found that the average time taken to fix critical cybersecurity vulnerabilities has increased from 197 days in April 2021 to 205 days in May 2021.
In its AppSec Stats Flash report, WhiteHat Security researchers found that organizations in the utilities sector had the highest window of exposure with their application vulnerabilities, spotlighting a problem that made national news last week when it was revealed more than 50,000 of water treatment plants across the US had lackluster cybersecurity. In addition to an attack on a water treatment plant in Florida earlier this year, it was revealed that there have been multiple attacks on utilities that were never reported.
Ransomware gangs get paid off as officials struggle for fix
Frank Bajak – WP
If your business falls victim to ransomware and you want simple advice on whether to pay the criminals, don’t expect much help from the U.S. government. The answer is apt to be: It depends. “It is the position of the U.S. government that we strongly discourage the payment of ransoms,” Eric Goldstein, a top cybersecurity official in the Department of Homeland Security, told a congressional hearing last week. But paying carries no penalties and refusing would be almost suicidal for many companies, especially the small and medium-sized.
Chinese Logistics Firm Airlifting Bitcoin Mining Machines to Maryland: Report
Jamie Crawley – Yahoo Finance
A Chinese logistics firm is airlifting 3 metric tons (3.3 tons) of bitcoin mining machines to Maryland as the Chinese government cracks down on the industry. Photos appearing to show the equipment packed up and ready to be airlifted were shared on Twitter Monday by CNBC’s senior correspondent in Beijing, Eunice Yoon. Guangzhou-based Fenghua International told CNBC it is airlifting 3,000 kg (6,600 lbs) of machines to Maryland.
VanEck Files Prospectus for a New Bitcoin Futures Mutual Fund
Tanzeel Akhtar – Coindesk
Investment firm VanEck filed a new draft prospectus for a bitcoin futures mutual fund with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday.
Nvidia Hedges Against Crypto Hangover With Chips Just for Miners
Ian King – Bloomberg
Graphics card maker seeks to avoid boom-and-bust coin cycle; High-flying stock was hammered in 2018 when miners retreated
Nvidia Corp. has an unlikely message for some of its most voracious customers: please don’t buy our latest high-end computer-graphics chip. The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, a $1,199 graphics card, and the RTX 3070 Ti, which costs about half that amount, have had some of their capabilities deliberately stripped out. Nvidia wants them to be the exclusive preserve of its core gamer customer base and is nixing the products’ ability to effectively mine cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin, seeking to discourage miners from snapping up all the supply to build massive crypto-processing farms. Instead, Nvidia is pushing a chip just for the miners.
How China Rivals Elon Musk in Rattling Crypto Markets
Zheping Huang – Bloomberg
Not much moves cryptocurrency markets like Elon Musk tweets — except, perhaps, the idea of another crackdown in China, the world’s second-largest economy. From a trading ban on domestic exchanges to squeezes on power-consuming digital currency miners, Chinese regulators have tried to tamp down risks related to the stratospheric rise of Bitcoin and its peers for years. Yet a recent flurry of official reminders has traders nervous about more possibly to come as President Xi Jinping seeks to reduce financial risk in the economy and meet the country’s ambitious goals for combating climate change.
Bitcoin’s Biggest Corporate Backer Invests Another $500 Million As Crypto Prices Crash
Jonathan Ponciano – Forbes
Two weeks after announcing a debt offering to fund the investment, business analytics firm MicroStrategy, which owns more bitcoin than any other corporation in the world, has spent nearly $500 million to acquire more of the world’s largest cryptocurrency—taking advantage of crashing prices Monday morning despite warning of a significant loss to come as a result of bitcoin’s tanking value.
#Dogecoin Trending Amid Crypto Crash As Fans Share ‘Hodl’ Memes
Ed Browne – Newsweek
Dogecoin has plummeted to its lowest price in several weeks as the wider cryptocurrency market sinks.
The token was down more than 20 percent on Tuesday morning, worth just over $0.20. The token fell as low as $0.1665 in 24 hours, its lowest price in at least 30 days, CoinMarketCap data showed.
Ethereum Creator Loses Over $400 Million As Crypto Market Collapses
Emily Mason – Forbes
Vitalik Buterin, co-creator of the world’s second most-valuable blockchain Ethereum, has taken a major hit to his net worth after the price of ether (ETH) dipped below $2,000 earlier on Monday.
As of 3:15 p.m. ET, ETH is trading at $1,938 according to Messari, down by more than 50 percent just five weeks after reaching its all-time-high of $4,338 on May 12. The decline of the second-largest cryptocurrency falls in line with the rest of the market, as crypto prices have fallen across the board since news broke of a renewed clampdown on bitcoin miners in China.
Warning to Crypto Traders: You’re Not a Trillionaire Until You Sell Your Stake.
Al Root – Barron’s
If you’ve been following the cryptocurrency news, you likely saw headlines over the weekend about a man who claimed he had woken up a cryptocurrency trillionaire only to see his “wealth” disappear because he couldn’t exit his position.
The man may or may not exist. He has not returned Barron’s request for comment. But according to a post on Twitter, he accumulated more than $1.1 trillion in cryptocurrency Rocket Bunny after investing $20.
China Crypto Clampdown Sends Bitcoin Closer to Key $30,000 Level
Eric Lam and Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
China’s intensifying cryptocurrency crackdown has left Bitcoin flirting with $30,000, a price level seen as key to the short-term outlook for the largest virtual currency.
Bitcoin fell as much as 4.3% Tuesday to $31,171, and for some a breach of $30,000 would hurt sentiment and raise the risk of a steeper selloff. It was trading at $31,500 as of 10:42 a.m. in London.
U.K. Still Deeply Split on Brexit Five Years After Referendum
Joe Mayes – Bloomberg
Study finds 82% of respondents would vote the same way again; Boris Johnson is trying to show the merits of leaving the EU
Five years on from the knife-edge Brexit referendum, the U.K. remains deeply divided over leaving the European Union, a study found — though a repeat vote would yield a narrow preference for staying in the bloc.
Poland Backs Global Minimum Tax, Wants Clarity on Carve Outs
Wojciech Moskwa – Bloomberg
Poland is in favor of a global minimum corporate-tax rate as long as it doesn’t impede its ability to lure foreign investors by offering tax relief, Finance Minister Tadeusz Koscinski said.
Scaramucci to Relive Trump Transition at Manafort Banker Trial
Bob Van Voris – Bloomberg
Skybridge Capital founder set to testify against Stephen Calk; Calk is charged with using sweetheart loans to bribe Manafort
Anthony Scaramucci, the Skybridge Capital founder who famously spent 11 days as former President Donald Trump’s communications director, will be a key prosecution witness at the trial of a Chicago banker accused of paying bribes to win a high-level job in the administration.
Turkish Businessman Arrested in Austria on Charges that He Allegedly Laundered Over $133 Million in Fraud Proceeds
U.S. Department of Justice
A Turkish businessman was arrested in Austria on June 19, at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice. This arrest followed a superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Salt Lake City, Utah, on April 28, which was unsealed today. The superseding indictment charged Sezgin Baran Korkmaz with one count of conspiring to commit money laundering, 10 counts of wire fraud, and one count of obstruction of an official proceeding. According to the superseding indictment, Korkmaz laundered over $133 million in fraud proceeds through bank accounts that he controlled in Turkey and Luxembourg. The proceeds allegedly related to a scheme by Jacob Kingston, Isaiah Kingston, and Levon Termendzhyan to defraud the U.S. Treasury by filing false claims for over $1 billion in refundable renewable fuel tax credits for the production and sale of biodiesel by their company, Washakie Renewable Energy LLC, in Plymouth, Utah.
U.S. SEC charges operators of Treasury bill mutual fund with fraud
Jonathan Stempel – Reuters
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Monday it obtained an asset freeze against two men who defrauded investors in an offshore mutual fund that purported to invest in safe Treasury securities. In a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, the SEC said Ofer Abarbanel and Victor Chilelli misappropriated assets from their Income Collecting 1-3 Months T-Bills Mutual Fund, including through shell companies, and hid their misconduct.
Warning: Websites displaying fake ASIC endorsements
ASIC is aware of websites displaying or linking to fake ASIC company registration certificates;These certificates are fake because they look like ASIC documents, or use ASIC’s logo, but they contain information about companies that are not registered; Recent examples of fake ASIC company registration documents include documents about Global Capital Swiss Corp, COIN POBIT and A Glance Group LLC
Consumers can check whether a company is registered for free on our website. However, registration does not guarantee the quality of a company and does not represent ASIC endorsement.
Life Trading pays $200,000 infringement notice and enters into enforceable undertaking
Life Trading Pty Ltd (‘Life Trading’) has paid a penalty of $200,000, and entered into an enforceable undertaking with ASIC, to comply with an infringement notice given by the Markets Disciplinary Panel (‘the MDP’).
ASIC removes the local authorised participant requirement in ETF class order
ASIC has updated its class order on exchange traded funds (ETF) to allow ETF issuers to use overseas market makers. ASIC has made ASIC Corporations (Amendment) Instrument 2021/299 (Amending Instrument) to amend Class Order 13/721 [CO 13/721] (Class Order). The Amending Instrument removes the requirement in the Class Order that an authorised participant must be an Australian resident for tax purposes.
SEC Obtains Asset Freeze Against Offshore Fund and Its Operators
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it has filed an emergency action charging an offshore fund and two individuals with engaging in a fraudulent scheme, and obtained an asset freeze to safeguard remaining investor funds at risk of immediate dissipation.
SEC Issues Whistleblower Awards Totaling Nearly $5.3 Million
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced awards of nearly $5.3 million to whistleblowers who provided information and assistance in separate enforcement proceedings. In the first order, the SEC awarded a whistleblower nearly $4 million for providing information that caused the SEC to open an investigation that led to a successful enforcement action. The whistleblower provided extraordinary assistance, participating in hours of telephonic interviews and communicating dozens of times with investigative staff. The whistleblower also identified key witnesses and provided documents to the staff.
FCA consults on further climate-related disclosure rules
The FCA has published new proposals on climate-related disclosure rules for listed companies and certain regulated firms.
CFTC’s Stump: new talks needed on offshore client clearing; Libor demise should spur rethink on US customer access to foreign clearing providers, says commissioner
Chris Davis – Risk.net
A senior regulator has called for fresh talks on allowing US customers to clear swaps at foreign clearing houses that are currently accessible only to US dealers. Dawn Stump, a member of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said she would push fellow commissioners to consider a proposal to remove restrictions on swap clearing by US clients at utilities such as the Japan Securities Clearing Corporation (JSCC).
BIS Calls For Expressions Of Interest To Develop Basel Headquarters
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) today called for expressions of interest for the development of its headquarters site in Basel, Switzerland. The BIS, which acts as a hub for central banks and other financial regulatory and supervisory authorities across the globe, is looking to modernise its current facilities to support new ways of working and meeting and bring all its Basel-based staff into one location to foster collaboration.
Ontario Securities Commission Takes Action Against Non-Compliant International Crypto Asset Trading Platform Bybit
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) today published a Statement of Allegations against Bybit Fintech Limited (Bybit) for failing to comply with Ontario securities law. Bybit, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, is operating an unregistered crypto asset trading platform, encouraging Ontarians to use the platform, and allowing Ontario residents to trade crypto asset products that are securities and derivatives.
Investing and Trading
Exxon Prepares to Cull U.S. White-Collar Ranks by Up to 10%
Joe Carroll and Kevin Crowley – Bloomberg
Exxon Mobil Corp. is preparing to reduce headcount at its U.S. offices by between 5% and 10% annually for the next three to five years by using its performance-evaluation system to suss out low performers, according to people familiar with the matter.
Following the Money Suggests Stocks Have a Problem; Liquidity growth is falling sharply, implying significant risk of a decline in the market.
John Authers – Bloomberg
Is It the Liquidity, Stupid?
Markets are still trying to work out what would be most comfortable in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s shift in emphasis. After a big move away from the “reopening trade” at the end of last week, there was a return to it Monday, with stocks doing well, and bond yields rising a bit. The overall judgment that the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting was bond-positive and stock-negative remains in place.
‘Roller-Coaster Ride’ in Bonds Puts Onus on Powell to Bring Calm
John Ainger and Benjamin Purvis – Bloomberg
Long-end U.S. rates unwind part of their move from last week; Investors look to Powell for clarity on what should be priced
Treasury traders are looking for Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to provide some calm after a volatile few sessions that have sent yields on what one bank described as a “roller-coaster ride.” Ten-year yields have swung in a 25-basis-point range in the past three sessions, having initially been thrown higher by the Fed’s comments that brought forward bets on interest-rate hikes. Monday’s trading encapsulated that volatility, with yields initially dropping to 1.35% before climbing to 1.50% by the session close — the largest gap since February.
Cowen Expands Global Capital Introduction Team, Providing Extended Solutions For Prime Brokerage and Outsourced Trading Clients
Cowen (NASDAQ:COWN) (“Cowen” or the “Company”) has expanded its global capital introduction team with two new senior appointments as it continues extending the services and coverage it provides to its prime brokerage and outsourced trading clients. Cowen’s global capital introduction team now comprises eight capital introduction professionals, with additional hires planned over the next couple of years.
Soho House plans aggressive expansion as it files for New York IPO; Private members’ club group seeks valuation of about $3bn as Covid restrictions ease
Alice Hancock and Matthew Rocco – FT
Soho House, the owner of private members’ clubs in North America, Europe and Asia, has laid out aggressive expansion plans as it filed to go public in New York.
First unleveraged single-stock ETPs aim to woo retail investors; Leverage Shares’ new ungeared offerings offer European investors cheap fractional shares in companies like Tesla
Emma Boyde – FT
Leverage Shares is attempting to tap the boom in retail investing with the launch of the world’s first unleveraged physically backed single-stock exchange traded products. The ETPs provide investors in UK and elsewhere in Europe the rare opportunity to buy fractional shares.
Family offices tap into the Spac boom; Groups use their flexibility and connections to exploit surging market
Aziza Kasumov – FT
Last year, when Isabelle Freidheim was preparing to launch a special purpose acquisition company (Spac) and join the trend for speculative investments that had so captivated Wall Street last year, one of the first people she contacted to raise the money to get started was Candice Beaumont.
The Copper Price Mountain Crumbles; The combination of a more hawkish Fed and China’s decision to tap its strategic copper reserve has wrong-footed bullish investors
Nathaniel Taplin – WSJ
Green energy plus inflation, infrastructure and easy money must equal a copper-price rally—at least that seems to have been the thinking of commodity investors, who had helped copper prices nearly double since late 2019.
Long-Dated Treasurys Win Favor on Receding Inflation Bets; Investors have been unwinding trades that bet on stronger economic growth and inflation
Anna Hirtenstein and Paul J. Davies – WSJ
Investors have rushed into longer-dated Treasurys in a bet that the Federal Reserve will act more quickly against inflation, leading to slower growth and lower interest rates in the longer term.
GameStop raises more than $1 bln in latest share offer
Videogame retailer GameStop Corp (GME.N) said on Tuesday it had raised about $1.13 billion in its latest share offering, cashing in further on a social-media-driven surge in its stock price.
Fico’s dominance in US credit scoring under challenge; Pressure mounts to address inequalities over access to credit by consumers
Caroline Conway – FT
Twenty-six million US consumers are estimated to be “credit invisible”, lacking a financial track record with any credit bureau. And up to 53m are estimated to have no traditional credit rating score from Fico, the listed provider of the metric that underpins trillions of dollars in lending decisions in the US.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
The Climate Solution That Cuts Emissions and Saves Money; We’re not investing enough in energy efficiency even though it’s a crucial lever in the climate fight
Akshat Rathi – Bloomberg
There’s a way to cut emissions and save money, but not enough people talk about it. Perhaps it’s because the phrase “energy efficiency” induces some to yawn. Or that quietly making something more efficient isn’t as politically rewarding as building a new shiny solar farm. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that the world isn’t investing enough in this critical climate lever.
Ethical Label Is Hard to Verify in Secretive World of ESG Loans
Jacqueline Poh – Bloomberg
Loan issuers face pressure to disclose sustainability targets; Global borrowings tied to ESG goals have soared during 2021
The booming market for ethical loans is starting to raise questions about whether they actually live up to their promises. Sustainability targets are usually not disclosed and it’s often impossible for investors to hold companies to account on meeting environmental or social goals. While some industry associations are pushing for tighter guidelines and independent reviews, the loan market is a long way from the transparency of the rest of the ESG space.
Shipping boss warns EU carbon plans threaten to raise industry’s emissions; Head of MSC says the commission’s move to cut CO2 will have the opposite effect
Harry Dempsey and Peggy Hollinger and Mehreen Khan – FT
EU plans to slash carbon emissions threaten to drive up CO2 produced by the shipping industry, the head of the world’s second-largest container carrier has warned.
Appeals Court Revives Challenge to California Law Mandating Women Board Members; Federal judges say shareholder may sue over state’s 2018 law that requires public companies in California to have women directors
Theo Francis – WSJ
A federal appeals court ruled that an investor may sue California over a 2018 law requiring publicly traded companies with headquarters in the state to include at least one woman on their boards.
Engine No. 1 rolls out $100 mln ETF after Exxon board victory
Svea Herbst-bayliss. – Reuters
Engine No. 1 is launching an exchange traded fund (ETF) with $100 million in assets, a bet Main Street investors want portfolios to back environmental, social and governance (ESG) proposals on the heels of the hedge fund’s boardroom victory at ExxonMobil (XOM.N), company executives said.
Raters of companies’ green credentials need more oversight, UK watchdog says
Huw Jones – Reuters
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings, widely used by asset managers to make climate-friendly investments, need tighter oversight to avoid risks to the smooth functioning of financial markets, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority said on Tuesday.
Behind Shell’s strategy to get into green energy.
Ben van Beurden, the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, has been talking about the need to cut emissions since 2017. In the view of some, though, Shell has dragged its feet.
JPMorgan Asset-Management Arm Buys $5.3 Billion Forest Investor
Mary Biekert – Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s asset-management arm agreed to purchase Campbell Global LLC, which focuses on timberland and natural resources and has $5.3 billion in investments, as the bank bets on the growth of carbon-offset markets.
Hedge Funds Get It Wrong With Ill-Timed Dollar, Bond Bets
Stephen Spratt and Masaki Kondo – Bloomberg
Leveraged funds boosted dollar shorts before Fed decision; Funds also bet that U.S. yield curve would steepen: CFTC data
Hedge funds couldn’t have picked a worse time to be short the dollar while holding Treasury curve steepener positions. Leveraged funds boosted net dollar shorts by 21,347 contracts in the week ended June 15, the most since mid-January, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. A day later, Federal Reserve officials projected a faster-than-expected pace of tightening, propelling the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index to its biggest weekly gain in over a year.
Bridgewater’s Prince rejects return of 1970s ‘Great Inflation’; Hedge fund’s joint investment chief forecasts only ‘moderate’ rise in US prices
Eric Platt – FT
A top investor at the world’s biggest hedge fund says he does not expect a repeat of the “Great Inflation” that took hold in the 1970s, in the latest sign that many big money managers are positioning for more subdued price pressure.
Hedge fund that bet against GameStop shuts down; White Square move marks one of first closures of fund hit by surges in so-called meme stocks
Laurence Fletcher – FT
A London-based hedge fund that suffered losses betting against US retailer GameStop during the first meme stock rally in January is shutting its doors. White Square Capital, run by former Paulson & Co trader Florian Kronawitter, told investors that it would shut its main fund and return capital this month after a review of its business model, according to people familiar with the fund and a letter to investors.
Banks Slowly Offer Alternatives to Overdraft Fees, a Bane of Struggling Spenders; Aggressive overdraft fees are worth tens of billions of dollars a year to the banking industry. Account holders are finally getting some better options.
Tara Siegel Bernard – NY Times
In less than a week, Keri Fitzpatrick, a self-described lunch lady, was dinged for $175 she definitely didn’t have. A succession of automated payments over two days — for her phone, two credit cards and car insurance — pushed her TD Bank account into the red, socking her with $140 in overdraft fees. Then another unexplained fee surfaced on Friday, even though her paycheck had landed and she couldn’t find any other pending charges.
Morgan Stanley IM global trading head appointed head of US outsourced trading business at UBS; UBS has made two senior trading hires from Morgan Stanley Investment Management as it expands the outsourced trading team in the US.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
UBS has hired the global head of equity trading at Morgan Stanley Investment Management to lead its recently launched outsourced trading business in the US, according to an internal memo seen by The TRADE.
Head of equity sales at Citi departs for Barclays; New head of EMEA generalist and specialist cash sales joins Barclays after 12 years at Citi and two years at Goldman Sachs.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The head of equity sales at Citi has departed after 12 years to take on a senior cash sales position for EMEA at rival investment bank Barclays, The TRADE understands.
Cowen Expands Global Capital Introduction Team, Providing Extended Solutions For Prime Brokerage And Outsourced Trading Clients
Cowen (NASDAQ:COWN) (“Cowen” or the “Company”) has expanded its global capital introduction team with two new senior appointments as it continues extending the services and coverage it provides to its prime brokerage and outsourced trading clients. Cowen’s global capital introduction team now comprises eight capital introduction professionals, with additional hires planned over the next couple of years.
Consumer Federation Of America, American Association For Justice And Public Justice Issue Statement On Goldman Sachs Supreme Court Ruling
The Consumer Federation of America, American Association for Justice and Public Justice issued the following statement today on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. v. Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, et al:
Germany Sets up $12 Billion Fund to Finance Technology Startups
Stefan Nicola and Birgit Jennen – Bloomberg
Government trying to smooth access to cash in growth stage; Scholz says female founders are underrepresented in sector
Germany is unlocking 10 billion euros ($12 billion) to support technology startups in their growth phase, bolstering a sector that’s key for job creation in Europe’s biggest economy. The money is to be distributed via an investment fund meant to address the difficulties startups face when trying to raise venture capital, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told reporters in Berlin Tuesday.
Bank of Korea Warns Growing Financial Imbalances Imperil Economy
Sam Kim – Bloomberg
Deepening financial imbalances in South Korea due to rapid asset price gains and excessive borrowing threaten to hurt the economy, the central bank said. Such imbalances could impact the economy negatively if there’s a shock triggering a correction in the asset market and a rapid deleveraging of debt, the Bank of Korea said Tuesday in a semi-annual report on financial stability. Korea is facing larger mid-to-long term financial risks than it did before the pandemic, it said.
Tesla investor warns of ‘deep sickness’ in UK capital markets; Baillie Gifford’s James Anderson says fund management must take some blame for lack of UK entrepreneurs
Harriet Agnew and Joshua Oliver – FT
A “deep sickness” in UK capital markets has stifled the growth of homegrown tech entrepreneurs and left London’s blue-chip FTSE 100 looking like an index from the 19th century, according to one of Britain’s top fund managers. In a scathing critique, James Anderson, whose early bets on Facebook, Amazon and Tesla have made him one of the world’s most successful investors, said that too many UK asset managers are obsessed with short-term performance rankings and fearful of taking risks.
China cracks down on iron ore market; Price tumbles after top economic planning agency says it will probe ‘malicious speculation’
Alex Hamer and Neil Hume – FT
Beijing has launched a review into record prices for key steelmaking ingredient iron ore, opening another front in its campaign to suppress high commodities prices.
Private equity ‘raid’ on UK companies sparks furious row in City; Traditional fund managers speak out against takeovers they say undervalue businesses
Attracta Mooney, Kaye Wiggins and Gill Plimmer – FT
An attempt by private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice to take over the supermarket chain Wm Morrison’s would, if successful, mark one of Britain’s biggest leveraged buyouts since the 2008 crisis.
The new 20-second rule: how to tackle screen fatigue and sore eyes; ‘My optician said I was one of several recent customers to show a deterioration following Covid-19 lockdowns’
Tim Bradshaw – FT
The first time I washed my hands for 20 seconds, it felt like an eternity. Eighteen months ago, the idea that I would spend more than a few seconds rinsing in the sink seemed excessive. Today, I scrub like a surgeon and think nothing of it. Lately, I’ve been following a new 20-second rule. This one feels less like hard work because it mainly involves gazing out of the window. After more than a year spent mostly indoors staring at screens, I am trying to soothe my tired eyes with the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
‘Harder than Everest’: record-breaking female climber stranded in Nepal amid COVID crisis
Gopal Sharma – Reuters
Hong Kong resident Tsang Yin-Hung, who made the fastest ascent of Mount Everest by any woman, and dozens of other mountaineers from China are unable to get out of Nepal because of COVID-19 restrictions imposed by Beijing, they said.